Over the past few weeks I have looked over the Australian squad for the upcoming series against India at least a dozen times and have found myself disagreeing with the selector’s decisions.
Now I realize the squad I’m about to name is controversial and most people would probably disagree with it, but I honestly believe these 17 men would give Australia the best chance at winning the upcoming series.
My Squad: Dave Warner, Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes, Michael Clarke, Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson, Matt Wade, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon, George Bailey, Brad Haddin, Adam Voges, Nathan Hauritz, Moses Henriques, Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird.
Now to explain my inclusions.
First off, I’ve included Nathan Hauritz over Xavier Doherty. I realise Hauritz is a right arm offie just like Lyon, but I rate Hauritz miles ahead of Doherty in the Test arena.
I wouldn’t want to play a second rate spinner just because he bowls with a different arm.
Bailey, Hadden and Voges have all been included into the squad because they are above average players of spin and have shown that they have the right temperament to succeed in India.
I wouldn’t include any of these three in the starting XI straight away. They’re are mainly in the squad in case Cowan fails in the first few Tests and we have to move Watson back into the opening position.
Now to explain why I’ve left out Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Johnson, Xavier Doherty and Steve Smith.
Glenn Maxwell and Steve Smith can both be put into the same category of not being good enough with the bat or the ball to really perform against India.
I personally don’t rate Maxwell as a batsman and his offspin is more likely to get smashed around the ground than take wickets.
Smith is handy with the bat, but isn’t quite there yet and the fact that he has pretty much shelved his legspin bowling goes against him.
I’ve already gone into some detail why I would leave Xavier Doherty at home but to reiterate, ‘X’ is not a good bowler in the longer form.
He’s fantastic in the short stuff, particularly ODIs but I just don’t believe he is cut out for the Test team when we could be playing Hauritz who has shown he is capable at Test level.
In Mitchell Johnson’s case, he’s just unlucky.
He would be in my Australian squad for every tour except this one due to the emphasis on spin and because Siddle and Pattinson seem like they will be the most likely Australian pace bowlers to take wickets.
Johnson can be hit and miss at the best of times and we don’t need him to be a passenger during a Test in India.
With the initial squad selected, I would go into the first Test on the 22nd of February in Chennai with a team like this: Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Khawaja, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Hauritz and Lyon.