Australia v South Africa, first Test, Brisbane

Quiney part of buffer zone for middle order

Brydon Coverdale

November 8, 2012

Comments: 50 | Text size: A | A

Rob Quiney bats in the nets, Brisbane, November 6, 2012
Michael Clarke thinks Rob Quiney is a better choice at No. 3 than he is © Getty Images
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Michael Clarke has defended his decision to thrust the Test debutant Rob Quiney into No.3 against South Africa's powerful pace attack, while Australia's three most experienced batsmen will remain down the order. South Africa's captain Graeme Smith is keen for his fast bowlers to exploit the lack of experience in Australia's top order, with none of Ed Cowan, David Warner and Quiney having previously faced the South Africans in Test cricket.

Clarke said he had considered batting at first drop himself but was reluctant to alter the middle order that had such success against India last summer, when Ricky Ponting, Clarke and Michael Hussey batted at Nos. 4, 5 and 6. Quiney will be Australia's fourth Test No.3 since Ponting moved down the order during last year's tour of Sri Lanka, following Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja and Shane Watson.

Combined with the fact that Warner and Cowan, both of whom are still making their way in Test cricket, will open the innings, it leaves Australia potentially vulnerable against Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, the best pace line-up in the world today. Clarke said although he could have promoted himself up the order to first drop, he believed Quiney was better suited to the role, given that he usually opens for Victoria.

"I have actually [thought about batting at No.3], I've spoken to Justin Langer and I had some time talking to Ricky about it over the last few days as well," Clarke said. "We think at the moment Rob is best suited to No.3 for this Test match. Hopefully he performs really well and grabs hold of his opportunity. I've said for a while now it doesn't bother me where I bat. Ricky and Michael Hussey are in the exact same boat. They don't really care where they bat, it's about what's best suited for the team.

"We thought our middle order played really well together last year, all last summer. We're looking to do the same thing. We think Rob's got plenty of experience in first-class cricket opening the batting and batting at No.3. He's probably used to that position a lot more than me for the start of this series. We can assess as Test matches go on, as time goes on. I really hope Rob grabs his opportunity with both hands and owns that No.3 position for Australia."

The lack of a stable first drop is one of the vexing issues facing Clarke and the coach Mickey Arthur, after Marsh and Khawaja both showed encouraging signs in the position only to slip out of form and out of the team. And Watson, who would have batted at No.3 in this match had he been fit, is not necessarily an automatic inclusion in the side except as an allrounder.

In Australia's past 25 Test matches, only one century has been scored at No.3 - Marsh's debut hundred in Sri Lanka - and collectively Australia's batsmen have averaged 28.38 at first drop in that time. Meanwhile, in the same period, Clarke has piled up 1981 runs at 46.06 while coming in down the order at No.5. Smith said he hoped Australia's lack of top-order experience and form would play into South Africa's hands.

"The goal is to have our bowlers expose the top order as much as possible," Smith said. "Everyone wants to have a team three-down as quickly as possible and really give yourself the best opportunity to bowl people out. That inexperience ... is hopefully something that we can exploit. That would be nice, because then we will have Australia under pressure.

"We've done our preparation, we've had a look at them. A few of us know Bob [Quiney] through the IPL and got a look at him the other day, even though the wicket will be very different here. We've done some planning and hopefully our bowlers have proven they've got the skill to execute, hopefully that will happen again in the next five days."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by RightArmEverything on (November 10, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

@hyclass, I agree some people are really pushing for Khawaja. It's certainly not the first time someone has posted consistently with an agenda though. I do think you might be searching for flaws in Khawaja though re your comments that he was dropped on 11, and outscored by no.7 and 8. I'd say that has happened to all batsmen at some point, including the greats. Unless there's evidence that it's happening consistently those comments carry no weight. BTW, I am capable of courtesy, I just choose to use it when I think it's deserved. And I don't think it is when someone claims to be unfailingly correct at all times, referring to posts of 21 months ago etc. Having said that, I totally agree with you re Clarke and Quiney at no.3. If Watson was in the team I think Clarke should bat at 3, but with Quiney it (being a top-order batsmen) I see no problem with him taking the spot. I see no point in Ponting going back there if he is not going to be around much longer.

