Australia v New Zealand 2011-12 December 4, 2011

Christian has strong chance to debut

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A commanding defeat of New Zealand inside four days will not stop Australia from considering a debut for the allrounder Daniel Christian as insurance against the risk of overextending the hosts' youthful bowling attack in the second of back-to-back Test matches.

Christian, 28, was placed on standby for the injured Ben Cutting on the final morning of a nine-wicket victory over New Zealand at the Gabba, and seems certain to join the team in Hobart when it arrives on Tuesday after enjoying a day off in Brisbane.

The margin of Australia's victory over the visitors may remove some of the urgency for the national selectors to rush back any of the injured quintet that missed selection for the first Test. Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Shaun Marsh are definitely out of the picture, while Shane Watson and Pat Cummins appear likely to be held back for the greater challenge of India, starting with the first Test on Boxing Day. This places Christian's free-scoring batting and clever seam bowling very much in the frame for Hobart.

"I think it is a good option to have both," Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, said. "That's probably why, because he gives us options and that's what we're looking at in regards to the wicket in Hobart. We don't know what we're going to get, it is always nice to have another option in regards to your bowling, I think a batsman that can bowl a bit.

"I've used Huss [Michael Hussey] over the last few Tests, and he [Christian] has performed well for South Australia, so at this stage he's been put on standby for Cuttsy, but he does present a few options, no doubt."

It is a fine reward for Christian, who is on top of the Sheffield Shield run tally this season with 475 at 59.37 for South Australia. Christian has also taken ten wickets this summer and was last year judged the most valuable player across all formats in Australian domestic cricket by the Australian Cricketers' Association. Christian, 28, has played three Twenty20 internationals, all of which came in early 2010.

Cutting was the unlucky bowler to miss out on a place in the first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba, where the selectors preferred Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson.

He flew to Melbourne to play in Queensland's Sheffield Shield game against Victoria but bowled only nine overs due to his injury. Scans revealed that Cutting had a small muscle tear in his side, which will sideline him for four to six weeks, ruling him out of consideration for at least the first two Tests of the India series.

And due to the lack of Sheffield Shield cricket in January, when only the Big Bash League is on, Cutting is unlikely to be considered for any of the India Tests with no four-day cricket in which to prove himself.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MinusZero on December 4, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    Why isn't Luke Butterworth considered? He is slightly younger, has a batting average that is almost the same (28.01 christian 30.09) but his bowling average is far better (24.37 to 35.06)

  • on December 4, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    Mitch Marsh, hey, ,jonesy2? Batting avge of 21 and 22 wkts from 16 FC matches. Haven't heard any hype and don't see why there should be any. Being a Marsh boy, for sure, he'll be picked in the near future but it won't be on merit.

  • vish1036 on December 4, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    reading those last few paragraphs...cutting has got to be one of the most unlucky men around lol

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on December 4, 2011, 22:15 GMT

    Deary me. Dan Christian is terrible! He's the equivalent of Darren Stevens or Dimitri Mascarenhas in England!

  • alexczarn on December 4, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    Dan Christian would be nice in the ODI team and T20 team this summer!

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 4, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    I don't care much about Aussie cricket but I do see some decent kids on the block here. It will be a test for them against a good Indian team. Daniel Christian from what I have seen of him is a good player. But I feel he won't make the XI once Watson and the others return. Nevertheless, I am looking ahead to the next ASHES series. It's gonna be fruitcakes !!! YUM.. can't wait !!

  • zico123 on December 4, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    against NZ, Australia should experiment more, it will be great to give Dan Christian a debut match, by giving rest to Ponting or Hussey.

