A struggling defeated Australian Test team signals time for change. Or does it?
The Australian selectors have always been reluctant to pick youth in the Test side.
Since Michael Hussey’s hyper-inflated batting average of 86, he has averaged a meagre 28 and only two centuries in the last 2 years. Hardly acceptable one would think. Yet not surprisingly the selectors are avid believers of the “one innings makes a summer”. Or in Hussey’s case, a full calendar year. The Pakistan series saved Hussey career. One can count on Hussey seeing through the Australian summer.
Marcus North seems to follow a similar battling path. Six consecutive inept failures and then a career saving ton.
Its time for these stubborn Australian selectors to make a few brave calls for the upcoming Ashes series. The selectors’ conservative management of the Test team is like the deep-south of America in the 19th Century. Obliviously in denial of the need for drastic change.
Cameron White is banging on the door after a dazzling display of straight hard hitting in a One Dayer against the Indians last night. Not only did the “bear” White dispatch an Indian bowling attack, he also brought life back into a spiralling Australian tour of India. Over the past 12 to 18 months, White has dominated One Day cricket and has also performed well in the Sheffield Shield for Victoria. His bowling isn’t up to scratch but his batting finally is. He is technically sound with a levelled temperament and can also lift a few gears with his hard-hitting when called upon to. He is an obvious replacement for the struggling Marcus North. North’s astute cricket brain gains appraisal from within the Australian dressing room. White’s appointment as Vice-captain of the Australian Twenty20 team would suggest he matches North in the leadership and strategic side of the game. Finally, White would bring a unique and crucial component to the Test team- his fielding. He displays a baseball arm when fielding in the deep, and sharp and clean hands when in close. Besides Ricky Ponting, Hussey and to a lesser extent Michael Clarke, White would considerably strengthen the gully and slip region.
Only a simple adjustment is required. White in. North out.
But don’t hold your breath.