Steve Smith is letting Australia down in ODIs

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

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

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    As Australia have struggled in this ODI series against England, opening batsman Aaron Finch has become a curious lightning rod for criticism.

    A huge number of Australian fans, including many Roarers, have disparaged Finch despite his prolific run-scoring, arguing he is scoring too slowly and hindering his team in the process. It’s a patently ridiculous claim. As much can be discerned by looking at the list of the highest runscorers in ODI cricket over the past 12 months.

    Finch has scored 680 runs at an average of 62 in that time, a magnificent return. What his many critics should note is that his strike rate of 94 over that period is better than 12 of the 18 batsmen above him on that list. Better than the strike rates of ODI stars such as Joe Root, Kane Williamson, Hashim Amla, Eoin Morgan, Martin Guptill, MS Dhoni, Ross Taylor and Faf du Plessis.

    If Finch is supposedly hurting his team with slow scoring, then so too are many of the leading ODI batsmen in the world. Of course, the dissing of Finch and his scoring rate is the by-product of the inevitable scramble for a scapegoat as any team falters and their followers seek to pin the blame.

    For some reason people thought that Finch, who scored tons in the first two ODIs, was as worthy of criticism, or even more so, as his batting colleagues who had failed to capitalise on his fine anchoring innings.

    Australia’s middle order has been a major weakness ever since the retirement of Michael Clarke and the decline of George Bailey. Finch is clearly aiming to help counter this issue by being the bedrock of Australia’s innings. In constructing patient tons like he did in Melbourne and Brisbane, he allows other batsmen the freedom to indulge their attacking instincts, safe in the knowledge he is holding up an end.

    Finch has done his job well. It was his teammates who failed to capitalise on the sturdy platform he laid for them.

    Australia's Aaron Finch leaves the field after scoring 5 runs during the second 20Twenty international cricket match between England and Australia at the Riverside Ground, Chester-Le-Street, northeast England, on August 31, 2013. England, after losing the toss, made 195 for five in the second and final Twenty20 international at Chester-le-Street. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES


    England may have overhauled the prevailing wisdom about ODI batting with their hyper-aggressive batting, but 50-over cricket still frequently requires batsmen to play anchor roles. Root and Morgan do just that often for England, accumulating steadily while dynamic batsmen Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Alex Hales go for their shots.

    With Finch batting steadily from one end, Australia have the likes of David Warner, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis to take on the bowlers. When those batsmen can’t complete that task, it is folly to start blaming Finch. Instead, he should be praised for being Australia’s most consistent batsman over the past 12 months.

    In that time, Finch has incredibly passed 50 in seven of his 11 knocks, which equates to a ratio of 64 per cent. Compare that to the fifty-plus ratios of Australia’s two best batsmen, Warner (31%) and Smith (24%).

    Warner has still had a fine year in ODIs, with 678 runs at 56, but Smith has been very poor, with 367 runs at 33 at a genuinely slow strike rate of 82. If any one player is to cop heavy blame for the dire state of Australia’s ODI batting at present, it should be the skipper.

    When Smith arrived at the crease yesterday, Australia’s required run rate was a very manageable six runs per over to chase down England’s total of 302. By the time he departed for a dawdling 45 from 66 balls, that required rate had ballooned to 7.62 runs per over, an incredibly tough task on a slow SCG pitch and one Australia could not handle as they lost by 16 runs.

    Smith has scored at a strike rate of just 79 so far across this series, which is much too slow when you’re playing against the most attacking batting line-up in the world.

    Not only has he laboured with the bat for some time now, but Smith’s on-field captaincy has been ordinary, too.

    It is Smith, not Finch, who needs to step up to help put this floundering Australian ODI team back on track.

    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 (179)

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:17am
      PeteB said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:17am | ! Report

      The criticism of Finch has been bizarre. There’s 10 other players in the team that have been performing worse than Finch.

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2018 @ 9:59am
        JamesH said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:59am | ! Report

        Our team selection has been poor, but the batting order had been worse. With the series gone and a few players in need of a rest I’d be using the next two games and the T20 series to have a look at some others. Something like:

        M Marsh
        Warner (c)
        Carey (wk)
        Starc/Hazlewood/Cummins (basically whoever is least in need of rest)

        Alternatively, open with Carey, omit Short and play both Turner and Maxwell.

