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The Roar

Matt H

Roar Guru

Joined July 2012

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Life Long Brisbane Rugby League supporter, first Redcliffe and now Broncos. also a mad cricket follower and casual everything else follower.

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Apparently Bradman wasn’t very popular. I can’t believe they ever picked him!

Dear selectors, please free us from the Marsh brothers

It was great. What an amazing atmosphere. And Tonga acquitted themselves very well. Australia looked a lot better for last weeks run and having Keary fit made a difference to their cohesion. Teddy is a beast, V-Holmes is great and Tommy T was much improved.

Sure they didn’t come close to winning but Tonga showed their play is worthy of the top tier. Especially considering their half back was a passenger after 15 mins and they would have built their gene around him. Remind me how Australia went last week when they lost a half early?

Now Tonga have beaten NZ, got within 2 of England and been competitive against the Australians, it means we have four teams on that level.

And we also have Fiji and PNG who are not too far behind. That’s great thing for the game. Now we just need to get the French back to a level and see if the Scots and Irish can continue their improvement and we will have a handy little niche international game.

In defeat, Tonga scored a huge victory for international rugby league

I wrote an article on it this week. Right from juniors all the focus is on fast scoring and batsmen rarely face even 100 balls. But suddenly in senior cricket they are expected to have this ability

Khawaja injury leaves Australia ripe for picking by India

The way Maxwell has been?

Khawaja injury leaves Australia ripe for picking by India

Thanks Geoff, I was also up live for that game and is was a truly great rugby league moment.

Despite being a Brisbane supporter I always thought Ricky was underrated.

I could have been lazy and put the entire Canberra team in as the Dazzlers. Also any number of Auckland teams over the years.

The dazzle versus the grind

Very true.

Brilliance versus defiance, cricket’s split personality

Thanks Paul, great memory that. Definitely got him kicked out of the Grinder list plus free beers for life.

The dazzle versus the grind

I would kill for a Chanderpaul right now

Brilliance versus defiance, cricket’s split personality

Would Bancroft though? He averaged less than both Burns and Renehaw and now Finch has made a play. Opener is one of the few spots where we have done depth.

Longer lives him though so he will probably come straight back in.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Meanwhile in good news on the domestic bowling front, all the usual suspects have started the season well:
Bird a 10 wicket haul
Tremain 8 wickets for the match so far
Mennie a 5 wicket haul
Sayers a 5 wicket haul
Copeland a 6 wicket haul

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Meanwhile Josh Phillipe, the young WA batsmen I have been holding up as an example of how our junior cricket pathways have gone to the dogs, has just passed 120 balls at the crease for the first time in his career. Well done, he is obviously talented and learning on the job in the Shield. My issue is he shouldn’t have had to.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Jackson Bird is the forgotten man. Just picked up 10 for the match against QLD. His test record is very good for a back up.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Yep agree on Symonds. Other fun cricketers over the years include Gilchrist (obviously), Big Merv, Mark Waugh, Michael Slater, Shane Warne’s batting, Mitchell Johnson – batting and bowling.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Nothing but the BBL around at that time of the year.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Interesting observation on JT13 and I will have to watch for it.

The quick play the ball is the reason Sam Thaiday had such a long and valuable career, even though his run metre stats were never that flash. He hit the line really hard then as the tacklers were reeling he would fall to his knees and then get a quick play the ball away.

The top 50 NRL players of 2018: 10-1

Looking at the left out list, the only player I consider genuinely unlucky is Papili, so well done.

The top 50 NRL players of 2018: 10-1

So, on to the game itself, it would be great if Australia can at least bat out Day 4 to show some more of the fight they displayed in the first game. It will be tougher than the first test because they are likely more tired and subconsciously wanting to get home. Add to that Khawaja’s injury.

Looking for a big performance from Travis Head here to give him a pass mark for the tour and hopefully Marnus L can produce as well. Despite very modest returns he has out-batted the Marshes and has improved in every innings. That shows he has some upside as he is learning well on the job from a very low base.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Ronan, Thanks for submitting an article that avoided the obvious Marsh kicking as the main topic. It was time to take a day off.

In a way I’m glad Tremain didn’t get a run here. If he had struggled, and let’s face it this is not the best place for a pace bowler, he may have had his cards marked. Instead both Tremain and Jackson Bird can tune up at home where it’s likely they will be needed at some point this summer.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

This was always going to be a tough series for the bowlers, but they have collectively done better than the last time we were in the UAE. This has been mainly due to the ever-improving Lyon and the revelation that Labuschagne as a part timer is very handy indeed. But we knew this would be tough as soon as Cummins was ruled out. Starc is underdone and really struggles to string two tests together at the moment, so we had no strike power.

On Marnus L, I sort of hope he scores massive runs now because I enjoy watching him bowl and would like to see him get a place. He’s a ‘fun’ cricketer whether its his earnest efforts in the field or his bowling.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

True, but he has still leaked runs and not looked super threatening across four tests now. Harsh as it is, the life of a second spinner is test by test, so it’s time to look to Agar or Swepson.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Siddle has done his job. Unfortunately because Starc partly, but mainly Holland have not done theirs, it has shone the light in Siddle’s lack of wickets, even though he wasn’t there to get wickets. He was there to build dot ball pressure so wickets could be taken at the other end.

Having said that, I don’t see him playing a part in the home summer unless injuries really bite us.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Agree with everything you say here. Maxwell is the wild card, but he will only get maybe one Shield match to press his claims.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Yep Finch has played himself into a longer stint in the side for sure. He will likely be a lock for the home summer and rightfully so. His performances have been first class on debut in a tough series.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Daniel Hughes might be an outside chance if you are looking for an opener. He was close last season and has started off ok.

But Marsh is primarily a middle order bat so that brings plenty of others into the equation – Maxwell, Handscomb, Ferguson, Cartwright, Stoinis, even Renshaw

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi

Good point on Agar getting experience through his white ball tours.

Australia staring at big loss in Abu Dhabi