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Tempo

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Since this article was written, Tim David has played another impressive innings (44* off 21), and Sams has successfully defended 9 runs off the last over (conceding just 3) to take Mumbai to just their second win of the tournament.

Impressive comeback from Sams after taking some stick earlier in the tournament, and Mumbai’s benching of Tim David after just two innings is looking increasingly bizarre given his strong performances on his return.

Tim David must surely be coming into contention for national honours after adding IPL success to an already bulging resume of impressive T20 franchise performances.

IPL Watch 2022: Who are the top performing Aussies so far?

“whitewashes against the likes of South Africa and Pakistan aren’t going to attract viewers”

Are you aware that Australia hasn’t won a home series v South Africa since 2006?

Who will win the cricket broadcasting rights?

Of course they could be given contracts, just as you or I could be. It would be a nonsensical decision though. Awarding a contract to a player yet to make their international debut is by definition a pick based on potential.

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

Sams is an interesting cricketer. His bowling is not quite at the level to be a frontline international/IPL bowler and his batting is destructive, but not reliable enough to be a frontline batter. So at international/IPL level he is sort of a luxury pick if you have 4.5 other bowlers you can rely on. Needs to add an extra dimension to his bowling to step up from BBL level. Being at Mumbai is a great opportunity to see if he can do that.

Tim David probably a victim of the 4 overseas player limit. Mumbai have had a poor start and I guess they wanted to give Dewald Brevis a go. You can’t tell anything about a player from two innings and his 12 was a decentish death innings (off 8 balls). Given how much they spent on him, and his form coming into the IPL, I’m sure David will get another go soon.

'The most surprised bloke here': Pat Cummins whacks record 50 including 34 from one over in IPL

Ignoring the IPL, Pat Cummins was never going to play ODIs 3 days after a gruelling 15 day test series. Mitch Starc didn’t play either and it’s been 5 years since he played in the IPL.

Decisions are made to rest players from white ball games (especially bowlers) all the time, whether close to the IPL window or not – look at the recent Sri Lanka series at home for example.

Obviously IPL is a factor in the decisions, but it’s hard for me to care too much when resting players has been a part of Australian white ball cricket for decades now.

The IPL is also a revenue stream for CA, which gets a 10% cut of Australian players pay. So it’s not solely the players benefiting from IPL stints. Not to mention the skill development that occurs over there (see Josh Hazlewood’s rise as a white ball bowler for example, thanks to his stint with Chennai).

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

It’s what was agreed in the last MOU negotiations with the players association.

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

That’s a novel approach – don’t contract players in the team so you can contract players not in the team.

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

Whatever your opinion, it’s a simple fact that he is the incumbent in Australia’s white ball first XIs and captain of those sides, and won a man of the match award in his most recent game.

He’s also on a 2 year contract signed last year, so he was never not going to be on the contract list.

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

Ben McDermott had a good series, but who would he squeeze out of the central contract list? He’s competing with Finch, Green, Head, Khawaja, Labuschagne, Marsh, Maxwell, Smith, Stoinis and Warner as batsmen. Each of those other players are in the current first XI in at least one format.

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

That’s not the purpose of the CA contract list. If you only have 20 contracts to hand out, you concentrate on the players most likely to play for Australia, not guys with potential. Richardson will most likely play during the contract period, but Sangha, Whiteman and Hardie are all outside shots.

It would be bizarre to cut a regular Australian player to hand out a central contract to a long-shot. The increase in state contracts under the current MOU means that fringe/future players are still well remunerated whilst they develop their games in state cricket.

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

Paying the older players less won’t free up contract slots for Richardson and McDermott. The maximum available slots of 20 were agreed between CA and the players association during the last MOU negotiations. CA can’t offer more than 20 contracts unless that is renegotiated.

Richardson and McDermott will still be well paid on top State and BBL contracts, plus they have the chance of picking up a CA contract during the year if they play enough (e.g., two tests and an ODI, or four ODIs and four T20Is would be enough to qualify under the points system).

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

Wade has sort of hinted that the T20 World Cup might be his international swansong. He’s also ramping up his involvement on the franchise circuit with IPL and Hundred contracts already, so I think his omission makes sense with limited slots available.

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

I reckon one difference is that Pattinson was always the clear fourth choice fast bowler in test cricket. Richardson is now behind Boland in the pecking order, so in 5th spot.

Pattinson did lose his contract for one year in 2018/19 before winning it back. Reckon Jhye might do the same. It’s a harsh call for sure, but you could probably say that if you knocked off any of the 20 on the list they named.

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

Inglis is likely to be in every single squad (Test, ODI and T20I) for Australia in the coming year. He is likely to become the first choice T20I wicketkeeper during that time too (assuming Wade makes it to the end of the T20 World Cup, he’s indicated that’s likely to be his swansong), arguably warrants a T20I batting spot in front of Smith anyway, and is almost certain to play in any non-World Cup T20I even if he doesn’t make the WC First XI (given Australia is always resting someone).

'Goodness me:' Major shock as Jhye Richardson axed from Cricket Australia's contract list

In most situations, 55 off 44 would be a bad innings. However, an anchor innings has value in this sort of situation – chasing a middling target with the other batsmen given the licence to go hard.

