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Two Slips and a Gully

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Joined July 2021

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Originally started as a cricket podcast. I have begun branching out and writing about Cricket. Super passionate about cricket especially Test Cricket. If anyone would like to catch the podcast we are available on Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple and Google podcasts and anywhere else you can find Podcasts. https://linktr.ee/TwoSlipsandaGully

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Yes Sanga is my keeper and I am aware of the discrepancy between Sanga the keeper and Sanga the batsman.
He did keep for most of his career in the one day game and an average of 40 is still very good for a keeper.
In the wake of there not being a keepers honours board I was stuck choosing from people who could keep that had scored 100s and I feel Sanga is likely the best candidate under that criteria.
A dismissal milestone should be something people look at in the future. We ask keepers to do their job with the gloves but unlike batsman who have 100s and bowlers with 5wk hauls they have nothing to acknowledge their excellence.

'The ground screams grandeur and tradition': The honourable Lord's XI

I deliberately picked touring players.
I realised I didn’t establish that in the article.
There are some very impressive English performances at Lords.
Hobbs, Botham, Willis, Anderson, Cook.
Enough to make a handy English side.

I wanted this one the be an XI that came to the home of cricket, let themselves in and proceeded to put their feet on the couch and act like they own the place 😁

'The ground screams grandeur and tradition': The honourable Lord's XI

I think the most startling thing about the Indian team isn’t that they are head and shoulders above the opposition because that’s simply not true.
Their strength is their depth and just how many international standard players they have waiting in the wings.
That Indian side was decimated by injury and beat an Australian side that would have expected to beat a full strength side.

I do agree with you point in regards to their middle order.
There does appear to be some fragility their especially if Kohli continues to misfire.
However they are nigh unbeatable at home and their bowling attack has gone from one that was outclassed outside the subcontinent to being a pace attack that travels incredibly well.
I don’t think they are in the same category as the 70s and 80s Windies or the 00s Australian sides but they have put a lot of work into their domestic scene and identifying talent so I think they’ll spend a long time being the team to beat.

Is the Indian Test team as good as it is made out to be?

I understand your argument fine. I just don’t think it’s correct.
You’re opposed to a team to risk a win and lose the game because of WTC points when a draw would have sufficed to secure a series win.

Rewarding the mindset of playing for a draw is such backward thinking.

Denouncing a change to the game that encourages teams to play positively because of some misguided sense of tradition would be like turning the game off because they stopped bowling under arm.

Honestly if this is your reasoning that people like me have a low IQ for enjoying what the WTC brings.

All the WTC has done has taken those bi-lateral series and have them amount to something. So instead of pumping your chest that you got a draw in a relatively meaningless Pakistan v England test series you now can pump your chest that your performances have propelled you towards a higher goal.

We are spoiled here in Australia that we have series like the Ashes that engross the whole country and the exploits become folklore but could you honestly tell me the history of West Indies v Sri Lanka or Pakistan v South Africa?
Most nations don’t have that history with test cricket to give those test series long lasting relevance. They play them because their supposed too. Despite Test cricket falling in popularity and being the most expensive match to prepare for.

Without a larger goal to amount to you run the risk of Test cricket losing its relevance all together as the smaller nations stop seeing the point in spending so much money to compete.

Where to from here for the World Test Championship?

So you’re not in favour of teams playing to win?

You’re in favour of a system that encourages teams to play negatively?

I have to say your reasoning to disprove the idea of a points systems is flawed at best

Where to from here for the World Test Championship?

How would scoring points and winning the series ever conflict?
You get points for winning tests and winning tests allows you to win the Ashes and B-G trophy.
I don’t see a scenario where the pursuit of WTC points would clash with the desirable outcome of a test series.
Teams already play to win or fight to save a test to secure a draw, which is all they can do with the WTC points.

It’s is possible to enjoy the history of test cricket and realise that there need to be changes to the game to make it relevant.
In short form cricket teams are playing to win World Cups. What do Test nations play for other than the sake of it?
Bi-lateral series that in essence don’t mean anything.
We hold the Ashes on a pedestal because it’s Australia v England. But when Sri Lanka play South Africa what are they really invested in? Most nations don’t have any marquee series to build towards.
The WTC gives a semblance of relevance to all the test series.

Where to from here for the World Test Championship?

For starters a drawn test series isn’t worth the same as a lost series in the current system.
Points are accrued per game and if you lose tests you aren’t awarded any points.

And how would you go about determining the World Test Champions differently if this setup is so flawed?
It’s not a perfect setup but it does give a relatively timely way of working it out.

Where to from here for the World Test Championship?

I suppose it comes down to what sports you’ve been exposed too.
All of the sports I follow religiously have a final so the concept of just finishing the season and handing it to the top team seems foreign to me as much as the idea of a final seems to you.
I for one enjoy the drama around the best teams playing off for all the marbles.

