In with the old, out with the new…

Australian cricket selectors have once again confused the Australian cricketing public with an astonishing announcement of the 2011 World Cup squad. There has been backlash on talk back radio, with cricket fans all over Australia, unable to understand the mindset of such selections. It seems, that once again, if you’re not in the group of players liked by the national selectors, then you’re a longshot to make the squad, regardless of form.

We have seen many examples of this over the years, including Dean Jones in the early 90s, making hundred after hundred for Victoria (including a triple century), and now with Brad Hodge doing the same, and these players are unable to make the team, when clearly they are in the top echelon of, not just Australian cricketers, but world cricketers.

Xavier Doherty finds himself extremely unlucky, missing out of a place in the top 15 players, when he has just played a One Day International (ODI) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) against England. So he can make the current team, but cannot make the best 15 players in the country? Instead he is replaced by test discard, Nathan Hauritz, who hasn’t played for Australia since his poor performances in India in October last year and then against Sri Lanka in November. Oddly enough, the World Cup is to be staged on the subcontinent this year! When you’re playing in that area of the world, it is a well-known fact that you need a left arm spinner. Instead, selectors have gone with a guy who averaged 65 in the Indian test series, 100 in the Indian ODI series, and didn’t take a wicket in the Sri Lankan series! Hauritz’s recent injury, dislocating his shoulder in his comeback game, has quite possibly given Doherty another chance.

Another player originally overlooked, is Shaun Marsh. An amazing, left-handed opening batsman for Western Australia, has been is fine form this season. Yet, he has only been given a chance to play, when Michael Hussey tore his hamstring off the bone. Marsh made the most of his first opportunity, smashing 110 against England in game 2 of the 7 match ODI series. But if Hussey is fit for the World Cup, where does this leave Marsh?

A third injury in the Hobart ODI for Australia was to South Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait. Tait’s injury prone career continues to hamper him, this time straining his groin whilst bowling. Time and time again, Tait has shown that his body cannot handle anything more than Twenty 20 cricket. And with every injury, it creates an opportunity. So perhaps Peter Siddle will be the man to replace Tait. The only Australian bowler in the Ashes to show any sort of mental strength, fight, grit and determination. Is there something I’m missing? With Brett Lee in, it just proves that they’re going for experience over youth. Australia will never improve if it continues to have this attitude.

Game 3 of the ODI series against England has 2 players who are not named in the 15 man squad for the World Cup. This issue would never occur if it wasn’t for the ICC regulations of having to name, firstly, a 30 man squad late last year, and now, a 15 man squad , 5 weeks before the tournament begins! What is the need for a squad? Obviously injuries and form are going to change the team from game to game. It is a rare thing nowadays to see an unchanged lineup from one game to the next.

And then we have Aaron Finch. This man has been in good form for both Victoria and Australia, yet, the selectors hands are tied now, because they didn’t even pick him in the 30 man squad, so they couldn’t pick him in the 15! I don’t know how he could not have made the top 30 players in Australia! But, as we have come to realise, we should not be surprised by any selections with the Australian selectors.

Finally, there’s Brad Hodge. One of the best batsman in the world. He has proven, time and time again, that he can consistently perform in state cricket, yet once again, he has been overlooked. In every other selection for this squad, age and experience has been the winning criteria, but with Hodge, it seems as though there is a hidden reason for his omission. Something that nobody is prepared to talk about. There have been rumours of physical altercations between Hodge and Ponting, but probably only the selectors know the real reason for what is probably the biggest mistake in all of the selections. Surely Hodge is better than Ponting, Clarke and Hussey in the last year?

For Australia to improve, we must rebuild from the bottom. Start again and go through a few years of losing. Now is the perfect time, with Test series against the lower ranked nations coming up after the World Cup. It will be pointless playing the likes of Ponting, Hussey, Lee, Haddin and Clarke in these series. The experience of chosing young players will be invaluable. Khawaja, Hughes, Finch, White, Ferguson, Marsh and Pattison, just to name a few.

It really is time for something to be done, as far as the selection panel goes, in Australian cricket. Andrew Hilditch has made some terrible errors and needs to be sacked! His selections have killed off any chance of Australia winning the world cup. I’m sure we’ll make the quarter finals, and perhaps be lucky with a win or 2 to make the Semi or even the Final. But it would be a miracle if Australia were to go all the way and win their 4th World Cup in a row. A couple of weeks ago I would’ve said we were a chance, but now, for myself, and millions of other Australians, the dream is over. Yes, I have given up before the tournament has even begun, but I think my thoughts are justified. Politics in cricket are not just in India! I dream of one day seeing cricket teams where the best XI are playing against the best XI, but I fear that this will never happen, because there is too much greed in the world.

JP

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11 responses to “In with the old, out with the new…

  1. Smith is Hilditch’s love child. How can he be playing in all forms of the game yet have such poor technique?

  2. Agree with most but don’t agree to include Siddle bowled well on the tests bit got smashed in a t20 against a very young nsw side the other night. Dirk nannes is probably the best one day bowler in the country. Ponting to retire after world cup Clarke to probs do same and concentrate on tests.

  3. Why would clarke retire? … He’s not old at all mate … I agree with the article but it’s a bit tough on some good players like haddin, lee, hussy and clarke. Why wouldn’t we play them? … The writer wants to kick out all the experienced players and leave only inexperienced ones and yet he wants to win to world cup … Experience is invaluable. Those players are needed.

  4. Hilditch needs to be sacked. Hodge’s stats scream for selection. And how long before Michael Clarke actually has to start putting some runs on the board?? i’m not against him, i know in-form he’s a great batsman but he has had a shocker summer and is looking a mess at the moment.

  5. great sharing i really like this article and i hope that everyone will like this to read who love cricket,

  6. Why did Clarke retire from t20 then if he’s so “young” will fuck off the one dayers after world cup to try and make a run in tests.

  7. Thats wrong … Look up how old he is he’s not old at all. Because alot of players don’t play t20 because it’s shit cricket lol like real shit cricket.

    He’s only thirty years old … Reallll old hey. He could play for another six years plus. Just like ponting. And think of how old warne retired …

  8. Clarke retired from Twenty/20 because he wasn’t very succesful in that form of the game. And it seems to have had an ill-effect on his ODI & Test career.

  9. Clarke should step down from one day cricket and concentrate on Test only. Shaun Marsh and Brad Hodge should have been selected ahead of Steven Smith and Michael clarke. Doherty definitely deserved a chance in place of Hauritz.

  10. Cool related information! I have been browsing for some thing such as this for some time these days. Thank you!

  11. Interesting ideas. The test team clearly should have players that can play straight. So Hughes and Smith out. The one day side needs stability. A team takes a while to gel. Finally, Cam White will prove why he is the next Australian test captain by running the show in 20/20.

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