The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined February 2016







Essendon fan, cricket fan. Not necessarily in that order.



Roar Guru
Roar Guru

The Carey conundrum

Just over four months remain before the first ball of the 2019 World Cup and it is difficult to recall the Australian One Day International cricket team ever having so many question marks hanging over it leading into a major tournament.

Imagine, for a moment, that this was the squad we currently had available:

Handscomb (wk)
M Marsh

S Marsh

Australia made a massive mistake not picking Hazlewood for the World Cup

They can’t bring in a pure bowler for Stoinis because it would leave them without a backup batsman and with seven frontline bowlers in the squad. Talk about unbalanced. At the moment they are really lacking firepower in the middle-to-late overs because they have too many steady top order batsmen.

There might be question marks over Mitch Marsh’s match readiness but we do know he has the power to go hard late in the innings. It would be nice if we had Handscomb to fall back on as well (he could have batted 5 and kept, with M Marsh at 7) but that ship has sailed.

Really, if they weren’t going to bring Hazlewood in when J Richardson was rules out then they should have picked M Marsh or Handscomb at that point to better balance the squad.

Australia made a massive mistake not picking Hazlewood for the World Cup

The Longmire thing is a bit weird. He’s still contracted to the Swans for 2020 so Sydney would have to agree to let him go. I think he and his manager are busy using this to leverage a cushy contract extension.

In general I don’t like the idea of recycling older coaches from other clubs unless it’s in a temporary role to dig a team out of a hole (e.g. Roos). The game changes so rapidly that I think clubs are usually better off bringing in a younger coach who hasn’t spent too long in the top job and has some fresh ideas. Woosha at Essendon was a bit different because of the position the club was in at the time, but now that he’s steered the side out of the WADA shadow people are asking legitimate questions about whether or not he can get the most out of the list.

Since the Lions’ threepeat in 2003, the only senior coach who won a premiership having previously been a senior coach at another club was Malthouse in 2010. Lyon came close in 2013 but who knows if he can scale the mountain now. For context, first time senior coach premiership winners in that period are Williams, Roos, Worsfold, Thompson, Clarkson, Scott, Longmire, Beveridge, Hardwick and Simpson.

It’s a cutthroat industry and there aren’t many who have proven that they can reinvent themselves once the game evolves beyond their preferred style.

What I want to see in North Melbourne's next senior coach

I suspect that this one (unnecessary) aspect of the game actually puts a lot of people off becoming a field umpire. You can have a good head on your shoulders for decision-making but if you can’t bounce a ball straight then you can’t umpire.

Why I support the AFL's fan crackdown

This is the problem. I don’t have an issue with cracking down on bad behaviour/abuse but how far do you take it? Having these behaviour police walking up and down the aisles tapping people on the shoulder isn’t a great look.

Why I support the AFL's fan crackdown

Exactly. Mountain out of a molehill. It was a bit immature but it’s not worthy of all this fuss.

Sam Kerr's childish sledge lacked class

I’ll take your word for it!

Mitch Marsh must replace Marcus Stoinis

Watson turned 38 today and rarely bowls any more. He didn’t bowl in the IPL and the few overs he bowled in the BBL were expensive. You can’t classify him as an allrounder these days.

Mitch Marsh must replace Marcus Stoinis

I’d list M Marsh at 5 and Maxwell at 6, but promote Maxwell if we don’t lose our third wicket until after 30 overs. If there’s a collapse, send in Carey at 5 to rebuild and protect our hitters.

Mitch Marsh must replace Marcus Stoinis

Maybe they don’t think Hazlewood is at 100% fitness? He could well be on a manged workload for the A games with an eye to making sure he’s ready for the Ashes.

With Hazlewood and J Richardson out of the picture our pace bowling depth just isn’t there. People were calling for NCN to be axed for Behrendorff but, based on the Sri Lanka game (and the India and Pakistan series before that), there isn’t going to be much between them bowling-wise. Personally I’d still pick NCN because he gives us more in the batting and fielding departments.

The reality, though, is that whoever we pick from NCN, Dorff, Richardson, Lyon and Zampa as our third and fourth bowlers will be a step down from the calibre of Cummins and Starc. I don’t think we can do anything about that.

Mitch Marsh must replace Marcus Stoinis

Thanks Jeff, I knew he’d had injury/illness issues but it’s nice to get the whole picture.

As you say, he’d be replacing someone who’s done nothing of note for a while and the alternative seems to be batting Khawaja out of position at 5, so the risk in bringing Marsh in seems low.

Mitch Marsh must replace Marcus Stoinis

Whatever happened to goal umpires reporting players? Back when I was boundary umpiring (and that was admittedly about 15 years ago at grass roots level) boundary and goal umpires reported players all the time. If it was serious enough we were encouraged to let the nearest field umpire know so they had the option of paying a free kick too.

Some of the pinching early in the game was right in front of the goal umpire with play at the other end. Surely that umpire could have said to Stratton when it first started “If you do it again, I’m reporting you”. That might have ended it then and there.

