New Zealand in Australia 2011-12 November 25, 2011

Warner, Pattinson, Copeland poised for inclusion


David Warner, James Pattinson and Trent Copeland loom as the chief beneficiaries of the injury drama enveloping the Australian team and its new selection panel as preparations are made for the announcement of the summer's first Test squad.

John Inverarity, the national selector, will name his 12 for the Brisbane match against New Zealand on Saturday, and is likely to name Warner to open the batting in place of Shane Watson, the young Victorian quick Pattinson for Pat Cummins, and Trent Copeland as the bowler of long spells to cover for the absence of both Watson and Mitchell Johnson.

Ben Hilfenhaus, much improved this summer after a poor Ashes series in 2010-11, is also expected to find his way into the squad, with the captain Michael Clarke and his fellow selectors to determine the right balance for the Gabba once the team assembles in Brisbane.

Copeland and Pattinson both bowled handily in their respective matches on Friday, Pattinson claiming 4-96 for Australia A against the New Zealand tourists, while Copeland delivered 11 tidy overs for New South Wales against Western Australia on a rain curtailed day one of a Sheffield Shield match. He may be taken out of the match early in order to arrive in Brisbane with the rest of the squad on Sunday evening.

Warner cracked a fluent 65 against the visitors in Brisbane, and is the most obvious inclusion having been Australia's reserve batsman on each of its last two tours to Sri Lanka and South Africa. Having played only 11 first-class matches, Warner has been pushed towards a baggy green due to an outstanding talent that first emerged via Twenty20 cricket.

"[Warner] would be the obvious one. He's been the spare batter on the last couple of trips," the batsman Ricky Ponting said of Warner. "He went to Sri Lanka when I returned home for the birth of my daughter and was the standby batsman again last week. He's been in pretty rare form of late as well.

"His last few Shield games, he's scored a lot of runs. And whenever he's played in Twenty20 or one-dayers he's done a pretty good job. He's been able to turn his career around pretty quickly, looks like he's the sort of guy who's going to be able to step up to the next level. We're all excited to see him play."

Ponting said the 21-year-old Pattinson had benefited greatly from time spent with the Australian team on tour. He was omitted from the Test squad for South Africa due to Cummins' rapid rise, but has been considered a highly talented pace prospect for some time, first travelling with the national squad to India in 2010.

"He's one that has been around our group for a while," Ponting said. "Probably a little bit unlucky not to be in the Test squad on the last trip to SA but he made room for Patty and we know what Patty's done the last couple of weeks.

"James is a terrific young bloke and a very good bowler and his record for Victoria is getting better and better. The time that he's spent around older, wiser heads coaching-wise and playing-wise has probably held him in good stead."

Pattinson would likely be cast in the role of speedy aggressor, with the steadier Copeland, Siddle and perhaps Hilfenhaus to support him. All Australia's likely inclusions will be aided by the buoyant mood the team carried home from Johannesburg, following a dramatic victory to square the Test series.

"That's stuff that you can't re-create, stuff you can only have around your team by getting through that tough situation," Ponting said. "If you look back through Australian cricket's history through the last 10 or 12 years, one of the traits of that great team was it didn't matter how far down it was, it always had the belief that it could pick itself  up and then quite often turn very negative parts of games into very positive ones and then go on and win Test matches.

"That's what we've probably felt we did in that second Test in Johannesburg. Confidence comes from winning games and a different level of confidence comes from winning games that you're almost down and out in. That was a great result for us as a group and, certainly, for a lot of the younger guys who probably haven't been there and experienced it before even in Shield cricket they mightn't have done that. That's stuff that you can't replace and stuff that will always be good around a cricket team."

Probable Test squad: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin (wk), Trent Copeland, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Basil on November 26, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    I'd seriously consider Christian for the squad and possibly the starting XI. He is in red- hot form with the bat, and with Watto out, he would play the no6 all-rounder/ 5th bowler option beautifully. And don't worry.... While he might play for SA, he is originally from NSW so he won't feel out of place.

  • David on November 26, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    Just had a look at Mark Cameron's last first class match at the GABA. 11/52. Thats 4.72 runs per wicket. If he's fit pick him.....who's he playing for at the moment?

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2011, 2:51 GMT

    I should think the author's squad to be very near to the case. I just hope that Pattinson gets a run as the others can be less than incisive. Ferguson needs to improve his domestic record markedly before making the first xi. Though we've seen him cut it at ODI level the likes of Khawaja, Hughes and Warner, those averaging 50 or thereabouts are the ones being handed the opportunities and rightly so. The Aussie batting line up doesn't need another man making cute 40's and 50's in the fashion of Watson, Ponting and Clarke of the last few summers, they need big hundreds and plenty of them.

  • David on November 26, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    @GillyAgain. Picking Hilfenhaus would be a great leap backwards. It would be akin to selecting Scott Muller to delay Brett Lee's debut. Hilfenhaus is not in the top two Tasmanian bowlers (Faulkner/Bird show more promise) let alone the top 10 in Australia. His head hangs low very quickly when things aren't going his way. who care's if he was the best performed bowler in an underperforming lot. One of the young guns is the right way. Having an experienced head is only good if he can contribute to team wins and morale.

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2011, 2:34 GMT

    I am confident that whomever CA selectors choose for Australia v New Ziland it will be our best available . Get behind them everyone as the new broom goes to work . NZ won't be easy , and we best not take them , or make them , feel that way . Collectively Australia will be gee'd up coming off a win over RSF .That was no mean feat . Go the Oi, Oi, Oi's .

  • Kieran on November 26, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    I would think that they should include Cutting and S Smith.

  • David on November 26, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    That Ben Cutting cuts a fine figure. The only reason he won't be picked for Australia is an international conspiracy against Qld. Yes, the GABA is a fast track making his bowling look much better than it really is, and, the great Chappelli rated it as probably the fastest, bounciest wicket in the World. I also know that in every match where Starc and the cutmeister have bowled together (QLD v the dirty conspiring cockroaches; AIS v NZ A; the current match)Starky has either equalled or outperformed him. But Cutting looks better and, like Siddle and Johnson, can bowl the odd delivery at 150kmh. That's superfast. Most Qlders say Cutting MUST (shouting so it MUST be true and It MUST happen) be selected. He's the best man the for the job. Bowling to Kiwis is like bowling to a State squad, missing their intnl players,which Cutting has vast experience at. Please disregard his figures of 3 for 209 against NZ and NZ A. I know Starc has 6 for in the same and Pattinson has a 4 for. Vote 1 Cutting

  • Dummy4 on November 26, 2011, 2:03 GMT

    How come Cowan is never mentioned?

  • Aaron on November 26, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    I wonder if Cowan's century will put him ahead of Warner in the pecking order...

  • Tom on November 26, 2011, 1:14 GMT

    Why is Ben Cutting not in the frame?!?!?!!?!?! The bloke is the form fast bowler in Australia at the moment - taking his wickets at 14 in the Shield. One average day against NZ in the warm-up (where he was made to wait 20 overs before being given a bowl, and was still the most economical quick) and the journalists and selectors have licence to overlook him yet again. Ridiculous - if he were from NSW or Victoria he'd have played 10 Tests already.

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