Tag Archives: rob quiney

Honest John: and how Rob Quiney was used as a human shield

After the Andrew Hilditch years, there is something nice and warm about John Inverarity’s honesty. Even when you don’t agree with his take on things.

It’s hard to agree when he says that Phil Hughes was hidden from the mighty South African attack, and yet is still strong enough to bat at No. 3 for Australia. That seems like a contradictory message, and one that will be sorely tested if Hughes (caught Guptil, bowled Martin) does make runs against Sri Lanka and ends up on tours of India and England.

If Hughes needs Quiney to be his human shield against a class opposition, then will three Tests against a poorer attack that he has dominated before really change anything?

It’s as important to be mentally tough and believe in yourself to bat at No. 3 as it is to be really good at batting. And if you have to hide Hughes, then perhaps the position is not for him. Hughes is not even a No. 3; he’d be a makeshift No. 3 replacing another makeshift No. 3.

Perhaps Hughes is being used as a Sri Lankan specialist, or even as a human shield for an even tinier technically flawed run making batsmen. It could be Australia’s own Russian doll style number three system.

It’s also possible, and slightly less likely, that Michael Clarke could move himself up the order. Michael Hussey, as a former opening batsman might be the better option. What better way for Hussey, in his last years as an Australia player, to serve his country than as a human shield by taking over the most difficult role and allow some of these more fragile souls to develop their skills batting at five or six, before moving up to three when they are ready?

No. 3 is not a place to build your confidence, it’s a place you make work with confidence.

With Quiney not taking his chance and already seemingly out of favour, and Alex Doolan talking up everyone other than himself, it seems that Australia are back to Hughes and Usman Khawaja for now. But even the Australian selectors don’t believe Hughes is ready for real challenges, and Khawaja is still not in the side.

It was only a few months ago when Inverarity used all his headmaster skills to sit the two errant boys in the corner and not play them for Australia A. It was a brilliant move, as neither deserved to be picked for Australia A at the time. Both had played horrendous summers for men of their talent, and deserved to be punished for it. So Inverarity, with his honesty, made them earn their places rather than take the easy rides they had received earlier in their careers.

And looks what has come of it, form and hunger.

Selectors aren’t perfect, even Inverarity the saintly grandfather of Australian cricket is going to make mistakes. This past week he probably made some with his entirely new bowling attack. But getting Hughes and Khawaja back in form was a massive effort from him.

Khawaja has just given away a start against an underwhelming Sri Lanka. While he’d probably like to rectify that in the second innings, he won’t be able to as the Big Bash League comes first when it comes to Cricket Australia’s priorities at the moment, and Khawaja forcing his way back into the Test side is apparently not as important as him representing whichever Sydney franchise he plays for.

As if being a selector who uses honesty isn’t hard enough, Inverarvity has to do his job around a vacuous vacuum of a tournament that is trying to use his future charges for publicity purposes. It’s still not as hard as actually batting at No. 3 though.

As Quiney, Marsh and Watson will tell you.

Luckily for Quiney, Inverarity thinks he’s a wonderful person. Personally I’d rather be a whiny asshole who plays more than two tests and isn’t used to stop bullets from hitting Phil Hughes.

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Quiney the club cricketer

Before the 28th of November 2007 Rob Quiney was just a club cricketer.

When he started club cricket he was a chubby kid who people at his club thought was named Bobby. At first all he wanted to do was go beyond St Kilda’s fourths, and later he fit in Victoria training around working in a factory while getting a few games mostly as a fill in. On the night of the 28th, Quiney was playing in his 29th match for Victoria, and there was a very real chance it might be his last. One more failure and he was back to club cricket forever.

That night on a typical MCG wicket, too slow to make batting or bowling an enjoyable spectacle, New South Wales made 259 from their 50 overs. A young almost unknown Phil Hughes was far from free flowing in making 68. Simon Katich used all his chest hair and grit to push around for 58. And the player who would become an agent Dom Thornley slapped a few around at the end for 49.

Dirk Nannes and Bryce McGain played in that match, two men who played club cricket until their late twenties and early 30s before Victoria made them regulars. Michael Clarke missed because of illness, but watched the whole game from the dug out looking sick and unimpressed.

Michael Klinger, still in his underachieving Victorian phase, made a trudging 50. David Hussey made 80, but it wasn’t pretty or like a normal Hussey innings for Victoria. When Klinger went out, Quiney came in ahead of Andrew McDonald to face an attack of Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken and Nathan Hauritz. It was an odd decision. In less than 18 months time Andrew McDonald would be playing for Australia. And Quiney was a player in his mid twenties without any big achievements behind him who’d not showed much when playing for Victoria.