        Finch, Warner or Marsh to play an anchoring role between them as senior batsmen (with Warner floating), giving the other batsmen a licence to play their shots. It might work, it might not, but at the very least it would give some exposure to a few players who could be part of our WC side next year.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:06am
          Don Freo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

          Marsh at #3…or better still, the top order specialist, Stoinis…is ideal.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:22am
            Flemo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

            Marsh is a good player but I would get Khawaja at 3, he has looked a class above in the last few big bash games and is the beSt number 3 in all formats in the country

            • Roar Guru

              January 22nd 2018 @ 7:55pm
              JamesH said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

              If I was going to pick Khawaja I’d open with him. He really seems to like batting at the top in this format.

              Marsh could develop into a really good top no 3, since he would have a newer ball to hit and wouldn’t have to worry so much about rotating the strike early in his innngs.

        • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:01pm
          1st&10 said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

          The capital C should never be adjacent to Warner

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:29am
      concerned supporter said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:29am | ! Report

      Agree 100% with what you say about,1/ Finch & 2/ Smith.
      There was a poster called “Clear Release”who was particularly severe on Finch, unwarranted in mho.
      The main factors in Australia’s loss were;
      1/ Magnificent Batting of Butler & Woakes.
      2/ 2 extra overs needed to be bowled by Australia due to wides, + one free hit no ball.
      3/Inept batting & captaincy by S.Smith. The 302 was still obtainable when Smith went to the wicket, in fact the bookmakers had Australia favorite at that time.’When Smith was dismissed the task was more difficult.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:37am
        Christo the Daddyo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

        That second point is important I think. For all the complaints about Australia’s batting, they still could have won if those two extra overs hadn’t been delivered by their bowling team-mates.

        And for all the accolades this bowling lineup garners, they still persist in bowling too much short stuff. There’s so much of it I can only assume they’re bowling to orders, but they’re getting punished every time they do it. Maybe time for the blowtorch to be applied to the coaching staff?

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:48am
          Bakkies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:48am | ! Report

          Agreed those wides as debatable as some of the calls on bouncers were wasteful and a four was scored off a free hit.

          The pitch was far too slow to be bowling short. SCG generally not a ground you would bowl a lot of short stuff on.

          Clear Release needs to be explained how Cricket works.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:52am
          jameswm said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

          We are trying to blast them out in one dayers. Smith’s (or Lehmann’s) biggest failing is to underappreciate the value of spin.

          We should have had Lyon in in place of one of the quicks yesterday. And those quicks need a break. The SA test series is much more important than this.

          • Roar Guru

            January 22nd 2018 @ 9:42am
            JamesH said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:42am | ! Report

            Exactly. Elite short-form batsmen love 140kmph bowling these days because they are skilled at hitting on the up and using the pace of the ball. Roy, Hales, Bairstow and Morgan all look far more comfortable against high pace.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:34am
              jameswm said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

              Yep. They swing hard, and the ball flies. The slower bouncers outside off are the hardest to hit.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:59pm
            Jacko said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

            Hard to argue with that…Other nations seem to be using spin more and more in the 2 shorter formats of cricket and Lyons is the best in Aus so to not have Lyons…and a few other spinners in the team….. seems at odds with the rest of the worlds tactics

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:36am
      I ate pies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Criticism of Finch? Why? He’s made two centuries and a 60 in this series. He’s the one player who shouldn’t be criticised. It’s the selectors who need to be criticised; there’s not enough decent batsmen in the team. They can’t play two all rounders; they need to drop Stoinis for Khawaja.
      Having a second rate bowling line-up doesn’t help either.
      For some reason, for the last 10 years the Australian selectors have continually treated the one-day team as a training ground, with speculative selections rather than picking the best team. And for gods sake pick Maxwell, he can do everything.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:50am
        Bakkies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        Drop Stoinis he has scored two fifties at over a run a ball at the back end of the innings.

        It is White that needs to make way for Khawaja.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:20am
          I ate pies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

          They need to drop White for Maxwell. Either Stoinis or M Marsh needs to go

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:36am
            Bakkies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

            Dropping White for Maxwell is not going to increase the input and contribute to the team. Maxwell was dropped in India for not scoring runs. The funky shots comment is to tell him to get that rubbish out of his game as he making the wrong decision at what balls to play those shots at or getting stumped. I am sick as Smith and Lehmann are as at Maxwell throwing his wicket away (it is wasting his talent too). Letting his team down and I am stunned that others fail to see this.

