Australia v Sri Lanka 2010-11 October 26, 2010

Hauritz heads for the scenic route

  shares 26

Even when Nathan Hauritz is being helped it feels like he's getting hurt. After his struggles in India he needs lots of overs in home comforts. It's easy to think he'll get that when he plays for New South Wales against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield from Sunday. Except the game is at the Gabba.

For Shield matches the ground is often a place where state spin bowlers operate as waiters for the fast men. If that happens to Hauritz he'll be wishing he's with the one-day squad, where he's almost guaranteed 60 balls a game, instead of waiting to join it for the final two matches of the Sri Lanka series.

Brisbane, of course, is the venue for the first Ashes Test so if he gets a decent chance he can attempt to persuade the selectors that four fast men plus Marcus North's offspin is not the way to go against England. It's a big if. Steve O'Keefe is doing well for the Blues and last summer the Gabba hosted a total of 200 overs of spin in five Shield encounters. In three of those games all the slow men from both sides combined for fewer than 27 overs.

Hauritz's first-class appointment also allows an international trial for Xavier Doherty, a teasing left-arm orthodox from Tasmania. Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, wants to take two spinners to the subcontinent for the World Cup early next year and thinks someone of Doherty's style would be ideal. Which makes it strange that Doherty wasn't on the just finished trip to India.

Doherty is suddenly a contender for the World Cup and Hauritz's spot, while Steve Smith, the batsman-legspinner, is also in the one-day squad. Despite the rise of the fresh men, the shuffling of Hauritz seems unhelpful, especially as he is a player who requires more support than a typical international.

Still, juggling the demands of the players so close to the Ashes is tricky. The Test batsmen Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke will be involved in the limited-overs campaign, while Marcus North captains Western Australia and Simon Katich hopes to recover from a broken thumb.

Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle will warm-up for the main event with short one-day spells next week; Ben Hilfenhaus is not involved in the series but is currently playing alongside Doherty at the MCG. Doug Bollinger will use the time to recover from the stomach injury that stopped him during the first Test against India.

The allrounder Watson said it was important for all the members of the attack to get some decent overs in before the Ashes. "As a bowler the best way to get into a good groove is to be out there in the middle," he told ESPNcricinfo. "No matter how much training you do, it's never the same as getting out there. It's a perfect preparation for all the bowlers to be able to get out there."

Watson is happy with the schedule after being rested from the one-day segment of the India tour, along with Ponting and Johnson. "In the end it's what we've got in front of us," he said. "It's not a bad thing at all to be playing these [one-day] games." When the first one is on Hauritz will be with his state side at the Gabba.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 31, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    @Neil -

    I couldn't agree more. Hilditch has been the worst thing to happen to Australian cricket in recent memory.

  • on October 31, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    @Neil -

    I couldn't agree more. Hilditch has been the worst thing to happen to Australian cricket in recent memory.

  • on October 27, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    @Richard and Sai...Doherty's one-day stats are very good, and his recent form in the shorter versions over the last few seasons has been excellent. You don't need a good first class average to be a good spinner in the shorter forms, because they require different styles of bowling. Look at Brad Hogg. His test and first class average were 54 and 40, yet for a time he was invaluable to the Aussie team and was one of the best ODI spinners in the world and ended with an average in the mid 20s. So first class stats can mean little. Doherty is an excellent limited overs bowler and should do reasonably well I think.

  • chickenpoo on October 27, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Steve O'Keefe is the ONLY spinner in australia who is not retired and averages below 40 in FCC. Case closed.

  • on October 27, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Aussies have started to Think like English in 1990s. Knee jerk reactions, Chopping, changing and more players being handed an Aussie cap than ever before. I guess finally Aussies are themselves getting mentally disintegrated. Even Shane Warne was smothered in India. Cant be too harsh on poor Hauritz.

  • on October 27, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    Gah! We need a new selection panel. This habit of blooding a new spinner every bloody series has to stop. We do NOT have an international quality spinner, only a bunch of also rans. DO NOT include them in the team. They offer nothing. Doherty averages over 50. This is not an international quality bowler. He's barely good enough to play for his state.

  • Have_played_the_game on October 27, 2010, 1:24 GMT

    "X" has been picked based on his One Day record....nothing to do with First Class. Poeple that fail to compare these two lots of statistics obviously have very little knowledge of the game! It is an overdue and informed decision (and hopefully successful), to test Doherty at a higher level.

