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Thread: Australia - where to from here

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    International Regular stephen's Avatar
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    Australia - where to from here

    I initially wrote this for the SA vs Aus thread, but figured it would be lost in the noise and what I want to discuss is beyond the scope of a match thread.

    Surely with SA at 3/228, having personal figures of 1/144, bowling off a short run-up Johnson has to be dropped. He needs at least half a season in domestic cricket to learn how to take wickets again before he'll be ready to be brought back. He's had far too many chances, with the promise that "he'll come good again" but has just really been rank awful since the WACA. I saw some of his bowling in Sri Lanka and thought that there was a possibility that he might come good again in South Africa but he really has been atrocious.

    I hate it too because a couple of years ago I thought that he was the goods. Which is funny, because I never thought that he was particularly special when I watched him live bowl for QLD. But when I saw his feats in 08 and 09 (before the ashes) I thought that he was going to be the long term spearhead for a good 5-6 years. I was obviously wrong. I hate eating humble pie, but if Johnson's fifth biggest supporter (behind his mum and at least 3 of the selectors) it really is time for him to go back to play for WA. Sadly, he needs first class games but he should be in the ODI side, which means he won't get a good chance to learn or prove anything (bloody BBL is terribly scheduled).

    Peter Siddle is a sad case. It's hard not to like Siddle. The jokes about him running in all day are funny because they are true - Siddle is a guy with the kind of attitude and approach to the game that you wish all guys had. He's also go the physical assets to be very successful as a fast bowler. He has the pace he needs and can be quite devastating in spells.

    The problem is that he is just not a good bowler. He's a first change bowler at best. Brett Lee was better than Siddle and I don't rate Lee's test match career at all. Siddle is hardly of the same calibre as Bichel, Kasprowicz, Fleming or Reiffel. It's just disappointing that a guy with so much to like is just not any good.

    We have to move on from these two bowlers. They are perennially disappointing and manage to save themselves with a match winning spell once every few games. But Johnson has even lost that ability it seems.

    The first test in Brisbane should feature a fast bowling attack of Copeland, Cummins and Harris/Cutting/Bollinger (I don't think we can play Bollinger and Harris in the same team - it's too much of an injury risk). Steve O'Keefe should be brought in for Lyon (who has gone under the radar with some mediocre-but-not-awful performances). Make it clear to Lyon that he's been dropped to give him the opportunity to play some first class cricket and learn his trade a bit more and make it clear to him that he is still in their long term plans.

    Unless Ponting makes a hundred in the second innings, and backs that up with at least a fifty at the Gabba, he should be dropped. Sure, I want to see him have a glorious Steve Waugh style sendoff, but it's been four years since he has been any good and keeping him in the team has made the middle order extremely fragile and prone to collapse. It can no longer be said that he is in the top six batsmen in the country. He's gone, like Richards and Chappell, he's the dog who has had his day. When he was good he was magnificent and we should never forget his feats, which are in some ways unparalleled. He's scored more runs than any other Australian, made twin hundreds in his hundredth test and butchered attacks around the world at the peak of Australia's dominance. His last true moment of glory was also the last moment of the biggest cricketing feat since Bradman's era, when he lead Australia to the 5-0 ashes win by making vital hundreds in the first two games and earning man of the series.

    We should never forget how great Ponting was, how divine his pull shot and how he demoralised and demolished attacks around the world. But the time has come to move on and let the new kids do the country proud.

    For Brisbane I'd like to see:

    Watson
    Hughes
    Marsh
    Khawaja (who should be replaced by Warner if he hasn't kicked on by the end of the NZ series)
    Clarke
    Hussey
    Haddin
    O'Keefe
    Copeland
    Harris (Bollinger/Cutting, depending on injury)
    Cummins

    The Australian cricket team has to be about performance again. The best performing players should be picked, players who perform poorly should be dropped. Martyn was made scapegoat for the Ashes '05 series without actually having too bad a series (and being sawn off at least two times). Only North and Hilfenhaus have been made to pay for Australia's general mediocrity of the last three years. But the problem is deeper than that. The pace attack has been consistently undisciplined, awful spinners have been picked on selectorial hunches that has paid off once (barring one five wicket haul on a pitch specifically prepared to spin) and the spinner with proven success was subsequently dropped.

