The Roar
The Roar

Giri Subramanian

Roar Guru

Joined May 2017

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My first memories of watching cricket goes back 20 years when I watched a 18 year old Sachin Tendulkar tonk Mushtaq Ahmed for two consecutive sixes in one over in Sharjah. I have been hooked on to cricket since then. Even though my career has taken me to a monotonous Software Profession, my passion still remains with cricket. In 2005 I decided to write about the sport and have never looked back since. As an avid cricket fan and a passionate Indian team supporter I have been able to keep in touch with the sport through my writing.

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Well Agar hasn’t shown that ability at the international level. We are talking about ODIs and attacking bowling. I haven’t seen him provide that for Australia which reflects in his figures in LOIs. Average of 51.75 with the ball in ODIs at a economy rate of 5.75. His T20I record isn’t great either, averaging 30 at an economy rate of 7.69. He has an ordinary List A and T20 record as well. He may well turn out to be a great spinner as he is only 24 but he is not that at the moment.

Who are Australia's best spinners?

That’s the issue isn’t it. India will always do well at home and this is true for all cricket nations at the moment. None of the teams are capable of winning outside their comfort zone. The case in point highlighted by Australia’s loss to South Africa earlier this year. Australia hadn’t lost to them in SA since readmission. But when India says that they want to be that team who can win everywhere, they need to show they can. They have good bowling resources but poor captaincy and selections have held them back. This English team and the South African team which we faced earlier this year were both not the best.

If India had showed little bit of resolve and fight, they could have won both the series. If something is not done with the attitude and the batting before Australian series, we can expect another repeat of England down under.

Another wasted series for India

Jennings has the full backing of the coach and the captain for some reason. He is surely on that plane to Sri Lanka. The SL spinners will be extremely excited with the prospect of bowling to him. Root struggled in the 2016 India tour and SL will be tougher as they have been rolling over sides who are not India in recent times.

Another wasted series for India

I think Siddle will still take the new ball along with Starc. This Pakistan batting line up is inexperienced and they do not have Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. So Australia bowl well, they have a chance to cause them some trouble.

Siddle should have been saved for the Ashes

I think unless India get rid of their dead weights, they are not going to win in Australia as well. Pujara and Rahane need to step up as the senior members of the team, not only with the bat but also on the field. KL Rahul needs to score more regularly rather than just once or twice in a series. So plenty of problems for India. Australia have their issues as well but they are playing at home which makes a huge difference.

The catching needs to improve. The Indian bowlers are now creating chances and except for the Trent Bridge test, the catching has been poor. Virat needs to be more decisive in the field and needs to make sure he does not let the games drift when the tail comes in to bat. The Australian tail will be hard to dismiss as well as Pat Cummins and Mitch Starc are both very good batters.

So lots of things for India to work on if they have to win in Australia. The Australian team will be back to their full bowling strength against India and will be difficult team to beat at home, even with out Smith.

Another wasted series for India

The one thing you can be sure is that Finch is not going to hang around wherever he bats. Probably going after the spinners might not be a bad idea. Looking at the reports, Yasir Shah doesn’t look in good form, he hasn’t picked up many wickets playing in the domestic competition in Pakistan. Shadab Khan is an ODI spinner and is not the same threat as Yasir is. It will be interesting to see what the Australian line up will be:

Renshaw
Khawaja
Shaun Marsh
Travis Head
Aaron Finch
Mitch Marsh (Hopefully he will bowl few overs)
Tim Paine (Captain)
Mitchell Starc
Peter Siddle
Nathan Lyon
Jon Holland

The above will mostly be the X1, Australia will go with in the first Test.

Glenn Maxwell’s absence is a huge surprise

Yeah Fawad and Boyce are probably the ones who throw it up and try to turn the ball. Zampa is quicker through the air. Australia would need one attacking spinner at least if they have to be competitive in England.

Who are Australia's best spinners?

