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The Roar

Joe Karsay

Expert

Joined October 2010

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Joe loves and writes about numerous sports. His favourite sport to analyse is test cricket due to its complexity and nuances. You can catch him from time to time on TV on the Drum (ABC24, Friday nights at 6.05pm - http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/programs/the-drum/).

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The underlying point is that this should have been handled behind closed doors. In the past it would have been dealt with by the senior players on tour. But through bad planning, personality clashes and retirements we now have Clarke leading a very inexperienced and insecure side. Clarke and the other selectors should have put more emphasis on retaining some of these older ‘hard heads’ rather than on short term form slumps. Haddin is the perfect example. The best sides in any sporting code have a mix of youth and experience. That mix no longer exists in our test side and its character has changed markedly. We can argue the extent to which this is Clarke’s fault as opposed to the hand he has been dealt. There is enough evidence to suggest that Clarke has had personality clashes with other senior players such as Katich, Hussey (around his retirement) and Watson. That is the last thing a team in transition needs.

Clarke and Arthur killing Australian Test team culture

I agree with the comments about Warne, to the extent that he has a great cricket brain. However, a leader also has to set the example and put team over self. I wonder whether Warne’s larrikin streak and ego/celebrity would have caused ructions in the dressing room. One of the features of Australian cricket has been a very harmonious dressing room over the last two decades. Compare this to the Windies and even England who just had a captain retire, due in part, to a personality clash.

The forgotten man in the captaincy debate is Gilchrist. Gilchrist proved his value when captaining Australia to the series win in India in 2004. Arguably the most important series win of the era (and what Steve Waugh had described as the last frontier). Gilly had the cricket brain and the right personality.

Ponting: a great batsman, a poor captain

Sean – I agree Hussey needs runs against India – his scores from the last two test series are dismal : 1, 0, 20, 39, 15, 8 and 0.

Hughes gone, Khawaja struggling, but Ponting must stay

Red Kev and Whaler – I agree with you both. Usman looks like he is made of the right stuff. Slats did a comparison between his technique and Hughes’ when defending a similar ball on the the TV the other day. It said a lot. Usi looks rock solid. I would just like to see him play his free flowing strokes a bit more. It will come.

Hughes gone, Khawaja struggling, but Ponting must stay

Whaler – some strong arguments for Usi and I agree with most of what you say. I think he needs more chances. My argument is that he will not survive unless the performances come sooner rather than later. It’s just the reality. Oh and by the way if two seasons of Shield form was good enough Usman and a third of a season good enough for Warner – why do you discount Cowan’s current form and refer only to a career average which spans nearly ten years. Cowan has been scoring runs consistently in state cricket for at least two seasons and that is the best evidence he is ready.

Hughes gone, Khawaja struggling, but Ponting must stay

Red Kev, Offshore and Jameswm – and all others calling for Cowan to be picked. Please see this article http://www.theroar.com.au/2010/11/13/the-answer-to-australia%e2%80%99s-middle-order-woes-is-a-man-you-may-not-have-heard-of/
I wrote over 12 months ago advocating for him. There is some personal background in there you might find interesting. At the time we had a spot in the middle order but now that it’s an opening spot and he is scoring loads of runs – the argument is even stronger.

Hughes gone, Khawaja struggling, but Ponting must stay

It’s a done deal the Sharks have signed Carney….

Carney and Cronulla - a recipe for disaster

For the league purists I apologise for another cross code comparison – but – Adrian, Geelong did not need to stick with the same coach to keep the dynasty alive. In fact, Manly would be better off giving Toovey a shot at the third premiership while the window is still open rather than have a coach who has mentally moved on, albeit a very successful one.

Manly should sack Des the deserter

You are both wrong – I am a Dragons fan!

Bagman – My only comeback to the Cleary example is that there is an exception to every rule! I still think it would have been better for his players if they could have kept it under wraps until the end of the season.

Ken – How can you say the Dragons were a force at the business end of the season – reigning premiers who went out in straight sets in the finals?

Manly should sack Des the deserter

David the second half of your article makes very interesting reading but seven paragraphs on Michael Clarke’s tattoos? I am not a fan of them myself but the horse has bolted on that one my friend.

On to the real stuff. As great a player and captain as Steve Waugh was – his unmatched win loss ratio has a lot to do with the fact that he got Warne, McGrath etc. at the peak of their powers. Of the captains I have seen in my life time (starting with Border) I think Tubby has set the bench mark. He created the winning mindset that Steve capitalised on. He also had a creativity that Border, Waugh and Ponting all lacked. Hopefully Clarke will bring this kind of flair to the role.

While the batting order looks much stronger with Ponting there, I am worried about the influence he may have over Clarke. Clarke has always seemed to idolise his old captain. I also tend to agree with jameswm’s comment “I’m not convinced he’s tough enough, or has enough respect from his team-mates” but hope for the sake of Australian cricket we are both wrong.

Clarke doesn't look the part, but can he do the job?