    Domestic performance has to count for something. Domestic players must be made to feel that they can beat the door down or we will reduce the quality of our domestic players and our international team.

    Hopefully the new selection panel will not make the same blunders as the old one. But this is the blueprint to success. Reward success, punish failure.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    I agree with a fair bit of the post. MJ obviously will be dropped pending a miracle...and really I'd probably drop him anyway. Siddle is Siddle. He's still only 26yo so unlike MJ it's not gonna be anywhere near final. Lyon hasn't sealed his spot but I'll give him a game at home.

    The funny thing for me is, there's obviously a whole lot of pressure on Haddin. But really, I couldn't care less if he got the axe now or in Feb. There's the far bigger problems of Watson opening, Ponting at 4 and the make up off the attack (do they want the best one? do they want the most promising? do they want the most attacking? do they want the one filled with names we can make bad jokes and puns out of*). They can axe him now or then. I don't think it'll change anything. When was the last time Haddin batted in the first innings without the scorecard being in chaos? that's sort that out

    (yes there was a couple of matches in SL where that happened. but you know what I mean)

    I'll wait for the aus a game before putting forward a team...but Watson down to 6 for me needs to happen. With every innings I become a stronger fan of that move...and there's only one man for watson to replace there



    *Cutting, Cummins, Bollinger, Beer
    Last edited by Spikey; 19-11-2011 at 08:42 AM.
    Indians can't bowl - Where has the rumour come from as I myself and many indian friends arwe competent fast bowlers ?

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    From the current side:

    Gone: Ponting, Haddin, Johnson.
    On notice: Hussey, Hughes
    Changes: Someone else to open with Hughes, Watto to 4.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Too much focus on the bowling. Australia have a good bowling attack, even with Johnson and Siddle. They are good bowlers who are occasionally world beating and occasionally dreadful. Sure, the dreadful seems to be a more regular occurence recently but the bowling attack is still pretty decent.

    edit to say that I don't disagree with the assertions that Johnson and Siddle should be dropped, but they're not as bad as a few of you guys make out, and they're certainly not anywhere near being the major problem in this side.

    The batting on the other hand has the same players being allowed to repeat the same mistakes time and again with no consequences as far as their position goes. It's Australia's batting which has repeatedly failed them in the last 2 years and it's the batting which needs to be changed.

    I've criticised Watson's conversion rate in the past and I feel a bit bad about criticising.him for this match, but it was a classic Watson innings where he starts well, looks a million dollars then gets bogged down and gets dismissed softly. And scoring 88 doesn't excuse him from playing a needless shot which triggered a collapse. It's also become apparent that Watson's bowling is extremely valuable to the team and IMO opening isn't an ideal way to get the most out of Watson for the team. It's no use Watson chipping in with valuable wickets then walking out to open and getting out cheaply.

    Hughes I think deserves a bit of persisting with - played a really good innings and along with his 120 in Sri Lanka should be safe for now.

    Marsh has done well since coming into the Test side.

    Ponting - goneskis. His position in the side is untenable. A shame for such a champion to fade the way he has but I really can't see how anyone can justify his continued selection.

    Hussey - I agree with T_C and would put him on notice. Had an excellent Ashes series, sure. That was almost a year ago, scoring runs against a piss-poor Sri Lanka attack shouldn't be weighted that highly IMO if he continues to fail.

    Khawaja hasn't convinced since making his Test debut although he looks like he's temperamentally sound. I wonder if his performances would improve if he was told that he had a nailed down spot for 6 Tests - of his 4 Tests to date, 2 have come as injury replacements.

    The biggest issue with Australia's batting though, is the lack of really credible alternatives to the status quo.
    Last edited by Furball; 19-11-2011 at 09:03 AM.
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    International Regular stephen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat View Post
    From the current side:

    Gone: Ponting, Haddin, Johnson.
    On notice: Hussey, Hughes
    Changes: Someone else to open with Hughes, Watto to 4.
    Why would Hussey and Hughes be on notice?

    If we drop Watto to 4 (which I'm not against - IIRC he hit a magnificent double ton at 4 in a shield final a few years back) then we'd obviously play Warner as opener ahead of Khawaja, who despite all his promise has not yet made an impact in any match he's played in.

