Another debutant takes a 5 wicket haul and another century for Michael Clarke.
It was great to see the Baggy Greens take the first Test of the two match series but to also see the depth put to the Test.
Heading into this Test match the circumstances were a bit bleak with 5 players out injured (some to be out a while) but I saw it as an exciting challenge for the selectors to show us what they’re made of with their backs against the wall. It gave them a chance to also test the depth of our bowling stocks.
The results look good!
The final Test will be down at Hobart where Dan Christian has been called into the Squad. Exciting promotion for him and there seems to be a push of younger, seasoned players to test the depth of availability so in the case of injury or further player rotation, Michael Clarke and the selectors will have a batch of players to call up.
With Shane Watson also in line for potential rotation given his return of bowling duties, Dan is a good option as an all-rounder capable at producing the goods in all-forms of the game.
Brydon Coverdale recently had an interview with DC on the call-up.
Only criticism I can see heading into the 2nd Test is that the boys need to take their catches!
Too many grassed chances and given the way our guys set the benchmark for fielding standards it was a bit disappointing.
On a further note three debutants featuring in this test. the thing I found with the emegring players with Hilditch and the gang I saw as threatening because it never seemed apparent that they had a definite game plan or contingency plan. It seemed desperate as opposed to tactical.
With these selectors I get the feeling that they are on the pulse and I am pleased with their plan to test young guys in situations where the opportunities genuinely request their abilities be on offer to serve the team, rather than just taking a chance to see if their “young emerging talent” can produce an instant superstar.
As for the opposition, I thought the Black Caps put up a good fight but just lost it with their missed chances.
I have always quite liked their team but they just lacked a winning attitude and the way they were rolled in the 2nd innings was enough.
1st Test vs New Zealand:
Australia won by 9 wickets (1-0)
BATTING: 1st innings (continued) 427 all out
Michael Clarke 139, Brad Haddin 80, Ricky Ponting 78
Ricky Ponting would have been disappointed to have been dismissed LBW so early on day 3 but he made a good start to the summer. He had some luck, which is sometimes a needed element in a Test innings but he assisted the team and played some glorious shots. I know this will boost him for the Hobart Test where he will be ready to perform in the State where it all began.
Michael Clarke, well what can I say? He had his fair share of luck and Black Caps can only blame themselves as their wasted chances gave the Skipper the life line to score his third century as Captain making it a century per series.
It was the standard stuff. Excellent footwork against the spinners, great use of the angles of his bat with his off-side stroke play and confidence with quick bat speed! He executed some powerful pull shots (which is often plays on the front foot, which I like) and there was some urgency in his innings.
I hope it continues and we get to see him score his 18th century!
Here’s a comparison in the wagon-wheels with Michael Clarke's century from the 1st Test against the Proteas and this one against the Black Caps.
Look at the way he is playing to all areas of the ground which highlights his variation of execution against the bowlers and an all round game.
Brad Haddin could consider himself fortunate Tim Paine wasn’t recovered from injury given Matt Wade was also overlooked despite his solid input for Victoria and Australia ‘A’.
However in Watto’s absence Brad was given some leadership responsibility which may have been a strategic move as well to place some additional importance on his role within the team for the Test.
He’s had a very below par run and generally throws away his wicket. He scored a very well played 80 runs which was enjoyable to watch and his dismissal was one where he tried to play the lofted drive for six. He was out, throwing away his wicket but Hads managed to make a statement that he wants more opportunities for the summer.
I do feel the vice-captaincy played a part in this which meant he had to be headstrong going into the game. His work behind the stumps for the game was good with some sharp tricks here and there.
Kudos to Mitchell Starc as well for his batting performance where he contributed a valuable 32* runs having been dropped on a duck.
He played some lovely pull shots and had a solid defence. He gave Brad Haddin worthy support.
BOWLING: 2nd innings 150 all out
James Pattinson 5-27, Nathan Lyon 3-19
The Blacks threw away their wickets with some careless shots in both innings but our guys have done the exact same thing in many matches. It happens and having said that many catches on offer were put down. It was a game with plenty of luck on offer. Nothing should be taken away from James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon
James Pattinson got rid of Brendon McCullum at the close of play on day 3 and the next morning it just went better.
