Ashes squad: it’s not pretty!

David Lazzaro Roar Rookie

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    Australian keeper Brad Haddin walks back to the dressing rooms after getting out against England on day one of the fourth Ashes Test against England at the MCG in Melbourne, Sunday, Dec.26, 2010. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

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    Ashes squads in the past have often been labelled as the worst ever by the English press, but this year the selectors have gone closer than ever to making the boys from Fleet Street experience something they haven’t experienced before – being 100% correct!

    Michael Clarke (c) – Clearly Australia’s best batsman, and possibly our second best spinner! Depending on the team’s early results, he could bat at three, four, five, or even six!

    As long as he manages a double century in each Test, we should be ok. The one area he needs to improve is his performance as a tour selector.

    Brad Haddin (vc) – Replacing Matthew Wade as our first choice keeper, the spritely 35-year-old has been brought in to provide some experience and leadership to a young team.

    After being dropped a couple of years ago for not making any runs and getting out to more rash shots than Dave Warner, he is now seen as the rock our middle order can rely on.

    Dave Warner – Potential match winner who can be relied on to score up to one big innings every series. Looks a world beater at times, but needs to avoid getting out in the first over trying to hit over cover when the ball is moving all over the place.

    Needs to focus on getting through the first three to four overs before unleashing his natural strokeplay. Inclusion of Brad Haddin will hopefully help temperament at the crease.

    Ed Cowan – Crowds will love the odd-man-out in the current Australian line-up, particularly his strange addiction to putting value on his wicket.

    Apparently he provides a calming influence on his opening partner Dave Warner, and given how successful this has been Ed should be a permanent fixture.

    Phil Hughes – As long as the Poms don’t tempt him to slash outside off stump early on or bowl spin to him, he should dominate.

    However, if recent tours are any guide, Hughes will be dropped at least once during the five Test series, possibly to return when it is realised there aren’t any better options.

    Shane Watson – A true all-rounder, in that over the last couple of years he has shown conclusively that he can no longer bat, bowl or finish his homework.

    No longer encumbered with the huge weight that was the vice captaincy, he should have a new zest for the game and only burst into tears twice during the tour. Also, look for him to casually suggest to the media that he’s a bit better than Ed Cowan at least once.

    Usman Khawaja – Another of the four players given detention for not finishing their homework. After his sparkling debut several years ago when he made what has been universally described as the best 37 in Test history, Usman has struggled to cement his spot in the team.

    Apparently he has been dining out on that 37 ever since, and has been told that this Test team will accept nothing less than half centuries to guarantee his place.

    Chris Rogers – Has averaged about 50 in First Class cricket for about 10 years, and now at the age of 35 the selectors have decided that he is now ready to step up for his second go at Test level.

    His solid technique will stand him in good stead for the tour matches leading up to the Tests.

    Matthew Wade – Second keeper has been dumped two months out from the first Test, although could potentially win his spot back as a batsman due to the fact the squad seems to have five openers and only a couple of middle order players.

    May also be picked simply to irritate the opposition with constant inane chatter between deliveries.

    James Faulkner – Great to see the ‘left arm bowler who can bat a bit’ selected in front of the other ‘left arm bowler who can bat a bit’ – Mitchell Johnson.

    Most Aussies won’t know much about Faulkner other than some of his ODI performances, but they’ll know he’s not Mitchell Johnson. And they’ll be happy about it.

    Ryan Harris – Potentially Australia’s best bowler, assuming his back, hamstring, groin, calf, shoulder, quad or left earlobe doesn’t let him down.

    What’s that? He’s done his achilles? Of course he has.

    Peter Siddle – The ‘heart and soul’ of the Aussie team, willing to bowl for hours and hours and hours without any reward, in any conditions.

    After the Indian tour, may well also move up the order to five or six given his adherence to the same strategy followed by Ed Cowan in that he tries to stay in longer than it takes for the next bloke to pad up.

    James Pattinson – Our great fast bowling hope, he should be a handful for the English batsmen if remembers to complete his written assignments.

    He’s another bowler who as an ambitious aim of playing three Tests in a row. Unless of course his wellness survey says otherwise.

    Mitchell Starc – The tall left-armer burst onto the Test scene last year, and at his best looks a dangerous prospect for the English to handle.

    However, at his worst, which has often been seen in the same game as his best, he may well be a danger to the keeper and slips cordon, and possibly third man and fine leg.

    Another bowler who is looking to become a middle order batsman, and not without justification.

    Nathan Lyon – Our only specialist spinner, although given his recent treatment by Indian batsmen and Australian selectors, you wouldn’t know.

    He may have respectable numbers when compared with many spinners from the past at the same stage of their careers, the fact that he spins the ball the wrong way, isn’t blonde or overweight and hasn’t ever taken any of his mum’s diuretics means he will struggle to hold his place.

    Jackson Bird – Promising young bowler in the Glenn McGrath mould, whereby his main aim seems to be to bore the batsmen to death.

    Seems to work well for him, and he has the added advantage of not being dropped for the ‘X-factor’ of Mitchell Johnson.

