Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Adelaide

Arthur attacks critics of rotation

Daniel Brettig

January 13, 2013

Comments: 88 | Text size: A | A

Brad Haddin goes hard at the cut, Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Adelaide, January 13, 2013
Brad Haddin played well in the first two ODIs but has suffered a hamstring strain © Getty Images

Australia's coach Mickey Arthur has rounded on critics of the national team's management of fast bowlers, taking particularly sharp aim at the contention that the selection panel is letting sports science make its decisions regarding who to choose.

In a prolonged rebuttal of public and media views that there is confusion if not chaos around Australian team selection, Arthur revealed that a major factor behind Mitchell Starc's withdrawal from the Boxing Day Test team was to avoid the flaring of a long-term ankle problem that will eventually require surgery and an extended lay-off from the game.

He also confirmed that Michael Clarke, Matthew Wade and David Warner would return to the ODI team for the second phase of matches in Brisbane and Sydney on Friday and Sunday, and clarified that Usman Khawaja was dropped for Steve Smith under a pre-defined plan to give each batsman one game. Australia have been widely criticised by former players and sections of the public for fielding a "B-team" in the first two matches of the series, but Arthur went to considerable lengths to explain the intricacies of selection.

"We're very clear on who the best team is and who the best attack is," Arthur said following Australia's defeat in the second ODI in Adelaide. "I've been really annoyed and frustrated by some of the articles that have been going around. For me it's common sense. Common sense prevails when we pick teams. We certainly don't pick teams not to win any cricket games for Australia. Every time we pick a team we're giving guys opportunities and picking what we think is the best side possible to go out and do the job and win.

"It's either very naive or just a little bit stubborn that people don't understand what we're doing. The example I've used is Black Caviar. When he runs a horse race, if they don't feel he's 100% right they don't release him. We've done that with our bowlers, and over the year we've had three examples of quick bowlers basically rested, and that is all.

"Ryan Harris in the West Indies, Mitchell Starc on Boxing Day and Peter Siddle at Perth. That's the only time we have rested quick bowlers, and we've done that simply because we think they're at risk. We want to play our guys all the time. With the amount of cricket we play these day's it is impossible to keep the guys on the park in every single game. So we would not have a quick bowler at risk."

Starc's absence from the Boxing Day Test team was a particular sore point, Starc himself stating his frustration at not being allowed to follow-up his match-clinching five wickets on the final day of the Hobart Test by playing on the biggest day of the Australian cricket calendar. But Arthur made it clear that there were more factors at play than a simple question of Starc's workload.

"If you take Mitchell Starc over the Boxing Day Test match, the information we'd got was that he was at risk. Then it's up to us," Arthur said. "The constant thought that sports scientists are picking the team is so far off the mark that it's frightening. They give us information, the information is then left up to us to make that decision. Michael, myself and the selector on duty make the decision based on the information we're given. When we get that information we will see if it holds up and if we think it's not worth the risk.

"Mitchell Starc plays three forms of the game. He had an ankle impingement, he's got spurs that are going to require an operation at some stage. We're hoping that will be a year down the line, but at some stage that is going to give in. There was no point in us playing him in a Boxing Day Test match and risk losing him for the one-day series and then for a tour of India. That would've been plain stupid."

Australia are facing one of the most demanding schedules ever set before an international team in 2013, with a four-Test tour of India to be followed by the Champions Trophy and then 10 consecutive Ashes Test matches in England and Australia. Arthur said the decisions made to withdraw fast bowlers or other players from the firing line for set periods reflected the calendar ahead.

"The constant thought that sports scientists are picking the team is so far off the mark that it's frightening. They give us information, the information is then left up to us to make that decision." Mickey Arthur

"Whenever we make those decisions, we make those decisions with a lot of thought into how we're going to use our quick bowler and when we're going to use him," Arthur said. "I really want to get that out and put that on record, because I'm sick and tired of talking about it, and I'm certainly sick and tired of seeing some of the articles that are going around in the media at the moment."

