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The Roar

Patrick Moran

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Joined February 2018

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Fairly comprehensive list. For male players, I’d add Morne and Albie Morkel, Ashton and Wes Agar, plus Johnny Bairstow, whose late father David also played for England. On the womens side of things, I believe Alex Blackwell and Meg Lanning both have sisters who have played.

Families where cricket runs in the blood

I don’t think New Zealand will be playing any Test Matches. If you download the PDF from this link: https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/299451, then it shows 3 tests v Pakistan, and 3 vs West Indies. There are 3 ODIs against New Zealand, and 3 v West Indies. Interestingly no T20’s appear on the schedule, although it only goes to December 2019, so they may be played in New Year. Either way, I’m confident CA will ensure T20’s are part of that summer.

That said, I prefer the prospect of New Zealand tests, because the West Indies drew terrible crowds last time.

What the 2019-20 summer of cricket should look like

Exactly. It would literally be like watching an overseas Test-match for those in the Eastern states.

What the 2019-20 summer of cricket should look like

Another possible reason could be the decline in atmosphere at the stadiums. I guess you could argue that this is a consequence of lower crowds, but I’d suggest it also serves as a cause. Whilst diehard fans will attend regardless, for many who traditionally follow other codes, the atmosphere is a real drawcard. With the North Terrace disbanding, and problems involving the RBB (coupled with the temporary loss of Parramatta), the atmosphere at Victory and Wanderers games has significantly declined. Sure this doesn’t explain the problems leading to dropping crowds for the other 8 clubs, but it serves as one factor in the decline for 2 of the competition’s largest.

We can't demand more A-League marketing then complain when we get it

I quite like that fixture idea. It seems relatively fair, and the extra byes extend it to around 20 weeks. There probably also needs to be a way of improving Friday night games. Its easy to say that good teams should be playing then, but its hard to predict at the start if the year. For example, Richmond last year, and Collingwood this year weren’t expected to be quality teams. A R23 style fixture is probably tough for interstate fans, but it works in the Premier League, and sufficient warning can allow fans to make travel arrangements. It looks as though this proposal would have 19 rounds, so maybe Round 1-10 could be set beforehand, Round 11-15 could be set in Round 5, and Round 16-19 set in Round 10, for example.

Scrap the Suns and other radical ideas to shake up the AFL

Interesting point about following the English blueprint. I’m still somewhat undecided, and am curious to see how England fare against India (shame its only 3 games). If they come unstuck, then I’m with you. If they overwhelm India, then I don’t think it requires radical change to implement their system. Finch can score quickly, and Head went at 118SR in the recent series. If (big IF) Warner returns, then he could play the Alex Hales number 3 role, with Smith and Marsh anchoring the middle-order. In my opinion all those players would be batting in positions that utilise their skillset.

Consistency is a massive problem, and as you accurately pointed out, England have it. If we give people an extended run (e.g. Head at the top), then I think that goes a long way to yielding consistency. Its kind of chicken and egg: Inconsistent performances lead to changing 11s, whilst changing 11s can act as a barrier to consistent performances. We also need to find good hitters at the close of the innings. Mitch Marsh can play that role, and with no Paine, Carey would slot in there. The selectors have tried to pick Chris Lynn a couple of times, but to me he needs to play domestic 50 over cricket first. If he were to be picked, I’d say he fits the late order hitter criteria (for some reason he batted at 4 in his only ODI). Overall, I reckon settling roles in the team will go a long way to achieving consistency, irrespective of whether we follow England. Thats easier said than done though.

I agree that England’s pace bowling isn’t great, but their spinners are good (certainly a compelling argument to pick Lyon). We probably could improve our death bowling though, with more variation in later overs. James Faulkner had these skills, but is justifiably miles away from selection at the moment.
One area I think we can surpass them in is tail-end batting. Starc, Cummins, and Agar are all capable, and give us depth that England don’t rival.
Interesting stuff. Out of curiosity, what what your best ODI 11 look like (assuming Smith and Warner are available)??

