Oh the joy of cricket season! Nothing’s more Australian to me than seeing our cricketers battle the rest of the world in our own backyard, and this year we come up again the best.
South Africa will be a massive challenge, but for us to compete we need to find out who our best seven are first. I haven’t included the four bowlers yet as I’m undecided on who should play.
This is a team based on who I think will make up the best equipped team to win:
1. David Warner
Has been the find of the past 12 months. Started his Test career with two centuries last summer, scoring 123 against New Zealand in Hobart, and a sparkling 180 against a hapless India in Perth. What has impressed everyone is his endeavour in the field and his part time leg spinners.
One area of his game he can work on is his ability to be the cornerstone of the innings. Sometimes he gets carried away trying to bludgeon an attack. Sometimes less is more, David.
2. Phillip Hughes
I have picked Hughes over Cowan because Hughes is seven years younger than Cowan, giving him more time to build a successful career. Furthermore, Hughes has shown he has the ability to score big hundreds, whereas even though Cowan has been consistent at getting starts, his highest score is 74 – not good enough for someone who replaced Hughes and has now played eight or nine Tests.
Hughes has also proven himself against South Africa, and with his recent change to South Australia, he seems rejuvenated and ready to become the batsman we need him to be.
3. Michael Clarke
Our Test skipper is in first drop simply because I believe he needs to take more responsibility for the team. He has led well since taking over after the Ashes, leading a team in transition to wins over South Africa, India and West Indies. His 329 against India was mind boggling and showed just how far he has come as a person and a sportsman.
His greatest achievement as captain so far has been implementing the Argus Review. It’s helped change cricket in Australia for the better and soon we will be on top again.
4. Shane Watson
Arguably the glue that holds this team together, Watson has shown he is a match-winner. Anyone who has watched the Champions League recently would have seen he’s unstoppable on his day.
I’ve put him at number four to help him be relieved of the workload of batting first and opening second change (at times). He needs to fix his conversion rates, but if he is on fire, Australia will be hard to beat.
5. Ricky Ponting
A legend in his own right, but lately has been an average player. He drops down another position because of his age and slowing reflexes. His lack of competition has probably saved his axing, but I’m only being harsh on him because he’s Ricky Ponting.
Hopefully he can keep performing over this summer, and take the attack to Philander, Steyn and Morkel. The key for him is surviving the first half an hour, then he frees up and becomes the great he used to be.
6. Michael Hussey
The best cover driver in the game is still one of the first picked and rightly so. A true battler who seems to survive certain axings as each year progresses. Like Ponting, he is on borrowed time, but on his day he can be the most dangerous link in our line-up.
Susceptible to balls pitched just outside off stump, can push at the ball and needs to rectify his technique soon. His work with the lower order cannot be underestimated, and he provides the anchorman role for so many games (think 2011 Sydney Test v Pakistan).
7. Matthew Wade
Wade sneaks in front of Haddin because he has shown he is the future. He has all the attributes of a wicketkeeper and can bat very well. Does his job with minimum fuss and seems to have the temperament to handle top line cricket.
These choices will not be everyone’s cup of tea. So any improvements, Roarers?