Should we bring back Australia A to help boost depth?

Baggy_Green Roar Rookie

By Baggy_Green, Baggy_Green is a Roar Rookie


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    Australia accidentally gracefully bowed out of the Champions Trophy. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

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    In the good old days, there was once a ODI series involving Australia, England and Australia A.

    In that year Australia and Australia A made the final, such was the depth possessed by Australian cricket.

    In today’s day and age, the luxury of depth is not available to the same extent – but it is not as grim a situation as some people make out.

    There are some good talents coming through, particularly batsmen, from the pathways program and the U17s and U19s cricket. Greg Chappell himself said that the quality of the batsmanship was really good in this year’s U17 championships.

    Therefore, Australia should be well served into the future – which is especially great as batting has been a weakness recently.

    What would happen today if we had an Australia A team play Australia in a three-Test series.

    If I was fortunate enough to be a selector, I would choose the following line-ups.

    Australia: Warner Renshaw Khawaja Smith Handscomb Maxwell Cartwright Shaun Marsh Wade Starc Cummins Lyon Hazlewood Bird

    Australia A : Harris Bancroft Dean Burns Patterson Head Lehmann Stoinis Carey J.Richardson Swepson Behrendorff Stanlake NCN

    This would be a good even contest in my opinion, with the bowling quality of Australia maybe the clinching factor. Yes Smith is there in the Australian squad but the batting seems to be even outside of him, such is his dominance with the blade.

    Such matches and series should be a regular fixture in the pre-season as it would give Australia a true challenge and some genuine competition, rather than the current situation.

    What do you think, Roarers? Would there be an appetite for bringing back the Australia versus Australia A series?

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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • October 11th 2017 @ 7:44am
      dangertroy said | October 11th 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      If the upcoming test championship comes to pass, I’d like to see the big three nations (Aus, England, India) field A sides in the second division. A second division that only has 3 sides in it (Zimbabwe and test debutants Ireland and Afghanistan) is frankly a bit ridiculous. Let the current nations field development teams in that division and see how they do.

      • October 11th 2017 @ 9:33am
        Targa said | October 11th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        In that case South Africa should field an A side in the 2nd division too.

        NZ A tied with India A in a one dayer overnight. Young keeper batsman Glen Phillips scored 140 n.o. off 130 balls, while leggie Todd Astle (no relation to Nathan) took 4/20. Hopefully these guys these guys can push on to international cricket.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 9:58am
      dan ced said | October 11th 2017 @ 9:58am | ! Report

      Wade would barely make Australia C.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 12:26pm
      Sillycowcorner said | October 11th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

      Poor Sayers cannot even break into the Australia A side…

      • Columnist

        October 11th 2017 @ 6:00pm
        Ronan O'Connell said | October 11th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

        Sayers was in the last Australia A squad

        • October 12th 2017 @ 8:38am
          Basil said | October 12th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

          Unfortunately not even in this authors A team, Ronan.

          Maybe he needs to take more wickets like Stanlake?

        • October 12th 2017 @ 12:04pm
          Sillycowcorner said | October 12th 2017 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

          Yeah I was referring to the author’s squad. Though it was tough on Sayers. Do you think Sayers best chance is the next Ashes in England?

    • October 11th 2017 @ 12:36pm
      Timmuh said | October 11th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

      Not a fan, remember it was a one off quad series largely because Zimbabwe werected the other opponents and CA didn’t trust those games to be competitive.
      Bring back the tour matches involving Australia A, by all means, but not competitive matches against Australia.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 3:23pm
      Paul said | October 11th 2017 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

      Mark Taylor was captain when they had the Australia A side and he said was it was a case of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”. The Australian side was expected to beat the A side and it was a case of “ho, hum” when they did. If they had lost however, his guys would have been slammed by the media.

      Greater exposure to other sides through more tours is one answer. Placing guys who show talent into local competitions, not only in England, but in India, Sth Africa, NZ, etc could also work.

      At the end of the day, we should be aiming to create players who can hold their own in different conditions, so any option that’s financially viable should be explored

      • October 11th 2017 @ 4:17pm
        armchair expert said | October 11th 2017 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

        The Australian A side would of beaten Australia in that series if the selectors hadn’t refused to select Dean Jones for in even the A side political reasons.

        • October 11th 2017 @ 7:32pm
          Paul said | October 11th 2017 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

          they nearly did a couple of times, without Jones!

        • October 12th 2017 @ 12:58am
          Johnno said | October 12th 2017 @ 12:58am | ! Report

          Dean Jones and Merv Hughes did play for Australia A in the 1994-95 World Series….

          • October 16th 2017 @ 5:39pm
            armchair expert said | October 16th 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

            I just checked Johnno, Hughes played a couple of games in that series but Jones didn’t.

      • October 12th 2017 @ 9:09pm
        Taurangaboy said | October 12th 2017 @ 9:09pm | ! Report

        I agree , Paul, to exposing promising Aussie players to overseas conditions. Many go to England already, but how about getting some to play for Indian States in the Ranji Trophy?

        • Columnist

          October 13th 2017 @ 12:54am
          Ronan O'Connell said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:54am | ! Report

          Handscomb went over and played 9 first-class matches for Yorkshire this year, that surely will hold him in great stead for the 2019 Ashes in England.

          Handscomb has managed to play a whopping 24 first-class matches in the past year, too, which is a huge help to his development. A lot of Aussie domestic cricketers are lucky to play 10 FC matches per year.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 5:21pm
      DavSA said | October 11th 2017 @ 5:21pm | ! Report

      I think BG that that recently cancelled tour of Aus A to South Africa was an opportunity lost .It allows up and coming players to get exposure to overseas conditions without pressure.But more importantly , those chosen to tour are given clear indication that they are in line for national duty .It is a big motivator and generally my experience of the A tours is that the players work really hard on their game while in the squad.

      The A side should not be the 2nd best team available but rather comprise of younger players who have yet to be exposed to international cricket.

      • October 12th 2017 @ 5:35am
        Baggy_Green said | October 12th 2017 @ 5:35am | ! Report

        You make some good points mate.. I think we play far too little A cricket as also there are hardly any U19 tours

        This is the need of the hour. However the Aus-AusA tests in off season should be in addition to the A tours abroad .

      • October 12th 2017 @ 10:25am
        Josh said | October 12th 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

        That sounds incredibly ageist and impossible to implement, ‘players who have yet to be exposed to international cricket’, does that mean that as soon as a player has played once for Australia A they can never play again or only 5 games or until they get in the Australian team proper? If you want a younger team call it Australia u/21.

        Australia A existed because for a while there Australia had a stupid number of really good players, now they have a few really good players and a bunch of good players, like most other nations.

        • October 12th 2017 @ 4:32pm
          DavSA said | October 12th 2017 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

          Josh , are you saying that with the acknowledged best domestic league in world cricket and widely accepted as the most competitive that Australia is not producing great cricketers.I find that highly and statistically unlikely . Could there not be other problems . A tours generally are regarded by other countries , certainly in South Africa as a developmental process . Possibly I should rather have said “limited exposure to international cricket ” .

          Something is up with regards Australian cricket not being able to identify its best team in all formats . To my eye at least it shows something of a lack of clear processes and thinking at admin level. This in all probability goes right down to junior level.

          South Africa places high value and always has on A tours . We also somehow continue to churn out world class cricketers despite having only a fraction of Australia’s cricketing resources. Again could the embarrassment of riches in Aus not be part of the problem .Too much choice at all levels and not enough long term focus on talented individuals who should be identified and nurtured from junior level. A tours help a lot with that if used wisely.