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Munro Mike

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Joined September 2018

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Outside of this side – firstly – Lachie Young probably an emergency. My likely first 22 players include arguably the biggest omission is young Jack Mahony – 19 games in 2021 and continued to improve in his role. Then there is Eddie Ford snuck in for 4 games late in the season and actually showed heaps – – for a 19 year old he looked like he belongs out there. I’d be hopeful that he’ll be a 1st 22 player.

Curtis Taylor is a very neat player who managed 18 games – – his challenge is to find his position. He’s got all the skills.

Aiden Bonar is still learning his trade down back – – but got severely exposed by De Goey. Uncertain but may be the future replacement for JZ.

Atu Bosenavulagi will have the chance to play the Atley role.

Charlie Lazzaro as a 19 year old got 10 games in – more of a running link up player compared to the inside workers in Powell and Phillips.

For talls – Charlie Comben is a very good talent – got his debut game at season end. Jacob Edwards is forgetten by many – mid year #1 draft pick who was suggested would be a top 10 at end of year. These 2 are part of the ‘future build’ who get game time.

re big guys – Tristan Xerri continues his development as the next #1 ruck – – we did see that his goal sense is still severely lacking. Possible that he gets bypassed.

Kyron Hayden down back………is courageous but tends to turn the ball over too much.

AFL 2022 Radar: 'Even the downside has upside for North Melbourne'

The question mark I’ve had on the ‘big 3’ for sometime has been that they tended to bowl too short and that was exposed in two home series losses to India where India out bowled the Australians by challenging the stumps more often.

Hazlewood has been the metronomic human bowling machine but again………tending arguably too short. Boland out McGrath’d Hazlewood in this series if that can be said.

Now – – Boland in England could provide the Siddle style top of off stump challenge………….the query still would be on the Australian slips catching – – last time around Warner in particular couldn’t hold a thing off the bowling of Sidds.

Just how far can Australia’s new fast Boland machine go?

Question is – – next test……let’s say it’s 3 quicks Plus Green and Lyon…….assume Cummins and Starc remain. Does Hazlewood return automatically? Does Boland retain his sport (the Khawaja rule??). Does Hazlewood actually have a bit of work to do to regain and prove his fitness anyway after missing pretty well all summer??

And that’s the bowlers – – who do we open with in the next match?? Pakistan have some tantalising pace talent.

DAY 3 REPORT: Golden boy Green shines as Australia crush England to complete Ashes thumping

MCG, SCG and now Tassie and Warner has 71 from his last 5 hits. Trending in the wrong direction and culminating here – – feel that – – and that can happen in 5 test series – – that he’s fallen right away and finished perhaps tired, and in a form slump. Ironic given how comfortable he looked in the first 2 tests and really felt like he recklessly threw away 100s.

Anyway……I still maintain that I’ve seen it before that when he is ‘off’ it impacts his all round game, i.e. dropping catches and struggling with the bat.

FLEM'S VERDICT: Here's how you can shake the nightwatchman job forever, Scotty

Kinda reminds of the countless dropped catches off Sidds in England last time around. Warner was horrid……and it tends to happen – – when his batting is an issue he gets preoccupied in the field and his catching falls away too.

He’s certainly in a slump right now.

FLEM'S VERDICT: Here's how you can shake the nightwatchman job forever, Scotty

Faced 25 balls of the 29 in that partnership.

For him to see it out and protect Head; but also only expose Smith to just 4 balls.

Just hope the fingers are okay.

DAY 2 REPORT: Wickets tumble as Cummins puts Australia on top of England

How good an outcome from the Scotty Boland night watchman role!! Controlled the strike so well (deliberately or fortuitously).

Re the opening role……wondering what was achieved out of all this?? Warner now has 71 from his last 5 hits from a smidge over 3 hours occupation. Khawaja? What now?

DAY 2 REPORT: Wickets tumble as Cummins puts Australia on top of England

So that went well……what exactly was achieved??

A reminder – last 3 innings Harris had occupied the crease for 9 hours, Warner 3 and Labuschagne 3 1/3 hours.

