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Sarah: This segment is called Six or Out. I’m going to talk about some headlines from the recent weeks, and all you need to do is answer Six if you agree with them, and Out if you don’t.
John: Let’s do it.
S: The Australian run-out of Pakistan’s Azhar Ali in the second test in Abu Dhabi was against the spirit of cricket.
J: That’s out. I don’t think it was against the spirit of cricket – I think it was just a dumb piece of cricket! The first rule of cricket is to wait until the umpire signals four. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
S: The Aura and lure of express-pace bowlers is no longer that desirable in professional cricket teams playing in the UAE and subcontinent.
J: That’s a Six. I agree with that. Look at someone like Mohammad Abbas. He was over there with just an amazing skill set. He bowls 127-128km/h, but groups a lot of balls in good areas, and has a very repeatable action. If someone can do that, and take wickets, you don’t need that express pace. Especially if they challenge your defence, and move it either way. I’m probably saying this because I don’t bowl too quick either! But no, the need for express pace, especially over there in the UAE, it doesn’t really matter.
S: The Sheffield Shield needs the DRS.
J: Six, Six, Six! I was at the MCG this week, and there were about four or five bad LBW decisions. Callum Ferguson inside-edged one onto his pad. Marcus Harris got a stiff one. I don’t like being harsh on umpires, but the standard has slipped a little bit in the last couple of years. The worst is when it affects players pushing for Australian selection. If it’s plumb, that’s fine. But it is the stinkers that really annoy me.
S: The current Australian ODI team is the worst Australian team we’ve seen since World Series Cricket.
J: Can I go to the DRS on this?! You’d probably have to say Six – only because of results. The calibre in the team isn’t the worst, but their results haven’t been great. We’ve lost 17 of our last 20. However, there are some fantastic players in the side, they’re just underperforming.
S: Lloyd Pope is the next Shane Warne.
J: I don’t know. I’m going to say out. Not because I don’t think he can be – but Shane Warne is Shane Warne. As I said before, I’d love to just see these youngsters have a couple of really good seasons, be pushed to the side and allowed to craft their trade – then they can come into the Australian side. Nathan Lyon is doing a wonderful job as our Australian spinner. He’s the best finger spinner we’ve seen. So, we can let him do the job for a few years, then we can get the next generation in to the national setup.