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Omega10

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Joined April 2012

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The selection of Australian teams has been poor for some time but was papered over a bit by having some champion players available to cover the nonsensical decisions. Now we are left with a landscape where the players are serviceable rather than world-beaters so our selection surely has to be far more reliable and sensible. Trevor Hohns and Greg Chappell, no matter what you think of their performance as selectors, have been great servants of Australian cricket, in fact they have devoted their lives to it and I appreciate that and respect that. But clearly, they are both well past their used by dates as administrators of the modern Australian cricket team and need to be replaced. Chappell is one of the greatest players ever to walk onto a cricket field but he last played Test cricket nearly 40 years ago and Hohns isn’t much better. It comes into sharper focus when you hear some of the new voices in the commentary box, incisive, knowledgeable ex-players who are far more recent participants in the international game. Surely a few of theses guys are prepared to put their hands up for a selection gig? There is clearly an agenda, or at least a theory about the type of player who should be selected and if you are not in that narrow little corridor then you need to be making a lot of runs to force your way in. Trouble is there is not as much first class cricket now to press your claims and it seems they want to sabotage someone like Maxwell by not giving him any sort of red ball cricket at all. It’s all very strange. Hopefully there will be a new high performance manager soon who can blow this mess out and implement a much better strategy for selection than the current shambles allows. As always I will be hoping for the best for our national team today but I live in hope rather than anticipation.

Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh set to be dropped for Sydney Test

The selectors and hierarchy always seem to be looking for reasons to shoehorn Mitch back into the team. It use to be annoying but it’s getting bizarre that such an ordinary player is givin such a hand up. A very average Test cricketer.

Marsh in, Handscomb out of Boxing Day Test

It’s interesting that Langer is even talking about not picking MM. He has seemed a walk up start for so long it makes you wonder if a changing of the guard in the high performance unit has seen us reverting back to some traditional thinking about our top six. The wheel may be turning on young Mitch. I’ve always wondered exactly what they expected out of him. Selected in the team without any substantial first class record to stand on, he really has, despite the odd flourish, tread water for three years while other better credentialed players seemed to only have to look sideways at the selectors and they were banished from whence they came. Were they expecting him to to turn into Keith Miller with a bit of Test match cricket under his belt? Seems a good young bloke and a solid first class cricketer but it’s all been a bit of mess so far in his Test career.

Langer confirms Test debut for Marcus Harris; doesn't guarantee a spot for Marsh

Outside the squad? He is a better than half the batsmen in the squad! Got another good 90 today in the Shield. Should be playing Test cricket this summer but probably won’t.

My thoughts on Australia's Test selections to play India

That’s the weakest Australian batting line up for many a year. Two batsman in the squad averaging over 40 in Test cricket and one of them unlikely to play. For the first time in his career Usman Khawaja is a lock because he is undoubtedly the best we have. Shaun Marsh is 35 but is a lock because there is no one else matching his quality(!). The rest are solid first class players but guys like that don’t generally go on to stellar test careers. Mitch Marsh wouldn’t be anywhere near the team in a stronger era and shouldn’t be in this one either. The cupboard is bare but we ain’t starving just yet! We use to laugh at the English when they had average allrounders batting in their top order. We can only hope a couple of these guys have stellar seasons on home pitches but things could get ugly.

CONFIRMED: Harris and Tremain added to Australian Test squad

It’s only Shield cricket and by the time they played the ban would be nearly up in any case. It’s a bit rich for CA to be worried about the welfare of the players at this point. I imagine the idea of losing more sponsors due to letting the trio back played it’s part. I didn’t mind the ban, I thought it was appropriate considering they raised the bar on cheating that is usually has a blind eye turned to it by everyone involved in the game. And as for the bans being for lying, well, convenient cover and excuse for making an example of the trio. I do however think there should have been a suspended component for Smith and Bancroft in particular but in the hurry to reach a conviction to satisfy hypocritical moral outrage this obviously never crossed anyone’s mind. Even murderer’s get time off their sentences for good behaviour.

Cricket Australia rejects appeal to lift bans for Warner, Smith and Bancroft

The definition of stupidity. Doing the same thing again and again and hoping it will change. Australia’s limited over form has been as ordinary as it’s Test form. Runs are the only commodity that counts? These guys musn’t listen to their own hypocritical nonsense!

'They're really good young men and they're good cricketers': Langer on Marsh brothers

The biggest problem with Australian cricket at the moment is that no one seems to be accountable for constant failure. An almost complete lack of success overseas for some time now and inconsistent performances in Australia just seem to deliver more of the same dross every time. Why? Some one suggested earlier that the team is like a badly run football club and I think that observation is right on the money. We get the same thing every time. Players with mediocre first class records picked for Test matches on “gut instinct” whilst players with superior first class records are constantly overlooked. I am the first to admit that we are hardly in a golden age of Australian batsmanship but surely we can do better than this. The performance of Australian team in all forms of the game has been abysmal at international level for some time. Who is responsible? It goes beyond the selectors who seem to change opinion every time a team is announced and have a happy knack of coming up with bewildering decisions each time. Surely all roads of incompetence lead to Pat Howard, the man responsible for the “high performance” of the Australian cricket team. Surely it’s time for him to be called out for his efforts?

