Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart December 8, 2011

Australia name unchanged side for Hobart

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Daniel Christian will have to put on hold his dreams of a baggy green after Australia named an unchanged side for the second Test in Hobart. Australia's captain, Michael Clarke, confirmed on Thursday that the selectors had chosen the same XI that comfortably accounted for New Zealand at the Gabba.

The Australians trained on Thursday morning and were greeted by an extremely grassy pitch, which could make batting difficult on the first day. Including Christian would have altered the balance of the team; although he is one of the Sheffield Shield's leading run scorers this summer, it was his medium-pace bowling that could have swayed selection in his favour in the absence of Shane Watson.

"There's probably a concern there that if your frontline bowlers don't do the job with the new ball it could be quite a long day," Clarke said. "But I'm confident. I thought we bowled really well at the Gabba in both innings. I'm confident I can get some overs out of Michael Hussey, myself and David Warner as part-timers. I'm just going to have to make sure I rotate the bowlers the right way and hope we bowl well and field well with the new ball.

"[Christian] has had a really good year in first-class cricket, especially with the bat, but we know what he can do with the ball as well. We had a long debate. We feel the team played really well in Brisbane. I'm very keen to stay consistent with a winning team for this second Test match against New Zealand."

Had Christian been included, the two possible scenarios would have been to drop one of the openers - Phillip Hughes has scored 9, 9, 88, 11, 10 and 7 from his past three Tests - and promote Usman Khawaja to open, with Christian to bat at No.6, or to leave out the offspinner Nathan Lyon on a pitch expected to offer plenty for the seamers. However, Clarke was keen to keep Lyon, Australia's leading wicket taker in the Brisbane victory with match figures of 7 for 88.

"The wicket has a lot more grass on it than I have ever seen at Hobart," Clarke said. "It looks better today than yesterday, no doubt. But I still think there's a lot of grass on that wicket. I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like tomorrow morning. I think day one is going to be quite tough for the batters if it's overcast. Then I'm hoping it will turn into a pretty good wicket. I still see Lyon playing a big part for us as our spinner, probably later in the game than on day one."

Australia 1 Phillip Hughes, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Ricky Ponting, 5 Michael Clarke (capt), 6 Michael Hussey, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Peter Siddle, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 James Pattinson, 11 Nathan Lyon.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kensohatter on December 9, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Surely now the Hughes debate will end... He hasnt even looked like scoring runs and we are playing probably the weakest attack in world cricket. He needs to go back to state cricket and work on his technique because international bowlers will always find that line outside off. Warner is flashy but solid and deserves a more solid run. We just cant afford to have him putting added pressure on Khwaja, Warner and Marsh (when he returns)

  • Meety on December 9, 2011, 1:50 GMT

    @ Claydo78 - harsh on Christian, he appears to be a player on the improve, I suspected they weren't going to play him mainly because in all liklihood, the bowlers won't be bowling too long & hence a Hussey/Pup/Warner fill in is all that is required. Had it been an Adelaide Road type of pitch, I think he certainly would of been selected.

  • stuck282011 on December 8, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks Khawarja should be in danger of being dropped cannot know very much about cricket - he's the best young batsman in the country by a country mile - just because he hasn't scored a century yet, he should be dropped? Come on….His technique is 100 times better than Hughes', his body isn't going to break down after every test, he's clearly a hard worker and a good bloke to have around, he's more interested in improving his game than getting tattoos (which is refreshing), and he doesn't call "Wait On" like a wannabe Michael Clarke. Marsh is the next best young batsman (but he's not that young, and he keeps breaking down).

  • Looch on December 8, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    @Samdanh, couldn't agree with you more! A batsman with some grit would be very handy although I have a good feeling about Khawaja and Marsh.

  • smudgeon on December 8, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    How spoilt the Australian cricket fan has become! Who'd want to play for Australia when the public turn on you because you don't get a start every innings? Not so long ago he scored quite a nice 88 against a good SA attack. A couple of (admittedly silly) strokes against The Phantom (everyone underestimates this guy) and everyone's baying for his blood again. I'm sure he's working pretty damn hard to make sure it doesn't happen again. And if he can't iron out those kinks, well, he can (and should) be dropped - but seriously, it's far too early to write him off at the age of 23 after a smattering of tests over a number of years. I suspect that we've become so used to that golden age where there were so many good domestic batsman that anyone could slot into the team and they'd perform from the go. Our batting ranks are a lot thinner these days. Perhaps it's time for cricket fans in this country to develop the patience they expect to see from Hughes?

