India in Australia 2011-12

Cowan, Marsh, Hilfenhaus named for Boxing Day

Daniel Brettig

December 21, 2011

Comments: 287 | Text size: A | A

Ed Cowan celebrates his hundred, Cricket Australia Chairman's XI v Indians, Canberra, 2nd day, December 20, 2011
Ed Cowan has made runs against all comers to win a Test spot © Getty Images
Related Links
Features : Cowan thanks Roebuck with runs
Players/Officials: Ed Cowan | Ben Hilfenhaus | Shaun Marsh
Series/Tournaments: India tour of Australia
Teams: Australia | India

Ed Cowan, the Tasmania opening batsman currently among the runs, has been picked for Australia's Boxing Day Test team to face India and will be joined in the top three by Shaun Marsh provided the West Australian can prove his fitness.

Ben Hilfenhaus has also earned a recall, the selectors seeking an experienced head to help a young bowling attack battle India's batsmen at the MCG.

Cowan and Marsh replaced Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja from the XI that was beaten by New Zealand in Hobart, with Shane Watson and Ryan Harris unable to be chosen due to continued fitness complaints.

Watson aggravated a calf problem on day one of the team's batting camp in Melbourne, while Harris indicated he was short of the required conditioning after returning to cricket for the Brisbane Heat in last night's BBL match at the Gabba.

Australia Test squad

  • Michael Clarke (capt), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Daniel Christian, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon

John Inverarity, the national selector, said Cowan would open the batting, with Marsh and Daniel Christian to vie for one spot and Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Starc the other.

"Ed has been in wonderful form, and the intention is that he will open the batting with David Warner," Inverarity said. "Of the XI that will line up on December 26, it will either be Shaun Marsh or Daniel Christian.

"It is likely if Shaun plays that he'll be batting at No. 3, if Daniel plays then he'd be at No. 6 and the batting line-up would be re-arranged accordingly, and then it would seem likely that one of Mitchell Starc and Ben Hilfenhaus would be 12th man. That's the anticipated balance of the side but we'll have to wait on weather and pitch conditions and final form and fitness."

Inverarity said Marsh's need to show his back can stand up to the rigours of a Test match caused the naming of a 13-man squad.

"The NSP has named 13 players due to the ongoing uncertainty about the fitness of Shaun Marsh," Inverarity said. "Shane Watson was not considered for selection as he has not recovered sufficiently from his injury. Ryan Harris has not yet achieved the volume of bowling required to be available for consideration for Test selection.

"Ed Cowan has been in excellent form in recent weeks. His inclusion is in recognition of his consistently good performances and we anticipate that he can provide steadiness at the top of the order. Ben Hilfenhaus has regained form this season and he provides a strong and reliable bowling option.

"We see both Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja as developing players with bright futures and remaining as players of significance. They are determined young men and I know that they will work hard to produce compelling performances and push strongly for further consideration."

Since turning around an indifferent start to the season with an unbeaten 91 in a limited overs match against South Australia in Burnie in mid-November, Cowan's scores have been 4, 134*, 145, 10, 65, 145* and 109 in the first innings of the tour match against the Indians.

His strong form has been mirrored by Hilfenhaus, who has shown greater snap and swing this summer, most recently for Hobart in the Twenty20 competition, after he looked innocuous at times against England during last summer's Ashes series. He was also considered close to selection for the New Zealand series, though the selectors ultimately decided to test out a younger attack as a precursor to India's visit.

"Ben Hilfenhaus is in very good form," Inverarity said. "I think he had a few body concerns and his action deteriorated a little bit last year and he seems to have got it back and been playing in very good form. He is a strong, durable, experienced bowler.

"It [the T20 match in Perth] certainly wasn't a negative, he bowled very well, but we've been considering Ben for some weeks and he provides a strong, durable experienced option for us."

Watson's case is more problematic, as he has now suffered a trio of fitness problems since the start of the South Africa tour. Inverarity said the panel was hopeful Watson would be fit to play in the second Test of the India series in Sydney.

"Shane is not fit to play. He's had ongoing troubles with his calf," Inverarity said. "The situation is improving and we hope he'll be in contention for the second Test in Sydney. But he's not available to play this game. It is an option for him to bat down the order, yes. The word from Shane Watson was that he was not fit to play. I wasn't in Melbourne yesterday but he spoke at length with Mickey Arthur and the word was he's not ready."

Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey remain part of the Test team despite poor displays in Hobart and advancing years, Inverarity speaking of their value to the dressing room as a critical factor in their continued retention.

"They've both been wonderful cricketers, they are wonderful cricketers, and terrific men and provide a lot for the side," he said. "We all on the selection panel are keen for them to do well. We're hoping they have a breakthrough in the next week or two. They offer a tremendous amount to the side."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by zenboomerang on (December 24, 2011, 0:05 GMT)

@JG2704... The problem with which Oz team turns up is basically down to batting... Our bowlers have been doing their job, with Lyon the leading wicket-taker this year for Oz... Look at Hughes, Watson, Ponting, Haddin scores this year & you can see why we have failed... Throw in bad Tests by Clarke & Hussey it has been amazing we won 1 series & drew the other 2... It is the new members that have been making the difference - Marsh, Lyon, Pattinson, Warner...

Posted by VivGilchrist on (December 23, 2011, 22:39 GMT)

The reason why Aus is so up and down is injuries. Very rarely is the best team on the park. Also persisting with guys out of form doesn't help either. If all fit our best three quicks would be Harris, Cummins, and Patterson, with Watto as a back up seamer. Three of those 4 are injured. As for the batting Watson and Marsh have been out, and Hussey, Ponting, and Hughes have been in without any form at all. Lesson- you can't carry out of form players when too many of your A graders are missing.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 23, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

Re the Australian selection. It seems to me that very few people are in agreement of their best side right now. As others have said , it seems to be their batting more than their bowling that lets them down but it seems that the selectors have a mindset whereby they have little trust in their younger batsmen and keep their trust in Ponting and Hussey who have recently proved unreliable anyway. I like the way many fans are keeping faith with Khawaja despite his modest returns. I actually liked the look of Hilfenhaus when he played England , but have not followed his career so I cant say whether he is worthy of a recall. Copeland seems to be a name that crops up alot with fans so I wonder why he is being overlooked? Personally I think they should prob start from scratch and build a new look team around Clarke, Watson, Cummings and possibly Warner and Lyon

Posted by JG2704 on (December 23, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

I do see some Indian fans giving it the whitewash prediction - some Australian's too. I think it's a tough one to call and alot depends on which Australia turn up. Is Cummings anywhere near returning? Australia are a strange side who seem capable of both clutching the most unlikely victory and folding under pressure. If the Australia which levelled the series vs SA turn up they have a great shout. If the Australia who conceded the 2nd test to NZ turn up then they could be in trouble. Australia's form seems to turn test by test. India also have plenty to prove on seaming pitches. Maybe the England tour was a case of India hitting their worst form at the same time as England hit their best form. A fascinating contest.

Posted by JG2704 on (December 23, 2011, 13:44 GMT)

@davidpk on (December 21 2011, 16:05 PM GMT) - I actually believed him as compared to the rest of our batsmen Strauss seemed to be struggling , but it's quite funny that a fact designed to try and wind the English up is actually incorrect. Have a good Xmas/2012

Posted by   on (December 23, 2011, 4:05 GMT)

@Nathan30, I like the look of your team but i would shift the order to have, Cowan, Warner, Marsh then Watson and Clarke, at number 6 id give Tom Cooper from SA a run because he is on the up and has been playing really well, then id hav WADE keeper and then the same bowling group u suggested

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 23, 2011, 3:32 GMT)

@RandyOZ... Christian or another allrounder is what Oz needs atm... Looking at our better performances in recent times Watson's bowling was important... Often only 1 paceman & Lyon took most of the wkts - Starc looked very nervous even in 2nd Test... Expect selectors to pick Hilfy for his endurance bowling (thus no 5th bowler)... as he ranks down the order in this seasons SS strike rate @34th... We need the likes of Harris, Cummins, Cutting, M Marsh, Butterworth out bowling...

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 23, 2011, 3:25 GMT)

@Nathan30... @RandyOZ... I watched Gilchrist leave NSW just to get a State wicketkeeper start... Then I waited for years for the selectors to give him a Test start, when he was already the most outstanding wicketkeeper/batsman in the world... Just before his 28th birthday, after being 21 in his first SS game - ridiculous... Time for the selectors to have a serious look at Wade / Neville for the WI Tour... I'd take them both & give them a game each...

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 23, 2011, 3:21 GMT)

@Meety... "if the players is good enough to be selected for one discipline first & then bring another discipline to the table of good quality! I don't quite see that with Christian"... So Christian with a batting average of 59.38 this SS season isn't good enough... lol... His batting alone puts him above Ponting, Hussey... Butterworth batting @28.0... Marsh @28.5... Faulkner @29.4... I can see Christian as a no.6 batter but the others are only no.8's in a Test team... O'Keefe hasn't bowled that well this year, but only played 3 games so hard to tell... James Hopes is similar player to O'Keefe & as unlucky as well...

Posted by GrumbleTr on (December 23, 2011, 2:05 GMT)

If Ryan Harris is fit why isn't he playing in place of Starc? Harris must come in and Starc needs to get it right before he can be selected again. Selectors have made a good move by dropping Hughes and Khawaja, and bringing in Cowan, Marsh and Christian. Hilfenhaus is an OK descion. the way he tied up the perth scorchers in the BBL was fantastic. The only problem is that if Ponting, Clarke and Hussey keep their spots, one of the batters will miss out. Brad Haddin should be the first player to go but no reserve WK called up. troubling times.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 22, 2011, 22:09 GMT)

@Nathan30, Haddin is a protected player, in a similar vein as Jono, North and Ponting. Don't expect him to go anytime soon. Just be thankful he isn't as bad as Prior.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 21:13 GMT)

@popcorn & others.... Khawaja's biggest problem is he gets starts and gets out. The first thing he needs to work on at state level is to build an INNINGS, not just to build the basis of one. I've commented many times at how untroubled he looks in the middle, he rarely seems bothered yet somehow continually manages to get out after doing the hard work of batting himself in. I certainly look forward to seeing more of him at the top level once he irons this out of his game.... and boys, lets not give up on Hughes, he IS a talent but also has his (very obvious) demons. I hope u all look forward to the next generation of Aussie like like I am, a little more middle order batting pressure will also help, we've got a lot of young talent at the top but still lack in the middle order. Hopefully we will see that change over the next couple of seasons here. Let's smack those Indians back home, Go Aussies!!!

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (December 22, 2011, 19:15 GMT)

You all might call me crazy, but Johnson's dropping is folly. He has the most experience and just needs to get back in his bowling rhythm. I feel that Siddle is overrated since he did good only in that match against NZ on a very green top. Bowlers would be for me: Pattinson, Johnson, Hilfenhaus, Lyon. I'm sorry but these Indians are just going to smash these young bowlers, especially Sehwag Dravid Tendulkar and laxman

Posted by 9-Monkeys on (December 22, 2011, 17:01 GMT)

Popcorn, I doubt Khawaja has been told he's no good. In fact I'm sure blokes like Marsh and Inverarity have spoken to him, told him he's in the line of succession and asked him to go away and score runs and force the issue (Ponting and Hussey are on borrowed time). As I've said before, you have to remember that blokes like Martyn, Langer, Hayden, Steve Waugh and others were dropped, went away, scored runs and came back better for it. If Khawaja does the same Australian cricket will be the winner.

Posted by Nathan30 on (December 22, 2011, 16:07 GMT)

So how does Brad Haddin keep his job? For what it's worth. My team would look like this when all are fit. 1.Warner2.Cowan3.Marsh4.Clarke5.Khawaja6.Watson7.Wade8.Lyon9.Copeland 10.Pattinson11.Cummins12thSiddle This is the team for the next Ashes and the team we need selectored NOW. Forget about all series before then and stick with this team if you want to be number 1.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 15:29 GMT)

@shamlaatu: 'Then there is Laxman, Dhoni and Gambhir left. Please check their batting stats in Australia.'

I agree with Dhoni's poor record in Australia (btw he just has played 4 matches to be fair and troubled more by Johnson's bowling which were all outside off stump by atleast half feet) but I think Laxman has the best record in Australia of the all Indian batsmen, only Tendulkar and Dravid could match his record and Gambhir hasn't played a single Test in Australia so can you clear my stats please if I am wrong?

Posted by krishna_cricketfan on (December 22, 2011, 15:13 GMT)

@@jmcilhinney : I am not writing off England. In summary I was saying nothing can be taken for granted. If you have army of bowlers like you do now, then 2013 will be in Englands Favor. Many of the Aussies and England fans are mocking at India and saying they cannot play swing and seam and fast. My questions who can? Let us say India had 4 good bowlers in England 2011. England would never have scored 500 plus any time. Result would have been different. England feasted on Indian attack and when India batted they were playing 4 bowlers on top form. Why was WI on top in 80's? How did Eng and Aussies handle their fast bowlers? How did Aussies handle Eng in Ashes 2005 and 2009? In my opinion, when faced with 4 bowlers on top form, teams struggled. Be it Australia, England or India.

Posted by popcorn on (December 22, 2011, 12:22 GMT)

Spare a thought for the quiet,unprotesting, Usman Khawaja who has been shuffled around from No.3 ,no.4 and No.6 positions,dropped, selected, then told he's no good. Phil Hughes should NEVER have been given a second chance. Usman Khawaja has shown his ability as a steady opener severalt imes. More recently in the Tour Game second nnings against the Indians.

