The Editor’s Selection
Can anyone come up with the likely team for the First test? Given that Watson and Rogers are likely to open, here is my prediction and perhaps why
Opener Shane Watson: clear he can’t/wont bat anywhere else due to metal fragility and not being loved enough. Has done well enough as an opener so leave him there.
Opener Chris Rogers: Old hand, steady attitude. Makes up for what we lack with the flighty Warner and Hughes combo in the top 3.
3. Ed Cowan. Excellent choice. Steady, accumulator. For the Aussies to win, we need runs. To get a good score, we need a good platform. This may provide it
4. I think Phill Hughes will get this spot, but I prefer Clarke because of the Left/Right handed possibilities provided by the above
5. Michael Clarke
6. Dave Warner. This could be a middle order launch pad for a major assault. He only needs to face 50 balls to make 50-100 runs. I like the fact he doesn’t have to accumulate runs to be effective here.
7. Brad Hadden. A good combo with Warner. There are runs there or both could steady the ship.
Bowlers in no order.
James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc seem to be starters, which makes it difficult to pick the next quick. I really like Jackson Bird, but I think Peter Siddle will get the nod based on grunt, reward for effort, batting and because he’s a Victorian.
Spinner. I think Nathan Lyon has done the job despite not spinning the ball and fits in well. A shame Steve Smith cant bowl any better.
Ashton Agar, Ryan Harris, Usman Khawaja, James Faulkner
Mitchell Johnson, . Not even on the plane
The Chairman’s Selection
A very good question.
As you say Watson and Rogers will open.
Hughes and Warner should be banned from the team for being either unable to bat high in the order or for being a knob. Take your pick.
3. Ed Cowan, apart from being a good bloke, is the steady hand needed for English conditions.
4. Clarke should man up and bat at four. Being the best batsman in the team and captain he needs to step up and take responsibility. Leadership Michael.
5. As I have sent Hughes and Warner home, I’m putting Usman Khawaja here. A good batsman with sound technique. A chance to get his feet in test cricket at five.
6. Brad Haddin. A little risky, but I’m going with the double all-rounder combo at six and seven.
7. James Faulkner. The bowling all-rounder. A very effective left arm opener or first change plus he can bat.
8. James Pattinson. In form and has proven himself. Has the ability to provide some timely advice to the opposition so as to get under the smug English cricketers skin. Can hold up an end reasonably well if needed to.
9. Ryan Harris. I’m a big fan of Harris and is ideally suited to bowl in English conditions. Has a superb outswinger if his body can last longer than an over.
10. Mitchell Starc. Bowling very well at the moment. Trott has been dismissed often by lefthanders so getting him out early will help Australia’s cause.
11. Nathan Lyon. Seems to be improving with each match and is the current caretaker of the team song.
Siddle is unlucky not to get a start as apart from being a Victorian had a very good summer. In my mind he isn’t ideally suited to English conditions as he is more a skidder when he bowls so won’t get any assistance off the wicket. However Siddle could easily replace Starc or Faulkner in the second test depending upon performance. Bird bowled very well against Worcestershire and has bowled well in his two tests taking 11 wickets at 16.18 so he is also a legitimate contender for the second test.
It is a pity Smith can’t bowl better as he is a good batsman and outstanding fielder. Would be a very handy lower order batsman if he could turn the ball when bowling.
Agar may not play a test this tour, but I think he will develop quickly into Australia’s first choice spinner.