For Australia, a thrilling victory in the Second ODI was overshadowed by two comprehensive defeats either side in a 2-1 series defeat to South Africa. With their bowling attack unable to have its usual effectiveness and the batting lineup flaky, it was a disappointing performance with the 2019 World Cup not far away. What were our knee jerk reactions to another Australian short form series defeat?
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1. Australia can’t win the World Cup.
This is the kind of reaction that comes back to bite you but the Aussies seem to be confused, or wrong, about their approach to 50 Over Cricket, the best players to deliver that strategy or potentially both. Are they a team that builds their innings and explodes late or are they a team that puts their foot to the pedal from ball one? If its the first they have selection issues, if its the latter the message isn’t getting through. Either way they are on the path to ruin unless they resolve it quickly.
2. Shaun Marsh will play the First Test against India.
Barring injury, or a change of heart of mammoth proportions, you can all but take it as written that Shaun Marsh will again don the Baggy Green when Australia meets India at the Adelaide Oval in the First Test. If they were honest, the selectors would tell us his position was never in any serious question but, after his imperious century in the Third ODI they will point to it as justification for their decision. That said, watching him in total control against a quality international attack it is easy to see him through the selectors eyes as it is hard to reconcile it with his almost 20 years of inconsistent performances.
3. His Century cost Australia the Third ODI.
Ok, we know this is a difficult position to justify but bear with us, who said knee jerk reactions needed to be rationale. Understanding that laying the blame at the top scorer seems harsh, especially when the other three members of the top four combined for 17 runs, if you are going to use up a third of the teams allotted deliveries you need to go on and score a big 100. On a pitch that did take some time to get going on, it was important that those who had gotten themselves in didn’t leave too much work for those at the back end of the innings.
4. No Free to Air Coverage is the beginning of the end for ODI’s.
There was a great deal of outrage when a great number of Australian Cricket fans realised that this series and all home ODI’s going forward would be telecast behind a Foxtel paywall. Immediately taking a step back from our outlandish claim however, it is ridiculous to suggest this represents the beginning of the end for ODI’s. That actually occurred when the 50 Over Domestic competition was relegated to a meaningless one month tournament a couple of years ago.
5. More like Channel Nine-lite than a Broadcast Revolution.
When it was announced in April that Foxtel would partner with Channel Seven to cover cricket in Australia, they promised us a broadcast revolution. In their first attempt at covering Australia’s International Summer of Cricket they fell some way short of this grand promise. While the likes of Isa Guha and Kerry O’Keefe were a welcome addition, the patriotic approach to the coverage however feel more like a pale imitation of Channel Nine’s coverage than a new and improved approach.
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