Almanac Cricket: Pick your Ashes Squad – one last chance


Back in February, Almanac editor Ian Hauser put out a challenge to cricket fans to pick their Ashes squad. With just a week to go now until the First Test gets underway, here’s your last chance to enter this Almanac competition. Previous entrants may update their squads if they wish. Choose a squad of 17; Cricket Australia may name only 16. We’ll work out our winner as the person closest to the CA squad. So make sure that the player you list 17th is really your 17th man. Submissions must be received no later than midnight on Saturday 27th July. Good luck.


It’s all of six months before the First Test in this year’s Ashes series starts in Birmingham in August. Our touring squad won’t be selected for some time yet with a fair slab of the Shield season still to play. Late form surges as well as performances on the upcoming ODI and T20 tour to India will play their part in sorting out the few places seemingly up for grabs.


Several ‘experts’ have already named their selections with the odd surprise here and there. Here are some of those squads:

Mike Hussey’s Team                                    Kerry O’Keefe’s Team                        Brendon Julian’s Team

David Warner                                                David Warner                                      David Warner
Joe Burns                                                       Joe Burns                                              Joe Burns
Usman Khawaja                                            Usman Khawaja                                  Marnus Labuschagne
Steve Smith                                                    Steve Smith                                          Steve Smith
Travis Head                                                    Travis Head                                         Travis Head
Kurtis Patterson                                            Kurtis Patterson                                  Kurtis Patterson
Tim Paine (C)                                                Marcus Stoinis                                     Tim Paine (C)
Pat Cummins                                                 Marnus Labuschagne                          Pat Cummins
Mitchell Starc                                                Mitchell Marsh                                     Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood                                            Tim Paine                                              Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon                                                  Peter Handscomb                                Jhye Richardson
Jhye Richardson                                           Mitchell Starc                                        Mitchell Starc
Marcus Stoinis                                               Pat Cummins                                        Dan Worrall
Marnus Labuschagne                                    Jhye Richardson                                  Matthew Wade
Chris Tremain                                                Josh Hazlewood                                   Marcus Stoinis
Jon Holland                                                    Nathan Lyon                                         Matthew Renshaw
Alex Carey                                                       Dan Worrall/Michael Neser              Lloyd Pope


Ian Healy’s Team                                         Robert Craddock’s team                      Ben Horne’s Team

Joe Burns                                                         David Warner                                      Steve Smith
David Warner                                                  Joe Burns                                             David Warner
Usman Khawaja                                              Marcus Harris                                     Usman Khawaja
Steve Smith                                                      Usman Khawaja                                  Travis Head
Travis Head                                                      Steve Smith                                          Kurtis Patterson
Marcus Stoinis                                                 Travis Head                                         Joe Burns
Kurtis Patterson                                              Kurtis Patterson                                  Marcus Harris
Marnus Labuschagne                                     Marnus Labuschagne                         Marnus Labuschagne
Pat Cummins                                                   Marcus Stoinis                                     Tim Paine (C)
Mitchell Starc                                                  Tim Paine (C)                                       Matthew Wade
Josh Hazlewood                                              Alex Carey                                             Nathan Lyon
Chris Tremain                                                  Nathan Lyon                                        Mitchell Starc
Jhye Richardson                                              Mitchell Starc                                       Josh Hazlewood
Nathan Lyon                                                     Josh Hazlewood                                  Pat Cummins
Michael Neser                                                  Pat Cummins                                        Jhye Richardson
Tim Paine (C)                                                   Jhye Richardson                                  Peter Siddle
Alex Carey                                                         Dan Worrall                                          James Pattinson


Based on those squads, the following can pack their bags: Warner, Burns, Smith, Head, Patterson, Paine, Starc, Lyon, Hazlewood, Cummins, Richardson, Labuschagne, Khwaja and Stoinis. That’s 14 out of 17 – 6 batsmen, 2 allrounders, a spinner, a keeper and 4 quicks. The likely line-up for the First Test would be Warner, Burns, Khwaja, Smith, Head, Patterson, Payne, Cummins, Starc, Heazlewood and Lyon.


So what else do you need? Perhaps another quick, another keeper and another spinner. The above lists throw up Worrall, Carey, and Holland or Pope respectively.


