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HENRY: Terrible Australian selections set the tone in India

Geoff Lawson Columnist

By Geoff Lawson, Geoff Lawson is a Roar Expert

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    Nathan Lyon is unlikely to spin Australia to victory in India - thus, they are unlikely to win in India. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

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    Where to start with the dog’s breakfast of a performance that Australia dished up in India?

    Coaching, selecting, batting, unbalanced XIs (with an eye and half on the Ashes), inexperienced and unqualified slow bowlers who are asked to open the batting, management, the system?

    Not to mention discipline, ‘insubordination’ and a crap attitude.

    These would usually be the surgeon’s menu for dissecting a football (insert appropriate code acronym here) team’s ability to finish with the wooden spoon then trash a dressing room/hotel room/library when they mistook it for a fast food franchise.

    Australian cricket, at the elite level at least, is in considerable chaos.

    The challenges of a Test series in India are always significant, although considerably less so in 2013 from the survivability viewpoint.

    In 1959-60 several players returned from India with serious doses of hepatitis. Gordon Rorke, the hulking NSW and Gordon fast – very fast – left-armer lost six stones (almost 20 kgs) and never regained his pace and hostility.

    Gavin Stephens never played cricket again let alone represent his state or country. He was very close to death.

    Cholera, typhoid and hepatitis were daily threats. Five-star hotels are now the norm for international tourists and cricketers. There are neutral umpires. They have no excuses.

    The current Australian team’s greatest threat was cramps from signing too many autographs or texting their sponsors for more freebies.

    21st century India is a delight for tourists and a heaven if you might be a cricketer of any standard.

    Playing against competent spin – and you wouldn’t put Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja or Pragyan Ohja in the genius pot but certainly in the ‘tough to play on the those made-to-order bunsens’ – was the difficult bit. Not life-threatening but possibly career-threatening.

    The Australian XI for the first Test, on a pitch with a surface as readable and dog eared as a Fifty Shades of Grey novel, was seam bowling-heavy and declared the best attack they could muster.

    Missing the obvious – that pitches that spin usually make spinners more effective, just as pitches that seam do for seamers.

    Nathan Lyon took a ‘seven-for’ eventually, because the pitch at Delhi spun and bounced at varying heights. He would have been expected to take more wickets than anyone else, and he did.

    Well bowled Nathan, after he (or his confidants) finally worked out he could be effective bowling around the wicket. This fundamental tactic was ignored for three Tests.

    Elite coaches, bowling coaches in particular, are supposed to know this stuff. But can we wave a feather duster at the bowling coach, Allister de Winter, who may not have seen a single ball deviate for the slow men in his playing career at Bellerive?

    He could not direct Lyon to pitch wide into the acres of rubble created by follow throughs and batting spikes and Lyon had little knowledge to work his own tricks.

    He kept his mantra of ‘keeping it tight’ and monotonous, discarding the taking of risk in search of greater reward.

    But one of the main reasons for the lack of experience of any of the slow men, besides their youth and comparatively few matches, is that Australian first class pitches don’t spin any more. Even the SCG has become infected with green grass.

    The final Sheffield Shield match pitch at the SCG looked like a putting surface at the Australian Open and promising leggie Adam Zampa was made 12th man – the correct decision for the pitch but not for the future of Australian cricket.

    South Australia imported a captain who bowled slow without great effect, hardly a positive for the Redbacks or Australian cricket on a pitch where spin at least has some chance to prosper.

    The new drop-ins at the famous ground will be yet another knife between the ribs of spin bowling.

    Cameron Boyce bowled only 101 Shield overs this season and Fawad Ahmed has been imported, away from personal peril, having learnt his stuff on the ant beds of Pakistan’s North West Frontier province.

    This may be the way toward the next Shane Warne because the pitch makers of this country are certainly not contributing.

    It used to be that spinners would always play at Adelaide and Sydney, MCG maybe, but not so much since drop-in pitches aided the centre bounce.

    Bellerive was a road, Perth and Brisbane did not suit spin unless you had an all-rounder but the high risk leggies would often get three matches maybe plus a tour game to wheel their wares.

    More spinners bowling means batsmen have to learn how to play them, it’s a double whammy. If you played your home games at the SCG or Adelaide Oval then you had better have an idea about how to bat, survive, then prosper against spin.

