The Roar
The Roar


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Joined August 2010









Roar Rookie
Roar Rookie

England just as good as the 1984 West Indies

In the hand-wringing that has (quite appropriately) followed the Ashes series, one snippet is worth noting – discounting the Perth match (which starts to look such an aberration now that if Pakistan had been involved an awful lot of questions would be being asked), England went through the series losing precisely one second innings wicket.

Roar Rookie
Roar Rookie

It's time for a little haka history

There have been a couple of articles recently on The Roar regarding the haka. It’s been a popular bone of contention – how do you react to it while it’s going on and should there be some orchestrated response to it when it’s finished?

Roar Rookie
Roar Rookie

An Australian "what might have been" XI

Posts on The Roar in recent weeks have discussed selecting all-time World, West Indies, India v Australia and West Indies regional teams. Some of them have then devolved into picking Australian state teams, a Queensland all-time imports team and “favourites” teams.

That’s it. The purpose of the law was to discourage negative bowling. Surprising none of the people you spoke to could figure that out. Unintended consequences are always the issue with suggestions like this.

Incidentally, there was an experimental law in Shield cricket in the early 80s (for only 1 season I believe) which allowed LBs for balls pitching outside leg. I think the twist was they had to be bowled over the wicket, the intent being to encourage leggies. I recall seeing (on TV) Bob Holland getting a wicket that way. If you were really proposing this, it would be interesting to find when this was and see what comments it provoked (and why the experiment was shelved).

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

To pick up on a minor howler – if you kick a penalty instead of missing it, all of the rest of the game after that doesn’t stay the same (unless the miss is the last play of a half and maybe not even then). If Foley kicks the first penalty Hooper doesn’t score the first try.

Rugby's Andrew Hore in no position to call the NRL a tiddlywinks competition

That’s the basis on which he would be picked. His consistent bowling with the Dukes ball post BBL last year was a big part of Qld winning the Shield. It got him into the squad in the UAE and while Peter Siddle had an ok first test Neser would have been at least as effective as him in the second. Unfortunately that’s probably as close Neser will get to a Test cap. He had to repeat last year’s form to have any chance to get on the Ashes tour – but hasn’t hit those heights. To get in a Test side, he needs to be one of the best 4 bowlers available, which with the best will in the world he isn’t. As a bowling allrounder, he certainly has some decent numbers, but the times when you’d pick a bowling allrounder ahead of a batting allrounder (or ahead of 6 batsmen and 4 bowlers) are few and far between (and often a mistake).

The forgotten man who could solve Australia’s all-rounder woes

I think it was that game, but if it wasn’t it was around the same time. He only played 5 games in the Shield season that year, missing a number of games in the month after that Aust A game.

Incidentally, while I don’t disagree with your basic premise regarding Greg Chappell, a lot of the selections you point to looked ok at the time or were a result of particular situations at the time. Andrew Hilditch was chairman of selectors in Chappell’s second stint. The effects of the Sth African rebel tours on Australian cricket in his first stint are difficult to overstate (and the hole the retirements of Chappell himself, Lillee and Marsh left shouldn’t be forgotten).

Greg Chappell: Great player, terrible selector

But O’Keefe got injured in that Australia A game didn’t he?

Greg Chappell: Great player, terrible selector

Looked out to me

An unlucky Marcus Harris falls agonisingly short of his century for the Bushrangers

While this isn’t what your article is about, you don’t have to go back too far for a series where a ton almost as stunning as Perera’s turned around and ultimately won a series – the last SL v Australia series in SL. In the first test Mendis’ second innings 176 coming in at 2 down and still about 80 behind, having been rolled for 117 in the first innings took them from likely heavy defeat to a strong win, and then to 3 nil in the series.

When centuries won Test series

Revered is quite some stretch too.

Longstanding perhaps.

Iconic commentator slams Shane Warne over 'disrespectful' coverage

His SR 104.65. Innings SR, including sundries, 120. And as Paul said, England won. Getting excited about his 6 hitting is Goodhart’s law in action.

Chris Gayle's six-hitting massacre against England breaks several records

He was at UQ doing Human Movements around 80/81. Chris Roche wasn’t at UQ I don’t think (Tony Darcy and maybe a year or so later Michael Lynagh also were doing that course, with other sporting notables). O’Connor played in the lunch time touch footy comp from time to time – to say he transcended that competition understates it badly.

Reports: Michael O'Connor to be named Wallabies selector

You can consider Henriques as a batsman by all means – but he’s taken 0 FC wickets this season and he took 5 in 9 games last season and 3 in 9 the one before that. He hasn’t been an all rounder for some time.

Warne’s spin remains a difficult read

The other comment I’d make relates to the comment on Pucovski’s U19 record. It certainly sounds impressive – but did they play as many games and get as many innings back in Ricky Ponting’s day as they do now? And, with all respect, Jerry Cassell isn’t exactly a household name. If he was the record holder, does that suggest holding the record isn’t an automatic marker of likely high level success?

