Australia’s Best Team of 2015/16: Discuss

While it’s been great to read Dips O’Donnell’s thoughts on the best Geelong team of 2016 , David Wilson’s top Magpie lineup of 2016 , the man with the permanent premiership grin, Rick Kane, with his Hawthorn team for 2016 and Joe Moore’s hopeful Swan’s preview , it IS cricket season.

The start to the Summer is the highlight by far. The Kiwis, fellow World Cup finalists, take on a rebuilding Australian team in a three match series that concludes with the historic first ever day-night Test match at the Adelaide Oval. The entree is by far the highlight, the West Indies Test series that follows over the traditional Christmas holiday period promises to disappoint. Followed by an ODI and T20 series against India. Again.

Who will play for Australia in these three formats?

My probable Test team:

David Warner
Cameron Bancroft
Steve Smith
Joe Burns
Adam Voges
Mitchell Marsh
Peter Nevill
Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Starc
Peter Siddle
Nathan Lyon

Think this will be very close to the team selected, though performances in the PM’s XI game and Round 1 of the Sheffield Shield could change things. Bancroft has to play. Organised, patient player who has proven he can bat for very long periods of time. Yet his knock of 176 in a Matador Cup game for WA proves he can get a move on. At 22 years of age is well worth the punt. Really hope Smith stays at 3, a double century just a few Tests ago in that position should help convince him to stay in that pivotal role. Burns showed enough in two Tests last Summer to get a run. But don’t see him as a Test opener (his Queensland batting position) or a 3. A decent run at 4 is in order. Voges just scrapes in but given he was named vice-captain for the cancelled Bangladesh tour, he’s sure to play. Needs runs though. M.Marsh deserves an extended run as Australia searches for it’s next all-rounder. Nevill is very capable but will have to keep performing well to keep out a very in-form Matthew Wade. After their Ashes efforts, the bowlers pick themselves, just ahead of Josh Hazelwood and James Pattinson. Lots of competition for fast bowling places.
Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb (who I rate very highly), James Faulkner, Wade, Shaun Marsh, Chris Lynn, Ashton Agar, Steven O’Keefe and Jason Behrendorff are on the periphery. Form will count for plenty.

Probable ODI team:

David Warner
Aaron Finch
Steve Smith
George Bailey
Glenn Maxwell
Matthew Wade
Mitchell Marsh
James Faulkner
Ashton Agar/James Pattinson
Mitchell Starc
Josh Hazelwood

Of the batsmen, Finch under most pressure from Joe Burns. Agar impressed in the UK and deserves a go when conditions suits. Our massive depth of fast bowlers will test the Indians in Australian conditions.

Probable T20 Australian team:

Could be anyone. Players will be rested, new players tried. We won’t remember the next day anyway.

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Good stuff, Luke. And a good analysis.

    I am not so sure about Bancroft…my pick for Warner’s partner would be Ed Cowan, and let Bancroft try to accumulate mountains of runs in the Shield. If they pick S Marsh, I will spew up.

    I will be surprised if Smith bats at 3, as he has made plenty of noises that he will drop down to 4. Which opens up a spot at 3. Boy, didn’t Usman look ordinary against M Johnson yesterday – no feet movement whatsoever.

    I have not made up my mind about M Marsh…unsure if he is good enough to bat at 6. Is he the new Watto?

    I like the bowling line-up, but would love to see a leggie sooner rather than later. I reckon this may be M Johnson’s last hurrah, by the way.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Luke I reckon you are pretty close to the mark personally I would like Smith at 4 and while I no it won’t happen I would love,Callum Ferguson at 3 ( although I am a Usman fan) and agree,Bancroft must be given a crack and I agree that will probably be the 1st test bowling attack

  3. I am struggling to care. Five or six Tests against the Kiwis would have got me in. But the season is over before Boxing Day (Windies WTF?) Not interested unless I can get a price from CCairns.
    Cricket has jumped the shark at so many levels.
    November golf tournaments then January tennis for me. At least its a real competition.
    Cricket on the radio when I’m in the garden – its a comfort thing – but I won’t waste any time sitting down to watch – let alone pay to attend at the shameful WACA dump. World’s best pitch with the world’s worst facilities for spectators.

  4. Love it L Reynolds.
    It’s cricket season.
    Of course it is.

    You’ve turned on a switch in my head.
    Very much looking forward to these games. Even the Windies. Happy to have struggling teams tour. Isn’t that the path to their improvement? Would love to see Ireland play.

    Does anyone know why didn’t Joe Burns tour West Indies or England with Australia?

    Smokie -that there are selection forces at work beyond our comprehension can be the only explanation for S Marsh’s continued inclusion. Given that, he’ll probably be in the side by Melbourne, look superb for about 26 in the first innings.
    PB – cricket governance is evidently woeful. It’s a curious thing to me, how this open secret is allowed to roll on.
    Does any other sport govern three different forms of a game and call them all by the same name?
    Maybe the Test arm of cricket can be likened to the Grand Tours of cycling. We suspect the whole thing is dodgy but the scenery is lovely, the strategy interesting, and we’ll be back again next time.
    One dayers and T20 would be the velodrome cycling.
    Thanks Luke.

  5. …And on selection, given that Victoria won the Shield, and that Victoria rattled along in that one-day competition in Sydney just now, couldn’t we find room for a few more Vics in the Australian side(s)?

