Warne-Muralidaran Trophy (Australia in Sri Lanka) Aug-Sep 2011

angryangy

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They mentioned Hughes' backlift and yeah, it is very circular which should lead to inside edges like that. Has he got a history of inside edging?
Lara and Bradman could attract the same criticism, so I'm not sure it is valid. Off the outside shoulder of the bat, yes, but until I see a lot of inside edges, I wouldn't say it is notable at all.

Hughes is actually the top scoring opener of the series. He may not have done well, but it must be taken into account that none of the other ones have done well.
 

sifter132

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Quite true, I think it was just as much about 2nd ball laziness as it was about a faultline in his technique.

Jeez looks like we only have 2 batsmen in the side that value their wickets. Our leadership group (Clarke, Watson, Ponting) all gifted their wickets as has been the case for the past few years. Marsh and Hussey look to be the only ones that value their wickets.

As for Watson, Clarke and Ponting, well yeah it must be said - they aren't able to play long innings at present. All seem to be hitting the ball well, but their application and discipline is lacking. When was the last time any of them played an innings where they were in for 150-200+ balls??

And...answering my own question...:p Clarke made a 100 in the tour game, but it was fast and full of strokes (127 balls faced for 104*) - not an innings of application or discipline. He scored a 100 for NSW vs Vic last November that would qualify: 113 off 244 balls - had back cramps that game if I recall. I wonder if that's a subconscious factor for him. 2nd last 150+ ball knock was vs NZ in March 2010: 168 off 253.

For Ricky, it's been a while. Those 3 70s he made vs India in late 2010 were all less than 150 balls (1 was 147 balls) - they free flowing innings that didn't need too much hard work. Last 150+ ball knock was his 209 vs Pak at Hobart, 09/10. 209 off 354. The one where Amir dropped him cold pretty early. In all of Ponting's 150 ball+ knocks in the last 5 years he's scored at over 50 S/R. Maybe starving him and bowling wide is the way to go.

Made a list of innings at less than 50 S/R and over 150 balls - battling, disciplined innings I would call them. There have been 38 by Australians in the last 5 years Batting records | Test matches | Cricinfo Statsguru | ESPN Cricinfo:
Hussey - 10
Katich - 10
Clarke - 6
Watson - 3
Jaques - 3
Marsh - 2 (in 2 weeks he's played more of these than Ponting has in 5 years...)
1 each for Haddin, Hauritz, Hughes and Paine.
0 - Ponting.

Not suggesting that the team needs all grinders, but Cook and Trott showed the value of discipline in the Ashes and I think every team needs 2 or 3 grinders in their top 7. In that way, Marsh might be a very welcome addition if he can keep his head.
 

Doodlesweaver

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With Marsh it is all about him keeping his head. I'm not sure about him still, though it's been encouraging and refreshing that he has done his best to bat long.

Each line-up does need grinders. Our problem with collapsing could be halved if we have more than one batsman who doesn't give his wicket away easily.

It made me laugh reading the cricinfo comments that a couple of people complained about his slowness. Collapses are certainly more fun to watch but hey, we want to win and draw occasionally surely?
 

War

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Oh dear, and Hughes is gone 2nd pill...Those Khawaja is better than Hughes calls will get ever louder...

Watson close to LBW in the first over too, just got an inside edge onto it to save himself. Could be tough here, and a true test for Marsh. And he's edging it already...maybe this is why Ricky dropped to #4 :p

In reality that shouldn't even be the case although Khawaja is the incumbent. Calls should be screaming for the recall of Katich.

After all with all the correct recent talk in this thread of our batsmen throwing away their wickets after starts, Katman was the only batsman other than Watson in that horrific South Africa 2009 - Ashes 2010/11 period who put a high price on his wicket and converted many of his starts.

He should be recalled with immediate effect by the new selection panel, which includes Clarke now, for the S Africa tour.

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I don't know that Johnson really prevents that. Certainly no more than Harris. He's more one for pushing an advantage.

Technically yea Johnson doesn't prevent that given he is very inconsistent with his batting, when in fact he should be giving AUS test side the lower-order stability in runs that Broad/Bresnan/Swann gives ENG.

But that is selection issue that has to be looked at going forward, since Bollinger/Harris/Copeland are the best 3 test bowlers when fit. Johnson really shouldn't be a fixture any longer.
 

sifter132

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I hear the calls for Katich, but that is going to be a hard sell given he's 8th in line and done nothing between now and being dropped (yes I realise he's had no cricket, but the point remains). I realise that's a very harsh attitude, but bringing back Katich now would: 1) show no faith in either the selectors, and 2) the young players ahead of him. Showing no faith in past selections might be justifiable, but preferring Katich ahead of Marsh and Khawaja, maybe even Hughes would be a slap in the face to them. I'm afraid Katich will be batting for NSW a lot this summer, until the guys ahead of him really start failing hard.

