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.

I’d say ‘decent’. He’s technically sound and probably has the ability to score more runs than he does, with a tendency to throw his wicket away at times.

He has a Shield 100 this season so his form can’t be too terrible. It’s more a lack of time in the middle that worries me. Ditto for Head.

Labuschagne shines against impressive NZ attack

And that’s before you throw in some strong 50 over performances.

Labuschagne shines against impressive NZ attack

I agree, although surely the connection was unintentional? I just can’t imagine someone like Ronan would do that on purpose.

Labuschagne shines against impressive NZ attack

This NZ side has the 3rd, 9th, 10th, 14th and equal 16th-ranked test batsmen in the world (including the best WK-batsman), all of whom average over 40. They also have the 4th, equal-11th and 13th-ranked pacemen.

They have the 9th-ranked allrounder, too, and if you take bowlers who can bat a bit (or vice-versa) out of the list – i.e. guys who aren’t genuine allrounders – then he’s more like 4th.

You’re really just making yourself look like a goose with these ridiculous comments.

The trans-Tasman series gets its long-overdue top billing

They’ve been highly competitive in their last two tours here. Drew in 2011 and then almost drew in 2015. I can’t really remember the last time a Pakistan or WI side looked like doing that.

The trans-Tasman series gets its long-overdue top billing

Henriques is not an allrounder any more. He’s a part-timer.

That might sound harsh for a guy who has a FC bowling average of 31 but it’s just a fact. Over the last two-and-a-bit seasons he’s bowled 112 overs in 26 games at an average of just over four overs per match. Even factoring in a few injury issues, that’s just not enough bowling to be brought into a test side as an allrounder.

If Henriques plays, he comes in as a top six batsman who can bowl a few overs if needed. For that to happen, Moises will have to somehow jump a few others in the apparent pecking order while Head would need to have a couple of terrible test matches in Perth and Melbourne.

Moises Henriques should be Australia’s preferred all-rounder

Technically they don’t, Rowdy, but the BCCI loves a flex.

The idea behind the dangerous MCG pitch was right, but the execution means another Boxing Day snoozefest awaits

The fact they have decided to stick with the concrete-based drop-in turf is a sure sign that they don’t feel compelled to do anything radical.

The idea behind the dangerous MCG pitch was right, but the execution means another Boxing Day snoozefest awaits

I don’t think it will matter much, Pierro. If the pitch is benign enough to neuter Starc and Lyon then the Kiwi bowlers will struggle too.

Bumrah ran riot at the MCG last year but that was a bit of an aberration. Most of his wickets came from full, fast balls at the base of the stumps, which removes the pitch from the equation. It takes some pretty serious skill (and a frail batting side) to pull that off.

The idea behind the dangerous MCG pitch was right, but the execution means another Boxing Day snoozefest awaits

The SCG draw against India early this year was only a draw because of rain. Australia would have been hammered otherwise.

The MCG has provided far less interesting cricket over the last few years than the SCG. And that’s not just test matches – go and compare the Shield results at each ground. Victoria can’t get results even with a bowling attack of Pattinson, Tremain, Siddle, Boland and Holland.

The idea behind the dangerous MCG pitch was right, but the execution means another Boxing Day snoozefest awaits

Alternate take: prepare a boring pitch for the MCG, get the venue banned for 12 months, tell India we have no choice but to use the Gabba for Boxing Day!

The idea behind the dangerous MCG pitch was right, but the execution means another Boxing Day snoozefest awaits

Despite his record in Australia, I suspect NZ will be very hesitant to leave Southee out. He’s their co-VC and his record over the last two years is excellent. He’s a vastly improved bowler since their 2015 tour.

I think Ferguson is likely to be more effective on Australian pitches; I’m just not sure NZ will take the chance, particularly with the pink ball in Perth.

Lockie Ferguson is New Zealand’s only chance to win the first Test

Well said.
47% of opposition teams for a Vic club are non-Victorian. 0.47 x 11 ‘away’ games = 5.2 matches. Unless and until the ratio of Vic to non-Vic sides changes, 5 games outside of Victoria and 17 games in Victoria will be the statistical norm for Victorian clubs.
Complaining that the fixturing favours Victorian clubs on this particular basis is just railing at simple maths.

The AFL fixture is biased towards Victorian clubs

Really enjoyed that, Stephen. I was only 5 at the time so this is beyond my recollection, which is a shame.

Not sure I would call 87/88 part of the ‘modern era’ though!

Remembering 1987-88: The greatest Sheffield Shield season of the modern era

Yeah, at least with this one you could say it *might* have hit off stump.

