South Africa in Australia 2012-13

Watson ruled out of first Test, Quiney to debut

Brydon Coverdale in Brisbane

November 5, 2012

Comments: 115 | Text size: A | A

Rob Quiney set up Victoria with 73, Victoria v Queensland, Sheffield Shield final, MCG, March 19, 2010
Rob Quiney will bat at No.3 in a direct swap for Watson © Getty Images

The Victoria batsman Rob Quiney will make his Test debut against South Africa at the Gabba on Friday after Shane Watson was ruled out due to a calf injury. Watson suffered the problem while bowling for New South Wales in their Sheffield Shield match against Queensland on Saturday and although it will not heal by this Friday, Australia's coach Mickey Arthur is hopeful Watson will be able to play as an allrounder in the second Test at the Adelaide Oval.

"Shane Watson won't play the first Test match. He did an assessment this morning. We've ruled him out," Arthur said in Brisbane on Monday. "We're hoping that he will play unrestricted in the second Test match at the Adelaide Oval. That means Rob Quiney makes his debut this week against South Africa.

"We're ruling him out now because we think he won't be fit enough come Friday. We wanted to be really decisive. We didn't want this to outplay the whole week. We wanted to make a decisive decision pretty early so we could give some real clarity to the team. I think we've done that. Unfortunately Shane misses out."

Quiney will bat at No.3 in a direct swap for Watson, who was unable to play any part in Australia's home Tests last summer due to calf and hamstring problems. Watson has two and a half weeks to prove his fitness for the second Test in Adelaide and while Arthur believes there is a good chance he will be available for that match, he was confident Australia had enough depth to cover Watson's absence in the battle for the No.1 Test ranking.

"Last year we won 4-0 against India, Shane Watson wasn't part of that side over the summer," he said. "We're relaxed, we're calm. I think the team is all in a really good space. We're comfortable that we have the players, we have the cover."

There was also some good news for the Australians on Monday, with Ricky Ponting declared a near-certainty to play after withdrawing from Tasmania's Sheffield Shield game on Friday due to hamstring soreness. But Watson's absence will throw out the balance in Australia's side, depriving Michael Clarke of a valuable fourth seam-bowling option.

Although that could have encouraged the selectors to lean towards including four specialist fast bowlers and relying on Clarke for some overs of spin, Arthur said after discussing the pitch with the Gabba curator Kevin Mitchell on Monday it was likely the offspinner Nathan Lyon would play.

Lyon has not enjoyed his finest form for South Australia over the past few weeks, collecting six wickets at the inflated average of 68, but he should enjoying returning to the Gabba after he took seven wickets there in last year's Test against New Zealand. Arthur said although Lyon might need a confidence boost ahead of the Test, he believed he would play a significant role against the South Africans.

"We've still got to go and see what the wicket delivers for us," Arthur said. "Michael, myself and [team performance manager] Pat Howard had a meeting this morning with the curator. We're pretty confident we're going to get a very, very good Gabba wicket, which increases the likelihood of us playing a spinner.

"We've never ever doubted Nathan's ability. We're hoping that when he comes into this environment, and I know South Australia have done some very good work with him… he gets the lift that he needs. We're backing Nathan Lyon at the moment. Michael, myself and the selection panel believe that Nathan Lyon is our best spinner and Nathan Lyon will be our best spinner for a long period of time. We want to give him that confidence and back him in."

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

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Posted by dunger.bob on (November 8, 2012, 3:04 GMT)

@ anshu.s on (November 06 2012, 08:43 AM GMT); What you say is true enough, but I can't see where the ambiguity is. Australia's plan is simple. They want to return to the no. 1 ranking in all forms of the game and they have a shot right now at the Test crown (amazingly). Given that Watson is one of our most valuable players I can see the wisdom in giving him one first class game before the series opener. The fact that he got injured is beside the point. @ zenboomerang on (November 06 2012, 11:16 AM GMT): Agree with you 100%. There are a number of Sudanese refugee's in my town and they all look like Curtly Ambrose. I think it would be great if any of these guys took up cricket and rose to the top. It would make me feel extremely warm and fuzzy inside that by coming to Australia he has exchanged a life of day to day survival there to one of being an elite sportsman here. That would make me even prouder to be an Aussie, not make me get all bitter and twisted about his selection.

Posted by dunger.bob on (November 8, 2012, 2:43 GMT)

@ bobagorof : Most decidedly. @ davidpk on (November 05 2012, 13:32 PM GMT): What a load of rubbish. He was dropped because his fielding was worse than appalling. Reports indicate that he is improving and he is still well and truly in the frame. He will get another chance, you can bank on it. @ LordKratos: another load of rubbish. We don't make excuses if we get wiped out. Our media is far more likely to tear into CA and the players than look for lame excuses. Don't you know your enemy? @ Mohit Loya on (November 05 2012, 17:44 PM GMT) : The future might look dark at the moment, but we are a proud sporting nation with too much history of success to stay down indefinitely. We will make some new names for you to worry about.

Posted by ozwriter on (November 6, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

vivgilchrist, spot on mate. some astute comments here.