  • jonesy2 on December 4, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    VivGilchrist -- mitch marsh is going to be greatest allrounder since jaques kallis. believe the hype. he along with pattinson and cummins will carry australia into the next 10-15 years of dominance. so i would get him in the team now

  • whitesXI on December 4, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    With Watson's previous injury scares I think Christian is in to carry drinks as 12th man so that McDermott can have a close-up look at Christian in the nets and get him some time to settle in with the rest of the test squad in case he is required during the India tests. Christian is the in form all-rounder in the domestic game at the moment and rightfully deserves a look, we have enough guys who have played because they have potential but if we need someone to come into the squad last minute then Dan has well and truly done enough to prove his worth. I would however like to put forward the idea of Faulkner as an alternate all-rounde,r seeing as he is a left armer, has batted supremely well this season and would be playing on his home turf, everything you could hope for in a replacement

  • on December 4, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Christian isn't one of the best seven batsmen nor best four bowlers. So he won't play in Hobart, when others return from injury he won't play against India. Just a bit of insurance and exposure that's all. If they want an allrounder (which they don't), I'd prefer MacDonald. As for Mitchell Marsh, keep dreaming.

  • MinusZero on December 4, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    Why isn't Luke Butterworth considered? He is slightly younger, has a batting average that is almost the same (28.01 christian 30.09) but his bowling average is far better (24.37 to 35.06)

  • on December 4, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    Mitch Marsh, hey, ,jonesy2? Batting avge of 21 and 22 wkts from 16 FC matches. Haven't heard any hype and don't see why there should be any. Being a Marsh boy, for sure, he'll be picked in the near future but it won't be on merit.

  • vish1036 on December 4, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    reading those last few paragraphs...cutting has got to be one of the most unlucky men around lol

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on December 4, 2011, 22:15 GMT

    Deary me. Dan Christian is terrible! He's the equivalent of Darren Stevens or Dimitri Mascarenhas in England!

  • alexczarn on December 4, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    Dan Christian would be nice in the ODI team and T20 team this summer!

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 4, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    I don't care much about Aussie cricket but I do see some decent kids on the block here. It will be a test for them against a good Indian team. Daniel Christian from what I have seen of him is a good player. But I feel he won't make the XI once Watson and the others return. Nevertheless, I am looking ahead to the next ASHES series. It's gonna be fruitcakes !!! YUM.. can't wait !!

  • zico123 on December 4, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    against NZ, Australia should experiment more, it will be great to give Dan Christian a debut match, by giving rest to Ponting or Hussey.

  • jonesy2 on December 4, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    VivGilchrist -- mitch marsh is going to be greatest allrounder since jaques kallis. believe the hype. he along with pattinson and cummins will carry australia into the next 10-15 years of dominance. so i would get him in the team now

  • whitesXI on December 4, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    With Watson's previous injury scares I think Christian is in to carry drinks as 12th man so that McDermott can have a close-up look at Christian in the nets and get him some time to settle in with the rest of the test squad in case he is required during the India tests. Christian is the in form all-rounder in the domestic game at the moment and rightfully deserves a look, we have enough guys who have played because they have potential but if we need someone to come into the squad last minute then Dan has well and truly done enough to prove his worth. I would however like to put forward the idea of Faulkner as an alternate all-rounde,r seeing as he is a left armer, has batted supremely well this season and would be playing on his home turf, everything you could hope for in a replacement

  • on December 4, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    Christian isn't one of the best seven batsmen nor best four bowlers. So he won't play in Hobart, when others return from injury he won't play against India. Just a bit of insurance and exposure that's all. If they want an allrounder (which they don't), I'd prefer MacDonald. As for Mitchell Marsh, keep dreaming.

  • LesGrossman on December 4, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    christian is averaging 60 with the ball this summer in the shield, so I don't think it's like for like for cutting. I got a funny feeling they are going to push usman up to open, drop hughes and have christian at 6, if they make a change. @jonesy2, why would mitch marsh get picked? he's coming back from injury so throw him in the test side? plz, he's got one 6 for for WA this season and not much else.

  • RandyOZ on December 4, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Dan Christian is a gun, he should be picked on his recent batting form alone. His bowling is a massive bonus and will cover for obvious weak links in our team such as Siddle!

