Whit’s Wisdom – Randy Petes, Jason Sangha, Ashes Preview

Welcome back to Whit’s Wisdom for the 2017/18 season. As we continue to move towards Christmas, I hope that everyone is enjoying their cricket and are looking forward to scoring plenty of runs and taking plenty of wickets, as well as gearing up for what looks to be a very exciting Ashes series.

On the Randy Petes start to the season:

I have been impressed with the start for the whole club, because the Club Championship is always hanging in the air and if you don’t have a good start to the first few rounds, its very hard to make that up at the end of the season. Particularly with First Grade to start of the season well with a few wins, Second Grade chiming in with a couple of wins too, it all counts.

We’ve got a lot of good young players at the club, and its good to see Riley Ayre doing very well since moving to the club with both the bat and ball. He’s settled in nicely to the club and he looks to have gotten over an injury-riddled season last year where he didn’t play too much. He looks to just be relishing the opportunity to play some cricket, and be a part of the club.

Overall, the club is going well and coming into a very important period now, we need to keep going at the level that we have shown in some grades, and perhaps lift it a little bit in some others. That all comes down to training, and how the teams perform.

Whit’s Wisdom – Randy Petes, Jason Sangha, Ashes Preview

Welcome back to Whit’s Wisdom for the 2017/18 season. As we continue to move towards Christmas, I hope that everyone is enjoying their cricket and are looking forward to scoring plenty of runs and taking plenty of wickets, as well as gearing up for what looks to be a very exciting Ashes series.

I hope that all players continue to work hard at training and on game day, as we as a club strive for success in the Club Championship for the 2017/18 season.

On the Randy Petes start to the season:

I have been impressed with the start for the whole club, because the Club Championship is always hanging in the air and if you don’t have a good start to the first few rounds, its very hard to make that up at the end of the season. Particularly with First Grade to start of the season well with a few wins, Second Grade chiming in with a couple of wins too, it all counts.

We’ve got a lot of good young players at the club, and its good to see Riley Ayre doing very well since moving to the club with both the bat and ball. He’s settled in nicely to the club and he looks to have gotten over an injury-riddled season last year where he didn’t play too much. He looks to just be relishing the opportunity to play some cricket, and be a part of the club.

Overall, the club is going well and coming into a very important period now, we need to keep going at the level that we have shown in some grades, and perhaps lift it a little bit in some others. That all comes down to training, and how the teams perform.

 

On Jason Sangha:

When I arrived at Petersham Oval back in round two to watch First Grade play, Jason was on about 60 runs at the time. I was able to witness him carve out a fantastic innings that day, finishing with 162 not out. He really led them to the win that day, as did all the boys who chipped in with scores in the middle order.

For someone so young, just over 18 years of age, it was truly extraordinary to watch. Jason is so young, but to see just how controlled he was, how he manipulated the field, playing shots all around the ground, it was fantastic to see.

I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, he’s a very nice young man, but I saw Usman Khawaja as a young player and I always said he was the best young player I had ever seen. That was until I saw Jason’s century at Petersham that day. It was very impressive, he’s just got to keep his head down and he could be our next Khawaja.

Australia, throughout its entire history of cricket, have been notorious for giving young players an opportunity if they think that they are ready and its going to be a good thing for the side. Guys like Steve Waugh played their first Test match at 19 years of age, and Ricky Ponting who was quite young as well when he first came into the Sheffield Shield system. It’s certainly not out of the question that Jason could rise up the ranks very quickly, given that he has been labelled as a bit of a prodigy – and I use that word very carefully!

Greg Chappell identified him a few years ago, and told Bill Anderson that he was the best young player he’d ever seen, and obviously that is very high praise coming from a very hard marker and one of Australia’s greats. That being said, with all the pressure on him, Jason has appeared to come through that with a level head and is scoring plenty of runs.

It’s not beyond anybody’s wildest dreams, that if Jason continues to score runs and perform consistently, that he takes somebody’s spot in that NSW side. I think he’s someone that can definitely go all the way based on potential alone. But just like a racehorse, you can have all the potential in the world, it means nothing until your nose goes past the winning post.

