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Joined April 2020

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Interested in stadium politics, competition programming, sporting administration, cricket history and trivia

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Slight correction for Gilchrist’s NSW record.

1992/93. Six matches, 227 runs at 28.37, hs 75. NSW won the final (Qld famously “beautiful one day, all out 75 the next”). He batted at 3, and scored 6 and 20no.

1993/94. Three matches, 43 runs at 8.60. NSW won the final again, but he wasn’t in the side.

Then he went to WA, and played every round at the expense of Zoehrer, scored a century, and took 55 catches.

The stats that prove we should pick our best XI regardless of age

Having debuted for Australia (albeit in T20) without ever playing a first-class match. The first such instance since the 1870s ?

The stats that prove we should pick our best XI regardless of age

Australia in 1984 and 2007. England in 1920 and 1946, each one Dad’s Army. You can’t let a team stagnate.

The exception obviously would be a one-off match eg a series decider at home, or a World Test Championship final.

The stats that prove we should pick our best XI regardless of age

Adam Gilchrist and Phil Emery played together for both Gordon in Grade cricket, and NSW. Gilchrist won a Shield title for NSW in 1993-94 as a specialist batsman, and only then went to Perth and displaced Tim Zoehrer.

The stats that prove we should pick our best XI regardless of age

Hi Paul,

Years ago, a State selector made the point to me that you can’t pick players on figures alone. Otherwise you’ll get sued, for not selecting the one that say scored three consecutive tons, when their merit was actually pretty iffy. Better to never quantify anything, or set criteria, and instead go by gut instinct.

The stats that prove we should pick our best XI regardless of age

Great debut Dan,

Hopefully the first of many stats-themed articles, between now and next home summer.

The exception always proves the rule eg Labuschagne, S Smith having much higher Test than first-class averages. And so many variables affect raw averages, even when comparing peers eg Lawry and Simpson, and Slater and Taylor.

I agree with the view that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. As Greg Chappell says, pick someone when he’s ripe, rather than letting him rot on the vine. Succession planning pays off often enough, to keep doing it eg-

Baggy Green prodigies: If you’re good enough, then you’re old enough

The stats that prove we should pick our best XI regardless of age

Agree, of course.

But when working out when to declare, you wouldn’t decide that there’s a significant difference between with 113 overs left (when Cummins eventually did) and 115 (the number left when when Khawaja reached his century).

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

The “Human Resources” department

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

Taylor first captained lots at Grade and NSW level, and played under a very creative Lawson at NSW.

Ponting debuted in Test cricket at age 20, and was a seasoned Test player but without hands-on captaincy experience.

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

Only 2 overs’ difference. Worth quibbling over ?

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

Is 2 overs worth quibbling over ?

Let’s accept it as what HR would call a “learning opportunity.”

Maybe next time the more-experienced captain will shake things up a bit more, earlier in the innings. Creative field-placings, changes of ends, lengths of spells, use of part-time bowlers etc. Make the target appear achievable for longer, like a good Grade captain would.

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

Records are made to be broken. Plus it was a very inexperienced bowler-captain’s third game in charge, and he gave his side 115 overs assuming (wrongly) no rain or bad light, and most chances taken.

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

Cummins’ return catch ? And Carey’s run-out.

None easy, but the bar for Aus fielding in Test cricket is set very high.

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

There was only 2.4 overs between Khawaja reaching his century, and Cummins declaring.

Hardly worth quibbling over ?

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

Aus now 3-12 in Hobart.

I’d hate to see this series end at 3-2 rather than 3-1.

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

If this match was in the Sheffield Shield competition comprising 10 rounds and a final, then Eng would have chased until all-out.

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

Hi DaveJ,

I defer to the judgement of those that were leading Aus, and assessing all key data in real-time.

Declaring immediately Khawaja got his ton would have turned the target from 388 runs in 113 overs to 375 in 115.

But I’m not quibbling about those 2 extra overs, given the catching and run-out opportunities, bail not falling, bad light, rain, flat pitch, Boland’s injury, the ineffectiveness at the SCG of Lyon and Starc etc.

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

Plus multiple missed catches, and a clean-bowled that didn’t dislodge the bails.

The bowlers did their job, by creating enough chances to take 20 wickets.

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

Cheers matth,

Records are made to be broken. No side ever reaches a record target set for it- until it does.

The progressive record chases include 298 in 1894-95, then rising to 315 in 1901-02, then 332 in 1928-29, then 404 in 1948. One day soon, a team will successfully chase more than 418.

I can’t recall Border being criticised much for declaring twice to set 402 in 83 overs at Headingley in 1989. Except recently, by a Roarer.

The Pat Cummins declaration: Would Mark Taylor have declared earlier?

The irony is that despite “strict” ICC regulations, members at Lord’s can sit immediately in front of the sightscreens, and everybody (including the players) accept it as “tradition” !

Eleven ways to speed up Test cricket - time to cut out the wasted hours

12. Bowl every single one of the day’s overs, either at the end of the day or the following morning. An extra half-hour and still just 84 overs delivered with the missing 6 lost forever, isn’t good enough. Maybe if teams had to bowl all 90 no matter what, or start even earlier the next morning, they’d get on with it ?

13. Are the broadcasters pushing hard enough ? When play switches at 6pm to a secondary channel, surely many viewers don’t follow it. Plus achieving more overs in the scheduled time, means more ad breaks generating revenue.

Eleven ways to speed up Test cricket - time to cut out the wasted hours

Specified minimum size is just 6m x 6m.

But at Test venues, they’re at least 20m x 9m. And still batsmen get distracted ! Hayden and Tendulkar were notorious for it.

Eleven ways to speed up Test cricket - time to cut out the wasted hours

Not forgetting the bails not falling when Green “bowled” Stokes.

The good, the bad, the worst: SCG edition

In times like those a big-turning wrist-spinner is useful. Not necessarily a MacGill or Warne. A Bevan or Katich would do nicely.

The good, the bad, the worst: SCG edition

If the ECB contracts him, and the selectors want him, then of course he should make himself available. “For King and Country.”

If not, he can play BBL or relax at home in an English winter.

Just sad if he’s genuinely the best available, and an indictment of its succession planning.

Should Jos Buttler hang up the gloves in Test cricket?

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