Maxwell and Agar shine as Aussies collapse in England

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

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

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    Amid the gloom of yet another poor ODI batting effort last night Australia could take solace from bright performances by two cricketers they desperately need to shine in all three formats this year.

    Glenn Maxwell (62) and Ashton Agar (40) joined up with Australia 5/90 in the first ODI in England yesterday and added a modicum of respectability to the score via some clever strokeplay and assertive running between the wickets.

    Australia’s new-look pace attack later did their best to defend a well-below par total of 214 by reducing England to 3/38.

    Maxwell and Agar are two of the most naturally gifted players in Australia, but we are yet to see either man fully harness their talent.

    Both cricketers have great responsibility in England this month in an Australian ODI side decimated by the absence of six members of their best XI. Even more importantly, that pair also looks set to play a huge role in Australia’s next Test series in the UAE in Pakistan.

    With Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft banned for a year due to the ball-tampering scandal, Maxwell appears to be almost a lock for that Test series, particularly given his impressive Test efforts in Asia last year. He can all but cement his place for the Tests against Pakistan by flourishing in this series. Maxwell was perhaps a tad fortunate to be playing in this series opener in London, having averaged just 26 with the bat in his previous 20 ODIs.

    Glenn Maxwell Cricket Australia 2017

    (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

    The absence of Smith and Warner gave him an opportunity and he showed very encouraging signs last night. Rather than looking to hit his way out of trouble, Maxwell patiently waited for the right balls to attack. Even while batting well within himself the Victorian still scored at a swift rate, with 62 from 64 balls. This ability to adapt his game to the match situation is something that too often has been missing from Maxwell’s ODI batting.

    Last night Maxwell gave himself time to adapt to the pace of the pitch and to get a read on the England attack before indulging his attacking instincts. He was 19 from 30 balls when he cut loose – in the space of six balls Maxwell hammered 20 runs off of England’s spinners. A scything off drive was followed by a thumping pull shot and then back to back versions of perhaps Maxwell’s signature shot, the inside out lofted drive over the offside for six.

    All four shots were played with complete control, a by-product of the fact Maxwell had allowed himself to get set. Australia will hope this series, and maybe even this innings, can be a turning point for Maxwell, who was on the verge of ODI stardom in 2015 but has since gone backwards. They’ll also be optimistic that the tour of England can act as a launching pad for Agar, who announced himself as a prodigious talent in the UK on Test debut nearly five years ago.

    New Australian coach Justin Langer has long had confidence in Agar’s batting ability, regularly batting him in the top six for Western Australia and for the Perth Scorchers in limited overs cricket. In Langer’s first ODI in charge of Australia he oversaw the promotion of Agar to number seven. The move marked a major change of tack for Australia, who have long fielded only four bowlers, with the final ten overs delivered by an assortment of batting all-rounders.

    Ashton Agar walks back to his bowling mark with a pink ball

    (AFP, Saeed Khan)

    In picking five bowlers Langer and his fellow Australian selectors placed great responsibility on the shoulders of Agar. Not only was he Australia’s sole spinner yesterday but he was also tasked with holding together a long-shaky Australian middle order.

    While an innings of 40 is hardly cause for celebration, the calm and composed manner in which Agar batted was heartening. He remained patient and concentrated on picking the gaps and timing the ball rather than looking to bludgeon. His first genuinely loose stroke was the one which brought about his downfall as he pre-meditated a sweep shot to a well-flighted delivery from Adil Rashid which was too full to execute that stroke.

    Agar’s main role remains as a spinner, but there’s no doubt he has a great deal of talent with the blade and the temperament to exploit it. If Australia continue to play five bowlers against this very strong England team, Agar will have to contribute heavily with the bat for the tourists to be competitive. Australia’s ODI batting is a hot mess.

