Silver lining for Sandpaper-gate: Our ODI team may improve

Stephen Vagg Roar Guru

By Stephen Vagg, Stephen Vagg is a Roar Guru


15 Have your say

    There’s a possible silver lining for Steve Smith and David Warner being out of international cricket for 12 months, and Darren Lehmann resigning as coach – it might help our one-day team.

    Their absence could help rejuvenate what’s been a moribund outfit, and aid our 2019 World Cup campaign.

    It’s no secret that Australia’s one-day team has been in a form slump, ever since we won the 2015 World Cup.

    We have our moments, and superstar players, but there are so many problem areas. The middle order, the lower middle order, the bowling, the tactics…

    Smith’s leadership in the most recent ODI series against England was notably uninspired. He did things like publicly slag off Glenn Maxwell’s training, and made poor bowling choices. He was out of sorts with the bat too.

    I don’t blame the bloke – he was knackered after the Ashes (obviously to an even greater extent than many people realised).

    But Smith has never impressed tremendously as a one-day captain. Also, his batting seemed to fit in awkwardly in the ODI line up – should he open? Go to number three? Four? He never seemed to find a spot that really suited him.

    At the end of this summer, I was hoping they’d give Warner the captaincy before the 2019 World Cup. But I also acknowledge that would’ve been unfair and mean-spirited to Smith – his one-day batting isn’t that bad, and every Australian captain deserves the chance to captain a World Cup campaign.

    Now the problem has been removed. However the obvious replacement – Warner – has also been removed, making things trickier.

    Who to replace him as captain?

    There’s a couple of possibilities – Aaron Finch, Mitch Marsh, George Bailey. Any of those blokes would do a fine job.

    Cricket Australia should take their time, ask around, make a careful decision, and back that person until 2019.

    My only requirement would be that that person only captain Australia in one-dayers. They will be fresher, more focused, able to concentrate on the one task.

    This goes for the coach, too.

    Lehmann’s resignation gives Cricket Australia the chance to introduce a concept long overdue – separate coaches for separate formats. It was foolish to have one person in charge of all three, especially with Lehmann being clearly at sea with T20 and also fresh out of ideas for one day cricket.

    There should also be a completely different selection panel just for one-day cricket – so it’s their sole focus too.

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • April 4th 2018 @ 3:15am
      Tanmoy Kar said | April 4th 2018 @ 3:15am | ! Report

      There has to be separate Captain, Coach, Team for Tests and ODIs, T20Is henceforth.

      • April 4th 2018 @ 3:50am
        Ozinsa said | April 4th 2018 @ 3:50am | ! Report

        Agreed. The pressure of an Ashes summer plus plus plus is a contributing factor to the team’s performance and the poor decision making. We can’t expect guys to get up for a 5 test Ashes before end January and then back up in February and March to play 4 tests in SA.

        With the benefit of hindsight it was poor programming

        • April 4th 2018 @ 4:53pm
          Stephen Vagg said | April 4th 2018 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

          In Cricket Australia’s defence, finding a program that makes everyone happy is impossible… But I do feel fresh players and captains help during format switching. Look how fresh our T20 national side was – it was almost a completely new team.

    • April 4th 2018 @ 4:29am
      KenoathCarnt said | April 4th 2018 @ 4:29am | ! Report

      Coulter Nile

    • Roar Guru

      April 4th 2018 @ 7:19am
      Michael Keeffe said | April 4th 2018 @ 7:19am | ! Report

      M Marsh

      • April 5th 2018 @ 12:20am
        Stephen Vagg said | April 5th 2018 @ 12:20am | ! Report

        No love for Travis Head on these lists…

    • April 4th 2018 @ 8:37am
      Adam said | April 4th 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      Finch will captain the odi and t20 sides mate Mitch marsh is nowhere near finchs level as a captain marsh was captain this only never before and bailey dream on.

    • April 4th 2018 @ 9:03am
      Jarijari said | April 4th 2018 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      Don’t know why many people reckon a coach could be overworked handling all three formats. Having said that I’d prefer Jason Gillespie as coach of the Test and one-day sides, with a proviso, and Ricky Ponting for the very few T20 games they play.

      The one doubt about Dizzy is that he stuck up for CA boss James Sutherland, who should have been the first to go when this ludicrous business blew up. But he may be just foxing and angling for the job while Sutherland’s still there, hopefully not for much longer.

      Punter showed his expertise on the shortest form with his illuminating analysis during the Big Bash, where he gave the Channel Nine buffoons a salient lesson into doing a job they are incapable of. I don’t think Punter would want the full-time gig anyway but he could turn a revamped T20 side into a real force.

      If Ten get the TV rights, as they should given Nine’s insistence on sticking with the dross, Punter would be the main commentary man, preferably alongside Michael Holding, with the likes of Gilly, Mike Hussey. Damien Fleming, Mark Waugh and Andrew Symonds able back-ups (with a couple of not-so-token women in Mel Jones and
      Lisa Sthalekar). Visualise a Test series without Nicholas, Slater, Healy and Chappell prattling on. The only ones worth poaching would be Bill and Warnie (if he was ordered to talk about nothing except the game).

      Back to the point of this exercise, it’s interesting that Dizzy said Smith should not lead the side in the future. Smith’s not much of a captain anyway and too valuable a batsman to bugger around with, but he’ll probably only miss — at most — the three winter Tests against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. It would be a travesty, and an utterly foolish move anyway, if he was suspended for the summer.

      Warner shouldn’t return to the Test or one-day teams, not through his blockheadedness in setting up the whole dopey episode but because he has so obviously lost the respect of the rest of the team. That would transform him into the so-called T20 mercenary that many are predicting, alongside the likes of Chris Gayle.

      But he could still run out and have a slog for those few internationals in the hit and giggle format, which only attains the slightest hint of gravity with the World T20 for a couple of weeks every two years anyway. He’s a pretty handy fielder too, it goes without saying.

      As for the captaincy, Paine’s not a long-term proposition. The keeper doesn’t need the added burden of the captaincy. Don’t forget that Timmy — rightfully our new golden boy for the silly bloody media and fans alike — will turn 34 in December and has a history of injuries, a badly broken finger as well as elbow and thumb problems.

      Usman Khawaja presents a dilemma. He’s experienced enough and had a stint leading the A side, but is far from a good thing to be picked against the Indian spinners. Aaron Finch could lead in the short forms but it would be better to look to the future.

      Mitchell Marsh should be in the running, despite his poor form in South Africa, and Pat Cummins is quickly firming from a bit of a left field pick to be in the forefront of contenders.

      I’d be happy with either of them and they could even split the job — say Cummins for Tests and Marsh for the one-dayers, in which Cummins would regularly be rested, and T20s. Kind of a two-man band at the helm.

      Loads of pundits reckon Marsh is not up to the job but he’s a good enough bits and pieces player who gives the impression he could blossom with the extra responsibility. And he’s the only with sufficient experience as a state captain. Cummins turns 25 next month, appears to be over his injury problems, touch wood, and is now our key bowler. Funny no-one’s talking about the GOAT. He’s got to be a rough chance, surely.

    • April 4th 2018 @ 10:37am
      Adam said | April 4th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

      Marsh captained WA in this years JLT ONE DAY Cup and that’s it not enough captain experience for mine 1 year of captain and he should be captain of Australia no way and Cummins has never been captain one should be vc then take over in 2 years if not 3.

      • April 4th 2018 @ 2:08pm
        dan ced said | April 4th 2018 @ 2:08pm | ! Report

        Mitch Marsh needs way more evidence he can consistently score runs. He got shown up by Time Paine of all people this series, and was pointless with the ball.

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