*Ryan Harris has been added to the Test Squad for the SCG Test against India, due to the likely prospect of the track being beneficial for the quick bowlers.
The 2nd Test will be played on the 100th Test pitch at the SCG making it a very special occasion.
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I am sure it's safe to say that 2011 was yet another mixed year for the Baggy Greens.
It was mixed from both a results, player performance and selection perspective but 2011 ended on a positive note with the Baggy Greens taking the 1st Test of the Border-Gavaskar series.
You can also hear my Podcast year end feature at Verbal Slogs hosted by Christopher David Poshin and a few other cricket fanatics where we discuss 2011.
Listen to the episode "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen".
In this article I will post the team results for the year, the player statistics for the year and also make a list of my favorite moments of the year.
I would like to hear yours as well so feel free to post a comment at the end of the article.
I know there were plenty of low moments such as the ongoing batting collapses, not winning the World Cup, the 47 all out incident at Newland's, many injuries to our player's and of course the hang over early in the year from losing the Ashes.
However I would like to rather focus on more positive things from the year.
Baggy Green debutants for 2011:
420 - Trent Copeland vs Sri Lanka
421 - Nathan Lyon vs Sri Lanka (5fer on debut)
422 - Shaun Marsh vs Sri Lanka (Century on debut)
423 - Patty Cummins vs South Africa (6 wicket haul on debut)
424 - James Pattinson vs New Zealand (5fer on debut)
425 - Mitchell Starc vs New Zealand
426 - David "Pitbull" Warner vs New Zealand (Century in his 2nd Test at Hobart)
427 - Ed Cowan vs India (68 runs in debut innings as an opening batsman)
The Team Results:
Overall played - 40
Won - 24 (60% victory rate for 2011)
Lost - 13
Drew - 2
No result - 1
Played - 9
x1 vs England, x3 vs Sri Lanka, x2 vs South Africa, x2 vs New Zealand, x1 vs India
Won - 4 (44% victory rate, won 2 away Tests, won 2 home Tests)
Lost - 3 (lost 2 home Tests, lost 1 away Test)
Drew - 2 (both in Sri Lanka for 2nd & 3rd Test)
Series - Lost to England (3-1) Beat Sri Lanka (1-0), Tied with South Africa (1-1), Tied with New Zealand (1-1)
One Day Internationals:
Played - 25
x7 vs England, x6 vs Sri Lanka, x3 vs South Africa, x3 vs Bangladesh, x1 vs *New Zealand, x1 vs *India, x1 vs *Kenya, x1 vs *Canada, x1 vs *Pakistan, x1 vs *Zimbabwe.
*World Cup Match
Won - 18 (72% victory rate, Ranked #1 in ODI cricket)
Lost - 6 (two of these losses were crucial games in the World Cup versus Pakistan and ultimately India).
No result - 1
Played - 6
x2 vs England, x2 vs Sri Lanka, x2 vs South Africa
Won - 2 (33% victory rate, not exactly a great year of T20 for the Green & Gold boys)
Lost - 4
Player statistics for 2011: (Screenshots taken from ESPN Cricinfo.com)
Test Stats (batting and bowling)
ODI Stats (batting and bowling)
Twenty20 Stats (batting and bowling)
Most valuable player:
Shane Watson -
Test stats: 265 runs @ 24.09, x2 50s, 11 innings / 14 wickets @ 19.07, BBI 5-17
ODI stats: 1139 runs @ 56.95, HS 185*, x2 100s, x6 50s / 17 wickets @ 41.05, BBI 3-25
T20 stats: 195 runs @ 39.00, HS 59, x3 50s, x13 sixes / 8 wickets @ 12.37, BBI 4-15 (best T20 player).
Watto didn't have a fantastic year of Test cricket by any means but his all-rounder duties were utilised with reward. This unfortunately resulted in his work load being pushed and injury has occurred.
Taking into account his duties in all forms of the game coming off an insanely good 2010 year, Watto remains our most valuable player in my eyes.
1139 runs for the year in ODI cricket is an outstanding achievement yet again. He also scored two massive centuries against England and Bangladesh, which both fall into my best moments of 2011. He is also the top player in all categories for T20 cricket.
When he returns to Test cricket I hope the selectors will move him away from the opening spot which will also allow him further bowling duties from both a physical and mindset perspective.
