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Deadly Earnest
31 Dec 09 12:31
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Date Joined: 16 Mar 04
| Topic/replies: 3,707 | Blogger: Deadly Earnest's blog
Watson, Johnson, Haddin, Hauritz in the Australian camp, or

Broad, Swann, Prior, Anderson in the England camp?

There is a long time to go between now and then and it's a fair bet one or two of these at least won't make it to the start line due to injury or other issues. But these are shaping as the crucial players and if they are to all continue current excellent form then the next Ashes will be one of the most exciting prospects in memory, with a whole new set of star players on each team.

On current form you might give Swann the points over Hauritz with bat and ball, though there is not as much in it as people might think imo. Haddin and Prior look pretty evenly matched. The other pairings need to be viewed as a package because the players have quite different profiles.

Johnson and Watson v Anderson and Broad. The English pair would be superior with the ball at the moment but the Australian pair worth a hell of a lot more with the bat. All could yet improve sharply before the Ashes, but I think the Australian pair are a little better as things stand.

If the last Ashes battle suffered a little from a lack of star players, the development and emergence of these and several other players on both teams should mean the coming Ashes is a great spectacle.

As matters stand:

Strauss
Cook
Trott
Pietersen
Collingwood/Bopara(Collingwood starting to get on a bit)
Bell
Prior
Broad
Swann
Anderson
Onions

V.

Watson
Katich/Hughes
Ponting
Clarke
Hussey/Ferguson?
North
Haddin
Johnson
Hauritz
Hilfenhaus/Siddle
Bollinger

England probably susceptible to a lack of bowling depth if they line up like that. Also Cook, Trott, Collingwood and Bell have it all to prove yet.

Hussey and North probably the big current question marks in the Australian camp, with Johnson still needing to find some bowling consistency.

If either spinner bowls well throughout they will give their team a huge advantage but I cannot recall ever seeing too many right arm off spinners do well in Australia.

One worry for England might be lack of depth behind their top 12 or 13. Australia may be a little stronger depth wise. You can bet that when the first test starts there will be at least 3 to 4 players different in each team from those I have listed.
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Report the nugget January 1, 2010 11:51 AM GMT
Haurtiz and Anderson really not that important to their teams imo, i would write more but i hungover like a **.
Report Captain Wurzel January 1, 2010 12:20 PM GMT
Going to be a very interesting series Deadly. Johnson more effective with the Kookaburra ball, he struggled with the Duke in England. Aussies have the advantage with raw pace in their attack - I have been impressed with the way Siddle has come on - I think Australia have found a quality effort bowler there. Haddin is an inferior keeper to Prior not much between them in batting. Broad is coming on leaps and bounds as a bowler and his lower order batting is more than useful. Watson - i think we differ on this one, i don't rate him as a test opener and his bowling is ordinary - maybe he will improve.
Report Captain Wurzel January 1, 2010 12:22 PM GMT
Forgot about the spin ! Hauritz is decent player but to be honest he ain't in Swann's league. Swann looks the real deal, great variations very attacking bowler + as a lower order batsman far superior to Hauritz.
Report Deadly Earnest January 1, 2010 12:50 PM GMT
Capt. Wurzel - Watson currently averaging 65 as a test opener from 12 innings over 7 tests and only once not out. Still a small sample size but you couldn't say it is skewed by a high number of not outs or one or two really big scores.

I think he has one duck and nothing else under 30 so far, and the duck might have been a bit on the unlucky side from memory. Let's see how he progresses but I'm pretty sure if you take the matches he has opened in, he has scored more runs than any other position has in those matches in total(ie, all his teammates and positions 1,2,3,4 etc totalled from the opposition.) That is a very good stat to have in your CV imo. Not too bad so far for a guy who seems to be seen as mentally weak, not being able to handle pressure, and/or possessing a poor technique for an opener.
Report tuthoops January 1, 2010 12:52 PM GMT
really watson he bowls and he opens what more do you want! and I am a england fan
Report Captain Wurzel January 1, 2010 1:09 PM GMT
Yeah fair point Deadly - his stats are good - he is however vulnerable to a full pitched swinging delivery on the pads, on the other hand every batsman ( almost ) has a weakness. Will be interesting to see how he gets on over the next 12 months or so.
Report fundamentalist January 1, 2010 1:52 PM GMT
Completely disagree about Andersen not being important to England, Hauritz less so to Aus in home rather than away series.

As for Watson, think the forum could be eating some humble pie, despite every poss criticism hes putting the numbers in the book.

