Batting order puzzle extends to ODI side

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    Phil Hughes (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

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    With all the debate going on currently around what is or isn’t the ideal batting order for the Australian Test team, the form of a few in the coloured gear means we now have similar puzzles to solve for the one-day side.

    With Michael Clarke, David Warner, and Matthew Wade recalled as expected to the now 12-man ODI squad for the next two games (in Brisbane on Friday, and Sydney on Sunday), it appears the order is still very much a work in progress.

    For one, Phil Hughes’ outstanding debut knock last Friday brings to a close Matthew Wade’s role as a one-day opener, for the immediate future at least. Hughes’ strokeplay was an absolute pleasure to watch, as was the way he consolidated and calmed his innings when he got into the 80s, to ensure he reached the milestone well in control.

    Once there, he launched two cracking boundaries that had “I’m not here to cook eggs,” written all over them, as he went into attack mode.

    The Nine commentators went into raptures about the second of the two, a back foot thrash-with-bat-flourish (or “lasso”, as they’ve going on about ever since) through cover. But for mine, the deliberately paused square cut off a Malinga slower ball the previous delivery was the real shot of the innings. It showed perfect poise, and then precision to pierce the gap at point.

    Regardless, he was out in the same over (the 39th), just when he looked like he was in for a big one. It’s fair to say now he’s earned a prolonged start to his national one-day career, and it’s great to see him so obviously enjoying his cricket again.

    It was actually hard to believe Hughes’ century was the first from an Aussie batsman on ODI debut, particularly given the one-day game has been going more than 40 years. Sure enough, though, Hughes’ 112 topped Phil Jaques’ 94 in Melbourne in 2004 (at the Docklands, interestingly, according to CricInfo), and Shaun Marsh’s 81 in the West Indies in 2008.

    (Even more surprisingly, on the list of all 201 players to have played one-day cricket for this country, only 12 players have topped 50 in their debut innings.)

    Hughes’ knock provided the perfect platform for Australia’s big total in the first game of the series, just as the early wickets paved the way for a pretty ordinary showing in Adelaide on Sunday.

    Some of the calling between wickets was worryingly bad (again), and ball-watching has become an endemic problem.

    One of the best runners between the wicket in Australian limited overs history was Dean Jones, and he has a mountain of work to do with the team in his current role as stand-in batting coach. However, there probably aren’t too many better mentors in this department, so the players need to listen up, and listen good.

    George Bailey might be timing his run into form perfectly. His two knocks so far this series have shown that he might just be a whole lot better batsman than plenty of us realise, myself included.

    He’s not necessarily textbook perfect, but he’s got a nice sense of improvisation about his game without being ridiculous, and an impressive ability to play with hard or soft hands as required by the delivery.

    A couple of mates nearly choked on their Thai takeaway on Sunday night when I suggested that Bailey is emerging as a better-than-even money chance to tour India with the Test team, but soon came around to my premise as we talked it through.

    The selectors evidently aren’t sure about Usman Khawaja again, and so Bailey has to be a big chance of taking Mike Hussey’s vacant middle order spot.

    And though I don’t want to turn this into a ‘next Australian captain’ debate, I reckon Bailey is holding more than a few NAC cards right at the moment, too.

    David Hussey has similarly impressed me with his mix of deft and improv, and his ability to hit gaps is something I’m sure was always there, but probably hasn’t been noticed as much as now.

    It’s almost as if he’s jumping at the chance to shine in his own right now, but there’s no question in my mind he’s the best placed to provide that ‘finisher’ role perfected by his brother, and the likes of Michael Bevan before that.

    Sunday night also confirmed my suspicion that Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell can’t play in the same side, let alone bat in the middle order.

    They’re very similar players in that they both have abundant all-round talent, but also that they’re both evidently struggling to convert that talent into performance.

    It would appear the selectors agree with my suspicion, too, with Smith dropped from the squad for the next two matches. Maxwell remains though, and he has a massive job in front of him to convince the paying public he is all he’s cracked up to be.

    On his two showings in an Australian shirt this last week, and even on his Big Bash League form this summer, I have to admit I’m going to take a lot of convincing. His footwork and shot selection leaves a lot be desired and doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that he can bat in the top six at international level.

