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Arj

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Joined January 2021

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Interesting article. Before that BG series India had just lost to England at home, and since then they haven’t lost a single series at home.
Not exactly sure what the pre series jitters were like, but to be honest even if the changes you suggested were made it might not have made a huge difference. India had some great young talent (which makes up the core of their current team), mixed in with the experience of Tendulkar, Dhoni and Harbhajan.

Test XIs we should have had: India 2013

They are flexible, which why someone like a Maxwell comes in at 3 if the openers have a big partnership. I just can’t see Smith providing adequate urgency/power hitting in the death overs. Having someone who’s hidden from such situations is not viable.
“Stay lower down if hitting’s required and guys like MM & Maxwell can provide that”. Marsh and Maxwell are out, coming in at 6 with a required rate of 11 with 4-8 overs to go, Steve Smith. Yep India, England, Windies etc are licking their lips.
The t20 side could function with one of Marnus and Smith, not both.

The radical change needed to fix Australia's T20 middle-order problem

Yeah Smith at 5 is maybe fine.
I agree about 5 or 6 being tough, but the only solution is specialist finishers rather than dumping class players further down. That only works for England and even so Stokes isn’t that effective that late.
If Smith comes in after the 12th over, the opposition would be ecstatic.

The radical change needed to fix Australia's T20 middle-order problem

I mean 130 strike rate doesn’t really back up the cause, Kohli’s strike rate is around 140 in t20Is and I’d still consider him an anchor. I’m just saying he’s a player that the team should bat around early rather than come in late. Normally at number 6 you’d face around 20 balls, I can’t see Smith racing away in that time frame. He might be able to work at number 5, especially with Australia’s recent nature of collapsing. I agree there is a problem that other than Maxi there’s no explosive hitters, so Aus might need to reassess their strategy.

Also a note on Rishabh Pant, he’s been quite poor at the t20 international level, his true nature would be more noticeable in his IPL numbers.

The radical change needed to fix Australia's T20 middle-order problem

Smith 6?? Having an anchor at 6 is so pointless. Would rather try Daniel Sams or move Christian and Cummins one spot up. Stoinis is another option. I know he has struggled in the middle order to get going quickly, but when he clicks he’s one of Aus’s most destructive players. He showed finishing ability in NZ and the IPL.

The radical change needed to fix Australia's T20 middle-order problem

I reckon it will be similar to the last home Ashes. Australia was coming off a tough 2017 and had suffered a series loss in the previous summer, but still cruised against the Poms, headlined by Steve Smith.

Nothing will save England from losing the Ashes

I feel bad for Alex Hales. Obviously he’s had his problems off the field, but surely he warrants selection with his solid domestic and t20 league performances, especially in these circumstances.

Predicting England’s ODI XI to take on Pakistan

England’s series against India will be very important. They have issues to sort out and winning that series well would give them confidence going into the Ashes. If they meander around and are in a similar state to now then I agree they don’t have much hope going forward.
I agree with the other comments that Australia aren’t too hot now as well, but at home they still are a very strong team, India just puts up the most fight against them.

Nothing will save England from losing the Ashes

There was just one draft for one 15 man squad and using this an XI was made for each format. Ryan just has Wade opening the batting in ODIs.

Picking Australia's best three-format squad

Haha yes it was a draft, what early picks did you think were bizarre?

Picking Australia's best three-format squad

Yes spin will be key against the WI, and a good way to prepare for the World Cup, but quality over quantity is still key. Don’t forget if the spin isn’t good enough Pollard can hit 6 6s in the over 😁

Aussie selection wildcard that could cut down the West Indies

This is very true. However now days I’d actually say India are relatively bad players of spin. The likes of Kohli and Rahane struggled in the England series (though take it with a grain of salt because of the poor pitches). If Ashwin and co bowled to the Indian batting line-up they would look just as clueless as the Poms imo.

