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What does Australia need to do?

International Tests Australia
by bustermorley (U10783630) 25 August 2009
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When Australia leave England and return home they have to face up to the might of the West Indian and Pakistan touring sides.

They will then play a grueling 3 match away series against NZ.

After that they have no test cricket for 9 months until the old enemy arrive on our shores towards the end of next year.

So thats it ... a few matches against some lower ranked teams, a long break and then back into action against the Poms.

Not a great preparation in my book.

Australia does have a few thing to sort out over the next 12 months and it would have been great to have a series against Sri Lanka or India as part of that preparation.

Anyway Auatralia still has a few issues to resolve.

Captaincy ... Ponting is still the best man for the job in my opinion. Yes he did lose to England twice ... but he won a series against them as well. His overall record as captain against England is 15 tests as captain 7 wins 4 losses and 4 drawn. That is actually a pretty good record.

Fast Bowling ... stick with Johnson, Siddle and Hilfenhause. Clark and Lee's best days are behind them.

Spin Bowling ... the cupboard is bare. I don't see any new prospects emerging before the English return. Hauritz keeps the job by default.

Wicketkeeper ... Hadden is a batsman who keeps. He won't go down as one of Australia's great keepers but as long as he keeps getting runs and doesn't screw up completely behind the stumps his position is safe.

Batting ... This is a the problem area. Watson is not an opener. He doesn't even open in domestic cricket. His spot is lower in the order. Watson is a batting alrounder ... which is probably just as well because his bowling sucks. It has now got even suckier since his last bout of injuries seems to have robbed him of a little bit of pace. I would give him a go at number 6 but if I had my way, at the first sign of injury his test cricket career would be over. The selectors have stuck by Watson for a lot of years only to see him miss match after match because of injury. I would rather he gave away bowling completely and concentrate on his batting.

So who goes if Watson moves down the order? I am afraid that I would have to give Hussey the flick. His century was too little too late. He has reached an age when cricket becomes a year by year proposition, so it may be time to start looking at a younger player.

That leaves a vacant opening position. It is toss of the coin time. It will probably come down to a choice between Phil Jaques or Phillip Hughes.

Assuming Jacques is fit and in form he would be my next cab off the rank.

That gives you a lineup of

Michael Katich
Phil Jacques
Ricky Ponting (capt)
Michael Clarke
Markus North
Shane Watson
Mike Hadden
Mitchell Johnson
Nathan Hauritz
Peter Siddle
Ben Hilfenhause

In other words no panic and minimal changes.

Latest 10 comments

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posted Aug 26, 2009

I think if you can keep Watson fit and effectively play five bowlers there's a class side there. As an Englishman it's hardly like we took a giant one on you like you did to us 06/07.

We only won by a couple of sessions, there isn't much fixing to do, the Aussie team is young and they will get better. Whereas for England the main worry for us is our bowling attack, we need some new hungry fast bowlers and a middle order that can be reasonably consistent. I suggest England have got more problems to sort out than Australia. The best thing they can both do is treat the two imposters triumph and disaster the same, otherwise things could get worse.

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posted Aug 26, 2009

I've been watching the ashes for over 40 years
great performances from players and teams sadly in the last 15 years more often than not from the Aussies, but I have one question that I need an Aussie to answer what do you think of Mitchell Johnson. Quite frankly I have never seen such dross bowled in my life mixed in with the odd delivery that is unplayable, if he had any consitency he would be brilliant but doesn't seem to have a temprament for an Ashes series what do you guys think I'd be interested to know?

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posted Aug 26, 2009

ask graeme smith the captain of the number 1 team of the world how rubbish johnson is

here is a taster

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posted Aug 26, 2009

Is it time for JL to review his opinion about English players. May be he have read them wrong?

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posted Aug 26, 2009

JL will be proved right by next years ashes series cool

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posted Aug 26, 2009

With regards to Hauritz, I was fairly impressed with how he bowled over the series. He must have been beside himself having to watch the Oval test. He tried to take wickets by out-thinking the batsmen, whilst bowling to attacking fields. All credit to him, given the accusations (many from Australian quarters) that all he could do was hold up an end with defensive lines.

Whilst I'm not advocating he be jettisoned from the side, who's to say that the Aussies won't unearth another decent spinner before the next Ashes series? Let's not forget that Swann made his debut in India last December. Barely 10 months on, he finds himself in the position of England's premier spinner and Ashes winner.

Overall, I don't think the Aussies need to panic. I have a sneaking suspicion that Punter will fall on his sword and call it a day as captain in the next few weeks. He will remain a pivotal player, as his capabilities as a batsmen (and brilliant catcher for that matter) cannot be questioned. There is a very good core of players, Clarke is arguably the best batsman in the world at the moment. North was impressive, as was Katich in phases. Hussey showed his class in the final Test, with what was for me, the batting performance of the series. Bowling wise, Hilfenhaus was a revelation. I can see elements of McGrath in his nagging line and length approach. Siddle will only get better, and you always need someone with a bit of attitude. Johnson will emerge from this series a better player too.

As an England fan, it seems that Australia potentially less personnel headaches than England (you only need to look at the player series stats). It seems bizarre given that England have the urn! Bring on 2010/11.

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posted Aug 26, 2009


god points but i honestly dont see punter stepping down until after the world cup in 2011 at the earliest

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posted Aug 26, 2009

GJ Aussie stud your answer wasn't what I asked I asked what the Aussie's thought of MJ and why he seemed to be so inconsistent. We could run a you tube of his bowling on the first day at Lords and ask what Andrew Strauss thought of him people say he will be back but he can't leak runs like he did this series and expect to be back can he?

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posted Aug 26, 2009

comment by GJ The Aussie Stud - Australia 2010/2011 Ashes Winners in Australia (U10814819)

posted 2 Hours Ago

JL will be proved right by next years ashes series cool
I think you are getting a bit excited, his comments have just been blown away by England's victory. Regardless of what will happen in the future.

On a personal note, it is great to see you Aussies sqirming a bit and questioning yourselves and the team. As it something that we constantly do, which disrupts the team.
I think you are far away from the likes of India in terms of consistancy and overall quality. You, like us, have some quality players, but are just not the complete package. The fear of playing Australia just is not what it used to be- probably as a result of 2005.
This is not to say we are any better, and despite winning have probably more problems to deal with.

Looking forward to the return leg.

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posted Aug 26, 2009

Australia need a fundamental change of thinking in the balance of the side. When they had 4 of the worlds best and most reliable bowlers, they could get away with picking 6 batsmen and a keeper. But the folly of picking 4 good-but-not-great seam bowlers was shown up bigtime against England, and the selectors need too wake up to the fact the formula doesnt work if you havent got legends in the attack.

Since when did a 6th batsman ever make the difference to winning or losing a test? Better to give Ponting a 5th bowler to provide (a) variety (eg Hauritz at the Oval) and (b) insurance against one of the quicks losing the plot (eg Johnson at Lords)

Australia can put out a top 5 as good as any in the world. Its time to wake up, smell the coffee and play 5 bowlers until another McGrath/Warne era comes along.

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