    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 (119)

    • June 14th 2018 @ 6:41am
      maverick said | June 14th 2018 @ 6:41am | ! Report

      Maxwell and Agar both played well.But they both got out at the wrong time and would be disappointed.I still don’t get why selectors are persisting with 35 year old Shaun Marsh ahead of younger players like Short and Carey.Marsh is an proven inconsistent player and he is not the future at 35 years old.Bailey was dropped and never selected because of his age despite being a superior player.This is time to build an Australian team with young guys like Short,Carey,Turner; not with a player who is yet to find consistency at 35 years of age.

      • June 14th 2018 @ 7:05am
        spruce moose said | June 14th 2018 @ 7:05am | ! Report

        I was waiting to see how long it would take for someone to criticise the timing of the Maxwell dismissal. Also known as “the steve smith school of criticism”.

        Pathetic.

        He was the top scorer and gave Australia a chance.

        Why not instead focus on Tim Paine manifestly ridiculous dismissal, or Head falling victim to an old school full and wide ball in the second over…

        • Roar Guru

          June 14th 2018 @ 9:18am
          JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          I don’t mind Head’s dismissal. His role at the top was to play his shots. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t. There are very few ODI openers in the world who would have left that ball.

          Really, though, if Australia wants to play a ‘disposable’ opener it should be Short. A few quick 30s from him with the likes of Head, Paine and Finch batting (a bit more sensibly) around him would be just fine.

          • Roar Guru

            June 14th 2018 @ 10:23am
            spruce moose said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

            There are better openers who would have either clubbed it, or not fall into the trap. Head did neither.

            Willey got the ball to swing, but it was hardly a jaffa.

            yes, I agree that Short is the ideal disposable opener if Australia wanted to go down that path.

            • Columnist

              June 14th 2018 @ 10:44am
              Ronan O'Connell said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:44am | ! Report

              Paine’s shot really was awful, following on from a really weak dismissal in the warm-up games.

              He’s done an unbelievable job in Tests since returning but it’s hard to shake the feeling he was the wrong choice to be ODI keeper.

            • Roar Guru

              June 14th 2018 @ 11:03am
              JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

              There are better openers who would have missed it completely too, Spruce. It doesn’t mean Head was doing the wrong thing by going hard at the ball. Surely if he’s partnered with Finch and Marsh in the top 3 then he’s expected to just that?

              If he bats alongside Short, however, it’s probably a different story.

              • Roar Guru

                June 14th 2018 @ 11:36am
                spruce moose said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:36am | ! Report

                My point is that it was churlish and pathetic by Maverick to accuse Maxwell of getting out at the wrong time when he was the top scorer and kept Australia in with a chance.

                It’s classic Maxwell bashing.

              • Roar Guru

                June 14th 2018 @ 12:16pm
                JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                I agree; I was referring to your next comment about Head!

              • June 14th 2018 @ 12:19pm
                I no said | June 14th 2018 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

                You really think head is faster then finch must be watching different cricket and best barley faster then Marsh and is finch the only one that’s gets quick singles.

              • Roar Guru

                June 14th 2018 @ 2:44pm
                JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

                I didn’t say that at all. Finch is capable of going faster than Head but he is too important to the side to be blazing from ball one. Australia’s best (only?) chance to win is for Finch to have a big series.

                Add that to the fact Shaun Marsh was at 3 last night and it should be obvious why Head needed to be the one to take on the bowlers. It didn’t come off but that doesn’t mean the idea was wrong.

        • June 14th 2018 @ 10:30am
          DaveJ said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:30am | ! Report

          Well his dismissal did reflect a problem with his mentality- a shot that few could execute as brilliantly but just ignoring the slight detail that there was a fielder within reach of where he was hitting it. It’s a kind of hit and hope mentality more common among schoolkids and tailenders. But not as bad a shot as Marsh, Head, Paine or Finch, in that order. Stoinis and Paine looked useless against spin, but Marsh played an abysmal shot after looking great. But I’d still play him ahead of Short who is extremely poor against spin.

