13 April 2011

Michael Hussey's surprise century seals the series 3-0

Australia vs Bangladesh 3rd ODI --->> Scorecard
Result: Australia won by 66 runs
Australia won the series 3-0

8/361 from 50 overs: M Hussey 108/ S Watson 72/ R Ponting 47/ M Clarke* 47

It was quite a mixed batting performance out there on a wicket that had pretty much nothing in it for the bowlers, but very impressive stuff from our guys with 37 fours and 9 sixes hit…doesn’t quite match Shane Watson’s fifteen does it?
Watto looked set for another monstrous innings following his 185* but Bangladesh finally beat him at his own game of destruction. Watto was beaten by a slower ball to be bowled, but not after he’d made us proud with an exciting performance scoring 72 runs from 40 deliveries, in one over he belted four fours.

Ricky Ponting has been playing with confidence and playing an attacking game. It was frustrating not seeing him reach his half-century as I had tipped him to score a century before the game. He certainly looked capable but he was sent back LBW. Punter looked good this series! He belted some sixes in a way I haven’t seen him execute for maybe three of four years now. The burden of Captaincy is gone and he’s looking better. I am more interested come his Test cricket performances.

Michael Clarke was batting like a highly disciplined leader before departing short of fifty, like Punter. Michael has turned his limited overs game right around and after plenty of criticism (including myself at times) he has answered with solid batting and leadership that will has given me a lot of confidence in what he has to offer.
In a voting poll I once posted, the majority said he’s right for the job but needs time. So far, so good!
He walks away from this series with a memorable century to go in hand with the new chapter of his career.

Mitchell Johnson and Johnny Hastings decided to club the ball all over the show with brutal power hitting, while Michael Hussey was the centurion as the silent assassin, working amongst their batting to push our score to the maximum!
Huss scored his third ODI century and missed his beating his previous by 2 runs!
It was a typical Hussey innings with calculated risks, strong shots through the midwicket region, plenty of running between the wickets and an innings commenced with the perfect pace.
I knew we’d have a third centurion for the series, but didn’t expect it to be the Huss.
It was a good show from our established batsmen and lower order power hitters.

It was a different story for the un-established players.
Cam White was dropped for Callum Ferguson, who only managed 3 runs but the reality is Fergal has had a serious lack of game time at Cam’s expense.
Tim Paine, also lacking time with the bat in match situations, only scored 7 runs.
I’m not worried about either of them but they need more game time as both of them are key players in the next two years or so. Tim wasn’t exactly given many overs to do too much as it was.

Steven Smith is the player to go in my opinion. As my one mate Matt stated, “Smith can wait another 5 years like everyone else”.
It’s a fair enough point. White had an extended run of chances and as a player with a reputation and experience, he was given the boot.
Stevo, as entertaining and as good a fielder as he may be, hasn’t really delivered anything since his innings against Pakistan last year in the Test match. There are players who deserve his place.
He’s a young man, has time on his side and some more game time with New South Wales will help. He's got a bright future ahead of him and certainly has talent but I think the selectors punted him into action at the elite level too soon.
I’m stating a fact that I’m sure others can agree on. I don’t like criticising any of our players – and rarely do so - but amongst the confusion as to what he is in the team to do and his lack of noticeable input, I don’t get his default selection.
The selectors need to realise you don’t select a young bloke because he’s a good fielder.
His time will come but you get the feeling it’s not Steven Smith time, yet.

*Since posting article, the news is Steven Smith has to have ankle surgery. Best wishes for his recovery.

It was a good test for Michael Clarke and the bowlers to go for the kill, minus Brett Lee who will have to wait even longer for that 350th ODI wicket!
The only way for Bangladesh to have a chance was to go for broke from the first over. They did a brilliant job and our bowling was sadly quite bland again with a struggle for 10 wickets, as we saw in the ICC World Cup. Can only get better!

