The Ashes 2013

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Paul McKeown
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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:13 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:Haddin isn't doing badly
I think we've being watching a different test series! 1, 71, 7, 7, 65, 8, 13, 4, it's okay, if you're a great batsman going through a lean patch, knowing you'll bounce back and get a big one and a good run, but Haddin? His last century was in 2010, about forty innings ago. Average of 34.5. Okay, he's the keeper, but in that case compare his average with that of Prior.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:34 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:Oz just doesn't have the players. They've got their opening pair now, Warner and Rogers - just lock Warner in the storeroom overnight as Geoff Boycott has suggested - and why they "forgot" about Rogers is a mystery. Clarke is superb. Harris and Siddle are excellent bowlers. That's five who are up to the standard, but the rest are mediocre, at best.
The problem with Chris Rogers is that he's 36 at the end of the month. He's not a long-term solution.

I think Australia have a decent 5-11, with Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Siddle, Harris, Lyon, and one other bowler (e.g. Pattinson/Starc). Haddin is a decent enough 'keeper. As batsmen, Sangakkara, de Villers, Prior and Dhoni are ahead. So he's somewhere in the middle.

The big problem is the lack of a 1-4. I'm not so convinced about Warner just yet, but he's the best they've got. Aside from Clarke, I reckon the top order are nothing particularly special.

England haven't really dominated this series. The Second Test was an easy win, but they struggled at Old Trafford, and the other two have been quite close. It may be 3-0, but Australia could easily be leading the series 2-1.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:40 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:Haddin is a decent enough 'keeper. As batsmen, Sangakkara, de Villers, Prior and Dhoni are ahead. So he's somewhere in the middle.
That's funny. He's behind Sanga, de Villiers, Prior and Dhoni. Who's he ahead of then?
Alex Holowczak wrote:England haven't really dominated this series. The Second Test was an easy win, but they struggled at Old Trafford, and the other two have been quite close. It may be 3-0, but Australia could easily be leading the series 2-1.
Winners win. Losers lose.

Winners win, even when they should lose. Losers lose, even when they should win.

You play competitive chess; same principle applies. Surely you must know that?

The current Australian team has a classical losers mentality. They're actually worse than the sum of their parts.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:47 pm

Haddin's average of 35 is entirely respectable for a keeper. All the ones ahead of him are very good players indeed. (Sangakarra hugely so.). The various top order Australian players who are averaging ~30 are a much bigger problem.

Warner looks fine too really. A bit erratic but he can win test matches.

The current English team is genuinely very strong. Several (very) good bowlers and maybe our strongest ever batting line up: 4 of the top 6 averaging close on 50, Prior and then Bresnan/Broad/Swann to come in the tail really is very strong indeed by historical standards.

The Australians really aren't doing that badly this series. They lost so badly in India because they've got no spinners.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Aug 13, 2013 12:49 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:Haddin is a decent enough 'keeper. As batsmen, Sangakkara, de Villers, Prior and Dhoni are ahead. So he's somewhere in the middle.
That's funny. He's behind Sanga, de Villiers, Prior and Dhoni. Who's he ahead of then?
BJ Watling (Brendan McCullum doesn't want to keep now he's captain)
Kamran Akmal (or whoever the Pakistani Test keeper is now, they play so few Tests...)
Mushfiqur Rahim
Dinesh Ramdin/Carlton Baugh
Whoever keeps wicket for Zimbabwe

So I make him 5/10 in terms of first choice world wicketkeepers. It's possible that including Sangakkara and de Villers is unfair, since neither are specialists. Dinesh Chandimal has the potential to be as good as Sangakkara, but he is presumably down the order a bit for the time being. South Africa have never really found a replacement for Mark Boucher, so de Villers keeps wicket because the other options aren't too appealing; they'd be about as good as Ramdin.

If McCullum kept wicket for New Zealand, I'd probably put him 5= with Haddin.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:04 pm

You're straining a bit there, Alex. Zimbabwe? Bangladesh?

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:10 pm

I think you could take the best of Oz, Lanka, Windies and Desh and make a good team.

The five wizards of Oz, Sanga and Herath, Chanderpaul and Gayle, Shakib al Hasan. That could beat any other team in the world.

What does that mean? It means that Oz is in danger of falling between the cracks. There's a big gulf between the top teams and the also rans. The also rans have good players. The top teams have full teams and good reserves.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:14 pm

Paul

Let's not worry too much about the Aussie troubles and their almost random shuffling of their batting order

Who do you think England will pick for the Oval? And who should they pick?

