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Peter Farrar

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Joined April 2020

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Peter's obsession with test match cricket is well known amongst his friends, often leading them to avoid him or quickly change the subject when he begins his analysis. Since 1980 the only Boxing Day test he has missed was when South Africa's return from their ban was washed out at the MCG. His daughters regularly accompany him to the test, retreating to the bar when he begins recalling matches he attended as a younger man.

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As far as England are concernend, the talk of a coach being dismissed will only unsettle the team further. Finding self belief and some level of confidence is going to be difficult enough but when speculation regarding the future of the coach is added, the mood just gets worse. Am I enjoying this? Of course I am!

Ashes Scout: Silverwood faces axe, net session farce, Stuart’s Broadside and Pietersen’s radical county revamp

The word seems to be that the SCG is unlikely to turn given the weather during the lead up. A shame for those of us who enjoy the variation of a turning wicket after matches where pace plays such a part. Perhaps the opportunity for Swepson is to play a couple of tour matches before any test on the sub continent, if they can be scheduled. That would at least introduce him to the conditions and help him prepare.

Aussies consider SCG debut for spinner Swepson

As things stand Earl, they may well be home on the couch before it all goes much further. Given the Covid dramas. India went home early during their series against England earlier this year. I find it interesting to examine the shortfalls and disconnects of teams playing below their peak performance, trying to understand where it unravels. Might yet enrol in that sports psychology degree!

Their problems are obvious, but where do England go from here?

I think you’re right. Hard to see a way back from here. There’s every chance they will limp home completely devastated by this. The scars from heavy losses like these don’t fade all that quickly.

Their problems are obvious, but where do England go from here?

England could make wholesale changes to the team, if for no other reason than to demonstrate to the current crop of players they don’t belong based on current performance. It’s a tough time to attempt any rebuild however.

Their problems are obvious, but where do England go from here?

I’ve no doubts about Joe Root as an accomplished bat, as a leader I’m less sure. We can’t hope to know what goes on behind closed doors but at press conferences he appears unassuming and understated. Perhaps this is a characteristic that reduces the impact of his communications at times. Cummins seems upbeat and positive, the type of personality that can inspire and lift others, especially during a long fight to get a wicket. At least with Root’s batting he sets an example.

Ashes Scout: England coach's defiance as he reveals post game showdown - 'I'd pick same team again'

Insightful article Paul. I’ve probably said this before but what happened to the Harris of two Indian tours ago who at least was making starts and appeared decisive with his strokes. I suppose Harris keeps a place based on the lack of replacements. It’s been awhile since that opening spot has been settled. Joe Burns wasn’t the answer. Neither was Bancroft although there were signs he might grow into it. For awhile Will Pucovski seemed right but we know the story there. Not sure what we’ll do if we need to replace Warner as well which seemed alarmingly likely with that recent rib injury. The stuff of nightmares!

George Bailey’s tough decision and other thoughts from the second Test

Interesting article that builds our anticipation! I remember watching Michael Neser bowling in a losing Australia A side a couple of years ago and felt there wasn’t a lot of variation on offer. But I see him as a little like Alex Carey, always there, working hard and taking his opportunities. We can’t ask much more of him than the 7 wickets he took in the recent Australia A game. I expect if he is given a chance he will give it his all.

Second Test preview: Neser or Richardson?

Hi Paul, certainly looks to me Adelaide is England’s best show. Quite possibly the conditions most closely match what they have back home with the moving ball. For our bats it could feel as if they are facing a different team if Broad and Anderson come in. An out of form Marcus Harris, a sore David Warner leaves us a bit vulnerable. Meanwhile Hazlewood is out and as well, the calls have started for the Australia A century maker Bryce Street to be brought in. So the stage is set. If England miss out in Adelaide there will be deep disappointment and confidence loss. Oh well, I won’t be sending them a get well card.

Where to from here for England and Australia?

I admit I thought Usman would have got the nod, given the GABBA is his home ground and he’s been captain of his state side recently so could contribute to an environment where there is a new test captain. As explained in the article, there’s questions on whether Travis Head can build on his starts and maintain his concentration. He’s not someone I feel confident in relying on when our batting is falling apart. But I too am keen to be wrong and hope he has learnt some disciplines and built on his technique through his recent Shield performances.

I’ve never been a huge Travis Head fan, but I look forward to him proving me wrong

I’m somewhat on board with this, if Warnie says it’s a hot day, it will be quoted somewhere. Although I will add that during the last ashes tour of England where I’d spent my hard earned in a motel waiting to walk to Old Trafford when the covers came off, I listened to him and Ricky Ponting discussing batting and bowling techniques on a pay TV station. His analysis of how different fielders saw the ball and watched his run in was fascinating. It’s those pearls that make me still take notice of him. Even when I don’t want to.

It's time to break our exhausting addiction to 'What Warnie Reckons'

Thanks Paul, a lot going on in this article. India is such a fortress in their own country digging out a draw can feel like a win. All I’m going to add is a light humour story about one of my daughters going to school with Ash Agar. One day in class he was signing his name on slips of paper, handing them out and telling other students they’d be worth something one day. Probaby after his 98 against England years later people were trying to find those bits of paper!

