New Zealand in Australia 2011-12

Christian included for Hobart

Daniel Brettig in Brisbane

December 4, 2011

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

Usman Khawaja and David Warner embrace after hitting the winning runs, Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day, December 4, 2011
Usman Khawaja and David Warner have held their places in the Australian XII for Hobart © Getty Images

Daniel Christian, the South Australia allrounder, has formally replaced Ben Cutting in the only change to the Australia squad for the second Test against New Zealand in Hobart, as the national selectors chose not to touch the injured quintet left out of the team for Brisbane.

As the second of back-to-back Tests, the Hobart match may require a fifth bowling option for Australia, something Christian would provide in addition to the aggressive batting that has placed him at the top of Sheffield Shield aggregates so far this summer with 459 runs.

The inclusion of the 28-year-old Christian will add to the intrigue surrounding the place of the opening batsman Phillip Hughes, twice out cheaply to Chris Martin at the Gabba. In order to fit Christian into the XI as a batsman who can bowl, it would be necessary to drop one of the top six. With Usman Khawaja a capable opening bat and David Warner in arguably better form, Hughes appears the man most likely to lose out in any reshuffle.

Michael Hussey, whose occasional medium pace served as Australia's fifth option in Brisbane, said there were arguments for and against Christian's inclusion. However Hussey also said he did not like the thought of bowling any more than a few nuisance overs himself.

"I look at it a couple of different ways. It is nice to have the extra option for sure, for the captain particularly if guys have had two or three spells each," Hussey said. "The other side of the coin is they're young bowlers so they seem to back up pretty well, they freshen up pretty well.

"But then you can also look on the other side to having that extra option because they're inexperienced and maybe their bodies aren't used to bowling in back-to-back Tests and maybe it would be good to have that extra option. I don't know what they're going to do, but at least they've got the options to mix and match it as they please.

"I don't know if I'm ever going to do a lot of damage, but I'm more than happy to play a back-up role or give the quicks a bit of a rest or just try to chip in and break a partnership here or there. I don't know if my body would cope with bowling 15 or 20 overs in a day. But I'm enjoying it I must admit, it is nice to get the ball and you know the batsmen are trembling a bit because you don't want to get out to someone like me."

John Inverarity, the national selector, said Christian's inclusion at the expense of the injured Cutting enhanced the balance of the squad. Christian started his first-class career in New South Wales, but was signed for South Australia by Rod Marsh, who is now a national selector.

"It is disappointing for Ben that he will be sidelined for some weeks with a side strain, but this provides an opportunity for Daniel who has been performing well as an all-rounder for South Australia," Inverarity said. "The balance of a team is always enhanced by the presence of an energetic all-rounder who is in good form.

"Michael Clarke and his team are buoyant after their convincing victory in Brisbane. James Pattinson's performance on debut will provide a great boost not only the team as a whole but to those who are new to the team in particular."

Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh and Pat Cummins remain sidelined, with their recovery time ranging from Johnson's season-ending foot surgery to the expectation that Cummins, Watson and Marsh will be available to play against India in Melbourne on Boxing Day.

"Shane Watson is making good progress from the right hamstring injury he sustained in the second Test against South Africa, in Johannesburg," the Australian physio Alex Kountouris said. "He has not fully recovered to be considered available to play the second Test against New Zealand but is on track to be fit for the Boxing Day Test against India.

"Pat Cummins is still recovering from the left heel injury sustained during the South Africa Test series. Whilst he is improving he is still not bowling and is unavailable for the second Test against New Zealand. He will continue his rehabilitation in an attempt to be fit for the first Test against India.

"Ryan Harris will resume bowling this week after been given time to recover from the pelvic injury sustained in South Africa. He is therefore unavailable for the second Test against New Zealand. His return to playing will be determined by the progress made over the next week, when he returns to training.

"Shaun Marsh has made good progress from the lower back injury sustained in South Africa. He is expected to return to training later this week with a view to being fit for the India Test series later this month.

