Before the Tim Paine scandal broke, there were two big question marks over the national team: who would open with David Warner and who would bat at five?
Queensland captain Usman Khawaja has taken a swipe at Tasmania’s stonewalling in their docile Sheffield Shield draw.
Khawaja and Tasmania halted the game 30 minutes before tea on Sunday’s last day in Adelaide.
Khawaja decared the Bulls’ first innings at 5-355 – 145 runs in arrears of Tasmania’s first dig of 6(dec)-500.
He expected the Tigers, who started Sunday 204 runs ahead, to accelerate their second innings and set a target.
Instead, Tasmania’s nightwatchman Lawrence Neil-Smith crawled to one run from his first 50 deliveries – the slowest scoring rate in Shield cricket in 25 years of any batsman to have faced a half-century of balls.
South Australia’s Tim May didn’t score from 52 balls in the domestic competition’s final in 1995/96 but his second innings rearguard helped the Redbacks secure a draw which, in turn, delivered SA the Shield.
Neil-Smith’s teammate Charlie Wakim on Sunday scored just one run from his initial 47 balls – he was dismissed for three from 61 balls.
Khawaja says he’s “a little bit disappointed” with the approach of Tasmania, who were 3-196 from 75 overs when the game stopped.
“We declared hoping they’d set us a chase, and then try to chase it,” Khawaja said.
“It was always going to be hard to get lots of wickets on that (pitch) so it had to be a sporting declaration and get them to set us a total and us try to chase it down.
“That was the only way there was going to be any result.
“But they obviously didn’t want to play that way.”
Khawaja said Tasmania batted for too long in their first innings which spanned 157 overs until tea on day two.
“They batted for a session too long … they could have pushed the game more on day two expecting them to declare around lunch, that’s when you normally declare,” he said.
“But that was just their game plan. I guess they were happy to get first innings (bonus) points and that’s what it was.”
Tasmanian opener Tim Ward, who followed his first-innings 144 with 81 in his second knock, confirmed his side’s mindset entering Sunday.
“We knew it was going to be tough to take 10 wickets and the decision was made just to go out there and keep batting and make sure we didn’t lose this one,” Ward said.