The other part of the problem: Clarke, Watson and Ponting are all hitting the ball well - all look good at the crease, but none can stay there for a long time. It's hard to drop the 3 biggest names in Aussie cricket when they seem close to form and the big scores that follow. Until it's proven beyond doubt that all 3 have long term issues with batting for long periods, then they can't be dropped. Hussey's not going anywhere either, not Marsh either. So it's really only Hughes' spot under threat, and Khawaja seems to have earned a shot at that before we return to Katich.
 

sifter132

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Well interesting first session of play (interesting, partly because I got to watch it :p) My reactions:
*Clarke didn't use spin at all even though the ball was 65 overs old at the start. I wonder if that's because he thought the atmospheric conditions might be best for quicks earlier in the morning, or because he has reservations about Lyon? Or maybe that Mahela and Sanga were too good for him? Don't know, but it would be interesting to know :)
*Siddle got Sangakkara with a ball that swung AFTER it pitched - the Siddle special. 99% of the time it's useless and just makes Haddin fumble, but this one was short enough to get Sanga to misjudge. Not real impressed with Pete - when he's full he doesn't move the ball and comes onto the bat nicely.
*Johnson doesn't look like he knows what he's doing. He came around the wicket with the new ball, but stayed over the wicket with the old. If there is any reverse he should be around to try and straighten the ball. It's not just that, I just don't think he has much of a plan generally. He can't bowl 6 line and length balls, he can't swing it - he's got a bouncer he'll try and other than that he's just hoping that they'll nick ones he throws wide. It has worked in the past, but it seems pretty tame at present.
*Copeland had a muffled LBW appeal against Dilshan that no one seemed to care about, but they should have. Hawkeye showed it hitting the top of leg - not sure whether half the ball was inside the bail, but there was a decent chance in my view. Yet there wasn't even a discussion of a review. Copeland needs to get more aggressive there. Commentators dismissed it straight away as going down leg, seems everyone else did too...
*Watson is saving this Aussie attack at the moment. He's the most economical and he's the only one that can actually swing the new or old ball - particularly the old one. He should be saving his spells for the reversing periods.

If Australia can keep SL under 400, they'll be pretty happy I'd say. Tail looks long, so 2 more wickets in this session should see Australia in good shape.
 

aussie1st

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SL look a lot better with Dilshan coming in at 5, although him opening when in form is a good sight too. Just this option gives them an attacking option down the order. Mathews is also in the right spot at long last and no surprise he is going well once again just he is actually batting with a batsmen and has one to come. Our total was always sub par so most of the blame has to go on the batsmen.
 

Doodlesweaver

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SL look a lot better with Dilshan coming in at 5, although him opening when in form is a good sight too. Just this option gives them an attacking option down the order. Mathews is also in the right spot at long last and no surprise he is going well once again just he is actually batting with a batsmen and has one to come. Our total was always sub par so most of the blame has to go on the batsmen.

Chance of a Sri Lankan win are growing. Considering the fragility and lack of discipline shown by most of our experienced batsmen this could be a very difficult match to save.
 

Umair7

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^ the rain will save us
 

aussie1st

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Sounds like Copeland should have had 3 and could have been a couple more with those 50/50 LBWs. In time if he's still in the team he'll get the longer spells he thrives on. Johnson is the main problem, if he's going to be expensive he needs to take alot more than 1 wicket.
 

ferg512

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Johnson has to go, its as simple as that. Australia cannot afford to have him do amazing one in every 10 games and crap in the other nine. I know this is a very flat wicket but I would much rather have had Bollinger, he has gotten a raw deal of late. Johnson is pretty much Australia's Harmison, no surprise that England's great run got going once they got rid of him.
 

angryangy

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It'd be a decent wicket if it could retain any sort of pace. By the end of day 3, it looked like the ball was towing a caravan off the surface. The odd bit of movement is there, but there's no hurry for the batsman to make a decision.

Nevertheless, Australia have seldom given away a lot of runs and it seems a poor scoring rate for a side that needs to show impetus on such a pitch. The home side is faced with the paradox that it's not enough to seal the tourists out of a win. If Australia can bat for 4 sessions, Sri Lanka are certain to be frustrated and if by some chance they do it at 4 rpo, it could turn the advantage over.

Logic suggests that they should not set up a game where Australia can actually make them chase at all. However, that might entail batting for several more sessions with just 4 wickets in hand. It might be more prudent to move the game along. Provoke Australia into being undisciplined again.
 

angryangy

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Interesting decision not to take the new ball, but Siddle has picked up two wickets with a bit of reverse and is now comfortably the pick of the bowlers.
 

aussie1st

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Siddle looks to be the younger Harris we need, runs in hard all day and picks up wickets on the tricky wickets. Not quite at Harris level just yet but certainly has potential, key for him is keeping it tight.

Mathews trying to single his way to a 100 here. He did try smoking his way to a 100 last time and got out so guess he figures this is the better way.
 

angryangy

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Don't really think either of the Australian openers can afford to get out before they bring up the hundred. No criticism has been levelled at Watson as an opener, but it probably should have been.
 

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