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Tony.T

Let's hope he replaces Simon O'Donnell as a "commentator".

nick

Could there come a day when the commentary team at Nine would beat the team on the ground?

Tony.T

Chappelli probably thinks that day's there already. "Les Favell told me we would."

nick

Chappelli c: Clark b: McGrath 4

straight after hooking the last one for 4 - the 'sucker' ball

milo

I spent a good deal of last night watching the Ball of the Century on Youtube over and over, rocking backing and forth silently....

Russell Allen

So, new Ashes series in March then?

Sorry to see the blighter go but given his press conference he'll definately be joining the commentary team some time soon.

Also, I reckon the way Punter and Hussey Australia's opposition could still score 500 every innings and still lose.

Russell Allen

Come to think it. I hope Shane comes back otherwise there'll be a lot more of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-0iu1NObKs

Tony.T

Nick: And the "last one" was his first one.

Milo: I feel your pain.

Russ: Nope - bowlers win matches. If you asked Chappelli, he'd tell you "Les Favell told me so."

milo

So exactly how many times have Australian opponents been out trying to tonk the bowler into next year? 198 times.
How many wickets has Macgill taken? 198.
No coincidence there. The days of putting the words "spin bowling" and "accurate" are over, my friends. Thank god Stuart Clark came along when he did, or with McGrath going as well I'd have trouble seeing Australia contain any opposition except on the most feral of pitches.

Tony.T

Milo: No coincidence here, either. It was McGill who "carried" the spin attack against India in 2003/2004.

Tony.T

Some good work from bald Peter Lalor in today's Strayan:

From all appearances Stuart Clark is an able replacement for McGrath, but you have to worry about Stuart MacGill’s ability to replace Warne. That bottle of wine has been in the cupboard for a long time and there’s some suggestion it is corked.

pat

No need to worry lads - Bichel's still playing for QLD and ready for duty.

Tony.T

Travis Bichel - Man Of The Puras 2005. But I love him for this match.

nick

Giles - 3 catches and 2 wickets in that match...amazing! So, who's off first - Langer or Hayden? I'm surprised Centrebet aren't running a book.

Harry

Hallelujah! Best news for the Australian cricket team since... well, since Martyn I guess. Warne's averaged 37 this series. Last series, in Bangladesh of all places, he managed only 27, including an horrific 0/112 where MacGill took 8/108. Back in RSA he was pushing 30 again, I think. It's just not good enough. This can only be a good thing for Australia.

The real story is McGrath. Far and away the best bowler Australia's had in a long long time. Forget how Aussie performs without Warne, just look at how awfully she goes without McGrath.

And you need look no further than the last Ashes.

Tony.T

Misprints, Nick.

As for Haydos and the Gnome - who knows? Both look determined to hang on forever. They'll have to be dropped; I can't see 'em "quitting on top".

Tony.T

Yeah but, H. Surely, Warne won us the Test in Addle-Aide. He has a knack of doing that.

nick

As Simone will tell you, Warnie prefers fucking poms to bangers and saffas...

Harry

Maybe he did, Tone. But I can't say for sure that any other wrist spinner else in his place, with that pitch, wouldn't have achieved much the same. And that uncertain promise you get with Warne nowadays just isn't worth the worsening average and strike rate, not in my book. Congrats to him for getting out while everyone still thinks he's a quality cricketer. Timing couldn't be better.

nick

MacGill would not have won us the game in Adelaide. He has never had the respect of his fellows, and could not have galvanised the team to victory in the same way Warne and Ponting did. Could MacGill have won us the Ashes in 05? Maybe...maybe...

woody

Be afraid...be very afraid.

Tone, time to retrain as a physio - I see lots of worn out Aussie pacemen looking for a bit of TLC shortly.

Tony.T

McGill should have played the last Test, at least, but a stupid schedule left him short of a run, so they went with Tait. Mind you, I still would have taken a punt.

Tone, it wouldn't be altogether surprising if they did call it a day; how d'you top reclaiming the urn and giving the poms a good kicking? Beating Sri Lanka and India? Not quite the same resonance.

