With one eye on the Ashes, Australia must change Test lineup

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    Australian captain Ricky Ponting (centre) and wicket keeper Brad Haddin (right). AAP Image/Dave Huntv

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    The tour of India has only gone from bad to worse, and like all armchair experts I have opinions on what we should or shouldn’t have done.

    I think everyone in Australia, except for the selectors that is, believes Steven O’Keefe should have been on tour.

    I also think players such as Moises Henriques, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell should have stayed home.

    However we can’t change the past, so let’s look to the future.

    It is often said bowlers win matches. But batsmen save matches and regardless of how good the bowlers are they need defendable totals.

    Therefore in Test cricket we need to select a top six that can score runs, not select blokes such as Moises Henriques to strengthen our bowling.

    Likewise in Test cricket the four bowlers should be selected on the merits of their bowling alone, not because they can bat a bit.

    Players such as Cameron White and Glenn Maxwell being selected at number eight is ridiculous.

    Players who bat a bit and bowl a bit play a very important role in limited overs cricket, but in my opinion have no place in Test cricket.

    Using this logic the side I would select for the third Test is:

    Shane Watson: He has to open. It would be handy if he would start bowling again, but he should only bowl eight to twelve overs a day.

    David Warner: At the moment he is our second best batsman. I think the selectors should look to the future and also give him the vice-captaincy.

    Ed Cowan: The start of his Test career hasn’t been brilliant but at moment there aren’t many other options. I have only seen a little bit of the current tour but even though Cowan hasn’t made a big score at least he has looked capable.

    Michael Clarke: I think he is best suited to number four. He likes batting in the middle order and number four means there are two specialist batsmen below him.

    Phil Hughes: He has been poor this tour but given he was dominating domestic cricket there doesn’t appear to be a better option. I know it seems ludicrous to select an opener at number five, however I believe he is good enough to make the transition.

    Usman Khawaja: He has to be in the side. We need a genuine batsman at number six, not a keeper or someone only selected because they can bowl a bit as well.

    Matt Wade: Has improved his wicketkeeping and as always is solid with the bat.

    James Pattinson: He is Australia’s number one bowler. I believe he is now the spearhead of the attack, meaning Siddle may not be a walkup start for much longer.

    Peter Siddle: I would keep him in the side for the final two Tests as he can keep it tight allowing Pattison and the spinners more freedom.

    Xavier Doherty: As I stated earlier, I think O’Keefe should have toured instead of him.

    But he performed solidly in the second Test, keeping it tight and cleaning the tail up quickly, something that has been an issue for Australia in recent years.

    Nathan Lyon: I can’t understand why he was dropped. If the selectors were worried about his technique then why was he selected for the tour?

    He is currently our best spinning option in Test cricket and therefore should be selected for every Test he is available for.

    This side may not win the third Test, however I don’t think we have a better side available in India. This would also provide the core of my Ashes squad.

    Of these eleven players I would select nine of them for the first Ashes Test. I would stick with the listed top seven, as there is no benefit in continually chopping and changing the batting order.

    I would also have Pattinson and Lyon in the side for the first Ashes Test. For mine this is a no-brainer as they Australia’s best fast and spin bowlers respectively.

    The other two bowlers I would select for the first Ashes Test would be Pat Cumming and Jackson Bird. I believe these bowlers give Australia the best chance of taking twenty wickets while keeping the bowling tight.

    Therefore my side for the first Ashes Test would be; Watson, Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Hughes, Khawaja, Wade, Pattison, Cummins, Lyon, Bird.

    I believe we should take the traditional number of sixteen players on the touring party. The five extra players I would take are; Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Adam Vodges, Brad Haddin and Steven O’Keefe.

    Siddle and Starc select themselves given their past performances.

    Vodges is an aggressive middle order player who I selected on the back of his outstanding domestic form. He showed in the ODIs he is more than capable of replicating this for on the international scene.

    I think Haddin has to tour. Hughes is handy with the gloves but if Wade was ruled out before a Test started Australia would be far better off with a specialist wicketkeeper touring.

    I selected O’Keefe as the backup spinner just ahead of Nathan Hauritz.

    Hauritz has the advantage of Test experience but if at any stage the selectors want to play two spinners they need someone who turns the ball in the opposite direction to Lyon.

    If the selectors were worried about injuries or not selecting the correct sixteen players, then I think they should mimic Andy Flower’s ploy of taking a backup sixteen players, rather picking a large main touring party.

