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m0nty

We won the toss and the first session. Vicious even took a few poles.

philsgone

as they say in the classics, lets wait till both teams have a dig. Looks like the defivition of a new ball wicket

Hewy

Best bit of commentary so far occurred in the first 5 minutes...
Ian Smith: Smith chose tails at the toss. AB told me earlier he never went tails.
AB: Yes, never went tails. Because of probability if I changed to tails I might never have won a toss.
Ian Smith: ...

Tony Tea

Australia would be well advised to keep NZ batting until the juice has left the track. Skittle them too soon and we also have to bat on a greeny.

Tony Tea

Pity Ponting wasn't still the skipper, so that we could laugh when he yet again batted in juicy bowling conditions.

Nick

Haven't seen a ball. Cricinfo seem to have borrowed some the sumptuous lexicon to describe our Don Khawaja. Is he class or form, both or neither?

Carrot

Siddle obviously bowled well yesterday, but I was surprised - again - to see him on the team list. He seems to be a player that is going to run out of time at any moment, but keeps getting picked. It made me wonder whether an Australian player, and particularly a bowler, has ever enjoyed a career as long as he has whilst being "sort of ok" and not much better for a good proportion of it - Shane Watson is an obvious example although not a bowler per se, and you could argue that his short-form cricket has always been pretty good. Kasprowicz and Bichel are good examples of what I mean when it comes to Test cricket, but both had shorter careers. Tom Moody and Xavier Doherty also spring to mind when it comes to ODIs.

Carrot

Dare I say it, but this has been the best Test cricket I've seen in awhile. An even balance between bat and ball, and some really watchable, interesting stuff. I mentioned to a mate awhile ago that I hoped the Inzid conditions would produce some decent cricket, let's hope it carries on this way.

Carrot

Khawaja playing a blinder, here. Very impressive. Making Voges look pretty ordinary.

Tony Tea

Siddle is in the side because the preferred selections keep getting injured.

m0nty

I wonder if the switch has been thrown permanently with Uzzie after years of unevenness, like it did with Flasheart a few years ago. Here's hoping.

Big Ramifications

Our Don Voges.

Big Ramifications

In terms of HIS BRAND.... I would be strongly advising Our Don Voges to immediately retire from Test cricket. 100 Test average.... that's a meal ticket for life.

Big Ramifications

One more time with feeling!

http://tinypic.com/usermedia.php?uo=fNkd6hpTbcMhm317OuovvIh4l5k2TGxc#.Vr7_ujZf1qM

Big Ramifications

Siddle is like the bit of poo that won't flush.

Bruce

I do love a test batsman that can bat through an entire day. I fricken love it.

Carrot

Well, even though his bowling is pretty unremarkable, his career has been under the circumstances when you think about it. He is now Australia's fourteenth-highest wicket taker, and the tenth-highest fast bowler. He must be keeping his bank manager pretty happy as well - he goes on tour after tour, and is always the next selection when someone gets injured. All by being ..... sort of ok! He could so easily have spent his career being an obscure Shield/county journeyman who never really got considered for the bigtime.

There's probably much more to it, though - I'm sure he's great behind the scenes. He'd pretty much have to be, you'd think.

Big Ramifications

I love Peter Siddle. I don't "rate" him, but I reckon he's a champ. I think I read a comment here similar to this: At the end of a day in the field you always know Peter Siddle gave 100%.

Carrot

Sure. Which is probably what always keeps him on the scene. It's interesting that he's done so well on the selection stakes by comparison to guys like Hilfenhaus or Doug the Rug, both of which have better records, albeit with fewer matches and wickets.

m0nty

A comparison of the careers of Vicious and Merv would be instructive.

Carrot

MG Hughes, 53 Tests, 212 wickets at an average of 28.38 and a strike-rate of 57.9
PM Siddle, 61 Tests, 208 wickets at an average of 29.74 and a strike-rate of 60.8

Certainly comparable statistically, although Merv edges all areas, particularly wickets per match.

It's a worthwhile comparison from the type of guys they are/were - hard-working, heart the size of Ayres Rock, zinc cream on the nose etc, but not in terms of the type of bowlers, I think. Merv was mostly a new-ball strike bowler, and was much quicker and aggressive. Siddle's more your second-change work-horse, bowling the dog overs with the old ball that no-one else wants to, when it's least likely that something will happen. And that's actually kinda my point - almost ANYONE could bowl those overs provided they can keep things quiet, it's arguably the least important role of the attack. But see above about character and hard work, I guess.

m0nty

It is interesting that Siddle has played so much more than Bollinger. Is Doug a SBF cancer? Or isn't he actually much good?