          • Columnist

            June 14th 2018 @ 10:47am
            Ronan O'Connell said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:47am | ! Report

            Stoinis is actually a good player of spin in white ball cricket, he has a clear plan against slow bowlers and often executes it well, he just didn’t get going last night.

        • June 14th 2018 @ 3:26pm
          maverick said | June 14th 2018 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

          @spruce,Where did you find I criticized Maxwell?I praised both him and Agar for playing well.Both of them did the hard yards but would be disappointed not to cash in.Maxwell could easily score a hundred and I am sure he is extremely disappointed to miss out.That was just my point.But you find that pathetic for some reason.

      • June 14th 2018 @ 7:48am
        BurgyGreen said | June 14th 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        Langer thinks Shaun Marsh is the best player in the country so don’t expect to see the back of him any time soon.

        • June 14th 2018 @ 9:19am
          Justsaying said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

          Batting looked spineless without the best domestic one day batsman in Khawaja there , this is what happens when you fill the batting with too many allrounders and don’t pick the best one day batsman available in the country

          • June 14th 2018 @ 12:21pm
            I no said | June 14th 2018 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

            Give it up mate Khawaja is rubbish

            • June 14th 2018 @ 2:42pm
              Stephen said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

              Why has Khawaja not been picked these few years is an absolute mystery. Bring him back along with d’arcy short and starc, cummins, its acutally a pretty good team. I actually think australia did not do too badly. They fought back really well. We need khawaja back as we are desperately missing top order options. Also enough of the ridiculing and demeaning of the Aussies by English crowd please. England are using every little shred of psychological advantage they can have over hapless Australia. It is going a bit over-board. Culprits have been punished, these guys have nothing to do with unfortunate incident. They don’t deserve to be mauled and buchtered. Let them play their natural game without provoking guilt in them

              • Roar Guru

                June 14th 2018 @ 2:47pm
                JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

                You’ve got to be kidding! Imagine what the Australian crowds would be like if the shoe was on the other foot. 100% fair game.

                Most of it has been in good fun anyway. Nothing vicious. I’d be a bit worried if the crowds weren’t getting stuck into our players.

        • June 14th 2018 @ 9:49am
          Big daddy said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:49am | ! Report

          Agree with you on that.
          While langer is there so are the marshes.
          Langer even thinks Mitch will be captain.
          Pays out on Smith for not being strong.
          I can cope with that but expect a lot of sandgropers to get a leg up.

        • Columnist

          June 14th 2018 @ 10:54am
          Ronan O'Connell said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:54am | ! Report

          To be fair to Langer, SMarsh’s 50-over record is bonkers.

          Over the last five years made has made 2,602 runs at 58 in List A cricket – that is insane.

          But with how important fast scoring is in modern ODIs, I’m not sure Marsh is suited to any role other than an anchor batsman.

          The problem was that last night each member of Australia’s top 3 – Finch, Head and SMarsh – likes to start slowly, which leaves the top order badly imbalanced, particularly against a high-scoring team like England.

    • Roar Rookie

      June 14th 2018 @ 7:15am
      savage said | June 14th 2018 @ 7:15am | ! Report

      1)Finch must bat in middle order.Australia have lots of options for openers like Head,short,finch or warner(after ban for WC).Amongst the mentioned names,Finch is most likely to succeed in middle order.In terms of versatility,He is Australia’s best batsmen right now.Short is yet to prove himself against quality spin.

      2) Old cliche like “you don’t need to hit lots of sixes or boundaries to become successful limited overs batsmen” might have worked a decade ago but game has changed massively in last 4-5 years.WI won last T20 WC mainly due to Six hitting skill.Their bowling wasn’t great at that time.

      Batsmen like Travis Head will prove to be liability at some point.Only way to hide him is in opener position for ODIs.

      3) Good ODI Team generally have atleast couple of aggressive batsmen in middle order/Lower order.Maxwell who is inconsistent and Stoinis(to lesser effect) are the only ones I saw today.That’s why it is important that Australia’s best T20 batsmen Finch bat in middle order position.