    If they were to go down this road they could select a backup sixteen such as: Shaun Marsh, Chris Rodgers, Alex Doolan, George Bailey, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques, Andrew McDonald, Tim Paine, John Hastings, Ben Cutting, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, Michael Beer, Nathan Hauritz.

    By making the right decisions now and putting the right plans in place we will optimise our chance of winning the Ashes.

    Selecting the correct side for the third Test in India will not only gives Australia the best chance of salvaging some respectability in India, but also sets us up with the best chance of starting the Ashes on a positive note.

    The selectors need to decide which six batsmen are most likely score runs and which four bowlers are most likely to take twenty wickets.

    Let’s hope the selectors make the right decisions and plans now to optimise our chances on winning back the Ashes while being competitive in the final two Tests in India.

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    The Crowd Says (83)

    • Roar Guru

      March 11th 2013 @ 4:34am
      Harsh Sinha said | March 11th 2013 @ 4:34am | ! Report

      Australia are missing a quality spinner in Indian pitches but the third test in Mohali will give some advantage to the seamers. It would be great to see a really competitive match for the first time in this series.

      • Roar Pro

        March 11th 2013 @ 8:01am
        RMC said | March 11th 2013 @ 8:01am | ! Report

        100% agree. There are some people who are saying they don’t care about this tour, given 10 Ashes matches are eimtent. However all Test matches are important and it would fantastic to see an even final two Tests – or better yet an Aussie victory (wishful thinking, I know!).

    • March 11th 2013 @ 5:58am
      your joking said | March 11th 2013 @ 5:58am | ! Report

      You’re kidding yourself aren’t you? Henriques is our only batsmen with any heart. Shane Watson shouldnt be in the team if he can’t bowl he hasn’t scored runs against the red ball in years. Also usman khawaja is streaky your number 6 needs to be tough and he certainly isn’t that, but either is Mathew wade for that matter. Phil Hughes has proven he can’t adapt to conditions

      • March 11th 2013 @ 8:28am
        Praveen said | March 11th 2013 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        Good article, I like watto at the top and agree that khawaja must come in as he is known I shield for being a gritty batsman who scores in tough conditions as seen from his 138 against Tasmania where he out scored Tasmania on his own on a batting minefield. I also like what I see in burns

        • March 11th 2013 @ 8:58am
          Rob Barrow said | March 11th 2013 @ 8:58am | ! Report

          At the start of the series i wanted Watto opening too but his form this series has been terrible. If he bowls then perhaps i can still be convinced of this. And as for your referreal of Khawaja’s innings, i was actually at the ground in Hobart when the Tasmanians were taken out for less then 100(and we had Bailey, Doolan, Cossie) all playing and KHawjaa just creamed Bird, Butterworth, Faulkner, Doherty in bowler friendly conditions an innings which boof rated as the best he has seen. He does have tougnness and should be in the lineup. I also don’t like our keeper at 6 believe he should be at 7. As for the allrounder debate, i have been impressed with moses but he needs to do more with the bowl. Mitchell Marsh is another one I’ve been thinking about as well. He could be the hard-hitting no.7 bat, 10-15-overs-a-day bowler we are looking for as well.

          • March 11th 2013 @ 11:56am
            James said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:56am | ! Report

            M Marsh are you joking? He averages 22 with the bat and 25 with the ball. Why wouldn’t you pick Faulkner who averages 27.5 with the bat and 23 with the ball?

            • March 11th 2013 @ 12:00pm
              Nihar said | March 11th 2013 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

              I would go for Faulkner over Marsh as well. Mcdonald is my favorite too, real shame he is injured. Agree with all the other points made by Rob in particular those on Khawaja.

      • March 11th 2013 @ 10:03am
        Pope Paul VII said | March 11th 2013 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        Dunno where people are getting the impression that Khawaja is streaky or has no heart? He is a very good player of pace, the ultimate challenge. Can hook and pull safely pretty much at will. He put Stein over the square leg fence in the epic run chase in SA when Stein was pumped, unlike the lame version seen at Brissie and Adelaide.

        He’s ordinary against spin like everyone except for his fellow westie, the captain, but don’t think you can hold that against him. He’s not the saviour but easily top six in this country so he should be playing on merit.

        Henriques certainly done well but unsustainable, same with Wade.

