South Africa in Australia 2012-13

Watson backs Haddin, Starc for Tests

Liam Brickhill at Newlands

October 19, 2012

Comments: 61 | Text size: A | A

Mitchell Starc was among those getting an early wicket, Australia v Ireland, World Twenty20 2012, Group B, Colombo, September 19, 2012
Shane Watson believes the variation offered by the left-arm quick Mitchell Starc will strengthen Australia's Test attack © Getty Images
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Shane Watson believes Brad Haddin is "mentally and technically ready to go," should he be chosen as Australia's wicketkeeper for the upcoming Test series against South Africa. Michael Clarke, Australia's captain, has insisted that no decision has been made on whether Haddin could reclaim the Test berth he vacated for personal reasons during the tour of West Indies earlier this year, and Haddin faces competition from Matthew Wade for the spot.

"He's definitely mentally and technically ready to go if that opportunity does come for him in that first Test," Watson said on the eve of his departure from South Africa, where he has been playing for Sydney Sixers in the Champions League T20. "I have my fingers crossed for him, and I certainly think he deserves a chance to be able to take on the South Africans."

Haddin is captaining a Sixers side that has been dominant in the tournament, with wins over Chennai Super Kings, Yorkshire and Highveld Lions. His own contribution has been steady, with consistent runs in the middle order and seven catches behind the stumps.

"If you saw the way he batted today even, his game looks in great order," Watson said. "I think his batting alone looked brilliant. You can really tell even in his set up whether he's going really good. He's in some serious touch at the moment. And as he always does he keeps very well."

Apart from the undecided wicketkeeping spot, Australia also have a full stable of fast bowlers from which to choose ahead of the first Test, expected to be played upon a green, bouncy Gabba pitch. Watson suggested his Sixers team-mate Mitchell Starc, who has four Tests under his belt but isn't yet at the top of the pecking order in the format, would be a valuable addition to the bowling line up.

"There's no doubt that having a left-armer who bowls 140kph and swings the ball back in with a bit of bounce at the Gabba and in Perth as well will certainly be a huge asset for our team," Watson said. "He should be [in the team]."

Starc had a successful stint with Yorkshire in the Northern summer, picking up seven first-class wickets at 21.85 in two matches to go with eight scalps in the Clydesdale Bank 40. He was also their leading wicket-taker in the Friends Life T20 competition, with 21 at an average of 10.38 and an economy rate under a-run-a-ball. Starc was an effective spearhead in Australia's World Twenty20 campaign, and has continued to take wickets, with nine so far at the Champions League.

"The way he's bowling, he's certainly doing everything he possibly can to give himself the best chance," added Watson. "He's bowling beautifully, and he showed in the T20 World Cup how well he's bowling as well, against world class players with a brand new ball. That's just about as hard a time that you can bowl, because you've got world class opening batsmen trying to take you down in the first six overs."

Watson was called home by Cricket Australia to prepare for South Africa's visit, but Starc won't be following him and is expected to play a leading role in the remainder of the Sixers' campaign, as his side have all but secured a spot in the semi-finals. Indeed, Starc suggested he doesn't need a rest because his workload is lower than that of an allrounder such as Watson in Twenty20s and his time would be better spent bowling in matches, albeit Twenty20s, than training in the nets in Australia.

"It's a bit different with me, I'm only a bowler," Starc said. "Watto's got to open the batting and come in and bowl through the innings as well. Watto's obviously had a lot years to work out what's working for him. What worked for me in England was playing a lot of games back to back and I've probably carried that through, playing as much as I can and tinkering with a few little things and getting things right. Even if I did go home I'd have to keep bowling as well, so I'd rather do that in games than in the nets.

"But James Pattinson is back home bowling with a red ball, and I'll have to do some red ball work over here as well. If I can just keep bowling as well as I can and taking wickets, that's all I can do, and try and force my way in."

The apparent speed with which the decision to call Watson home was made annoyed Sydney Sixers general manager Stuart Clark. Cricket Australia's team performance manager, Pat Howard, agreed the final decision hadn't been made until very recently, but Watson suggested that the possibility of a clash between the Champions League and preparations for South Africa's visit had been discussed for the past six months or so.

