Ten things I love about Cameron White’s selection

Stephen Vagg Roar Guru

By Stephen Vagg, Stephen Vagg is a Roar Guru

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    This has been a rough summer for me, selection-wise.

    England picked a terrible side, choosing pretty strokemakers and good blokes over people with better records.

    Australia dumped a bunch of my favourite players and brought back some of my least favourite – who, to make things worse, played really well, making my predictions of their eventual failure look bad.

    Then Glenn Maxwell was overlooked for the ODI squad in exchange for Chris Lynn – Lynn, who has a mediocre domestic one-day record and is so injury-prone he was excused from having to field properly. Lynn subsequently fell injured without playing one match (surprise) and has been replaced by Cameron White.

    And you know something? It’s a fantastic decision.

    I still feel for Maxwell and wish he was in the squad somewhere, but I love, love White coming back, for ten reasons.

    1. It shows domestic one-day performances still count
    White’s been a consistent performer in the one-day cup over the past few season – a competition that’s been ignored by selectors for the Australian one day team in recent years (hello Sam Heazlett, Hilton Cartwright, and Billy Stanlake).

    It’s a shame because it’s a good comp and it’s awesome to see those performances still count – even if you get the feeling they weren’t as important as White’s good run of scores in the Big Bash.

    D’arcy Short and Ashton Turner are clearly players for the future, but haven’t shown anything like White’s domestic consistency.

    2. It shows the selection panel isn’t ageist
    The beginning of the summer wasn’t a good time for the oldies of Australian cricket, with White, Ed Coward and Michael Klinger all dumped from their Sheffield Shield teams.

    But then Australia found success bringing back older players, notably Shaun Marsh and Tim Paine.

    It’s beyond foolish to overlook players because of their age and I’m glad this policy has been discarded for the one day team.

    3. It shows the selectors aren’t petty
    I thought White’s passport had been stamped ‘never to play for Australia again’ after he (with complete justification) criticised Australia’s selection policy, and Trevor Hohns had a whinge in response, saying White’s performances for Australia had hardly been “earth shattering”.

    But here he is, back in the team. Good on Hohns for being a grown up about it.

    (An aside: Hohns played a grand total of nil one-day games for Australia. Why is he on the ODI selection panel again?)

    Australia's Cameron White in action. (AAP Image/NZPA, Wayne Drought)

    AAP Image/NZPA, Wayne Drought

    4. White brings real captaincy nous to the team
    He’s one of the most successful Australian captains of the modern era, helping lead Victoria to some amazing successes.

    He’s an invaluable resource for Steve Smith, who is still feeling his way as a captain and has a relatively young side. Dave Warner, Aaron Finch and Paine have all captained but no one comes close to White’s track record in that area.

    5. He’s experienced in English conditions
    I get the feeling White’s selection was partly inspired by the success of Tom Moody in the 1999 World Cup campaign.

    Moody’s international career was thought to be over but he was brought back at the behest of Steve Waugh, in part because of his extensive experience playing in England. White hasn’t spent as much time over there as big Tom but he did enjoy productive English summers in 2006, 2007 and 2013.

    Like Moody, White’s international career will always have an unfulfilled aura about it – like Moody, I always felt it was a shame White never got a proper crack in the Test team as a stop six batsman – but another World Cup campaign would be a great reward.

    6. He can bowl a bit and is a good fielder
    So too can Maxwell and Turner, I know, but these extra strings to his bow give him the edge over, say, Shaun Marsh or Usman Khawaja.

    7. He can play the George Bailey role
    The Australian one day team really hasn’t recovered from dumping George Bailey. In addition to being able to accelerate the scoring when required, Bailey provided a sensible bedrock to the middle order – a cool head which averted many a crisis, and something he never got much credit for (still doesn’t).

    Without him, Australia’s line up was a little unstable – you knew people like Maxwell, Mitch Marsh and Marcus Stoinis could all monster an attack on their day, but if it wasn’t their day things tended to collapse in a heap.

    It was a shame Bailey was never recalled to the one-day team – his domestic form remains good, he’s clearly an excellent team man and leader – but if we can’t have him then maybe White can perform a similar role.

    Australia's George Bailey celebrates reaching 50 runs during the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy cricket match between Australia and New Zealand at Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England, on June 12, 2013. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES

    AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES

    8. His selection will give hope to other older players whose surname isn’t Marsh
    Cowan, Bailey, White and Klinger all seemed to be discarded because of age… Everyone seemed to be discarded because of age, except for Shaun Marsh.