  • Meety on December 8, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    @dsig3 - I sort of hope Hughes can EXACTLY match Sehwags efforts from last night!!!!!!!! @ landl47 - dunno what's happenning but I think this about the 2nd or 3rd post in a row that I agree with you on! Are you OK? LOL! I think dropping a batsmen doesn't make sense when their returns have been pretty average over the last year, (assuming that they are the batsmen you are banking on moving forward). So if they are to be playing against India, keep them. If Marsh & Watto are shoe-ins upon their being passed fit, then maybe drop the "expendables". Trouble is who are the expendables?

  • hhillbumper on December 8, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Phil Hughes you are a legend.I can't wait to watch you bat to see the classical technique,the skill and the delicate touch you bring to batting.Then I wake up and remember just how bad you can be.Hope Aus keep picking you as I love reading the comments of the fans

  • on December 8, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    CLARKY HAS DECIDED TO GO ON WITH THE SAME TEAM IT IS A YOUNG SIDE MAY BE HE IS LOOKING AT THE FUTURE

  • on December 8, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Big mistake. Not only did Christian well and truly deserve it as the most in form player in Australia but his medium pace ideally suits Hobart. Very bad move. Hughes is well and truly gone from his international career and it will be up to him whether he is good enough to repair it. It is well and truly time to cut Hughes from this team.

  • ozwriter on December 8, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    couldn't agree more with Okakaboka, mari2619, and cccrider. well said. Hughes needs to be given the boot. Also I don't think the captain should be a selector because invariably he has friends within the squad and he has biases towards certain players. that bias should not get in the way of team selection. clarke's protecting of mates is getting a bit ridiculous...

  • kensohatter on December 9, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Surely now the Hughes debate will end... He hasnt even looked like scoring runs and we are playing probably the weakest attack in world cricket. He needs to go back to state cricket and work on his technique because international bowlers will always find that line outside off. Warner is flashy but solid and deserves a more solid run. We just cant afford to have him putting added pressure on Khwaja, Warner and Marsh (when he returns)

  • Meety on December 9, 2011, 1:50 GMT

    @ Claydo78 - harsh on Christian, he appears to be a player on the improve, I suspected they weren't going to play him mainly because in all liklihood, the bowlers won't be bowling too long & hence a Hussey/Pup/Warner fill in is all that is required. Had it been an Adelaide Road type of pitch, I think he certainly would of been selected.

  • stuck282011 on December 8, 2011, 23:31 GMT

    I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks Khawarja should be in danger of being dropped cannot know very much about cricket - he's the best young batsman in the country by a country mile - just because he hasn't scored a century yet, he should be dropped? Come on….His technique is 100 times better than Hughes', his body isn't going to break down after every test, he's clearly a hard worker and a good bloke to have around, he's more interested in improving his game than getting tattoos (which is refreshing), and he doesn't call "Wait On" like a wannabe Michael Clarke. Marsh is the next best young batsman (but he's not that young, and he keeps breaking down).

  • Looch on December 8, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    @Samdanh, couldn't agree with you more! A batsman with some grit would be very handy although I have a good feeling about Khawaja and Marsh.

  • smudgeon on December 8, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    How spoilt the Australian cricket fan has become! Who'd want to play for Australia when the public turn on you because you don't get a start every innings? Not so long ago he scored quite a nice 88 against a good SA attack. A couple of (admittedly silly) strokes against The Phantom (everyone underestimates this guy) and everyone's baying for his blood again. I'm sure he's working pretty damn hard to make sure it doesn't happen again. And if he can't iron out those kinks, well, he can (and should) be dropped - but seriously, it's far too early to write him off at the age of 23 after a smattering of tests over a number of years. I suspect that we've become so used to that golden age where there were so many good domestic batsman that anyone could slot into the team and they'd perform from the go. Our batting ranks are a lot thinner these days. Perhaps it's time for cricket fans in this country to develop the patience they expect to see from Hughes?

