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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Inept SA batting surrenders game to WA in two days

I've been waiting for some sign that South Australia's season has bottomed out. The news from Perth indicates that is not good.

The Redbacks collapsed twice, for 114 and 120 to lose by an innings in two days. The bowling remains reasonably effective (WA made 9/289 dec) while Gillespie and Tait are performing well, but the batting minus Darren Lehmann (out with an injured hamstring), is inept.


The Adelaide Now website has a scathing but not inaccurate report "Jellybacks roll over" by Jesper Fjelstad including some handwringing words from SA chairman of selectors Paul Nobes:

"The pitch had a lot of bounce in it and it was always going to be a struggle for them," Nobes said. "Of course it's disappointing.But we now need to look at these younger guys and keep persevering with them and make sure that we can develop one or two or even more of them to make sure they're ready to go next year. We've got to start looking at preparing for next season and make sure we give these guys a chance to find out if they're good enough and that's exactly what we'll be doing.It's disappointing that when the pitches are competitive – or bouncy – we get find out and we need to do a lot of work in that area.It's a true comment (that nobody bats with any confidence). What they need to do is to find the repertoire to cope with first-class cricket, which is totally different from district cricket.We need to learn and learn quickly."

Perhaps there are too many district (grade) clubs, or perhaps there's something seriously wrong with the coaching and/or team leadership, perhaps the underperforming players need to take more responsibility for their own performances...etc etc. Nobes doesn't mention these points and he doesn't seem to have much of an idea of which of "these younger guys" might be "ready to go next year".

At present the Redbacks are the England of Australian domestic cricket.I hope that SACA will conduct a major review of SA's performance at the end of this season, with terms of reference broad enough to allow some recommendations of substance.

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