Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Aussie Squad

Big mistake. Luckily they'll have a chance to rectify it, given the squad announced is only for the first test. How can they play Shane Watson at 6? It completely blows my mind. He's not a test all-rounder, ok? If England's bowlers are bowling well, he'll be found out. Plus I'm decidedly unimpressed with his bowling (admittedly, I haven't seen a great deal of him).

See, this is what happens when you learn the wrong lessons from defeat. The Aussie thinking seems to be that they lost the Ashes because (a) they were too friendly with the English players and (b) they didn't have an all-rounder and England did. Utter crap. The two reasons England won the Ashes were (a) the complete neutralization of Gilchrist and (b) the crappiness of the bowler(s) not named McGrath, Warne or Lee. In their hunt for an all-rounder to presumably match up with Flintoff, they've chosen a guy who's neither here or there. Tell me this: Australia are 60-4, with Flintoff having taken two wickets in two overs. How many runs do you think Watson makes? Conversely, pretend England are somehow 310-3, with Strauss and Collingwood at the crease. Which Australian would you pick to bowl at that time? Not Watson for sure.

Australia should realize that there is nothing wrong with the specialist strategy (6+1+4) that served them so well for so long. It's just that the personnel used by the strategy was lacking in quality. This time, there should be no worries. Mitchell Johnson should play, adding bite to the attack, along with the three guaranteed bowlers. And Michael Clarke (perhaps the only Australian cricketer I can bring myself to like) should bat at 6. I'm sure he's learnt from the mistakes he made last summer, and is a better player for having made them. Australia are too good a team to have a Watson-type player in the test side.

I'm supporting England by the way.

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