He bowled a beautiful line with enough deviation (an angle of about 2.0-2.7 degrees difference between actual and projected) to find the outside edges. In many ways a case of luck, in many regards a case of bad luck for many bowlers who repeatedly miss the edge, like Siddle who did his utmost best as leader of the pack.
It was a tough ask for the debutant and he delivered excellently to claim a 5wicket haul, just miss a hattrick (how lucky was Jesse Ryder?) and this has been another defining step in the emergence of the bowling stocks with some very young and very impressive bowlers.
His attitude reminds me so much of a young Brett Lee. He took his opportunity and was so driven!
It’s so exciting and with the injuries having gone around, these guys were called in to fill the void but asked to give their utmost best as with the change in tide it has opened the door for so many players to showcase their ambition and skills. This is a particular case where bowling is concerned.
What these performances have presented is a list of 20 worthy cricketers to play at the elite level, the pinnacle of the game being Test cricket.
It tests the depth and will start to look daunting for opponents. It’s look promising, very promising!
Nathan Lyon was in actual fact my bowler of the match.
He’s such a good bloke I want him to see find success. He was placed in the team in very intense circumstances to deliver a role that has been a bit of an emotional talking point in Australian cricket. He has done a wonderful job and he’s a champ for it.
He will get hammered around the park, he will have games where he will feel like trash and get criticised but if the selectors keep easing him ahead game by game and he’s given the encouragement, support and correct training to enhance his skills…watch out for Nathan Lyon!
His success was highlighted when Jesse Ryder tried to launch him over mid-off. His ability to get good shape out the hand, generate enough spin with his fingers and flight the ball into the right zones makes him a handful.
It forces batsmen to take him on and Michael picks excellent fielding placements for Nathan looking for edges off the bat at the right angles, having guys close to the bat, having the fielders in strategic places on the outfield.
Throw in the spin he can generate, quite sharp at times, and we have a very capable spin bowler. The only way he can improve is through more opportunities and for his first game at the Gabba, 7 wickets isn’t shabby at all.
It must also be said that Michael Clarke's public support for the players is spot on, particularly the case of Nathan.
Michael Hussey also managed a wicket with his handy part-time medium pace bowling and when he took his wicket his victory roar was priceless!
He may be having a below performance run with the bat in his last few innings but I always get a kick out of Huss’ enthusiasm.
Such a cricketing nerd and I will always admire his work ethic.
BATTING: 2nd innings
David Warner 12*
It was great to see Pitbull Warner hit the winning runs. The boundaries weren’t just shots where he was flogging the ball around but rather using raw muscle, raw power and solid shot execution.
He also sent down an over of leg spin and nearly took a wicket. I know Richie Benaud once noted he was impressed with what he saw in David Warner’s bowling at a net session or two so who knows? May be we get the spin option in the Pitbull like we had in Katto?
While he only scored 15 runs I stand by my firm belief in his abilities and I just know he can become a solid opener. His technique is trustworthy and he can definitely mould himself into a versatile batsman while still possessing the strong ability to dominate a bowling attack with monstrous power.
I feel he deserves another chance in the 2nd Test to such an extent I’d have zero issue seeing him stand in place of Hughes. It is too early to judge but I just have a gut feeling about David Warner as an opening batsman in Test cricket with someone like Shaun Marsh or Usman Khawaja at the other end.
Phillip Hughes, while I hate being critical of the players, seems to have a genuine technical issue that is detected very quickly by decent bowlers. In South Africa I can’t shrug off the way he was repeatedly dismissed in similar style each innings and this Test he was taken in the gully.
I want every player in this team to succeed but I don’t know, I just get the feeling that while Phillip has an unquestionable ability with the bat in hand he does seem to struggle for consistency and momentum at the elite level. He is young and has time on his side (as I have said many times).
I wonder if when Shaun Marsh is fit whether Phillip may fall victim to the “player rotation” system? In this case a cleaner way I am wishing to refer to the concept of being dropped.
Your opinion on the matter fanatics?
The 2nd Test will begin on Friday.
After the series the Big Bash commences which will be worth taking a look at with the new sides and selection policies?
Following the Big Bash the Border-Gavaskar series shall commence with the 1st Test on Boxing Day.
I will do a Podcast regarding that eagerly awaited series!
Congrats to the Baggy Greens. Go make it a clean sweep!
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