Posted by zenboomerang on (November 6, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

@Dashgar... I have no problem with Quineys selection (he is as good as any of the untried FC players going around atm - though not my first pick) but do have an issue with the selectors putting in batsmen at no.3 - used to be a time when they got time in the middle order before higher batting honors - i.e. Ponting at no.5/6 & Hussey who was a SS opener... Clarke who bats at no.4 in Shield could easily move up to no.3 for the 1st Test giving the newbie time to get his feet in what should be tough conditions for the team batting first at the Gabba...

Posted by ozwriter on (November 6, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

@macca_mat. well said mate. i do feel he has been hard done by. but he is batting great, fielding and running with intensity and looking in good shape to come back into the national team.

Posted by zenboomerang on (November 6, 2012, 11:18 GMT)

@Gilly4ever... Agree on Bailey & Christian - they are mature cricketers that have done many seasons of cricket & could easily fit into the squad... Watsons continuing injuries cause more problems with his team position moving from no.6 to 1 & now 3, leaving multiple headaches for the selectors - if they want Watto for Tests then they need to look at his workload a lot more seriously & put him at no.6 where he wont continue to cause team issues... Also of note is that Watto since being named VC of Oz his batting average has dropped from his pre VC @41.55 to post named VC @25.00 - even Cowan has better stats... Not sure if its an odd coincidence or just a big drop in batting form when at Watto's age he should be at his peak...

Posted by zenboomerang on (November 6, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

@davidpk :- "i know certain aussie writers on here think that people not born in the country were he now lives should not be selected"...

Well why didn't you name them instead of using innuendo?... Most Aussies are very happy if overseas born cricketers get most of their experience from Oz cricket (school years) & they are fully accepted as Oz products... Khawaja was 3 y.o. while Symonds was less than 1 y.o. - so yes they are Aussies, in as much as 98% of the population can say they themselves are... I have a large number of Saffa born friends with children of all ages that play cricket up to First Grade in Brissy & Gold Coast - if they went on to play for Oz I would proudly support them... What I don't like is the excuse of where one of your parents was born that lets you play sport for another country without a qualifying period...

Posted by anshu.s on (November 6, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

As an outsider looking at Australian cricket, CA need to be clear and unambigous about there priorities.When CA pulled Watson out of CL T-20 i had felt that act was unnecessary and cotradicatory in nature for the simple fact CA were stakeholders of that CL tournament and they were trying to undermine there own tournament and there own domestic side the sixers !! Watson's fragile body copes just fine with bowling 4 overs and fielding for 20 overs but not in 4 day or Test formats.Anglo-Saxon countries hold Test cricket as pinnacle and hence all the scheduling, preparations and efforts are guided towards that, but i hope CA realises that sports such as NRL,AFL,Olympic sports, European soccer leagues like EPL etc are attracting youngsters in huge numbers so Cricket has to catch up to survive. I am not doubting the supermacy of Test cricket but just want CA to nurture tournaments like Big Bash which can bring new market for cricket and also lucrative source of income for domestic players.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 6, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

@vivgilcrest. That sir is the correct answer. Basically last chance salloon for Cowan.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (November 6, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

I see what the selectors are doing now. They have brought another opener into the squad as Cowan has under performed thus far and is out of form. So as not to look too harsh they retain him, but if he fails and Quiney goes alright, Cowan gets dropped on Watsons return. And people, that is why an all-rounder was not drafted into the squad.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (November 6, 2012, 6:40 GMT)

Only a few more days left, CANT WAIT !!!!

Posted by The_Bongoman on (November 6, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

That is a brilliant and well deserved selection, well done Quiney, you'll kill it!!

Posted by applethief on (November 6, 2012, 6:12 GMT)

What is it with this new Australian team, they're the most injury prone in world cricket today. Anyone remember when they were actually able to pick their first choice 11?

Posted by Mary_786 on (November 6, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

@ross_fleming you are correct mate Khawaja did have it tough being dropped and clearly never got the chances that were given to others such as Marsh and Cowan, but you can't keep class out for too long and I predict he will be back in the team this season. He batted beautifully last game against NSW in a man of the match performance against Starc, Copeland, Bollinger, Hazelwood and O Keefe.

Posted by Moppa on (November 6, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

@Gilly4Ever, Bailey, D.Hussey and Forrest are not top-order players, so why would you replace Watson (or Cowan) with one of them (even if they had Shield runs behind them?). As for Dan Christian, if you can explain how replacing a guy with a FC batting average of 44 with one with an average of 29 makes sense, I'll be impressed. Christian is behind McDonald, Henriques, Faulkner and Geoff Boycott's mum when it comes to being a potential Test all-rounder. Whilst I would have preferred Khawaja, at least Quiney is a specialist top-order player who can hopefully take some shine of the ball and protect the middle order. For those saying Clarke should move to 3, why would you move Australia's best player of spin to the top order to face Steyn, Philander and Morkel fresh with a new ball? For those like @JasonG_123 implying that this makes him soft, no one ever said that about Steve Waugh!

