South Africa in Australia 2012-13 October 28, 2012

Wade likely to hold Test spot

At 24, Matthew Wade is set to become Australia's youngest first-choice Test wicketkeeper since Ian Healy
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Matthew Wade is expected to be installed as Australia's full-time Test wicketkeeper on Monday when the selectors name the squad for the first Test against South Africa, which starts at the Gabba on November 9. The choice between Wade and Brad Haddin was the major decision for John Inverarity's panel over the past few weeks, with the top six having been locked in since Australia's last Test six months ago and the wider bowling group remaining settled.

Ed Cowan will retain his position at the top of the order alongside David Warner, while the rest of the batting group - Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey - will also remain in place. The bowling unit will be led by Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus and the squad is expected to also feature James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, with Pat Cummins more likely to come into contention later in the series.

The choice between Haddin and Wade did not appear clear-cut when both men were given Cricket Australia contracts in June. But Wade is expected to win the battle and was told by Australia's physio Alex Kountouris to rest from Sunday's Ryobi Cup match at the MCG, after suffering a minor injury to his thumb during last week's Sheffield Shield match, although he will play this week's Shield game for Victoria.

"I got a hit on my thumb during the week in the Shield game and spoke to the medical staff and I made myself available but they told me to have a rest," Wade said on Fox Sports on Sunday. "I had a hit yesterday and everything felt fine, I just spoke to Alex Kountouris and they decided to give me a rest.

"I'm pretty relaxed. I've done everything that I can do in Shield cricket. Fingers crossed I get that opportunity ... Hadds is a terrific player and I've hopefully done enough to get that opportunity but we'll know tomorrow."

Wade is the incumbent gloveman having been given a chance in April in the West Indies, where he played all three Tests and finished the series with a Man-of-the-Match performance in Dominica, where his first-innings 106 set up Australia's series-winning victory. However, Wade only earned his baggy green after Haddin had flown home before the first Test in Barbados to be with his ill daughter Mia.

Until that point, Haddin had been Australia's incumbent Test keeper for four years, missing only five matches through injury in 2009 and 2010, when Graham Manou and Tim Paine filled in. But on virtually every criterion, Wade deserves to be given the gloves for the Gabba Test, the start of Australia's battle with South Africa for the No.1 Test ranking.

Haddin, 35, is nearing the end of his career while Wade, 24, has a long future ahead of him. Not since Ian Healy joined the side at 24 in 1988 have Australia had a full-time Test wicketkeeper so young, and Healy provided them with more than a decade of sturdiness behind the stumps. The time is right to give Wade an extended run in the side, while there remains an abundance of experience in the middle order. Wade and Warner will be the only two men aged under 30 in Australia's top seven.

But age is far from Wade's only advantage. Over the past five years with Victoria, he has earned a reputation as the kind of man any team would like to walk to the crease in a crisis. His Test century in Dominica came after he joined Michael Hussey with Australia wobbling at 5 for 157, and he impressed Inverarity with 89 for Victoria earlier this month, after he walked out onto the Gabba at 4 for 39.

"It shows what a very good batsman Matthew Wade is," Inverarity said of the innings. "That innings, in the context of that game was the match-winner. They [Queensland] bowled very well in helpful conditions and that 89 was a very significant batting performance."

Notably, Wade's record is best at the Gabba and Bellerive Oval - arguably the two toughest domestic pitches in Australia. His glovework is very good - it has improved enormously since he first appeared on the Sheffield Shield scene - and with 55 first-class matches and nearly 3000 runs to his name, lack of experience is not an issue.

Wade's case was strengthened because Haddin's past year has been far from his best. His 114 for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield last month, before he headed to South Africa for the Champions League Twenty20, was impressive, but against India last summer he was disappointing with bat and gloves. And his reckless slash outside off in Cape Town last November, when Australia were 5 for 18, is hard to forget.

That South African tour also provided Cummins with his first taste of Test cricket and he was Man of the Match on debut in Johannesburg. However, he has not played a first-class match since, last summer due to injury and this season because of his short-format duties with Australia and the Sydney Sixers. There is a chance he will be named in a 13-man squad for the Gabba, but he is unlikely to be a realistic Test option until he has some red-ball cricket behind him.