    And from what I’ve seen of his bowling so far, his only variations appear to be whether he bowls over or around the wicket. If he’s the best all-rounder in Australia currently – for any form of the game, for that matter – then I’d be pretty happy if we just went back to the old six bats/four bowlers combination, frankly.

    So looking ahead to these next couple of games, Hughes and Warner are the obvious openers, but it all gets a bit blurred below them.

    Michael Clarke in the past has shown that he doesn’t necessarily have that same ability to consolidate and then accelerate, like either of the Husseys or Bailey seems able. His best spot in the order might be to come in at first drop, where he can build an innings if coming in early, or play his shots if the openers have laid the platform.

    I think Bailey could actually bat anywhere, but I’d have him at no.4 because I think David Hussey is better lower down the order where he can come in and finish the innings.

    That leaves Wade, Maxwell, and Moises Henriques now, to occupy the next three spots, and it feels like there’s much debate to be had here. Wade should be the obvious no.6, but this fascination with Maxwell could mean otherwise.

    I’d even bat Henriques above Maxwell if they do play together, but hey, what would I know? I’m just sitting on a couch.

    Shane Watson’s eventual return can only complicate things even further.

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (192)

    • January 15th 2013 @ 5:12am
      AndyMack said | January 15th 2013 @ 5:12am | ! Report

      Hi Brett

      Good article again.

      Im still not sold on Bailey, and especially in the test arena. His overall record is average (FC ave under 40) and he is now into his 30’s, so had had 10 years to show us what he can do.

      I admit I enjoyed his batting at the G the other day (lets not get too carried away with his handy 20 odd in adelaide), and if he can keep that up, then im happy to see him continue in the odi side.

      But cricket is a game of fine margins. Which is why we cannot judge based on one performance, we always need to look at the big picture, and Baileys record over a long period is not great.

      • Columnist

        January 15th 2013 @ 9:51am
        Brett McKay said | January 15th 2013 @ 9:51am | ! Report

        Andy, I’ve not previously been a big wrap on Bailey either, but he’s batting a hell of a lot better already in those two games than what I’ve seen previously. He may well be one of these players who handled the step up better than expected, and sure, if he can keep it up, then put him on the plane. Good luck to him. More than useful captain, too..

        • January 16th 2013 @ 2:48am
          AndyMack said | January 16th 2013 @ 2:48am | ! Report

          Hey Brett

          My mind drifts back to Forrest.

          Average record, has a period of form with Qld and is picked for Oz, where he does well straight up (he is in form after all). Then time marches on and he is found out at international level.

          I see the same with Bailey. “form is temporary, class is permanent” cuts both ways after all.

          But in saying that, lets hope Bailey continues with his ODI form, we need it. It doesnt mean he should be elevated to the test team though, solid FC form indicates that!!!

      • January 15th 2013 @ 10:32am
        matt h said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        Yes but his ODI record for Australia in his short stint so far is very good. So for now he is in the ODI side. He provides some tactical support for Clarke as well. Only problem I see is that he and Clarke are quite similar ODI players. Tests ,,, well who knows but he is ticking every box to date in the short forms.

    • January 15th 2013 @ 5:59am
      Red Kev said | January 15th 2013 @ 5:59am | ! Report

      Someone needs to grill the selectors, and I do mean grill them, not ask one question and meekly accept their spin, but keep pushing them until they explain why they keep messing Khawaja around and why they seem to prefer older players with poorer records and less potential of bits and pieces allrounders who are barely good enough for state cricket.

      • January 15th 2013 @ 7:10am
        Allanthus said | January 15th 2013 @ 7:10am | ! Report

        Agree with RK, it’s hard to think about and write about the batting order while the selectors continue to treat Khawaja as they have.

