Australia news October 12, 2012

CLT20 'anything but ideal' - Inverarity

ESPNcricinfo staff

John Inverarity, Australia's national selector, has admitted the Champions League T20 is hindering preparations for the first Test against South Africa next month.

A large group of key players - Shane Watson, David Warner, Mike Hussey, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Brad Haddin - are taking part in the CLT20 and it means those players will only have one Sheffield Shield match before the first Test.

"It is anything but an ideal preparation," Inverarity told News Ltd. "You just have to do your best but having the Champions League where it is now is not in the best interests of good preparation for the first Test."

Although Australia's top six is fairly stable after the tour of West Indies earlier this year, and is unlikely to change for the start of the South Africa series, the selectors are still trying to decide their best combination of fast bowlers. This is where the Champions League is adding to their problems by restricting the amount of red-ball cricket for Starc, Hilfenhaus and Cummins.

Cummins is unlikely to feature before the third Test, at Perth, due to his lack of first-class cricket over the last year and worries about him breaking down. "For some time you will not see him play three Tests in a row," Inverarity added.

At this stage Peter Siddle, who is currently playing Shield cricket for Victoria, is the only nailed on member of the bowling attack although is expected to be joined by Hilfenhaus and Nathan Lyon, despite the offspinner's tough start to the season for South Australia, which leaves Starc and James Pattinson vying for the third fast bowler's spot.

Pattinson took 6 for 32 in the recent Shield match against Queensland but Starc also has strong form behind him after a productive time with Yorkshire during the English season and an impressive World Twenty20 where he claimed 10 wickets at six matches.

Inverarity said: "He's been terrific. There is an advantage if you pick your best left-armer."

The other spot that needs to be decided on is who takes the wicketkeeper's gloves. Matthew Wade is the man in possession, after playing against West Indies earlier this year after being called up to replace Haddin who had to return home, and hit a maiden Test hundred in the final match of the series in Dominica.

However, Haddin started the season with 114 against Tasmania to put his name back in the frame. "We will be talking together on the wicketkeeping next week and that is one of the things we will be discussing," Inverarity said.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Junaid on October 15, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    what an honest guys he is.......atleast someone has the courage to call a spade a spade

  • Geoffrey on October 15, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    Firstly welcome back to RandyOz- who went missing for ages. Secondly Inverarity has just given Aussie supporters a decent excuse for getting hammered in this test series. I'd hold onto this one, it's a keeper, and don't forget to get the rest of your excuses ready.

  • Andrew on October 15, 2012, 0:17 GMT

    @ BG4cricket on (October 14 2012, 23:49 PM GMT) - if it is Patto v Starc it is tough. I agree that patto appears to be better in longer formats, but Starc has improved rapidly & has the left arm variation. I actually think there is more of a Starc v Hilfy battle.

  • Brett on October 14, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    Yes the preparation is not ideal but perhaps less so for SA as at least some of our players are getting Shield games. For mine Cummins needs some first class matches before he can be picked as he is a big risk on fitness. For mine it is Hilfy and Siddle with a close battle between Patto and Starc for the other spot. I would take Patto as I think he is a better test bowler at this stage - Starc has been excellent in the shorter forms but would like him to have to demonstrate more at first class level to show he can bowl 20 quality overs a day. I would be surprised if Wade was picked - his form since WI has been average and he only got the test spot through Haddin's withdrawal. I think Hadds deserves first crack and his recent ton shows he is back.

  • Victor on October 14, 2012, 23:49 GMT

    I say go with four front line pace bowlers + watto. Swap between Pat and James so they don't break down. Clarke and warner can share the spinning duty. No point in picking a fulltime spinner. At the moment all the fulltime aussie spinners are grade quality. Unless Brad Hogg comes out of retirement.

  • anton on October 14, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    A baseball batter slogs at every pitch whether it is the home run derby or the matches. Its just that the pitches are afst during a macth and tehrefore they rarely connect. T20, on the hand, is proving much more than slogging. Lot of the shots, including the big hits, are correctly played shots. Cricket is a batters game while baseball is pitcher's game. That's the main difference. Let's put it this way, if both teams only scored 30 or 40 runs in a T20 game, do you think anyone would then follow T20 cricket? Of course not. It is precisely the big hits and high run scoring people go to watch. We are also seeing very express fast bowlers like Dale Steyn doing well and the high quality spinners. So, definitely T20 has evolved into proper cricket from the first couple of years when teams just slogged, and in doing so, actually often made lower scores because they were getting caught out in the boundary.

  • anton on October 14, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    Zat, I disagree about baseball. More and more people in the US are becoming bored of baseball precisely because there are so few meaningful hits. The pitcher has such a complete control of the game and when the batters do hit, it invariably goes into foul territory. Baseball hitting is often a matter of luck. You will often notice that in the regular season (162 games each) , even the top teams almost lose as many as they win. One day a team could win 8-1 and then lose 2-10 the next day. Swing at the ball and get lucky once in a while. I read somewhere 45% of MLB players fall into the overweight category.

    Also, in T20, lot of the games are decided in the last over and, as witnessed in the recent world cup, at least 2 matches went into the super over. That's how closely fought T20 can be. The nature of T20 games means even one great over could bring a team back int contention.

  • Randolph on October 14, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    Why is Haddin mentioned? He won't be near the test team right?

  • david on October 14, 2012, 11:08 GMT

    siddle should always be selected, when times are tough he will still battle though. im just happy that mitch j does not seem to be in the selectors minds these days which must be a plus for the aussies.

  • Tim on October 14, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    @Brannavan, have you even seen Cummins' record? He's only played 4 First Class games and has a bowling average of 33.37. Siddle is an experienced bowler with a reputation for breaking partnerships and bowling just as quick at the end of a day as at the start. He will be the first fast bowler picked for very good reason. Also he's in good form with the bat (2 first class 50s already this season) so will strengthen our lower order.

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