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 4:09 GMT)

Give him a shave! Why do players show up for formal photos looking like they're homeless? Good luck though Quiney.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (November 6, 2012, 3:34 GMT)

@Dashgar, agree with you. Only a small number of batsmen not currently in the Aust team have a career FC 40+ avg. D Hussey and Rogers (unlucky but age 35+), North (had a shot already) and Voges - neither in good form. Cosgrove (good form but I suspect is not picked because he's fat). Hughes (in form but didn't perform for Aus A against Sth Af). Khawaja (okay form this year). Bailey and Burns (no recent big FC scores I think). Selectors are obviously looking at recent form, not just career avg. If Quiney has averaged over 40 for past two seasons like some on here have said, and he's currently in good form, I have no problem with his selection. I think Doolan was unlucky but hope he continues scoring tons. I do think Clarke should bat at No.3 but I guess Quiney is used to the top order. Good luck to him.

Posted by KhanMitch on (November 6, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

Mooses get your facsts right mate, both Khawaja and Hughes average in the mid 40s in first class cricket and are the future of our batting lineup. Somehow you have made their average 30 and Quiney 40, get your facts right mate. Also Khawaja was unfairly dropped from the test side after top scoring against South Africa in their home territory and then getting run out against NZ on 40 at the Gabba. Unlike all other debutants Khawaja barely got a chance to prove himself, he had at best 2 games in a row to prove himself where his counterparts got 2 series or more to do the same. I think he will be very close to a recall now.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 6, 2012, 2:47 GMT)

Is it my imagination or does Australia produce far more left-handed Test batsmen than any other country?

Posted by srriaj317 on (November 6, 2012, 2:39 GMT)

Whatever said and done, Quiney will never be able to perform as badly as Shaun Marsh did last summer. The only changes from last summer's winning team on Boxing Day are Marsh and Haddin's sacking. I remember last summer we all had our fingers crossed before the Ind series saying this team needed to perform brilliantly to pull of a win and it did happen. Let's hope the same this time around as well!

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 2:08 GMT)

Ironic.. He was pulled out of CL for the test matches probably to protect him

Posted by Meety on (November 6, 2012, 1:54 GMT)

The calls for Christian (& there are a fair few), just cheapens the Baggy Green IMO. At this point in his career, he still doesn't average 30 in FC cricke with the batt. This season his ave in FC cricket is 27. His bowling has been good - despite an ave of 31, Hastings & Maxwell have overtaken him, & I would back either of the Tassie allrounders to do a better job too. ODIs & T20s - a different story - he'd be in every squad I picked. @ Dashgar on (November 06 2012, 00:28 AM GMT) - I wish him well, but I think there were other better options. However, assuming that this is a stop-gap option, I'll concede. Either way - I wish him the best & hope he becomes the next Ozzy to get a ton on debut!

Posted by   on (November 6, 2012, 1:42 GMT)

Will be very interesting to see what happens in the second test if Quiney gets runs in the first and Watson comes back. Who gets dropped?

Will depend on how other batsmen do in the first test, but any one of Cowan, Ponting or Hussey could go. Cowan would be the most likely to get the boot at the moment, and then either Quiney or Watson opens with Warner, with the other one of the two at number 3.

Would be a nice problem to have though...

Posted by Dashgar on (November 6, 2012, 0:28 GMT)

Quiney is the right person. People need to remember that unlike in the 90s we don't have a bunch of guys averaging 50 in the shield to choose from, or a bunch of young prodigies like Ponting, Langer and Hayden. Hughes, Khawaja and Smith have had a shot at the Australian team and have looked out of their depth, they need more time to work on their game if they're gonna make it at international level, and in the end they may not be good enough. Quiney has outscored the rest of the Sheffield Shield for the last two years, he's made runs against South Africa, he's the best we have and I think he'll do well.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (November 6, 2012, 0:08 GMT)

I feel for George Bailey and Dan Christian. 2 years ago, Dan Christian was knocking on the door of test selection, but Watson returned from injury so he had to wait. They gave Christian a shot in T20s and ODIs and he did well, but then they decided to go with a pure batsman in Shaun Marsh instead of Christian, and Christian had to wait. Then Marsh failed, and they stayed with a pure batsman, this time going for the underperforming Ed Cowan. Now they need an all rounder and still they go for a pure batsman, this time the underperforming Rob Quiney. What more does Christian need to do? He was supposed to be Watson's replacement! And as for George Bailey, he was supposed to be in a 3 man race for the next test batsman, with Peter Forrest and David Hussey. Bailey clearly won the race, having done exceptionally well, only for the selectors to stick with Ed Cowan, and even pick Rob Quiney ahead of him! The selectors are giving mixed messages here! These guys are really hardly done by!

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

Quiney would be solid at 6, hopefully he has a better career than Marcus North, similiar selection who was batting top 3 for WA then 6 for Australia at about the same age

Posted by Chark_attack on (November 5, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

@SirViv1973 and @Stormy16 the other reason for shun marsh not playing is that he is currently playing grade cricket in perth and isnt even in the state team at the moment

Posted by Antir on (November 5, 2012, 23:26 GMT)

The number of people who think Clark should be at number 3 is kind of irritating. Changing things for the sake of changing this does not make it right. Clarke is not a number 3 and never will be. His natural game is to play strokes not to defend and attack. The current middle order is working fine.

