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The World Cup - Plenty of questions, few answers

clontaago

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The issues of debate are clear.


The spinner
Australia made a grave mistake in not giving Hogg more games this summer.

Cameron White was given the early running with the thinking being he would surge past Hogg and become a World Cup certainty but his bowling was so poor Hogg has had to be tossed back to the frontline for the past few games.

Underdone and with his confidence flagging, Hogg understandably served up a mixed bag when called in and has now gone five matches without a wicket.

Many of the Caribbean pitches have been relaid and consequently are likely to take turn. Australia will need Hogg firing if it is to win the tournament.

Glenn McGrath
Not the bowler he was and has also faded in the field but his famed steadiness should get him through a World Cup - just - in an attack needing cool heads.

Started the limited-overs summer well before fading. A freshen-up will do him good after a long summer but he does not intimidate like he once did and must be prepared for some blood-and-thunder assaults in the Caribbean.

Dr Death
The search for Australia's "Dr Death" continues - a bowler who can keep the runs down in the dying overs.

Never has an Australia attack been treated with as much disdain as the current side over the past month.

The entire attack is bone-bare of confidence.

Lee is likely to miss the tournament, Nathan Bracken's form has wobbled, Mitchell Johnson's early-summer form has waned with a lack of match practice and Shaun Tait is still raw.

The pecking order of Australia's bowlers is so unclear that players could go from the bottom to the top of the list with one big game.

The all rounder
Shane Watson was never going to waltz in after three months on the sidelines and set the world alight in the dying stages of the summer.

His fluent half-century yesterday showed his batting is rich with potential. His bowling, while improving in patches, is still shedding rust and needs a lot of work.

It is five years since he was first chosen for Australia so he should be ready to make the leap from project player to assured performer.

The injuries
Lee looks unlikely to make the trip after wrenching his left ankle while training ahead of the Chappell-Hadlee series. That gives Stuart Clark the recall he was craving after falling from grace at the end of the summer.

Symonds should appear at some stage but Australia must be careful not to rush him. There are already concerns Australia will ask too much too soon from him.

More will be known about Hayden's broken toe today but with Australia already committed to the waiting game with Symonds, the selectors are reluctant to carry any more injured players.

The batting
Despite late-season wobbles, it is the least of Australia's problems.

Many of the batsmen were jaded by the summer's end and should be freshened by the time they reach the World Cup.

With Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Gilchrist to return, Australia has greater batting riches than any team in the tournament.

But with no bowlers to back them up, at this stage it counts for nothing.
 

SilentBob

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The selectors have really stuffed up I think.

White is a good batsman but anyone who watches a little domestic cricket can tell you his bowling is a touch better than ****e at best.

If experimenting with spinners is what they wanted to do for whatever reason then Hauritz could have got a run, he has been the form OD spinner this season even with NSW struggling at times.

If Brett Lee is out I would be taking Gillespie, he has the experience that would be missing with Lee out and has rediscovered his accuracy and swing and form for SA lately.

Hilfenhaus should have got more game time to see how he would go, he looks like the next pace spearhead for Australia in all forms, I have a lot more confidence in him than Tait.

McGrath isn't what he used to be but his economy rate was still the best of our pace bowlers over the summer.

Hopefully I'll be eating my words by the end of the World Cup but it doesn't look good at this stage, maybe there is a grand master plan none of us know about.
 

Nutzcraw

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I think gillespie should be there aswell.

My team would be as follows:

M. Hayden
B. Hodge
R. Ponting
M. Clarke
S. Watson/A. Symonds/B. Haddin (just as a batsmen)
A. Gilchrist
J. Gillespie
M. Johnson
N. Bracken
S. MacGill (only cuz there is no one else IMO)
G. Mc Grath

Bingers, just isn't up to it IMO.... Mitchell Johnson although is only new on the scene.. the thing with him is he's different.. he's left arm and he's quick!! Bracken is left arm but he doesn't have the ball that sends the wind up ya where as Mitchell Johnson does and as a batsman i would think it would be harder to bat to a left armer coming at ya with pace.

Our spin options are the ****house i've pretty much had to choose S. Mac Gill.

Gilly down the order for a late onslaught.. i don't think he can play to his full potential opening and keeping now.
 

