At the time of writing, Australia have four confirmed opponents in their group for the Super 12 of the 2021 ICC World T20: South Africa, England, West Indies and Bangladesh.
After Australia’s 2009 Ashes debacle, while the Australian cricket hierarchy was slaving away in their laboratories devising the Argus Review, I started working on a little project of my own.
Now finally after four long years of thought and analysis I have come up with the following cricket selection bombshell that I feel will make Australia’s cricket team more competitive in all forms of cricket.
From this day forward, all cricketing selections should be dictated by form and past results.
When considering form, selectors should only consider form and results in the format that they are selecting for.
For example only Test and First Class cricket results will be used to select the Australian Test cricket team. Additionally a cricketer should not be selected on the basis that they will perform better in Test cricket than their first class results suggest.
If Shaun Marsh averages 35 in the shield over 77 matches, why would anyone be surprised that he averages 27 in Tests?
After all Test cricket is supposed to be more difficult. Sure, if two candidates have similar results and they are hard to split, then take a punt on the youngster. In all other situations choose the candidate that has the best form and results.
Yes, yes, I know it’s a completely ground-breaking concept and it might be too modern for many among you. But trust me, listen to the following evidence.
The following are all Australian Test selections over the last three years. Each one was selected without a first class record and/or form sufficient to back up their claims to be Test players.
Nearly all of these selections have been failures and to me it’s not a surprise. It’s entirely predictable.
Of this list only Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon could have been said to be successful.
Pat Cummins delivered a six wicket haul and then succumbed to injuries.
Mitchell Starc has potential and has delivered some solid results, however I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his Test numbers mirror his First Class numbers.
Nathan Lyon has been a solid performer in his role as lead spinner. I’m prepared to forgive some of the past spin selections because often there was no better candidate available.
However the recently concluded Australia versus India Test highlights the problems in Australian cricket. Instead of staying with an honest, hard working, proven performer who’d recently had a few bad matches, they haphazardly selected Doherty and Maxwell.
Neither of these two players have the form or results to back up their claims to a Test place.
The next one in the firing line is Moises Henriques, he had a great debut performance in India.
Congratulations to him. Despite his exceptional debut, in Shield cricket he’s at best an ok batsmen.
As a bowler he is a solid partnership breaker, who does well on helpful wickets. If we are expecting him to average 40 with the bat and less than 30 with the ball in Tests than I think we are fooling ourselves.
Selection isn’t a perfect science, and it’s easy to make mistakes.
Selectors are allowed to make mistakes. But surely the core principle of selection should be to pick the best candidate available and then give him a chance to perform.
It’s not quantum physics. In the past when Australian had a great team full of star players, choosing a young gun with potential was a great idea. He had a chance to learn from the best and got a great chance to experience Test quality opponents without undue pressure.
In my opinion exposing young unproven cricketers to the current climate where the public is clamouring for results and each player is under immense pressure to hold his place in the side is asking far too much.