That’s not good as they both are good attacking spinners. I was impressed with Boyce earlier this year in BBL. Adam Zampa probably needs to be backed then. Swepson does not look like an ODI spinner at least from his stats.

Who are Australia's best spinners?

I think Australia would need an attacking spinner in the middle overs, if they need to succeed in England next year. The English ODI wickets are not the same anymore. The home team has two good spinners and are loaded with batsman. They play to their strengths and all the wickets are going to be dry and high scoring ones. Australia will struggle if they don’t have a spinner who can pick wickets in the middle overs.

Who are Australia's best spinners?

Ravi Shastri is just an “Yes Man” to Kohli. The reason Kumble was chucked out was because he was a strong personality as well. Virat Kohli did not want anyone to challenge his authority in the Team. Anil Kumble, when he was captain of India was lauded for his strong leadership. Kumble would have been a great coach and he would have made a huge difference overall in the mindset of the players. Kumble did not push them hard, he just had a personality clash with Kohli. Kohli’s control over the team was challenged and he did not like it.

That’s the reason I was very disappointed how the entire episode was handled. Ravi Shastri isn’t a coach, he never was. He is just a manager and I am sure he does not make any tactical decisions ahead of the game. It is truly Kohli’s team and Shastri is just there to make up numbers.

Another wasted series for India

India had great chance of winning the series 3-2, but they squandered their opportunities by some daft selections and poor on field captaincy. The batting obviously was the major culprit. None of the batters except for Kohli could score runs consistently.

Another wasted series for India

I think the criticism is valid. India repeated the same mistakes they did in South Africa. Losing is one thing but not learning from your mistakes is not acceptable.

Another wasted series for India

Yes they were. England had just drawn a series against a Pakistan team who had lost to Sri Lanka in UAE. England did not look settled, compared to that India came in with a settled squad.

Another wasted series for India

This is just in limited overs format and the list was based of bowlers who played the last JLT cup. Jon Holland wasn’t in the list of wicket takers last season. Which is the reason I did not mention him. He played his last List A game in 2016. So it seems like he isn’t playing that format anymore.

Who are Australia's best spinners?

I agree with the X1 as Australia don’t have many options. Not sure if Mitchell Marsh is bowling again or not. If he isn’t not sure if 4 bowlers are enough in the UAE heat.

Glenn Maxwell’s absence is a huge surprise

The only chance for Finch to score any runs in UAE is against the new ball. If he walks in when Yasir Shah is bowling, I don’t think he is going to score many runs. I would rather have Glenn Maxwell in the middle order than Aaron Finch.

Glenn Maxwell’s absence is a huge surprise

Here are my gripes with the metric:

1. CA says 30 plus scores have been taken into account but Peter Handscomb has higher 30+ scores percentage than Marnus Labuschagne. Handscomb also has played couple of crucial innings in Asia.
2. Another metric is ability to score hundreds. Joe Burns has more hundreds than Aaron Finch in FC over the last couple of years.
3. Glenn Maxwell probably an inconsistent player but along with Shaun Marsh is the only Australian player who is considered as a good player of spin. He has a Test hundred in India and has lots of experience in playing in the subcontinent.
4 . Marnus Labuschagne played well in the first unofficial Test in India but got a pair in the second game which Australia A team lost, this was when Australia was playing to avoid defeat. Kind of defeats their playing under pressure point.

To be frank there are some decent selections in the squad but the selectors have not given thought to the main criteria when selecting a team for Asia which is the ability to play spin. If Smith and Warner were still available I wouldn’t mind the non selection of Maxwell or Joe Burns. I would love to see their metric for selection of bowlers as well if they have one. It seems like they have come up with some arbitrary yardstick to pick a squad which may look good in some spreadsheet.

The fact that Joe Burns averages higher than Marnus Labuschagne and Aaron Finch over the last 19 FC games with more hundreds than both of them, makes the metric completely useless for me.

Glenn Maxwell’s absence is a huge surprise

Cricket Australia have released some key metric used for selection of the squad. The metric looks more absurd than the actual selections.