"There's been a bit of talk, and it wasn't just about me, it was also about other people who were playing in the Champions League leading into the summer, and the talk's been going on for the last probably six months really," Watson said. "In the end you've got to make the most of the time you do have to train, and give yourself - especially with my history - the best chance physically of being ready as well.

"It's just about trying to get the best balance you possibly can, and Cricket Australia and Pat Howard and the medical staff thought it was the best way to go, and having a week to freshen up means I should be raring to go."

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety on (October 22, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

@Okakaboka on (October 22 2012, 08:33 AM GMT) - "...Watson's comments WILL cause team disharmony unless he has been quoted out of context," - absolutely NOT! Haddin was a valued team member of the Ozzy side during a very difficult period, ALL Watto is saying is - in HIS opinion, Haddin is ready "...IF that opportunity does come for him in that first Test," - there is NOTHING wrong with putting a good word in for a) A mate, b) A NSW team mate, c) A Test team mate. How much weight do you think men of the ilk of Inverarity & Rod Marsh would put into those comments? Very little would be my guess, the Ozzy Team would be a bunch of heartless bust'ds IF they just discarded a former team mate without putting in a good word. Clearly people in the know think that Haddin has still got SOMETHING to give the Ozzy side, & clearly they are not sure how much his past personal issues have impacted on form & clearly they are not sure if he is past his best. IMO - it's best wishes Haddin, but Wade it is!

Posted by Meety on (October 22, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

@Okakaboka on (October 22 2012, 08:33 AM GMT) - the thing is, I hate all the crud about state bias. It is a total fabrication, with zero basis. When you consider the population of NSW is the most populous state & cricket is run better there than most of the other states, there is a strong chance that NSW players or ex-NSW players will get picked. Your carping on about Haddin really does nothing for your credibility as most experts (persons far more knowledgeable about wicket keeping than you or I), have said that Haddin has done a good job as a Test keeper. So comments like "...In my judgement he IS the worst..." - really lacks any real substance, & given the reasons why Haddin isn't the incumbent, actually ends up being callous. It was less than 2 years ago that Haddin combined with Hussey for the only substantial batting defiance of the Ashes. I believe the position is rightfully Wade's now, but I think it is poor form to bag a bloke the way you do. TBC

Posted by Okakaboka on (October 22, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

@straight_drive....Good one! So, he gets one chance. One real innings when the game was already lost. For Australia to win from the position they were in when he came in, he had to be a 'risk taker' ....Then gets dropped...stupidly. Maxwell's biggest error was dropping an easy catch which Haddin does all the time. Yes, that catch may have cost us the match. Watson dropped a sitter in this series as well. S--t happens! So more to the point.... Do you feel it was appropriate for Watson to make those comments? What, do you think Haddin should be the test keeper?, I wouldn't pay that one! Watson's comments WILL cause team disharmony unless he has been quoted out of context. Just seems to me a number of NSW fans getting upset that the Australian team is no longer the NSW team plus a couple of others.

Posted by Meety on (October 22, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

@straight_drive4 on (October 22 2012, 03:17 AM GMT) - I'll pay that one!

Posted by straight_drive4 on (October 22, 2012, 3:17 GMT)

@okakabiasedvictorian - please tell me how "the saviour" glen maxwell went at the recent T20 tournament as opposed to watson, warner and starc. eagerly awaiting your reply....

Posted by reddawn1975 on (October 21, 2012, 12:53 GMT)

I have to agree strongly with zenboomerang Hilfy is a modern day artist with the ball he is both quite fast and that goes unnoticed but he is always over the 140km plus mark and the guy swings the ball to perfection in any country in the world and he can back up over after over.I think alot of people forget Hilfy bowled a stunning amount of over through the sadly defeated English tour a couple years back and then backed up in South Africa no wonder he pulled up a touch lame that show the strength of the man he playing for his country 100%.So to the hilfy knockers maybe watch him bowl this season and see just how good he is.

Posted by Wefinishthis on (October 21, 2012, 8:53 GMT)

I just wanted to add that I agree with so much of what The_Cube wrote. You've described very well the most likely scenario that will play out. You must know what you're talking about. We do indeed need Pattinson and Cummins in the mix, although I'd prefer Harris over Starc for now and I'm not a big Cowan or Ferguson fan. I'd rather see D.Hussey, Burns or even Patterson given a go. One more thing I've noticed, zenboomerang still hasn't explained how "Hilfy was the best Oz wicket taker in the Ashes" because economy rates have nothing to do with wickets.