            The bloke was playing erratic reverse sweeps in a test in Bangladesh after he just got to the wicket when his team needed him to play an innings. Look how much better Symonds was when he started playing proper cricket shots along the ground and building his innings. If he stuck with the Maxwell mentality we would have never seen him reach his potential as an international Cricketer.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 1:07pm
              I ate pies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

              He’s ready to play like a grown-up, and he has far too much talent to be on the sidelines. Get him in.

            • Roar Rookie

              January 22nd 2018 @ 7:21pm
              maverick said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

              So you want to drop stoinis,one of the best performers in the ODI side.Good point.

              • January 23rd 2018 @ 11:49am
                I ate pies said | January 23rd 2018 @ 11:49am | ! Report

                M Marsh or Stoinis, yep. The team needs to be better balanced Thanks for the compliment.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:33am
          Peter said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          Would have thought Stoinis showed last night why he shouldn’t be dropped.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:23am
            Flemo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

            Read a great article from Ben Horne saying that now smith has finally moved to 4 we need to bring the best number 3 in the country Khawaja to that spot, that gives us finch, warner, Khawaja and smith as our top 4 and it’s our best shot at the World Cup

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:44pm
              Stephen said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

              Agreed, khawaja to come in at 3 and smith to stay at 4, how good was stonis

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:51am
        jamesb said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc are not second rate bowlers, but their execution has been.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:53am
          jameswm said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:53am | ! Report

          At times. At times their execution has been very good.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:05am
            jamesb said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:05am | ! Report

            I think it’s a by product of the fact that they played five tests in six weeks. Starc played four. In the old days the test matches would spread out. There were test matches scheduled on Australia Day in Adelaide and a test in the first week of February.

            Meanwhile Broad and Anderson have not played.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:31am
              jameswm said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

              I agree. And they are not great ODI bowlers. Well, Starc is excellent when at his best. Hazlewood is ranked highly, but his bowling lacks subtlety in that format. Does he even have a slower ball?

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:00am
                Bakkies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

                Hazlewood has a change of pace which he used when he took his career best haul in England.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:21am
            Bakkies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

            It was Hazlewood’s first match back since the Sydney test.

        • January 23rd 2018 @ 12:01pm
          Roostermark said | January 23rd 2018 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

          On flat pitches that offer nothing and no swing they are fodder, maybe Starc if he can get back his old pace of 150 kph but that’s been missing for a long while. We haven’t had real fast bowlers who can trouble the batsmen with sheer pace since Lee and Tait.. On these batting roads that’s whats needed or go with the trick bowlers who change every second ball up.

        • January 23rd 2018 @ 4:08pm
          1st&10 said | January 23rd 2018 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

          Starc seems to have been reading his positive 2016/17 press clippings too much. He is also protected in the Ch 9 conflict of interest commentary box in Healy.

          • January 23rd 2018 @ 5:49pm
            Don Freo said | January 23rd 2018 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

            Wow! You have a conspiracy theory for every aspect of life. What a sad way to live.

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:38am
      moaman said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      Picking on Finch and apportioning any blame to him for Australia’s abject performances is clearing ridiculous.
      Finch stands head and shoulders above his fellow-batsmen at present and his record over his entire career is world-class.( 10 centuries and 18 50s @ 38 striking at 90.from 88 matches)
      It’s interesting watching from a distance to see the swift change in rhetoric coming out of Oz since the ashes.
      We had crazy talk of comparisons to Bradman and mockery of the England team; suddenly fans are sticking knives into players and selectors.
      Doesn’t take long for the wind to change direction does it?

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:48am
        Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        I think we are just calling it as we see it. Smith, the selectors and the coaching staff shouldn’t be immune from criticism. Smith just hasn’t made the transition from Test cricket to the one day format. He absolutely dawdled yesterday and seemed to think that was OK.

        I think the English selectors and coaching staff have got it right where they brought in hard hitting batsmen such as Roy, Buttler, Morgan and Hales to join Root and Bairstow. They also seem to be much better prepared with a plan for how to bat or bowl in the one day format whereas I think the Aussies are just making it up as they go.