Australia's plans to rotate their young fast bowlers this summer will bring Cummins, 19, into contention later in the South African series. At the Gabba, Australia are likely to play Siddle and Hilfenhaus, with Pattinson, the leading wicket taker so far this Shield season, as the third fast man. Starc should only be considered if conditions are excessively favourable to the pace bowlers, while the injured Ryan Harris won't be available until the series against Sri Lanka.

Almost every year since the retirement of Shane Warne, there has been pre-match speculation that Australia will play an all-pace attack at the Gabba, which is always friendly to the seamers in Sheffield Shield matches. But Brisbane generally provides a better surface in Test cricket and last summer the offspinner Lyon took seven wickets in the Gabba Test, and he deserves to be part of the starting XI again.

The first Test will also provide Cowan with an opportunity to make the opening position his own after he missed out on a central contract this year. However, should Cowan stumble early in the South African series he will come under pressure, most likely from the resurgent Phillip Hughes, who has tightened up his technique and is still viewed by the selectors as a Test player of the future.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zenboomerang on October 29, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    @Nathan Kiely... Seems you easily had hyclass's measure, like most of his comments they obfusticate the truth of what much more renown cricketers see as the obvious... Obviously age is becoming an issue (& retirement) for Haddin, Ponting, Hussey within a realitively short period of time from each other will cause more problems than by slowly replacing these players with younger ones now & over the next 2-3 years... By that stage even Clarke & Watson will be considering their futures (as Clarke has already commented on)...

  • zenboomerang on October 29, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    @Stevo_ ... Stats are interesting, but in Starc's case I would say his first few Tests (OzvNZ) were of someone who looked very nervous - both when bowling & fielding he made schoolboy errors... Think he has stepped up a few levels since then & his last 2 Test have been much better - he looks more comfortable & lost that 'bunny in the headlights' look... Time will tell, but for me he (at 22y.o.) is the best left arm quick in SS atm... Stats don't always show players in the correct light - Anderson, Broad, Bresnan have stats only slightly better than Starc...

  • Stevo_ on October 29, 2012, 0:41 GMT

    @Chris_P, Your kidding right? A first class and test average over 32 , he shouldn't be anywhere near the Australian test squad. The thing about Starc is just not his crap stats but the fact the batter knows he is going to get a loose ball every over. For someone like Smith who just thrives on loose balls it just makes it all too easy. Its at least 3.5 to 4 an over with no risk or effort against Starc.

    Hilfy is a much better option.

  • Meety on October 28, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    @Chris_P on (October 28 2012, 21:00 PM GMT) - how do you think NSW are going to go with their linw up v QLD?

  • Jenga94 on October 28, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    This is a good decision by Australia

  • PFEL on October 28, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    Hughes was a much better player before they ever tried to tinker with his technique. After 2009 ashes he supposedly had a weekness against the short ball at his body (after 2 dismissals) and ever since they dropped him and forced him to change his technique he has been significantly diminished. (let alone fuirther tinkering after he kept getting out in slips/gully) It just really goes to show how important it is to leave unorthodox players to their own devices sometimes, because trying to coach suppsosed weaknesses out of them often just ends up ruining them

  • Dashgar on October 28, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer, Pattinson has a test average of under 20 and is the leading Sheffield Shield bowler this season. Starc hasn't touched a red ball in months. Pattinson is the obvious choice. In fact if Starc was to get a slot he'd need to replace Hilfenhaus, not Pattinson.

  • Chris_P on October 28, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    @SFay , Starc not a test bowler? Did you not see his efforts last season? He is a far better bowler in the longer form, far better. I am with Meety on this. No way is Cummins ready for tests. He needs to pound out a few overs in shield. He hasn't bowled in some of the test grounds yet! I understand Brissy is a fast track, but you need a spinner on day 4 & 5 & last year Lyons was our leading wicket taker at the Gabba.

  • peeeeet on October 28, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 Guess you forgot about Warner's unbeaten 100 against NZ when the rest if the team failed considerably. He's only in his early 20s, there's so much time for him. Don't understand why Hughes doesn't play one day cricket, he averages almost 50 at it. Hope he doesn't get called up and can get a full season of Shield cricket under his belt.

