Cricket 2019 - World Cup & Ashes

 
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Quite a good performance from Australia ended just a few minutes ago, finishing on 6/359 to beat India by four wickets and set a new national record for the highest successful ODI run chase and 5th highest ever by any team.

Australia's batsmen tonight:
Finch - 0 (2)
Khawaja - 91 (99)
S Marsh - 6 (10)
Handscomb - 117 (105) - first ODI century
Maxwell - 23 (13)
Turner - 84* (43)
Carey - 21 (15)
Richardson - 0* (0)

Khawaja has had a great series so far with 50, 38, 104 and 91 - maybe he's finally worked out how to productively channel the racist abuse he gets whenever he plays in India.

Substitute in Warner for Finch, Smith for Marsh and bring back Stoinis (out with an injured thumb) for Turner and I'd say we're not looking too bad for batting at the World Cup.

Carey is looking good as the

Bowlers tonight were:
Cummins 10-0-70-5
Behrendorff 10-1-61-0
Richardson 9-0-85-3
Maxwell 8-1-61-0
Zampa 10-0-57-1
Finch 3-0-22-0

I would like to have seen Finch give Turner a few overs tonight, especially considering these are de facto World Cup selection trials. For a player whose form with the bat is effectively making him a specialist captain and part-time batsman, he really should be doing a better job of rotating his bowlers.

Picking the bowlers for the World Cup is a bit more challenging than the batsmen as only two of them (Starc and Cummins) are looking like being automatic selections. Beyond that is quite a wide field of contenders.

My first team for the World Cup at the moment would probably be:
Warner (pending good form in the IPL)
Khawaja
Smith (pending good form in the IPL)
Handscomb
Maxwell
Stoinis
Carey (wk)
Starc
Cummins
Zampa
Lyon/Hazlewood (depending on conditions)

Captaincy is a difficult one, probably give it to Khawaja or Carey with the other one of the two being the official vice-captain and Smith as the unofficial vice-captain.

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  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Do men still play cricket?
  kitchgp Deputy Commissioner

In the last ODI-series they played in, against England in Australia, Warner averaged 15 and Smith 20. Neither player scored a fifty. England won 4 -1. Like any player, they need to be selected on performance, not reputation. It’s their own fault they may not have enough time to do so (IPL performance hardly being any sort of form guide).
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Quite a good performance from Australia ended just a few minutes ago, finishing on 6/359 to beat India by four wickets and set a new national record for the highest successful ODI run chase and 5th highest ever by any team.
justapassenger
Quite a good performance? You ARE a hard taskmaster! It was quite brilliant in my opinion especially given that Finch failed again with the bat and the Australians were 2/12 at one stage.

I can see Finch getting dropped for one of Warner/Smith (although I would prefer neither of them to return and the team to simply be allowed to move on) but it will be very difficult to justify making room for the second of the pair given the great performance of the side so far in India.

Winning in India is hard at any time let alone against a side with a rampaging Kohli and the world's best ODI bowler as well. This team deserves to keep developing as they are without the sideshow of the Sandpaper Duo to contend with.

BG
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

My first team for the World Cup at the moment would probably be:
Warner (pending good form in the IPL)
Khawaja
Smith (pending good form in the IPL)
Handscomb
Maxwell
Stoinis
Carey (wk)
Starc
Cummins
Zampa
Lyon/Hazlewood (depending on conditions)

Captaincy is a difficult one, probably give it to Khawaja or Carey with the other one of the two being the official vice-captain and Smith as the unofficial vice-captain.
justapassenger

A well selected team @jap.  IIRC there is another ODI series in the UAE before England?

I think a lot will come down to the English weather, and to some extent, the type of ball used in this World Cup.  

The way England play ODI cricket these days: big tall batters hitting on the up, (mis-)hitting lots of sixes down the ground over really short boundaries, their game suits road pitches.  And ironically, a White Kookaburra ball.  They have a team suited to high scoring conditions.

If conditions are a bit more typically "English": slightly slow, but green and seaming, then that changes things, and ironically I think Australia will need those types of conditions to win this World Cup.

S Marsh has a poor record in English conditions, (in fact he has a poor record almost everywhere :--) ), as does Warner.  But Marsh's white ball form in Australia this summer was undeniable.