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 21, 2012, 8:28 GMT)

@Wefinishthis... Perhaps you should just keep your comms to hit & giggle but even then Hilfy showed in his last match to be both a wkt taker & very economical - it was his economy that was the winning factor in CSK winning - & helped greatly in the India Test series, thought unlucky against Eng series... Seeing Hilfy is ranked 1 below Anderson with Siddle in the ICC Test bowlers (above all other Eng bowlers) shows your lack of Test cricket knowledge as your sledging of Hilfy's name clearly shows - sour grapes at losing to the Saafa's perhaps?... Unlike you, I support Eng players or at worst neutral about them - guess we have opposite views on sportsmanship...

Posted by Okakaboka on (October 21, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

@Randyoz....sorry, I have to disagree with you...albiet just a minor point. You said Haddin was one of the worst. In my judgement he IS the worst. Most of the States second keepers are even better than Haddin. Nevill is way better...and a better bat. The Tassie no. 2 is better. Handscomb...the Vic no. 2 is a better gloveman and heaps better bat. Even Carters, no. 3 is a better bat than Haddin but has the same tendency... can drop sitters. Watson has been totally unprofessional in his comments and should be disciplined over these comments regarding selection. This is my third attempt at posting a blogg regarding Watson's behaviour. Hopefully a non NSW moderator will allow this to be posted.

Posted by mikey76 on (October 20, 2012, 23:29 GMT)

Funny to see Australia fumbling over wicket keeper selection as England did a few years ago with the likes of Read, Jones, Foster and Ambrose. Eventually Prior stuck his hand up and is indisputably the finest keeper/batsman in the world. I've got the feeling Wade will do the same for Aus. Haddin is past it.

Posted by RandyOZ on (October 20, 2012, 16:00 GMT)

What is this the Brad haddin fan club? He's one of the worst keepers in Australia and should be nowhere near the team.

Posted by Captcroc on (October 20, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

The NSW "Mates Club" at it again. Haddin should not even be in contention. His recent Test performances have been poor, and Wade did make 100 in his last test.He also made a brilliant 80 in tough conditions at the Gabba, and doesn't have a history of playing deplorable shots when the going gets tough. Ten year age difference, and a view for the future, not a NSW mates superannuation......

Posted by Wefinishthis on (October 20, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

zenboomerang - I do concede that he had a good economy rate in that series, but if you're going to judge the best performing bowler in a test series as the one with the best economy rate then perhaps limited overs matches might appeal more to your level of understanding of cricket. No-one else I have ever heard of honestly thinks that in test cricket, economy rates are more important than averages and strike rates in determining a player's performance. Yes bowlers can bowl in 'partnerships', but it's difficult to win a series when your opening bowler is leaking almost 60 runs every wicket (60runs/wicket is 600 runs in the innings!). They still scored over 2.6 runs/over on average off him which is respectable, but nothing to suggest that he was anything special, certainly not enough to justify his atrocious average and strike rate. Of the top 6 batsmen, he got Strauss twice and Pietersen once. He also got Prior once and 3 tail-enders. He merely slowed our demise and was thus useless.

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 20, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

@Wefinishthis... As I said, it takes at least one bowler to keep an end tight which Hilfy did very well & often assists the bowler at the other end as the batsmen feel they need to attack the 2nd bowler - so yes in the Ashes he was our best bowler - Johnson & Bollinger were wayward & leaked runs, while Siddle was hot & cold, Watson didn't get doing, while Harris broke down... Harris & Jono both got 9 wkts in the WACA Test where we thrashed the Poms & Hilfy was by far the most economical full time bowler in that Test from both teams... Your childish sledge on his name says more about you than anything else... lol...

Posted by DylanBrah on (October 20, 2012, 7:43 GMT)

I think this is how the selectors SHOULD choose - 1. Cowan (not a fan long term, but he's only short term until Hughes finds himself) 2. Warner 3. Clarke 4. Ponting 5. Hussey 6. Watson 7. Wade 8. Siddle 9. Pattinson 10. Hilfenhaus 11. Lyon/Starc

Hopefully a guy like Joe Burns can really have a solid season in the shield and push his average towards 50. Would be nice to see a youngster knocking on the door.

