Khawaja to be dropped for India Tests, with spin his undoing

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

By Ronan O'Connell, Ronan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

Tagged:
 , ,

200 Have your say

Popular article! 4,230 reads

    Usman Khawaja looks likely to be dropped for the first Test against India on Thursday after being left out of the team for Australia’s only warm-up match which started yesterday in Mumbai.

    Given the way Khawaja floundered against spin in the Tests in Sri Lanka last year it would be crazy for Australia to deny him a practice match in India if they actually planned to pick him for the opening Test.

    So his absence from yesterday’s line-up strongly suggests the Test selectors have already made the decision to dump Khawaja. If so, I believe they are making the right choice.

    Why? Allow me to explain.

    Captain Steve Smith, star opener David Warner and prolific new middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb are automatic choices in the top six.

    The fourth lock in the batting line-up is an all-rounder, whether that be Mitchell Marsh or Glenn Maxwell, because Australia cannot possibly take on the dominant Indian batting line-up with only four bowling options.

    Australia can expect to spend a ton of time in the field during this series – India’s average first innings score was 550 in their recent five-Test home series against England. In light of that, fielding just four bowling options would place massive strain on Australia’s gun new ball pair, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

    With Warner, Smith, Handscomb and an all-rounder locked in, that leaves Khawaja, young opener Matt Renshaw and veteran Shaun Marsh to fight it out for the two remaining spots.

    Shaun Marsh, to my mind, should be the second player picked in the batting line-up after Smith, thanks to his incredible Test record in Asia – 393 runs at 79, including two centuries.

    The final spot then is between Renshaw and Khawaja.

    The 20-year-old is a complete unknown in these conditions – he has never played in Asia in any format. Renshaw has made a fantastic start to his Test career, averaging 64 after four Tests, and made 184 in his last Test innings, during which he expertly countered Pakistan’s star spinner Yasir Shah.

    Matt Renshaw celebrates century SCG

    With his endless patience and willingness to bat well within himself, Renshaw is a fine foil for the cavalier Warner. Among international batsman Renshaw is most similar in style to gun English opener Alastair Cook, who has a sensational Test record in Asia.

    Of course, that does not at all mean that Renshaw is destined to succeed in India, he could just as easily flop, as have so many Australian batsmen before him.

    But he does look confident against spin and is yet to garner any mental scars against slow bowlers in Asia. The same can’t be said of Khawaja, who looked petrified against spin in Sri Lanka and was dropped after four consecutive failures in that series.

    It would be a tough call to drop Khawaja, who has piled up 1349 runs at 64 since being recalled to the Test team after a long absence in November 2015. On a horses-for-courses basis, however, he should not be in the starting line-up in India.

    In Sri Lanka, the left hander’s batting against spin was a complete mess. It’s not just his technique against spin which is a concern, but also his mentality. Khawaja looked flustered and panicked against Graeme Swann earlier in his career and, three years on in Sri Lanka, nothing had changed.

    Khawaja lacks a clear plan of how to get off strike against slow bowlers when conditions favour them. He allows them to deliver dot ball after dot ball until something gives. His timid, unfocused approach in Sri Lanka prompted the selectors to drop him for the third Test in Colombo.

    It also looks like it has convinced them to leave him out of the starting line-up next week in favour of Shaun Marsh and Renshaw. If Khawaja does appear at Pune it will now come as a major surprise.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

    Have Your Say



    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (200)

    • Roar Guru

      February 18th 2017 @ 5:58am
      ak said | February 18th 2017 @ 5:58am | ! Report

      Khawaja can improve if he plays IPL. Maxwell, Smith, Warner always play well in IPL. So it makes sense in dropping him.

      But tests are going to be different. And not just Ashwin. Jadeja is key too. What happens is that Ashwin with his variations is a tough bowler. So batsmen try to score off Jadeja. And that is where his stump to stump line works. Any error and chances that you are out lbw, bowled are great.

