So who plays cricket for Australia these days?
Is there something I’m missing? When I started watching cricket in my younger days, as most people did, I had my favourite players.
Names included Craig McDermott, Glenn McGrath, David Boon, Mark Taylor, and the Waugh brothers, among quite a few.
It was great watching the boys play the Test matches and the one-day games all summer, with the occasional player missing one or two games with an injury.
Very rarely, a player would get dropped due to a form slump and they would find their touch in a state game and be back in the Aussie line-up not long after.
Currently, there are 40 players listed to have played for Australia in either Test, ODI or T20 cricket in the last 12 months.
Now I know people are going to say that T20 wasn’t around in the 90s and more matches are being played now than back then, but how’s this, only four of those 40 players have played only T20 cricket for Australia.
That’s still 36 players across the Tests and ODIs. What does this mean?
It means that there aren’t many Aussie cricketers that play all three forms of the game. Why is this?
Well, there are quite a few reasons, many of which Cricket Australia provides.
These include injuries, the rotation policy and player management due to the amount of cricket played these days.
But the reason that is hardest for me to understand, is that so many of the current players are T20, ODI or Test cricket specialists.
When thinking about 90s players that were ODI “specialists”, I could suggest Michael Bevan, Shane Lee, Ian Harvey and Darren Lehman to name a few.
The latter ended up playing in the Test team a few years after making his ODI debut. Bevan could be argued as Australia’s most clutch ODI player to ever play the game. Harvey and Lee were both great all rounders, which proved very useful for the limited overs form of the game.
Mitchell Starc, David Warner, and Matt Wade are the only players playing in the Melbourne T20, that have also played in the Test team this summer.
I don’t think this is good enough.
For the most part, there was only a couple of players that didn’t play every game of the summer. More current players should be striving to be the best cricketer they can be, and improve the parts of their game that they struggle with.
More cricketers should want to do what David Warner has done. I absolutely commend the way he has worked on and improved his game to be a valuable Test opener.
When he first came into the T20 side, he thrashed the bat, and scored at a great strike rate which was perfect for both limited overs forms of cricket.
Since then, he has worked on being much more patient and picking the right balls to hit, and the right balls to leave making him a great addition to the Test top order.
In my opinion, I still don’t think the selectors have the ODI or T20 sides balanced and the more players coming in and out of these teams, the harder the Aussies will find it to rise in the world rankings.
The team needs stability.
If all of these rotations of players are truly due to injury, then there is something terribly wrong with our pace bowlers, and they need to harden up a bit.
Batsmen should be able to play both at a high strike rate when runs are needed quickly (this can also be needed in Tests at times), and when required, conservatively to preserve wickets.
This would have been handy last week when we batted less than half of our 50 overs available.
I doubt I will see it, but it used to be great watching our favourite batsmen hit a patient Test ton one week, and then belt fours and sixes the next.
Or a bowler take 10 wickets in a Test, then bowl a tight four or five run over late in the game to win an ODI or T20.
Either way it’s hard to keep up with who is in the team when you turn on the TV.