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.

Heppell, McGrath and Zaharakis??? Heppell and McGrath were just okay and Zaka had a stinker, despite decent numbers.

Stringer (7 tackles), Shiel (18 contested possessions and 7 clearances) Langford (18 touches and 2 goals) and Saad (19 touches, 5 tackles and 9 1%ers) were the standouts. Never stopped trying all day. That’s pretty much it.

Round 1: The three most important players from each team

It was a tough game to take positives from. The fact that Stringer laid 7 tackles was a great sign, especially given the lack of service he received. Langford, Shiel and Saad can also hold their heads high. That’s about it. Merrett looked very underdone.

The lack of effort from the bulk of the players was just horrendous. Most teams were a bit sloppy skill-wise this round but the teams that won made up for it with pressure. Essendon hardly applied any, which is a far cry from the high-pressure footy they were playing in the back half of last year.

The other thing that stands out for me is how poor the players were at executing their new defensive structure. Surely they would have spent all summer practising it? Yet it looked as if they’d only begun testing it out a month ago. Fingers crossed they can work it out or it will be a loooong season.

Back to the drawing board for basic Bombers

I would have been happy for that to happen earlier in the summer (I think the team is better balanced if Handscomb keeps) but if Carey plays out this UAE series as keeper then there is no way he’s missing out on the Cup. The selectors have clearly decided they want him to keep and he’s found a home at 7.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

The rules allow the batsman to assume the release. The Mankad can only be affected up to the point where the bowler would have been *expected* to release the ball. There is absolutely zero onus on the batsman to confirm that the ball has, in fact, been released.

This wasn’t out within the rules. Ashwin took too long to break the stumps. Had he done so before the expected time of release, Buttler likely would have still been in his crease. A monumental stuff up by the umpire cost Buttler his wicket, not a failure to watch the bowler’s hand.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

I’m probably not going to convince you, Paul but:

Bear in mind too that Ashwin had to start slowing himself down before this point. I’m comfortable that Buttler would have been leaving the crease at about the same time as the ball was being released, which is pretty standard.

In any event, it’s crystal clear that Ashwin would have ordinarily released the ball before the time he takes the bails off. He basically does a little u-turn on the crease first. The decision was flat out wrong. At worst, Buttler was guilty of just being a bit lazy or inattentive.

You’re right that not a lot has changed, though – everyone is still debating the Mankad! 😉

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

I have no doubt he’s capable of it and I think the selectors should have given him the job a month ago. May/June is just the wrong time for him to be taking over. Generally speaking, you don’t ask a player to start playing a new role on the eve of a tournament (unless your hand is forced).

Warner, Finch, Khawaja, Smith and Marsh locked in for World Cup

Paul, again, Buttler did not get a head start. A batsman is only required (under the laws) to remain in his crease until the point at when the bowler is *expected* to release the ball. If you look at the footage Buttler did just that.

By the same token, the bowler cannot run the batsman out after the point at which he would have been expected to release the ball. Ashwin stopped immediately before delivering the ball, waited to make sure Buttler was out of his crease and then took the bails off. It was not a proper Mankad and should not have been given out. Buttler did absolutely nothing wrong under the laws of the game.

As for the grey area, “other than to tell players to stay in their crease” is exactly what I’m suggesting that the ICC does. The law itself is clear (ignoring the third umpire’s stuff up last night) but there is obviously a lot of debate about when Mankading is acceptable with respect to the spirit of the game. The ICC has never made any serious attempt to adopt a position on that, which is lazy.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

No, I want to know how the batsman is setting up to play the ball. If you’re watching the ball out of the bowler’s hand then it gives you a split second less time to react to what the striker is doing.

Off a spinner, or in a test, that wouldn’t matter so much. Off a paceman in a T20 it could be important (especially if the ball ends up coming back at you). Besides, I’m sure Buttler has done his homework on the bowlers he faces in the IPL. If he’s trying to work out their variations from side on as they’re bowling then good luck.

This is a moot point anyway. Buttler did all he was required to do under the laws of the game and was wrongly given out.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

EDIT: sorry, I didn’t see that you’d already stated the law above!
Thanks Nathan.
I meant that it’s a grey area because the ICC have never publicly challenged the perception that the Mankad is against the spirit of the game – not that there is a grey area in the law. The law itself is clear.
The rule itself states that:
“If the non-striker is out of his/her ground from the moment the ball comes into play to the instant when the bowler would normally have been expected to release the ball, the bowler is permitted to attempt to run him/her out.”
You’re correct that it should have been not out. And it pretty much says Buttler did nothing wrong, too, since he waited until the bowler would have been expected to release the ball before leaving his ground. Case closed.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

It’s one thing to say it, it’s another to actually do it every ball. Usually ‘waiting for the ball to come out’ just involves timing your backing up so that it coincides with the point of release. You don’t need to see the bowler’s arm come over in order to do that.

The only reason to actually watch the ball leave the hand is if you’re anticipating a Mankad and players just don’t do that. If the Mankad lost the stigma then the blame would rest entirely on the batsman. Because the ICC has allowed the grey area to fester, batsmen still (fairly, in my view) expect the bowler to release the ball.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

Buttler and every other batsman, you mean. Very few non-strikers regularly watches the ball leave the bowler’s hand (especially in T20 when it could get smacked straight back at you) because the Mankad still has that taboo around it.

And Buttler wasn’t getting a head start, that’s my whole point. Had Ashwin delivered the ball normally then Buttler’s timing would have been fine. IMO, if a batsman isn’t leaving his crease before the bowler delivers (or would have delivered) the ball then they aren’t getting a head start and there’s no need to resort to the Mankad.

