So who plays cricket for Australia these days?

Tavis Roar Rookie

By Tavis, Tavis is a Roar Rookie

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45 Have your say

    Is there something I’m missing? When I started watching cricket in my younger days, as most people did, I had my favourite players.

    Names included Craig McDermott, Glenn McGrath, David Boon, Mark Taylor, and the Waugh brothers, among quite a few.

    It was great watching the boys play the Test matches and the one-day games all summer, with the occasional player missing one or two games with an injury.

    Very rarely, a player would get dropped due to a form slump and they would find their touch in a state game and be back in the Aussie line-up not long after.

    Currently, there are 40 players listed to have played for Australia in either Test, ODI or T20 cricket in the last 12 months.

    Now I know people are going to say that T20 wasn’t around in the 90s and more matches are being played now than back then, but how’s this, only four of those 40 players have played only T20 cricket for Australia.

    That’s still 36 players across the Tests and ODIs. What does this mean? 

    It means that there aren’t many Aussie cricketers that play all three forms of the game. Why is this? 

    Well, there are quite a few reasons, many of which Cricket Australia provides.

    These include injuries, the rotation policy and player management due to the amount of cricket played these days.

    But the reason that is hardest for me to understand, is that so many of the current players are T20, ODI or Test cricket specialists.

    When thinking about 90s players that were ODI “specialists”, I could suggest Michael Bevan, Shane Lee, Ian Harvey and Darren Lehman to name a few.

    The latter ended up playing in the Test team a few years after making his ODI debut. Bevan could be argued as Australia’s most clutch ODI player to ever play the game. Harvey and Lee were both great all rounders, which proved very useful for the limited overs form of the game.  

    Mitchell Starc, David Warner, and Matt Wade are the only players playing in the Melbourne T20, that have also played in the Test team this summer.

    I don’t think this is good enough.

    For the most part, there was only a couple of players that didn’t play every game of the summer. More current players should be striving to be the best cricketer they can be, and improve the parts of their game that they struggle with. 

    More cricketers should want to do what David Warner has done. I absolutely commend the way he has worked on and improved his game to be a valuable Test opener.

    When he first came into the T20 side, he thrashed the bat, and scored at a great strike rate which was perfect for both limited overs forms of cricket.

    Since then, he has worked on being much more patient and picking the right balls to hit, and the right balls to leave making him a great addition to the Test top order.

    In my opinion, I still don’t think the selectors have the ODI or T20 sides balanced and the more players coming in and out of these teams, the harder the Aussies will find it to rise in the world rankings.

    The team needs stability.

    If all of these rotations of players are truly due to injury, then there is something terribly wrong with our pace bowlers, and they need to harden up a bit.

    Batsmen should be able to play both at a high strike rate when runs are needed quickly (this can also be needed in Tests at times), and when required, conservatively to preserve wickets.

    This would have been handy last week when we batted less than half of our 50 overs available. 

    I doubt I will see it, but it used to be great watching our favourite batsmen hit a patient Test ton one week, and then belt fours and sixes the next.

    Or a bowler take 10 wickets in a Test, then bowl a tight four or five run over late in the game to win an ODI or T20.

    Either way it’s hard to keep up with who is in the team when you turn on the TV.

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    The Crowd Says (45)

    • Roar Guru

      January 29th 2013 @ 7:12am
      peeeko said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      who is Ben Laughlin and why is he playing for Australia?

      • January 29th 2013 @ 8:18am
        Red Kev said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:18am | ! Report

        Yeah Laughlin has been tested and found wanting – back to back sixes off his bowling to lose the first match, and 20 off the last over in this match to give Sri Lanka a defendable total.

        • January 29th 2013 @ 9:27am
          Felix said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          Ha found wanting is an understatement there Kev. He is rubbish, cannot believe they rested Cutting again after one match and ignored Laughlin’s horrendous deliveries at the death.

          If Finch is given another knock I’ll cry.

