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How are Australian cricket's best of the rest performing this summer?

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Roar Guru
19th January, 2022
19

For a bit of fun, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit an article in relation to my choice of players who didn’t play for Australia in the Test series they lost to India.

Here’s a look back at how those players are performing one year on.

1. Usman Khawaja (Queensland)
2. Matt Renshaw (Queensland)
3. Ben McDermott (Tasmania)
4. Moises Henriques (captain, New South Wales)
5. Peter Handscomb (Victoria)
6. Jimmy Peirson (wicketkeeper, Queensland)
7. Sean Abbott (New South Wales)
8. Michael Neser (Queensland)
9. Jackson Bird (Tasmania)
10. Scott Boland (Victoria)
11. Mitchell Swepson (Queensland)

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1. Usman Khawaja (left hand batsman)
Khawaja may be 35 years old, but he still managed to make a century in both innings in the fourth Test of the Ashes series that was recently played.

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Granted, he did so batting at number five, but he still showed that he warrants being in the Australian 11 on a regular basis.

He has averaged 65.71 runs per game in eight innings in the Sheffield Shield competition this season.

Usman Khawaja of Australia celebrates after hitting a century during day two of the Fourth Test Match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 06, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

2. Matt Renshaw (left hand batsman, right arm off break)
Renshaw has been reasonably good for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield this season with an average of 39.50, and a highest score of 120 runs not out.

He still deserves a chance to prove himself as he is only 25 years old and he has played 11 Test matches with an average of 33.47.

He should get an opportunity to bat at the top of the order as it could suit him more than batting in the middle order.

He proved this when he scored 50 runs for the Adelaide Strikers in BBL11, due to an injury to the Adelaide Strikers’ usual opener Matt Short.

3. Ben McDermott (right hand batsman)
McDermott has been impressive for Tasmania this season with an average of 38.00 in seven innings.

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He has clearly shown that he warrants being in the conversation to be in the Australian squad this season.

He has even shown that he can play as a wicketkeeper, because he has impressed in BBL11 behind the stumps, as a wicketkeeper, even with Matthew Wade in the team.

McDermott has been a revelation with the bat in BBL11 as he has made two centuries. Hopefully that form translates to the longer form of the game.

Ben McDermott plays the ball

(Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

4. Moises Henriques (right hand batsman, right arm fast medium)
Henriques hasn’t played much of the longer form of the game this season with an average of just 6.50 from two innings.

He has been consistent in BBL11, but he hasn’t done enough to vindicate selection in the current Test team based on his Sheffield Shield form.

He can still prove himself and get back into the Test team, but age is against him as he is turning 35 in February.

5. Peter Handscomb (right hand batsman)
Handscomb has been in good form at Sheffield Shield level with an average of 47.66 in six innings and a highest score of 115 runs.

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He has already played 16 Test matches for Australia with a respectable batting average of 38.91 runs. Along with that he took 28 catches.

He should be in the conversation as far as selection in the Australian Test squad is concerned.

Peter Handscomb

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

6. Jimmy Peirson (right hand batsman/wicketkeeper)
Peirson has been in great form with the bat as he has averaged 47.66 runs per innings in seven innings, with a highest score of 132 runs, which is pretty impressive.

As wicketkeeper he has 14 catches and one stumping in five Sheffield Shield matches.

His batting average in the current Sheffield Shield season vindicates that he would be a valuable asset with the bat should he be selected in the Australian Test team.

7. Michael Neser (right hand batsman, right arm medium fast)
Neser featured in the second Ashes Test and took one wicket in each innings and making 35 runs when batting in the first innings.

He was dropped after that Test match, but he wouldn’t have looked out of place playing the last three Test matches of the Ashes.

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Michael Neser celebrates his first Test wicket.

(Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

8. Sean Abbott (right hand batsman, right arm medium fast)
Abbott has taken 11 wickets in two Sheffield Shield matches at an average of 20.72 runs per wicket.

He has also shown he can be handy with the bat in BBL11.

There’s no doubt that Abbott should be strongly considered to play for Australia at Test level as he has so much talent.

9. Jackson Bird (right hand batsman, right arm medium fast)
Bird is 35. Time flies! His best is probably behind him as he hasn’t featured this Sheffield Shield season due to an Achilles tendon injury.

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Despite that, he has been the leading wicket taker during the previous five Sheffield Shield seasons, having taken 150 wickets.

He has played nine Test matches for Australia and taken 34 wickets, so Australia could do a lot worse than having Bird in the Test team if fully fit and available for selection.

10. Scott Boland (right hand batsman, right arm fast medium)
Boland has taken 15 wickets in two Sheffield Shield matches with an incredible average of 10.80 runs per wicket this season.

There’s no doubt that he should be in the Australian team when fit and available, which is what he proved in the third Test.

He took an incredible six wickets, only conceding seven runs in England’s second innings, ensuring that the Aussies kept the Ashes. Shane Warne said: “Where’s he been?”

Scott Boland of Australia (L) celebrates after dismissing Jonathan Bairstow of England (R) during day three of the Third Test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 28, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

(Photo by Daniel Pockett – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

11. Mitchell Swepson (right hand batsman, right arm leg break)
Swepson has been unavailable to play at Sheffield level due to an injury, but was still selected in the 15-man Ashes squad.

He has represented Australia seven times at T20 level, but should be given the opportunity at Test level as he just needs to be given the chance.

He offers variety to the attack, as he is a right arm leg spin bowler.

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