The Roar
The Roar

Ronan O'Connell

Expert

Joined April 2013

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Ronan has been a reporter for 15 years and now travels the world as a photojournalist, contributing words and images to more than 70 magazines and newspapers across the US, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He contributes travel, culture and current affairs features to the likes of CNN, BBC, The San Francisco Chronicle, Toronto Star, The Independent (UK), The Guardian, Irish Examiner, Australian Financial Review, South China Morning Post, Singapore Straits Times, The National, News Ltd, The West Australian, The New Zealand Herald, and many travel magazines and in-flight publications. Ronan's photojournalism work has taken him to more than 50 countries. Before becoming a freelance photojournalist he spent nine years working at daily newspapers in W.A. where he variously was a chief crime reporter, political writer, health reporter, features writer and sports reporter.

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Normally I’d say if a guy averages 35 in his first series that’s a pass mark, particularly away from home.

But that’s not a hard and fast rule because obviously an average alone doesn’t reflect the circumstances in which someone scores their runs.

Finch set for Ashes trial in UAE

30s are the new Test metric apparently!

Finch set for Ashes trial in UAE

Maxwell did bowl in 3 of his 4 ODIs in Australia’s last series, in England, so I’m hopeful that the new people in charge of the Aussie ODI team may recognise that he’s been criminally underused since the last WC.

I also believe Maxwell was at his best as an ODI batsman when he was bowling in every game – like it does with a lot of all-rounders this took some pressure off his batting and freed his mind.

Who will be in Australia’s world cup squad?

Yeah no I did understand that Burgy, but I also think you’re right that that team balance is probably what the selectors will be leaning towards.

Marsh and Stoinis would be two bowlers who I think could really go the journey on flat English decks with small boundaries.

Stoinis had figures of 3 for 233 in the ODIs in England and was smashed at nearly 7 runs per over.

I’d be only looking to give maybe 5 overs a match to Marsh or Stoinis, and try to get the other 5 overs out of Maxwell.

25 overs of pace and 25 of spin seems like a good balance in English ODI conditions. Certainly need to bowl 20 overs of spin minimum.

Who will be in Australia’s world cup squad?

The issue I have with that team Ken is the lack of batting dynamism.

You have only 3 batsmen in that top 7 who strike at better than 90 in ODI cricket, and one of those guys (Carey) has only done that over 3 matches so the sample size is too small.

That is a recipe for disaster against a team like England who often have 5 out of their top 7 striking at 100 or better.

That’s why Maxwell is so crucial because his extraordinary strike rate of 121 makes up for the slow scoring of others.

As an example, Khawaja scores at 4.9 runs per over in ODIs compared to 7.2rpo for Maxwell. If a slower scorer like Khawaja plays then a fellow slower scorer like Smith would have to be dropped, there’s no room for both.

Who will be in Australia’s world cup squad?

If they do pick such a team for the WC Burgy I reckon they’ll have their bowling balance wrong.

That side would be bowling 35-40 overs of pace an innings, which is definitely too much in English ODI conditions.

The pitches are so flat, and the boundaries so small for ODIs in England, that it’s really hard work for the quicks, even the really good ones.

ODI batting in England is more and more similar to T20 batting I reckon, with a heavy focus on attack, and so spinners are the key, just as they are in T20.

Consider the economy rates of the Aussie bowlers in the ODIs in England this year:

Spinners (Agar/Lyon/Maxwell) – 5.2 runs per over

Quicks (Stanlake/Neser/Tye/Stoinis/Richardson x 2) – 6.9 runs per over

I think Australia should be looking to bowl close to 25 overs of spin per innings in the World Cup – play 2 specialist spinners (Agar plus Lyon/Zampa) and also get a few overs out of Maxwell.

1. Finch
2. Warner
3. Smith
4. Ferguson
5. Stoinis/MMarsh
6. Maxwell
7. Carey
8. Agar
9. Starc
10. Hazlewood
11. Lyon/Zampa

Who will be in Australia’s world cup squad?

I actually thought Agar did a solid job with the ball in the ODIs in England this year despite being on a hiding to nothing.

The odds were massively stacked against him – he was surrounded by struggling rookie quicks, playing against the world’s best batting side on absolute roads.

In light of that Agar did well to be economical at 5.52rpo, which was good going in the circumstances.

Agar’s only played 9 ODIs across the past three years, he needs to actually be given some time to settle into his role.

And his batting gives Australia some crucial balance down the order, something they’ve badly lacked since Faulkner’s batting fell off.

Agar made 130 runs at 26 in that series against England and consistently chipped in.

In modern ODIs, with 350+ totals now common, there is pressure on the top seven to go hard throughout the innings pretty much, not just tick along at 5 to 5.5rpo for most of the innings before launching in the final 10 overs, like teams used to.

This means that its crucial to have a bit more batting depth as insurance, to allow the top 7 to have the freedom and confidence to attack.

