After another comprehensive spanking at the hands of the Jaapies in the first leg of the One Day series and dropping the first two matches against New Zealand, Australian selectors should will begin to breathe easier after the sides form turned a corner on Sunday. Even if the Australian side wins today and on Friday there are cracks that shouldn't be ignored.
Lets have a quick look at the last 12+ months of results for the Australian one-day side.
Australia since the start of 2008 are 15-10. Pretty good, right? Not so much.. In that period, the Aussies are a paltry 6-8 against teams with a pulse. Padding the Australian baseline - 5 wins against the ever-declining West Indies (Chanderpaul, Gayle and 9 guys who should play for Scotland!) and 3 wins against the Bangers. Worse still, against the yardstick teams: India and South Africa Australia have managed to go 4-7! More worrying, all of these 11 games have occurred at home!
Even more alarming? In matches where Australia have batted first this year their average total is 244. We only look at games where Australia bat first, as their score is unbounded. Also taken out are games with any rain interruptions. 244 is okay on face value, however considering that 8 of those games came against B grade bowling it is somewhat less flattering. Also worth noting, in a day in age where the 9 team expect Australia to set 300+ every match, Australia managed this thrice, and in 19 games in Australia only twice.
In the modern game where scores are trending upwards, the 2008/9 performance of Australia's batsmen is alarming. With a largely inexperienced attack still reeling from the loss of McGrath and the lack of a spinner with a pulse (let alone the ability to turn the ball), putting 244 on the board on a regular basis will get spanked by teams like South Africa, India and England.
The Selectors likely response?
Beat New Zealand 3-2 and then declare the summer an unqualified success! Forget that the middle order is a disaster. Forget that D Hussey looks like a deer in headlights. Forget that Cameron White (*Token Allrounder) bowls less than Dave Hussey and has contributed nothing with the bat. At this stage, the best idea might be to pick another specialist batsman and given that Hussey is bowling a lot, treat him as the *token allrounder* and bat him at 7. This may free the guy to do what he does best which is play some shots. Otherwise, if you are gung-ho about filling the allrounder position, one must ask what is wrong with the two guys who are going to play tests in South Africa? Marcus "Pete" North and Andrew McDonald. Anyway, to the selectors, I respond to this with the above video of a fat guy throwing a hotpocket.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Lipstick on a pig...
Posted by Professor Chaos