Take Voges on the Ashes tour. Why not?
Let’s just say that Australia’s pimply new-look batting order totally craters in this upcoming series against India.
Let’s imagine the confidence of this adolescent unit is obliterated by subcontinental guile and their bright-eyed bushy tails end up between the legs in the usual stance of those vanquished.
If those in selection power are still offering their usual pint-sized probation period, it will mean more delicate tinkering or belligerent bulldozing of the top six before a squad is picked to enter the Lion’s den of the Ashes series.
Considering there is frail youth and inexperience dotted throughout the team now that a personnel revolution is in full swing, one would think the first place to turn in a time of baby-faced humiliation and destitution would be to the match-hardened elderly.
So if the wicket landslides and budget totals are to continue surfacing in this series- and lets admit it, there’s a very good chance they will- how about taking a punt for England by calling up Adam Voges to add some Sandgroper cement to the middle order?
His Sheffield Shield numbers are certainly not turning heads on the selection catwalk this season (367 runs at 33.36 with a high score of 94), but it’s the West Australian’s current splendid patch of form and his bucketloads of experience in English conditions with Nottinghamshire that make him an attractive option.
Voges is coming off an outstanding 112 not out for Australia in last weekend’s ODI against the West Indies, plus there’s a 72 in his most recent Shield hit-out along with a 112 and an unbeaten 77 in his last two Ryobi Cup matches.
His County record for Notts is a cracker too, having amassed 2736 runs at an average of 45.60 in his five seasons on the Pom first class circuit.
With Shane Watson almost surely to be elevated to the opener’s position with his repeated public reminders of ‘shotgun’ recently, Voges could be the perfect strengthener to wedge in the middle and help Michael Clarke give the batting guts some settled solidarity.
He can also bring another wise head to the skipper’s round table of generalship, plus his gentle left-armers are also a value-add.
I know this portfolio has the all-too-familiar echoes of a Marcus North project, but really, can Australia afford to deep-end more of the puerile and untried if they limp home from India?
The team could do a lot worse than having ‘Hank’ around the traps.
We know the selectors aren’t comfortable with endemic batting failure, reasonable displays of patience and Ed Cowan.
They also have made it clear that weathered campaigners with cascading runs columns like George Bailey and David Hussey aren’t on their list for such roles.
So could it be Voges that is used as an Ashes band-aid?
Dane was named best and fairest in the 2004 Bathurst mixed indoor cricket competition. With nothing in the game left to achieve, he immediately retired at his peak to a reclusive life ensconced in the velvet of organised contests. Catch the man here: @eld2_0