Posted by Meety on (November 10, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

@hyclass on (November 09 2012, 12:44 PM GMT) - one innings doesn't mean a totally changed batsmen, BUT Ussie just nailed the ton I've been hoping for. It was in conditions that saw Tassie shot out in 26 overs & I believe it was chanceless. He has outscored the entire Tassie team in one innings on a greentop against Bird,Butterworth & Faulkner who are a handy pace trio at least.

Posted by Meety on (November 9, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

@ Green_and_Gold on (November 09 2012, 16:54 PM GMT) - it's not a bad idea, although Punter has been scoring his runs for Tassie @ #4.

Posted by Raki99 on (November 9, 2012, 18:25 GMT)

this might be the last series for pointing and hussey.... Saffers bowling is very good.

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (November 9, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

I was one of the first people to support Pontings move down the order to #4 and think its a better position for him however i now think it may be an option for him to move back to 3 - and my reasons are:

1) He is pretty much the best player in the side (plus has loads of experience). He has been playing FC cricket and is already on top of the batsman scoring heaps of runs.

2) Clarke and Hussey then come into #4 and #5 as the next most experienced players.

3) We can put the new players into position #6 and get them bedded into the side before thrusting them into one of the hardest batting positions. Get the new player scoring runs at #6 then push them up the order once they are established.

We are starting to turn over too many players at the top of the order. Ponting is a great player and i hope he sticks around for the back to back ashes (i also hope i get tickets for Lords and the Oval) - but i think him at 3 will settle the side somewhat.

Posted by notvery on (November 9, 2012, 12:50 GMT)

@ jb633 Khwaja's issue is not a teki thing against offies or whatever its a bottle thing. he is a very correct bat. needs to get roughed up a bit, hes not a fighter...see Ponting, S Waugh, dwarf boy etc. to be a test bat its all well and good to be a great bat but you need it upstairs too! Hughes has the twin issues of no tekkers and little upstairs...he is a fighter but not smart with it.

its not about handles and grips and the direction of the bowling... a good bat will find a way to deal with it.... lara, waugh(s), kallis...etc (excluding tendulkar who is rubbish)

Posted by hyclass on (November 9, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

Before this series, I suggested it was highly probable that the SA batsmen would dissect the Australian bowling. Given their records and the stability of the side, it seemed more than likely that SA would be too good. I admit to being bemused by criticism of Clarke's choice for Quiney. I can hardly find fault with playing him at 3.It seems obvious that the incumbent openers remain where they are and that Quiney take Watson's more recent place at 3.I have a high regard for Clarke and his captaincy.He has endured with significant character through a difficult off-field period in Australian Cricket that may well be viewed very differently in the future when all evidence becomes public.The facts remain that the selectors have chosen a 12 and Clarke must deploy them as he sees fit.He has responsibility for results so he must have control.@MinusZero..I couldn't agree less. In Clarke's case,there is no evidence for any agenda.In yours, the needless use of an India analogy suggests there is.

Posted by hyclass on (November 9, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

@DylanBrah...save your intelligence...there a group of three among which @Macca-mat is regularly represented who fanatically push Khawaja based on his heritage,every blog, every article, irrespective of evidence and then attack anyone who dares to suggest otherwise. Khawaja wasn't even selected in the Aus A game.The head selector took the unusual step of publicly singling out his poor attitude and ethic. He's made one very lucky hundred in 21 months. His season average is mid 30's.He was dropped from the Test team after averaging 29 with a S/R of 37.He's not even the best player in his team. He was dropped on 11 in the first Qld match and was outscored by the numbers 7 and 8.He may come good at some point,but has continually exhibited inconsistency and would need a long run of form containing numerous hundreds before anyone could be certain of his value.Commentators in Eng singled out his propensity to walk front on before playing a shot,a perceived flaw I highlighted in 21 months ago.