Glenn Maxwell’s absence is a huge surprise

Very surprised to see Glenn Maxwell missing out. With Warner and Smith missing, Australia needed some experience in the middle order and Glenn Maxwell can provide that. Brendan Doggett was a surprise selection as well as his FC record isn’t that great. So some good as well as some weird selections for the UAE tour.

Maxwell, Burns and Tremain were robbed by Aussie selectors

Vihari is one of the young batters who has the highest first class average in the world at the moment I believe? That’s what I read somewhere. He is a solid player who has scored runs on A tours away from home as well. The present Indian young players are doing well all over the world and it is surprising that the team management don’t want to try these players out. KL Rahul will benefit a season under Rahul Dravid on these A tour. Right now I feel that the guy has regressed.

The A tour to India couldn’t have been more perfectly timed

Not Paul, This is not India’s first choice A team. There are few players missing and there are a few who are being tried out. I am happy with this game as the second tier players are doing quite well. The A Teams have always been rotated and Rahul Dravid has done a very good job with the young players which is why it is surprising that the Indian team is very hesitant in trying out these youngsters. The next set of young players will be Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hanuma Vihari and Karun Nair. Some of these players playing in the A team are few years away from being international standard.

At this point I will stick with Pant. He is young and yes his wicket keeping has been patchy. His batting also has been reckless. He needs to be persisted with for few tests more and a call needs to be made after he plays like 10 Tests. He will get to keep in India next month and it will be interesting to see how he will do keeping to spinners. There are some other young keepers in the fray and W Saha will get a chance to get back as well.

The A tour to India couldn’t have been more perfectly timed

Yup. Indian selection policies have been weird over the last few years. One after the other discarded players have been recalled. Previously it was Yuvraj, Harbhajan Singh etc..Now we have Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav. I feel sorry for young players in this era as none of them are getting extended chances. Giving them few games here and there is not going to help their confidence.

India's Asia Cup squad shows some poor planning

Agreed Paul. The Indian batting has been a disappointment. India have a longish tail which did not help matters. The top two got off to some decent starts and then got out together most of the times. Pujara and Rahane took 2 Tests to get settled each and then our bowling lacked imagination once the lower order got going. These are the issues plaguing Indian cricket for a while now. The reason why India have been failing outside Asia in recent times. Virat Kohli needs the support he needs to guide the Indian batting line up. I hope Pujara and Rahane do much better in Australia.

Time for some retrospection after another overseas series loss

The Indian team has the ability to win overseas which has been proven with their wins in SA and England. The problem with the team is lack of consistency. The bowling attack always lets the lower order score runs, this is not specific to this present Indian team. Previous captains were guilty of this too. They would drop the intensity and the bowlers would start to bowl differently to what they were bowling till then when the tail comes into bat. The captain needs to play a crucial role in this and that is where Virat lacks similar to other captains of the past.

I don’t agree to the FTB tag. Ajinkya Rahane has better record outside Asia than in Asia. He averages 50+ in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The problem with Rahane is that he has lost the consistency which he displayed in the 2013-2015 season. The other batter who has good record outside Asia is Murali Vijay, who was woefully out of form. Pujara has finally started to score runs and Rahul is anything but a FTB.

The problem is that the middle lower order isn’t strong enough and the top order failures are costing India more than England. If you see even the English openers have been poor, Root has been poor, Bairstow has been poor. None of them you would call an FTB. The pitches have been such and the bowling from both sides have been good with the new ball.

Time for some retrospection after another overseas series loss

I agree, thats the reason I was saying that longer tours are not possible. Even practice games are not possible. Teams need to get smart in terms of preparation. Go early (2-3 weeks before), request the type of wickets you need and probably practice on them? Or if you are touring England, arrange a Test against Ireland etc. Probably some way to get acclimatise sooner than what is happening these days. Else we will continue to see mediocre cricket all round when teams are touring.

Is lack of practice games the reason for poor overseas performances?