By / 21st December, 2017 / Uncategorized / 9 Comments

But it has struck me that MoneyBall the book (and film) that rubbished traditional stats in sports, hasn’t inspired stats on when the great players should call it quits.

Clarke, Ponting, S Waugh, Border, Taylor – Australian captains all – each left the scene in steep decline. The mind says keep going, the heart just isn’t there.

For most the last season is a step too far.

Dad’s Army

“Dad’s Army”, was how our last Ashes tour to England was dubbed – and so it proved. Clarke, Johnson, Harris, Haddin  – 2014 white-wash heroes in Aus – all called it quits at the end – with Ashes lost.

And now it’s the turn of England’s Broad, Anderson and Cook. They are a bit unlucky as none of the younger guys has stood up. But all three either open the bowling or the batting so they are the front-line troops.

The poms were nowhere

And when you look hard enough, the evidence is there – albeit in hindsight. In the two Australian wins in England on the last Ashes tour – on flat wickets – all three poms were nowhere. An aberration you might say, but the reality is that all three now do wondrous things only sporadically.

In a sense it is about hunger. Michael Clarke was gone at 32, yet Chris Rogers was doing well at 37. But Clarke had played a hundred tests and was an acknowledged hero- while Chris was hell-bent on proving he could compete at that level.

This series, Australia’s leading players are younger and playing with hunger – while England’s are older and slower, and their troops less bolder.

The drive of Warner and Smith is great to see. How long can it last?

Maybe in five years’ time, a ‘hunger’ stat will be exercised on them!

Back to my predictions

I’m predicting that the side which bats second will win at the MCG. Root has won all 3 tosses so far, so will lose this one, Smith will bat, and England will win!



  • Brian 02/06/2018 at 11:58 am

    When did I miss the ‘article’. ‘help me’ was lucky enough to have seen it! Ros still saving some scraps of sandpaper?

  • Brian Sawyer 29/12/2017 at 12:03 pm

    Prediction looking much better today towards the close of the first session day 4

  • Harold 27/12/2017 at 9:52 am

    Gee JR, all these maths teachers/masters/graduates having a real crack at your foray into probability theory on the toss……I think you are way too harsh on J Anderson who is still a great bowler and putting in a quality effort on unhelpful tracks. Tuned in to ABC Grandstand radio at the start of Day 1 and enjoyed the rundown provided by Chris on Xmas Day at Strath Creek. Best wishes to Ros and yourself and delighted to hear of the commissioning of the third glampervan, Harold

  • Brian Sawyer 27/12/2017 at 1:41 am

    Again I comment after the close of play on day 1 – your prediction is again not looking good! Your other blog followers find your coin-toss tipping somewhat humorous. I did enjoy the story told by Chris on the ABC about Dad’s fielding at deep mid-wicket on Petersham Oval, during today’s commentary, quite entertaining.

  • AJ 26/12/2017 at 9:59 am


    The NSW bowling attack + Smith = too good

    And I think you’ll find SR Waugh made 800+ runs at 80+ in his last 10 Tests

  • Frank 24/12/2017 at 4:50 pm

    You’ve been out in the wilderness too long JR!
    Given : Irrespective, a toss is 50/50. Each team is a 50/50 chance of batting second. Where is the logic in your prediction – just call it a guess.
    However, you become an integral entry in the “GUTS TO CONTINUE TO PREDICT AFTER X NUMBER OF WRONG PREDICTIONS” stat.
    Best of all to you and Ros for Christmas and 2018.

  • Peter James 24/12/2017 at 2:18 pm

    I have read your predictions with interest JR. Starting to wonder why I bowed to your wisdom in selection meetings – you did win the comp back the I guess. Have a great Christmas. PJ

  • Geoffrey Garland 24/12/2017 at 1:35 pm

    Hi JR I still admire your self belief even in the face of a total lack of logic Why will Smith win toss?Facts of the matter. Aust just too good unless your valid hunger stat comes into play. Have a good Christmas Regards Geoff Garland

  • JjBakes 23/12/2017 at 10:58 pm

    JR,captains hunger stat Coukd be over-ridden if Selectors had more guts stat. They did try with Clarke methinks but got shouted down with media pressure.

    Ok, I’ll buy in to the Prediction Tease . As the Grundler will attest, coin tossing is a mutually exclusive event ; each time unrelated to what has gone previous.
    But do Please expand on rest of theory as to why whomever bats second will win. Are you expecting a green top drop in ?
    There is such a gulf between these two teams on hard wickets that coin toss is superfluous. 5-0 for 3rd time in 4 tours
    Happy Xmas

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