Posted by Mary_786 on (November 9, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

@DylanBrah Khawaja should never have been dropped in the first place. He top scored against SA in a record 300 chase, got run out on 40 in the next game due to no fault of his. This year he just got man of the match when he top scored in both innings against a quality NSW attack. Expect him to be back in the baggy green soon as he is one of the top players in the upcoming youngsters.

Posted by DylanBrah on (November 9, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

Khawaja needs to earn his baggy green back. An average of 36.5 from 4 shield games isn't exactly eye-catching for a guy who has been dropped more than once. He's going to have to sustain a high level for a long period of time to win his baggy green back in my opinion. Also needs to convert his 50's into 100's. That is a huge concern.

Posted by funkybluesman on (November 9, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

re: bouncedout: "As long a she scores runs then he's not so worried about the team result, he's always been the same."

This is the same Michael Clarke that declared on himself when he had a big triple hundred and so many people were talking about him chasing records, but he was more concerned with giving the team an opportunity to win the game than chasing after personal records.

Posted by MinusZero on (November 8, 2012, 22:57 GMT)

Clarke doesnt want to change a middle order that did well against India. An India that is seriously on the slide down the rankings. What it tells me is the he has a lack of confidence about the middle order against a good team. I hope SAF pick up on that.

Posted by binojpeter on (November 8, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

I don't understand why Ponting, Clarke and Hussey has to bat so low down the order. In my opinion, Ponting, Clarke and Hussey should come at 3, 4 and 5 positions respectively.

Posted by Rally_Windies on (November 8, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

Hahaha,

Mr. Clarke, this is one of the oldest tricks in the book...

you can't fool an experienced cricket player and fan.....

you think that you will make more runs at number 4 facing tired bowlers and an older ball ...

you are sending in the young lad as a sacrificial lamb to take shine off the ball should one off your openers fall early .....

you are afraid to go in , in the 2nd or 3rd over if Styen, Morkel or Philander is getting some movement with the new ball..

Quiney's job is to face 30-60 deliveries and get out... He does not need to make runs

Posted by jb633 on (November 8, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

@Selaisse-I- I am an English fan and the comments are embarassing. Kallis for one does not bat at no 3 and has not done for years, please check the stats.

Posted by jb633 on (November 8, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

@Hammond, I agree with the technical point about Hughes. Not so sure about Khwaja though. Watched him a bit in England and I felt his technique against seam is pretty decent. He reminds me a bit of Duminy. I feel he really struggles against off spin though, particularly from over the wicket trapping him in front with the one going on with the arm. @Rabbito- some players (Gilly and Lara) simply have an unbelievable eye and they make their technique work around how good their eye is. I would say that at times that Gilly and Lara were squared up but generally from right arm bowlers going around the wicket and getting the ball to straighten (very difficult ball to bowl) If they were facing a bowler slanting it across they generally stayed relatively square (not straight) and were able to punish any width. If a player squares up to a moving ball against the angle then fair enough, Hughes though squares up whether there is movement or not. This is the biggest worry for Aussie fans I am sure

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

Have to agree with others that say Clarke should be at #5. He didn't even do particularly well at #4. Batting him at #3 could see those returns diminish even further..... In any event, the simple fact is that the Aussies need to unearth a no.3 from somewhere and whoever it is needs to put their hand up pretty soon or they could be in for a couple of tough years. I like Khawaja but I just don't see him being a dominant, take the game away type of batsman once he's set. In fact i find it very hard to pin point just where he fits into a batting line-up, perhaps he should play as an opener? Time to put your hand up no.3, whoever you are?

Posted by sawifan on (November 8, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

@Rabitto. Gilly actually used the complete opposite, giving him a longer handle and better leverage. Lara, though, changed throughout his career, but had lunch a great eye, and swift feet (and insane back-lift from 3rd-4th slip!!!), that his grip didn't dictract his control as much as Khawaja. Btw, am a Khawaja fan, but not batsmen are created equal

Posted by bouncedout on (November 8, 2012, 12:22 GMT)

Clarke should be batting at number three and he would be if he had the bottle.

