My Australian team for the first Test

nick richardson Roar Guru

By nick richardson, nick richardson is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger

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    Chris Rogers and Dave Warner dug in on the first morning of the final Test. (AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES).

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    Picking a squad for the home Ashes series has been significantly easier than the series in England, as Australia finally has a skeleton for the team.

    This skeleton my be fragile, but it was better than Trent Bridge, where the only certainty was Michael Clarke.

    My openers are David Warner and Chris Rogers.

    These two might have only batted together a couple of times, but there isn’t much doubt they are the two most suited to opening the batting for Australia.

    My middle order is Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, Nic Maddinson and Brad Haddin.

    Watson’s fifth Test performances warranted another chance at three.

    Before you start the Nic Maddinson insults, can you think of anyone else? Phil Hughes? Usman Khawaja? Even George Bailey?

    Maddinson has been making runs for Australia A, and will put in good early Shield performances.

    Steve Smith has become Australia’s best young batsman and his century in the last Test secured his spot for the return series.

    Now just for a change, our bowlers are mostly injured, with Peter Siddle being the only reliable bowler.

    I suspect Ryan Harris will be alright, while James Pattinson, Jackson Bird and Mitchell Starc are in doubt.

    Nathan Lyon is a must. Along with Lyon as our tweaker, my bowlers are Siddle, Harris and Pattinson if he is fit.

    If Pattinson isn’t up to the task, Ben Cutting deserves his spot and is probably the best replacement.

    So roarers what are your teams for the first Test?

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    The Crowd Says (81)

    • September 27th 2013 @ 1:53am
      Tatah said | September 27th 2013 @ 1:53am | ! Report

      Agreed! Although I’d have Cutting in there even if Pattinson was technically fit.

      Big push for Mitch Johnson to be in there, but I’d love to see Cutting have a crack. I can’t help wondering if the English haven’t selected 4 (I think) massively tall guys because they perceive them as hard to play.

      Hughes and Khawarja have had their chances and need to go back to Shield. Khawarja had a poor decision, but he’s not the only one. the other 14 innings he’s had chances and not done much. Always looks frail. At least S Waugh looked combative against far better bowlers than Khawarja is facing for the 40 or so innings before he got it right.

      • September 27th 2013 @ 9:10am
        Praveen said | September 27th 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        I like maddinson and I think of he gets early shield runs then he should come in but it has to be about early shield runs, khawaja may also get early shield runs and if he does he deserves to come in as he only had 3 tests in which he top scored at lords and got howler in Manchester but I keep emphasizing that it’s all about early shield runs as boof will reward that

        • September 27th 2013 @ 11:09am
          Rob Barrow said | September 27th 2013 @ 11:09am | ! Report

          I have to agree wtih Praveen both on Hartley and picking batsman on early shield runs. My gut feel is that with the batsman the likes of Warner, Khawaja and Maddinson will make the full squad with early shield runs. As much as Khawaja got a raw deal with only 3 games its good for him to go back and score early shield runs as his ability to play pace well will be crucial on pitches which will be the opposite of what Swann wants. Also watch out for Warner making a strong showing early in the shield season, boof is making the likes of Warner, Khawaja hungry for their positions and thats good, no favoritism. I am not in favour of Bailey playing at 6 until he gets shield runs as he averaged below 20 last year in shield. If we don’t take shield performances into account then why have a state competition. Sure ODI’s can be taken into consideration but keep in mind that the conditions our boys will face in India will not prepare them for what’s coming against the POMs on our pitches, only shield will do that and as such shield performances are a must. As for Hartley i don’t see him getting in as Haddin is doing well but if Haddin gets injured then Hartley should be considered.

          • September 27th 2013 @ 12:19pm
            Manoj said | September 27th 2013 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

            +1 Rob and Praveen

    • September 27th 2013 @ 3:34am
      Silver_Sovereign said | September 27th 2013 @ 3:34am | ! Report

      Cutting is the best first change bowler in the country with a surprising vicious bouncer but ridiculously the selectors picked him for ODIs when he is a long form specialist.
      Rogers, Maddinson/Warner, Watson, Cosgrove, Clarke, Smith, Paine, Cutting, Siddle, Harris, Lyon.

      • September 27th 2013 @ 8:07am
        Big Merv's Jockstrap said | September 27th 2013 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        Paine? Really? Base on what? It certainly couldn’t be performance, as his record shows abundant mediocrity over several years. And it certainly couldn’t be form, because he has none. And it certainly couldn’t be technique, because his is worse than Haddin’s error-strewn blunder-a-thon. Paine’s batting is worse than Haddin’s declining efforts and Wade’s inconsistency, so that couldn’t be it.

        I understand that the selectors, for some unfathomable reason, won’t even consider picking ChrisHartley. So I’d go for the next best keepers we have – Peter Neville or that young South Australian whose name escapes me.