Carrot

I dunno. His record is pretty good - 50 wickets at 26 or something. He could have been a victim of being a player in a losing side in the 2010/11 Ashes, which can definitely happen - witness any number of English players in the nineties who really didn't do a lot wrong but be in a side that was getting pounded. He's also a bit of a nutter, but not sure that would have counted against him - he was always pretty popular from what I can gather. I wonder what the story is on Hilfenhaus? He hasn't had a proper look-in for years now.

Carrot

Voges gawn - and his average plummets to a cellar-dwelling 97.4.

m0nty

Hotels seems to get injured at inopportune times.

Tony Tea

I had to think hard to remember who Hotels was, which I suppose is an indication of how far out of the frame he is now.

Professor Rosseforp

Ha ha, Siddle compiles a nice 49 in addition to his handy 3 wickets, just to make life more miserable for Carrot!

Carrot

I'm not miserable! I just think it's interesting that CA keep going back to the well with the same player, particularly when he isn't really much more than "handy" at best. More power to him, really - it gives hope to unfashionable, determined types everywhere.

Carrot

Surely there must be an argument to put Marsh in at eight and play him as a bowler? He's clearly good enough to get into the side on his bowling alone. I really worry about him at six. At 4/100 chasing 300 and he walks in, we're toast more often than not, surely.

philsgone

Pick Siddle on a pitxc hwith some life, but avoid him like the plague if its flat, he offers no threat. Piack another spinner i nthat case

philsgone

shocking typing there. Whats the record for no. of C&B in a completed test innings? 4 is a good effort by the kiwis

Carrot

That's a really good ball from Lyon. Someone said here over the Australian summer that he's become a really good bowler, they were dead right and it's great to see. Such great flight and drift this morning.

Carrot

I think it equalled the record. It was in Daniel Brettig's third day report, I think.

Carrot

No-one's been quick in this match, have they? Whatever happened to "you've got to be able to bowl at 140km/h plus to be commanding a place in the Australian side"? Wasn't it Lehmann who said that about a season ago?

Oh well. Doesn't matter in the end, we've smashed them in all areas. I've actually quite enjoyed watching this match - we've dominated, but it's been through good cricket, rather than ridiculously home team friendly conditions.

philsgone

Agree 100% Good bowling and catching first dig, proper test batting that gets 300 in a day and only losing 3 wickets. Build substantial lead. Bowl tightly to make the pressure count. Perfect formula for test victory.

Tony Tea

Jax Bird could have bowled better. 10 overs, none for 52 in the first innings but an improved 19 overs, 1 for 51 in the second innings. He had the ball swinging too early out of the hand but tightened up his trajectory the more he bowled.

Tony Tea

Marsh might end up the quickest of the four quicks.

lou

Marsh was the quickest of the quicks. He's a damned good bowler.

Whenever a bowler goes down - and they've been going down all summer - he turns into the second best or at times even the best seamer, somehow leapfrogging the proper bowlers in effectiveness.

Wonder what he'd be like with the new ball?

Shame his batting isn't coming along as quickly, if at all.

Carrot

I really hate Australian cricket's habit of trying to "make" players. Lately we've been obsessed with all-rounders in the middle order - it hasn't worked; witness Shane Watson's Test career. Now we're shoe-horning Marsh in at 6. A guy who averages 30.75 in first class cricket and 23.27 in Tests. I'd love to be proven wrong, but it just looks like an accident waiting to happen. We used to say that Gilchrist shouldn't move up the order. Pick Marsh by all means, but as a bowling all-rounder, not a batting all-rounder. Number 6 has GOT to go to a specialist batsman, every time.

philsgone

Mmarsh to 8, drop Bird, pick your number 6 and away we go. Sids out when goodmitch2 return. Now who for number 6. Big Show I hear them cry. Nooooooo!

Tony Tea

Marsh is cover with only Bird, Siddle and Josh. He will be a fine 7 or 8 if we ever get Patto, Patty and Koo to pick from at the same time.

philsgone

i am not a betting man, but I would bet $50 of someone elses money that Pattinson, Starc and Cummins will never play in the same test for Australia.

