>>> I would probably go in with:
>>> M Waugh
>>> S Waugh
>>> Mc Grath
>>I'd agree with all 11 here. In fact I suggested the same team in a previous
>>post except that I had a choice between Beavn and Ponting for #6 and between
>>Fleming and Gillespie as the 3rd quick. Since then, Bevan has been very
>>impressive and should certainly play ahead of Ponting.
>Agreed. But he should also play ahead of Law. It shoudl been down to Law
>and Ponting for the last spot, but it would seem (judging from the Aust XI
>selection) that Ponting is a certain starter, with either Law or Bevan to
>miss out. Most recent form doesn't support this stance from the selectors
>and I'm starting to have second thoughts about endorsing Ponting for
>the #3 position. I saw him bat for Tassie on the weekend and he didn't
>look confident at all IMO. Having said that, I can't bring myself to endorse
>Law either. I don't care how mature he is, if he's not good enough to
>be an automatic selection in the 6, then I reckon he's not good enough
>to bat in the hardest position. I don't know what the answer is.
Batting at three is difficult, and I don't think that you should
play an inexperienced player there. Most successful players at that
position have started either lower down the order and later moved up
or as openers and later moved down. Sacrificing inexperienced players
there is not IMO a smart move. (England are astoundingly good at this
particular not very smart move). I would either play Steve Waugh at
three and play Ponting down the order, or I would play Taylor at three
and bring in another opener. I agree that we do have a bit of a problem
at number three now. There is no obvious candidate to fill the position.
Neither of the moves suggested above are terribly conventional, but they
do have the advantages of having an experienced player who can play
pace bowling at number 3, which I think is needed in this series.
So much for what I think should happen. In reality, what
I think is actually going to happen is that the selectors
are going to regard the Delhi result as an abberation, and will give all
the batsmen who played in that test another chance. If Australia lose the
first test, I think a couple of heads might roll for the second.
>>Fleming and Gillespie is
>>still tight but I think Fleming's ability to swing the ball should be valuable
>>against the Windies and probably creates a more balanced attack.
>I'd back that.
Yes. Me too. I think the eleven will be Taylor, Slater, Ponting,
Waugh M, Waugh S, Bevan, Healy, Warne, Reiffel, Fleming, McGrath. My choice
for the first test would be the same, except that I would swap Ponting
and Steve Waugh in the batting order. I'd give Steve Waugh two tests
at three. If that didn't work (I think it more likely would) I would
consider bringing in Elliott, moving Steve Waugh back to five and
Taylor down to three and dropping whichever of Ponting and Bevan
did worse in the first two tests. (I will consider the possibility
of Steve Waugh failing and Ponting and Bevan both scoring double
centuries when and if it comes).
>>> The crucial number three position is therefore a problem.
>Law is definitely ahead of Langer in the queue. Langer really batted like a
>man feeling the pressure to perform against WI last week.
Law has played one test, IIRC, and scored an unbeaten fifty.
I happen to think that if a player is selected for test cricket,
he deserves another opportunity, and if any player is dropped (after
succeeding) because somebody else is coming back from injury, then
the selectors almost have an obligation to give the dropped player
another chance at some point. On top of that, Law's form has been
excellent, so IMO Law is definitely next in line.
>I think Slater is a certain starter for the first test at least. And I'm sure
>hayden is no chance in the near future, because Elliott's now ahead
>of him. The selectors will regard that 187 *very* highly.
Slater and Taylor do when it comes down to it have an excellent
record as an opening partnership. Slater did okay in India, so I don't
think the selectors will be losing faith in Slater for a little while
yet. I think he is safe for at least two tests. (As I said above, one
possibility is to move Taylor down to three and try probably Elliott
and Slater opening. I am not convinced the selectors will try this,
however, as this would require them to drop one of Bevan or Ponting,
which I don't think they will do. Not before the first test, anyway.
>This whole #3 issue is getting too hard. All 3 of the candidates that have been
>listed (Ponting, Law, Langer) have only played a handful of Tests, and
>none of them are exactly setting the world on fire at the moment. This
>would seem so much easier if one of the Waugh's would pull their
>fingers out and stop thinking that moving up the order one or two
>spots is going to make *that* much difference to their performance.
>They should bite the bullet.
I don't think Mark Waugh is quite solid enough at three. He plays
too many stupid shots. If he could concentrate then yes. However, I am not
sure he can. For the moment my choice is Steve Waugh.
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
The University of Cambridge.
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial
appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in
defence of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts
than reason" -- Tom Paine.