        Brett, your article was going well until the final line 🙂
        I think if Watson bowls then he demands a place in the team, and probably should open the batting. But happy to leave him out as a batsman only. That is of course assuming he isn’t “self-rotating” himself out of the side with whatever injury of the week he has…

        • January 15th 2013 @ 7:22am
          Red Kev said | January 15th 2013 @ 7:22am | ! Report

          I would like to see Watson miss the tour to India.
          His partner is having their child, he is giving up bowling and noone knows if his batting is really good enough now (hasn’t been good since 2010).
          Let him play out the domestic season without injury and they can assess his performance from that and the Champions Cup?Leauge? that he is sure to play.
          His “leadership” is not needed, especially not if Bailey is also in the team. Play Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Bailey for the whole test series and if Watson is recalled it is easy to say to Usman or George that they have missed out on being Hussey’s replacement to the other (or to drop Cowan for Watson if he fails).

          • January 15th 2013 @ 11:26am
            TheSilentProgressor said | January 15th 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

            I like this idea actually. I’d never actually considered it but I think it is probably the best option now. And if Cowan, Usman and George do well and Watson fails to sparkle with the bat at shield level then we have our answer I guess.

            I unfortunately don’t see it happening though.

            • January 15th 2013 @ 11:52am
              Red Kev said | January 15th 2013 @ 11:52am | ! Report

              I don’t either – too sensible for the NSP.

              • January 15th 2013 @ 12:39pm
                Disco said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

                Watson’s in all the ads “backing himself” and is probably seen as “a leader within the group” so he’s there to stay (on the rare occasions he’s not injured).

          • January 15th 2013 @ 12:43pm
            Lancey5times said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

            Such a simple and effective way to go regarding India and Watson. If the plan is to take 8 batsman to England then this seems a good way of getting a proper look at the players under consideration. Particularly as I’m sure the selectors already have Watson on the plane to London (some will say unjustifiably). If all these players have a strong tour of India and get selected for England, I say add Watson and a development player, Burns for mine, and you’re done. D Hussey comes into calculations if a couple of players go to pieces in India

            • Roar Guru

              January 15th 2013 @ 1:54pm
              TheGenuineTailender said | January 15th 2013 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

              Eight batsman? I’d be surprised if they took eight.

              • January 15th 2013 @ 2:10pm
                Lancey5times said | January 15th 2013 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

                You thinking 7 and Haddin?

              • Roar Guru

                January 15th 2013 @ 2:30pm
                TheGenuineTailender said | January 15th 2013 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

                I sure am.

          • January 15th 2013 @ 4:45pm
            Sunil said | January 15th 2013 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

            That they had decided to only give Khawaja one game so far out is troubling, as is the fact that they rate Steve Smith as being of equal talent as a batsman. I think pre-meditated selections are a terrible idea and the focus should be on the beast team for the day. There was no shortage of people saying Khawaja would have been the better man to have in the second ODI… and they are all right. For that matter, Smith, Hussey and Maxwell in the one side is incredibly bad selection. Why do we need three players for the one role?

        • Columnist

          January 15th 2013 @ 9:55am
          Brett McKay said | January 15th 2013 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          Allanthus, it was interesting to see Watson on Inside Cricket last night. Nearly every answer included “I just want to play”, and though he went to lengths at times to say he’ll bat wherever, he didn’t attempt to hide the fact he wants to open again, either..

          • January 15th 2013 @ 3:24pm
            Allanthus said | January 15th 2013 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

            Yes, I’m sure he wants badly to be playing and I don’t knock him for that. The injuries must be terribly frustrating for him.

            But just because he wants to play doesn’t mean that he should. I have an article – hopefully up tomorrow – on Brendan McCullum having been allowed to dictate to the NZ selectors that he play as an opener rather than lower order/keeper, or not at all. Despite clearly not having the technique or temperament to succeed as a test opener against quality opening bowling.

            There’s no way we’ve seen the last of Watson and your final line is right – his availability will only make things even more complicated.