Posted by Gordo85 on (December 22, 2011, 12:07 GMT)

Hilfenhaus must play in place of Starc. Starcy to my mind didn't do enough to keep his place.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 22, 2011, 11:15 GMT)

We need Christian to cover for Hilfenhaus or Starc's potential failure. Plus if the pitch isn't spinning we are relying on Siddle and Pattinson, very risky. It's a no brainer that Christian comes in.

Posted by kenishah on (December 22, 2011, 10:17 GMT)

@gajan, my captain would hav been ricky ponting

Posted by shamlaatu on (December 22, 2011, 10:11 GMT)

@ Masud Vorajee... And when was Indian batting a threat in Australia? I am pretty sure there is a huge probability that Sehwag will be toothless in many games. Tendulkar is already out of form. You are left with Dravid whom I respect. Then there is Laxman, Dhoni and Gambhir left. Please check their batting stats in Australia.

Posted by manisacumen on (December 22, 2011, 7:36 GMT)

Sehwag and Gambhir are the most important cogs. Their performance or non-performance will tell on our batting scores.

More concern for me is the selection of Ponting and Hussey. As someone here has already pointed out rightly, India is the most generous side for all batsmen on the brink of ouster to face and make a name for themselves and resurrect their careers. I fear the worst again. So India needs a lot of luck and these two to have lots of ill luck to fare badly. I am sure if both of them or one of them fails, it will be the end of their careers for good. I am praying they fail and for once India should need all luck for these two to fail and fail badly

Posted by szrana007 on (December 22, 2011, 7:24 GMT)

@ g narismha! Yaa, i agree india has improved alot in playing abroad during 2000-2011 from earlier periods like in the 90's. They are a gr8 side , no doubt about dat but in one real series where they were tested on seaming wickets they lost 4-0. This type of defeat can put doubts in minds of people regarding their away credentials!!

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 7:03 GMT)

Indian batting possess a massive threat to the Aussies but will our bowlers be able to bowl the Australians twice?

Posted by Meety on (December 22, 2011, 6:59 GMT)

@Dismayed - no worries matey. re: that side you selected, bear in mind that is what the Saffas did for years & underachieved (2 allrounders). I suppose it works if the players is good enough to be selected for one discipline first & then bring another discipline to the table of good quality! I don't quite see that with Christian, but I do with Faulkner, Butterworth & O'Keefe as bowling allrounders.

Posted by Yasassri on (December 22, 2011, 5:56 GMT)

khawaja little unlucky..!. It is surprise to hear a contention between Marsh and Daniel Christian.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 5:05 GMT)

It is quite unfortunate that again Simon Katich is not included. I am sure that he will get recall after a batting debacle at MCG

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 4:59 GMT)

Good for Australia, However there is no escaping a good beating.

Posted by g.narsimha on (December 22, 2011, 4:57 GMT)

SZrana-thanks for correction,even if we are third on winning out side our country just lagging behind AUSSEEs& SA ,thats no mean a achievement specially in the contest of poeple ,who always tend to brand INDIA AS FLATTRACK BULLY on home soil ,cant win matches out side home ,our home win/loss record in the last 10 years is 26 wins from 53 matches ,which stands fifth best on this list ,

Posted by Dismayed on (December 22, 2011, 4:56 GMT)

Point taken Meety just wanted to highlight the preferential treatment some appear to receive. I still think S.Marsh should have to go back to shield to prove fitness and if he has any form having not played for some time. If he avaeraged 50 in first class maybe fair enough but he does not. Watson,Marsh,Harris should all play domestic until they have successfully completed games.I hope Christian plays.Love allrounders give me a team full of Faulkners,S.Smith, Wade, S.O'Keefe. M.Marsh, Henriques etc etc there time is near. 2 quickies,1 spinner a keeper 2 allrounder and 5 batsmen.

Posted by righthandbat on (December 22, 2011, 3:55 GMT)

I don't know why people are so obsessed with averages - they certainly don't tell the whole tale. Hilfenhaus is an okay selection but I probably wouldn't have him over Copeland - who seems to be unlucky. I think Marsh's selection is a bit of a mistake given his injuries but that being said he'll probably play. Katich would be my selection any day for the number 3 position.

My team from the squad available: Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Marsh, Hussey, Haddin, Christian, Siddle, Lyon, Pattinson, Hilfenhaus. 12th - Ponting

I think because of the failure to select Katich and the ??? over Marsh, Clarke needs to lead from the front at number 3. With Ponting at 12th man, he can stamp his authority on the team. Haddin needs to bat well at six to prove he is worth keeping past this series (mind the pun). Hussey has one game to prove his worth otherwise he is dropped from tests for good and Ponting can replace him for the next test (and he has the remainder of the series otherwise he is gone).

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 22, 2011, 3:41 GMT)

Given the form of Aussie quicks and Indian quicks, i expect Aussies to go England way and prepare grass bowls.. Hilfy, Siddle and Pattinson re in very good form at the moment.. Why waste time on preparation of pitch.. Mark a square out of the outfield and name it as a pitch..

Posted by Ashraful999 on (December 22, 2011, 3:09 GMT)

this is a joke. Who is Cowan, and what gives him the right to be part of the squad. Christian should be replaced by Doug Bollinger. Phil Hughes doesn't even have a batting technique and he should be replaced by Callum Ferguson. Khawaja should definetly play instead of Cowan or Hussey. Australia is gone

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 22, 2011, 3:05 GMT)

@krishna_cricketfan, you know that 2013 is only 2 years away, right? In 2013, James Anderson will be 31, Stuart Broad 27, Tim Bresnan 28, Chris Tremlett 32 and Steven Finn 24. Assuming no major injuries, they will all still be going strong and that's just England's top 5 right now. That doesn't account for others who will come up in that time. I'm not as gung-ho as OhMattyMatty, who seems to be taking his cue from a couple of Aussie fans I could mention, but I don't see England's bowling deteriorating between now and then. I think that it's great to see so many young fast bowlers around the world performing well. Hopefully they'll continue to get some assistance from conditions and batsmen will have to learn how to really play again instead of just swinging a bat.

Posted by 9-Monkeys on (December 22, 2011, 0:55 GMT)

@RandyOz - No, the batsmen must be held responsible if the batsmen continue to collapse. The selection panel are selecting First Class cricketers, not grade players. If they were picking untried and unready weekend warriors then you might have a point. But for a few exceptions the recent collapses have been because of appalling shot selection. Good bowling yes (surely expected at Test level) but too often because of truly woeful shots. No one but the individual at the crease is to blame when that's the case. Chief among the culprits is Haddin and I have no doubt he's on borrowed time. ... You obviously don't like the selection of Arthur and Inverarity, but wait until they actually do something wrong before you call for their heads.

Posted by SmashingBaby on (December 22, 2011, 0:05 GMT)

Dropping Khawaja, keeping Hussey, and bringing in Christian...They have GOT to be kidding. Especially without knowing who will bat at no. 3 in his place! I think someone needs to point out to the selection panel that no. 3 is the MOST important position, you don't just put in whoever is fit enough to play. Is the number 3 spot going to become a revolving door like the spinner's place was? They should have dropped Khawaja down to 5, put Clarke in at no. 3 to take some responsibility for the batting, dropped Hussey, and put in Marsh or Christian at 6. At least they finally dropped Hughes, but John Inverarity putting Khawaja in the same boat as Hughes is idiotic. One has technique and ability and hasn't consistently failed, and the other one doesn't.

Posted by   on (December 22, 2011, 0:03 GMT)

Tendulkar's record in my opinion is out of reach for Punter, but I think he'll fire against the Indians anyway. He's still Australia's best batsman,and with Hussey and Clarke, the middle order looks formidable. However, I fully understand if Ponting and Hussey would be omitted from the team if they don't perform in this series.

Posted by Meety on (December 21, 2011, 23:43 GMT)

@HatsforBats - the Marsh selection is inconsistant. I have no idea how he can prove he is ready to play has he hadn't held a bat for weeks until the boot/bat camp/detention. @ AidanFX - I agree, no need to get worked up as the squad is not bad & the exclusions all had some merit. @ straight_drive4 - harsh on Hilfy! @hyclass - re: Hilfy, last summer was tough for all Oz bowlers, I see werit in Hilfy, his problem was he was bowling to wide of offstump, get left, then bowl onto the pads. If he can calibrate to trying to knock of stump over, with his modest swing he could be very effective. Problem is IF!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 23:30 GMT)

welcm back ben..........counting on you.......dnt pisappoint me i m a big fan of ur bowling

Posted by Meety on (December 21, 2011, 23:25 GMT)

@RandyOZ - "...Inverarity, Arthur and Langer msut be held accountable if these selections and batting fails again. Arthur has brought a culture of failure to the team and it has even made its way to the selection panel..." Only Langar has had sufficient time to be held accountable, it is way to early to write off Arthur. @ Dismayed - Jaques injury was way more severe & he has never regained his touch. I was a massive fan of Jaques, I think Oz transition would of been so much different if he wasn't injured. In a perfect world - we would of fought the 2009 Ashes with 1. Jaques, 2. Katich, 3. Ponting, 4. Hussey, 5. Clarke, 6. Symonds, 7. Haddin, 8. Lee, 9. Johnson, 10. Clark, 11. MacGill. 5 of those players ended up being unavailable (Symonds mental injury). Not to be. @smudgeon - I agree 100%. Plenty of talented batsmen coming thru, a high proportion though aren't quite ready. Very important that they get good competition & schooling!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 23:23 GMT)

Watto injured again. One injury after another has blighted his career. Such a shame. What he could have achieved. Happy with selection. I am enjoying watching our new guys. We need to fiddle around a bit and blood these new batsmen. Ponting, Hussey and Haddin won't be round for long... for one reason or another.

Posted by gajan on (December 21, 2011, 23:20 GMT)

@kenishah, who will be your captain then? cameron white?????

Posted by VivGilchrist on (December 21, 2011, 23:07 GMT)

Christian is in the squad because they are after a guy primarily that is in good enough nick to bat at no 6. Secondly they need him to bowl some overs to relieve the workload on the four bowlers. M.Marsh is not in good enough form with the bat to bat at 6, neither is Faulkner. If they were looking for a bowling all-rounder that could bat at 8 then Faulkner and Marsh could come into contention. It's not rocket science.Both of these two have a huge upside, but they are not no6 material atm. Christian has only got an average of 30 but his recent form is what the team needs now. The problem with stats is that you are considering the form a player was in 4,5,6,7 years ago.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 22:59 GMT)

@RandyOZ -- "Arthur has brought a culture of failure to the team and it has even made its way to the selection panel." He has been with you just for one series.. What about performances and collapses before that.. was arthur responsible for that too... ????

Posted by SnowSnake on (December 21, 2011, 22:55 GMT)

Bring Cowan and Marsh on. If Ponting fails in this series then he must be replaced by whoever performs better.

Posted by hilditchmustgo on (December 21, 2011, 22:30 GMT)

Have to feel for Ussie. He looks very promising and runs are just around the corner. Very rough being run out for 38 by the guy who should have been axed instead. Hope he makes a mountain of runs and forces Inver to drop Punter.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 21, 2011, 22:06 GMT)

Inverarity, Arthur and Langer msut be held accountable if these selections and batting fails again. Arthur has brought a culture of failure to the team and it has even made its way to the selection panel.

Posted by kenishah on (December 21, 2011, 21:41 GMT)

aus selecter could hav included cameron white in the squad as hes a talented middle order batsman who can hold aus innings together. this would be my 11 for aus: 1) david warner 2) ed cowan 3) shaun marsh 4) ricky ponting 5) cameron white 6) micheal hussey 7) brad haddin 8) mitchel johnson 9) james pattinson 10) peter siddle 11) nathan haurits. this is a very talented team dat will giv india a tough challange. (im sayin dis even tho im an indian fan).

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 21:34 GMT)

india depends upon their batting side than bowling.sehwag ,dravid ,sachin ,laxman india's attacking & protecting layers.gambhir&dhoni needs a improvement in test.we don't forgot abt bowling side zaheer and ishant has pace & ashwin and ojha protect spin i hope abt this tour but abt aus team their +points are warner is improving as an test opener then marsh is in good form.we looks what he do after a recoming after injury.ponting is talented but in formout then hussey is good middle order batsman clarke is also.then bowlingside is hopefull with newcomers as starc ,lyon ,pattinson, but not having a good spiner as warne

Posted by deep0990 on (December 21, 2011, 21:15 GMT)

my guess is aussie win but 2:1 bcoz India does have the strength to pull of a victory

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 21, 2011, 20:56 GMT)

My guess is aussie win 2-0 or 3-0. One man change all that though. Sehwag. But we will know what kinda of sehwag we will see. Kings pair or 219

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 21, 2011, 20:55 GMT)

great selection by aussies. Hilfenhaus is a must against India because he swings. Indians can play bounce very well not swing. We know what happened in england. Shaun marsh is better than christian.

Posted by Dismayed on (December 21, 2011, 20:55 GMT)

Why has Phil Jacques never been given the same opportunities as S.Marsh to come back from his back injury??? These players coming back should be nowhere near selection until they have played successive shield games.