    Slow bowling in T20 and ODI stuff is flat, predictable and appropriate, the method does not help Test or first class bowlers one bit – exemplar Xavier Doherty.

    The Australian team have raced backward in India. The batting order and those who might fill it is confused, the best wicketkeeper-batsman-leader and potential captain played one Test, Nathan Lyon did improve, Xavier Doherty plummeted, we found out about Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson’s captaincy.

    Australia’s next series will not be carried out on big turning pitches, although you never know what the Poms might produce given their outstanding series win in India.

    Whatever they come up with might not matter given the state of the Australians.

    Time to bring in players with form, coaches with experience and selectors that can tell an apple from an orange.

    Geoff Lawson
    Geoff Lawson

    Geoff Lawson OAM is a former Australian cricketer and the former coach of the Pakistan cricket team. Nicknamed "Henry" after the Australian poet, Lawson was a fast bowler for New South Wales and Australia.

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    The Crowd Says (133)

    • Columnist

      March 27th 2013 @ 8:47am
      Spiro Zavos said | March 27th 2013 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      Henry has outlined the problems with selection very graphically. What are the answers? The selectors have painted themselves into a hole. They have to go with what they’ve got, or should they try to select a new team to play for the Ashes. i don’t think so.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 8:55am
        Red Kev said | March 27th 2013 @ 8:55am | ! Report

        It is a very good article.
        I saw Arthur had come out already saying there wouldn’t be too many changes from this squad to the Ashes so we’re going to see more losses and inexplicable selections I would say. Maybe he’ll get fired after a double-drubbing from the soap-dodgers.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 10:06am
          Praveen said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

          Good article, if I could ask Arthur questions I would ask why Lyon was dropped after first test, why khawaja didn’t get a game even for te last dead rubber and do you really believe that maximaximus is test quality at this point in time

          • March 27th 2013 @ 10:17am
            TedS said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:17am | ! Report

            +1

            • March 27th 2013 @ 11:01am
              Stephen said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:01am | ! Report

              Praveen good questions and i will +1 you as well on all those.
              Col no doubt that we should have played Lyon in all the matches, i woudl have bought Khawaja in from game 2 and i would encourage you guys to read the smh article from Satau with Inevarity’s positive comments on KHawaja for the ashes which shows he is strongly on the radar. As for the big show he is not ready yet but he needs a couple of years in shield and then he might be ready for the top level.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 12:10pm
                Colvin said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

                I read Inverarity being quoted as because of Khawaja’s good technique against pace bowters he will be a possibility for the ashes. But in India they picked Smith instead because of his ability against spin. (or words to that effect)

                How about that? In my mind seems hardly believable. Every man and his dog knew the wickets over there would favour spinners.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 12:27pm
                TedS said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

                Reply to Colvin: its a joke and a way to justify their mind boggling poor decisions. So now we have the depth to have different batsmen for spin and pace? Yeah soon they will have specialist batsmen for legspin, offspin, medium, fast, yorkers and beamers. Inverarity is probably as big a clown as Arthur.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 12:30pm
                Ken Hambing said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

                +2, fantastic to hear Khawaja being spoen positively by the selectors, better late then never

              • March 27th 2013 @ 12:52pm
                Christo the Daddyo said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

                Invers’ comments about Khawaja mean nothing. It’s almost exactly what he’s been saying for some time now… “we’re very serious about him”, “he’s right in the mix”, etc, etc.

                If he’s going to be seriously considered for the Ashes because he’s good against high quality pace bowling, why was he picked for India – who have none. Sounds like more meaningless guff designed to placate the public – who are getting sick and tired of a batsman who appears to be in good form continually being overlooked.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 1:23pm
                TedS said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

                I saw this coming. I swear to god I did about 6-8 months ago. And I knew I did not like Inverarity especially in connection with Khawaja. How did I see all this writing on the wall so far in advance? I must be a cricketing genius!