Where’s everyone sit now??

Khawaja gets nod over Harris for fifth Test, Boland may be out

The slips not earning their keep……horrid fielding that by the two 35 year olds……failed with the bat and failed in the field……where do we hide them??

Scott Boland can't believe it after being let down twice by clangers in the slips

Dingo…..Dingo……I wasn’t accusing you of joining a bandwagon………I was simply indicating that for myself – – rather than just jumping on with everyone else that I’d instead play devils advocate. I’m not attacking you.

The irony of all this…….2018/2019 and they lined up together against India.

Harris 258 @ 36.85 with 2 50s including the Australian HS of 79.
Khawaja 198 @ 28.28 with 1 50.

Now – my frustration with BOTH Harris and Khawaja. The 2 tests against a pretty weak SL that only got massively weak by the Canberra match:

Harris 44; 11 & 14
Khawaja 11; 0 & 101*

So……..Khawaja salvages his entire summer by enjoying happy hour as Australia gave the bowlers a rest rather than enforcing the follow on (with a 319 run lead!!).

For me – both back then needed to do more in the 1st innings. But gee – 101* helps boost those home track stats. Uzzie then followed that with 122 from 6 hits in England and quite rightly got the boot. That 101* was the abberation……the outlier.

And of course Harris got the boot after just 58 from 6 hits.

I’m not a big far of either of them.

I’ll put it this way – – – right now I’d be looking elsewhere (than either these two) for an opener.

Khawaja must play ahead of Harris while Starc should rest but selectors remain coy

The irony of the last 3 innings regarding your comment:

“khwaja fan from test one and can play with labuschange at opening as he had done it so many times due to Harris and co losing their wicket early anyway”

Last 3 innings Warner has been first to go – 71 runs from 184 minutes. Labuschagne just 58 runs from 199 minutes. And let’s not bring up ‘lucky’ because Marnus dined out on good fortune in the first 2 tests.

And Harris – 141 runs from almost 9 hours at the crease in pretty testing conditions and circumstances (the 2 first innings in particular) at the MCG and SCG.

Khawaja must play ahead of Harris while Starc should rest but selectors remain coy

If bringing a new guy in – – Hunt from SA might get a run as well.

The notion that Harris ‘got lucky’ for his MCG 76………..while not acknowleddging that Uzzie was dropped by keeper/and Root in the same action when on 28……….Uzzie got ruddy lucky too.

Harris played a superb openers innings in really tough conditions at the MCG – – the ability to play on line means openers will play and miss a lot when the ball moves sideways. That innings was worthy of triple figures.

At this point too – – I don’t rate any of Harris, Warner or Uzzie as a confidence inspiring tourist and especially not to any of Pakistan, India, SL or Bangladesh.

That said – Pakistan has a great heritage of quick bowlers and we don’t always get the dust bowls or desperate flat tracks (remember Faisalabad in the early ’80s) that might get served up elsewhere.

Khawaja must play ahead of Harris while Starc should rest but selectors remain coy

Mate – the easiest thing on Earth to do is to jump on a bandwagon.

I’m always going to look at both sides – – and I suggest it’s only fair that the case for the defence gets prosecuted.

You might dismiss it out of hand if you wish – – I’m simply pointing out a couple of reasons why it perhaps shouldn’t be regarded a fait accompli.

btw – you never answered the question………what if Root held that catch when Uzzie was on 28??

Khawaja must play ahead of Harris while Starc should rest but selectors remain coy

The case FOR Harris.

The opening position is that Khawaja should’ve been out on 28 in the first innings. Root holds that catch and no one is having this conversation!!

Then – – this author has made a point of Harris having not scored a century. Yeah – it’s a statistical black mark. It’s an absolute metric.

However – – in all relative terms – his 76 at the MCG in the 3rd test this year should be regarded as a “FCE”; a Full Century Equivalent. In ALL relative terms it was the value of a 100 and many a meaningless 100 has been scored that means that focussing too much on 100s can be a little OCD.