If the pitches are green, I think Handscombe will be a predictable failure - out LBW.  Unless he bats at #5 S Marsh will also make a string of low scores

I think the current selection panel has been too quick to reward players for one or two good performances, and too quick to punish for one or two bad ones.  IMHO they also give too much weight to form in the alternate formats (though again IMHO good form in one format does usually translates to good form in the others).  

On that basis I think Turner is now a near certainty to be in the Aussie WC team at 6 or 7.  However I think it is a good selection based on what I've seen in the BBL.  Turner is a mostly orthodox bat who can also hit (and mis-hit) plenty of sixes, and has a high strike rate in most white ball cricket forms.  

If England prepare roads for the WC (*and* the weather allows them to), we'll need both Turner and Maxwell firing.

If the pitches are green, we're going to need more orthodox cricketers to ensure we post a dependable total in conditions where our quicks can bowl a team out in 50 overs.

As for our spinner - Lyon is definitely a class above Zampa - or anyone else in Aussie cricket for that matter.  But in modern ODI cricket the spinner needs an an "accurate" (by ODI standards Smile wrongun.  Even England now regularly play a leg spinner ahead of a finger spinner for this reason.  Given spots in the squad are limited, I'd be inclined to roll the dice and leave Lyon out altogether, and got with Boyce or Sweptson as out second spinner for turning tracks.

So this is my high risk sqaud for the WC 2019 (assuming it's 15 players)

D Warner
U Khawaja (c)  (this definitely *won't* happen)
S Marsh (Can't believe I'm doing this, I would much rather this be A Finch, but runs on the board are runs on the board)
S Smith
T Head
A Turner
P Handscombe (wk)  ... this is a big risk !!!
G Maxwell
P Cummins (vc)
J Berrandorf
J Richardson
M Starc
A Zampa
C Boyce (Fawad Ahmed is very unlucky I'm not opposed to being ageist is my selection here) or (a left field alternative is M Labushange, but IMHO his bowling isn't quite up to it)
J Hazelwood

I wish I could squeeze in AJ Tye - in modern ODI cricket in high scoring conditions "the death" starts early - and another middle order (and top order for that matter) batter - and a reserve wicket keeper.  If I *knew* the pitches would be flat, I'd drop Hazelwood for Tye.  If I knew the pitches would be green, I'd drop Boyce for another top order batter.  If I *knew* Handscombe would get injured I'd select Wade.

But that's my squad.  No all-rounder (we don't have any worth selecting IMHO).  Only a part time keeper.  No Nathan Lyon (our "best" spinner).  I've dropped the captain.  The squad is light on top order orthodox batting, which I think there is a good chance will be at a premium in this WC if England has a wet spring.  But - *if* everyone stays/is fit - we could field a *very* strong 4 pronged pace/seam attack, and win games in the first 20 overs of our bowling innings.

If Handscombe hadn't made runs in India, it'd be M Wade with the (iron) gloves based on Shield and BBL form.  I also think Wade's more orthodox footwork and vertical bat would stand him in good stead (or at least better than Handscombe's) in seaming conditions.  Handscombe has played more County cricket than Wade, and proved effective, so I'll use that as a basis for selecting him.  If he (Wade) wasn't such a bogan I'd probably make an even gutsier call and drop Handscombe for him.

But this is the compromise I've made to allow a team of 4 quality quicks, or two wrist spinners and a bank of middle order hitting to suit the likely conditions.

I *know* this won't be the squad, because one slot will have to go to our clean, white Captain (Finch or Paine) - and it's too much to ask of Pat Cummins at this stage of his career.  Another will probably go to Carey.  And we will only pick one wrist spinner, in deference to this actually being a strength of Australian cricket *and* legspinning being the hallmark of successful modern ODI sides, even in England.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The selectors have persistently told Wade to bat higher up the list. He has done what they want, and is batting at number 4 for Tassy, where he has just made another century; 134 in fact.
If he is not selected as a batsman for the Ashes series, it must be similar to the celebrated case of Sid Barnes back in the 1950's -  " for reasons other than cricket ability."
Note that I say as a batsman; just don't let him near a pair of 'keeping gloves.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I have now heard it all.
Following the departure of the unlamented Pat Howard, we find that the vacancy is to be filled by two new positions:-
Executive General Manager of High Performance, and Executive General Manager of National Teams. Now, instead of the captain having to tell one surplus "suit" to get stuffed and butt out of his business, he has two.
Cricket Australia's empire building, pioneered by Sutherland, continues unabated.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The selectors have persistently told Wade to bat higher up the list. He has done what they want, and is batting at number 4 for Tassy, where he has just made another century; 134 in fact.
If he is not selected as a batsman for the Ashes series, it must be similar to the celebrated case of Sid Barnes back in the 1950's -  " for reasons other than cricket ability."
Note that I say as a batsman; just don't let him near a pair of 'keeping gloves.
Valvegear