As long a she scores runs then he's not so worried about the team result, he's always been the same.

Posted by ozwriter on (November 8, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

khawaja is really timing the ball well. played brilliantly to topscore and win the game agains NSW (with clarke and selectors watching). i expect khawaja back into the team for long run...

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

Australian first-class batting averages in descending order: 163 Patterson, 56 Ponting, 54 D Hussey, 52 M Hussey, 50 Rogers, Warner, 47 Maxwell, 46 Clarke, 45 Burns, Hughes, 44 Watson, Cosgrove, 43 Nevill, Khawaja, 42 North, Smith, 41 Rohrer, Wade, Pomersbach, Voges, 40 Bailey, White, Cowan, Doolan, McDonald, 39 Haddin, 38 Quiney (#27) 37 Klinger, 36 S Marsh, Ferguson, Lynn, 35 Birt, 34 Davis, 33 Forrest, 32 O'Keefe, Paine, Maddinson, Hopes, Hartley, Cooper, 31 Finch, A Townsend, Henriques, Blizzard, Cazzulino. Forget the rest. Now averages aren't everything - D Hussey and Rogers have filled their boots in county cricket, while Clarke has played a high proportion of tests - but if we've learned anything from the US election, it's that stats beat the pundits. Quiney's not good enough yet - if he is going to be, he can prove it by stacking on some runs and move up the pecking order over time.

Posted by fennocious on (November 8, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

the middle order is exactly how it should look, you need your senior players to steady the ship if the rookies are unable to score. younger cricketers need time to play with freedom before they bat somewhere lower like 6

Posted by BG4cricket on (November 8, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

Not sure what game people were watching but Quiney looked terrific for Australia A and I think he will give a good account of himself. Doolan is another likely candidate but he looked in a lot of trouble against Kleinveldt early and could easily have gone - this is a negative but on the plus side he fought through it and then cashed in. This series will be a lot closer than many believe - Australia's bowling is better than given credit and they will put a lot of pressure on a strong SA batting line up and if at least 2 of the top 3 Aussie bats can have 250+ run series they can win with Patto man of the series

Posted by stickywicketnick on (November 8, 2012, 11:34 GMT)

You know when they start relying on IPL 'experience' they have more than a few problems.

Posted by KingofRedLions on (November 8, 2012, 11:15 GMT)

How dare Clarke keep himself in his best position!

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 8, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

This is really fantastic stuff, the great Australian team with a new batsman who has a FC average in the 30s! Clarke and punter are clearly scared of facing a fresh SA bowling attack, I always think you should have your most difficult to dismiss batsman at 3, say a Dravid or a Kallis, not some village player! Personally I wouldn't want to let Steyn pump himself up by bowling a few jokers out as a warm up at the top of the order.

Posted by Rabbito on (November 8, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

@hammond is there that much wrong with useing that technique?...gilly used to use that technique...and also i think lara may have from memory....not sure though...

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 10:53 GMT)

@kenosohatter

(Callum Ferguson, Alex Doolan, Usman Khawaja, Moises Henriques, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting and Phillip Hughes) all in the top 10 run scorers in the Shield season so far and all are younger than Quiney and far more deserving and guess what....?

Quiney isnt even in the top 50 run scorers this season at Sheffield Shield level

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/batting/most_runs_career.html?id=7544;type=tournament

so before you complain about 25 batsman superior to Quiney and Cowan.....

i know for a fact there are 20 batsman better than Cowan and 50 better than Quiney this season...... so next time do your research before you open your mouth

Posted by Meety on (November 8, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

@sawifan on (November 08 2012, 09:29 AM GMT) - well said.