Posted by   on (October 20, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

David Warner, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Justin Pattinson,Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (October 20, 2012, 5:23 GMT)

Adam Gilchrist caused problems because, for the first time, the best wicket keeper in the country was also a good batsman, good enough to make the side for his batting alone. We had previously had batsmen keeping wickets - like Wayne Phillips for example. So when Gilchrist left the selectors had the problem - do they pick the best keeper (at the time Chris Hartley) or do they pick the best batsman of the keepers (at the time, a choice of the big hitting Luke Ronchi or the reliable batsman Brad Haddin). They ended up picking the reliable batsman Brad Haddin, the best batsman of the state keepers, but far from being the best keeper. This problem continued when they went for Tim Paine, another good batsman whose keeping skills leave a lot to be desired. Graham Manou was some kind of a half decent keeper but far from the best and how he got a test is anybody's guess. So now, with Matthew Wade's batting improving, and his keeping improving past Chris Hartley's, he is the best in both ways.

Posted by Nightwing32 on (October 20, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

Siddle imo is underrated. Not that he will give you 100% He can swing it and has done well since McDermott got a hold of him. I think Siddle will take a decent amount of wickets and he's no mug with the bat either. He's the best vegetarian bowler I think.

Posted by   on (October 20, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

What s surprise that Shane Watson would want his NSW mates in the team. Haddin is too old now to consider given the age profile of the team - Wade needs to be given a longer run. I agree with others though - Starc would be first pick bowler in my side. A left armer who swings the ball into RHs is gold - an he's in form now.

Posted by karthikramnatarajan on (October 20, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

@Gilly4ever: David Hussey? Didnt notice how he bounced out in the only match he played in world t20? And you want him to be in the test squad while playing against a team with the best bowling attack???

Posted by Wefinishthis on (October 20, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

Ok zenboomerang, I did what you said and had a look at the last Ashes matches where Uselesshaus had an embarassing 7 wickets at an average above 59. Harris got 11@25, Siddle 12@40, Johnson 15@36. Please tell us how exactly he was the best wicket taker. I do concede that the India series was his best-ever, but EVERY Aussie fast bowler had a great India home series. It was more that India's batsmen are useless when playing away from the subcontinent. They were terrible in England as well (with the exception of Dravid). Even our WORST bowlers would have had great numbers in that series. Gilly4ever, for someone who doesn't know who James Pattinson is, I like your top 7, although I'd have Watson at 6 and open with D.Hussey because Watson's a pretty weak test batsman.

Posted by   on (October 20, 2012, 3:33 GMT)

gilly - there is no way that is the best team with DHussey, Johnson and McKay. You've ;eft out Lyon - why? Haddin is now 3rd in line behind Wade and Paine - he's proved too many times he can't keep at this level - glovework and footwork very poor. Costs the team far more than he scores.

Posted by Micgyver on (October 20, 2012, 3:30 GMT)

Even if Haddin doesnt get picked behind the stumps, he should be picked as a batsman considering the lack of batting depth and talent we have. As for Starc, i think its a lottery ticket between himself, Cummins and Pattinson for the 1st test and i think Pattinson will get the nod.

Posted by Meety on (October 20, 2012, 2:49 GMT)

@Gilly4ever on (October 19 2012, 23:34 PM GMT) - the top 7 is pretty good, not sure about the attack!

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 20, 2012, 2:48 GMT)

@rickyvoncanterbury :- "what form will hify show 2011 or 2010"... Have a look at the last Ashes matches & the India series - Hilfy was the best Oz wicket taker in the Ashes while against India he was the series best wicket taker... & for all those that say Siddle runs in all day right up to the last over, again check the India series & you will see that Hilfy bowled much more than Siddle & was the bowler who most had to hold up one end the most & at an economical rate - keeping one end tight is often what helps the other bowlers the most - something Johnson always had difficulty doing & weakening the whole squad... Also like the way Hilfy handles himself out in the middle - something a few other bowlers should learn from him...