Where to from here for the World Test Championship?

Completely understand your point.
I was thinking a little more long term than a year.
By short term I’m thinking at least the ‘23-‘25 WTC cycle.
Most of these current tours were organised years ago as part of the Future tours program so significant changes to the schedule is problematic.

And currently the teams have proven they are good enough for test level that’s why the ICC has granted them test status. But they haven’t been included in the WTC, so some measures have to be put in place to allow progression, otherwise what is the point for those countries. As it stands I think some of the 2nd tier nations would give some of the 1st tier nations a run.
Afghanistan has already beaten Bangladesh in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka is incredibly vulnerable and it’s not far fetched they could loose to Afghanistan or maybe even Ireland if they were to tour to the UK in seam friendly conditions.
So unless we introduce the remaining sides to the WTC we need some sort of tier system to allow those nations to progress as test nations.
Obviously COVID is the elephant in the room. I’m making a lot of these proposals with the optimistic attitude that in the near future it won’t impede the game as much.

Where to from here for the World Test Championship?

I believe the ground work for a multi tiered system could be implemented straight away but the practise of actually relegating and promoting sides is a long way off.
But an organised competition between Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe to get them playing more test cricket is definitely feasible.
Also I think getting those sides to play top tier nations more regularly is something that is pretty feasible in the short term as well.

But you are right, it was not a smooth debut for the WTC. I’m glad to see they haven’t shelved it and are actively making strides to improve it.

Where to from here for the World Test Championship?

I think Darwin is an under utilised part of Australia in terms of cricket.
The climate up there would allow games to be played during winter time.

Greg Chappell made a similar suggestion to starting Shield early and play games in Darwin to avoid the weather and then as the ‘proper’ cricket season starts and footy season finishes the games move back to regular home venues

Could an early Sheffield Shield start be Australia's Ashes saviour?

In fairness this series wasn’t about seeing what 2nd string players would stand up.
When we booked the series we expected to have our full compliment of players available. This was a WC tune up.
Smith being injured, Cummins staying home with his partner and the host of players returning to the IPL forced CA to change the squad on the fly.

Australian fringe players fail to fire in West Indies T20 series

Jhye Richardson maybe…but not many. Most of the players that have excelled in the BBL were already international stars or when they have been given opportunities in the national team look out of their depth

Australian fringe players fail to fire in West Indies T20 series

I’m not criticising you, I’m merely suggesting that your argument isn’t supported by the facts. My original point was to merely point out that Smith’s short comings are overblown. And I’ve shown you that since returning to the side as a batsman he has a respectable average and s/r for someone playing the anchor role. His technique allows him to access parts of the ground that others on our team aren’t adept at. You’ve chosen to make this a Smith v Marsh argument. Using “the last 9 innings” and “a lack of 50s” to justify your point. Despite those 9 innings being reasonable, a couple of 40s at a decent clip and Smith has more career 50s than Marsh. Before this series Marsh hadn’t scored a 50. Before this week Marsh had an average of 21 at a s/r under 120. Of his previous 20 innings he only has 4 over 30, of the remaining 16 half of them are under 10. Your argument lacks consistency and makes allowances for players that should also fail by your own metrics.

Australia's Windies woe exposes startling lack of depth

Mitchell Marsh’s T20 stats are inferior to Smith’s in terms of average and strike rate. That’s everywhere, International cricket, IPL and other forms of domestic T20.
Smith is comfortably a better batsman than Marsh
I certainly appreciate people not rating Smith as elite but to not rate him at all is just lunacy.

You keep prattling on with last 9 innings, in his last 9 innings has 3 scores over 30 and 2 over 45 all at a strike rate over 120 and 2 of them over 140.
If you increase the margin to the last 12 innings he has an 80 of 51 balls and a 53 off 36, both of them not out.

I think you have an idea in your head not backed up entirely by facts and context and you’re sticking to the idea despite evidence to the contrary

Australia's Windies woe exposes startling lack of depth

The T20 stats I quoted are his stats as a whole. Including domestic stats. Like most of Smith’s international stats it includes periods where he was picked as a leg spinner.
If you go from 2014 when Smith made his resurgence as a batsman his average becomes 35 at a strike rate of 136.
So again it’s not in the Kohli, Azam bracket, but it’s certainly a respectable record, one of the better records in the Australian setup.
And again as it’s a point you seem to be ignoring to make your point Smith is one of the few players in our lineup than hit hit the ball anywhere on the ground which means teams can’t close of scoring areas with field settings or line and length. It’s that ability to be a point of different to our heavy hitters (Finch, Marsh, Turner etc) that is an extra string to his bow.
Have you ever considered that you’re in the minority because your opinion is flawed?