  • ygkd on October 28, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    @hyclass - agreed. There are a lot of untested bandwagons rolling about at the moment. Better circle them up in a defensive formation because the Saffers are here and ready. And they are tested.

  • zenboomerang on October 29, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    @Nathan Kiely... Seems you easily had hyclass's measure, like most of his comments they obfusticate the truth of what much more renown cricketers see as the obvious... Obviously age is becoming an issue (& retirement) for Haddin, Ponting, Hussey within a realitively short period of time from each other will cause more problems than by slowly replacing these players with younger ones now & over the next 2-3 years... By that stage even Clarke & Watson will be considering their futures (as Clarke has already commented on)...

  • zenboomerang on October 29, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    @Stevo_ ... Stats are interesting, but in Starc's case I would say his first few Tests (OzvNZ) were of someone who looked very nervous - both when bowling & fielding he made schoolboy errors... Think he has stepped up a few levels since then & his last 2 Test have been much better - he looks more comfortable & lost that 'bunny in the headlights' look... Time will tell, but for me he (at 22y.o.) is the best left arm quick in SS atm... Stats don't always show players in the correct light - Anderson, Broad, Bresnan have stats only slightly better than Starc...

  • Stevo_ on October 29, 2012, 0:41 GMT

    @Chris_P, Your kidding right? A first class and test average over 32 , he shouldn't be anywhere near the Australian test squad. The thing about Starc is just not his crap stats but the fact the batter knows he is going to get a loose ball every over. For someone like Smith who just thrives on loose balls it just makes it all too easy. Its at least 3.5 to 4 an over with no risk or effort against Starc.

    Hilfy is a much better option.

  • Meety on October 28, 2012, 23:26 GMT

    @Chris_P on (October 28 2012, 21:00 PM GMT) - how do you think NSW are going to go with their linw up v QLD?

  • Jenga94 on October 28, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    This is a good decision by Australia

  • PFEL on October 28, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    Hughes was a much better player before they ever tried to tinker with his technique. After 2009 ashes he supposedly had a weekness against the short ball at his body (after 2 dismissals) and ever since they dropped him and forced him to change his technique he has been significantly diminished. (let alone fuirther tinkering after he kept getting out in slips/gully) It just really goes to show how important it is to leave unorthodox players to their own devices sometimes, because trying to coach suppsosed weaknesses out of them often just ends up ruining them

  • Dashgar on October 28, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    @RyanHarrisGreatCricketer, Pattinson has a test average of under 20 and is the leading Sheffield Shield bowler this season. Starc hasn't touched a red ball in months. Pattinson is the obvious choice. In fact if Starc was to get a slot he'd need to replace Hilfenhaus, not Pattinson.

  • Chris_P on October 28, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    @SFay , Starc not a test bowler? Did you not see his efforts last season? He is a far better bowler in the longer form, far better. I am with Meety on this. No way is Cummins ready for tests. He needs to pound out a few overs in shield. He hasn't bowled in some of the test grounds yet! I understand Brissy is a fast track, but you need a spinner on day 4 & 5 & last year Lyons was our leading wicket taker at the Gabba.

  • peeeeet on October 28, 2012, 20:29 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 Guess you forgot about Warner's unbeaten 100 against NZ when the rest if the team failed considerably. He's only in his early 20s, there's so much time for him. Don't understand why Hughes doesn't play one day cricket, he averages almost 50 at it. Hope he doesn't get called up and can get a full season of Shield cricket under his belt.

  • ygkd on October 28, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    @hyclass - agreed. There are a lot of untested bandwagons rolling about at the moment. Better circle them up in a defensive formation because the Saffers are here and ready. And they are tested.

  • axe_hay on October 28, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Why dont the selectors have faith in Phil Hughes ? He is the best opener they have around. Any where is Mark Cosgrove ? Will he ever play international cricket !

  • mikey76 on October 28, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    Pretty average bunch of players, with Cowan and Siddle at the forefront. A lot rests on Clarke and Hussey, the latter who is Steyn's bunny. SA to win comfortably.

