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Daniel Gray

Roar Guru

Joined February 2009

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The retread XI

With Australia unable to reclaim the Border-Gavaskar trophy after a crushing loss in the Boxing Day Test, the selectors continue their puzzling recent trend of recalling players to the national side on the basis on mediocre Shield form.

Cheers, Neel. The headline was intended as a joke, as I’m just waiting for the next time South Africa thump Australia. I appreciate your kind remarks. I probably rushed this one, writing it in about 20 mins, which clearly was a bit quick!

It will be very interesting to see selection decisions moving forward, but I definitely think there will be numerous changes before their next ODI series.

South Africa: The new minnows of the World Cup

Thanks again.

South Africa: The new minnows of the World Cup

Thanks, Paul. I appreciate your reply. Definitely a fine line, and I’m thinking I should stick to more serious analysis and opinion pieces moving forward!

South Africa: The new minnows of the World Cup

Hi Paul, thanks for your comment. This article was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but appears to have missed the mark. I will give more thought to future articles.

South Africa: The new minnows of the World Cup

Hi Ron,

Thanks for your comment. The line you are referring to was in reference to the fact the Netherlands and other associate countries were not included in this year’s tournament. On re-reading, I completely understand how it reads, and can assure you this was not my intended meaning. I apologise for this, and will give my words more thought in future articles. I do not appreciate the One Nation reference, which I feel is a little strong, but I respect your opinion and will do better in the future.

South Africa: The new minnows of the World Cup

All fair points, Chris. I’d like to see a call made on Stoinis before Bangladesh game. Definitely makes more sense for MMarsh to come into the side against them rather than England if he’s going to be recalled.

Australia needs all cylinders firing to be a World Cup contender

I agree, Chris. It’s an interesting quandary though, as Khawaja has put in his strongest ODI performances as an opener, and the selectors are sticking with the Finch-Warner partnership there. SMarsh has never filled me with confidence in any form of the game, but he does seem a more consistent performers at 3 or 4 than Khawaja in ODI cricket.

I guess the old-school terminology would call Maxwell a batting all-rounder and MMarsh a bowling all-rounder. Probably more balanced than Maxwell and Stoinis, both of whom are probably more batting all-rounders. I’m keen to see if the selectors make further changes to the side against Bangladesh.

Australia needs all cylinders firing to be a World Cup contender

Interesting point. I definitely think we need to stop reshuffling the middle order soon and settle on a top six. Khawaja, Marsh and Smith have been moved around a lot so far, which isn’t ideal. The selectors should probably just go with a top six of Finch, Warner, Smith, SMarsh, Maxwell, Stoinis/MMarsh for stability’s sake for the rest of the tournament. I think Turner would be a great addition to the middle order, and might take SMarsh’s place in the coming year or two.

Australia needs all cylinders firing to be a World Cup contender

Thanks, Paul 🙂 It does seem odd that they’re dragging their feet and fielding unbalanced sides as a result. He was lucky to be in the XI in the first place on recent form.

Yeah, that’s a fair call. I’d be interested to see Lyon in tandem with Zampa. Maybe it’ll happen against Bangladesh? The four quicks option doesn’t seem like the best option for us.

Australia needs all cylinders firing to be a World Cup contender

Warner’ strike rates so far: 78, 37, 66, 96 and 54.

I’d imagine everyone will lift a little in the semis, but would be nice to see a bit more before then.

Australia needs all cylinders firing to be a World Cup contender

He’s ‘a bit stiff and sore’, but was mostly ineffective with the ball and probably going to be dropped.

The non-selection of Turner seems to have been justified by him not bowling at the moment due to injury recovery. I think he’s mostly viewed as a batsman these days, rather than an all-rounder, so the logic is puzzling.

Australia needs all cylinders firing to be a World Cup contender

Agreed. It’s a shame Ashton Turner didn’t force the selectors hand when given an opportunity, as he’d be an ideal middle order bat, handy fielder and useful spin option.

Unbalanced squad leaves Australia vulnerable at World Cup

Thanks Paul, I appreciate your reply.

Yes, we’re definitely not at full strength without Hazlewood, J Richardson and in-form Faulkner. It’ll be fascinating to see what squad for next WC will look like.