  • MenFromMarts on December 4, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    If we are so transfixed on an All Rounder. Which is OK. then we have one of the worlds best (if not the best behind Kallis) in Watson. I do not know why he is being "preserved" for the Indian series. If he is fit he should play. Since when is a baggy green optional??? Haddin could also open as an option with Warner if Hughes makes way for Christian.

  • on December 4, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Christian is a batsman primarily, not a bowler. Seems an odd choice.

  • VivGilchrist on December 4, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    Jonesy 2, please understand, M.Marsh is not scoring runs. I also believe according to some logic his bowling shouldn't count because he bowls on a pace friendly pitch at the WACA. Ahhhhhhhhh, that felt good.

  • jonesy2 on December 4, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    but this makes no sense mitch marsh is back for WA this week. why wouldnt he play if an allrounder is going to play????

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    @ Blake Houston, VivGilchrist & Chris_P. Thank you for posting some of the only common sense responses to this article. @wix99 Dan Christian would bat at 6 and bowl some very handy overs. His selection has absolutely nothing to do with the selection/non-selection of Trent Copeland. @andrew-schulz Harris is not yet fit for Test Match cricket & it's Cummins not Cummings. @ CreamIce Trent Copeland only has 6 wickets from 3 test matches, which is steady, but in no way shape or form demands selection. @ jonesy2 Copeland is not in competition with Christian for a spot in the team & Mitchell Marsh whilst an absolute talent & player of the future simply doesn't not deserve selection in the test team. @ Eric Taylor Simon Katich is never going to play test cricket again, give it up! regardless of whether he deserved to be dropped in the first place.

  • on December 4, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    i am very dissapointed by this comment by claydo78. I agree with you chris_p

  • VivGilchrist on December 4, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    I am sick of people saying SA batsmen bat on a road every 2nd game and therefore can't be taken seriously. If this is the logic, SA bowlers should be first pick because they bowl on a road every 2nd game too.

  • Claydo78 on December 4, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    credit where credit due, christian has had a great 4 games but what has he done in the first 29 games he has played? nothing! copeland has been taking wickets for 2 and half seasons! this obsession we have about an all rounder, pick your best 7 batsmen and your best four bowlers, if a another bowler is needed throw the bowl to hussey or clark. don't just pick an all rounder for the sake of picking one!

  • on December 4, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    If the Aussies want a bowling all rounder Andrew McDonald will be perfect for the role. Aussies are really good in the batting section so playing Christian doesn't seem good. But y in the first place are changes needed. Who will christian come in place for. Give Starc another chanche to prove himself and pattinson, siddle and lyon are doing good

  • on December 4, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    Christian's versatility certainly holds him in good stead, he would likely be a handy #7 or 8, along the lines of Stuart Broad. Having said that, I think Copeland would probably do pretty well on a seaming pitch down in Hobart...

  • Andrew_S on December 4, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Wix99 - why would you consider Mitchell Marsh an obvious choice to be a batting allrounder at number 6 - his first class batting average is 21, nowhere near good enough for a batting allrounder or a number 6.

  • RandyOZ on December 4, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    @wix99, fair call, if Watto is out long term, he'd be an ideal replacement OR he could replace Hughes as opener. SA's top order is so brittle he effectively opens!

  • inefekt on December 4, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Mitchell Marsh is way too raw for test cricket right now, he's more of a batsman than a bowler yet his bowling right now is far better than his batting, that may sound strange but my point is that he's not a frontline bowler. Wait until he gets more consistency in his batting before considering him for a test spot, he's only averaging 21 with the bat in first class cricket, that's no where near good enough.

  • kardon on December 4, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Big christian fan and I think he does deserve to be playing test cricket let alone twenty/20 and ODI's. But dont know why he doesnt get more opportunities.

