Australia’s ODI tactics are a mess

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

By Ronan O'Connell, Ronan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

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    When a team uses two part-time spinners inside the first 13 overs of an ODI innings, something has gone very, very wrong. That was just what happened yesterday as a result of curious selections in the Australian ODI team.

    Australia bizarrely went into the second ODI against England with only three frontline bowlers, two of whom were rookies – 21-year-old Jhye Richardson making his debut, and 31-year-old Andrew Tye in just his second match.

    Leg spinner Adam Zampa was dropped and replaced not by another spinner, nor by a paceman, but instead by a specialist batsman in Cameron White. Spin has become increasingly important in limited overs cricket in recent years, so much so that England yesterday bowled 24 overs of spin at the Gabba, a pitch historically the domain of pace bowlers.

    In spite of this obvious global trend, Australia have continued to show a lack of respect for the role of spinners in white ball cricket. This culminated in the extraordinary sight yesterday of part-time offie Travis Head trundling to the crease after just six overs of England’s innings as Australia tried to defend a well-below-par total of 270.

    The English batsman gleefully exploited this situation. Two of Head’s first four balls were hammered to the boundary and he bled 24 runs from his first three overs.

    If Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow were disappointed when Head was taken off, they needn’t have been because another rank spinner was into the attack one over later. In 442 games of professional cricket, across all three formats, Aaron Finch has taken just 19 wickets.

    Yet here he was, just 12 overs into the England innings, bowling to two set batsmen. The likes of Zampa, Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar must have been wincing as they watched from afar while Finch rolled out his nude deliveries.

    What made this all even more gobsmacking is that, despite stacking their side with batsmen, Australia once again were exposed for the lack of flexibility in their ODI batting strategies.

    Seemingly spooked by England’s ultra-aggressive batting unit, Australia fielded their longest batting line-up in recent memory.

    So deep was Australia’s batting that at seven and eight they had two players who open for their States in 50-over cricket in White and ‘keeper-batsman Alex Carey.

    The makeup of Australia’s XI suggested they intended to copy England’s batting strategy of attacking throughout the whole innings, as opposed to their usual approach of having lengthy periods of consolidation in between bursts of scoring.

    At 1-91 after 15 overs Australia looked perfectly placed to pursue such an aggressive ploy. It wasn’t to be. In the following 24 overs, Australia scored just 107 runs at a dawdling strike rate of 4.45 runs per over.

    To someone who didn’t watch the match, that equation would suggest Australia’s innings fell apart during that period, that they must have lost a cluster of wickets.

    In reality they only lost two wickets in that time. So over the space of 24 overs, Australia made 2-107 on a very flat deck against an England attack which is solid, at best. Incredibly, harmless off spinner Moeen Ali and part time tweaker Joe Root were allowed to wheel down 14 overs for just 62 runs.

    England’s Moeen Ali

    (AFP PHOTO / IAN KINGTON)

    Australia needed to target England’s spinners in this match, after being too cautious against them in the first ODI. Yet they barely played a shot in anger across Moeen and Root’s 14 overs.

    When Root trapped Steve Smith LBW, Australia were 2-110 off 19.4 overs and the run rate had dipped to 5.6 runs per over. It was clear one of the Australian batsmen needed to take on the English bowlers at this point, either the set batsman Aaron Finch or the incoming batsman.

    On that pitch, against that English batting line-up, Australia’s threadbare attack was always going to struggle to defend anything less than 340, so risks needed to be taken.

    Australia sent out at number four Travis Head, a young batsman who prefers to build an innings. At this stage they needed to either tell Finch to up the ante, or send out a more powerful hitter than Head and hand him that task.

    What actually occurred was that Finch played the anchor role while first Head and then Mitch Marsh looked to work the ball around.

    What, exactly, is the point of picking an extremely deep batting line-up if you’re going to bat conservatively? The obvious strategy across the first 35 to 40 overs was to always have one batsman accumulating and one going after the bowlers.

    Instead Australia batted within themselves all the way up to the final ten overs by which time even a total of 300 was all but out of reach. And even 300 was never going to be enough on a road against a powerful batting side when you’ve only got three frontline bowlers and are using two part timers inside the first 13 overs.

