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Yobbo

Selection policy is a big part of the problem - the last 3 losing ashes series (2005 2009 and this year) have all suffered from Bizarre selection policies where highly regarded Australian players in peak form were disregarded.

In 2005, Mike Hussey was averaging about 500 in county cricket and was regarded by the English as the best batsman in the world. He was left out of a side that narrowly lost because of poor top-order batting against the swinging ball.

Australia's best swing bowler at the time - Nathan Bracken, was also left out of the entire tour in favour of Michael Kasprowich who was never much good at anything, let alone bowling on English tracks.

in 2009 Brett Lee - despite rolling the poms in the tour match and being the only Australian bowler who could swing it in any direction - wasn't selected for the latter half of the tour (injured for the first 2 matches) in favour of a bunch of no-names. Andrew MacDonald was also overlooked for the entire tour despite being perfectly suited to English conditions.

In 2010 the bizzare decision to overlook established Shield spinners like Steve O'Keefe in favour of a bunch of T20 and uncapped domestic players seemingly according to a dartboard has made us look ridiculous - as has the obvious tenure of a few top-order players who can't be dropped despite averaging in the 20s and low 30s for the best part of a year.

In reality I don't think Australian cricket is in that much trouble - just the Australian national team. And the reason it is in trouble is because the team is harder to get into than it is to get out of. Once you are in you have to basically rape someone's dog to get dropped, and a lot of test-quality players go their whole careers averaging 60 in first-class cricket without ever getting a game. This has been going on for about 20 years.

Cameron

Cricket is full of interest when your team's losing.

Patard with a vengeance

Nice one Prof. Sherlock too was fond of oft quoting that one.

But, I feel that this is more attuned to Punter's circumstances:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying
nothing.

Tony

Still pissed off at the non-selection of Hussey in 2005.

You'll find that after a few years playing like spuds and millionaires, a couple of hard doogers who hate losing will come along and tighten up and toughen up the Test team. S. Waugh, Border, Healy, Boon, those types.

Cameron

Ben Dorries 2013 Ashes XI:

1.Nick Maddinson
2.Usman Khawaja
3.Mitchell Marsh
4.Michael Clarke
5.Shane Watson
6.Steve Smith
7.Tim Paine
8.Cameron Boyce
9.Ben Cutting
10.Josh Hazlewood
11.Mitchell Starc

Appearing in today's Sunday-Mail which explains the Boyce/Cutting picks. Same top 5 as Brodies but with Watson moved down the order and special Steve retaining his spot at 6.

Tony

That's a young side, even in 2013. But if they win the Ashes I hope they have a victory dance cooked up.

Cameron

I'm detecting a bit of a current of thought with the journos that the 25-30 yo group isn't up to standard and we're better off looking to the 20-25 group. Obviously the U/19's won the world cup so there is talent there and most of them haven't played much first class cricket so there's more room to speculate on what they could become as opposed to a player who's 27 played more than 50 first class games and averages 37 with the bat .

Tony

There's definitely a push for the young blokes. That is probably reflected by selection, too, since the 25-30 olds have failed to storm the Test team. As I've said often, if the selectors thought a player was good enough they would have picked him, but there are not too many in the 25-30 who have caught the selectorial eye.

Lou

That Crash Craddock article has Shaun Marsh first and states the main reason why I don't want him in the test team. (I got sucked in for a while, but that's gone away.)

He just doesn't seem very bright or have the ability to concentrate for very long if he isn't playing very attacking cricket. I don't know if playing for another state would have been better for him as he is very much a big fish in the Warriors puddle. Which goes to show how crap they are.

Anyway, in keeping with the bardish tendencies of Patwav.

(Curtains open to show a single light upon a man, leaning over a fence in the evening, staring out at a dark cricket pitch.)

Mine ear is opened and my heart prepared.
The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
Say, is my kingdom lost? Why, 'twas my care;
And what loss is it to be rid of care?
Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
Greater he shall not be.

Or maybe Punter would rather talk of graves, of worms and of epitaphs.

Adsy

Getting back on the selectors never ending "Kick A Vic" crusade, have a look at tonights side and tell me that Hodge, D.Hussey, White, Nannes and even Finch aren't as capable in both forms of cricket that some of the players we have in the side right now. The selectors are useless and have been for years now that they have to do their job instead of getting a free ride for the past 10 years.

Anyway on the more important selection of poems, I select this one, and given the fact three quarters of the Poms are South African I find it quite fitting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pJcwnS1c0I

Good series of videos on Ewe Tewb (even if they are for a bank!)

Yobbo

Certainly Hodge and D. Hussey, never been really convinced on White.

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