It was a low-pressure game. There were few hundred fans at the ground, a few thousand more watching on TV, it was an unimportant early season game, and yet Quiney had more pressure on himself than at anytime in his career.

Quiney brutally thrashed 89 off 57 balls, Victoria won by four overs and six wickets.

It all started in a batting powerplay. While many fans and officials don’t like the powerplay, Rob Quiney’s Test call up might never have happened without one.

Quiney brutally thrashed 89 off 57 balls, Victoria won by four overs and six wickets.

It all started in a batting powerplay. While many fans and officials don’t like the powerplay, Rob Quiney’s Test call up might never have happened without one.

The reason Victoria had pushed Quiney up the order was as a pinch hitter who could use the early batting powerplay to get them above the rate. You’ve all seen this scenario before; generally the pitch hitter walks off after soaking up too many balls and the new batsman has to face up with all the fielders in the circle.

When the powerplay was called, Quiney was 11 off 15 balls.

The powerplay started with Nathan Hauritz, 14 runs off his over.

Stuart Clark bowled over number two for eight runs.

14 runs came from Brett Lee in the third over.

Clark’s next over went for 12.

And Lee finished the last over went for another 12.

When the powerplay finished, Quiney was 57 from 35 balls.

Quiney had gone from a no one to a player to watch in one night. It was the might where Quiney started believing in himself.

Since the Argus report, club cricket’s health in Australia has been much discussed. It was the centerpiece of Gideon Haigh’s Bradman oration. And many think that until club cricket improves its quality Australia will struggle.

Quiney is a club cricketer. You couldn’t say Quiney batted like a first class or International player. He played like a club cricketer with serious talent. It was raw and unkempt. A classic shot could be followed by a horrible slog. It was instinctive and natural. Entertaining to watch, frustrating to bowl at. He wasn’t formed through the academy or underage systems, he just sort of appeared in 2006 as a 24 year old batsman because he made so many runs for St Kilda. You can see the difference between Australian cricketers from club or country backgrounds compared to the academy and underage players. There is an unclean nature about them, but not in a bad way.

His first venture up from club cricket was playing against a World XI attack of Akhtar, Kallis, Ntini, Vettori, Afridi, Pollock and the Murali. He was run out for three.

It took three years for Quiney to make a first class century. His highest first class score is 153. He seems more like the person who will make a classy half century (the man has collected many scores around 80) and then give it all away. His career has seven first class hundreds, and an average of 37, when combined with his age of 30 it doesn’t inspire too many people.

But if you’ve seen Quiney on a good day, like that day against NSWales or in the 09/10 Shield final against Queensland, you feel you’ve seen a special player. He imposes himself and dominates, can score anywhere and when in form looks like a run out or stupid shot is the only way to get past him. Rod Marsh and John Inverarity might have seen another of his good days when he made 85 against Vernon Philander, Imran Tahir and the Dale Steyn.

Leading run scorer in last years Shield, averaged 49 and picked up the Domestic player of the year award still couldn’t get him on the A tour to England. Even through injuries and squad departures, he never made his way onto that trip. With Hughes and Khawaja seemingly far ahead of him. Now he is one injury from a Test cap. It’s either a while hunch by a slection committee that likes form, or an unconventional decision by a group of men who value hard, work, talent and perseverance. An 85 and a middling average don’t usually propel you that quickly.

Quiney is a pre-Argus player in a post-Argus world. The immensely talented club cricketer who’s made it to Australian set up with a weight of 80 odds. He’s had experience playing New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the IPL, and is coming off two solid years of domestic cricket. His selection will upset those who thirst for 20 year-old one in a generation Australian batsmen. Quiney’s far from 20, and is not a ten year player. He ’s been around now for a while without exciting many or getting headlines. But he has been getting better every year and was consistent and lucky enough to make it this far.

Michael Clarke was never a club cricketer. He was born with a baggy green in his mouth. These days he is pretty busy, and chances are on his day off he doesn’t sit in a dugout watching a List A game. But luckily for Quiney, when the other selectors brought up his name, there’s a strong chance that Clarke’s mind went back to that night at the MCG.

It was one great night for Quiney, and it may mean he joins a far more exclusive cricket club on Friday.