              • March 27th 2013 @ 1:51pm
                Bearfax said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

                Funny thing is TedS. I saw it coming too. I’ve sensed their reluctance to promote him to the test teams ever since he came back as a 12th man and then replaced another batsman with someone else. I dont know what these guys’ agendas are, but Khawaja is not in their test options. Thing is I fear he’ll be picked for the Ashes and miss out again. Someone should be asking some very pointed questions of these selectors and demanding answers.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 4:32pm
                Amith said | March 27th 2013 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

                I am excited to hear John speak highly of Khawaja, Khawaja for cricket in this country is exciting but he needs his chance

              • March 28th 2013 @ 8:08am
                JMW said | March 28th 2013 @ 8:08am | ! Report

                Ok – Inverarity is obviously a kook, but is Rod Marsh also clueless? It’s hard to imagine.

            • March 27th 2013 @ 12:18pm
              JB said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

              Maxwells 7 wickets at 27 showed why, obviously failed with the bat but he has a higher FC average then Joe burns and George Baily and you all want them in your squads. I’m not saying i agree with his selection but you have to admit he showed plenty of promise in India.

              After being slaughtered early on his debut with figures of 0/81 he learnt his lesson and from there took 7/112 from the rest of the series. I think a lot of us are missing that point. Lets also not forget in Delhi he had 4 catches dropped off his bowling and a missed stumping and only bowled 16 overs. He could/should of had figures of 3/12 and 5/54 (took 1/12&2/54) and hydrebad he also had two dropped catches and a missed stumping (could have had 7for). At least he looked like taking wickets. I don’t think you can say patto or siddle (as well as they bowled) had 7 opportunities missed off their bowling all series and maxy only played half the games. He was geunuinely unlucky despite still having handy figures (made worse by his ordinary start).

              I actually think he was one of the big improvers of this tour. Still wouldn’t have him in the ashes, but he actually had the best bowling average out of the entire squad. Lets not forget that before we keep bashing the kid. Obviously not the complete package but with a FC batting average of 43 and a test bowling average of 27 you can’t deny there’s potential there, despite what most think.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 12:41pm
                Red Kev said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

                You have a very interesting notion of which number is bigger:
                GJ Maxwell – 17 first class matches (2 of them tests which beggars belief) for an average of 37.0 and only one solitary century (he also registered a beautiful pair in his most recent Shield match).
                JA Burns – 27 first class matches for an average of 41.0 and 5 centuries.
                GJ Bailey – 91 first class matches for an average of 38.3 and 14 centuries.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 2:18pm
                Ian said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

                Red Kev – I believe his average was 43 when he was picked for the tour. A couple of tests at 10 have dragged his average down.

                Regardless, I saw nothing really that suggested he has the makings of a test class batsman. He could turn out to be a decent bowler – he puts plenty of spin on the ball, flights it, just needs to eliminate the rubbish ball or two every over.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 2:44pm
                Red Kev said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

                Maxwell actually had an average of 42.0 off just 15 matches. His season shield average was just 22.5 propped up to 30.8 thanks to a half-century in the Australia A tour match.
                Interestingly JB is still wrong because Joe Burns at the time of shield suspension in November had an average of 42.3 off 23 matches…and most commentators considered him not ready yet.
                There is no universe in which Maxwell’s selection is defensible.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 2:49pm
                Chop said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

                When you compare Maxwell to O’Keefe who should’ve been the second spinner on the plane ahead of both Maxwell and Doherty. It’s embarassing he was even in the country.

                In shield cricket O’Keefe is the leading wicket taker with an average of 26 compared to Maxwell’s bowling ave of 32. O’Keefe’s batting average is 7 runs less but if he’s in the bottom 5 surely bowling is the priority.

                Doherty’s shield bowling ave is 45 and his batting is 13. How the hell does he get a gig as a specialist spinner in test matches?

              • March 27th 2013 @ 3:08pm
                Simba said | March 27th 2013 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                Maxwell took most of his wickets through batsmen trying to hit out for quick runs late in an innings.

                Not sure how many top-order wickets he took. But he certainly didn’t take them when it counted.

                Wickets ain’t wickets.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 7:15pm
                Deep Thinker said | March 27th 2013 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

                I agree with you JB. I think Maxwell has been picked too early and is not ready for test cricket, but could turn out to be a good test player with time. Hopefully, this criticism will not dent his confidence because he still needs a bit more time to mature.

                I think with that in mind, his performance in the series has been commendable and his bowling was useful. It didn’t help that he was treated like a novelty trick in the final test – opening the batting and bowling. This guy is trying to find his feet and they put that kind of pressure on him. Ridiculous.