Doesn’t prove Finch is suddenly back in form, but his innings had value in this game (don’t think it deserved MOTM over Ellis or even Green though).

Finch finds T20 form as Australia finish historic Pakistan tour on a high

And you know these discussions aren’t going on behind closed doors… how?

Let’s be real, any other coach in the world would have publicly supported Finch here, including Langer. We have no way of knowing what’s going on behind the scenes. Well, unless it starts getting leaked again!

McDonald bullishly backs struggling Finch '100 percent' for World Cup, reveals update on head coach bid

No way should Cummins captain all formats. He needs to prioritise tests so he can play all or close to all of those. When he needs to rest, it’s going to come in white ball series, such as the current Pakistan series or the Sri Lanka series at the end of the Australian summer.

He’s missed a third of Australia’s ODIs in the last 5 years and two thirds of Australia’s T20Is. You can’t have a captain who misses so many games.

That’s not to say there aren’t other options, but I don’t think Cummins is the right choice.

McDonald bullishly backs struggling Finch '100 percent' for World Cup, reveals update on head coach bid

Award the Shield to the third place team if it’s a draw… guarantee both teams will aggressively push for a result then! 😂

Drought broken! WA party like it's 1999 after securing first Sheffield Shield title in 22 years

They just updated the original squad announcement article rather than posting a new article.

Another blow for Australia's white ball teams with Mitch Marsh injured, Josh Inglis, Ashton Agar out with COVID

They changed it for security reasons. Protests against Imran Khan’s government are planned for Rawalpindi/Islamabad so it was considered safest to remain in Lahore.

Another blow for Australia's white ball teams with Mitch Marsh injured, Josh Inglis, Ashton Agar out with COVID

Smith is out with an elbow injury. Reckon they’re unlikely to replace Carey with Inglis given Carey has done well in ODI cricket and particularly with so many of the regular batsmen not there. Hopefully Inglis gets a go at some point in the ODIs though (expect he will keep in the T20I).

Adding an extra bowler could well be a good option given the personnel available even if it hasn’t been the preferred strategy in recent series. Will certainly be an experimental XI either way!

Another blow for Australia's white ball teams with Mitch Marsh injured, Josh Inglis, Ashton Agar out with COVID

I feel like this should have got its own article rather than updating an article from last month!

Shame that Mitch Marsh is out, particularly with Smith and Warner out and his recent good form in T20, would have been a great opportunity to establish himself in the ODIs.

Thinking we might see a time something like:

1. Finch (c)
2. McDermott
3. Labuschagne
4. Head
5. Green
6. Carey
7. Stoinis
8. Agar
9. Abbott
10. Zampa
11. Behrendorff

Death bowling looks a little thin though – might try to find a way to get Ellis in. Inglis might also be an option to play as a batsman in place of Head or McDermott.

Another blow for Australia's white ball teams with Mitch Marsh injured, Josh Inglis, Ashton Agar out with COVID

Absolutely. West Indies are an improving test team, especially in home conditions. They drew series v Pakistan and Sri Lanka last year and beat Bangladesh in Bangladesh (something Australia didn’t manage last time we were there), and won a test match in England in 2020 (losing the series 2-1), and won a home series v England in 2019.

When (if?) Australia next tours there, we’ll need to play well to beat them. Yes, England are not a great test team at the moment but I’m entirely unsurprised that they lost in a country where they’ve won once in the past 54 years (with far better sides failing to win in 2009 and 2015).

'End the delusion': Greats call for Joe Root's head after humiliating Windies series defeat

Both were justified, though you could say that others were luckier to play ahead of him during the 2019 Ashes. Khawaja looked more likely during his three tests to score runs than Warner, Harris or Bancroft. It’s just that someone had to be dropped to get Smith back into the side after Labuschagne’s success, and with Harris having just come back into the side at Headingley (albeit looking awful), and Warner having more runs in the bank plus his 50 at Headingley Khawaja was the man to go. His ordinary form across the 2018/19 summer (possibly affected by his brother’s arrest) didn’t help either.

In hindsight though, it’s ludicrous that Harris played ahead of Khawaja for the final two tests, given Khawaja scored more runs during his three tests than Dave Warner did in 5, or Marcus Harris/Cam Bancroft combined in their 5 tests (Harris and Bancroft didn’t even manage a single score of 20 between them, whereas Khawaja at least averaged 20).

The dropping of Khawaja in 2019 was justified, but I still think he would have been a better option than Harris and Bancroft in that series (and I held the same opinion at the time too, not just in hindsight).

Benaud-Qadir Trophy player ratings

Seven is my count. Sri Lanka 2011, New Zealand 2011, England 2013, Sri Lanka 2016, India 2017, Bangladesh 2017 and England 2019. He also missed 2 tests due to injury in the 2015/16 summer so this is technically his 9th stint in the side for his 49 tests, the longest of which lasted 20 tests (so the remaining 8 stints have lasted 3.6 tests each on average).

Benaud-Qadir Trophy player ratings

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