    I think its time for Shaun Marsh to come is as an opener. I like the look of Usman at 3, Ponting getting runs will remain at 4. Hughes does seem suspect and his average has come down from high 50's to mid 30s. Not good enough for test. He needs to go back to grade/shield cricket, carve out some big runs and get some confidence back.

    The big question will be does Watson come back as an opener or bats at 6. The thing with Warner and Watson is neither is a Test opener, both would add great value at number 6 though....

    As for the bowlers I wonder how long until Hazelwoods name is thrown back into the frame?

  • FatBoysCanBat on December 4, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    What did Andrew McDonald do wrong? I know his stats aren't great [bat avg: 21.40 bowl avg: 33.33] but he always seemed to do his job. He has been in great form for the last season and a half as well. They could have pushed Haddin up to 6 and batted McDonald at 7.

  • Claydo78 on December 4, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    while 30 with the bat and 35 with the ball are some respectable stats, but the guy bats on a road every home game at the adelaide oval, 30 there is disgusting and it should never get u a baggy green! the test 11 is reserved for the nations best cricketers and christain is far far far from that best 11! it seems like every man and his dog has a baggy green these days, this is the most coveted cap in world cricket and we are giving them away on ebay to the highest bidder! Copeland must be scratching his head thinking "did i get clarky angry or something" If christain get a cap, australian cricket has hit a new all time low!

  • johntycodes on December 4, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    I don't understand all this talk about christian. He is not a bad state player yeah but mitch marsh is younger and better at both batting and bowling and has just recently had a taste of international cricket for the aussies in the shorter formats and did very well.

  • Chris_P on December 4, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    @VivGilchrist. You are spot on. Why do people make idiotic comments without checking facts? Christian comes in on the back of his superb batting efforts. His bowling is only a backup, and should relieve the workload of the regular bowlers.Why don't people check first class averages before implanting their feet in their mouths? The same bowling group will play in Hopbart, folks.

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    @jonesy, Mitch Marsh has not put the runs on the board in 4 day cricket so he hasn't been chosen. Also aussies want 5 bowlers but dont want to take out a batting slot to fit in a bowler, so christian who is in great batting form is the right choice

  • Dashgar on December 4, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    Cover needs to come in for either Starc or Hughes, they are the only real question marks since Haddin got runs. I guess Christian could easily bat at 6 and push everyone up a position in the order which would help out the bowling attack as well. Would prefer to see an out and out quick chosen, from George, Copeland, Butterworth and Herrick, as well as Ed Cowan to give us a batting option.

  • VivGilchrist on December 4, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    For all those that like to shoot there mouth off without considering facts - Christian is in awesome form with the bat. He has not been picked as a front-line bowler. He has been chosen as an all-rounder. This would mean to bat at 6 or 7 and play the role of the fifth bowler. Cummins could come into the XI for Starc if fit and Christian could come in for a terribly out of form Hughes. This would mean everybody moving one up the order and Christian batting at no6 (where he is averaging 60 this season). Therefore the attack for Hobart could be Cummins, Pattison, Siddle, Lyon, and Christian. What's so hard to fathom?

  • wix99 on December 4, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    @randyoz -- I am not doubting Christian's skills as a cricketer. I just wonder who he would replace in the current team. It would have made sense if a bowler like Copeland was named as a replacement for Cutting.

    I think Australia needs a batting all-rounder at No. 6. Christian or Mitchell Marsh are the obvious choices. I suspect the selectors have no intention of playing Christian in Hobart but want to give him some experience of being around the Test side in the event that Watson's injuries keep him out of the team for longer.

  • AidanFX on December 4, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    I haven't lost memory of Christian bowling 6 slower palls in the final over of the Champions 20/2- match - terrible bowling. I also think Copeland should come into calculations first. Christian really would be a similar type all rounder to Watson - at some point you can have too many bowlers in a team.

