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A rather conservative selection. How long before we realise we can pick a second XI and still beat the Windies, and start doing so for developmental purposes?


M0nt: Which younguns would you select?

Adam 1.0

Dene Hills, Jamie Cox and Michael DiVenuto


Them's old younguns.


Apart from Haddin I am pretty happy with that team. Payne got injured at just the wrong time.

The Slot just can't let it go. The writing is well and truly on the wall but he refuses to read it.


The glovework of Adolphe Manou and McCauley Paine gives me goosebumps, while the glovework of Klutz Haddin gives me warts.


Tony, neither CricOz nor cricinfo's identical press release have Hughes in the 12 man squad. Looks like wishful thinking on the Age's part.

Not sure I like the team to be honest. I mean it is alright I guess, apart from the fact that batting is prone to collapse and has a shortage of blokes who like big hundreds (or even small ones), and that we are persisting with Marcus North as batsman, when he was originally picked as an all-rounder so we didn't need Ritz, and that the Boiled Owl is still being over-looked despite making the team more balanced and successful when he was last there, and that Klutz is still there (what did Hartley do wrong, I wonder?). Apart from that, well, if you weren't looking to change anything its exactly the side you'd pick isn't it?


I'm definitely a fan of the Boiled One.

The Age has just updated the article to make mention of Hughes' omission, but they've left his name in the squad at the bottom of the page.


Not anything we don't already know (or agree with) but interesting comment from Hilditch:

"It all depends on form. In all three forms of the game, what we're normally doing is preparing for key series. Twenty20 we're preparing for the World Cup, which is just around the corner, and one-day cricket we're preparing for the 2011 World Cup. At this stage we'd like to win every Test match going into the Ashes because we're trying to build confidence in the new team, but we have our eye very much on the Ashes."

In that case, Klutz, Shameless and Ponting are also inked in for 2010/11, and a loss in one of these series is only bad insofar as it dents our confidence. That'll get the punters in.

In other news, Vics are coming back after arsing up the first innings chase yesterday. Could be worth a look tomorrow.

cartucho r4i

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This blog was about due for a Brazilian.

In answer to your question, Tone, I'd play Krazy and Swampy Junior.


No surprises here, move along. That was always going to be the side after Hilditch dropped a few hints last week.

Bollinger was pretty much a lock, but Krazy was a dark horse. In a hair plugs vs bald shave contest, the hair plugs won.

Oh, and Haddin IS the worst keeper in world cricket. It's been refreshing having Paine and Manou show us how real keepers keep.


Russ: Go, the Vics.

Cartucho: Are you confusing cricket with beach volleyball?

Monty: I'm firing up the Nyce Bryce bandwagon, but if they picked Krayz I wouldn't mind. Not sure about SOS.

Hewy: It's painful watching Haddin klutz it up. If his batting starts to falter he should be out of the side toot-sweet.


And can I be the first to point out that it will be a long time before two Jayawardenes (and TEN initials: DPMDJ & HAPWJ) make 429 runs in one innings.


Tony, I just worked out it is streaming from the CricAus. Here I've been, going to the MCG like a sucker, when I could have been living the 60s with a low resolution jerky image taken from only one end. And no commentary either, I might add, unless you include the overheard snatches that filter through from the old blokes sitting behind the bowlers arm.

David Crawford

An independant review of Australian Test cricket? Mmmm....decent idea. May need your help AGB.

Cindy Crawford

You're hot, Big Tone.


I have jumped off the Nyce Bryce cart because of what it does to the Construction Magnate in J.Holland. Dutchy misses out from getting his first one day start because of rain, comes back to the Vics and finds a late thirties leggie (Holland-esque in itself) hogging his spot in BOTH the 50/50 and Shield sides. Taking three for today has all but cemented McGain's spot for a while. Holland is in great form though, got 8 wickets in the seconds after sitting on his ass for a month. But it will all be for nothing it seems.

Potentially puts Australia's development back a season is all I'm saying. Play. The. Kids. Christ, play the kids ESPECIALLY against the Windies.


That's a fair point about the need for youngsters / change / refreshing / dumping because the hacks flopped in England.

But without someone "knocking the door down" with better performances than the incumbents, or being a palpably better player, it's very hard for the selectors to drop someone just because you want to turn the Test side over. That's "Test" side; the one-day selection situation and the high rotation of players is a different kettle of kippers to the Test selection situation and Hilditch's stated aim to "win every Test".

Who are the openers who should be in the side before PC and the Kat?

Hughes? Hungry? Rogers?

Who are the better batsmen than Ponting, Clarke, Hussey and North?


Who is the better keeper than Haddin?

Manou? Paine?

Who are the better quicks than Hilf, Sizz and Studsy?


Who is the better spinner than Ritz?

Krazy? Holland? Nyce?

The simple fact is that at the moment there are few cricketers around the sunburnt country screaming out to be picked.

