Thursday, 18 December 2008

Feeling the blues

It's hard to know just where New South Wales cricket is at the moment. Over in Perth, the first day of the First Test has lived up to all the expectations I had for a thrilling series. The story was a familiar one this summer - Australia's batting rescued by Katich and/or Clarke. Fellow Blues player Brad Haddin continued his form, the only news being Queenslander Symonds finally putting some runs together. (All in all the runs were scored at a cracking pace - I suspect the Saffers could benefit from a more cautious approach today.)

With Brett Lee taking wickets, the only problems for NSW at the top level are Phil Jaque's and Stuart Clark's injuries. But what's left of the state team? Last year, when Haddin and Katich were still regularly available, the non-Test players did well enough to make the "Shield" final, where a full strength team put Victoria away (despite a solid performance by Siddle). Now, they're struggling to win a match in any form of the game, and the selectors are making big changes.

Captain Dominic Thornely was upset that fives changes were made to the team for the next Shield game (SMH). The selectors seem to have come in line with their national counterparts on the question of Nathan Hauritz. Henriques, who looked so good against New Zealand, is out.
It's pretty normal to have 5 changes for NSW whenever the national team becomes (un)available for state matches, but should the young guys left holding the fort get more of a chance when that isn't going on? Obviously the best team should be chosen, but I'm not sure constant chopping and changing helps anyone. What do you think?

But that's the Test players of the future. For now, I'll just sit back and watch the Australian bowlers hopefully make a good match of it in Perth.

14 comments:

Jonathan said...

375 is... not too bad. Now the real test begins.

Straight Point said...

the rate at which these runs are scored leaves enough time in this match...i think SA missed the trick by not slowing the game down...

Jonathan said...

They're definitely keeping the pace up, but Krejza's finally found a gap!

Wasim said...

Jonathan

What's the deal with Shaun Tait is he fit and available for selection.

Jonathan said...

Wasim, Tait was fit enough to play for South Australia against NSW in the one-dayer last Tuesday, but wasn't judged fit enough for the four day game currently under way. It looks like the Redbacks could do with him.

Do you think he should be in the national team? I guess I would pick him ahead of Siddle, but not Clark. (On this WACA pitch, Clark could really be an asset.) And Johnson has proved his worth...

Speaking of run rates, SP, it sure is a contrast with Mohali.

Soulberry said...

Jonathan, the test match is shaping up great. It is extremely difficult from here for the Saffers but who knows?

scorpicity said...

My money was on the saffers... maybe in all my enthusiasm, I forgot their choking good luck charm. The match is shaping out beautifully. Amla to the rescue in the second innings I hope... at least for a great contest till the end.

And this is the longest for me watching Hussey failing LOL.

With regard to the domestic scenario, I see it as a good problem to have.

Wasim said...

Jonathan

I would have picked him ahead of Siddle for the Indian tour, with his Waqar Younis like action and speed he can reverse the ball better than the rest of the Australian bowlers.

Siddle and Watson look like bowling clones,they have same action and same variety.

Australia will win this one thanks to Johnson.

I made a huge mistake by changing him at the last minute in my fantasy team.

Jonathan said...

Soulberry, I think it's got even better since you said that!

Wasim, I'm surprised that you compare Siddle to Watson, but then maybe I'm too harsh on Watson. I also think that Siddle's inexperience is showing. This is a big stage for your 15th first class match!

Wasim said...

South Africa can win this one if they don't choke. Great innings by Smith but then again it seemed as if the pitch eased down after the first two days.

Wasim said...

Jonathan

I don't know I saw both of them bowl in tandem in a test against India and to me they looked the same although Siddle was a bit faster.

Jonathan said...

Wasim, maybe it is just hte pace, but I feel Siddle is generally much more effective. But yes, he's only in the Test team due to injuries.

scorpicity said...

Whatever happened to Bollinger. Even in the series against India, I was really surprised to see him not featured in the match despite doing well in the A-tour a week earlier.

Jonathan said...

Scorpi, you're not the only one asking that question. Hopefully I'll see him in fine form tomorrow...