      • Columnist

        January 15th 2013 @ 9:12am
        Elisha Pearce said | January 15th 2013 @ 9:12am | ! Report

        I get the feeling there’s a bit of ‘Hodge’ treatment with Khawaja. I can’t provide evidence but he seems to be a bit of a free thinker and not completely embedded in the normal culture of the team.
        It might be the different cultural background leading to a more serious personality that grates a little more. To Brett’s article, it seems clear that the team likes Maxwell more than Khawaja. However the natural talent is surely on Khawaja’s side. The obvious improvement on Khawaja’s fielding since he was very poor when in the test team also gives Khawaja a tick of approval in the ‘hard worker’ department too. On cricketing terms Khawaja should be treated with the same level of ‘next generation’ appreciation of the likes of Bailey, Warner and Hughes. The selectors even try to FIND reasons to select people like Smith or Henriques by the look of it even though their performances don’t fully warrant it.
        This period of Australian cricket would be a FACINATING in depth report to read, especially with Khawaja’s experience as one of the main story threads.
        I really hope Khawaja is still on the plane to India. Bailey is ok, but not technically great. Khawaja is underrated v spin.
        Overall it will be very sad if Usman is consigned to scoring 20000 meaningless first class runs looking in from the outside.

        • Columnist

          January 15th 2013 @ 9:58am
          Brett McKay said | January 15th 2013 @ 9:58am | ! Report

          Elisha, I’m sure on paper the Maxwell-Khawaja comparion is just no contest, even though I truly hope they’re not being compared at all. Maxwell, in theory, bats, bowls, and fields. His fielding is actually very good. In practice, 2 out of 3 ain’t good.

          I can’t disagree with Khawaja making way for Clarke, or not holding his spot in the ODI squad currently, but there’s no question he’s getting mixed signals at the moment..

          • January 15th 2013 @ 4:34pm
            Dean said | January 15th 2013 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

            Maxwell’s bowling or batting is not good enough for test level, so lets talk about a decent allrounder like Henriques, Mcdonald, Christian etc.

            • January 16th 2013 @ 4:42am
              AndyMack said | January 16th 2013 @ 4:42am | ! Report


        • January 15th 2013 @ 10:40am
          matt h said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          I do not see a comparison between Khawaja and Hodge in tests. Hodge took his one chance and then was somehow dropped never to return. Khawaja has actually been given a few short goes and has not cemented his spot. The way some people go on you would think he scored a double century on debut! He has averaged 29 so far. 29!

          In ODI’s, Hodge’s international record was actually not that great, just ok. He should have got more of a run but didn’t. We have no idea yet what sort of a run Khawaja will get, but he cannot be proclaimed the messiah after one short innings. He auditioned, with Hughes and Finch. Hughes said “you cannot drop me”. The other two did not. Warner, Hughes, Clark, Bailey Hussey. On recent performances who goes to give Khawaja a spot? I can only see Warner, but last summer Warner showed he has the ODI potential.

          • January 15th 2013 @ 10:53am
            Red Kev said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:53am | ! Report

            You can bag Khawaja’s 29 average all you want but since he was dropped Marsh batted at no.3 and averaged 2.7, Watson batted at no.3 and averaged 19.3, Quiney batted at no.3 and averaged 3.0. Hughes is now there and doing well, but Khawaja has also earned another shot in the test side and is instead being messed about by the NSP.

            One test as injury cover for Ponting.
            Two tests (21, 26, declared on at 13*)
            Three tests as injury cover for Marsh (13, 65 innings top score in record fourth innings run chase, 38, 0*, 7, 23 second top score for an innings in which more than half the team total was Warner’s century).

            That 29 doesn’t look so bad now does it?

            • January 15th 2013 @ 12:36pm
              Disco said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

              Spot on.

              I’d like Uncle Arthur to return to his commentary on Shaun Marsh’s “class”.

            • January 18th 2013 @ 10:05am
              matt h said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:05am | ! Report

              Every guy who averages 29 could have a story to tell. He did not bang the door down.

              You are also cherry picking stats.
              Marsh averaged considerably more than 2.7 if you include his century on debut in Sri Lanka. That got him a few tests. Failed and was dropped.
              Watson – well I’ll give you that. He obviously has been selected partly for his bowling. No more I say!
              Quiney – poor example. Picked as Huges’ sacrificial lamb

          • Roar Guru

            January 15th 2013 @ 10:53am
            sheek said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:53am | ! Report

            Some players get mucked around by selectors through no fault of their own & truth be told, sometimes the selectors aren’t at fault either.

