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Tom Simon

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Joined September 2017

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Yeah it’s a good call Mika – his dismissal in the semi at Edgbaston off Woakes especially comes to mind.
Between he and Smith, I thought it would be Warner who would immediately hit the ground running and start where he left off while it would take Smith a little longer to find his feet again. If England do go short to Warner which I suspect Archer will, I hope he takes it on. That’s when he is at his best. Scary prospect for the English if they both fire..

Smith’s Ashes domination to reignite the Bull

Thanks Jeff. I think with Pattinson in for probably Starc, you have got first gutsy selection. The next will be who bats at 6? The safe option is M.Marsh to cover Pattinson, the potentially match-winning one is Wade. I do hope they go for the second…

How the Ashes will be won

Agreed, I think Australia’s bowling is superior. The fact Australia are likely to leave out someone of Mitchell Starc’s quality – regardless of his recent form – speaks volumes of the talent Australia have to choose from.
But I think this series will be decided by how each side fares with the willow. I expect low scoring, getting beyond 300 will just about be a winning score. Only Smith has scored a test hundred in England before, so we will learn a lot about this current Aussie crop regardless

How the Ashes will be won

It’s amazing what happens when you pitch the ball up. Too often teams have bowled too short to Finch and Warner especially for fear of being driven, allowing the Aussie openers to comfortably pull and hook their way to big opening partnerships.
Well played to England, relentless in bowling in that uncertain corridor and didn’t waste a bumper, every one was on the money. Had a plan to every batsman and executed perfectly

Clinical England boss Australia in World Cup semi-final

Underrated how well England fielded last night. Saved 25+ at least with diving stops in the ring and on the fence.
Stokes in particular at backward point got a hand on everything that came his way

Clinical England boss Australia in World Cup semi-final

Unfortunately I feel that we’ve missed a golden opportunity with Wade, who’d have so many ‘what could have been’ questions in his head had he been picked now in the form of his life. I feel that if they weren’t willing to bring in Wade now, they never will. And at 31, he’s probably not in our next World Cup team.

Clinical England boss Australia in World Cup semi-final

Still a very healthy pass mark for Australia overall in the tournament. Completely outclassed overnight by a team that is just better in all departments, but a semi final is a good result for a team that still has so many question marks around it.
Considering the apparent lack of interest in ODI cricket by the CA hierarchy since the previous World Cup, finishing the group stages in 2nd place and into a semi final is a very good result. Even now we’re still debating what Australia’s best XI looks like. Hazelwood and Wade not playing, where does Usman bat, why keep picking Maxi and Stoinis? India, Eng & NZ all sorted their best teams out long ago, with only a few changes here and there. The lack of long term planning and preparation for this world cup has eventually caught up with the Aussies as while they clearly weren’t good enough on the day, the haven’t been good enough from the get-go

Clinical England boss Australia in World Cup semi-final

AAMI Park is a proper football stadium, and the atmosphere inside yesterday evening did have an English football feel to it, was great to be a part of.

Really admire what Popovich has done over in the West, and the rise of Ikonomidis hopefully has him destined for big things offshore. While Perth have significantly better strength in depth, and deservedly should win the Premier’s Plate, I think with a healthy list come finals time, Victory are again poised to gain another championship, even if they have to go to Perth to do so. Replace Athiu with Toivonen alone and the Victory are a completely different prospect going forward, yesterday they were so disjointed

No one will stop Perth Glory from winning the premiership

Thanks Paul.

It will be interesting to see if Kevin Roberts does take a different course to Sutherland. CA apparently conducted an expansive worldwide search for Sutherlands replacement, yet ended up promoting from within the guy long seen as Sutherland’s natural successor. Jury is still out, and I agree, he definitely needs a couple of seasons to implement his decisions before we can pass judgement. How they revamp the Big Bash following all the negativity around this year’s version without losing too many $$ will be the key to his tenure early on. Foxtel and Seven will be really pissed if they reduce the number of games considering how much they paid for the rights, but decreasing crowds, tv viewership and lack of international stars is really hurting the overall product. Next summer might be even more fascinating than the one just gone!

Unfortunately the issues around selection I don’t have or ever will change. Being judgement-based there’s always an agenda behind certain players being picked or omitted, always has and always will..

Interpreting the most intriguing Australian cricket summer

“It’s this perpetual shifting of the goalposts that must drive fringe players up the wall. One player is picked but played in a foreign role, yet another won’t be looked at because he’s batting a spot or two lower in the middle order than they’d like.”
Completely agree with regards to not explaining selections. Using a type of discount rate depending on the opposition or the number in the order you bat is farcical. Will they compare Burns’ runs against Sri Lanka equally against Harris’ runs across the summer against India when picking the Ashes line-up? One scored 180 when the team needed him, the other consistently threw away promising starts against both India and Sri Lanka. Hundreds win matches, and should get you selected, regardless of the opposition.
Similarly, Wade has 571 @ 63.44 this summer in the Shield on the hardest wicket to bat in Australia. When you come in on a green seamer at 4/nothing each time you bat, surely that works in your favour and not against?
Unfortunately Chappell’s changes re pathway systems, Futures League replacing State 2nd XI cricket, promoting youth and driving older players out of the system has been detrimental to the health of the Australian cricket system in producing high quality, hardened professional players. All selectors/administrators have an agenda, Chappell’s was clear for all to see.