Marsh brothers on thin ice

This idea of selecting all-rounders to cater to a fifth bowling option is something that is relatively new in Australian cricket. For as long as I can remember the quintessential Australian team has been 6 batsmen, 3 seamers, a spin bowler and a wicketkeeper who could hopefully add a few runs. It’s seems Ben Stokes success with England has meant jealous eyes have been searching Australian cricket for a similar option.
All-rounders playing Test cricket has always seemed to be a very English idea that has never really been terribly successful and it seems we are going down that English path where Australian teams have never sought to venture before.
We are worried about tiring our bowlers or, God-forbid an injury to one of our fast bowlers which leaves us short but we are including a sub-standard to player to cover a problem which may never materialize and has only done so on a few occasions that I can remember.
Let’s not beat around the bush anymore. Mitch Marsh isn’t good enough to bat in the top 6 and he is a long way from being a first choice seamer. Let’s be aggressive and choose our best team as we always have. If there is a worry about workloads let’s adjust the fixture next time to ensure our bowlers have enough rest time to recover from their exertions.
Surely Steve Smith and David Warner for the good of the team can roll a few over if it comes to resting our bowlers.

Australia needs a fifth bowling option but it ain't Mitch Marsh

Shaun Marsh should be called “The Phantom”. The Ghost who Walks. You simply can’t kill him!

Australia's Ashes squad announced: Analysing every player picked

Surely future historians of the game will wonder why a batsman averaging nearly 48 in Test cricket and in the prime of his career was dropped for this series and someone completely out of his depth like Mitch Marsh was selected. It’s a scandal. Usman is holding the line but he must be miffed.

KREJZA: Usman Khawaja must play in the third Test

Maybe it’s time to get rid of a selection “panel” and just have single person do the job and take the plaudits or brickbats. It seems from an outsiders perspective that ideas are tried, scrapped, go full circle and are tried again. Surely it can only be down to infighting among selectors and different agendas being pushed .Mitch Marsh was woefully out of his depth as a Test cricketer and was given more leeway for performance than any other player in living memory. Khawaja only had to look sideways at the selectors and he was bringing out the drinks. Wouldn’t he have loved a two year free pass like Marsh had?! Marsh was dropped and presumably told he had to go back to First Class cricket and work on his game. How can he possibly be picked for India after that? I guess it’s just proof that being a fine international cricketer doesn’t necessarily mean you will get it right when you become a selector. I think it’s time to take a good look at just how the team is selected because there must be more than a few Australian cricketers shaking their heads with bewilderment at the moment.

Despite stats, history and form, Mitch Marsh is now considered a Test bowling all-rounder

The continuing love affair with Mitch March is bewildering especially as there are better bowling all-rounders such as James Faulkner about. Swepson is a wasted pick.I hope he doesn’t play as it could be demoralising for the lad as I would expect him to be cleaned up by India’s batsman.

Australia names 16-man squad for Test tour of India

From a distance Wade seems to have a bit of mongrel in him which may be why he was picked in this fairly meek Australian team over better qualified glovemen. Like it or loathe it Australian XI’s seem to play better with a bit of belligerence attached. Maddinson’s selection doesn’t make a lot of sense but it does leave us with a bit of depth and wriggle room with Patterson, Bancroft, Burns and a few more able to press claims in the Shield.

It may be an anathema to some but perhaps Mitch Marsh was worth a try in a much more pure all-rounders roll;batting at 8 against a tired Saffers attack and providing a fourth seam option on a pitch with a bit of life.He is no world beater with the ball either but he chips in with a few handy wickets.. He could be interchangeable for twelfth man with Lyon which gives some flexibility before the match starts. I know he is injured but it is an interesting option if available. Smith could chip in with some spin bowling.

Australia's selectors nailed it, with one glaring exception

Marsh is hardly acting professionally having a crack at Khawaja. Leave it behind closed doors. Who could blame Usman for being miffed anyway? And since when has Australia had an “allrounders position”? In nearly 150 years of Test cricket we have managed with six batsmen, four bowlers and a wicketkeeper-and managed to be successful. Mitch Marsh’ special treatment has unbalanced the side for a couple of years now. The greatest fear is they will drop him and bring in Moises Henriques! Hard to believe a couple of these selectors were once truly great cricketers.

Joe Mennie's selection for Perth defies description

It’s obviously very subjective and I welcome varying opinion. Evans was World Cup mountain bike champion for two years running which basically makes him the world number 1 for that period before switching to road racing. He is certainly the best Australian road cyclist ever and won the ProTour in 2007 which made him the world number 1 for that year. Apart from being only the second man from outside Europe to win the Tour he was also runner up twice and had several top ten finishes beside which made him a dominant rider in the race during his era. He is also the only Australian to win the Elite men’s World Road Title. Given the depth of professional cycling at the World Tour level I would have to rate him above several of the football players who appear on David’s list. But, it’s a good point of discussion. carry on please.