  • CaptainKool on October 28, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    Well Haddin is struggled to get his attitude in control on-field and off-field as well. So I think Wade is better choice than him.

  • jackthelad on October 28, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Haddin was always going to struggle for a place as soon as Oz discovered a plausible substitute; he is 35 years old, isn't a particularly good wicket-keeper, and isn't a good enough batsman to hold his place as a 'wicket-keeping allrounder'. Mind you, I don't rate Wade all that high as we speak either, but he has a lot of years on Haddin to develop.

  • RandyOZ on October 28, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Wonderful news I can now sleep at night.

  • bonobo on October 28, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    I am happy to see Wade get the nod, although I dont think it would be an outrage if they went with Haddin, although he was truggling for form before his injury, his overall record against a range of opposition remains good. But i really liked Wade!s temperament, he looks to have a proper technique and he is definately the coming man. Its stopped being the question for debate, but for me I have grave doubts about Ponting. I dont query he has an innings still in him, but the determination to retain him, has pushed the two most proflic batsmen down the order, Clarke and Hussey and has meant there is no place for Katich, Australias most conistent overseas performer in recent years. The top 3, would look much more solid with Katich providing ballast to Watson and Warner and trying to give some fresh blood some space to develop down the order, not taking the new ball against Philander, Steyn and Morkel. At least they switch 4 and 5, with Clarke and Ponting,

  • on October 28, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Nooooo not Cowan... !!AARGH!!!! this guy is the worst opener Australia has had since Geoff Marsh, its just going backwards with this guy Cowan, WAYYYY backwards.

  • on October 28, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    i think hughes will become a test player but after southafrica and srilanka series because he is getting better just needs to score few more hundreds and he will be firing at international level. he should play one day series against srilanka at no 3 and will cement a spot in test side. pat cummins should also be in test squad only after playing 5 to 6 fc games because he will get injured if he doesnt get some fc games under his belt. i am also excited about doolan and burns who have made lots of runs so far this season . i think they will be playing for australia after the end of the season. henriques, m.marsh and maxwell have the potential to play as a genuine allrounder too.

  • rahulcricket007 on October 28, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    i think it's a huge series for warner . he didn't perform good in wi . also except that perth innings against he was unable to make big scores in other innings against a CLUB LEVEL INDIAN BOWLING ATTACK . sa bowlers will certainly see him as an easy wkt .

  • Dashgar on October 28, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    Really hope Wade gets the spot. He's earned it no doubt. Haddin was ready to be dropped before his daughter got sick. That shouldn't save him, this is professional sport, there isn't room for that sort of sentimentality. That Phil Hughes' current form is considered a resurgence is reason enough for him to not be in the squad. Right now we have Hughes in form and Cowan out of form but Cowan is still getting more runs. He's a certainty to play against SA. Mitch Johnson isn't on the selectors radar at all right now and rightfully so. Has shown no form since the ashes WACA test and that came two years after his previous good performance. The guy has been finished for a long time.

  • on October 28, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    Is there by any chance both Haddin and Wade can play??

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on October 28, 2012, 12:52 GMT

    WHY SHOULD PATTINSON PLAY AHEAD OF STARC?

  • heathrf1974 on October 28, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    Hope our top order performs and Lyons bowls well.

  • on October 28, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    hmmmmmm...... i am eagerly waiting for this test series between two top teams...... Gonna enjoy it...

  • Aussasinator on October 28, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    For those of you who are rooting for Haddin or Johnson, eitherof them can play as genuine batsman in place of Ricky Ponting.

  • maddinson on October 28, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    Still people suggest to pick Johnson in Australian team, certainly this isn't coming from Cricket Australia's well wishers.

  • Nightwing32 on October 28, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    I think Cowan has a couple of series before he's in any sort out danger. Anyway Haddin has done a great job for Australia, he did very well and we didn't have any keeper troubles since Healy really. Healy to Gilchrist to Haddin to Wade. Hoping that Wade does a great job.