      • February 18th 2017 @ 1:16pm
        Ross said | February 18th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

        Complete joke if we don’t play Khawaja after his summer form, Ponting struggled in England but we didn’t drop him, good batsman need to be played in all conditions and Khawaja has been given 0 tests in India, I am sorry but why do we keep trying to destroy this mans confidence

        • Roar Guru

          February 18th 2017 @ 2:57pm
          Cadfael said | February 18th 2017 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

          Agree Ross. I would leave Uzzie there and play S Marsh at 6. If dropped his replacement would be Shaun Marsh. How many tests has he played in India again? Yes he has played well in Sri Lanka but that is NOT India.

        • Roar Guru

          February 18th 2017 @ 3:54pm
          ak said | February 18th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

          There is a difference between good and great. Ponting was a great. Khawaja is a good one.

          • February 18th 2017 @ 4:44pm
            Ross said | February 18th 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

            Logic is same mate, it seems the horses for courses policy is bought in only for Khawaja, when are we going to stop playing around with this guys confidence and let the bloke play, he is even marrying a Aussie shiela for crying out loud haha

            • February 19th 2017 @ 6:56am
              TJ said | February 19th 2017 @ 6:56am | ! Report

              So an Aussie is marrying an ‘Aussie’ – what are you trying to say? I assume you are hinting that he is being messed around for a different reason…

        • February 19th 2017 @ 8:54am
          Rob said | February 19th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

          Ponting averaged 125 against India in Australia and then the return series 12months later averaged 3.4 in India. He averaged 26 in India.

          • February 19th 2017 @ 2:53pm
            Ross said | February 19th 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

            I know some will disagree but I think Khawaja religion and colour is still not accepted by the big boys because given the amount of runs he scored recently and given no one with the exception of smith plays spin well so leaving him out is absolutely absurd

            • February 19th 2017 @ 3:09pm
              Don Freo said | February 19th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

              Ross, you may be one of 10 in a population of 25 million that chooses to single out Ussie’s faith.

              Treat him like you would the other faiths, the agnostics and the atheists. He is an Aussie. Just an Aussie.

            • February 19th 2017 @ 4:59pm
              Rebellion said | February 19th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

              I think if Khawaja still played for NSW there wouldn’t be an issue – Shane Watson extended his career by moving down there – only the diabolically bad opener with the goatee who used to play for Tasmania couldn’t get back in the team
              If anyone shouldn’t be playing it is Marsh. After Phil Hughes he’s been given the most chances to redeem himself in a baggy green and has been a flop.
              If they are that desperate to play Marsh then drop Renshaw until Marsh fails again

              • February 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm
                Chris Love said | February 19th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                While he’s had more chances than any, the most recent ones haven’t been flops..

    • February 18th 2017 @ 6:50am
      jameswm said | February 18th 2017 @ 6:50am | ! Report

      If they plan on picking Khawaja for the first test, you would think he’d play the lead up game.

      If they have already made their mind up he won’t succeed, why did they bother taking him?

      I think he’s earnt the right to have another crack in Asia, and Shaun Marsh should be there as a backstop.

      • February 18th 2017 @ 8:12am
        jamesb said | February 18th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

        “If they have already made their mind up he won’t succeed, why did they bother taking him?”

        They probably selected him for India most likely as a back opener for Renshaw.

        • February 18th 2017 @ 8:51am
          Bring Back...? said | February 18th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

          I agree with you JW. His record against spin is very poor. Why take him at all? If he’s there as backup to Renshaw, the depth is non existent. And I like Usman but just have to face the fact he struggles against decent spin bowling.

          • February 18th 2017 @ 1:18pm
            Ross said | February 18th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

            Warner struggles in India but we play him as he is a class player, Khawaja is also a class test player and it’s a joke he isn’t playing

            • February 18th 2017 @ 5:05pm
              rock said | February 18th 2017 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

              Always something that is overlooked.

              Warner has performed poor in Asia also, yet bugger all get’s said about this…

    • February 18th 2017 @ 7:42am
      Worlds Biggest said | February 18th 2017 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      Tough on Usie given his average over the last couple of years. However I still remember him struggling mightily against Swann. Then of course the debacle in Sri Lanka by all batsman mind you. If Australia can jag one win in this series they will be doing very well.

