ODI cricket review: How did your favourite player fare?

So what if it was a meaningless one-day series, tacked on to the tail-end of an Ashes tour which tested the resilience of the most hardened of cricket watchers such as myself? And so what if it was against an England team which had “rested” many of its Ashes heroes? It was a win! What’s more, it was against the old enemy. And at this point in time, any victory over the English is definitely to be savoured. The 2-1 margin (with two wash-outs) was an accurate reflection of the state of play. But on an individual basis, how did the Australian squad fare?

Michael Clarke: the sight of him hoicking good-length balls to cow-corner was a surprise, because it was never part of the Clarke play-book. But his back injury is probably so bad now that he may well be further reduced to playing a more unconventional game as time goes on. It is a pity, because while watching his superb innings at Old Trafford, all I could think was “how good would he be if he was fully fit?” Series rating: 9/10

George Bailey: it would be a tragedy if he never got a run at a Test spot. Especially given our current batting malaise. But George would be buoyed by recent comments by Clarke and others that one-day form will count when it comes to selecting Test teams. His two 80-odds were a mixture of classic stroke-play and brutal slogging. Above all, he seems like a good bloke, and we can’t have enough of them in the team at the moment. Series rating: 8.5/10

Shane Watson: Watto may have found his niche batting at 3. However, his fragile body is a time-bomb, an injury always seemingly around the corner. But let’s face it: as much as he gives us all the shits, when he is batting as brutally as he did in the final match at Southampton, we almost forgive him all his foibles. Almost. Series rating: 8.5/10

Clint McKay: the annoying delivery-stride grunt aside, there is something unassuming about McKay. The current ODI player of the year just keeps on performing for the one-day team. I am a stubborn man, but I am prepared to belatedly concede that he is ok. Series rating: 8/10

Mitchell Johnson: we cricket watchers have long memories, especially when it comes to the unforgettably bad performances. So it was unedifying to listen to the clamour of team-mates as they queued up to extol Mitch’s virtues, laud his re-found pace, and virtually beg that he be parachuted back into the Test team. Yes, he did have Jonathon Trott hopping about the crease, but didn’t everyone throughout the summer? I am still nowhere near convinced. Series rating: 7/10

James Faulkner: as far as the structure of this team goes, he is definitely a “keeper” (and probably a better one than Wade…Boom! Boom!) He is a classy and thoughtful one-day bowler, but as Boof pointed out after the Ashes, Faulkner really needs to work on his batting (29 runs in 3 hits). Series rating: 7/10

Aaron Finch: after whetting our appetites when he broke the “world record” in the pre-series T20, Finchy started with a promising 45 in Manchester. Alas, he could not maintain any consistency (0 and 26 followed), which has – sadly – been the story of his international (and first-class) career thus far. Series rating: 6.5/10

Adam Voges: it can be tough batting in the lower middle-order, coming in at the death. But Voges made a decent fist of limited time at the wicket. However, let it be said that I do not rate his bowling. Series rating*: 6/10       *for his batting only

Nathan Coulter-Nile: in his only match, his figures were 1/34 off 10 overs, which indicates that he could belong in this company. I will watch with interest how he fares on the Indian tour. Series rating: 5/10

Matthew Wade: you know when you wake up after a big night? You know, when you’ve really tied one on? And you wake up thinking “did all those things really happen?” And you just want to forget? Well, after sitting on his arse throughout the Ashes tour, Victoria’s new captain had a one-day tour he would love to forget. But he can’t. Two golden ducks and some sloppy glove-work. And now he has been replaced by old Bad Hands himself. Series rating: 4.5/10

Shaun Marsh: the Marsh boys’ mother must have really bad hammys, because I don’t remember Geoff ever being injured. It is a shame, because Mitch Marsh looks like he could be a player. Series rating: 4/10

Fawad Ahmed: in three one-day matches for Australia-A in South Africa, Fawad’s figures were 0/24 off 6, 1/73 off 10, and 1/55 off 9. At the time, John inverarity said that the figures did not reflect how well Fawad had bowled. In England, Fawad ended up with 2/106 off 14 overs in his two outings. Not the figures of the new Warney. He has now been replaced by Xavier Doherty for the Indian tour. Inverarity’s comment? “Fawad bowled…better than his figures would suggest.” Meanwhile, the best spinner in Australia – Nathan Lyon – continues to be overlooked for one-dayers. Series rating: 3/10

Josh Hazelwood: with only a 2-over appearance at the wash-out in Birmingham, it was impossible to gauge Hazelwood. The big positive is that he is only 22. And the bald facts are that, if he can stay on the park, he will get plenty of opportunities given the rate at which his fast-bowling brothers are falling over. Series rating: 2/10 (with a bullet)

Phil Hughes: the door opened slightly when Marsh’s injury gave him a chance, but Hughes could not take it, scoring only 2. The door has now slammed shut again. He looks to have lost all form and confidence. Series rating 2/10 (one for each run)

Glenn Maxwell: the “Big Show” was the “Big No-show” in this tournament. Can you believe that only six Test matches ago, he opened both the batting and the bowling for his counrty? No, I can’t believe it either. Series rating: 1/10 (for being there)

All of a sudden, this team may just slowly be coming together in time for the World Cup, which is about sixteen months away. But for now, the next stop is India.

About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Great stuff Smokie, couldn’t agree more with your rankings. Agree that Bailey should get a run in the Test team at some stage. While his last Sheffield Shield season was awful, his 3 seasons prior to that were good, especially considering he has to play every second game on the seam bowling paradise that is Bellereive Oval. Still plenty of places in this team to be locked in for the 2015 World Cup.

  2. Smokie, I can assist with the Marsh “hammy” dilemma……….Mrs Marsh spent too many years with her ankles behind her ears.

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