"Mitchell Johnson had surgery earlier this week for a left foot injury sustained in the second Test against South Africa. The surgery went well and he is due to return to Perth in the coming days. He is expected to be out of cricket for approximately 5 months."

Second Test squad: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Daniel Christian, Brad Haddin (wk), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by zenboomerang on (December 7, 2011, 1:57 GMT)

@Meety... "if the Poms selected purely on "FORM" Cook would not of toured during the Ashes"... Well I am an Aussie & do not care what the English do with their team selection... This is an Aust v NZ series - if you have forgotten... But you obviously want a reply... The English thrashed us with out of form batters - wish ours had performed as well as them... Then they wouldn't have won 3-1... It said a lot about our team, its current form then & the selection process...

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 7, 2011, 1:41 GMT)

@Meety... Your SS picked team is the worst I have ever seen... you are daydreaming about most of them & putting Hartley in before Wade is hysterical... lol... or don't you think International duties count for anything?... Perhaps actually going & watching SS games live would enlighten you greatly...

Posted by Meety on (December 7, 2011, 0:40 GMT)

@davidpk - that's my point exactly, IF your mob had selected on Form, Cook wouldn't of made the Ashes tour, Collingwood would of been dropped & Strauss would be shown the door, & Broad wouldn't of played against the Indians. Several comments by the current Pommy team talk about the culture of the side & the fact that there is loyalty shown to players. Loyalty was sadly lacking in the 90s & look where England was back then. I was actually giving the Poms a rap - so I understand why you mistook my comment!

Posted by bumsonseats on (December 6, 2011, 21:11 GMT)

meety the last 2 years England have not picked on form. thats the reason they have done so well. Strauss is the only one of the batters that have been under a bit of pressure but as skip was not going to be dropped, and cook might have seemed under pressure from the public, he was never going be dropped either. the number of daddy100s that the team have scored has kept pressure off the rest of the to the bowlers, the coach and skip seem to know what their preferred combination is, and when injuries happen others have come in and, well you know the rest.dpk

Posted by maddinson on (December 6, 2011, 14:56 GMT)

In this season Christian played 3 matches on Adelaide, 1 on as similar wicket of Bankstown oval of Sydney and he scored runs but he only played 1 match on the tougher wicket of Hobart and of-course he didn't do any wonders there. Hopefully he will be 12th man in the 2nd test match.

Butterworth seems to be injured otherwise he would be an ideal replacement of watson. I was also surprised that Copeland get a test call in SL because Butterworth is not only very similar to Copeland in bowling but he is also a far better batsman who is more than handy in shield cricket.

Posted by getaclue on (December 6, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

@Chris P - so you're saying he is picked as a backup seamer, yet are also saying his form is purely to do with the bat. So where exactly are you picking him to play? Why would you have a bloke with great batting form bat at 8, playing as a seamer. As for the selectors - you're saying in two weeks he has earnt a baggy green coz of a couple of tons, when they didnt even rate him a fortnight ago to play in the Aus A game?

Posted by Chris_P on (December 6, 2011, 3:44 GMT)

@getaclue. Try using your name for inspiration. Christian has been picked to back up the 3 pace bowlers due to the close back to back tests plus the game preceding the test. He is selected as a backup pace bowler on top of his batting skills. Who else should have been picked? He has played 2 fc games since the Aust A selections and has powered 2 centuries, that means he is in raging form at the moment. These are the reasons he has been picked, currently in form and as a backup bowler, if selected. It's not rocket science logic.

Posted by Claydo78 on (December 6, 2011, 2:49 GMT)

Great call GETACLUE! its seems that 4 is the magic number these days! lyon and cummins both get a cap after just 4 first class games and now christain bats great for the first 4 shield games this year and gets a call up! clutching at straws seems to be the order of the day and i hope a team like india doesnt expose the lack of experience some of our players have!