Posted by krishna_cricketfan on (December 21, 2011, 20:34 GMT)

@OhhhMattyMatty : By 2013, the youngsters will be permanent members of the side. By 2013, what are the chances that England will have the bowling strength like now? Yes England test team is having a good time now. But that will last till you have 4 top class bowlers in the 11 and another set of top class bowlers to back them in case of injuries. The moment this strength gets depleted, England will also be struggling to win. You got to take 20 Wickets and Aussies will never give it up easily. Also, if Australia come with the bowling strength like you have now, it will be difficult for Eng to put runs on board. No team can handle a top class bowling unit. Batsmen are feasting on average bowlers such as the one from India - 2011.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 20:26 GMT)

goo luck for your future i did write about you few days ago i never seen any comments coming through cricinfor yet.i was asking why they did not pick for the test against KIWi keep your head down do what you have to do good luck mate.

Posted by krishna_cricketfan on (December 21, 2011, 20:24 GMT)

@@ Rahul_78: You used the word green for newcomers. But Green also means prosperity. The "Green" players are not club cricketers, but cricketers who have earned their place in the national side. And they are the ones who will have hunger to perform with freedom and without fear. 23 Yrs back one Mr Tendulkar was also "Green" player. It will be a hard fought series .

Posted by krishna_cricketfan on (December 21, 2011, 20:14 GMT)

It is easy to talk about the weaknesses in Australian team. The points thrown out are 1] Aussies are young team and they are weak based on lack of experience. 2] Their batsmen are not handling swing and are out of form. But does India have a bowling attack to take advantage of the weaknesses? Do we even have 2 fully fit fast bowlers? If we lose Zaheer and/or Ishant, Australians will feast on the attack. All the youngsters and newcomers in Australian team are very talented players. For India it is going to the batting that will have to save us.Indians have youngsters as well. But they in the side only because of injuries to long list of players. Overall it is advantage Australia.

Posted by szrana007 on (December 21, 2011, 19:44 GMT)

@ g narismha! correct urself ind won 24 tests away from 2000-2011 and not 29!. Ind also lost 23 and in terms of win-loss ratio they r third behind australia and south africa (25 wins for sa) in away tests during that period! So its not as u seem to mention !

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 19:42 GMT)

Time of real class of ponting has come,remember now he will show his caliber to india bowlers,i think this series will belong to Ricky Ponting simply...India in will get defeated in test like 3-0 or 4-0....

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 19:40 GMT)

They have gone for the man who had been scoring the runs domestically, tick for the new selection committee. They have kept Ponting and Hussey- No one else in the middle is scoring runs domestically, tick for the new selection committee. They have brought back Hilfenhuis- He has been taking stacks of wickets domestically, tick for the new selection committee. All the right decisions. Seems all pretty logical really. No argument needed

Posted by OhhhMattyMatty on (December 21, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

I can't wait until 2013! England have got this wrapped up already! So easy! No depth to the Aussies' batting or bowling! They're picking Test players who would be on our Lions tours (i.e. 5 or 6 years from Test places)!

Posted by WeeBee on (December 21, 2011, 19:19 GMT)

i wanted watson back in the team ... well still .....india need to put their 300% to get close to oz

Posted by trueindian on (December 21, 2011, 18:48 GMT)

Well, Thanks everybody for having the same views as of mine! Meet you soon

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 18:36 GMT)

Agreed tht d Indian Bowlin s weak but the australian attack at the moment isnt great either. Hope Ishant s fit for d tour...

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 18:17 GMT)

why is khawaja dropped inspite of him scoring more runs then michael hussey and ricky ponting

Posted by Mahesh-Cricketfanatic on (December 21, 2011, 18:00 GMT)

I don't understand what's all this fuss about the so called Indian "BOWLING ATTACK" - someone even commented if you could call it a "bowling attack", but guys can anyone tell me in the history of indian cricket when did India ever have a good bowling attack while playing outside of India - We have always been an average but somewhat clever bowling unit, but have we not performed well before and won or drawn series overseas against even more stronger opponents than the current Aussie team. A lot of these negative feeback coming mostly from indian fans is bcoz in your heart you want your team to win but at the same time you feel tensed about how this can be achieved, relax guys..just wait for the series to begin...all your fears will be overturned...this is not me saying that...but this is history with Indian cricket...

Posted by cricketisagame on (December 21, 2011, 17:48 GMT)

@ g.narsimha.. what do you mean by Sachin is God for US... who is US here?? I am an Indian, for me, he will NEVER be a GOD. What are you trying to say..?? All Indians are like you, worshipping cricketers, film stars, politicians?? Sick of hearing this God thing. He might be a good player that doesn't mean he is God.

Posted by Adoh on (December 21, 2011, 17:41 GMT)

If the selection panel were picking players on form, then either J Herrick or M Hogan would have been picked before Hilfenhause. If Ben Cutting was not injured, he would have been higher ranked also. Herrick and Hogans' averages for the 2011/2012 sheffield shield season are 28.4 and 21.6 respectively with 32 wickets a piece and strike rates in the mid 40's. Hilfenhause has 20 wickets at 28.6 with a strike rate in the low 60's. The numbers tell the story, though Hilfenhause does have the advantage of international experience. Still, I'd rather see a fresh face given international opportunities - look at how all the other recent debutants (perhaps with the exception of M Starc) have grabbed their opportunities - Marsh, Warner, Cummins, Pattinson...

Posted by rsthbu on (December 21, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

wt ever talk going about Ricky Pointing, remember he had very good record against India in Australia and remember the World cup matches he always gets his form back against India. So, India be careful about Ricky Ponting....

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 16:25 GMT)

Wonder why people here are questioning ponting's presence in the squad..dnt u knw how it works? if u r out of form..u play India..u see our bowlers are very generous and kind...aww..u r out of form..wait..lemme help u with that.. and with Ishant uncertain and khan lacking pace (according to cowan) the burden is now on umesh, vinay kumar the spinner and abhimanyu mithun ..if thers sme1 who can bail us out thats ashwin..he is a class act indeed...having said that..i do want ponting to score...this is the best time for him to pile on some runs and extend his career for nthr 1-2 years.. Despite the bowling worries i still want India to win..i dnt knw how they r goin to do i just want them to win... good luck to both the teams..

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 21, 2011, 16:14 GMT)

It isn't going to be easy to win against this Aus side, but compared to past teams, this is probably the best chance India has at winning a series down under. Keep it full, keep it straight. Yadav is wayward, Zaheer is overweight, Ishant is kidding himself. I hope they are serious about this and make a conscious effort to bowl correctly, the wickets will automatically follow.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 16:08 GMT)

John Inverarity has shown himself to just be a puppet for Cricket Australia and has just read out the team he was told to select, hence no guts in dropping Ponting. Its the old boys club all over & hints that nothing was learnt for the various reports & enquries into fixing Austrailian cricket. No credibility for old man Inverarity..

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 21, 2011, 16:05 GMT)

wrong as per normal joneys how do you make it hughes scored more runs than strauss last year, strauss scored 1057 runs in 1st class cricket in season 11 and hughes scored 628 10/11.or are u using the 09/10/11 then strauss still leads him. come on joneys get a grip. ur right with the dropping of the pakistan born khawaja. these guys if ca consider good enough should be playing over ageing superstars.dpk

Posted by AKS286 on (December 21, 2011, 15:55 GMT)

Oz bowling vs indian bowling . instead of lyon BEER will be in the team. dropping khawaja is a very good decision.but adam voges p.jaques must be in the playing eleven.

Posted by ibbani on (December 21, 2011, 15:50 GMT)

We are sure to win this test series 3-1. India is hot favorites as they have good batting and average bowling. Aus have average batting and bowling. Come on India, win this time against a weak Aussie side. We had performed against a strong Aussie side last time in 2008.So this time it is our chance to win the series in Australia.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (December 21, 2011, 15:41 GMT)

I wouldn't write Indian bowling so soon, just based on two warm up games. If you noticed, Umesh Yadav had picked up some wickets and so did Ashwin. However, with Ishant and Zak trying to get into a rythm, it is not surprising to see that they did not go full steam. May be that would be a surprise? Also, throughout the history of the game, visiting teams always let a fringe batsman score runs against them in these warmups. Because, if the player is picked in the test team, then they know they already have one wicket in the bag. So, who is to say if Indians went very easy with Cowan?

Whatever the team compositions, this will be a very good series. Can't wait for Christmas (boxing day in Aus - Christmas in US).

Posted by bluebillion on (December 21, 2011, 15:28 GMT)

A 30 year old opening batsman with a first class average of 39 doesnt really look like long term thinking. It is a stop gap arrangement. If Warner and Cowan are the 2 best openers in Australia today, it is going to be a continuing struggle for Clarke to rebuild this team. Sure Cowan might be in form and traditionally debutants have done well against India - if he doesnt do well it will be his last series and if he does well he might play another one but I cant see him doing much more.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 15:21 GMT)

india will surely loose.....reason is their weak bowling !!! Looks like what happened in England is going to repeat score AUS 3 - 0 IND.....

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 21, 2011, 15:19 GMT)

Aus selection has fallen into a bit of a pattern in recent times. Anyone who is performing well for a handful of games domestically immediately gets included in the team to play a few games until his form drops and then he's dropped and sent back to domestic cricket while he regains form. From an overall team's perspective, it gives the most optimum performance. But from the players' perspective, they only get to play in short bursts at the international level.

Posted by g.narsimha on (December 21, 2011, 15:19 GMT)

CONTI......THESE STATS proves that our SACHIN is not a home tiger his perforamance against all top teams that too in thier resp[ective countries particularly , AUS, ENG, SA & DIFFICULT SEAMING pitches in NZ is amazing so ,people who al;.ways tend to belittle him by terming him hometiger,flat trach bully bla..bla must go through these stats before making such unrealistic coments he is simply far superior among the batsmen of his era who faced right from AMBROSE ,IMRAN BOTHAM AKRAM,while SHANE WARNE was tormenting other greats of his era specially spinless POMS , he just treated him as a club bowler .After INDs loss to ENG in ENG , all INDIA haters are on thier feet ,still celebrating our defeat in decates they never tired of painting IND as home tigers, cat win out side ind, our boling is waker than somalia but the stats in statguru indicates that during 2000 to 2011 INDIA WON 29 TEST MATCHES OUT OF 69 PLAYED out side INDIA which second best performance after mighty AUSSE

Posted by InnocentGuy on (December 21, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

Aus selection has fallen into a bit of a pattern in recent times. Anyone who is performing well for a handful of games domestically immediately gets included in the team to play a few games until his form drops and then he's dropped and sent back to domestic cricket while he regains form. From an overall team's perspective, it gives the most optimum performance. But from the players' perspective, they only get to play in short bursts at the international level.

Posted by inswing on (December 21, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

The Indian bowling is too weak to do real damage, so it is a good chance for everyone from Ponting to Cowan to make a couple of big scores and secure their place. Indian batting is also not as good as it looks on paper. VVS, RD, and SRT are not going to contribute as much as expected; each will play only one good innings and produce several low scores. I expect a 1-1 draw or a 2-1 win for Aus.

Posted by naveenpnayak on (December 21, 2011, 15:16 GMT)

Bad selection... Give some young keeper a chance.. Haddin has proved to be a disappointment.. Starc is a useless bowler and his figures in his recent matches says it all.. also Hilfenhaus hasnt done anything great to the team, Y is bollinger not included instead of him.. They could have also given a chance to mitchel Marsh instead of Dan Christian.. The only selection that makes me happy is of Cowan, The guy really needs to be given a chance.. and thats good to see Huss and Ponting backed up by the selectors.. we know what they are capable of doing when these guys get into form..

Posted by FrankMeister on (December 21, 2011, 15:16 GMT)

DRS- Dravid Removal System, 'nuff said. I mean one of the most, if not THE most humble cricketer of all time - Dravid, getting ridiculous decisions by the DRS, no wonder why the BCCI doesn't want to allow it - I totally agree. I mean what happened before the DRS was even invented - people got on with decisions; now because there are such occasions or instances where there is doubt - there is obviously a lot of resentment against the umpire. Let it be like it always has; umpire himself goes up to the 3rd umpire if there is any doubt.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (December 21, 2011, 15:11 GMT)

This is surely the weakest team batting line-up australia must have ever put up.......with two old players refusing to accept that they are more of a liability now than of any help....

The bowling line-up ,if not poorer, brings the return of Hilfenhaus, who has spent more time nursing injuries than playing cricket..... For India this is their best chance...

Posted by 9-Monkeys on (December 21, 2011, 14:56 GMT)

I'm unsure about Hilfenhaus but otherwise happy with the squad. I would love to see a top three of Cowan, Warner and Marsh work and Watson return to the XI batting at either 4, 5 or 6. He simply does not convert enough of his starts to 100's, or score big enough 100's, to open. Moving forward my preferred top five would be Cowan, Warner, Marsh, Clarke, Watson - I am hoping Ponting and Hussey play well against India and then retire with dignity. Khwaja and Hughes - like Martyn, Hayden, Langer and others, need to go back to the Shield comp. score runs and demand to be selected. If they are good enough they'll be back and better for it.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 14:37 GMT)

It is not the strongest Aus team that I have seen but I still think that it will be plenty good enough for an Indian side away from home. I think a little too much bounce for the Indian batting line up. Also not enough bowling if Ponting and Hussey decide to extend their careers and get stuck in. Looking forward to it as a neutral though.

Posted by shamlaatu on (December 21, 2011, 14:33 GMT)

Why was Khawaja dropped and not Ricky Ponting or the Michael Clarke himself??