About the only contender, for me, is McGain, albeit a little late. His injury in the lead-up to last year's Indian tour was a major blow for Aussie cricket, bordering on disaster. Had he stayed fit he would have been better used against SA and we would probably have won the Ashes. Now, though, he is a year older and a year closer to pension day.

Then there's Haddin. His keeping is atrocious and painful to watch. He's lucky the contenders have been drinking as little milk as he has.


Oops. Forgot McDonald. His inclusion strengthens the side. But I suppose the selectors don't want to pick PC and Boiled in one side.

My side:



I think we can "win every Test" against this Windies side and still turnover players. Of course they have to earn it through performances, but I heard an interesting conversation on SEN last night. They were talking about football (soccer) managers, and that there is a bit of a feeling that Ferguson has lost his mojo and is more worried about "managing" his pampered stars this year than coaching.

He has a great track record of not taking shite from his stars, and they named quite a few that played up, only to find them on the next train out of Manchester (Beckham, Tevez, Ronaldo were a few). They inevitably find a good youngster somewhere and play him a bit, with the odd superstar still running around. The mix was pretty good. But now they are saying the stars and more particularly their agents are running the show.

English national football on the other hand is a different story under Fabio Capello (notwithstanding the recent friendly score). The word is he has told the squad that no one has claims on a spot in the side, and will play the in-form players before any supposed stars. Perform, or your out.

Cricket is nowhere near the level of football yet, especially with money, but even when we were dominating there were suggestions that the inmates were running the asylum, with Buchanan not having too much influence at all. Nielsen now seems to be in the same boat, with Hilditch as more of a lackey than a confident and imposing selector.

If Capello was an Australian selector, Hussey wouldn't have survived, Johnson would have been gone after Lords, and players such as Hodge in the 50/50 stuff would have got a fair go instead of what is currently happening.

Up until the next Ashes, I advocate a performance based selection policy, instead of reputation counting for much more than it should. We don't play for a test World Cup, so there should be a bit more room to play some blokes than there currently seems to be.


McDonald? Strengthens the side in what way - by increasing the ranga to normal ratio?

So it's the 15th over on the 1st day of a test match and Ronald comes on to bowl his 125k/hr thunderbolts. In Test cricket, he's not a good enough bowler to be picked at 8 and not a good enough batsmen to be picked higher.

That McGain ship has sailed, my friend. Let it go.


The problem is Hilditch's stated aim to "win every test" contradicts his stated aim to "prepare for the next Ashes". I'm all for picking squads, not sides, and balancing the needs from one game to the next, rather than rotating players out as they get crocked, and risking an injury or out-of-form plague at the end of a long run of games.

Neither Shameless, nor the Kat, nor Sarf, nor Slot can claim to be good enough to persist with for another year when the opportunity for blooding players in low key, relatively straight forward games is now. My squad would be:

Openers and three: 3 of Hughes, Watson, Jaques and Klinger
4-6: 3 of Ponting, Clarke, Ferguson and North
1 of Paine or Wade or Hartley keeping.
On spinning wickets, Krejza (and if not North, then Hauritz too)
On seaming wickets, McDonald
Otherwise, 2 or 3 of Johnson, Siddle, Bollinger and Hilfenhaus

When the game matters, play your best side, but the problem we've had with Hussey (and Hayden) is that the alternative to an out of form player with experience is a kid with no experience and no idea about their form. At least if they play every third game you know what they are capable of.

Hewy, not every bowler needs to get piles of wickets. McDonald offers the ability to plug the scoring and apply pressure, which is useful if either: your main bowlers are bowling like club hacks (see Lord's, Johnson), or one of your bowlers is going nuts at the other end (see Perth, Johnson). His record at test level is pretty good. Australia went 4 and 7 in 15 tests against India, South Africa and England last year, McDonald was 3 and 1 in the 4 he played. He adds something and shouldn't be under-estimated.


1. The selectors have escaped from the Ashes. They should be professional and preferably more than 'part time'. Hilditch is the worst offender, Hughes a close second 'I don't even have Foxtel'.
2. If we're going to win The Ashes - we're not going to do it with Dad's Army. This worked with Warne, McGrath, Hayden and Gilchrist - Katich, Hussey, Ponting are not going to replicate this. If Katich loses form he is out - and Hussey should be in the pavillion now. Similarly, Lee, Clark and McGain should give up hope of ever being selected again.
3. We need a spinner. Krezja may be a May but he's not a Warne. Hauritz is at the very least a Giles/Botha/Symcox/Harris - he can have the position and we can see Holland and Krezja in Shield cricket.
4. Hauritz doesn't seem to chuck. Who does this picture remind you of? http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/435363.html
5. My team for the First Test.