Posted by Meety on (December 6, 2011, 0:17 GMT)

@ zenboomerang - if the Poms selected purely on "FORM" Cook would not of toured during the Ashes, as he was way out of "FORM" before the squad was announced. There was also very little to recommend about Broad, other than he was a bowler who can bat a bit, AND Anderson's "FORM" in Oz was crap. They wouldn't of selected Bell, because his FORM against Oz was below par as well. So I repeat that the whole "form" debate IMO is misguided, as it is not a reliable KPI to whether a person will succeed in a Test. Certainly wasn't for Pattinson, Cummins, & Lyon hey????? FORM says that S Smith should of been a superstar, (may yet be), but he has little to show for his Test career.

Posted by Meety on (December 6, 2011, 0:12 GMT)

@zenboomerang - "...If you follow the Argus report, the Team Performance Manager, the coach, the Selectors & even ex-captain Ponting, the selection of 'in form' players has been a very long time overdue..." Rubbish! You have concluded the Argus report is about form, actually its about PERFORMANCE. Quote from the report its about "... making runs, taking wickets and showing that they are ready to play at the next level....potential cannot be overlooked: there must be room for some intuition in selections" How does anyone truely know yet whether Christian is going thru a form bubble or not? His FORM is not even the standout factor in his selection, rather it's a like for like replacement for Watto, but his bowling "FORM" is statistically crap. FORM cannot be the main factor in selecting a side. The Poms drilled us during the Ashes because they stuck with the same guys, even when one of them (Collingwood) was woefully out of form. The Poms have been singing the praises of LOYALTY!

Posted by getaclue on (December 6, 2011, 0:12 GMT)

Christian wasnt even in the Australia A team 2 weeks ago. So two weeks ago he wasnt considered in the best 22 players in Aus. How does that make any sense?

Posted by Meety on (December 5, 2011, 23:58 GMT)

@zenboomerang If FORM in the Shield was everything this would be the Test team 1. Townsend, 2. Davis, 3. Forrest, 4. Klinger, 5. Bailey, 6. Christian, 7. Hartley (keeping form), 8. Cutting, 9. Herrick, 10. Hogan, 11. George. Some of these guys have their advocates for a test team (IMO - Cutting is a shoe in, however am concerned he has another injury of some degree). Notice there is NO SPINNERS, because their FORM is not as good as the Pacers. I left out Rogers (who I would prefer to have in because he has history), because the other 2 batsmen have FORM, but they have averages of 35 & 30. Townsend's stats are boosted by a 166* on a batting paradise where O'Brien (a spinner) openned the bowling. Davis's stats are better in the sense his two tons were in tougher conditions. This Test side probably wouldn't scare many teams - but hey, it's a form side. Let's drop one of the batsmen if they fail & bring some guy who's just made a double ton in Grade cricket! Form - yeah feels good hey!

Posted by Meety on (December 5, 2011, 23:44 GMT)

@zenboomerang - if you had bothered to read the rest of my statement (not the first time you've failed to do so), you would of noticed that I explained why form has to be in context. Christian is averaging 60 (great, genuinely like him & his talent) - but his overall career says he averages 30. The questions are; 1. Is he an improving player?, 2. What conditions & what sort of an attack has he scored his runs in? 3. How did he get his runs? The answers to most of those questions happen to be positive, but that is besides the point. The point being that FORM is fickle. Last year a ton of comments were coming in saying that White should be captain of the Oz side in all formats, on the back of a century against the touring Poms in the A game. Anybody who watched that innings would know it was an EXTREMELY scratchy innings, but people said he's in form! He has since struggled to hit a ball off the square. So what is form? Punter has 2 50s on the trott - is he in form?

Posted by OhhhhMattyMatty on (December 5, 2011, 23:05 GMT)

Gutted Mitchell Marsh isn't playing so the whole world can have a good chuckle! LOL! His 1st class record is terrible!