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 14:29 GMT)

Finally, about time Huges and Khawaja were jettisoned! All the technical proficiency in the world means nothing if you can't post the numbers on the scoreboard - something Khawaja has consistently failed to do. Both Khawaja and Huges need now to prove themselves with a ton of runs in state cricket before getting another look. Eat your heart out Brettig.

Glad Cowan gets a chance - I am sure he will make it count. I think Cowan and Warner are an exciting opening pair. Here's hoping Shaun Marsh is fit and able to come in at one down. I am sure Punter and Hussey will come good.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 14:28 GMT)

Hang on, I must be missing something here - Dan Christian is a USELESS cricketer no..? I've seen him a fair bit in the IPL and he seems completely ineffective. Granted, T20 cricket is hardly the best stage to showcase your talent, but looking at his first class stats, they're very average... I agree that players should be selected on current form which is why I agree with Cowan's selection even though his first class average is less than 40 - however, Christian's recent returns are poor! Yet, nobody seems confused that he's in the squad?

Posted by big_al_81 on (December 21, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

What a joy and relief to find someone who will give a really sensible Indian assessment on here, where have you been all this time Veerakannadiga? The Indian attack is barely worthy of such a name outside home territory (or in it some of the time) and for that reason India will continue to fail in Australia. Batsmen will no doubt get some runs but Australia's attack, particularly if a few more of the decent prospects return to fitness during the series, will have far more potency than India's. Should be an interesting series though between two sides that are now both well and truly in the second division. Not second division forever, just for now in the Test match format.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 14:22 GMT)

Indian had a thoughtful plan in their minds, this is the best time to demolish australia with series win and a nice farewell to sachin tendulkar, but dont under estimate the young australian teal specially bowling attack, we can see a raise back of australia too.......................... good luck india

Posted by zico123 on (December 21, 2011, 14:18 GMT)

if Shaun Marsh is fit, then Ponting has to make way, its time for him to go anyway, but i know Australia always takes easiest route which will be to leave out Marsh and play old and out of form 36-37 yr old guys Ponting and Hussey

Posted by Kruger81 on (December 21, 2011, 14:16 GMT)

Aus probably not the great side it used to be and India's frailties in the bowling and also in the batting department have given them cause for worry.I think it will be an even contest (may be 60-40 in aus favour) but if I were an Indian cricket fan I would approach optimism with some caution.

Posted by g.narsimha on (December 21, 2011, 14:10 GMT)

LIKEINTCRICKET,agreed,SACHIN IS GOD FOR US ,but same cant be said about POTING if he doesnt perfom against us ,he may be dropped , I DO NOT AGREE WITH YOUR STATEMENT that SACHIN HAS THE LUXURY OF SCORING ON DEAD INDIAN PITCHES after reading yr coments i just searched in statguru whether our god is home track bully as bieng refered by our friends , to my surprise the stats shows intirly defferent story OUT OF HIS TOTAL RUNS OF 15183 ,ONLY 6765 RUNS were scored in INDIA ,or indian dead pitches, 8418 runs were scored out side INDIA , his performance against top teams = IN AUS-16 TEST-1522 RUNS ,H.S-241 n.o-AVE.58.53 with 6 hundreds,5-50's against ENG IN ENG -17-MATCHES 1575 runs,HS-193-AVE-54.53,4 CETURIES,8 FIFTEES.IN SA-15 matches 1161 runs, ave 46.44-100s-5, 50s-8 HS 169. IN NZ-11matches 842 runs ,AVE-49.52, HS 160 100s-2,50s-5,in WI-10 matches 620 runs ,HS 117, 100s-1 50s-5 AVE47.69,out of 51 100s,29 were scored out side india,his AVE out side IND IS 59 cont.,... PL PUBLISH C,INFO

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 21, 2011, 14:04 GMT)

Very surprised to see so many Indian fans saying they are surprised at Khalwja's omission. I can only think this is a bit of kidology, although he is a talented player and his time will surley come the stats don't lie 1 fifty in 11 inns and an average of 29.22 batting at 3 is not good enough. He has got plenty of starts but then got himself out, had he had turned one of those starts in to a big score then he would still have been in the side. He has not yet showed he is capable of playing long innings at this level, which any batter at No3 needs to do.

Posted by MrBrightside92 on (December 21, 2011, 13:59 GMT)

Some really well reasoned comments here guys...well done! I do think bringing in Hilf is a backward step though I'm guessing, Sehwag early doors against the swinging ball would be a huge scalp! Glad Kohli made runs so he should get the nod over Rohit, Kohli's a fighter and India will need those in a long four match series. They have better batters than England did. They will need to bat big though against an Aussie attack, though inexperienced, will be spirited and be able to run in all day. I was slow to understand RandyOz's (I think) comment about Siddle and Johnson shouldn't play together and I'm beginning to agree with one or two here that Punter-Hussey should follow the same rule. Punter to go in my book but it's a brave man to drop him! Good luck both teams and I'm hoping this series will start 2012 with a bang (not hoping much from SA-SL!).

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 13:54 GMT)

Poor selection of a Test Team once again, for Australia. Once again, the same results will be displayed after the Indian series. It's better to prepare a young team for the future, lame duck excuses by the selectors to play Hussey and Ponting is a no brainer. Roach ended Ponting's career some years ago, whilst South Africa and New Zealand did it to Hussey not too long ago.

How can this Australian team provide even a challenge to the present Indian team? Play Hugues and Kawaja instead of Ponting and Hussey. Try and find a good wicketkeeper/batsman fast, until Paine becomes available. Haddin best years is long behind him. Hilenhaus,Harris, and Siddle should always be the first choice bowlers. This should be Clarke's test team.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 21, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

I think this side will do well with Marsh coming back in to bat at 3 and Hilfenhaus will offer a bit more than Stark. MCG usually a result wicket so I am tipping the Aussie's to win this one. On another point this has to be the last chance saloon for Ponting if he dosen't perform in the next 2 tests I think he will be gone for good

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 21, 2011, 13:52 GMT)

fun fact. phil hughes has scored more runs than andrew strauss in 2011. brad haddin has scored 16 less.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 13:48 GMT)

good decision to drop Hughes and Khawaja. They did nothing to warrant maintaing their spot. How much talent they have is irrelavent, a baggygreen must be earnt. Its a shame Katich wasn't chosen as a replacement though. He was unfairly dropped from the Australian side and has had strong performances since then. However Cowan and Warner are definatly better candidates than Hughes and Khawaja. It is good that Ponting and Hussey were retained. The greats always bounce back. Their experience is vital in a young side and Pontings has scored a few half centuries in his last few games. Good move to bring Hilfenhous back as well. He is Australia's best swing bowler at the moment and should have played in Hobart against NZ. The dropping may be good for Hughes and Khawaja as it will make them fight to get back and keep their place in the Australian side in the future

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 13:45 GMT)

Nice squad but Usman khwaja is Technically a better player than the rest... Anyway, All the best to Clarke n team...

Posted by LordOfCric on (December 21, 2011, 13:44 GMT)

Sachin is in top form you can't drop him no way. What Ricky is doing in the team? CA really thinks that Ricky will beat Tendulkar's record? Look at his Avg dropping down and will be soon in 40's........ He has weakness ball angling in at good pace from good length and there you have him LBW..........

Posted by LordOfCric on (December 21, 2011, 13:38 GMT)

If this is the way to justify Cowan's selection then Marcos North should be in the the team as well. Dropping Khuwaja doesn't justify at all give him some time one big inning in test and there you have another great batsmen. Atleast he knows how to spend somtime in the middle and as i mention b4 he has very good technique..................

Posted by AlanHarrison on (December 21, 2011, 13:34 GMT)

Ian Chappell gets his way then and Khawaja and Hughes are dropped. Last week Worcestershire were congratulating themselves on having acquired a current Australian opener on their books ... not now they haven't ...

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

It's ridiculous Katich is not in the side. The most consistent player in the national team for the past 3 years sacked, now seemingly on CA's blacklist. Now Christian, who is averaging 49 with the ball this season compared to katich's 20 (10 wickets each), is selected ahead of him. Sure Christian's batting is superior atm, but i'm pre sure kat would lift if given the chance. Selectors need to stop playing politics and look at stats. And Hilfenhaus? Starc? No way. Michael Hogan and Jayde Herrick imo as the leading wicket takers in the shield deserve a run, although Harris is an automatic inclusion once he is fully fit. Nevill in for haddin, but i agree sticking with Huss and Punter for now.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 13:25 GMT)

Harsh decision to drop Usman Khawaja. He has the technique and temprament to excel in test cricket. hopefully he will come back strongly. i wish ponting score good runs and retire in an honorable manner after this series. Ponting is a good player but its time to say good bye and make way for youngsters.

Posted by FrankMeister on (December 21, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

@InderDeep Singh, LOL.. I think we should have some sympathy/mercy for the Aussies - they are done for in this series, we agree... but who knows there could be more surprises from the Aussies than the Indians.

I would laugh if Aussies get an injured XI like the Indians did back over in England...

Posted by SpartaArmy on (December 21, 2011, 12:44 GMT)

I don't think dropping Hughes and Khwaja instead of dropping out of form senior players is not a good choice. Indian bowling in Australian pitches is not as effective as NZ/SA/ENG. If given a chance, these two players might do better. There is no point in sticking to Ponting and Hussey; not taking any thing away from these great players, they are in the last page of their career. By giving chances to the young players against relatively not so strong bowling teams, the board can provide extra impetus required for these struggling but talented batsmen.

Posted by zoot on (December 21, 2011, 12:40 GMT)

I'm a bit disappointed that Khawaja has been dropped particularly as he was run out by Ponting when he was going well in one of his innings.

Posted by Okakaboka on (December 21, 2011, 12:12 GMT)

Yeah, I agree with some of the comments here. Copeland or Mackay would have been better options than Hilfenhaus & Starc.

Posted by milepost on (December 21, 2011, 12:12 GMT)

There seems to be a number of comments by people who haven't seen enough of these players. Hilfenhaus is a quality bowler and I'm delighted he might get a spot. He did go a little flat last year but he's a consistent bowler which is a trait we need especially with Watson not fit. Khwaja is very unlucky to be dropped he looks the best of the new bunch technically and temperament wise. Dropping hussey and ponting at this stage would be suicide, they are great players with experience the side needs. Marsh should really be proving his fitness at state level not in a test match though his start has been promising that's for sure. The new bowling crop look great. I'm very optimistic about the future of our test side. This should be a good series to see where the side are at.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 21, 2011, 12:11 GMT)

@landl47, he might be like Gilly, started at 29 and regularly took England's attack apart. Effectively ended the careers of Panesar and Harmison.

Posted by karloomick on (December 21, 2011, 12:07 GMT)

im glad cowan gets a chance not like klinger 3-4 years ago who was smokin runs lef right and centre. unless u dont play for nsw u are no hope for oz. hughes,kwaja,haddin,copeland are players who never deserved a baggy green

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 12:03 GMT)

Aussies seems to be hunting in bushes...picking players from tour game seems to be a desprate measure...tour games are just practice to aclamtize to the conditions and indian are known to be non serious in these games...seems to be series win for india 4-0 complete white wash...

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 12:01 GMT)

This comment is especially for my mate Sekar at the bakery. I hope he reads this!!! The Aussies will belt India all around the park and win the series 4 zip!!..............I hope!!!!

Posted by Wefinishthis on (December 21, 2011, 12:00 GMT)

How on earth does Inverarity explain that Hilfenhaus is in form? His last six 1st class figures were: 2/74, 1/50, 1/86, 1/22, 4/60, 0/76. How is an average over 40 considered in form? He's even worse than his awful career average of 34+! I think they got the top order spot on, but I'd like to see Lynn, Nevill, Wade, O'Keefe, Copeland, Faulker, Butterworth and Cutting get the respect they deserve.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (December 21, 2011, 11:52 GMT)

To all those criticizing Christians batting average is is good to note that Cowans batting average isn't exceptional BUT he is in great form AND deserves to be picked. Christian also is in great form. We need players in form. We are currently carrying players on reputation only. Hughes has a better average than Cowan, but currently who would you rather have? Don't be fooled by overall stats as some guys are just late bloomers - think Ryan Harris, Colin Miller.

Posted by hyclass on (December 21, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

Both Zaheer and Ishant are far from peak fitness and form.Despite all the best intentions this shapes as a batsmans series.I doubt anyone looking at the the Indian Test lineup,sees it capable of taking the 20 wickets a match it needs,to win Tests.Just as Australian wrist spinners struggled in India,the Indian finger spinners will find Australian pitches a very different proposition.Its interesting that Bollinger has fallen from favour.His record is outstanding and puts Starcs to shame.If there were controversy in the Australian bowling selections,it shapes as being that.Far from Invereritys stated reasons for retaining Ponting & Hussey,the alternatives were Rogers & David Hussey.I suspect that despite having almost 30000 runs between them at well over 50 and 92 100s including several this season,that they are not being genuinely considered.Katich also has hundreds this season & has taken wickets.Its also possible that M.Hussey and Ponting will fire.Age no barrier?Just ask India.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 21, 2011, 11:41 GMT)

I'd pick Starc out of the squad. But if not considering Cutting, Coluter-Nile, Cummins, Hazlewood, Harris are not available, it's an absolute no brainer. Copeland. Exceptional first class record (better average by 6) and can toil all day. Hilfenhaus becomes cannon fodder after the shine wears off the new ball. Hell i'd even pick George over him. He's gonna get carted mark my words. Copeland keeping it really tight at one end with Lyon working his magic at the other would be absolutely perfect.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 11:37 GMT)

i still think that indian bowlers should do the job for india to win the series downunder it would be indian bowling against aussie batting

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 11:25 GMT)

A good Aussie team. Ricky Ponting won't be Sharma's rabbit, this time around. He is due for some big hundreds. Hussey will be the Mr. Cricket of the series. Hilfenhaus is a good choice, with his ability to get pronounced bounce on any wicket. He will trouble the Indians. The Indians should find a way to play both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the First Test. They seem to be the only ones who have shown consistent form.