        For Australia Finch has been head and shoulders above the rest and why he was being criticised yesterday in this forum was bewildering. And Mitch Marsh and Stoinis have also been contributing with the bat.

        Lets face it – the main reasons Australia haven’t succeeded are:
        Warner and Smith have been fizzers in the top order
        Nathan Lyon wasn’t selected (unfortunately Zampa isn’t quite up to this level)
        Cameron White has done little with his opportunity
        The fast bowlers have lacked consistency

        I think its time for a Darcy Short and either Ben McDermott or Ashton Turner to be given a crack – and despite being a fan of Tim Paine I think young Carey offers more when we are chasing down a big score and need to score heavily at the end. And why Nathan Lyon isn’t being given a game is the biggest mystery given his performances in the Ashes series.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:52am
          jamesb said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:52am | ! Report

          Not sure about McDermott, but definitely Short and Turner.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:04am
            Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

            We definitely need someone at the top of the order to take on the English bowlers in the first 15 overs like a Gilchrist. Warner would suit the role perfectly but has found ways to get out cheaply. I’d be giving him a rest and see what Darcy Short can bring to the table. And I think the bringing back of Cameron White experiment has failed. Maybe Khawaja and Ashton Turner for White and Steve Smith.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 2:10pm
          Albo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

          Spot on Geoff !
          I’m in total agreement. The current failure of the ODI squad is pretty simple to analyse. Our two main batsmen ( Warner & Smith) who are expected to control our batting attack, have both failed so far in these one dayers, leaving extra responsibility for Finch and the lesser lights to try to forge a total. Finch in particular has done very well , whilst the rest have battled away to eek out a total. Our pace bowlers too have been average to awful so far, showing no nous in bowling tight when required, especially in the final overs. And the omission of Lyon is a mystery ? Dropped catches have dominated, selections have puzzled us all, and Smith’s captaincy in this series has been questionable. Why would you win the toss in heatwave conditions of the afternoon and bowl first ?? Just to stop England enjoying a run chase ? Why wouldn’t you take advantage of the best conditions available for both the batting & bowling tasks ?

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 3:54pm
            Andrew said | January 22nd 2018 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

            I think with England’s style of play, they like to chase with all that firepower. To put them in means they have to make the pace and if you look at the SCG game it worked til the last 10 overs. Poor bowling execution is to blame there. Australia was third rate in the first 2 games and I for one was happy to chase and we nearly won. Unfortunately Finch has been a lone hand in the top 4 and the other three batsmen are to blame. I liked the look of Richardson the other day and would give him another go and Lyon would be my other choice.

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2018 @ 11:50am
        Cadfael said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        I feel the selectors need to bear the brunt f criticism here. Three specialist batsmenand then bits and pieces players though Stoinis did do well. Look at England. Six batsmen (both Bairstow and Buttler could be selected as specialist batsmen), Ali to follow and the bowlers..

        I would not think about dropping Smith, he is too good a player. However, the best batsmen in the side doesn’t always make the best captain. This has been shown here over a long period of time. Warner has shown good captaincy skills but would the selectors take the captaincy off Smith?

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:42am
      jeff dustby said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      smiths 40 from over 60 balls was the reason we lost

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 7:52am
        Neil Back said | January 22nd 2018 @ 7:52am | ! Report

        Not so much. The opposition was and is a better team. It’s OK for that to happen.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:31am
          soapit said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:31am | ! Report

          jumping at shadows neil. they were obviously better. if its ok with you we might have a chat about why that is and how it can be fixed.

          if its also fine with you we might decide whether or not we australians accept that being consistently beaten is ok.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:35am
            Bob Sims said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:35am | ! Report

            No shame in being beaten by a better side, and England have clearly been better in all three encounters to date. Smith and Warner let Australia down last night and haven’t been showing the way, as they have in the past. More is expected. Usually, one of them, at least, comes off, but when they both fail, it seems Australia does too. Being beaten regularly is another matter, and shouldn’t be accepted. Better selections required. One all-rounder is enough, and Stoinis looks the goods, considering Marsh is considered a batsman until his bowling returns to normal after injury. Lyon’s non-selection continues to baffle. He tied England in knots in the Tests and had their batsmen cowed. In all likelihood he would do it in ODIs as well.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:26am
              peter chrisp said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