“I’m just hoping something good comes out of this situation because I actually think the decision that came on Tuesday was absolutely ridiculous” – well said Kat! When is this bloody review of the national team and admin going to be finished?

Does Katich's sacking lie with Clarke?

Well all I can say is that I am glad no one picked up the factual inaccuracy in my article! More to the point, I am glad it was a minor fact and in no way central to my argument! Apologies to all and thank you for everyone who took time to point it out, even those who did so in a slightly unkind manner – totally deserved. If I have any credibility at all left I would like to clear a couple of things up.

Firstly, I stand by the general thrust of my article. Federer has many great qualities but compared with other champions I have seen (I am thinking in particular of Sampras) he does not bring the same intensity to big points. Nor is he good at maximising his advantages over baseline sluggers. If he was, his 16 grand slams would be closer to 20.

Secondly, I AM a huge fan and have seen as much of Roger’s big matches as possible (I possibly fell asleep during the 2008 Wimbledon final!). My article is written from the point of view of a fan who thinks he can and should win almost every time he goes out there – he is that good. Point taken that at times he has been simply outplayed by Rafa.

It has been a privilege to have been around to see Federer play. I doubt we will see another player in our lifetime do what he has done both in terms of his record and his classic, beautiful technique.

I guess I just want to see him fire up!

Why Roger Federer is a flawed genius

Sunshinecoast – It was a great win let’s enjoy it! As for the “chest beating emotional babble talk”, you will see from my previous articles – http://www.theroar.com.au/author/joe-karsay/ – I don’t always see the Aussie team through rose coloured glasses!

A reminder to England - we are Australia

Some of the comments from (obviously) Pommy fans have given me a unique insight into the reasons why they were uncompetitive for so long. They apparently don’t hate losing as much as Australia do and stick by their underperforming players.

A reminder to England - we are Australia

Stephen – I think you will find that my article is rife with the kind of jingoistic hyperbole that one feels when their country rises from the canvas for a great win. Don’t take it too seriously! You speak of the “crass flag-waving of the Australian media”. I am sure the Fleet Street Press were not giving the Aussies a hard time at all when we were tanking after the second test!

A reminder to England - we are Australia

Formeropenside – While this team lacks the legends and characters of some our recent sides it is still our national side and the fact that we are playing the old enemy should be enough to get you excited.

Bob – I have to agree D Hussey was the leading run scorer in the Pura Cup last season and I can’t understand why his name never gets mentioned. It could be like when M Waugh replaced his brother!

Fisher Price – Agree Haddin would have been feeling the pressure but Paine’s injury will have released some of that.

Who should be in the team for Brisbane?

Fisher Price – While I am not sure McDonald is the right option I do agree with the general tenor of your comment. I.e. If Ricky does not like you, your long term prospects in the Australian team are slim. Names such as Hodge and Krejza come to mind.

Here's the answer to our middle order woes

The squad has been announced:

Ponting, Clarke, Bollinger, Doherty, Ferguson, Haddin, Harris, Hauritz, Hussey, Hilfenhaus, Johnson, Katich, Khawaja, North, Siddle, Smith, Watson.

Very predictable, Ferguson and Khawaja the spares. From their comments it looks like the selectors will stick with the incumbents (Hussey and North) in any event.

Bayman has done a strong job of defending my piece.

All I will ad is: Mr Kistic – you don’t happen to be joining us from Victoria do you? Cam White does not have the technique to be a test match batsman and Andrew McDonald has already been given a go and averages 21.40 in tests.

Here's the answer to our middle order woes

Vinay – Thanks for your support and I look forward to your piece.

Whaler – A bit harsh on Tubby, although Slats was claiming on the radio the other day that Taylor’s lack of pace between the wickets cost him a thousand test runs!

Frank – I don’t think that getting the right coach for a young side with (potentially) a young inexperienced captain is “looking in the rear view mirror” but rather planning for future success. As Dickie P states the team has changed and so the style of coaching required has changed.

Bring Tubby Taylor into the coaching fold

Spiro, Good point re coaching staff. I have had a piece in the pipeline on Tim Neilsen and the different direction the role has taken since the Bobby Simpson days.

Is it really just Ponting-bashing?

Geoff, fantastic article. The empirical examples add weight to the opinion which we share – that Ponting is a very average captain. I agree field placements have an impact which go beyond the purely physical, they can send a message to both the opposing batsmen and your own bowlers. Ponting has too often got that message wrong.

Is it really just Ponting-bashing?

Some good points made. It is one thing to say Ponting should be sacked as captain (which I clearly believe) but another to come up with the solution. Tom, I agree Clarke probably is not the panacea. I think he would be tactically more aggressive but there are question marks over his man management skills. Katich is probably too old and Ferguson has not played a test. Also, GG makes a good point we need Ponting as a batsman more than ever. I doubt his ego would allow him to continue without the (c) next to his name and as Slats pointed out on radio this is not the Australian way. It has certainly worked for Tendulkar!

Ponting: time for the captain to go