Australia v England Fifth Test

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Australia's 14-man squad for fifth Magellan Ashes Test: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb.

Holland not being the second spinner is a national disgrace.
 
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Australia's 14-man squad for fifth Magellan Ashes Test: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb.

Holland not being the second spinner is a national disgrace.
Also if Khawaja is not performing even at home as the home test specialist, why persist with him?
 

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Also if Khawaja is not performing even at home as the home test specialist, why persist with him?
61 Shield wickets in the last 12 months v 15 Shield wickets in the last 12 months.

Bowling your team to three Shield final wins in a row v doing not much at all.

Might as well do away with Shield.
 

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JON Holland took more wickets than any spinner in the country in last summer’s Sheffield Shield season and across his past two and a half campaigns for Victoria has taken 75 at 20 runs apiece.

So why can’t he get a Test?
Holland has again been snubbed by selectors, with Ashton Agar preferred for the Sydney Test despite taking only four wickets for Western Australia this summer after missing the start of it with a broken finger.
Fox Sports Cricket columnist Brett Geeves believes the spinner has ever right to feel hard done-by — particularly if his age (30, while Agar is 24) played a role in his omission.

“Agar kind of contradicts the selection processes of (Tim) Paine and (Shaun) Marsh, doesn’t it?” Geeves said on the Fox Sports Cricket Podcast, pointing to the fact both men were picked for the Ashes despite being well past 30.
“And then we are bringing in Agar based on this potential and related argument, ‘He’s young’. Which is it? Are we picking our best teams and rewarding Shield performers? In which case Jon Holland needs to go and get himself a lawyer.
“His Shield record’s amazing. I love him.”

It’s not the first time Holland, who played two Tests in Sri Lanka in 2016 for five wickets, has been overlooked for Australia duty.
Last August, he was left out of Australia’s squad for the tour of Bangladesh despite taking 50 wickets in the Sheffield Shield and was again overlooked for Steve O’Keefe when Josh Hazlewood flew home injured.
It was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Holland considering O’Keefe was serving a suspension imposed by Cricket NSW at the time. He had also taken four wickets in the space of 11 balls in an intra-squad match to help Australia prepare for the tour of Bangladesh.
“He’s so unlucky not to be playing and not to get his opportunity,” Geeves said.
“He was unlucky in Bangladesh when they played Steve O’Keefe, who was suspended from NSW cricket and Australian cricket bypassed that and flew him into play.”

So why can’t he get a game? Geeves said there may be a personal element involved.
“I don’t want to speculate based on behaviours or personality - but maybe Jon’s not a good fit for the team,” Geeves said.
“I don’t know. You can only go down that path, because his record is amazing. He’s a terrific bowler and the dealings I’ve had with him, he’s an outstanding character and a great guy.
“Maybe that’s his problem - if I think he’s a ripping bloke, then no one else sees that! I’m purely speculating, because based on record alone, the man should be playing. But there’s clearly some other reason that hasn’t been communicated.
“And potentially, if you read all the quotes from Jon Holland over the last 12 months, maybe it hasn’t been communicated to him either. I think he can feel somewhat aggrieved, Jon Holland, because he should be playing - or should be in the squad.”

For his part, the Victorian believes selectors’ preference for Agar has more to do with his ability with the bat than the ball and now 30 years-old, Holland concedes his Test career is likely over.
“Maybe they are looking to play him as an all-rounder, instead of Mitch Marsh,” Holland told Fairfax.
“If it was purely from bowling, nothing against Ash, he’s young and his bowling’s improving, but I think my numbers stack up pretty well against his, especially in the last two seasons.
“If it was purely as the next spin bowler, then it’d be disappointing to be overlooked, but that’s cricket. The selectors obviously think he’s got more to offer than I do, and that’s the way it goes.
“I haven’t really spoken to any of the selectors. I haven’t got much feedback, but that might be my fault for not contacting them.”
The left-armer admitted he was confused by the selection process.
“Shield cricket is the level below Test cricket for us, and you’d think that’s where they select the team from but then they pick someone that hasn’t even played Shield cricket or kept,” he said, referring to Paine’s Test selection.
“Nothing against Tim, he’s a good cricketer and he’s done well for the Australian team, but it’s hard to figure out how they do select the teams.”