Posted by   on (November 8, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

You people forget, on batting alone, Watson is below Test standard, he is a cross-batsman who favours the leg side, and his off-side play is with a slightly closed bat face, thus a lot of his shots on the off-side, career over gully or 3rd slip. Quiney has done the hard yards, never been picked out of a talent pool when he was young, he has had too work his arse off just to get a game for Victoria. The past 2 seasons in `OZ`, first class cricket, he is the form batsman, as he has a very good average on very lively pitches, during this period. Punter only dropped down the order because he was told too, Clarke is not good early against the seaming ball, leave him where he is, Khawaja, and Joe Burns, will replace Punter and Huss, Cowan will be dropped, because Quiney, is solid, but he also latches onto loose crap, and Watson will bat at 6. If he can ever play a whole series, otherwise Ronald McDonald, or Mitch Marsh will pass him by. I hope Watson, never plays another Test Match.

Posted by featurewriter on (November 8, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

kensohatter: I'm not sure I agree mate. While I don't support the argument that there are 25 better batsmen out there, I would suggest that batsmen like Doolan, Cosgrove and Burns are better than Quiney. He should have been picked in either 2010 or 2011, when he was in form. He's not in first-class form at the moment, despite a hard-fought 85 against the Saffers last week. I'm a big fan of Ed Cowan, but I think he needs a ton to give himself some confidence. I hope that comes, otherwise he won't see the third test. As for Clarke being gutless for not pushing himself up the order, seriously? The guy is a middle-order batsmen, he's not an opener or a number three. Simple as that. Cosgrove I can see at three. I think, sadly for Quiney, that the three spot will be a rotating door again for Australia. I'm looking forward to this series though. Can't wait to see Steyn, Smith, Kallis and Morkel in action. I also hope Punter has another great series - and it looks likely with his current form.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (November 8, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

@Macca_mat and Ross_Fleming i think guys are spot on about Khawaja being the long term number 3 once the great Ponting retires. I would like to think Hughes will be our long term opener and Khawaja at 3, all they can do is keep the runs coming at shield level. @Hammond you are kidding me mate, you seem to talk up Quiney but question Khawaja and Hughes. Border labelled Khawaja as one of the best young batsman in the country, Inevarity called him a beautiful timer of the ball, Taylor listed him in his top 3 young batsman but you must have more knowledge then them.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (November 8, 2012, 10:10 GMT)

@Hammond I agree with Ross_fleming, Khawaja has one of the best techniques among the young batsman coming through. Don't take my word for it, the likes of Border, Taylor, Clarke and Inevarity have said the same that he has a fantastic technique and is a great timer of the ball. The area he has been asked to improve on is his fielding which is also improving this year as seen in the Ryobi cup games. I don't know but the names listed above seem like good judges to me on who has a good technique, what do you think.

Posted by Mary_786 on (November 8, 2012, 10:07 GMT)

@Ross_Fleming I agree with you mate, Khawaja is the best player for number 3, if a player can top score against South Africa in their own turf in a pressure chase then he is best for this position. He also got man of the match against a strong NSW outfit at number 3 last game so the signs are good.

Posted by sawifan on (November 8, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

@everyone calling Clarke scared (and now Ponting for some ridiculous reason?!), if Clarke is scared for not moving, then so was S. Waugh for his whole career. Clarke's best value is @ #5, get over over it. To suggest he's scared (and in doing so saying the same for S Waugh) is mind-boggling.

Posted by Hammond on (November 8, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

@ross_fleming- shame about Usman's technique then. Choking the bat all the way down the bottom of the handle, and squaring up all the time with a dominant bottom hand when the ball goes across him. Can't change him mate technique is already set, him and Hughes will always be also rans (but decent Shield cricketers) with techniques like that.

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 8, 2012, 9:24 GMT)

What a irony.. Watson's replacement is a pure batsman who by ability wise is lesser than Watson as a batsman alone too. But Watson need t o be a all rounder to find place? I think they are putting too much pressure on Watson with him in top order and then a dependable bowler. Atleast with the new crop of fast bowlers, they can think of reducing the burden on Watson. If they want Watson the all rounder, move him to 6 promoting all others one up.

