South Africa in Australia, 2012-13 November 4, 2012

Quiney named on standby for Watson


Rob Quiney, the Victoria opening batsman, is likely to become Australia's 429th Test cricketer after he was called up as cover for the injured Shane Watson ahead of the first match against South Africa in Brisbane.

John Inverarity's selection panel chose 30-year-old Quiney as an in-form top order batsman rather than picking one of several allrounders who took part for Australia A against the South Africans at the SCG.

His first innings 85 demonstrated confidence and poise, before an undefeated 11 in the second showing some steel against a revved up Dale Steyn.

"It was good to have a good hit out against them, albeit the wicket in Sydney compared to the one we're going to play on is going to be a bit different and to see Steyn crank it up today," Quiney said. "It's good to have a little taste of it but obviously you're going to step up even more from this game.

"I think I've been fairly consistent in the last 18 to 24 months, so that's something I've been working on. Not such a great start in the Shield stuff for me this year but it's an opportunity, it comes through timing, and if it does eventuate then I'm hoping to enjoy it, soak it up and do as best I can."

Given Watson's calf injury history and the captain Michael Clarke's preference for the allrounder to capable of bowling and batting whenever he plays, Quiney's chances of being handed a baggy green cap on the first morning of the Test appear strong. No replacement player was named for Ricky Ponting, meanwhile, as he is making rapid progress in recovering from a hamstring niggle.

Inverarity indicated that a call on Watson would be made "sooner rather than later", and lauded Quiney for his consistent run-getting in recent summers. Last season he compiled 938 runs at 49.36, to follow up 724 at 42.58 in 2010-11. He had made a quite modest start to 2012-13 with only 68 runs in three matches, but there was plenty of fluency at the SCG.

"Rob Quiney has impressed the NSP with his performances in all formats in recent years. He was particularly impressive in the Australia A game that concluded at the SCG today," Inverarity said. "His 85 from 113 balls against the strong South African attack demonstrated a good range of shots and a sound technique. He is in good shape at the moment and he is ready to grasp his opportunity should he get the nod for Friday.

"Rob is a mature player with an equable temperament who has been on the verge of higher honours for some time, and I note his achievements for Victoria were recognised last year when he was named State Player of the Year at the Allan Border Medal evening."

Quiney's first taste of national duty came when he was chosen in the squad but did not play any matches in a Twenty20 series against New Zealand in 2009. He has flown up from Sydney to Brisbane on Sunday night to join Australia's Test 12.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Troy on November 5, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Lets not forget our secret weapon in the bowling department, the gentle medium pace of Mr Cricket. Clarke has shown a willingness to give batsmen a few overs to rest the pacemen, Ponting even rolled a few over last summer.

  • Mark on November 5, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    It looks like the selectors think Watson will be back shortly. Quiney is just a short term solution to fill in for Watson. They do not want to throw Doolan to the wolves filling in at No. 3 on a pacy Gabba pitch. If Doolan keeps his form going, he's a long term prospect to replace Ponting or Hussey when they retire.

  • Peter on November 5, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    Very much a stop gap measure, but I'll wait until the test before saying anything about him. He has impressed me the times I have seen him bat, but he never seems to go on with it after a solid start in the few games I have seen him. Technically, very solid, I have seen the NSW quicks work him over & he appeared unfazed by it. Let's wait & see.

  • Ross on November 5, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    @Macca_Mat is correct, Khawaja would have come very close to getting selected. He got two 50s against NSW where less then 200 was scored in both innings, that's worth alot more then a 50. He did it under the eye of the selectors sitting in the stands with Starc, Copeland, Bollinger, Hazelwood and O Keefe bowling. His fielding has improved tremondously and running between the wickets is sharp so he is good to go

  • Rajaram on November 5, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    I am totally confused. Shane Watson is to bat at Number 3. We have two established Openers - Cowan and Warner.We need a solid Number 3. What is the point in getting an Opener Rob Quinney in? Better to get Usman Khawaja as standby for Shane Watson at Number 3, or have Ponting bat at his established successful place at Number 3, and Khawaja at Number 4. Clarke at 5,Hussey at 6,Wade at 7.

  • Tim on November 5, 2012, 4:53 GMT

    Quiney has been close to, if not the best First Class batsman of the last 2 years (maybe Cowan). Deserves a chance. He's batted as an opener and also in the middle order so will be fine slotting in at number 3. Played well against Steyn and Philander in the tour match as well. Good luck to him. Pressure is on Cowan and Warner (not to mention Ponting and Hussey) now as Watson will return at some stage and take back a spot in the top 3. Hopefully Quiney performs well and we have some serious competition for places.

  • Andrew on November 5, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    @MattyP1979 on (November 05 2012, 02:31 AM GMT) - yes, we could diversify our DNA by importing Irish & Saffa cricketers!

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    poor decision. Both Quiney and Hughes are currently in good form. However Hughes has a superios first class record. Hughes has test experience. Hughes has done very well in the past against South Africa. Hughes has age on his side and is an important component of Australia's long term success. Poor choice Australian selectors

  • Mathew on November 5, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    Looks like a Waugh to me! Jezz you guys need some more DNA into the mix. Never seen the lad in action but his inclusion will certainly be a trial by fire. Has Lyon been performing of late? Not making it into any of the Aussie wish teams. Oz need to breed some youngsters and give them time to settle (batting). Far too much chop and change.

  • Dummy4 on November 5, 2012, 1:15 GMT

    Good call I think, although our bowling attack will be underdone if we play just Lyon and 3 seamers. Cowan, Warner, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Quiney, Wade, Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Hilfenhaus, Lyon (12th)

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