Posted by azzaman333 on (October 20, 2012, 0:07 GMT)

@Gilly4ever, Mitchell Johnson playing test cricket again, that's a great joke. He'd probably be struggling to be in our top 10 bowlers these days.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (October 19, 2012, 23:56 GMT)

@Rednwhite you know what is funny the 117 to 116 test rankings score, when even old man peterson cannot save Englands spin woes, the Aussies would only have to put up a good fight to charge into second on the rankings, not bad eh even with a "bog aveage" team.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (October 19, 2012, 23:34 GMT)

Australian team: David Warner, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Johnson, Justin Pattinson, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc. 12th man: Peter Siddle. The team picks itself. If the selectors can't see that as the best side then there is something wrong with them.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (October 19, 2012, 22:42 GMT)

Haddin? you can always rely on the aussys for a laugh.

Posted by Meety on (October 19, 2012, 21:20 GMT)

@ jpeacock158 on (October 19 2012, 16:01 PM GMT) - Steve Waugh, Allan Border & Greg Chappell all captained Oz mostly from the middle order. They were a handy trio of captains who were never said to have been "hiding"! @landl47 on (October 19 2012, 13:07 PM GMT) - I would say Starc/Hilfy & Lyon are in a 3 players into 2 positions situation!

Posted by Wozza-CY on (October 19, 2012, 20:13 GMT)

@bobagorof & behind the bowlers arm- couldn't agree more with your two main points a) T20 form is no justification for test selection & b) Watson (the VC) doesn't need to enter into this debate in the public domain. What if Wade does get the nod? How is he going to feel standing next to Watson at first slip thinking 'he probably wishes his mate Haddin was here'? I find it unprofessional that the Australian Captain & VC are pushing for a selection of one of their state/franchise team mates.

Posted by jpeacock158 on (October 19, 2012, 16:01 GMT)

Isn't it about time that Michael Clakre moved himself up the order in test cricket? He's a skipper hiding behind others, brilliant player but surely with Watson's workload, he could chuck himself in at 3 and have Watson and Ponting at 4 and 5?

Posted by OzWally on (October 19, 2012, 13:48 GMT)

Selectors have shown over the past 18 mo. that they want more youth and once you're out, you're done. They'll stick with Wade - Haddin may be a stop gap measure in case of injury, but that is all.

Posted by The_Cube on (October 19, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

We are coming up against the best in the world so we should be picking our best players. This means Pattinson, Cummins and Starc should be there. Unfortunately the selectors will pick donkeys like Siddle and probably Hilfenhaus and we will lose. This will leave us in total disarray as we search for replacements for the future tests and our best 3 will have to plug away on unfriendly Indian pitches, losing their confidence and giving the Poms every chance of keeping the Ashes. Ponting must also be tapped on the shoulder so his replacement can get some experience on familiar pitches and so we don't lose him and Hussey in the same series. My 1st test team would be Cowan, Warner, Clarke, M. Hussey, Watson, Ferguson, Wade, Cutting, Pattinson, Cummins, Starc. No point playing an ordinary spinner on a fast Gabba pitch. Ferguson will step up if given the opportunity at test level even though his shield record doesn't do his talent justice.

Posted by landl47 on (October 19, 2012, 13:07 GMT)

I think 10 of the 11 spots for the first Aus-SA test are already decided, subject to fitness: Cowan, Warner, Watson, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Siddle, Pattinson, Hilf and Lyon. Wade/Haddin is the only decision yet to be made. I also think the plan is to give Starc and Cummins a game each- Starc in the second test and Cummins in the third- but whether that happens will depend on the results, fitness and who is bowling well. @jonesy2, if Hilf's a world top 5 bowler, let me guess who the other 4 are: Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Cummins and Lyon. Oops- that's 6, with Hilf, but not to worry, the Aus bowling is so strong they have 6 bowlers in the top 5. I wouldn't be surprised if Watson is also in the top 5.

Posted by ravikb on (October 19, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

Guys, Siddle, Pattinson and Hilfenhaus have done well last summer against India, who were pathetic to say the least will aging middle order and uder performing openers. Don't be under false impression that they will do well against SA who are far better team than India. I saw these bowlers struggling to get wickets against WI in WI. Moreover, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who are better than these Australian bowlers in home conditions, struggled against SA at home.

Posted by Meety on (October 19, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

@brusselslion on (October 19 2012, 10:39 AM GMT) - well Siddle was ranked the 7th best allrounder in the world in April!