He was also the recent AB Medalist, so we'll see if he takes the ODI category come February 2012.
Best Test players of 2011:
Our batting was the low point for the year and has been the concern for some time now. As you can see the bowlers have been the talking point. 2012 is where consistency and synergy need to return.
The win against India was a great way to wrap up 2011 and head into 2012 with momentum.
Michael Hussey - 680 runs @ 42.50, x1 100, x3 50s, HS 142 / 4 wickets @ 18.75, BBI 2-2
Series against South Africa and New Zealand ended up somewhat blemishing Huss' decent year.
Michael Clarke - 618 runs @ 38.62, x3 100s, x1 50, HS 151
With the added responsibility Clarkey is my stand out Test batsman. If he can just find some consistency, 2012 will be a cracker for him hopefully. His 3 100s showed that once he got settled he could go all the way.
James Pattinson - 20 wickets @ 15.20, x2 5fer.
What needs to be said. He's a young man who has just taken his opportunity with invaluable promise. He's only had three Tests but it has to be said he's been up there as a youngster setting the pace and standards.
Ryan Harris - 15 wickets @ 17.33, x1 5fer
If only Ryano wasn't burdened by injury he'd be of far better value but he's delivered the goods for the Baggy Greens. He has been recalled for the SCG Test so let's see how he goes. Always exciting seeing him bowl.
Other bowlers definitely worth a mention:
Peter Siddle top wicket taker with 24 wickets @ 30.04.
Nathan Lyon 23 wickets @ 27.42
Ben Hilfenhaus 10 wickets @ 23.50
Best ODI Players of 2011:
I have made mention of Shane Watson already but Mitchell Johnson really stood out for me.
His injury has opened the door for more consistent Test players to take their opportunities and place in the Squad. It is a pity for Mitch but it would seem that the hot and cold elements of his bowling just wasn't working for the Baggy Greens anymore. Needless to say he can still be a valuable contributor in limited overs cricket and when the time comes for him to return, I'd be more than happy to see Mitch carry on his career for the Green and Gold if there is place for him.
Mitchell Johnson: 39 wickets @ 20.94, BBI 6-31 / 208 runs @ 23.11, HS 57.
Brett Lee: 33 wickets @ 21.72, BBI 4-15, x3 4 wicket hauls.
Michael Clarke: 900 runs @ 56.25, HS 101, x1 100, x6 50s.
After the flack Michael had to deal with regarding his limited overs cricket in 2010, these stats should shut the haters up. I have always enjoyed Michael's limited overs batting going back to the 2007 World Cup.
He just missed those 1000 runs by 100.
Ricky Ponting: 604 runs @ 40.26, HS 104 (World Cup Quarter Final), x1 100, x3 50s.
Michael Hussey: 414 runs @ 41.40, HS 108, x1 100, x2 50s.
Huss is here because of the way in which he goes about his limited overs game. He comes in late and can still turn a game around with his unbelievable variation in temperament. He rarely fails in limited overs cricket and he played some awesome innings for 2011.
My best moments of 2011:
1 - Shane Watson's massive centuries!
Shane Watson had a blast for 2011 with his ODI cricket.
Besides his 5 wicket haul at Newland's in that freakish Test match in November, wearing the Green and Gold gear is where he stood out and his two monstrous centuries, the first against England at the MCG followed by his 185* against Bangladesh were just epic.
It was a display of power hitting and an ability to just muscle away anything and everything.
Watto was just awesome to watch and the way he made that slog sweep look so graceful was quite something. If anything it got to a point where I was kind of thinking, "Come on Watto, target another area please!"
He is so exciting to watch with the bat when he is set out to panel beat any opponent. These innings were no exception and to spare myself the time, you can read about those innings and the various records that were broken in both innings;
1.1) Shane Watson's big innings versus England.
1.2) Shane Watson's big innings versus Bangladesh.
2 - The wicket frenzy debutants:
Nathan Lyon made his debut against Sri Lanka and took 5 wickets.
Patty Cummins took on a strong South African batting line-up to bounce back after the Newland's Test Match loss. He took 6 wickets in the 2nd innings and then hit the winning runs as well.
James Pattinson took a 5 wicket haul on debut at the Gabba and then in his 2nd Test down in Hobart. He has already grabbed 20 wickets and along with Patty Cummins they make the future look very daunting for young opposition batsmen.