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 27, 2010, 1:13 GMT

    Doherty fully deserves his chance and if he does well enough he may be the man for the Ashes. This helps Australia, to have possibly 4 players (also Smith and O'Keefe) all going for the spinners spot. This should say to Hauritz that his spot is not guaranteed: he will need to start performing. If this doesn't give Hauritz a big enough kick up the backside to start performing, then he should be dumped. Doherty is the top spinner in the country right now so deserves a test place as well.

  • JD60 on October 27, 2010, 0:58 GMT

    Think about what you are saying folks, you are having a go at Doherty's selection in a ONE DAY TEAM based on his FOUR DAY bowling average. Doherty was the leading wicket taker in the Australian one-day comp last year, he has come a long way in the last 3 years in that form of the game. Very economical one day and T20 bowler and is starting to take a lot more wickets now. He rarely plays four day cricket because Jason Krejza has been preferred, but judging by his five-for yesterday against Victoria that has now changed.

  • getaclue on October 27, 2010, 0:42 GMT

    Seriously, have a read of Doherty's stats. Yes his First Class avg is over 50 but his one-day average is sub 30 and he racked up a whopping 20 domestic OD wickets last year. Are you that thick?

  • on October 31, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    @Neil -

    I couldn't agree more. Hilditch has been the worst thing to happen to Australian cricket in recent memory.

  • on October 31, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    @Neil -

    I couldn't agree more. Hilditch has been the worst thing to happen to Australian cricket in recent memory.

  • on October 27, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    @Richard and Sai...Doherty's one-day stats are very good, and his recent form in the shorter versions over the last few seasons has been excellent. You don't need a good first class average to be a good spinner in the shorter forms, because they require different styles of bowling. Look at Brad Hogg. His test and first class average were 54 and 40, yet for a time he was invaluable to the Aussie team and was one of the best ODI spinners in the world and ended with an average in the mid 20s. So first class stats can mean little. Doherty is an excellent limited overs bowler and should do reasonably well I think.

  • chickenpoo on October 27, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Steve O'Keefe is the ONLY spinner in australia who is not retired and averages below 40 in FCC. Case closed.

  • on October 27, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Aussies have started to Think like English in 1990s. Knee jerk reactions, Chopping, changing and more players being handed an Aussie cap than ever before. I guess finally Aussies are themselves getting mentally disintegrated. Even Shane Warne was smothered in India. Cant be too harsh on poor Hauritz.

  • on October 27, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    Gah! We need a new selection panel. This habit of blooding a new spinner every bloody series has to stop. We do NOT have an international quality spinner, only a bunch of also rans. DO NOT include them in the team. They offer nothing. Doherty averages over 50. This is not an international quality bowler. He's barely good enough to play for his state.

  • Have_played_the_game on October 27, 2010, 1:24 GMT

    "X" has been picked based on his One Day record....nothing to do with First Class. Poeple that fail to compare these two lots of statistics obviously have very little knowledge of the game! It is an overdue and informed decision (and hopefully successful), to test Doherty at a higher level.

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 27, 2010, 1:13 GMT

    Doherty fully deserves his chance and if he does well enough he may be the man for the Ashes. This helps Australia, to have possibly 4 players (also Smith and O'Keefe) all going for the spinners spot. This should say to Hauritz that his spot is not guaranteed: he will need to start performing. If this doesn't give Hauritz a big enough kick up the backside to start performing, then he should be dumped. Doherty is the top spinner in the country right now so deserves a test place as well.

  • JD60 on October 27, 2010, 0:58 GMT

    Think about what you are saying folks, you are having a go at Doherty's selection in a ONE DAY TEAM based on his FOUR DAY bowling average. Doherty was the leading wicket taker in the Australian one-day comp last year, he has come a long way in the last 3 years in that form of the game. Very economical one day and T20 bowler and is starting to take a lot more wickets now. He rarely plays four day cricket because Jason Krejza has been preferred, but judging by his five-for yesterday against Victoria that has now changed.

  • getaclue on October 27, 2010, 0:42 GMT

    Seriously, have a read of Doherty's stats. Yes his First Class avg is over 50 but his one-day average is sub 30 and he racked up a whopping 20 domestic OD wickets last year. Are you that thick?