Posted by   on (December 5, 2011, 21:31 GMT)

daniel one of the best allropunder of aus

Posted by Chris_P on (December 5, 2011, 20:40 GMT)

@TEST_CRICKET_ONLY. " No you don't have to pick the form batsman"!!!!(Huh????). Two things here a) I have seen Christian play and he is a really good cricketer, he does have that something extra & b) The selectors were obviously looking for someone to play, if needed, and use as a 5th bowler. There were a lot of contenders at the start of the season, but Christian is the one with form. When you have sene him play a fc game, feel free to comment whether he "has it". fyi, he has a very solid technique, but was hampered by batting too low in the order. That has now been altered with obvious results.I don't comment on styles of barsmen unless I see them in a live match, ergo rarely pass judgment on overseas batsmen, but Christian is technically very sound. I said this about Warner long before people were speaking of him being a test player. He always had the correct technique as well. Christian has the goods to succeed. Maybe not a superstar, but certainly not out of his depth.

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 5, 2011, 12:06 GMT)

@Meety... "The whole "form" debate IMO is misguided" ... your point is illogical... Seems everyone is happy with this except the 'odd' person from NSW... Tell us why it is misguided?... If you follow the Argus report, the Team Performance Manager, the coach, the Selectors & even ex-captain Ponting, the selection of 'in form' players has been a very long time overdue... Long term statistics can be very misleading & only current form 12-24 mths can be an accurate indication of how a players form is... Every other sport & coach in the world uses current form rather than career form... Finally, at last, CA is getting into the 21st century... Better get with the times or become another dinosaur... BTW you are not foolish enough to believe that the selectors run our selection process - the BOD's have been telling CA selectors what to do for decades... Same as every other country...

Posted by TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on (December 5, 2011, 10:48 GMT)

@Chris_P - No you don't have to pick the form batsman, you pick the player who has the game that's good enough for test cricket. Christian hasn't got it and neither has Hughes, who was doing pretty well in the FC averages before he made the test side only to find his game wasn't good enough at that level.

Posted by Meety on (December 5, 2011, 10:23 GMT)

@VivGilchrist - I believe Mitcher was joking about SA bias! @Cummins_Hazlewood - I would say Mitch Marsh as talented as he is - is not in the top 3 allrounders in the country. I would argue that Henriques has better "form" than Christian. Henriques batting & bowling averages this summer are better & has better career stats as well! == == == The whole "form" debate IMO is misguided.If a bloke (Christian) averages 60 over 5 games but has a career ave of 30 over 33 games, I would have reservations about his "form". I like the concept of selecting form players, but.... there has to be some sort of timeline involved. A young bloke (Forrest), is carving up the summer (3 tons), should he get a Baggy Green now, IMO, no his career ave is 36, maybe changing states has given him a new lease of life & he will go from strength to strength, maybe its just a blip & by the end of the season can't hit the ball off the square. Who knows? That's why career stats are an important factor in selection.

Posted by Claydo78 on (December 5, 2011, 10:14 GMT)

since when do all rounders need rest! thats their job to bat and bowl! watson bowled 5 overs at the end of the innings and he contributed that to his brain fade when getting bowled not playing a shot! Whats the difference between a keeper having to squat all day long then go out to bat? I dont really want christian in the team but i bet he wouldn't complain about bowling 5 overs and then go out to bat, he would be happy to be playing in any role! Watson really has to improve his mental toughness, its a big reason he has only 2 hundreds to his name after getting so many great starts!