Posted by hyclass on (December 21, 2011, 11:21 GMT)

While the selection of Hilfenhaus seems controversial,virtually every international bowler has struggled to make inroads against an extremely well organised and very disciplined England Test lineup. Hilfenhaus regularly touched mid 140k/mh v england and swung the ball early which one might expect would present some difficulty.As the cricketing world is aware,Alistair Cook played with the discipline of a Jack Hobbs.His shot selection and choice of time to attack were supreme and both he and the coach deserve every plaudit.In Australia,laxman has often proved a thorn. His ability to handle both bounce and the outside off-stump line that are the bread and butter of Australias attack have meant substantial contributions on each occasion.The tour match showed,the value of the variety of left arm spin. Lyon may have loop in his flight,but he has no drift. He will do well to fare better than Hauritz did against the same foe. I expect there to be calls for O'Keefe before the series is done.

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 21, 2011, 11:21 GMT)

oh jonesy ye of little faith only few days ago they were on their way to # 1. other than hilfenhaus. after his ashes failure did not expect to ever see him again. as to cowan it was expected and he will do a good job. aussies to go 1 up. dpk

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 11:13 GMT)

this is the weakest australia team i have ever seen,, i think the name of australia team as they were famous for is lost and will never can back.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 11:11 GMT)

Ponting and Hussey are past their prime and they should have been dropped. On present form Khwaja and Christian are better chioces if selectors do not want Hughes in the team because of his performance against New Zealand.

Posted by veerakannadiga on (December 21, 2011, 11:07 GMT)

If one looks at the team selection closely, it is a very well organized unit with a blend of both experience and youth. Pointing & Hussey, are going to score heaps of runs.Our bowling unit(if one could call them bowlers), will see to that both these fantastic players regain form and extend their career for some more time.Though I am Indian supporter, I do not forsee any upsets and our wait for an Indian series win in Australia will have to wait for some more years.

Posted by waitara on (December 21, 2011, 10:43 GMT)

I still think Ponting should have gone more than a year ago.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 10:43 GMT)

the 11 for boxing day has to be cowan warner marsh ponting clarke hussey haddin siddle pattinson hilfenhouse and lyon

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 10:35 GMT)

Personally I'd have never considered Hilfenhaus, and he has no more experience than Siddle but if he's in a purple patch of form why not? We can judge the selections once the match is over. I'm still disappointed Hussey, Ponting and Haddin are retained - how many last chances do they need to get? I think Khawaja has what it takes to be a great player, but being dropped is probably going to be good for his career in the long run..

Posted by AndyMack on (December 21, 2011, 10:34 GMT)

So a guy who has averaged 34 in first class cricket over many years, is now deemed good enough for Test cricket because he is on a purple patch since MID-NOVEMVER!!!!! 1 month!!! Yes, please drop a guy who averaged over 60 in the last 2 and a half years for this flavour of the month. Argus has changed nothing.

Posted by FatBoysCanBat on (December 21, 2011, 10:32 GMT)

@scottyg: I like what you're saying man. It baffles me that Clint McKay has not played a Test yet [and hasn't been selected for ODIs in a while]. Nothing against Starc but McKay is a superior bowler in the long form of the game - actually he is a way better bowler full-stop - so he should have been selected for the games against NZ let alone this series.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (December 21, 2011, 10:28 GMT)

@slogganators222 . can you please tell me when our indian batmsen feel uncomfortable on aus pitches . ? heck even sehwag had a batting average of 58 in australia .

Posted by likeintcricket on (December 21, 2011, 10:14 GMT)

Usman khwaja is Technically a better player than the rest and he will surely makes his way into the team again. Australia is not a great batting side anymore and that can be exploited by Indians if their own batting show some form. It is time for Ponting and Tendulkar to retire now as these players are just occupying spots. Both the players are like gods in their countries as no one can touch them unless they decide their own fate. Tendulkar has some advantage as he always find dead Indian wickets to come to his rescue.

Posted by ste13 on (December 21, 2011, 10:11 GMT)

Aus - good decision on both batsmen and bowlers, but hope Hilfenhaus is only back-up, as he has not proved to be international level; India - they should not risk on two injury prone bowlers, also although I think it will not happen, but I would give a place to Rohit Sharma at an expence of Laxman or Tendulkar

Posted by Mattyblackcapsfan on (December 21, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

ed cowan deserves his chance hes made runs the last 2/3 seasons the aussie selectors have picked him n christian while the irons hot which is good to see should b a tight series aussies 2-1 win

Posted by sn4tchbuckl3r on (December 21, 2011, 9:56 GMT)

comparing the outcomes of original Hughes selection (at time of selection Australia's most out of form batter) against Cowan now (Australia''s most inform batter atm) will be interesting....also hoping, hoping, hoping this is a sign of permanent change in the whole selection process

Posted by Every_run_is_important on (December 21, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

Australia just have to bat well and they will win this series. Indians have great batting line-up but not great enough to score above 350 in first innings and more than 250 in second innings. We all know that, don't we? As we saw in this warm-up game, Indian bowlers will find it difficult to take 20 Australian wickets in a match. Feeling sad while writing this but with this bowling attack India has no chance in this series. Series 3 - 0 to Australia as Indian batters will save at least one Test. I sincerely hope I am wrong but what is inevitable is inevitable...

Posted by Matt. on (December 21, 2011, 9:27 GMT)

Great news on Cowan. Warner, Cowan, Marsh sounds good to me as a top 3...obviously untested. Not happy about Hilf, how many times does he need to prove how mediocre he is? But then I guess we do have injury woes. For me playing Christian as the fourth bowler would be a better option than playing Hilf or Starc

Posted by Amar_rocks77 on (December 21, 2011, 9:23 GMT)

looks a balanced side now...!!

Posted by Wefinishthis on (December 21, 2011, 9:15 GMT)

I'm predicting a few draws this series. With two teams containing so many weak bowlers such as Hilfenhaus, Starc, Siddle and Sharma and batsmen either experienced or in form, combine that with the weather and unless we have some bowler-assisted pitches, it's going to be a long boring summer. Hilfenhaus is just the worst bowler I've ever seen play a test for Australia in my lifetime. If he had any sense of putting the team ahead of himself, he'd step down immediately knowing that he's not even in Australia's top 10 bowlers. How many series do we have to lose carrying him before we see the end of him for good?

Posted by Hail_The_Wall on (December 21, 2011, 9:09 GMT)

The best chance for India to win in Australia. Key players for India - Zaheer, Sehwag, Ashwin!!! Key players for Australia - Clarke, Hussey, Pattinson, Siddle!!! Australia will follow the same approach followed by England, Give the indians green pitches and attack with pace, hence Sehwag is crucial because he can score on any pitch. Also Zaheer is crucial because i feel he's the only proper fast bowler in the squad. Though pitches might not support him, ashwin's variations may be helpful in tackling the inexperienced aussie batsmen..From Australia's view, it wud be pace pace pace, hence siddle and pattinson are crucial, hussey is crucial because he can bat with the tail build some partnerships and most importantly he's very much hungry for runs Overall I feel there would be injury worries for India, series wud be a drawn one!!

Posted by o-bomb on (December 21, 2011, 9:03 GMT)

Good for Cowan - I think he's deserved his chance. They may struggle to bowl India out if they just go with 4 bowlers though, especially with Harris not fit. If they go with Christian as a 5th bowler (in the absence of Watson) then Marsh may miss out. That'd be a bit hard on him, but he'll have other opportunities. Looking forward to it.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 9:00 GMT)

India has a real chance to beat Australia in Australia specifically because the non availability of Bucknor and Benson duo...Period

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

Surprsing element is Ben. I don know why they haven't given a chance for douggy. Anyway, with warner and ed opening with Marsh in no.3 having Christian as well(assuming), then the task will be heavy for Indian Bowlers. As we saw in the NZL-AUS match, the ball is swinging like banana and i am sure the same kind of pitch will be maintained by the curator. So Indian batsmen needs to keep focus and dont fall in to the prey for some bad shots. If Aussies are taken for a toss with our bowling, then we need to make some strong decisions in our batting as well and should show the aggressiveness. I think if the Indians keep watching the 2nd match of AUS-NZL they can get to know on how to play Aussies in Aussie.

Posted by ShankarKR on (December 21, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

Australia lost most of their matches when Siddle and Hifenhaus are present. I think there are several better bowlers than these pair. I think Aussies don't want to win the test matches this time too.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 8:46 GMT)

Aus line up is settled.. Hilf is a work-horse and Warner will make runs against India... Sehwag and Rahane do not look to be in any form...I would want kohli and Rohit sharma playing.. Ponting is due and will crack a 200+ in the series...Hope that there are a lot of runs, earned wickets and quality cricket in the series..

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 21, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

Ishant vs Ricky would be interesting. The latter would throw away his wicket in search of lost form..... lol - Prasant UNSW

Posted by BozoSri on (December 21, 2011, 8:43 GMT)

Considering that the Indian bowling isn't experienced, neither strong, they will have a tough time bowling out Australia twice in a game to win it. The combination of Marsh, Ponting, Hussey and Clarke is as formidable as the indian batting line up, and they are playing at home conditions. And India is a team which is the best in bringing out of form players at the end of their careers from the brink of extinction to ultimate greatness. I am entirely sure ponting and Hussey will score centuries within the first two tests and Australia will win one of them. Clarke although keeping in line with the Australian style of captaincy, aggressive and attacking, is less likely to cause any controversy. I am looking forward to a tough season of good cricket and will be disappointed if either of the teams fail to live up to the hype. Both teams are highly capable of under performing.

Posted by scottyg on (December 21, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

Hilfy only got Strauss out once and a few tailenders last Ashes- on often bowler friendly tracks (Melbourne, Perth) so why bring him in now if you have decent young bowlers around? Starc, Hazlewood, Faulkner and Clint McKay should be ahead of him for a recall- apart from that, a decent Aussie squad for the first time in ages

Posted by popcorn on (December 21, 2011, 8:29 GMT)

This is brilliant thinking by the Selectors. There is cover for all eventualities!The definite slots are Cowan at 1 and 2, Marsh or Ponting at 3,Ponting at 4 if Marsh is fit,Clarke at 5,Hussey at 6,or Ponting, Clarke, Hussey and 3,4,5 and all rounder Daniel Christian at No.6,Haddin at 7, Siddle,Pattinson, Hilfenhaus and Lyon as 8 to 11.We have seen that Siddle,Pattinson and Lyon can bat too! I feel sorry for Usman Khawaja - he's been given a raw deal right through the time he got his Baggy Green - shuffled up and down and order, and out of the Team too.

Posted by Trickstar on (December 21, 2011, 8:26 GMT)

@Bhargav Hazarika LOL Australia still formidable at home? you are being ironic aren't you, in the last 7 home tests, they've lost 4 won 2, oh yes really awesome. They're really plumbing the depths lately, Cowan a nealy 30 year old journey man cricketer and Christian a bits and pieces cricketer at best and they've even brought Hilfenhaus back in for good measure, great times for Australian cricket.

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 21, 2011, 8:21 GMT)

Proud Indian.. Good work by CA. they ensured Aus' best team is playing and India can proudly say they won series against ameteur, competitive and talented team. - Prasant UNSW

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 8:20 GMT)

ohh........dougie bollinger not included....... i cannot beleive it.the selectors made a mistake by not picking him up........

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 8:18 GMT)

Hilfenhaus??!?!!...out of the world decision!!..

Posted by slogganators222 on (December 21, 2011, 8:13 GMT)

As a neutral i am looking foward to the series but i think India will get delt to. India depend far too much on their spinners and their pace attack wont be up to i i'm afraid. History shows that Indian batsmen can't cope with Australian pitches, so i'm sorry to say India have little to no chance.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 8:11 GMT)

If Usman Khawaja got dropped because of poor form, then why not Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey or Brad Haddin?? Can't keep picking people because of their experience. Could this mean Steve Waugh might make a comeback because of his experience??

Posted by gimme-a-greentop on (December 21, 2011, 8:06 GMT)

On Australia's previous tour of SA ( where they won 2-1) I thought Hilfenhaus looked a good quality test bowler and couldn't figure out where he went..good to see him back in the squad

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 7:59 GMT)

we are ready to beat Australia in Australia whatever playing xi is there of opponent.Our Tendulkar will made 100th 100 this time...just wait and watch.....

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (December 21, 2011, 7:59 GMT)

Have to agree with Jonesy2, Marsh is the key here, though the top order is very inexperienced which puts pressure on Punter, Clarke and Hussey in the middle order, if they get exposed too early it could be a problem. The bowling looks to be the strongest part of the team, with Siddle, Starc and Pattinson most likely to make the cut, from the seamers, and Lyon as the spinner. I dont see theres room for Daniel Christian unless Marsh is injured and he either comes in just before or after Haddin.

