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Sight Screen

Friday, June 03, 2005

Team Australia V2.2

Check out this piece in The Australian, a curtain raiser of sorts for the Ashes tour, and what jumps out at you?
Among those likely to have shelved their whites before the 2009 Ashes tour are bowlers Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, both 35, Michael Kasprowicz, 33, as well as batsmen Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn -- all 33 -- and Justin Langer, 34.

That's a little over half the side -- in fact, it includes their two top wicket-takers, and four of five batsmen with 50-plus averages. What's going to be interesting is watching how Australia makes the transition, from the veterans to their replacements.
On a related note, try a similar exercise with the Indian team -- which members of the current squad do you suppose have a shelf-life longer than, let's say, WC2007?

5 Comments:

  • I think Ganguly and Kumble will be done, but I'm not sure who else. We're a young team! And barring Kumble, we are a really young bowling side. I would love to see Sachin play only Test Matches, after WC 2007.
    I wonder if this generation is the last of the 15/20 year veterans. Every sport is getting younger, professional sports is getting far more intense and careers are getting over much sooner (in terms of yrs)..Perhaps 6-8 years is going to be the norm soon.

    By Blogger avinash, at 12:28  

  • Kumble surely gone. Ganguly..umm..the coming season will tell, if he is back strongly then he would be around beyond 2007 otherwise he may not last till the WC itself. Sachin surely around unless more serious injuries (am not referring to tennis elbows:-) Laxman should be gone, Dravid around, Sehwag around, Bhajji Khan, Pathan, Bala, Nehra around. I'm still not sure if either of the two wkt-keepers are long term material, lets see.

    All in all, I dont see a significantly weakened Indian side, as compared to the Aus side. Anyway take out any 2 of their top 3 bowlers and they are already mortal, take out Hayden and Gilchrist critical upper hand in tests, and they are things are going to be much more normal in upper tier tests !

    By Blogger worma, at 15:27  

  • There is no noubt that McGrath, Gilchrist and Warne are among the greatest players that world cricket has ever seen.
    However, countries hoping for a weakened Australia after the retirement of the current greats could well be in for a disappointment. Most test playing teams (and not just Bangladesh and Zim) would struggle against Australian state teams. If you looked at the exploits of Brad Haddin in the domestic circuit, there is little doubt that he will neatly step into the shoes of Gilchrist. Likewise Shaun Tait and Nathan Bracken are grooming well to replace the great bunch of current quicks. The Aussie selectors have identified Dan Cullen to fill the vacant slot of a finger spinner at some point in time.
    The thing is Australia has an infrastructure that nurtures talent like no other - a system and culture that most countries will find hard to imitate.

    By Blogger Kumara Raghavan, at 18:45  

  • Kumara, I agree most of the Aus batting reserves are good, and so are some of the reserves in other countries (Pieterson, Bell in Eng, Kaif, Yuv in India etc). But they are going to take time, if they ever do, to mature to Gilchrist or Hayden stature. None of these players were overnight geniuses (well there might be some like sachin for us, but even they have a maturing time, to make it really for the team). And they dont have good enough bowlers. Aus wins their matches (atleast against tough oppositions) through their bowling. Look what happened to them when Ind visited them, and they won all their Lanka tests despite poor batting (atleast Lanka had upper hand in almost all first innings).

    You take away McGrath and Warna and they have an even fight in Ashes even now ! Gillespie out and they loose !! Lets do a practical follow up and see how many times McGrath softens up Eng batting at the top, and how many times Warne cleans them up. I have a feeling that most of the 'critical' winning moments for them are created by these 3 bowlers, and Hayden/Langer, Gilchrist in batting...who always bat with the relative luxury of knowing if they attck/counter-attack and fail, they still have the bowling strength to cover up...cos thats their gameplan...and it gives them good results)

    By Blogger worma, at 01:55  

  • Worma,
    There is no doubt that the bowling strength of Australia is what wins them most matches. So it will be no surprise to see McGrath and Warne clean-up the English bats in the forthcoming Ashes.

    The question is if there are other McGraths and Warnes to follow. Australia doesn't leave the answer to that question to pure chance. There is an infrastructure that is working overtime to find and make those replacements. They identify broad timeframes in which these replacements make their mark.

    By Blogger Kumara Raghavan, at 17:42  

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