Cowan and Warner are starting to get used being the opening pair and they are a good combination. Warner needs someone like Cowen there to help him with his concentration. It is working well leave it alone.

Number 3 is an issue because Ponting is at the stage where he should not have do that role anymore. We just need to find someone to fill that role. Watson is the best option at the moment. But he is now injured. Khawaja and Hughes are future options but they just need a bit more time to be confident in what is expected from them.

Quiney has earned his spot and has been thru the hard times but most importantly we need someone to represent the letter Q in the Australian team.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (November 5, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

Looks like another test-less summer for Watson. Why on earth is Clarke not batting at 3? I wish Quiney the best, but his FC average doesn't fill me with confidence.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 5, 2012, 22:30 GMT)

Quiney's got a serious stubble that speaks volumes, it says "I'll start off with a big well composed 50 under pressure and become a fixture"

Posted by MenFromMarts on (November 5, 2012, 21:57 GMT)

Weren't there so many calls out that Watson should bat at six " a true all rounders spot. So the Quiney position of three is perfect. With Huss and Ponting at the twilight of their careers Quiney could be a perfect 3 and Watson back in at 6. It does beg the question though why Dan Christian or Glenn Maxwell (our two best all rounders) were not used as replacements. If Christian played then Lyon did too. If Maxwell played then go with four quicks.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (November 5, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

@Stormy16, No one else has mentioned Shaun Marsh, I think that may have something to do with him only managing 17 runs in 5 inns against Ind's limp bowling attack earlier this year.

Posted by maddy20 on (November 5, 2012, 21:07 GMT)

Another blow before the battle even began(Cummins being the first). They have a pretty good(or may be even better ) replacement in Starc in the bowling department, but this Quiney guy will rolled over by the SAFFAs. Only a miracle can save Aus now.

Posted by Meety on (November 5, 2012, 21:07 GMT)

@SirViv1973 on (November 05 2012, 13:53 PM GMT) "..Aus Batting resources.." - is a topic that is subject to a bit overreaction IMO. I would of named 10 batsmen before Quinney, who had ARGUABLY, better credentials for selection, most would of been younger than Quinney. Not many poms worry about the age of their batsmen or quality, yet Compton is barely any different to Quinney (except for more experience), & on the tour of India, youo have selected Root (talented) & Morgan (talented) - who BOTH at this point in time have Sub-40 FC averages. I think around the world at this point, there is a slightly lower standard of Test cricket than there has been in 20 years (leads to more exciting test results).

Posted by VivGilchrist on (November 5, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

Why are Ponting, Hussey, and Clarke shielded from the heat of the top order? Khawaja, Marsh, and now Quiney all have had to bat at 3. Looks a little like self-preservation to me.

Posted by LordKratos on (November 5, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

Pardon me for calling the Aussie team "the wallabies" its just that they have so much in common with the wallabies! Both from australia, both wear yellow, both are sports teams and both come just behind their South African counter parts in respective rankings! Goodluck to both sides and may the better team on the day win

Posted by wix99 on (November 5, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

I agree with others who have suggested Michael Clarke should take Shane Watson's place at No. 3. Quiney can bat at No. 5 or No. 6.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (November 5, 2012, 19:51 GMT)

@ Gupta.Ankur on (November 05 2012, 06:01 AM Talking about quick all rounders, Watson's size is no reason for his injuries. Kallis is an even bigger unit, & he's as tough as nails. Beefy Botham was no shrinking violet & lasted a good while. Plenty of big quick bowlers lasted for years.

Staying injury free requires knowing your body & it's limits, tailoring your action to suit, & training to build strength. For a quick, being lean is an asset - less mass = less shock = less stress - but not a requirement. Walsh, Ambrose, Garner, Roberts, McGrath were all big men. Lillee had early-career stress injuries, re-tailored his action while recovering, & had a long career.

Watson's injuries have more to do with short format cricket. No t20 bowler warms up & eases into a spell - its 110% from ball 1. Hi energy, hi impact, hi stress, hi physical toll = pajama cricket! Big money, short career for an all-rounder batting, bowling & fielding @ hi intensity with no breaks between overs or innings.

Posted by stormy16 on (November 5, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

Not sure about Quiney, average record, hardly any form this summer picked to debut against the best pace bowling attack in the world. Unless he is known for been able to handle quality pace this selection is strange for me. Also what happened to Kawaja and Marsh - I just assumed they were the next young guys waiting in the wings. Said this many time before - Aus have to bite the bullet and forget about Watsons bowling so he gets an opportunity string a few series togeather. Its just not worth him missing games for the sake of a few overs - yes he is better bowler than a few overs but this is getting too risky. This is a key series and Watson up the order would have been a great match up - sure he might play the second test, the damage could have already been done. The time has come for Watson to stop bolwing.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

I am an indian and a real aussie fan...but its so pathetic to see these real names...... dark is the future of australai

Posted by PPD123 on (November 5, 2012, 17:00 GMT)

Huge loss for Aus. Watson provides the right balance to Aus, just like Kallis does for SAF. With Quiney coming in, Clarke should move up the order to # 3, with Ponting at 4 hussey at 5 and Quiney at 6. Even though Quiney has been an opener in shield cricket, i think having him at # 3 makes the Aus batting looks very shaky at the top, with Ed Cowen also there. If they loose Warner early, Aus could be in serious trouble against this SAF attack, with Ponting and Clarke coming in when they would be 3 down for not many. I put the resolt down as 2-0 SAF.

