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O Captain! My Captain!

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O Captain! My Captain!

Nothing more to say.

Written by anotherbloodyfan

January 5, 2012 at 7:38 am

Posted in Australia, Captain, Clarke

Tagged with , ,

It’s quite cold today

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India in England

Feels like an English summer. Does anyone else feel it?

Written by anotherbloodyfan

January 3, 2012 at 5:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

What 2012 holds for Australia

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Australian Cricket 2012


This should be an Interesting year. First of all Australia has to complete the series against India, then there’s a drool-worthy ODI tri-series with India & Sri Lanka. 3 of the top ODI teams in the world competing on some of the best grounds out there, it should be good. After that, Australia is off to the West Indies for a 3 test/5 ODI series before a 2 month break for the IPL and then to England for 6 ODI’s (1 against Ireland, 5 vs. England). There is the World T20 championships in September, but before that they take on Pakistan for 5 ODI’s and a T20. Then at the end of the year South Africa, then Sri Lanka tour Australia.


Another interesting year. In the Administrators section, the new selectors & coaches should be solidifying their positions. Personally, I’ve been very impressed with the selectors and coaches so far, particularly the bowling coach Craig McDermott. I’m less enamoured of Justin Langer as a coach. I have no doubts in my mind that he is one of the great opening batsmen, but there’s a distinct difference between being able to do it and being able to teach it. He’s only just become full time, between 2007 & 2011 he was part time (which was a joke). However, there hasn’t appeared to be any significant improvement in new batters since he started in 2007 and almost certainly a decline in some of the senior batters. I’m withholding complete judgement until I see the effects of him as a full time coach, but it would be wise to consider looking at other options.


The bowling stocks went from relatively weak 12 months ago to being one of the best in the world. Amazing how quickly that can change! Ryan Harris, Pat Cummins, James Pattinson & Nathan Lyon is probably the front line setup, but if Ryan Harris is injured too much more, he’s likely to be dropped for Peter Siddle (what a turnaround he’s had this year too!). Even counting that, the backup bowlers are nothing to sneeze at with Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson as proven wicket-takers (much as I personally dislike Mitchell Johnson) with a young and upcoming lineup of Mitchell Starc, Ben Cutting and Josh Hazlewood all making claims for selection. Brett Lee is a proven performer as well, despite limiting himself to short format cricket. We are supposedly short on spin bowlers, but Xavier Doherty is doing ok in the Big Bash and ODI teams, while Steve O’Keefe is absolutely dominating every form of domestic cricket and I have no idea how he hasn’t been selected for the national team a dozen times over – I’m a big fan of O’Keefe’s (I’m a big fan of Nathan Lyon too, so it’s difficult to pick between the two).


Keeping wise, Tim Paine has hurt himself badly, which is a massive shame. Brad Haddin seems to be holding his place in the team despite massive pressure from Matt Wade, while Peter Nevill is performing incredibly well in the Shield. I would be surprised if Haddin is still in the test team for the South Africa tour unless he hits some kind of purple patch against India and the West Indies. He’ll likely remain in the team for the ODI’s and T20’s for a while longer though as his temperament is almost perfectly suited to it.


Australia is looking pretty shallow for all-rounders, despite Shane Watson. While there is no doubt he’s a great player to have in the team, probably capable of holding his place as just a batsman, despite a bowling average on the right side of 30. The fact is, he’s too vulnerable to injury and there isn’t someone to replace him easily. John Hastings was trialed in some short format games, but didn’t really perform that well. Dan Christian appears to be the current favourite, deservedly so on the basis of his current form, but his long term averages don’t suggest that he can really be a solid replacement for Watto. Steve O’Keefe could probably slot in here IMO. His first class batting average is on the right side of 35, and his bowling average is a touch above 25. Australia has traditionally used fast bowling all-rounders though, so it’s quite a big call to send him in, but I believe he deserves it. Mitchell Marsh is another possibility, but not for a few more years IMO.


