The Krab, into this team, at the urging of Michael Clarke?
Have I woken up in some sort of alternative universe?
Will replacing a 23 year old with another 36 year old be acceptable to the media (am currently watching Kallis make batting look easy on a difficult pitch where all others are struggling – so hopefully, but given the non-stop furore about Ponting/Hussey)?
What about Ed Cowan?
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think the Krab should have had his contract cancelled/not renewed, I’m just not sure whether bringing him back right now is the best idea. Besides that Katich or Clarke are going to be saying “I told you so”, how would his reinstatement help long term?
Instead of pussy-footing around, how about we actually start building the test team for the future for real.
Do what they did in the 80s, pick a couple of youngsters (who have a reasonably solid technique) with potential (so not you Steve Smith or Phil Hughes for example … be prepared to look further than just NSW), give them 5-10 tests, train them HARD, get their fielding up to be the best in the world and give them a chance. I’m talking about the beginnings or Marsh, Boon (the little cupcake) and S Waugh.
Stop-gap isn’t working.
Aussies can take losing, as long as there is potential – losing when your supposed key players are absolute shite and don’t seem to give a toss (Clarke, Hussey, Haddin in particular) is not something that sits well.
So get rid of Hussey and Haddin … and Ponting (although as I have written before, I would give him the summer, and even then would struggle to push, but I guess that’s why I’m not a selector).
Hughes goes as well.
Cowen should get a run (with Warner).
Watson, even though he is not going to bowl in Melbourne, should drop down the order. I would be tempted to bat him at 3 in Melbourne, and potentially to stay there. Watto is no Jacques Kallis (although I dislike them both equally), he doesn’t bowl as much, nor does he bat as much. Kallis has played 146 matches opening or bowling first change and batting at 4. 3 isn’t out of the question for Watto, plus it keeps him closer to the newer ball, and further away from spin.
I’ve said many times that Clarke shouldn’t be in the side, but he is and I will have to learn to live with that, so I guess he should be at 4. It means he can stop “hiding” at 5, and also gives me a chance to see him get dropped – check out his record at 4!
5 and 6 are a bit tougher. Perhaps Khawaja could get a run down here? I’m not convinced that he is test quality, but he shouldn’t be at 3, that is for sure. Maybe he could do a bit better down the order. S Waugh, R Ponting and A Border all started down there.
Dan Christian seems to be the guy with the chat for 6 – not sure if there is anyone else crying out for selection, scoring runs and runs and runs, hand up, PICK ME PICK ME … oh yeah, big bash time isn’t it?
I would actually like to see Cam White batting at 6, as he should be the Australian test skipper, but that is not going to happen. He is better tactically than Clarke, he has more experience and a huge amount of success as skipper. And if the team is going to keep a mediocre performing captain in the side (regardless of anything else, his performances as a whole have not been great), then you may as well have a decent skipper in the side!
I suppose Ponting could bat at 5 or 6, keeps a kick arse fielder in the side, and keeps my desire for him to be in the team satiated.
Tim Payne has got to be one of the unluckiest blokes going around. His (further) injury shouldn’t be seen as a reprieve for Hadden, it should be seen as a chance for Wade.
The bowlers are sort of selecting themselves at the moment – when they aren’t off injuring themselves through lack of time in the nets (take that Billy!). I would persevere with Starc, keep him in the squad anyway – better to work within the team than act as a 4 over bowling machine next few wee couple of months. Harris probably has earned his place again (although I am not entirely convinced given his complete lack of match time), but with his history of injuries, I can’t see him as a long term member of the side. Siddle obviously gets a run, as does Pattinson and Lyon.
So, the Krab may be back … I like the Krab, he is actually a pretty decent bloke as well, and in many ways I would love to see him creeping around the crease, paddling the ball behind square for 2 on boxing day.
But it’s time for the team to move on – to move on properly.
Merry Christmas all!