    But White’s selection has shown that it is still possible to get back in without the narrative of having learnt what it takes to represent your country by spending time in the dressing rooms when you were young. (Because who can’t hear too much of that story when it comes to the Marshes? Certainly not most cricket commentators.)

    Hope of selection through actual performance rather than potential is a good thing. It drives players to keep at it, to compete on the field rather than sucking up and telling everyone you’d like to learn how to bowl. It is healthy and it works.

    9. He can open
    White’s had success opening in domestic cricket and gives Smith an option if something goes wrong with Warner or Finch.

    10. Maxwell could still make it back
    I love Maxwell as a player – whenever he’s involved in a game anything is possible – and I would love to see him back in the side. I hope he’s been encouraged by all the support he’s received recently. I get the impression he’s the sort of player that responds better to kindness and encouragement than the lash. I could be wrong, but I notice after he was placed on standby for Shaun Marsh for the Australian team in the first Test this summer (thereby being shown he was very much still in the picture), he hit a strong vein of form.

    If the Aussie selectors are smart they will give Maxwell a call and say, “Mate, you came close, we went with White for the extra experience but keep at it, we really want you to demand your way back in the side.”

    It can’t hurt – and would make the bloke feel like a less of an outsider, which he surely must at times.

    Now I’ve written this article White will probably turn around and have a shocker. But best of luck to him and welcome back.

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    The Crowd Says (30)

    • January 12th 2018 @ 4:24am
      1st&10 said | January 12th 2018 @ 4:24am | ! Report

      The “Bear” is Back!!!! Smashed a lot of dressing room windows in his time

      Remember when he was a half decent wristy

      • January 12th 2018 @ 5:38am
        Tim said | January 12th 2018 @ 5:38am | ! Report

        Everyone loves a half decent wristy 😉

        • January 12th 2018 @ 8:05am
          Realist said | January 12th 2018 @ 8:05am | ! Report

          No other comment today will top this one. Well played

          • January 12th 2018 @ 3:52pm
            Stephen Vagg said | January 12th 2018 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

            Agree. At first I thought “yeah everyone does like a half good leg spinner like Mason Crane” then I re-read the line and… anyway, well done 🙂

    • January 12th 2018 @ 6:51am
      Mitch said | January 12th 2018 @ 6:51am | ! Report

      I like Cameron white but how they havnt selected Darcy short is beyond me. First off no consistency???? Darcy shorts last 6 games 34, 15, 97, 96, 42, and 122* for a 406 total at 81.20. I mean wow and you mention Cam is a handy bowler so is Darcy short probly even better. He is also young and one of the best strikers off the ball going around with a much higher strike rate. In JLT one day cup they also had a similar average. Australia should be thinking about the future rather then throwing a sympothy bone for a player to have a final HOORAR.

      • January 12th 2018 @ 8:31am
        Oingo Boingo said | January 12th 2018 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        Seems to be a common theme with certain selections in recent years here.
        They keep giving the same old dead horses a run rather than looking to mould a team by introducing younger players with potential.

      • January 12th 2018 @ 9:37am
        jameswm said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        That’s T20, not ODI. Hopefully Short gets to open with Warner in the T20s.

        No rush with Darcy.

        • January 12th 2018 @ 3:54pm
          spruce moose said | January 12th 2018 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

          There’s a bit of a rush to be fair. He’s almost 28, he’s not getting any younger and he is in a quality vein of form.

          While I wouldn’t pick him for the ODI’s it would be an abrogation of selection duty if he was overlooked for the T20 tri series.

          Strike while the iron is hot…

          • January 12th 2018 @ 7:18pm
            JoM said | January 12th 2018 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

            Mark Waugh loves him and he picks the T20 team

            • January 13th 2018 @ 8:36am
              Stephen Vagg said | January 13th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

              Really interested to see the Aussie T20 team. I thought they’d do for Carey over Paine but Paine’s been picked for three formats is that right?

              I hope they have the Aussie T20 side a decent amount of time to play together. They always feel like an after thought.

      • January 12th 2018 @ 3:55pm
        Stephen Vagg said | January 12th 2018 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

        He’s in red hot T20 form just would love to see him back it up a second season and see him consistently perform in other formats. He does have handy bowling stats, I’ll give him that. Do think White’s selection is a bit more than a sympathy bone…

        • January 12th 2018 @ 4:32pm
          Mitch said | January 12th 2018 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

          Yea it doesnt achieve anything but a short term fix.

