Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Our World Cup Squad:

The Black Caps squad for the world cup has been announced:
Stephen Fleming (c)
Shane Bond
James Franklin
Peter Fulton *
Mark Gillespie
Michael Mason *
Brendon McCullum
Craig McMillan
Jacob Oram
Jeetan Patel
Scott Styris
Ross Taylor
Daryl Tuffey
Daniel Vettori
Lou Vincent

* Fulton and Mason have not been included in the Chappell Hadlee series and will be available for their respective provinces.

It's about what was expected - apart from the shock inclusion of Darryl Tuffey. The rationale from Bracewell is that he is the perfect replacement for Kyle Mills because he can swing the ball away from the right hander and has been in good domestic form. He's certainly a preferable option to Adams who I believe is really not up to the rigours of international bowling. Yes he used to have the x factor of having the happy knack of taking wickets but he's erratic and generally shows poor line and length. Who are the other options? There is Chris Martin who is not suited to one day cricket. Then there is Chris Harris who could be useful on the slow West Indies pitches and has been in great form for Canterbury. Unfortunately international teams are well used to his style of bowling and thus he holds little danger to them. He would have the advantage though of strengthening the squad's batting depth. Still, overall, I believe Harris to be the past - though I'm not sure that Tuffey is the future!

Is it right that they only have one batsman as backup? Given that bowlers are the ones to break down more often it's probably a wise move. But one backup is kind of light. Having said that if we have a couple of injuries/loss of form the likes of Vettori and Franklin can go up the order to take their place. What of McMillan over Marshall? I think that's the correct decision. The only thing that would tempt me to take a Marshall (and it would be Hamish), is his ability in the field. McMillan has shown in the CB series that he is worth his place. Just as Lou Vincent has proved me wrong to a certain extent, and started getting some consistently reasonable scores.

I also hope that Fulton's exclusion from the Chappel-Hadlee is not an indication that he will not be starting at the world cup. We need Fulton's classy brand of cricket, and Fulton does need game time.

I hope that New Zealand stop's its obsession with hitting boundaries and realises a high run rate can be made up of lots of singles and twos. It's one area we have always seemed to lack in, and it's high time we started improving in this area.

And before I finish my post I just want to scream three words: ASTLE ASTLE ASTLE! Why has everybody stopped talking about his decision to retire? It was on the tip of everyone's tongue for a sum total of about 3 hours and then it was forgotten. Why retire in the middle of the series? Why not have the world cup as a swansong? Was he pushed out? Is he bitter with Bracewell? Is he making a point against the rotation policy? Or was he purely and simply just fed up with cricket? I don't really know but I sure as hell wish people would talk about him more. Oh well I'll just go back to daydreaming about his swashbuckling 222 in the test match against England a few years back!


Andrew Glubb said...

In cricket experience and talent count for a lot. Harris has and still has both, Tuffey neither. Tuffey is only effective on our home pitches (when he is in form which he is not) because they move off the seam.

My team:

Fleming (c)
Oram (floater if we make a great start like Symonds does)
Patel (should bat at 9) or Mason depending on conditions.

Patel or Mason (back up bowler)
Fulton (back up top order bat)
Franklin (back up allrounder)
McMillian (back up middle order bat/ can bowl a few if needed)

Adams or Martin as reserve if a bowler like bond breaks down.

Andrew Glubb said...

I think you are dead wrong about astle he has had it as showed in the C Bank series.

I also think fulton is not good enough to start (I'd have harry over fulton and mcmillian any day). However, given tuffey is in I would be forced to choose between mcmillian and fulton. I'd try fulton at 4 simply because he can bat at the top of the order. Give him a few chances then I'd revert to mcmillian if fulton failed. The other option is to leave both out and play franklin as a number 7 batsmen (better bat
than vettori).

