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Paul

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Joined October 2017

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Australia’s next Test XI

Cast your minds back, for those old enough, to the summer of 1994-95 when ODI cricket was at its peak and the Australian Cricket Board decided to spice up the series featuring England and Zimbabwe by including a developmental Australian A side.

agreed, but the principle concerns me.

I’d have thought the sport at that level’s in serious trouble if ANY Club gave any thought to taking him on, given all the factors, ie age, on & off field track record, ability, etc.

I’m glad for Mullen he has a dream to aim for – back playing in the NRL. If that helps him play better in Qld, or helps him inspire another player to go to the next level, great stuff, but a player would want to be the Don Bradman of Rugby League to make a comback after so long out of the top flight.

Jarrod Mullen: A rare case of a deserved second chance

I’m not suggesting the NRL “runs” the QRL Matt but my understanding was they had a major say in player registrations. In other words, they could torpedo a player from any competition in Oz

Jarrod Mullen: A rare case of a deserved second chance

“a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away……..” 😊 😊

Haas arrest hurts Broncos culture reset

Not from this Paul you haven’t. 😂 😂 😂

Haas arrest hurts Broncos culture reset

If I was a Broncos supporter, I’d be asking Paul White exactly what culture the Club was trying to change which still allowed the following to happen, “On any given Saturday night, there’ll be plenty of people that are approached, who’ve had a bit too much to drink, who police would have an interaction with”.

In my experience, police won’t front you unless you’re clearly showing the effects of alcohol. I’m not for a second suggesting players can’t have a drink, but the fact that White seems to think it’s okay for them to have too much, just as long as they “make their way home safely and without incident”, is sending a bad message to the players who, by the way, just picked up their first wooden spoon.

Haas arrest hurts Broncos culture reset

If we strip away all the nice stuff, there are a few interesting issues left.

Does Mullen deserve a chance to play Rugby League? The NRL certainly thinks so, given they’ve accepted him playing in the Qld Cup?

I wonder about the line “his four-year ban expired on Sunday, is another 12 months really necessary?”. While Mullen deserves a second chance, the NRL, as a business, has to considered his recent history which includes taking performance enhancing drugs, selling the same and attempting suicide. They would be totally irresponsible IMO to allow him back to play in the top grade, if they didn’t first make sure he could play at a lower level AND not succumb to pressure and revert to getting involved in drugs.

Put it this way, if the mighty Dragons decided to sign him up right now and the NRL gave it’s blessing, I’d be filthy because there have to be way better, younger options out there who deserve a place on my Club’s roster.

Jarrod Mullen: A rare case of a deserved second chance

I’d forgotten Brett Hodgson played for Wests too, Barry. He was a terrific fullback given there was nothing of him.

The other bloke worth a mention is Lincoln Raudonikis who played in Wests last game as a stand alone Club.

The forgotten players: Western Suburbs Magpies

and both teams probably have room for improvement.

I’m not sure how the Bucs will go in the tundra that is Green Bay, but they’ve probably exceeded most fans expectations and Brady seems to have their attack working nicely.

The Chiefs are sputtering a little ( a not overly convincing 2nd half against Cleveland) and the Bills win was pretty gutsy I thought, given the conditions.

Who will be number one? NFL wild card round

When reading this piece, I automatically though if the award I consider to be one of the highest that can be awarded in this country – Australian of the Year. There are a raft of things the committee who decides this award must consider and I used basically the same approach when looking at Mark’s nominations.

Of the three named, only two meet the main criteria which are
Significant contribution to the Australian community and nation
An inspirational role model for the Australian community
Demonstrated excellence in their field

There’s no way I could consider Shane Warne meets criterion two, given his time away from the game for taking drugs and all his off-field antics. He kills the other two criteria, but in terms of being a role model, which is what I’d expect from someone receiving a country’s highest accolade, he’s not even close.

As for the Poms choosing Botham for all sorts of awards, each to their own, but he again would not get a look in for mine.

Three Australian cricketers who deserved a knighthood

I’m surprised Glenn McGrath’s name hasn’t come up for discussion. His on & off field efforts are simply outstanding IMO and he’s got to be up there with the best batsmen never to score a Test ton. 😁

Three Australian cricketers who deserved a knighthood

Kevvie badly needed this type of distraction 6 weeks before their first game.

Broncos lash NRL star Haas after arrest

I’ve got a different theory, John.

I’m guessing he’s been a large boy for most of his life and hasn’t had to use his brain much to get his own way, so it has gone into hibernation. Paul White will need to wake it up somehow and then get him to use it responsibly. I wish him good luck with that.

Broncos lash NRL star Haas after arrest

I’m sure you’re right, which makes them all the more unbelievable.