Posted by kardon on (December 5, 2011, 9:57 GMT)

I have no doubt if Harris does come back for the Indian tests (still not sure that will happen) one of the young guys will be dropped (either cummings, pattinson or starc). Cant see siddle getting dropped. He tries hard but does lack something.... He is not a wicket taker... He is more a worker, he will run in hit the wicket hard all day, bowl 140+ all day but he doesnt swing the ball, it comes straight onto the middle of the bat and against a decent batting team will get picked off for easy runs all day long..... The answer is with the kids, they wont bring instant success but you can build for the future, Coulter Nile, Starc, Mcdermot, Pattinson, Cumming, Cuttings, Hazlewood, are just a few of young quicks. Not including the likes of Faulkner, Christian (not young) Mitch Marsh who are a few of the allrounders coming through.... The future is looking bright. The clouds are clearing for the aussie cricket team.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 5, 2011, 8:53 GMT)

@vivgilchrist: tongue was firmly in cheek mate. Be about as ridiculous as some claiming a NSW bias when just 1 of 5 selectors are from NSW. Anyway, Christian is from Campbelltown. Another man from the great sky blue state!!

Posted by Beertjie on (December 5, 2011, 8:43 GMT)

Spot on, @Chris_P. Also, if its a fifth bowler you're wanting Watto has to move down the order (as he himself wishes). With Punter probably being given the India series as his likely farewell (before trying a newbie for the Caribbean tour), it's best to move him back up to 3 to make way for Watto somewhere. That leaves Marsh, Khawaja /Warner to battle for the opening positions until Punter goes. The sooner they get these permutations right the healthier our future. If we are to take on the Poms in 19 months with any prospects of regaining that urn, we have to get this right asap! While bowlers win matches, you've got to have capable batters and with Punter and Huss unlikely to play the Ashes again, serious thought must go into their replacements and the timing thereof. Picking Christian is an exercise in capacity-building using the measuring-rod of current form. The same needs to be done with the batters, but I don't see any of the current middle-order guys putting up their hands!

Posted by popcorn on (December 5, 2011, 7:57 GMT)

Daniel Christian should bat at No.4.This will give him enough rest before he bowls.

Posted by maddinson on (December 5, 2011, 7:30 GMT)

christian is not even among the top 3 allrounders in australian domestic cricket. Faulkner, Butterworth and Mitch Marsh are lot better than him. Some times numbers not make a true story which is the case of Christian

Posted by VivGilchrist on (December 5, 2011, 7:30 GMT)

What's with all the negativity? I think it's a well balanced squad. Think about it. If they feel they want 6 batsmen and think 4 bowlers can do the job, Hughes plays. If they feel the pitch will be flat and a 5th bowler will be required, Christian plays. Christian is the best form batsman in the Shield at present so his inclusion shouldn't weaken the top 6 and his bowling will lessen the load of the others. As for the comment re SA bias - Lyon is the only SA player in the Aus team, what bias?

Posted by cmonaussiecmon on (December 5, 2011, 7:05 GMT)

Warner, Khawaja, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Christian, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon. However, imo Voges would be better than Christian. Doing fantastic in the shield so far! If you really want an all-rounder Mitch Marsh would be better than Christian.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (December 5, 2011, 6:51 GMT)

@alexczarn, you mean his recent failures like his century in the last test in Sri Lanka then enabled Aust to draw the test and win the series, and his 88 in Sth Africa? Somehow people keep forgetting these good performances in between his poor ones. He's prob scored more valuable runs than Watto lately. I think Hughes deserves to remain in the team for the time being, and given time to work on his weakness outside off stump. Christian is having a very good season, I was a bit surprised by his selection even though I'm a Redbacks supporter.

Posted by dsig3 on (December 5, 2011, 6:34 GMT)

I think I should check my weetbix packet, maybe CA have sent me a baggy green aswell. I jest, Christian has some ok numbers but he isnt banging the door down. Especially not in the longer format.

Posted by Chris_P on (December 5, 2011, 6:14 GMT)

@TEST_CRICKET_ONLY . Yes really, they are serious. Just for once, before writing garbage, take a quick look at this year's fc stats. Christian has nearly 500 runs at an average of near 60. He is the FORM batsman of the season. Surely you got to pick the form batsman, don't you. For those Mitchell Marsh fans, he is an outstanding prospect, but he is still developing. He averages 21 as a batsman, hardly the sort of form justifying selection. Let him earn his stripes such as Christian. he will be very good when he does. He just isn't ready at the moment.