Greg Chappell saw the writing on the wall, and hopefully the mess his panel has made this summer

If there’s anything that the most basis research tells you, its that west Asian nations have considerable money and therefore influence in the AFC and within the walls of FIFA.
It might be difficult to evict Australia right at this very moment, but if we keep rubbing the Gulf nations up the wrong way by taking their World Cup spots and doing well at the Asian Cup, giving nothing in return, why wouldn’t they continue to agitate against us. With enough $$$ and momentum…

The Socceroos’ loss is Asia’s gain

Against India Hazelwood, the cartel failed to challenge the Indian top order’s forward defence enough. While the forward defence is suppose to be the batsman’s safety shot, it brings the most dismissals. Richardson came in yesterday and challenged Sri Lanka’s top order to consistently come forward and defend swinging deliveries, which they weren’t up to..
Should have showed more patience when bowling to Pujara, Kohli etc, but to be fair, I’d get bored bowling on a strip of tarmac..

The burden of Australia’s fast bowling depth

CA snuggled right up to the BCCI, and got a nice big pay cheque for their efforts! No day night test, not playing in Brisbane, and the wickets we got were slow, low and generally lifeless, except Perth which had bounce and shock, we won!
India are clearly a better side than the Aussies with both bat and ball, but it would have been good to have seen them tested in conditions like yesterdays…

Richardson stars on Test debut

Considering Labuschagne’s average in the Shield is 33.23 with the bat and 51.25 with the ball from 45 matches, it’s hard to expect much more than what he has given. He bowled well in the UAE, but those stats show an inconsistency that he must iron out at the lower level before we can expect anything significant in the Test arena

Australia vs Sri Lanka preview

Yeah I would love to see Pucovski play, he has already shown in his few first-class matches that he has the ability to make big scores. I suspect this season may be more for experience, but with Smith and Warner likely to be in the team for Pakistan and NZ next summer, that might be the perfect time to place him at 6 without too much pressure on him..

Australia vs Sri Lanka preview

Absolutely agree spruce. What so many people don’t realise is that the players were never banned for ball tampering by CA, but bringing the game into disrepute.
Cricket Australia have made a lot of poor decisions of late, but this is a good one. As much as I would love Smith and Warner out there to help us beat India, it would have sent a terrible message by bringing them back. Also I don’t think there was as much public support for bringing the players back as some media outlets would have us believe…

Cricket Australia rejects appeal to lift bans for Warner, Smith and Bancroft

No certainly not the only one!
But he is the Chairman of the national governing body who described the ball tampering incident a just hiccup… If that doesn’t show out of touch he has been…

Should David Peever have resigned?

Peever was primarily responsible for driving the wedge between CA and the Players Association during the pay dispute last season, treating players as if they are standard workers in a large corporation like he is used to in his background. The cricketers are the only reason CA earns a cent, so it couldn’t be handled like any other union dispute. His handling of that was a farce, and has been held in contempt ever since.
Plus, the cultural review being ‘conveniently’ delayed to allow his re-election before the Board could read it was sneaky at best, unethical at worst..

Should David Peever have resigned?

Really interesting article, and well researched!
Massive problem in football, and in all sport. When I was in England I met a few young guys who experienced a similar thing with cricket. They were identified at 12,13,14, developed in this professional system with the dream ingrained into them that they will play professionally with hard work and dedication, so put off things like secondary and tertiary education. Yet by the time they’re 18, most get discarded because they’re not the next big star and are left with no idea what to do next with their lives

The trouble with football academies

It’s not exactly an XI that will strike fear into Pakistan is it?
Think the middle order role in the UAE will suit Finch more than opening up, so hopefully he and Head do well. Holland deserves another crack at being Lyon’s partner, has been a proven first class wicket taker and playing mostly at the MCG, he has been taking them at the flatest, most dead wicket in the country. For that reason I’m surprised Tremain didn’t make the squad in the first place, makes things happen when no one else can..

Head, Finch and Holland will play Pakistan Tests

The selectors’ reasoning that Maxwell hasn’t scored enough hundreds just sounds like the latest of their excuses to exclude him. A few others in the squad have made fewer hundreds in recent years than him, and few have a record as good in Asia as him…
Agree with James, I feel his papers have been stamped if they’re not willing to give him crack without the top 3, which is unfortunate for Australian cricket

Glenn Maxwell betrayed by mixed messages

I am worried for the Hammers. Pellegrini has major issues at both ends of the pitch, which were really obvious against Wolves. There seems to be no cohesion or plan as to how they play. Are they a counterattacking side, one that plays proper football? Against Wolves, time and again crosses were coming in from wide with not one West Ham player in the box. Arnautovic looks isolated and completely helpless sometimes. Difficult times ahead!

Lazy and complacent: West Ham's pathetic start to the season

Defensively the Hawks fell apart after Stratton went down. He has had an unbelievable year and was unlucky to miss out on an All-Australian guernsey IMO.
The Hawks fumbled all night when Richmond were clean, missed easy shots, couldn’t hit a target by hand or foot. But all in all, as Clarkson has said, this group wasn’t expected to challenge this year. To get finals experience into Worpel, Morrison, Nash, Hardwick etc puts the Hawks in a really good spot for next year

Five talking points from Richmond vs Hawthorn

Could finally help the A-league draw some attention from Asia. One of the biggest names in Asian football in Australia is a massive coup for the league

CONFIRMED: Melbourne Victory land Keisuke Honda in massive A-League marquee signing

I think they’ve moved away from any notion of ‘deliberate’ or ‘unnatural position’ when it comes to adjudicating handball in this World Cup. There appears to have been a clear directive from FIFA that if the ball clearly strikes the hand in the area, it’s a penalty – no questions asked.
I personally think it was extremely harsh and definitely wasn’t intentional. But looking at the trend of this World Cup, the surprise was not that the penalty was given, but how long he took to give it..

France are world champions, but all the headlines are about VAR