        • March 11th 2013 @ 11:02am
          Disco said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:02am | ! Report

          Seems to be a racial element creeping into this idea that the non-Anglo guy isn’t as tough as such wannabe diggers as Cowan et al. Pretty pathetic.

          • March 11th 2013 @ 11:59am
            Nihar said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:59am | ! Report

            As Rob mentioned his innings n Hobart was very gutsy, another one was at the AB oval where he top scored in both innings against a star NSW attack, also top scored with a 80 odd in his debut game for the Bulls this season on a green Gabba track, the kid scores when it matters so he is actually the opposite of being weak, scores when it matters, we can do with more of that in the current team.

            • March 11th 2013 @ 6:30pm
              Praveen said | March 11th 2013 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

              Along with Hughes he is the grittiest player we have

      • Roar Pro

        March 11th 2013 @ 8:45pm
        RMC said | March 11th 2013 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

        Yeah mate the whole article was just written as joke – glad someone caught on!

        The reason I don’t have Henriques in my side is because he has a FC average about of 30 and has only made one century in his entire domestic career. He batted wonderfully the first Test, but with side so prone to batting collapses I think we would be better off with our keeper at 7, and a batsman at 6.

        Watson hasn’t score many runs in the last couple of year, but he hasn’t been batting his preferred position either. As an opener he averages about 43 and rarely get dismissed below 30. His record of two centuries isn’t great, but I would much rather someone who consistently gets half centuries as opposed to someone such as Marcus North.

        Khawaja and Hughes out preformed other batsmen in domestic cricket, therefore I believe they deserve an opportunity to try and cement their places.

    • March 11th 2013 @ 7:23am
      Ian M said | March 11th 2013 @ 7:23am | ! Report

      There’s a lot of doom and gloom around the Australian test team at the moment but I don’t think things are as bad as you would be led to believe from the press. Australia’s two big problems are the top order batting and that they aren’t as good as the team from 90’s – 2000’s. The second problem is insurmountable to an extent, the team the current crop are being compared to would rank as the best team the world has seen, certainly in my lifetime, even better than the great West Indian sides of the 70’s – 80’s and that comes from a pom.

      The top order batting problem has been exposed harshly due to Indian conditions as much as poor selection. I would stick with Cowan and Warner as openers. Warner lacks consistency for me but when he comes off, the opposition is on the back foot after the first session due to his scoring rate. Cowan complements this by sticking around. Even if he only scores his customary 30 – 40 he is likely to have seen off the new ball and opening bowling partnership which should give your best batsmen the chance to step up the scoring rate. Obviously, you would want him to go on from that start but he strikes me as the only batsman around the Australian team that can perform that kind of role.

      I think Phil Hughes is in danger of falling into the same category as Graeme Hick and Mark Ramprakash – both scored heavily in County Cricket but never managed to translate their ability to Test level for whatever reason.

      I am in divided in my opinion of Kwajaha, the little I’ve seen of him, he has looked like he could step up to Test standard and deserves an opportunity but I also wonder whether his reputation has benefited from not being selected in a failing side.

      Watson is interesting and has been debated to death on this site over the past month or so. Although his stats are poor, I think I would rather play an Aussie side without him in it than one with him included. It’s purely a gut feeling so don’t ask me to justify why.

      As for the other batsmen who’ve been mentioned as bolters for the squad, I can’t really comment as not having seen a single ball of Shield cricket in my life. This is the role of selectors, they need to go with their instincts, stats don’t always tell the whole picture.

      If I was asked to select the side I would least like to face in the Ashes series it would be Cowan, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Kwajaha, Henriques, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Bird, Hauritz.

      • March 11th 2013 @ 8:31am
        Praveen said | March 11th 2013 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        I like this lineup as well, my only worry is that we must have 6 batsman in the side as that’s been our real weakness

      • March 11th 2013 @ 8:56am
        Red Kev said | March 11th 2013 @ 8:56am | ! Report

        Mohali is where Watson scored his most recent test century (I use term ‘recent’ very very loosely as it was in 2010) so he’s likely to be spared the axe in the hopes he can repeat his score.
        I’d much rather see the test side be built without Watson, two years of bad form and far too unreliable due to injuries, the team can’t afford to chop and change every couple of tests due to Watson’s propesity for getting injured (especially in the opening spot).
        Hopefully he registers a pair and we can be shot of him.