    Australia were a mess last night. A hot mess.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

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    The Crowd Says (247)

    • January 20th 2018 @ 5:57am
      cos1 said | January 20th 2018 @ 5:57am | ! Report

      5 nil will make Australia’s recent ODI record something like 1 win out of the last 14 games.

      It may be fair to say they have been a mess for some time.

    • January 20th 2018 @ 5:58am
      Dan in Devon said | January 20th 2018 @ 5:58am | ! Report

      The strategy of picking a long batting list can work but as you rightly point out the tactics were awry. The England spinners should not have been allowed to settle and Smith and Finch are to blame for this. Aussies should have pushed hard against them and aimed to force a bowling change. England have taken their cue from McCallum’s NZ side of the last World Cup – albeit with a stronger batting list. England were quite happy to let Finch get his hundred because he wasn’t damaging their bowling plans. We would have been better served by an opener belting 45 in 25 balls. That would cause panic for the bowlers and the opposition captain.

    • January 20th 2018 @ 6:26am
      qwetzen said | January 20th 2018 @ 6:26am | ! Report

      Cut to the chase: Smith is a poor captain.

      • January 20th 2018 @ 7:28am
        DavSA said | January 20th 2018 @ 7:28am | ! Report

        Superb cricketers do not always make good managers . So right Qwetsen

      • January 20th 2018 @ 7:30am
        Nudge said | January 20th 2018 @ 7:30am | ! Report

        Yeah nice one. His captaincy in the ashes was excellent. Do you think Cummins should make the test squad to South Africa qwetzan?

      • Roar Guru

        January 20th 2018 @ 9:21am
        Michael Keeffe said | January 20th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        I’m just enjoying how the two people to comment on your comment can’t write qwetzen the same way you’ve spelt it. Don’t know if they’re taking the piss or not either…

        • January 20th 2018 @ 10:13am
          qwetzen said | January 20th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          Dave’s ok, a typo. With Nudge being semi-literate it’s impossible to tell.

        • January 20th 2018 @ 10:13am
          DavSA said | January 20th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          No I am not . My home language is Afrikaans and sometimes I get my English syntax mixed , Sorry Qwetzen.

          • January 20th 2018 @ 10:42am
            qwetzen said | January 20th 2018 @ 10:42am | ! Report

            Np Dave. (And just between you and me, it’s not my real name.)

            Re Smith & ABdV. At least ABdV appeared to listen to others, Smith, as evidenced by his refusal to bowl Maxwell & drop Cowans from the NSW team is a block-headed egotist. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if he had any sort of judgement or tactical cricket nous but he hasn’t. It was amazing to watch Roy repeatedly slogging into an undefended Cow Corner in odi #1.

            • January 20th 2018 @ 10:56am
              DavSA said | January 20th 2018 @ 10:56am | ! Report

              Ha Ha I never had any doubt about the name . I am however on your side re the egotist nature of Smiths character . There has been plenty , true or not conjecture on this site in particular that he may have personal issues with Glen Maxwell. I do not know if this is true or not but from my side Maxwell will be a huge asset in SA conditions and AUS will be poorer without him.

              • January 20th 2018 @ 11:34am
                Bakkies said | January 20th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                From listening to the press conferences it’s not just Smith who isn’t happy with Maxwell. Lehmann said he scored a lack of centuries and runs.

                He is getting out playing stupid shots or getting stumped charging spinners without offering a shot or sticking out his pad if he is beaten in flight. They all know he can play but are just frustrated when he does that. He did it recently in Bangladesh.

                I don’t think it is personal. Personal is not selecting Brad Hodge in the test team. I also wonder why Phil Jaques never got back in to the test team after recovering from injury. He was averaging 50 and they moved Watto up to open. Jaques also scored 91 on début in the one day team and was dropped because of his ‘fielding’ which was complete nonsense as there are blokes in the Australian team who are average fielders and nowhere near as prolific as Jaques was with the bat.

                No wonder he lost motivation and became a County player.

