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Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Big Bash

We don’t really get the thrill of the Big Bash.  It has neither the domineering megabucks of the IPL, nor the quaint charm of the English T20.  In the IPL, anything can happen because all the players are brilliant.  In English domestic T20, there are far more players and anything can happen due to someone doing something particularly awful or a young unknown having the day of his life.

So what is the point of the Big Bash?  Journeymen overseas players match wits with old hasbeens, and all the while young Australians that could be developing their game get a few weeks in the middle of the season off first class cricket. 

Where is the next Australian spinner going to come from if almost half the teams are picking spinners that retired YEARS ago?  Hogg, Warne and Macgill didn’t retire a few months ago and have come back because they fancy a crack.  When Stuart MacGill retired, Steve Smith was still a year away from his first class debut.  Now, 4 years on, he finds himself behind MacGill in the bowling order in the Sydney Sixers team.

Either that, or cricket is turning a full circle and in 2020 we will be watching 54-year-old, 18-stone players.  In which case, we are all for it.

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Muddled Thinking

It comes to something when an Australian crisis stops being funny.  Now it is just sad.

Good on Simon Katich for speaking his mind.  Cricket Australia have caught the same disease that plagued the ECB in the 90’s, namely making the right decisions in entirely the wrong way.

“Youth is the way forward”.  An oft-repeated phrase that accompanies any chastening defeat, it can cover up a multitude of sins.  Instead of actually looking at the system in-depth, real deficiencies can be brushed under the carpet by bringing in someone young, fresh and flashy. 

 The problems with this are twofold. 

Youth is ALWAYS the way forward unless you find a way of making players immortal (which India seem to have admittedly managed).  Why wasn’t youth the way forward three years ago?  Just because the old guys are rubbish, it does not mean the younger ones are any better.

Second is who you drop, and Australia have just dropped their best batsman.  Katich averages more than anyone in recent times.  His Ashes series involved a 50 in the first dig at Brisbane, a low score in the pointless last innings, being run out for a duck by Shane Watson and making 43 despite the fact he could barely stand up at Adelaide.

His trench-warfare batting style is exactly what Australia need.  Maybe he is past it, but no more so than Ponting.  It is going to be tough for a little while for Australia, and an opening partnership of Watson and Katich would at least give them a strong start more often than not.

As it is, Phil Hughes will now be opening the batting.  Who would you rather bowl at?

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Everyone gives up on England winning, and laughs at their attempts to do so.  England win.

What do you do now?

The running theme seems to be to point out that Australia would not have done what England did.  “Sure, England bowled out Sri Lanka in less than a session, but would Steve Waugh have let Ian Bell get his hundred?  Not a chance!”

No, he probably wouldn’t have.  Australia would have won two overs earlier, and Steve Waugh would be lauded for his steely captaincy which undoubtedly won his side the unwinnable.

Only Andrew Strauss let his player get a hundred AND won the game.

Why is Steve Waugh’s way better?

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