Pucovski is the future, not quite the present

While your comment on SL isn’t totally unreasonable, they did knock over SA for 239 in Durban overnight. Maybe not totally hopeless.

Pucovski is the future, not quite the present

Someone else has probably mentioned it, but there’s an interesting 1994 book “Anyone but England” by a Mike Marqusee about English cricket, its history and relationship with the other test playing states/regions. Anyone but England is a pretty old concept!

Will England rule the world in 2019?

Don’t ignore who he dislikes as a selection criterion.

Shane Warne has named his Ashes team, and it's actually not as ridiculous as we'd have thought

But neither Warner nor Smith did a lot of bowling (or batting) for SL in Galle, so the comparison falls down a bit. It may well be a mistake to dismiss performances against what are regarded as weaker sides or in favourable conditions – but it’s a bigger mistake to not acknowledge and take into account the circumstances of a performance when assessing it.

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

Get used to it I’m afraid Paul. Any time someone’s contract ends early, pretty much all you’ll get is platitudes.

Bombshell dropped as Australian bowling coach quits

Like most series, it depends on the pitches. England may have been woeful away (although they did beat a stronger SL than the one Australia just beat, in SL) but they still play better than anyone else in their own conditions. There’s a bit of movement making bowlers who look a bit pedestrian elsewhere threatening, and a bit less bounce which suits their lineup of allrounders when they bat. One thing in Australia’s favour is that the Ashes come after the World Cup, meaning it is played in the later part of the northern summer when the pitches are typically drier than they are earlier in the summer – dependent on the weather of course. Whether that’s enough to overcome England’s superiority on their own pitches time will tell.

Why Australia are still firm Ashes underdogs

Which would be fine, but are you saying Cummins was 10/10 and 8/10 to arrive at an average of 9? 8 out of 10 seems generous for the second test, but 9/10 seems fine for the series. Lyon was 6/10 in each test? That looks decidedly inflated. Perhaps these ratings should actually be done that way – a score for each match, averaged for the series. Harsh for the player who doesn’t get to do much in a particular game mind you.

Australian player ratings vs Sri Lanka

Richardson and especially Starc at 6 look a bit odd next to Lyon also at 6. A bowler like Lyon can sometimes do a good part of his job even without taking a lot of wickets, by bowling a lot of overs tightly at one end and letting the pace bowlers attack from the other end. In this series he didn’t have to do that because SL fell over quickly, so he didn’t bowl many more overs than any of the 3 pace bowlers, and went at more per over than Richardson and Cummins, so he didn’t really do that part of the job all that well (although you could argue that was from want of opportunity as much as anything). Meanwhile Starc may well have had a bit of a shocker in the first test, but was man of the match in the second. Even Labuschagne actually produced one important innings (when Australia was 3 for not many and potentially under a lot of pressure if they lost any more) – not to mention topping the bowling averages!

Australian player ratings vs Sri Lanka

I get your point, and you certainly still have to acknowledge that X scored the runs or took the wickets while others didn’t regardless of the pitch or the match conditions or the opposition, but is it lazier when assessing a performance to just take it at face value or to look at all the circumstances surrounding that performance? Got to say, not taking the circumstances into account seems a good deal lazier to me.

“Yeah, but it was” …the laziest cricket argument going

Allan Border from that era would take some beating in the “bat for your life” stakes.

Echoes of 1985-86: The blessing of a forced rebuild

Pope, the connection with modern day women’s cricket goes further. Casually glancing at Robbie Kerr’s profile on Cricinfo (which sadly says little) there’s a note saying his daughter is one AC Kerr – who turns out to be Amelia Kerr, who after debuting at 16 and at age 18 has played 24 ODIs for NZ, scoring 459 runs at 51 (helped along by a 232* v Ireland) and has 40 wickets at 20.9 with her leggies. Apparently Robbie played in Wellington at one time, and met his wife there.

Echoes of 1985-86: The blessing of a forced rebuild

You often hear the comment that Robbie Kerr is an example of why you don’t pick a young player to debut when they’re in a bit of a form trough, which he evidently was at the time. Batting a bit scratchily and coming up against Hadlee at his peak doesn’t strike you as a recipe for success. Kerr also had injury issues (from a car accident?) in the next year or so which contributed to him never getting back in.

Echoes of 1985-86: The blessing of a forced rebuild

Yes India’s pace bowling was good – and better than Australia’s on low, slow pitches in Melbourne and Sydney – but you might recall they did lose in Perth. The real point concerning the Gabba isn’t how India’s bowling may or may not have gone on it – it’s that their batting (the difference in the series) comes right back to the field when faced with any bounce.

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