How about two of Wade, Handscomb or Carey as extra batsmen/second keeper? Maybe two of Worrall, Tremain or Neser as the extra bowler(s), Mitch Marsh as an extra allrounder, and John Holland or Alex Pope as the extra spinner? What about Marcus Harris?


Being the fearless armchair selector that I am, and allowing for my unashamed Queensland bias, here’s my squad in batting order for the First Test plus five additional players to complete the 17-man squad:

Joe Burns
Marcus Harris
Usman Khwaja
Steve Smith
Travis Head
Kurtis Patterson
Tim Paine (C)
Pat Cummins
Mitchell Starc
Josh Hazlewood
Nathan Lyon

Matthew Renshaw
Marcus Labuschagne
Marcus Stoinis
Alex Carey
Michael Neser
Jon Holland


Draw your own conclusions about the obvious omission. I’ve also got an eye to the future, hence no Wade or Marsh. Tremain and Worrall can rightfully feel hard done by. It’s not yet the time for Pope or Pucovski – let them get at least another full season of Shield cricket under their belts.


Finally, this is the squad I fear the selectors will choose: Warner, Burns, Khawaja, Smith, Head, Patterson, Paine, Cummins, Starc, Heazlewood and Lyon plus Stoinis, Labuschagne, M Marsh, Wade and Tremain/Worrall.


So I call on interested Almanackers to submit your squads by the end of February; we’ll keep a record of your selections, then we can compare them to the final CA squad.  We might even be able to talk our Great (Almanac) Leader to provide a prize to the person whose list comes closest to the CA list.


Go to it!


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  1. Peter Flynn says

    A team without Starc is the day forward.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    What I think it will be-

    J Richardson

    What I’d like to see-

    Handscomb (c)

    M Short
    Fawad Ahmed


  3. My squad would look something like:



    This is noting that Bancroft, Zampa, SMarsh, Maxwell, and Ferguson will all be in the country playing county cricket. Why have a squad of 17 when you can effectively have a squad of 22?

  4. Luke, cheeky and even more State-biased than me – now that’s saying something.

    Dave, you’re correct. Any number of players who miss the Ashes squad are likely to be playing county cricket, eg Renshaw, Bancroft etc, so we will have an extended selection available if form/injury intervenes.

    Peter, seemingly Starc’s 10-wicket haul this week, albeit against modest opposition, wasn’t enough to sway you?

  5. Seems like Burns & Patterson have booked their spots on the back of cashing in against a 2nd rate Sri Lankan attack.

    I feel for Finch, Maxwell, Wade and even S.Marsh. They would have all scored runs against SL too. Finch as a no.5 or no. 6. Say what you will about S.Marsh, but he does score test centuries – and has a solid record overseas. I’m thinking Wade as a specialist batsman wouldn’t have been a bad option. The keeping thing has got in the way for him.

  6. The side I think it will be
    1 Warner
    2 Burns
    3 Khawaja
    4 Smith
    5 Head
    6 Patterson
    7 Paine
    8 Cummins
    9 Starc
    10 Lyon
    11 Hazelwood
    12 J Richardson
    13 M Harris
    14 A Carey
    15 M Labuschange
    16 M Stoinis
    17 D Worrall/J Pattinson who ever finishes the season the best
    My 17 Out Labuschange,Stoinis In Maxwell,Pucovski and Luke Reynolds for ingenuity

  7. No Dean Jones Luke?

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Mickey, DM Jones would be the coach.

  9. Hey chaps, this is all boring stuff. Why not pick an ashes side from our very own special Almanac comments team. Here’s a starter – Rulebook and Swish to open the bowling. Go for it fellows.

  10. Out Labushagne. Think selectors will go for another seamer.So, based on previous selection shocks i can see Moses Henriques getting an Ashes call up.. He got 99 last dig and his form is Ok i think. Stoinis renainss a white ball player at present Also tipping Pucowwski to tour.. He may not play but a kid called Slater in 1989 wasn’t expected to play dither …Its time to be bold.

  11. Ian Hauser says

    Might have to revise that deadline for submissions to 6.00pm tonight, Friday 26th July! The official squad is named later tonight.

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