Who will be in the starting 11 at the Gabba?

William Cornwill Roar Pro

By William Cornwill, William Cornwill is a Roar Pro

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    After heated debate for months and months across the winter, and many auditions from plenty of players, the Australian selectors will have to choose their eleven for the first Test, in the biggest series in world cricket, the Ashes.

    This is how I think the eleven should shape up.

    1. David Warner (VC)
    The vice-captain of the Australians basically picks himself. With an average of forty seven with the bat, he is the incumbent opening batsmen in the side. He historically, like most Australian batsmen has a fantastic record in Australia, and he bats basically to his average against England which makes this an easy selection.

    2. Matthew Renshaw
    This was one of the debated selections, well somewhat anyway. Anyone that knows anything to do with cricket would have Renshaw as the opening batsmen. He has shown that he can dig in when the going is hard to score, and also attack brutally when needed, at the age of 21, Matthew plays in his first ashes series.

    3. Usman Khawaja
    This selection irks me, a lot. This is clearly the weakest link in the side. His record in Australia is phenomenal however (averaging 63), and he has played fast bowling incredibly well here in recent times.

    Historically his record against England has been deplorable, but that is mainly because he has played them in England. On home soil, I would reluctantly name him as the number three.

    4. Steven Smith (C)

    Another selection who speaks for itself. Smith is one of the best players in the world and a seemingly very good young captain. He will no doubt lead from the front in the Ashes as the skipper, and it could be another series on the path to him becoming one of the great Australian batsmen of all time.

    Steve Smith celebrates a run out

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    5. Peter Handscomb
    Yet another selection who picks himself, at just 26, Handscomb has burst onto the scene and is already one of Australia’s best players. With an average of 53 from just ten matches ‘Pistol Pete’ will look to continue his stellar form with the bat and in the field.

    6. Glen Maxwell
    Possibly the most debated spots in the Australian team, and has been for a long period of time. Maxwell simply has to play, yes he has a tendency to do dumb things, but nobody else in the country, in this position, has the potential and talent that Maxwell does.

    Hilton Cartwright hasn’t done anything to show he is a better option and Moises Henriques is the worst number six in Australian history. Therefore I would back in Maxwell as our number six.

    7. Alex Carey
    This will undoubtedly be the biggest talking point of the summer, the Australian wicket keeper. Carey hasn’t set the world on fire playing first class cricket however he has potential and raw talent. He simply can’t really do any worse than Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill.

    Wade can’t keep and Nevill can’t bat. Carey gets the nod as the keeper, mainly because the other two we have fighting it out for that position are either horribly out of form or not up to it.

    8. Mitchell Starc
    Starc picks himself in the team. I’m not the greatest fan of his, as I think he is too erratic, but we all thought that about Mitchell Johnson once. He has improved dramatically over the last two or three years and could be ready to rip the English apart, he is in.

    Australian bowler Mitchell Starc with the pink ball

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    9. Patrick Cummins
    I had to think about this selection, he wasn’t a walk up start in my eyes like a lot of people seem to think. Like Starc he can be very erratic however his injury concerns are much more severe than Starc’s are.

    Mainly, he got selected for his raw pace and bounce, which the English seem to struggle with when touring Australia.

    10. Josh Hazlewood
    Hazlewood is a walk up start in this team and one of the first picked, especially when you have the likes of Starc and Cummins in the team. He is very similar to Glen McGrath in the way he hits a beautiful line and length. His performance will play a huge role in the series.

    11. Nathan Lyon
    Like a fine wine, he gets better with age. Lyon isn’t the greatest spinner going around in world cricket, but for a country with absolutely no spin options, he is extremely important, and has actually got better with age over the last few years. He plays well on Australian pitches and is a lock in the team.

    This series is extremely important for both countries like every ashes series is. However, although we hear every time England tour that they are the worst team to have travelled here, this year, I actually think that they might be right.

    With no Ben Stokes who is no doubt their second best player, the English have bowlers who don’t bowl well in Australia, or batsmen (Apart from Joe Root) who can’t handle the conditions, or are untried in it.

    I predict a 5-0 demolition job, very similar to the last time they travelled here.

