Australia vs World XI: Bigger than the Ashes?

Hossey Roar Guru

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    Kevin Pietersen was a controversial character, but a great cricketer. (AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES.)

    In news sure to rock all Australian cricket fans, the home Ashes series has been usurped by a higher power than arch enemies England, as Australia prepares to face off against the might of World XI.

    To work around any issues with Australia facing off against a side not from the British Isles for the Ashes, the touring World XI will be playing under the crafty name of E.N.G. (Every Nationalities Great) – Land.

    Incorporating a handful of token Pommies, amongst the team to be the mouthpieces, will also assist them in projecting a somewhat English vibe, to at least keep some semblance of tradition alive.

    Kevin Pietersen, despite his well-known staunch loyalty to his adopted home of England, said he has no problem padding up for the World XI and is happy to see such a strong South African contingent with his countrymen Jonathan Trott and Matt Prior also included in the E.N.G.-Land squad to tour Down Under.

    Fellow African and former Zimbabwe U/19s player, Gary Ballance was said to have been devastated by his omission from his native country’s recent Test victory, but believed that World XI selection alongside his fellow mercenaries was a nice consolation prize.

    Spare a thought for Australian Sam Robson, named in the E.N.G-Land development team squad, but just missing out from going up against his home nation.

    A strange omission by the World XI selectors, as an Australian would be able give them an intimate knowledge of what winning Ashes series is all about.

    Fast bowler Boyd Rankin is no doubt excited about playing Test cricket for E.N.G-Land after some promising one day performances for Ireland, proving that your home nation not having Test status isn’t a barrier in making it to the Alistair Cook captained World XI.

    In fact, there are almost no barriers to getting selected in this squad. If you’re good enough, you’re E.N.Glish enough, or as the saying goes.

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    The Crowd Says (87)

    • September 25th 2013 @ 3:04am
      Johnno said | September 25th 2013 @ 3:04am | ! Report

      We can take digs at the poms cricket team, but the UN wallabies are no better lol.

      • September 25th 2013 @ 3:15am
        ChrisUK said | September 25th 2013 @ 3:15am | ! Report

        Nor your Olympic team, your tennis players…hell your last PM was from Wales and your current one born in London. It’s amusing though.

        • September 25th 2013 @ 3:37am
          Johnno said | September 25th 2013 @ 3:37am | ! Report

          Nor the NZ rugby League team, it should be called Australia A, or an NRL all stars team , the kiwi rugby league team, or a pacific island all stars team. Heck Australia has pinched all the kiwi actors and artists. 1980’s rocker and now breakfast tv host richard wilkins, Rusty crowe, sam neil, jane campion, heck a few kiwi politicians like Sir Joh bjelke-petersen.
          Aussy rugby league team also loves to pinch a few kiwi rugby league players. James Tamou,Ben Teo,Willie Mason.

          • September 25th 2013 @ 3:55am
            James said | September 25th 2013 @ 3:55am | ! Report

            i figure as long as australia is complaining about stuff like this it means we are winning everything. only losers complain.

            • September 25th 2013 @ 5:12am
              Johnno said | September 25th 2013 @ 5:12am | ! Report

              Or teams that play by the rules, and not cheat. It’s the cheats with lots of money to spend on coaching and foreign imports and other dodgy tactics, that don’t complain sadly they win often, just ask Lance Armstrong.

              • October 1st 2013 @ 4:06pm
                Bayman said | October 1st 2013 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

                Johnno,

                On balance, I think I agree with James…

        • September 25th 2013 @ 10:04am
          Pope Paul VII said | September 25th 2013 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          Well that explains it. Funnily enough after not shutting up for the last six years London Tony seems to have taken a vow of silence.

          • September 25th 2013 @ 10:08am
            ChrisUK said | September 25th 2013 @ 10:08am | ! Report

            Surely that should be a pre-requisite for all politicians? Please….