              Have to agree Aussies have been beaten by a better side as it shows on the results although we have the best fast bowlers as they all performed well in the Test series their performances have been nothing short of ordinary you look at their stike rate and lack of penetration and you look at our batting once Warner goes the rest seem to follow and i thought the biggest joke was including Cameron White we all know he has a good reputation in past games but this time after being recalled has done very little to warrant his selection with New Zealand coming up pretty soon do we make changes or keep the same side & with Steve Smith a great test player that’s where the problem lies he’s batting as though it’s a test game & not a 1 day game slow

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:40am
              soapit said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

              seems to be a lack of confusion re: what i wrote. no shame in losing to a better team. to beperfectly clear i meant england are the better team. perfectly acceptable to have a look through the reasons when we apparently are consistently off the standard as you have both done (neil seemed to have a problem with this behaviour)

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 1:26pm
                Neil Back said | January 22nd 2018 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

                I’m not sure who’s jumping at shadows here Soap. My issue was with the original poster, who in common with many throughout this series, suggests if Australia did one thing differently or picked a, b or c player – they would have won. What this doesn’t allow or give any credit for is the possibility this English team would have coped with it. It’s what good teams do – and this is a good team. Losing a front line bowler is an obvious and current example.

                I haven’t heard one suggested change or tweak that would have guaranteed an Australian win in any of the matches.

                Btw, although I’m sure you didn’t mean it, your earlier comment about ‘we Australians’ sounds a little arrogant.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 4:07pm
                soapit said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

                not explicitly stating credit in every comment isnt the same as not allowing it. and you say its in common with many others. its my opinion that has you jumping at shadows defending against implied inherent arrogance when a single change is suggested. hope thats clear.

                im not expert enough to try and sway your opinion of the merits of nything thats been suggested.

                i do find it strange that being 3 nil down in a home series (not to mention the fine print of how the games unfolded) would produce a mentality of “its ok, theyre just better than us”. i cant speak for others especially those from other countries but id be surprised if the bulk of stakeholders in the australian team (ie we australians) had that thinking at the moment as it would indicate a likely significant stay below comparable nations which hasnt been something weve done much of in the past. i’ll leave it to you whether or not you feel that to be arrogant.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 4:32pm
                Neil Back said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

                Not sure who’s the more confused by that answer; you or me.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:32am
          spruce moose said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:32am | ! Report

          But this time, they weren’t obviously better. Australia was better for about 90 overs of the match.

          They kept England restrained early, and for most of the innings until falling apart from the 47th over onwards.

          Same for the chase. They were on top of that chase until the final few overs where they couldn’t step up and really botched it.

          It will be quite a stinging loss.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:53am
            Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:53am | ! Report

            Can’t agree. Smith dawdling batting in the middle overs made it too difficult for the batsmen to overhaul the target at the end. You can’t blame them. Smith seemed to think going at 68 per 100 balls in the middle overs was OK. I think he only hit one 4! Disgraceful performance.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:01am
              spruce moose said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:01am | ! Report

              But Smith was performing no better or worse than the English batsman at the same time.

              Remember that Australia was ahead of England in terms of wickets and runs until the start of the 49th over.

              The chase was being handled very well, they just didn’t seem to exploit the bonus of wickets in hand.

              A really, really odd chase.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:07am
                Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

                I thought it was awful to watch spruce. If both Smith and Marsh had pressed the accelerator a bit more it would have taken the pressure of the later batsmen to reach the target. I thought it was very selfish and arrogant batting to be honest. Its OK if you bat like that and suddenly unleash but if you get out you’ve wasted your innings and put more pressure on the incoming batsmen.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:17am
                spruce moose said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

                Oh, it was definitely awful to watch, right from ball one.

                The lack of authority stamped on the innings by anyone – even by someone in as good as form as Finch – was painful.

                Warner and White however should be held to account before Smith and Marsh. Smith was a controversial wicket, but Warner and White’s dismissals were exceptionally tame, Warner’s in particular.

                Paine also needs to take a bit more criticism – it was painful watching him bat. Even balls he hit out of the middle barely reached the fielders on the boundary.