Noting – after that innings which might well have been man of the match had Scotty Boland shared the wickets a smidge more in the 2nd innings – – including and after that innings Harris has 141 runs from 9 hours of occupation in trying conditions at the MCG and SCG. That includes a vital 3 hour knock on the delayed and interrupted day 1 at the SCG.

Contrast to Warner 71 runs in 3 hours; and even Labuschange with just 58 runs from 199 minutes in the middle.

So……..let’s be very, very careful about contrasting the number 5 with the bloke taking the new ball. (granted Khawaja has a good record of opening).

The author refers to Harris’ career high of 79. The irony of that is that for the entirety of that 4 test home series against India in 2018/2019 – that Harris was the leading run scorer and that 79 was the highest by any Australian in a very tough series (without Smith and Warner). Harris gets marked down on series – however one could argue the “CFE” factor no the 79 and that in relative terms Harris should be marked up.

Note as well – – Harris has over the last 3 1/2 Shield seasons produced:
27 matches
45 Inns (4 not outs)
2472 runs
60.29 avg
7 100s, 11 50s, 1 duck.

He’s earned his crack and been promised a full series and hasn’t done a lot wrong in the last 2 tests. And is the best performed of the top 3.

My assertion is that Green does not warrant a #6 batting position.

So…….to the selectors……..Head in and Green out?

Starc rested. A fresh Richardson and or Neser in (if Boland doesn’t come up).

I do NOT want to see Green retained for his bowling at #6 because Starc is retained and considered a risk (of tiring completely).

Khawaja must play ahead of Harris while Starc should rest but selectors remain coy

Firstly – sliding doors – Root holds the catch in the first innings and Uzzie is out for 28. We all agree – – thanks Uzzie for stepping up. Seeya round.

Catch is dropped………he makes a nice hundred and oddly I don’t hear anyone talking about how ‘lucky’ he was??

Harris – I assert that that 76 in Melbourne MUST be regarded as if a hundred. And across Melbourne and Sydney Harris has 141 runs from 9 hours of batting in pretty testing conditions. Warner at the other end has 71 runs from 3 hours of batting. And Labuschagne just 58 from 199 minutes of batting.

So……of the top 3 – Harris is the head and shoulders best performed over the last 3 innings in – very testing conditions.

And Harris – – having been guaranteed by head of selectors his position for the series – – remember – – he’s earned himself a decent crack at it – his last 3.5 Shield seasons:
27 matches
45 Inns (4 not outs)
2472 runs
60.29 avg
7 :100s, 11 :50s, 1 :duck.

As it is – – possible changes for the line up must include resting Starc – he looks cooked.

Green as a #6 batter doesn’t deserve his retention – – not even a neat 74 made during the happy hour batting before the declaration.

I do NOT want to see Starc retained because that would see the selectors wanting Green’s bowling as backup for a bloke that they know is cooked after 4 straight tests. Is Green bowling well enough to be the third seamer?? and bat at 7.

Carey gets one more? He’s so far been a bit Haddin like. Concrete feet.

Khawaja deserves his chance in Hobart

Another element to consider.

The last 2 tests – Harris 141 runs from 9 hours of occupation.

Warner 71 runs from 3 hours of occupation.

I heard so many suggest Harris was ‘lucky’ in Melbourne with his 76 – played a missed a bit in really trying conditions.

Well…………what would we be discussing had Buttler/Root managed to hold the catch off Uzzie in the first innings for 28.

Thanks Uzzie – – straight back comes Head.

Are we that superficial that it’s more about whether the opposition holds a catch or not?

PLAYER RATINGS: All about Usman, but England's heroic rearguard steals the show

Look – I’m a big fan of what Renshaw can bring to the table and look forward to his return.

When you say “hardly dominating Shield cricket”……..20/21 season he was 5th highest run scorer (Green, Head, Labuschagne, S.March and Harris). 695 @ 63.18; season before (2019/20) 442 & 49.11 and season before that (2018/19) he was the top run scorer with 1188 @ 69.88.

Ironically – his only Shield duck came this season.

So……..the last 3 1/2 shield seasons Harris has produced:
27 matches
45 Inns (4 not outs)
2472 runs
60.29 avg
7 100s, 11 50s, 1 duck.