Posted by Simoc on (November 8, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

Looking forward to this. I'm predicting that if one of the openers in the team batting first scores a ton, that team will win the series. That part is easy. The Oz team doesn't look strong and relied heavily on Clarke, Ponting last season for runs. I don't expect the S.A batsmen to fall over as meekly as the Indians did last year. This is our best team but on paper is no match for the S.A line-up. Going in as underdogs is unusual for Oz so we'll see how good our guys are. Certainly throwing in Hughes or Kuwaja could end their careers or make the road back very long. D Hussey and G Bailey have finished their Oz rep. days apart from potential T20 gigs if we're desperate. So the best we have are out there.

Posted by kensohatter on (November 8, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

@Gilly4ever... What are you talking about? 25 batsman superior to Quiney and Cowan! Where? Unless you are talking about putting people in time machines this statement is utter rubbish. Cowan has been solid without being outstanding and deserves a run and Quineys state figures are currently the best in Australia. As for the batting order I do worry that Australia have handed over the advantage early to south africa and may never get back the momentum. Id like to see Quiney wedged in the batting order between two experienced ones.

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (November 8, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

@Hammond I think Khawaja is the best option for 3. He has batted successfully at that position for both Qld and NSW. Also when he batted there for Australia he top scored against Steyn, Morkel and Philander in a record 300 chase, got a 40 run out the next game and then was dropped thereafter. Also remember that during that time he was essentially coming in the first few overs as Hughes was in bad form and he did a good job with the new ball. If we are looking for a long term option there then Khawaja is the best man for it and I think selectors are giving him time in shield to get further runs in that position so he is match hardened.

Posted by trumpoz on (November 8, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

Meety has definately got that one right. Geoff Marsh was nothing spectacular as a cricketer. First class average of just under 40 and a test average of 33 with a strick rate of 35. His job was to get the shine off the ball and let the rest of the line up, Boon, Jones, Border, Waugh get on with their job.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (November 8, 2012, 8:36 GMT)

Clarke is a coward and a self preservating flat track bully not willing to front up for his team. Gutless.

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (November 8, 2012, 8:29 GMT)

So cannon fodder, basically. They're hoping another leftie will stall Steyn for a bit.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (November 8, 2012, 7:57 GMT)

Clarke & Ponting are scared! Theres no other explanation

Posted by sawifan on (November 8, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

@Gilly4ever... Punter actually batted #5 in his 1st test, and was promoted to #3 by his 4th test (although he did go back down again before staying @3, he was tried for a while there very early on, in IND and against the WI's in AUS '96-7).

Posted by Hammond on (November 8, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

Australia just doesn't have a traditional number 3 available, no-one in the country is good enough to be both technically able to take on the new ball if an early wicket falls and also attack effectively if the openers have done their job. Having another specialist opener like Quiney at 3 is the next best thing, however it does also show that Australia don't have anyone good enough for a test first drop, nor do they have enough confidence in their openers to put a dasher in there instead. Good choice though regardless, he is a fine player, and he will show up the test incumbents.

Posted by Chark_attack on (November 8, 2012, 7:31 GMT)

@meety hit the nail on the head an openers role is tradionally to take the shine off the ball and absorb the quicks early energy we have seemed to forget that after being blessed with Matty haydon who could both score quckly and knuckle down when needed

Posted by Meety on (November 8, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

It's not new to have a top 3 that shield the middle order. Actually isn't that what the original job description was for an opener?

Posted by SICHO on (November 8, 2012, 6:55 GMT)

Clarke is just scared of the newish ball, that is the reason why he keeps on refusing to bat no. 3.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (November 8, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

Ricky Ponting, the perennial number 3, who is Australia's 2nd most successful batsman in history and was in unbelievable form when he made his test debut still had to start at number 6. As did David Boon. Number 6 is the spot for future greats. Why is Quiney batting at 3? In case the bowling is so good that it would tear through anyone. In other words, Quiney is basically a glorified night watchman, as is Ed Cowan, I suspect. Neither would make the side genuinely as batsmen. And before anyone says that there is nobody better, by my calculations there are 25 Australian batsmen who are superior to both Quiney and Cowan. The selectors have to be prepared to swing the axe if either of them fails in this test, for hunches need to be backed up with performances. Otherwise, they need to pick the obvious best batsmen, like David Hussey and George Bailey.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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