                I do agree, that Marsh did need to swing the blade a bit more.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:25am
                Flemo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:25am | ! Report

                White simply needs to be dropped for khawaj, it’s absurd we have white batting at 3 when Khawaja is available

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:45pm
                Stephen said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

                Khawaja to replace white at 3

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 2:56pm
                Albo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                Australia may have been ahead of England till the 49th over , but the poms were never going to concede 24 runs in their 49th bowling over like Australia did, and Australia didn’t have flying tonkers like Butler & Woakes at the crease come their final 10 overs. That’s why Australia had to have a much better score on the board before the final tonking stage. This is where Smith in particular let the team down where he hardly middled the ball once in his 60 ball stay at the crease. Chasing 10 or 11 runs per over for the final 10 overs was always going to be a task too far for the Aussie lower order even against an average England attack.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:26am
        BA Sports said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:26am | ! Report

        I would say 13 wides and a no ball compared to 2 wides had a fair bit to do with it. That is 12 runs plus what is scored off the extra balls….

        • Roar Guru

          January 22nd 2018 @ 9:16am
          The Bush said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

          The wides were an embarrassment yesterday.

    • Roar Guru

      January 22nd 2018 @ 8:09am
      Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:09am | ! Report

      Smith and Warner are both quality ODI batsmen, but I think both just need a rest. For the test players in the lineup I think that so much energy was focussed on the Ashes that there’s simply nothing left for the ODI’s. There’s also the SA tour coming up, so rest Smith and Warner for the last two ODI’s and let them have a break with their families before refocussing for South Africa, and bring in a couple of people who are fresher and hitting the ball well.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:13am
        Christo the Daddyo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

        Same goes for the bowlers, yes?

        • Roar Guru

          January 22nd 2018 @ 8:37am
          Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

          They’ve talked about some resting of the bowlers all along, but never talk about that with the batsmen. Cummins bowled pretty well yesterday until the last few overs, had a shocker closing out the innings. But yes, I’d probably give the main test bowlers a break also, with one exception, I’d bring in Lyon.

          I’d probably go something like this (sorry to a few BBL teams out there!):
          Carey (wk)

          I actually think one of the big issues with the team is the allrounders. The point of having allrounders in the team is that their bowling means you can play less specialist bowlers and can bat deeper. But if you don’t have the confidence in those allrounders to consider them as bowlers you can get 10 overs out of, then that reduces that effectively and you still have the long tail. If you are going to play guys like Marsh and Stoinis they need to be able to bowl well enough to get plenty of overs out of them. With this team you’ve got 3 specialist bowlers, and then need to get 20 overs out of Stoinis, Marsh, Short, Maxwell, Finch. If you can’t find 20 decent overs between that lot to the point that you need to pick another specialist bowler then you have issues.

          I like both Carey and Khawaja as openers, but Finch has to stay there, so one of them isn’t opening.

          That wouldn’t necessarily be the long term side, but for 2 matches where the series is already gone and test players who really just aren’t mentally there for it, something along these lines mightn’t be a bad option.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:44am
            Nudge said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:44am | ! Report

            That’s a woeful team

            • Roar Guru

              January 22nd 2018 @ 12:21pm
              Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

              Thanks for your constructive criticism. Seriously though, I was just trying to come up with some players off the top of my head to give an idea of the sort of thing. With more time to go through things I’m sure it wouldn’t be exactly like that.

              Not sure Stanlake is up to 50-over cricket yet. If he can be as hard to get away as he has been in the T20’s then he’d be a good selection. Probably go for one, or both of the Richardson boys.

              I do feel though that if you are picking 2-3 allrounders in your test that has to be with the idea that they actually play as allrounders that you plan on getting good overs out of. Having 3 allrounders in your team and still picking 4 specialist bowlers doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Need those guys to bowl well enough that you can entrust good numbers of overs to them on a regular basis.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:17am
            Basil said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

            Please no.

          • Roar Guru

            January 22nd 2018 @ 9:17am
            The Bush said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

            Surely the White experiment or whatever it was can now be ended. He won’t be at the next world cup, he actually has a pretty average ODI record anyway and he isn’t performing at present.

            • Roar Guru

              January 22nd 2018 @ 12:18pm
              Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

              I was tempted to not include White, but figured that he’s only had a couple of matches and has come in with very good domestic white ball form behind him, so maybe he deserved one more chance.

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

            Why would Warner and Smith need a rest from playing 2 50 over games in a week?
            How come Bairstow, Root & Woakes can play.