Agar's 2022 prospects, India-NZ draw: Talking points from the world of cricket

That’s a sound analysis Paul. I do note Pat Cummins has a positive disposition and expresses himself well. Whilst a lot more is required, those are useful and fundamental qualities for a leader to bring to the field. It must demand more of Justin Langer to support a new captain. I though Marnus may be offered the vice role with a strong suggestion it would be a platform to iron out some of his on field antics. Before your article I hadn’t really considered Travis Head and hoped this season he may achieve progress on what seems to be making good starts but not staying out there. My only question of Khawaja is whether he will have the demeanour to lift the team when they are under pressure. I of course can’t pretend to know, it’s not like I carry in the snacks at the lunch break and see what’s going on. People however sometimes surprise you by responding well to challenges when you don’t expect them to. Interesting times.

Australia's newest selector faces some serious headaches

Many good questions raised in this Paul. I’d be on the headache medicine if it was up to me to choose. I noticed over the weekend The Age was favouring Pat Cummins and there were references to his having a strong ‘cricket brain.’ I’ve noticed he’s participated in a number of press conferences over time and thought this may have signalled the start of his apprenticeship.

Australia's newest selector faces some serious headaches

Enjoyed this detailed article All Day, thanks. I’m reminded that when we look over the history of test cricket there are the series or matches we inevitably think of, such as the tied test, invincibles tour or bodyline. Your coverage of the return of cricket after World War 2 reminds us there is so much more.

75 years on: The historic Ashes series of 1946-47

Thanks for this article Paul. That first ashes test is drawing closer. I’ve often felt one of the toughest jobs in being a captain is showing the leadership needed after a loss, especially a heavy loss. Of course the coach shoulders some of this. But it’s a little like the situation you describe here and how heavily it may weigh on Joe Root. It’s largely with him to lift his team’s confidence and morale after the disappointment of not making that final. And he doesn’t have a lot to draw on, with series losses to New Zealand and being behind against in the tests against India, both on home soil. We often say cricket is played above the shoulders and self confidence is a big part of that. Australia would appear to have the inside running on that.

The World Cup result is a disaster for the Ashes

Thanks Frank. I did enjoy being there. The first test question is the one on everyone’s lips. I expect the bowling to be the same. I liked the pace and threat shown by Sean Abbott in this game. Although his economy rate wasn’t as great later. Just a question of whether his performance may have enabled him to overtake Michael Neser if another fast bowler has to step up. Now that Harris didn’t manage a score, I supect Khawaja leads the contenders by a nose. But Harris may still be the pick if selectors are looking to the future. I give Ben McDermott a chance. It’s about 5 years since Nic Maddison played a test so he has a show after this. Happy to have Alex Carey in the mix. I’m less confident in Head and Wade who have had a fair amount of opportunity. I do think Cameron Green is on his way to a strong career. But as has been the case for awhile, our batting seems brittle. At least England’s batting line up seems equally suspect. Thanks for commenting.

Welcome back, cricket. How we've missed you

Many thanks Matth

Welcome back, cricket. How we've missed you

Thanks Dave. He played a number of shots with genuine authority and one of the best things about his knock is that it must renew his sense of confidence. I think he was dropped a couple of times. It was actually Hanscomb and Harris I expected to grab their opportunities. Whilst we understand there is pressure in a test march, there must also be that pressure of putting yourself on the radar for selection. Thanks for your comment.

Welcome back, cricket. How we've missed you

Thanks for those comments Paul. It was quite an intense day which I was pleased about as I thought the match practice would be beneficial to the players. I wrote the piece at the match and on my way to a sandwich, dropped all my notes and didn’t realise. Luckily they were handed in but at the time I thought maybe someone will think they found some coaching notes! Thanks again for commenting.

Welcome back, cricket. How we've missed you

Thanks Paul, as always thought provoking. I just can’t make my mind up about whether the long break is an advantage for our team, or if the matches England experienced benefits them. I do believe our bowlers will be better rested and as a result, quite possibly hungry to go.

Ignore the posturing, the Ashes really starts in a week’s time

I know what you mean Clear As, I’m not exactly brimming with confidence myself at this prospect.

The Ashes XI to whitewash England

Congrats on your first article Tom. If Khawaja does receive that call up, I hope once and for all he can own a place in that team. He seems to have hovered around the fringe, either barely in or barely out.

The Ashes XI to whitewash England

I’m ordering my Valium now. The possibility of a loss at home to England is enough to set anyone on edge. If it comes to that I might have to dig out that Bronze Medal Olympic win basketball match and watch that instead.

This Ashes series will be closer than you think

Such an interesting article and I’d have to say worthwhile recollection of that series. I was 17 at the time and it sticks in my memory. Even though it was a losing series for Australia, I also think it marked the re emergence of the Aussies after the previous disappointments of the ashes series here. A little like how the ashes series win in England in 1989 marked Australia’s return after an otherwise difficult decade. About all I can add is that it must have been difficult leading and coaching a Rest of the World team when you consider the number of cultural and language differences there must have been. Thanks for this article.

Fifty years on: Australia versus the Rest of the World, 1971-72

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