Posted by bouncedout on (November 5, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

err, who?

Is Warner really opening the batting in a test match...

Posted by AzAb12754 on (November 5, 2012, 16:09 GMT)

I guess no Number 1 all-rounder ranking in tests for Shane Watson now :)

Posted by SirViv1973 on (November 5, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

@Bollo, Well said you make a very good point. Besides if there was an issue with CA selectors selecting players born overseas then surely UK would not have been picked in the first place. Aus also has a SAF coach with no connections to Aus. Im not entirely sure how the selection process works in oz but I would imagine he must have some input in the selection process so he certainly isn't going to be against Aus raised foreign born players being selected.

Posted by perthkiwi on (November 5, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

Big loss for Australia...losing Watson. Will struggle against South Africa's pace attack, although Australia have a pretty decent pace attack themselves. Can't see the headlines saying anything about the Wallabies in relation to cricket...considering the Wallabies are the Australian Rugby Union side.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

the reason quiney got selected bcs of his resent form aganst SA in that warm up match .. where he scored 80 odd runs .. but this will be his first and the last test match .. so people let him get debut and let him start his test carrier .. no need to bash him since this will be his solo test in his carrier

Posted by sawifan on (November 5, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

since when has the Aussie media and public made excuses for team AUS's losses? If there is one thing the Aussie media likes more than an Aussie win, it's derided the team for its losses. No excuses were made after our last Ashes humiliation, instead we tried to find reasons for it, hence the Argus review...

Posted by Bollo on (November 5, 2012, 15:17 GMT)

@LordKratos. I think the Wallabies are playing France this weekend mate...

Posted by hmmmmm... on (November 5, 2012, 15:15 GMT)

LordKratos - what are you talking about? The australian team has never been the wallabies in cricket!

On the Quiney selection - the general rule is that your best batsman should play at 3...given that he is coming in as a replacement for watson he would be the sixth best in the side and he is an opener not a dominator. Clark needs to bat at 3 and Quiney at 4 or 5 or as one post suggested, open with cowan and then warner can smack it around in the middle order.

Posted by arvind.Kejriwal.AAP_A_Better_INDIA_ on (November 5, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

Damn ! I was hoping Watson would play. Without him, This test-series is going to be boring and one-sided. Duh !!

Posted by LordKratos on (November 5, 2012, 14:52 GMT)

I can already see the australian media headlines..." Shane Watson's injury costs the Wallabies" instead of... "The wallabies were smacked all over the park by the relentless proteas"

Posted by Bollo on (November 5, 2012, 14:44 GMT)

@davidpk. Not quite sure of the point you`re trying to make - who are these past players you refer to? I believe about 20 overseas-born players have represented Oz in test cricket (6 of whom played in the first ever test match in 1877). Wessels, Brendan Julian, Dav Whatmore, Andrew Symonds and Usman Khawaja are recent names that come to mind..I think Whatmore was about 8 when he came to Aus, Symonds about 3 months and Khawaja about 3.

Khawaja will be back, and plenty of Aussies will be happy to see it - it`s all about the cricket mate.

Posted by nilesh91 on (November 5, 2012, 14:34 GMT)

a guy with first class average 37.70 is the best possible replacement available in Aus. How the mighty have fallen!

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 14:23 GMT)

Rob Quiney needs to perform as I don't really think he deserves a chance.Usman Khawaja could have been a better option. Nathan Lyon makes me LAUGH!!! :D he can't bowl.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (November 5, 2012, 14:08 GMT)

This could cost Australia drawing the series.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (November 5, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

@Buckers410, Sorry mate but I can't see how Steve Smith can be the savior of the Aus test side. Probably a bit of a worry for the Oz fans tho if Warner is the only batsman in the top 6 under 30! The likes of Khawlja & Hughes being banded around but both guys have played a good few games between them and have been left found wanting. Aus Batting resources just don't seem to be there these days the likes of Quiney & Cowan would have never even been considered 3 or 4 years ago.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

The order I'd place the batting would be:

Quiney and Cowan (who I think doesnt deserve to be playing. Failed both against India and the WI) Hussey or Ponting as 1st drop Clarke Ponting Warner

I feel that Warner would fare better against an older ball.

Posted by bumsonseats on (November 5, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

perhaps khawaja birthplace is an hindrance to his selection, i know certain aussie writers on here think that people not born in the country were he now lives should not be selected.strange how when the same argument is used they seem to forget the passed.