I’ve left the weak point to last though. Batting. There’s no shortage of up & coming talent in Australia, Ed Cowan, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Joe Burns, Nic Maddinson, Glen Maxwell and the two keepers mentioned above are quite talented, in addition there is Ricky Ponting, Michael & David Hussey, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Phil Hughes (once he sorts his head out) are all outstanding talent currently playing for Australia. For some reason though, despite the vast amounts of talent on display and pushing through the ranks, Australia’s batting appears very fragile. I voiced my opinion above when talking about Justin Langer, so I’ll leave it at that for now.


I would love to write about the state of womens cricket in Australia, but the fact is, I don’t know anything about it. I’m sorry. The simple fact is, womens cricket is not well supported or known throughout the world. Evidence of this is that on the womens cricket news page on Cricket Australia’s site, the 4th most recent news piece is from December 2010.


The Big Bash League, Ryobi 1-Day Cup, the Sheffield Shield, a thriving grade competition, excellent park cricket (down to the lowest grade), skyrocketing youth & kids participation and increased adult participation through the Last Man Stands T20 competition. Domestic cricket in Australia is going really well.


Australia is looking at a much better 2012 than 2011. This is great news and hopefully, the players can live up to expectations. The bowling attack should develop and become world beating, the instability in the keeping position will be gone, either by Wade or Nevill pushing Haddin out or Haddin finding some form (if Paine wasn’t injured, it would be done already). Ideally Justin Langer as a full time coach will help remove the mental barriers the batters are trying to deal with – if not this time next year I’ll probably be writing about how good the new batting coach is.

The administrators have started to solidify their place, in particular the selection of Cowan is proof that they’re going about it the right way – the right batsman for the opening, in form, solid technique, picked on performance not potential. That’s something we haven’t seen for a while.


Australia should beat India in Australia, then the West Indies at home. England has always been weak at ODI’s, so I think Australia will win there and I’m really glad to see them playing Ireland! Ideally there would be an Australia A team flying out as well for a couple of first class games each against Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands to help the development of both the associate nations and Australia’s youth team, but the ICC and Cricket Australia don’t seem to be as interested in that as I am. Pakistan should prove a challenge in ODI’s and the T20 as they’re hitting something of a purple patch – perhaps the team is coming together better now that some negative influences are removed (and hopefully stamped out).

I don’t know how Australia will go in the T20 World Cup, traditionally, they haven’t been great at T20, but perhaps the Big Bash will help? Immediately after the T20 is the champions league, which Australia has traditionally done quite well at – 2011 was the first year that an IPL team actually managed to beat an Australian domestic T20 team! I predict it will be the Hobart Hurricanes and the Sydney 6ers who get there – the 6ers have a great lineup and the Hurricanes play some ridiculously intelligent T20 with a set of talented players.

Finally, hosting South Africa has always been a challenge, but with Australia’s new & improved bowling as well as (hopefully) a stable & confident batting lineup should see Australia on top – but that’s hard to predict. Sri Lanka appears to be coming back from a really, really poor year in tests, while the ODI & T20 teams have always been good. I’ll still predict an Australian win, but we’ll see.

That’s it for me for now, next up in this review series I’ll be looking at Bangladesh. (Warning: it doesn’t look as rosy as the Australian review).

Written by anotherbloodyfan

January 1, 2012 at 2:40 am

Posted in Australia, Players, Review

Quick post: Siddle vs. Tendulkar

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Siddle get Tendulkar (again)

Just a quick stats update that I’ve noticed. Siddle has bowled to Tendulkar in 3 test innings and dismissed him 3 times. First in Mohali, 2008 caught by Hayden, then twice in the MCG Boxing Day test, bowled first, then caught by Hussey.

In total, Siddle has bowled to Tendulkar in 3 test innings and dismissed him in all three, leaving Siddle with the enviable stats against Tendulkar as follows:

  • Avg: 18.67
  • Strike Rate: 16
  • Economy: 7.00

In 4 ODI innings, he’s gotten him once as well – caught by Cameron White in an ODI in 2009.