So………….there’s part of the reason that he’s been granted a run at things – – he’s got the most compelling argument at Shield level.

What is interesting – – a lot of people were somewhat dismissive of his 76 at the MCG (he was lucky)………..where as Khawaja – dropped on 28 in the first innings goes on to get a 100. Good on him……..but – dead set lucky……so again – I assert that Harris’ MCG knock should effectively guarantee him the rest of the series.

btw – I’m with Don Freo too……….Harris to me was far more important than Marnus.

PLAYER RATINGS: All about Usman, but England's heroic rearguard steals the show

Ah well………..perhaps it all came down to a sticky bail earlier in the game.

FLEM’S VERDICT: Cummins will learn from declaration error but rain was reason Aussies didn’t win Test

As it was though – with all the damp weather conditions – the pitch wasn’t breaking up so for Lyon is was going to rely on bounce and……the one going straight on?

I felt the choice to bring back Starc to blast them out was slightly wishful thinking and reeked of impatience………..rather than ‘relentless process’.

Boland had got through Bairstow and was only given one over after that……….the irony is it feels like he’s the leader of the attack right now. It’s interesting when things play out in real time but as both Cummins and Starc have appeared tire and look ragged in this game – – the emergence of Boland has arguably come at the best possible time.

FLEM’S VERDICT: Cummins will learn from declaration error but rain was reason Aussies didn’t win Test

As an opener – – there’s a few boxes to first tick.

One is survive and see off the new ball.

Harris did that in both innings (Warner didn’t).

On day one he batted for over 3 hours – including a number of rain interruptions and got Australia past 100 – – and was undone by a pretty brilliant piece of Jimmy Anderson bowling. No shame in being taken down by a good ball. A very important 3 hour innings to avoid the greatest danger when batting first…..an early collapse.

2nd innings – in trying to set a declaration target – the focus was slightly different. Again – not the first to fall and got through to the change bowlers. Fell trying to accelerate for the team…..a bit of extra bounce on that Leach ball.

So……he’s done okay. Would’ve loved to see at least one of those knocks go past 50 but he’s played okay.

However – all the focus on his getting a bit stuck on the crease and not committing that front foot far enough forward…..fair or not?? It looks like the ‘media assassination’ that can happen. It’s tough though – – his 76 in Melbourne was the worth of a century. It was a clear stand out ‘ugly runs in trying conditions’ innings that set up the win. Be tough being dropped 2 games later when he hasn’t done an awful lot wrong in the subsequent match.

Who’d want to be a selector.

PLAYER RATINGS: All about Usman, but England's heroic rearguard steals the show

Buttler is out injured anyway – – returning to England so being ‘dropped’ doesn’t enter the equation. Sam Billings has been called up.

Agree Starc looks cooked.

The selectors have a test – having guaranteed (was that the term?) the series for Harris…..to go back on that??

PLAYER RATINGS: All about Usman, but England's heroic rearguard steals the show

And Campbell (or Xerri) was never going to rip a game apart kicking 3 or 4 goals……. CC-J is suspect might be able to.

As it is – – – Zurhaar becomes more dangerous too……….his best games were so often with both Brown and Larkey up forward so that he could be the 3rd ‘tall/forward’.

The four players who could make or break North Melbourne in 2022

There was a big difference between North of the first month and a half vs the rest of the season. Still some ups and downs – however – in assessing Larkey for example – – my key take out on 2021 is that he desperately needed support down there.

CC-J will make a big impact in that role – – otherwise in 2021 it was left to a resting ruckman.

The four players who could make or break North Melbourne in 2022

Greenwood can play ‘tall’ which might be beneficial for us around the ground.

The four players who could make or break North Melbourne in 2022

Ah…..as far as Andrew Bogut goes……….stick to the hoops.

Seems to me that proper process has played out.

However – – Djokovic might have been trying to scam his way through it and has been caught out and refused?? If that’s the case……….great!!!

'Couldn't organise a root in a brothel': World reacts to Djokovic deportation drama

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