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Sight Screen

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Who should play ?

So, what about the selection dilemmas facing the Aussies now ? Should they play Kasper and Tait again, should they get in McGill because Warne is their most effective bowler and none of the English players are looking too confident playing spin ?

Dean Jones here suggests a radical approach. Getting Watson in place of Katich, Hussey in place of Hayden, McGill (doesn't name whom he should replace). He also wants McGrath to clear up the confusion regarding his fitness atleast 3 days in advance. Seems like Jones' nerves, like ours, are not able to bear the suspense! I think Ponting won't mind McGrath joining the team at the last minute also.

Hayden sure looks having been sorted out, and his loss of form is not specific to English attack. So there is a possibility of letting him rest, though I don't see that as a permanent move. They will give him a few more chances, even if later.

Katich is the surprise target, IMO. In the second innings at Trent Bridge, when Aussie batsmen were looking to apply themselves, he looked comfortable and in for a long innings. It would be unfair on him, when all around him you see others struggling even when trying hard. Gilchrist and Martyn are case in point. And bringing in Shane Watson to replace him on what grounds ? A double hundred in county, well Rana Naved scored a run-a-ball hundred in county. I think this English attack is a bit more troublesome than Warwickshire. The kind of form that Katich has been right throughout this series, he would have scored loads of run in county, where margin of errors are much higher.

I wonder why he spared Gilchrist ? He looks equally troubled as Hayden at the crease most of the time.

But, I feel, the bigger point that he seems to miss is that this English attack is damn good, and most of the top tier batsmen would struggle against it (on these pitches atleast). Therefore, asking new replacements to face them in a crucial final test, and succeed in their first attempt at it, is asking a bit too much. So the Aussie management would keep the changes to the least. What do you guys think ?


  • Deano is crazy to even suggest replacing Katich with Watson, who ,at best, is ordinary. Katich has looked in decent touch in this series. Hussey should have been selected in the test team after he was declated man of the series in NW ODIs.

    I am not too convinced on playing Macgill, I will still go with Mcgrath, Lee, Tait & Warnie as my bowlers, in my batting I will have Hussey for Hayden and that's it.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 15:47  

  • And yet, quite a few did not see this english attack taking 20 australian wickets in a test match. No offence meant. :)

    By Blogger whoami, at 15:59  

  • Always a fine line when your best player gets injured- is he being selfish in keeping everyone guessing or does he really want to contribute and hoping that somehow the injury heals even if it is a last minute decision. "I'll kick his bum because it's distracting everyone" - frankly I find this distraction bit always overrated. What is the distraction if you keep waiting till the last minute and hope that your matchwinner comes through. What drastic changes can a team make if an announcement is made 3 days before the match instead of 1 day when there is already a plan B in place.

    Any coach or captain will gladly have a player like Mcgrath, Warne or SKT show up at the last minute if he feels he can play.

    Regarding team selection, I agree with Oracle guy- despite the 2-1 scenario Aussies have been pretty close and don't really need drastic changes. Hayden has been a failure for sure but others just need to elevate their performance a bit. Eventually it comes down to execution no matter how many inclusions/exclusions a team goes through.

    By Blogger suraj, at 16:00  

  • My team:
    Tait (if shoulder is fine, else MacGill)
    McG (if fit, dont care if it is at the last second, nothing selfish abt your best player wanting to play/MacGill)

    Hussey is not in the sqaud, dont think the Aussies would make such changes as expand a sqaud. Hayden needs a final go and something tells me he will have a good knock.
    A fit McGrath is great, else MacGill. And MacGill shouldonly replace an injured bowler, dont see him good enough to replace a fit guy.
    PS: Gillespie shouldnt play even if the Aussies field only ten players. I would rather, they take someone from their women's team.

    By Blogger Toney, at 16:14  

  • If Mcgrath is fit, then the attack should be Mcgrath,Lee, Warne and Macgill.

    If Mcgrath not fit play
    Lee,Kasper,Warne and Macgill. I suggest Kasper because if u choose Tait the attack would be too inexperienced(if both Tait and Macgill play).

    Bring in Watson(I am not sure though if he is in the Aussie squad) for Hayden and he can bowl Medium Pace if needed. Katich should open.

    By Blogger Poondu, at 16:14  

  • How about sacking Ponting and making Warne the captain?