Posted by boooonnie on (December 21, 2011, 7:58 GMT)

Bowling wise I can understand the reasoning behind both Siddle and Hildenhaus. Both have the much needed experience and stamina needed against an Indian side that can keep you in the field for a long time. But I also have vivid memories of how unthreatening they were last year against an England side, that despite recent results, is not quite as strong as this Indian batting line up. Batting wise it looks to me that the top three could be Warner, Cowan and Marsh. If that is the case then there will a lot of pressure on young shoulders. Ponting, Cark and co could easily find themselves batting with not many runs on the board. Still there is no lack of talent in these young batters and this might well be the start of a new era of Cricket Aust. Exciting times.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 7:50 GMT)

Looks a really good side. If marsh is fit,then aussies got to play him. Christian is good,but I don't think Indians will be too worried bout him. Also,if 4 bowlers can't do d job for u,den 5th one will never do it. Better,aussies play a genuine batter in d 11[With all due respect to Dan Christian]. I think of dis 13,I'll drop Dan and Starc. I don't know why Aussies don't like Hilfy. I saw him in d recent BB game and the way he was swinging it was good to see. The outswinger which he has is brilliant and that's exactly how u get sehwag out by pitching it full and he goes for d drive and edges it. Anyways,me being an Indian would be happy if hilfy doesn't play as starc definitely won't cause any problems for our gr8 batting line up. Probably,the 1st time in years when we look better dan d Aussies! We were good in d 2003/2004 tour. Barring the Sydney drama,we were good in 2007/2008 as well. Dis time,we'll be gr8! Viru,Gauti,Rahul,Sachin,Laxman,Kohli,Mahi,Ashwin,Zak,Ishy,Yadav=Win##

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 7:49 GMT)

Checking first class averages, see that Christian averages 30. Steve Smith averages 40 and couldn't cut it as a number 6. Can't see Christian at 6; maybe at 7 IF Haddin can be trusted to bat responsibly at 6. Big IF.

Memo shravanvallaban re Marcus North - seen on tv the other night, Marcus is carrying too much weight to be a contender, let alone how his form is running.

Posted by Nerk on (December 21, 2011, 7:46 GMT)

It is sad that Usman is out. More proof that Australian cannot move forward without dropping Ponting. In Usman Australia had a real player for the future, but hopefully Ponting and Hussey will vindicate the selectors faith for the time being. Also, I hope Hilfy has gotten over his 'Monty Panesar disease' - i.e. Not bowling 100 balls, but bowling the same ball 100 times. It is a good team, however, and should acquit themselves well on boxing day.

Posted by OttawaRocks on (December 21, 2011, 7:42 GMT)

This looks like a compelling series. India will be coming in with some essential practice in Australian conditions. The only iffy decision on the Indian side is not taking Harbhajan. Although Harbhajan's recent form has been questionable, the man is a big game player and saves his best for the hardest fight. Leaving him out might be a mistake - I would have taken instead of Ojha although going for youth is not a bad decision in of itself. Australia meanwhile have ensured a stronger side than what they had vs. NZ. Looking forward to the battle. I'm actually expecting both sides to demonstrate their batting dominance over the bowlers. Go India!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

Cowan could be Rick McCosker or Mike Hussey - both heavy scoring openers (McCosker less so) who came to test cricket relatively late but did well. Or Cowan could be Ken Eastwood, who scored even more heavily in the Sheffield Shield, came to tests - admittedly at 35 - played once and disappeared. Cowan is young enough still to have excellent reactions; let's see what his technique is like.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 7:32 GMT)

Given the non-violent nature of the Indian attack, Australia should win this comfortably.

Posted by Mary_786 on (December 21, 2011, 7:24 GMT)

How does Khawaja miss out at the expense of out of form Ponting and Hussey, these older blokes are just playing for the money, Ponting gets over 3 million a year, no wonder he doesn't want to retire.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 7:16 GMT)

Warner, Cowan,Marsh Ponting, Hussey, Clarke,, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Hilfenhaus and Lyon. It's a good looking lineup (given Australia's current injury woes and lack of riches on the bench), but unless Ponting and Hussey click and Pattinson continues with the dream start to his career, Australia may find themselves in big trouble.

Posted by katandthat3 on (December 21, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

A pretty good squad. Hopefully Marsh will be fit, certainly adds stability to the top order. I think Christian is a better bat than bowler and would be the right fit to replace Hussey when the selectors get to that decision, to have both of them in the side would be a bit out of whack as you need Marsh in the top 3. Faulkner, M Marsh & Butterworth are better bowlers than Christian but he has the better stats with the bat. Have to decide do they want a bowling allrounder or a batting one while Watto is out (as he is = at both). I think Starc is still lucky to be there (Faulks is ahead of him), I don't know why Hogan doesn't get a mention or even George. Hazlewood is looking better too. It's nice to say Hussey & Ponting are great for the team but they have to score runs. Hilf has looked good in the games I've seen including a recent SS match. My team without injuries by end of summer would look like: Warner, Cowan, Marsh, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Harris, Cummins, Pattinson & Lyon.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 7:14 GMT)

wow..! it's much better side than played against NZ.I'm excited to watch new opening pair of warner & team

Posted by Fourworldcups on (December 21, 2011, 7:11 GMT)

It will be hard to fit Christian in, especially if Marsh is fit. Looking very good for Aus now, as long as the top order keep their head they'll be grinding the 2nd rate Indian attack into dust on boxing day.

Posted by sharkwolf on (December 21, 2011, 7:07 GMT)

Dear Guyz, If you read the last article of Ian Chappel, he already said about these changes, particularly Hughes and Khwaja, I know he seems bit right to me, Khwaja needs to improve his technique/batting style, and who knows he might becomes the new Hayden for Australia…Shaun is a very productive resuorce and he is also aware most of Indian talent as well...

Posted by wix99 on (December 21, 2011, 7:05 GMT)

Khawaja was unlucky to miss out. I think he will be back in the Test side before too long though. Ponting and Hussey will be feeling the heat and must score runs in Melbourne or Sydney to maintain their place in the side. It is good to see the selectors rewarding Cowan and Christian for making runs in first class cricket.

Posted by Abhiramb on (December 21, 2011, 7:02 GMT)

Too much burden on other players if Ponting and Hussey continue their bad showing!!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 7:02 GMT)

Ricky Ponting shoudl retire, they should play Usman Khwaja

Posted by Prasant_NSW on (December 21, 2011, 6:49 GMT)

Proud Indian.. Good work by CA. they ensured Aus' best team is playing and India can proudly say they won series against ameteur, competitive and talented team. - Prasant UNSW

Posted by CricIndia208 on (December 21, 2011, 6:47 GMT)

Australia are a good team but India are better and will win. Unlike other subcontinental teams (especially pakistan who have not won in Australia in sixteen years) India have a good record in Australia.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

To me Usman khwaja is a more solid and competent batsman than marsh and should have been selected for the upcoming test ..... he has a good temperament as well as a good technique..... BAD DECISION by the Australian selectors ....

Posted by cricket-vid on (December 21, 2011, 6:40 GMT)

Marsh's long first class career with a average under 40, makes me think of Marcus North. Not a serious long term test prospect - but whilst he's in the form of his life we should play him. But don't expect this to be the start of a glittering Test career.

Posted by RNikh on (December 21, 2011, 6:23 GMT)

Given Christian's bowling form he will be good enough to replace starc with the ball, and of course there's his batting which at the moment is leading the sheffield shield run charts... Top player he is. My XI: Warner, Cowan, marsh, ponting, Clarke, hussey, Christian, haddin, siddle, pattinson, Lyon.

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 21, 2011, 6:13 GMT)

@Morgan Rodgers Gibson... Yes, Cutting & Copeland are still carrying injuries... As are Couter-Nile, Mitch Marsh, Butterworth... For Tassie both Faulkner (29.4 bat av) & Butterworth (28 bat av) have better strike rates that Hilfenhaus (17 bat) & would bolster the tail end... Bird for Tassie has one of the best strike rates in the country... It goes Harris, M Marsh, Cutting, Swan, Bird - as the best SR bowlers this SS season (Swan only 1 match)... With over 20 pace bowlers with better SR's than Hilfenhaus it does leave the "pick players on form" notion somewhere at the bottom of the dunny can...

Posted by Doogius on (December 21, 2011, 6:06 GMT)

@Revi - of course. Oz selectors have been in panic mode since Warne retired. Regardless, heres the team. The selectors can't resist the right/left opening bowling so despite being useless, Starc gets a go. Due to Starcs inability to take wickets, Christian gets a go, which is an easy call since they know that if Marshs back goes mid test, he's out straight away. So, Hilfie gets 5 days twiddling his thumbs. Crazy logic but you watch :)

Posted by Stevo_ on (December 21, 2011, 6:01 GMT)

@karthi_denova "i wont believe they capable to get the 20 indian wkts in evry innings "

Lucky they only need to get 10 in each innings

The Indian bowling attack looks about as threatning as a marshmellow, but thats probabaly all it needs to be against this batting line up. Warner to go early in both innings.

Posted by drnaveed on (December 21, 2011, 6:01 GMT)

with this bowling line up, india will thrash you badly, so be prepared for it, and remember it will also be boxing day.............

Posted by atuljain1969 on (December 21, 2011, 5:58 GMT)

I fail to understand this talk that India has the best chance to win in this tour. If we see carefully, our bowlers need to take 20 wickets, and with the injury list going up by days, new bowlers lack experience and guile to take those wickets. Asfar as batting is concerned we just need to look back our batting in England and in W.I where we regularly failed to score more then 250. More ever we are relying more on Australia's current weakness rather virtues of Indian team. But Australia is playing in their backyard, and wickets will be suited to their type of Bowling.

Even if India manages to draw this series it will be great victory. Though it is impossible to predict the final result, I strongly believe it could be 4-0 or 3-0 in favor of Australia.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 5:57 GMT)

For the first time in my 15 years of following cricket that I am confident that India are capable of beating an Australian side. This team is filled with inexperience , you can thousands of runs in first class cricket but experience is something you wont get with a youthful side. Unfortunately, that is something Australia are currently building and its good to see decent prospects but this is definitely not a side I would be intimidated by like past AUS sides.

Although, I am worried about India's batting ,even against the West Indies at home there were a lot collapses and bad strokes being played. I feel this series is going to dominated by BATTING COLLAPSES from both sides. It is going to be exciting and close I feel.

As for Hussey and Pointing, they are going to be the highest run scorers in this series. Top class acts. Indian bowling is also inexperienced just like Australia's and they will come unstuck against these two batters I feel.

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 21, 2011, 5:56 GMT)

the fact that ussie got left out suggests that marsh is pretty much certain to be fit and play?

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 5:54 GMT)

‎1.Warner ( most in-form batsman, except for cowan in Australia at the moment) 2. Cowan ( naturally gifted player, 4 centuries in his last 4 games and a century against the indians, what more can you do) 3. Hussey (i think he needs a change of pace, no.6 is too low, he can't do anything, would have preferred khawaja though, being scolded for getting starts while other batsmen are completely failing seems a bit hypocritical) 4. Ponting ( record stands for itself, but needs runs or this is his last test series) 5. Clarke ( although in a rich vein of form, has batted rashly the last few innings and has gotten a bit lucky) 6. Christian (in-form batsman, handy bowler, ideal replacement for an injured watson) 7. Haddin ( rash shots give him a bad reputation, but he is still a good gloveman, which is his primary job, plus he is compared too much to gilchrist, a testament to gilly's workmanship) 8. Siddle ( a natural bowling leader with experience who seems to lead the attack like Mitchell Joh

Posted by getaclue on (December 21, 2011, 5:52 GMT)

@randyoz. We have someone at 6....if Christian cant replace watto (ie open) what use is he? Change the entire batting line-up to fit him in....?

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 21, 2011, 5:52 GMT)

if marsh gets up to play then the team actually looks good. marsh's fitness is the key.

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 21, 2011, 5:50 GMT)

still cant believe this. khawaja dropped. unbelievable. i didnt think the selectors could be worse than they were a year ago. i dont understand how mitch marsh doesnt get in the squad with no watson. and hilfy as much as i love him how does copeland get left out. if such an understrength team can beat india then australia really are the best team in the world without a doubt

Posted by churchy18 on (December 21, 2011, 5:49 GMT)

wow..! it's much better side than played against NZ.I'm excited to watch new opening pair of warner & cowan...

Posted by c3vzn on (December 21, 2011, 5:45 GMT)

I'm happy with Khawaja being dropped. He has been making start after start which isn't good enough for someone of his class and talent in the Test arena. Needs to go back and averaged 60+ for a season in first class cricket. By then Hussey and Ponting should've retired and he can slot back in.

Posted by CrimeMasterGoGo on (December 21, 2011, 5:39 GMT)

Thought Marsh was injured and Watson was good to go. Khawaja looked according to me, needed to be persisted with.

Posted by drnaveed on (December 21, 2011, 5:38 GMT)

with this bowling line up , india will punish you, and yes it will be the boxing day as well.

Posted by ssenthil on (December 21, 2011, 5:35 GMT)

No Watson, No Ryan Harris and No Dough Bollinger!!! Excellent team selection from Aussies, They have increased the possibility of Indian win, had they selected P Huges instead of Ed Cown, it would have been excellent. But still this is good enough for India. India just need to see off James Pattinson perhaps unsettle him and then the series is India's.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (December 21, 2011, 5:34 GMT)

THIS IS THE BEST CHANCE IN AGES FOR INDIA TO BEAT OZ IN OZ LAND. 2 green openers, a green spin bowler and a green fast bowling attack plus out of form under pressure seniors struggling to score big runs. There is no excuses for this Indian team consisting of stalwarts like Sachin, Rahul, VVS and Zaheer lead by MSD to fumble this time. They have reached the OZ shores well in advanced and at least top 6 in batting department are injury free. Indias batting needs to click big time and score big runs in order to give there bowlers enough chance to take 20 wickets. This is for sure last OZ tour for Scahin and Rahul. They need to make it count. It is now or never...!