Posted by brusselslion on (October 19, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

I have to say that the jokes from Jonesy2 just get better and better. First, Lyon is the #3 spinner in the world and now Hilfenhaus is a top 5 bowler. What next Mitchell Johnson- world's premier all-rounder?

As a Brit, I hope that Siddle, Hifenhaus and Lyon all start and succeed in the SA series as they'll do nothing in the forthcoming Ashes series. Grudgingly, from what I've seen, I have to admit that your young quicks do look good so the longer that they are out of your side, the better for us.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

I agree! Haddin is experienced as compared to Wade in these big matches. Australia should win this 2-1 but it will be close considering who the opponents are and where it is being played.

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

Australia is looking like once again a very formidable bowling attack. They can choose from Hilfenhaus/siddle/johnson/starc/pattinson/harris/cummins. Lyon is also a good test bowler but they need good odi and t20 spinners. IMO, test bowlers should be Hilfy/siddle and pattinson and or harris, ODi should be pattinson/cummins/starc. We need t20, odi and test only players. my lineup for the brisbane test1. Cowan 2. Warner 3. Watson 4. Punter 5. Clarke 6. Hussy 7. Wade 8. Pattinson 9. Siddle 10. Hilfy 11. Lyon LAst year lyon did well on the gabba pitch and watto can bowl out the reminder of seam anyway. Wade has been around for almost 9 months and desverves to keep his spot esp. after the 100 he made. Cowan should be given another chance.

Posted by ravikb on (October 19, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

How can Watson say that Haddin is playing well when he scores runs against club level bowlers in a T20? And he backs Haddin for a TEST series against No.1 team in the world that contains No.1 bowler and 2 other very good bowlers. I bet if he is picked, he can't score more than 100 runs through out the 3 tests.

Posted by Chris_P on (October 19, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

I agree with you Meety, I think they'll go with 3 quicks. I don't really mind which 3 as they'll do a massive job. I assume you were at the Gabba last year where Starc made his debut. Although his figures didn't flatter, he was bending the ball appreciably & with pace. Just took a little time to get to this stage, Either keeper has justifiable claims, so not sure which way the selectors will go, although I think they might give Haddin this series.

Posted by Shridharan.S on (October 19, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

Brad Haddin should be the one.He has the experience and they are playing against a top class team like South Africa.Fumbles in wicket-keeping will also cost the team.In the meantime , Matthew Wade can play first-class cricket in Australia and get some runs under his belt.

Posted by rickyvoncanterbury on (October 19, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

@bobagorof.... fully agree on 20/20 form, not that long ago Pattinson or Cummins were certainties (if fit) on there test form, now since the never ending 20/20 games, Starc has past them both, and Cummins IMO has gone backwards so i have no idea who you should pick Starc (can he bowl more than 8 to 10 overs or will test bowling bring the best out of Cummins. and what form will hify show 2011 or 2010, in my team i would have Siddle (first picked) and Pattinson mainly because of the lack of 20/20 bowling.

Posted by Nightwing32 on (October 19, 2012, 8:15 GMT)

I'll give Haddin South Africa, if he messes up we got Wade for the Sri Lankan series. I wouldn't play Starc in the first test, Patto has that with Siddle and Hilfy. At the WACA though I would play him and Cummins in the final test at Adelaide. Again I don't care who takes the gloves because either way they have to do a good job at No.7

Posted by Pablo123 on (October 19, 2012, 8:15 GMT)

I hope SA think wisely and begin grooming De Kock as their new Keeper. He's young, in form and a pretty handy batsmen. AB De Villiers needs to get back in the field and also concentrate on his batting

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 19, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

Interesting Comms by Watto, but he isn't a selector so sounds more like just backing your mates... Think the NSP will pick Hilfy, Sidds, Patto for the 1st Test & would be surprised if they picked a 4th seamer (though I wouldn't mind if they did)... Good chance for Starc at the WACA with Lyon being 'rested'... While AO will be interesting for selections on an early season pitch...

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 19, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

@Marcus Stubbs... Haddin will be just having turned 36 come the next Oz Ashes series... Haddin will be 37 when the 2015 WC comes around...

