The Roar
The Roar

Ronan O'Connell

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Joined April 2013

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Based between Thailand, Ireland and Australia, Ronan travels the world as a photojournalist, contributing stories and photography to 70+ magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, Forbes, 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 etc. Ronan has been a reporter for 15 years and his photojournalism work has taken him to more than 60 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 and features writer.

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Depends how Smith goes in the IPL and how the likes of SMarsh and Handscomb perform in Australia’s next 5 matches (including the two warm up matches against NZ in May).

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

Paul you seem to be assuming that the conditions in England will be good for swing and seam but the Kookaburra ball barely swings and England has had the flattest ODI pitches in the world for the past four years now.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

Carey’s keeping hasn’t been anything special either, he’s been solid with the gloves but nothing more – he has missed a number of chances across the UAE and India tours.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

“wish we could replace Carey with Turner and have handscomb keep. “

But then you’d need to leave out 2 out of Smith/SMarsh/Stoinis/Maxwell, which is very tough.

It would pretty much have to be both Smith and SMarsh missing out because Australia need Maxwell and Stoinis to share 10 overs.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

Paul for me Warner is just too good – he was in top 3 ODI batsmen in the world before he got banned – to be used down at 7.

Perhaps he could be used as low as 5 but I wouldn’t want him coming in lower than that.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

Yeah I would like to see Stoinis’ strike rate for 0-30 balls faced and then for 30-100 balls faced.

I’m sure there is a major difference.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

Graham if Finch was on a long run of hot form then maybe I’d back that idea but given Finch has only just hauled himself out of a massive form slump I wouldn’t be asking him to make such a major move.

I also think Finch has always been at his best in ODIs when he starts slowly and then builds, which is why he is best suited to opening.

Warner can flourish in middle order at World Cup

The thing with Finch is that his ODI career has always gone purple patch then slump then purple patch then slump.

He’s always been either poor or fantastic, never just a consistently decent batsman like some others.

Finch has had a few extended troughs in ODIs where he’s really struggled and then he follows with a dominant run where he averages 50+ over a period of 15+ matches.

Australia will hope that pattern continues and this marks the start of a hot run for Finch.

Warner's stunning return a World Cup boost for Australia

It was also, far more than the 85 runs he made, the manner in which Warner batted that was significant – every part of his game looked in perfect order.

Warner's stunning return a World Cup boost for Australia

Turner can’t bowl at the moment because of his shoulder so he’s not an all-rounder option for the World Cup.

Warner's stunning return a World Cup boost for Australia

Warner was picking the length so quickly, he looked in seriously good touch.

Warner's stunning return a World Cup boost for Australia

I think Stoinis is really out of place at 7 because he’s a slow starter and that position demands you can get going straight away.

Over the past 12 months Stoinis has scored at just 4.96 runs per over in ODIs.

Warner's stunning return a World Cup boost for Australia

Marsh is absolutely locked in for the World Cup squad, he has really stood up in the absence of Smith and Warner and shown he can carry the batting lineup.

Marsh was bolted on in Sharjah for what would have been his 5th ton in his last 15 ODIs.

Finch books World Cup spot with matchwinning ton

It also can’t be discounted that Smith is just an out and out star who has succeeded time and again in massive games of international cricket.

There’s a confidence and a knowledge gained from that the likes of Handscomb and SMarsh don’t have.

Guys with the kind of pedigree and accomplishments Smith boasts tend to find a way to get the job done under extreme pressure.

First and foremost, however, Smith needs to show good form in the IPL.

Finch books World Cup spot with matchwinning ton

The logjam of batsmen is probably also putting Carey’s position under threat as the selectors try to work out just how they can fit all these batsmen in. Handscomb keeping really gives them versatility.

Finch books World Cup spot with matchwinning ton

“Hard to overlook Smith’s overall experience and performance in the last World Cup too, but isn’t the rationale for his automatic inclusion based on his Test record”

Smith’s ODI record is outstanding since he became a specialist batsman – in his last 70 ODIs he’s made just under 3,000 runs at 50.

But if the likes of Khawaja, SMarsh and Handscomb maintain their form then Smith will need to play really well in the IPL to force his way into the WC team.

Finch books World Cup spot with matchwinning ton

Maxwell and Stoinis are the designated “quick scorers” but the problem is that Stoinis’ strike rate has nosedived in the past year, his scoring rate in that time is only 4.96 runs per over.

Finch books World Cup spot with matchwinning ton

I agree Paul, Finch still looks well short of his best form but Langer and co. clearly want him captaining the WC and this ton plus his 90-odd recently are enough to justify their decision.

Finch books World Cup spot with matchwinning ton

My point is that those four teams are, and have been for a while, the four toughest sides that NZ face.
NZ have only won 3 of their past 30 Tests against Aus/SA/Eng/India so performing against those four teams is the benchmark.
And those batting records above speak for themselves. That’s not to suggest the NZ batting lineup can’t do well against those sides in the future, rather that they clearly have a lot left to prove against the top teams.
Next summer will be a great test for the likes of Nicholls, Latham and Raval to see if they can prosper in Australia.

How the shorter formats are ruining young test talent

Targa I think NZ are brewing nicely in Tests but in regards to their batting lineup it should be noted that, apart from Williamson who is a superstar, their batsmen are either unproven or fairly unsuccessful against the Big 4 of India/SA/Eng/Aus.

These are their Test records against India/SA/Eng/Aus:

Latham – 859 runs at 26

Watling – 1,435 runs at 31

Nicholls – 508 runs at 33

De Grandhomme – 207 runs at 34

Taylor – 2,760 runs at 37

Raval – 280 runs at 40

How the shorter formats are ruining young test talent

It’s a real pity Agar isn’t playing, I think he offers a lot more than Lyon in ODIs.

Australia set to face an understrength Pakistan

Fakhar and ul-Haq still have a bit to prove against the top sides, I agree, although Babar has a fantastic record against the leading ODI teams.

Australia set to face an understrength Pakistan

Ahh ok I thought that was only a 3-match series, so the resting of players at least makes a bit more sense although I still think resting 6 of your starting 11 is overkill.

Australia set to face an understrength Pakistan

I think it’s perfect actually James – Australia have had a lifetime’s worth of extremely tough ODI cricket in the past two years, playing no one but India and England basically, so it’s a great time to have an easier series to hopefully finetune and build confidence.

Australia set to face an understrength Pakistan

There’s testing your bench strength … and then there’s resting 6 first-choice players from your final 5-match series before a World Cup.

Australia set to face an understrength Pakistan