      4)Nonsense Strategy used by England today

      a)Root should always bat at no 3.

      b)If hales plays,he should always open

      I think they only did it because they were chasing low score but it shouldn’t become norm.

      .It would be interesting battle between Roy,Bairstow and Hales for opening position.Only 2 of them can find a place in England’s full Strength team.

      5)ATM England’s biggest strength is not their batsmen but All rounders.Stokes is arguably biggest match-winner/Gamechanger in cricket right now.If Stokes is doing well,Chances of his team winning massively increases.His ODI game is only going to improve with time.They have got genuine ARs in Stokes and M ali along with bowling ARs like Willey and Plunkett.

      • June 14th 2018 @ 9:20am
        Justsaying said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        Agree that finch must be the in the middle order and also that head will start becoming a liability, Khawaja needs to be bought in as opener and Lyon should come in for short

        • June 14th 2018 @ 9:41am
          Nudge said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:41am | ! Report

          Agree Khawja probably should be there at the moment even if he does cost you 10 runs in the field and another 10 running between the wickets

          • June 14th 2018 @ 10:21am
            Justsaying said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:21am | ! Report

            Nudge this made up myth about Khawaja not being a good fielder and runner is absurd, Bailey when he played was involved in a lot more run outs and short dropped 2 sitters in the warm up game but not mention there but Khawaja who fielded well all summer gets a mention, fact is Khawaja should be opening the batting as he is our best domestic one day batsman

            • Roar Guru

              June 14th 2018 @ 1:34pm
              Matt H said | June 14th 2018 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

              Why have you changed your user name Stephen?

              • June 14th 2018 @ 2:43pm
                Stephen said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:43pm | ! Report

                Matt H cummon mate lets not confuse people haha. Only maxwell could save some respect for aus today. It would be better had aus selectors sent a complete second stringe team for this series instead of a mix of first stringe and second string side. As this mix stringe is unlikely to win even a game agianst mighty eng batting team. And for crying out loud can we get khawaja in there to open, our batting looks terrible without him

              • Roar Guru

                June 14th 2018 @ 4:38pm
                Matt H said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

                Despite my teasing, the question should be: is Khawaja a better opener in ODI’s than Head or Short. The answer is probably yes.

              • June 14th 2018 @ 6:45pm
                Stephen said | June 14th 2018 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

                lol i agree Matt H

      • Roar Guru

        June 14th 2018 @ 9:57am
        JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        The batting order is definitely wrong and I don’t think we can afford to risk Finch at the top right now. However, Travis Head is a proven six hitter. I’m not sure how he’s a liability in that respect. Agree that he needs to be in the top 3, which is where he bats for SA and the Strikers.

        Also, this is the same top 7 England used in Australia when Stokes was unavailable. When Stokes returns, Hales goes out and Root and Morgan move up. Nothing nonsense about it.

        • Columnist

          June 14th 2018 @ 11:12am
          Ronan O'Connell said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

          Head’s glaring issue right now is his inability to work the 1s and 2s, which is putting pressure on him to hit boundaries.

          Warner, for example, scores very quickly in ODIs not just because he’s a great boundary hitter but because he mastered the art of turning a good delivery into a 1 or 2, which kept the scoreboard ticking until he got a slightly loose ball to dispatch.

          Head should watch very closely the way Root constantly picks off 1s and 2s in ODIs, he allows very few dots.

          • Roar Guru

            June 14th 2018 @ 2:53pm
            JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

            Yes, but that’s why he needs to bat up top and play his shots. Roy and Hales aren’t great at singles either, but that’s not why they’re in the side. People keep calling for Head to bat at 4 or 5, which would completely expose his weakness.

            Strike rotation has been our Achilles heel since the last World Cup. We need to work out who can play that role well for us in the middle order. Of the current squad, only Finch, Stoinis and Maxwell are really capable of it, but each of them is arguably better at a different role. We really miss having an in-form Smith.