DE, why did you choose a batter in the Aus package but not the Eng one? because hes an AR?
Report fundamentalist January 1, 2010 1:54 PM GMT
FWIW Swann over Hauritz, cant split the keepers, Andersen and Johnson pretty level (despite different type of bowlers), Watson Broad

As a apackage on current evidence its almightily close, however, not sure the 7 each in eaither side not in these packages are as closely matched
Report fundamentalist January 1, 2010 1:54 PM GMT
Watson Broad tht was
Report fundamentalist January 1, 2010 1:55 PM GMT
greater than (symbol clearly doesnt work ffs!)
Report fundamentalist January 1, 2010 1:58 PM GMT
composite side currently of:

strauss (capt)
watson
ponting
pietersen
clarke
hussey/north/ferguson
prior/haddin
swann
johnson
andersen
siddle

so 6/4 in favour of aus with no split on keepers
Report Captain Wurzel January 1, 2010 3:02 PM GMT
Broad has got to get in a composite Eng/Aus side. He is a matchwinning bowler.
Report scliffor January 1, 2010 3:18 PM GMT
Johnson could be the key. If he plays like he did v SA then he's first pick of the bowlers, if it's his ashes performances that count then I'd have almost any of the other seamers over him.

Was his Ashes performance due to the Dukes ball, slower pitches, family bickering or is it that his action is always going to lead to inconsistency?
Report Deadly Earnest January 1, 2010 4:13 PM GMT
The reason I went for the packages I did Fundy is because I think those players as much because they have shown sharp improvement over the last 2 years at some point as anything. They are also as often as not the players who are making the most impact for their respective teams right at the moment with both bat and in the field. They are the ones winning matches if you like.

I include Anderson with the bat in that although he only averages around 17 over the last 2 years, he has added important depth and does the nightwatchman role very reliably. At the same time he has averaged a handy 32 with the ball but added much needed control to his armoury.

Another reason I listed the players I did is because they have all been mauled or badly underrated on here quite regularly imo(I must admit I myself have criticised several of them at times,) perhaps with the exception of Haddin, but he belongs there to balance the England keeper. Similarly, Swann is there mainly as like for like with Hauritz.

It's just interesting I think because the two teams now hold several of the emerging top test cricketers, whereas the 2009 Ashes came a little too early for that.
Report Deadly Earnest January 1, 2010 4:31 PM GMT
scliffor 01 Jan 16:18


Johnson could be the key. If he plays like he did v SA then he's first pick of the bowlers, if it's his ashes performances that count then I'd have almost any of the other seamers over him.

Was his Ashes performance due to the Dukes ball, slower pitches, family bickering or is it that his action is always going to lead to inconsistency?



I doubt it was the duke ball that did Johnson in. I think the slower pitches and personal issues both counted against him. I also think some of the English test grounds are slightly quirky for bowlers who are new to them. Johnson(along with Siddle and Hilfenhaus) had a flat pitch at Cardiff, the slope at Lord's, and the slope at Headingly to deal with, and they had no experience of these conditions to draw on. Johnson has the least repeatable action so I suppose things like this are likely to effect him most. He only actually bowled really poorly at Lord's though he had about one poor spell each at Headingly, Edgaston and the Oval.

If my assessment regarding inexperience in the conditions is correct then we should expect sharp improvement second time around against Pakistan in England this next summer.
Report scliffor January 1, 2010 4:43 PM GMT
Good point about Aus v Pak in England later this year. Wonder which ball they'll use, presumably whichever one Pakistan use, which I think is Kookaburra
Report Deadly Earnest January 1, 2010 4:45 PM GMT
I sort of presumed they would use the Duke ball in England but now that you've caused me to think about it, I don't suppose that is not a given.
Report scliffor January 1, 2010 4:48 PM GMT
Agree, it's confusing that you have to think about who the 'home' team is. Kept forgetting that Pak were at home for a series vs NZ in NZ. Wonder who will have the TV rights?
Report scliffor January 1, 2010 4:48 PM GMT
Actually think I've seen Sky advertising the rights
Report Deadly Earnest January 1, 2010 4:53 PM GMT
Think I have too Scliffor. I doubt those of us who follow the cricket full time will be getting many days to enjoy the sun, sand and surf this next summer.
Report anyother January 1, 2010 8:39 PM GMT
theres some youngsters in there .. be interesting how the test of time delivers its verdict ..
Report legend111 January 2, 2010 12:02 AM GMT
noone mentioned Brett Lee coming back by then
Report bigpoppapump January 2, 2010 6:34 PM GMT
Johnson(along with Siddle and Hilfenhaus) had a flat pitch at Cardiff, the slope at Lord's, and the slope at Headingly to deal with, and they had no experience of these conditions to draw on.

this is a misleading way to describe the two grounds. it suggests both grounds present a similar challenge to the bowler when Lord's slopes 9 feet from side to side [if I'm correct] and frankly there's a barely discernable slope down the ground at Leeds from the kirkstall Lane End. not sure if you've seen a game at Leeds Deaders, or where you've dreamed up this excuse for the bowlers you mention but it's an odd one imo. Aus won that game by an innings thanks to dominant seam bowling. no excuse needed in that match. And nor has there ever been that excuse for bowlers at Leeds.

