West Indies Tour 2015 – Aussie Squad Selection

2015 contains two huge challenges for the Australian cricketers; the World Cup and the Ashes. Both events have a firm grasp on the worldwide cricketing headlines, but it seems that everyone’s forgotten the lead-up to the Ashes: the two-test tour of the West Indies. Not exactly a massive series in relation to worldwide cricket, but for Australia it provides an easy viewing of possible Ashes players and an opportunity to showcase upcoming players on the international stage.

Book  Your Hotels Now, Boys

Players who are fit, in form, established in the side and ready to rumble in all upcoming cricketing expeditions. These players are already in the World Cup Squad and only injury can prevent them from a seat on a plane to Jamaica, and later Pommyland.

Steven Peter Devereux Smith: Well, duh! The newly appointed Test vice-captain to Michael Clarke (when he’s fit) is in the best form of his career to date. Averages 47.75 in Tests and 31.75 in ODI’s. 7 of his last 10 innings in Tests (and 5 out of 10 for ODI’s) have resulted in scores over 50. Recently made his highest ever scores in the two major forms of the game. Captained his country for the first time at the age of 25. He reached 2000 Test runs quicker than previous notable Australian captains (who were they again?) RT Ponting and MJ Clarke. Probably the best cricketer on the planet at the time. Need I say more?

David Andrew Warner: The explosive and incredibly entertaining Warner will be a factor in the upcoming World Cup. That is not an opinion, that is the general assumption of every cricket fan on Earth. The left-handed (when he wants to be) opener is, like Smith, in red-hot form. Warner scored 7 hundreds and 3 fifties in 2014. His ability to clear the rope –  and sometimes the ground – both amazes the opposition and frustrates them. For a cricket team to have a player of that ability makes them one of the most difficult teams to face.

 Mitchell Guy Johnson: The terrifying moustachioed left arm quick’s desolation of the Pommies and South Africans in 2014 still has top order batsmen sleeping with the light on. With a bowling average in Tests of 27.84 and a helpful batting average of 23.06, Johnno looks like an obvious choice for the first pace bowling spot in the squad. Plus, if the Australians encounter the West Indies during the World Cup, the psychological impact his head hunting bouncers may or may not have left on West Indian batsmen can only help their cause in regaining the Frank Worrell trophy.

Call In The Physio!

Players that have injuries and age to deal with more than poor form. They need backrubs and time machines more than net sessions.

Bradley James Haddin: The 37-year-old ‘keeper has both age and Matty Wade creeping up on him as the World Cup approaches. Averages 33.76 with the bat and has made 256 dismissals in his 63 match Test career. His 2014 form with the bat has tailed off in all versions of the game since Australia’s euphoric Ashes victory, but the old fella’s wicketkeeping has been as energetic and faultless as ever. Matty Wade, the current reserve ‘keeper, is also performing with the gloves on, but Haddin, at the moment, has the wood over him with bat in hand. I reckon he will play in both the West Indies and England tours but the World Cup needs to contain some great performances from Hadds.

Michael John Clarke: Has had more issues with his back and hamstrings than he’s had hot dinners. His most recent twang has been well documented, and the captain may never play ever again. But Pup is not one to lie down and retire away from the field. It’s not his character and it’s not what he deserves. The surgery on his ripped hammy has been called a success and he’s even been in the commentary team for the Boxing Day Test on Channel 9, chatting up his chance of returning to the field. Pup probably would play if his leg was cut off, and a dodgy hamstring won’t stop him from playing as much cricket as he can in not just the upcoming tours but probably until he turns 60.

Ryan James Harris: Current age 35. Has chronic knee injury. Already has written an autobiography (never a good sign). Harris’ body is pretty much made up of glass painted like human skin, but the old boy boasts a Test bowling average of 23.12 and 105 Test wickets. He’s played just 27 Tests, and only 21 ODI’s, but has been a major factor of the Aussie Test bowling line-up for the last 18 months or so. Is in red-hot form with not just the ball, but the bat as well, having scored 74 on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test. If he makes the squad, he’d provide stability and cunning seam and swing to the Aussie bowling attack. Should play, and without a doubt will play well.

Christopher John Llewellyn Rogers: I love Rogo. He’s nearly 38, colour blind, looks like he’s spent about 600 years in the sun and has some”interesting” dance moves. He’s kind of like a bad fart in a car; when he turns up, no matter how hard you try and get rid of him, the little bugger just won’t leave unless you forcibly throw him out. Even at his age, Rogers hasn’t given the selectors any reason to drop him out of the side. His last 6 innings have all been over 50 and he’s provided a defensive and calm ying to Dave Warner’s aggressive and explosive yang. Even though he’s not getting any younger, the selectors wouldn’t want Bucky Rogers to leave just yet.

Mitchell Ross Marsh: The youngest Marsh cricketer broke into the Test squad against Pakistan in the UAE and proved that he could hold his own at the highest level. The 23 year-old has only played 14 ODI’s, but can seriously hit the ball at number 6 and bowls a nagging line at decent 130+ pace. Sadly for Mitch, his recent hammy injury that ruled him out of the last few Tests this summer has happened before and looks eerily similar to every other young Aussie quick to appear on the park since 2005. I don’t think that’ll keep him down for long, and if he’s fit, he will be in the squad.

Probable Players

Players that look likely to retain their spot in the squad or slide into it for the expense of someone else. A few may have a group of up-and-coming cricketers hoping to take their spot.

Nathan Michael Lyon: Just missing out on the certainties group is the groundsman-cum-spinner “Gazza” Lyon. The last member of the group of spinners that were expected to be like Warnie, Lyon’s played his 39 Tests pretty much consecutively and has taken 138 wickets so far in his career. Until the recent Indian series, Lyon wasn’t considered a star player of the Australian team, but a match winning performance that gave Lyon the match figures of 12-286 settled that fairly quickly. Only a complete and utter selector brainfade would result in no Nathan Lyon terrorizing the West Indians.

Shane Robert Watson: Watto is the most frustrating Australian cricketer at the moment. Out of the 28 scores over 50 he’s made, only 4 of them have been converted to hundreds. When he feels like it, Watson’s cover drives look exactly like the picture in every How To Play Cricket book available. However, the way that Watson can rip apart bowling attacks with borderline arrogance and how he dries up the opposition’s scoring bowling his creaky medium pace has proved invaluable to Australian teams for the last few years. He’ll go to the Caribbean, but will need a few good performances to book a ticket to England.

Josh Reginald Hazlewood: The Test career of yet another young New South Welsh bowler has had yet another sparkling start. The 24 year old tall quick (and by tall I mean 6ft 6 tall) recently replaced Peter Siddle as the unerring accurate fast bowler in the Australian Test squad, and boasts an impressive First Class bowling average of 26.55. 5/68 in his first match cemented his spot in the side, and since then he hasn’t put a foot out of line. Part of the quick bowling group in the World Cup, version 7.0 of the Australian young bowling experiment looks like he may be the most successful yet.

 

About Paddy Grindlay

Paddy is new to the city and thinks it's all a bit much at the moment. He's studying at RMIT University and can be found 'round the traps.

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  1. Remember this name: Peter Michael Nevill.

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