Take Voges on the Ashes tour. Why not?

Dane Eldridge Columnist

By Dane Eldridge, Dane Eldridge is a Roar Expert

43 Have your say

    Let’s just say that Australia’s pimply new-look batting order totally craters in this upcoming series against India.

    Let’s imagine the confidence of this adolescent unit is obliterated by subcontinental guile and their bright-eyed bushy tails end up between the legs in the usual stance of those vanquished.

    If those in selection power are still offering their usual pint-sized probation period, it will mean more delicate tinkering or belligerent bulldozing of the top six before a squad is picked to enter the Lion’s den of the Ashes series.

    Considering there is frail youth and inexperience dotted throughout the team now that a personnel revolution is in full swing, one would think the first place to turn in a time of baby-faced humiliation and destitution would be to the match-hardened elderly.

    So if the wicket landslides and budget totals are to continue surfacing in this series- and lets admit it, there’s a very good chance they will- how about taking a punt for England by calling up Adam Voges to add some Sandgroper cement to the middle order?

    His Sheffield Shield numbers are certainly not turning heads on the selection catwalk this season (367 runs at 33.36 with a high score of 94), but it’s the West Australian’s current splendid patch of form and his bucketloads of experience in English conditions with Nottinghamshire that make him an attractive option.

    Voges is coming off an outstanding 112 not out for Australia in last weekend’s ODI against the West Indies, plus there’s a 72 in his most recent Shield hit-out along with a 112 and an unbeaten 77 in his last two Ryobi Cup matches.

    His County record for Notts is a cracker too, having amassed 2736 runs at an average of 45.60 in his five seasons on the Pom first class circuit.

    With Shane Watson almost surely to be elevated to the opener’s position with his repeated public reminders of ‘shotgun’ recently, Voges could be the perfect strengthener to wedge in the middle and help Michael Clarke give the batting guts some settled solidarity.

    He can also bring another wise head to the skipper’s round table of generalship, plus his gentle left-armers are also a value-add.

    I know this portfolio has the all-too-familiar echoes of a Marcus North project, but really, can Australia afford to deep-end more of the puerile and untried if they limp home from India?

    The team could do a lot worse than having ‘Hank’ around the traps.

    We know the selectors aren’t comfortable with endemic batting failure, reasonable displays of patience and Ed Cowan.

    They also have made it clear that weathered campaigners with cascading runs columns like George Bailey and David Hussey aren’t on their list for such roles.

    So could it be Voges that is used as an Ashes band-aid?

    Dane Eldridge
    Dane Eldridge

    Dane was named best and fairest in the 2004 Bathurst mixed indoor cricket competition. With nothing in the game left to achieve, he immediately retired at his peak to a reclusive life ensconced in the velvet of organised contests. Catch the man on Twitter @eld2_0.

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    The Crowd Says (43)

    • February 14th 2013 @ 4:38am
      Frankie Hughes said | February 14th 2013 @ 4:38am | ! Report

      Bailey and Voges should’ve been in the Test squad for India.

      How are Maxwell and Steve Smith even thought off ahead of Bailey and Voges?

      • February 14th 2013 @ 6:04am
        AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 6:04am | ! Report

        I like Voges, and do not like Maxwell…. however:

        S Smith FC average 42
        G Maxwell FC average 42
        A Voges FC average 40
        G Bailey FC average 39

        both smith and maxwell are 24 or under, the other two are the wrong side of 30.

        it seems personal opinion means more than actual evidence. nothing new there though i guess.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 6:44am
          Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 6:44am | ! Report

          Smith and Maxwell are both sloggers, neither have anything resembling technique.

          • February 14th 2013 @ 8:17am
            AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:17am | ! Report

            Hey RK, there may be some element of truth in that, however, can you argue that Voges and Bailey have better FC credentials for the test team??

            I like Voges above both Smith and Maxwell, but feel my personal opinion may play a part in that….