Your analysis is imperfect in that you speculate that harry wa spast it but yet you offer no replacement! Also what about the big man inzy ul haq! He played in 92! Also, half of the players would never have faced harry (I'd bowl him 0-7 overs a match) and the others have probably
forgotton its been so long - he offers the surprise package and
strenthens the lower order batting which is much needed!

The only reason harry is not in the team is because he has not been
given a chance and Bracewell and the selectors have forgotton him.

The unlucky players are Harry and Martin.

Tuffey is a ridiculous selection. Look at his away stats on cric info
for proof.

Finally, more statistical analysis need to be done Fussey for you to
have any credibility. You comments only appeal to a pop audience without stats to back them up.

William Fussey said...

Great some debate! I will now defend myself.

1) I never said Astle should be in the team. I was making the point that people were being rather quiet about his sudden retirement. He would have been useful in the West Indies. Maybe not in the first team but perhaps ahead of McMillan. McMillan has an average of only about 26 or 27 and only fires every seven innings. Astle is a proven performer, averages about 32 though is currently out of form, and an Astle 100 invariably means a win. But if I took him he would be a backup batter due to his current form. Both Astle and McMillan also provide slow bowling options.

2) Fulton is way better than Harry. You love your statistics. Well read a load of this: In 25 International one day innings he averages 31.27 with a strike rate of 71.07. Chris Harris, even considering that over 1/4 of his innings are not outs (a ridiculously huge proportion) still only averages 29. And his strike rate is 66.51.

3) Why do I need to offer a replacement for Harry? I was simply discussing him as a possible option and I'm saying that having McMillan in the squad is preferrable to Harris. Harris has a bowling average of 37.5 and an economy of 4.28. Away from home he is even worse tho' admittedly not as bad as Tuffey.

And what does Cricinfo have to say about his most recent international form?

2004/05 - average 58
2004 - average 49
2003/04 - average 74.5

This is surely an indication of Harry losing it.

Tuffey then is perhaps more likely to take wickets, and his economy is only worse by about 0.4. Harris has done well for us on many occasion but we don't need to select him for the world cup. Also considering our propensity for fast bowlers to get injured, our backup is better to be a paceman.

I'm not sure that Tuffey should be there myself and will be happy if he doesn't play a game in the world cup. But I'd probably have him over Harry.

4) Martin has only played 9 ODI's and his stats give little encouragement to pick him again. Only 9 matches at an average over 36, and never played an ODI outside of NZ from what I can gather.

Any more criticism people: bring it on!

andrewfalloon said...

I would have gone for Jesse Ryder or Peter McGlashen rather than Tuffey. I don't see him playing past the first couple of rounds, would have been better to give Ryder the experience.

William Fussey said...

In my opinion McGlashan is not up to it, but Jesse Ryder is definitely a talent. He could even have been considered ahead of McMillan.

But altho he can bowl some part time spin he is ostensibly a batsman. So to have Ryder over Tuffey you are sacrificing an extra pace bowling option. If you are prepared to do this - fair enough - as an extra bowler, touchwood, will probably not be necessary.

Andrew Glubb said...

Fussey your stats are way out of context..I will give you a fuller reply later but harry performs under pressure and has all that experience. You show you don't know your cricket as much as you think..fulton has potential and I would still have him in the squad and knocking on the door...

I agree on Martin but he is a damn site better than Adams or Tuffey and probably the next pace man in line and he has a good wicket taking record (espec in domestic comps).

Also, please comment on my line up - I think it's a great balance and plays to nz's strenghs allrounders & spin...does harry not offer far more options than a tuffey even jus tin the squad (check tuffeys away stats for a poop poor player record)

William Fussey said...

Andrew, you make some good points regarding having Harris over Tuffey however I think the main reason I disagree is because it's a safer option to have an extra paceman in the squad. The world cup squad without Tuffey would give us just these pace bowling options:

Bond - exceptional on his day, a little out of form right now, and very injury prone.

Oram - in poor bowling form at the moment. Also susceptible to side strains etc. Should be considered as more of a batting allrounder.