    • February 18th 2017 @ 7:44am
      qwetzen said | February 18th 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      I think we’ve exhausted all discussion on who should play, and why, in T1. So I’ll add something to the pile that’s been worrying me for a while. Peter Handscomb’s technique. If Ashwin were to be asked; “What’s your favourite type of batsman to bowl to?” I’d imagine his answer would be; “A right-hander who plays back a lot.”. I really wish Handscomb well, but I worry for him.

      • February 18th 2017 @ 8:07am
        Nudge said | February 18th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        If you’d actually taken note of the way handscomb plays spin you, would have seen that he uses his feet to come down the track more than any other current Australian batsman. He only consistently plays back to the quicks

        • February 18th 2017 @ 8:17am
          Peebo said | February 18th 2017 @ 8:17am | ! Report

          You have an incisive mind Q, but Nudge has you there. Handscomb is a brilliant player of spin and does leave the crease often facing tweakers

          • February 18th 2017 @ 10:18am
            Rob said | February 18th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

            I’m interested to see Handscomb play the spinners. Leaving your crease and continually charging the bowling is dangerous if the ball stays low. He also likes to cut hard and drive on the run against the spin which is very different to how the Indian batsmen play on their pitches. Ashwin has a lot of variations and Jadaja is a very clever bowler at changing up his pace.

            • February 18th 2017 @ 10:51am
              Don Freo said | February 18th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

              Using one’s feet, in Handscomb’s case, does not imply compulsive charging, Rob.

              It just means putting himself in the best position to play it.

            • February 18th 2017 @ 12:32pm
              Nudge said | February 18th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

              Rob, I’m trying to work out how coming down the wicket to the spinners is more dangerous than staying back if the ball keeps low? When you come down the wicket, more times than not you are getting to the pitch of the ball. This virtually takes bowled out of the equation and also LBW. ( unless Aleem Dar is umpiring) If the ball keeps low and you are playing back you are 10 times more likely of getting bowled or LBW I would have thought

              • February 18th 2017 @ 12:47pm
                Don Freo said | February 18th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

                Yes…and DRS this series takes Aleem Dar out of the equation.

                DRS alone renders as irrelevant all previous records and series results. It becomes a different game.

              • February 18th 2017 @ 2:39pm
                Rob said | February 18th 2017 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

                Guys, i’m in no way saying Handscomb will fail. I hope he backs himself and drives Ashwin and Jadaja mad with his aggressive almost compulsive technique.
                I just question the Australian phlisophy that players who leave their crease at every opportunity are good players of spin? We all think LBW is reduced but under DRS and under current umpiring thinking? I laughed when SA appealed at the WACCA in Smith’s LBW decision.
                Ricky Ponting was considered a great player of spin because of his supposed footwork. In 2000 Ponting scored 375 and averaged 125 against India in Australia. 12 months later he scored 17 at an average of 3.4 against India in India. He averaged 26 against India in India from 25 innings.
                Michael Clarke averaged 40 in India from 25 Innings. He averaged 60 against India in Australia.
                Like I said ” I’m interested to see Handscomb play the spinners ” I hope he emulates Dean Jones.

              • February 19th 2017 @ 10:32am
                qwetzen said | February 19th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

                Rob said: “I just question the Australian phlisophy that players who leave their crease at every opportunity are good players of spin?”

                Indeedy. The Nein comms used to warble this about Clarke every time he came down the wicket. I did some research and discovered the following. For Test innings where these contempories were dismissed by a bowler the %age of slows figures are;

                Ponting (243) 25.5%
                Clarke (139) 38.1%
                Hussey (118) 27.1%

                Additionally; Ponting was stumped 7/243, Clarke 8/139 and Hussey an
                impressive 0/118.

                Makes you wonder why no-one in the cricket bubble ever bothered to do this…

              • February 19th 2017 @ 10:41am
                Don Freo said | February 19th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

                Probably because it doesn’t really show anything

              • February 20th 2017 @ 7:44am
                qwetzen said | February 20th 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

                Don Freo said: “Probably because it doesn’t really show anything.”

                Are you being deliberately obtuse?
                In an ideal world of cricket stats we’d know all the tabulations, but Clarke’s %age is a reasonable stat to counter the *unsupported* opinion that he was a “great player of spin”.