 

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The insignificant current Australian players of the IPL

Just to clarify, the word current means players who haven’t retired from national duty.

Moises Henriques – Kolkata
38 runs @ av 19 sr 95 hs 30*
2 wickets @ 53 econ 8.79 bb 1/32

No one could quite understand how he kept getting a game, or the new ball. Is a very talented young kid, but maybe, just maybe, he should perform at the level below before he is given an opportunity.

David Hussey – Kolkata
98 runs @ av 24 sr 166 hs 43
0 wickets econ 8.5

Came late onto a ship that had already sunk, and decided to swing away. Looked in top touch, but kept getting out after amazing starts. Had a way better strike rate than McCullum or Gayle.

Lee Carseldine – Rajasthan
81 runs @ av 20.25 sr 119 hs 39
1 wicket @ 6 econ 6 bb 1/6

Came in first game and just smacked the ball everywhere when no one else could get the ball off the square, sadly that was about all he did in the tournament. Interestingly only bowled one over.

Rob Quiney - Rajasthan
103 runs @ av 14.7 sr 100.98 hs 51

Hit his first ball in the IPL for 6, then went out. Only really got two starts, and showed glimpses of his talent, but good spinners slowed him down or got him out. Hopefully he has learnt some good lessons, and will be able to score more consistently for Victoria.

Shane Harwood – Rajasthan
9 runs (no outs) sr 62 hs 6*
3 wickets @ 24.3 econ 7.30 bb 2/25

Only played 3 games, but did look dangerous. Rajasthan were more worried with making runs so he and Morne spent most of their time on the bench.

Luke Ronchi – Mumbai Indians
0 runs from 1 game

Sachin went into panic mode about half way through the tournament and threw Luke one game. He was run out for a duck.

Simon Katich – Punjab
145 runs @ av 16 sr 123 hs 50

His 50 was sensational, as good as I have seen the krab time the ball, but struggled other than that. 2020 really wasn’t made for him, and had his coach not been Moody, I doubt he would played too often.

George Bailey – Chennai
45 runs @ av 22.5 sr 115 hs 30

In both of his innings he looked in top form, and in both of them he ran himself out. The good news was smilin’ George looked completely at home at this level of cricket.

Andrew McDonald - Delhi
3 runs @ av 3 sr 75 hs 3
0 wickets (3 overs) econ 7.33 bb 0/22

Only played the one game when Delhi were resting players, and got a sensational Yorker from Anil Kumble.

Luke Pomersbach – Punjab
41 runs @ av 10.25 sr 83 hs 26

Looked out of touch, and small. When Luke is at his best he looks like a Hayden type bully, here he looked like a mouse imitating a flea.

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whoops

I wanted to refresh everyone’s mind on what our favourite non biased cricket players agent Arthur said this the other day,

“The fact that coaches like Greg Shipperd, Darren Lehmann and Darren Berry who are unknown outside of Australia have managed to secure rich IPL contracts proves that Australia as a cricketing nation is totally over rated.”

Arthur Turner

I couldn’t help pointing out the IPL ladder.

Team Mat Won Lost Tied N/R Pts Net RR For Against
Delhi Daredevils 11 8 3 0 0 16 +0.275 1528/197.5 1517/203.4
Chennai 12 7 4 0 1 15 +1.021 1782/215.3 1574/217.1
Deccan Chargers 12 7 5 0 0 14 +0.294 1820/232.4 1793/238.1
Rajasthan Royals 12 6 5 0 1 13 -0.329 1451/213.1 1558/218.2
Bangalore 12 6 6 0 0 12 -0.309 1689/237.0 1735/233.2
Kings XI Punjab 12 6 6 0 0 12 -0.470 1561/211.2 1638/208.3
Mumbai Indians 13 5 7 0 1 11 +0.401 1732/236.2 1636/236.1
Kolkata 12 1 10 0 1 3 -0.973 1466/209.2 1578/197.5

So the two Australian coaches who deserve to be there according to Arthur are hosting the teams at 6 and 8.

The two South African coaches are at 5 and 7.

And the three coaches ol’ Arthur bags are at 1,3 &4.

Whoops.

Who is making the IPL worse?

He also bagged Victoria’s Rob Quiney, who made 50 off 30 in his next game to pick up a man of the match award, and NSWale’s (actually he is Queensland’s, and was South Australia’s, but Arthur got confused) Ryan Harris whom he also thought was crap ended up with 2/20 in his game tonight.

Happens to the best of us Arthur.

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