Test cricket's home and away bowlers

Yep that sounds pretty spot on. There will be a lot on Nathan Lyon’s shoulders in the next couple of years, with Australia touring Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India in the next cycle of the WTC, will be interesting to see how his Asian game has grown/changed.

One more question, where do you find these stats? On Howstat it says Lyon’s away averages is 31.26.

Test cricket's home and away bowlers

Very interesting piece, a lot of good players mentioned. I have a couple players that could also be on the ‘home away’ radar.

We all know Nathan Lyon is the GOAT of Australian off spin but his numbers in spin favouring conditions actually aren’t too impressive. He averages 30.59, 33.58 and 53.80 in India, Sri Lanka and UAE respectively. This is poor considering these would be places a good spinner could boost his numbers at. The exception is his impressive record in Bangladesh, but to be fair that’s against a weaker batting line-up.

Jasprit Bumrah’s career progress will be very interesting in the context of this article. Only 2 of his 20 tests have been played at home and he’s done pretty well away from home (79 wickets @23). It will be interesting to see if he can, firstly maintain that away record and secondly achieve such an impressive record at home.

Test cricket's home and away bowlers

Yep agree with your points. Thakur might be a little raw right now, yet he’s still had international success and will improve with game time. Another bowler who could fit the allrounder mould, and is brilliant in English conditions, is Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like his body can last for a test match anymore.

Are India close to being top notch?

Yuvraj Singh has mentored him and he currently works very closely with Dravid. I think it’s way too early to write him off.
One thing about Gill, and Prithvi Shaw, is that they’ve had so much attention on them from a young age. This means any slips will instantly be under the microscope. But both have succeeded at all levels so far, so time is certainly deserved.
Their current techniques might not be perfect, especially at test level, but I think only a few little tweaks are necessary.
If think eventually Gill will move down to number 3, if he’s not backed now it’ll be very hard to pick replacements for the likes of Pujara and alike.

Are India close to being top notch?

Indian first class is alright, the best players usually get further groomed by the India A team and under Rahul Dravid. Since COVID the first class tournament has halted so I guess currently it’s harder to pick back ups for the middle order.

Are India close to being top notch?

Yep agreed about the Pujara and Rahane situation. Agarwal and Vihari have both shown similar inconsistent numbers however.

Are India close to being top notch?

Ashwin and Jadeja are bowlers who certainly can hold the bat. It seems Indian spinners are more likely to be decent with the bat, as Axar Patel and Washington Sundar have also shown.
Yeah the problem is those few who you mentioned , I sure hope they are getting more nets time.
You are probably right about Gill, personally I’m a huge fan of him so I might be a little biased. If he can constantly show the application he displayed in Australia that would be good but even then he was throwing away starts.

Are India close to being top notch?

*it should be Sam Curran not Tom Curran, editors have done me wrong 🙂

Are India close to being top notch?

Yeah if it was full test it would be the perfect example of intense test cricket, and also could display how much the WTC means to the players and how successful of an event it is.
Unfortunately it appears the weather will have a huge say.

India versus NZ is a fitting World Test Championship final

Some fans saying the way the players are ordered in the image of the squad the BCCI posted gives away who the preferences are, i.e Bumrah, Ishant and Shami are ahead of Siraj.
I think the only question left is whether or not they want 2 spinners.

India versus NZ is a fitting World Test Championship final

Very impressive, but that was still before the WTC.

India versus NZ is a fitting World Test Championship final

It is phenomenal I just like having the extra assurance haha. Plus the amount times a Sam Curran or Pat Cummins had succeeded with the bat against India, it would be nice if they could do the same.

India versus NZ is a fitting World Test Championship final

I definitely don’t think India are playing NZ more than Aus in tests. Sice the start of 2014, India have played 4 tests in NZ and 12 tests in Australia. NZ usually can only ever unfortunately get the likes of Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka etc to tour, with recently England being an exception.
Nice to hear SA is back this year, would like to see Aus play there as well.

India versus NZ is a fitting World Test Championship final

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