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    December 21, 2006

    'Tis the time to retire

    So, the rumours turned out to be reality. Shane Warne today confirmed that he was retiring from international cricket after the final Ashes test at Sydney.

    Interestingly enough, England winning the 2005 Ashes was what made him stick around for one more year. So perhaps, we ought to be thanking England's victorious team of 2005 for giving us the privilege of watching his theatrics for another year!

    Shane, it's been a pleasure watching you bowl perform, over the past 15 years, right from the time Ravi Shastri and Sachin Tendulkar tore into you at Sydney in early-1992. Have fun!

    In other news retirements, Homesick Harmison has decided to retire from one-day international cricket.

    England's one-day squad for the triangular one-day series, also involving Australia and New Zealand (I suppose it does take three sides to make a triangle. Then again, not involving Australia and New Zealand would perhaps be the only way England won that one-day series!), tentatively contains the wonderful ODI batsman, Michael Vaughan and "Mr. Can't bat, can't field", Monty Panesar. "Mr. Can bat, can keep", Geraint Jones has been put out to pasture. England're carrying two wicket-keepers, one of them a 36-year old, for a series where they're unlikely to feature in anything more than 8 games.


    Warne writes about how he told Ponting about his decision to quit.

    The next aspect worth wondering about is how Australia will cope with the absence of Warne and McGrath from the next season/year/test tour. In fact, with Australia's next test series possibly in June (in Zimbabwe), and more likely to be in November, at home against Sri Lanka, I'm fairly sure that we will see a good sized exodus happening - on grounds of boredom, form, etc. While it is possible that Gilchrist will play on, Hayden's poor showing so far (except for one knock of 90), and him being overlooked for the World Cup, could fast-track his retirement. It'd be easier for Australia to cope without McGrath in one-dayers. But losing Warne and McGrath at the same time in tests could be devastating. McGrath's retirement thrusts Brett Lee (219 wickets from 57 tests, bowling avg. 32.4 and strike rate 54.2) into the forefront as the leader of the fast bowler pack, a role that I'm not convinced he can play, especially in test cricket.

    I think Australia have missed a trick by not developing enough spin backup for Warne. The only serious contender is Stuart MacGill, who's shite and nearly 36. The others, like Nathan Hauritz, Dan Cullen and Cameron White, have hardly been given any opportunities in international cricket, especially to bowl in tandem with a master.

    Myopic Christopher Martin-Jenkins rates MacGill as the #2 leggie! Just as well he didn't say #3 was Ian Salisbury or Chris Schofield.
    Stuart MacGill, the second-best leg spinner in world cricket, who turns the ball as much as Warne, has a better disguised googly and has taken 198 wickets at 27 in his 40 Tests, will be an able replacement for a while if the selectors are prepared to overlook his volatile temperament.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 10:23 pm |
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    2 sledge(s):

    I really don't understand the point of picking Nixon. What about James Foster? Matt Prior (born in South Africa)? Tim Ambrose (born in Australia)? Mark Wallace? Steve Davies? They're all at least ten years younger than him.

    I imagine it's just to rub it in Chris Read's face when he gets dropped after one game.

    By Blogger Geoff (21-Dec-2006, 6:27:00 pm)  

    I suspect that England are trying to mimic Australia. If picking a "Dad's Army" ensures an Ashes win, then why not try it out for a one-day series?

    By Blogger Jagadish (21-Dec-2006, 7:29:00 pm)  

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