and at Cardiff johnson bottled it. whatever the flatness of the pitch he simply couldn't bowl straight enough to make the batsmen play when the final pair had to survive 10+ overs for the draw.
Report Deadly Earnest January 2, 2010 11:56 PM GMT
Where you get the notion I was making excuses for Leeds is beyond me. I was simply giving it as an example of a quirky ground for bowling as there is a big downhill slope for the bowler at one end and this is quite rare on test grounds as far as I know. I have heard visiting fast bowlers say that bowling downhill there can take some getting used to.

When analysing form I am not looking for excuses. I look for explanations for things that occur.

You've got a guy who bowled Graeme Smith out with less than 2 overs left to win the match in Sydney, 'bottling' it at Cardiff in similar circumstances. Doesn't make much sense to me if by bottling it you mean he didn't have sufficient courage to get the job done.

There are reasons things happen. If you reckon someone who tries to find logical reasons to explain why ostensibly inconsistent performances happen is making excuses you are welcome to that belief.
Report bigpoppapump January 2, 2010 11:57 PM GMT
there's no big downhill slope at Leeds.
Report Deadly Earnest January 2, 2010 11:59 PM GMT
So it is flat?
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 12:00 AM GMT
there's more than the two alternatives:

flat
big downhill slope.
Report Super Vixen January 3, 2010 12:00 AM GMT
Bowlers I played with constantly moaned about losing their run-up at Leeds - even though the "slope" isn't that great.
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 12:02 AM GMT
it's a red herring to talk about sloping grounds and drop lord's and leeds in to the same breath. misleading because they're totally different.
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:03 AM GMT
Who said they weren't different?

You'd start an argument in a monastry.
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 12:05 AM GMT
lol. yup, there's just me arguing with myself...

"is it flat"

;)
Report Super Vixen January 3, 2010 12:06 AM GMT
Think Deadly is saying that Johnson had problems with the sideways slope at Lords - which many bowlers have - and the approach at Leeds - which others have had too, because of inexperience at the grounds.

They are a bit tricky, but a top quality bowler should be able to adapt.
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:06 AM GMT
England's bowlers were far from profligate, although generally they struggled early to adjust to the length required on the Headingley slope.
Report Nailed_On January 3, 2010 12:06 AM GMT
Playing surface was pretty much levelled off in the off season last year when they relaid it.
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:09 AM GMT
Ah, ok, if that is the case I would like to officially withdraw Headingly from the list of quirky bowling grounds in England. i've just learned something.
Report Jan1ne January 3, 2010 12:11 AM GMT
watson more vulnerable to the new ball than jimmy A

no contest
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 12:12 AM GMT
surprised there's a thought that because a player didnt bottle it in one game he never would in another...seems to assume a player's state of mind is a static thing. or even misses the point that he could have got a key wicket in the unconnected example despite sh1tting himself.
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:13 AM GMT
Johnson bottling it at Cardiff is your assessment right?

Or is it an understood fact?
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:14 AM GMT
If you want to contribute something useful to the thread, let us know your thoughts on Watson as an opening bat or something along those lines.
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 12:16 AM GMT
I'm looking for reasons that he didnt bowl straight at the number 10 and 11 batsmen.
I assume we've ruled out a slope, it's sophia gardens not sophia gradient right?

why do you think he failed to bowl at the stumps or make them play at most of the deliveries?
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:27 AM GMT
After 40+ overs in the match and on a day 98 overs were bowled I would have thought fatigue would be a possible factor. The Australians generally looked quite flat late on. The track was quite lifeless and they had busted their gut to get the 9 wickets they got, I think they were spent. When bowlers tire their action can fall apart causing them to get the co-ordinates wrong. Johnson outbowled plenty of bowlers in that match.

Are you saying Johnson generally lacks bottle, or that he just chose a couple of matches in England to lose his bottle in?
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 12:35 AM GMT
certainly think he's prone to having a "bad tummy" on the last day when he's expected to stand up and be the main bowler to match his billing. same thing happened v the windies at Perth.

that final day at cardiff i think his head was wrong - he had done some daft little kid "squaring up" to KP before play started that final morning because a cricket ball from KP's knock up went past where MJ was warming up. i dont think his actions were those of a guy who was happy in himself. could have been the personal probs though - as you mention further up the thread.

I suspect he's a fairly fragile type - nothing wrong with that - and coming to terms with a big expectation and some big shoes to fill in an era when it goes against the bowlers more every year is a tough one.
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 12:37 AM GMT
and as an opening batsmen I'd say Watson is better than Hughes.
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:38 AM GMT
So who do you think are the players who will settle the 10/11 Ashes?
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 12:39 AM GMT
Broad and Anderson.