  • Mikecricket on October 28, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    1. Watson 2. Warner 3. Clarke 4. Ponting 5. Hussey 6. Wade 7. Johnson 8. Siddle 9. Starc 10. Cummings 11. Lyon

  • Meety on October 28, 2012, 11:44 GMT

    oops forgot - Henriques won't be playing against QLD.

  • Beertjie on October 28, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    Brydon, "should Cowan stumble early in the South African series he will come under pressure, most [UN]likely from the resurgent Phillip Hughes", if NSP recent comments are to be believed, so what's with the hoary chesnut? In your defence, I guess you don't want to punt someone from left field, so let's just go with the last one selected! More to the point there is no one putting up their hands, so pundits will go the "safe" route and suggest Watto should revert to opening. It's this uncertainty in prospective candidates that most worries me as we begin the new season. I hear @popcorn say we should give them a go and they will come good, but what is plan B? I guess the answer is more hopeful speculation that someone other than Cosgrove will come through, but as the summer rolls on and wickets get easier to bat on, prospects of finding someone to anchor the team in English conditions grow dimmer. Just can't see Warner and Cowan are all we can rely upon!

  • srriaj317 on October 28, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    If this news is right, tomorrow will be a sad day for the ANU Cricket Club in Canberra which hosted Brad Haddin once. Hadds is a beautiful timer of the ball and is great to watch when he is at his best. I will remember his century at the Gabba test last Ashes and his face-saving exploits throughout the series. It's a pity that such a talented strokemaker was married with so many brain fades and a careless temperament. Hope he has a good night today for the Sixers at least.

  • Stevo_ on October 28, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    Starc isn't a Test level bowler , simple as that . Let kick around in the ODIs and T20 but don't let him near a test.

  • Shihan69 on October 28, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    Feel sorry for Hadds, but Wade deserves the spot. His keeping and batting have been very good.

  • Mervo on October 28, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    You are joking! Haddin is far better.

  • Moppa on October 28, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    @Nathan Kiely - agreed (but Hughes isn't ready for Test cricket again yet). @Hyclass, the article was pretty clear that Cummins is unlikely to be in contention until later in the series, so we don't need to worry about him 'instantly' ascending to the Test team. @Gilly4Ever, Hilf is not a great T20 bowler, and has only been playing T20, so its no wonder he's in "terrible" form. He's fit and in an incumbent pacemen from our last Test, so it would take a pretty poor showing in his return Shield match to make me doubt his place in the side. Seeing as the squad is picked before that Shield round, he just has to be picked on past performance - you can't drop a guy who has consistently delivered for seven Tests in a row... certainly not to replace him with Mitchell Johnson! That would be ironic!

  • on October 28, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    Anyone fancies giving Cosgrove/Rogers the opening slot? I am not too sure about Cowan

  • popcorn on October 28, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    At least till The Ashes at Home in Summer 2013 -14,we should not change this settled side.Mathew Wade is in for my money.Ed Cowan has better technique than Phil Hughes. I don't know why the selectors keep going back to "hope over experience"when it comes to Phil Hughes. I have my heart in my mouth every time he walks to the crease. He is OUT as far as I am concerned.We have a Top Seven who are automatic selects,and a good fast bowling stock to choose from. I would ask the Selectors and the Centre of Excellence tio develop two quality spinners as back up to Nathan Lyon.

  • featurewriter on October 28, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    It'd be tough to exclude Wade, particularly after his last Test match included a ton. Sad for Brad, but he has been an excellent servant of Australian cricket. Time to move on though. Like some other posters here, I still think Mitch Johnson should be included. He is a match-winner and a game-changer (with bat and ball). There are some very talented all-rounders in Australia at the moment that could make the push with bat or ball: Henriques, McDonald, Butterworth (probably the most under-rated player in the country), Faulkner and O'Keefe. I think, despite his brilliant first-class form this season, this may well be Punter's swansong series. My tip for the Ashes squad of 15, in no particular order (getting in early): Warner, Watson, Cosgrove, Clarke, Hughes, Butterworth, Henriques, Siddle, Johnson, Cummins, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon, Wade, Paine.