    In summary, if Michael Clarke or the bowlers don’t make any runs, or it’s not the one time in 10 Tests that Dave Warner goes berserk, we’re in a lot of trouble.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • April 27th 2013 @ 5:57am
      Bertie said | April 27th 2013 @ 5:57am | ! Report

      “Phil Hughes – As long as the Poms don’t tempt him to slash outside off stump early on or bowl spin to him, he should dominate.
      However, if recent tours are any guide, Hughes will be dropped at least once during the five Test series, possibly to return when it is realised there aren’t any better options.”

      Hahahahahah, are you trying to be ironic? Where to start with Phil Hughes (if you’re the opposition looking for a weakness)? Let’s see, crap footwork and balance, he frees up his arms and moves feet and bodyweight towards square legs (rather than stepping into the shot) so that he’s always going to nick it to the slip cordon. He often attempts to play a bizarre kind of inside-out forehand (wrong sport, pal). He can’t handle the short ball. Oh and it now turns out that he’s a abysmal against spin.

      So how exactly do you draw the conclusion that “he should dominate”?

      As for better options, well they are pretty thin on the ground, I’m afraid. But Alex Doolan’s definitely a batsman with the form and appears to have considerably better technique than Hughes. And then we have Joe Burns and Nic Maddinson, both of whom are good technically, and although they didn’t have great f/c averages this season, they found some form in the latter part of the season. I reckon they’re each better options than Hughes (as are Rogers and Khawaja).

      • April 27th 2013 @ 7:11am
        David Lazzaro said | April 27th 2013 @ 7:11am | ! Report

        Bertie, sorry if it wasn’t clear, but I was most definitely trying to be sarcastic! Point being that he can’t help himself slashing outside off stump without any footwork or handle spin bowling at all. I would definitely be surprised if he were to dominate!

        • Roar Guru

          April 27th 2013 @ 8:40am
          nick richardson said | April 27th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

          If they bowled full tosses he might dominate.
          Actually he would probably still get caught at gully.

          • April 29th 2013 @ 12:26pm
            iambunney said | April 29th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

            hahahaha – I just choked on my lunch!

    • April 27th 2013 @ 12:41pm
      Timmuh said | April 27th 2013 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

      I don;t know why this arti le was deemed orthy of the “HA!” tag. It is entirely accurate, except thatthe selectors did (apart from three obvious howlers that were so predictable as to be inevitable) a decent job.
      There simply isn’t the talent for a much better squad. That isn’t the selectors fault. The situation is very much unlike in India, where a bad squad was made much worse by terrible selections, the squad for England is simply bad because the options are bad.

      • April 27th 2013 @ 4:00pm
        David Lazzaro said | April 27th 2013 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

        I agree that the cupboard is certainly pretty bare! Not trying to totally blame the selectors, but the selection policy over the last year could not have been more inconsistent, and this has led us to the unbalanced squad announced this week.

        • April 27th 2013 @ 4:37pm
          Timmuh said | April 27th 2013 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

          As disappointed as I am that Watson, Wade and Haddin were included (and I had resigned myself to that dispicable inevitability some time ago), I am relieved that the selectors did a much better job than they did for India. I know that is setting the bar low, but after the Hilditch years, the continuing Johnson love affair, and the India squad this is a huge improvement in selection.
          Now, they just have to ditch “informed player management”, more commonly known as rotating out key players in crucnh matches for no discernable reason.

          • Roar Guru

            April 29th 2013 @ 4:58am
            Harsh Sinha said | April 29th 2013 @ 4:58am | ! Report

            would still be thrashed in England by atleast 3 losses

    • April 27th 2013 @ 12:53pm
      James said | April 27th 2013 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

      i best or worst thing about this article (depending on if you are an english or australian supporter) is that it is both funny and for the most part quite true aswell.

      • Roar Guru

        April 28th 2013 @ 3:59pm
        Harsh Sinha said | April 28th 2013 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

        Roar should have one Satire column separately i believe lol. Good article btw 😀

    • Roar Guru

      April 27th 2013 @ 6:30pm
      Red Kev said | April 27th 2013 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

      Awesome article, I especially enjoyed the James Faulkner description.

      • Roar Guru

        April 28th 2013 @ 3:58pm
        Harsh Sinha said | April 28th 2013 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

        Agreed 😀 Faulkner has played well this season in IPL so is it because of this that he is picked in front of Johnson? Lol

        • April 28th 2013 @ 7:37pm
          Richard said | April 28th 2013 @ 7:37pm | ! Report

          Don’t under rate Faulkner. He is a completely different player to Johston. For a start he believes in himself and plays with confidence. Plus opposing teams find him very irritating for good reason. He is a highly aggressive individual by nature on the field

    • April 27th 2013 @ 10:27pm
      Richard said | April 27th 2013 @ 10:27pm | ! Report

      Brilliant stuff.. More please! 🙂

    • Roar Guru

      April 28th 2013 @ 4:00pm
      Harsh Sinha said | April 28th 2013 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

      England need to perform terribly if Australia has to win back the Ashes. If Australia show their best game followed by England’s best, it will be England retaining the Ashes.

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