          • January 29th 2013 @ 9:49am
            Red Kev said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:49am | ! Report

            Finch’s dismissals have all been a concern – they have all been from tentative shots.
            Cutting’s omission doesn’t worry me so much, I’ve always viewed him in the same light as Khawaja – the longer the game format the better he performs.

            • January 29th 2013 @ 12:22pm
              Matt F said | January 29th 2013 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

              Finch seems like a player who has let the occasion beat him. I can’t remember who it was but one of the commentators made the point (I think it was during the one day series) that if he was wearing a Renegades shirt (or even a Bushrangers one day shirt) those tentative shots that are getting him out become full blooded strokes that find the boundary. The occasion of representing your country seems to get to him and that’s a big problem

              • January 29th 2013 @ 2:09pm
                Chui said | January 29th 2013 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

                Reminds me a bit of Hayden when he was in no mans land between Shield and Test cricket years ago.

                A superman in state colours bludgeoning bowlers all over the place, to meek and mild at test level getting out to tentative shots.

                Looks psychological to me.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 3:28pm
                Bearfax said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

                Hayden was averaging 50+ at first class level when he had problems in the tests. He had the skill but just needed to correct a few elements of his game, somewhat like Hughes. Finch is averaging 30 at first class level. A big difference. He’s an average first class batsman and he certainly wouldnt be a good test batsman. he’s a good slogger and will probably eventually succeed at International T20s. But that’s it.

    • January 29th 2013 @ 8:42am
      Anon said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      Remembering back to the early 80s there was a plethora of Australian experienced players – of course due to the establishment test players and the WSC ‘rebels’ – such that Ben Laughlin’s old man made the big time.

      During the 1980s we certainly saw some guys who were even then more deemed as ODI specialists, names like Shaun Graf, Peter Faulkner, Ken McLeay, Trevor Chappell, Mick Malone, Simon Davis, Adam Dale (into the 90s) etc.

      Guys who predominantly played ODI’s, might have scraped in for a test match here or a series there but that was largely due to the need to through guys at all levels to find replacements for the Chappell/Lilliee/Marsh era.

      Same thing applies now – the test line up is in flux and there are now 3 forms of the game to throw players at for experience and growth. There will still be some single format specialists.

      • Roar Rookie

        January 29th 2013 @ 9:58am
        josh said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        You missed Steve Smith

    • Roar Guru

      January 29th 2013 @ 9:28am
      sheek said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      I offer the following purely for nostalgia.

      Circa 1985, Australian Establishment XI:

      Graeme Wood
      Andrew Hilditch (vc)
      Kepler Wessels
      Allan Border (c)
      Greg Ritchie
      David Boon
      Wayne Phillips (k)
      Simon O’Donnell
      Geoff Lawson
      Craig McDermott
      Bob Holland


      Dirk Wellham
      Greg Matthews
      Ray Phillips (2k)
      Jeff Thomson
      Dave Gilbert
      Murray Bennett

      Circa 1985, Australian Rebels XI:

      Steve Smith
      John Dyson
      Graeme Yallop (vc)
      Kim Hughes (c)
      Mick Taylor
      Mark haysman
      Treevor Hohns
      Steve Rixon (k)
      Rodney Hogg
      Carl Rackemann
      Terry Alderman


      Greg Shipperd (2k)
      Peter Faulkner
      Tom Hogan
      Rod McCurdy
      John Maguire

      If you put the best XI combined on the field, you would have had a very competitive team. It’s a shame, as in 1977-79 with WSC, that Australian cricket was torn apart in 1985-87 by the twin Rebels tours.


      After the touring team to England was announced, it was discovered Rixon, McCurdy & Alderman had signed with the Rebels. They were replaced by Phillips, Gilbert & veteran Thomson getting a recall.

      When it was discovered (or believed) that Wessels had been intimately involved with recruiting the Rebels, the ACB refused to renew his contract for the 1985/86 season. Wessels arrived in South Africa for the 1986/87 season to play with the Australian Rebels. By 1989/90 he was once again representing his native South Africa.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 9:37am
        Jason said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        Still not a good opener in either list!