Posted by jonesy2 on (December 5, 2011, 5:54 GMT)

as much as mitch marsh will probably be the greatest cricketer of the next 10-15 years, he has been injured lately and i dont think he even bowled today against SA so he wouldnt be coming in anyway. DC deserves a test debut, he has earnt it.

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

@kickittome70 - no way re: M Marsh. If you are saying he needs to be selec ted as an allrounder, his batting falls too far short at Shield level.

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

I think Hughes needs one more chance. If he can't get runs against a fairly weak attack on a pitch where openers often seem to get runs, then the top three against India should be Watson, Marsh and Khawaja.

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 5, 2011, 4:59 GMT)

Although Clarke wants to keep all his batters & in the order that he wants... the selectors have decided to follow a rotation policy that includes batsmen... It is time that we rested out of form players for inform players... Ex-captain Ponting has publicly agreed this policy should have been introduced 10 years ago...

Posted by zenboomerang on (December 5, 2011, 4:59 GMT)

The dropping Warner who is in good form or Khawaja who is holding his own with only Shaun Marsh likely to replace his postion in the near future... there is little option other but to drop Hughes for Christian... leaving no other choice but to move up Hussey or Ponting to open... But would Clarke be keen to see this happen... Unlikely unless the selectors force the issue as Clarke is Hughes best mate in the team... Still Hussey got a large part of his FC runs (21,333) as an opener so maybe Mr. Cricket will do it again...

Posted by TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on (December 5, 2011, 4:51 GMT)

Christian ?? Are they serious ? This new selection panel is already starting to look as silly as the last. I know it's only NZ, but Christian ? Really ?

Posted by   on (December 5, 2011, 4:32 GMT)

What ever happened to Andrew McDonald?

Posted by Mad_Hamish on (December 5, 2011, 4:15 GMT)

Interesting, I'm not sure that he provides that much of a bowling option for the team but if he's in I can see 2 options 1) Hughes (or Warner I guess) goes and everybody moves up a spot, downside Ponting and Clarke didn't do great at 3 & 4 recently. 2) Hussey goes and Christian comes in which would be harsh on Hussey after the Ashes and Sri Lanka but at 36 and with a bad patch before then

Posted by unregisteredalien on (December 5, 2011, 3:27 GMT)

The jury may still be out on Christian, but I'd certainly like to see them try some alternatives to Hughes. Like Johnson, he's one of those frustrating hit-or-miss players that a team just doesn't need. Since the mass retirements at the end of Aus's period of dominance, it's selections like those that have made the team so very inconsistent: great on some days but fairly putrid for extended periods in between.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 5, 2011, 3:23 GMT)

What?!?!?! I'm so sick of the blatant South Australian bias by the selectors!!

Posted by Nerk on (December 5, 2011, 3:22 GMT)

It will be interesting to see the squad when Harris and Cummins return. The pressure must be on the youngsters Starc and Patterson to perform, and even Siddle must be looking over his shoulder. It will be also interesting to see how they go against a more accomplished batting line up. The way in which Ryder, Vettori and Brownlie played against them was very well, the likes of Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman may play them even better. Hopefully the young guns will rise to the challenge. But the depth of Australian fast bowling is growing, and when Australian fast bowlers are good, Australian cricket is good!

Posted by Aussierise on (December 5, 2011, 3:19 GMT)

Well done Inverarity since you have come in!! The selectors have been copping a fair whack (and rightly so!!) the past 3 years, but at the moment they are starting to be spot on with selections. They have unearthed a great young pace battery of bowlers (Cummins, Pattinson, Starc etc) while cutting and coulter-nile will also feature over the next few years. Bringing in Dan Christian is also spot on!! having a pair of allrounders (e.g. as well as watson) will give the team unbelievable balance as Inverarity quoted. I think given time (inside the next 12 months) the selectors know Haddin and Hussey will probably make way...Paine will come in and thus Paine is good enough to bat at 6. Christian would be a great foil at 7...a little bit in the same mould as Andrew Symonds...but maybe even a better bowler. Possible Future Line Up 1) Warner, 2) Watson, 3) Marsh/Khawaja, 4) Ponting 5) Clarke 6) Paine 7) Christian 8) Cutting/Coulter Nile, 9) Pattinson/Starc, 10) Cummins, and 11) Lyon.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (December 5, 2011, 3:08 GMT)

