Cheap Seats podcast: the Footy Finals special edition

Ryan O’Connell and I have conveniently missed the Bledisloe Cup build-up, and have now climbed aboard the September bandwagon for the Footy Finals Special edition of the Cheap Seats podcast.

All the footy finals hot takes are ready, interlaced with #AskTheCheapSeats questions from the regulars, who perhaps sent questions in out of curiosity to see if the new episode rumours were true.

Topics covered include Wayne Bennett’s whinging, the Canberra Raiders as competition darlings, the Wests Tigers/Robbie Farah debacle, the Jack Wighton/Michael Ennis shoulder charge debacle, the Cowboys timing their run, Penrith’s home game on the other side of the world, Thursday night AFL finals, the Geelong-Hawthorn blockbuster, the AFL’s seminal Sydney moment, things to get ugly in Adelaide, the Wallabies ongoing woes, and the worst Australian bowling line-up every set to South Africa, comprising three blokes whose names we can’t actually remember.

As always, you can get us on Twitter at @CheapSeatsPod, on Soundcloud, iTunes, and the TuneIn radio app. And stay cheap – you never know when we’ll be back!

World Twenty20: Will it be sixth verse, same as the first for Australia?

Shane Watson's form incline means he probably should open with David Warner at the WT20. Image: ABC Grandstand

Shane Watson’s form incline means he probably should open with David Warner at the WT20. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: If the definition of insanity really is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result each time, then the Australian selectors have shown that when it comes to Twenty20 strategies and game plans, they’re properly certifiable.

And unless there’s a rapid rethink of current selection and strategies for the sixth edition of the WT20 kicking off in March, it’s hard to see how Australia’s consistently inconsistent record in the tournament will improve.

The selectors ignored a number of batting options in bringing the squad together for the three matches against India, preferring to pin all hopes on long hitters. Even knowing that India were going to bowl spin for at least 40% of the innings, footwork and subtlety was eschewed for fence-clearing and POW-WER!

The penny has to drop some time, surely…

It’s simple. Some very good batsmen won’t go to India

Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, George Bailey, and Usman Khawaja: I think they're battling for the last two spots in the Australian WT20 squad. Three will be very unlucky..

Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, George Bailey, and Usman Khawaja: I think they’re battling for the last two spots in the Australian WT20 squad. Three will be very unlucky..

The Roar: If cricket is the national sport at this time of year, then selecting the Australian cricket team must run a very close second. As sure as day follows night, any discussion or debate on selection options will at some point include a new team being named.

The National Selection Panel on Monday naming the one-day squad for the three matches in New Zealand kicked off the latest round. Nathan Lyon’s white ball development is again on hold, in favour of the very promising Adam Zampa, while Usman Khawaja has again been unable to force his way into the squad, which averaged more than 53 runs per wicket across the five games against India.

And this got me thinking about just how tough it’s going to be to make the Australian squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in India, to be held in March and April. Simply put, there’s going to be some very unlucky Australian batsmen, when the squad is named…

Peter Handscomb should be in the Australian limited overs squad, but I want you to conclude that..

The Roar: I had a bit of a moment the other night during the second leg of the BBL Melbourne Derby, when halfway through yet another tweet espousing the clear and obvious brilliance of 24-year-old Victorian and Melbourne Stars batsman-wicketkeeper, Peter Handscomb, I realised that just maybe it was possible to go on about someone too much.

"Anyway, I’ve said enough about Peter Handscomb over time; watch him yourself and see what I’ve been going on about. Hopefully the Australian selectors are seeing it too." Image: ABC Grandstand

“Anyway, I’ve said enough about Peter Handscomb over time; watch him yourself and see what I’ve been going on about. Hopefully the Australian selectors are seeing it too.” Image: ABC Grandstand

I’d already earlier in the game mentioned how well I thought he was ‘keeping. I may have even re-mastered John Lennon’s famous line about Ringo Starr, and suggested that Matthew Wade wasn’t even the best ‘keeper in Victoria, let alone Australia.

Despite this epiphany, I still maintain he should be in the Australian limited overs squad, and though I’d rather you saw that for yourself, here’s a few reasons why…