                The thing I like about him is he does the team things well – he is a dynamic fielder and runs well between the wickets. Something some of the other fringe players could do well to observe.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 10:39pm
                Todd Johnson said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

                Maxwell showed that he isn’t a test or FC bowler every time he bowled over the wicket. With largely leg side fields set and often no point or large gaps between point and cover he continued to bowl wide of off asking to be driven or even just sat on and milked for runs behind square. If he was up to this level he should be able to execute the correct line from either over or around the wicket. To be fair, I’d expect that level of skill execution from a 3rd grader let alone a test player.

                Maxwell bowled almost exclusively around the wicket in the BBL and ODI’s that he played and he seems to bowl better lines from there and get a better seam position. Watch a slow mo of him from over the wicket and he doesn’t get a great seam position and therefore not as much drop and spin.

                I didn’t hate him playing in India as I would’ve played 3 spinners like India did. Mind you I would’ve had O’Keefe over there playing with Doherty and Lyon. If Beer was fit he would replace Doherty.

                For mine the big disappointment from our spinners was the lack of arc on their bowling. Even Jadeja, who isn’t great, got the ball ‘up and down’ which was shown perfectly when he got Clarke stumped first rock in the 3rd test. Our spinners largely had the bowl coming straight down out of the hand and the Indians tended to have the ball coming up out of the hand.

                It was interesting to hear R Ashwin say after the series that after the England series, when he was pretty poor, that he’d spent time with the coaches and they’d identified that his delivery stride was too long and this meant that he was too flat through the crease and not getting up and over the ball enough. I would say that Lyon’s delivery stride is much the same and would benefit from shortening it and getting up and over. He had great drop when he first came on the scene but for mine he’s become very flat and often too short and with a long delivery stride.

              • March 28th 2013 @ 8:13am
                JMW said | March 28th 2013 @ 8:13am | ! Report

                Forget Maxwell, O’Keefe has him covered. Forget Bailey, he is the Xavier of the batsmen. First class is termed first class for a reason. ODI performances shouldn’t pick a Test team or squad for that matter. Let’s never forget Xavier Doherty!

            • March 27th 2013 @ 1:51pm
              Amith said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

              +2

              • March 27th 2013 @ 6:37pm
                Praveen said | March 27th 2013 @ 6:37pm | ! Report

                +3

          • March 27th 2013 @ 10:36am
            Col said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

            Im not Mickey Arthur but I will give it a go.

            1) “Look, Nathan had played a lot of Tests in a row and we felt it was best for him to rest up. Also, Nathan has a few technical things to work on and we felt now was a good time for him work on those things and I back him to bounce back”.

            Real Answer: “It was clear the Indians had Lyons measure on one of the biggest bunsens of all time. We wanted to play two spinners in the second test but not at the expense of our batting and seam bowling. So Maxwell bats better than Lyon so he got the gig.”

            2) “Look, Uzzie was really close to selection in all Tests. It was unfortunate he couldnt be picked for the 3rd Test but he has learned a lot from the experience and I back him to bounce back. We felt in the last test with Clarke out that the experienced Watson would be the best fit.”

            Real answer: “I dont like Uzzie. I dont like Uzzie. I think he has an attitude problem. Whilst im coach and selector he wont play for Australia. I dont like Uzzie.”

            3) “Look, Maxy is great talent. He is a superb athlete and trains the house down. These were really tough conditions for a young guy to debut in Tests and he will only be a better player for the experience. No doubt he would have liked to have performed better but if he keeps working hard the results will come and I back him 100%”.

            Real answer: “I like Maxy. He is my kind of guy. I want to be known as the guy who gave Maxy his chance at International level because I have a gut feeling he will be a star. Plus Im hopeful of a kick back on his future IPL deals.”

            • March 27th 2013 @ 11:10am
              maximillian said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:10am | ! Report

              haha brilliant! If youre not Mickey Arthur you must be the guy that writes his speeches at the press conferences. 😉

              • Roar Guru

                March 27th 2013 @ 11:53am
                Simon said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:53am | ! Report

                Very funny, Col.

                I imagined the South African accent, and could actually hear him saying the above.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 12:30pm
                Col said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

                Cheers. Yeah it works with a South African accent in your head.