SilentBob

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One too many bowlers in that side and MacGill stepped aside from domestic OD games this season. You dropped Hussey? A mistake I presume?
 

Fluffy

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bingers just isnt up to it??

In 2007 he has the best average and second best economy rate and third best strike rate, just 2.2 ball behind the best out of Lee, Mcgrath, Johnson, Clark and braken and you would drop him.

In 2006 he was second behind braken in most of that with almost identical stats, its the others that have dropped form.

And he is rated as our second best one day bowler behind mcgrath by the ICC
 

Chip and Chase

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Watson doesn't deserve to be there IMO, he doesn't do either of the all rounder things well enough to justify a spot. His bowling is woeful and has hit me written all over it. White's bowling is ****e, but I'd rather him in the side to Watson if we need to have an "all rounder" replacement for Symonds.

The spinner issue is an interesting one. It certainly looks like they have put all their eggs in the Hogg basket, discounting part timers like Clarke. What we wouldn't give to have Warnie back in the team.

We certainly have a problem with the bowling at the moment, but I'm not sure that picking raw guys like Tait, Johnson and Hilfenhaus is the answer. What was wrong with Stuart Clarke ?? We could always bring back Mick Lewis as the closer. If I was picking the world cup side I'd have Bracken, Lee (presuming he is fit), Clarke and McGrath as the pace quartet. There is no substitute for experience and big match experience at that.

Let's face it ODI's are a batting fest these days, so all you expect of your bowlers is to not give away any sundries and to try and bowl full and straight so you can limit the damage. A subtle change of pace is also very handy.

Our batting line up at full strength is the best in the world so we just have to rely on that part of our game.
 

clontaago

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Watson averages 40 when opening. Around 20 when he bats down the order. He needs to open with Hayden.
 

PJ

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Watson averages 40 when opening. Around 20 when he bats down the order. He needs to open with Hayden.
He needs to dump the girlfriend- his form has been average ever since he was with her (discounting that 60 odd the other night)....same thing happened when she was with Ian Thorpe and Ben Ross acting as their handbag (I seriously doubt Ian Thorpe rooted her unless she agree to turn around during the act and cut her hair shorter)
 

SilentBob

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Watson averages 40 when opening. Around 20 when he bats down the order. He needs to open with Hayden.
I agree, he needs to open or at least be in the top 4, he is a useless lower order batsman.
 

clontaago

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Yep and positions 3 and 4 are locked up, the only spot left is opener. Dont forget Gilly will probably miss the first couple of games.
 

SilentBob

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Lee is out, Clark is in, no complaints here.

http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/wc2007/content/current/story/281294.html
 

Nutzcraw

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One too many bowlers in that side and MacGill stepped aside from domestic OD games this season. You dropped Hussey? A mistake I presume?
YES!!!

****, i knew i cocked up somewhere!!

Scrap that team i'll do a different one when i care
 

Nutzcraw

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Yeah good to see clark in there now.

Watson can play... he is a really talented player and i think you'll see that this world cup.. at least i hope!!

I'm not his greatest fan but i know what he is capable of doing and i think the selectors know we need him in the team!!

When/If he gets it right he can be a match winner on his day. Hopefully he gets his bowling line and length worked out and as a few here have said throw him up into opener and drop gilly down.
 

Nutzcraw

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20/20 cricket is making batters these days better at.. well slogging!!

So, i think on just about every pitch these days if you look at it and think it's about a 280 - 290 run pitch.. i reckon you need to add on another 20 - 30 runs nowadays.. i think 20/20 cricket is changing the way ODI's are played and i think we'll see a bigger average in total score's from here on.

Mike Hussey was quoted in the courier mail saying "Maybe 400 is a total we have to look out over in the caribbean" Unfortunately for bowlers.. batters are getting better at going hell for leather because of 20/20 cricket and bowling stats are going to worsen because of it.
 

Fluffy

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we wont make the semi's

Mcgrath is not the 3 run an over man he used to be unfortunatly

add to that we have replaced our best wicket taker with our worst, who also goes for 1 run an over more. His weakness has been shown and all the good batsman will tear him a new one.

Dizzy should have gone
 

clontaago

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Want $20 on that Fluffy?? We still have the best batting attack in the world, and our bowlers will get it right.
 

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