Posted by dishNub on (November 5, 2012, 13:31 GMT)

Really? A 30-yr old with a first class average of 37 is debuting for Aus? They must be some serious paucity of openers in Aus.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (November 5, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

South Africa seem to be stronger in every department here, other than maybe the spinners where there dosen't seem to be much in it. I can't see how the aussies are going to win this series. If they can some how get a 1 each out of it then they would have done staggeringly well.

Posted by mthi4life on (November 5, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

It is not Watson's batting that I was worried about,its his bowling.He will be really missed by Clarke,but as a South African I am not complaining.I hope he recover's soon.So that his absence wont be use as an excuse after the Series win for Proteas.

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (November 5, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

This Australian team is in a state of flux but still fiercely competitive. I remember when England was in a state of flux....and our record was on par with Bangladesh. If a few of these players 'click' over the next three then the ashes next year are a done deal.

Posted by Hammond on (November 5, 2012, 12:55 GMT)

Are they seriously opening with Warner? South Africa have already won in that case.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

Australia asked Watto to come back early from CL T20, to protect him and his fitness level. Now he messed up himself while playing the first class. Hmmm... Australia should not allow him to play any other match which is not international one. :)

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

if there weren't 400 billion T20 games per year, watson and cummins would not be injured. T20 is an abomination that is ruining cricket

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (November 5, 2012, 11:44 GMT)

Well said CricHorizon, I don't think Khawaja is too far from a call up given his fielding and running has improved signifcantly this season.

Posted by No_1_again on (November 5, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

Yep, drop Cowan put Quiney as opener and Kawajah at #3.

Posted by ozwriter on (November 5, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

g smith vs cowan, alviro vs warner, amla vs quiney, AB de villiers vs clarke, du plessis vs ponting, rudolph vs hussey, duminy ws wade. what a battle it should be. in the top 6, only ponting and hussey win the head to heads IMO. bowling steyn/morkel/philander/tahir win hands down.

Posted by dsig3 on (November 5, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Good to see form being rewarded. The bloke is in a purple patch, hopes it works for him as he is good to watch.

Posted by RD36 on (November 5, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

Clarke should be batting at 3 in Watto's absence. With Cowan, Warner and Quiney as top 3, it'll be a bit of an inexperienced top order. Quiney would be ideal at 5, between Punter and Hussey.

Posted by ozwriter on (November 5, 2012, 11:12 GMT)

cowan should start counting his days. one purple summer (last season) does not make a test batsman. this year..150 runs in 7 innings @ 21, strike rate 37. thats the same no of runs p siddle has made in 4 innings lol. quiney for cowan?

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

As a South Africa supporter can I just say that Shane Watson being injured is probably the best news we could have had ahead of the first Test. He is a fine, fine player and we can only wish him a long delay in coming back. By then we might have wrapped up the series.

Posted by Meety on (November 5, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

@Alexk400 on (November 05 2012, 09:41 AM GMT) - LOL! How the hell did you line Clarke up as being at fault!

Posted by sfarazi on (November 5, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

It's about time Khawaja gets another test appearance. He's looked in great shape especially in comparison to some of the players who are on the team. C'mon selectors, play smart and include Khawaja!

Posted by Furion on (November 5, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

Sometimes i wonder what the selectors are thinking. So they say they look for youth? But pick 30 yr old quiney, hes a good player dont get me wrong, but 37 average? and 30years old? There are younger players with much more class like khawaja, this would have been the right time to bring him in.. i dont know what the selectors are doing! Khawaja, burns, hughes, doolan if they dont get picked soon..something is wrong with this panel!!

Posted by ozwriter on (November 5, 2012, 9:43 GMT)

quiney is a opener, khawaja is a no.3 specialist and is playing in brisbane this summer. i cannot fathom how he was overlooked. anyhow quniey has a FC avg, he will to disprove his career FC average to survive against the best

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 5, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

See i told you so. They brought watson early for TEST. Now he is gone. Well done Australia and michael clarke

Posted by V-Man_ on (November 5, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

Direct swap or a sacrificial lamb?? I don't understand why are they sending a debutant to bat at No 3. They tried this with marsh and khawaja and didn't work. Clarke should be at no 3 and lead from the front. it's a waste for him to bat at no 5. or is he worried about the shiny swinging ball!!!!

Posted by Dangertroy on (November 5, 2012, 7:44 GMT)

@ Jonesy2 - since he got back Khawaja has passed 50 3 times out of 8 attempts in shield and once out of two List A matches. I agree he is a class player and should not of been dropped last summer, but he is not breaking the door down, just steadily accumulating runs. I don't think Quiney was breaking the door down either, but they are picking a mature head in a highly important match. Khawaja will get back to test level, but he still has time to develop. there will be at least two top 6 spots open in the next two years, if not four or five. He will make it, but in the mean time he needs to keep showing consistency.

Posted by Rajesh_india_1990 on (November 5, 2012, 7:41 GMT)

I dont know why australians are over hyping Shane watson who is nothing a player in tests as compared to shorter formats..