Posted by unregisteredalien on (December 21, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

NOW the new selection panel really begins its work! I agree with most of these choices, but above all else, this team looks to have been composed in a sensible, rational and balanced manner. It's been a while! It will be fascinating to see how the panel manages the forthcoming retirements but on this evidence I'm thinking they'll do a good job of it.

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 21, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

@rats_rule... looks like the obvious team if Marsh is 100%... Hilfy can be a workhorse but that has also lead to his many injuries that have kept him out for months at a time... That is why there is a need for a good 5th bowler - not part time like Clarke, Hussey, Warner who can't hold up 6 over spells regularly... With the poor batting by Australia, our bowlers have longer spells more regularly with smaller breaks in-between... Either we use an allrounder or we continue to get injuries...

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 5:32 GMT)

i would of pick ben cutting, steve magoffin over Starc/Hilfenhaus. It Hilfenhaus fails in this series. i think it would be his last chance in test level for australia.

rest of the side is good. except Christian, for all rounder i think Luke Butterworth is a extra bowler for the team instead of a batter.

Posted by trueindian on (December 21, 2011, 5:28 GMT)

Oh, its really feels bad that to include Cowan, Khawaja was axed. Instead Khawaja should have been given one more opportunity and this time as an opener. We already seen that today when he opened in the 2nd innings against Indians and hit an unbeaten 56 at a good strike-rate. I had already suggested him as an opener yesterday and he proved me. Hilfenhaus is a strange selection maybe as a cover for Watson. And Marsh too. Where will he play in the XI if Cowan opens? That means Ponting or Hussey have one last chance before Marsh returns. Overall, good team selection by Inverarity and Co.

Posted by Samu on (December 21, 2011, 5:28 GMT)

Goo squad....If Marsh is not fit, time for Ponting to move back at 3...and Christian debuts....else Marsh at 3 and followed by Ponting,Clarke and Hussey respectively....

Starc might miss out in the 11...overall a decent squad!!

Posted by AidanFX on (December 21, 2011, 5:28 GMT)

I personally hope Hiff comes in - I also think Cutting (prob being monitored for injury) and Copeland are legitimate inclusions; however I am not going to get worked up about their exclusions. I guess the Aus selectors have got it right by trying the young ones in Pattinson early (a must start) and then Starc (who should be dropped now for India). Hiff, Pattinson, Siddle and Lyon is actually are very good lineup. A realize the merits for Christian - but surely Cowan's form is must walk in.

Posted by pj3000 on (December 21, 2011, 5:27 GMT)

It would be grand if Daniel Christian's does get a run: a rare, exciting talent. In time, I hope Aus plays Watson and Christian in the same team, with Watto opening the batting at Christian at No. 6. If the two were sharing 20 overs a day in Test cricket, it would take a heap of pressure of Watto - plus Aus would retain a dynamic yet measured batsman at the top of the order, while adding an explosive Andrew Symonds-style one at No. 6.

Posted by suresh_sksj on (December 21, 2011, 5:24 GMT)

Glad the selectors did some homework and are positive of the new guy Cowan, guess Ponting is on ventilator time, his time is up...but he's so stubborn that he refuses to accept that age is catching up with him....he's past 37 now on Dec 19th... even the great Don accepted that his reflexes went down with age...once you are past 35 some that u did in the mid 20s and early 30s can be done....same is the batting skills of Ricky....everyone cant emulate what Sachin is doing now...the kid in him is doing all the work on the field...he still values his wicket....and fights for every single harm taking some tips from Sachin...will u..?

Posted by Full-Blooded-Wallop on (December 21, 2011, 5:20 GMT)

Now that's a deal! as an Indian fan I hope now with the axing of hughes and khwaja,it could become more competitive!

Posted by lolrocket on (December 21, 2011, 5:10 GMT)

Hopeful XI: 1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Marsh 4. Ponting 5. Clarke 6. Hussey 7. Haddin 8. Siddle 9. Pattinson 10. Hilfenhaus 11. Lyon

If Marsh is unfit then bring in Christian and move him down to 6.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 5:09 GMT)

This is as good an Australian team to play the visiting Indians. Australia in their home turf remain formidable opponents. Ed Cowan is an exciting prospect. It should make up for a rivetting series!!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 5:07 GMT)

This is exactly what australian cricket needs to be like. You make shield runs, you get a baggy green. NOT, you show promise, you get a baggy green. Good Luck Ed Cowan

Posted by lugujaga on (December 21, 2011, 5:06 GMT)


Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 5:06 GMT)

Hilfenhaus, quite interesting, importantly no genius had predicted it. Could make a strong impact. Waiting for the Boxing !!!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 5:03 GMT)

good seletion for Cowan. I havent seen Hilfy bowl but if he has been bowling more dangerous swing then in the Ashes, im happy with his selection

Posted by jkaussie on (December 21, 2011, 5:01 GMT)

I like this squad, and I like the the fact that the NSP is generally picking players who are in form - Warner was in good nick and has responded well; Cowan has been in really good from and Hilfenhaus has taken a good bag of wickets in his last 4 games (though I think he will be released from the squad). I'd like them to stick with the same 4 bowlers, the only question mark being Starc - a little erratic but doesn't he keep the seam upright well?!! And he surprises with his bounce. Please let the weather be good! The little master at the G against a young but exuberant bowling attack = happy xmas!!

Posted by TheLoneStranger on (December 21, 2011, 4:59 GMT)

Wonderful thinking, fellas! Drop Khawaja, but retain Ponting AND Hussey, both of whom are out of form. And of course, Katich didn't get a look-in. You wouldn't all be Labor voters, by some chance?

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 21, 2011, 4:59 GMT)

Interesting 13... 7 batters... 5 bowlers... So in the obvious 1st 11 are Clarke, Haddin, Warner, Lyon... Cowan who will open... Leaving Marsh if fit at no.3... Ponting no.4... Hussey & Christian for no.6... Pace bowlers - Siddle, Pattinson are starters, leaving Hilfenhaus & Starc to fight over the last spot - on form Hilfy... Starting 11: Warner, Cowan, Marsh, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey/Christian, Haddin, Hilfenhaus, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon... If the selectors want a 5th bowler then Hussey gets dropped... Or if Marsh is unfit, then Christian gets selected automatically... A funny way to pick a team - unless Hussey is on the outers...

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 21, 2011, 4:55 GMT)

@Daniel Brettig... ahh, missed the box when first published... though Haddin is VC again - so he can protect his position within the team again...

Posted by Wefinishthis on (December 21, 2011, 4:53 GMT)

The top order finally looks good with Warner, Cowan and Marsh, the middle order looks average with Ponting, Clarke, Hussey and Haddin, but the bowling looks just awful. Hilfenhaus? Really? The guy who averages 34+? The guy who has already failed in two ashes attempts? Honestly, someone tell me that Hilfenhaus and Siddle will ever be world-beaters. If not, they should not be there. You've seriously got to be kidding me. What did he even to do deserve a spot? Siddle, Hilfenhaus and Starc is the WORST possible bowling attack the selectors could have chosen. With Harris and Cummins out, it should have been 3 of Pattinson, Copeland, Faulkner, Cutting or Butterworth.

Posted by JustIPL on (December 21, 2011, 4:53 GMT)

Both Hughes and Usman had decent partnership in the last innings of the practice match which could have been their starting point. Anyway, Aussies have options while Indian batting and bowling is very capable. So, contest will be interesting.I feel that Rahul Sharma with Ashwin can be a more wicket taking option. Ojha is just slowing down the run rate. Also, absence of watson will be good for India. As I said Sehwag's record in ODI was due to special conditions created by home board and now he will flop.

Posted by sumitfreak on (December 21, 2011, 4:52 GMT)

Leave Starc and Marsh out. I think Christain will be a good add. is a fab fielder too..

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 4:51 GMT)

Last chance for punter......but dnt worry all players out of form comes in form against india,thank to our so called bowlers !!!!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 4:45 GMT)

good pragmatic selection. now the aussies should play christian so that they have 5 bowlers. my line up is: warner,cowan(or marsh if fully fit),ponting, clarke, hussey, christian, haddin, siddle, pattinson, lyon, hilfenhaus.

Posted by ajayrcs on (December 21, 2011, 4:44 GMT)

I don't think Phillip Hughes deserved to be dropped he was in so much pressure because of which he was not performing. Ed Cowan is 29 where as Hughes is 23 so australis has to think they have to pick team for future or only for series against India. Why Harris is not playing? and What is the status of DRS? If India is not using DRS then they should not complaint against wrong decision like in last Sydney match.

Posted by satyam.sharma on (December 21, 2011, 4:41 GMT)

Warner, Cowan, Ponting, Hussey, Clarke, Christian, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Hilfenhaus and Lyon it will certainly be as Marsh and Starc are going to miss out. It's a good looking lineup (given Australia's current injury woes and lack of riches on the bench), but unless Ponting and Hussey click and Pattinson continues with the dream start to his career, Australia may find themselves in big trouble.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 4:41 GMT)

why not Wade instead of Haddin

Posted by landl47 on (December 21, 2011, 4:40 GMT)

Given that there's no question of batting Haddin at 6 and Siddle at 7, if Marsh is not fit then the selectors are putting their faith in Christian at #6. I wonder if anyone can remember a top 6 batsman for Australia making his debut at age 28 with a career first-class batting average of 30.09? Yes, he's got a couple of centuries this season (which gives him 3 for his career) and he bowls a bit (first-class bowling average of 35.06), but those aren't the numbers you expect from an Aussie test player. Hilfenhaus ran into England last Summer and was made to look ordinary, but so has everyone else against England recently. If he plays I guess Starc misses out, but he would give Aus some consistency in their attack and if the ball swings he could be useful. Cowan's the form player and given the lacklustre performances from Hughes and Khawaja deserves his shot, though he's another career journeyman. Not an exciting Aus squad, apart from Pattinson, but the best available right now.

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 21, 2011, 4:40 GMT)

@Daniel Brettig... Why didn't you add the squad from CA website as well?... The Australian squad (13) is: David Warner, Ed Cowan, Shaun Marsh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (c), Mike Hussey, Brad Haddin (vc), Dan Christian, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc...

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 21, 2011, 4:36 GMT)

oh my god. is this actually happening? i didnt think the new selectors could pull anything worse than the old ones. oh god. now i somewhat expect india to win.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

stupid decision to drop usman khawaja he never got a fair run........the selectors r meessing up with the batting....just like they did with the bowling in the past

Posted by IndiaNeedsBowlers on (December 21, 2011, 4:31 GMT)

1. I think Khwaja should have been given a longer run. Also he has the pakistani roots, and we all know that pakistanis and indians tend to get their game up a notch when facing the rivals. 2. Penalising youngstres for the batting failure, when the likes of Ponting and Hussey failed is a bit unfair on the new comers. If they are considerd as bright futures, they should be given a longer run. 3. If Shaun Marsh isn't fit, why name him. He could very well make it in the second test. the uncertainity will effect the stability of the Aussie team.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (December 21, 2011, 4:28 GMT)

This is surely the weakest team batting line-up australia must have ever put up.......with two old players refusing to accept that they are more of a liability now than of any help....

The bowling line-up brings the return of Hilfenhaus, who has spent more time nursing injuries than playing cricket.....

For India this is their best chance...

Posted by longthirdleg on (December 21, 2011, 4:18 GMT)

Wow...finally we are picking the in form and best players. Now, I'm really looking foreward to boxing day. Go Hilfy, Go Ed....

Posted by HatsforBats on (December 21, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

That's a bit harsh on Khawaja, being dropped for Marsh who may or may not be fit, and more selction inconsistency with Harris & Watson not being picked due to injury/fitness. Good to see Hilfenhaus back in the squad after a horror Ashes (not sure he deserves it though, Butterworth & Bird have been better for Tas this season); Starc will surely miss out, he's not ready. If they wanted a left-armer Faulkner was the better bet, and they could have had a deep batting lineup with bowling options of Christian, Faulkner, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon. Either way it's still our batting that's the worry, Cowan should add some much needed stability to the top of the order.

Posted by Dashgar on (December 21, 2011, 4:14 GMT)

For team balance you'd say Warner and Cowan are certainties being the only openers. 4 of the bowlers will play so most likely Hilfenhaus or Starc will be one player dropped. That means if they are serious about an allrounder playing then the second player dropped will be either Marsh, Ponting or Hussey. So a couple of debutants for Melbourne in Cowan and Christian, new blood is good to see, this will really put pressure on the failing old guard. Hopefully Wade's debut will come this summer as well.

Posted by Trapper439 on (December 21, 2011, 4:11 GMT)

It's taken me a few minutes to get my head around the idea, but I think the selection of Cowan is a good move. A guy who's been piling on the runs in the Shield has a far better chance of doing well than Hughes or Khawaja, both of whom really need to sort themselves out mentally before they play another Test. Hughes because he falls right into the opposition's trap, and Khawaja because he retreats totally into his shell and doesn't play his natural game.

Posted by Adoh on (December 21, 2011, 4:07 GMT)

No please... not Hilfenhause.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

i was hoping hilfy will make it,he was brillent in BBl against STARS.

