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Jeffrey Dun

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Joined October 2015

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I hope you are right about Fonua. Unfortunately he is not even guaranteed a starting position come round 1. He certainly has X-factor. Ivan Cleary summed him up best: “When he gets the ball both coaches hold their breath”. And that’s the problem – he can be a match winner, but he also has a few mistakes in him and could cost you a match.

The five under-the-radar NRL players you need to watch this season

Ronan – I took it that you believed that by playing only the top teams, Australia’s confidence had been damaged and this was poor preparation for the WC. For example, you say: “Sometimes teams in any sport just need a run of easy matches to regain their mojo.” And again “Australia will have no such cosy ODI series in which to regain their confidence before the World Cup.”

I think what you say is true, especially if the poor performances continued.

But if one plays the best and succeeds, then that can create momentum and self belief within the playing group. Certainly playing the best reveals those who are capable of performing in elite company, which makes it much easier to pick a good squad.

Playing India so often may have backfired; but, I think Australia is gaining much more from this series than India. We are building nicely for the WC on the back of this tough series.

Ashton Turner stuns India

How does last night’s performance square with your thesis of yesterday Ronan ?

Australia are building nicely towards the WC. Not long ago we had the problem of who do we pick. Now we appear to have a problem of who do we leave out.

In my view we are slowly sorting the wheat from the chaff.

Ashton Turner stuns India

” He averages 60 but you have to consider that his average is skewed by his home matches where Australia has statistically been the easiest place to score runs….”

Smith’s test match average away is 50.97; Kohli’s away average is 46.77. So, Smith averages more away from Australia that Kohli averages away from India.

“….but in the last Ashes in England, he scored loads of runs in Lords and the Oval (which generally tend to be the flattest relatively when compared to other venues…”

Those venues only seem to be flatter when Australia bat. When England batted the pitch conditions must have changed dramatically because Australia easily took 40 wickets in those two tests and won at Lords by 405 runs and by an innings and 46 runs at The Oval.

“He struggled in South Africa as well before the sandpaper gate broke out…”

Yes he did, but anyone can suffer a loss of form, so what? But again you cherry pick regarding his performances in SA – Smith played a series in SA in 2014 and averaged 67.25.

“Now that doesn’t mean Smith is a flat track bully and is poor everywhere else.”

I think your arguments do tend to suggest this. He scores loads of runs in Australia, Lords and the Oval – all flat pitches (except when the Australians bowl, or except when the latest Indian bowling unit bowl).

“Smith is undoubtedly one of the very best to have played but I wouldn’t rank him as the best since Bradman, etc. etc.”

I agree, but has any serious commentator suggested that he is ? There is no need to diminish his achievements to demonstrate that.

Aussies suffer last-over loss in ODI thriller against India

Thanks for clearing that up Ronan. English roads are not the reason for the unflattering comparisons.

India, not England, should be World Cup favourites

Perhaps that’s why the England bowling averages don’t compare as favourably with other countries.

India, not England, should be World Cup favourites

“They offered Farah an ambassador role for when he eventually retired, when he signed with Souths. The Tigers literally received no benefit.”

What’s more, Farah has stated that he is yet to accept the offer, and is not sure that he will, which Marina Go confirmed yesterday in a TV interview.

To compare this with Melbourne (or the Sharks) rorting the cap is laughable.

NRL to halve Tigers' salary cap fine, CEO allowed to return

Don, your comment: “James Anderson grows in notoriety whenever he is not playing Australia.” made me laugh – it’s so true. And yet, the conventional wisdom, as presented by the author in this article, is that: ” In home conditions Anderson is near on unplayable.”

Anderson has played 13 Ashes tests in England (a fair sample) and has taken 44 wickets at 33.4 runs per wicket and at a strike rate of 61.4. Hardly unplayable !

Pucovski is the future, not quite the present

“Genuine test quality allrounders who can truly fill both roles are as rare as hens teeth.”

Very true. If you define a genuine all rounder as one who is so good at each role that he would be selected for either role alone, then, of the top of my head, I can only think of three since WWI to have played for Australia:

Jack Gregory; Keith Miller; and Adam Gilchrist. Three in 100 years of cricket.

The ultimate Australian Test 13

“Anyhow, Burns now has 4 Test centuries – does Harris look like scoring one?”

I don’t disagree about the relative merits of Harris and Burns. The manner of Harris’ dismissals against SL were particularly poor, and disappointing given that he had demonstrated some potential against India (top scored at the SCG).

With regard to with whether Harris looks like scoring a century, I thought he was a bit stiff in the first innings at Perth. He had cruised to 70 and was looking pretty comfortable when he got an unplayable delivery from the Indian part time spinner. It reared off a length only for Harris to fend it off his throat and was caught at slip. We’ll never know if, but for the intervention of the pitch, he could have reached three figures.

Dismissing Test runs against 'easy' Sri Lanka is a mistake

All fair points Paul.

I do believe that if England produce conditions for the series like we had for Edgbaston/Trent Bridge last time, then the outcome of the series will be something of a lottery.

England will bowl well in those conditions but so will Hazlewood, Cummins and Rhichardson, and we know how fragile the England batting line-up is. The toss could be even more critical than usual.

The timing of the series may work in Australia’s favour and the Australia A tour should provide a good opportunity to acclimitise.

That said, I do think that England (like all home countries) should be favourites.

Why Australia are still firm Ashes underdogs

“few of our guys have played in English conditions, let alone against Anderson and co.”

Paul, you make it sound like every test will be played on a green seamer under heavy overcast. That’s not been the case in the past – at Lords and the Oval we flogged England on wickets that didn’t offer much to the bowlers.

