The ideal touring party for India

Australia’s tour to India following the Australian summer will be incredibly important, not just for the opportunity to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, but as a pre-cursor for the back-to-back Ashes series.

People are looking for a Nathan Lyon replacement, but of the leading Shield wicket-takers this season, incredibly the top 21 are pacemen. There are a couple of surprises in my squad, but with no Hussey or Ponting, it’s time for the youngsters to stand up. Oh, and you’ll notice – I hate giving out new Baggy Greens easily.

Here’s my ideal Indian touring party:

1. Clarke – No-brainer. Our reliance on him is unfortunately massive. We need him to have a big series to bring the Ashes back to Australia.

2. Warner – Iwas surprised to see that Warner averages over 45 in test cricket now. Only passed fifty once against the strong South African attack, so it will be interesting to see how he goes against the very best. He’s locked himself in for England though with regular good scores against Sri Lanka.

3. Cowan – Think he deserves a start in the first test as he can be very resilient and the slower pitches will suit him. If he fails, then there will be Watson/Quiney to replace him at the top of the order.

4. Hughes – Should Cowan lose his spot, Hughes needs to stay at number three.

5. Khawaja – He’s been thrown all around the Australian order, so I’d like to see him settle into number six for a while. Ricky Ponting started there, and so did Michael Clarke. So ease him into it is what I’m saying.

6. Ferguson – His Sheffield Shield form has been really good, and he has played for Australia plenty of times before. It’s between him and Khawaja for Hussey’s spot for me.

7. Wade – He’s number one for a reason. Didn’t dominate South Africa or Sri Lanka but showed enough.

8. Watson – Obviously if he’s fit he goes.

9. Siddle – He’s the first picked bowler these days, which isn’t a bad thing. He gives his all and has become very consistent. Made his test debut in India, but was injured during the last tour.  

10. Johnson – The Aussie side looks more balanced with Johnson in the team. Last time in India he took eight wickets in two tests, meaning he has the experience that none of the others have.

11. Starc – He’s a genuine wicket-taker, who in England, should get a decent amount of swing. Needs to find some consistency though because when he’s off, he’s very expensive. Like Johnson, a spell by spell bowler.

12. Lyon – Despite what people say, he is improving. Had a lot of success in Sri Lanka so might enjoy Indian conditions too.

13. Beer – Beer just edges out Hauritz here for me. He played in the West Indies and is a terrific containment bowler more than a strike bowler. His Shield form has been solid without being world-beating , but has the second most wickets by a spinner this year.

14. Bird – A great debut series against Sri Lanka, and he has to be there in England. Great consistency and does get the ball to move.

15. Quiney – He deserves another shot, and was unfairly batted out of position after South Africa. Plus, he’s played in India before and is a handy part timer and good fielder.

—– (On Stand-By) —–

(16. Hartley) – It’s time for the pint-sized gloveman from Queensland to get a shot, at least the chance to go on tour. He’s rated the best wicket keeper in Australia by his peers and has seven first class centuries, which is six more than Tim Paine can boast. Who could forget his Man of the Match performance in the Shield final last year?

(17. Harris) – I really want to see this guy get fit. Him and Siddle would be first picked, especially in India where work-horses are needed.

(18. Pattinson) – Best to save him for England. Must get  him right.



Ben Hilfenhaus, Patrick Cummins, Andrew McDonald


So, here’s the probable 1st Test team:

1. Warner

2. Cowan

3. Hughes

4. Watson / Ferguson

5. Clarke

6. Khawaja

7. Wade

8. Johnson

9. Siddle

10. Bird / Beer

11. Lyon


If you’re interested, here’s Australia’s last Indian tour squad (Oct 2010): 

Watson, Ponting, Paine, North, Katich, Hussey, Hilfenhaus, Hauritz, Johnson, Clarke, Bollinger, George, S.Smith (didn’t play), Hughes (didn’t play), Hazlewood (withdrew)

And the dates for the four-test series:

1st Test (Delhi): Feb 22-26
2nd Test (Mohali): Mar 2-6
3rd Test (Hyderabad): Mar 14-18
4th Test (Chennai): Mar 22-26 

Did I get it pretty right? Or way off?