            • February 14th 2013 @ 9:39am
              Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

              Yes, I can.
              Technique and Temperament are credentials for the test team. Do you think Maxwell is capable of batting out a whole session let alone a day to save a test match?
              Moreover the averages are not as disparate as you make them seem, and look even closer on proper examination – Bailey is easily top of the heap with Smith and Voges tight for second and Maxwell a very very distant last:
              GJ Maxwell avg 42.0, 15 matches, 924 FC Runs, 1 hundred (top score 103*)
              SPD Smith avg 41.7, 38 matches, 2463 FC runs, 5 hundreds (top score 177)
              AC Voges avg 40.8, 129 matches, 7800 FC runs, 15 hundreds (top score 180)
              GJ Bailey avg 39.9, 87 matches, 5586 FC runs, 14 hundreds (top score 160*)

              • February 14th 2013 @ 10:00am
                AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:00am | ! Report

                Sorry, im obviously missing something, how does this make Bailey “easily top of the heap”??? His stats are not that great, and even look poor in comparison to some ordinary batters.

                And i am no maxwell fan, and i am not convinced he is anywhere near test level, but i can say the same for Bailey. It seems to me that a few ODI innings has turned everyone around on GB, even though his stats are poor. Even to the extent that you RK are trying to show him to be “top of the heap” with his FC average below 40….

              • February 14th 2013 @ 10:11am
                Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

                Maxwell is bottom of the heap because the sample size his “average” comes from is too small to provide any indication of his real ability.
                Bailey is top of the heap because he scores big more often. He has experience but isn’t at the too old level of D Hussey and has been playing well. His last four seasons of Shield cricket have been very good.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 11:26am
          Roger said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          I have to agreewith AndyMack, i would get away from picking players in the test team who are 2-3 years from retiring.

          • February 14th 2013 @ 11:36am
            Matt F said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

            I don’t have an issue with age. If we had a soft 12 months coming up (eg a test series against NZ or the WIndies) then I’d probably agree but given the 12 months that we do have coming up I’d just pick the best XI players for right now. The next few series are too important to throw away by playing players who aren’t ready yet, even if they might be stars in a few years.

            That being said I wouldn’t be picking Voges anyway as his form is in one day and T20’s, not first class matches. I would have picked Chris Rogers as he’s in form right now

            • February 14th 2013 @ 1:23pm
              Sanjay said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

              Agree with you Matt F, most folks are confusing ODI form with test form and the 2 don’t match, Pick based on shield form and on that you wouldn’t go with Voges

              • February 15th 2013 @ 9:31am
                Renegade said | February 15th 2013 @ 9:31am | ! Report

                I’m not confusing ODI form with test form….i’m just looking at cricket form.

                I think your confusing state form with International form.

                I don’t really care if someone averages 50 at state level if after 20 games at international level is averaging single figures….

                I’d pick Bailey and for that matter Voges in front of all the names suggested above…Proven Australian players at international level.

      • Columnist

        February 14th 2013 @ 7:44am
        Dane Eldridge said | February 14th 2013 @ 7:44am | ! Report

        I agree with Andy Mack, it’s gotta be the age issue. But if youth perishes on the tough tour coming up, time to call up the grey division!

    • February 14th 2013 @ 4:41am
      AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 4:41am | ! Report

      Im sorry, but where has George Bailey compiled “cascading runs columns”?? A couple of good innings in the limited overs formats does not give you a pass into test cricket (unless of course, you have a solid FC career behind you).

      I wouldnt be that sad to see Voges on the Ashes tour, esp given his performances in county cricket, which cannot be undervalued. He is in good form, but more importantly, he has a solid foundation in FC cricket to back it up.

      • Columnist

        February 14th 2013 @ 7:42am
        Dane Eldridge said | February 14th 2013 @ 7:42am | ! Report

        Bailey’s 5.5k-odd FC runs and 87 games experience are above average but certainly not world-beating. No doubt his name has been thrown up a lot of late thanks to his limited overs form and unlikely boost to the captaincy, but I guess that’s the lay of the land in Australian cricket these days, some players are picked from whatever games are being dished up at selection time!