Having read this again, I think I'm about to make a big call and drop Turner from my ODI squad and replace him with Wade.  Wade isn't exactly the worst power hitter in Australia, but he can also fill multiple other roles in the batting order, and while I fully agree with @Valvegear's assessment of his wicketkeeping - I've already dropped Carey for Handscombe and a bit of cover with the cloves - however leaden - wouldn't go astray.

Further, I think I have fallen into the same trap as the selectors with Turner, too keen to reward one good performance.

Finally, even though it's not a personality I care for, having a "strong personality" (especially one with a chip on his shoulder) in the dressing room might not be such a bad thing when Warner and Smith are back there.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Wade has now made 922 Sheffield Shield runs this season at an average of 61.4, with 2 centuries and 7 fifty-plus scores. The Test team is screaming for batsmen. I await the selectors actions with great interest.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Wade has now made 922 Sheffield Shield runs this season at an average of 61.4, with 2 centuries and 7 fifty-plus scores. The Test team is screaming for batsmen. I await the selectors actions with great interest.
Valvegear

I think we all know what's going to happen.  There are 4 guys who've made a hundred in their last test, and two other genuinely world class - if not world's best - players available due to extraordinary circumstances.  

Compare P Neville's stats for this year with Paine's.  I think there is quite some irony in both our previous test keepers have been omitted/dropped on the dickhead factor: one for being one, the other for *not* being one!
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

An interesting little detail of the Smith and Warner bans is that they were rated so highly by the ICC's player rating algorithm that going a year without defending any of their expiring rating points still has them at #4 and #7 on the Test batting rankings.

That table alone provides a potentially useful guide for selecting the Ashes batsmen. The only other players with more than 500 rating points (the middle of the scale) are:
Khawaja (682 rating points, ranked #11)
Head (644, #20)
Shaun Marsh (540, #46)
Handscomb (517, #52)
Paine (509, #53)

Selecting Shaun Marsh is likely to bring on civil unrest, so replace him with Wade and you have your top seven. There, sorted Razz
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
An interesting little detail of the Smith and Warner bans is that they were rated so highly by the ICC's player rating algorithm that going a year without defending any of their expiring rating points still has them at #4 and #7 on the Test batting rankings.
That table alone provides a potentially useful guide for selecting the Ashes batsmen. The only other players with more than 500 rating points (the middle of the scale) are:

Khawaja (682 rating points, ranked #11)
Head (644, #20)
Shaun Marsh (540, #46)
Handscomb (517, #52)
Paine (509, #53)

Selecting Shaun Marsh is likely to bring on civil unrest, so replace him with Wade and you have your top seven. There, sorted
justapassenger
Question without notice to the Honorable Member: Warner and Khawaja to open?
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Can Finch bat in the middle order for ODIs?
If so:
Warner
Khawaja
Smith
Handscomb (wk)
Finch (C)
Maxwell
Stoinis
Cummins
(J) Richardson
Starc/Hazlewood
Zampa

Left hand/right hand combinations are overrated, and bad for the over(-)rate.
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
Finch has made back to back ODI hundred's now against Pakistan, all but ensuring his spot in the WC Squad, Khawaja is going along nicely as well.
  kitchgp Deputy Commissioner

plus he bowled 10 overs for 41.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Fourth ODI was a close one, Australia getting up by six runs at the end.

Just because it was close doesn't mean it was a good quality match though. Between an Australian side which looked very flat in the field and Pakistan fielding a hybrid 1st/2nd XI to give fringe players a chance to gain some experience, it was a quite poor quality match.

It was a tough night for Aaron Finch - none of his tactics worked to get wickets and he was left to wait for the batsmen to hole out in the closing overs. He even had to be told to settle down by the umpire when he started to get cranky after a failed DRS referral. Full-strength sides would have comfortably closed out that chase.

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur looked pretty happy at the end, he certainly got the moral victory and a bunch of promising performances from his developing players. In scheduling a longer series the Pakistan Cricket Board was hoping to cash in on the TV ratings from the Smith/Warner comeback, but they got something even better in the end.