                If you took what Mickey A says literally, you would swear blind he has a gambling problem – he backs anything that moves.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 1:52pm
                Amith said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

                Funny stuff but seriously we need to give Khawaja a chance.

          • March 27th 2013 @ 12:17pm
            Nick Inatey said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            Again, why aren’t you people asking these questions of Clarke!?

            He is a selector too….and considering the rumours about the people he has pissed off or pissed him off, may actually be more of a reason why certain people are in or out of the test team.

            PLEASE stop targeting the coach.

            • March 28th 2013 @ 3:00am
              TedS said | March 28th 2013 @ 3:00am | ! Report

              Totally agree with you here. Clarke may have more to do with team selection for the India tour than Arthur.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 12:09pm
          Bearfax said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

          Arthur, like Invers and Howard, say lots of things. I dont believe any of it. They manipulate the truth consistently to suit their ends.

          • March 27th 2013 @ 12:10pm
            Nick Inatey said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            And Clarke doesn’t? He’s a selector too. How does he ALWAYS escape the criticism people have of the NSP?

            • March 27th 2013 @ 12:48pm
              Pope Paul VII said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

              I will merrily criticise him. He seems to favour his mates.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 2:05pm
                Amith said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

                He does but itd human nature

              • March 27th 2013 @ 2:25pm
                Nick Inatey said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                Thanks be to God…or to the Pope in this case.

                Yes, Clarke, despite his wonders with the bat should not be allowed to escape the fact that he is a flagrant cronyist.

      • April 2nd 2013 @ 7:55pm
        Davo said | April 2nd 2013 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

        Henry you state in your article that “we found out about Maxwell”. I agree … What we found out is that he is a good spin bowler and that based on the stats he was our best spinner over there:

        Maxwell: 7 wickets for 193 runs at 27 runs per wicket and a strike rate of 35 balls using 41 overs

        Lyon: 15 wickets for 635 runs at 42 runs per wicket and a strike rate of 52 balls using 130 overs.

        England is not India .. that’s the stage he will excell on! He has an ability to take wickets … Quickly … And can be used to smack runs quickly when needed.

        Not sure why the hate for Maxwell? I would have ahead of Mr Watson any day!

    • Roar Guru

      March 27th 2013 @ 8:55am
      Simon said | March 27th 2013 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      A fantastic read, as always Henry.

      The Adelaide Oval, in my opinion, has always been the best Test match pitch in Australia, giving batsmen, seamers and spinners ample opportunities to do well. I just hope that the drop in pitches will remain true.

      Let’s be honest, we have never had a culture of spin bowlers in this country, except for the Warne-wanabees from 93-06, just as India have never had a culture of seamers. This is nothing new. The answer? Produce more spin-friendly wickets in Australia. If only it were that simple.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 9:40am
        Nick Inatey said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:40am | ! Report

        Great article Henry,

        though six stones is closer to 36kgs, which if still accurate for Gordon Rorke, is even more incredible!!!

      • March 27th 2013 @ 2:00pm
        Clavers said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

        Quite right Simon.
        Richie Benaud benefited from good advice from Bill O’Reiily, and in turn passed it on to Shane Warne. But in general potential spinners can not get coaching from senior spinners who know what they’re doing. And most club captains haven’t the foggiest idea about spin.

        It takes time to develop spinners. The deliveries are inherently more difficult to control yet the margin for error for line and particularly length is much narrower. There is no substitute for hour after hour of net practice, bowling your stock ball, heavily spun, at a small target until you can hit it reliably. Benaud said this process usually takes four years.

        In the meantime the unfinished spinner struggles to get match experience because captains expect them to bowl with the same control as seamers and are paranoid about their spinners getting slogged.

        Club spinners therefore feel they are always a couple of loose balls from being pulled out of the attack, and the added pressure is counterproductive.
        I think the NSP should send a message to state selectors to always select a specialist spinner in their teams and to bowl them regardless of conditions so that they have a chance to develop.