Professional sports versus schoolyard games

I was already in agreement but I had no idea his record against our three biggest rivals was so good. Those batting and bowling numbers would each be good on their own, let alone combined.

My one concern is that he was in uninspiring form on the domestic scene over summer. He only reached 20 twice in six BBL games and then averaged 34 from six subsequent knocks in the Shield (one century, no fifties). Let’s just hope he’s ready to go.

Mitch Marsh must replace Marcus Stoinis

Just more Marsh-bashing with no actual basis for it.

This isn’t test cricket. Go and look at his ODI record.

Five reasons Australia shouldn't play five bowlers

Well said. The T20I analysis of Khawaja is flawed because it doesn’t factor in that he begins every innings at the top when the field is up and the ball is hard. He has done absolutely nothing over his career to suggest that he can accumulate runs at a decent pace batting in the middle order.

Khawaja has three issues that make the middle order unattractive:
1. He is poor against spin
2. He is poor between the wickets
3. He relies on timing, not power

When people say that Khawaja shouldn’t be in the side if he’s not in the top 3, they are 100% correct. The thing is, he should still be opening. Finch and Warner are good against spin, they are both more powerful hitters and Warner in particular is lightning between the wickets. Either of them could comfortably bat 4-5.

Criticism of Khawaja is baffling

To be honest, I think the top 6 you listed would be stronger if you straight up reversed it.

Carey opened in several ODIs and T20s in the last 12 months with absolutely no success. His best spot is still probably 7 but he should be bumped ahead of Maxwell (and Mitch Marsh) if we are in early trouble. Sending Maxwell in at 3/36 against the Windies was lunacy. I’d be okay with giving Carey a crack at 5 but no higher.

Khawaja 100% grabbed his opportunity as an opener this year. He averaged about 50 in that position over the series against India and Pakistan. He has been mediocre everywhere else because he struggles to turn the strike over early in his innings if there is no pace on the ball. He should still be opening now.

If you want to protect Warner or Finch then one of them should open with Khawaja. The other should bat at 3 or 4. Maxwell needs to stay at 6 and if Shaun Marsh plays he can’t bat lower than 5. He’s not a powerful enough hitter to be coming in at or near the death.

Alex Carey should be batting higher

You could have Maxwell 5 and Carey 6, or even swap them around. But either way we’d need our top four to bat conservatively to ensure the tail isn’t exposed too early, which makes it tough to notch up 300+ scores.

To be clear I’m not advocating a five bowler approach. That weakens our batting too much, regardless of who we pick. I just think that this article needed to at least touch on the option for the sake of completeness.

So, which Marsh should replace the injured Marcus Stoinis?

Pandya would be the only one comparable to Stokes in the fielding department.

Five reasons Australia shouldn't play five bowlers

Based on the theory that you need two genuine bowling options in the top 7, he still should be one of the first picked!

Five reasons Australia shouldn't play five bowlers

Clear as mud! I would think if they can show that his side strain is enough to stop him from playing then they can replace him, but who knows. It’s the ICC after all.

Five reasons Australia shouldn't play five bowlers

Yes (although in those two matches vs India and Pakistan the ball barely swung at all so they probably aren’t the best example) and I think you’re being very selective.

I watched India play Starc cautiously for just eight runs off his initial three-over spell before smashing 66 off his last seven overs at 9.4/0ver. I also watched Starc cause all sorts of trouble for Gayle when the ball was actually swinging. Who do you think Gayle would have preferred to face – Starc or Behrendorff?

Starc can be wayward but he can also be deadly when there is swing. He’s worth the risk, particularly when we have a miserly bowler in Cummins at the other end.

But look, even if you’re right that Starc shouldn’t take the new ball, it’s simply not going to change. Finch isn’t going to relegate his fastest, most experienced bowler in favour of a guy who’s played 6 ODIs with an average and a strike rate both in the 40s.

Five reasons Australia shouldn't play five bowlers

I don’t think he has to be unable to take further part in the tournament. Surely the ICC’s tournament committee can’t say to a team “we think this player will be fit for your final game so you can just be a man down for the next four matches”?

It does mean that Stoinis wouldn’t be able to return to the squad (sort of like using a substitute in a football match) but I don’t see how we’d be losing anything replacing him with Marsh.

Five reasons Australia shouldn't play five bowlers

Agree to disagree. India targeted him and he still looked our most threatening bowler through the middle overs. Babar Azam – Pakistan’s best bat – went after him and got out.

But I’d be turning to Dorff and Lyon before Richardson.

Five reasons Australia shouldn't play five bowlers

NCN won’t be dropped. Bowled reasonably well against Pakistan and India and is the only tailender who looks like he might score more than 10 runs.

Zampa, Lyon, Richo and Dorff are competing for one spot at the moment.

Five reasons Australia shouldn't play five bowlers

Agreed, I was talking more about what other options are available.

I think M Marsh at 5 makes far more sense than any other lineup.

Five reasons Australia shouldn't play five bowlers