The Roar
The Roar

Paul

Roar Guru

Joined October 2017

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Roar Guru
Roar Guru

Australia’s most entertaining batsmen

If you ask any young cricket follower in any era who is their favourite batsman is, they’ll be quick with a reply: Donald Bradman, Neil Harvey, Norm O’Neill, the Chappell or Waugh brothers, Doug Walters, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, Dave Warner – the list goes on.

My only concern with Labuschagne is whether he genuinely has turned corner with his batting fluke. I cannot get out of my head how badly he went in Shield cricket last year.

A couple of solid knocks before the 1st Test, would cement his place, but would also do his confidence a power of good and, as you suggest, he’s about due to make a Test hundred to really own his Test spot.

Wade steps out of the shadow of Smith to make a statement

I almost felt sorry for Gagai when Suli brushed him off in the run that led to DCE’s try, Larry. The replay showed what a huge man Suli is, especially when also brushed off a Souths second rower, who appeared way smaller than Suli.

I agree Gagai might need to head north – I’m sure he’d be welcomed with open arms at Townsville, as long as he didn’t ask too much.

Souths sneak past the brave Sea Eagles on their way to Canberra

I think you’re right Soda, if nothing else, it would break that horrible clique of ex Dragons players that seem to be running things.

NRL opens door for Shane Flanagan to coach again

hi Pat, I’m not sure whether this is a great memory, but when I think about that series, I’m haunted by the record they produced. Do you remember it?

We've just seen one of the greatest rarities in Ashes cricket

I think the direction of the previous CA Board had much to do with that Bob. Peever and co were all about making money and they wanted nothing to interfere with their cash cows – the BBL and the Boxing Day & New Years Tests.

They seemed to think an abbreviated domestic series and a bunch of ODIs in places like the UAE & India, were going to be enough to get us across the line in England?

Thankfully, they’re gone and maybe we can go back to focusing on being good at all three cricket formats, while still making enough money to cover the needs of the game in Australia.

The revamps saving domestic one-dayers

hi Tomas, its great to read a pretty positive piece from a new author and I agree, CA has certainly improved the scheduling this year.

The issue which I think needs to be sorted out isn’t the venues where these games are played but the pitches. The temptation is to create absolute roads, so both sides have a chance to make 350 plus and hit a swag of 6’s. That’s great for the broadcaster, but does it help develop guys capable of playing in World Cup conditions?

The ICC is responsible for the WC pitches in 2023 and they aren’t likely to be roads, so our guys need to get used to playing on competitive surfaces now. I’m not suggesting we try and create Indian style wickets, but have pitches that give the bowlers something while encouraging batman to play shots, if they’re good enough.

I’d much rather watch an ODI game where one side makes 230 and the other is 9 down in the chase, than watch another where one side is 2 for 350 and the other is all out for 275. One game’s close and exciting while the other is simply boring.

The revamps saving domestic one-dayers

I have no idea what all the hysteria about Flanagan coming back into the game is all about. He was de-registered because he failed to adhere to the conditions of his suspension in 2014. Sure it was an arrogant & stupid thing to do, but I fail to see how this can equate to banning him for life from the game.

As for his coming back as an assistant coach, I see that as the equivalent of probation. He keeps his nose clean, accepts a lesser paid position, does all the scut work that’s part of an assistant coaches job and maybe he gets a chance to coach a first grade side.

NRL opens door for Shane Flanagan to coach again

Not sure we want him, with all the problems we have now, Soda? I just can’t see a Mary & Shane marriage working too well.

NRL opens door for Shane Flanagan to coach again

Excellent comments about the referees and rules, Scott.

At some point, the NRL needs to get a group of players, a coach or two, a few refs and Annersley together to come up with some changes that make the game both easier to officiate, allow refs to make more consistent rulings and provide suitable penalties for the level of transgression, eg Jack Gosiewski stays on the field for attacking a defenceless players head, while Cody Walker gets 10 minutes for a slap?

Six talking points from South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Manly Sea Eagles NRL semi-final

A nice summary of a pretty fair game of football, Stuart. Bennett and the Bunnies have plenty to work on through the week. He must be thinking what to do with Gagai in defence on that right side – maybe move him to the wing when the opposition has the ball?

It’s hard to see Souths going much further unless they fix their overall defence and stop the silly penalties/sin bins. They’ve got the talent, but might end up shooting themselves in the foot.

Souths sneak past the brave Sea Eagles on their way to Canberra

Really? Darcy Lawler cost West a GF in 1962 according to Magpie fans with a very dubious call on Johnny King.

Hollywood Hartley used to ping one side ferociously for supposed penalties in the first half, then magically even things up in the second.

Keith Page and others used to treat scrums as a lottery. I remember sitting on the Hill listening to opposition supporters having pretend bets on who would get a scrum penalty.

Even Bill ” I’m never wrong, just ask me” Harrigan made his fair share of blunders, one of which costs Balmain the 1989 GF – according to Tigers fans.

Refs are human and do make mistakes but this is nothing new in the game.

Did this controversial sin-binning cost Manly their season?

I don’t disagree with you’re point about consistency Viva, but I think you’re taking things a tad too far when you suggest the other sports you have don’t have their own rules controversies.

Only yesterday, for example, I was reading some comments from Mick Malthouse, a former AFL player & premiership winning coach, who was highly critical of the AFL judiciary, which has cost a key player his chance to play this weekend.

The Ashes series was made more exciting by some very ordinary umpiring and I’m sure most other sports would have similar issues with rules.

Did this controversial sin-binning cost Manly their season?

If I was a Manly fan, I’d be furious with Jake T for putting his side in a position where the ref had to make a call about an avoidable incident.

If he was close enough to interfere with the Souths player, he was close enough to make a tackle, IF the ball came back to Gagai.