            • Columnist

              June 14th 2018 @ 4:09pm
              Ronan O'Connell said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:09pm | ! Report

              Head’s not as explosive as Roy or Hales, though, I’m not convinced he can do what they do.

              But I think, like Warner did in ODIs 4-5 years ago, if Head can really focus on piling up 1s and 2s in between punishing bad balls he can lift his strike rate from 87 up to around 95, which would make him a significantly more valuable player.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 14th 2018 @ 3:29pm
          savage said | June 14th 2018 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

          Root at 3, 2449 runs @ 58.3 with SR 91.51

          Root at 4, 1962 runs @43.60 with SR 80.08

          That strategy worked in Australia mainly because of mediocre batting performance by Australia in that series-Also outrageous knock by Roy.

          Hales is a natural opener.It doesn’t matter where he will bat whether at 3 or middle order,he will find it difficult to score in any position that is not opening.Whereas Root is a definition of a typical no 3 batsmen in ODIs.

      • Roar Guru

        June 14th 2018 @ 10:40am
        Ryan H said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

        Completely agree on Hales, it should be he OR Jason Roy, and right at this point you’d probably say Roy.

        Hales is a pure opener, I think either play him there or not at all. For someone with pretty respectable ODI numbers, his record when batting at 3 is ordinary.

      • June 14th 2018 @ 10:41am
        George said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

        Woakes is England’s best ODI allrounder.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 14th 2018 @ 3:30pm
          savage said | June 14th 2018 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

          Ahh Completely forgot about Woakes who is also very good.

      • June 14th 2018 @ 11:53am
        Tanmoy Kar said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:53am | ! Report

        You can add Josh Buttler’s name in the list of openers, he had a very good season in the IPL this year. In fact I feel he will play better as an opener in ODIs and T20Is.

        • Roar Guru

          June 14th 2018 @ 2:56pm
          JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

          Definitely in T20Is, but I think he is too valuable at finishing in ODIs. England has enough strikepower at the top in Roy, Bairstow and/or Hales.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 14th 2018 @ 4:00pm
          savage said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

          Buttler will open in T20s sooner rather than later.He will definitely play as an opener in next T20 WC which is in Australia 2020.But in ODIs,he should keep batting in middle/lower order.England already have decent openers.

          For ODIs/T20,It’s basically a fact that nowadays middle/lower order batsmen generally find it much easier to bat in top order than for a top order batsmen to bat in middle/Lower order .

          Buttler will come good as an opener in ODIs.But it also will left the spot vacant for finishing role.So far Buttler has been very good as a lower order batsmen in ODIs.He recently had great Ipl where his team was underpressure and he finished couple of matches.I think his finishing skill has improved which will only increases England’s chance for next year’s WC.

    • June 14th 2018 @ 7:16am
      Nudge said | June 14th 2018 @ 7:16am | ! Report

      Paine is virtually playing as a wicketkeeper only. We would get better service from him as opener when the field is up so he can make full use of his normal cricket strokes. Move Head to 5 who could steady an innings if we are 3 for not many but put the foot on the gas late in the innings

    • June 14th 2018 @ 8:08am
      Paul said | June 14th 2018 @ 8:08am | ! Report

      “Australia’s batting is a hot mess”. After one game. You’re kidding me?

      6 of the top 7 got starts and granted, they should have gone on with it, but this is something that can be fixed. They allowed the spinners to dictate through regularly losing wickets trying to force the pace, but again, this is something they can work on, eg looking to milk Ali & Rashid for lots of singles, rather than trying to belt them out of the attack.

      You heaped praise on the batting of Agar but made no mention of his bowling which is why he’s in the side. I thought he would have performed better but the Poms easily took him for 28 off 5, which says something about his lack of penetration. I’d like to see him play the rest of the series before passing judgement, but unless Agar improves significantly with the ball, I question whether we can have a 5th bowler going for 6 an over who is played primarily for his bowling.