About Schonafinger

A self-confessed SuperCoach addict and blogger on Follow me at @supercoach_hq


  1. Schon,
    I’m with you re J Pattinson: on a hiding to nothing taking him over there to bowl on those wickets given his fragility at present.
    I am backing Wade for now (he batted well in Sydney today) but his glove-work is a real work in progress. India will be the making or breaking of him.
    I’m also prepared to stick with Watson, but it looks increasingly like he is prepared to live or die on his batting alone. He needs big runs: India will suit his front-foot style. Going forward, is Watson in the best 6 bats in the country? Time will tell.
    India is going through a transition at present, sothe teams are evenly matched. but it would be nice to see Virat Kholi eat some humble pie!

  2. John Butler says

    If his keeping up to the stumps doesn’t improve dramatically, Wade will need to score more runs than Gilchrist to justify his position. Particularly in India.

    Given the way Herath has bewildered him, Watson will struggle to score anything starting his innings against spin.

    If we presume slow, turning wickets (and I’d bet plenty on that), this will be a very difficult tour.

  3. No spot for D Hussey? I’m in two minds about him. Not a top season, so far, well over 30, but losing the experience of Ponting, and M Hussey, means D Hussey does have a claim.

    Spinners, what about taking C Boyce, the young Queensland leggy ? Leg spinners have a proud history in Austrlian cricket, so let’s try one of the up and comers.


  4. Agree with both of you RE Wade, his keeping has been far from impressive. As for Watson, if he can convert fifties into centuries then he probably deserves to be in the top 6. Until then…

    Glen, I’d love to see Dave Hussey get a go, unfortunately I don’t think it will happen. He’s light-years ahead of Maxwell & Steve Smith as far as spinning all-rounders go. But his Shield form has been poor. A good ODI series might be enough for him. Fingers crossed!

    With Boyce (and Zampa for that matter), the Big Bash is great for getting their name out there. But ever since Boyce’s 6 wickets in a Shield final, he hasn’t troubled batsmen in the longer form of the game.

  5. S.Marsh and A. Doolan. Usman for sure.
    Pluck a leggie – Boyce if no other.

  6. Like your team but would have Doolan and/or D.Hussey in ahead of Ferguson who I would like to see do a bit more given he plays every second game at the Adelaide Oval. Would love to see Quiney given another chance but can’t see this happening any time soon. Would be great to see a punt taken on a leggie but given Monty Panesar’s great success in India recently I think the selectors will go with the safe left arm orthodox option in Beer.

  7. Mark Doyle says

    The ideal test touring party for India should not include Cowan, who is a dud test batsman, and Wade, who is a dud test wicketkeeper.
    My preferred top six batsmen are: openers – Warner and Hughes, with Watson at three, Clarke at four, Khawaja at five, either Shaun Marsh, Ferguson, Doolan or Quiney at six, Haddin at seven and as wicketkeeper, Johnson at eight, Siddle at nine, Lyon at ten and Bird at eleven.
    I also believe that young promising fast bowlers Cummings and Pattinson should not be selected for at least twelve months because of their susceptibility to injury; for the next year they should concentrate on their fitness and playing first class cricket for their state team.
    I do not believe that offspinners such as Doherty, Hauritz, Beer or Maxwell should be included in the test squad because they are only suitable for limited overs cricket as stock bowlers.
    I also think that Starc should be included as the extra fast bowler plus the promising legbreak bowler Boyce and allrounders of medium fast bowlers/batsmen Cutting and Henriques.

  8. I watched Doolan last night at the ‘G, he’s in irresistable form.

    @Mark – while I agree Wade’s keeping has got a fair way to go, not sure going back to the 35 year old Haddin would be the right move either.

    Marsh hasn’t done anything in the longer format to deserve another crack. Doolan, Quiney & Ferg have. Dave Hussey hasn’t scored big runs this year either but with a big ODI series I’m hoping he might be considered.

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