Cameron White just had to play for Australia this summer

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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    This was going to be the preview block in which I pushed the barrow for Cameron White’s recall to the Australian Twenty20 team this summer.

    That he was just batting too well to ignore, I was going to argue. Even more illogical than overlooking Glenn Maxwell, I had pencilled in. Had to pick him; madness not to. Just do it.

    And then the selectors went and bloody picked him… early!

    This is now credit where it’s due for the selectors, even though the T20s were the logical point to pick White – particularly if a few of the Test guys did the logical thing and headed to South Africa early to prepare for the four matches against the Proteas.

    White and national selection panel chairman Trevor Hohns had a fair difference of opinion last summer, around the selection of Australian one-day sides and the role of the state one-day comp in those selections. In the irony of ironies, it was Hohns who told White he’d be needing some new Australian gold pads.

    With Chris Lynn out with yet another injury – and picking him in the first place escaping the deserved scrutiny – the decision on who replaced him appears to have been a three-horse race.

    D’Arcy Short is the leading BBL run-scorer, but playing one-day internationals would still be a big step up for him. The upcoming T20 tri-series is the perfect chance to introduce him to international cricket however, and I’ll be stunned if he doesn’t play.

    Maxwell might – and should – have been a chance of being recalled, but his exile from national teams appears complete.

    glenn-maxwell-melbourne-stars-big-bash-league-cricket-2016-tall

    AAP Image/Rob Blakers

    That just left White, who is next on the BBL hit parade after Short. They just had to pick him.

    White looks perfectly suited to the ODI top order, even saying in Melbourne on Thursday, “Hopefully one of my strengths is playing to the situation. I’ve probably done that pretty well in the Big Bash in the last four or five games.”

    And he has indeed. His consistency this BBL series has been great: scores of 79*, 51, 3, 49*, 35*, and 68* most recently on Monday just gone. In batting first drop for the Renegades, he’s walked to the middle in the first over three times this summer, and in the third over twice. The latest he’s gone in to date is the fifth over. Red-Melbourne won three of the four games he’s been not out at the end of the innings.

    He’s been great at stemming the flow of wickets, getting set, consolidating the innings, and then accelerating.

    It’s another good selection from the NSP, and they’re still riding high on a pretty decent summer so far. But it does raise another curious question around how they view the older players – particularly batsmen.

    White’s recall at 34 comes on the back of Shaun Marsh’s reentry to the Test side at the same age. The older batsman still has a big role to play in Australian cricket, even if that point is forgotten from time to time. White is toward the top of the Victorian Sheffield Shield averages, as is Ed Cowan for NSW, but both players have been limited to two games each.

    If the old blokes are getting the job done, then the number of candles on their birthday cake shouldn’t matter.

    BBL07 table
    The Sydney Thunder beat the Perth Scorchers in Sydney on Thursday night – just – and so, the table looks this way.

    Adelaide 10
    Perth 10
    Melbourne Renegades 8
    Brisbane 8
    Hobart 8
    Sydney Thunder 6
    Sydney Sixers 0
    Melbourne Stars 0

    Upcoming games

    Friday – Game 26
    Melbourne Renegades vs Melbourne Stars; Docklands, Melbourne

    Though White’s recall is a good thing for the Australian ODI side – and obviously White himself – it does leave the Renegades vulnerable in the return leg of the Melbourne Derby.

    Red-Melbourne wouldn’t have counted on losing White at this stage, and their line-up now looks a bit light in the batting department, despite the arrival of West Indian ball-clobberer Kieron Pollard.

    On the other side of the coin, the last time Maxwell was left out of an Australian side, he made his highest first-class score in response.

    Tip – Stars, now. And a big, angry score from Maxwell.

    Saturday double-header – Game 27
    Adelaide Strikers vs Perth Scorchers; Traeger Park, Alice Springs

    The first test of both finals-bound sides minus their Australian reps, and it’s on another ground making its BBL debut, with the SACA and WACA committing to do more for the game in Indigenous communities by playing this game in the Red Centre. Both sides will be sporting impressive-looking Indigenous-inspired playing strips, too.

    This is an interesting contest: who copes best without their Australian reps? The Strikers have plenty of depth to cover Travis Head’s absence, but I’m not sure about the Scorchers’ bowling without AJ Tye and Jhye Richardson.

    Shaun Marsh could return for this game, but they’ve lost David Willey to the England squad, too.

    Tip – Strikers to take the outright BBL lead, which would be something, given how widely they were written off.

    Saturday double-header – Game 28
    Sydney Sixers vs Sydney Thunder, SCG

    It’s the return derby block of games, with the reverse Sydney Smash (though surely there’s a better name for it). However many of the pink-Sydney crowd are still left may well get their first look at new import Carlos Braithwaite – formerly of the Thunder last season, and responsible for all of my daughter’s cricket team performing that stupid ‘dab’ motion every time a wicket fell last summer.

    That’s about all this game has going for it – it’s sixth vs seventh, for goodness’ sake! The Sixers will have Jackson Bird and Nathan Lyon will be back, and hopefully that can contribute some runs, too.