        • September 27th 2013 @ 9:12am
          Praveen said | September 27th 2013 @ 9:12am | ! Report

          I seriously hope the selectors consider Hartley as he is a very good gloveman

          • September 27th 2013 @ 11:09am
            Rob Barrow said | September 27th 2013 @ 11:09am | ! Report


      • September 27th 2013 @ 10:28am
        jameswm said | September 27th 2013 @ 10:28am | ! Report

        Siddle is a better first change bowler and we only have room for one.

        We need another opener.

    • September 27th 2013 @ 5:23am
      Fin said | September 27th 2013 @ 5:23am | ! Report

      I actually would give Bailey a crack in tests. I’d have him at 5 and smith at 6. I think we rush these guys into test match cricket too early, Bailey has been solid performer at sheild level for a long time 6000 rins at jut unde 40 isn’t brilliant but when you weigh in that he plays in Hobart half the time they are pretty solid numbers. Probably what he really adds to the groups is that he has the right attitude and temprement for test cricket.

      • September 27th 2013 @ 9:47am
        cwrigh13 said | September 27th 2013 @ 9:47am | ! Report

        Agreed! I suspect there might be some other reason why Bailey is still to play a test.

      • Roar Guru

        September 27th 2013 @ 1:32pm
        Chris Kettlewell said | September 27th 2013 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

        So, because the best candidates coming through are really young and we want them to get more experience first, we basically give up on the next couple of years and play guys who’ll never be good enough for test level in order to let those who may well be good enough for test level have more time to prepare. Is that the theory? Because Bailey is not close to a test quality batsman, and as has been pointed out numerous times, his most recent FC season he averaged 18 with the bat. Why is his name even being mentioned with that recent record?

        • September 27th 2013 @ 5:16pm
          Praveen said | September 27th 2013 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

          +1 Chris

        • September 28th 2013 @ 6:14pm
          davros said | September 28th 2013 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

          I have completely the opposite opinion…let younger players earn their way in with lots of runs and taking time to know there game inside out …bailey may or may not have what it takes ..but by now he is battle hardened and very experienced and knows his game well ….I don’t think it would be the worst decision to give him an opportunity …stats only tell half the story….imho we cruel a lot of younger guys picking them way before they are ready …or have earnt it …I don’t mind a bit of maturity and hard won experience….especially if they have performed overseas and in this instance against pommie attacks…so maybe klinger is another and If cosgrove would only get half fit …

          • September 28th 2013 @ 8:22pm
            Bearfax said | September 28th 2013 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

            Sorry Davros but if Bailey was scoring the same in first class cricket as these kids or more I might agree with you. But he is not. He does not deserve a spot ahead of these kids because they are scoring runs at first class level and he is not. He averaged 17 in the last extended first class Shield season. Yeh that would assist the Oz side.

        • October 1st 2013 @ 12:33am
          Baggy_Green said | October 1st 2013 @ 12:33am | ! Report

          We are not in the golden era of aussie cricket…so rather than FC record currently we need to looka at a good level head batsman at no.6 who can handle the pressure… Bailey fits the bill (till the time the Gen Y come along as you say)

          Very exciting time to see how the following come along :

          Silk, Marcus Harris , Doolan , Burns, Maddinson , Patterson , Handscomb , Lynn, Travis Head and Sam Whiteman

    • September 27th 2013 @ 9:30am
      AGB said | September 27th 2013 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      Bailey at 5 a good call, we have seen he can stop a run of wickest falling and he can turn it on with some big hitting if required. Stability and a good head on his shoulders for the game tempo

    • September 27th 2013 @ 10:18am
      Pope Paul VII said | September 27th 2013 @ 10:18am | ! Report

      Like Huss D, I reckon Bails is suss against pace at the highest level. Need a level head just to face it but the runs are the tricky part.

      • September 27th 2013 @ 11:10am
        Rob Barrow said | September 27th 2013 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Agree 100% Pope.

        • September 27th 2013 @ 12:19pm
          Manoj said | September 27th 2013 @ 12:19pm | ! Report


    • September 27th 2013 @ 10:36am
      jameswm said | September 27th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      As I’ve said on other threads, 9 of the 11 spots are taken. We need a no.5/6, and a 2nd opening bowler.

      The 6th batsman? Well, if you picked it right now, Maddinson could take the spot. He toured SA with Aust A and was the standout batsman. Sure he thrashed some of his runs, but an aggressive guy at 6 can work. Plus, I am assuming that although he is a leftie, he’ll be able to handle Swann, though we won’t know that for sure until he faces him. One of the problems with how Khawaja, Hughes and Rogers all play Swann is that they barely score a run. Maddinson won’t be dictated to like that. Look at how KP used to play Warnie.

