Doing the Maths

And then there’s Watto to act as a fourth seamer if he’s not the fifth because we’ve included Faulkner at Lyon’s expense on a Gabba green top.

Straightforward is the term that springs to mind when it comes to this particular selection, which explains the absence of lengthy Hughesy analysis over the past fortnight or so. The only bloke who can claim a degree of disappointment is Cutting, but he’s a Queenslander, and, therefore, ineligible by origin.

There’ll be issues further down the track, and that’s where the thoughts have been headed on the morning walk over the past couple of days.

The issues, predictably, relate to the bowling, and the propensity for young quickies to break down and spend extended spells on the sideline. They also come back to the need to create a bowling attack that can take twenty wickets in a Test, bowl ninety overs in a day   and come through five days without someone breaking down.

That last point seems to have something to do with bowling more than fifty overs in a Test, so let’s just linger on the mathematics of all this once more. As we do so, we’re not looking at this series, more casting an eye towards the horizon, trying to see where we’re headed in two years’ time.

We’re looking at the standard Test eleven of six bats, a wicketkeeper and four bowlers, figuring you’re going to bowl three days out of five.

Take four specialist bowlers, divide that number into ninety, multiply the answer by three and you come up with a tad under sixty-seven, which is a fair bit more than fifty. We’re assuming there is an actual statistical base for that fifty overs in a Test bit, which may not be exactly right but you have to start from somewhere.

The easiest way to get to ninety is to look at it as four twenties and a ten, which in turn comes back to a current line up of Johnson, Harris, Siddle and Faulkner/Lyon as twenty over bowlers, with Watson taking the ten.

That standard Test eleven cited before has your four bowlers batting Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, but you can open things up and start looking at Six and Seven in the long term, or in the shorter term if Watto breaks down again.

Which means we’re back with the all-rounder question again, and we’ll have Geoffrey rolling his eyes once again. But we’re looking long term, and things possible contenders should be working on rather the here and now that might stretch into the week after next.

It all comes down to how you define your all-rounders, which in turn decides how you select them.

What's an All-Rounder?

© Ian L Hughes 2021