              • January 20th 2018 @ 5:38pm
                Dan in Devon said | January 20th 2018 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

                In regards to Maxwell, the problem is the players who are being picked ahead of him. Is Cameron White a viable long term option? Maxwell has the potential to be an Andrew Symonds – but what is lacking is a leader like Waugh or Ponting to guide him.

              • January 21st 2018 @ 12:06pm
                Clear Release said | January 21st 2018 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                bakkies nobody is asking to pick maxwell to knock it around.

                he brings something to a team that is lacking middle to low oder match winners. We need him.

            • January 20th 2018 @ 11:05am
              DavSA said | January 20th 2018 @ 11:05am | ! Report

              There is an area in Port Elizabeth called Cows Corner .
              Known more for it’s rural feeling and a few great pubs.

            • January 20th 2018 @ 1:28pm
              Nudge said | January 20th 2018 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

              Qwetzen, you didn’t answer my question bud. Do you think Cummins should make the test squad to tour South Africa?

              • January 21st 2018 @ 11:08am
                qwetzen said | January 21st 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

                Short answer; I don’t know.
                His performances in India & BD were excellent, although I did point out that while he looked good and seriously put in, his actual wicket-taking wasn’t that impressive. And during the Ashes I thought the same, plus he’s not as quick as he was on debut. I also didn’t notice him doing anything with the ball, possibly that was due to the most worrying thing about his bowling. He only bowled two lengths; Short and shorter. It was especially silly to the tail. Although I’m inclined to believe that he was only following orders with this. His batting has real potential, his fielding is way above the average for a quick and he appears to be a well-adjusted bloke. So I just don’t know. What I do know though is that I’d like to see another quick in the XI. One who can do a bit with the red ball and isn’t called Jackson Bird.

              • January 21st 2018 @ 11:21am
                Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 21st 2018 @ 11:21am | ! Report

                You can’t be serious qwetzen. Cummins was terrific in the Ashes series – took over 20 wickets if I recall – played the role of enforcer to the tail – was positively brutal at times- took wickets when nothing else was happening. Kept turning up when others were flagging on dead pitches. Plus he killed it last time he played in SA. Will be really interested to see how he performs on pitches that have a bit more life. There is no way the selectors are breaking up the current triumvirate of fast bowlers. Cummins election is a no brainer. And Jackson Bird has been an absolute dud in his past few Test appearances.

              • January 21st 2018 @ 12:08pm
                Nudge said | January 21st 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                Sadly for qwetzen he is Geoff. I Like this part the best when he was talking about Bangladesh and India. “His actual wicket taking wasn’t that impressive. And during the ashes I thought the same”. Mate he just completed his first full test series other than a 2 test series and was leading wicket taker for both teams in the ashes. Can it get more impressive. Keep digging your hole qwetzen. Just to see if you’ll dig any further, let’s say because you are unsure whether Cummins deserves to tour or not, he doesn’t, who would you pick as the 3rd Seamer in the 11 and who would be the 2 back up quicks in the squad. Love to here your answer

              • January 21st 2018 @ 11:37am
                Clear Release said | January 21st 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

                Bird was a dud on a dud pitch.

                otherwise he has a good test record and is a good test bowler.

                we all know he’s not our first choice, but your comment on him as harsh and unfair.

                agree Cummins is quality, the only topped our wickets in the ashes series after all.

              • January 21st 2018 @ 11:46am
                Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 21st 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report

                I actually like Jackson Bird as a bowler but he isn’t going to get a green top every time he bowls. He needs to do more when there is anything in the pitch and he hasn’t.

              • January 21st 2018 @ 12:08pm
                Clear Release said | January 21st 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                going into the last eta he was averaging 25 with the ball at test level.

                Don’t recall him ever playing on a green top.

                everyone struggled to take wickets on that melbourne pitch. It was a picth that has seen the icc give an official warning to the curator about btw.

                otherwise Bird has been more than decent at test level.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:00am
                1st&10 said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:00am | ! Report

                Yes!! Cummins will be a top class bowling all rounder

            • January 21st 2018 @ 3:00am
              Tanmoy Kar said | January 21st 2018 @ 3:00am | ! Report

              To improve Australia’s present ODI standard, Warner should replace Smith as Captain in ODIs and T20Is.