Tamim Iqbal certainly tried to chase things on his own as he raced away in an entertaining effort to create momentum and pressure, but Mitchell Johnson soon bowled him and ended his short starring role.
It was a matter of time.
A huge congrats to Mitch as he picked up his 150th ODI wicket, his 100th ODI is next! He ended with 3-67.

James Pattinson was on debut and qas the first change with Mitch and Hasto taking new ball honours.
He struggled on debut and this is all part of the learning curve as a modern day fast bowler in limited overs cricket. Had we had Ryan Harris, Doug Bollinger or the very impressive youngster Mitchell Starc on the scene they'd have been the contenders for the spot in the side.
After Mitchell's wicket Bangladesh fought damn well, with Shahriar Nafees and Imrul Kayes gunning it in style!
Steven Smith's introduction alongside Xavier Doherty produced an opportunity to affect the required run-rate. Once that was pushed up to over 10 an over and Nafees fell to Mitch and Kayes to Pattinson (his maiden wicket in ODIs), it was our game but not without a serious assault by Bangladesh. Their supporters can be very proud!

Shane Watson took a beating in his opening overs but Watto pulled things back nicely as overall Michael Clarke was able to get the tactics to tighten things up and go for the win.
We still didn't get 10 wickets, which is a slight concern but it wasn't exactly the best track to get wickets on...even though "it was just Bangladesh".
A valiant fight by the Bangladesh team and they will be glad to have put on a good total.

This series has shown us positives with our experienced, settled players and Michael Clarke has won his first series as Skipper. Tougher challenges await our new Skipper.
They have recovered after the World Cup and can now head off to the IPL or the off-season with some momentum.
The return will be a tough one against Sri-Lanka, followed by South Africa, so the batsmen need to graft hard come those epic clashes, which will be leading to a summer against India!
The Baggy Green side is slightly different to the Green & Gold setup, but the break will be good regardless. I know Usman Khawaja is working on his game over on the Country circuit, while Simon Katich has recovered from injury and ended the State season with New South Wales.
The bowling is the big debate.

The time has come for The National Selection Panel to make some decisions.
With Clarke as Captain and a new era upon us, Andrew Hilditch must push off and the time of strategic and logical change must be implemented! I think Hilditch has his review in August.
We do need to see the upcoming blokes get more exposure in the matches.
We also need to see the next group to come through predominantly in limited overs cricket, with one player Aaron Finch coming to mind as a serious contender to debut for the Green & Gold down the line. The talent is there and the synergy is alive.

The following Aussies will be at the IPL, while the rest will be working at their game in the off-season.
It’s the first time in a long time there’s actually been a genuine off-season, so even though I will be watching Rugby Union and not writing as frantically, when there is something worth writing about you’ll be getting the usual opinion to get your valuable input!
It has been a lot of work at blog and a lot of analytical cricket viewing the last 10 months , notably159 articles since July 2010!.

It’s been a strange period for Australian cricket but I’m very confident about the future and excited about the change, as Callum Ferguson pointed out.
Thanks for the support over the last few months, thanks for your input via the Baggy Green Blogsite or Twitter and as always, keep an eye on the site for more chirps!
Stay strong Baggy Green fanatics, it gets better from here.

Long live the tradition and history of Australian Cricket, long live Cricket!
Wonder if Cricket Australia feels the same way?

Click here for the Stats review courtesy of Cricinfo.com

Centurions: Shane Watson (185*/ 6th ODI century), Michael Hussey (108/ 3rd ODI century), Michael Clarke (101/ 6th ODI century)
Half-centuries: Shane Watson (72)

Michael Hussey slog sweeps powerfully on his way to his 3rd ODI century. He dominates the midwicket region in particular.

© Associated Press

Shane Watson had another power session opening the batting with 72 runs from 40 deliveries

© Associated Press

Ricky Ponting looked in good touch this series. He was unlucky to be run out again in game 1, but the pull shot has returned!

© Associated Press

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