SOS for SOK?
The mystery surrounding the bowling selections for this second test in Hydrabad is beginning to feel a little like watching one of those old Scooby Doo cartoons.
I always knew the guilty characters had been introduced throughout the show but for the life of me I could never guess which ones they were.
We are edging ever closer to solving this selection mystery, with the meddling Michael Clarke about to pull the mask off a team list that is expected to include a second spinner.
I must admit that I had little gripe against the team selected for the first test in Chennai.
Sure, the pitch resembled a backcourt at Roland Garros and had India’s batsmen at times as comfortable as Rafael Nadal bludgeoning his opponents off the red clay.
But the belief was that the team’s strength lies in its pace attack, something I subtlety agreed with in a recent article espousing the fortunes of Mitchell Starc (it was only his first match in India, he will get better….wont he?)
Mitchell Starc fell prey to a crumbling milo bar of a wicket.
As a result he may have to comfort himself with a hot cup of the malt drink as the second test team runs out this afternoon.
It seems Australia brutally learnt the error of their ways at the end of an MS Dhoni double ton.
And in the wake of the first test defeat the Australian selectors will have been frantically searching for new perceptions on our best 11.
Mickey Arthurs’ weird ‘it would have been good to have 2 spinners in Chennai’ statement is neither here nor there, not least because it was made when the game was over.
But this comment must have left the touring party’s only other specialist spinner Xavier Doherty feeling like someone on the wrong end of the ‘I’m standing right here’ trope.
You know the one, where a film character is criticised or mocked by another character then alerts the tormentor to the fact that they are standing within earshot?
Other than two all rounders, one untried and another unwilling to bowl, there seems little choice other than to send an SOS for someone like SO’K.
Much has been made on this website of the non-selection of Stephen O’Keefe, the NSW shield captain and currently the tweaker with the best record in Australia (17 wickets at 27).
And according to Chris Barrett writing in the Fairfax papers, O’Keefe may never get picked, ‘The word is O’Keefe has a line through his name, though, because he is a chirpy, confident lad not afraid to speak his mind. The suggestion is that kind of personality doesn’t suit the team culture.’
Krishna help us if this is the case.
Call me naive, I have been several times, but I thought the days of schoolyard popularity contests and homogenous selection policies had been left behind in this professional sports world we inhabit.
However I digress; it’s a second spinner we are looking for, and one that actually made it on to the plane.
Pssst….. Mickey, maybe you should pick Xavier, he’s standing right there!