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, 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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Labuschagne has averaged just 18 with the bat in his past 12 innings in first-class cricket, he’s in awful form.

Who should not make the Test XI against India?

Good article Maxwell, I particularly agree on Lehmann.

I can only imagine that all the Aussie fans calling for him to be in the Test team have never watched him bat in the Shield – he has comfortably the loosest technique of any of the leading domestic batsmen.

Who should not make the Test XI against India?

Agar has the best economy (6.97rpo) of any regular Aussie bowler in T20Is this year. Combine that with his handy batting and its very odd he’s not in the side.

Australia lose to South Africa yet again

87 will be enough to secure Head’s Test spot after a fairly encouraging debut series in the UAE.

Unless one or two of the other contenders produce massive scores

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

Patterson has 5 tons and 28 fifties so he only converts 15% of his fifties to tons.

If he had a solid conversion rate of 40% he’d have 13 first class tons by now, he’d have a career average of about 45/46 and he’d have made a Test debut a while ago.

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

Yeah it’s a real pity for Ferguson – at his age I think this summer was his last shot at Tests with Smith and Warner missing.

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

Head is 63no – another 37 runs and he’ll be a lock for the 1st Test.

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

Maxwell unfortunately seems to be precisely zero chance of playing the first Test.

If he couldn’t even make the squad, let alone the XI in the UAE, then he’s no hope of making the XI now given he won’t have played a single Shield match this summer when the Test team is picked.

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

Paul even if Mitch Marsh had failed when he went back to Shield I think he’d have probably played the 1st Test, saved by his vice captaincy status and the desire to play an allrounder.

So the moment he cracked that 151 for WA his Test spot was sealed I think.

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

Yes thanks Larry I meant Renshaw and Burns is my preferred option.

Finch did a great job as opener in UAE but I think he’s much better suited to the middle order, particularly looking ahead to the Ashes next year.

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

I rate Patterson highly but realistically he will not get a Test debut until he makes a big hundred or two instead of regular 50s.

It is those big scores that grab the selectors attention.

Rightly or wrongly you are far more likely to earn a Test debut for Australia off the back of a score sequence of 10, 0, 120, 10, 20, 20, 0, 200 than you are by scoring 60, 70, 20, 50, 50, 20, 60, 50 – yet both sequences amount to the same number of runs and same average.

Renshaw and Burns to battle Australian Test attack

I think one day cricket is Labuschagne’s best format and he has potential but for the moment I’d still have him behind the likes of Ferguson and Handscomb as a middle order ODI option.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

That’s a good and fair summary Just Nuisance. I actually think Australia can turn things around quite quickly if they just get their team balance right.

But from a batting perspective they’re really being harmed by their one paced batting at the moment. That’s because too many guys don’t look for singles and so when they receive 5-6 good balls in a row (all of which end in dots because they don’t like to drop and run) they feel under pressure to play a big shot to relieve the pressure and they get out trying to manufacture a boundary.

That happened again and against vs SA.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

Ferguson gets so little sympathy from Aussie fans in comparison to many other players but he is arguably the unluckiest Aussie player of the past decade when it comes to national selection.
Has a sensational ODI record and has dominated domestic 50 over cricket year after year after year yet has been leapfrogged by tons of guys with a fraction of the accomplishments.

And in Tests he finally earned a berth after years and gets turfed after just one Test, a match in which the whole Aussie batting lineup stained the bed.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

Finch “never stands up when its tough”?

The past 18 months has been the toughest period Australia have ever had in the ODI format and Finch has made 4 tons from his last 15 matches while averaging 54.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

Brett that Shield game will probably decide one or even two Test batting spots.

Performing well against NSW Test attack last summer is what sealed Bancroft’s Test spot.

Really hoping Renshaw and Burns go big in that match and force the selectors hand. Not convinced at all Labuschagne is ready for Tests so will be fascinating to see if he can handle such a gun NSW attack.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

Maxwell’s form absolutely is a big concern. The reason I’m happy to show patience with him for the moment is that there is no like for like replacement for him in terms of batting style.
He is the only Aussie batsman with a career ODI strike rate of more than 100 and he’s miles above that at 120.

He’s also the only Aussie batsman who has scored at better than 6 runs per over against spin since the last World Cup – he’s scored at more than 7 in fact, miles ahead of the next best.

In the World Cup if Australia come up against big hitting England or find themselves chasing 330+ then it will be crucial to have at least one batsman who is that dynamic.

And there is no one in domestic cricket who scores at well above 100 strike rate down the order and can smash spin like Maxwell.

Pretty much all the fast scorers (100+) at domestic level are top order batsmen and Australia already have a logjam of guys competing for top order spots for the World Cup – Finch, Warner, Smith, SMarsh, Head, Lynn, Khawaja and Short.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

Du Plessis actually made quite a disparaging remark about Lynn saying that he is happy to “bully” medium pacers but struggles against 140+ quicks.

Yet in domestic cricket many times I’ve seen him demolish 140+ bowlers – there’s tons of bowlers that pace in Aussie domestic cricket.

Anyway, he’s yet to hit his stride in international cricket yet so the jury is out on Lynn.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

I’d give Lynn one more series to see if he can adapt to ODIs. Australia look like they want him to become an opener.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

Starc see definitely is not a poor death bowler. As for Cummins and Hazlewood I’d give them more time to see how they go against India in the ODIs because they came into the SA series very raw having not played international cricket for nearly 8 months.

None of the next pace cabs off the rank are particularly strong death bowlers either – NCN, Stanlake, Tye, Richardson x 2.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

I’ve argued for ages now that Australia are not flexible enough with their ODI batting lineup.

Too often they failed to promote big hitters when they were in a dominant position or alternatively, if they were in trouble, failed to demote a big hitter and promote a steadier batsman like Paine/Carey to rebuild.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

If Khawaja is back fit and firing I’d have him in the squad to play India ahead of Handscomb.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

Zampa at his peak is easily Australia’s beat white ball spinner – he was the leading ODI wicket taker world wide in 2016 and looked like a star in the making.

So I’m happy to give him a couple more matches to try to regain his mojo.

Who can add the needed steel to Australia's fragile ODI batting?

James it was during that same period you’re talking about that both Faf and Miller were given lives by poor fielding.

If those chances were taken SA would have struggled to make 200 and we’d all be talking about how well Australia bowled.

Australia's top order fails again as Proteas win to clinch 2-1 series lead

In his last 15 ODIs Finch has averaged 54 and hit four tons – and you want to drop him?

Australia's top order fails again as Proteas win to clinch 2-1 series lead