Brutal Finch must skipper Australia's ODI team

Agreed Saurabh, it appears we’ve submitted articles calling for the same thing. Great minds think alike I suppose 😉

Aaron Finch is the man to lead Australia's ODI team

Since a captain’s role focusses heavily on field placements, it makes perfect sense for a bowler to be captain. They’ll probably have a better understanding of how to get a wicket than the batsmen will, and would therefore set better fields. That said, the worry is that a bowler becomes so consumed in his plan that he lets the game drift, unable to recognise that his tactics aren’t working. For this reason, I think any bowling captain must be supported by a voice of reason from a non-bowling member of the team, to provide a rational view when a bowler gets too consumed in what he’s doing. So long as a bowler-captain is willing to listen to his vice-captain, then I think it’s a leadership dynamic that could work. It really depends on the individuals involved, and their relationship.

In the Australian Test team’s case, the bowling lineup appears settled, whilst the batting lineup appears anything but. In that sense, its completely logical to have a bowler as a captain. That said, I think Paine is a good choice. I’d probably have one of the bowlers as Vice-Captain, as they’ll have better tactical knowledge than Khawaja in relation to field placements. Incidentally, it would be interesting to see Khawaja in a leadership position for Australia. It wasn’t long ago that he was viewed as a batsman, with no interest in fielding. I remember Shane Warne saying he viewed it as ‘a chore’. It would be quite a transformation seeing him setting fields and being actively involved, after previously appearing relatively bored when not batting.

Selectors must get over their captaincy bias

To me Handscomb shouldn’t be playing in the Pakistan test matches, unless he plays well for Australia A. In Adelaide he looked horribly out of form, and was then dropped. He played a handful of Big Bash games, before one Shield game against South Australia. He then flew to South Africa, and played a tour match, before carrying the drinks for the first 3 tests. He was dully recalled for the final test in the wake of the ball tampering controversy, and hasn’t played since. All told he’s played 3 red-ball matches since being dropped. In many ways he’s a victim of unfortunate circumstances, being dropped during the BBL, and then carrying drinks in SA rather than playing shield cricket. Whilst we can’t blame him for this misfortune, it would be crazy to play him in a test match on the back of so little cricket. I’d include him if he plays well for Australia A, but for now my batting lineup looks like this:
Renshaw
Burns
Khawaja
S Marsh
Maxwell
M Marsh
Paine

Interestingly, Burns isn’t playing for Australia A, so might get tossed. Like others, I get the feeling Maxwell may be ignored, in favour of Head, handscomb, Finch, Doran, or Patterson. Hopefully in the UAE his bowling can be enough to hold his spot.

Return of the rejects: What Australia’s next Test batting line-up might look like

In relation to the World Cup, even putting England’s bowling deficiencies aside, they’re far from a certainty of winning. Sure, they’re the best ODI team in the world at the moment, but it only takes one bad game to ruin a world cup campaign. In the last 10 ODIs between Australia and England, the English have won 9, and lost on Australia Day in Adelaide. They’ve certainly dominated across the two series, but the Adelaide game highlights that they don’t win all the time. If that off game happens to come in a knockout match (which is possible with the pressure of a home crowd), then they won’t win the cup, even if they’re the best team for the rest of the tournament. Thats the sudden-death nature of the World Cup, no team is guaranteed success, even if they are the best side.

England are no certainties to win World Cup

Its probably also worth considering that Cahill has played for a much weaker side than all of those legends. Whilst others have discussed the quality of opposition, clearly of the stated list, Cahill played in the weakest side, and logically would have had inferior delivery from teammates.

The Socceroos need to do more than just participate in the World Cup

In general I really like the concept of scrapping the toss. It should make for better pitches and a better contest. I just hope that visiting captains will have the guts to bowl first sometimes. Obviously with more competitive pitches, theoretically more will choose to bowl first, but historically that’s always been seen as a risky decision. Personally I love going to the cricket on day 1, unsure whether or not Australia will bat or bowl first. Some years you get to see the team bat, and other years they’ll bowl, and I wouldn’t want to get to the stage where this unpredictability is lost. Hopefully it will be a non-issue, with even pitches changing the mindset that bowling first is a risk.

