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Old 1st August 2007, 13:13   #21
geoff_boycotts_grandmother
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how come they're only playing 2 matches against Sri Lanka. Probably the two best teams in the world, it's a shame that it isn't a proper series
Are they? That's a crying shame. Hopefully Sri Lanka will win both tests and make the Aussies keen to get them back to avenge it.
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Old 1st August 2007, 14:28   #22
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Are they? That's a crying shame. Hopefully Sri Lanka will win both tests and make the Aussies keen to get them back to avenge it.
Usually the team which visits our shores first is seen as the undercard to the main attraction - in this year's summer the team being India. But SL is definitely worthy of at least three tests, especially given that we played the West Indies in three during the 2005/6 summer.
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Old 1st August 2007, 14:36   #23
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Usually the team which visits our shores first is seen as the undercard to the main attraction - in this year's summer the team being India. But SL is definitely worthy of at least three tests, especially given that we played the West Indies in three during the 2005/6 summer.
My point was that the Australian public/administrators need to catch up with reality. Sri Lanka are, for my money, a superior side to India and should be headlining. A Sri Lankan 2-0 victory would make the Australian public/administrators sit up and take notice.

With Australia's recent retirments, I'd even go as far as to say they are playing for the vacant crown of best team in the world.
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Old 1st August 2007, 14:40   #24
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My point was that the Australian public/administrators need to catch up with reality. Sri Lanka are, for my money, a superior side to India and should be headlining. A Sri Lankan 2-0 victory would make the Australian public/administrators sit up and take notice.

With Australia's recent retirments, I'd even go as far as to say they are playing for the vacant crown of best team in the world.
Not even close, for my money. Sri Lanka is a good side but like the other contenders for second best, has too many flaws to compete closely with Australia. Perhaps Murali, Vaas and Malinga will prove me wrong and rip through the Aussie batting but I don't see it and neither do I see the Sri Lankans coping with the Aussie attack, although there will be a gap in the spinning departement.
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Old 1st August 2007, 14:42   #25
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Not even close, for my money.
What Ind v SL or Ind v Aus?


Ah, you've edited it. As far as I'm concerned, Australia without McGrath and Warne are a completely different team. Sri Lanka may have big gaps, but how big a hole do these two leave?

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Old 1st August 2007, 14:55   #26
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What Ind v SL or Ind v Aus?


Ah, you've edited it. As far as I'm concerned, Australia without McGrath and Warne are a completely different team. Sri Lanka may have big gaps, but how big a hole do these two leave?
Yes, sorry, thought I ought to expand a bit. Sri Lanka is better than India, I suppose but not by much.

You know SL's away record is horrible apart from that draw in England last year and even that doesn't look that hot in the light of how India is doing this year?

Warne and McGrath are huge departures, for sure. I think Clark has done pretty well so far though and will continue well in McGrath's stead. Warne is not replaceable and therein will lie Australia's weakness. The batting is still the best in the world fairly comfortably though.
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Old 1st August 2007, 19:10   #27
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McGill is a decent replacement for Warne. Not like for like (how could he be) but he is probably still better than most (if not all) spinners in other test teams.

Australia are still number one and I cant see another team to challenge them at the moment.
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Old 1st August 2007, 20:26   #28
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Yes, sorry, thought I ought to expand a bit. Sri Lanka is better than India, I suppose but not by much.

You know SL's away record is horrible apart from that draw in England last year and even that doesn't look that hot in the light of how India is doing this year?

Warne and McGrath are huge departures, for sure. I think Clark has done pretty well so far though and will continue well in McGrath's stead. Warne is not replaceable and therein will lie Australia's weakness. The batting is still the best in the world fairly comfortably though.
Sri Lanka's 1-1 draw in England was a more impressive result than Australia's 2-1 defeat..... To be honest I'm basing it more on how I rate the teams going forward as I think the current teams are much different from the ones that had such a good record in Australia's case and such a poor one in Sri Lanka's case.

I'd also disagree as I think McGrath is IMHO the bigger of the holes to fill. I'm probably in a minority here, but 563 wickets at 21.64, economy rate of under 2.5 is incredible.