            Smith just had 3 ordinary innings nothing wrong with that it happens. The only thing I would blame Smith for is dropping Australia best No 4-7 batsman because he does not like him. No 4-7 is where the problem is not the top 3.

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

              Maxwell wasn’t producing the runs either.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:41am
              Peter said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

              Yeah I don’t buy that they need a rest. Joe Root’s moved straight into the ODIs and looked fine, and he was pretty ill in the latter stages of the 5th Test. Smith may get an enforced rest in game 5 if the team has another woeful over rate in game 4.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:26am
                Flemo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

                I would get Khawaja at 3 but I don’t think dropping Paine is a good idea

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 12:16pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                I do think the English would have found these ODI’s much easier to get up for than the Aussies. The Aussies have just put everything into the Ashes with little thought of the ODI’s, then this becomes a bit of an afterthought they have to go through. While for England, the ODI’s are what a lot of their focus has been since 2015, they feel good about them, and coming off a 4-0 drubbing in the tests probably look at the ODI’s as a chance to leave the tour with some feel goods!

                The issue isn’t physical rest, it’s about having their head in the right place to perform at their best in these ODI’s, and I don’t think that’s the case with either Smith or Warner, and potentially any of the test team pace bowlers. Lyon I think would be a big exception among the test players, because he clearly really wants to be a three format player and would be dead keen to show that he should be playing ODI’s. I think we’d see Lyon at his best if he was picked.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:35pm
                Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

                My sentiments exactly Chris. Smith, Warner and the fast bowlers appear to be still in Test mode while the Poms are very focused and know what they are doing in the ODIs. Easy in hindsight but Australia should have come up with a very different top 6 and played Lyon instead of Zampa.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:46pm
                Stephen said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

                Well we do have our 2 best players in khawaja and lyon not playing these ODis

            • Roar Guru

              January 22nd 2018 @ 11:58am
              Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:58am | ! Report

              I’m more saying that instead of saying they are dropped, you just say they are rested. It’s not a physical need of rest, but their heads are clearly not in it.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:11am
            Bob Sims said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

            Chris, just out of interest, is the squad chosen by Australia for the entire series, or just the first three games?And a couple of points, if I may. You’ve made six changes to last night’s side. Although it’s obvious that some players need a rest, I think that’s too many changes. The team needs a bowling leader and a batting leader. Like you, I’d rest both Warner and Smith (especially Smith, as having Maxwell and Smith in the same team looks an impossibility) but leaving out all three of Australia’s Test quicks and putting in Neser and Stanlake is a recipe for further disaster. I’d keep Hazlewood in and bring back AJ Tye. I also think that the Cam White experiment has failed and would replace him with Agar at seven or eight, pushing Maxwell, Short, Marsh and Stoinis up one.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:41am
              Bakkies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

              ‘ I’d keep Hazlewood in and bring back AJ Tye’

              He would give Richardson a go rather than Tye. Richardson look more of a genuine wicket than Tye which you need on flat wickets and has far more upside. How much room for improvement has Tye got at 31?

            • Roar Guru

              January 22nd 2018 @ 12:00pm
              Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

              It was just a quick, off the top of my head trying to think of the right players sort of thing. Both Kane and Jye Richardson would probably be good possibilities. I feel a 50 over match is just too long for Tye, he needs people going at him as hard as they do in T20’s.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:53pm
                Bakkies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

                Tye is another who needed consistent 50 overs Cricket at a domestic level right through the Summer when the pitch gets hard.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:52am
            Mickey of Mo$man said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            I think Warner and smith need a rest, Zampa is in effective. if we had Nathan Lyon last night we would have won no doubt.

            I would run this side for the remaining series;
            D’arcy Short
            Aaron Finch

            Side gives us batting depth with bowling options. fresh faces and players that can chase a total and take 10 wickets.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:58am
              Basil said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report

              Stanlake can’t bowl more than 4 overs.

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 12:12pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

                That is my worry. Not sure about how he’s going with this. He might not be ready. But he is a bowler that everyone has struggled to get away, so if he’s up to extending to 50-over cricket he might be worth a stab. Otherwise quite possibly might be looking at two Richardson’s at this point.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:11am
            Don Freo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:11am | ! Report

            Why would you have White? Bats like Boycott and fields like Colin Milburn.