  • jlw74 on October 27, 2010, 0:38 GMT

    Doherty may average over 50 in the 4 day game but he has not been picked for the test side has he. His ODD average is a tick over 23 and he has taken more wickets in ODD cricket in Australia over the past 3 years then any other spin bowler. Furthermore when Jason Kreyja arrived in Tasmania from NSW Doherty was shunted from the 4 day team where his average has remained stuck around 50. Yesterday at the MCG a 5 wicket haul (amazing what confidence does) Xavier Doherty is the best left arm slow bowler in Australia and should be in the World Cup squad however not being picked to go to India and then selected straight away for matches in Australia shows that Mr Hilditch our esteemed national chief selector remains a little behind the 8 ball.

  • Meety on October 26, 2010, 23:23 GMT

    Also - I think it is good that Hauritz is playing @ the Gabba in a 1st class match. It will be absolutely valuable practise for him. Given Hauritz is a little bit more fragile than your typical Oz International & given Hauritz was still recovering from an injury, I think he should not of gone to India. I think there has been a history of the last 5 years of poor performance by Cricket Australia in managing (& selecting), the International side. From boot camps, (effectively wiped 2 years off his career), to a useless Test series in India, 4-prong pace attack in the final Ashes Test, merry-go-round spin selections, treatment of Andrew Symonds & the Monkey incident. I think Cric Oz is asleep at the wheel.

  • Meety on October 26, 2010, 23:15 GMT

    @Daniel Cherny - agreed, I think Doherty would of done well in India. @krik.lover - I thought there would of been grounds to play Smith in the 2nd Test, but then North typically saved his bacon with a century. @Fraud - biggest problem for spinners in Oz, is that Oz batsmen play spinners very well in Oz. Even Warne & MacGill often got hammered by State cricketers, (Warne in particular). Also look @ Murali's stats in Oz. Part of the problem is also there seems to be an issue with how captains set fields for spinners @ State level. This problem also is in Pontings Test captaincy as well (I think Punter is a brilliant ODI captain), but he really didn't do Hauritz many favours. @SeaforthA1 - agreed (again). I was spewing when it was announced that the 7 ODIs were changed to include 2 Tests. I don't think the Oz Test side was ready for another trip there, & how could playing in low slow pitches in India be good prep for the Gabba? It was stupid - should of been playing State cricket.

  • katandthat3 on October 26, 2010, 23:13 GMT

    Sai Prasad, you really have no idea. Not everything is about averages you twit. Of course his average is going to be high when you're learning your trade, it's how he is going now that counts. Ever see Warne's shield average compared to his test? They need to give Doherty some time at international but watching the games over the last two years I think he'll do well but I guess you haven't been watching those either Sai, chuck you in there too Richard. If you want to use stats, split them in two from early career to later. Most players bar the little master (who was great at the start) has improved massively in the back half.

  • BillyHo on October 26, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    after watching Xavier in one day domestic cricket for quite a while, this is long overdue, his left arm spin is tidy and he is a wicket taker in one day cricket, he is in no way a candidate for the test team. In a way he is a little like daniel vettori in the one day game and is definately worth a shot

  • kurtrudder on October 26, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    if looking at his player profile and seeing his first class average is the extent of your knowledge of Xavier Doherty, how do you even justify having an opinion?

    This is not an audition for test cricket, its for ODI's and he has been a very successful domestic one day bowler in recent years. If your only going to go of career numbers, it would be more prudent to look at his List A figures which include more relevant games

  • on October 26, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    Helping Haritz definitely. Doherthy will be epic fail. Just checked that Doherthy averages 51.39(bowling) in First Class. Doherthy will average in 100's in international games!

  • ADSONU on October 26, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Don't think that, anyway, would have made any difference to the end result!! But, I would like Clarke to take more responsibility as a slow left-armer because he has got more control on line-lengh along with a good fast straighter one which may at least be helpful to keep the scoring down. He has been kind of a partnership breaker so far and needs to do more in Indian conditions for WC...only showstopper might be his back to do this....

  • on October 26, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Please can someone tell me if he is having a good season or something? I can't understand how a player with a first class bowling average of 51 is even close to international cricket...