If Agar can become a solid spin option – not a match winner, just reliable – then he’ll really give Australia that balance they’ve long lacked.

Who will be in Australia’s world cup squad?

Zampa should be right in the mix for the World Cup.

He bowled really well today against NSW, taking 3-37 from 10 overs, and also had a good winter in T20 cricket, taking 21 wickets at 19 in matches in the CPL and England’s T20 comp.

Who will be in Australia’s world cup squad?

Paul, Starc has played on dozens of very flat ODI tracks with short boundaries and still has one of the best ODI records in history, averaging 20.

I wouldn’t be worried about him.

Who will be in Australia’s world cup squad?

Yep there’s some great talent in the early 20s age range too with Renshaw, Doran, Jhye, Stanlake, Heazlett, McDermott, plus the likes of Nair (20) and Sangha (19).

There’s a lot of exagerrated doom and gloom about a supposed dearth of young talent in Australian cricket.

The five teenagers lighting up Australian cricket

I love how still Bryant stays as the ball is released, he really sets himself a great foundation. He looks like he could be a fantastic ODI and T20 prospect down the line.

The five teenagers lighting up Australian cricket

That was a hell of a knock from Wade. When he’s on song he is a dominant batsman, and great to watch.

The five teenagers lighting up Australian cricket

Rellum I don’t think the BBL will have that big an influence on World Cup selections because Australia have very few ODIs between the end of the BBL and the start of the World Cup.

I reckon they’ll want to have their World Cup squad largely bedded down by the end of the ODI series against India which starts on January 12.

They’ll have picked and announced the ODI squad for that series at least 8-9 days before that so BBL teams will only have played maybe 3 games by the time that’s announced.

With Smith and Warner to squeeze back into the ODI squad in March anyone who isn’t getting an ODI game in their absence against India and before tha5 against SA (in Nov) is going to be very hard pressed getting a late World Cup call up based on BBL performances.

The four players who'll be using the JLT Cup as a World Cup audition

What a start Sutherland has made to his List A career – 10 wickets at 14 from four matches so far.

And he can really bat too, he batted in the top 6 for the Aussie under-19 team.

The four players who'll be using the JLT Cup as a World Cup audition

I’d love to see Ferguson batting at 4/5 for Australia in the World Cup but it seems extremely unlikely, the selectors have ignored him for so long I can’t see that changing next year when he’ll be pushing 35 years old.

The four players who'll be using the JLT Cup as a World Cup audition

My gut tells me Carey is already pencilled in as ODI keeper for the home series against SA in November.

The four players who'll be using the JLT Cup as a World Cup audition

Paul I think Australia should consider playing two spinners in their starting XI in the World Cup. At this stage I’d lean towards Agar and Zampa as that pair, with Lyon and Holland in contention too.

The four players who'll be using the JLT Cup as a World Cup audition

Langer has said several times how highly he rates Lynn so who knows he may ignore his fielding issues and give him a crack if he’s in hot form.

The four players who'll be using the JLT Cup as a World Cup audition

At this point, Maxwell will need to literally shame the Test selectors into picking him.

Unless he literally scores tons in each of his Shield matches before the India series this summer I don’t see him coming into contention.

Siddle should have been saved for the Ashes

Doggett has potential down the line but right now he is much too reliant on his short ball to take wickets and that is a recipe for failure on slow, batting-friendly decks in the UAE.

Siddle should have been saved for the Ashes

The UAE pitches are typically slow roads, they aren’t nearly as conducive to spinners as the average pitch in India/SL/Bangladesh.

Langer has already flagged the idea of potentially playing 3 quicks, although to me that suggests he might be thinking about playing 5 bowlers, with Agar batting at 7 and Paine pushed up to 6.

Siddle should have been saved for the Ashes

“In these sorts of conditions you generally will be having spinners bowling lots of overs, and fast bowlers coming on to bowl short, sharp, attacking spells, trying to get, initially, the new ball to swing, and later to get reverse swing. You don’t have quicks in the side to bowl long, economical spells, but to fully attack.”

My thoughts exactly Chris.

Siddle should have been saved for the Ashes

I expect Pakistan to play 3 spin options – Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan (batting at 6/7) are locks, but they won’t want to play just 2 leg spinners as their only spin options, and they know Australia have struggled against finger spin in Asia so they’ll pick a finger spinner too.

Siddle should have been saved for the Ashes

Neser would at least give Australia some extra batting depth, because Australia’s tail would be extremely weak with Siddle, Lyon and Holland – that’s three number 11 batsmen in one tail.

Over the last two years Neser has averaged 25 with the bat in first-class cricket including 5 fifties from just 30 knocks.

Siddle should have been saved for the Ashes

Yep Tremain was very economical on the A tour in India – he gave up just 2.65 runs per over.

Siddle should have been saved for the Ashes