      In all, we were never going to win this game after being 4 for less than 100 in under 20 overs, but there are still some positives, especially with the bowling. Hopefully will the batting will prove your “hot mess” comment is wrong over the next 4 games.

      • June 14th 2018 @ 9:09am
        jimbo said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:09am | ! Report

        … not sure where this optimism comes from… i think hot mess is putting it lightly. our top 6 is pretty much the hindenberg of international batting orders…

        and also if you watched any ODI involving Australia in the last 2 years you will realize Australia’s woes against spin is a national systematic inherent inability rather than simply poor shot selection.

        if we were capable of tightening it up we would have 18 months ago …

        • June 14th 2018 @ 9:22am
          Justsaying said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:22am | ! Report

          I agree that I am not sure where the optimism in this article is coming from, we did pathetic and our batting was in shambles, without the likes of smith and warner there we should have Khawaja in there and why are we not playing Lyon

          • Roar Guru

            June 14th 2018 @ 1:36pm
            Matt H said | June 14th 2018 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

            So let me get this straight, because you have been pretty vague. You like Khawaja right?

            • June 14th 2018 @ 2:46pm
              Stephen said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

              I think Head, Finch, Stoinis and others all threw away their wickets while the usually reliable Marsh who played some elegant strokes fell asleep and the ball rattled his stumps. and half the side was back in the dressing room before the total reached a hundred runs. Matt H even you can’t deny that khawaja would be our best opener right now, across the last 5 years he has been hands down our best domestic one day bat and he deserves a shot so he can make his world cup case. Maxwell the big show played a very subued innings before he opened his shoulders and hit some powerful strokes into and over the boundary fence. Together with Agar he was associated in a partnership of 84 runs before the Aussoes crumbled for a meagre 214 run

              • Roar Guru

                June 14th 2018 @ 4:40pm
                Matt H said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

                I’m just having some fun, but I actually agree at this point that Khawaja would probably be a better option than either Short or Head in the opener position.

              • June 14th 2018 @ 6:46pm
                Stephen said | June 14th 2018 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

                Matt H at least your are impartial, agreed, get khawaja in

            • Roar Guru

              June 14th 2018 @ 2:57pm
              JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

              XD

        • June 14th 2018 @ 9:53am
          Paul said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          I’m trying to work out here the negativity comes from. It was the FIRST game with an experimental team and the guys weren’t beaten by the bowler, they beat themselves with poor shot selection. We might have tightened up 18 months ago under Boof, but we didn’t. We now have Langer and I reckon that might change things.

          I can’t believe you guys are going to completely dismiss this team after one game. That’s such a Pommie thing to do. Australians usually give their teams a few chances and this one’s had one.

          • June 14th 2018 @ 9:58am
            jimbo said | June 14th 2018 @ 9:58am | ! Report

            hey mate- im a bigger fan than anyone- stayed up til 4am watching the game, hoping against hope they will do well… but this team is so poorley administrated and the squad selection is so so far from adequate.. there is no universe wherein the XI they picked is the best Australia has to offer even without smith, warner and co…

            and they were 100% beaten by the bowler (except for paine, who should be crucified for that shot) watch the dip in the flight of ALi’s delivery to marsh… watch the swing that took the edge of head…

            terrible team performing poorly- why the optimism??

            • June 14th 2018 @ 10:22am
              Justsaying said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

              It was a pathetic batting display, doesn’t make sense to talk anyone up let alone be so optimistic in the article

              • June 14th 2018 @ 2:48pm
                Stephen said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

                Only positive was our bowling. We are missing 3 of the very best quicks in this format, yet we did very well and without the cheap throw away wickets a total of 250+ may very well have got home. One change we must make is get khawaja in the squad, its unbelievable he is not there in the absence of smith and warner. The English bowling, bar the commendable efforts of the two spinners, looks expensive at best and could be made to look pretty ordinary when the big dance comes around.