Scrap the toss to save Test cricket

They certainly attempted to avoid discussing this in the press conference, although Sutherland indicated that the Minister is aware. It will be interesting to see how this element of the deal plays out.

Australian cricket's new TV deal: All the key questions answered

I’m trying to work out the upcoming test series as well. I also thought we had Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, but it appears that the Zimbabwe tour is now limited overs. I’m pretty sure Tim Paine mentioned the UAE as Australia’s next test destination in a post match interview, so I’m not sure what that means for the Bangladesh series.

Usman Khawaja has had his chances, now it's time for him to go

Great article Les. I’m not a Collingwood supporter, but from my outsiders perspective it appears that the Pies have recruited too midfield heavy. Treloar, Adams, Crisp, Varcoe, Greenwood, etc. have all come in, with key position stocks almost completely ignored. In my opinion Darcy Moore is at a stage where he should be playing as a second tall forward. Firstly, there’s no better tall forward to nurture him, and secondly what’s he doing in the backline?? Contrast this to Adelaide, who have a remarkable range of key position quality. Whilst their midfield was slightly light-on last year, they’ve just added Bryce Gibbs, and have considerable quality in that area.

The Collingwood vacuum

Carlton may not work, as Easter may sometimes fall in round 1. To give them Good Friday, they may have to occasionally lose the season opener. Whilst you could push the season forward to ensure Good Friday is round 2, that may not work with venue availability, with grounds used for cricket. The same logic could be used to eliminate Richmond, whilst Hawthorn and Geelong are tied up with easter Monday. Since Essendon (Dreamtime and ANZAC Day), Collingwood (ANZAC Day and Queens Birthday), and Melbourne (ANZAC Eve and Queens Birthday) already have big fixtures, I think it has to be the Bulldogs or St Kilda joining North, if it is to be the same teams each year. Carlton can be considered if we were to rotate the teams participating.

Nine hot takes from AFL Round 2

Sorry about that Terry, I only just realised the mistake.

The batting was poor, but heads shouldn’t roll just yet

I just checked, and I think it was my mistake. Is there a way to fix it?

The batting was poor, but heads shouldn’t roll just yet

To clarify, I certainly don’t think the Etihad crowd’s are a huge problem, although it would be nice to crack 50k occasionally. Kardinia park and Subiaco were/are filled more regularly, although the SCG is a fair point. Probably a bit difficult to compare the venues though, as the SCG only has Swans games, whilst Docklands has heaps of clubs.

In terms of attendance based on a visiting side. True. For teams like Carlton and Essendon, higher drawing visitors are mostly scheduled at the MCG, thus lowering numbers at Etihad. I do believe that low drawing home crowds for North, WB, etc don’t help Etihad’s numbers. E.g. 8k more at Pies game than Dogs game this weekend, with Collingwood hardly in great shape.

I can’t say I’m too worried about the numbers, but it would be nice to see games where Collingwood, Richmond, etc visit Etihad crack 50k, which is possible, but at the moment doesn’t happen.

Nine hot takes from AFL Round 2

Docklands crowds are certainly low, and I reckon there are a few potential reasons, although all of them are purely speculative.
1. Docklands generally has smaller games, as others have said. Docklands tenants are mostly the smaller Victorian clubs, whilst teams like Richmond, Hawthorn, Essendon, Melbourne, and Carlton are usually (although not always) scheduled against non-Victorian clubs for their Etihad home game/s. Whilst the same can be said for Sydney at the SCG, for example, the Swans play all but 1 game against interstate opposition, and thus some of their higher drawing games must be against interstate sides. Therefore, high drawing Swans games are at the SCG, whilst high drawing Collingwood games are at the MCG, and not Docklands.
2. Fans of MCG tenants don’t like going to Docklands. Whilst it’s a nice modern stadium, its situated in an average spot, and requires a longer journey for those in the Eastern suburbs. Many games involving MCG tenants would clearly attract more people at the MCG.
3. Etihad has a large portion of restricted view seats. This one is quite speculative, and doesn’t relate to the previous round, but possibly affects higher drawing games at the venue. In all 4 corners of the ground on level 3, there’s a section where no one ever sits, because they essentially can’t see half the ground. Add to this the fact that level 2 is normally half empty, due to medallion club seats not being occupied. This means that big games can be full in other areas, but not reach 50k. Last year for example:
Essendon v Melbourne 44k
WB v Richmond 46k
STK v Richmond 46k
STK v Essendon 47k
WB v Essendon 48k
Hawthorn v WB 48k
Obviously Etihad is not the only ground with restricted view, but it does have a significant amount of it (see http://etihadstadium.io-media.com/web/index.html and click on a bay next to a scoreboard).
I can’t say I follow ticket sales at Etihad very closely, but do GA tickets sell out for big games? If so it means that they intentionally don’t sell the restricted view seats, limiting the possible attendance.
As I said, kind of speculative, but a few possible reasons for low numbers, with the last one not really relevant to the games this season.