        • January 20th 2018 @ 10:29am
          DavSA said | January 20th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

          But on a more serious note Michael ( did I spell that correctly ) , as far as South African cricket is concerned we initially had AB De Villiers as test captain. Certainly at that stage of his career the best batsman on the planet . He was however a poor captain and the reigns were passed on to FAF Du Plessis who does not posses ABDV’s batting prowess but is a way , way better captain.Food for thought.

          • January 20th 2018 @ 11:35am
            Bakkies said | January 20th 2018 @ 11:35am | ! Report

            ‘But on a more serious note Michael ( did I spell that correctly )’

            Yes the Irish name for Michael is Micheal which is where some people get it mixed up.

            The rest of the post is spot on.

          • Roar Guru

            January 20th 2018 @ 1:41pm
            Michael Keeffe said | January 20th 2018 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

            Yeah I’d have no problem with Warner being our T20 and ODI captain. He’s far more attacking and creative than Smith.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:59am
              qwetzen said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

              Well he’s certainly more attacking than Smith, Root & Craddock will attest to that, but that’s off the field. How do you know so about on the field?

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 9:18am
                JamesH said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:18am | ! Report

                Because he has captained a number of times in Smith’s absence, as has Finch. Both have shown themselves to be far more tactical and proactive with field placing and bowling changes.

                Smith is an unbelievable test batsman, a solid ODI/T20I batsman and an average captain. And I wish the 9 commentary team would stop going on about what a great fielder he is. For all the blinders he takes, he just drops too many catches.

      • January 20th 2018 @ 11:10am
        Big V said | January 20th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Correct-a-mundo!!

      • January 20th 2018 @ 1:01pm
        Jameswm said | January 20th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

        He smashed Root in captaincy in the Ashes.

        • Roar Guru

          January 22nd 2018 @ 9:20am
          JamesH said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

          Neither of them were particularly impressive. Both are very defensive minded. At least Root tried a few different tactics in the first couple of tests when it became apparent that his bowling attack had zero penetration.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 6:44pm
            Nudge said | January 22nd 2018 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

            Agree James, smith’s bowling changes and tactics were spot on during the ashes. His leadership with the bat was also phenomenal.

      • January 20th 2018 @ 2:28pm
        TheCunningLinguistic said | January 20th 2018 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

        Yes and no, qwetzen… Smith is an ok Test Captain, I think you’d leave him in that role. Warner would definitely be my pick for One Day and T20, captaincy seems to bring out the best in him.

        • Roar Pro

          January 20th 2018 @ 6:12pm
          Ashan D said | January 20th 2018 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

          Yes Smith lacks the killer instinct i limited overs cricket. He has always been a defensive captain and that is OK for test cricket. But Smith might as well concentrate on his batting in ODIs (and T20 I’m not sure he should play) and leave Warner to lead the troops. But hey we can all comment what is good for Aussie cricket but these things will never happen and we will gracefully lose the WC and even then I’m not sure CA will see what needs to be done. Karma for leaving Maxwell out. Let’s hope these guys see some light before it’s too late, Make Warner captain and bring in the GOAT to play ODIs. I also like Carey. Worth persevering for some time.

        • January 21st 2018 @ 11:26am
          qwetzen said | January 21st 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          Disagree with Smith being an “ok Test captain”, (remember India & BD?) but such is life. The dilemma though is; Who to replace him with? Warner is a complete unknown (and I have a deep distrust of men who marry bimboes or wags. Think Clarke.) and there’s no-one in the three teams who have FAC stamped on their passport. I’d opine that this Line of Succession concern was the main reason why Head got into the ODI side and that Marsh, M may get the armband somewhere in the future, but leadership material is very, very thin atm.

          • January 21st 2018 @ 11:53am
            Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 21st 2018 @ 11:53am | ! Report

            Clarke – no matter what people think of him off the field – was a terrific captain. Always ahead of the game rather than being reactive. I’d have him back as captain any day. I also think Warnie would have been a better captain than Steve Waugh but then a again a drover’s dog could have captained the teams in that era.