        • September 26th 2013 @ 12:47pm
          Nick Inatey said | September 26th 2013 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

          +1 ChrisUK. The hypocrisy and short memories of many Australians (of which I am one) has absolutely no bounds.

          • September 26th 2013 @ 11:49pm
            ChrisUK said | September 26th 2013 @ 11:49pm | ! Report

            Everyone’s a hypocrite when it comes to sport mate. We’re not better. The amount of stuff I read during the last Ashes (here in England) complaining that the reason Broad behaved badly is because England is the epitome of fair play would have you giggling into your cups. Some people really believe England are nobler than the norm.

    • Roar Guru

      September 25th 2013 @ 6:30am
      Andy_Roo said | September 25th 2013 @ 6:30am | ! Report

      Shhhh,

      nobody mention Fawad Ahmed.

      • Roar Guru

        September 25th 2013 @ 9:14am
        Chris Kettlewell said | September 25th 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        I hope nobody mentions him, especially the selectors! I have no problem with refugees coming to Australia and representing their adopted nation, in fact, someone who comes here fleeing for their life from another country may well be more proud to represent this country than someone born here who may take it for granted, but he hasn’t come close to earning his chance yet. If the selectors dump Lyon again in favour of picking Ahmed they need their heads read. Just because he might be a decent leggie, doesn’t make him Shane Warne Mark 2 and if he’s able to take a few wickets and average mid-30s at test level he’s probably doing well for his talent.

        Lyon continues to improve with every match he plays and deserves the faith of the selectors. He’s still young himself (significantly younger than Ahmed in fact) and there is no reason why, given a few more years of continued improvement, he can’t be every bit as good as Swann at test level.

        • September 25th 2013 @ 9:19am
          ChrisUK said | September 25th 2013 @ 9:19am | ! Report

          Have to say Chris, that from the outside it’s almost universal amazement at how badly Australia treat Lyon. And how badly they treated Hauritz et al before him. But Lyon is easily the best you have, and pretty bloody good anyway.

          • Roar Guru

            September 25th 2013 @ 6:04pm
            Steven McBain said | September 25th 2013 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

            Agree completely about Lyon. I think the problem all the spinners have been having is they keep asking ‘Is he is as good as Warney?’. Erm no. ‘Right try the next one then’.

            Watching Doherty was just painful I remember but Lyon to me looks a steady performer. I’m not sure if he has it in him to be one of the very very best but he’s more then capable of holding an end down. Seems bizarre he seems to still be having to fight for his place, is a shoe in for this series for me.

            • Roar Guru

              September 26th 2013 @ 2:47pm
              Chris Kettlewell said | September 26th 2013 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

              Probably the fact that finger spinners don’t seem to do that well in Australia at international level is one of the reasons they are desperate for a leggie. But the best thing there is probably to just try and get Steve Smith to keep working on his bowling and use him as the second spinner to bowl a handful of overs an innings and maybe have some tandem spin on the final day of tests. He gives it a real good rip, gets good turn on his leggie and can bowl a few variations. His main issue is simply consistency of line and length, which simply comes from practicing more and more.

              Smith as a part-timer with Lyon as the main spinner could do very well for us.

              Swann didn’t enter test cricket until he was 29, Lyon is still only 25, and he’s continually improving. He has every potential to be as good as if not better than Swann if he just keeps going and keeps working on his game.

              • September 27th 2013 @ 5:54pm
                David said | September 27th 2013 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

                Agree. However, everyone says the problem with Smith is his consistency. He is a leggie and there have been very few leggies who have been consistent (in fact it’s almost a misnomer to use the words consistent and leg spinner in the same sentence).
                Smith’s bowling is ok, considering he’s in the team as a batsman. Every now and then he’ll take 3/30 and he may often take 0/40 off 6 overs – you have to live with that with leggies – at all levels.

        • September 26th 2013 @ 3:10am
          Hookin' YT said | September 26th 2013 @ 3:10am | ! Report

          Lyon will get smashed. He’ll be beaten out of the attack and will be eventually dropped by the 5th as Australia get desperate for a win.