Haas can clearly speak for himself, given he’s been charged with abusing police, so he should be able to front the media, admit his error and tell us he’ll try to do better. Work for Tommy Raudonikis every time he came out of the tribunal. 😊

Broncos lash NRL star Haas after arrest

I’m tired of reading about players being “ashamed and remorseful” after the event. That record has worn too thin.

I’d be happier for Haas to simply say he screwed up and he’ll try not to do that sort of thing again, or better still, use some brains and not put himself in a position where this sort of thing can happen.

Maybe the Broncos need to give him a minder for a while. Clearly he has issues that aren’t being addressed well enough.

Broncos lash NRL star Haas after arrest

A really astute piece, Ronan. I think you nailed it with your last paragraph.

Test batting should be uncomplicated. There’s no need to devise strokes, a la white ball cricket and rarely a need to go crazy as guys do at the end of a T20 or ODI match. Instead, batsmen only have to make three decisions, leave the ball, play an authentic defensive stroke or play an authentic attacking stroke. Green for the most part has done exactly that, while the others you’ve named have not.

Wade and Harris can learn from Green's old-school batting

I reckon that crack this piece mentioned had something to do with at least one wicket. Green rightly played an off break but the ball that got him pitched and went the other way.

Dry Gabba pitch catches Labuschagne’s eye

In the modern era where sides are bundled out in under a day and batsmen seem to lack patience, any side that possesses a batsman with a sound technique and patience, should do all in their power to keep them focused on Test cricket.

That said, Vihari clearly has these qualities and knows how to use them, but at some point soonish, needs to make runs. His effort in Sydney was an outstanding piece of focus and concentration, but in his last 9 Test innings, he’s only made 158 runs at 19.75.

His Test career is still in it’s infancy and as long as he has the support of Kohli, he should be chosen, but a few more scores over 50 would help his cause n end.

Nice piece of writing Nachiket. A very enjoyable read.

Hanuma Vihari: An old-school cricketer with an indomitable spirit

If the series ends up drawn that’s a clear victory for India, no argument, but that’s something that can be examined in 5 days time. Better for India right now to focus on winning this Test, but doing so cautiously, rather than going all out attack as Australia probably needs to do.

Predicting India's strategy for the Gabba decider

You said India’s strategy has to be stopping Australia batting India out of the game and the best way to do that is to take wickets.

Saini, on debut, took 4 wickets for 119, which included 3 of Australia’s top order batmen. He’s the quickest of the Indian bowlers yet you don’t want to include him on the pitch most likely to help his style of bowling?

Now is not the time for India to experiment with it’s bowling. He has to open the bowling with Siraj and you then include a containing first change.

The batting looks light on, if you have two keepers.I’d be tempted to have Agerwal in there somewhere and leave Pant to keep. I know he’s not been in career best form, but maybe he might find his feet if he bats 5 or 6

Predicting India's strategy for the Gabba decider

It’s extremely difficult to go into any match with the aim of trying to secure a draw, let alone a 5 day Test match. In India’s case, with guys like Rohit, Gill and Pant, all of whom are attacking players, asking them to bat long and safely could easily backfire because you’d be trying to change their mindset.

Far better to game plan to win, but see what both the pitch & the weather provides as the Test evolves.

Predicting India's strategy for the Gabba decider

What a great concept. I’d love to see a woman bring her perspective to some of the issues male coaches seem to find hard to manage. I’m sure women are perfectly capable of imparting technical knowledge to men, but even more so in the area of emotional intelligence.

I hope this programme succeeds and more importantly, that male dominated cricket gives it a chance to operate at male grade, State and (eventually) international level.

Cricket NSW launches first elite coaching apprenticeship for women

The controversy was because he apparently couldn’t field at all, but looked & played freely with the bat.

I’m sure he did take painkillers when he batted, but I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering why he couldn’t also take pain killers and keep wicket or field for at least some of Australia’s innings?

Should wicket keepers be allowed to be replaced during a game?

where’s that “really, really jealous” emoji! 😢

Brisbane decider is biggest Test in Australia for 17 years

Hard to think if a cricketer who’s had so much bad luck in such a short space of time.

Touch wood, Marcus Harris steps up to the plate and Puckovski comes good quickly.

Will Pucovski ruled out of Gabba Test as Australia confirm XI

CA hasn’t helped in recent years, using different cricket balls for the two halves of the Shield summer.

The whole of that level of Australian cricket badly needs some sort of open review. Pitches, standard of umpiring, cricket balls used, the influence/domination of white ball cricket, are all factors hurting our Test side, IMO

Brisbane decider is biggest Test in Australia for 17 years