West Indies series raises more questions for Australia

art pagonis Roar Rookie

By art pagonis, art pagonis is a Roar Rookie

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    Australia has beaten the West Indies 2-0 on a series of dust bowls. I’m not sure what it proves, other than that Michael Clarke is the right leader.

    Let’s take that point.

    He was certainly not regarded as the promised child when selected as captain.

    But he has made the role his own, even if his batting in this series has been less than salubrious.

    His catching, bowling, field settings and understanding of the game and the opposition have been first class.

    While he goes about leading, the others go about their individual tasks with apparent relish.

    They understand the impact Clarke has had and they respect his judgement.

    There are issues… but the intent is just about perfect.

    The bowling coaches have the most work to do.

    Why can’t Nathan Lyon or Michael Beer, or any other spinner from Australia, bowl a doosra? Why can’t they have the variety of a Shane Shillingford, a Graeme Swann or Daniel Vettori?

    Why is it that only Shane Watson, and occasionally Ryan Harris, can shape the ball both ways?

    How is it that Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Starc have not managed to be able to do it consistently like the English seamers?

    I am not sure about Mickey Arthur or the selectors and their understanding of what is needed just yet. But they will have plenty to work with in the next few months.

    In Matthew Wade, Australia now has a wicketkeeper who has more energy and raw spirit than anyone else running for the job. The onus is now on everyone else to try to steal his job.

    The jury is out on Ed Cowan and Dave Warner as an opening pairing, but the experiment is worth perseverance. Blooding a Liam Davis or Rob Quiney can be part of the equation at limited-overs level.

    Peter Forrest, Travis Birt, Shaun Marsh, George Bailey and one or two others have Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey firmly in their sights.

    The fast-bowling stocks will likewise be chock-a-block full, with Patrick Cummins, James Pattinson and hopefully Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson set to challenge for roles at all three levels.

    Meanwhile, one gets the feeling that if the batting can put together 300-400 in the first innings of every Test, Australia will be tough to beat everywhere and at every form of the game.

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • May 1st 2012 @ 8:36am
      AndyMack said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      You seriously think it is the bowling that needs work?? How many times have we been 5/100 of late??

      And if Bailey, Forrest and Marsh are our saviours then we are in deep trouble. (and to anyone jumping to their defense, please cricinfo their career records first…)

      And if you want to know why our spinners lack variety, it might be because they have about 20 1st class games between them. And even those guys are showing more promise than our top 6 batsmen.

    • May 1st 2012 @ 8:41am
      Vas Venkatramani said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      We have to take a wide perspective with this. Twelve months ago, our doubts were with these issues:

      1) Inability to consistently take 20 wickets
      2) Discipline and poor shot selection while batting
      3) Poor energy in the field
      4) Poor leadership and tactics
      5) Lack of accountability for performance

      Now how have we fared in these departments

      1) A- (the results have been fantastic, but greater challenges await against better opposition on tougher surfaces)
      2) C (there seems to be more discipline, but our batting depth looks weak)
      3) A (we seem to be effecting good stops in the field and causing run out opportunities)
      4) A+ (little more needs to be said about Clarke’s positive and intelligent leadership)
      5) B (Thanks to Argus, there is now a hierarchy that gives accountability, namely Mickey Arthur and Michael Clarke)

      Twelve months on, we’ve made giant strides. The next 12 months will decide a tour to India and home series against South Africa as our big challenges. We’ll learn more about this team then, but the progress made has been great.

    • May 1st 2012 @ 9:18am
      formeropenside said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      Australian spinners can’t bowl a doosra because they have been taught not to chuck the damn ball.

      • May 3rd 2012 @ 5:01am
        lolly said | May 3rd 2012 @ 5:01am | ! Report

        Exactly. I’m sure it’s coming though.

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