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Ronan O'Connell

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Joined April 2013

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Ronan writes about cricket in his spare time. Based between Asia and Ireland, his day job is as a journalist and photographer, contributing stories and images on travel and current affairs to dozens of magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, National Geographic, Forbes, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Toronto Star etc. Ronan has been a reporter for 18 years and his journalism and photography work has taken him to more than 60 countries. Before becoming a freelancer he spent nine years working at daily newspapers in WA where he had stints as a chief crime reporter, political writer, health reporter and features writer.

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This would be my team for the first T20I against the West Indies.

Finch
Wade
Philippe
McDermott
Henriques
Marsh
Agar
Starc
Zampa
Swepson
Behrendorff

With Christian, Henriques and Marsh to continually rotate through those 5 and 6 positions over the course of the 10 T20Is in the Caribbean and Bangladesh, playing 6 or 7 matches each.

Aussie selection wildcard that could cut down the West Indies

And last night for Glamorgan, Labuschagne made 22 and took 2-22 from 4 overs.

That gives him 14 wickets at 15 in this format this year, averaging 1.4 wickets per match. A frontline spinner would be stoked with those figures.

Labuschagne making a run at T20 World Cup

One key thing I forgot to mention is Street’s career record is even more impressive because he’s based at the Gabba. Those who watch Shield games know its the most difficult Shield pitch for batting, which offers more assistance to quicks than any other.

These career averages at the Gabba of other leading domestic openers show how hard that venue is for openers:

Whiteman – 14 avg.

Harris – 18 avg.

Bancroft – 19 avg.

Street doesn’t have the luxury of being based on the uber-roads of the MCG/Junction (where Harris churns out most of his runs). Instead he has to regularly make tough runs at the Gabba.

Bryce Street's defensive batting style could translate to Tests

Well, my man Maxwell is killing it in the IPL -leading runscorer so far and at a blazing strike rate, as usual.

Smith will shine and Meredith will struggle in IPL

Now Labuschagne is dominating the Shield final, with 125* against an incredible NSW attack.

For the Shield season he has 744 runs at 83. Just a freak.

Two years ago today, Marnus Labuschagne changed forever

Handscomb right now is 127no from just 101 balls against SA in the Marsh Cup.
That gives him 294 runs at 98 this season.

Handscomb and Green pushing for ODI recalls on West Indies tour

I’ve said for a while that, because Australia’s keeper needs to bat at 5/6, Philippe should be trialed in the middle order, and that I think he has the 360-degree shot range and strength against spin to handle that role.

That should have happened in this series in my opinion, but it looks unlikely now.

Matthew Wade's time is up. Josh Philippe must take the gloves

In 24 matches away from home, Wade averages 11 – that’s a big sample size – and the World Cup is in India.

Breaking up Australia’s hugely successful opening combo to accommodate a guy in poor form who can’t make runs away from home isn’t the wisest move.

Matthew Wade's time is up. Josh Philippe must take the gloves

And now Maddinson has made a statement, smacking 77 from 80 balls as an opener against a Test standard NSW attack today.
I think Maddinson is better suited to the middle order than opening, and he must be competing very strongly with Head for that Test 5 spot (with Green locked in at 6).
Maddinson’s failures in the 2 tour matches against India this summer probably prevented him from making the Test squads to face India and then S.A.
Maddinson would certainly add the kind of Test middle order dynamism/variety that Australia have long lacked, as I argued in this recent article:
http://www.theroar.com.au/2021/02/14/an-attacking-josh-inglis-could-be-australias-test-answer-to-rishabh-pant-and-ben-stokes/

Four players to watch in Australian domestic cricket

Number of confirmed Tests between March 2020 and the 2021 Ashes:

England – 19

Australia – 4

Vastly improved England are charging towards the Ashes

Nice article Ben.

I think balls faced per dismissal is a really under rated stat, especially in this era where batting lineups are flakier than ever, and prone to collapses.

Soaking up pressure, by batting time, is very valuable.

That’s one reason I think Green’s debut series was so encouraging – he soaked up 83 balls per dismissal, which was the 2nd highest of any Aussie, after only Labuschagne.

Green’s defence is very solid, and his ability to withstand periods of pressure is tremendous for such an inexperienced cricketer.