I'm not sure whether they'll go for an unchanged team
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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:17 pm

Rest Anderson. He's looking tired, he's too valuable and it's easy to pick a replacement.

I would say rest Prior, too, but I'm not sure I'm keen on the available replacements.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:35 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:The current English team is genuinely very strong. Several (very) good bowlers and maybe our strongest ever batting line up: 4 of the top 6 averaging close on 50, Prior and then Bresnan/Broad/Swann to come in the tail really is very strong indeed by historical standards
Hmmm, I think we have actually regressed a bit compared to the 2005 side, for example :?:
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:42 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:Rest Anderson. He's looking tired, he's too valuable and it's easy to pick a replacement.
As Onions has broken a finger, that means Tremlett, I suppose. Unless Finn is ready again.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:09 pm

2005 may very well have been a better performance overall as Australia were very strong then, and if McGrath hadn't injured himself then..... Of course back then they could fetch out Stuart Clark and Michael Hussey to destroy us in the (brutal) revenge leg!

I do think our batting is stronger now though. 2005 was Strauss, Trescothick, Vaughan, Bell, KP, Flintoff, Jones, Giles, Hoggard/Harmison/Jones. Giles vs Bresnan is a wash, but Prior, Broad and Swann are all unarguably a marked improvement batting wise. Cook/Trott also average 5(+) runs more than the 2005 top 3.

The 10/11 series in Australia looks to have been the recent peak - Strauss/Collingwood for Root/Bairstow. Not a big difference talent wise but far more experience. The top order was also, unlike this series, in seriously good form....

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:24 pm

Mick Norris wrote:Paul

Let's not worry too much about the Aussie troubles and their almost random shuffling of their batting order
Mick,

It's easy and boring, though, picking the English side. You know who the first eleven are, you know who will cover all eleven places in case of injury, or in case you want to rest a player. You know who your extra spinner is, should you need two. You know which bowler to choose should you need slightly different skills for a different pitch. The reserves are all highly capable.

For Australia, though, it's more interesting. You have a set of players who are pretty much certain picks. I would say Rogers, Warner, Clarke, Harris and Siddle. Martin reckons that Haddin is a pick, too, perhaps he's right, who's to say. For the rest, though, it's difficult. There are several very inexperienced batsmen and a dearth of decent spin options.

I would drop Watson. It was always too much asking him to open the batting and now his confidence is gone. He's too crook at the moment to bowl regularly. Drop him, but keep in the squad. He needs to do some basic fitness work, so that he can come back as a (fit) bowling all rounder, a role in which he could make some real impact.

Bring back Katich or Hussey. Tell them their job is to be the nucleus of a team for two years. Two years only, then they retire. And Lehmann can tell the team, as brutally as is necessary, that there will be no bitching in the changing room, what has gone before is in the past.

Then pick two from the three of Hughes, Smith, Khawaja and tell them the selectors will stick with them for an extended period. Let them learn, without the pressure of unreasonable expectations. There isn't anyone better knocking at the door, anyway.

So batting, something like: Rogers, Warner, Katich, Clarke (at four, take some responsibility, mate), Smith, Khawaja.

Haddin should make way for Wade. Just a question of timing. At twenty-five, surely Wade must be ready?

Spinner? Ask another question! But don't ever bowl Clarke again. Not for anything. If he gets injured, Australia has a crisis.

Bowling attack: Harris, Siddle, Starc. And someone else. Anyone but Jackson Bird, that is. Mitchell Johnson, probably, even if the Barmy Army knows about his bowling.

That's my Oz eleven.

Oh, and change the captain. Siddle, perhaps, even if it's more normal to pick a batsman as captain.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:46 pm

If Oz just wanted to win a match and were to say sod to team development, then their best batting line up would be easy. Rogers, Warner, Katich, M Hussey, Clarke, D Hussey. In some order or other.

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Re: The Ashes 2013

Post by MartinCarpenter » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:57 pm

That all looks a bit too sensible to happen ;) Seemingly some mutterings about Wade's keeping? His batting average looks to be about the same as Haddin.

Even their choice of spinner isn't what you'd call impossible - Lyon is doing a perfectly respectable job and you wish they'd stop randomly dropping him. If they want to try for runs too then there's O'Keefe with a FC Batting average 30 and Bowling ~26/7. He does however seem unpickable for some reason. He must be almost the last spinner they've not tried! Agar in a few years perhaps.

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