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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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

Hi Bob, apparently all six of those key players have been rested by Pakistan. A very odd decision this close to the World Cup for a team that is struggling for form.

Australia set to face an understrength Pakistan

After their incredibly difficult fixture in ODIs the past two years I think this could be perfect for Australia – if they play well they could really build some serious form and momentum for the World Cup.

Australia set to face an understrength Pakistan

Maverick it’s very hard to pick a guy in 50-over cricket for Australia who can’t even get a game of 50-over cricket for his State.

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

Mitchell Santner is a traditional (SLA) who is a gun in ODIs

Santner averages 35 with the ball in ODIs, he certainly isn’t a “gun” bowler when there’s plenty of ODI bowlers who are similarly economical while averaging 25 or less.

Overall, however, he fits the description that I gave in the article that traditional finger spinners like Lyon and Santner need to be able to bat as well (like Santner can).

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

This is my take on those guys:

Boyce – didn’t even play in the last JLT Cup, couldn’t get a game. Hasn’t played a 50-over match in 18 months.

Fawad Ahmed – Serious question marks about his ability to mentally handle the step up to international cricket given some of the really shaky efforts he’s turned in for Australia and Australia A even in tour matches – this applies to both red ball and white ball cricket. In 8 one-day matches for Australia and Australia A he’s taken 5 wickets at 84, with an awful economy of 6.3rpo.

O’Keefe – offers nothing Lyon doesn’t

Green – You can’t give guys international debuts in a World Cup

Short – Handy for perhaps 3-4 overs a match, or up to 6-7 if he has a really good day. But can’t be relied upon, not even as much as Maxwell can.

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

“Don’t need three spinners in England.”

Australia’s ODI bowlers on their last tour of England 9 months ago:

Spinners – 5.1 runs per over

Quicks – 7.1 runs per over

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

“I think if Zampa loses form or is injured, selectors will pick a 4th quick bowler who can bat”

You may be right but what a colossal mistake that would be given how crucial frontline spinners are in modern ODIs and how Australia’s spinners comprehensively outbowled their quicks on the last ODI tour of England.

Australia have painted themselves into a corner now – they’re almost forced to select Lyon for the World Cup despite his struggles because they haven’t given anyone else a go and it would be tough to bring in someone from the cold to front up for the World Cup.

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

The return to form of Zampa is a huge plus for Australia, if he can bowl as well in the World Cup as he did in India that will really boost their hopes of defending their trophy.

I just can’t see a team winning this World Cup without having at least one spinner having a great tournament.

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

Turner was a spinner first and foremost at u/19 level for Australia but right now he can’t bowl due to a shoulder injury.

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

Is Hoggy still rolling his arm over?

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

“if you did come up against a non-Asian side in spin friendly conditions you would want him as an option.”

Brian spin friendly conditions are extremely rare in England for ODIs, they have had the biggest roads in the world over the past four years and on those kinds of pitches any bowler (pace or spin) who doesn’t have variations is just too easy to line up.

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

I agree Bush, if Agar had been able to gain some form with the ball in these ODIs in India and UAE then his batting would really help balance the Aussie side.

But it would be a big ask now to get Agar to come in cold into the Aussie side before the World Cup.

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

It will be interesting Nudge to see if Lyon can buck the trend of traditional finger spinners struggling in ODIs and find some form in the UAE.

To be fair to Lyon his 20 ODIs have been spread out across 7 years so he’s never had a good long run in the team to build momentum.

At this stage, though, I’m just not convinced that this old-school style of finger spin is effective in ODIs, hence why even someone the calibre of Jadeja can’t get a regular game for India anymore despite being an extremely accurate finger spinner plus an incredible fieldsman and averaging 30 with the bat in ODIs.

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

Paul with those comments you seem to be assuming that Zampa won’t lose form – that Australia won’t need to use anyone but Zampa as their 1st spinner in their next 15 or so ODIs, running all the way through to the end of the World Cup.

Because if Zampa did lose form and Lyon was their only spin back up there’d be a strong argument that Australia would be better off ignoring Lyon and replacing Zampa with a batting all-rounder like Mitch Marsh and having their main spinner be Maxwell, who statistically is very nearly as effective as Lyon in ODIs.

And yet that doesn’t appeal to me – the idea of having batting all-rounders bowling 20 overs each match – yet it still appeals to me more than the idea of playing a non wicket-taking specialist spinner who can’t bat.

Lyon should not be a World Cup certainty

“Handscomb… when he keeps, he never scores a run.”

Handscomb has made 1,045 runs at 48 in the List A matches where he’s played as a keeper.

3 ODIs are a poor sample size.

Matthew Wade clubs another Shield century and it's just getting ridiculous now

Cheers Bart, I agree that the talk Australia don’t need Smith and Warner in ODIs anymore is a very knee-jerk reaction.

They are Australia’s two best and most experienced ODI batsmen – the idea that they won’t need them to win a World Cup is baffling to me. Of course they do need to show some form in the IPL.

Smith and Warner set for World Cup auditions in IPL

Exactly Paul, for guys of the quality of Smith and Warner they just need a “tune up” against high level bowling like this to get them humming again in time for the World Cup.

Smith and Warner set for World Cup auditions in IPL

Saurebh I see a lot of comments from fans talking about “English conditions” as being seam and swing friendly but that doesn’t extend to ODIs.

England has had the biggest roads in world cricket in ODIs over the past four years.

If such conditions continue in the World Cup then it will be very high scoring which will make it important for quicks to have variations to avoid just being lined up by hitters.

Jhye Richardson is on the verge of stealing Josh Hazlewood's World Cup spot