        • Columnist

          February 18th 2017 @ 10:09am
          Ronan O'Connell said | February 18th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          “If you’d actually taken note of the way handscomb plays spin you, would have seen that he uses his feet to come down the track more than any other current Australian batsman. He only consistently plays back to the quicks”

          Spot on Nudge, Handscomb uses his feet to spin even more frequently than Smith. By doing that a batsman earns a greater number of short balls to lean back and cut/pull than the average batsman because of the spinner over correcting their length.

          Handscomb may still get mauled by Ashwin – he’s a freakish bowler in home conditions – but his approach against spin will give him a better chance of success than most other Aussie batsmen.

          • February 18th 2017 @ 11:35pm
            jamesc said | February 18th 2017 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

            rubbish click bait article. how is hanscombe an automstic selection based on the aussie summer and not uzzie over 2 summers by that analysis. khawaja is one of the top 6 batsmen in our nation, he should be there at 3 or opener with marsh in for renshaw.

            warners record is terrible in india. and uzzii, s marsh, handscombe, renshaw have all played zero tests in india. also the intra squad warm up match which was to help selection…uzzie played well, warner/renshaw failed

        • February 18th 2017 @ 10:27am
          qwetzen said | February 18th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

          I have. And ‘Yes’, he does advance often. And well. But I believe that his method of playing well back and with that late downswing will theoretically leave him vulnerable to Ashwins’ caroom. (That sounds like a chess term.). Can I have your phone number so that I can harass you with gloating texts if I’m correct?

          • February 18th 2017 @ 2:01pm
            Bob said | February 18th 2017 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

            Playing back will allow him to read it off the wicket and going forward will allow him to get to the pitch. What is wrong with that? He will always be able to score and Ashwin won’t be able to just bowl the same length all the time. Playing from the crease is exactly what India want us to do?

            • February 18th 2017 @ 4:58pm
              qwetzen said | February 18th 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

              “Playing from the crease is exactly what India want us to do?”

              (I’m assuming that’s a statement). I doubt that India care what we do…

    • February 18th 2017 @ 8:50am
      Matth said | February 18th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      Given S Marsh’s century in the practice match he is a lock. Renshaw left the door ajar for Khawaja, but I expect Renshaw to be given the first couple of tests.

      Looks like M Marsh is back again. Given he has batted at 6 in the practice game and Maxwell has been placed at 8. This despite Maxwell not being bowled at all in the recent limited over series. And despite the selectors now describing Marsh as a bowling all rounder. Or was this batting order just to follow the set rule that Wade bats ahead of Maxwell?

      • February 18th 2017 @ 1:57pm
        Bob said | February 18th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

        We are back to having both Marsh’s back in the team-sigh. Didn’t take long did it?

        • February 19th 2017 @ 12:38pm
          TheCunningLinguistic said | February 19th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

          I assume that was a happy sigh, Bob? It sure was for me! 🙂

          If they both fail, be sure to tell me “I told you so!”

    • February 18th 2017 @ 9:19am
      spruce moose said | February 18th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      Ridiculous. Just ridiculous thought processing by the selectors.

      1. For the last time, India is not Sri Lanka. Ronan, you must stop equating the two as one with the broad brush of “Asia”.
      2. Neither Shaun Marsh or Khawaja have faced a test match ball in India. As the incumbent, Khawaja deserved the chance.
      3. David Warner, as a matter of fact, has the worse record of the batsman in India, or even “Asia”. Why is he an automatic pick? He is a proven failure in any country on the north side of the equator.

      Khawaja should go home, or switch allegiances to Pakistan in protest. It’s patently clear the selectors have zero faith in him. How can he possibly be expected to play well ever again with that type of support?

      • Columnist

        February 18th 2017 @ 10:12am
        Ronan O'Connell said | February 18th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        “David Warner, as a matter of fact, has the worse record of the batsman in India, or even “Asia”.”

        Actually Warner averages 33 in Tests in Asia, compared to 19 for Khawaja.

        Warner absolutely has underperformed significantly in Asia but he still looked way better against spin in Sri Lanka than did Khawaja.