Get him in. Playing a strong Indian batting team next, a fifth bowler will be extremely handy and depending on Wattos fitness Christian could be the man. His batting form has been very good this year so let's see if he can hold down no6. I like Hughes but the guy looks shot at the moment.

Posted by RandyOZ on (December 5, 2011, 2:35 GMT)

Dan Christian is a superstar and should replace Siddle in the side. With as many wickets as Mike hussey in the second innings, surely Dan Christian can cover for this utter deadweight. Siddle represents the failures of Hilditch, along with Bollinger, Hilf, North, Haddin, etc and should be dropped ASAP. He will greatly stregthen our tail as well. The bloke is on fire, give him a chance!

Posted by kardon on (December 5, 2011, 2:30 GMT)

Hopefully if/when Marsh returns he slots in to open the batting. Then it will be a case of whether they want Watson opening or not. The unfortunate thing is I think Warner will be a better option at 6 (Same as Watson he should be 5 or 6). So the only opener left is Hughes.... He is a good player and should one day become a great player but I do think he needs some time in shield cricket to re discover himself. He is fending at deliveries that dont need to be played, and is getting himself in bad positions.

Marsh Hughes/Watson/Warner Usman Pointing Clarke Hussey Watson/Warner Haddin Pattinson Cummings Siddle/Copeland Lyon

You will then have the likes of Starc, Hazelwood, possibly Hughes, Cutting (injured) missing out. Thats a handy list of replacements. Also considering the likes of Hazelwood are performing well. Plenty of bowling options and watson at 6 is a strong batting line up.

Posted by chicko1983 on (December 5, 2011, 2:12 GMT)

Awesome reward for dan, he should have been selected a long time ago. I don't want Hughes dropped but would love for Christian to get a game.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2011, 2:01 GMT)

Has there ever been a time in cricket history when so many former and current test players were playing first class cricket at the same time? Since beginning of 2006-2007 season Australis has has 12 batsmen (seems reasonable), 16 fast bowlers, 10 slow bowlers, 4 "all rounders" and 4 wicketkeepers. Many bowlers have played less than 5 tests. On the evidence this season, looks like going down the identical path. PS why do non performing batsmen get so many more chances than the bowlers?

Posted by Claydo78 on (December 5, 2011, 1:29 GMT)

While christian is batting great at present with south australia, his selection in the team makes no sense. Even if he gets 100 on debut and/or 10 wickets for the match he is only going to get dropped again when wato is fit again. when cummins and harris are fit again two of our current bowlers are going to get dropped why give yourself another selection dilemma when we can play the same bowlers and create a bowl off to see who plays against india? If watson was out long term then it would make perfect sense to play christian, no way in hell is our current alan border medalists going to get left out when fit!

Posted by kickittome70 on (December 5, 2011, 1:23 GMT)

cannot believe Mitchell marsh isnt in the mix - the guy will play 100 plus tests for Australia - might as well start him now

Posted by   on (December 5, 2011, 1:18 GMT)

Seems to be good to win 2nd test...

Posted by Sinhaya on (December 5, 2011, 1:06 GMT)

Good all rounder. I really doubt if clarke will ever think of dropping this passenger hughes.

Posted by alexczarn on (December 5, 2011, 1:02 GMT)

Out you go Hughes! Too many failures, time he's gone.

Posted by Heisenburg on (December 5, 2011, 0:59 GMT)

Yes Please! This is the best thing you can do for the team. Hughes needs a couple of years out the national team.

