Posted by: nestaquin | January 26, 2010

Australia v Pakistan 3rd ODI: Observations & Future Selections

With their third consecutive win Australia wrapped up the ODI series against Pakistan this evening in Adelaide. The tourists were more cohesive than in the two previous encounters and even though Australia were not at their best, the home team still had enough class to see off the challenge.

Ryan Harris, back from injury and only given a game in the absence of Johnson, Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Lee and Bracken, kept his name high on the selectors list of replacements with three wonderful spells, all at crucial stages of the match. His fielding and throwing from the boundary was also of a high standard and he thoroughly deserved his cheque as Man of the Match.

To be fair, Pakistan could have made it a closer match if the review system was available to their opening pair. Asoka de Silva gave both Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal out LBW incorrectly and considering the relative success of the system this Australian summer, it is puzzling as to why the ICC decided against its implementation during the ODI series.

Shahid Afridi, supported by Rana Naved, gave his team hope with a controlled innings late in the match but even with the Powerplay 102 runs from the final ten overs was too many with only four wickets left.

So it’s on to Perth for the final two matches and it will be interesting to see if Australia will rest Test players like Bollinger, Clarke, Hauritz and Watson. The dead rubbers look the perfect opportunity to do so and if Harris and Mackay’s performances are any indication, the new players certainly won’t let the team down. In fact, their enthusiasm and desire to prove themselves could potentially make the team stronger in the short term.

With that in mind and putting on my selector’s cap this is the team I’d like to see in Perth.


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[Image: Getty]


  1. Aus could field two or even three ODI XIs that would see off all but SL and SA at their best and India.

    • I think they saw off India with a virtual Second XI in November.

      It was interesting to hear Harris say that the concentrated Big Bash competition that just ended aided in his form and development for the 50 over stuff. The World Cup is still a year away but at this stage Australia are looking a serious chance to make their fifth straight final.

  2. Oh, just awful. The odd thing, Pakistan played better,. and AU played worse, but the result was still as could be forseen, AU win, Pakistan lose series, 2 games dead rubbers, and so on and so forth. I have no explanation for this conundrum at all. Asoka’s call was apalling, and it must have struck the heart of Pakistan, maybe that was it.

    AU had some surprising fielding cackhandedness that made me and the dog reel back and screech like maddended cockatoos, and Pakistan had some terrific batting, and bowling and fielding, but they were bursts of perhaps oh.. say.. 10 minutes .. Ameer wasn’t playing, so a bit of the glitter was gone for me, and since he is the only bit of glitter, well. …

    Ryan Harris was transformed by the green and gold yet again, he was as savage as Thommo at times, and the Pakistan batsmen fell like ringbarked gums all over the place.

    Saeed Ajmal. This bloke has such a terrific face, that a lot of my time is taken up observing him doing ordinary things, so perhaps I missed any spark of brilliance from anyone else that went on.

    But I doubt it.

  3. A bit of spleen venting. Forgive.

    Younis Khan. Simply too slow out of the blocks, he reminded me forcefully of Micheal Vaughan in that absurd ODI in the West Indies. Younis stared into the middle distance contemplating the moon and stars as the ball sailed by time and again. The desire to holler, ‘get a move on, Younis’ was overwhelming. Khan was flown out specifically for this comp, and bugger me, I don’t know, it all went south very quickly.

    Afridi. Has all the batting skills but no capacity to craft an innings. Belts and slams and struts and shouts, but the significance is lost.

    The wretched Wicky for Pakistan. What a hideous tour this poor little bugger has had, from go to whoa. And he is a replacement for the former Wickie who was even more clumsy.

    Umar Gul. Well.. I recall Tooting’s plea for James Anderson to bowl like Umar Gul, and I can only say, from Toots lips to God’s ears, as England will go down like a dead suet pudding. And if he bats like Umar, ditto.

    Yousef. Not a happy man, but honestly, something is terribly off there. No possible conclusion can be drawn from his field placings except those of a sort of Picasso like perspective. All over the place. And no one takes a blind bit of notice to directions re field placement, and if they do, then the placement looks nuts. *very big sigh* .. I just don’t know….

    The desire to win, the capacity to win, the need to win is all there. These are not unskilled men, and in another context would be , I am sure, fierce competitors and formidable opponents, but it hasn’t happened here in Au.

  4. Shahid Afridi chawin’ on the ball is one of the funniest things I have ever seen on a cricket field. I swear that guy has missed his calling he should have been a clown. He’s only missing the big checked pants, floppy shoes and the red nose.

  5. I wept with laughter, Lou. It went on for SO LONG!!.

    And Rana kept on chatting to him WHILE HE DID IT!!…

    Neither of them thought it was odd. I thought Rana was about to have a few chomps on it as well.