It seems you were right, Woody. They, or rather Warne, pulled the pin because there was nothing left to "top". When I heard the rumour (by the way, a good day ahead of the pack) it didn't seem likely, but in between then and when the rumour took root, I started to think maybe it was right. However - don't you get too far ahead of yourself over there. By 2009 we will have unveiled all sorts of wickedly talented players. Maybe even a new Terry Alderman.

It happens I agree with Vindicate:

It may sound a little funny but I reckon the poms played a hell of a lot BETTER this series than they did in '05, they played shit then - we just played shitter.

We were rubbish last time. But we won't go to England in 2009 with a bullshit preparation and big heads. If you're expecting a sudden handover you better watch out you don't get ambushed by players you haven't yet heard of.

Scott Wickstein

Pfft. They'll get ambushed by Hussey, Ponting, and Clarke and Clark. Names they already know.

Clem Snide

There's no obvious reason why Gilchrist couldn't be there in 2009, at least as a batsman. Pro cricketers look after their health more nowadays, steering clear of the binge drinking and the cheese steak and chips for lunch and dinner which used to prematurely age the likes of Garry Gilmour. Perhaps Bichel will make his comeback along with Michael Bevan, and Darren Lehmann doing his handy spinners in place of Warne. There's plenty of life in Dad's Army yet. I don't think this is on par with 1983. Much of the damage to Australian cricket during the 1980's was self-inflicted damage from the South African sanctions rather than just the retirements.

One thing few people seem to have commented on regarding Warne's announcement and its timing is that it will revive interest in a dead rubber series with thousands of Melbourne seats still unsold. Steve Waugh's announcement did wonders for attendance in 2003/04 as well.

murph

Clem

I'm in total agreement with that.

We're going into a two game dead rubber. Channel 9 has paid a motsa for the rights.

They say "Hey Warnie, if you announce you're retiring, it'll pull the punters. In return, we'll slip you some extra cash with your commentary gig."

Warney takes the dough and slinks off to England for a couple of years. Then, Alfie Langer style, announces he's available for test selection in 2009.

Then I wake up.

Still, it pisses me off that he's retiring. The thought of that bug-eyed monkey throwing his way to a untouchable record wicket haul shits me to tears.

pat

Just thought I'd add a reminder as to why we won in 2004/2005 in India under Gilchrist. Here's the stats:

Oz-v-India 04/05

1) Oz win by 217 runs:
McGrath 4, Dizzy 2, Kaspa 2, Warne 2 (VVSLAx, Pathan)
McGrath 2, Dizzy 3, Kaspa 2, Warne 2 (VVSLAx, Patel)

2) Draw - rain India win traget 229 runs
McGrath 0, Dizzy 2, Kaspa 1, Warne 6

3) Oz win by 342 runs
McGrath 3, Dizzy 5, Kaspa 0, Warne 2 (VVSLAx, Patel)
McGrath 2, Dizzy 4, Kaspa 2, Warne 2 (Sehwag, Khan)

4) India win by 13 runs (Warne injured)
McGrath 1, Dizzy 4, Kaspa 2, Hauritz 3 (Tailenders)
McGrath 2, Dizzy 0, Kaspa 2, Hauritz 2 (Laxman, Tendulkar) Michael Clarke 6 (from Dravid at 5 to 10)

Oz bowled out for 93 in 2nd innings chasing for the win. Punter returns to Captaincy and bat with 12 & 11, Marto who dominated in the other tests 55 and 0.

NOTE:

Hauritz and M Clarke nearly win the 4th Test with bowling. A massive failure in the batting lost the test.

Tests 1 & 3 the quicks took: 31 and Warne 8. Luckily Test 2 rain saved the day.

My point, beating India in India took a great pace attack and great batting NOT spin as the spearhead. Sure we'll miss Warne but a new game plan must and will arise.

pat

Soemthing else to note is how much Dizzy at his peak is missed. I'd love to go back through the records to see how many Tests he was a dominant factor in the win. What Oz laments right now is someone of Dizzy's nature. Brett Lee must come under the spotlight for he is fast becoming one of the most mediocre yet overrated players to ever wear the Baggy Green.