Big Ramifications
Now who for number 6. Big Show I hear them cry. Nooooooo!

For some reason that reminded me of Funky Miller, even though he was a hopeless batsman. Big Show = a batting Funky Miller

Remember when he had that PURPLE PATCH aged about 35, and arsed the award for Australian Test cricketer of the year? ESPNcricinfo tells me 21 for 386 @18.38 in 7 innings, with 3 5-fors including 1 10-for.

Funky Miller was an odd fellow.

Big Ramifications

But I must say he could steam a good ham.

Actually the last 13 innings of his Australian career were more than handy:

37 for 839 @22.68 in 13 innings, in 1 year and 1 week spanning 7 Tests.

Carrot

I like the idea of Maxwell at 6, actually - much though that's probably a disaster waiting to happen as well. I guess I like the idea of a GOOD Maxwell at 6. The difference between him and Marsh is that what tends to get Maxwell out is Maxwell: what gets Marsh out is tentative footwork and any sort of reasonable bowling. With a bit of license taken away from him (don't reverse-sweep your second ball, you dope!!), the Big Show could be an option. He offers another option with the ball as well, if we're concerned about losing one through Marsh replacing a specialist seamer.

That said, are we concerned about that at the moment? I was sooooo impressed with Lyon in the last match. With him being a real wicket-taking threat these days, surely we can afford to shore up the middle order a bit more. How long has he been getting that fantastic drift? I can't remember having seen an offie get that much movement through the air before.

Big Ramifications

Carrot, I should have responded earlier, but I 110% agree with you regarding Lyon. I hate doing a John Newcombe / Robert Walls et al, getting up inside peoples' heads pretending to know what they are thinking....

But something has happened with Lyon in the last 12-18 months. He's got belief in himself, and it's manifested itself in the way he bowls. Not quite Warnie standard, but you know he's dangerous when Smith tosses him the ball, things are gonna happen, some batsmen get nervous.

Also want to parrot Carrot and Lou regarding Mitch Marsh's bowling. Australian PUNTERS would be screaming for his head on a platter, a la Shane Watson, if it wasn't for his bowling. He always seems to be good for ~3 wickets per innings with at least 1 of them being a v.important partnership breaker.

Big Ramifications
parrot Carrot

Don't act like you don't like it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJkcmgNw9rw

lou

They want a seam-bowling all-rounder, that's obvious as they would have picked Maxwell before Marsh given his far better first class record.

It's a conundrum. Who else is close to Marsh as a bowler, but far better batsman? Henriques? Can't stay on the park and is a medium pacer, while a fairly wily one. Christian?

Marsh's batting seems hopeless at present, given that perhaps they really are prepared to do a Steve Waugh waiting job with him.

Carrot

Re: Parrot Carrot - outstanding. There should be more of it!

Re: the bowling all-rounder thing - sure. They want a batting all-rounder though - they want Jacques Kallis. The thing is that they're rare! And even the Bothams and Imran Khans and Kapil Devs didn't bat at six. But we're fixated on the idea, so we try to turn Marsh into one, which is what really bugs me. Why can't we just let the guy be what he is instead of premeditating his role in the side? It's not working, and we have ten years plus of precedence from Watson that shows that it hasn't worked previously, either. We might as well turn around to Lyon and say "great job with the offies, you're opening the batting now, too. We'll give you time to develop, and/or until your game's a mess and you're no longer of use to us".

Carrot

PS Lou - Faulkner's another option. Potentially more the model they're after as well - could we not say that he's a better bat than Marsh? The distinction between him and Marsh and their place in the ODI batting order seems to be pretty arbitrary to me. Either way, neither of them are are a number 6.

Tony Tea

Marsh has the knack for pinching wickets. That is an rare quality in a bowler. What's more, his bowling should get better. Now, if his batting gets up to speed he'll become an indispensable all-rounder. Bat him at 7, but.

philsgone

Gilly batted at 7, so Nevill has to bat at 7. Mr Cricket batted at 6 didnt he, or Damien Martyn. Either way, thats what we need at 6. There are probably none of that class at the momen though.
Lyon should take 300+. He is first bowler picked these days, a changed man . The Adelaide win v India transformed him.
so if good warner good burns good Ussie good Smivvy good voges good ? good Nevill good mmarsh good Mitch2, good haze and good Lippy turn up, we should be no.1. oh wait a minute, we already are, or will be by next Wednesday

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