Rotation policy showcasing Australia’s enviable depth

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By art pagonis, art pagonis is a Roar Rookie

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    Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga celebrates after clean bowling Australia's batsman Mitchell Johnson. (AFP PHOTO / Bradley)

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    It didn’t take too long to prove knockers of the rotation policy wrong, albeit on the bounciest, seamingest, swingingest wicket in WACA history.

    There was no Peter Siddle, no James Pattinson, no Pat Cummins, no Joel Hazelwood, no Dave Warner, no Mike Hussey, no Ricky Ponting, no David Hussey, no Shane Watson, no Ed Cowan, no Rob Quiney, no George Bailey, Michael Clarke opted to rest his cracked rib (?).

    I could go on.

    The point of rotation is to rest injured or stale players or those who have a work overload. Australia’s selectors have done it cleverly, although I hasten to add you wouldn’t have to be Einstein to pick someone, anyone, to play for Australia at the WACA on Friday.

    Australia used a line-up which included three left arm quicks over 190cm tall who bowl over 140 and can swing it sometimes, a 190cm right arm quick who moves it all the time and several part time spinners (including Glenn Maxwell) who didn’t get a look in.

    They could have had anyone who has been on the cusp of Australian selection at one day or Test level and they would have spread-eagled the Windies to be fair.

    By keeping the ball full and letting the breeze and the pitch do its work, Australia forced the Windies to fall in a heap for 70. And to be fair, South Africa, England and India would have struggled today. The WACA was lethal. I know, I live here.

    People such as Ben Laughlin, Ben Hilfenhaus, Jason Behrendorf, Mike Hogan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Joel Paris, Josh Hazelwood, Gary Putland, Jackson Bird, Ben Cutting, Dirk Nannes and many others would have given their left gonad to bowl for Australia and the result would have been similar.

    The Australian selectors are far from dummies. They know that spin kids like Mike Beer, Ashton Agar, James Muirhead, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Aaron O’Brien, Steve O’Keefe, Xavier Doherty and others will vie for spots in Australia’s teams of the future… But not on Friday at the WACA.

    And they know that guys like Luke Pomersbach, Shaun and Mitch Marsh, Tim Ludemann, Alex Doolan, Travis Birt, Tim Paine, Brad Haddin and others are bursting to fit into Test and one day teams.

    All they have to do is sit back and watch these 30 kids vie with one another for spots. Can’t be too hard being a Selector, can it?

    I mean you could pick three Aussie teams to beat the Windies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Pakistan in Australia.

    You might struggle to get two teams which could beat India, England and South Africa. But you certainly could get two teams of current Australian cricketers who would be very competitive with those three.

    The Nine commentators, the Shane Warne fans and the players from the 20 year era of success which ended around 2006 all think Australia is going to get decimated against these three teams, but honestly they are so wrong it isn’t funny.

    Where we used to speak of Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Steve Waugh, Justin Langer, Glen McGrath and Jason Gillespie, soon we will talking about Matt Wade, Dave Warner, Michael Clarke, perhaps Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Mitch Johnson, and many, many others in the same vein.

    Why? For three reasons.

    Firstly, competition for places in the three Australian teams is at an all-time premium!

    Secondly, there are no walk-up starts for the stars of Australia. They have to succeed big time to get a gig.

    Thirdly, because the Australian selectors are offering both carrots and Tests to about 30 kids around this country, and they know there is another 20 behind them who will bust a gut to take their spot.

    Australian cricket has never, ever been so healthy.

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    The Crowd Says (12)

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 4:31am
      Brendon said | February 2nd 2013 @ 4:31am | ! Report

      What a load of rubbish. Two teams that could beat Sa and the UK? I’m an Aussie fan, but I’m not a dreamer. Three teams to beat Sri Lanka, umm didn’t they just play out a 2 all draw they should have won and bowl us out cheaply at the Gabba and Sydney? Not sure how the other team being despicable on a bouncy waca wicket has anything to do with the rotation policy or even the health of Aussie cricket.

      • February 2nd 2013 @ 7:49pm
        Jake said | February 2nd 2013 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

        He said “you might struggle to pick 2 to win against SA, Eng and India”.
        Perhaps read it properly next time?

        • February 2nd 2013 @ 8:06pm
          Brendon said | February 2nd 2013 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

          Might infurs that we definitely have one team that would smash them. Try forming your own opinion rather than trolling forums next time

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 7:47am
      Harry said | February 2nd 2013 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      Can I please have some of whatever you’ve been drinking. Two teams that would beat SA and England? Three teams that would beat the others! Australia are struggling to get enough decent batsmen for 1 team let alone 3 (though the bowling stocks are healthier). One game at the WACA doesn’t equal invincibility.

    • Roar Pro

      February 2nd 2013 @ 8:20am
      Brandon Marlow said | February 2nd 2013 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      I’ve been saying all a long that rotation helps create depth for Australia. If Pattinson or Siddle break down again we know other players can step in and play a role.

      • February 2nd 2013 @ 8:55am
        Jason said | February 2nd 2013 @ 8:55am | ! Report

        But how many games do we surrender in the meantime? eg WACA.

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 12:32pm
      Scuba said | February 2nd 2013 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

      “…no Joel Hazelwood”. Who? I figured you must have meant Josh Hazelwood, but he got a run further down. In any case Josh has only ever been on the fringes and can’t seriously be used in this argument.

      “no Ricky Ponting, no Mike Hussey”. If memory serves me correctly, they’ve retired. The replacement of retired players has been around pretty much forever. Same goes for the injured players like Pattinson and Warner.

      “No Ed Cowan”. That’d be the Ed Cowan who has never played an ODI?

      “No George Bailey, Michael Clarke rested”. That’s funny, I’d have sworn I saw both of them in the field yesterday.

      I can’t decide what is more breath-taking about this article, the sheer number of errors or the hyperbolic tone. Maybe we should try finding one team who can beat RSA and ENG at home before thinking about whether we can field a second.

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 12:35pm
      Tony Tea said | February 2nd 2013 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

      Enviable depth? We have a lot of reasonable cricketers in Australia, but we have next to no Test standard batsmen, no match winning spinners, and it’s a toss up who gets the gloves. At least we have some potentially gun fast bowlers, when we can get them on the park. Our Indian squad is a picture perfect example of our lack of Test depth.

      We have no one knocking the door down with runs, which is fortunate for the door, but less fortunate for us, because there is only really Clarke behind the door stopping the door being knocked down. Even Clarke will be a dubious prospect in England if the ball does anything.

      We only have depth in one area: delusional opinions.

    • February 2nd 2013 @ 12:38pm
      Felix said | February 2nd 2013 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

      What an absolute joke this article is. Sorry Art, you are so far off the mark it’s funnier than Lara Bingle’s career. We have one batsman in this country worthy of selection. The fact a rotation policy exists is, contrary to what you think, an example of how shallow the talent is. In days of yore there was no need to rotate the bejesus out of a squad because you had 13 players of utter class. We now have 30 bit part park cricketers whose career stats are marginally better than a bog standard state player. They are trying to give pitch time to as many as possible to wrangle up a team that might be competitive long term.

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