Posted by hmmmmm... on (December 5, 2011, 0:58 GMT)

Dear John....pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease take this opportunity and finally drop Hughes! I can't stand to see him squared up by regulation deliveries from medium pacers or edging while slashing wildly outside off stump with his feet in concrete, anymore! Kawahja looks like a guy who can hold up an innings if he isn't having to come in at 2 for 10 everytime. It will also let the more aggressive opener play with more freedom and allow the middle order to cash in after the hard work has been done - as is their role.

Posted by Ben1989 on (December 5, 2011, 0:52 GMT)

well I'm stuck between minds, I don't believe Hughes is ever going to perform consistently at int level until he stops poking & prodding outside off, but he probably is going to get one last time to prove his worth in Hobart, although I believe he probably should be dropped, so Usman opens with Warner & Christian should come in after hussey..

Posted by   on (December 5, 2011, 0:51 GMT)

If hughes can just correct that problem outside of stump, then he could be a terrific run scorer. i think he is going to need quite alot of time for NSW before he comes back into the Aus side. i think Khawaja will be a terrific opener. he looked really good when he opened at north sydney with hughes. I would through everyone up one position including haddin and have christian bat at 7. for hobart however i would have marsh at 3 and then khawaja and warner battling for the opener spot with watson. ideally would like to see ricky or hussey retire at the end of the summer and then watto drop to 5 or 6 and warner and khawaja open. Pattinson i like, even in the first innings, he beat the bat several times, he moved the ball, he bowled with pace. i think he can take bags of wickets to go along with cummins and a fit harris or a fit cutting. Lyon has done well and deserves his place.

Posted by straight_drive4 on (December 5, 2011, 0:47 GMT)

i cant believe starc is going to get replaced instead of siddle. on the third afternoon, siddle wasted 3 overs with short wide balls outside off stump and full balls down leg side. he is a liability and the only reason he is still getting picked is because he "got a hat trick on his birthday". starc showed much more potential and even though he went for more runs, he bowled MANY MORE potential wicket taking deliveries. siddle must go.

Posted by ammiel on (December 5, 2011, 0:42 GMT)

Hughes has had a fair crack at the opening position without excelling, lets see how Warner and Khawaja perform, with the probability of one of them joining Watson as opener for Boxing day, with Shaun Marsh at 3. I think Pattinson has concreted his post-christmas involvement, however its a dog fight for Starc, Harris, Cummins and Siddle to concrete their selections for the "big" series of the summer against India. If Hughes does play in Hobart it could be that he and Khawaja are fighting with Warner for the openers slot to partner Watson.

Posted by Mary_786 on (December 5, 2011, 0:16 GMT)

Time to drop Hughes, open with Khawaja and Warner, Hughes always gets out in the slips, he can't stay in the team becaues he is a good friend of Clarke and Langer.

Posted by Matt. on (December 5, 2011, 0:16 GMT)

wouldn't surprise me if they retain hughes, he apparently needs MORE time to prove himself

Posted by Chris_P on (December 5, 2011, 0:08 GMT)

Before anyone starts bleating about not picking Copeland or some other bowler, understand that Christian's inclusion is for his batting and for an option of a 5th bowler. Don't worry about his career average, his current season form is exceptional, nearly 500 runs @ near 60 average plus 10 iwckets as a back up bowler. All in all, the perfect selection. Now if only the selectors relieve Phil Hughes of his test spot. Mitchell March has neither the form, nor experience to be included, however he is the outstanding player of the future, so let him earn his cap with similar performances that Christian has showed.

Posted by Meety on (December 4, 2011, 23:55 GMT)

Well this is slightly ahead of my expectations for Christian. I would of preferred that he blitzed the WHOLE Shield summer & then get a tour of the WIndies. Also, I thought Faulkner would of been ahead of Christian. That all being said, Christian is probably a better like for like replacement for Watto than Faulkner. I suppose I'd like to see Christian's batting average closer to 40 before a test gig.

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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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