  • Meety on December 8, 2011, 22:55 GMT

    @dsig3 - I sort of hope Hughes can EXACTLY match Sehwags efforts from last night!!!!!!!! @ landl47 - dunno what's happenning but I think this about the 2nd or 3rd post in a row that I agree with you on! Are you OK? LOL! I think dropping a batsmen doesn't make sense when their returns have been pretty average over the last year, (assuming that they are the batsmen you are banking on moving forward). So if they are to be playing against India, keep them. If Marsh & Watto are shoe-ins upon their being passed fit, then maybe drop the "expendables". Trouble is who are the expendables?

  • hhillbumper on December 8, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Phil Hughes you are a legend.I can't wait to watch you bat to see the classical technique,the skill and the delicate touch you bring to batting.Then I wake up and remember just how bad you can be.Hope Aus keep picking you as I love reading the comments of the fans

  • on December 8, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    CLARKY HAS DECIDED TO GO ON WITH THE SAME TEAM IT IS A YOUNG SIDE MAY BE HE IS LOOKING AT THE FUTURE

  • on December 8, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Big mistake. Not only did Christian well and truly deserve it as the most in form player in Australia but his medium pace ideally suits Hobart. Very bad move. Hughes is well and truly gone from his international career and it will be up to him whether he is good enough to repair it. It is well and truly time to cut Hughes from this team.

  • ozwriter on December 8, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    couldn't agree more with Okakaboka, mari2619, and cccrider. well said. Hughes needs to be given the boot. Also I don't think the captain should be a selector because invariably he has friends within the squad and he has biases towards certain players. that bias should not get in the way of team selection. clarke's protecting of mates is getting a bit ridiculous...

  • AidanFX on December 8, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    The selectors made the right call making an unchanged lineup - there needs to be some stability in the line up; you don't need to change the squad every game; especially in a team that has been doing ok. Too many of the comments here are notoriously short-sighted; as it stands now Khawaja & Hughes are fighting for a spot in view of the eventual return of Watson. Interestingly enough their averages are similar; one has made a hand full of low scores and some big scores; there other has made a series of consistent scores; arguably never altogether failing but as of yet other than a 50 not getting a big score yet.

  • Samdanh on December 8, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Australia needs more disciplined batsmen who can play straight, and grind for big scores, for better success in Tests. On the upcoming India tour in Aus, both teams are even by strength with India holding an edge in batting. The current Aus team lacks the disciplined batting depth that India possesses. It is going to be a well contested series. Aus should bring in 1 or two batsmen who have done well in Shield games this season. Once Watson returns, he should bat @6 ratherthan @1.

  • Claydo78 on December 8, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    i absolutely disagree with christian getting a cap, first, i dont think he is good enough but secondly, im sick of cricket australia and the selectors handing caps out then not backing the player they picked. if a player gets picked christian or anyone we have to back that player and give them atleast 10 test matches to prove his worth, if you think he is good enough for 1 match, then he is good enough for 10! beer, casson, cullen, elliot, george, mcgain, mckay,manou, and rodgers have all got one cap doherty, krejza have two caps and tait and copeland have three and then were all dropped in the last 10 years! come on CA, back your judgement and when you do, give these guys a chance to prove they should be there!

  • Okakaboka on December 8, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    What I would like to hear from the NSW fans (& Clarke) is a statement as to when Hughes should be dropped due to his inability to demonstrate he is a test cricketer. Come on....let's have some statements....do we wait year after year for him to produce the magical innings???? Once his test batting average falls below what do we drop him? Do you think Brad Hodge is screaming at the TV at the moment???? I know there aren't many players putting their hand up at the moment...But!!!!!

  • Claydo78 on December 8, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    christian is punching above his weight! i reckon the selectors got a look of him in training and thought the same thing! how else can you explain him being left out when watson has picked up another injury. again another selectors mess, i actually feel for christian, selectors making him think he is better then he really is and now he misses a shield game for south australia. the 12th man position should go to local cricketer, if christian is such hot property at the moment let him prove it by going back to state cricket, to keep scoring runs!