    My dog , Mango, was gobsmacked, it’s not often she sees a human chewing on a ball. She was so offended.

  6. He also did in right in front of Asif and he didn’t turn a hair either. What a scream.

  7. I’ve been trying to think if I’ve ever seen anyone putting a cricket ball in their mouth before. He initially claimed he was trying to smell it, and I don’t think i’ve ever seen anyone doing that before either.

    • Big Merv used to lick it didn’t he?

  8. England were making a good run at being the joke team of the world, but sadly they have clawed back to more sensible ground, especially as the KP factor recedes into the background and Captain Sensible imposes his character, leaving the field completely clear for Pakistan. There’s still a 2020 game left, lots of time to go for glory, and claim the nutcase title indisputably.
    Yousef’s smouldering look at his partner after being run out in Tasmania will be the lingering memory for me of this visit.

    • Yeh, I’ve also been disappointed by England’s sudden descent into common sense. I really don’t understand it. They used to be such fun.

  9. Pepp,
    wondering how you are finding life these days? I’ve heard reports from people about the state of agriculture in Australia that seem scarcely credible, being so bad. As an Australian suburban boy now living in Europe, I’ve no idea, and was wondering what it was like in the country for you, trying to make a living. Is the agricultural model we have built over the last 200 years going to continue?
    Sorry, way off topic, but was just interested to ask.

  10. I was a bit taken aback, Fred. I sat down and thought about it, and asked around about it, how bad is it, ey?

    First off.. I live in the city, ( Sydney) and farm on the weekends. Not all weekends. It is the fam farm, shared between 6 bros and sisters, one brother and his wife live on the farm permanently. He is The Farmer in the family, and she is the local Doctor. This agreement suits us all, and we take our profits and losses philisophically as one must in Australia once one choses to farm.

    The drought has wrought terrific sadness, yet it has instigated terrific diversity and as well. It’s not all down, or all up, really. That is an overall assessment. Some ventures that were iffy to begin with, for example, rice, and cotton, have gone to the wall for lack of surplus water and deservedly so, in my opinion. For what that’s worth.

    The farm is on an island and along the riverbank in the middle of the Shoalhaven River, so water is not our problem. The heat is the problem, by which I mean the increase in average temperature and the length that temp continues and begins. We have only kept the breeding stock of cattle for the last four years and increased the sheep. We’ve done agistment up north along the Richmond River and along the Murray for the sheep for a few years, now, expensive but profitable within acceptable margins.

    So is it so bad? The economy overall in Au is rocking. Interest rates are about to rise because unemployment has fallen. There is a market for what is produced, and a lot is being produced in the ag Bus. Wheat, canola, cattle * 12million dollar shiploads to Indonesia practically weekly from Darwin, gas, coal, iron ore, all this flows into the Ag Bus as well, in it’s peculiar way.

    We all eat well, and Au still has the cheapest food, and naturally, the best. Of course I don’t get Foie Gras, or truffles, but even Tasmania has been producing glorious truffles for a while now, Nestaquin please confirm.

    Of all the Ag sector, the dairy business is the one that has suffered, but that in particular areas, not overall. Some places , it’s outstanding, but in the usual places, the old places of dairy, it’s a struggle due to the high cost of water. Water that used to be falling from the sky, that doesn’t. We are not in the dairy business, I hasten to add.

    Being a weekend farmer, and a share farmer with my siblings to boot, my life is fabulous, as far as I can tell. Either that, or it’s the Bundaberg Rum, I can’t distinguish. . My farming income supports my city life, but at times, the city job kicks into the farming business, for the main man at the farm , it’s his sole income, and on this he educates and feeds 6 people and runs and owns equipment of large value. Mrs Farming , his darling wife brings in a good income as well, and this goes straight to their retirement investments, so they are doing ok, as well.

    Is the agricultural model of AU viable? Was it ever viable? Changes have had to be made, are being made, some stuff is not , and never was viable, some stuff is more than thriving. Like anywhere, the country town has had to diversify, some have, and some haven’t. Those that haven’t are very nearly comatose, but those that did, or are, are bustling places.

    The actual location of farming is gradually changing, because, Fred, the water comes!! the rain does fall, it’s just not falling in the places where the ‘old’ ag model was instigated.

    It’s a land of fire, flood and drought, and it requires a very big vision. You remember ShitsLotto? at the Rural show, the squares on the oval would be drawn up, the horses sent out, and whatever horse shat in your square first, won the prize. Great excitement and all that. Well,.. thats the AU agriculture model now, and the squares are still being shat in. Not the same squares and not every time, but enough.