Unbalanced squad leaves Australia vulnerable at World Cup

Hi Dave, I’m not against Finch dropping to middle order, but he seems pretty keen to remain in the opening spot. I think moving Warner down is more likely, but they’ll probably persevere with this combination until it’s too late.

Unbalanced squad leaves Australia vulnerable at World Cup

Hi TJ,

Thanks for reading. Yes, I have been watching consistently.

Daniel.

Unbalanced squad leaves Australia vulnerable at World Cup

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your comment and thoughts. It’s interesting that Hazlewood wasn’t chosen due to lack of game time, but this hasn’t stopped the selectors bringing Mitchell Marsh into the squad as injury cover for Stoinis. I would’ve gone for Travis Head at number six personally. He has a few different gears to his batting, is great in the field and provides another spin option while we are only playing one specialist spinner.

I agree that we are unlikely to progress to the semis with this squad. Definitely a difficult position for the selectors with Smith and Warner returning from suspension and lots of injuries to juggle. A lot more balls in the air than normal encountered when selecting a squad.

Unbalanced squad leaves Australia vulnerable at World Cup

Cummins is certainly versatile. Will be interesting to see what changes are made to the side for tonight’s game against Pakistan.

Unbalanced squad leaves Australia vulnerable at World Cup

Thanks for the comment, badmanners. These points have been amended.

Unbalanced squad leaves Australia vulnerable at World Cup

Agreed, Ryan. Tremain is a very similar bowler to Hazlewood, and seems the logical replacement, especially when you apply for selectors off-sighted ‘like for like’ replacement policy, which they’ve previously used to justify Richardson’s selection in a Test squad as a backup for Cummins. I guess expecting consistency from selectors is unrealistic. Some players put up the stats the selectors say they need and don’t get picked, others it’s about potential and ‘gut feel’.

Hazlewood ruled out of Sri Lanka Tests

Interesting read, gents. Looks like a pretty strong side, although I’ll be surprised if Jake Doran hasn’t reached his potential by then and takes either opening spot from Short or keeping spot from Nielsen.

May be my Vic bias showing, but I also think Sam Harper could be our next long term keeper after Paine. More Healy than Gilchrist, which isn’t a bad thing. He’s a brilliant keeper and batting is improving all the time. We certainly have some depth there, as Whiteman and Inglis from WA and Peirson from QLD are all excellent prospects.

Also a minor quibble, but I’d say Pucovski will be our long term number 3, with Sangha at 4 or 5.

On the bowling front, I think Joel Paris will be competing for a Test spot too.

Finally, the all rounder position is an interesting one. May alternate between Sutherland on bouncy pitches here and Arjun Nair on lower, spinning wickets overseas.

Future Australian greats: 2025 onwards

Hi Brett, I was thinking about that selection recently when watching BBL. I was at that Scorchers/Renegades game, and as good as SMarsh looked, I certainly didn’t equate that form with Test prospects. Seems odd that the selectors have shifted to a ‘runs are runs’ philosophy with selection, but I guess them’s the breaks when there’s such a big break in the Shield season.

My money is on Stoinis to get the ‘BBL call up’ against SL, especially if we lose the fourth Test against India. I’m curious to know which way you think the selectors should go for the rest of the summer. It seems like we could either pick the best side available, which I’d say would be similar to the team Ronan suggested a couple of days ago, or use the remaining Tests to pick a few younger players as an audition of sorts before Smith and Warner inevitably return to the side. I’d a bit torn on my preferred pathway.

Daniel.

Who’s most likely to get the Shaun Marsh Test call-up from the BBL?

Perhaps I should pick a ‘hard to pronounce’ XI? I like this idea. All his friends have got long and complicated names, seems a pity really for this young man to miss out.

The retread XI

Absolutely. I didn’t consider those guys because they’ve actually performed pretty well at Shield level since being dropped. Burns in particular.

The retread XI

More Vics than Redbacks, but fair observation 🙂 I shudder to think how Sydney Test will go. If Ashwin is back and the wicket turns it’ll be ugly. Scary to think India have been without him for last two Tests and Shaw for whole series.

The retread XI

I don’t think the DT and other Murdoch outlets are in any way important. Was just an example of one area of coverage. Even Cricket Australia’s website has next to no new content for months on end outside of summer.

Australian cricket needs to be in the media all year