Australia have enjoyed a reasonably strong start to the Cricket World Cup, picking up four wins so far against just the one loss – but there are big issues bubbling under the surface.
Here is my ideal team for the Sri Lanka series.
For my team, I would be starting to look ahead to the team best suited to English conditions for the Ashes in 2019. That is why I would be including Matthew Renshaw into my squad. Renshaw has a knack of losing form just when he is on the verge of a test recall.
However, he had a smashing start to 2018 with the bat and had a fine season in England averaging 51.30 in just six matches. He scored three centuries and a fifty and at the tender age of 22, Renshaw has the potential to make his name in the Australian line-up for many years.
Joe Burns was spectacularly dumped after being brought in for that fourth test in South Africa. He seems to be more ignored by selectors then Glenn Maxwell, as Burns seems to never get talked about. Ever. Whilst he had a very poor 2015/16 season, Burns has scored 724 and 725 runs in the next two shield seasons, scoring two centuries each season and averaging 40 and 55 respectively.
Whilst Renshaw has flopped this season so far, Burns has flourished with 472 runs at 47.
Matthew Wade is the obvious addition, as Ricky Ponting has said. He has had a solid shield season with the bat last year and has started of this season in good form, having pillaged 571 runs from the shield attack at 63.
By moving Shaun Marsh down to 5, statistically speaking, he should double his average from around 20 to 40. I believe Usman at 4 is key to stopping a huge collapse happening by having the score at 2 fa with Uzzie in rather than 3 or 4 fa with out of form batsmen. The bowling quartet stays the same, as they have proven that they are able to be pretty good as a group, though Hazlewood and Starc are struggling of recent times.
I would consider giving Pat Cummins a go with the new ball to see what he can do with it, as he has proven he can work wonders with the older ball. The experience of Nathan Lyon and Tim Paine is crucial to keep the side from wandering to far astray.
Marcus Harris and Travis Head are the only two batsmen to warrant a stay in the team from the more inexperienced squad. Harris does need to find more consistent form, but has shown that he is in control until his dismissal, with some hard work he can stay in for long periods.
The same is for Head, he has shown some pretty solid form, but he just needs to go on and get a big score from his starts. He can also send down some overs if the need be.
1. Marcus Harris
2. Matthew Renshaw
3. Joe Burns
4. Usman Khawaja
5. Shaun Marsh
6. Travis Head
7. Tim Paine
8. Pat Cummins
9. Mitchell Starc
10. Nathan Lyon
11. Josh Hazlewood
12. Peter Siddle
13. Aaron Finch
14. Matthew Wade