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (October 19, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

Personally i think it is inappropriate for a Test player (the vice captain) to have his 'fingers crossed' for the selection of one player over another. Australia at the moment are in transition with several older players like Hussey & Ponting hanging on due to the lack of quality replacements. If in the case of Haddin you DO have a younger quality replacement it is time to go to him. Nothing wrong with having him (& Paine) in the background if needed but change is advisable where possible. The strength of past Australian teams was players like Healy (for Gilchrist), M Taylor etc being eased out when the replacement emerged. Even if they still thought they had something to give.

Posted by Dashgar on (October 19, 2012, 7:27 GMT)

Hilfenhaus is definitely the guy most in danger to lose a spot to Starc. Siddle and Pattinson are my first two picked. They are destroying sides at the moment with Victoria having two 10 wicket wins in two games. Haddin is no chance, Watson is being nice to his team mate but the impartial people on the selection panel will go with Wade every time.

Posted by Theredbaron on (October 19, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

As a South African I would rather have to play against Wade than Haddin. Australia is obsessed with age, if the man is good enough let him play. If that is the criteria, then Ponting should have been a Sky commentator long time ago. By the way he is also one of the nice guys of the game, and is popular in South Africa because like Brad Hogg, he loves and respects the game

Posted by   on (October 19, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

I reckon you ozzies need to give Wade a chance against a decent test side like SA. Dont forget you've got 2 sets of back to back Ashes series to endure in the next 18 months... If Haddin keeps his spot he'll be almost 38 when he plays us back in Australia 2013/2014. Why wouldn't you get Wade blooded now and make sure he's up to performing against top 3 test cricket teams??

Posted by Heisenburg on (October 19, 2012, 6:46 GMT)

He's obviously saying this because he's spent time with them in the Sydney Sixers, I don't agree with Haddin, but I think Starc should be the 4th paceman, or 3rd if Australia decides to rest Pattinson.

Posted by ajayrcs on (October 19, 2012, 6:16 GMT)

Why there is indecision for clark,e Haddin is better than Wade or Paine, He can even become bettter captain than clarke?

Posted by Meety on (October 19, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

If Oz were to go with 4 pace bowlers + Watto, Starc is a must. At this stage I think that Lyon will be in the starting XI at the Gabba, & I think Siddle & Patto have booked their spots. To me the decision is between Hilfy & Starc. I think Hilfy has a pretty good record at the Gabba & also has the experience, but is Starc the form bowler? Can't tell because he(Starc & to a lessor extent Hilfy) is playing too much T20 crud!

Posted by Jimmy_Jim on (October 19, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

Haddin's too old, getting slow to react and has not played a good innings when Australia have needed it in a long while. Wade has been about the same in keeping as Haddin, and a better batsman. But he's young and can improve, Haddin cannot.

Posted by jonesy2 on (October 19, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

starc was an "effective" spearhead? he was bowler of the tournament by far

Posted by jonesy2 on (October 19, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

im not fussed who takes the gloves both are great keeper batsmen and both are in great form which is a credit to them. i feel starc may edge out hilfenhaus which is saying something to edge out a world top 5 bowler. gotta feel for the batsmen in the last round of SS match before the test its going to be amazing to see all these world class star bowlers trying to push for a spot. if starc gets wickets in the shield match he is almost certain to start with siddle and pattinson. so it could be the same attack as last year but obviously all three fast men are much better bowlers and getting better day by day which is awesome

Posted by Shaikhzaid on (October 19, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

How Australia found this types of fast bowlers? why not India?

Posted by landl47 on (October 19, 2012, 4:59 GMT)

The downside of Haddin is that he's 35 years old. Does Aus really want to keep on selecting older players when there are good younger players coming up? I'm 100% in agreement about Starc, though. I think he's the pick of the younger quicks, though they are all excellent. He's 6' 6", fast, gets close to the stumps and swings the ball and he's left-handed. He'd be a permanent fixture if I were picking the side.

Posted by bobagorof on (October 19, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

Can we please stop trying to use Twenty20 form to justify Test selection? The two games are completely different. Yes, Starc has had some great performances in Twenty20 recently, but that just shows he knows how to bowl in Twenty20. The exposure at the top level will help him when he plays more International cricket, but Test match bowling is a longer-term affair and batsmen can use more patience. Pattinson has been destroying line-ups in First-class matches over the last several weeks, so to my mind he has much more relevant form behind him. Starc is likely to be rotated into the side during the summer anyway, so there's no rush. Let him get more than 4 overs of game-time bowling into his system.

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