Almanac Cricket – Australia v England 5th ODI: At least it was competitive

Ah to be an Englishman today. 5-0 against Australia and 6-1 against Panama. Fair play to Panama for at least getting something on the board.

The victory for the Poms over the Australians in the ODI last night may not have been as dominant as some of those recorded earlier in the series but a win is still a win. Australia batted first and posted just 208, a score that most Big Bash League teams would now consider modest.

Despite a refreshingly venomous early spell from the wonderfully named Billy Stanlake, that at one stage saw the hosts five down for only fifty runs, a commanding display with the bat by Jos Buttler saw him notch a game-winning 110 N.O. and meant that England put the broom through Australia for the ODI series. Five, zip. And thus ended Tim Paine’s first real go-around as captain of a new-look, new-feel Australian team.

But does anyone care?

The lack of interest in this series here in Australia is understandable. The series was jostling for the Australian public’s attention amongst a crowded sporting calendar, being played into the AM hours, at a time when the thermometer doesn’t break double digits. International 50-over games are in a moment of uncertainty. Are they important in their own right? Will they continue to exist now that the T20 format has solidified its popularity as the short game du jour?

The annual circadian rhythms of the Australian sports viewer aren’t attuned to willow and leather when there’s snow on the mountains and cold, clean air to be tasted at footy grounds around the nation. Throw in direct competition with the World Cup group stage and you’ve got a recipe for a collective shrug of the sports viewing shoulders.

JTH’s Cricket Rant from 2011 that was republished yesterday is well worth a read to see exactly how much has changed in the past 7 years, and how much hasn’t (with some excellent comments from Almackers). It’s also the perfect time to consider some of John’s insightful observations about our relationship to and with the game.

With a new coach, a new captain, a review of Cricket Australia in progress, a vacant CEO position and an ambivalent public to deal with, what state will cricket be in, in another 7 years.


  1. This was the worst Australian ODI team that I have seen. And yes, there are reasons and excuses.
    But for now:
    a) Tim Paine must step down for ODI’s to save himself for Tests – his return of 36 runs in 5 matches was very poor. Alex Carey must now be groomed for the keeper’s spot immediately.
    b) I once rated Marcus Stoinis as a hard-hitting all-rounder – but his batting was ordinary and his bowling is smorgasbord stuff. Mitch Marsh will take his place anyway.
    c) Captain Obvious, I know, but the three big gun fast bowlers were very sorely missed.
    d) I am not convinced by Ashton Agar.
    e) Australia has a hate-hate relationship with spin: our batsmen cannot play spin – and the selectors have an ambivalent attitude toward selecting spin bowlers. Every other country plays two spinners.

  2. Punx 'and-the-rest-of-it' Pete says

    I reckon we’ll be right once Smith, Warner, Starc, Hazelwood etc return … but Warner, of course, might go rogue between now and the world cup, and we might have seen the last of him?

    Haven’t watched these games at all. I have zero interest in ODI’s. My attention has been in the Caribbean, where I’ve watched a great Test series played in front of heartbreakingly empty stadiums. It’s just tragic what’s happened to the windies test team. They’ve lost the interest of their public. But there have been some green shoots in the current test in Barbados. First night game they’ve had, and the crowds of 2 to 3 thousand on days 1 and 2, sure are a boost from the paltry 100 or so people who watched the first couple of tests each day

  3. What would Effie say ? How embarrassment.


  4. Citrus Bob says

    Please, please can we leave the “green shoots” to Bolts?
    If was the worst team of any description picked to play for Australia although Ian Johnson’s 1956 Ashes team was very very ordinary.
    Tim Paine has been caught in the middle – “the new team” wants Carey NOW! Smokie is right Paine should opt out and play only Tests. He is the best keeper. Yes we missed the fast bowlers but you are only as good as what you put on the park. Our regime of high performance has seen more men go down than Colonel Custers’ mob. Get rid of half the scientific staff and our game will turn around.
    Unfortunately there are no batters (hate that term!) in the wings who have not gone through “Finishing school” so we are in more trouble than Custer.
    Lehmann’s legacy of fast bowling has now turned the full circle. Fawad and Lyon would have made a great combination.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Felt sorry for Paine when he was run out in Game 5. But Smokie is right, Carey is the man now for the ODI team.
    The formats are now different enough that picking T20 bowlers for One Day cricket doesn’t work. Aaron Tye a classic example of this, fabulous T20 bowler, simply not good enough when he has to bowl 10 against quality opposition.
    Stanlake and Kane Richardson show enough in this format to still be thereabouts when Starc, Hazelwood, Cummins and Pattinson return.
    Finch is our best ODI opener even when Warner is in the team. Still shaking my head that he started this series in the middle order. I’d like to see Head given an extended run at 4 where I think he’s far more suited to than opening. If Paine goes, maybe George Bailey in the middle order for some leadership and experience, but only until Smith returns.

    Punxta Pete has nailed it with his views on the Windies v Sri Lanka Tests, a totally engrossing series. Especially this 3rd D/N Test. As mentioned, nice to see some sort of crowd for the Day Night game after the crowds at the first two Tests would be dwarfed by any Sheffield Shield game. Far from the best two teams, but an even, hard fought contest.

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