Pujara's version of a Don Bradman stat won India the series

So Australia have used five different openers in this series – Burns, Wade, Pucovski, Warner and Harris.

This must be a record for them.

In the 2018 series in SA they used four different openers because of the sandpaper bans, with Burns and Renshaw flying in to open in the 4th Test.

Will Pucovski ruled out of Gabba Test as Australia confirm XI

This series:

Nathan Lyon: 4 wickets at 58

India spinners: 17 wickets at 21

*******************************************

Last 5 Tests between India and Australia:

Nathan Lyon: 9 wickets at 62

India spinners: 29 wickets at 22

It's not just Steve Smith - India are dominating Nathan Lyon too

Merry Christmas to all you Roarers, hope 2020 wasn’t too bad for you and that 2021 proves to be an absolute cracker!

Forget Test tons: Tim Paine is Australia's 'Cameo King'

Flashback to 13 months ago – pretty happy with this call.

Cameron Green is a generational cricket talent

Hi Nudge, how are things mate? I’ve been busy with my day job but back on The Roar for the summer, it’s gonna be fun. Cheers!

A heavy T20 diet's given Steve Smith's batting an extra gear

G’day Roarers, cheers for the warm welcome, it’s good to be back!
I hope this strange year hasn’t been too dark for any of you, but the fine news is we’ve got a cracking summer of cricket just dawning. Very excited for it.
I’ll be writing two pieces each week (Thursday and Sunday) throughout the summer, looking forward to all your feedback and banter.
Shameless plug … to see what I’ve been up to this year check out my website: http://www.ronanoconnell.com
Here’s a couple of my favourite recent articles:
http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20201029-captain-gallagher-the-legend-of-irelands-highwaymen
http://www.wired.com/story/pandemic-quiet-is-helping-humans-eavesdrop-on-rare-dolphins/
edition.cnn.com/travel/article/cossack-ghost-town-australia/index.html
Cheers,
Ronan

A heavy T20 diet's given Steve Smith's batting an extra gear

Nice piece David, there’s no doubt Langer deserves significant credit for the way he’s made Australia a more malleable side, one with far less rigid tactics.

And Cricket Australia deserve praise for the way they’ve tried to make Australian cricketers more rounded by exposing them to the Dukes ball in the Shield, organising plenty of “A” tours and, where possible given tight fixtures schedules, offered the Test team decent training camps to prepare for foreign conditions.

Egos shelved, sleeves rolled up: Langer, Paine instil blueprint for success abroad

Hi Riccardo,

I’m not sure why you think I’m saying 1) This Aussie team is anywhere near the level of the Golden Era team 2) That England can’t come back (of course they can)

Nowhere in the article do I state or even hint at either of those things.

The article, very clearly, is purely about the resilience Australia showed in 3 times bouncing back from being well behind the 8 ball at Edgbaston.

That’s it.

No suggestions they’re suddenly a great side… or that they have minimal weaknesses… or that England are gone… or that they’re all suddenly Warne and McGraths and Pontings reborn.

How Australia rediscovered their golden era mojo

Spot on tdlan. Siddle’s pressure was crucial at Edgbaston.

Australia needs to take the same XI to Lord's

Haha I love a good pun Sheek.

While I was at uni I spent a while working as a second-hand pun dealer. I made no money, though, because I sold myself short.

Australia bulldoze England in first Ashes Test

Actually I call myself Huxley, but let’s not delve into my foibles.

Why does Joe Root get mentioned with Smith, Kohli and Williamson?

Sorry mate I always call Ryans Ronan, and Ronans Ryan, and when I meet a Rhian or a Rowan or a Rohan, I get so muddled I just faint.

Why does Joe Root get mentioned with Smith, Kohli and Williamson?

I think Australia’s ability to maintain pressure with the ball in England’s 1st innings (run rate only 2.75 per over) was the difference between England making 374 or batting Australia out of the game with 450+

It was a subtle but significant factor.

Australia first Ashes Test player ratings: Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon star in stunning win

Interesting article Ronan, it’s interesting what an impact that one article by Martin Crowe 5 years ago has had on the way these four cricketers have since been analysed:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/774705.html

In Tests Smith is miles ahead, Kohli and Williamson neck and neck, and Root way behind that pair.

Why does Joe Root get mentioned with Smith, Kohli and Williamson?

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