            Ever sit on a beach on a lazy day & watch a piece of driftwood in gentle surf try to make it to shore? It lies off the sand so tantalising close, even being swept up the beach a few times, but just can’t get a grip. Eventually it does, but it seems to take ages.

            Khawaja must feel like that driftwood trying to make the shore (team). The selectors didn’t help him keeping him in cotton wool while they decided if Clarke’s hammy was okay over Xmas/New Year. Khawaja could have been playing a game somewhere keeping himself in touch with his batting.

            The ‘nearly’ men – Trimble, Potter, Siddons, Cox are perhaps the three standouts. Great Sheffield Shield men who missed the final step of test selection. At least Khawaja & Hodge & even Law, can say they played a test match.

            On the other hand, Khawaja hasn’t been so imposing as to smash the selectors’ door down with weight of runs.

            Brett – good article BTW…..

            • January 15th 2013 @ 3:28pm
              Allanthus said | January 15th 2013 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

              Hi Sheek

              Save that nice driftwood analogy up and bring it out again during winter.
              Maybe the driftwood is the Wallabies and the shore is the Bledisloe cup….??

              • January 15th 2013 @ 3:46pm
                Rob from Brumby Country said | January 15th 2013 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

                Gee, it must have gotten caught in a rip last year then.

            • January 15th 2013 @ 3:45pm
              Rob from Brumby Country said | January 15th 2013 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

              “Ever sit on a beach on a lazy day & watch a piece of driftwood in gentle surf try to make it to shore?”

              Not nearly often enough 🙁

            • January 15th 2013 @ 5:35pm
              Dean said | January 15th 2013 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

              Sheek good points, but seriously Khwaja has to be the guy taking Hussey’s spot in India

          • January 15th 2013 @ 11:21am
            Pope Paul VII said | January 15th 2013 @ 11:21am | ! Report

            Players with poorer starts than U T Khawaja

            I M Chappell 21.70( although he has conveniently forgotten )
            S R Waugh 14.11
            Hayden 23.72
            Boon 22.63
            Langer 23
            Watto 22
            Symonds 16.81
            Inverarity 17.40

            • January 18th 2013 @ 10:03am
              matt h said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:03am | ! Report

              I’ll give you Chappell
              Waugh was selected as an allrounder and it was just about the weakest period in Australia’s history, so no one was there to replace him – an he eventually was dropped for his brother
              Hayden – was dropped. took years to come back
              Boon – see Waugh’s comment above. Was also dropped
              Langer – dropped on more than one occasion
              Watto – selected as an alrounder
              Symonds – I’ll give you that one. the ultimate “potential” player
              Inverarity – did not get many tests and was dropped.

              So all you are really proviing is that Khawaja needed to be dropped and return stronger like these guys – and like Hughes for that matter

          • January 15th 2013 @ 4:35pm
            Dean said | January 15th 2013 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

            Khawaja is one of the best young talents in the country, time for selectors to stop making false excuses and give him a run similar to what they have done for Marsh, Cowan etc.

        • January 15th 2013 @ 12:41pm
          Disco said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

          Welll, contrast the attitude shown towards Khawaja with other youngish batsman who seem to be embraced despite their flaws as cricketers.

          • January 18th 2013 @ 10:06am
            matt h said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report


        • January 15th 2013 @ 4:32pm
          Dean said | January 15th 2013 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

          Cossie said in a Sydney Thunders interview that Khawaja is the funniest guy in the dressing room, so he is not boring, and everyone in the domestic circuit has said that he is a great team player, so i don’t get why he doesn’t get a full run in the team.

        • January 15th 2013 @ 4:47pm
          Sunil said | January 15th 2013 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

          No Hodge just played in a era of great players, with Khawaja its just unfair treatment. He is the man for the ashes.

      • January 15th 2013 @ 12:35pm
        Disco said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

        Yes, apart from Clarke, all the other batsmen are inferior to Khawaja.