  • on December 4, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    Good selection, drop one the batsman and include Dan Christian at number 6 , he can bowl a lot of overs too. Phil Hughes is a nicking machine at the moment, so Khawaja may come into open with Warner and ponting back to number 3, that lets Christian in at 6 and gives australia another quality quick bowler

  • RandyOZ on December 4, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    wix99 - because he is belting attacks around grounds all over the country. With his handing bowling he'd be a perfect addition to keep Watto's workload down.

  • KirtanJ on December 4, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    It seems like cricket Australia are content with not risking Harris, Cummins and co for India. Their decision to bring Christian into the frame seems strange; Christian is a modest bowler at best.

  • on December 4, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    South Australia is normally a batting paradise though.

    A shame for Cutting, he was an obvious choice ahead of Starc. Pattinson obviously proved his worth today. Copeland I reckon, when at his best, would be a must against India. Hazlewood will be a bolter and probably would have debuted by now, but had an injury interrupted middle of 2010, until this year. I'm happy we have a solid group of quality young bowlers aged 18-24.

  • on December 4, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    I agree, what has Copeland done wrong? Looks like STILL muddled selection thinking despite all the trumpetting and changes. By the way CA geese, could you imagine Simon Katich batting like "Donkey" Philip Hughes in Australian second innings?

  • jonesy2 on December 4, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    horrendous news for cutting. really bad luck. dan christian as back up? im sorry but what? copeland, mitch marsh?

  • CreamIce on December 4, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    So they plan on giving Copeland the axe yet again then. What a joke.

  • andrew-schulz on December 4, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    No changes are required? Surely if Harris and Cummings are fit they are absolute monties to be in the team for Hobart.

  • wix99 on December 4, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    I can't understand where Dan Christian fits in the current Test team. If Australia need to add another bowler to the squad shouldn't they select Trent Copeland?

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  • wix99 on December 4, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    I can't understand where Dan Christian fits in the current Test team. If Australia need to add another bowler to the squad shouldn't they select Trent Copeland?

  • andrew-schulz on December 4, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    No changes are required? Surely if Harris and Cummings are fit they are absolute monties to be in the team for Hobart.

  • CreamIce on December 4, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    So they plan on giving Copeland the axe yet again then. What a joke.

  • jonesy2 on December 4, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    horrendous news for cutting. really bad luck. dan christian as back up? im sorry but what? copeland, mitch marsh?

  • on December 4, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    I agree, what has Copeland done wrong? Looks like STILL muddled selection thinking despite all the trumpetting and changes. By the way CA geese, could you imagine Simon Katich batting like "Donkey" Philip Hughes in Australian second innings?

  • on December 4, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    South Australia is normally a batting paradise though.

    A shame for Cutting, he was an obvious choice ahead of Starc. Pattinson obviously proved his worth today. Copeland I reckon, when at his best, would be a must against India. Hazlewood will be a bolter and probably would have debuted by now, but had an injury interrupted middle of 2010, until this year. I'm happy we have a solid group of quality young bowlers aged 18-24.

  • KirtanJ on December 4, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    It seems like cricket Australia are content with not risking Harris, Cummins and co for India. Their decision to bring Christian into the frame seems strange; Christian is a modest bowler at best.

  • RandyOZ on December 4, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    wix99 - because he is belting attacks around grounds all over the country. With his handing bowling he'd be a perfect addition to keep Watto's workload down.

  • on December 4, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    Good selection, drop one the batsman and include Dan Christian at number 6 , he can bowl a lot of overs too. Phil Hughes is a nicking machine at the moment, so Khawaja may come into open with Warner and ponting back to number 3, that lets Christian in at 6 and gives australia another quality quick bowler

  • AidanFX on December 4, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    I haven't lost memory of Christian bowling 6 slower palls in the final over of the Champions 20/2- match - terrible bowling. I also think Copeland should come into calculations first. Christian really would be a similar type all rounder to Watson - at some point you can have too many bowlers in a team.