Tuesday, 21 October 2008

So, we've lost this test...

I don't buy this argument that Australia has no depth and that this crushing defeat is a sign of things to come.

I think it is a sign that the selectors - Andrew Hilditch, David Boon, Merv Hughes and Jamie Cox - really need to have long hard think about the next Test. It's not the retirement of champion players that has left us in this position, it's some very poor selections. I can't comment on Cox and Hilditch, but Boon and Big Merv were never known for their intellect.

I am not at all surprised we couldn't bowl out India, but I am surprised at how badly the batting fell apart. We need some steel - it is not the time to be trying out pretty blond-haired boys like White and Watson who simply are not good enough to be there. The selectors have been trying for years to get them into the team, but Watson kept getting injured and there wasn't a big enough excuse to get White in. You can't argue that they are both players who haven't the attitude to play for Australia - White has been a quality captain of Victoria and Watson has impressive first-class numbers. But in Test cricket, what counts are results. Watson batted well in one innings, but couldn't buy a wicket. Isn't half the excuse to have him in the team because he can bowl a bit? Is he really "the future" as the commentators kept saying? As for White, well he simply isn't up to it and you can't polish up any argument for his inclusion.

So why are we relying on these guys? We have quality players like Bollinger and Hilfenhaus in the wings who can actually bowl (not to mention Bracken), and Jacques, Hodge and David Hussey are just waiting to have another crack. And if we must try a spinner - which is one area where I will concede we are lacking - then what really is wrong with Casson or one of the other guys who actually give the ball a tweak? Why bother contracting Casson if we're not going to play him?

In the next Test I'm not sure what the best option is but would consider a four man pace attack with Clark back for White. Siddle did OK and could keep his place but his promotion above the aforementioned Bollinger and Hilfenhaus is quite odd. Katich should have a bit more of a bowl, and I never thought I'd say it, but wouldn't Andrew Symonds be handy right now? With a team of this balance, Watson's position must be under threat but he seems to have done just enough for now. Perhaps we will turn to Krejza?

Well played India, you certainly deserve this win and even with our strongest possible current team I think you would have beaten us. I'm not surprised at Ponting's fight with Lee, he must be at his wits end with the selections. We almost got past England in 2005 when we had a bit of a selection problem, but we are not as good as that team and India are better than England were.

It's a shame we couldn't give India a good game.


1 comment:

Nick Scott said...

I think you're spot on. We're not lacking in talent, it's just not being used properly.