        • February 18th 2017 @ 1:20pm
          spruce moose said | February 18th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

          See Ronan

          Again you are making that ignorant mistake. For the last time, India and Sri Lanka are different countries with different pitches, grounds and climatic conditions. The UAE (where Warner has his sole northern hemisphere century) is also much different.

          Warner has a poor average in India. Khawaja has never played there. Nor has Marsh They are the facts.

          And as is usual for some, a direct comparison of averages is spectacularly dumb. Khawaja has played one series in Asia. Warner has played several. You are MUCH smarter than that. Khawaja would just need to hit one century and warner one score in the 20’s, and then khawaja’s average in “asia” is higher.

          I’d be more concerned with Warners low 20’s average in India before Khawaja’s 19 in another country.

          Equating India to Sri Lanka is like equating Australian grounds to New Zealand grounds and just broadbrushing them as “Oceania”. when in fact they share little similiarities.

          Please stop doing it. It’s ignorant.

          • Columnist

            February 18th 2017 @ 1:23pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | February 18th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

            “spectacularly dumb. Khawaja has played one series in Asia.”

            If you’re going to call someone “spectacularly dumb” it’s probably better not to immediately make an error in your next statement.

            Khawaja has played two series in Asia, not one.

            • February 18th 2017 @ 5:12pm
              rock said | February 18th 2017 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

              Harsh call labeling you dumb, but he makes some very valid points.

              Warner has had many more opportunities to succeed in Asian countries, but never has. Whereas Khawaja has had very limited opportunity.

              Somehow Warner’s substandard performances are overlooked in spin friendly conditions because he ‘looks’ better against spin – yet the numbers certainly don’t back it up.

            • February 19th 2017 @ 11:34am
              spruce moose said | February 19th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

              Yes. Quite right.

              Comparing 4 tests in one country against 9 across three isn’t spectacularly dumb, it’s just dumb.

          • February 18th 2017 @ 1:33pm
            Don Freo said | February 18th 2017 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

            Marsh played yesterday…hardly never. Reasonable success too.

            He has played many seasons in IPL…including being Best Batsman. Reasonable success there. Hardly “never”.

            That’s the problem with challenging others on “facts”.

            • February 18th 2017 @ 11:42pm
              jamesc said | February 18th 2017 @ 11:42pm | ! Report

              back to cameron whites point, you cant base all your selections on T20. that marsh played in IPL on flat roads is hardly of relevance. his first class record on the other hand is of relevance and you can go look that up.

            • February 18th 2017 @ 11:46pm
              Tom from Perth said | February 18th 2017 @ 11:46pm | ! Report

              Irrefutable logic as always, Don. Looks like Shaun and Mitch will get a go. Think the team looks like this:

              Renshaw
              Warner
              Shaun Marsh
              Smith
              Handscomb
              Mitch Marsh
              Wade
              SOK
              Starc
              Hazelwood
              Lyon

            • February 19th 2017 @ 11:35am
              spruce moose said | February 19th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

              Not knocking Marsh here Don.

              It’s more a critique of Warner.

        • February 19th 2017 @ 7:30am
          Matt said | February 19th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

          Whats the sample size? Im pretty sure khwaja hasnt played enough in asia even to have a comparison. And anyway warner averages 33 opening the batting means he is doing even poorly as he gets easiest batting time since he gets to face quicks upfront and stilll is not averaging better.

      • February 18th 2017 @ 10:44am
        Fawad said | February 18th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

        I totally agree with you spruce. I don’t know why they think Asia is same. India would have plenty of batting friendly pitches and the pitches will wear off, so doesn’t matter what you do, team batting first has significant advantage.

        When playing spin, it’s not always about using your feet. A lot of players make an excessive compulsion on themselves when doing it. I have a feeling Handscomb will struggle big time there. I’m also worried about Renshaw. You don’t want your young guns to lose all their confidence. Smith and Warner have played on complete opposite kind of wickets during IPL but at least have experience playing there. I don’t think they should just right off Usman from the start. The worse they can do so to kill off Renshaw in the first couple of Tests and then bring Usman in and putting extra pressure on him. They would be killing off two players in one go.

        I believe it should be between Marsh vs Renshaw and let the board invest in Usman. We need players like him to flourish. Remember Amla, all credit goes to the board on how they supported him.