Clark for McGrath, Magilla for Warne, Tait for Lee and Bracken as the Dizzy. Getting rid of Lee will boost our bowling ranks immensely.

Magilla for Warne IMO would bamboozle the poms just as much with none of the theatre. He's not much chop against the Indians, Pakis and Lankans but a different strategy is required.

In short, it's not Warne we have to worry about it is Brett Lee.

Carrot

Haven't we lost sight of the fact that McGrath is definitely short of his best? Sure we'll miss him, but it's Clark that's consistently taking important wickets these days; he IS the new McGrath. My attack would be Clark, Lee, Johnson, MacGill and Watson. Everyone loves to queue up and say how bad Watson is, but I think he's a guy that will be able to give us 20 decent overs a day a la Paul Reiffel, AND he can bat - and no doubt a LOT better than Symonds.

I think we'll miss Warne, but possibly not as much as you might think. What's changed from last year is that we're not short of (seam) bowling options anymore, and if the opposition are consistently 5/100 we won't need spin as much. I can't see us being knocked off number 1 for awhile yet.

pat

Here's my New Oz:

01) P Jaques (NSW)
02) S Katich (NSW)
03) R Ponting (TAS)
04) M Hussey (WA)
05) M Clarke (NSW)
06) T Birt (TAS)
07) B Haddin (NSW)
08) M Henriques (NSW)
08) S MacGill (NSW)
09) S Clark (NSW)
10) N Bracken (NSW)
11) M Johnson/S Tait (QLD/SA)

The bonus is all the Blues. Henriques is a bit too early so Watson gets in if he can ever remain fit.

milo

Miss the Dizz, big time. Australia was just so awesome circa 2002, with McGrath, Dizz and Warne all firing, Gilly averaging 60, Haydo being a monster and the gnome getting under everyone's guard. But it was adding the Dizz that made the difference.

Lee will survive 2007 for "team unity", I would have thought. But another underperforming Australian summer will be the end of him, especially if Tait/Johnston/Bracken/Hilfenhaus (who?? The Hun thought they would throw him into the mix this morning, as will I) step up and go to the "next level". You know, the level with the lingerie and the haberdashery.

milo

Pat, with all those Blues in your lineup, you could be an Australian selector.

Vindicate

Pat, Katich had his chance at test cricket and proved one thing. He's shit. Pick someone who doesn't look like a rabbit in the headlights.

Russ

Pat, the thing about Warne and McGrath (even in India) was that they act as perfect parters to each other, each capable of restricting the scoring while the other works his magic, with Dizzy, like Reiffel before him, and Clark now, playing the perfect foil to both.

And it has been quite something too. Since the loss in Chennai in 2001, Australia has played 71 games, for 51 wins, 11 draws, 8 losses.

With both Warne and McGrath playing, the record was: Played 46, 34 wins, 9 draws, 2 losses. Both the losses were in dead tests (England at Headingley, and South Africa at Durban). With both McGrath and Warne in the side, Australia has not lost any tests since March 2002!

With McGrath, and not Warne: Played 6, 4 wins, 2 losses (against the West Indies at St. John's and India at Mumbai)

With Warne, and not McGrath: Played 10, 8 wins, 2 losses (both in England in 2005).

And with neither: Played 9, 5 wins (2 against Zimbabwe), 2 draws, 2 losses (against England in Sydney and India in Adelaide).

Warne and McGrath had outstanding figures, but their replacements are not that much worse, whereas the results have been. For all MacGill's skill, he is a listless whiner when things are going badly, and as much as I love Dizzy, he didn't have that mongrel in him that made McGrath great. Warne and McGrath's competitiveness made Australia nearly unbeatable. Unfortunately, those days are gone.

Harry

I really can't believe that attitude. Is this the Anti-Mozz that you guys just can't shake? Haven't the performances of the likes of Clarke and Clark shown us that there is a short-, medium- and long-term future for this side? These men were great players, yes, but Australian cricket is - as it has been for decades now - fit to bursting with talent.

