Chris Rogers made his way into the Aussie side by weight of runs in County cricket. Why aren't we selecting more batsmen who have done the same? (Image: AAP)

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The two warm-up games in England have created a lot of hope and belief in Australia’s Ashes chances. There have been a lot of teams created by Roarers over the last few days.

This is my team to win back the Ashes.

First off, I have to state that Australia’s Ashes chances are little, but they have improved over the last few days.

My openers to play the first Test are:

Shane Watson – Test average = 35.34 (41 Tests)
Chris Rogers – Test average = 9.50 (1 Test), FC average = 50.38

Darren Lehmann came out and said these two would open the batting in the first Test. This choice was proven to be the right one on Tuesday night with Watson and Rogers putting on 170 for the first wicket against Worcestershire. These two complement each other well. Both have experience in English conditions and have had success there.

My middle order is:

Usman Khawaja – Test average = 29.22 (6 Tests), FC average = 42.27
Michael Clarke – Test average = 52.33 (92 Tests)
Phillip Hughes – Test average = 33.00 (24 Tests)
Steven Smith – Test average = 32.30 (7 Tests), FC AVG = 41.27

Khawaja is a favorite with Roarers and under Lehmann, he will get a good run in the side and will prosper with a bit of stability.

Next in is the backbone of the Australian batting line up and would need a year of straight ducks to get dropped – Phillip Hughes. I am not a big fan of Hughes, but he has impressed in the warm-up games and deserves a spot in the side.

Smith is a different player than the one sent into exile by Australian cricket fans and has matured into a player of Test standard.

My wicketkeeper is:

Brad Haddin – Test average = 35.50 (44 Tests)

Haddin brings a mature brain into the Australian team, and is better behind the stumps than Wade as well.

My bowlers are:

James Pattinson – Test bowling average = 23.37 (10 Tests), FC average = 22.60
Mitchell Starc – Test bowling average = 34.03 (9 Tests), FC average = 31.73
Jackson Bird – Test bowling average = 16.18 (2 Tests), FC average = 19.56
Nathan Lyon – Test bowling average = 33.18

Pattinson is Australia’s best bowler and is probably the first choice while being picked. Starc is the most dangerous of the Australian bowlers, more so in English conditions. Unfortunately, his good bowling is mixed with a lot of rubbish. Starc is young and will only improve, and I think some faith in his bowling is needed.

I wish I could have put Harris in for Starc, but Harris is too much of an injury concern. He could very easily leave us a bowler down in a match. Bird is the bowler who will tie batsman down and draw a false shot. He will be economical and deadly at the same time.

Lyon is the only spinner in the Ashes squad, which makes him an automatic selection. Hopefully, India has affected him positively.

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The Crowd Says (107)

  • July 4th 2013 @ 1:36am
    behind enemy lines said | July 4th 2013 @ 1:36am | ! Report

    Agree with everything there, although a little more optimistic on our chances, from the point of view that while we are not great, are England much better? They have looked awful at times recently. Probably Warner will replace Smith or Hughes if they do not perform in T1 or T2.

    I think the bowling is 2 of Siddle v Starc and Harris v Bird. If Harris is in we need Siddles workrate but if the selectors give us the Bird they can gamble on Starc going for a few and its the XI listed.

    What are your thoughts on why Khawaja not playing……I can’t see any logic too it, but he must be in otherwise he deserved a chance to press his claims as much as smith or cowan. However, if in, surely he needs the practice, ho hum.

    • Roar Guru

      July 4th 2013 @ 8:35am
      nick richardson said | July 4th 2013 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      Birds chances increased last night with him taking 4-38 off 20. Compared to Harris taking 0-41 off 15.

    • July 4th 2013 @ 11:03am
      James said | July 4th 2013 @ 11:03am | ! Report

      i wouldnt call haddin a mature brain, id call him older but him in a leadership position in any way i cannot see being a good thing.

    • July 4th 2013 @ 12:26pm
      Disco said | July 4th 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

      Not as awful as losing 4-0 in India though, eh?

  • July 4th 2013 @ 1:56am
    Aakash bhat said | July 4th 2013 @ 1:56am | ! Report

    ‘Leaving harris out bcoz he is an injury concern’,then why pick him in the squad mate.I think harris is a must.He must be picked in place of either lyon or bird.I agree with the rest of the team.

    • July 4th 2013 @ 2:08am
      behind enemy lines said | July 4th 2013 @ 2:08am | ! Report

      Bird will play for sure, he now has 3 wickets in 8 balls on a flat deck including an in form compton. Can’t possibly ignore that…..fascinating stuff. By the way I am a huge Harris fan, but Bird must now have his nose in front.

      • July 4th 2013 @ 2:29am
        Silver_Sovereign said | July 4th 2013 @ 2:29am | ! Report

        now 4

        • July 4th 2013 @ 10:44am
          Praveen said | July 4th 2013 @ 10:44am | ! Report

          Good article and I like the team, especially the batting lineup where players are batting where most suited

          • Roar Guru

            July 4th 2013 @ 11:12am
            nick richardson said | July 4th 2013 @ 11:12am | ! Report

            Thanks Praveen

          • July 4th 2013 @ 3:05pm
            Vivek said | July 4th 2013 @ 3:05pm | ! Report


            • July 4th 2013 @ 4:03pm
              John Edgar said | July 4th 2013 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

              +2, fantastic article Nick

  • July 4th 2013 @ 2:30am
    Aakash bhat said | July 4th 2013 @ 2:30am | ! Report

    Agree on bird.
    Then dump lyon and play harris.