        • March 11th 2013 @ 8:59am
          Rob Barrow said | March 11th 2013 @ 8:59am | ! Report

          Red Kev i read your article on Watson and it was very good, you argued your case very well to take Watto out. Would you change your mind if Watto gets a big one in the next match and finishes off strongly in the fourth test as well.

          • March 11th 2013 @ 9:05am
            Red Kev said | March 11th 2013 @ 9:05am | ! Report

            No – that would be falling into exactly the same trap of what CA did with Ponting. Put up with 2 years of utter crap and then let him off the hook following a big score (Ponting’s was against India in Australia).
            Plus with Watto, it is about more than just scores, it is about consistency and availability to play every match.
            I’d rather play Henriques at no.6 than Watson anywhere at the moment.

            • March 11th 2013 @ 9:30am
              Ian M said | March 11th 2013 @ 9:30am | ! Report

              As I said in my initial post, there’s no rational explanation for why I would include Watson, maybe I’ve bought into the hype around him.

              I agree to an extent with your point around Ponting however his record surely ensured he deserved the benefit of the doubt even after a couple of series of poor scores.

              • March 11th 2013 @ 9:37am
                Red Kev said | March 11th 2013 @ 9:37am | ! Report

                A couple of series sure, but a couple of years?

              • March 11th 2013 @ 10:50am
                Ian M said | March 11th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

                Given that the quality of the batsmen around him was greater and that he maintained his fielding standards, stayed fit and offered a good deal of experience, I can see why CA were generous.

              • March 11th 2013 @ 11:06am
                Disco said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:06am | ! Report

                Ponting struggled for a two years, the Indian summer aside. His fans wish to see the latter part of his career through rose-coloured glasses, but his decline was very marked.

      • March 11th 2013 @ 9:48am
        Pope Paul VII said | March 11th 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

        Hick and Ramps could play a few shots other than the cut. Great to watch when they weren’t getting themselves out, Hick in particular. I recall Hick being dropped after scoring 64 in a big loss, in an Ashes series they went on to lose big. Hughes will surely get more opportunity to work his game out.

        • March 11th 2013 @ 9:53am
          Lancey5times said | March 11th 2013 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          Ramps took a screamer at square leg in a Sydney test. That’s his legacy

      • Roar Pro

        March 11th 2013 @ 8:58pm
        RMC said | March 11th 2013 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

        Ian M:

        I agree there seems to be so much negativity about the current side. They were never going to be able match the feast of predecessors in 90’s and 00’s. The main thing I’d like to see from the current side is a bit more consistency in their performances.

        I like the look of your side for Ashes, except I’d have a batsman instead of Henriques. I don’t like the idea of weakening the batting to strengthen the bowling.

        Great to see you included Hauritz, I still can’t understand why he was dropped.

        When the media asked Michael Clarke why they selected Doherty, despite only taking two FC wickets this season his defence was that Doherty bowls at Belrieve, which doesn’t suit off spinners. But Hauritz has to bowl at the Gabba which also doesn’t suit off spinners and he has managed to take about 13 wickets this FC season.

    • March 11th 2013 @ 9:50am
      Lancey5times said | March 11th 2013 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      I can’t agree with this side. Once again it consists of 4 openers and in response to our poor results you are pushing them further ‘down’ the order!
      – Watson should not be in the side at all (enough has been written on this)
      – Phil Hughes is a genuine opener and is vital for England. He bats at 3 or higher not lower. He should face a new/newish ball
      – Ed Cowan has been a star in India compared to many of his team mates. There is nobody else playing well enough for him to not be in the side.
      – David Warner is a tough one. He needs to produce. I’m not sure if he is an opener, first drop, number six or short form specialist. Time will tell. I’d maybe swap him with Hughes for the first Ashes test
      – Clarke to four, Khawaja at five, Haddin at six followed by Moses, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon, Bird. Starc (12th)
      – Remainder of squad – Wade, Burns, Doolan, Beer, Johnson, Hilfenhaus/Harris (tough one)

      • March 11th 2013 @ 10:32am
        jameswm said | March 11th 2013 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        Haddin?

        • March 11th 2013 @ 10:51am
          Lancey5times said | March 11th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          A reluctant yes James. His glove work and batting is better than Wade. Paine looks good but just doesn’t produce or stay on the park (he’s a wicket keeping Watson), Neville will get his chance and I haven’t seen enough of Hartley.