Posted by Mikecricket on (November 5, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

Go Quiney! You can do it! Dont worry Watto youll be back!

Posted by pitch_curator on (November 5, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

@ Abaa-- That same light years away india drew with SAF in SAF hardly 2 years ago.And as you will see shortly this same light years away team will knock the living day lights out of the poms. You guys are next. lol.

Posted by Buckers410 on (November 5, 2012, 7:32 GMT)

Nathan Lyon being the best spinner that AUS has, pfffttt. O'keefe is way better and AUS should go with four quicks anyway. Clarke and Warner and more than handy spinners and way better than Lyon anyway. Team should be; 1.Cowan 2.Warner 3.Quiney 4.Clarke (c) 5.Hussey 6.Smith 7.Wade 8.Siddle 9.Starc 10.Pattinson 11.Hilfenhaus with punter injured. BTW why don't the selectors see the potential in Steve Smith. He will go to next years ashes and made 56 not out last time he played a test, he has said the only wayhe will get back into the test side will be through his batting. He made century's end of last season, half century's for AUS A against England A and South Africans, and can sort of bowl (only better than Lyon anyway, no biggy) he should be there somewhere, what has Warner done anyway since last summer

Posted by KhanMitch on (November 5, 2012, 7:11 GMT)

I hope Punter is fit for the game however if he is not then I would get Khawaja in as a repacement . He averages close to 80 on the Gabba, and he got 50s in both innings against a quality NSW attack. Plus he top scored against South Africa last year in the record chase. We need a batsman who can play quicks well and there are few that are better then him. Batting on day 1 and 2 against Starc, Bollinger, Copeland and Hazelwood was the biggest test for him and he top scored in both innings.

Posted by Mary_786 on (November 5, 2012, 7:08 GMT)

@NallaBaaaba agree wiht you mate.Good luck to Quiney, however if Ponting is injured I would go for Khawaja as he top scored in both innings against a quality NSW attack. I have a bit of Queensland bias but I watched his innings on the weekend and he looked a class above all the other batsman on a pitch where even the Aussie batsman(Warner, Watson, Clarke) struggled. Selectors would have taken note as well on how well he faced Starc, Copeland, Bollinger and Hazelwood.

Posted by Mooses on (November 5, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

planfino on (November 05 2012, 03:55 AM GMT): "So a 30's average over 3 or 4 seasons is good enough to get a baggy green these days ?" This year both Hughes and Khawaja have first class averages in the 30s, with only 1 or 2 centuries in ~ 20 matches (both played in County cricket). Quiney is aveaging over 50 and was last year's domestic player of the year. Much more consistent lately and deserving of his spot.

Posted by Abaa on (November 5, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

"Last year we won 4-0 against India, Shane Watson wasn't part of that side over the summer," he said.

That was INDIA overseas. This is SAF overseas. Who will you compare SAF next with? Bangladesh? Jeez I mean India is light years away from being even held in the same breath as this SAF team

Posted by shantiratnamaj on (November 5, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

so is this why he came back to Australia half way through CLT20? He should hv not played CLT20 or he should have played the whole CLT20 to be fit for the test matches...neither there nor here!

Posted by slogtocowcorner on (November 5, 2012, 6:27 GMT)

And the reason he was sent back from South Africa in the CLT20 was for what....?

Posted by Hammond on (November 5, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

Fine player- he will do well. Who is opening is what is doing my head in?

Posted by Mervo on (November 5, 2012, 6:14 GMT)

Can we please keep Watson and the top players out of international 20/20 stuff. It is destroying their careers and techniques? Surely they are paid enough already? Make the T20 a second division thing. Surely the SA side were not all there at the T20.

Posted by jonesy2 on (November 5, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

im in shock. dont get me wrong quiney is great and i will have to wish him the best but im just shocked. usman khawaja should never have been left out of the side since he last played against NZ, he is one of the utmost classiest and talented top order batsmen in the world let alone australia, he hasnt scored less than a half century since he got back from england, is only 26 years old and has a first class average of basically 45 yet he is not picked to bat at his favoured position of 3???!! the selectors are taking the absolute urine

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (November 5, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

I am always amazed as to how frequently Aussie and English players, esp their bowlers, get injured.

Watson is clearly a "big" unit and if you bowl him, he's gonna get injured......In contrast asian teams have far less injury issues despite not being considered fit units....

Posted by RandyOZ on (November 5, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

Cowan is on notice. So is Ponting. Why doesnt Clarke step up to the plate and bat 3. Soft as butter.

Posted by bobagorof on (November 5, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

They've decided to make a decisive decision...

Posted by sandeepgla on (November 5, 2012, 5:34 GMT)

He is picked because of his 85 against SF in practice match.

Posted by sawifan on (November 5, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

@thebarmyarmy, so your saying it'll be the same as what SAF did to ENG? It'll be tough for the Aussies, but people seem to forget that AUS drew the series in SAF last year 1-1. Again, not saying AUS will win, but it's not going to be like the ENG v SAF series.

Posted by disco_bob on (November 5, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

I have a good feeling about this series. It's good being the underdogs. Quinney might end up being our version of Trott.