              • June 14th 2018 @ 3:32pm
                Nudge said | June 14th 2018 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

                Stephen, do you think if Khawaja was to quit cricket and take up Tennis, train really really hard for 12 months, he would be capable of defeating Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final in 2019?

              • Roar Guru

                June 14th 2018 @ 4:41pm
                Matt H said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:41pm | ! Report

                Stephen, otherwise known as Usman’s Mum.

              • June 14th 2018 @ 6:47pm
                Stephen said | June 14th 2018 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

                lol yeah i think he just might take out federer 🙂

              • June 14th 2018 @ 7:02pm
                Nudge said | June 14th 2018 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

                👍

      • Columnist

        June 14th 2018 @ 11:15am
        Ronan O'Connell said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:15am | ! Report

        Paul Australia’s ODI batting has been a mess for two years now and last night it only looked even more vulnerable due to curious selections.

        With Paine at 5 and Australia playing five bowlers that batting lineup was the weakest I have ever seen Australia field. That’s not hyperbole, that’s just my honest opinion – I can never, in 25 years of following cricket closely, remember Australia having a batting lineup that weak and poorly balanced.

        • June 14th 2018 @ 11:58am
          Paul said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:58am | ! Report

          I completely agree with your comments about the weakness of the lineup Ronan but my take is, this is an experimental side, playing a series for a strange looking trophy. It was clear as soon as the squad was announced, the team was light at least one batsman, so this result in game one is not hugely surprising

          Maybe Langer needs to tell the public whether he’s selecting the best side for the conditions, whether he’s looking at different batting & bowling combinations over 5 games, giving everyone who’s touring a few games or what ever logic he’s using.

          At least they didn’t fold up their tents and let England win easy, a 3 wicket loss defending such a small total is not a bad achievement – sure it’s a loss, but they kept at it, which is a good sign.

          Lets see how the team does after another game or two. Again, I don’t expect them to win, but I hope there’ll be more positives coming through

        • June 14th 2018 @ 11:59am
          Dan in Devon said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

          Pretty much sums up what Sangakarra was saying on Sky. Australia look very much one level throughout the team. There is little variety in either batting or bowling with the exception of Maxwell. Why Short was not picked is mystifying. England batted very badly and still won comfortably – that should be cause for alarm.

        • June 14th 2018 @ 2:49pm
          Stephen said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

          Ronan i agree this is our weakest batting lineup ever, which beggers belief on how khawaja is not there. Our batters need to put a higher price on their wickets especially when the batting is so thin due to injury and absence. One batsman short for sure with the poor form of the skipper. It’s approach rather than any skill deficiency here and you can bet Langer will be driving this point home as he takes control of this team.

          • Roar Guru

            June 14th 2018 @ 4:42pm
            Matt H said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

            You are pushing for Khawaja? That’s a shock.

    • June 14th 2018 @ 8:30am
      michael crumpler said | June 14th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      Pretty poor team on paper so not an unexpected result

      if this is the XI that will be in the world cup next year we can pack our bags at the quarter final stage

      crappy bowlers, too many all rounders, sean marsh too old

      ban warner for life, he is not the future of this teem

      smith should not be allowed back in either (the one dyer teem)

      • June 14th 2018 @ 10:14am
        James Butcher said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

        Crappy bowlers? Really? Australia’s FAST bowling depth is ridiculous.

      • Columnist

        June 14th 2018 @ 11:18am
        Ronan O'Connell said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:18am | ! Report

        This team would give the world Cup a good shake if it managed to gel in time for the World Cup:

        1. Warner
        2. Finch
        3. Smith
        4. Stoinis
        5. M. Marsh
        6. Maxwell
        7. Carey (wk)
        8. Agar
        9. Starc
        10. Cummins
        11. Hazlewood

        • June 14th 2018 @ 12:01pm
          Paul said | June 14th 2018 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

          Ronan, if all these guys are in reasonable form, they could be every chance to go all the way with that team. If you throw in a few others like Stanlake, Tye, Khawaja, etc, it’s got the makings of a very useful squad.