    Tip – Thunder, and quite possibly Usman Khawaja on his own.

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (54)

    • January 12th 2018 @ 8:36am
      TheCunningLinguistic said | January 12th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      I’m surprised Shaun Marsh wasn’t considered for the One Day team. His 50-over record is excellent and his form is stellar!

      • January 12th 2018 @ 9:32am
        jameswm said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:32am | ! Report

        And Khawaja

        I’ve been saying it for 1-2 years (and have said it on another thread this morning), but Khawaja should be opening with Warner. He’s our 3rd best batsman, and most definitely CAN play the short form. He can handle good bowling MUCH better than Finch. It’s not even close.

        Surely a top 3 of Warner. Khawaja and Smith sets up nicely. At least 1 of them will go on to get 60-70, anchoring the innings, and possibly 2.

        • January 12th 2018 @ 9:56am
          Rosso said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          I agree with jamesw, Khawaja was our second best domestic one day batsman this year and in the last 3 years he has been our best. 85, 70, 104,65, 109 are his last 5 scores in the big bash, he should be our opener in both t20s and odi side. On white he will be a good middle order batsman for us and I wish him well

          • January 12th 2018 @ 10:11am
            DaveJ said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

            Brett you don’t give any reasons to select White other than T20 form, which is hardly the best indicator let alone a good one. A much better criterion (apart from past ODI record) would be domestic one-Day form, where he has done quite well in recent years (though only against Tasmania in 4 matches this season) but they still didn’t pick him. And others like S Marsh and Khawaja have done better. The only reason can be that they think he’s the man for the World Cup next year, which seems eccentric, which is not to say he won’t do OK.

            • Columnist

              January 12th 2018 @ 10:28am
              Brett McKay said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:28am | ! Report

              No I didn’t Dave, bit that was more for need to keep these preview pieces somewhat concise. White had another solid state one day series, and that’s carried on through Shield cricket, albeit in limited opportunities.

              The short of it, simply, is that whatever the format, whatever the ball colour, he’s hitting them well…

              • January 12th 2018 @ 12:58pm
                Ken Hayes said | January 12th 2018 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

                And of course he’s from a favoured state. Lynn wasn’t, thus his selection needed close “scrutiny”. A bridge too far to give another Queenslander a go, eh Brett?

              • January 13th 2018 @ 2:42pm
                Mitcher said | January 13th 2018 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

                If only the poor widdle ‘unfavoured’ states could produce cricketers like they whinge. We’d be unstoppable.

              • Roar Guru

                January 12th 2018 @ 1:04pm
                Paul D said | January 12th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                I’m as queensland as they come and I’m telling you, Lynn was injured, and openly admitted he didn’t want to play for Australia if he wasn’t 100% fit, which he wasn’t

                Joe Burns was the only other person they could have picked from Queensland but I can see why they went for White

                Returning veterans from the cold served them well in the ashes after all

              • Columnist

                January 12th 2018 @ 2:34pm
                Brett McKay said | January 12th 2018 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

                Ken, I don’t really care about state colours, but I do care when guys are being picked when only just back from injury, or under an injury cloud. Regardless of state…

        • January 12th 2018 @ 10:20am
          DeltaTango said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:20am | ! Report

          100% agree, Khawaja deserves a decent crack at the opening spot with Warner. Give him 12 months and we will be firing in time for the World Cup. Looked so at ease last night against a decent bowling team!

          • January 12th 2018 @ 10:51am
            jameswm said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:51am | ! Report

            He’s had a handful of games and hasn’t set the world on fire, but give him a proper shot. We all know he will settle into the role.

            Just checked – he’s played 18 ODIs, but only 3 in the last 18 months, when his test and matador form have been a lot better.

        • Columnist

          January 12th 2018 @ 10:25am
          Brett McKay said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:25am | ! Report

          And I don’t think we can rule either Marsh or Khawaja out for an ODI call up yet anyway, particularly if Warner or Smith sit a game or two out ahead of South Africa a la the bowlers…

        • Roar Guru

          January 12th 2018 @ 11:03am
          Ryan H said | January 12th 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

          Yep, I often wonder why Finch is considered automatic for the ODI side. Granted he should be a lock in the T20s, but he’s a bit hit and miss in 50-over cricket. Often if he gets past 30-40 he’ll probably go on and get a big score, but it doesn’t happen enough. I struggle to understand why Khawaja wasn’t named in this squad as he’s been arguably the best domestic 50-over batsman for the last 3-4 years.

          • January 12th 2018 @ 1:55pm
            Ross said | January 12th 2018 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

            Finch had one good score against India on the flattest if decks but time after time against the moving ball or good pace bowling he gets exposed. Khawaja is our best opener and I hope we give him and marsh a good chance this summer

          • January 12th 2018 @ 1:57pm
            Bakkies said | January 12th 2018 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

            Finch scored large in India on his comeback so it would have been ridiculous to drop him.

