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Stephen Vagg

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Joined February 2014

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A Queenslander never forgets a selection slight.

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This was stated also in Graham Yallop’s book “Lambs to the Slaughter”. Yallop replaced McCosker who was batting at three… so they figured “well he can bat at three then”. To be fair, Yallop batted at three for Victoria. I don’t think Yallop was divisive so much as he just struggled being captain.

Test XIs we should have picked: 1977 Ashes

I agree you need a back up. You don’t necessarily need a specialist, but I think you need someone who has done the job in the past and can step in to the role if need be.

Test XIs we should have picked: 1977 Ashes

From memory I think Boycott was asked but turned it down.

Test XIs we should have picked: 1977 Ashes

Agree on 1981 I wrote this piece about it earlier https://www.theroar.com.au/2021/07/26/test-xis-we-should-have-had-1981-ashes/

Test XIs we should have picked: 1977 Ashes

True. Fair point.

'Missed opportunity': Five big talking points as Australia’s Test squad to tour Pakistan named

Rare to have a back up keeper on a three-test tour though, surely?

'Missed opportunity': Five big talking points as Australia’s Test squad to tour Pakistan named

I loved Hookes as a player. I think what counted against him most as a test player was his run of scores – he’d always get a start but not go on with it. Post-his century in Sri Lanka he made 32, 10, 23, 21, 30, 9, 51, 29, 36, 7, 0, 38*, 14, 7, 34, 42, 0… that’s a lot of starts. I feel they should’ve kept him on for a few more tests but wasn’t to be.

'Incomplete and confused': Why Greg Chappell never reached the heights as a selector that he did as a player

Hi Andrew. Thanks for reading and commenting. The headline wasn’t mine – I wanted it to read “Greg Chappell and Queensland cricket” to emphasise it was just about Chappell and his comments on Queensland. All the best Stephen

Greg Chappell has achieved so much, why is he padding his resume?

Absolutely. The reference to the Queensland players though was the ones playing alongside him.

Greg Chappell has achieved so much, why is he padding his resume?

Interesting to compare Ritchie with David Boon… both super talented and on the tubby side. But Boon was seen to put in the work on the field whereas the impression was Ritchie didn’t.

Greg Chappell has achieved so much, why is he padding his resume?

In fairness, I think his argument was the players were good enough to be selected for the national side… which is still pretty good. Carlson was a very solid state player who kind of got lucky for a baggy green due to WSC. Ogilvie had such a good summer in 77-78 he may have broken into the official side. Kerr was going to be the next big thing for a few seasons but it didn’t pan out. Ritchie was meant to be a cornerstone of Oz batting and came close in 1985-86 but couldn’t lock it down. Hohns weirdly retired after finally cracking test cricket.
Agree the one superstar of the bunch was Rackemann. Everyone knew he was the real deal from the get go… but he kept getting injured. With better medical care he could’ve reached Lillee-style numbers.

Greg Chappell has achieved so much, why is he padding his resume?

Eight not outs!

Why Jimmy Peirson should be Australia's Test wicketkeeper

I should add that Peter Neville should be in the conversation too. I know he’s getting on a bit but he should be talked about as an option.

Why Jimmy Peirson should be Australia's Test wicketkeeper

This is Hartley? Here are his stats. After 2008 he was a solid batter.
2003-04 134 runs at 44.66
2004-05 50 runs at 17.75
2005-06 – 473 at 31.53
2006-07 – 355 runs at 22.18
2007-08 – 349 runs at 23.26
2008-09 – 524 runs at 34.93
2009-10 – 839 runs at 46.61
2010-11 – 377 runs at 29.00
2011-12- 544 runs at 32.00
2012-13 – 510 runs at 28.33
2013-14 – 376 runs at 34.18
2014-15- 522 runs at 37.28
2015-16 – 529 runs at 44.08
2016-17- 535 runs at 76.42

Why Jimmy Peirson should be Australia's Test wicketkeeper

Damn right! 🙂

Why Jimmy Peirson should be Australia's Test wicketkeeper

Love your handle, btw…

Why Jimmy Peirson should be Australia's Test wicketkeeper

Lawson bowled really well in the 1982 tour… that was the making of him as a test bowler, really. (https://www.theroar.com.au/2021/08/14/test-xis-we-should-have-had-pakistan-1982/) Bright was 1980.

Test touring sides we should have picked: Australia versus India 1979-80

Ray Bright did well in Pakistan. But the word was the pitches were doctored to help the local bowlers for the first test, then the second and third tests were on batters’ paradises… to ensure two draws and a 1-0 result for the locals.
I don’t think Lillee would’ve gone that well in India but Greg Chappell would’ve added strength to the batting… and the scoreboard pressure would’ve helped.

Test touring sides we should have picked: Australia versus India 1979-80

I remember Hookes saying that in his memoirs.

It is interesting what would’ve happened had Hookes stayed with establishment cricket. Depends on his form of course – Craig Serjeant was vice captain in 77-78 then dropped, ditto John McLean in 78-79… if either of them had stayed in form they could’ve been captain in 79-80 (I think McLean would’ve done a good job of that).

Hookes is one of the great enigmas of Aussie cricket. What if he hadn’t gone with WSC? Hadn’t broken his jaw? Hadn’t been dropped so early in 85-86? He never really seemed to crack it at test level – even in his best summer, 82-83, he never quite got there. Great player though. So exciting.

Test touring sides we should have picked: Australia versus India 1979-80

I think the selectors liked him, they just liked other bowlers more. It’s interesting though that he was not offered a WSC contact, or picked in 77-78 even without WSC players (Wayne Clark, Sam Gannon, Alan Hurst and Ian Callen were all picked over him).

Test touring sides we should have picked: Australia versus India 1979-80

I enjoyed your thoughts. If they were allowed to take WSC players I’m not sure Ian Chappell would’ve been available, and/or as captain – he captained for Packer but in 75/76 and 79/80 played as just a batter. Yallop’s skill with spin might’ve seen him get the nod as a replacement.

Test touring sides we should have picked: Australia versus India 1979-80

I think Dymock was always very reliable… he was picked for test cricket as early as 73-74… He was just back in the pecking order after people like Lillee, Thomson, and Walker. And in 77-78 for whatever reason the selectors went for other bowlers over him like Clark and Callen.
I think on Aussie selectors preferred faster bowlers. But Dymock never did badly. And overseas, where there’s less help for pace bowlers, his skill would go really well. Generally medium pacers do better than fast bowlers in India.
He had a wonderful season over 79-80… but by 80-81 selectors went back to younger bowlers.
There’s a whole bunch of bowlers like him – reliable, fast medium, never trendy or the hot young thing… Jackson Bird is one, Trent Copeland, John Maguire…

Test touring sides we should have picked: Australia versus India 1979-80

I feel obliged to say in fairness to India, a lot of decisions went our way in 1977-78

Test touring sides we should have picked: Australia versus India 1979-80

I recognise how niche this article was going to be esp just after Australia won a World Cup but I appreciate all the comments!

Test touring sides we should have picked: Australia versus India 1979-80

In India in 2013 when he didn’t bowl he made 99 runs at 16.

How England could win the Ashes

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