Aus will win comfortably.
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:40 AM GMT
I'll be very surprised if history shows Watson to be a better batsman than Hughes, but he is probably better right now.

Where does Watson as an opener sit with you now, didn't you say he wasn't good enough earlier, if so, do you still hold to that?
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 1:00 AM GMT
he's certainly good enough to get runs against WI and Pak; not sure if i said that wasn't the case?

I havent seen seen all the games they've played this season [and missed him finally getting a hundred so assume I've missed his best performance] but from what i've seen it's what you'd expect. Generally drives well and punishes poor bowling on the true australian surfaces. always seems likely to miss a straight one and get a big pad in the way.
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 2:45 AM GMT
Watson not good enough defensively just now to a decent seamer. Didnt really get in line, but that's how he plays. He wouldnt get the quick runs he gets in easy conditions if he was tighter.

hughes, of course, is a total comedian.
Report timmy2988 January 3, 2010 2:47 AM GMT
Comedian is one word for him. After a performance like that I doubt we'll be seeing any more of him in test cricket for a while. (Cue second innings double hundred :( )
Report Mr. Moustache January 3, 2010 2:56 AM GMT
Watson will never play again due to an impending near death incident & natural retardedness.
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 3:56 AM GMT
Whatever you say about Watson, he has scored more runs than any position on his team or the opposition in his 7 matches as an opener as far as I can tell.

That is a decent thing to have on your CV imo. His success or failure will be telling in the Ashes for my money.
Report Mr. Moustache January 3, 2010 4:02 AM GMT
Wont make it past the 1st test DE. Decapetated by a Bell bouncer fyi.
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 4:12 AM GMT
without checking I'd be amazed if he top scored in the defeat at the Oval.

And from what I can remember Gayle got a hundred versus Aus, where Watson didnt get a hundred versus WI.

He got a hundred at Melbourne - good luck to him, but it's worth noting Hauritz got 75 in that match and pak were at least two front line bowlers light. He's been putting WI and Pak away on nice decks. no more, no less.
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 4:34 AM GMT
Clown. :)

I didn't mean he'd made most runs in every match, but that should be obvious.

What I meant was if you take his accumulated total runs in the 7 matches he has opened, it will be higher than the accumulated total runs for every other position in his team and the opposition, ie he has made more in total from those matches than all his teammates and more than batsman 1,2,3,4 etc . form the opposition totalled for those matches.

That being the case, and given he has batted in varying conditions, it is very difficult to lay meaningful criticism to his performance.
Report bigpoppapump January 3, 2010 4:37 AM GMT
lol.

he's done a version of what you [correctly] identify paul collingwood with. who's currently top of the England runs list in SA...
Report Captain Wurzel January 3, 2010 6:14 AM GMT
Don't see Aus beating England easily in 10/11 bigpop. Unless they have got a new batch of players coming through. Think it will be tightish but England look like they are progressing more as a side.
Report GrimReaper January 3, 2010 8:05 AM GMT
Deadly Earnest 03 Jan 05:34

What I meant was if you take his accumulated total runs in the 7 matches he has opened, it will be higher than the accumulated total runs for every other position in his team and the opposition, ie he has made more in total from those matches than all his teammates and more than batsman 1,2,3,4 etc . form the opposition totalled for those matches.


Thought I'd check this out.

Watson runs for his 7 tests - 716
Report GrimReaper January 3, 2010 8:06 AM GMT
Sorry pressed "reply" too soon. And now we're underway in Cape Town, I can't be ársed any more. I may return to this.
Report Lies, DamnLies, and Statistics January 3, 2010 9:28 AM GMT
runs for aus top 8 from 3rd ashes test to today

watson 722
katich 567
ponting 398
hussey 544
clarke 506
north 420
haddin 280
johnson 152
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:34 PM GMT
Naturally a stat like this favours opening bats esp with Ponting making some early declarations etc, but I assume he is ahead of all his teammates in this period on aggregate and average, a decent enough achievement. I would say it is more than likely he has achieved the same over all opposition batting positions too, total exhaustion stopping me from doing the numbers.

Given only 2 of the 7 matches have resulted in draws and he did not score especially heavily in those, this would be a significant indicator of how effective he has been, and I see he is turning one notable forumites view on his batting by degrees. ;)
Report dougydougy. January 3, 2010 12:39 PM GMT
When the ball swings the man is no good, although this can be said of most of the aussie batting line up as we saw today. Those stats are especially pleasing for England fans as there is a good chance he'll still be in the side next time we play australia.
Report Deadly Earnest January 3, 2010 12:46 PM GMT
Good to see one diehard is not for turning. :)
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