          15 wickets in India and all of a sudden he is Ashley Mallett on The Roar. The Indian tweakers Jadeja and Ashwin took 24 and 29. In England the pie chucker took 9 wickets in 3 tests, Swann 26 in 5.

          Pieterson is gonna think he is on a driving range.

          • Roar Guru

            September 26th 2013 @ 2:57pm
            Chris Kettlewell said | September 26th 2013 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

            Swann averaged 29 in the series and Lyon 33. That’s not a lot worse.

            If you compare them head to head over the last 3 tests (the three that Lyon played) Swann took 13 wickets at 36 to Lyons 9 wickets at 33. Lyon bowled really well with no luck in the first innings of the third test, and then didn’t get a chance to bowl in the second because of the washout.

            Swann is 34 and Lyon is 25. In a discipline where it’s widely acknowledged that players tend to get better as they get older and more experienced, Swann has a big advantage there. Swann didn’t even make his test debut until he was 29. Lyon has 4 years until he’s at that point (9 until he’s Swann’s current age) and with the way he is continually improving he could easily finish his career as a much better spinner than Swann ever was.

            That being said, both of them are likely to struggle in Australia.

            • September 30th 2013 @ 6:54pm
              Homer Gain said | September 30th 2013 @ 6:54pm | ! Report

              Ah there’s that luck thing again. I recall after the 2009 Ashes Aussie fans maintained that by all rational calcualtions they should have won but that they were denied by “bad luck”. Seems the same narrative is running this time. I wonder if the 13/14 sequel will follow the same lines as 10/11, or do Aussies think that their “luck” will turn and their innate superiority will re-assert itself?

          • September 26th 2013 @ 4:27pm
            ilovewarnie said | September 26th 2013 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

            why are you so agressive? are you a frustrated ex pie chucker hack cricketer yourself? i think so

            • September 27th 2013 @ 4:10pm
              Hookin' YT said | September 27th 2013 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

              Grade cricket in the 80s and 90s with and against Shield and Test players (ex, current and future at the time). Never bowled in grade cricket, batsman who alternatively stood in slips poking fun at people. Kept wickets on the way down.

            • September 27th 2013 @ 4:16pm
              Hookin' YT said | September 27th 2013 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

              I’m not aggressive off the cricket/rugby pitch. Am a cynical pragmatic realist though.

    • Roar Guru

      September 25th 2013 @ 10:03am
      HardcorePrawn said | September 25th 2013 @ 10:03am | ! Report

      An article abut Sam Robson that descended into mud-slinging yesterday, and now this today?

      When Australia has a full quota of locally-born athletes representing every one of the national teams, and the nation stops laying claim to every successful non-Australian that spends longer than 2 weeks a year here (‘Our Russell’ and ‘Aussie Kim’ spring to mind) then you might have the moral high ground to do this.
      Until then, you might want to stop slinging those stones around your glass house.

      • September 25th 2013 @ 10:09am
        ChrisUK said | September 25th 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

        “Aussie Joe” Bugner was my favourite.

        • September 25th 2013 @ 11:48pm
          fadida said | September 25th 2013 @ 11:48pm | ! Report

          And none of us ever wanted him! I think he was self titled 🙂

          • September 26th 2013 @ 12:24am
            ChrisUK said | September 26th 2013 @ 12:24am | ! Report

            How unusual for a boxer 😉

      • September 26th 2013 @ 3:22am
        Hookin' YT said | September 26th 2013 @ 3:22am | ! Report

        Desperate times Prawn, desperate times.

        The selective xenophobic hypocrisy comes out when we are at the bottom of the sporting food chain.

        Meanwhile…
        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/british-olympian-ellen-gandy-changes-lanes/story-e6frg7mf-1226529248288
        Gold for Australia!!

        • September 26th 2013 @ 3:52am
          JimmyB said | September 26th 2013 @ 3:52am | ! Report

          Is she any good?