    So if we were to do that would you be happy with:

    Hughes
    Warner
    Marsh
    Watto
    Clarke
    Hussey
    Haddin
    O'Keefe
    Copeland
    Harris (Bollinger/Cutting)
    Cummins

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    I'm not really sure if Watson's batting limitations - **** against spin, prone to lbw/bowled, prone to just smashing the drive and not really caring if it's in the air or not and the 50/100 - are suited to number 4. i mean obviously hussey and clarke suck there so it's bound to happen, but I don't really have much faith in him there.

  7. #7
    International Regular stephen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Too much focus on the bowling. Australia have a good bowling attack, even with Johnson and Siddle. They are good bowlers who are occasionally world beating and occasionally dreadful. Sure, the dreadful seems to be a more regular occurence recently but the bowling attack is still pretty decent.

    The batting on the other hand has the same players being allowed to repeat the same mistakes time and again with no consequences as far as their position goes. It's Australia's batting which has repeatedly failed them in the last 2 years and it's the batting which needs to be changed.

    I've criticised Watson's conversion rate in the past and I feel a bit bad about criticising.him for this match, but it was a classic Watson innings where he starts well, looks a million dollars then gets bogged down and gets dismissed softly. And scoring 88 doesn't excuse him from playing a needless shot which triggered a collapse. It's also become apparent that Watson's bowling is extremely valuable to the team and IMO
    Australia's bowling attack only looks good to an outsider because it's not been completely awful when we have had Harris and/or Copeland and/or Watson bowling a lot of overs. Siddle and Johnson have been utterly dire for a very long time now. Siddle less so than Johnson, but he's still no more than a first change bowler.

    Bring in the performing bowlers - Copeland, Harris/Bollinger and O'Keefe. Ditch the bowlers who aren't performing, Johnson, Siddle and Lyon.

  8. #8
    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Too much focus on the bowling. Australia have a good bowling attack, even with Johnson and Siddle. They are good bowlers who are occasionally world beating and occasionally dreadful. Sure, the dreadful seems to be a more regular occurence recently but the bowling attack is still pretty decent.

    The batting on the other hand has the same players being allowed to repeat the same mistakes time and again with no consequences as far as their position goes. It's Australia's batting which has repeatedly failed them in the last 2 years and it's the batting which needs to be changed.

    You've literally summed up the problems with the bowling attack in one sentence. You're right in that Siddle and MJ 'are occasionally world beating and occasionally dreadful'...and most of the time just so toothless we're better off bowling batsmen. The batting and bowling need to change and there's no reason at all why we can only change one. The bowling changes are there for the taking because we have Harris returning and then it's just Copeland or Cutting etc in. And then we sit down with ponting. and watson.
    Last edited by Spikey; 19-11-2011 at 09:04 AM.

  9. #9
    International Regular stephen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    I'm not really sure if Watson's batting limitations - **** against spin, prone to lbw/bowled, prone to just smashing the drive and not really caring if it's in the air or not and the 50/100 - are suited to number 4. i mean obviously hussey and clarke suck there so it's bound to happen, but I don't really have much faith in him there.
    I think that Watto would be best suited to #3 actually, but Marsh seems to have secured that spot for now.

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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    With the exception of Johnson, who it seems is gone for good, the batting is by far a bigger problem then the bowling.

    Batting

    It's been caused by the quite ingrained fallacy that hitting a nice ton once every series or two between a row of failures is acceptable (all while the lineup has been marked by batting collapses); but the bowling equivalent of an excellent haul or two interspersed with ordinary effort isn't.

    By all means pick your own standards to which you think the team ought to be performing - but hold batsmen to the same regard as bowlers. With the exception of a couple of very flat wickets against a very flat Sri Lankan bowling attack, this batting lineup has considently failed to reach 300 throughout various series, and on top of that has seen multiple total disasters.

    So far the only measure taken to sort this out was to drop Katich. This came from a triple point of bollocks - 1) You need to drop someone who's old, 2) You can't drop Hussey because of his Ashes and 3) You can't drop Ponting. The result was a token batting change that didn't help, because the one thing Aus' batting had working for them was a solid opening pair.

    The only way to get out of a rut like this is to start from scratch. Imagine you're firing everyone and putting the team back together from nil, starting with the best batsmen in the country right now playing in their best positions. Get as far away from the last couple of years as you can.