            • Roar Guru

              January 22nd 2018 @ 12:02pm
              Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

              I’m no big fan of White, but he’s been doing well in domestic 50-over and T20 cricket and according to the BBL seems to be in form. If he hadn’t already been selected for this series I wouldn’t necessarily have selected him.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:42pm
            peter chrisp said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

            Chris K as there are only 2 matches left you have decided to give Starc Cummings & Josh Hazelwood a rest which to me isn’t a bad thing as we have New Zealand & SA just around the corner & the above three performed quite well during the Test series but have had very little impact during the 1 dayers so therefore i change isn’t such a bad idea. I notice too you have reinstated Maxwell if you had a choice and we all know there is a little debate & the reasons why he hasn’t been selected but give him a go why not? I must admit i know very little about Short, Neser, & Stanlake, in the end i was a little surprised with Whites inclusion to me was a little strange but during the domestic season his performances i guess did warrant a selection but that has fallen flat and with Lyon they’re “saving” him for NZ & SA by the sound of it.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:20am
        Nudge said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:20am | ! Report

        It’s going to be a hard enough for me to get to Adelaide oval this Friday in 40 degree heat to watch a dead rubber. I think I’ll still get there with my lads but if Warner and Smith aren’t playing forget it.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:11am
          shaun said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          Oh no… better put them in or Nudge and his lads might not go along to watch…

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:19am
            Basil said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

            Nudge has shelled out the money to go. He deserves to see our best team.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:22am
              Christo the Daddyo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

              And on current form there’s a fair argument that doesn’t include Smith or Warner unfortunately.

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

            Taking my 3 boys who are all under 11 to day of cricket in 41 degree heat to watch Australia B doesn’t really appeal sorry.

            • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:19am
              Don Freo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

              If they put some players from the regular short form champs, WA, you would get to see the A team.

              Player from a team that’s good at OD cricket would be a step forward. Tye and Richardson instead of Starc and Cummins (neither of whom seemed to care), Turner in place of Smith (who just doesn’t get ODI cricket) and Agar in place of Zampa…then we would have won yesterday. The West Aussies in Stoinis and Marsh did well with both bat and ball.

              Tim David in place of White…
              Matt Kelly in place of Hazlewood…
              Bosisto in place of…etc

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:27am
                Flemo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                Don I would get Khawaja in at 3, but speaking of Mitch marsh he again batted well last night and looks really good to me as our all rounder in all formats

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 12:05pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

                You know that has to be a bit tongue in cheek even for Don. Suggesting a player who’s entire domestic cricket is a couple of T20’s

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:12pm
                Don Freo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

                Yes…you’ll notice the change in tone in the change of paragraph. The first bit is quite serious.

              • Roar Guru

                January 22nd 2018 @ 12:32pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

                Domestic winners is generally about the states that manage to produce the players who are almost good enough for the national team but have other better players in front of them so they end up playing more domestic cricket, rather than because they have the best players. Eg When all the test players were available in the first three rounds of the Shield NSW got 3 outright wins, in the two matches after that they had a draw and a loss, and I expect they’ll struggle in the second half of the season.

                So doing well in domestic cricket doesn’t mean those players are necessarily better than the players who are regularly in the national team and therefore don’t play a lot of domestic cricket.

              • January 22nd 2018 @ 12:55pm
                Don Freo said | January 22nd 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

                Good theory but not a reality. WA does it often with 2nd and 3rd tier players. Everyone knows their injury toll from the 3 gun quicks, Agar, Whiteman, the Marshes and personal outs (Klinger and Stoinis).

                They have learned the game and know how to play it. Pick them.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:59am
        spruce moose said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report


        I agree completely that Warner and Smith need a rest.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:55am
        Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        Agree completely Chris. I don’t think either of them have anything left in the tank at present. Time to blood some of the BBL boys that are in form.

        • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:43am
          Bakkies said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:43am | ! Report

          ‘ I don’t think either of them have anything left in the tank at present. Time to blood some of the BBL boys that are in form.’

          The problem is the BBL is a good place to judge performances and whether fresh players are ready to step up to international Cricket.

          • January 22nd 2018 @ 11:30am
            Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 22nd 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

            Why not find out now – nothing to lose here – the series is already gone – and a good time to give Warner and Smith a rest

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 10:09am
        Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | January 22nd 2018 @ 10:09am | ! Report

        Time for Darcy Short and Ashton Turner to have a go.

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