His 15 most common wickets included Lara and Tendulkar the two batting greats of his era; Vaughan, Kallis and Jimmy Adams three batsmen who were also ranked no.1 in the world; plus captains and key wickets (target the captains) in the likes of Atherton, Hussain, Fleming. You've then got players like Stewart, Butcher, Gary Kirsten, Trescothick who were pretty decent with only Sherwin Campbell, the dangerous but erratic Chris Cairns and then Curtly as not particularly impressive victims.

Warne might have taken more victims, but his wickets cost 20% more, he had a higher economy rate and his victims were less illustrious. His top 15 contains some familiar names - Atherton, Stewart, Hussain, Trescothick are also all in McGrath's top 15 -but batsmen like Strauss, Richardson, Prince, Craig McMillan, Giles, Boucher, Caddick aren't as impressive as McGrath's regular victims. I'm sure there's a stat somewhere that shows that Warne's wickets were proportionally more against the tail than someone like McGrath.

As for Stuart Clark's victims - the only batsmen who has ever been ranked top 5 that he's dismissed more than once is Kallis (4 times).

To lose someone like McGrath who can consistently dismiss the best in the world is a massive hole, as shown by the last 3 test matches he missed against England (all England wins) compared to his previous 12 games against England (10 wins, 2 draws). When Warne missed games the difference was never that marked.
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Old 1st August 2007, 20:33   #29
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Sri Lanka's 1-1 draw in England was a more impressive result than Australia's 2-1 defeat..... To be honest I'm basing it more on how I rate the teams going forward as I think the current teams are much different from the ones that had such a good record in Australia's case and such a poor one in Sri Lanka's case.

I'd also disagree as I think McGrath is IMHO the bigger of the holes to fill. I'm probably in a minority here, but 563 wickets at 21.64, economy rate of under 2.5 is incredible.

His 15 most common wickets included Lara and Tendulkar the two batting greats of his era; Vaughan, Kallis and Jimmy Adams three batsmen who were also ranked no.1 in the world; plus captains and key wickets (target the captains) in the likes of Atherton, Hussain, Fleming. You've then got players like Stewart, Butcher, Gary Kirsten, Trescothick who were pretty decent with only Sherwin Campbell, the dangerous but erratic Chris Cairns and then Curtly as not particularly impressive victims.

Warne might have taken more victims, but his wickets cost 20% more, he had a higher economy rate and his victims were less illustrious. His top 15 contains some familiar names - Atherton, Stewart, Hussain, Trescothick are also all in McGrath's top 15 -but batsmen like Strauss, Richardson, Prince, Craig McMillan, Giles, Boucher, Caddick aren't as impressive as McGrath's regular victims. I'm sure there's a stat somewhere that shows that Warne's wickets were proportionally more against the tail than someone like McGrath.

As for Stuart Clark's victims - the only batsmen who has ever been ranked top 5 that he's dismissed more than once is Kallis (4 times).

To lose someone like McGrath who can consistently dismiss the best in the world is a massive hole, as shown by the last 3 test matches he missed against England (all England wins) compared to his previous 12 games against England (10 wins, 2 draws). When Warne missed games the difference was never that marked.
When Warne had a year out McGrath also missed games and Aus still held India. When McGrath missed games injured they still won.

They have better players in the fast bowling department to replace Mcgrath. With Aus its not so much the players as the attitude and 'team'. They are still the best, no doubt. They also still have the players to pile on the runs and create the pressure in the first place.
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Old 1st August 2007, 20:48   #30
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When Warne had a year out McGrath also missed games and Aus still held India. When McGrath missed games injured they still won.

They have better players in the fast bowling department to replace Mcgrath. With Aus its not so much the players as the attitude and 'team'. They are still the best, no doubt. They also still have the players to pile on the runs and create the pressure in the first place.
Since 01/01/95, Australia's record without McGrath:

NZ - won 1 drawn 1
SA w3, d1
India w2, d2, l3
Eng w0, d1, l4
WI w2
Zim w2
SL w2
B w2

They actually have a losing record against both India and England without him.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 00:35   #31
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Sri Lanka's 1-1 draw in England was a more impressive result than Australia's 2-1 defeat..... To be honest I'm basing it more on how I rate the teams going forward as I think the current teams are much different from the ones that had such a good record in Australia's case and such a poor one in Sri Lanka's case.

I'd also disagree as I think McGrath is IMHO the bigger of the holes to fill. I'm probably in a minority here, but 563 wickets at 21.64, economy rate of under 2.5 is incredible.

