The vastly different worlds of Michael Cheika and Justin Langer

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    In the rugby world Michael Cheika is in a good place after beating Six Nations champions Ireland 18-9 at Suncorp Stadium last weekend.

    The success saw Australia leapfrog England into third place in the world rankings after the men in white went down 42-39 to South Africa, despite leading 24-3.

    It was the first time the Wallabies had beaten Ireland in three starts during Cheika’s coaching career, and as a result he named the same squad in successive weeks for the first time in his 47 internationals.

    It was very easy to praise the Wallabies for getting the basics pretty right for the first time in ages, but it would be far more accurate to say it was about bloody time.

    Why they haven’t fired before on a regular basis beggars belief with a launching pad of Sekope Kepu’s 91 caps, Rob Simmons’ 83, Michael Hooper’s 80, Kurtley Beale’s 72, Israel Folau’s 63, and Bernard Foley’s 56 accounting for nearly half the side with priceless experience.

    Bernard Foley

    Bernard Foley of the Wallabies (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

    The proof will be tomorrow night if they can repeat the effort in the second Test with Ireland making eight changes to hit the Wallabies with everything bar the kitchen sink.

    If the Wallabies can wrap up the three-Test series in two that will silence the knockers, and give Cheika positive breathing space to prepare for his next assignment – the Rugby Championship.

    And with a current 33-man squad totalling 960 caps, Cheika has a very workable platform.

    That’s exactly what newly appointed Australian coach Justin Langer lacks in the world of ODI cricket with a 15-man squad in England totalling 347 caps with Aaron Finch’s 89, Glenn Maxwell’s 82, and Shaun Marsh’s 54 carving out a huge chunk.

    Worse than that are the 419 capped automatic selections missing who total more than the current squad.

    Steve Smith (108 caps) and David Warner (106) are still under ball-tampering suspension, while Mitchell Starc (72), Pat Cummins (39), Josh Hazlewood (41), and Mitchell Marsh (53) are all injured.

    Langer has a huge task with Australia ranked sixth in the ODI world rankings when everyone was available against the world number one England.

    Justin Langer

    Justin Langer (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

    But that doesn’t excuse the irresponsible batting at The Oval that saw England win the first of five ODIs by three wickets.

    Not one of the Australian top five reached 25, normally a sure fire recipe for defeat.

    But Shaun Marsh (24), Marcus Stoinis (22), and Finch (19) all got a start, and didn’t go on with it.

    Langer and skipper Tim Paine, must address that failure for the second ODI at Cardiff tomorrow night.

    Thumping left handed opener D’Arcy Short was left out first up, so he must be a starter along with the heavy hitters Finch, Maxwell, Stoinis and Ashton Agar.

    That’s the top five batting in order, a far cry from the first ODI.

    As reckless as it may seem, all five are big scorers on their day, but abject failures on a day off – there’s no grey, it’s simple black and white.

    But looking on the positive side, if all five fire Australia would be unbeatable.

    Realistically, if two or three fire Australia would at least be competitive, far more so than the pathetic 214 off 50 overs first up.

    So tomorrow night holds special interest on both fronts.

    It would be uplifting for Australian sport to report two Ws on Sunday, but let’s make it three with the Socceroos first hit-out at the World Cup in Russia.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn't get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world's great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • June 15th 2018 @ 7:55am
      Paul said | June 15th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      David, you’re stretching to compare the Australian Rugby and ODI sides. The only thing they have in common is a nasty string of under performances over the past 2 or 3 years. Sure there’s been some high points for both, but apart from that, there’s really no comparisons.

    • Roar Guru

      June 15th 2018 @ 10:55am
      JamesH said | June 15th 2018 @ 10:55am | ! Report

      Short, Finch, Maxwell, Stoinis and Agar would be a ridiculous top 5. Who bats at 6 & 7? Paine hasn’t succeeded at the death and Marsh isn’t suited to the role either (I wouldn’t have them in the ODI side at all but it looks almost certain they’ll both be playing the next match). Agar would be out of his depth at 5.

      Also, we didn’t bat 50 overs because we were dismissed in 47. Thrashing another 30 runs off those last three overs could have been enough to win the game in the end.

      • Columnist

        June 15th 2018 @ 3:47pm
        David Lord said | June 15th 2018 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

        Drastic times demand drastic action JamesH. When Justin Langer has no Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, and you can throw in Usman Khawaja and Chris Lynn, he has to think out of the box.

        If Aaron Finch and D’Arcy Short fail in the first 10 overs when only two fieldsmen are out of the circle, then there’s time for Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis to have plenty of room to savage an attack.

        And you sell Ashton Agar short, he’s a very talented all-rounder.

        If Finch and D’Arcy fire, which they are quite capable of doing, then the order can be changed to normal..

        Flexibility and vision JamesH, that’s what makes cricket tick.

        • Roar Guru

          June 17th 2018 @ 11:34am
          Cadfael said | June 17th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

          I can’t work out how Short is in the team. A first class batting average of twenty three and a half and a FC bowling average of 34? These figures entitle him to be in the side? Your comparison between Cheika dn Langer, is this because they pick their favourites rarther than form? Like 6 out of 11 from WA?

          In this last game we went in with three specialist batsmen, Marsh Finch and Head. The rest were all bits and pieces players. Head only has a batting average in the mid thirties and hasn’t gone well in the two games so far, Finch is out of form leaving Marsh. Agar, an allrounder, and three quicks. We only need say maxwell and Head (if he keeps his spot) to bowl 10 overs between them.

          • Roar Pro

            June 17th 2018 @ 12:12pm
            mrrexdog said | June 17th 2018 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

            Sine when a players first class record relevant to ODI selection, Short was pick because he was good at the top of the order during the big bash.

            • Roar Guru

              June 17th 2018 @ 12:33pm
              Cadfael said | June 17th 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

              Short’s one3 day and T20 aren’t anything great either. As you said, Short was good in the BBL, sadly this was an ODI nit a T 20 game

          • June 17th 2018 @ 12:24pm
            DTM said | June 17th 2018 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

            Time for Langer to go – he’s had his chance.

            • Roar Guru

              June 17th 2018 @ 12:34pm
              Cadfael said | June 17th 2018 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

              He’ll be fine but ther selectors need to look overall not what Langer wants. As the ex WA coach, he knows these players better.

              • Roar Pro

                June 17th 2018 @ 12:40pm
                mrrexdog said | June 17th 2018 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

                With Warner suspended they wanted someone aggressive up the top of the order so they went with Short

          • June 17th 2018 @ 12:47pm
            Bakkies said | June 17th 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

            I can see Renshaw getting a turn at the top of the order soon. I don’t see Head as an opener.

          • June 17th 2018 @ 1:21pm
            Stephen said | June 17th 2018 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

            We can’t have bits and pieces players, brign khawaja in to open, marsh showed the importance of solid top order players

        • June 17th 2018 @ 1:27pm
          Justsaying said | June 17th 2018 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

          Marsh showed last night the importance of solid top order batting, no better too order alternative then Khawaja right now and it’s absurd he is not opening for us when we desperately need explosive top order batting

          • June 17th 2018 @ 2:15pm
            Stephen said | June 17th 2018 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            Agree on khawaja however they are getting some positives like Agar and Stanlake. Australians are in rebuilding process and soon they will be good again.

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