      Right now, Hughes and Khawaja have played themselves out of the team. Bailey – good head on his shoulders but honestly, I just don’t think he’s good enough.

      Bowling wise, we need another opener/strike bowler. Pattinson is the obvious one if he can show he is back to his best.

      Othwerwise, right now I’d be tempted to try Johnson if he can start the Shield well. You have heaps of cover for his bad spells, but the Poms will be worried about him. An on-song Johnson at one end and Harris at the other, is not how the Pommy top 3 would want to start their innings. Who else is there as a strike bowler if Starc and Pattinson are injured? Johnson bowled well in all 4 games in the ODIs in England, so I think he has the inside running right now.

      • Roar Guru

        September 27th 2013 @ 10:50am
        nick richardson said | September 27th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        Johnson’s bowling actually makes me laugh. You’ve got his worst which is awful and then you have this:

        No one in world cricket could bowl that destructively,

        • September 27th 2013 @ 11:10am
          Rob Barrow said | September 27th 2013 @ 11:10am | ! Report

          I think Johnson can repeat this if given the chance,he will be very hungry, needs early shield wickets

          • September 27th 2013 @ 11:47am
            James said | September 27th 2013 @ 11:47am | ! Report

            ofcourse he can repeat this. but the chances of him doing so arnt great. but its never been his bowling that has been the problem, its that you say boo to him and he bowls a wide that goes past 2nd slip. his mind is the problem, his bad bowling is just a sympton of that.

            • September 27th 2013 @ 12:20pm
              Manoj said | September 27th 2013 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

              I would go for Harris, Siddle, Bird and Lyon for the first test with the backups including either Johnson, Cutting or Hazelwood depending on early shield wickets.

              • September 27th 2013 @ 3:24pm
                Brendon said | September 27th 2013 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                +1 Johnson is to risky to start the series with, Seyers is another option, quick, swings the ball an has a great average in the shield.

              • September 27th 2013 @ 4:06pm
                jameswm said | September 27th 2013 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

                Sayers isn’t quick at all Johno.

                I have a feeling that Johnson will go well if picked for the Gabba. If Patto isn’t ready, I’d lean that way right now. Just because Johners had consistency problems before doesn’t mean he always will.

              • September 28th 2013 @ 6:27pm
                davros said | September 28th 2013 @ 6:27pm | ! Report

                sayers ave’s around 130 -132…what about Bollinger ?…he’s another who has done the job well in the past….with far less ordinary performances than johnson although I would agree when Johnson is at his best he slightly shades bollinger

        • Roar Guru

          September 27th 2013 @ 1:48pm
          Chris Kettlewell said | September 27th 2013 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

          He was just swinging it so far. Most lefties swinging it back in you are looking for balls that start on the angle across and the swing brings them back straight, but he was getting ones angling to well outside off before swinging back. The question is whether he can keep his action together to continually get this movement. That’s vital for him. He was down on pace in that series too, watch that clip and you’ll see most balls in the mid-130’s. If he can have his action working to get the ball swinging at full pace he can be very destructive.

          Add to that he’s a destructive number 8 batsman.

          The only question is, which Mitchell Johnson will turn up. It would be lovely to find that over the last couple of years he’s really discovered himself a bit and got his action sorted, got his head sorted, and is now able to perform more consistently and maybe have a chance to come back into the test side for a few years to finish off his career in style.

          We really need to see him play some Shield cricket to know how he’s going in the long form of the game, and he’ll probably hardly get a chance of that as he’ll almost certainly be on the ODI tour of India.

        • October 10th 2013 @ 11:27pm
          Clavers said | October 10th 2013 @ 11:27pm | ! Report

          For all his flaws, Mitchell Johnson’s test stats are almost identical to Brett Lee’s: a bowling average of 30.93 versus 30.81 and almost exactly four wickets per test. This is despite the fact that Johnson often has been bowled first change and been used as a stock bowler, bowling long spells, whereas Lee tended to get the new ball and was used in shorter spells to keep him fresh and fast.

          It says a lot for Johnson’s fitness that he has consistently been able to bowl at high pace through long spells in hot, testing conditions.

          He has been selected to play only four test matches in the past 23 months. In the first three of those matches, in Australia against South Africa and Sri Lanka, his aggregate figures were 13 for 335, an average of 25.77. The other test was the Fourth Test of the series against India. In the first innings he went wicketless but had the best economy rate of the five bowlers used. I recall seeing wickets going begging off Johnson’s bowling in that innings because the keeper and slips were standing too deep. And in the second innings, with 155 runs to defend, Watson opted to open with Lyon and Maxwell and Johnson was given only two overs.

          So there is some evidence over the past two years to suggest that Johnson has improved the consistency and effectiveness of his bowling.

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