          I also like the 4th seamer option Henriques gives us over there but as he is not top 6 quality with the bat Haddin becomes the best top 6 keeping option. Henriques needs to do plenty of bowling though at 7. He needs wickets to keep his spot

          • March 11th 2013 @ 11:11am
            jameswm said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:11am | ! Report

            His glovework’s better probably, but I remember him being sloppy behind the stumps. And I’d rather have Wade come in than Haddin if we’re 5 for 100.

            I’m leaning towards Hartley now. Paine and Nevill are theoretically better batsmen, but neither has really been performing. And Hartley supposedly has the best hands and is a fighter with the bat.

          • March 11th 2013 @ 11:21am
            James said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:21am | ! Report

            Haddin better than Wade at batting. Perhaps at keeping

            Haddin – 43 matches average 35.8 with 3 100’s
            Wade – 11 matches average 37.6 with 2 100’s

            • March 11th 2013 @ 11:40am
              Lancey5times said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:40am | ! Report

              I guess I’m looking at 2012/13 batting form which shouldn’t be the sole determining factor. Thanks for the stats. I need to have a closer look at Hartley. Pity Neville can’t get the gig full time at NSW. He may need to jump ship to take the next step

            • March 11th 2013 @ 1:08pm
              Toomsie said | March 11th 2013 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

              On numerous occasions Haddin through his wicket away chasing quick runs for the teams cause. Taking this into account he could easily have averaged 40 as a batsmen. Take out wades two hundreds and he averages little more than twenty

              • March 11th 2013 @ 1:36pm
                jameswm said | March 11th 2013 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                And on numerous occasions Haddin threw his wicket away when we needed him to stay in. Don’t let him near the test team.

                And on that chasing runs for the team’s cause thing – I think Haddin is always just impatiently waiting till he’s got the licence to go for it. He just doesn’t knuckle down.

          • March 11th 2013 @ 11:22am
            James said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

            Comparing Paine to Watson is ridiculous. He had a single injury during a complete bull^$*# match (notice there haven’t been any of those since) and it has taken him a long time to recover.

            Watson has a host of different injuries

            • March 11th 2013 @ 11:36am
              Lancey5times said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

              The comparison is not completely related to injury. He also presents a whole lot better than he produces. He is highly regarded by those at CA as everything from a superstar keeper to batsman to even future captain yet his stats even at 1st class level are mediocre at best. 31 with the bat maybe? He’s a little like Pat Cummins. Doesn’t even have to play cricket to stay in favour.

              • March 11th 2013 @ 12:16pm
                James said | March 11th 2013 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                I think comparing Cummins to Paine is a bit ridiculous. One has played 4 first class matches and the other 58.

                I agree his batting is below Wades (36 in tests and 32 in first class compared to 37.6 and 40) but Wade’s is missing about 1 relatively easy chance per match.

      • March 11th 2013 @ 7:18pm
        Lroy said | March 11th 2013 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

        Hughes has to open… I used to open myself and I can tell you , it is a huge difference coming in at 3 or 4 after you have spent years at the top of the order.

        Openers face the quicks when they are fresh against a hard ball, that doesnt really swing but does seam… the fielders are mostly behind you… you come in at 3, the ball by then is swinging, you dont have the luxury of nicking cheeky singles … and by then the bowlers have their line length and rythm sorted out….

        People are slagging the guy… lets not remember he was hung out to dry in 2009, he got 2 bad caught behind decisions in the first test (the second one was appalling) .. and was dropped so they could bring in Watson, who was needed to cover for Mitchel Johnson…

        The kid is only 24, and is one of the few in the side who potentially be a great test player.

        Watson and Cowan should be dropped before Hughes, dump Cowan, promote Hughes and Khwaja at 3…. and just leave them there for a few games…

        Seriously, Amla really struggled for the Proteas at first, Styen got carted all over the place by England in his first series … the SA selectors stuck with them, and now look at them… 2 of the best players in the world. we need to do the same.

        • Roar Pro

          March 11th 2013 @ 10:33pm
          RMC said | March 11th 2013 @ 10:33pm | ! Report

          Lroy:

          You raise a very valid point about how the South African selectors showed faith in the likes of Amla and Styen. The ‘pick and stick’ philosophy is why I’d like to see Cowan given a more time and Watson reinstated as an opener rather than dropping him.