I would say this has still been a positive series for Finch so far. He's going to the World Cup for primarily political purposes, that he's now got some cheap runs to build a bit of confidence will be better than having him going over to England on the back of getting worked over by India.

My predictions for Australia's results at the World Cup:
  • lose the opening group stage match against Afghanistan
  • go on to finish fourth in the group stage, ahead of New Zealand only on Net Run Rate due to a rain-affected match
  • lose the semi-final to England
  • Finch to remain the ODI captain for less than a year after losing the World Cup, new captain to take charge for the June 2020 ODIs (3 match NT/Qld series against Zimbabwe) which start Australia's qualification campaign for the 2023 World Cup
  kitchgp Deputy Commissioner

The Australian side wasn't the strongest it could have picked from it's 15 (14) man squad either.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Cricket Australia is clearly keeping an eye on the IPL to see if Warner and Smith are putting in the performances they were told would be their route back into the national setup.

The CA official mobile app just pushed a notification that Warner had smashed an excellent century.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

World Cup squad and the CA contracted players for 2019-20 have been announced today.

World Cup squad of 15:
Captain - Aaron Finch
Batsmen - Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith, David Warner
All-rounders - Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis
Wicketkeeper - Alex Carey
Seam bowlers - Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc
Spin bowlers - Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa

2019-20 CA contracted players:
Batsmen - Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith, David Warner,
All-rounders - Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis
Wicketkeepers - Alex Carey, Tim Paine
Seam bowlers - Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc
Spin bowlers - Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa

2018-19 players dropped - Ashton Agar, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Renshaw, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for posting this.

Western Australian's  have seen the dropping of several players and Tim Paine being dropped does not sit well with me.  David Warner is a cheat and should never been allowed back into the side despite being the higher run scorer in the IPL.  He is simply bad for business. His inclusion is bound to create some controversy.

Good to see Finch kept in the side as Captain and Smith not.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Western Australian's  have seen the dropping of several players
bevans
Good. None of those players deserved contracts for the 2018-19 period in the first place.

Now that Langer has been in the job for a year, it looks like his little revenge act against NSW players should be out of the system and he's settled down to be a coach for all of Australia.

Tim Paine being dropped does not sit well with me.
bevans
Paine has not been dropped from the side. He stepped down from ODI cricket last year to focus on Tests, with his replacements since then as captain and wicketkeeper having been Finch and Carey respectively.

David Warner is a cheat and should never been allowed back into the side despite being the higher run scorer in the IPL.  He is simply bad for business. His inclusion is bound to create some controversy.
bevans
I don't see the problem. He's done his time, in fact far more time for this than the combined total of all other cricketers suspended for ball tampering prior to last year.

Cricket has always been a sport with a proud tradition of owning its problems and setting things right rather than just putting them in the too hard basket. I don't want to see this dropped just because it's difficult.

If CA wanted to ban him for life, they should have been upfront about it and done it last year. They would have faced a lawsuit immediately (rather than the threat of one if he was not reinstated after doing his time) and it would have been dealt with in the courts last year, where it would have been gloves off and nobody would have been safe from getting dragged into it - including Paine who was the wicketkeeper at the time and therefore a de facto vice-captain.

The only controversy I can see coming is if the English authorities fail to control the crowds and a player is assaulted. In that instance, I would hope that the Australian captain and team manager would stand firm and demand the crowd be evicted before continuing play (playing in front of empty stands is a routine sanction in English sport following inadequate crowd control) or the match result be forfeited by the home side.

Good to see Finch kept in the side as Captain and Smith not.
bevans
Smith's sanction for his non-action in the ball tampering incident included being restricted from having a formal captaincy role at national level for another year after the conclusion of his suspension.

Rest assured, he will be consulted for tactical advice by the official team leaders during the World Cup. The Australian captain loses his job if he loses the World Cup, and if that happens then I'm sure Smith will be one of the options to be considered to take on the ODI captaincy from the ODI series in June 2020.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
David Warner should not have been allowed to play for Australia again.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Warner is playing because of the "Win at all costs" mentality that has infested Cricket Australia.
  MetroFemme Chief Train Controller

Frustration with this issue is only beginning can you imagine the sliding and boos as he takes the field for Australia? Sadly I feel he should be gone from the team never to play again for the national side and smith should not be allowed to captain. Paine was I am sure told he should exit quietly rather than be removed.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Paine is still Australia's Test captain; he hasn't been removed either quietly or noisily. He remains a contracted player.

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