Let’s Select The Test Side


by J.J. Leahy

The new selection panel and coach should take some bold steps to plot the future

Assuming all are fit, here is my team –

1.     Shane Watson – still needed to open, but should go down to six so that he can contribute with the ball in the longer term

2.     Shaun Marsh – has the technique and temprament to open

3.     Usman Khawaja – good knock in second innings in Johannesburg – could develop to be a very solid first drop

4.     Ricky Ponting – last dig earned him a reprieve for the two Tests against NZ

5.     Michael Clarke

6.     Michael Hussey

7.     Matthew Wade – time for Brad Haddin to hand over to a better keeper

8.     Ben Cutting – Mitchell Johnson needs to sort out his bowling at Sheffield level before being considerable at Test level again

9.     Ryan Harris – Australia’s best bowler when fit

10.  Patrick Cummins – please don’t over use his talent

11.  Nathan Lyon – is there a Grimmet, O’Reilly or Warne out there somewhere?

12.  Peter Siddle


Also considered

David Warner – needs to get consistent Shield runs

Mitchell Starc – will play for Australia

Tim Paine – hope is fit enough to play soon

Mitchell Marsh – not yet

Cameron Boyce – best leggie in the country – needs a bag of Shield wickets


What do other think from the grandstands, grassy knolls, armchairs, sofas and beanbags of the nation?







  1. If Hussey is to play on, why not swap him with Watson? After all, he’s an opener from way back. Don’t mind your call for Marsh as an opener, if he can sort out his injury issues. Would be happy with Hussey and Marsh until someone steps up to succeed Hussey.

    Ponting has earned the right to two more Tests but I wonder if he should consider going out on the high of playing a huge part of Australia’s memorable victory at Newlands. Not sure who I would slot in his place, though.

    I like Cutting, if for no other reason thatn the potential puns we could use (“Cutting out cutting again”) but I think Starc as a tall left-armer would be a great replacement for Johnson, who i think will be lucky to play another Test – unless it’s as a batsman!

  2. Damo Balassone says

    Copeland or Starc

    Oh and don’t forget S. Smith, Hauritz, O’Keefe, Jaques, Hazelwood, Henriques, Christian and B. Casson if he can find form.

    Notice a certain theme?

  3. Watson is a Queenslander – what is hee doing in your selection?

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    Nice work Damo.
    I’d have Hilfenhaus back in the mix. Seems to have regained some mojo this season. Outswing/leg-cut bowlers don’t grow on trees. Don’t even bother playing a spinner unless we have one that is world class. It’s a waste of space. Clarke can send a few down.

  5. Damo,

    How dare you pick a Croweater? (N Lyon).

    Sadly, B Casson retired from all cricket yesterday, aged 28,
    due to a life-threatening medical condition.

  6. That’s really sad news about Casson. Interesting name for his heart condition. It’s called “Tetralogy of Fallot”.

  7. Surprised to see the call this far out. Injuries abound and hopefully some Shield form can be factored in.

  8. relax Smokie, Lyon was born with an Aussie cap in his mouth…November 20, 1987, Young, New South Wales

  9. Damo Balassone says

    You are right Lyon plays for SA (but was born in NSW) so I squeezed him in. You could probably put Steve Smith in at no.8 in the NSW team to replace him (can you believe he played for Aust. at no. 6 last season).

    But the question that has to be asked is if NSW had a full strength side to choose from which fast bowler i.e. Bollinger, Cummins, Copeland or Starc would miss out? Strange because all these guys (when fit) are touted as playing for Australia. And who would open the batting for NSW? Hughes, Wato, Katich, Warner or Jaques (where is he?). Would Haurtiz get a game?

    Confusing times, when you can’t even pick a state XI.

  10. Gents, point taken on Lyon. Now I am less surprised at his rapid promotion!

    The main positive to come out of Watson’s current injury is that it may precipitate
    his much-discussed move down the order to 5 or 6. A brand new opening
    combination will be in place next week, and if they perform, it would allow S Watson
    to drop down the list.

  11. Bad news, then, for MEK Hussey? Or is he now the designated all rounder?

  12. Evan Gulbis

  13. Why is S. Smith being mentioned in dispatches?

    If he gets selected I will seriously become un-fucking-glued.

  14. I heard the other day that there is currently no batsman in Shield cricket averaging over 45 this season. Is that right? Horrible if it is. Ponting must stay.

  15. Way off the mark Dips.


    Warner’s got runs. Cooper’s unbeaten double hundred ( and, I think, 90 odd in the first dig) keeps a healthy average for a while.

  16. Dips,
    Fortunately, that statistic is incorrect.

    The leading run-scorer in Shield cricket thus far is Liam Davis (WA) with 451 @ 56,
    closely followed by his team-mate Adam Voges with 443 @ 63.

    The Vics’ leading scorer is Rob Quiney with 364 @ 40 (although he failed this morning),
    but the batsman leading the Vics averages is Matthew Wade: 278 @ 55.

  17. Correct Crio:
    Warner: 1 innings, 148 runs.

  18. Davis is only a little bloke, but plucky in that traditional WACA opener way…Laird. He has a magnificent fielding arm as shown at the ‘G in the last Shield game.

  19. Sydney Malakellis says

    No room for Dean Jones?

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