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JohnB

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Joined August 2010

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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.

You’re right that SL could win, although even with a very unsettled and inexperienced Australian team they shouldn’t. They’re certainly capable of winning a day/night test in Brisbane if they find themselves bowling at the right times. Then it takes only a draw on a flat Manuka Oval pitch, and series won. Another triumph of scheduling for CA after the India series!

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

Small point – a change bowler always used to be someone who wasn’t in the side as a bowler and was only good enough to bowl the occasional over to allow the proper bowlers to change ends. A first change bowler on the other hand is a proper bowler selected to bowl third, when the first of the opening bowlers is rested.

As to why Cummins has been used as first change – it’s a fair question as he’s looked consistently the best of the pace bowlers. Maybe they figured Starc had to have the new ball, and they preferred Hazelwood to bowl upwind. Maybe they also thought Hazelwood would get a bit more out of the new ball.

At long last, Pat Cummins will have the new ball again against Sri Lanka

The selectors seem to think he’ll do well in England – where the 50 over World Cup is in a few months, followed by an Ashes series – based on county form last year. It’s not difficult to argue that accurate fast medium with a little movement is more successful on many of the pitches there than straight out pace (particularly pace not tied to a bit of accuracy). Whether he goes to England, gets a game or proves successful time will tell, but picking him now as a preparation for England isn’t totally unreasonable.

The Peter puzzle: Why is Peter Siddle being picked for Australia?

You neglected to add “on a road” regarding Sangha’s knock against the Englishmen. However, he did score them and if he keeps making runs look at him by all means. The one thing I keep remembering about him came from the U19 tournament when Lloyd Pope took all those wickets against England – he owes 2 or 3 of those to quite brilliant slips catches by Sangha.

Australia's batting future on show in Hobart today

Matt H may have been referring to Travis Head, in which case he’s correct, although rather depressingly not getting into the conspiracy theory mindset. Glenn Maxwell and his selection travails on the other hand rather lend themselves to these sort of speculations.

Glenn Maxwell's career has become a 12-part crime podcast

I recall reading somewhere that the captain of the 1905 All Blacks (Dave Gallagher?) wrote a short book after that tour outlining their basic approach to the game. The captain of I think a Welsh or maybe Lions tour to NZ in the 60s was given a copy and after reading it said something to the effect of “no wonder they’re so far ahead of us – we’re only starting to do some of this stuff now”

Sliding doors: Wallaby lessons from the 2001 Lions tour

Carlos, you are on fire in this thread. Particularly liked the “ignore the literature” comment above.

Mind you, the “if you can’t explain it” one does remind me of the quote that gets attributed to Neils Bohr (who the internet says said something similar but not quite this) “If you are not completely confused by quantum mechanics, you do not understand it”.

Sliding doors: Wallaby lessons from the 2001 Lions tour

Larkham’s Brumbies sides didn’t always exactly scintillate.

Sliding doors: Wallaby lessons from the 2001 Lions tour

Mind you, the next Lions tour to Australia after that was just as much one that got away!

I remember the hordes of fans in Lions jerseys everywhere in Brisbane before that test.

Sliding doors: Wallaby lessons from the 2001 Lions tour

No-one’s blaming the pitches. India were the better team and won fair and square. However, it would be disingenuous in writing an article on the real reasons India won the series not to acknowledge that the low and slow nothings served up in Melbourne and Sydney, and not playing in Brisbane, played into the hands of India and were factors in the series win.

The real reasons India won

To be fair, Adelaide wasn’t that bad. Melbourne and Sydney certainly were. Not playing in Brisbane remains a heavily underrated factor.

The real reasons India won

Plus the Oakland As in using sabermetrics weren’t looking for the best players, as national selectors unencumbered by salary caps or budgets are, but for undervalued players who they could afford. All the hype about moneyball also glosses over the fact that a lot of Oakland’s success that year was down to its pitching staff – who for the most part were picked and developed the old fashioned way.

