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Jon Richardson

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Joined April 2018

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Thanks Rowdy- not saying that not out should be ignored, just that in a smaller data set like a series they mean that it’s worth comparing aggregates as well, rather than just averages. Eg in 1989 Waugh had a couple of big not outs that gave a big boost to his average. Most of the time, someone who scores 150 n.o. is not going to score a lot more runs than that. It’s hard to say that Waugh’s average was nearly 50% higher than Taylor’s should be the sole measure for comparison when Taylor scored 300+ more runs. But over a career or several years the not outs become less significant.

Numbers don't lie: Measuring the dominance of Steve Smith's Ashes

He’s in the top ten, just behind Bradman in 1936-37, with a dominance score of 58. Jonathan Trott’s great series – 445 runs at 89 – meant Cook wasnt quite as far above the rest in comparative terms.

Numbers don't lie: Measuring the dominance of Steve Smith's Ashes

Fair point ITI, I confess to a degree of exaggeration about the English bowlers in 1989 in order to contrast with the 2019 cohort, which doesn’t do justice to Taylor, Waugh and co. There were a couple of very fine English bowlers there in the form of Botham and Angus Fraser, but Botham was out of sorts and only played three Tests and Fraser only made his Test debut halfway through the series. The rest of the England bowlers had averages in the 30s at best and England selectors panicked somewhat, picking a total of 12 pacemen across the series, most of whom vanished without trace (Igglesden, Capel, Newport, Jarvis, RIP). But that was in large part thanks to Taylor, Waugh, Border, Boon and Jones.

Numbers don't lie: Measuring the dominance of Steve Smith's Ashes

The strategy of going for broke by picking some of the fastest scoring batsman is worth thinking about, but the logic of picking on the basis of T20s is faulty. A couple of rapid 50s is all very well, but you also need batsmen that can score really big runs, at a good rate, if you are going to nudge 350. Like Handscomb did the other night, and batsmen like Warner, Marsh have Smith have achieved.
Darcy Short is one batsman who has shown ability to make big and fast scores in the 50 over game, but sadly he is out of favour. I don’t mind having him in the squad, but let’s not get carried away: he not only has a mediocre average in all domestic and international 50 over cricket (31) but his strike rate is no better than those achieved by Marsh, Khawaja or Handscomb in international ODIs!
If you’re picking Wade, or Philippe, on the back of BBL form, you might recall that Shaun Marsh is actually a gun T20 player, with not only a much higher average across all T20 matches (39 vs 26) but the same strike rate (129) while batting almost always at the top of the order. And a lot of them in a tougher competition (the IPL or internationals). His 96 not out off 55 for the Scorchers in January was as good as anything by Wade in the BBL, or by Turner for that matter. Add to that the fact Marsh was head and shoulders the best batsman in the team in the last three ODI series (India, South Africa and England) with the best record of any of the current team, or Warner or Smith, in ODIs in England, I’m struggling to see why you would drop him for players who have a good T20 record, but no better than Marsh’s! Unless it’s because his name is Marsh, and he has underperformed in Tests, which is completely irrelevant.
As for Bryant, he made one only score over in the BBL. The odd quick fire 20 or 30 isn’t enough in the 50 over game.
Also worth noting that West Indies have NEVER scored over 400 in an ODI so the likelihood of them doing it in the World Cup once, let alone multiple times, is not high! Sure, England have done so – five times, at the rate of one a year from 2015, so multiple times in one tournament seems a big ask. In fact the Windies have
only ever scored 350 or more done 5 times in history, and England 15, so maybe 320-330 is a more realistic yardstick for really big scores.
When England flogged Australia for 418 at Nottingham last year, our bowling attack was Stanlake, J Richardson, Agar, Tye and Stoinis, which underlines the importance of bowling. That was the ONLY time England have scored over 350 against Australia, and the only other time they’ve scored over 340 was also last year against virtually the same attack, with Kane Richardson instead of Stanlake. In fact, outside of that series last year against our second string attack, England have only ever scored more than 305 TWICE against Australia, in 2014 and in Sydney last year. So another reason not to panic about needing extreme run rates.

Australia needs a radically different World Cup squad

Saying that a particular men’s sport is more highly skilled is not missing the point at all. The idea that women cricketers, for example, should be paid the same as Test players is particularly galling to those of us who have played cricket at first grade level in the capital cities, which is well above the level of women’s Test cricket and doesn’t get paid at all. It’s not a fundamentally different game. Put in the Australian women’s team up against Sutherland or St Kilda and we’d see the ugly result.