          Hughes is an opening batsman, but I think he is young enough and skilled enough to make the transition to the middle order. Michael Hussey played basically his entire domestic career as an opener and then made transition to a middle player to accommodate Hayden and Langer at the top of the order.

          Even though Hughes is far from being as accomplished as Hussey I think follow suit and be a successful middle order batsman.

    • March 11th 2013 @ 9:54am
      jameswm said | March 11th 2013 @ 9:54am | ! Report

      The one person you’re missing is Ryan Harris. Right now, going to the Ashes, he’d be our 2nd best bowler behind Patto. Even if he can only play a couple of tests, you’re taking 5 quicks (at least) so you can deal with this.

      Patto, Siddle, Harris, Bird and one more, one of the Mitchells. Cummins can play some more FC cricket before being put up for test selection again.

      My 4 bowlers for the Ashes would be Lyon and 3 of those 4 right-arm quicks. I don’t mind if they rotate a bit. And that’s assuming Bird is OK.

      • March 11th 2013 @ 11:33am
        James said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

        I find it amazing that Hilfenhaus is regarded as nowhere near test selection.

        In his last 10 tests, he has taken 44 wickets at 20.81 and has taken 21 wickets from the 4 shield matches he has played this season at 19.5 (including destroying the Qld top order twice). But apparently he is “known” to be a crap bowler.

        Let’s compare
        Mitchell Starc – only played 8 tests – 28 wickets at 32
        Siddle – last 10 matches – 41 wickets at 25.7
        Harris – last 10 matches 38 wickets at 23.78
        Pattinson – only played 9 tests – 39 wickets at 22.4
        Johnson – 30 wickest at 40

        I’m sorry, I don’t get it. He has taken the most wickets at the best average of all of the Australian bowlers, has experience in England and his style is perfectly suited to the England conditions.

        • March 11th 2013 @ 11:54am
          Lancey5times said | March 11th 2013 @ 11:54am | ! Report

          +1

        • March 11th 2013 @ 1:32pm
          jameswm said | March 11th 2013 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

          What happens if you go back another couple of tests though?

          Hilfy has a good season in 2011-2012, his pace was good, his arm was higher, and his swing was later. Last summer his arm was lower, his pace lower, and he swung it out of the hand. He didn’t go that well the last few tests he played.

          When he’s bowling well he’s great, but like Johnson, his action seems to fall apart sometimes.

          • March 11th 2013 @ 2:56pm
            James said | March 11th 2013 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

            Why would I go back more tests? In the last 10 tests since the start of last summer he has (on pure statistics) out bowled everyone else. The worst average that he has on a reverse cumulative basis is actually his total record – 27 matches, 99 wickets at 28.5 – remember after 5 tests he had 16 wickets at over 40.

            His last 5 tests weren’t great – 12 wickets at just under 30 but that isn’t horrendous and better than Starc’s overall average. In addition, he has a very good economy rate which brings pressure onto the batsmen – compare to the crap that Starc and Johnson bowled at the WACA.

            For some reason, the selectors and public seem to be extremely brutal on some bowlers and very lenient on batsmen.

            • March 11th 2013 @ 5:43pm
              jameswm said | March 11th 2013 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

              Why pick 10 tests? How did you come to that number?

              Who’s comparing him with Starc and Johnson? As a right-armer, Hilfy is 5th at best, possibly 6th. Pattinson, Siddle, Harris, Bird and possibly Cummins are ahead of him.

              • March 11th 2013 @ 7:12pm
                chris b said | March 11th 2013 @ 7:12pm | ! Report

                But probably the best suited to England

        • Roar Pro

          March 11th 2013 @ 10:07pm
          RMC said | March 11th 2013 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

          James:

          Hilfenhaus has brilliant record in his last 10 Test outings, thus he is ranked as the 7th best bowler in the world. You correctly state how he is suited to English conditions. Is was said during the last Ashes series in England ‘Hilfenhaus was born to bowl in England’.

          However the reason he was so successful recently in the Test arena was because be bowled with a high action that produced late swing. This opposed to bowling with a lower action that produced easy to read early swinging deliveries.

          If he can start bowling the way that Craig McDermott had him bowling against India, he should the first fast bowler picked for the Ashes.

    • March 11th 2013 @ 9:59am
      John 360180 said | March 11th 2013 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      Agree with you on all points except for Wade.

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