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Thread: [My Article] The Sixth Sense

  1. #1
    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Hooper's Avatar
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    Icon1 [My Article] The Sixth Sense

    The Sixth Sense
    By Hooper



    The number six spot in any cricket team is very debatable; do you go for a sixth batsman or a genuine all rounder? Come the 8th November, when Australia and Sri Lanka line up for the first test match of the summer, we will see what the selectors think.


    The number six in the past for Australia has normally been occupied by a sixth batsman. Names include Darren Lehman, Simon Katich, Damien Martyn and more recently Andrew Symonds. Andrew Symonds was given yet another chance against England last summer and he didn't fail to make his mark. That 156 against England was the turning point in his short Test Match career. But recently the Australian selectors have been pushing a big blonde Queenslander, Shane Watson. Australia hasn’t had a genuine all rounder like England’s Andrew Flintoff or the great Keith Miller. The other person Australia has looked at is Victorian Brad Hodge. Hodge has played a handful of Tests for Australia and is surely in the pecking order for another recall soon, who can forget that double hundred at the WACA against South Africa.

    Let’s have a look at the two all rounders who are contenders for the number six spot this summer’s Tests Series against the Sri Lankans and Indians:

    Andrew Symonds:

    The Case for:

    Is the current choice for the position. His maiden Test century against England at the MCG was the turning point in his career. Coming in at number 5 for not many he was under the pump against a pumped up England bowling lineup he was slow to get going but once he got past 50, he was able to push on and open his arms and score freely. This was the first time we saw Symonds play comfortably in Tests.
    The selectors surely couldn’t drop him after such a breakthrough series. Another thing going for him is the fact that the selectors have already stated that they are looking at Symonds to be a “Spin Twin” to Stuart MacGill. This means the selectors are still thinking about him, and have him in their plans.

    The Case Against:

    He is an ageing all rounder whose medium pace bowling isn’t that effective in tests. This makes him not as ideal as an all rounder as the selectors may want. Also, he is not a consistent batsman who can be looked upon to make hundreds and fifties on a regular basis. With the selectors no doubt wanting Shane Watson in the line up somewhere, Symonds’ spot could be under threat if he doesn’t perform straight away.


    Symonds on his way to his maiden 156 during last years Ashes series


    Shane Watson

    The Case for:

    Shane Watson is the Australian selector’s dream if he can get his body in shape. Last season he was in the mix to make his Ashes debut and make his mark on Test cricket. But as always, he injured himself at critical times. It started in 2003, when he was sure to feature in Australia’s World Cup defence, then it happened right before the selectors were going to give him a chance at number six to establish himself as Australia’s “Freddie”.
    He is a batsman who is capable of scoring double hundreds at state level. He is a bowler capable of claiming 5 wickets in the next innings – what more can the selectors want?

    Watson has had the advantage of playing in England conditions while on duty for Hampshire, and also playing in a successful team at the Queensland Bulls. Normally, when Watson plays well the team plays well. His bowling can be a little one dimensional at times, he doesn’t seem to have much variation, but he seems to still claim wickets for Australia and the Bulls. His big hitting is valuable, but he is more effective when he plays his strokes at the top of the order, and builds big innings.

    The Case against:

    He has age on his side. That is the most important thing. He is only 26 but… has the body of a 36 year old it seems. Hamstring, back, stress fractures have all featured on his medical records. These injuries - particularly the back injuries - have threatened his cricket and it seems that there is nothing pointing to a change in the future. He has tried changing his bowling action back in 2003 and this has sorted out the back injuries for now.
    For the selectors to really push for him to be Australia’s fourth seamer he must add to his bowling, preferably the ability to swing the ball or get some sort of movement off the pitch. This combined with a good batting technique and surely the selectors can’t say no.


    Shane Watson's batting technique is second to none


    The Verdict:


    Australia will start the summer off with Symonds at number six, hopefully continuing on from his form in the Ashes whilst teaming up with Stuart MacGill with his Off Spinners. The selectors will have Shane Watson playing well in the Queensland team. So that when/if Symonds doesn’t perform, Watson can slot straight into the number six position as another solid batsman and the fourth seamer.