    I don't know enough about Australian cricket to say who those are. But I'm convinced that Clarke at 5, and Watson at 3/4 should be the new cornerstone.

    Bowling:

    I think Stephen makes a good point with respect to O'Keefe and Lyon. I don't see what Lyon did to get selected over O'Keefe, and the latter strikes me as a much more versatile, valuable cricketer.

    You shouldn't chuck Siddle, who has a lot of very good attributes and gets nowhere near as awful, in the same pot as a risen and fallen tearaway like Johnson. As with the impressive Cummins, the raw materials are there. Work with that.

    Siddle has been a new ball bowler and a change bowler almost at random, he's been the man given left field plans like bowling miles outside off and at the body of certain players regardless of whether he was right for it. I can't for the life of me keep up with what his role in the side is, so I doubt he can. If he can have a lengthy run in the side as a genuine change bowler, letting him play his natural game behind a settled new ball pair, I think he could become a reliable Test quality bowler. You're free to disagree, but I don't think he's done.

    The important point is to get a proper new ball pair. If it weren't for fitness issues, this would probably be Harris and Bollinger. As it is, Harris is the incumbent and one of the best in the world when fit, and Cummins is being thrust into the role of his partner. This seems like a good bet to me.

    When Harris in't fit, Bollinger, currently able to play Shild and ODI cricket, should be able to fill in. By the time Harris is done, perhaps Cummins will be able to take the reigns, perhaps someone new will emerge. The important bit is to take the bowlers with the attributes you want and stick with it.

    What they've been doing is to change a bowler every time the batsmen fail. It's still going on in discussion.
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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Lyon wouldn't have necessarily been my pick for the spinner spot to begin with but he's been absolutely fine; dropping him now would be ridiculous, especially since O'Keefe hasn't really been having a great season so far. I actually like the idea of a more attacking spinner like Lyon with Watson in the attack anyway.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    You've literally summed up the problems with the bowling attack in one sentence. You're right in that Siddle and MJ 'are occasionally world beating and occasionally dreadful'...and most of the time just so toothless we're better off bowling batsmen. The batting and bowling need to change and there's no reason at all why we can only change one. The bowling changes are there for the taking because we have Harris returning and then it's just Copeland or Cutting etc in. And then we sit down with ponting. and watson.
    Well yes, but Hussey aside, where's the batting equivelant of Siddle's spell at Brisbane, or Johnson's match in Perth?

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    Hall of Fame Member Johnners's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Lyon wouldn't have necessarily been my pick for the spinner spot to begin with but he's been absolutely fine; dropping him now would be ridiculous, especially since O'Keefe hasn't really been having a great season so far. I actually like the idea of a more attacking spinner like Lyon with Watson in the attack anyway.
    Yeah not getting why Lyon is being targeted. He's bowled quite well imo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Mitch Johnson is ****ing awesome for cricket.
    Quote Originally Posted by pasag View Post
    Ponting's ability to ton up in the first innings of a series should not be understated. So much pressure, so important. What a great!

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Lyon wouldn't have necessarily been my pick for the spinner spot to begin with but he's been absolutely fine; dropping him now would be ridiculous, especially since O'Keefe hasn't really been having a great season so far. I actually like the idea of a more attacking spinner like Lyon with Watson in the attack anyway.
    Yeah, dropping Lyon has absolutely nothing going for it at all. Australia's spin revolving door has been ridiculous enough since Warne's retirement without repeating the mistake of dropping Hauritz all over again. Lyon's done decently enough in his Test career and dropping him basically means taking a punt on someone else who averages between 45-50 with the ball at FC level (ok, O'Keefe doesn't fit in this bracket but he doesn't have an enormous sample size to work from.)

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    The bowling changes have been over-rated. It's just been injury replacements mostly - Bollinger only got games because Hilf got injured. Harris got games because Siddle got injured. We played the classic trio of Hilf, Siddle and MJ at the first chance (2010-11 Ashes). It didn't work. Hilf got dropped for form. He's about the only one. Bollinger has a red x against his name for fitness reasons. Siddle got dropped for a game or two. And came straight back in. To say "What they've been doing is to change a bowler every time the batsmen fail." is vastly wrong........"What they did was blame everything, all of it, on Hauritz", is perhaps more correct.


    Hilf is still lurking around the aus a squads despite no proof he's sorted out the '**** against right handers' thing ftr

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