Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2013 Ashes draft, part 5: Reflections

In concluding our Ashes draft with Dave Siddall of World Cricket Watch, we both take a moment to reflect on our teams.

Dave's XI Pick no. Matt's XI Pick no.
Watson 5 Cook 1
Cowan 11 Root 6
Bell 7 Rogers 9
Bairstow 7 Trott 2
Clarke 4 Pietersen 3
Khawaja 9 Faulkner 10
Prior 2 Haddin 13
Broad 6 Swann 5
Pattinson 3 Siddle 4
Bresnan 10 Starc 7
Anderson 1 Finn 8
Lyon 12 Smith 12
Hughes 13 Bird 11

Dave - My initial reflection on this draft is that Matt’s grasp of game theory and level of strategy seems better than mine. My tactic of going for the best quick bowlers means that I’ve left myself with much of Australia’s shaky top and middle order. Ian Bell, Johnny Bairstow and Matt Prior might have their work cut out to fight back versus Matt’s side.

I’m also pretty gutted that I didn’t go for Chris Rogers. It’s only in the last day or so that I’d heard noises from the Australian camp that he would open. Prior, it looked like he wasn’t going to get first go.

Matt - Honestly, things really couldn’t have worked out much better for me.  My focus was on selecting guys that had the greatest advantage over their opposite number (with the obvious exception of Haddin) - like Cook, Pietersen and Swann. This meant I missed out on 
Pattinson and Anderson, perhaps the two bowlers most likely to dominate the series. However, Ashes series often produce trumps from the ether like Shane Warne, Terry Alderman and the immortal Martin McCague, so I'm happy enough with the likes of Starc, Finn and Jackson Bird.

There's no doubt the batsmanship on display in my XI seems to far outweigh that of Dave’s mob, which should prove crucial. If you look around world cricket at the moment, the best teams are those who put runs on the board with the most ease.  In a head-to-head battle, this means my boys should come up trumps.

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