https://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/the-ashes/ashes-selection-jon-holland-needs-lawyer-after-being-snubbed-for-ashton-agar-brett-geeves/news-story/28ba5bad889b0d4714acf69fc4e94aa0
 
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Well that article is pretty hard to fault. I mean, aren't they supposed to be picking representatives for the whole country? How does personal bias and favouritism sit well in that context? It isn't the selectors own representative team they are picking, they should pick the guys who are performing.

If there is some other agenda, given it is in the interests of the nation as a whole, not a personal thing, this criteria should be made available to everyone, otherwise there is no accountability.

The combination of a very weak England team coupled with a few decent performances from the questionable selections makes the selectors feel justified...but they aren't. Agar shouldn't be near the test team and neither should either Marsh but here we are.
 

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On with the real stuff.

105 Tests at the SCG.
58 wins.
Second lowest of all Australian venues.
Only lost one of the last 15.

Funnily England have a win percent of 40%.
Their best overseas venue.
But 2 last 11.

Teams have batted first 83/105 times- for 35 wins and 34 defeats so no real advantage there. Australia's win in 2013 is the only match since '92 a team has bowled first and won.

Sydney doesn't turn like it used to but it still has a high spin wicket % of 28%. But the economy rate is higher than everywhere bar Perth. Spinners at the SCG 3.51 compared to Perth 3.61.
 

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Too reckless from Stoneman. He was trying to be attacking but too many false shots.

Vince needs to play later so he doesn’t nick off.
 
I would be dropping him, I thought he looked handy after the first test, showed good intent and technique, since then he's looked like a scared kid every time he comes out. I'd be getting Maxwell or Handscomb back in there for the next test series, whichever is in the best form at the time.

1. Warner
2. S.Marsh
3. Khawaja
4. Smith (c)
5. Maxwell / Handscomb
6. M.Marsh
7. Paine
8. Cummins
9. Starc
10. Hazlewood
11. Lyon
 

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Surely you have to drop Bancroftafter this series
I wouldn’t drop him. He’s only had six bats but he does need to adapt. All six have been to similar balls.

The fullest pitched 5.4m from the stumps, the shortest 7.7m. Only one of those balls swung more than 1°, Bancroft's technique largely to blame - a technique he has failed to adapt.
 

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I think Australian fielding and catching hasn’t been great this series. The BBL has been a poor standard too.

Australian dropped catches this series (11): Smith 3 Paine 2 Bancroft 2 S Marsh 1 M Marsh 1 Cummins 1 Hazlewood

Bowlers suffering dropped catches: Lyon 5 Starc 2 Cummins 2 Hazlewood 1 M Marsh 1.
 

holdzy89

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I hope Khawaja goes on with this, he deserves a ton for all the close-but-no-donuts so far this series, and it would help convinvce me he's not a perennial choker.
 

roo-ted

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I think Australian fielding and catching hasn’t been great this series. The BBL has been a poor standard too.

Australian dropped catches this series (11): Smith 3 Paine 2 Bancroft 2 S Marsh 1 M Marsh 1 Cummins 1 Hazlewood

Bowlers suffering dropped catches: Lyon 5 Starc 2 Cummins 2 Hazlewood 1 M Marsh 1.
I think catching is pretty much our only problem in terms of fielding, and most of these drops have been either at silly point or in the slips when it's been half a chance, the two drops today were absolute sitters and the only other drops I would be critical of that I can remember is Paine's one at the gabba, S.Marshs one and smith's drop of Cook. But other than that Gary has taken blinders all series, hazlewood also and we have been doing really good at cutting off boundaries
 

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Sobers got to 6000 Test runs in 111 innings, but by the end of that Test he also had 157 Test wickets at 33.91. The match Sobers got to 6000? He made 152 & 95*, opened the bowling in both innings for 6 wickets, and was captain.

Best cricketer ever.
 
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