This is one of those grey areas that the ICC needs to do something about.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

Indoor cricket isn’t a great comparison though, Paul. In indoor cricket you can take a run while the ball is being returned to the bowler. The ball is never dead until a wicket falls or the over is called.

Rightly or wrongly, in actual cricket batsmen just don’t watch the bowler release the ball. Their eyes are on the striker so they can watch what shot he’s about to play. Watching the release is not something that has been drilled into batsmen because the Mankad has always been frowned upon (irrespective of its legitimacy), except where the batsman is blatantly cheating.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

I know it’s legal but there is still a taboo around it. The ICC could smash that in an instant.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

It’s okay Tim, Belinda doesn’t have one.

In all seriousness, her position is just a re-badging of Pat Howard’s high performance role. I’m not sure exactly what it entails but she wouldn’t be the first person I’d cull from the CA setup.

Cricket Australia confirm bowling coach appointments for World Cup and Ashes

I don’t disagree but it’s simply too late to drop him now. I don’t think Handscomb has ever kept in an ODI. That’s not something you trial in the World Cup.

The selectors have persisted with Carey as the keeper all summer. It’s pretty clear they won’t backtrack now. I’d have liked to see Handscomb given the gloves in India, which would have allowed Turner to stay at the number 7 spot (with Warner and Smith out), but it is what it is.

Warner, Finch, Khawaja, Smith and Marsh locked in for World Cup

Unfortunately I don’t think the umps can step in. The laws don’t allow them to overrule a Mankad that has been correctly executed.

I wish the ICC would just come out and state, once and for all, that they deem the Mankad to be completely within the spirit of the game. Then it would be reasonable to expect all batsmen to watch the bowler like a hawk. As it is, they’re in a position where the Mankad is the furthest thing from their mind unless they are deliberately sneaking out of their crease.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

I’m not sure a 20 off 11 will have other sides quaking in their boots but I can’t see Smith missing the squad, as long as his elbow is fine.

People need to wrap their heads around the fact that Handscomb will not keep. They can’t give Carey the gloves for what will be 18 straight ODIs before the Cup starts and then ask Handscomb to take over. That would be highly irresponsible. If Handscomb was going to take the gloves then he needed at least this UAE series to settle into the role.

Carey will keep. It’s done. Assuming Warner takes Marsh’s spot in the XI, Handscomb and Smith are probably fighting for the same position in the team.

As for “we know Smith will be well ahead of the balls-faced rate”… Do we? Smith’s ODI career strike is 86, which drops to 79 since 1 Jan 2017. He’s never been one of our fastest scorers. For comparison, Handscomb’s strike rate is 98.

Warner, Finch, Khawaja, Smith and Marsh locked in for World Cup

Normally I would agree but if you look at the replay, Buttler wasn’t leaving his crease early. Had Ashwin gone through with his delivery Buttler would have started backing up at about the time of release, which is perfectly reasonable.

I don’t have a problem with the Mankad being used on a batsman who is trying to gain an unfair advantage by backing up early. In this case, though, Buttler wasn’t doing anything wrong (other than expecting Ashwin to release the ball, like every batsman does). Ashwin was just being sneaky.

Ravi Ashwin deploys controversial mankad to dismiss Jos Buttler

I agree. As good as Marsh has been, if Warner comes straight in then he seems to obvious player to make way. Otherwise they would need to drop Handscomb, who is currently the only player reliably rotating the strike from ball one in the middle overs, or Stoinis, which takes away a bowling option. And if Smith comes back he’ll almost certainly take Handscomb’s spot as the busy middle order player.

I think the squad is taking shape:

Finch (c)
Carey (wk)


*Behrendorff/Hazlewood to come in if Richardson hasn’t fully recovered from his dislocated shoulder.

The one thing lacking is a bit more lower-order firepower but I can’t see how Turner would fit into the final 15 without leaving out a better batsman.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

Spot on, Graham. You only have to look back to the T20I tri-series between Australia, England and NZ just over 12 months ago where Finch batted at 5 (below Maxwell) in a finisher role. In three innings he made 74 runs from just 32 balls at a SR of 231.25.

In saying that, I wouldn’t mess with Finch and Khawaja at the top. Warner is good enough to bat anywhere so he should just slot in wherever the team most needs him.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

He also gives them the option to play Lyon as the second spinner if they want to. Take Stoinis out – so that the 5th and 6th bowling options are spin – and they will probably feel compelled to play three quicks.

Stoinis does give Australia a very handy option when there is something in the wicket because he is a hit-the-pitch bowler. He was targeted in India though. On the roads in England Maxwell looks like he’ll be the more effective option.

Finch books World Cup spot with matchwinning ton

Probably because they felt it was better to explain the mental health issues than to dress it all up as a discipline problem. Presumably they consulted with Hogan before doing so, although it’s weird that not everyone at the club was on the same page.

AFL fans can't pick and choose when to care about mental health

Well I don’t recall seeing those so the comment stands!

It’s time to change the leg-side no-LBW rule

There’s obviously no way for us punters to know how much of it is mental health and how much is just partying.

In saying that, surely it’s pretty standard for a club not to broadcast someone’s mental health battles unless they need to? I’m sure some at St Kilda were aware of Steven’s issues well before they were made public due to his intention to take a break.

I don’t think the timing of Freo’s announcement re Hogan’s issues is, in itself, indicative of anything. Whether they are lying or not, it’s the logical point for them to make the revelation.

AFL fans can't pick and choose when to care about mental health

Still not as plumb 😉

It’s time to change the leg-side no-LBW rule