His 15 most common wickets included Lara and Tendulkar the two batting greats of his era; Vaughan, Kallis and Jimmy Adams three batsmen who were also ranked no.1 in the world; plus captains and key wickets (target the captains) in the likes of Atherton, Hussain, Fleming. You've then got players like Stewart, Butcher, Gary Kirsten, Trescothick who were pretty decent with only Sherwin Campbell, the dangerous but erratic Chris Cairns and then Curtly as not particularly impressive victims.

Warne might have taken more victims, but his wickets cost 20% more, he had a higher economy rate and his victims were less illustrious. His top 15 contains some familiar names - Atherton, Stewart, Hussain, Trescothick are also all in McGrath's top 15 -but batsmen like Strauss, Richardson, Prince, Craig McMillan, Giles, Boucher, Caddick aren't as impressive as McGrath's regular victims. I'm sure there's a stat somewhere that shows that Warne's wickets were proportionally more against the tail than someone like McGrath.

As for Stuart Clark's victims - the only batsmen who has ever been ranked top 5 that he's dismissed more than once is Kallis (4 times).

To lose someone like McGrath who can consistently dismiss the best in the world is a massive hole, as shown by the last 3 test matches he missed against England (all England wins) compared to his previous 12 games against England (10 wins, 2 draws). When Warne missed games the difference was never that marked.
Interesting stats. I'm aware that McGrath has a much more impressive test average than Warne. The arguments in favour of Warne's greater importance to the side revolve a little around the sheer number of overs he was able to bowl, hence allowing a 4 bowler side without any of the usual worries and a little around his superior batting. Most importantly though, there really isn't a good replacement for Warne. Sure, an alternative fast bowler would hardly be a like for like replacement for McGrath either but at least there are good candidates out there. MacGill was a decent test spinner in the past but has not had great domestic form more recently, averaging a bit over 35 in each of the last two domestic seasons, can't bat and is roughly a million years old. Previously, MacGill was a good locum for Warne. Now, I don't think he is. Despite all those arguments, I do agree that McGrath's immense contribution is sometimes a little overlooked by people who focus too much on Warne.

Clark hasn't been playing long enough to have dismissed lots of top 10 batsmen several times. Kallis is pretty much the only one he's had the chance to get.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 00:49   #32
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Interesting stats. I'm aware that McGrath has a much more impressive test average than Warne. The arguments in favour of Warne's greater importance to the side revolve a little around the sheer number of overs he was able to bowl, hence allowing a 4 bowler side without any of the usual worries and a little around his superior batting. Most importantly though, there really isn't a good replacement for Warne. Sure, an alternative fast bowler would hardly be a like for like replacement for McGrath either but at least there are good candidates out there. MacGill was a decent test spinner in the past but has not had great domestic form more recently, averaging a bit over 35 in each of the last two domestic seasons, can't bat and is roughly a million years old. Previously, MacGill was a good locum for Warne. Now, I don't think he is. Despite all those arguments, I do agree that McGrath's immense contribution is sometimes a little overlooked by people who focus too much on Warne.

Clark hasn't been playing long enough to have dismissed lots of top 10 batsmen several times. Kallis is pretty much the only one he's had the chance to get.
Warne with his bleached hair, the stereotypical Aussie beach bum look, had the charisma/personality that McGrath lacked. Plus he helped revive leg-spin. But McGrath was the better bowler.

Clark has only dismissed KP once in 5 tests, and Graeme Smith also only once. He is unproven against the very best. Whilst he looks a decent player as a replacement for McGrath he is nevertheless a major downgrade.

As for the importance of Warne's workload, I think the Australians have traditionally gone for 4 bowlers anyway. In the light of their 2005 Ashes humiliation they started looking for a batting/bowling all-rounder in Shane Watson, and then when he was injured Coco the Clown and that is with Warne still in the side.

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Old 2nd August 2007, 00:51   #33
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Warne with his bleached hair, the stereotypical Aussie beach bum look, had the charisma/personality that McGrath lacked. Plus he helped revive leg-spin. But McGrath was the better bowler.