Alex Doolan 'can't believe it' after copping questionable LBW on the last ball of the day

By the Shield umpiring standards so far this year, this is actually not awful! Some of the decisions we’ve seen have made this look utterly plumb… 😔

Alex Doolan 'can't believe it' after copping questionable LBW on the last ball of the day

“terrified of having their helmets broken effing arms”


I think one of the reasons he’s so successful with the sort ball is that the whole side just commits 100% to the plan for long periods. Usually when a team concocts a short-pitched plan of attack, it only involves a couple of fielders out on the hook and 3-5 short balls per over. Plenty of chin music but not utterly relentless, and there are usually a few gaps for a good batsman to pull the ball into. Basically, captains still hedge their bets.

But when Wagner goes short it’s just so persistent. Bang bang bang bang bang bang. He’ll test the patience of the Australian batsmen, who love to hook. I’d like to see them refuse to engage and wait it out until they get a ball they feel is genuinely in the right area. Not sure if they’ll be able to put away their egos for long enough though…

Wagner will use Bodyline tactics against Australia

While I agree with you, I can imagine the way Paine would have been hammered for that draw if we’d just missed out. As it is, he’ll probably cop it for Headingley if we find ourselves in that scenario.

Should Paine have let Warner chase Lara? Part 1

Okay, so you mean his nine innings since his century? Gotcha.

Should Jeet Raval be selected for the Black Caps?

I can’t see de Grandhomme being a big wicket taker here. I think his value will lie in tying down an end to allow them to rotate the quicks at the other.

Australia to face the best Kiwi XI ever to tour the country

It wasn’t just the weather; it was the fact that it was damned hard to take wickets in the daylight hours. We had Pakistan 6/90-odd by the end of day 2 and then Yasir (who had never reached 50 in tests) went and scored a ton while Abbas survived 78 balls. Even factoring in some slack fielding, that should tell us just how easy batting was in the sunshine.

If the declaration was delayed long enough for Warner to pass 400 then it would have eaten into the final session. Let’s say Pakistan end up only 3 down overnight, instead of 6 – in that case, it probably takes until late on day 3 to bowl them out. If the follow-on is enforced then their best batsmen get a chance to dig in over the first two sessions on day 4, with most of the final session rained out.

In the end we probably still would have won but it’s all easy in hindsight. And for those who say a draw wouldn’t have mattered, there are still test championship points on the line.

Should Paine have let Warner chase Lara? Part 1

The batting will be fine. Wade’s loss is offset by the acquisition of Miller, and Wade will return late in the season. Jewell seems the likely option to open in the meantime but they could always throw someone like Milenko up there to have a dash. McDermott 3, Miller 4 and Bailey 5 is a strong middle order.

It’s the bowling that is the concern. Archer could be a bit inconsistent but he was a genuine matchwinner. Now they’ll be relying heavily on Faulkner and the youngster Qais Ahmad.

Boland will be solid enough through the middle overs in a Siddle-type role but I’m worried about who bowls at the death. Meredith can be expensive and Ellis will need time to grow into the role. High totals are on offer for opposition teams who set their innings up smartly.

Hobart Hurricanes’ elusive title hopes hinge on lesser lights

I think he’s that guy in terms of ability; he just seems to be lacking what it takes upstairs at present. This might partly be a result of drinking his own bathwater, given all the hype around him in the last 12 months or so. He doesn’t exactly strike me as the most modest guy going around and the media has just bee pumping up his ego.

It could also be a consequence of not having to do the hard yards as a cricketer until now. Archer hasn’t had to serve an extended apprenticeship in first class cricket and to my knowledge he’s never had his career derailed by significant injury at any point (a la Cummins). Things have pretty much just fallen into place for him since he burst onto the T20 scene. Test cricket is a tough stage on which to confront your first real sporting setback.

I expect the British tabloids will jump on his excuses soon. They don’t tend to have much patience for talented athletes who who point the finger everywhere but the mirror. Who knows though, a dose of humble pie might do him some good in the long run.

Jofra Archer is not the quick fix England crave

“In his last nine innings he has scored 83 runs at an average of 9.2, in which time he scored a maiden century against Bangladesh in February.”

I’m not sure that says what you meant it to say…? A tally of 83 runs can’t possibly include a century. 😛

Raval’s obviously under pressure but they might be reluctant to tinker with the lineup. With no designated opener ready to step in, Nicholls stands out as as the most likely. I just don’t think they will want to risk a winning formula by moving him out of the middle order, and will instead back Raval to bat enough time to blunt the new ball. If that doesn’t work in the first couple of tests and the series is still on the line at the SCG then their hand might be forced.

Should Jeet Raval be selected for the Black Caps?

No, not given the way the pink ball failed to do much in the last test at Adelaide.

My impression of the improvement in Southee’s bowling in recent years is that he’s found ways to be effective in conditions that aren’t bowler-friendly (such as in Sri Lanka and the UAE), which had always been his Achilles heel.

Of course, being effective in Australian conditions is one of the biggest challenges in test cricket for a sub-140 paceman. I’m interested to see how he goes.

Lockie Ferguson has the x-factor NZ need in Australia