The Roar
The Roar

Geoff Lemon

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Joined June 2010

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Geoff Lemon is a writer, editor and broadcaster. He's the host of cricket podcast The Final Word, and author of the book Steve Smith's Men: Behind Australian Cricket's Fall.

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Yep, people are unusually united on the question by now. It’s only fair to give him a shot.

In the face of public anger, Australia's selectors finally back down

Thanks Spruce – it was a pretty hectic schedule touring South Africa and then getting the book done, so I’m glad you enjoyed it.

In the face of public anger, Australia's selectors finally back down

They can, in theory, and they almost never do. Which indicates that the short-pitched bowling referred to in the original post is legitimate.

Australian greats can't see the 'good hard cricket' lie

I think there’s a huge amount of that: justifying their own eras and legacies. Because the honesty about Australian cricket’s flaws exposes the flaws in their eras and leadership. There are plenty of Williamson-type examples through the game’s history, at all levels. The myth about aggro being necessary is just about people justifying their self-indulgence.

Australian greats can't see the 'good hard cricket' lie

Yeah, the fetishisation of it came with Waugh. My guess is that Whateley was referring to a period where Clarke tried to regenerate it, to fake it, after it had died away for a while. And Clarke was certainly the one who started winding up Warner and defending him whenever he went wrong.

Australian greats can't see the 'good hard cricket' lie

Thanks Mitcher. If we needed one simple definition, I’d say talking about someone’s cricket is alright. Talking about anything else probably isn’t. And if you’d be embarrassed to have your comment picked up on a stump mic, you shouldn’t be saying it.

Australian greats can't see the 'good hard cricket' lie

Agree with that point. A team full of great players doing what they do is a fair bit more demoralising than if they mouth off in the process. That only serves to put an asterisk next to their achievements.

Australian greats can't see the 'good hard cricket' lie

“Stood up to a player who was bullying his teammate” is a good gag. Anderson was bullying Bailey while batting at No.11, on his own surrounded by 11 opponents, with one wicket to fall to lose the Test, facing Mitchell Johnson in the dark. Mmm-kay.

I agree with your other points, though.

Australian greats can't see the 'good hard cricket' lie

Thanks James. It seems like a lot of the people involved are deliberately vague about the nature of what gets said and what’s ok.

Australian greats can't see the 'good hard cricket' lie

Short-pitched bowling is part of the game. Batting is balancing the need to protect your wicket, add to your score, and preserve your safety. It’s not about the danger of the action. It’s that the cricket part of cricket is kind of necessary. Mouthing off isn’t.

Australian greats can't see the 'good hard cricket' lie

There have been 19 successful chases of more than 322 runs in Test history, across 2300 Test matches. Saying that Australia didn’t succeed because they weren’t ‘tough’ enough is … just silly, really.

Australian greats can't see the 'good hard cricket' lie

Hazlewood may open the bowling, but I’d still argue his role is closer to Siddle’s. Play the straight man, give nothing away, support the two more attacking bowlers. He fulfils that role with a bit more venom than Siddle did, but it’s still basically the same job. Cummins comes on to push for wickets and bowl express.

Ashes to Ashes: Would Mitchell Johnson's Ashes team beat Mitchell Starc's?

Merry Christmas to you too, James. Hope it was a corker and you’re watching some cricket.

Ashes to Ashes: Would Mitchell Johnson's Ashes team beat Mitchell Starc's?

Agreed, Rogers played a number of important innings in that series. And suited Warner well as a partner.

Ashes to Ashes: Would Mitchell Johnson's Ashes team beat Mitchell Starc's?

A little something to wash down that chip on your shoulder…

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

I wrote the full transcript of her extended interview on ABC, and she said nothing of the sort. Had three chances to say exactly that, and declined three times. The interview is probably on the Grandstand Soundcloud page if you want to listen.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

It doesn’t get a crowd because it’s a shocking place to watch cricket. It’s deathly hot, uncomfortable, there are no toilets, you can’t take food in, and what they sell there is extortionate. People would rather watch on TV. Given them a comfortable new stadium where they feel at home, and crowds will grow. The first ODI there is sold out already.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

“Probably” = didn’t happen.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

Yep. And the WA government funded the stadium, and want the prestige of having regular marquee cricket there. They won’t throw that over to accommodate a Rolling Stones gig, they’ll work around competing bookings.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

Thanks Glen. They’ll keep the domestic stuff there, and use it as an Allan Border Field kind of training ground, given the stadium will have footy demands for much of the year. The BBL games are staying at the WACA for now, but if they keep selling it out, surely there’ll be a lure to try games at the big place.

Don't be fooled - we've just seen the last WACA Test

Superfans are generally annoying, but sometimes (as much by coincidence as anything else) they have a point. Kohli had a slow start in Tests but these days isn’t far behind Smith in raw numbers, and has a better 50-100 conversion rate and more doubles. He also absolutely destroys the rest of the Fab Four when it comes to ODIs and T20s. Some day soon I’m hoping to do a full in-depth comparative analysis.

Gulf between Smith and Root makes all the Ashes difference

Purely space, time, and chronology. I barely got into the 80s or 90s at all.

Empire versus upstart, coloniser versus colony: The contests which define the Ashes

You may well be right. Makes sense.

Empire versus upstart, coloniser versus colony: The contests which define the Ashes

A piece for the bowlers at last, Bob! Poor buggers.

Empire versus upstart, coloniser versus colony: The contests which define the Ashes

Hey, I’m a supporter, Pottsy. I just think Hobart has been shit out of luck. Realistically Sutherland knows that too.

Unwanted quiet in Hobart, Australia's hard-luck cricket venue