  • _Australian_ on October 26, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    You have to feel for Hauritz but this playing balance is necessary at the moment. I find all the Australian recent and current international games a joke. Why have CA bothered with them when they are just using them as practice matches. It would have been better to not play India in the recent tests. Play the 7 one dayers first scheduled for a good practice at sub continent conditions pre world cup. Then play the Ashes and follow it with a triangle series with England and Sri Lanka. Personally I miss the trianglar series. The only adjustment it needed was reducing the amount of games and maybe just having one final not best of 3.

  • Amar_Teddy on October 26, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    I think aussies are expecting to take the X-factor with Xavier Doherthy..dont know why there is a dearth of talent in spin and the list grows on of picking for just one series..Last year it was Jon Holland,Aaron O'brien,Krezja,Smith and hauritz..they can still try aaron heal and simon O'keefe to get a clearer picture...

  • Cric_Fanatic85 on October 26, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    Luckily he will make his debut in Aus otherwise if it had been in India then his career would have been over before it starts . His strike rate and average shows the validity of my point.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on October 26, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    I need tough competitive cricket. I do not care who wins. I also need SL drums, SL music, SL songs & other SL entertainments at Sydney Cricket ground on 05-11-10. Please all SL supporters, come with wearing your SL Jersey, SL Cap, Banners, Flags and most importantly, The Sri Lankan Flag. Make SCG like your own ground in Sri Lanka. Also after the match please all gather outside the ground and play drums, sing and dance for 2 hours. We do not get this opportunity every year. ( Remember we did last time in 2008) Go Lions go go !!!!

  • krik.lover on October 26, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    Yes you are right. Yet they didnt use the taken ones. steven smith, an all ronder

  • cricketaddict000 on October 26, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    poor hauritz, a little bit unlucky

  • on October 26, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    Ridiculous that they didn't take Doherty to India

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on October 26, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    Ridiculous that they didn't take Doherty to India

  • cricketaddict000 on October 26, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    poor hauritz, a little bit unlucky

  • krik.lover on October 26, 2010, 11:33 GMT

    Yes you are right. Yet they didnt use the taken ones. steven smith, an all ronder

  • LALITHKURUWITA on October 26, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    I need tough competitive cricket. I do not care who wins. I also need SL drums, SL music, SL songs & other SL entertainments at Sydney Cricket ground on 05-11-10. Please all SL supporters, come with wearing your SL Jersey, SL Cap, Banners, Flags and most importantly, The Sri Lankan Flag. Make SCG like your own ground in Sri Lanka. Also after the match please all gather outside the ground and play drums, sing and dance for 2 hours. We do not get this opportunity every year. ( Remember we did last time in 2008) Go Lions go go !!!!

  • Cric_Fanatic85 on October 26, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    Luckily he will make his debut in Aus otherwise if it had been in India then his career would have been over before it starts . His strike rate and average shows the validity of my point.

  • Amar_Teddy on October 26, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    I think aussies are expecting to take the X-factor with Xavier Doherthy..dont know why there is a dearth of talent in spin and the list grows on of picking for just one series..Last year it was Jon Holland,Aaron O'brien,Krezja,Smith and hauritz..they can still try aaron heal and simon O'keefe to get a clearer picture...

  • _Australian_ on October 26, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    You have to feel for Hauritz but this playing balance is necessary at the moment. I find all the Australian recent and current international games a joke. Why have CA bothered with them when they are just using them as practice matches. It would have been better to not play India in the recent tests. Play the 7 one dayers first scheduled for a good practice at sub continent conditions pre world cup. Then play the Ashes and follow it with a triangle series with England and Sri Lanka. Personally I miss the trianglar series. The only adjustment it needed was reducing the amount of games and maybe just having one final not best of 3.

  • on October 26, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Please can someone tell me if he is having a good season or something? I can't understand how a player with a first class bowling average of 51 is even close to international cricket...

  • ADSONU on October 26, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    Don't think that, anyway, would have made any difference to the end result!! But, I would like Clarke to take more responsibility as a slow left-armer because he has got more control on line-lengh along with a good fast straighter one which may at least be helpful to keep the scoring down. He has been kind of a partnership breaker so far and needs to do more in Indian conditions for WC...only showstopper might be his back to do this....

  • on October 26, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    Helping Haritz definitely. Doherthy will be epic fail. Just checked that Doherthy averages 51.39(bowling) in First Class. Doherthy will average in 100's in international games!