        • February 14th 2013 @ 8:13am
          AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          yeah but his 5.5k odd runs have come at an average of under 40…..

          • February 14th 2013 @ 9:47am
            Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            Captaincy experience is not to be sneered at in a team where Ponting and Hussey have just gone bye-bye. And Bailey’s average may be a hair under 40 (39.90) but he had a good year last year and has shown that he plays well stepping up to international level (unlike say Khawaja who so far has seemed to play worse in national colours).

            • February 14th 2013 @ 10:01am
              AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:01am | ! Report

              Yes, but some players are in and out of the team, while others are made captain…..

              Surely that has an effect.

            • February 14th 2013 @ 11:29am
              Roger said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:29am | ! Report

              Red Kev i take your point mate but keep in mind that unlike Bailey who had a full 2 series(10 ODI games in total) this summer, Khawaja had essentially 2 batting chances, 1 of them on a tough Perth pitch. Give Khawaja a full series and you would have a solid performance. I hope he gets a full series in India where he can show his class. As for Bailey he got 1 century in the 10 ODIs he played but he has to get shield runs to show that he is ready for test cricket as he is only averaging 27 this year in shield

              • February 14th 2013 @ 11:32am
                Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:32am | ! Report

                I guess my point is that Bailey has stepped up to international level and done well, whereas Smith, Maxwell and (as much as it pains me to say it) Khawaja have come into the national side and performed poorly – not just this summer, but whenever they have been given chances.

              • February 14th 2013 @ 1:25pm
                Sanjay said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

                Red Kev i see the point Roger is making, the issue we have with Khawaja which i think the current selectors will rectify for test cricket is that he always gets 1-2 matches at one time so the guy can never play freely. I think if you give him a full series and say you have the series to prove yourself then he will bat alot better. I am hoping he gets a big one in the second warm up game and will prove his mentle for the Indian series. As for the Bailey comparison if you give Khawaja jstu half the ODIs(i.e 5) in a row he would have got a big one, but the kid got dropped after his debut ODI and then got picked on a bowler frinedly perth pitch. Manuka and SCG wouldn’t have been bad pitches to play on.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 1:51pm
          Sanjay said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

          Yes you can’t pick Bailey based on 1 good ODI innings. He has to score in shield first and he hasn’t done that this year.

          • February 15th 2013 @ 9:33am
            Renegade said | February 15th 2013 @ 9:33am | ! Report

            He’s averaged over 50 in a season of shield prior to being part of the Australian setup….go check the stats bud.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 11:31am
        Roger said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        Completely agree, Bailey has averaged 27 this year in shield, he got 1 century in 10 ODIs, how does that mean he is ready for test cricket. Get some solid runs in shield before he is considered. Same goes for Voges as well.

    • February 14th 2013 @ 8:50am
      Frankie Hughes said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Maxwell averages 42?

      So what? He’s hardly played FC cricket. He’s got the 1 hundred only.

      Steve Smith hasn’t got the technical ability for Test cricket.

      Both Voges and Bailey have shown their class in limited overs cricket for Australia.

      They, where their 30+ or not, are certainly better bets than Smith and Maxwell

      • February 14th 2013 @ 9:24am
        AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        Well frankie, my point is that opinion certainly comes into it, but the facts are the facts. Smith has a better record than both Voges and Bailey despite your personal opinion that “smith hasnt got the technical ability”, whatever that may mean….

        Bailey has done well in the the shorter forms, but lets not forget that is backed up by a long career of average returns at FC level.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 10:11am
          Frankie Hughes said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

          Voges has played in England for numerous years now. He’s scored many runs.

          Smith looks like a cat on a hot tin roof.

          I’d have Voges for the Ashes over Smith all day every day.