Gillespie - shown a lot of promise but it's still early in his international career and who knows if he will freeze on the biggest stage of them all!

Franklin - picked up a good number of wickets in the CB series but is an inconsistent performer with ball. Could be used higher in the order with bat if necessary.

Mason - A good domestic player who has performed averagely at international level.

So what we have is a combination of injury prone and inconsistent players. If two break down and two completely crack where is the necessary back up? Can Harris provide this? He might be able to provide a few tight overs in the middle but he's not an opening bowler, or even a first change man. An extra paceman can compensate a little for our possible failings. The question of whether it should be Tuffey is a difficult one.

Martin for example has had a better state series and before this state series Tuffey hasn't had a strong run of games. But the injury of Kyle Mills who is a genuine opening bowler, is probably best filled by another genuine opening bowler - which is probably the reason why Bracewell gave him the final nod.

William Fussey said...

Ok Andrew, I'll comment on your line up. Firstly the personnel are about right except for two things

(1) Instead of your Harris I would play Fulton.
(2) Rather than Mason as an alternative to Patel, I would have Franklin.

Here then is my current thinking on the team:

Franklin or Patel (dep. on condts)

I would err towards choosing Patel every time. He has never let the side down and is an enthusiastic and dangerous player, and can even be dynamite in the field (unlike droppsie Franklin)

I would have numbers 3,4,5 and 6 as flexible in their order. Fulton is a good guy at 3 if we lose an early wicket. Taylor is good at 3 when we've had a great start. Styris can play anywhere from 4 to 6 and Oram should be looking to come in anywhere around the 35 over mark. This leaves him enough time to get his eye in and then really go nuts. So if we say, lost our second wicket at 35 overs with 180 on the board then Oram should come in. His position should be more dependent on the number of overs that have been faced than having to fit into a specific order.

McCullum should definitely stay at 7. He is perfectly suited to the last 7 over dash with his quick running between wickets and his innovative strokemaking.

Finally I don't agree with you that Gillespie and Patel should both bat ahead of Bond, but that's slightly pedantic of me!

Andrew Glubb said...

Will your comments on the following please:

Most importantly: how slow will the pitches be? I know Kingston is.

1) My team
2) Why we need an extra bowler rather than extra allrounder (given the fitness or oram and styris!).
3) Why we need an extra bowler when the extra bowler is already our off spinner (patel) and we already have four pace bowlers, two spinners and could have had the useful option of harris on apparently slow pitches.

My comments on your 'statistics'.

1) You are probably right and if he was available I would have gone for Astle as the back up top or middle order player and dropped McMillian. The fact is that both have poor world cup records unlike harry.

2)Will said "And what does Cricinfo have to say about his most recent international form?

2004/05 - average 58
2004 - average 49
2003/04 - average 74.5

Answer: Have a look at his economy rates! 3.5, 5.3 and 4 pretty good for those years!
Tip: Will dont throw your stats out of context like Bracewell did with Tuffey!!

Remember Harris is a batsmen who bowls. He is not expected to take
wickets Tuffey is (and not just at home!)

3) By having no alternative you are weakly (like United Future) caving in to what is a poor 15th man selection and essentially approving it.

3) Fulton had a slightly better overall record than Harry subject to the above:
i) Fulton doesn't bowl so in the side harry offers extra option
especially if a seamer fails and or the conditions suit him.
ii) Look at Harry's world cup record and his West IOndies record
iii) Fulton is suspect under pressure, harry plays his best under pressure. Remember how many saving innings at no 7 he has. Remember his 100 against australia.
iv) Harris's average is a lot lower than it would if he was battinig at a higher position as the role he plays is a closer of an innings or to bat out overs if the top order crumbles.
v) iv) ties in with the strike rate argument. If anyhting, the stats tell a lie because we all know how fast harry can score and how slow fulton has been lately! 12 off 30 balls after we had a great start!!