  6. Dave Brown says

    Can’t fault your selection Luke, well done (although if Siddle is not getting picked for Victoria). Hopefully the selectors are over their S Marsh fetishism. Bring on the day night test.

  7. Very perceptive analysis Luke, it’s always hard to pick these sides without melding who you’d like to play and who you know are the selectors’ pets.

    I would like to think George Bailey has been surpassed in the ODI format by now.

  8. Burns hasnt done enough for mine Khawaja to replace him and be given a decent oppurtunity ie Minimum 3 tests

  9. PS JD Bailey was Aussies best one day batsman in England by a long way

  10. Gabba Day 1 is a classic. But Nov 5 makes it impossible this year.

    On selection, I am not a M. Starc fan in long-form. And I don’t like him in the same team as Johnson.

    Very awkward time for Australian cricket. Take out Rogers, Clarke, Haddin, and problems with attack balance – compare with Kiwi team which looks strong and balanced.

  11. Looks about right to me. Is there any chance Maxwell can come into test team at some stage?

    Agree with JTH re Starc and Johnson – just doesn’t seem to work at test level. We seem to leak runs quickly when these two are bowling in tandem.

    Looking forward to Siddle taking his 200th.

  12. God onya Luke. My first test XI would be similarr except for Burns opening in place of Bancroftt, then Khawaja batting three . Good to see S Marsh not in the starting X!. He has played a few good knocks, but far to often out in single figure, especially 0!. Seriously i don’t consider worthy of a test berth. Voges by the recent appointment of being the VC for the aborted Bangladesh tour should play the first part of the summer; at least. if he fails to measure up maybe Bancroft opening, Burns down the order or possibly Quiney or Maddison.

    Re the bowling to an extent i can concur with JTH re the difficulties of playing Johnson and Starc together. True they leak runs, but both are wicket takers. Potentially Starc is our best bowler, and with Johnson talking retirement i’m unsure how long we can utilise the pairing. While they’re fit and playing let’s pair them. Like Smokie i won’t be shocked if this summer is the last hurrah for Mitch.

    Maxwell, no can’t see him being a test regular right now. his shot selection, leading to his recent dropping from the state side remains his achilles heel. When it comes off he is damn good, when it doesn’t ,hhhhmmm.


  13. What Australia seems to lack is a player with a huge beard Moeen Ali or Hashim Amla or WG Grace for that matter. I am not talking about blokes who don’t shave for a couple of days …but a full Ned Kelly type beard.

  14. DBalassone says

    Bring back Ray Bright!

  15. Dave Brown says

    Perhaps Kane Richardson could grow back his beard, Mulcaster. In good form.

  16. yeah, Kane Richardson in his “Duck Dynasty” phase would go well.

  17. Well what do we, do we, make anything of the performance of the three batting contenders who turned out for the PM’s XI? Khawaja, Bancroft and Burns managed 6 between them; Burns scoring 5. They can only improve.


  18. “We’ll all be rooned “said Hanrahan Ïf rain don’t come this week”.
    Ïmagine If…” said Mulcaster .chewing a piece of bark “The All Blacks win the World Cup and it don’t rain.”
    “We’ll all be rooned” said Hanrahan

    “But what about?” chips in the handicapper Ït don’t rain and the Kiwis win the Brisbane test”

    (Hanranhan goes into a complete melt down …unable to speak)
    Öh Jayzaus …” pipes in Polythene Pam “Hanrahan thinks we’ll all be rooned ..if it doesn’t rain, we don’t win the Webb Ellis and we don’t win the first test”

    It could be a long hard and brutal summer.

  19. Luke Reynolds says

    Very interesting reading all the opinions on the Australian team. Burns and Khawaja have done well this weekend. The 1st round of Sheffield Shield cricket will be fascinating, and maybe more telling than a two day tour game. Maybe.

    Smokie- Cowan certainly in form. Wouldn’t be unhappy if he got selected but would be surprised if it happened.

    Rulebook- a big Summer from C.Ferguson at Shield level could see him in. Good player.

    Peter B- bring on Burswood

    ER- I will be there for at least a day of the Windies Test. We need to play other teams than England, India & Sth Africa. But wouldn’t a Boxing Day against NZ with their current line up have been superb…. And always keen for more Vics in the national side. Think Handscomb can be our first long term Test batsman since DM Jones.

    Dave- can’t wait for the D/N Test. Trying to figure out a way to get over there for a day.

    JD- selectors pets very much taken into account. A couple have been weeded out, a couple to go. But there will always be selectors favourites. For mine Bailey still has a bit to offer in the early stages of Smith’s captaincy. Probably his last Summer in the ODI team.

    Raj- Khawaja a better one day than first class player? Would love to see him do well.

    JTH- Reckon both Starc and Johnson will play, how much left in the tank for Johnson? And if he gets to 300 wickets, what else does he have to achieve? Starc still looking for his Harris like Johnson had. Backing him in.
    Damian- probably against the opinion of most, I think Maxwell can and will do well at Test level. Not sure when that chance will come though.

    Glen- very much considered Burns as opener, and maybe he could be given his good record for Queensland in that role. He reminds me a bit of Brad Hodge the way he plays, maybe slightly vunerable outside off at the very highest level. Just a feeling from my viewings of him.

    Mulcaster- if not a beard, at least some decent mo’s. Warner tries but really it’s not up to scratch. Where is the next Boonie, Rod Marsh, MG Hughes or even AIC Dodemaide circa 1988 going to arrive? The Blackcaps will be hard to beat. As for the All Blacks…

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