Nine hot takes from AFL Round 2

“I’m just trying to focus on playing good footy” (Leaver)

Typo or play on words?

We need to talk – openly and honestly – about AFL player movement

Its certainly a tough job trying to narrow these sides down to 22 players. With Grundy in the side I suppose it was always going to be one of Tomblinson, Haynes, and Davis, although the latter 2 are certainly unlucky.
Newman, Hayward, and Hewett are probably the borderline players. I’d suggest that Jake Lloyd or Zac Williams would at least challenge Newman, whilst Gary Rohan would be unlucky to be behind Hayward. The absence of Coniglio certainly reflects the cumulative quality of the 2 midfields, although he did only play 10 games last season. I understand why he isn’t picked, as all of the midfielders deserve their spot. Perhaps Coniglio could replace Hewett, but that would effect the balance of the team.

Its an interesting exercise, and certainly an unenviable one!!

What would the Swans and Giants look like if they merged?

Hi Jon,
I acknowledge that total wickets is in many ways a limited statistic, and you raise a good point about averages. Ultimately, averages also have their weaknesses, as conditions have changed in favour of batsmen in recent years, with many flat pitches providing little for bowlers. This has been particularly prevalent in Australia, with frequent scores over 500, where Lyon has played 37 of his test matches. Lyon’s average is also improving, with his 63 wickets last year coming at an average of 23.55.

Another factor to consider is that only 17/75 of Lyon’s tests have taken place in Asia, which is around 23%. By comparison, Jadeja has played 27/35 (77%) tests in Asia, with his average very much a product of spinner-friendly wickets. Iqbal Qasim is similar, with 39/50 (78%) tests in Asia, as is Bishen Bedi (33/39- 84%), Saeed Ajmal (22/35- 63%), and Saqlain Mushtaq (32/49- 65%). Naturally this doesn’t apply for all of the players you mentioned, but it demonstrates that many factors can have an impact on a players average, and thus provide an unfair comparison.

Overall, I acknowledge that averages would have been worth considering in my article, but every statistic has its weaknesses. I attempted to highlight this by saying that “all cricket fans know that a player’s legacy is judged by more than just numbers”.

Thanks for your comment, it certainly raises a valid point. With Lyon making significant improvement in the last year, hopefully we’ll see his average drop, and total wickets rise.

The Lyon King: How Garry stacks up against the greats

I would quite like to see Lyon playing ODI’s. Ashton Agar is another potential option. He’s a very good limited overs bowler, and can bat. One of the strengths of the 2015 World Cup Squad was its batting depth, with Faulkner, Johnson, Starc, and Cummins all batting at 8 or lower at various stages. Having these players can help make the last 10 overs more productive, and I think its important for all ODI teams to have bowlers who can bat. That’s not to say that Lyon or Zampa shouldn’t be selected, because bowling should always be the primary selection criteria for a bowler, but Agar does have that extra asset to offer. Even with Lyon or Zampa, Starc and Cummins still provide some batting capability down the order.

Nathan Lyon needs a crack in the ODI format

Thanks Paul,
His fielding certainly is important. That runout at the Gabbba was vital, and arguably had a massive bearing on the series. He just has a knack of making game-changing contributions at the right time.

The Lyon King: How Garry stacks up against the greats