    • March 27th 2013 @ 8:59am
      Teebee said | March 27th 2013 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      I think they have to do a bit of both obviously. But in saying this selection ‘system’ needs and overhall. The Australian batsman can only be better for the experience in India, so, not much needs to change there. Apart from maybe Watson just sticking to limited over cricket. But I think the Australians will be sweating on trying to get Fawad Ahmed’s citizenship fast tracked for the Ashes. But then the question moves onto: Are Australia then as bad as England? (considering half their team is from South Africa, or places other then England). Ideally, I feel Ahmed is the spinner to lead Australia through England. Not to discredit to Lyon, he has done well, however im of the view ” Horses for courses”

      • March 27th 2013 @ 11:20am
        nickyc said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:20am | ! Report

        You refer to Australia fast tracking Fawad Ahmed’s citizenship and then ask, ‘are Australia then as bad as England’. Could you remind us whose citizenship England have had fast tracked?

        If you’re referring to the fact that a number of England players were born overseas, all had at least one British parent and in most cases two, and most have lived in the UK since they were young children. If you are going to start throwing this sort of nonsense about perhaps you would care to comment on the less than Australian lineage of such players as Andrew Symonds (born in the UK), Usman Khawaj (Pakistan), Moises Henriques (Portugal), not to mention Mr Ahmed himself. Or going back a bit further how about Kepler Wessels (SA), Clarrie Grimmett (NZ) or Charles Bannerman (UK), Australia’s first test centurion to name but a few. I’m afraid the horse bolted for Australia on this one as far back as 1877.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 2:03pm
          JohnB said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

          The only one of the ones you mention who had been largely developed somewhere else was Kepler Wessels and to a lesser extent (because it was a long time between him coming to Austrlia and playing test cricket) Clarrie Grimmett.

          • March 27th 2013 @ 2:46pm
            nickyc said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

            So no different to most of the guys that England are selecting then except they don’t have such close blood ties to Australia as the SA born English players do to the UK.

            Look I’m not criticising either country over this issue, merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the statements made by the earlier poster regarding the matter.

            • March 27th 2013 @ 6:03pm
              JohnB said | March 27th 2013 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

              Pietersen and Trott in the current team aren’t exactly English products, and England has used many more such players than Australia has. However, nobody has absolutely clean hands in this and to me if a person complies with the eligibility rules, that’s all they have to do.

              I don’t disagree with you that if you’re an Australian complaining about Prior or (very recently) Strauss, you’re not on very strong ground.

              • March 27th 2013 @ 11:47pm
                nickyc said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

                Given that Australia and the UK both attract high levels of immigration there are bound to be examples of foreign born players in both teams. What surprises me is that Ahmed Fawad can just walk-in to the Aussie team once he gains citizenship, while in England he would first have to serve a seven year qualification period before being selected.

              • March 28th 2013 @ 1:55pm
                matt h said | March 28th 2013 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

                I think Darren Patterson had to take the cake. Not becasue he had been living and bowling in Victoria and was basically over in England to have a go at county cricket, but becaseu he isn’t actually very good.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 2:44pm
          Crispy said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

          Symonds moved to Australia shortly after he was adopted, Khawaja moved to Australia when he was a young boy, Henriques was one year old, Grimmett and Wessels couldn’t play for their countries (NZ weren’t a test nation and South Africa excluded because of Apartheid), and even Charles Bannerman was only an infant when he emigrated.
          Kevin Petersen lived in South Africa until he was 17, Trott played for SA under 19 and didn’t have English parents (grandparents – yes), Nick Compton didn’t move to England until he was a teenager and played for Natal at age level. The point is up until Ahmed Australia have never poached players from other test playing countries, they have learnt their cricket in Australia and come through the Australian system. Andrew Strauss was born in South Africa and moved to England when he was 6 but no-one would suggest that he’s a ring-in.

          • March 27th 2013 @ 3:02pm
            nickyc said | March 27th 2013 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

            Jonathon Trott’s father Ian was born in England and he and his wife live in the UK where he coaches cricket in Surrey. As I said all have at least one British parent and all have closer blood ties to England than any of the Australians I listed do to Oz.

            • March 27th 2013 @ 11:36pm
              Praveen said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

              Khawaja, Symmonds and Sandhu are products of our system, they are as much Aussie as you and me

          • March 27th 2013 @ 3:23pm
            nickyc said | March 27th 2013 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

            I should have added that the ECB require that any overseas born player who moves to England after his eighteenth birthday must wait seven years before qualifying to play for England. No other country sets such a tough standard.