    Apologies for length, Fred. It was a big question , a big country, and a big business, and brevity was not an option.

  11. I would like to know how the Ag sector is faring in Europe!!. in particular , in France, whom I believe has the most visionary agricultural outlook of all.

    Au.. the tyranny of distance always rules.

    One reason I always watch the Tour D’France is to look into the back yards and fields of France, for long hours I hardly notice the riders, such is my concentration on the crops and the cattle and the state of the soil and the villages and cities, their obvious bustling population and permanency. That’s what 2000 years of Civilisation can do, I guess!!.

    Nesta, do forgive.

    I see that Afridi says he was ‘smelling’ the ball.

    I can’t go on. I have collapsed into another complete fit of helpless giggling.

  12. No worries Pepp, I think a discussion outside of cricket is worthy considering how utterly hopeless our visitors have been this summer. It’s 06/07 all over again.

    Tour de France – ditto. Although I do have an eye on the architecture as well as the landscape.

    Agriculture in Tasmania is a very important part of our economy and since everyone is living the life of Riley I guess we’re doing well too. Tasmania diversified a decade or two ago and now Truffles, Saffron, Poppies, Crayfish, Abalone, Salmon and even Eels are major exports. And because we do not have to worry about distance our meat and veg is always cheap and fresh.

    Like in Oz our dairy farmers are suffering but that has more to do with long term contracts they’ve signed with corporate producers.

    Bought 5 kgs of the shiniest organic apples today for $2. 10 kgs of Spuds for $6 and some local delicious chocolate fudge for $1.50.

    I was watching the tennis last night, only saw the last ten overs (Onya Huss!) so missed Afridi mistaking the ball for an apple. I’ll go now and investigate.

  13. I don’t know much about agriculture in Europe, but I do know that the early days of what became the European Union (which runs agriculture) set an agenda that ensured that Europe would never suffer famine again (most European countries have memories of famine – not UK however, though there was rationing for many years after WWII). That led to guaranteed prices and subsidising through the Common Agricultural Policy which is being slowly unravelled to avoid the farcical position where excess production had to be bought by governments at set prices and then not sold as it would depress world prices.

    I think it’s being sorted out now.

    Aus seems much more affected by climate change than Europe.

  14. Pepp, wow that was an amazing reply, thanks for your thoughts. It made me very happy to hear things are not as bad as I thought they might be. All I see in the press is stories of drought and bushfire, so it’s nice to have comment from someone who knows about it.
    I take your point that some things were just not meant to be grown in Australia. 200 years is not long enough for us to work out how to live properly in the country, it seems, but we’ll get there.

    Aus indeed is facing severe climate change problems, it’s a shame in my view that Turnbull was dropped and Abbott derailed the climate bill, but that’s another story. If I start expressing my honest views about the Mad Monk then, no matter how badly Pakistan play, the moderator will probably edit me:)

    Re European ag, don’t know, not my area, but as Tooting says its heavily subsidised by the EU. In France, it’s not just about producing food, it’s a part of who they are. It’s not really a business, it’s a lifestyle and a defining part of their national identity. Farmers are seen as the custodians of the French countryside and culture. It’s why the French are such strong supporters of the CAP. Consequently, food is phenomenal in France, something I am reminded of everytime I visit England or The Netherlands or Germany. Australia is the only country that is comparable.

    I was laughing on the weekend when I bought four lamb chops from the butcher, and he trimmed them then very carefully aligned them on the greaseproof paper, all perfectly nestled together, not a millimetre out of place, before wrapping them like they were diamonds; they care so much about their food here.

    My local market opens three times a week and it’s a feast. And the wine of course…I often ask the guy in the local wine shop to recommend something for the dish I’m doing, even if I know what I want, just to listen to him describe the wine.

    Anyway, I’m glad to hear its working well for your family, and I think your comments are right that anyone who doesn’t adapt will be in trouble. Except for the French, they don’t like to change. They just seem happy with what they have now.

    I guess agriculture must be really bad in Pakistan, since they’ve taken to eating cricket balls.

    • Although I seldom discuss politics or religion openly online I can say that rarely is there any moderating here Fred. However, for the readers benefit some formatting does occasionally occur.

      • Yes I know Nesta, I was speaking tongue in cheek really. Climate change is not cricket related, but as you say, Pakistan are not exactly commanding our attention at the moment and Pepps answer was fascinating. Cheers.

  15. Pepp and Fred – great stuff, with a helluva pay off there Fred!

    • Thanks Tooting.
      As I mentioned before, it will be interesting to see if Pak do any better in England soon. I have a feeling the answer will be no. I’m becoming speechless about them.

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