3 - The Maestro's class even in defeat:
Ricky Ponting's century in the quarter-final against India during the 2011 World Cup was one that showed his true class, gritty determination, die-hard attitude and despite the loss it is one I will never forget.
Even in defeat he gave his side the best chance possible with the bat in hand, calling on all his experience.
It was a sad end to what would have been Punter's final World Cup most surely, given we had the game at one point.
I wrote a long article about it here at the Blog as it was mighty inspiring in my eyes, just as Punter is in general to me.
4 - The Test cricket centurions:
Seeing a cricketer score a Test century is always special but there were a few memorable ones for 2011.
First was Shaun Marsh scoring a century on debut. He showed unbelievable focus, patience and his discipline to leave good deliveries was something we'd missed. His father, Geoff Marsh (now the Sri Lankan Coach), handed him his Baggy Green and was there to witness his son score a century on debut where Shaun also passed his Father's highest Test score during his very own career.
Michael Clarke wrote this century off as forgettable but his 151 in the 1st Test against South Africa at Newland's was mighty impressive and special. The conditions were very difficult, his confidence was admirable and he had initially dug his team out of a tough situation.
The 2nd innings 47 all out ultimately ruined all that hard work but seeing this innings live at the ground was special from the Skipper. It was an unforgettable seeing him bring up his 16th century.
David Warner's century in Hobart was in many ways similar to Michael Clarke's 151. It was in a lost cause.
The conditions in Hobart were suitable for the bowlers and as our batsmen fell down around him, he stuck to his game plan and held his bat. He just didn't have the experience batting with the tail to assist Nathan Lyon in getting us over the finish line to avoid the Black Caps first win in Australia since the mid 80s.
Nevertheless, I feel it was the arrival of David Warner and I strongly believe he has the goods to be our Test opener with that ability just like that of Haydos.
I look forward to more from the "Pitbull" for 2012!
5 - The first ODI series victory against South Africa since 2005/06:
It was excellent to see the Green and Gold win their first limited overs series against South Africa since 2005/06.
Still being the number one side in ODI cricket, having sadly lost the World Cup, I just felt the boys needed to take a series against the brilliance of the Proteas side who were in a spot of bother due to a lack of cricket. It was a series win that was needed for the team coming off a very good Sri Lankan Tour.
The final game was the series decider and the way our bowlers contained things to restrict the target to 223 to win, it was another case of Michael Hussey executing a rescue mission batting with the tail.
He scored 45* not out and it was exhilarating to see the Huss get the boys over the finish line. At the other end with him was none other than Patty Cummins.
The Test series that followed was short lived as well which had a nail-biting finish with Patty Cummins once again finding himself batting at the end, only this time he hit the winning runs!
6 - A victory to end 2011 against India:
The recent win against India ended the year on a positive note.
The batting was frustratingly inconsistent again but in a year with quite a few moments of inconsistency and worrying talking points, this win ought to get you pumped up for 2012!
The bowlers did what Craig McDermott made mention of back in May 2011 and seeing the trio of Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and James Pattinson work so well as a unit along with the Skipper to rotate his bowlers to create enough variation to keep the Indian batsmen guessing, well that was the talking point for this game.
There's still three Tests to go but seeing Pedro take on the responsibility as the leader of the pack, the return of Hilfy to get his maiden 5 wicket haul and the raw aggression of James Pattinson was just inspiring.
7 - A new selection panel:
I had to throw this in here but when John Inverarity, Andy Bichel and Rod Marsh were named the new selectors with the Captain and the new Coach, Mickey Arthur, being involved with the panel it was the most welcoming news.
Being a selector is a tough job but Andrew Hilditch and his cronies just lost control and were off the pulse of Australian cricket which seemed to make the job harder for themselves.
They didn't provide any clarity of any sort on their selections to the supporters, all of which the new NSP has already managed to do.
That's a wrap for this article and for the Baggy Green Blog regarding 2011!
It's been epic to have all of your contributions at the Blog over the last year and whether it be Twitter, Facebook or right here at the Blog, I always enjoy the cricket conversations, the opinions and of course your ongoing support for Australian Cricket and importantly the players.
I hope you all have a year of positivity for 2012 and hopefully this positivity will also be present with the Baggy Greens!
Thank you, keep safe and bring on the SCG Test.
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Thanks for reading this article written by Ian.
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