            • March 27th 2013 @ 8:27pm
              Paul. said | March 27th 2013 @ 8:27pm | ! Report

              Moises was the most unforgivable steal, the Portugal test team really could have used an all rounder.

    • March 27th 2013 @ 9:51am
      Michael Fahey said | March 27th 2013 @ 9:51am | ! Report

      Henry,

      Small point BUT…just confirmed with Hayden Rorke, Gordon batted left handed but definitely bowled right handed. There is even a painting of his wonderful action on The Oval Tube Station. http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/image/305926.html

      Interestingly in golf he tees off left handed but putts right. Oh to be that talented!

      PS In regard to the saggy greens, how do you get stood down for a test and still retain the VC, and then captain Australia next Test. Whoops! I don’t think I’d be asking him to sign my captains bat.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 11:08am
        Atawhai Drive said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:08am | ! Report

        Gordon Rorke’s bowling action was considered a bit dodgy by some of the journalists who toured with England’s Ashes squad in 1958-59, although they were even more agitated by his ‘dragging’, legal at the time.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 11:33am
          Chui said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

          Sorry AD, but what is dragging?

          edit. It’s ok, I found it. Interesting. I could say anyone bowling a doosra is exploiting the 15 degree rule. The more things change the more they stay the same. 🙂

          • Roar Guru

            March 27th 2013 @ 12:34pm
            Atawhai Drive said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

            Chui, I got to this just too late and you’ve found what you were looking for, but here’s what I was about to post.

            Google Gordon Rorke and click on Images. The first picture of him, taken during the fourth Test of the 1958-59 Ashes series, shows drag in all its glory.

            Now for some stuff from the repository of all wisdom, Wikipedia:

            Dragging

            ‘Trying to recall who was responsible for the front-foot law is a tax on the memory. Some will say it was Gordon Rorke. Others would want the privilege shared by Fred Trueman and Frank Tyson and a couple of South Australian pace bowlers, Peter Trethewey and Alan Hitchcox. I am more inclined to lean towards Con Simons and Pat Crawford.’

            That quote comes from Richie Benaud in 1980

            IN MODERN cricket the bowler is no balled if he bowls without some part of the front foot (either grounded or raised) behind the popping crease and if his back foot is not wholly inside the return crease. In the 1950s the front foot rule had not been written, so the requirement was that one foot be behind the bowling crease. The 1958-59 Ashes series was a catalyst towards the change as fast bowlers tended to drag the toe of their rear foot over the bowling crease in order to decrease the distance between them and the batsmen when they released the ball. If they timed it well the delivery was made when the toe was still behind the crease, but sometimes they would drag it over the line and they would be no balled. The dust raised by the dragging foot and the distance between the bowling hand and the dragging foot of some six or seven feet made it difficult for umpires to make the correct decision.

            Gordon Rorke: A six-foot five-inch “Blond Giant”, Rorke was the fastest Australian bowler and accused of throwing by the English press, but this paled beside his excessive dragging. With his gigantic seven foot stride and yard long drag he could be only eighteen feet from the batsman when he finally delivered the ball and at times seemed impossible to score from. Fred Trueman was no balled for dragging his foot a couple of inches over the crease and wrote “It was really annoying as this umpire seemed to allow Gordon Rorke to bowl with both his feet over the front line!” One picture showed Rorke with his rear foot past the bowling crease before he had even begun to drag and Colin Cowdrey joked “I was frightened that he might tread on my toes”.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 1:47pm
        Clavers said | March 27th 2013 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

        The punishment exercised for all the 4 players, Watson included, was to be dropped for one test. Having done that, he had served his “sentence” and was again eligible.
        To strip him of the vice captaincy would have been to punish him twice for the one offence.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 2:56pm
          Crispy said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

          +1 re: punishing him twice. However if he’d played the 3rd test and batted as poorly as he did in the others (4th test included) then they would have seriously had to consider dropping him. He has now played 75 test match innings with only two centuries, he doesn’t bowl, and he promotes allrounders to open the batting when there are already 4 opening batsmen in the side he captains. Personally if I was a selector I wouldn’t be buying him a plane ticket to London.