    Discuss.
    Last edited by Hooper; 01-09-2007 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Fixed up Grammar and so on...

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    State 12th Man jammay123's Avatar
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    the aus should go with brad hodge i dont think either of the above are really up to scratch in the tesr arena
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    State Vice-Captain gettingbetter's Avatar
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    I'll reply to this thread once a discussion starts and when my exams finish, but for the time being, Watson is a better batsmen and bowler than Symonds is, as much as I hate him, I think that if it were a selection between two said players, Watson should be selected.

    The search for the Australian Flintoff is quite stupid. The whole 2005 Ashes has distorted everyone's view of cricket especially in England and Australia.

    For Australia, when the next Flintoff is ready, he's ready, there is no point in pushing players like Symonds and Watson (circa 2005) to fill a number 6 position when there are suitable candidates to fill that hole. As has been seen with his recent form and form prior to 2004, Flintoff has been below average and with a criteria many use on this board, he should of only been capped with 15 or so Tests.

    For pretty much ever series, and possibly including the 2005 Ashes, Australia haven't needed a all-rounder in the number 6 position.

    Firstly, I think we should view the number 6, as solely number 6 (this will make sense later on). Certain individuals have filled this position for Australia with great success. There is no point in mentioning them all, but it is worthy to note that none of them have been 'all-rounders'. And with this position, Australia has dominated Test cricket without a all-rounder at number 6 (or at 8).

    Secondly, we must view the no. 6 in a larger context and that context is sans McGrath and Warne. Is the no. 6 Australia pick going to be a genuine bowling option or just a trundler? Neither Watson or Symonds would make the team on bowling alone, not many all-rounders today would, but Watson seems to have a better wicket-taking ability than Symonds.

    The above two paragraphs I have mentioned are merely for posters to acknowledge that Australia have been successful without a 'Flintoff' since Benuad's days. In saying so, I think the best option would be Brad Hodge. He's been knocking on the door for much longer than either all-rounders and was unfortunately dropped when he did get a start in the Test team.

  4. #4
    You'll Never Walk Alone Nate's Avatar
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    Meh, average article, with Watson bias written all over it. Symonds' medium-pacers come at a return of about 32 or something with his crappy off-spin sending his average up.
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    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gettingbetter View Post
    I'll reply to this thread once a discussion starts and when my exams finish, but for the time being, Watson is a better batsmen and bowler than Symonds is, as much as I hate him, I think that if it were a selection between two said players, Watson should be selected.

    The search for the Australian Flintoff is quite stupid. The whole 2005 Ashes has distorted everyone's view of cricket especially in England and Australia.

    For Australia, when the next Flintoff is ready, he's ready, there is no point in pushing players like Symonds and Watson (circa 2005) to fill a number 6 position when there are suitable candidates to fill that hole. As has been seen with his recent form and form prior to 2004, Flintoff has been below average and with a criteria many use on this board, he should of only been capped with 15 or so Tests.

    For pretty much ever series, and possibly including the 2005 Ashes, Australia haven't needed a all-rounder in the number 6 position.

    Firstly, I think we should view the number 6, as solely number 6 (this will make sense later on). Certain individuals have filled this position for Australia with great success. There is no point in mentioning them all, but it is worthy to note that none of them have been 'all-rounders'. And with this position, Australia has dominated Test cricket without a all-rounder at number 6 (or at 8).

    Secondly, we must view the no. 6 in a larger context and that context is sans McGrath and Warne. Is the no. 6 Australia pick going to be a genuine bowling option or just a trundler? Neither Watson or Symonds would make the team on bowling alone, not many all-rounders today would, but Watson seems to have a better wicket-taking ability than Symonds.

    The above two paragraphs I have mentioned are merely for posters to acknowledge that Australia have been successful without a 'Flintoff' since Benuad's days. In saying so, I think the best option would be Brad Hodge. He's been knocking on the door for much longer than either all-rounders and was unfortunately dropped when he did get a start in the Test team.
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    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Hooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nnanden View Post
    Meh, average article, with Watson bias written all over it. Symonds' medium-pacers come at a return of about 32 or something with his crappy off-spin sending his average up.
    Iam actually a Symonds fan - I normally get hammered for saying Symonds is God. So I tried to make it more unbiased.