Posted by meursault on (November 5, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

Oh dear. With the average age of our top six batsmen well over 30, surely Australia should have chosen a young kid with a 40 something average and long-term potential rather than an older guy with a similar kind of record. Nothing against Quiney, but I always thought they'd pick him as an ODI batsman first and then see if he justified higher honours (à la Greg Blewett, Mike Hussey and Peter Forrest). Good luck to him, though. I have a feeling we're going to need a bit of luck.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

Openers can bat at 3, just look at Justin Langer.

Posted by JimmyOlson on (November 5, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

Hughes is miles away yet, he is working at his deficincies but has a way to go I think. Khawaja has not been at all convincing since promising debut, Quiney has earned his shot via consistent scoring in all forms of the game, should have been picked before now in short games. He has the temperament and technique to succeed. Chances are he won't have time to get nervous with a couple of shaky openers. Go get 'em Robert.

Posted by one-on-the-arm on (November 5, 2012, 4:56 GMT)

Quiney is a good selection. His technique is sound, his form is good and importantly he fits the NDP (Google Sydney Swans) - Hughes and Kawajah will get their chance again without doubt. It's not in Hughes long term interest to get another chance (perhaps his last?) against the bowling attack most likely to exploit his weakness outside off stump -and Kawajah has time on his side. Either could still play this season, perhaps against SL. If the SA attack wipes the floor with our batsmen, (for the record, I hope it doesn't happen) then the selectors will be forced to play their hand with some tough selections for the SL leg of the summer. If the batsmen hold their own, then the changing of the guard (Ponting, Hussey etc) the selectors have the luxury of time on their side. SA are a fantastic team - the Boucher issue is their 'x' factor - and I am looking forward to some gutsy cricket from both sides. Good luck to Quiney...

Posted by RJHB on (November 5, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

Thats rubbish. Should've been played as a batsman unless its really that bad, in which case there's no way he'll play the second test and probably very doubtful for the third. What else do you say except, this blows!!!

Posted by Jim_G on (November 5, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

@planfino - I love how you use stats to suggest why someone like Quiney should not get a go, then neglect those stats when putting someone else forward. Quiney has been the second top scorer in Shield for the last two seasons with an average well in the 40s on both occasions. If we're just talking stats, he comes up better than Khawaja or Hughes in both years.

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (November 5, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

I think Usman or Hughes should be given a chance instead of debutant... they are in good form in Shield matches.. and they also deserve another chance and also have some experience at int. level... what do you think?????

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

Quiney not that young at 30 years old and has scored over 3000 runs in first class cricket. Mature player who is in form got his spot. If Ponting is unfit they pick Doolan. If Cowan fails this time they pick Phil Hughes in the second test.

Posted by thebarmyarmy on (November 5, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

The South Africans are licking their lips! This is going to be slaughter.

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 5, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

@JasonG_123 : Perfect. Clarke can move on to 3 or Punter. They are actually shielding Punter by keeping him at 4 at end of a glorious career by throwing in new kid at 3 everytime. With the experience Clarke has, he can be the 3 with the youngster at 5 slotted between Punter and Hussey might make him a bit secured. I would personally prefer either Khawaja or Ferguson there given their potential.

Posted by Meety on (November 5, 2012, 4:05 GMT)

Really not surprising! Better off having him 100% & able to bowl. We'll need that at Adelaide.

Posted by planfino on (November 5, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

So a 30's average over 3 or 4 seasons is good enough to get a baggy green these days ? ... What about Kawajah and Hughes ..., both with test experience ..40 + Ist Class averages and some good recent form( and they both did Ok at test level ? .... have a look at Steve Waughs first 10 or 15 tests ?? ) .... and what about David Hussey ... a squillion first class runs at a 50+ average ... a recent first class century... and hes worth a few overs in a 'Doug Walters' wicket breaker role if needed ...Yes he is 35 'ish ... but what happened to pick the best team for the day ! - I wish Mr Quiney all the very best ... but I'm starting to think Mr Inverarity and his merry band are not much better than the last lot !

Posted by NallaBaaba on (November 5, 2012, 3:24 GMT)

Quiney is opener,not a no.3 batsman. I thought kawaja should have got oppurtunity. Well, it will b e pressure for top order to perform, because when watson returns one of the top 3 will have to make way.

Posted by NallaBaaba on (November 5, 2012, 3:22 GMT)

Since, it is no.3 spot, i thought Khawaja should have got the oppurtunity, since he is experienced. Well, now pressure on Warner to come up with the goods. Hope Warner does well. All the best to Rob too.

Posted by JasonG_123 on (November 5, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

How many young players are we going to keep destroying by throwing them in at number three? Khawaja, Marsh, Watson and now Quiney, it's simply not fair to be throwing these guys in the deep end straight away when we have Michael Clarke apparently too scared to move to first drop himself.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

quiney will surely bat at no 3. starc will be the 12th man.

Posted by jplterrors on (November 5, 2012, 3:16 GMT)

Surely his test career is over keep him in limited overs and he will go for anutha 4-5yrs

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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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