Is it too early to call Tendulkar Siddle’s bunny?

Written by anotherbloodyfan

December 30, 2011 at 6:56 am

Posted in Australia, bunny, India, Stats, Tendulkar

Tagged with , ,

Australia’s batting collapses

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Fuck me. I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for the last month or so, but the loss to New Zealand (at home of all bloody places) has annoyed me enough that I will. So, Australia. For the first time in my lifetime, we have a recognisably weak and brittle batting lineup. Isn’t this an Indian thing? Never before has Australia collapsed so often and so badly.

For proof, here’s Australia’s batting averages in 2011 (I didn’t realise how bad we were until I saw this graph):

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave
MJ Clarke (Aus)







BJ Haddin (Aus)







PJ Hughes (Aus)







MEK Hussey (Aus)







UT Khawaja (Aus)







SE Marsh (Aus)







RT Ponting (Aus)







DA Warner (Aus)







SR Watson (Aus)







Only 2 averages above 50 and 4 above 30! This is a complete travesty

Two questions. 1: Why? 2: What do we do about it?

1. Why?

Well, there are only two possibilities really. We have a technically deficient team who haven’t got the ability to bat (physical problem) or we have a team who can bat and don’t have the confidence/mental strength/capacity to do so (mental problem). We can’t prove or disprove the second point, but we can explore the first quite well.

Look at that chart above. Haddin, Hughes, Hussey, Khawaja, Ponting, Watson. These guys averaging below 30? Seriously? I think just from looking at those names, we can remove any possibility that the batsmen have no technical capability. Hussey, Haddin and Ponting get passes through their history. We know they are technically competent (in fact, brilliant) batsmen. So for these 3 at least, it’s a mental problem. Making the same proof for Hughes, Khawaja and Watson will be harder, particularly as Hughes has been dismissed the same way so often, Watson has never performed as a batsman (except as an opener – and even that is averaged below 40) and Khawaja has no history. Regardless, lets attempt it.

1.1 Phil Hughes

First of all, watch these two videos:

Yes, I know. Everyone always points out these two innings when talking about him. What I’m trying to do is point you to his offstump play. Constant, powerful, confident. Despite these positive attributes, he was caught behind the wicket both times by something that cramped him. This led to every bowler in the world trying to cramp him just wide of off stump, successfully. You have to say, Phil Hughes has a technical deficiency. It’s not the cut shot however, it’s how he got out both times in Hobart which drove it home, he has a poor front foot position on his forward defense outside of off. He knows this, which is why he attacks outside off. I think the problem is that he doesn’t try to defend the ball back where it came from, he’s trying to push out to mid-off and doesn’t present a fully straight bat.

This is not to say that he has no mental issue – his is the largest in the team – but it’s caused by a technical fault.

1.2 Shane Watson

Where do I begin? Shane can’t bat in the lower order. His instincts take over, he tonks and gets out. Somehow, despite an average in the 20’s, Hildick promoted him to Open and… well, he’s half decent normally, with an overall average of 43 (despite averaging only 24 this year). Shane is a tolerable opener and has no obvious technical weakness.

1.3 Usman Khawaja

Patient, secure, solid, slow. These are all words that have been used to describe Khawaja. Better batsmen than I may see technical flaws, but from my perspective, I’ve never seen him out the same way twice. I would say that he has no technical weakness that has been exposed yet. He hasn’t made a big score, but from the way he’s batted, it’s just a matter of time. He, Marsh, Warner & Clarke are the only batsmen who have shown any sort of grit and application this year.

So, I think we’ve proven, to the extent of evidence that a blog can, that the problem is not a technical one (except for Hughes… and his is fixable, hopefully).

2. What do we do about it?

Fucked if I know. We’ll talk about this a lot more over the next few years… For now, more time with Mickey Arthur & Justin Langer and less time with Hildick & Chappell can’t hurt anyone.

Written by anotherbloodyfan

December 12, 2011 at 9:04 am