Australia at the Crossroads

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Australia at the Crossroads

Postby from_the_stands » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:05 am

Australia having lost the recent Test series... for the benefit of our English readers who probably really enjoyed reading that, I'll say it again... Australia having lost the recent Test series, Michael Clarke and his merry men find themselves at the crossroads. Having watched bits and pieces of this disappointing effort, I feel that a few cracks are beginning to show in a side that smashed England less than twelve ago. With another chapter in Ashes history looming, quite a few changes are afoot in the baggygreen camp. As I set it, there are big question marks over the following spots in the Oz team;

1 – An opener's spot (Rogers)
2 – The number 3 slot (Maxwell/Doolan/Watson)
3 – The wicket-keeping position (Haddin)
4 – The spinner (Lyon)
5 – The two seamers who are not Mitchell Johnson (Siddle/Starc)
6 – The captain (Clarke)

For me, Chris Rogers has played his last game for Australia. I do like him and he is a good player, but he's simply not good enough for this Australian team, and at his age, he won't get better than he is now. His replacement would appear to be Phil Hughes, although surely this must be his last chance. Should Hughes fail in this next series against India, then it time to look at the likes of Nic Maddinson, Joe Burns or Jordan Silk.

The troubled number 3 slot has become a bit of a poisoned challis since the retirement of RT Ponting. Shane Watson will almost certainly fill the role against India, but I reckon he's one more injury away from being tapped on the shoulder. I'd like to see Alex Doolan back in there, but failing that, it might fall on one of the three mentioned above, or possibly Chris Lynn, provided he makes a successful comeback from his injury.

The much maligned Brad Haddin is at the end of the road, I feel. His replacement will be a big call. Going forward, I see Sam Whiteman as Australia's gloveman, but he's still a season or two away. In the short term, I reckon Rod Marsh will go for a pair of old hands in Chris Hartley, although I would personally prefer Tim Paine, I have a hunch about Hartley.

Nathan Lyon is Australia's best spinner in my opinion. The selectors, however, may not see it that way for much longer. He was average at best against Pakistan. I don't think we'll see O'Keefe knock him off his perch, but one of the younger brigade might knock him off. Lyon might well be safe for now, but a surrendering of the Ashes (perish the thought) might see the end of him.

Our brittle bowling attack is something I have recurring nightmares about. (The other recurring nightmare I have is being locked in room 101 and Shanky is in there.) Mitch Johnson is a nailed down starter (unless he breaks down). I reckon Peter Siddle is just about done. I'm not exactly jumping over the moon about Mitchell Starc right now. James Pattinson is injured at different times of the year. I'm not sure what the story with Jackson Bird is at present. Nathan Coultre-Nile and Josh Hazlewood are lingering.

Michael Clarke might be in a bit of trouble. His form seems to be missing in action, he seems to be at loggerheads with the selectors, and his fragile body must surely only be one more injury away from being tapped on the shoulder, similar to Twatto. It will be interesting to see who is brought in when he is eventually moved on.

Change is definitely afoot in the Oz camp. This upcoming India series might just see a few of those changes being made. The signs were not good against Pakistan, with the only bright lights being Mitchell Johnson, Dave Warner, Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh. The rest were pretty ordinary. I'd say that Rod Marsh has got some big decisions to make, sooner rather than later. I hope he has the stones to make them.

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Re: Australia at the Crossroads

Postby hopeforthebest » Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:14 am

I think you've covered all the bases there FTS. I think that Clarke could be the biggest headache for to replace a top batsman and captain is no easy task. In many respects Australia are in a similar position to England when Wholesale changes might be required.
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Re: Australia at the Crossroads

Postby Durhamfootman » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:28 pm

Haddin does seem to cause England problems, though, and has regularly been the catalyst for an Aussie fightback, or for setting the tone of an England series. Probably doesn't carry that much weight against anyone else, but the ashes really are the series that matter, and might keep him in the side until then
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Re: Australia at the Crossroads

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:33 pm

I was supporting Australia in that series. Maybe will be a good thing for Australia to be reminded they are mortal. Lehmann isn't Merlin and Rod Marsh can't build the team on hunches.

Getting Harris back would be good.

Should be looking beyond Hughes, but as I guess as he was on tour, he's next in line.
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Re: Australia at the Crossroads

Postby Durhamfootman » Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:59 pm

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Re: Australia at the Crossroads

Postby Making_Splinters » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:52 pm

Excellent article by Ponting on the failures of Clarke's side.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/current/story/796369.html
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Re: Australia at the Crossroads

Postby from_the_stands » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:30 am

Upon his return to Australia, Michael Clarke was shocked when asked about how secure he felt his job as captain was.
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Re: Australia at the Crossroads

Postby yuppie » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:26 pm

Good reading FTS.

I think this is Hughes last chance, but i guess he has to be selected again. His Career seems to be following Greg Blewitts career path. Start with some handy scores over a 100 and look like a world beater and then everyone watches as the talent no longer seems to translate into runs at test level.

Haddin with his injury, i think his time is up. And I have a feeling Pup is gone as well. The back wont get better, and now his form is gone. It will leave a massive hole in the midle order. Smith is showing he can step up. And maybe Marsh can make the number 6 spot his own. But the batting looks so weak with an out of form Clarke. Watson at one, but lets be honest, hes done little at test level. Like you i think they should have stuck with Doolan. Let players settle into the role.


Australia should stick with Lyon, mainly because there is no one else.

With the pace bowling it is all dependent on the bowlers staying fit. Siddle seems not to be where he was a couple of years ago, and Starc has not kicked on like it was hopped. Paterson and Cummings though should not be to far from the team. But wheres the control. Perhaps SIddle will keep his spot due to amount of overs he can bowl with out breking down?

Feel deflated after the Ashes. But i guess when you look at that result. Haddin had a blinder and MJ, well he got revenge.
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Re: Australia at the Crossroads

Postby from_the_stands » Sat Nov 15, 2014 3:50 am

I saw this in the Age;

http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/coach-darren-lehmann-talks-about-rumours-of-rift-with-australian-cricket-captain-michael-clarke-20141113-11lm05.html

With Clarke now injured (again), and if indeed the rumoured rift is real, then I reckon Clarke is done. There is already talk about George Bailey leading the Aussies at the World Cup. Change is definitely in the air.
"Hey, doll. Could you scare up another round for our table over here? And tell the cook this is low grade dog food. I've had better food at the ballgame, you know? This steak still has marks from where the jockey was hitting it." Al Czervik, aka Rodney Dangerfield in "Caddyshack" (1980)

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