Cricket: Spinning our way into the unknown

James Muirhead playing for the Melbourne Stars (photo: SMH/Getty Images)

James Muirhead playing for the Melbourne Stars (photo: SMH/Getty Images)

Australian cricket saw what could be considered its best summer last year – the last one came against India just a couple of short years back.

Breaking down the constituents, one topic of interest has seemingly plagued journos, critics and fans alike; why is there so much talk about the choice of a front-line spinner? Continue reading

Cricket: The Ashes: Adelaide Day 3: Johnson firepower destroys England

Mitchell Johnson celebrates  dismissing Stuart Broad on Day 3 @ Adelaide (ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

Mitchell Johnson celebrates dismissing Stuart Broad on Day 3 @ Adelaide (ESPN Cricinfo/Getty Images)

Test cricket is the pinnacle of the three international formats, and today at the Adelaide Oval showed just why.

It was the Mitchell Johnson show, as the left-armer made England shudder in their boots.  Continue reading

Cricket: The Ashes: Fourth Test Breakdown

Michael Clarke walks off bowled by Stuart Broad (sourced from ESPN cricinfo)

Michael Clarke walks off bowled by Stuart Broad (sourced from ESPN cricinfo)

What was there for the taking ended up in utter disaster at Durham on Monday, the fourth day of the fourth Ashes test.

Set a victory target of 299, Australia tumbled from 2-147, after the fall of Usman Khawaja, to 224 all out, losing to England by 74 runs.  A grim picture after giving themselves every chance to win their first test of the series. Continue reading

Cricket: Champions Trophy campaign over, fragile Australia looking to Ashes

David Warner, 2012, currently out of favour with the Aussie side (photo mine)

David Warner, 2012, currently out of favour with the Aussie side (photo mine)

What is currently going right with the Australian team?

The answer is, not much.  And with the Ashes less than three weeks away, questions are burning hot as to whether the squad will be up to the challenge against England.

Granted, those who come in to the test side means that the line-up becomes different to the recently completed Champions Trophy; but it does not change the fact that, on current form, Australia is falling behind the stronger teams in world cricket. Continue reading

Cricket: India v Australia: Test Series Analysis and Review

Michael Clarke & MS Dhoni pose w/ the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (from examiner.com)

Michael Clarke & MS Dhoni pose w/ the Border-Gavaskar Trophy
(from examiner.com)

Australia was thrown a curveball from the moment they stepped on to the sub-continent in February.  In the end that curveball proved to be the side’s ultimate downfall.

Batting and bowling failures alike culminated in a shocking (and at times horrifying) 4-0 series loss to India.

There are plenty of words to describe each test, each player, and each moment, but none more so than disappointing.  Even travelling with a team that had largely not played in Indians conditions before, Australia was rolled, crushed and decimated over the past month in a way no-one expected.
Continue reading

Cricket: India the proving ground for Ashes

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo  mine)

Glenn Maxwell v Sydney Thunder, Jan 8, 2013 (photo mine)

India.  The dustbowls.  Home of the raging turner or the swinging sensation.

Also the proving ground for a host of Australian players before the Ashes series in England in July.

Questions will include; do both spinners get played, which pacemen get the gig, and who is going to open the batting?

Nathan Lyon will relish the challenge of really getting the chance to prove why he is Australia’s number one spinner.  Michael Clarke returns to the country where he burst onto the test scene in 2004.

Will it be the left arm combination, the Mitchell’s, Starc and Johnson, who can undo India with pace and swing?  Or perhaps Peter Siddle will enjoy steaming in and kicking up a cloud of dust.

Chennai is the first venue between these two rivals.  And if there is going to be any indication of form, it is going to be the sub continent.

Here’s a player by player preview (the entire 17 man squad): Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v Sri Lanka: Boxing Day Test Preview

MCG Panorama

Overview:

Momentum looks to be with the Australians heading to the MCG and the 2012 Boxing Day Test, after the Aussies found some spark to rout Sri Lanka on the final day in Hobart.

Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc, who both bowled more than 50 overs each in Hobart, were the catalysts for the turnaround in the final innings after Sri Lanka began to settle in.  Nathan Lyon, despite match figures of 2/133, bowled some superb tight lines to keep the Sri Lankans under pressure. Continue reading

Cricket: Australia v South Africa: Third Test Preview

Peter Siddle in Adelaide (photo from cricket.com.au)

Attention turns to the WACA on Friday as the third and final test between Australia and South Africa gets underway.

It has been a test of endurance and fitness this series, as bowlers and batters alike have toiled in the middle for hours on end.

For the Australians, the side injury to James Pattinson is a bitter blow for both the paceman and the Australian team.  After being injured last summer, Pattinson will once again sit on the sidelines for the majority of Australia’s summer campaign.

Here’s a look at the areas for both teams in which could prove vital in Perth:

Continue reading