          • June 14th 2018 @ 2:50pm
            Stephen said | June 14th 2018 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

            Yeah i like the team ronan has put forward for the world cup, just add khawaja, tye and lyon to the squad and we have a world cup winning squad

            • Roar Guru

              June 14th 2018 @ 4:43pm
              Matt H said | June 14th 2018 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

              But for some reason Head is really favoured by the selectors. Must be those modest off breaks.

        • June 14th 2018 @ 1:35pm
          BurgyGreen said | June 14th 2018 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

          This looks like a really good team but our problems have not just been personnel – the tactics have also been shocking. However, Langer is an accomplished domestic white ball coach so hopefully he can get that right, although the balance of his team last night was way off the mark.

          One thing I’d say about that XI is that I’d probably make the controversial decision to swap out Cummins for Tye, who has been excellent. I like the idea of having a specialist death bowler in the side which frees Starc up to bowl plenty of overs with the new ball.

      • June 14th 2018 @ 12:01pm
        mickey of mo$man said | June 14th 2018 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

        If those two dont play than we may aswell pack our bags..

    • June 14th 2018 @ 8:51am
      jimbo said | June 14th 2018 @ 8:51am | ! Report

      Im always impressed by how much AJ Tye improves between games considering his age… at this rate he might pip Cummins for a spot in the WC team

      everyone could see that collapse coming from a mile away – im not sure that any of that top 6 (besides Finch) deserves to be there for WC… thank god maxwell finally made runs

      Next game will desperately need to change it up

      Short
      S. Marsh
      Stoinis
      Finch
      Head
      Maxwell
      Paine
      Agar
      J. Richardson
      Tye
      Stanlake

      • Roar Guru

        June 14th 2018 @ 10:04am
        JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

        What’s the logic behind that batting order??? Paine can’t go big at the death and would be a liability at 7. Marsh is too slow to open and Head is far more comfortable in the top 3 than the middle order.

        If we bring another batsman in then the batting order should be:

        Short
        Paine/Head
        Head/Paine
        Marsh
        Finch
        Stoinis
        Maxwell
        Agar

        Strikepower at the top, reliability in the middle and fireworks at the death.

        • June 14th 2018 @ 10:12am
          jimbo said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:12am | ! Report

          stripepower at the top and you open with Head and Paine?? …. did you see how they got out last night?? The way Paine is playing he is a liability wherever he bats…

          you also didn’t see the warmup game where Marsh played at 4 and derailed our innings by not being able to get off strike when spin was on… if he plays he has to open or be at 3 when the field is up….

          Head is lucky to be in the team at all, the only reason he is there is he has done a job at 5 in the past…

          and have no idea why you are so worried about fireworks at the death when we cant even bat 50 overs.. lets get to the death first…

          • June 14th 2018 @ 10:26am
            Justsaying said | June 14th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

            Never made any sense to pick 35 year old marsh for Khawaja, Khawaja should be opening. Head needs to do something because aside from a century in the dead rubber at the Adelaide oval over a year ago he has failed to impress

          • Roar Guru

            June 14th 2018 @ 11:16am
            JamesH said | June 14th 2018 @ 11:16am | ! Report

            No, I quite clearly had Short opening with either Head OR Paine. And both Head and Paine have had most success in the top 3 in white ball cricket because they play well with pace on the ball and the field up. Head has never really ‘done a job at 5’ because he is not suited to the middle order. His best knocks at all levels have been up top.

            I wouldn’t have Paine or Marsh in the ODI side at all, but if they are there then they have to bat top 4. You can swap their positions in my lineup if you want and have Marsh up top with Paine as an anchor – I don’t think it will make a lot of difference.

            I’m worried about fireworks at the death because you can’t plan an ODI side around simply managing to bat out your overs. What is the point in that? You’re virtually conceding the match before you start. Regardless of the cattle available we should be planning to win matches, not just survive them.

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