  • Meety on October 28, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    hopefully we won't get low-brow comments about Haddin on this article. Good player did Oz proud, but it's Wade era now. == == == I'm in awe of Cummins potential, but there should be no way he is in the Test team for the Gabba. He has had zero FC cricket in over a year. If we were to forget about his obvious talent for now, the reality is NSW have a very big selection dilemma looming. At the moment they have the Sixers trio doing wonders in the Champ League, but currently have Copeland & Bollinger who have had good/great starts to the summer. I would imagine NSW will want to give Henriques every chance, so with SO'K & Watto, NSW will have to cull that pace 5-pack down to at least 3, maybe 4. IMO - Cummins will have to be one of those that sit out on merit. There is a NSW v Vic that starts when the 1st Test finishes & that is when he should make his FC return. Otherwise it is either Copeland, Bolly or Hazlewood to sit out.

  • on October 28, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Hyclass, I would like to place a wager that the squad being speculated, will indeed come to fruition... maddinson. Every batsmen in the sheffield shield has been dismissed caught between keeper and point. To criticise Hughes for getting out in that manner is just ignorant. If Hughes is scoring big runs, then he will earn a spot in the side regardless of which manner he's getting out.

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 28, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Big mistake to play Ben Hilfenhaus as he is in terrible form, while Pat Cummins hasn't played a FC match in over a year! Also it is a fast bowler's paradise so Nathan Lyon shouldn't play. Lastly, Ed Cowan averages less than 30 in test matches, and it is high time that he was dumped. Instead of those 4, they should consider Mitchell Johnson (in good form and does well on fast bowler's paradises), George Bailey, David Hussey and Jackson Bird.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on October 28, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    Managing transition is a big thing in sport and one of the keys to Australia's dominance in the past was knowing when to change. Unfortunately on the batting side the obvious replacements for the likes of Hussey & Ponting haven't emerged so they go on. If Australia have dreams of being no1 again it will be by progressing the arrival of a new team by making changes when they can. Wade for Haddin is the first of those.

  • on October 28, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    I think that's most probably the best 12 we can put up at the moment. The only decision is which 3 quicks to go with. It would be instructive to see Starc bowl in a couple of shield matches, as I feel he has taken his skill set as a bowler to another level and I like having a leftie in the team if they are good enough. As it is though he'll probably be carrying the drinks.

  • hyclass on October 28, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    This article is pure speculation posing as fact. It also shifts the goal posts when validating why one player is better than another. Haddin's last 1st class innings was 114. There were strong personal reasons why his form fell away after the world cup that should ensure sympathy, not derision. Wade is obviously younger than Haddin. Its only of interest if you have a view on whether youth or experience is more relevant.The same 106 was used twice in this article to support the Wade proposal-a sure sign of a lack of supporting evidence. Cummins is virtually unproven in 1st class cricket. The idea that he will instantly ascend to the Test side is repugnant. I predicted that he would be injured if he was chosen to play Test cricket and that it might lead to long term injuries. It proved exactly correct and he's been out 3 times with injury since. Hughes technique is a failure. It looks better but doesnt work consistently. His average has plummeted.I like Hughes, but only his original game

  • Artiebees on October 28, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    Don't give Hughes back opening rights yet. At the least give him 1 or 2 more seasons of experience with his "tightened technique".

    Plenty of other candidates in the meantime.

  • maddinson on October 28, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Hughes is still getting out in the same old fashion, James Hopes made it clear in the last SS match in Adelaide. Hughes was dismissed in same mode against Tasmania off the bowling of Butterworth in both innings.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • maddinson on October 28, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Hughes is still getting out in the same old fashion, James Hopes made it clear in the last SS match in Adelaide. Hughes was dismissed in same mode against Tasmania off the bowling of Butterworth in both innings.

  • Artiebees on October 28, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    Don't give Hughes back opening rights yet. At the least give him 1 or 2 more seasons of experience with his "tightened technique".

    Plenty of other candidates in the meantime.