          • September 26th 2013 @ 5:14am
            Hookin' YT said | September 26th 2013 @ 5:14am | ! Report

            • September 26th 2013 @ 5:23am
              JimmyB said | September 26th 2013 @ 5:23am | ! Report

              Good luck to her. British swimming ain’t much cop really so she’s more likely to improve in Australia anyway.

              • September 26th 2013 @ 8:47am
                ChrisUK said | September 26th 2013 @ 8:47am | ! Report

                Symptomatic of the two nations approach when facing a stretch of water: Australians go for a swim, the British build a boat.

              • Roar Guru

                September 26th 2013 @ 9:16am
                HardcorePrawn said | September 26th 2013 @ 9:16am | ! Report

                Moving to Australia will improve her chances of a career in TV weather presenting once she retires too…

              • Roar Guru

                September 26th 2013 @ 3:00pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | September 26th 2013 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                Going by the story, she was living and training in Australia while representing England anyway.

              • September 27th 2013 @ 12:05am
                ChrisUK said | September 27th 2013 @ 12:05am | ! Report

                I think I vaguely recall her. She sounded pretty Australian too. It’s not something I’d lose sleep over, it’s her home, so fair enough.

    • September 25th 2013 @ 10:38am
      Showbags said | September 25th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

      The fact of the matter is England have a huge advantage in having nearly 20 FC teams in their two divisions. They can go and cherry pick talented cricketers from around the world and play them in the County system until they start showing some form.

      Every other country doesn’t have that luxury. The way it is going International Cricket will become just like the EPL. Where countries with the most money and spots available get all the talent.

      • September 25th 2013 @ 10:51am
        ChrisUK said | September 25th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        As JimmyB put it the other day, county cricket provided a finishing school for virtually every Australian player. I don’t recall anyone complaining about that.

        • September 25th 2013 @ 11:48am
          Cantab said | September 25th 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

          Yeah the Lyon thing is all a bit odd, to me he seems like the clear option.

          I wonder if the fact that the Austrailan pace attack has remained fairly strong has influenced the lack of public and CA’s confidence in him? In that they usually out perform him.

          • Roar Guru

            September 25th 2013 @ 8:19pm
            no show said | September 25th 2013 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

            he isn’t liked because he wants the team song to be sung before 11pm 🙂

            • September 25th 2013 @ 8:38pm
              ChrisUK said | September 25th 2013 @ 8:38pm | ! Report

              Surely the bigger problem is his unreasonable hope to have it sung in 2013? 😉

              • Roar Guru

                September 25th 2013 @ 9:53pm
                no show said | September 25th 2013 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

                damn

                England win the battle of the one liners as well !!

        • September 25th 2013 @ 12:15pm
          Disco said | September 25th 2013 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

          Quite.

      • September 25th 2013 @ 6:09pm
        JimmyB said | September 25th 2013 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

        You’re right, England was split deliberately into a great many counties, with a view to one day having all of these cricket teams to choose from. Note to all Australians, if your son shows any promise with the willow or a ball, don’t let him out of your sight. The child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is now working for the ECB and is on a worldwide mission to kidnap young boys with a view to turning them into England cricketers, you have been warned!

    • September 25th 2013 @ 12:12pm
      GiantScrub said | September 25th 2013 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

      Most sites have troll commentators. The Roar takes this a step further in that it has troll articles.

      I honestly hope we play Fawad in the first test, never mind that he’s nothing special, just so it stops all this whinging about country of origin.

      • September 26th 2013 @ 3:40am
        Hookin' YT said | September 26th 2013 @ 3:40am | ! Report

        +1

    • September 25th 2013 @ 12:14pm
      Disco said | September 25th 2013 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

      The British Empire is nothing to be proud of. But nonetheless it happened, and it’s these historical and economic connections which see people flock to the UK to live and work.

      • September 26th 2013 @ 2:51pm
        Dirk said | September 26th 2013 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

        except these days the only people who flock to the uk are eastern europeans wanting to get on benefits and sportsmen who can’t refuse the fortune the poms are willing to pay them.

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