    • Roar Guru

      January 12th 2018 @ 8:42am
      Ryan H said | January 12th 2018 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      Point no. 7 is the most important one for mine – being the stabiliser in the middle order. Bailey was a rock in that position for several years, other players have done similar too like Ferguson. I felt the ODI side lacked that partly last season, where a middle order for example containing Lynn, M.Marsh and Maxwell offered plenty of aggression and boundary hitting, but not as much finesse and ability to nudge the ball around for 1s and 2s in the middle overs. White has to bat at 5 surely, I hope he is not just there as the reserve batsman.

      • January 12th 2018 @ 9:37am
        jameswm said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        Ferguson was excellent when he batted around that no.5 spot for Australia.

        • January 12th 2018 @ 3:56pm
          Stephen Vagg said | January 12th 2018 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

          He was – he had a really good run in that role

      • January 12th 2018 @ 4:02pm
        Stephen Vagg said | January 12th 2018 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

        You look at Australia’s side for the World Cup Final in 2015: Warner, Finch, Smith, Clarke, Watson, Maxwell,Faulkner, Haddin, Johnson, Starc, Hazlewood…

        For me the steadying hands in that side were Smith, Clarke and Faulkner – Haddin to a lesser extent – Warner, Finch, Maxwell and Faulkner being your fire power

        I feel you need three steady hands in a side – at the moment there’s really only Smith I feel at any rate (I don’t think Stoinis is as good as Faulkner at his best… yet… though time may tell… ditto don’t think Head is a super secure player… yet)

        Hence White

        The new, mature Mitch Marsh may make it less of an obligation, but I feel his natural inclination is to be a Maxwell/Watson type batter

    • January 12th 2018 @ 9:21am
      Keggas said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

      Point one JLT cup matters,point 2 selectors aren’t ageist, point 7 he can play the George Bailey role……

      have a look at the stats from the JLT cup why can’t George Bailey play the George Bailey role?

      Bailey, Ferguson, Klinger, Maddison, Hughes, Cooper, Khawaja all had better one day series than White so arguing about domestic form seems irrelevant and to say that White is still a handy bowler or that this is a Selection with an eye a World Cup 18 months away is pretty laughable.

      This is just another weird selection in a year of weird selection, the only reason I can think of is that the selectors wanted to show that they still do pick people that most australian cricketers and supporters don’t like, and they didn’t want to pick Maxwell.

      • January 13th 2018 @ 2:38am
        Tom said | January 13th 2018 @ 2:38am | ! Report

        Yeah JLT Cup has nothing to do with it. If White wasn’t haven’t a good BBL then he wouldn’t be getting a look in.

        Although White was very good for the Vics in the two previous JLT Cups, but the domestic limited overs competition is so far away from the international games, it is completely pointless for determining form for international duties.

    • January 12th 2018 @ 9:28am
      Mitch said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      The run accumulation should be done by the batting order before him to set up a total and a hitter to come in and take the game away from the opposition. Aggression is what won us a world cup and saw New zealand to a final.

      • January 12th 2018 @ 9:38am
        jameswm said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        Aggression saw NZ capitulate in the final, too.

        • January 12th 2018 @ 10:45am
          Mitch said | January 12th 2018 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          True Nz are terrible in Australia if you look at the extremely tight group game they had it was Brendan Mccullum (50 of 24)in a very low scoring game was the deciding factor as well with some other good performances.

        • January 12th 2018 @ 6:14pm
          Targa said | January 12th 2018 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

          Nah, everyone remembers McCullum failing but the problem was Ross Taylor getting out when he did and Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi failing. NZ were back in it with Taylor and Eliott batting well, until that happened

    • January 12th 2018 @ 9:30am
      Mitch said | January 12th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      Stoinis has done well in recent times as the lower order stabalisor in the team and has come in under extreme pressure numerous times ( complete collapses in Nz and India tours) to save an innings.

      • January 12th 2018 @ 6:01pm
        Stephen Vagg said | January 12th 2018 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

        Is he as good a bowler as Faulkner in his prime? Haven’t seen enough of him TBH

        • January 13th 2018 @ 2:41am
          Tom said | January 13th 2018 @ 2:41am | ! Report

          Not even close. You’d rely on Faulkner to provide you with 10 overs every match. With Stoinis you’d generally look to have him make up 10 overs combined with a few part timers bowling one or two overs.

          • January 13th 2018 @ 8:37am
            Stephen Vagg said | January 13th 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

            I get the feeling they’re trying to make Stoinis the new Faulkner, and while he’s maybe better with the bat, he’s not as good with the ball so the team feels lopsided.

            maybe it’s Stoinis or Marsh vs Stoinis and Marsh.

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