Who shot Mr Burns?

I just want someone or something to blame.  How can our Ashes fortunes swing so wildly? We were told to expect a bashing in Australia, we win 5-0.  We were managed to expect an away whitewash in this series in England, we are being pummelled.  Huh?


I just want someone or something to blame.  I’ve narrowed it down to two. Ready? Batters or Selectors.  I know, ingenious observation.  Here is the process flow:


Take our best over recent times: Smith and Warner.

When did they enter the arena? Smith 2010/11, had a year’s break and returned 2013.  Warner 2011/12.

How many tests have they played? 32 and 42, respectively.

Why don’t we have any other batsmen with relative youth and this level of experience?  And so it is revealed.  Here are all the players with batting capabilities who have represented Australia between the Smith/Warner debuts and now:


Usman Khawaja (28 years old, 9 tests, batting average 25.13)

Shaun Marsh (32 yrs, 15, 33.11)

Ed Cowan (33 yrs, 18, 31.28)

Matthew Wade (27 yrs, 12, 34.61)

Rob Quiney (33 yrs, 2, 3.00)

Moises Henriques (28 yrs, 3, 31.20)

Glenn Maxwell (26 yrs, 3, 13.33)

James Faulkner (25 yrs, 1, 22.50)

George Bailey (31 yrs, 5, 26.14)

Alex Doolan (29 yrs, 4, 23.87)

Mitch Marsh (23 yrs, 6, 30.70)

Joe Burns (25 yrs, 2, 36.50)

Adam Voges (35 yrs, 6, 41.71)


13 players.  Oh boy, what a revolving door for a batting position.  I struggle to understand how I am not now talking about one of this crew and their international career in the same conversation as Warner and Smith.  Something appears to have gone horribly wrong.  Warner made 15 in his test debut in New Zealand.  If we applied the Rob Quiney selection process we would never have seen him again. Usman Khawaja deserved persistence, his defence was sound, and time and experience should have been allowed to iron out the other technical adjustments.  Shaun Marsh has seen more inflight movies than deliveries. Matthew Wade has disappeared.  We threw in Moises, Maxy, Faulkner, Bailey and Doolan for barely 5 minutes, and has anyone seen Joe Burns?  Oh there he is, playing pyjama cricket in England.  What was that anyway?! And then you receive perplexing news that Mitch Marsh gets overlooked for 35 year old Voges. Sigh.


Smith and Warner were given opportunity.  The unorthodox (almost clumsy) looking Smith had us scratching our heads, can he even bat or is he a bowler?  Oh how he has become this incredible talent.  Warner excited and frustrated but satisfied that gaping hole Gilchrist and Hayden provided for so long, but he was unreliable, temperamental and a potential flog.  Oh how he is my favourite batsman to watch. There have been clear challenges for both at points in their batting careers yet we have persisted and just as well.  Both have proved world class and made huge match-influencing scores on multiple occasions.


Why have we not extended the same opportunity to this unfortunate list of others? Is it the selectors putting the wrong talent forward, not persisting with them long enough, or the batters themselves failing to step up to the international level?  I just want someone or something to blame.  Maybe it’s both.


That competitive club Tennis hack you hate matching up against.


  1. How many times do you try some of these blokes?

  2. Warner averages just under 50 in first class cricket and was averaging over 50 when he made his test debut. These other blokes have been playing Sheffield Cricket for several years and are all averaging under 4 i.e. they are only just up to Shield level.

    To put it into park cricket terms: a thirds player of several years will not succeed in the firsts. He might make a score or two but if he was up to firsts level he would be ‘killing them’ at lower levels. It is a sad reflection on the batting stocks that Wade might be advised to play as a batsman to regain his test spot

  3. Only one of the players listed is a specialist batsmen aged 25 or under; Joe Burns. Let’s give him a decent run, but more scarily than the age Q is the averages of the batsmen. Recall back a decade, two decades when players like Stuart Law, Jamie Siddons, Jimmy Maher all had averages around 50 but couldn’t get a baggy green, or only once as in the case of the former. Where are the blokes averaging around 50 ?

    On a more positive note congratulations to the Aussie girls who won a great test match. Good onyas.


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