      • January 29th 2013 @ 1:35pm
        nachos supreme said | January 29th 2013 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

        Dirk Welham.
        Best name in world cricket. Sounds like some kind of Victorian era explorer…..and the best specs at the time….ahem I digress.As you were.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 2:15pm
        Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

        No Dav Whatmore sheek, glad you had Murray Bennett in there., saw highlights of him Loved his big square glasses lol. Andrew Zeezers was very talented he deserves a start too. Glad Shiipperd and Tom Hogan are there too. Haysman now a good commentator on STH African tv, he is a good commentator, him and Kepler Wessells are on tv there.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 3:30pm
        Bearfax said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:30pm | ! Report

        Ah Simon O’Donnell. Not a bad OID all rounder. Won us more than a few games.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 4:46pm
        matt h said | January 29th 2013 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

        Great post Sheek. Brings back memories. Back then Border, Wessells and Wayne Phillips were my absolute favourites (bit of a lefty bias).

    • January 29th 2013 @ 10:04am
      Bobba said | January 29th 2013 @ 10:04am | ! Report

      Couldn’t agree more with Tavis. The rotation policy is absolute fodder. The excuse that players need to be rested is ridiculous. If a player needs to be rested then they are obviously not of high enough calibre to be in the Australian Team. It’s funny though…you don’t see too many being rested in the domestic season whether the 4 day, 1 day or T20 format! Yes, I understand the supposed ‘rigours’ of International Cricket takes a little more of a toll than the Domestic side of things, but as has been said, drink a cup of cement and harden up!! If a champion like Warnie (who carried a few extra kilos, didn’t have the best diet, smoked, drank etc.) could still go out and play Test after Test and ODI after ODI surely the ‘Young Pups’ who are supposed to be these you beaut built Athletes can back up and play a few games in a row, right?

      • Roar Pro

        January 29th 2013 @ 10:08am
        Brandon Marlow said | January 29th 2013 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        Warne isn’t the best example. He plodded in to bowl spin which is much less taxing than steaming in like Peter Siddle. You notice how the people mainly being rested are Pace bowlers? It’s because of the impact involved in bowling pace and how far and hard they have to run while doing this.

        • January 29th 2013 @ 11:32am
          Bobba said | January 29th 2013 @ 11:32am | ! Report

          The choice to run far and hard and try and rip down thunderbolts is up to them. There are plenty of prime examples of pace bowlers that didn’t throw them 140+ and are/were still successful in taking wickets, drying up the scoreboard, etc.

          Warnie whilst not having the same impact in his delivery striding as compared to a pace bowler, still had a lot of impact through his deliveries. Being a wrist spinner is very taxing in other ways (hip rotation, shoulder, wrist, etc) not to mention the amount of overs he had to bowl (and the long spells at a time). If being a wrist spin leg break bowler was easy then we’d have a plethora of them coming through the ranks instead of pace men. The point was more to do with his physical conditioning (or lack thereof) vs the trim, lean, don’t eat or drink anything not approved otherwise you won’t be in peak physical condition to bowl/bat your 1 or 2 games before being rested, philosophy.

    • Roar Pro

      January 29th 2013 @ 10:06am
      Brandon Marlow said | January 29th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      Australian should play the 11 best overall players in the test side, the 11 best one day players for the ODI’s and the eleven best T20 players in T20 matches. Just because someone is a good Test bowler, does not mean they will be successful in the short form.

    • January 29th 2013 @ 10:16am
      Lancey5times said | January 29th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

      I could easily write the opposite article to what you have written here. You share the view of many in that everyone seems to be getting a crack and the part of this that upsets me is that this is applying to the longer formats. I feel very strongly that test players should not be playing T20 cricket so therefore we would continue to see the Laughlins playing for our country in this silly game. Do they have to wear green and gold? Why can’t I just get more Big Bang Theory instead?

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

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