    By Blogger Mr. V, at 16:28  

  • whoami : I also have that question to ask off Prem :-)...lets see if he will do a final ashes roundup maybe then ?

    suraj : there is some distraction for the newcomer who doesnt know whether he will play or not. Sure we can say that he should prepare as if he is going to play, but you know the feeling of uncertainty remains at the back of the mind, can't help it. But I agree, I wouldnt care for that problem if it means getting back a matchwinner like McGrath back, even at the last moment. And as I wrote, I dont think Ponting would, either.

    toney I think you have the team almost right. I think, though, that Kasper might be preferred over Tait. Not just for experience as Poondu says, but also because I saw Kasper bowling good spells and troubling Eng batsmen all throughout the first innings. Tait was good only in patches. And the chance to replaced hayden was at the start of the series (or after T2). Now is too late...cant expect Hussey to come in and fire, too big a gamble, bigger than expecting Hayden to come good. and LOL about the women's team :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 16:35  

  • Prem: Making large scale changes BEFORE a do or die match will be too risky. If the Selectors/Team Management didn't risk making until now, I don't think they will risk it at this point. No matter which way the selectors lean, they are going to get egg on their face - if the replacements do well, they will be criticzed for being blind to the failures of top batsmen and reacted only when they were desperate. On the other hand if the replacements fail, they will be crticized roundly for putting untested bolkes in the hot spot at the very last minute and as an act of despration (again). By waiting till now, the Aussie Selectors/Team Management have painted themselves into the unenviable position of damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    It's satisfying to see how Eng has made Aus taste their own bitter medicine. This, above all, is the biggest victory Eng have won - mental disintegration, chaos, panic are the exclusive province of Ponting/Buchanan and companyand cut the Aus arrogance down to size.

    By Blogger saum, at 16:53  

  • Worma - Macgill isn't exactly a newcomer as suggested by someone. That said I can possible imagine 2 legspinners playing in the same test.

    On Tait - Yes he looked well only in patches but he definately can knock some wickets down with sheer pace if Mcgrath/Warne can create some pressure. Kaspa, to be frank, I have really been dissapointed. I dont expect Hayden to come good at all. He seems lost, If not Hussey I would prefer Hodge.

    By Blogger Oracle Guy, at 16:55  

  • Ponting has totally lost control is fairly obvious. But, has anyone noticed how quiet Buchanan has been since the loss at Trent Bridge? No more 'positives' or 'we are looking good' or 'our confidence is high' or similar such statements. Wonder what the Zen master is cooking up? I would love to know what, if any, plans he is coming up with... now that he is facing a real change from a fierce adversary :) of course, that's not going to happen, but still... it doesn't hurt to wish!

    By Blogger saum, at 16:58  

  • oracle guy...that newcomer mention was just an example...as in if Tait is sounded off that he would play in place of McG if he doesnt make it etc. But anyway that was a general mention

    And did you see Kasper bowling ? He himself is a pressure bowler, needs other end to do well...and in the first innings Lee, Tait were more often releasing the pressure....i thought he bowled very well from his second spell onwards (he didnt look that pretty with the new ball though) And replacement for hayden, sure they may do it, but I dont expect too much...because it takes while to get used to this pace attack..even hussey hasnt really faced the real pressure...ODIs are different stuff with field restrictions etc

    By Blogger worma, at 17:02  

  • I would drop Hayden and draft in Simon Katich as opener. Have five bowlers with Warne, Mcgrath, Tait, Lee and Mcgill. If Mcgrath is still injured, I would select Kasper. Warne and Lee have shown enough form with the bat.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 21:14  

  • The Oval track is wonderful to bat on. I dont see it being any different for this test. It has a bit of bounce, so both leg spinners could fit in.
    My only hope is the match is not a damp squib weather wise. That would be cruel and would confirm something all wise men know. GOD HATES US ALL.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 21:16  

  • Noticed something different about the English team. At the end of the day's play, no matter which player is being interview, he seems to have a good idea of the teams plans and how the day has progressed. I have so far seen Harmison, Flintoff, Jones, Giles and Trescothick speak after the days play is done. Gives you an idea as to how keyed-in the English team and management are as one unit.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 21:19  

  • rishi yes, that does show that they are working well as a team. But these days most teams work in that way, with active contribution from all etc (remember the Indian team did some ground-breaking work in this regard, during the WC03)

    By Blogger worma, at 01:20  

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