In short, she'll be right mate.

nick

I would be happier if Shane Watson looked as comfortable on the field as he always seems to be in powder puff articles like this.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,20954465-5003413,00.html

Most supporters will accept that their team might not win all the time - but they always want to see effort and a will to win. McGrath and Warne (and Ponting and S.Waugh) have (had?) an incredible will to win. The new recruits have yet to prove the same.

Scott Wickstein

nick, I reckon Hussey's will to win is just fine.

woody

Which of Clark, Lee, Johnson, McGill, Tait etc will bowl 30 straight overs(Warne) or 24 in a day(McGrath) from one end, effectively sealing it up and forcing batsmen to try and get their runs at the other end?

Not going to happen.

Bare statistics never tell who created the pressure, who had the batsmen wondering if the were holding the bat the right way up.

Rohan

Hate to suck-up so overtly, but I'm with you TT.

Anyone who paid even a modicum of attention in 2003/04 against India saw how rapidly we came back to the field, once Warne and McGrath were out of the picture.

My main memory being of walking out of the SCG at the end of day four having just suffered the indignity of watching the Aust attack being led by messrs: Lee, and Bracken, and the crowd pleading with the Indians to declare at 2-200 and something (having already made 7-705d in the first dig!), in order to set the sporting target of 442 on the last day. Gave it nudge for a while too...

*shudder*

Both surprised & unsurprised that Warne has chosen to pull the plug now. He appears to have at least another 18-24 months of entirely serviceable though less than totally dominant test bowling in him, and doesn't appear to have a whole lot more going on career-wise other than playing cricket, and making money from any and all possible marketing spin-offs.

But in all reality this day has been imminent since the positive drug test in 2003.

Anyhow, let's celebrate the career of a cricketing genius these next two weeks. What were the odds of him playing 15 years finishing his career with 700 wickets to his name in January 1992?

pat

It should be noted that we come to bury Caesar and to praise him. But just as the good is oft interred with the bones, paradoxically the good also can live after them.

To look in hope to the future does not necesitate a criticism of the past. Where Warne and McGrath have trod is not necessarily the same path that the future generations must tread even though the goal is the same.

Unlike the 80's when the bastard generation sucked the nation dry with Packer's 'revolution', rebel tours and mass retirement this generation has promised to give long after the glory has gone for them.

We are very well placed talent and experience wise, a strong domestic competition, strong Australia A and an administration with training facilities the best in the world.

A new team, new strategies to compliment, but better support, better experience and a solidarity inspired by the past and giving to the future.

I'm looking forward with anticipation for the new Oz, unlike the old Oz, but with the same aspiration to forever have the Englishman trampled under foot and the rest of the world at our knees.

woody

Paradoxically, the exit of a Warne, and shortly McGrath, offers the Aussie batsmen a chance to cover themselves with glory. As fantastic as Ponting has been with the willow this series, last year was when he REALLY showed his greatness, consistently offering defiant and exhilarating rear-guard actions in the face of a hostile attack.

As good as Hussey has been, it does look as though making big scores/batting time takes more out of him then Punter, so he may find he starts series well and tails off, especially if tests are back to back.

The jury is out on the rest of your mob.

murph

the executioner's ready for yours

Tony.T

Rohan, feel free to suck up.

I was at that Test; what a dreary affair, except for the last evening. It's depressing how innocuous our attack was. Lee, Gillespie and Bracken tried hard but bowled pies and in Lee's case, no-balls, while Magilla went for 150 odd. We also dropped sitters. Mind you, it's not the first time a spinner has been tonked by India.

I don't think the new situation is as bad, but the attack will certainly have less bite without Warne & McGrath. How often was Warne able to pull a wicket out of his quoit. Russ is right to say "Warne and McGrath's competitiveness made Australia nearly unbeatable". THAT'S what we'll miss, the C-Factor. Chappelli mightn't be exectly right, nice guys don't always finish last. But C***s often do well.

Ultimately I'm with Pat "looking forward with anticipation for the new Oz" and hoping that new Oz will contain a matchwinner, if not as good as Warne, then at least as reliable as McGrath, and just as nasty as both.

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