Monday, 27 July 2009

tour match musings

What is wrong with this picture?
Obviously the first problem is Johnson, great last summer -time for a rest from the side and some work with the skills coach. Period! Don't muck around with this CA, Do it NOW!

1st innings:
Hughes 10
Watson 84

SR Clark 14 overs 2 m 2 for 45
MG Johnson 7 overs 0m 0 for 42
SR Watson 5 overs 0m 2 for 20

2nd innings:

batting good

PJ Hughes 68
AB McDonald 75
SR Watson 50
GA Manou† 59

SR Clark 9 overs 1 m 2 for 29
MG Johnson 11.1 overs 1 m 1 for 65
SR Watson 10 overs 3 m 1 for 34
AB McDonald 11 overs 5 m 4 for 15

Good to see Hughes get his head together for the 2nd knock; we know he is a real talent, but it is a worry that he has let the focus on him affect his game.

A good "shoot out" between Watson and Ronnie.
Watson: aggregate- 3 for 54, and 134 runs
Ronnie: aggregate- 4 for 38, 107 runs

While these are just the basic stats, makes for 'interesting' contemplation, don't you think? And some extra decisions for the selectors.

Funnily, i heard a rumour yesterday that there was some talk from the selectors that Siddle may be overlooked to get Clark back in, as they don't want 2 of the same.
How stupid would that be? To me they are quite different bowlers with very different roles. And if Siddle was to be dropped at the moment, i would suggest some serious email bombing of CA... i know i will be!

stoph verismo
down the wicket


  1. Let us not forget they were playing what is the equivalent of a 2nd eleven district side. Most of their known players were withdrawn as is the norm for Pommie county sides playing Australia.

  2. Which makes the performance of Johnson even more worrying, wouldn't you say Nos? He was taken apart in the second innings by a bloke whose strength is wicket keeping and went for six fours in seven overs.

    News reports online haven't painted Hughes 2nd innings with any great glory - some audacious strokeplay but some very poor shot selection too and yes, he was out to another short ball and looked uncomfortable against the short stuff all innings. No joy there.

    Watson, on the other hand, played with great polish against the second stringers. Hmmm?

    For the record, I'd drop Johnson and Hauritz and play Clark and McDonald. I hate the thought of playing without a spinner but I'd rate Katich as no worse than Hauritz and you still have two part time tweakers.

    Next two Tests are up north where the Duke swings and sways about even when left on the grass by the umpires! Clark must play and Siddle is in way better form than Johnson.

    All it needs is common sense ... damn, I see the problem!

  3. I was talking about Hughes with a few lads yesterday and pointed out that this bloke has played a season and a half of shield cricket. I would give him another season to see how consistent he is and you know he’ll be peppered with short stuff upon his return to NSW. There is so much time for him to bat for Aus so why rush him? Give him time to round his game out more and then re-introduce him. He could hardly have hard a trickier introduction – South Africa away and then an Ashes tour in England. Maybe it’s all too much for him at this stage. The problem is if you drop him the whole order would be re-shuffled. I hardly think they’d actually put Watson against the new ball. Surely they wouldn’t?

    Drop Johnson. Just bloody drop him. Aus cannot afford to give Eng a jump start again with loose rubbish. Put Stuart – The metronome – Clark in and give Siddle and Hilfenhaus the new ball. I love watching Johnson bowl but he’s had so many spells to get a consistent line and length in Eng he just has to go out.

    Lango, I’m not convinced on the part-time spin option. I’d still go with Hauritz as it doesn’t look like Katich will get much of a bowl. Neither Clarke nor North have looked at all threatening so I think it would be a huge gamble to drop Hauritz. If Katich had rolled the arm over at all on this tour I may have said otherwise but something is going on there surely.

    What would you boys do about Hughes? I can’t figure out what I’d do if I gave Hughes the third test off. As always Hussey springs to mind to go out with Katich then Ponting at 3, Clarke at 4, North at 5 and I’d give Ronnie or Watson a go at 6 with some valuable overs from either of them. I see problems with this though, not least of which is actually including Watson who will no doubt get his finger jammed in the tour bus door on the way to training.

  4. No, he won't make the tour bus. He'll pull a hamstring rolling over in bed!

    If you drop Hughes, Hussey must open with Katich, Clarke four and Watson in at five.