It is indeed very interesting times for Jason, having just finished school, and if we as a club can continue to manage his progression, there is going to be a very long and professional career ahead of him.

 

On the upcoming Ashes series:

This is going to be a very interesting series. England have a pretty settled side it seems and are going along pretty well. The big question mark I have over their side is whether or not the Poms bowling will be good enough. I do wonder if Jimmy Anderson can replicate out here the form that he shows over in England. Watching him bowl at home in conditions that suit him is amazing to watch, but he has oftentimes struggled when playing in Australia. Stuart Broad is a bowler who will always give 110% in effort, and he’ll chip away nicely at the Aussies I’m sure.

But the biggest concern I have for the English lads surrounds Ben Stokes and whether or not he plays for them. For mine, he is the trump card and without him, I don’t think England will win the series. I think he’s a similar player to Ian Botham – he’s got a little bit of shit in him, and he plays very hard and very aggressive. He can be devastating with the bat, and at the same time can win you a game with the ball. His fielding often goes unrecognised, but he is an elite fielder also, moving across the ground like a cheetah and has a bullet arm over the stumps every time he throws it. If he doesn’t play, England will have to find TWO players to replace him and Australia will find themselves in the box seat.

On the flip side, the Aussies have a very settled side now also and the recent ODI series didn’t involve our big guns like Starc and Hazelwood so they should be relatively fresh coming into it. I think the Aussies are looking forward to it and are more than up to the challenge. Nathan Lyon has found himself, and is riding a wave of momentum after tearing it up on the sub-continent. The selection of Cameron Bancroft is one I didn’t expect, but am pleased to see due to his great start to the Shield season as I knew there would be a spot up for grabs for whoever showed they were ready in those first few rounds of the competition.
On Usman Khawaja and Dave Warner:

Davey Warner has really lifted his game to another level in recent times. The two centuries that he scored in Bangladesh were a delight to see. The first one was on an absolute minefield, and we all know Dave loves the ball coming onto the bat so he can free his arms and play his strokes, so that hundred was a testament to how much he has grown as a player and it was a real milestone.

I would have liked to see him have a rest before the Ashes, but I think he will be more than up for the challenge and we are very proud of him here at Randwick Petersham.

Usman will always be a member of our club, even though he has now moved to Queensland and been playing his cricket up there. He’s had a great start to the season, including that great century he scored in the JLT One Day Cup which was spectacular to see.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, we havent seen the best of Usman Khawaja yet. We’ve seen him play a plethora of strong innings, and everyone knows how good he is, but he’s really got to go out there and believe in himself. He’s such a wonderful player, he just has to back himself and his ability to score runs against all sorts of bowlers. I think we could see something really special out of him this summer.

From the club’s perspective, we are again very proud of Usman. It’s very special to see two players from our great club in the lineup for an Ashes series.

 

Some advice for the Randy Petes players and supporters:

The season is a very long one, and we’re now five rounds into it. It’s been a pretty good start, and we can’t afford to take our foot off the pedal. We have to move into this next stanza before Christmas when players often go away on holidays, so if you are moving up the grades just continue to perform and be active on game day and especially at training to keep the momentum going.

Make sure you don’t just come to training, but you work on whatever isn’t working for you. If you’ve been getting out a certain way or have been bowling the wrong areas, seek out all the coaches, in particular Greg Small our head coach. Just ask him “what can I do to fix this issue” and either he will help you, or he’ll find someone who can.

I would like to remind the club we have a lot of social activities throughout the season, and we should try and support those as much as we can. The committee and myself arent there for our own benefit – we are there for the club’s benefit. We do everything we can to help the players be the best they can possibly be, and if they are a non-playing member of the club we appreciate their support and try to help them be the best supporter or volunteer they can be.

I love the social aspect of the club, and thank everyone for their continued support both on and off the field. I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming festive season, and look to hopefully see some continued success for the club in the 2017/18 season.

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