        • January 18th 2013 @ 10:09am
          matt h said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          We have no proof of this until he averages more than 29. Warner, Wade, Hughes, even Cowan (who is not a talent) have averaged more. You are talking feelings and potential. don;t get me wrong from all my comments. I want Khawaja picked for India as well, but the hype is a little over the top.

      • January 15th 2013 @ 4:31pm
        Dean said | January 15th 2013 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

        Yes Khawaja deserves a run simila to those given to the other batsman,I am confident they will give him a good run in India

    • January 15th 2013 @ 7:38am
      Justin2 said | January 15th 2013 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      The selectors are becoming a farce. Check out the squad for Friday… It’s a joke as are the way they are managing players.

    • January 15th 2013 @ 7:42am
      eagleJack said | January 15th 2013 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      If Bailey is selected in the Test team ill stop watching cricket. I do fear though you may be correct Brett.

      He has that “great bloke to have in the dressing room” persona like the Cowans and Quineys of this world. Who have both proven to be excellent Test players (cough, cough).

      • Columnist

        January 15th 2013 @ 9:59am
        Brett McKay said | January 15th 2013 @ 9:59am | ! Report

        I do love a good over-reaction, Jack….

      • January 15th 2013 @ 1:30pm
        Brendon said | January 15th 2013 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

        As much as I’ve tried this summer, I just can’t stop watching cricket, my arm chair commentators bone gets really itchy and I ache to speak cricket jargon with others at places of distinction, like the local pub. What would I talk about with my other ex D-Grade spin bowler mates?

    • Columnist

      January 15th 2013 @ 8:02am
      Brett McKay said | January 15th 2013 @ 8:02am | ! Report

      Some good comments here already guys, but I’ll have to come back them later this morning, so keep them piling in…

    • January 15th 2013 @ 8:27am
      Atawhai Drive said | January 15th 2013 @ 8:27am | ! Report

      Inverarity very much on the defensive in press conference I saw yesterday, wanting to split hairs over ‘rotation’ and ‘player management’.

      Semantics can wait. The cricket public just wants to know what’s going on.

      • January 15th 2013 @ 8:29am
        Red Kev said | January 15th 2013 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        I liked him saying “the public has no right to know if it is rotation or injury that is keeping a player out of a match – it could be embarrassing for the player”. He’s coming across more and more like the autocratic private school headmaster he is. CA need to fire him (and Pat Howard) sooner rather than later.

        • Columnist

          January 15th 2013 @ 9:14am
          Elisha Pearce said | January 15th 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

          Inverarity REALLY looked like a condescending old school teacher in that press conference. I couldn’t believe it. My wife even looked up from reading to laugh at it when she heard it. Poor stuff. Definitely not winning anyone over, it’s like he’s the CIA director and feels there’s some sort of priviledge in not revealing what the plan is.

          • January 15th 2013 @ 12:42pm
            Disco said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

            He’s as bad as Hilditch.

        • January 15th 2013 @ 1:32pm
          Brendon said | January 15th 2013 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

          Did he really say that? Make a good politician, lie, spin and lie a little more. Where is the line between lying and not telling the whole story anyway?

      • Columnist

        January 15th 2013 @ 10:00am
        Brett McKay said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:00am | ! Report

        “Informed Player Management”, AD. They’ve created a new buzz-term….

        • January 15th 2013 @ 10:03am
          Atawhai Drive said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:03am | ! Report

          That’s right, Brett! Informed Player Management. I knew there was an extra word in there to go with Player Management but had forgotten what it was.

          • Columnist

            January 15th 2013 @ 10:09am
            Brett McKay said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

            It’s much better than just regular player management.. 😉

            • January 15th 2013 @ 10:12am
              Matt F said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:12am | ! Report

              Should we all chip in and buy him a dictionary? I’m still waiting to see when the “informed” part takes effect. Actually I’m still waiting to see the “management” part!

              • January 15th 2013 @ 10:38am
                Red Kev said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report


              • January 15th 2013 @ 10:42am
                matt h said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:42am | ! Report

                Well I’m all for informed player management. It appears that their earlier tactic of uninformed player management didn’t work too well.

              • January 15th 2013 @ 11:46am
                Lukeling said | January 15th 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report

                Ah that explains it, yes bring on the IPM !