The basic fact is – it’s a question of demand. I could also get incensed that cricketers or footballers get far bigger pay packets than teachers or university researchers or even many doctors or – you name it. I’m even more outraged about the outrageous payouts to bank CEOs and movie stars. I might also hate the fact that rugby league players, who have bugger all international competition, get paid more than those in rugby union which is a significant world sport. There is nothing inherently “fair” about any of these. Within these professions I’m vehemently in favour of ensuring men’s and women’s pay is equal for the same job and even for positive discrimination for women. But if women want to set up separate sporting competitions to avoid direct competition with men, they then have to live and die by what the market wants to pay.

Demanding equal remuneration in these circumstances is wanting to have your cake and eat it to, the worst kind of special pleading. By the way, why not pay all athletes in a track race the same – they all try hard, dont they?

About time we spoke about equal pay for elite female athletes

It’s pretty much as ridiculous as I thought. 2 ridiculous selections – Harris ahead of Patterson – Ok maybe not completely ridiculous, but ill judged from so many points of view. And Stoinis – there is zero case for this. 1. White ball form is not an argument for Test selection.
2. You don’t need an allrounder in England if youve got 4 good front line bowlers, just a couple of batters who could roll their arm over anyway. So pick your six best batsmen, you’ll need em.
3. Stoinis isn’t close to being one of those – NOT ONE Australian Test player in the last hundred years has been selected in the top 6 with an average as low as his and succeeded. See my article https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/01/31/defying-the-odds-with-marnus-and-marcus/. So pick someone who is qualified- Maxwell, Khawaja, Hughes, Handscomb, Renshaw, Pucovski, Wade even.
4. Stoinis isn’t an all rounder anyway in red ball cricket, with an average of 42. He’s taken 52 wickets in 73 first class innings FFS! That’s no better or worse than the Test averages of bit part bowlers like Border, Hussey, Greg Chappell, M Clarke. To compensate for not being a genuine top 6 batsman, an allrounder only makes sense (just) if they present some wicket taking threat- Stokes, Watson, Moeen Ali. There would be more sense in picking someone like Michael Neser as an allrounder, with FC averages 26 batting and 30 bowling. A 12 point difference in bowling averages for a fifth bowler translates into about a 24 run difference in batting averages, so you’d have a chance of being 17 runs on average better off with Neser than Stoinis. I’m not recommending picking Neser, but it would make more sense than picking Stoinis.

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

Paul you are right about fielding being an area for improvement for the current team, but I’m not sure it was the reason for letting a non-stellar South African team steal a draw in 1952-53. The two Tests they won were thanks to a) Hugh Tayfield, a great offspinner (career average as good as Warne’s) taking 13 wickets in Melbourne and b) losing the 5th Test, also in Melbourne, after scoring 500 plus in the first innings and allowing South Africa to chase 297 losing only four wickets. But Ray Lindwall was injured and a young Richie Benaud was ineffective (maybe he wanted to divert attention from that by talking up the SA fielding, though no doubt that helped in supporting Tayfield’s 13/for). But haven’t seen a suggestion that Australia lost the Test because it dropped too many.

This series was truly the one that got away, Australia having won two matches comfortably and being well ahead in the drawn Test, with SA 6/177 chasing a target of 376 in 255 minutes after a miscalculated declaration against a notoriously slow scoring team.

One area where the Aussie Test team can excel

Sir, you disqualify yourself from the ranks of informed opinion by including Stoinis and Labuschagne in your Ashes squad. A) we don’t need allrounders. B) these aren’t allrounders anyway, just batsmen who have not performed adequately at first class level, with very mediocre bowling records- eg first class averages worse than the likes of bit part bowlers like Border, M Clarke, Hussey, Greg Chappell, Marcus North had at Test level.

As for another rant about Smith and Warner – did I see you at the ground waving banners about the presence of Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal? That’s right, the guy who was suspended for ONE MATCH last year for ball tampering in the Windies and, unlike Smith, vehemently denied it and threatened to keep his team off the ball. Whereas Smith, according to the bizarre logic of Cricket Australia was given a year’s suspension NOT for ball tampering but for confessing it ineptly after initially pretending it didn’t happen to the umpires! Isn’t it it time a few people got off their high horses on this issue?

A golden opportunity: Don't pick Smith and Warner

Thanks Dad… I mean, Pete..

Defying the odds with Marnus and Marcus

Thanks Bush, I probably wasn’t super clear about Chappell Border and Clarke. I wasn’t suggesting below 40 was mediocre, just lower than you might have expected for these guys. Not sure it was because they were young though. Quite a few others – Hookes, Phil Hughes, Ponting, Martyn, Smith and obviously Bradman – were picked at a similar age with already stellar FC averages. I think playing county cricket for Chappell and Clarke lowered the average a bit as well as increasing the sample size, ie a lot more games under the belt. I can’t imagine Hooked or Hughes coming out of a couple of seasons of county cricket aged 21 with averages in the 50s or 60s .

Defying the odds with Marnus and Marcus

Thanks MJ . Numbers aren’t everything and they can be crude ciomparing one era against another. But often they tell you SOMEthing.