It’s easy to scream about ref bias, etc, but really the ref was left with no choice. Jake T committed a professional foul and was sinned binned.

Did this controversial sin-binning cost Manly their season?

Ronan wrote an article talking about our less than stellar overseas track record in Tests and it’s probably not a whole lot better in short form cricket.

I totally agree Tom, get A team tours going again,put a couple of experienced guys with a bunch of up & comers and give them a taste of sub continent cricket, English cricket,etc.

Stanlake and Heazlett can light up Marsh Cup

I’m sure the players think more highly about winning this competition than I’ve suggested Rellum, but apart form a trophy and the kudos of winning, what are they playing for?

Sure some might be trying to get into the national ODI side, but I’m suggesting an option for those young guys who we will need in 2023 – reward them for doing well in this tournament and get them some experience in sub-continent conditions, which hopefully makes them better ODI players

Stanlake and Heazlett can light up Marsh Cup

It may be an indictment on the current Shield system that the two top scorers from last season, Wade and Harris, were only good for 2 innings out of the 16 times they batted in England. Labuschagne,on the other hand, had a very ordinary Shield season, yet obviously produced the goods when needed in England.

Again, I think Smith is the only certainty in the top 6 right now. The rest are going to have to show they deserve to be there. Wade will probably get the nod unless he really crashes and burns, but to suggest he’ll last another 2 seasons as our number 6 unless his average significantly improves,might be too much for selectors, I suspect.

It’s hard enough now justifying a number 6 that averages 33 after 29 Tests, how can they do that after another 10 or more games in the next few years, unless his average goes up a lot?

Wade steps out of the shadow of Smith to make a statement

Is his batting better though? He still only managed to average 33 and a bit for the Ashes series Jeff. Sure he’s done well in Shield and other first class games, but his Test batting has been very much a lottery since his recall.

People seem to think he’s a certainty for the First Test, but I can’t see how he can be chosen and maintain his spot unless he makes runs and plenty of them. Different IMO if he was averaging in the 40’s in Tests, but keeping bloke in the side for the one spectacular innings after a string of failures makes no sense to me and i don’t see how that approach helps solve our batting problems.

Wade steps out of the shadow of Smith to make a statement

hi General, it’s fair to say Paine had an underwhelming Ashes series with the bat, but then again, he’s not on his own in that regard – from either side!

That said, IMO he’s done a terrific job as captain and, as you rightly point out, he’s done something a few other blokes would give lots to achieve – keeping the Ashes in Australia after a successful campaign in England. Throw in his keeping which was good for the most part and I can’t think of an Australian keeper who could challenge him for his Test spot right now.

As for his batting versus Wade, one bloke is there as a specialist number 6 and averages 29.8 after 29 Test. The other is not considered a specialist bat, yet averages 31.4 off 26 Tests. And people want to keep Wade and drop Paine? Really?

Wade steps out of the shadow of Smith to make a statement

Many thanks for clarifying, TB. You have a knack for being able to put your thoughts clearly into words, which I appreciate.

The NRL semi finals: The statistical truth

Tim, I’m not sure you’ll see this question but what recourse does Burgess have if he IS fined? In other words, can he take this issue to court and have a judge decide whether the judiciary is a kangaroo court, because that’s the heart of the issue?

If that was the case, I’m sure the players association would jump on board, because they, like us, would love to know why some guys get off charges, while others cop heavy penalties for similar or worse offences.

Big Sam should be applauded for standing his ground with the NRL

hi Jacks, you mentioned the 2001 GF, when it seemed Parra were odds on to win the premiership. I recall the GF in 1969 when Souths were almost unbackable odds to beat Balmain. There was virtually not a weak link in the Rabbitohs side, yet the Tigers prevailed 11 – 2.

I also hope your dad put a few bob on Newcastle in that 2001 GF. He certainly made a good call about Johns.

Finals: A chance to make history

“I don’t think either Hughes or Munster are genuine first receivers”. I was interested in where you think Munster should play Barry, if he’s not up to speed as a first receiver? I agree his kicking game could do with some work, but I thought he was pretty good as a play maker this season.

The NRL semi finals: The statistical truth

hi Tim, the other stat which I think Joe Frost mentioned a week ago was, no side has won a GF after conceding 50 points in a premiership round. The Eels already have to overcome the Storm, plus they have to get past 100 plus years of history – and that’s just to play next week!

The NRL semi finals: The statistical truth

You’ve written about some very exciting players Ronan. The only pity is they’re not playing for a more substantial prize than State bragging rights.

I’d love to see the best up-and-comers earn a trip to play some ODI’s overseas, as part of an emerging Aussie team. You mentioned 3 guys who are not likely to feature at the top of the order for Australia in WC 2023, so why not give these guys a chance to learn how to play this form of the game under different conditions? It’d also add a bit more spice to this tournament.

Stanlake and Heazlett can light up Marsh Cup

hi Smudge, IMO, there are only two players in the top 7 guaranteed a berth in the First Test this coming summer – Smith & Paine. All the rest, including Wade, have question marks over their ability to be effective Test batsmen.

Wade is a perfect example of one of the issues batsmen need to address – consistency. He scored two terrific hundreds in England which combined to total 227 runs. In the other 8 innings however, he made only 110 more, which left him with an average for the series in the low ’30’s and a career average only two runs more than Paine, who most consider to be an okay batsman/keeper at best.

I agree Wade has the inside running thanks to that last innings, but runs and consistency will be the currency before the First Test team’s chosen. If he bats as he did for those 8 poor innings in England, I can see other guys moving past him into the number 6 spot and if they make a fist of it, he could be done as a Test batsman

Wade steps out of the shadow of Smith to make a statement