      • Roar Guru

        January 15th 2013 @ 11:05am
        sheek said | January 15th 2013 @ 11:05am | ! Report


        Just some info on John Inverarity. Back in the 70s, WA won five Shields – 71/72, 72/73, 74/75, 76,77, 77/78.

        Invers was captain for all those wins bar 76/77 (Marsh was captain) while he took up a one year’s headmaster’s appointment in England.

        Invers was even considered the most astute captain in Shield cricket, even more so than test skipper Ian Chappell. The selectors wanted him as vice-captain to Chappell for England 1972, but eventually Invers’ inability to hold down a regular test spot cost him the vice-captaincy (which went to Stackpole).

        Invers moved to SA in the late 70s & his advice was considered instrumental in helping SA win the Shield in 81/82 under David Hookes.

        Retrospectively, Australian cricket regrets it didn’t appoint Invers test captain in 1978/79 (during WSC) instead of handing the reins to Yallop. He was still relatively young at age 34 & would have been a good replacement for Simpson.

        This is not to defend Invers but bring some balance to the debate surrounding his competency as convener of the NSP. The guy is an achiever & although we may not agree with some of his views, he is no dill.

        • January 15th 2013 @ 11:45am
          Red Kev said | January 15th 2013 @ 11:45am | ! Report

          I don’t think he’s a dill; but I also don’t think he has an open enough mind or necessarily the right type of mind to be a selector. He might have been a brilliant captain in his 20s and 30s but he’s now 68 and has been a private school headmaster telling rich boys to tuck in their shirts and pull up their socks for 30 odd years. He comes from a background of absolute power (headmasters might have to answer to boards but not to the public in general) and it is obvious when he addresses people – he is shocked and faintly disgruntled that anyone has the temerity to question his decisions or will.
          In my experience teachers are ruled by favouritism and headmasters even more so – sadly I think Inverarity’s selections show a similar bias.

          • January 15th 2013 @ 11:49am
            Pope Paul VII said | January 15th 2013 @ 11:49am | ! Report

            You’d think he’d have time for the scholarship kiddie.

          • Roar Guru

            January 15th 2013 @ 12:07pm
            TheGenuineTailender said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

            I think Inverarity has a very open mind. Maybe even a little too open some would argue. I’m willing to let his plans run their course and see how things go. Who knows, his master plan may all fall into place during the Ashes, conversely, it could all just as easily fall into one big heap. Only time will tell.

            • January 18th 2013 @ 10:12am
              matt h said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:12am | ! Report

              His mind has been wide open so far,m judging by the number of caps given out this summer. I think wee are heading towards half the numbers in the Shield.

          • Roar Guru

            January 15th 2013 @ 12:25pm
            sheek said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

            Red Kev,

            Another thing about Invers is a perception of intellectual superiority. many teachers I know suffer from it. I can’t really disagree with your line of thinking.

            There is a sense of “do as you’re told” about his pronouncements.

            • January 15th 2013 @ 1:37pm
              Brendon said | January 15th 2013 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

              He may have been a great captain and cricket thinker, but does that put bums on seats?

              All this planning may be ok for England, but we would like to see the top players now, and it’s not helping the people paying for tickets at the moment.
              Some of his comments smack of arrogance as well, of course we deserve to know if they are injured, what is the benefit in not telling the paying public? Why say Starc has calf soreness when it’s ankle spurs? Why give Khawaja only one game? We really want to know all of this.

              Just tell us all what the actual plan is already and maybe we’ll get of your back John! We may disagree but at least we aren’t then being treated like mushrooms (you know, kept in the dark and fed on ……)

              • January 15th 2013 @ 4:37pm
                Dean said | January 15th 2013 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

                There is no excuse for giving Khawaja only 1 game, he deserves better.time for selectors to stop making false excuses and give him a run similar to what they have done for Marsh, Cowan etc.

        • January 15th 2013 @ 4:57pm
          Sunil said | January 15th 2013 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

          Inevarity’s treatment of Khawaja has not been good, give the young bloke some games to show his class and stop being so bias in favour of Maxwell.

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