Defying the odds with Marnus and Marcus

My point was that the best of the pre WWI era averaged under 40, as an example of why not to start the analysis until after 1918 when conditions were apparently comparable to subsequent decades.

Defying the odds with Marnus and Marcus

Well many of us remember a time when we would expect to win by 50. But no one beat them by that much in the Six Nations this year. Australia conceded fewer points against them than any of the Six Nations. Australia’s margin was better than that of France or Scotland, who aren’t poor teams at the moment. “Crap” doesn’t stand up as an assessment, given that Australia was dominant for three quarters of the game. It’s defence and attack were good, while scrum, discipline and occasional handling were poor.

C’mon, guys; Australia weren’t so bad against Italy

Max I disagree that the two sides of the broadcast debate are between those that have Foxtel and those that don’t. The question is whether Cricket Australia, aided abetted by the Government and the regulators should have undermined the broadcasting legislation designed to ensure that everyone can see certain sporting events, including those who can’t afford or can’t receive Foxtel. I wrote this article on it the other day https://www.theroar.com.au/2018/11/16/cricket-australias-tv-deal-failed-the-public-and-brought-the-game-into-disrepute.

I pay for Foxtel, that’s not the issue. I sympathise with your situation but that’s another question for CA, not an outcome of the Foxtel deal. I guess it is part of an approach that will shrink viewing audiences and player participation most likely.

Australia's forgotten fans

Thanks Paul. Fair question. My argument is that a) CA was guilty of some of the same sins it charged the players with, in some ways worse; b) they were lucky that the players didn’t appeal because the lawyers would have had a field day given what the specific charges – it’s set out in the CA press release last March: the aggravating factors were stated as trying to conceal something bad, not doing something bad – a completely untenable argument, and Smith’s statement about ‘the leadership group’ deciding to tamper was clumsy obfuscation not a falsehood. Given that the actual length of the penalties were arbitrary – who was to say whether it should be 10 games, ten months or ten years? – I thought a little bit of contrition from the new CA Board, without relaxing the bans from internationals, might be a good gesture.

Cricket Australia’s TV deal failed the public and brought the game into disrepute

Aha! So the function of penalty attempts really is to give the props a rest! As I suspected. If your concern turned out to be justified the obvious answer would be to look at reducing the time of each half, e.g. to 35 minutes.

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport

Habitual? You are well versed in my habits? Perhaps you meant repetitive? But league is only mentioned twice. Just to say that league has been better at improving itself over the years, despite rugby being the province of supposedly more educated types. And improvements that make the game more sensible and watchable, without detracting from its essential qualities, can only help in competition with other football codes. Personally I can’t watch league – one dimensional and ridiculously parochial compared to truly international codes.

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport

Don’t let reading the actual article deter you from offering an opinion. It says keep the 3 three point option inside the 22 and for professional and repetitive offences outside the 22. You don’t think the prospect of defending a rolling maul 5 metres out can be a significant deterrent to offending?

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport

Actually Piru, thinking about it, what we’ll get, apart from more rugby, is more lineouts and mauls. Which are quintessentially rugby. Much more than place kicks, which were even a big deal in Aussie Rules back in the day. I have a sneaking suspicion you are or were a prop and don’t like the idea of more glory going to the locks and back 3, and fear losing the capacity to earn a 3 point kick from 50 metres out for winning a scrum (I.e. forcing the opponent to collapse). Keep the locks in their place – no points just for winning a lineout.

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport

There goes another 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back…But thank god games can be recorded and you can fast forward through the goal kicks.

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport

While we’re about it, why don’t we go back to one point tries with six point conversions, no lifting in the lineout, and lineouts being taken from wherever they go out on the full, even outside the 22? And none of those new fangled motor cars thanks very much, they frighten the horses that pull my my carriage!

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport

Thanks Ethan. I’m not saying reduce the penalty kick to two points- just minimise them outside the 22.

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport

How would the proposal get rid of those points of difference? The idea is to have more rugby and less goal kicking, not more rugby league. Your answer only makes sense if you think more goal kicking (and more games decided as the result of dubious penalty decisions) is a point of difference that is valuable and attractive. If many rugby people think like that there is no hope. And of course the article says to retain goal kicks for penalties in the red zone, I.e inside the 22.

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport

To recap the article, in case you hadn’t read it:
A. Your solution is silly, people keep infringing despite the three points option, mostly in error not deliberately.
B. A lot of the time, they are innocent and the ref gets it wrong.
C. Some of them are the result of things that shouldn’t get rewarded, like knockons.
D. Outside the 22, a kick to the corner is often a sufficient sanction and deterrent for the transgression.
E. For professional or repeated fouls outside the 22, where you might get a yellow card anyway, keep the goal kick option.

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport

But the proposal in the article would keep the goal kick option inside the 22.

The three-point kick in rugby is the daftest thing in sport