Haddin (very lucky that Paine and Manou got injured)

ps : Johnson is not the Chosen One or the Messiah - I think he's an Aussie Harmison - unplayable on his day but sketchy and prone to spells of dross and bullshit. If we thought of him like this, perhaps the release of pressure might make him more Donald than Duck.



The thing with Ronald is he came into the side as a no.6 who could bowl. He looked seriously outclassed with his batting. Now he's pitched as a no.8. But he's not a frontline test match pace bowler.

The way you actually can play him is as a 'pseudo spinner'. The guy who plays the same role as a tight spinner on a wearing deck, but when that deck doesn't turn fast. That was exactly the case in 2nd innings at the SCG last summer and during one of the games in SA. But they're pretty specialised conditions. He certainly isn't the 3rd paceman in a bowling lineup at the GABBA as Tony had him listed.


Adsy, wow! Harsha could be writing for AGB there. Good to see.

Hewy, well, I never claimed I'd play McDonald all the time, nor that he is a number 6. I do think he has a useful role though, and in slightly broader circumstances than you describe. Specifically, in three ways: one, unless the deck is going to take turn, there is no benefit in bowling any of our spinners over North (or Clarke or Katich), so McDonald plays as the 4th quick (which is what he did in RSA, and what he should have done in England); two, on really flat turning decks, we don't need as much batting, so he can play as the 3rd quick, and no. 7 bat, with two front-line spinners; three, on decks that will move around, his bowling is handy, and his batting boosts a line-up liable to collapse. I wouldn't necessarily play him at the Gabba though, because it probably will take spin late in the game (if there is a late in the game, given the Windies recent record). I would however, play him in Hobart, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

My team for the Gabba: Watson, Hughes, Klinger, Ponting, Clarke, North, Hartley, Johnson, Krejza, Siddle and Hilfenhaus.


Russ, I reckon if Ronald played in Cardiff, he would have got poles on that last day. Not sure any other english decks would have suited him, though.

And you've got Klinger in at 3 and Punter at 4 in your team! You know that the no.3 batsman is like the lead singer in the rock band - at least in their own mind. There's no way Punter would be giving that spot up!


Re: no. 3. Yes, I know, which is why Ponting is still there, even though AB has (apparently) told him to drop down and protect his wicket. As much as I respect Ponting as a batsman, he neither scores as big as he used to, nor does he handle the swinging ball as well as he used to. Dropping down a spot is the right thing for him to do at this stage of his career.


I would have included Ferguson at the expense of Hussey (despite the odd doubt about whether he can cut the mustard; he has only looked good in the juicy pasture of the one-day middle order), but I called time out on his selection since he won't be back in harness until next season.

I also want to see Ponting drop down the order, but I don't see a ready replacement unless we pick an opener at three. Not sure about Klinger. Rogers must be thereabouts. Hungry, Hughes and SOS need first class runs.


Ah, but AB never batted 3, he just doesn't understand!

I reckon Punter is in the form of his career at the moment - ever since he returned to the ODI team in England half way through the series. I only hope he hasn't squandered that rare form on meaningless one dayers, and he comes out firing next week.


I think it's amazing we're all just assuming PC holds down an opener's spot. Does anyone have a sneaking suspicion he's not actually Haydos in disguise? Perhaps we should investigate the possibility of a second "real" opener - overlooking the fact that the Kat is somewhat makeshift himself - and putting PC at six. Make it look like a normal cricket team for once.

On the Ritz, while Krazy may not be May, Ritz is May. He is May from May to December, through to May again.

Also, did anyone else see Red Kerry's interview with Punter? Still some unresolved aggro with AB, from the sounds of it.


The selectors are so in love with the Indomitable Paper Cut of Steel that, barring a complete collapse of form, he has such a lock on the opening pozzy that we've all given up debating his demotion down the order.


Ok, let me explain it to you guys a bit clearer... a number 3 never moves. If a no.3 moves, then he is not actually and never was a no.3.
Can you seriously name me any (successful) no.3 batsman in world cricket who has moved anywhere else?

They don't. 1,2,4,5,6 can do whatever the fuck they want. Alluding to my early post, the no.3 will never give up the microphone.

M0nty - missed the Punter interview, sounds interesting, I'll check it online. 'Red Kerry' - love it!


Hewy, why would a successful number 3 move? By your definition, that would make them not a number 3, QED. In any case, my argument would be that Ponting is no longer a no. 3, that he has developed (or is no longer able to hide) a vulnerability to the swinging ball that means he should move down. He would serve both himself and the team better from 4.

Oh, and Viv Richards. He played almost a decade at no. 3, and averaged 61, then moved down in about 1984 (in preference to Richie Richardson) and played out the remainder of his career at 4 or 5. Border also played 21 tests at 3, early in his career, but I'll accept that he did so under sufferance.


No time like the present for Punter to do the right thing and knock himself down the order.

It would be yet another feather in the cap of the captain who "we've leaned to love".


My lean-ed co-leagues: I meaned learned.

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