Australia's Windies woe exposes startling lack of depth

Steve Smith averages over 30 in T20 cricket and a strike rate in the high 120s
it goes to 35 when you get to the IPL.
That’s not mediocre that’s actually pretty good.
For comparison Maxwell’s overall record is 27 and IPL of 23 s/r 150
Finch’s 34 overall and IPL of 25.
Kane Williamson who plays a similar role has 31 overall and 41 in IPL with a comparable strike rate to Smith.
He’s never going to be the best T20 in the world but he’s certainly good enough to play for Australia and considering he’s one of the few players competent at finding the boundary 360 degrees.

Australia's Windies woe exposes startling lack of depth

Smith’s deficiencies as a limited overs player are well over blown.
He has a good IPL average, he made his start as a T20 player.
He’s proven he can motor when he needs too.
Back to back 100s off 60 balls last summer.
And he’s one of the few Aussies who can manipulate the field 360 degrees.
We have to many hitters than simply hit through the line. It allows bowlers to set consistent fields and bowl to plans.
With Smith and Maxwell in the order it makes it harder to do that.

I’m not suggesting he’s an elite world class T20 player. But our team is better with Smith in it than not.
If he’s healthy he has to go to the WC

Australia's Windies woe exposes startling lack of depth

The England/Australia comparison wasn’t supposed to be similarities in T20 vs ODI

Merely that we hang our hats on the fact that Warner, Cummins, Maxwell and co will come back and fix all our problems, that’s why we’re playing so poorly.
Whereas England a few days out from the series had to replace the whole side and is comfortably winning against a pretty good limited overs side.
Historically the limited overs depth has been one of Australia’s great strength and it’s startling how under done some of the elite Big Bash players look when they hit the international scene.

Australia's Windies woe exposes startling lack of depth

All things reported is that Smith will likely miss the WC which would leave number 3 vacant.
You would think that Warner coming back everyone would shuffle down one and Maxwell takes a middle order slot.

Warner
Finch
Wade
Marsh
Maxwell

Inglis is an excellent shout, he predominantly bats around 5 or 5 for the Scorchers and bats a 7 for WA and has a real Gilchrist swagger around the way he bats.
Christian is worth persisting with as the closer.
Inglis at 6 and Christian at 7 followed by Agar and the bowlers is a reasonable balance.
Marsh and Christian can give us options with the ball which would allow us to play 2 quicks and Zampa if conditions suit.
Or we play 3 quicks and Agar and Maxwell offer spin options if the conditions suit that.
Alas I don’t think we’ll see Inglis included this late in the piece.

Australia's Windies woe exposes startling lack of depth

There are actually 12 test playing nations 😁 👍

An all-time Test XI with a twist

AB DeVilliers is one such example of saying that he would consider winning an IPL title as a higher honour than a WC.

And day in day out franchise cricket is typically a higher standard the T20I especially in the IPL.
You’ve sort of proved my point, if all the teams picked their best players and left the IPL with what’s left then you’re right international cricket would be a higher standard but this article is highlighting that isn’t the case. Players are saying no to representing their country to play in the IPL.

Cricket typically has been a spot where day in day out international level is the pinnacle of the sport. In the terms of the T20 format that’s only the case when a World Cup comes around. When it’s not a World Cup year clearly the highest level of competition is the IPL and the more players turn their backs on bilateral tours to play franchise cricket the more T20 internationals will fall behind and could end up like soccer where the EPL and Serie A rules the roost day in day out until a World Cup comes around.

Can we stop cricketers chasing the pot of gold?

Historically speaking that hasn’t worked well for us in that past

Finch should push players towards IPL return, not away

I think you’re severely underrating Kallis here and mistaking a lack of flair at the crease with simple dour accumulation.
Kallis doesn’t have the sheer ferocity of Stokes but has played a number of innings of note in both ODI and Test cricket.
Windies in Cape Town in ‘99 scored 80 after being 30/3 then took a 5fer in the 4th innings.
A similar match saving knock in the 3rd innings against Sri Lanka in Kandy when Murali tore through the side. He batted for hours in horrible conditions to set up a 180 run chase which was enough to win by half a dozen runs or so.
Even in one day cricket he’s played knocks of great stature.
The 1998 Champions Trophy he scored 118 off 100 balls in the semi final after SA were 87 for 4 at one stage and then in the final took 5/30 to skittle the Windies and help win the game.
The assertion that Kallis never did it when it mattered is severely overblown and systemic of people overrating swashbuckling knocks that save a game and undervalue a steady contributor that often means that heroics aren’t required at the end of the game.
Sure there are things Stokes does that don’t come naturally to Kallis but the reverse is also true.

An all-time Test XI with a twist

Kallis is a much much much better batsman.
You don’t accidentally score 13k runs at a better average than Sachin if you’re a worse batsman than Stokes.

Stokes has more strings to his bow with the ball. But Kallis managed to find ways to be effective.

Kallis is comfortably better than Stokes

An all-time Test XI with a twist

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