  • VivGilchrist on December 8, 2011, 7:01 GMT

    @zico123, absolutely spot on, old son. Couldn't agree more.

  • TheLoneStranger on December 8, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    As usual, the selectors showed no courage. Hughes should NOT be in the side, but I suppose he'll fluke another half-decent score and stave off the inevitable yet again. Watto's got another injury. Message to selectors: do NOT pick him as a bowler, as it is bowling which has caused most if not all of his injury problems over the years. Leave him as an opener and make other arrangements for the bowling attack. If selected as a batsman only, his career will last a lot longer and he will be of greater benefit to his country.

  • on December 8, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    not a right move 2 leave out daniel christian the no.7 spot for australia in all formats belong 2 him....

  • cccrider on December 8, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Get to the ground early if you want to see Hughes bat. Honestly, you'd swear that he was Hayden the way Clarke goes on about him.

  • Barnesy4444 on December 8, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Hughes scored a century in the final test in Sri Lanka, that makes 1 century and an 88 in his last 4 tests. All he has to do is turn some of the scores in the teens into 30's and 40's seeing off the new ball more often. After 30 test innings he has a very similar record to a young Ponting, a young Clarke, a young Sehwag and tellingly a young Tendulkar! This is despite Hughes being dropped in 2009 when he was in form, then picked in 2010 out of form! I predict he will start making consistent big test scores very shortly.

  • palla.avinash on December 8, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    phil hughes is going 2nd test as it is last test in this series, he seems to fire only in last latch.khawaja should play where he likes to play,their is no point in bringing ponting back to no 3 position.i hope warner will fire and clarke never think of dropping spinner lyon as said in preview.he is now most important player than that of warne for australia in old times due to the suitation.

  • satish619chandar on December 8, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    Good decision from Australia to be unchanged.. Sudden rotation policy without consent of players might well cause issues in the team..

  • landl47 on December 8, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    There was no reason to change a winning team. Christian would only have been the 5th bowler and to leave out a batsman for him wouldn't make sense. Playing Khawaja out of position wouldn't have been fair to a young player making his way in test cricket, either. NZ will have to sharpen up a lot from the performance they put in at Brisbane if they are to make a game of it. The bowling wasn't too bad, but that second innings batting display was appalling. John Wright, who was a very canny opener himself, must have had a fit watching his guys flashing at wide balls in the first few overs. This has the potential to be a decent NZ team, but there must be more discipline.

  • Mary_786 on December 8, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    Hughes playing is a joke, how can you keep a guys who can't handle swing bowling, clarke again has shown his bias towards his good mate over Christian who deserved to make his debut

  • Meety on December 8, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    Thinking they'd do that. Just think Dan is better off with a little bit moreFC & ODI exposure. Bloody good prospect!

  • Hammad-Hasan on December 8, 2011, 3:59 GMT

    Intresting to see what Hughes will do this time :D

  • on December 8, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    I'm glad we've kept the same team... give all the youngersters a chance to grow into their roles in test cricket. Chopping and changing was one of the major flaws of Hilditch's reign!

  • zico123 on December 8, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    as always Australia took the safest route, they should have taken the bold decision of resting Ponting or Hussey to try Dan Christian, this match they would win anyway, but they lost a great opportunity to check out how Dan Christian would have done in Test erena, now in middle of Ind-Aus test series if Watson breaks down, they could have used Dan Christian if they knew how good he is at hobart test, but opportunity lost.

  • Abhayaprada on December 8, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    With the weather forecast predicting rain and overcast conditions for the whole Test match I would have thought a seamer like Christian would be in his element. Surely Faulker or Butterworth should have been considered as well. I am very unsure of these new selectors and their decision making processes because this pitch is very unlike Brisbane.

  • zenboomerang on December 8, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    I am not unhappy that they kept the same 11... What really disappoints me is that a player is wasted in this fashion... Christian could be playing in a tough SS match against WA - the last until Feb 2012... This put SA in a weaker spot... Left Christian out of a match where he could have improved on his great batting form & possibly be higher up the ratings as an allrounder... pure CA selection folly... Get it right boys or your jobs will be gone before they have started...