          • January 12th 2018 @ 1:58pm
            Ross said | January 12th 2018 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

            And yes across the last 4 years the best batsman in domestic one day cricjet it Khawaja followed by white which is why I am happy for white getting picked

    • Roar Guru

      January 12th 2018 @ 9:11am
      Giri Subramanian said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      The Aussie selectors have struck gold all through the summer with their selections. So surely White will have to be a success as well.

    • January 12th 2018 @ 9:59am
      BBJ said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      Am not a fan of White. Has a good eye but any lateral movement and he cannot get near it.

      No brainer picking Short. Is in incredible form.

      The big question for me is how a hack like Hohns got to be a selector.

      • Columnist

        January 12th 2018 @ 10:33am
        Brett McKay said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        This is Hohns’ second stint as Chairman, BBJ. And his first stint saw him overseeing two tuns of 16 straight wins, so he’s hardly a hack when it comes to selecting teams…

        • Roar Rookie

          January 12th 2018 @ 10:48am
          josh said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

          Anyone following cricket ages 12 and up could have picked the 16 streak teams.

          • January 12th 2018 @ 11:20am
            matth said | January 12th 2018 @ 11:20am | ! Report

            Great to say in hindsight that ‘anyone could’, however the facts are that Hohns ‘did’.

            • Roar Rookie

              January 12th 2018 @ 12:10pm
              josh said | January 12th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

              So Who did Hohn’s actually pick?

              He was sole selector from 1997 to 2000, which includes the first 16 game streak. I will also include 1996 too.

              In that period the following made their test debuts:

              Peter McIntyre
              Matthew Elliott
              Michael Kasprowicz
              Jason Gillespie
              Brad Hogg
              Shaun Young
              Simon Cook
              Andy Bichel

              Anyway the point remains the core of the team, were in place, and bits and pieces, besides Gillespie, came into it. Hohn’s can’t take much of the credit.

              • January 12th 2018 @ 12:31pm
                matth said | January 12th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

                That’s little bit of cherry picking there to only look at the period 1997-2000 and not give him any credit for his entire career on the selection panel including a decade as chairman.

                Trevor Hohns was a national selector from 1993 to 2006, including 10 years as Chairman of the panel.

                To put it in context it was 1995 when we first beat the West Indies away. Hohns was on the panel and then chairman for picking McGrath, the move from Healy to Gilchrist, picking Ponting, moving from Mark Waugh, our world cup wins in 1999 and 2003. which included gut feel picks like Tom Moody, Brad Hogg and Andrew Symonds.

                We may not agree with all his decisions but there is no way you can paint Trevor Hohns as some sort of hack.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 12th 2018 @ 12:41pm
                josh said | January 12th 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

                It’s cherry picking because it was when Hohns was the only selector.

                Unless every decision ever made in a committee which would include 1995 and 2000 to 2005, was Hohns and Hohns alone. Doubt it.

              • January 12th 2018 @ 2:07pm
                matth said | January 12th 2018 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

                So you are saying you give Hohns 100% credit when he was sole selector and 0% credit when he was part of the selection committee, even when he was Chairman. Right.

              • January 12th 2018 @ 11:25pm
                doogs said | January 12th 2018 @ 11:25pm | ! Report

                I really hope you are not operating any heavy machinery today. Could be dangerous

      • January 12th 2018 @ 11:59am
        Darren said | January 12th 2018 @ 11:59am | ! Report

        As Brett has said, Hohns record as a selector speaks for itself. He has often made left field calls but rarely failed. I have no idea what here your hack call could come from.

        • Columnist

          January 12th 2018 @ 2:38pm
          Brett McKay said | January 12th 2018 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

          Not to mention he was responsible for separating the Test and ODI captaincy in the 90s, made the hard call of Steve Waugh (twice, in fact, ODIs too), Ian Healy, etc…

    • January 12th 2018 @ 10:11am
      Jarryd said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

      The biggest issue I see is will Cam White be in the XI or will he just be used when the series is wrapped up? If it’s the latter it’s a wasted selection as it could have been used to blood a younger player with the World Cup in 18 months time.

      • Columnist

        January 12th 2018 @ 10:30am
        Brett McKay said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:30am | ! Report

        All signs are pointing toward him batting at 4 on Sunday Jarryd. And the fact that he’s been withdrawn from the Melbourne Derby tonight probably underlines that…

    • January 12th 2018 @ 10:25am
      Jeremy said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:25am | ! Report

      Pick Khawaja – jeez louise!

      • January 12th 2018 @ 2:02pm
        Ross said | January 12th 2018 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

        It’s mind blowing Khawaja is not there, dominating both big bash and JLT cup

    • Roar Guru

      January 12th 2018 @ 10:43am
      Paul D said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:43am | ! Report

      I think it’s a great choice. White has a good attitude towards his cricket, sensible head on his shoulders – yes, we could have had Khawaja, but I think it’s good to see different players for different formats.

      If only they can now persuade Smith to let go of the reigns of the T20 side.

      • January 12th 2018 @ 2:04pm
        Ross said | January 12th 2018 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

        Smith is our best captain across all formats and warner is a great back up. Khawaja deserves to bat as opener and happy to see white in the middle order

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