            Smith seems to have come to grips with how to captain in Test cricket – albeit he can go a bit defensive at times – but seems all at sea in the one dayers at the moment. But I think his captaincy is symptomatic of the whole tactical approach by the Australian selectors and coaching staff to the one day format. They don’t seem to have a plan and they don’t seem to know which team to pick if they do have a plan.

            • January 21st 2018 @ 12:03pm
              Clear Release said | January 21st 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

              disagree on clarke.

              He was okay on the field

              of the field (just as important as on the field in cricket) he was far too polarising a personality to have been a good captain.

              Too may people speak ill of him as a person.

              Smith is the type of character we need a s captain. Not warner who has only ever proven to be a hot head.

              • January 21st 2018 @ 12:16pm
                Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 21st 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                I’m just talking about Clarke as a captain and tactician. In my opinion Clarke was the best captain we’ve had since Mark Taylor. I never rated Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting as captains. Ponting just let games drift. Clarke was always trying to make things happen which is what you want with a captain. Clarke certainly seemed to upset a few players in hits time. Probably because he was a bit flashy which doesn’t sit well with those who want captains to be one of the boys.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 22nd 2018 @ 2:33am
                Kashmir said | January 22nd 2018 @ 2:33am | ! Report

                I agree, michael clarke was very innovative and aggressive, and he made things happen clearly was a distinctive fact about his captaincy

              • January 21st 2018 @ 12:33pm
                Clear Release said | January 21st 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

                Mark Taylor was not one of the boys. He was a good listener and extremely astute.

                Everyone that knows him raves about him.

                Waugh was much more a lead by example kind a guy, and he was attacking in his field settings, which did not always work, but credit to him.

                Most people either would die for him or attest respected him.

                For me Ponting is under-rated as a skipper. Most of his tactics were correct he just had an ageing side and then when the big 3 retired he had an average test side.

                Everybody respected him.

                As i said clarke was also okay tactically but there are too many people who don’t like him for him to have been a good enough man manger to be someone to aspire too.

                A lot of people have no time for him. Warner would be worse. A happy side is going to be a winning side.

                Smith has more of the qualities of the first 3, and for me is the only person to skipper the side.

              • January 21st 2018 @ 1:15pm
                Jake said | January 21st 2018 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                Steve Waugh has the highest winning percentage as Aus captain (minimum 15 tests) of all time with Ponting 3rd. Your comment that his attacking fields sometimes did not work is the weirdest comment I have ever heard.

      • January 20th 2018 @ 3:08pm
        Terry said | January 20th 2018 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

        Maxwell needs to get Watson’s photos of the selectors with a goat.

        • January 20th 2018 @ 5:21pm
          Jameswm said | January 20th 2018 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

          A goat or the GOAT?

        • Roar Guru

          January 22nd 2018 @ 9:26am
          JamesH said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:26am | ! Report

          He probably only had compromising pics of Rod Marsh tho. No good now.

    • Roar Rookie

      January 20th 2018 @ 6:30am
      DJ DJ said | January 20th 2018 @ 6:30am | ! Report

      A great article. Imagine what Lyon was thinking as he watched finch bowl. Surely they bring Lyon straight in. He is arguably Australia’s best bowler in any format.

      • Columnist

        January 20th 2018 @ 1:10pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | January 20th 2018 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

        Cheers DJ DJ, I can definitely see Lyon getting a crack at ODIs in the near future

    • January 20th 2018 @ 7:10am
      zatoo77 said | January 20th 2018 @ 7:10am | ! Report

      Great article.
      Was marsh injured for the match, why did he bowl only one over. I mean hes not a spinner but he would have been tidy and allowed Australia to attack at the other end.
      Through he does not have the variation of Head and Finch. He can not bowl the complete rubbish delivery with quite as much skill.

      • January 20th 2018 @ 1:05pm
        Peter said | January 20th 2018 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

        Doubt he was injured. Smudge can be a bit bizarre in not giving the ball to some bowlers. Just ask Glenn Maxwell.