Clark has only dismissed KP once in 5 tests, and Graeme Smith also only once. He is unproven against the very best. Whilst he looks a decent player as a replacement for McGrath he is nevertheless a major downgrade.
Oh, a huge downgrade (assuming early stats aren't sustained, anyway) and of course, one has to remember that he's not coming into the side to replace McGrath. That will be some other bowler who is likely to be significantly inferior to Clark, let alone to McGrath.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 00:57   #34
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Oh, a huge downgrade (assuming early stats aren't sustained, anyway) and of course, one has to remember that he's not coming into the side to replace McGrath. That will be some other bowler who is likely to be significantly inferior to Clark, let alone to McGrath.
Assuming those early stats are sustained, I think that is still a massive downgrade. That is how good McGrath was. Good point about him not directly replacing McGrath.

They also have to replace Langer and the likes of Gilchrist and Hayden are getting on. I think whatever XI will emerge, other than Ponting, will still have a lot to prove.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 02:02   #35
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Australia have another boot camp coming up, consisting of all contracted players, even those (like Dizzy ) who aren't involved in 20/20. Bit of a bummer really
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Old 2nd August 2007, 09:06   #36
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My point was that the Australian public/administrators need to catch up with reality. Sri Lanka are, for my money, a superior side to India and should be headlining. A Sri Lankan 2-0 victory would make the Australian public/administrators sit up and take notice.
Well ‘the reality’ is that it wasn't much more than 12 months ago that India was ranked No 3 on the ICC rankings and Sri Lanka was ranked No 7. And it was only this month that Sri Lanka moved past them. I personally don’t think there is much between the two teams, but last time out India really pushed Australia, whereas Sri Lanka have never won a Test here. It’s not surprising that the administrators would suggest India get top billing.

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Sri Lanka's 1-1 draw in England was a more impressive result than Australia's 2-1 defeat
Really? – What was your pace attack for most of the SL series?

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..... To be honest I'm basing it more on how I rate the teams going forward as I think the current teams are much different from the ones that had such a good record in Australia's case and such a poor one in Sri Lanka's case.
Going forward? There could be some pretty significant personnel changes in the SL side over the next few years as well.

But true, Australia’s big changes have already occurred. As to which Australian loss is the more significant, it’s probably pretty line-ball, but in the past we have been able to fairly regularly produce match-winning seamers, but only a few world-beating leggies (or spinners in general for that matter).

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As for Stuart Clark's victims - the only batsmen who has ever been ranked top 5 that he's dismissed more than once is Kallis (4 times).
But he’s only ever bowled against two batsmen who have been ranked in the top 5! And one of them he’s dismissed 4 times in 3 matches!

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Clark has only dismissed KP once in 5 tests, and Graeme Smith also only once.
Why are you bringing Smith up? Is it to stir up midnight? He has never been ranked as high as Gibbs (whom Clark has dismissed twice in three Tests) or Strauss (Clark has dismissed him four times in five Tests). Not to mention the fact that in the particular series you mention he was generally out before Clark had a chance to bowl at him.

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Assuming those early stats are sustained, I think that is still a massive downgrade. That is how good McGrath was.
If he sustains those early stats (and we know he won’t) he will ended up taking 250-odd Test wickets at an average of under 20!

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They also have to replace Langer and the likes of Gilchrist and Hayden are getting on. I think whatever XI will emerge, other than Ponting, will still have a lot to prove.
I think Australian cricketers always think they have something to prove, whether they are playing in their first Test or their 100th.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 09:18   #37
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To be honest Sri Lanka over-rely on both Sangakkara and Jayawardene to get their runs in test cricket. If those 2 are knocked over early (and you can be sure that the Aussies will be planning for exactly that) then there is no contest. Simple as, especially in Australia and I take it one of the tests is in Brisbane where SL will not enjoy the bounce, pace and seam movement usually associated there.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 09:35   #38
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It's not exactly the ideal place for finger-spinners either, although Murali is obviously a lot more than your average finger spinner.

Could be exciting watching Malinga at the Gabba though!
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Old 2nd August 2007, 09:38   #39
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It's not exactly the ideal place for finger-spinners either, although Murali is obviously a lot more than your average finger spinner.

Could be exciting watching Malinga at the Gabba though!
I don't think though that Malinga is as effective in tests as he is in ODI's where he can gain reverse swing relatively early on. The white ball seems to reverse earlier than the red.
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Old 2nd August 2007, 10:08   #40
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True - and the Gabba isn't the most conducive ground for reverse anyway.

Could be more suited to Fernando perhaps.
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