    • February 14th 2013 @ 9:53am
      jameswm said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:53am | ! Report

      Typical Aussie selections. Voges has a couple of good white ball knocks and we want him in the test team? Has he been scoring heavily in the Shield for the past two years?

      Smith’s technique is one of a kind, but he scores a lot of runs. A bit like Phil Hughes (though not as many).

      • February 14th 2013 @ 10:02am
        Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:02am | ! Report

        Technique matters. Technique is what keeps you in the middle when the going is tough. Smith is like Sehwag – eye like a dead fish, great if it’s in, shocking if it’s not. Both players are luxuries you can afford in a strong team. Neither is the right sort of player for a struggling / building team.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 11:22am
        Jake said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

        Yeah agree James. 2 weeks ago these guys would be whinging if Voges was selected in the test team, now after one IDI ton, they want him in there. It was the same earlier in the summer when Bailey made a ton (or 90??) for Aus,

      • February 14th 2013 @ 1:52pm
        Sanjay said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

        Vogues has done nothing in shield in the last 2 years, hence why he is not even close to test selection. This year its been guys such as Hughes, Khawaja and Doolan who have scored in shields hence why they are on top of the pecking order.

        • February 15th 2013 @ 7:11am
          lolly said | February 15th 2013 @ 7:11am | ! Report

          I suggest you look at his record last seasom. It was good. I don’t particularly want him in the test team but don’t go making stuff up to back up your argument.

    • February 14th 2013 @ 10:21am
      jamesb said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      Hughes’ technique is awkward, Smithys technique is loose, while Maxwells’ technique is………….a slogger.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 11:41am
        AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

        has anyone seen maxwell bat in the shield, or are we basing all this on his odi slogging??

        you dont get a fc average of 42 by slogging everything.

    • February 14th 2013 @ 10:24am
      Timmuh said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:24am | ! Report

      Selecting Test players based on limited overs form ahead of First Class form is how the likes of Doherty got picked. It is, uniformly, a bad idea.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 10:31am
        Matt F said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

        Agreed. This selection strategy fails more often than not. If Voges can transfer his form into the remaining shield matches then he can start to be considered a test candidate

      • February 14th 2013 @ 11:32am
        Roger said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:32am | ! Report

        Its funny because Inevarity said Doherty was picked based on his ODI form, but same wasn’t applied for the batsman, in my view you should never pick test players based on ODI form and which is why i wouldn’t pick Bailey in the test team. He needs to show shield form before he gets picked and this year he hasn’t had good shield form.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 11:39am
          Matt F said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:39am | ! Report

          Actually Invers said that Doherty had shown great improvement in first class cricket, which is quite possibly the most farcical statement that he’s made all summer (and there are probably a few candidates there!) I have absolutely no idea how taking 2 wickets at 80 this Shield season is considered “improvement,” especially when O’keefe is averaging 24 for the season…..

          • February 14th 2013 @ 11:41am
            Timmuh said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

            Inverarity was correct in that comment. Doherty has improved at FClevel. He’s improved from “utter tripe” all the way up to “below ordinary”.

            • February 14th 2013 @ 11:58am
              jameswm said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:58am | ! Report

              How has he improved? He hasn’t played a Shield game since taking 2 for 160 earlier on.

              • February 14th 2013 @ 1:00pm
                Timmuh said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                Numbers aren’t everything, though they are usually a reliable guide.
                Look over 2-3 seasons rather than just thbis season, compare that to before, and I think you’ll find he has improved. He’s just nowhere near the best of a bad bunch of spin options.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 1:27pm
          Sanjay said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

          Key point here is that pick test players based on shield performance, which is why the likes of Hughes and Khawaja are the best young prospects as they ahve done the hard yards in shield. The issue we are having is that people see a player get 1 ODI century or a single good bowling perfomance in a ODI or T20 game and thnk that person is ready for test cricket and it doesn’t work that way. Maxwell is a perfect example of that and we will learn that the hard way hopefully before the ashes rolls around.