    So yeah, I think that Symonds should get the nod, he made that 156 last year, in the last test series. If Shane Watson takes his place....

    Watson is a crap bowler, with no variation. He can't swing the ball, or get it to move sideways. He will never be successful in Tests if he can't do either.

    Symonds' off spin is under-rated, last year at the WACA he was bowling well with his offies - but as per usual, Punter pulls him off for Brett Lee

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    State Vice-Captain gettingbetter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooper View Post
    Watson is a crap bowler, with no variation. He can't swing the ball, or get it to move sideways. He will never be successful in Tests if he can't do either.:
    Symonds bowls a variety of crap.

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    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooper View Post
    Iam actually a Symonds fan - I normally get hammered for saying Symonds is God. So I tried to make it more unbiased.

    So yeah, I think that Symonds should get the nod, he made that 156 last year, in the last test series. If Shane Watson takes his place....

    Watson is a crap bowler, with no variation. He can't swing the ball, or get it to move sideways. He will never be successful in Tests if he can't do either.

    Symonds' off spin is under-rated, last year at the WACA he was bowling well with his offies - but as per usual, Punter pulls him off for Brett Lee
    Wait until the Watson fan club see's that...

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    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Hooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nnanden View Post
    Meh, average article, with Watson bias written all over it. Symonds' medium-pacers come at a return of about 32 or something with his crappy off-spin sending his average up.
    Me
    The selectors surely couldn’t drop him after such a breakthrough series
    Really biased ins't it

    Quote Originally Posted by gettingbetter View Post
    Symonds bowls a variety of crap.
    Its not crap, it's just not as fast as Watto's and doesn't turn as much as Dan Cullen
    s.
    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    Wait until the Watson fan club see's that...

    Welcome to the site anyway.
    Oh no, is there a Shane Watson fan club here? How can they support such an injury-prone player!

    Thanks Craig - seems a good forum

  10. #10
    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooper View Post
    Really biased ins't it



    Its not crap, it's just not as fast as Watto's and doesn't turn as much as Dan Cullen
    s.


    Oh no, is there a Shane Watson fan club here? How can they support such an injury-prone player!
    Thanks Craig - seems a good forum
    Yeah there is, consists of at least 8-10 members. There was a NZ member called Fiery and he be the President of the Anti-Shane Watson Club, he decided to leave for fami ly reasons and got himself banned for good as well.

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    You'll Never Walk Alone Nate's Avatar
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    Again, Andy's medium-pacers fetch him an average of 32 in Test Cricket. Not that bad.

    Sorry if I seemed a little aggressive, but Symonds takes a lot for his Test Performances.

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    Couple of things I noticed.

    Keith Miller is Australian, you might want to sort that part out
    Symond's medium pacers are superior to his spin bowling
    Watson has little or no variation
    Australia don't need big hitting in Test cricket, and anyway Symonds>>>>>Watson in that department
    Quote Originally Posted by Hooper
    he gets wickets regularly for Australia if he succeeds for the Bulls
    That doesn't make any sense
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    School Boy/Girl Cricketer Hooper's Avatar
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    Thanks. I fixed that weird sentence.

    I know Miller is an Aussie (I'll make that more clear).

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Only thing I'd have a big issue with is your statement "there's nothing to suggest that Watson won't continue to get injured".

    As you go on to mention, he's worked on his action considerably since his back problems and it seems to have addressed that issue. His shoulder injury was bad luck - there's nothing inherent in his game (except maybe being the tiniest bit soft) to suggest he's likely to hurt himself like that again.

    But the main thing is that he's reportedly taken a completely different approach to his off-season fitness work this winter, with a lot less emphasis on being a ripped hulk and more work on flexibility, endurance and repetitive strength. I saw in the paper yesterday that he's been doing yoga regularly for the first time, and reckons his body feels both totally different and the best its ever felt heading into the season. Now all of this could be crap, and he might have a persistent problem that's going to lead to more soft tissue injuries, but the best sport and medical science the Aussie set-up can bring to bear hasn't found it, and until we've seen how he goes, its unfair to label the effort he's made to improve his durability as "nothing".
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