Posted by straight_drive4 on (December 21, 2011, 4:00 GMT)

ben hilfenhaus should not be allowed in the same state as the australian team

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:57 GMT)

khawaja out of team.....india must be a happy team now....thanxs ausies selection board

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (December 21, 2011, 3:55 GMT)

Final XI out of that squad (barring injuries) should see Cowan and Starc on the sidelines. Cowan will come in as opener if Marsh fails to recover in time while Starc will come in if they want the variety of a left hander, albeit an out of form one.

Posted by nickhendo on (December 21, 2011, 3:55 GMT)

1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Clarke 4. Ponting 5. Hussey 6. Christian 7. Haddin 8. Siddle 9. Pattinson 10. Lyon 11. Hilfenhaus

that'd be my test team

Posted by SM77 on (December 21, 2011, 3:54 GMT)

Interesting to see the selectors continue with Hussey, ponting, Haddin.. I would have thought that at least one of them would get the tap on the shoulder. I do feel for Khawaja - surely it would be better for the future to have him in the team rather that the 37 year old Ponting. The question now is how many more chances do they give Ponting, Hussey??

Posted by subnys on (December 21, 2011, 3:53 GMT)

If Marsh fails to prove his fitness by 26th then CA will sound more like BCCI who selects players before they are fit to play. Also selection of Ben and Cowan will be more of HOPE that they will perform and will not give Aussies the edge over Indians. All in all, I see another long days in office for Ponting, Clarke and Hussey. Maybe Warner, with his pyrotechnics may bring some reprive.

Best Luck Aussies!!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:51 GMT)

Michael Hussey should have been dropped . Usman Khawaja needs another chance indeed .

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:49 GMT)

good team chosen by cricket australia

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:46 GMT)

looks hey are in panic mode?

Posted by chaksiipm on (December 21, 2011, 3:46 GMT)

Its a good selection but still its doubtful wther its good enough to beat India, hilfenhaus is a good performer in domestic cricket, but whenever he gets international opportunity he lost his rythem,but its a still a good selection because the selector picked players on the current basis performance..............anywz selector did the job, now its up to players to do the job.....................

Posted by zico123 on (December 21, 2011, 3:45 GMT)

very bad decision, old big guys Ponting n Hussey flopped and team lost the match, poor young guys philip hughes and khwaja got dropped !! its like going backwards, persisting with out of form 36-37 yr old at expense of rising youngstars!!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:42 GMT)

This young Aussie team can pose problems to India

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:34 GMT)

Interesting selections, as there are only seven batsman picked, and it's only Marsh's injury that forced them to pick seven. It doesn't make sense to have Christian, who'd bat at six and be valued as a bowler as much as anything, there as the replacement if Marsh isn't right. Which more than likely means that Christian is playing regardless, and if Marsh is fit then it'll be either Hussey or Ponting that misses out. Sad, but probably necessary.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:34 GMT)

Does this mean Dan Christian and Mitch Starc will sit out if Shaun Marsh is fit?

Posted by Riderstorm on (December 21, 2011, 3:27 GMT)

Given the injury list and form issues. The team has been chosen really well. They gave the team the cushion against injuries and choice to include an allrounder incase they want to beef up the bowling. The new choices of Cowan, Hilfenhaus and Christian basing on form and performances bode well.

Posted by Stevo_ on (December 21, 2011, 3:27 GMT)

". Ryan Harris has not yet achieved the volume of bowling required to be available for consideration for Test selection."

How is he supposed to do that when you have cancelled shield cricket for the big bash, Cricket Australia ia a joke

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:27 GMT)

Well good on the selectors. i think hughes had to go and Khawaja has played 6 tests to average under 30 and only 1 fifty in 11 innings, so he hasnt taken his chances although a very talented batsman. I think we need to pick form players now we dont have the superstars and the depth we use to have, so picking cowen whom im not a big fan of is a good choice. Hilfy has bowled well this year and i think would be a better option then starc. im guessing dan christian is a shoe in as i dont think marsh will be fit enough, but where will he bat. does ponting go back to 3. does clarke step up and bat at 3 or does hussey open with cowan at 3. christian surely has to bat at 6 or 7. Would have liked to have seen Faulkner in the squad ahead of starc.

Posted by smudgeon on (December 21, 2011, 3:22 GMT)

...and here I was thinking Hilf had dropped well off CA's radar. He's been better this season, but I still would have thought he was below a few other bowlers on the list of test potentials for this summer. Still, I hope that if he does play, he makes the most of his second chance. A very talented cricketer. Speaking of talented cricketers, I'm so pleased Cowan is in the squad - he had a great season in 2009-2010, went off the boil a little in the following summer, and back to his best now. He should be a good foil for Warner at the top. I've heard quite a few people say recently that Australia's batting stocks aren't up to snuff, but I think the keen-eyed among us know there's a core of good batsmen in domestic ranks waiting for a chance at test level. Make the most of it, Fred!

Posted by zico123 on (December 21, 2011, 3:20 GMT)

i leave out Ben Hilfenhaus and one of Shaun Marsh/ Ricky Ponting/ Michael Hussey

Posted by CheerforUnderdogs on (December 21, 2011, 3:18 GMT)

So AUS squad looks like this... 1. Ed Cowan 2. David Warner 3. Shaun Marsh // Daniel Christian 4. Ricky Ponting 5. Michael Clarke (capt) 6. Michael Hussey 7. Brad Haddin, 8. Peter Siddle, 9. James Pattinson, 10. Ben Hilfenhaus // Mitchell Starc 11. Nathan Lyon

Posted by karthi_denova on (December 21, 2011, 3:17 GMT)

its a well balanced batting side now , Cowan selection is expected one , but the bowling side is inexperienced young bowlers , i wont believe they capable to get the 20 indian wkts in evry innings , also the Daniel Christian inclusion is not fair decision made by the selectors , overall India has win the first test easily

Posted by sugzee on (December 21, 2011, 3:16 GMT)

one thing for sure.......its gonna be one hell of a series

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:15 GMT)

From a personal point of view, Disappointing to see Khawaja being dropped but I guess the right selection has been made.

Posted by chad_reid on (December 21, 2011, 3:15 GMT)

not really sure about Hilfenhaus he and siddle are the same type of players they bowl lots of overs without hardly any wickets siddle did get wickets against nz but against sa he failed and teams like india he will fail as well cant understand why starc is in the team he cant get wickets the ones he did against nz were fortunate ones or batsman giving it away this wont be the case against india they have the best batting lineup in the world on a good note nice to see cowan in the squad and well marsh was a given to return sadly ponting is still thier

Posted by MinusZero on (December 21, 2011, 3:13 GMT)

What a joke. Cowan is a good choice, I dont think Watson and Warner is a good pairing, you need a steady head at one end. Hilfenhaus? Give me a break, he has a poor test record for an opening bowler. Sure, moving to the future means that the team will suffer losses, but nothing is gained by bringing back mediocre players using the excuse of experience. Isnt ability something to be considered?

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 3:13 GMT)

Disappointed that they dropped Khawaja... the guy looked pretty good throughout his 6 test stint.

Posted by captian_buddy on (December 21, 2011, 3:12 GMT)

My pick out of this squad 1.ed cowan 2.david warner 3.ricky ponting 4.daniel christian 5.micheal clarke 6.mike hussey 7.brad haddin 8.james pattinson 9.peter siddle 10.ben hilfenhaus 11.nathan lyon

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (December 21, 2011, 3:09 GMT)

Good team. Good to see Hilfenhaus back. Shane Watson will be missed not only by Australia but by quite a few Indians also. Good luck to both Australia and India. Please play the game in the right spirit and don't be a cause of agony to your fans with your on-field bad behaviour.

Posted by Woody111 on (December 21, 2011, 3:03 GMT)

I must admit I'm liking this panel's commitment to giving new blokes a chance as well as rewarding guys who have gone back to domestic cricket and worked hard. I don't think the selectors can entirely win on this one though. Against India on batting friendly tracks Aus needs all the bowling it can get. This would mean 3 quicks, Lyon AND Christian but this also means dropping a batsman. It shows how much of a role Watson played and Christian is not that close to Watson in the bowling department. If Christian plays he'll bat at 6 with Haddin at 7 so loads of pressure on the top and middle order to make the runs, as they should do. You can't expect Siddle and co. to bail the batsmen out every time.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 21, 2011, 2:57 GMT)

Have the selectors learned nothing? Hilfenhaus? You are KIDDING me! He was proven time and time again to be useless unless the ball was swinging miles. If Hilfenhaus plays I literally don't think I could watch the match. Although I don't like Starc I seriously hope he plays now. What must Copeland be thinking? At least Cowan has made the squad. he deserves a shot based on weight of runs. Am also very glass Watto isn't playing because he isn't fit. Dan Christian can easily slot in at 6 now.

Posted by Meety on (December 21, 2011, 2:54 GMT)

Well, I think they pretty much got the squad right. There are always going to be players a bit unlucky. I feel for Khawaja, but he is young & will bounce back. Hughes obviously needs to get away, I am neither here nor there or Hilfy. I have been dissappointed in him, but I think he is an obvious choice given Oz's pace injury list. The biggest loser out of all this I think is Copeland. I thought he would be very effective against the Indians. As for Cowan, well a few weeks ago I said - no not yet. A loss to NZ, I now say OK. Probably would of gone with Rogers if it were up to me, but he is in a form burst at the moment & deserves a crack. It's funny how he considered himself to be just a stodgy left-hander back in October. I look forward to an account by him on the Boxing Day deut - should be a cracker read if past posts are anything to go by!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:52 GMT)

Loss of Watson and Ryan Harris is big blow for Australia. I am also surprised with omission of Khawaja from the squad. He looked better batsman than Ponting in series against SA & NZ. Aus to putting lot of faith on Hifenhaus and hope he delivers! All the best to Cowan for test debut - he really deserve his chance.

Posted by mikeynz on (December 21, 2011, 2:49 GMT)

Wow! Why are they persisting with Starc? I wouldn't even select him for NSW. How is he ahead of Copeland and Hazlewood? Starc is iffy at state level and has been rubbish in the two tests he played against NZ.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:49 GMT)

Throw in Pat Cummins and replace Haddin as keeper and that side is starting to look good! Watson also still to come back. Glad Hughes can now go back to first class cricket to work on his weaknesses. Khawaja will be back, he has class.

Posted by farkin on (December 21, 2011, 2:49 GMT)

in his last test Usman Khawaja gets run out by ponting so you drop him and reward ponting with keeping him in the side

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:43 GMT)

good squad....cowan new face and hilfy back in the team....

Posted by Patchmaster on (December 21, 2011, 2:43 GMT)

This is a great example to all those 'why didn't they get selected' type fringe players. If you want to get picked, just score MASSES of runs, in the matches that everyone has one eye on. Credit where it's due to Cowan. The only fault with the side is that Katich isn't in it. Ridiculous that he doesn't look like every getting selected again - he his head and shoulders above Hughes and Kwaja.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:43 GMT)

Horses for courses policy. How many times has an Australian team been selected 3 days before a boxing day test ? Clearly the Aussies are rattled and are trying to get their ducks in a row. Dropping Usman is not the right way to go - agreed that he struggled against NZ but he is the future and #3 in the line up. You cannot do this to a player like him. What confidence will he carry with himself ?

Posted by AMD. on (December 21, 2011, 2:36 GMT)

Hugely diappointed with this playing XI.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:35 GMT)

Cowan Yes, Marsh Yes, Hilfenhaus maybe, Christian - who? Prefer a big punt on another young fast bowler and Faukner as a left arm bowling allrounder.

Posted by Daps277 on (December 21, 2011, 2:35 GMT)

Good to see Cowan picked, surprised to see hilfy in the squad!!! Watson is gonna be missed for sure. Hopefully Dan christian is gonna get a debut at MCG.

Posted by Fijicricket on (December 21, 2011, 2:33 GMT)

Good Selection-Cant wait for the traditional Boxing Day Test. Lets face it apart from England only India/v Australia can attract the enthusiasm of Cricket

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:27 GMT)

Michael Hogan (32 wickets @21.65) and Jayde Herrick (32 @28.43) have both takes more wickets than hilfenhaus. How did he get picked ahead of them? Horrible selection. Rest of the squad is fine.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:23 GMT)

Only thing I take from this is that it's more time for MY HOMIE David Warner in the middle!! Yesssssssss

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:21 GMT)

I'm not sure if it's through continued injury, but surely Cutting or Copeland should be pushing for selection ahead of Hilfenhaus. Copeland in particular should surely be pushing it after a solid debut series in Sri Lanka (on batsman friendly wickets). He's been treated harshly based on the perception that he 'needs' to be quicker...

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:21 GMT)

why was huges droppred? north could have been chosen

Posted by   on (December 21, 2011, 2:20 GMT)

It seems like either ponting or hussy will be dropped

Posted by rats_rule on (December 21, 2011, 2:19 GMT)

Good to see Hilf back... he never deserved to be droppedin the first place (or should have been recalled as soon as he recovered from his injury). Should take Starc's place in the team. With his inclusion they shouldn't need to play Christian as an extra bowling option (because Hilf is a workhorse who can bowl all day), which means the batting lineup doesnt need to be tinkered with too much. Hopefully Marsh gets up and if so looks like a pretty good team with the top 3 all in form. Warner, Cowan, Marsh, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Hilfenhaus, Lyon

Posted by shravanvallaban on (December 21, 2011, 2:17 GMT)

superb squad by CA. marcus north could have been selected.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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