    Johnson out, Stuart Clark in. Horses for courses ... the wicket in Birmingham is going to be slow and low by day three so no spinner and McDonald in to utilise that track. Bring Hauritz back by the Oval. That way, Watson doesn't have to bowl and just has to worry about pulling a hamstring ducking an errant plover.

  5. Australia can do nothing about Hughes. We don't have a viable option. Watson cannot and MUST not be trusted to stay fit for 5 hours much less 5 days. If they had brought Hodge then we might have something to play with. Johnson is a real issue. I don't think it mattered which team it was, garbage can be hit to the boundary by anyone. I just think he is POTENTIALLY more dangerous than McDonald with the ball and more than his equal with the willow. Bowl him 1st change once the nerves of the new ball have gone and he might be able to hit the spot. I fully agree he cannot take the new ball and leak runs early. His batting can be very distructive to a teams morale at number 9.
    For me I think drop North, bring in Clark. Elevate Johnson to number 8 and tell him to earn his keep as an allrounder. Hughes is not ready for test cricket but what do we do?
    Please Ricky, call correctly and give us a bit of an advantage......

  6. Potential and delivery are two different things. Johnson is out of rhythm, his hand position is all wrong and his right shoulder is dropping way too early, hence the spray treatment, especially down leg side. Up until NOW he has been a far better bowler than McDonald but it's now we need to win a Test match, not during the last six months.

    Johnson out, Clark in.

    His batting is an issue. He's been coming in 8 this series and has had one success. Drop North and he comes in 7. Too high. Remember, North scored a ton in the first Test. Or are you using the Hodge and Gillespie litmus test ... score big runs and get dropped!

    I would give Hughes this Test to click because you can't take two gambles in the one game.

    If you do, play Watson as a batsman. McDonald would come in and do his bowling.

  7. Very worried hearing Nielsen hint that Johnson would be backed to find form in a test match if he didn't in the Northamptonshire game...with Clark bowling well Siddle could miss which would be a mistake.
    Who decided to tour without a back-up opener/specialist batsmen?
    McDonald must be picked instead of Watson (elementary)if Hauritz doesn't play, which I think he should.
    Agree that Hughes has to play the series out so as not to unsettle the whole structure of the team but would drop him if there was a back up in place. If he was to be dropped the Huss is the obvious choice (and is a better batsman when he is opening anyway).

    I hate plovers, unless Lefty has got my back with a 7 Iron.

  8. I agree that too many changes unsettles a team. But, like risking Johnson with the new ball and leaking runs I don’t see much point resigning to being 1 for bugger all inside 10 overs. While a bowler gets another ball to get it right, a batsman gets one chance and if he makes a mistake it is generally a long time watching from the stands: hence one reason why it’s a bowler’s game but that’s another post for another time.

    I don’t think you can drop North for balance sake and he’s not done anything too wrong. Considering he’s made runs and Hughes has not how can you drop him and leave Hughes in?

    Personally I don’t think there’s too much choice: it’s a revamp 11 for Edgbaston for me. My 11 for the third test:


    I’ve been talking with people about Watson a lot lately. While everyone is at least somewhat doubtful he’ll last 5 days if you’ve got him in your touring party and he’s ‘fit’ (mmmmm) how can you not pick him on form? The other option is putting Ronnie in and North going up to 5 but I reckon Haddin should then go up to 6, Ronnie at 7. There is a lot wrong with my suggestions, I realise, but there is a lot wrong with the opening batsmen and bowler. Two positions you can’t have going in down on confidence and form.

    Plovers are evil, I played in Cairns when I was living up that way and these two birds kept flying up into the sky when the ball went near their nest, then they’d swoop down and attack you with hooks under their wings! The pitch was 30 metres away from them and they were fielding at mid-wicket/cover. Hence the ball went through there a lot, I was petrified as I have a phobia of birds that attack you.


    the call is out!

  10. i think Hughes should get another run...just one for now!
    Johnson out, Clark in.
    leave it at that.

    more wholesale change is desirable to rattle a few cages, but i think the priorities should be:
    some stability in the upper order
    some stability for Hussey
    remove the faulty bowling element
    not get confused about bowlers being too- similar when both are effective

    it would be easy(actually, logistically bloody hard!) to have a big shuffle, but given Haury has settled into the role now (and no KP to take him apart), Hilf a cert, Siddle has done nothing to merit removal.

    If he wasn't so brittle, i'd put Watson straight into the Johnson spot as he is an aggressive bowler and adds so much more with the bat...but.

    stoph verismo
    down the wicket