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    The Crowd Says (32)

    • November 11th 2017 @ 7:03am
      James GC said | November 11th 2017 @ 7:03am | ! Report

      I have to disagree with your comments surrounding usman, in my opinion he is one of the best batsman in the country batting in Australian conditions and was clearly the most assured of the bats during the first rounds of the shield.
      I also think our bowling attack is capable of taking 20 English wickets no matter how flat the track is so the need for an extra assured bat at 7 would be of more benefit to the team. Someone like Bancroft to steady a ship in case of collapse and to let our bowlers bat naturally for 20-30 runs each knowing the guy at the other end isn’t going anywhere.
      I do agree with the rest of your team and Maxwell at 6 for the first two games if he doesn’t work out a poor batsman at 6 makes sense I think any of Cartwright, Lehman, pattenson would do a good job.

      • November 12th 2017 @ 11:54am
        Ross said | November 12th 2017 @ 11:54am | ! Report

        Agreed on khawaja, he is one of our best test batsman and one day too. The khawaja you saw 4 years ago in England is different player to today, what we have now is a world class batsman who is one of the first picked in this team and not sure how this selection can irk you in any bit

    • November 11th 2017 @ 7:12am
      scottyridge said | November 11th 2017 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Yes a strange description on Khawaja. Easily one of the best batsman in the country when playing in Australia. And he is in form. Expect a big summer from him. Again.

    • November 11th 2017 @ 9:31am
      KBG said | November 11th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      i’m on the khawaja bandwagon as well. a must selection.
      for me, pick the best keeper. whoever that might be. unless you’ve got a gilly, and they are extremely rare, as we all know, who can change a game, those few extra runs (and realistically, we are usually talking may be 10-15 runs an innings, if you go on averages), are nowhere near enough to compensate for the chances not taken. drop root on zero and he turns that into 150 and i really don’t care if the keeper can pick up an extra 20.
      fully agree with the comments on renshaw. it would be crazy not to give him every chance. just made for test cricket and could be our opener for a decade. chopping and changing helps no one.

    • November 11th 2017 @ 10:23am
      George said | November 11th 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

      At least state a reason why you are reluctant with Khawaja. I cannot think of one that relates to batting.

    • November 11th 2017 @ 10:38am
      paul said | November 11th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

      Usman Khawaja “is clearly the weakest link in the side”. On what basis do you make this statement? He’s one of the form batsmen in Australia at present and as you point out, has a great Test record at home. Renshaw can’t put bat on ball at present, but in fairness, he’s played on some tracks where the new ball has really moved around. He needs at least one solid inning soon to bolster his confidence, otherwise he could be “the weakest link”.

      Maxwell too could be the weakest link, depending on how he goes in the first two Tests. I have zero confidence this guy can bat as a number 6, should but he must be given the chance to prove once and for all, whether’s he’s good enough for Test cricket.

      Your logic for choosing Carey is also astounding where you state “one is horribly out of form and the other’s not up to it”. I assume you mean Wade’s out of form (agreed), but Neville was only dropped because he didn’t score enough runs for the selectors liking last Test summer. He’s certainly in form with the gloves and is a way better keeper than Carey is, at this stage of their respective careers. Selectors are not likely to take a punt on a new guy unless he is clearly above the pack – Carey is a fair keeper at best.

    • November 11th 2017 @ 10:59am
      bearfax said | November 11th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

      Pretty close there William in my opinion. The only two question marks at this stage are No 6 and 7. Maxwell has the front running but he needs to remain consistent in the next three Shield matches, lest Cartwright or Lehmann bolt past him. Carey for wicket/keeper is the most likely if they dont stick with tried and true Neville. Personally I would be innovative and select Handscombe or Bancroft as wicket/keeper/batsman, to allow us an extra batsman. Risky I know, but having a reasonably competent wicket keeper, who is a top batsman, is these days more important than having an excellent wicket keeper who averages 10-20 with the bat (though I note Carey is quite competent with the blade). Renshaw should hold his spot as long as he makes a few decent scores in the next few Shield games. But the cards may fall quite differently if some of the incumbents fail and a bright young star suddenly rises in the next 3 games

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