After much build up and discussion of who should be in the 13 man squad for the first Test in Brisbane, the squad was finally released yesterday. Hold on, I thought it was meant to be a 13 man squad? Apparently its a 17 man squad just incase the team is struck down by a terrible case of syphilis or a few get hurt from running into a burning building to save an old woman’s cat… Really Cricket Australia?
Once again the Australian selectors show their inability to pick a team with conviction and confidence.
In the squad released yesterday there were 3 spinners in the squad. Since Shane Warne, 9 spin bowlers have played for Australia. The most successful spinner for Australia since the great Warney is Nathan Haurtiz, our so-called front line spinner. Some may be forgiven to think that he plays down at their local club. The 3 man inclusion of spin bowlers hardly shows confidence in Hauritz. Whether he is the answer or not, the selectors must send the spinner a clear message. Is he in or out?
Pleasingly, some young and promising players have been included in the squad, including Khawaja, Smith and Ferguson. Notably 2 are from New South Wales… but still it’s a start.
Yet even with the youth inclusion in the squad, one has to think that Ricky and the selectors will go with the same predictable line-up of the past 18 months. Hussey and Johnson will hang in the 11 and North will be backed blindly again. The same result will happen. North will fail to score a run for most of the series but will manage to score a century to keep his spot. Hussey will muster all the concentration and determination he has to average a mere 30 to 35 with the bat. And finally there is Mitch Johnson who most watching would think he is aiming 5 feet outside off stump. He will probably manage to snare a wicket or two from here or there because of impatient and reckless batting by the Poms.
The outcome of the all important Ashes series remains uncertain. But what we do know is if Australia fail to win back the Urn, the old stayers of the Australian team would have seen their last series and the selector pannel will need another drastic reshuffle.