Damien Fleming reveals his Australian XI for The Ashes

Benjamin Conkey Editor

By Benjamin Conkey, Benjamin Conkey is a Roar Editor

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    With just 40 days until the first ball is bowled in anger between Australia and England, Damien Fleming has put his selection cap on for The Roar and picked the team he thinks can reclaim that tiny urn.

    The former Australian fast bowler is happy with the current crop of speedsters Australia has at its disposal and would keep Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc as the guys to do the damage to England’s top order.

    He admits players like Chadd Sayers would be unlucky to miss out.

    “He can’t do any more at domestic level, but you’re behind a lot of excellent quicks,” Fleming said.

    “But I’d be hoping Chadd would be going on an England tour, A South African tour, a New Zealand tour – you know those ones that really suit his bowling.”

    “But I mean what about Jackson Bird? He bowled beautiful last summer.
 We know he’s the Test standard fast bowler.”

    Fleming would also keep Nathan Lyon in the 11. His average of 34.55 with the ball in Australian conditions is among the best for spin bowlers in recent times.

    “You look at Harbhajan Singh, Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) – look at their records in Australia. They’re two of the best off-spinners to play the game. They average about 70 to 80.”

    To take the pressure off Lyon, Fleming would also pick Glenn Maxwell who he feels is more than capable of tieing down an end with the ball and also blasting the opposition with the bat.

    Glenn Maxwell Cricket Australia 2017

    (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

    “If the pitches are the way they normally are, he’s going to score four fifties at least at a run ball,” Fleming said.

    “He averages over 40 for Victoria for a fair period of time. He’s going to open up Test matches at number 6. He’s also a brilliant fielder and a handy bowler.”

    In terms of the rest of the batting, Fleming would stick with Peter Handscomb and Usman Khawaja, who he was quick to point out averages more than 60 with the bat in Australia.

    The biggest concern for the 47-year-old is the wicketkeeping and the inconsistency of Matthew Wade.

    “Big wrap for Wade’s batting but it just hasn’t clicked has it (with the keeping)? You know I think he’s a fine batsman.”

    “I like Peter Nevill’s keeping. I know he’d average 25 or 30 and Alex Carey I haven’t seen much of but they’ve got big raps on him.”

    According to the former swing bowler-turned commentator, it all comes down to the Sheffield Shield games before the first Test to ultimately decide the wicketkeeper.

    “I tell you what guys. I’d be trying to score runs in those first two games. I reckon that’s really open (who gets the keeper spot).”

    Matt Renshaw bats during a test match against India

    (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

    Damien Fleming’s Australian team for the first Ashes Test

    1. David Warner (vc)
    2. Matt Renshaw
    3. Usman Khawaja
    4. Steve Smith (c)
    5. Peter Handscomb
    6. Glenn Maxwell
    7. Matthew Wade/Peter Nevill or Alex Carey
    8. Mitchell Starc
    9. Pat Cummins
    10. Josh Hazlewood
    11. Nathan Lyon

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    The Crowd Says (69)

    • Roar Guru

      October 13th 2017 @ 11:33am
      The Bush said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

      What exactly about Wade’s batting has impressed Flem over the last year? Hasn’t impressed just about anyone else. His FC form with the bat over the last few years has been just as poor.

      He’s also fence sitting on the ‘keeper selection, which is about the only real contentious spot other than number 6.

      As someone said above, Flem seems to have wraps on just about everyone.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 11:45am
      bearfax said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

      Good side Damien. I’m not so concerned about wicketkeeper. I’d even consider Hanscombe as wicketkeeper and bring in one of the batting young guns, Cartwright, Patterson or Lehmann

    • Roar Guru

      October 13th 2017 @ 11:48am
      Paul D said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:48am | ! Report

      Good side, but Wade should never be allowed in a baggy green again

      “I know his uses, and they are few”

    • October 13th 2017 @ 11:52am
      Peter said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

      You’ve picked a 13 Flem

      • October 13th 2017 @ 12:27pm
        BurgyGreen said | October 13th 2017 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

        Nevill bats, Carey keeps and Wade… says ‘nice Gary’?

        • October 13th 2017 @ 7:57pm
          Steve said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

          Nice one baz

    • October 13th 2017 @ 1:23pm
      Larry1950 said | October 13th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

      Sorry Fleming, you forgot to tip Mickey Edwards as a roughy for the pace squad, he’s from nsw and has now played a 50 over game or two so should be ready to unwrap that baggy green they all get.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 5:16pm
        Don Freo said | October 13th 2017 @ 5:16pm | ! Report

        Flem’s a Vic

    • Roar Guru

      October 13th 2017 @ 2:06pm
      spruce moose said | October 13th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

      Nothing makes me happier than when an expert pundit who has been given the task of selecting XI, goes and selects 13 because of aninability to actually name a wicketkeeper.

      • Roar Guru

        October 13th 2017 @ 2:07pm
        Paul D said | October 13th 2017 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

        Should have just asked Flem if he was bowling and got a thick outside edge, degree of difficulty 9.5 for the keeper to haul it in, who did he want behind the stumps

        If he answers anyone other than Neville he’s clearly lying

        • October 13th 2017 @ 5:17pm
          Don Freo said | October 13th 2017 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

          Carey caught all of those last year. He’s a gun.

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