Selections supported by analysis, not opinion

Collective failure of irony detectors going on here.

Three changes confirmed in new-look Australian squad to play Sri Lanka

Intrigued to see if the author now withdraws and completely re-writes this article, with that howling error in one of his basic premises having been pointed out.

Who really belongs in the next Test XI?

And Lawrie Sawle played zero tests, had a moderate at best FC career, came from WA and was one of the selectors who picked guess who for every one of his 50 tests. And yet he’s regarded as having been an outstanding selector and chairman of selectors.

The wizards of Aus: Why the selectors must go

Joe Burns this year 472 at 47.2, with 4x50s (HS 96), a 49, a 38 and a 24* from 12 innings. Last season 725 at 55.76 (7 games only – admittedly helped by a 200 on the always flat Cairns pitch). Pretty handy.

Langer a busy man, but not nearly as busy as his assistants should be…

Henriques’ season bowling figures – 6 games, 13 overs, 0-47. Respectable batting figures, helped by a big hundred on a road, but still had to score them. One fifty in 9 other innings.

Another Test selection embarrassment after Australia's Melbourne meltdown

Joe Burns is entitled to think he’s being screwed over. Glenn Maxwell has been entitled to think that from time to time. Matt Renshaw has made 199 Shield runs at 19.9 with one fifty this season. Not being selected in the test team in those circumstances is not being screwed over.

Another Test selection embarrassment after Australia's Melbourne meltdown

Without wanting to be seen as bagging the bloke, you’ll be doing well to come up with a riposte re John Watkins.

Another Test selection embarrassment after Australia's Melbourne meltdown

77/78 playing against an Australian side without any of the WSC signatories was a pretty fair opportunity too. Actually a brilliant series, with Bob Simpson’s Australian side winning 3-2.

If not now, will India ever secure a series victory in Australia?

It certainly produced a better game than those seen on the very bland pitches produced for too many tests in Australia in recent years and I’d certainly rather watch a game played on that pitch than a day/night lottery or a game on, for example, last year’s Melbourne pitch. Whether that makes this a good pitch is another matter. There were on my count 5 wickets from balls that wildly misbehaved off the pitch, and the scoring rate overall was about 2.7 – doesn’t scream good to me.

Five-day Tests are alive and well

First class stats comparisons need to take into account that modern players play a lot more of their FC games as tests – for Lyon, it is 82 out of 141 (for 334 of his 501 wickets). Ashley Mallett played 38 tests in his 183 FC games (for 132 of his 693 wickets) and Ian Johnson 45 tests in 189 FC games total (109 wickets out of 689). While the longer length of tests compared to other FC games gives more opportunity to bowl, you’re typically playing against better batsmen and have better bowlers around you competing for the available wickets. If you’re good enough you can take more wickets per game at test level than at FC level as Lyon has done, but Mallett and Johnson couldn’t.

At Test level Lyon will always be measured against Hugh Trumble’s 141 wickets from 32 tests (he took a handy 929 from 231 FC games total by the way). With Lyon now at over 4 wickets per test, not as silly a comparison as it once was.

Nathan Lyon is a priceless asset

Not totally unlike Benaud himself, who took a few years to really come good.

All hail Nathan the Lyonheart

Given both sides have decent to good pace attacks, the real question is will the Indian batting or the Australian batting handle the conditions better.

Perth pitch no guaranteed perk for Aussies

While Watson never produced what he looked capable of, his overall figures weren’t horrible (batting 35.19, 24 fifties and 4 hundreds in 107 innings over 59 games, bowling 1.25 wickets per test at 33.68). The number of hundreds was low for someone who batted a lot in the top order. Symons’ figures were also ok, although he never looked more than a change bowler at test level (26 tests, 41 innings av 40.61, 2 hundreds and 10 fifties; 24 wickets at 37.33). That’s not Keith Miller, but there haven’t been many Millers.

Mitch Marsh dropped for first Test as Peter Handscomb gets the nod