      • Columnist

        January 20th 2018 @ 1:12pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | January 20th 2018 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

        Thanks zatoo, Smith is definitely reticent to bowl Mitch Marsh, he’s been used almost as an after thought in both ODIs

        • January 20th 2018 @ 2:30pm
          TheCunningLinguistic said | January 20th 2018 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

          Smith is terrible in his bowler selection in One Dayers and T20’s. He is simply no good as a tactician in the shorter formats.

          • January 20th 2018 @ 11:51pm
            twodogs said | January 20th 2018 @ 11:51pm | ! Report

            Or the longer format. Just been getting away with it by in most part, his own batting.

        • January 20th 2018 @ 8:34pm
          Broken-hearted Toy said | January 20th 2018 @ 8:34pm | ! Report

          They are letting Stoinis bowl so I’d say it’s shootout between him and Marsh at present. Or to see if they can fit both of them in the side. They can’t fit Head, Marsh and Stoinis in one team and pretend that all three are useful all-rounders but they’ll try!

    • January 20th 2018 @ 7:11am
      jamesb said | January 20th 2018 @ 7:11am | ! Report

      When you are on a losing streak, then the best thing you can do is go back to basics. Why don’t the selectors pick the test side, but just alter it with a couple of changes.

      D.Warner
      A.Finch
      U.Khawaja
      S.Smith
      M.Marsh
      G.Maxwell
      T.Paine
      P.Cummins
      M.Starc
      J.Hazlewood
      N.Lyon

      Cummins performed really well with the bat in the test series. I consider him as a bowling allrounder. I don’t think you can have both Stionis and Marsh in the same side. Both offer the same with the ball. Meanwhile Khawaja averages 45 in list A. The best way to restrict runs is to take wickets.

      • January 20th 2018 @ 9:49am
        Neil Back said | January 20th 2018 @ 9:49am | ! Report

        And by the same token, and with a similar tweak or two (like drop Moeen and bring back Jimmy), maybe England could have fielded this as the Test side?

        Couldn’t have done any worse.

        • January 20th 2018 @ 5:21pm
          Mitcher said | January 20th 2018 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

          How was your break? Revitalising I hope.

      • January 20th 2018 @ 10:33am
        Brian said | January 20th 2018 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        Carey should be in the LOI sides over Paine. He’s next up as test keeper and in serious form in the short stuff, let him settle. Paine doesn’t frighten teams coming in at 7/8.

        • Roar Guru

          January 22nd 2018 @ 9:33am
          JamesH said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:33am | ! Report

          Love Paine but I agree. Paine is handy at the top when the ball comes onto the bat because he has good timing and a wide array of shots. But he doesn’t have the muscle to find the boundary often enough at the death. He tried his heart out last night but still couldn’t crack run-a-ball.

      • January 20th 2018 @ 8:36pm
        Broken-hearted Toy said | January 20th 2018 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

        Stoinis and Marsh do not offer the same with the ball, but I agree, they can’t fit both of them in the team.

      • January 20th 2018 @ 9:24pm
        Lowkey said | January 20th 2018 @ 9:24pm | ! Report

        I think that team is just about right.
        Khawaja definitely needs to be at 3. Push Smith down to 4. Wade or Carey as keeper instead of Paine.
        I went to the game last night and really Australia never looked like winning. Way too many average players in the team. Head. Stoinis. And pretty much every bowler but Starc last night.

      • January 21st 2018 @ 10:36am
        Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 21st 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        I think Travis Head’s days are numbered. I wouldn’t mind seeing Ussie back in the team at 3 and Smith at 4. But I’d be playing Stoinis instead of Maxwell. He provides a lot more in the bowling department. Lyon is a must as a spinner and I’d be happy for the selectors to rotate Tye and Richardson with Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood. I just think the selectors got it completely wrong on Friday night and I’m not sure what part coach Lehmann and Steve Smith had in this. Not having a specialist spinner and playing 7 batters was lunacy. Just crazy that Lyon isn’t playing given how well he bowled in the Ashes series plus the Gabba would be one of Lyon’s favourite hunting grounds.

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