You know me – when it comes to cricket and a few numbers, I go weak at the knees.
I note that this summer, the Aussies are “copy-catting” the English by having their “serial number” on the shirt. EG, Steve Waugh is the 335th player selected to play Test cricket for Australia.
On the team poster in the official program, it is interesting to compare the numbers:
349 Mark Waugh
Ponting is 366.
It is interesting to note that the six between 349 – 359 all started around the same time – but what different paths they have trod. It’s also interesting to see Martyn, Langer and Hayden – the performers of the summer all started so close together. Those three have played a few less Tests that the other three in the group!
I thought about Steve Waugh all the way back at 335 and wondered who was 334 and 336? The answer does put the old warhorse’s career into some perspective. Merv Hughes, Geoff Marsh and Bruce Reid all started in the match before Waugh in the 1985-1986 season. All of these players had substantial Test careers (if not injury interrupted in some cases) but are
And number 336 – from what I can tell, it was Simon Davis.
And now a trivia question (without an answer): Gilchrist is 381 and Bing Lee is 383. Who is no 382?
And a few other matters:
Muralitharan becomes the fastest to 400 wickets – which is a great shame because he is a chucker and a cheat and will go on to become the world record holder.
Sri Lanka annihilates Zimbabwe again.
Zimbabwe are woeful.
The current Aust One Day team is considerably weaker than the Test team and less well balanced. A few thoughts:
1. With Warnie at number 8, Australia sports a long tail for one day cricket. Sure he can fire sometimes and has a handful of good scores but is too inconsistent. Compare him to NZ and SA’s number eights – Parore and Pollock (and even number 9’s) and he is outclassed.
2. I think having a policy where you don’t necessarily pick the same team for one day cricket and Test cricket is good. This emerged in the mid 90’s and saw the demise of players such as Taylor, Healy, Slater and changes in the batting order with different openers being used. That being said, I think it is stupid to be rigid about ensuring that the teams are different. Teams should be picked on form. Australia’s single biggest success by a very long way this summer has been the Langer-Hayden combination. They have completely dominated (NZ and SA) with huge scores and made at good speed. They must have a psychological advantage of both teams and as we all know you cannot underestimate the importance of the mental state in sport. By not selecting that pair as the openers, we forfeit an advantage.
3. I think that the top seven from the Tests should be kept. If Bevan has to play (because he has the best average in the history of ODI’s and has scored well this summer), swap him with Mark Waugh. Martin can come up the order. Gilchrist comes in at seven – he can get us off to a flyer in ODIs and it is spectacular when he succeeds but he does have a fairly high failure rate. Secondly, most of the players in the team can score when the field is up by hitting through or over the field. Where are getting bogged down in the later overs – Gilchrist can hit boundaries when the field is out because he hits the ball so hard and because he can clear the rope regularly.
4. We need to replace a bowler with an all rounder at 8. We can get 20 overs out of Ponting, Martyn and M Waugh/Bevan and Symonds/Bevan.
My team would be:
5. S Waugh
6. M Waugh/Bevan
I’ve bracketed 3 pairs to include a full 14 man squad.