        • February 18th 2017 @ 11:06am
          Don Freo said | February 18th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

          Fawad, you seem to think these guys are all so fragile. You don’t hold players back for fear they will fall apart if they fail

          These guys are the best of our best cricketers. They thrive on challenge. Top sportsmen are competitive. What you fear as potentially shattering their confidence, they see as challenge and experience.

          • February 18th 2017 @ 11:47pm
            jamesc said | February 18th 2017 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

            exactly, and he should be given the challenge of playing as incumbent, great aussie summer etc. by putting him on the bench for reasons other than crickering perhaps, he is not even being given a chance to respond to the challenge. big shame.

          • February 19th 2017 @ 12:27am
            Andy said | February 19th 2017 @ 12:27am | ! Report

            Some of them thrive on challenges. Johnson was one of the best bowlers in the world but he did not thrive on challenges. Also best of the best is such a meaningless phrase, cant we just say best.

            • February 19th 2017 @ 12:51am
              Don Freo said | February 19th 2017 @ 12:51am | ! Report

              You must have missed much of Johnno’s career. He didn’t thrive? Tell that to the Poms and the Saffas.

            • February 19th 2017 @ 7:16am
              qwetzen said | February 19th 2017 @ 7:16am | ! Report

              “Johnson was one of the best bowlers in the world but he did not thrive on challenges.”

              Marvellous, gratuitous and baseless swipe there. Let’s see your explanation of how he managed to finish his career with a significantly lower average & s/r than his much lauded contemporary Brett Lee?

        • February 19th 2017 @ 12:24am
          Andy said | February 19th 2017 @ 12:24am | ! Report

          ‘When playing spin, it’s not always about using your feet.’

          You are right, however its 99% about using your feet even if your wrists are like Tendulkars.

      • February 18th 2017 @ 10:51am
        Rob said | February 18th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        It’s a big risk for the selectors to pick Khawaja given his record against spin.
        There are 3 unknowns with Renshaw, Handscomb and Maxwell in the batting line up. They could thrive?
        There are 3 knowns in Warner usually struggles away against the moving ball. Marsh plays spin well and has probably played his best inning in the sub continent conditions. Khawaja has consistently played spin poorly and has an average of 17 away being dismissed 9 of 13 times by spinners.
        I wouldn’t have picked Khawaja. Instead I would have taken a punt with Bancroft.
        But I do understand the argument about him deserving an opportunity.

      • February 18th 2017 @ 11:17am
        Art Vanderlay said | February 18th 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

        Moose, England isn’t India either nor is Graeme Swann Ravi Ashwin and yet look what happened.

        Like it or not Usman has been repeatedly exposed by spinners.

        If we’re to actually believe that Australia is using a “horses for courses” selection approach then the batsmen must also be subject to the policy not just the bowlers because surely Starc, Hazelwood, Lyon AND Bird are the incumbents and MUST be selected for the first test?

        • February 18th 2017 @ 11:58am
          Don Freo said | February 18th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

          Top comment.

        • February 19th 2017 @ 10:50am
          handles said | February 19th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          • February 19th 2017 @ 12:46pm
            TheCunningLinguistic said | February 19th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

            Appalling decision notwithstanding, Khawaja is terrible against spin. I’d love to play him and give him a chance to get better, but certainly not in the first 2-3 tests…

          • February 19th 2017 @ 4:19pm
            Art Vanderlay said | February 19th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

            I’ll raise you:

      • February 18th 2017 @ 1:19pm
        Ross said | February 18th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

        Agreed completely, India is not Sri Lanka and Khawaja has been given 0 tests in India given the homework saga last time, get the classy player in as class players find a way to score everywhere

        • February 18th 2017 @ 2:27pm
          NovaKay said | February 18th 2017 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

          “class players find a way to score everywhere”. Insightful sounding but ultimately vacuous statement.

          • February 18th 2017 @ 4:47pm
            Ross said | February 18th 2017 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

            Not playing Khawaja in the warm up game was a joke , how can he prove himself if you don’t give Hima game

            • February 18th 2017 @ 11:48pm
              jamesc said | February 18th 2017 @ 11:48pm | ! Report

              top comment

    Explore:
    , ,