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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 198o 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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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

I gather England have a similar (in some ways) idea, bringing their lions team to play warm up games and boost preparation. It’d be interesting to see the test bowlers pitted against the bats. Takes me back to contests I used to see in Shield games, such as Warne bowling to Hayden. If only the depth of talent back then was available to us now.

Australia badly need some games for their fringe Test players

Thanks for your reply Paul. What you say makes me recall those parents on the sidelines during a Saturday morning, muttering (sometimes shouting) at umpires, many of those umpires being young themselves. That shows the extent of our anti umpire culture. They are flesh, blood and feelings like the rest of us.

To err is human: Umpire bashing needs to be called out

Thanks for the article Paul, it’s an important perspective but one that is frequently forgotten I feel. There’s something in our culture that is almost anti umpire or referee. It’s particularly observed in AFL where umpires are insulted and for example referred to as maggots. I don’t think it’s gone to that extent in cricket but when a mistake (or what appears to be a mistake) is made, the crowd and some players will let the umpire know, often bluntly. I’ve had my head in my hands a few times, especially when the decision was crucial. But I’ve also had the time to think, watch replays and I haven’t had 70,000 people on their feet about the decision. In life I’ve made a few howlers of my own (a few is understating it) and have been grateful for the understanding of others when it’s happened.

To err is human: Umpire bashing needs to be called out

Such a disappointment for Will, especially at a time when he would have believed his test career was about to build momentum. I worry for his longer term future in that we are now seeing links between concussions and other health issues. We’d all be holding our breath if we were watching him struck in a test match. I really hope he is able to take his place in the team but not if it comes at a cost of his wellbeing in the decades ahead.

'Devastated to hear it': Paine's update on Pucovski's latest 'shattering' concussion

Is there a super strong England team? Maybe it is the one that lost to New Zealand? Or what about the side that lost to India, admittedly the series not being completed. How about the team unable to win the ashes the last time Australia visited? The words ‘super strong’ sound like an expression one of the marketers at Cricket Australia told Starc to use.

Starc expecting ‘super-strong’ England team for Ashes

It would be unwise to bring Stokes back to the team before he was ready. It would only make his difficulties worse. It’s at least a time where there is understanding and support for players in this situation. It’s not that long ago where they wouldn’t have been able to speak up. And if they did, they’d be mocked.

Fresh setback puts Stokes in doubt for the Ashes

Great topic and as can be seen from the comments, one that many take an interest in. I can say something about the kind of pitch we don’t want. The MCG which had a surface like we’d broken off a lane from a freeway and dropped it in during 2017. This was the year Alistar Cook captained the England team and (respect to him) made a double century on it. But the pitch was virtually over prepared, being predictable and offering bowlers little more than the chance of exhaustion and a pulled calf muscle. As a result, it offered the crowd little either.

What is the ideal cricket pitch?

There’s been a few fast bowlers that I’ve felt have been a joy to watch. Dennis Lillee and Ryan Harris spring to mind. It was their smooth and poised run in that I enjoyed. I wouldn’t be exaggerating to describe it as graceful. Steyn is certainly part of that list.

Dale Steyn was sheer fast-bowling beauty

It certainly sets up an absorbing next test. India displayed such ability to come back from their test loss in Australia to then win the series. Will India be able to dig deep again? England too made their way back from a series loss to New Zealand and prior test loss to India. Don’t think anyone will be saying test match cricket is dying for awhile yet.

Innings defeat at Headingley: Time for some changes in the Indian team

Very pleased to read this. It’s a good news article and will all that is going on with Covid and climate change, it’s brilliant to read an article about England’s batting woes. If anyone has it in them to put together an article that is critical of England’s bowling (much more difficult I know) I’d just about be putting a chardonnay on the ice to celebrate. I meanwhile still have nasty flashbacks to Andrew Strauss winning the ashes here in 2010.

England’s batting woes go well beyond 1-2-3

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