        • March 30th 2013 @ 3:04pm
          Brendon said | March 30th 2013 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

          He went home for the birth of his child, so did he really serve his suspension?, he would have hone home anyway.

          I liken it to a footy player getting weeks when the coach was going to rest him anyway, or he is injured. Doesn’t really hurt them.

    • March 27th 2013 @ 10:27am
      Swampy said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:27am | ! Report

      Great article.

      A little rough on Doherty though. He should never have been picked and it showed. I did think however he improved towards the end and began to bowl with a bit more traditional spinners guile. He just lacks the turning ability or spit off the pitch that better spinners achieve.

      I’d hope it makes him a better 4 day bowler for the experience. I don’t wish to see him in a baggy green again unless his wickets column in 4 day matches increases dramatically.

      The sadder part was that Maxwell actually got some wickets despite bowling utter rubbish and being smacked all around the park. His average reflects poorly on how sub-standard his bowling was.

      Worrying that changes won’t be made.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

      • March 27th 2013 @ 12:56pm
        Pope Paul VII said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

        Doh should have played Delhi, 2 pace 2 spin No allrounders. That pitch was predicted to act as it did. If ever a spinner was going to carve… Alas poor Xavier.

      • April 2nd 2013 @ 7:40pm
        Davo said | April 2nd 2013 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

        Sorry Swampy but your comment is utter rubbish! You must have a very deep seated hate of Maxwell to make such a ridiculous comment.

        Look at the stats mate and you will find that Maxwell was our best performed spinner in India. He took 7 at 27 runs and importantly at a strike rate of 35 balls and using only 41 overs. Lyon took 15 wickets for 653 runs at 44 runs per wicket and a strike rate of 58 balls. They the facts!

        Now before you reply with the standard boring come back that Maxwells wickets were tail enders … 6 of his wickets were top six batsmen and one was a tail enders. At one stage had Wade or Cowan held their catches he would have had 6 or 7 wickets in one match.

    • March 27th 2013 @ 10:31am
      Sam said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

      The sadly reality is that Nathan Lyon will be forced to constantly justify his position the moment he doesn’t take another 5 wicket haul. He has earnt himself a temporary reprieve from being axed, though it will not last long.

      • March 27th 2013 @ 10:36am
        jameswm said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        Lyon’s 2nd innings in the 4th test was terrible. Too fast and too full, back to his old tricks. No loop.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 10:42am
          MadMonk said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          Fair enough, but a shame Wade dropped Dhoni, a ten for was a justfied reward.

          A challenge for the spinner particualrly when spinning stocks are low is that when he has an off day it is clear for all to see. A seamer has a poor day and often his 2 mates carry the load.

        • March 27th 2013 @ 10:56am
          Sam said | March 27th 2013 @ 10:56am | ! Report

          Was that before or after other people denied him wickets?

          His second innings was fine. We did not adequetly support him with pace like we did in the first innings. He was bowling with Maxwell, who would fire just about any batsman up and get their eye in!

          • March 27th 2013 @ 12:33pm
            jameswm said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

            Before, well before.

            His second innings was most certainly NOT fine. He opened the bowling and we needed pressure from the start. He leaked runs immediately. His line and length were both bad and he had it all wrong. Once they got to 1 for 50 it was all over, and Lyon bowled through that period.

            Maxwell came off and Lyon was still terrible. They just milked him.

            How can that happen to our top spinner on a bunsen?

        • March 27th 2013 @ 11:17am
          Lancey5times said | March 27th 2013 @ 11:17am | ! Report

          Taking the new ball against quality players of spin with next to no total on the board was a big ask. He should have got the ball after Siddle and Pattinson bowled 3 or 4 each. He did bowl flat and fast but surely grip would have been an issue. You could say he was set up to fail. Showed plenty of ticker to come back and get a few with some good nuts

          • March 27th 2013 @ 12:34pm
            jameswm said | March 27th 2013 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

            It was too late once he bowled a few decent ones. Sure he was up against it, but he never exerted any pressure.

          • March 27th 2013 @ 2:33pm
            JohnB said | March 27th 2013 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

            I think the no runs on the board comment is not being given the weight it deserves here. More appropriate to criticise the 4 batsmen out in single figures in the seoncd innings (or the 2 out in the teens, or even the sole one to get to the 20s, who didn’t get further).

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