April 24, 2013 by dixwah
Of the cattle around, John Inverarity has picked a pretty reasonable squad to lose to England in the upcoming Ashes.
Seems old Invers has dropped the jackpot selection solution he so embraced in India, where outdone on the talent front, he gambled on risk-reward players like Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques and seemingly, Steve Smith.
After that didn’t quite work – and we’re not going near Xavier Doherty – it’s back to old Shield form, and old Dirk Wellham Chris Rogers, glasses and all, who’s the big fish in our domestic batting puddle.
Rogers is a good story. In brief:
– Langer-like producer (plodder) of Shield runs for WA
– Plays one Test vs India (2008) scoring 4 and 15
– Stamped ‘never to play Test cricket again’
– Keeps churning out runs in Aus and English domestic cricket
– Moves to Victoria after stamped ‘never to play 50-over cricket for WA again’
– Continues the churn at the Vics
– Semi-stamped in one-day cricket by Bushrangers
– Captains horrendous Sydney Thunder BBL side
– Churn churn churn in 4-day cricket
– Unstamped by ridiculously inconsistent Australian selection panel.
Sorry, not that brief. Best comeback story since…? The Nathan Lyon myth about being plucked from a roller and given a baggy green? Colin Miller waking up one-day late in an innocuous career and deciding off-spin was his go? Shaun Young playing a Test for some unknown reason in an Ashes series past?
I digress. I love comeback stories. I dream of a Mark Cosgrove fairytale.
The interesting thing is what the selection of Rogers (in the Test squad, not in the affiliated ‘A’ squad – more on that coming) says about the current status of our openers, particularly Ed Cowan.
Rogers is an opening batsman, pretty much closed book. Cowan’s sensitivities around his selection were made public when the ever self-assured Shane Watson declared he wanted his spot. Now they’ve given Bucky a knife too.
I think Warner’s a lock in the medium-term. The selectors have made a statement – Rogers isn’t there for a holiday. Cowan needs to convert those starts.
Don’t want to go into too much more but the selection of the ‘A’ squad and their matches in the lead-up to the 1st Test are going to have a huge bearing on selections.
Steve Smith averaged 40 when given a chance in India, while others around him went missing. He is our best option at 6 for this series, and runs in A games, combined with one-day or first-team failures, could see him elevated.
The same goes for most of the bowling attack. Bird, Harris, Lyon, Pattinson and Siddle will all fight it out away from the pyjamas. Harris is, as ever, an injury risk but I agree he’s worth the ticket. If these guys take wickets, Starc’s one-day commitments may make him the odd man out.
Finally, the vice-captaincy stuff. Where is Shane Watson at right now? Does he bowl? Does he play? His vice-captaincy position was untenable, but my main beef is the fact he captained the Test side at our last outing. Penthouse outhouse anyone?
Watson’s rise and subsequent fall is based on the lack of any other, no, ANY candidate for the leadership failing Clarke. Haddin’s rise is making the best of a really bad situation. If Clarke’s back fails again, I really don’t know.
For another time – Is Luke Butterworth a ghost? What’s the go with CA contracts – Ben Hilfenhaus and Glenn Maxwell in, Usman Khawaja and Jackson Bird out? Pa-leese!
Your thoughts on the squads? Cozzie? Trent Copeland? Hit me up @dixwah on twitter.