I keep reading about what Anderson is going to do to us over there. I decided to check his stats in Ashes tests in England. I couldn’t believe what I read. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I can see:

Anderson has taken 44 Ashes wickets in England at an average of 33.36 and at a strike rate of 61.45. Not great really. By contrast, Stark has taken 29 wickets at an average of 31.24 and a strike rate of 54.28.

To complete the picture, Broad has taken 61 ashes wickets at an average of 26.02 (helped greatly by his 8/15 in 2015) at a strike rate of 47.56.

Finally, Hazlewood has taken 16 ashes wickets in England at 25.75 and a strike rate of 42.

So Starc has a better average and strike rate than Anderson and Hazlewood has the best record of all. Interesting because Hazlewood was having trouble transitioning to the Duke ball in 2015. He should be much better next time around.

So, perhaps the England batsmen should be worried if they lose the toss and bat on a green seamer under heavy overcast with Hazlewood, Dukes ball in hand, at the top of his run.

Why Australia are still firm Ashes underdogs

“Not withstanding these terrific knocks were against a pretty mediocre attack,…….”

The attack didn’t look so mediocre at 3-28. It’s easy in hindsight to “damn them with faint praise”.

The fact is that, given the attack, they couldn’t win – if they failed with the bat they would have been judged as not up to test standard, and if they succeeded their efforts would have been diminished.

Burns and Head cement Ashes spots

“…… – so the side has an odd balance.”

An odd balance indeed. Last test England selected 3 batsmen; 4 all-rounders; 3 wicket keepers; and 1 bowler.

I couldn’t agree more with your article Ronan. Australia’s batting performances in 2015 on decks offering assistance for the bowlers was very poor.

All out scores at Edgbaston of 136 and 265; and at Trent Bridge of 60 and 253 lost us the Ashes.

To suggest that we weaken an all ready flaky batting line up in order to strengthen an all ready powerful bowling line up is bizarre in the extreme.

Australia don't need an Ashes all-rounder

I’m struggling to understand the support for Wade. He has played 22 tests and averaged 28.58, plus he is now 31 years old.

He had his chance – time to give a young man a go.

While confusion reigns, Sri Lanka could knock off Australia at home

If and most likely when Steve Smith comes back I hope Paine retains the captaincy.”

After his monumental failure of leadership in SA, I can’t believe Smith will ever captain Australia again.

The making of Tim Paine, Australian captain

The Boxing Day test is a great occasion – pity about the venue.

At last, the Boxing Day Test can avoid being the embarrassment of the year

“I’m amazed at how many keyboard warriors love to get on the internet and bash Greenberg and Beattie instead of holding clubs and individual players to account.”

Seems to me that there are plenty of people rushing to judgement on both sides of the argument before all the particulars of the cases are known. (I’m not only referring to Flanagan and Pascoe but to all the players charged over the off season.)

Don’t blame the NRL for your club’s bad deeds

This is the best Indian fast bowling unit I have seen; and, it is also the worst Australian batting line up that I have seen (certainly the worst top 6).

And yet, despite this, in the three completed innings in this series so far, Australia has scored 850 runs to India’s 840.

Indian quicks leave Australia battered and bruised

“The Marsh bashing is pathetic but so typical of the Australian way of slaying our own. Only in Australia, something is fundamentally wrong with the thinking in this country.”

You need to travel abroad more often !

Australia's top order fails again as Proteas win to clinch 2-1 series lead

“He didn’t say all Tigers supporters.”

Perhaps I have a thin skin on the subject given that I support the Tigers and am a member.

The point is, he didn’t say “some” Tiger supporters. “Tiger fans” implies supporters generally, which irritates me because I would say that, to the best of my knowledge, there were more fans either undecided or opposed to the idea outright. I was certainly not in favour. While we have many holes in our roster, half back is not one of them.

I agree that we have come out of this quite well. Not so sure about the Panthers – appointing a coach that you sacked three years ago, for a five year term is pretty bizarre.

Panthers officially announce Ivan Cleary will coach from 2019

I’m a bit confused Peter. If we (or CA) can’t handle the truth, then surely the Ethics Committee would have produced a whitewash of a report.

I think the cricketing public in this country can handle the truth – hence the outrage at the cheating.

Also, CA can handle the truth, which is why they commissioned the report.

The bans on the three concerned are widely supported.

I must be missing something.

We can’t handle the truth - Australian cricket’s culture

“Tigers fans in March salivating over the thought of Nathan and Ivan together at the club.”

Did you do a poll Andrew ? All Tiger supporters salivating ?

I can’t be precise about the break down, but I do know that many Tiger supporters preferred to keep Brooks. Not only is he a junior, but he is regarded as a better value for money proposition than NC.

So stop generalising. Hyperbole such as this makes me think you have an agenda.

Panthers officially announce Ivan Cleary will coach from 2019

“Firstly comparing bans other nations or the icc hand out to what your country does is incredibly childish…”

That’s garbage ! The cricket community is international. We play under an international governing body and under uniform rules. What happens in India, England etc is of great interest to the cricket enthusiast around the world. The ball tampering fiasco in SA was probably the biggest story in world cricket for the last decade. The international blogs were full of it.

And yet, you say that is poor form to notice how other cricket authorities conduct their affairs. That’s nuts !

When you say “…Australia has pretended to be more honourable than other cricketing nations..” I’d suggest that in banning the three who disgraced us in SA for a year is a lot more honourable than other Cricket Boards have been when dealing with their cheats. But we shouldn’t comment on that should we James. That doesn’t suit your narrative.

Time for Cricket Australia to end the Smith, Warner and Bancroft bans

“…….he would have fell with the rest.”

Sorry, but how could you possibly know ?

He has played responsible innings in the past. In India he scored 104 off 185 balls.

Australia collapse to waste Finch and Khawaja's good work