Where does Peter Brock stand in Australia's pantheon of sporting legends?

You can’t find a place for an Australian Tour de France winner in your top 30?

Where does Peter Brock stand in Australia's pantheon of sporting legends?

Cycling Australia administration has been a basket case for years now. Until the slow and agonizing death of track cycling in this country is arrested I can only see a continuing decline in our fortunes at Ilympic level.

Swimming made a bigger splash, but our cyclists need a blowtorch too

I’m pretty sure Cathy Freeman was a World Champion and Olympic placegetter before she was an Olympic Gold medalist. Cadel Evans was World Champion before he was Tour de France winner. In fact he was a mountain bike World Cup winner as a teenager. Multiple top ten in the three major Grand Tours. A twenty year career excellence reduced to one fleeting moment in this article. Make your argument for Cahill by all means but don’t deliberately denigrate the significant achievement of others and deliberately mislead when trying to make a point. If Cahill is as good as you say his achievements should be able to stand by themselves.

Is Tim Cahill second to Don Bradman?

Wow! What a story. Facing Trueman and Tyson really is a great memory. Thanks for sharing. I met Mr Tyson when I was a boy and what a gentlemanly man he was. He asked me who was going to win the upcoming Ashes series and an intimidated ten year old replied “I don’t know.’ My adult companion, much more fearless than I gave a resounding answer. “Australia of course!”, she replied. Mr Tyson looked at me kindly and said, “I think those Poms will give them a run for their money though.” A great memory almost forty years later. I still the autograph he was kind enough to give me. Rest in peace Frank.

SPIRO: The day I faced up to 'Typhoon' Frank Tyson

Man for man he is fifth in the pecking order at best but with illness, crashes and unforseen bad form always a factor he may scrape onto the podium. But he will need some luck. Thought Pinot would be his superior but he looks to have run his race before the first week is out. I wouldn’t count out Nibali yet but Contador looks cooked. Watch out for the other French hope Barguil, he may be a revelation.

Can Van Garderen make the Tour de France podium?

Pretty sure Michael Wilson did ride a Tour de France late in his career for a 50th place. Will have to look it up to confirm. His top ten finishes in the Giro would have assured him a ride in my team instead of Porte. The non-selction of Mockridge is a travesty. You can argue his one Tour for 64th place shouldn’t give him a place but there should be no argument that he was a better rider than 90 percent of this team. He was essentially three riders in one He could win a mass field sprint or lead out as circumstances require and he would be a vastly superior all-rounder to Gerrans. His victory in the Tour du Vaucluse in 1955 was a template for the modern stage hunter. Given his standing in the sport selection in this team would have been appropriate.
Of the rest, only Evans, Anderson and McEwan pick themselves and the others are subjective.

Is this Australia's Tour de France team of the century?

Contador was two and a half minutes adrift after the cobbles. I would argue that he isn’t two and a half minutes better than Nibali in the Alps and Pyrenees. Nibs time trials adequately as well. A very good and deserved win and while doping inquiries will always remain surely questioning his victory due to Froome and Contador crashing out is offensive. Nobody questions Merckx’s win in 1971 after Ocana crashed out when leading by eight minutes. Nor have I seen too many critics of Zoetemelk’s 1980 triumph, a victory which almost assuredly would have gone to Bernard Hinault had he not succumbed to knee tendonitis during the race. There are plenty of other examples.
Froome crashed before he even got to the cobbles, silly falls that a rider of his standing and a team of his calibre could have done better to avoid. He looked like a man who was not on his game mentally and perhaps a fear of racing on the cobbles contributed to nervousness and mistakes Contador’s fall too was as much down to lack of concentration as it was to ill luck and one of the skills of cycling is staying on your bike in trying circumstances. Vincenzo Nibali showed his skill as a bike handler and a man of immense ability and class and I was very pleased to see him ride into Paris in the yellow jersey..

Deserved victory for dominant Nibali

I assume you are referring to my comment about Gerran’s abillity when you refer to gross understatement. My opinion of Gerran’s is as relevant as anyone else’s. I stand by it. He is a very good professional rider but below the top tier of competitors in ability.
You can throw Milan to San Remo and stage wins and yellow jerseys at me but there are guys with less ability than Gerrans who have done the same.
It’s merely an observation and opinion of 40 years experience watching cycling. Gerrans is great but the constant padding of his reputation does him no favours.

Cadel's Corkscrew victory ranks amongst TDU's best

I stand by what I said. It doesn’t have to be taken as an insult. Man for man he is not in Evans’ class and has achieved most of what he has through guile and guts. The Tour DownUnder for most of it’s existence has been a beefed up training race that Gerrans has turned up to super fit. It suits his style and at the moment it is a very important race for his team so he races to win, unlike many who make the trip from Europe.
His wins at San Remo was a victory of guile not strength and his Tour wins have been the same.
The difference between being a very good professional rider and a Tour de France was starkly illustrated on Corkscrew Hill.

Cadel's Corkscrew victory ranks amongst TDU's best