  • hyclass on October 28, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    This article is pure speculation posing as fact. It also shifts the goal posts when validating why one player is better than another. Haddin's last 1st class innings was 114. There were strong personal reasons why his form fell away after the world cup that should ensure sympathy, not derision. Wade is obviously younger than Haddin. Its only of interest if you have a view on whether youth or experience is more relevant.The same 106 was used twice in this article to support the Wade proposal-a sure sign of a lack of supporting evidence. Cummins is virtually unproven in 1st class cricket. The idea that he will instantly ascend to the Test side is repugnant. I predicted that he would be injured if he was chosen to play Test cricket and that it might lead to long term injuries. It proved exactly correct and he's been out 3 times with injury since. Hughes technique is a failure. It looks better but doesnt work consistently. His average has plummeted.I like Hughes, but only his original game

  • on October 28, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    I think that's most probably the best 12 we can put up at the moment. The only decision is which 3 quicks to go with. It would be instructive to see Starc bowl in a couple of shield matches, as I feel he has taken his skill set as a bowler to another level and I like having a leftie in the team if they are good enough. As it is though he'll probably be carrying the drinks.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on October 28, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    Managing transition is a big thing in sport and one of the keys to Australia's dominance in the past was knowing when to change. Unfortunately on the batting side the obvious replacements for the likes of Hussey & Ponting haven't emerged so they go on. If Australia have dreams of being no1 again it will be by progressing the arrival of a new team by making changes when they can. Wade for Haddin is the first of those.

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 28, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Big mistake to play Ben Hilfenhaus as he is in terrible form, while Pat Cummins hasn't played a FC match in over a year! Also it is a fast bowler's paradise so Nathan Lyon shouldn't play. Lastly, Ed Cowan averages less than 30 in test matches, and it is high time that he was dumped. Instead of those 4, they should consider Mitchell Johnson (in good form and does well on fast bowler's paradises), George Bailey, David Hussey and Jackson Bird.

  • on October 28, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Hyclass, I would like to place a wager that the squad being speculated, will indeed come to fruition... maddinson. Every batsmen in the sheffield shield has been dismissed caught between keeper and point. To criticise Hughes for getting out in that manner is just ignorant. If Hughes is scoring big runs, then he will earn a spot in the side regardless of which manner he's getting out.

  • Meety on October 28, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    hopefully we won't get low-brow comments about Haddin on this article. Good player did Oz proud, but it's Wade era now. == == == I'm in awe of Cummins potential, but there should be no way he is in the Test team for the Gabba. He has had zero FC cricket in over a year. If we were to forget about his obvious talent for now, the reality is NSW have a very big selection dilemma looming. At the moment they have the Sixers trio doing wonders in the Champ League, but currently have Copeland & Bollinger who have had good/great starts to the summer. I would imagine NSW will want to give Henriques every chance, so with SO'K & Watto, NSW will have to cull that pace 5-pack down to at least 3, maybe 4. IMO - Cummins will have to be one of those that sit out on merit. There is a NSW v Vic that starts when the 1st Test finishes & that is when he should make his FC return. Otherwise it is either Copeland, Bolly or Hazlewood to sit out.

  • featurewriter on October 28, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    It'd be tough to exclude Wade, particularly after his last Test match included a ton. Sad for Brad, but he has been an excellent servant of Australian cricket. Time to move on though. Like some other posters here, I still think Mitch Johnson should be included. He is a match-winner and a game-changer (with bat and ball). There are some very talented all-rounders in Australia at the moment that could make the push with bat or ball: Henriques, McDonald, Butterworth (probably the most under-rated player in the country), Faulkner and O'Keefe. I think, despite his brilliant first-class form this season, this may well be Punter's swansong series. My tip for the Ashes squad of 15, in no particular order (getting in early): Warner, Watson, Cosgrove, Clarke, Hughes, Butterworth, Henriques, Siddle, Johnson, Cummins, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon, Wade, Paine.

  • popcorn on October 28, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    At least till The Ashes at Home in Summer 2013 -14,we should not change this settled side.Mathew Wade is in for my money.Ed Cowan has better technique than Phil Hughes. I don't know why the selectors keep going back to "hope over experience"when it comes to Phil Hughes. I have my heart in my mouth every time he walks to the crease. He is OUT as far as I am concerned.We have a Top Seven who are automatic selects,and a good fast bowling stock to choose from. I would ask the Selectors and the Centre of Excellence tio develop two quality spinners as back up to Nathan Lyon.