4) Martin's one day stats this year are all over Tuffey's there is no argument. If you want to take wickets Martin is the man - if you want cannon fodder with a little outswing (if he gets it right) go Tuffey. One only needs to look at his hopeless away record (without juicy nz
pitches) and his poor record with the bat and conclude harry was the
better overall option by far..it not even close. Unless of course you can make an argument that they need to take an extra bowler over an allrounder.

5) Finally if you look at harry's consistent record, you will see little difference each yea rin his stats..so is he really too old.

On Falloon's loopy or perhaps just uninformed (more than you will)
ideas: Jesse Ryder and McGlashan are development players and not to take to world cups! They dont exactly have a Ross Taylor record or the runs over seasons of Fulton. Maybe the next world cup who knows for Ryder.

Finally Will I note you have made no mention of mccullum at 5. He's good enough and plays quickly enough to be there and if wickets fall he is a better option than oram in my opinion but tis a toss up.

Be more rational next time Will. Simple stats and analysis out of
context is not enough.

William Fussey said...

I have already briefly explained why I think we need an extra bowler. Because being able to utilise 2 or 3 pace bowlers is necessary and with our injury prone/inconsistent lineup it is the safest thing to do. I agree Harry may be good because of the slow pitches but if we play 2 spinners as we should and also have Styris or McMillan to send down a few overs then Harry is probably superfluous.

Just a comment on your comparison between Fulton and Harry: You omit the main reason that Harry has a better average. Because he has had 62 not outs in 213 innings whereas Fulton has had 9 in 72. This is a consequence of where he bats but it does tell us how badly he must have done in many innings to have a not out every 3.44 innings (compared to Fulton's every 8) and still average over 2 runs less than him.

You also site his 100 against Australia. This was a fantastic innings. Many would say Harry's best ever. He should always be celebrated for this effort, it was wonderful. But it was his crowning glory, he has never managed anything remotely like it since that game way back in 1992. Let's not forget that NZ still lost that game as well.

It is ironic that you argue Martin is all over Tuffey and should be selected ahead of him, and 1 reason you cite is because Tuffey is only good on home pitches. Yet the arguments you make for Martin are based on his performances on home pitches. Enough said about that one methinks!

andrewfalloon said...

Franklin or Patel (dep. on condts)

I would err towards choosing Patel every time. He has never let the side down and is an enthusiastic and dangerous player, and can even be dynamite in the field (unlike droppsie Franklin)"

I agree completely with this team as our top line-up right now. As I have said on Doyle's blog, there's just no point in sending Harris when he won't even be playing past the first round or two. Far better to blood a new player like Ryder, who, let's face it, has been talked about as the next big thing for years but hasn't yet been given the chance despite good domestic form. Harry has been, and always will be a bloody legend, both for NZ and for Canterbury, so was Richard bloody Hadlee but times change, we need to be looking to the future rather than just picking up the phone and sending out a distress call to Harry and Macca.

Taylor, Fulton and Patel are real talents and need to be given as much game time as possible at the top level.

I don't rate Mason at all, while I would only ever play Martin in Tests. Like Rigor :)

William Fussey said...

Scary stuff when you are in complete agreement with me Andrew :)

bitterman said...

If you visit my awesum blog for once in my life i am, in complete agreement with Andrew Glubb! lol.

If you quote my blog:

"Harris has the proven experience and match winning potential that should be vital on the low slow pitches of the West Indies"

bitterman said...

I would love to just play Chris Martin in test matches. But i do not think NZ cricket has the depth to do this. Mason is a shitter version of Darrel Tuffey (if that is indeed possible), Tuffey doesnt swing the ball unless its a grassy NZ track. Chris Martin is not injury prone, unlike all the other bowlers, and will be a useful foil, even on a flat deck, because he bowls fast, straight and accurately. He doesnt have to play every game but he certianly should be in the squad ahead of Tuffey and Tuffey JNR

bitterman said...

visit www.bcahouseofspin.blogspot.com