  • Wefinishthis on December 8, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    I sincerely hope that this Hughes and Siddle's last chance. Starc, Ponting, Haddin and Khawaja should be on notice as well. Have we learned nothing from the Argus review? Even Dan Christian was surprised to be playing! By all means pick him for ODI's, but not for tests!

  • Dashgar on December 8, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    What the hell is he wearing? Where was that photo taken? Anyway, this is not surprising at all. Hughes, Warner and Khawaja are all fighting for their place, and if they all succeed then Ponting is fighting for his place too, as Watson will definitely come back and Marsh will most likely come back too. This competition for spots is going to make Australia much stronger.

  • Patchmaster on December 8, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    Does that mean he's free to play for our team ? NZ. Worth a try ;-)

  • dsig3 on December 8, 2011, 1:18 GMT

    Very happy with this. Hughes is always going to be under pressure when not making runs because he looks so awful. Exactly the same as Sehwag who is under pressure right now aswell. Hopefully he can go out there and blast a century and shake Ross Taylors hand at the end of the game with a big smile. New Zealand have made it a habit to save Australian cricketers careers. Brad Haddin AND Clarke both made tons against the Kiwis with their careers on the line.

  • on December 8, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    It's going to be wonderful to see the young aus bowler on 2nd test...

  • alexczarn on December 8, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    Hughes should've been dropped!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • alexczarn on December 8, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    Hughes should've been dropped!!!

  • on December 8, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    It's going to be wonderful to see the young aus bowler on 2nd test...

  • dsig3 on December 8, 2011, 1:18 GMT

    Very happy with this. Hughes is always going to be under pressure when not making runs because he looks so awful. Exactly the same as Sehwag who is under pressure right now aswell. Hopefully he can go out there and blast a century and shake Ross Taylors hand at the end of the game with a big smile. New Zealand have made it a habit to save Australian cricketers careers. Brad Haddin AND Clarke both made tons against the Kiwis with their careers on the line.

  • Patchmaster on December 8, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    Does that mean he's free to play for our team ? NZ. Worth a try ;-)

  • Dashgar on December 8, 2011, 1:33 GMT

    What the hell is he wearing? Where was that photo taken? Anyway, this is not surprising at all. Hughes, Warner and Khawaja are all fighting for their place, and if they all succeed then Ponting is fighting for his place too, as Watson will definitely come back and Marsh will most likely come back too. This competition for spots is going to make Australia much stronger.

  • Wefinishthis on December 8, 2011, 2:07 GMT

    I sincerely hope that this Hughes and Siddle's last chance. Starc, Ponting, Haddin and Khawaja should be on notice as well. Have we learned nothing from the Argus review? Even Dan Christian was surprised to be playing! By all means pick him for ODI's, but not for tests!

  • zenboomerang on December 8, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    I am not unhappy that they kept the same 11... What really disappoints me is that a player is wasted in this fashion... Christian could be playing in a tough SS match against WA - the last until Feb 2012... This put SA in a weaker spot... Left Christian out of a match where he could have improved on his great batting form & possibly be higher up the ratings as an allrounder... pure CA selection folly... Get it right boys or your jobs will be gone before they have started...

  • Abhayaprada on December 8, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    With the weather forecast predicting rain and overcast conditions for the whole Test match I would have thought a seamer like Christian would be in his element. Surely Faulker or Butterworth should have been considered as well. I am very unsure of these new selectors and their decision making processes because this pitch is very unlike Brisbane.

  • zico123 on December 8, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    as always Australia took the safest route, they should have taken the bold decision of resting Ponting or Hussey to try Dan Christian, this match they would win anyway, but they lost a great opportunity to check out how Dan Christian would have done in Test erena, now in middle of Ind-Aus test series if Watson breaks down, they could have used Dan Christian if they knew how good he is at hobart test, but opportunity lost.

  • on December 8, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    I'm glad we've kept the same team... give all the youngersters a chance to grow into their roles in test cricket. Chopping and changing was one of the major flaws of Hilditch's reign!