    • July 4th 2013 @ 3:42am
      Baggy_Green said | July 4th 2013 @ 3:42am | ! Report

      This bowling attack has 2 parts :
      1. The strike bowlers – Patto , Starc and Harris
      2. The workload\steady bowlers : Siddle and Bird

      So IMHO any 2 of the first variety and 1 of the second variety will play.. and again depends on what role Lyon will they want him to hold up an end or to attack more..

      Also interesting to see if Faulkner gets a go..though with Watto bowling that should not be necessary

      • Roar Guru

        July 4th 2013 @ 6:18am
        SuperEel22 said | July 4th 2013 @ 6:18am | ! Report

        Really think Watto (STF-Subject to Fitness as I’ll refer to him) given his injury problems. STF’s major injury problems have all come from bowling. Why keep doing it if it means he won’t be able to bat properly. Use him as a last resort.

      • July 4th 2013 @ 7:48pm
        Avon River said | July 4th 2013 @ 7:48pm | ! Report

        Re strike bowlers…..isn’t a downwind newball bowler and an upwind on. Perhaps Pattinson and Bird. Siddle continues his proven role and then it’s either leftie or spinner.

    • July 9th 2013 @ 9:30am
      anfalicious said | July 9th 2013 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      I had such hopes for Leisure Suit Lyon, but he’s got one ball, and everyone in the world has worked it out now. How has he not had someone tell him to slow down and vary his flight yet?

  • July 4th 2013 @ 3:17am
    david kenny said | July 4th 2013 @ 3:17am | ! Report

    When you say ‘win’ the Ashes I take it you mean don’t get spanked

    • July 4th 2013 @ 3:13pm
      Vivek said | July 4th 2013 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

      No we mean win the ashes, we can do it

      • July 5th 2013 @ 8:40pm
        david kenny said | July 5th 2013 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

        I’ll leave you with your bag of pills and self delusion ;o)

        • Roar Guru

          July 5th 2013 @ 9:01pm
          nick richardson said | July 5th 2013 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

          Not so keen David.

        • July 5th 2013 @ 9:09pm
          Bearfax said | July 5th 2013 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

          Are these the same pills English media have been taking throughout the 80s, 90s and early 21st century. Now they were hot pills them ones.

  • July 4th 2013 @ 5:14am
    Broken-hearted Toy said | July 4th 2013 @ 5:14am | ! Report

    Look at the batting averages of the top 6. It’s embarrassing that the Aussies are fielding a team like this.

  • July 4th 2013 @ 5:32am
    Brian said | July 4th 2013 @ 5:32am | ! Report

    Smith record against pace bowling is poor. I don’t know how so many people have him playing. warner would be far better.

    I do think Harris will play he is hardly in the squad as a development player. So many people derided the rotation policy and yet here we are with our 5 best bowlers all fit for the first test.

    • July 4th 2013 @ 5:53am
      Silver_Sovereign said | July 4th 2013 @ 5:53am | ! Report

      Warner is a big nicker of the ball off pace bowling

    • Roar Guru

      July 4th 2013 @ 6:19am
      SuperEel22 said | July 4th 2013 @ 6:19am | ! Report

      The rotation policy cost us a number one test ranking as it demanded Siddle to be rested for practically the grand final against South Africa. It never worked and it never will.

      • July 4th 2013 @ 9:01am
        cuzza said | July 4th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report

        i agree the timing of resting Siddle for that test was very poor, i suggest the rotation policy actually works. Don’t we have our best bowlers (maybe minus Cummins) in England all fit and ready to go? Our batting is so poor the only reason we have hope is because the bowling looks good. I am not sure we should discount the policy altogether.

        • July 4th 2013 @ 11:07am
          Matt F said | July 4th 2013 @ 11:07am | ! Report

          I’m not sure how you’ve come to that conclusion? Starc and Bird both left India because they had injuries that needed surgery. Pattinson got through India but missed most of the summer because of injury while Harris hasn’t played for Australia in a test match since April 2012 and missed the vast majority of last summer with injury. The only player who you can really argue has benefited from the policy is Siddle but even then we have no way of knowing if he would have been injured if he hadn’t been rested for the Perth test.

          It seems the real reason we have our quicks available is because there was a big break between the India tour and the Ashes/”A” tour to let our bowlers recover. Obviously there was the IPL but Harris was the only quick involved this year and he played 3 games.

          • July 4th 2013 @ 8:11pm
            Praveen said | July 4th 2013 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

            I just get this feeling that bird will play a big part in this series

      • July 9th 2013 @ 9:22am
        anfalicious said | July 9th 2013 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        I guess it depends on what you view as more important; #1 test status or winning the Ashes.

        If the rotation policy was all about keeping people fit until this week, then I’m all for it, but now it should be the best 11 out there (or at least, the combination most likely to win).

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