A hamstring strain to Brad Haddin, meanwhile, has simplified the circumstances of Wade's return to the squad as the national selectors prepare to strengthen their team for the next brace of matches in Brisbane and Sydney. That injury may now cause the selectors something of a headache should they still want to take Haddin on the India Test tour in early February. But for now it will allow Wade to return swiftly and smoothly to the ODI squad alongside other members of the Test team that were given a week's rest following their exertions against South Africa and Sri Lanka.

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

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Posted by zenboomerang on (January 16, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

Have to completely agree with Arthur - seems the armchair trolls know nothing as usual... Harris In WI lost 5 kgs in weight in the previous Test & was carrying an illness during that match... Starc had a hot spot in his ankle... Siddle was burnt out - he looked exhausted in the 1st innings in Adelaide & by the end of the 2nd was bowling on auto-pilot; just the selectors got it wrong by picking Hastings above a number of better performing Shield bowlers...

Posted by zenboomerang on (January 16, 2013, 3:52 GMT)

@Jono Makim :- "Starc, he is obviously carrying an injury to his ankle"...

Actually they are spurs growing in his ankle & depending on their location they may impact tendons & ligaments when removed - post surgery recovery is possibly 6+ mths with the medical staff just calling it a long lay-off from cricket... ATM Starc is looking to delay that to after the next Oz summer (which finishes earlier) & be ready for the 2015 WC... Having surgery after this summer may impact on his early availability for the next Oz summer & forget about the Ashes...

Posted by hyclass on (January 15, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

@Meety...jumbled planning is an inevitability of the arrival of T20 as an additional legitimised format. The privately run comps along with the WC remove whatever space existed for respite from cricket. My observations on SL were with regard to public statements about the composition of the ODI side by the coach and selectors regarding distant future agendas. I suspect not too many international sides would enjoy being told they are only worthy of experimental sides as opposition.

Posted by Meety on (January 15, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

@hyclass on (January 14 2013, 11:47 AM GMT) - sorry when you said "... It's a long time since Ive seen less respectful and more dismissive behaviour towards a visiting team in SL..." - I have taken it (in light of other comments of yours) as a comment against the scheduling for SL, this maybe due to ygkd agreeing with you in terms of tour itinery. @ygkd on (January 15 2013, 06:46 AM GMT) - I would say that your pecking order is fairly much correct, although I would say Sth Africa have some clout too (4th?). That all being said, re: Boxing Day - Sth Africa have not played a Boxing Day Test in quite a while, instead have scheduled T20s & Sri Lanka hosted NZ, so IMO, the Oz Board cannot be held responsible in this case. Given that there are all sorts of problems in SL cricket at Board level, I would back them to be the cause of poor tour planning.

Posted by hyclass on (January 15, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

@Meety...I dont see anything in your comments that pertains to anything that I've written.You must be thinking of someone else.The international schedules are a melange of international requirements. The schedules cannot be perfect given the volumes of cricket and SL as you rightly point out have just finished a series vs NZ which is a reasonable entree to cricket in Australia.I dont see any flaw in the schedule other than CA choosing the entirely inappropriate placement of BBL at a time when Shield was far more valuable.

Posted by ygkd on (January 15, 2013, 6:46 GMT)

@Meety - I'd like to agree with you but I believe there are three major players amongst international cricket boards - the BCCI, the ECB and CA. I don't think SLC get that much of a look in, although obviously they must take responsibility for such poor preparation. Even CSA has to juggle at times with CA over home Boxing Day tests because the attendance figures in Melbourne are so much better than those at Durban or Centurion. Furthermore, when SL lost to India in the ODI WC final, where were they playing? It wasn't in Columbo, that's for sure! So, yes it takes two to tango, but usually one leads and the other has to follow.

Posted by hycIass on (January 15, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

Khawaja must feel like that driftwood trying to make the shore (team). The selectors didn't help him keeping him in cotton wool while they decided if Clarke's hammy was okay over Xmas/New Year. Khawaja could have been playing a game somewhere keeping himself in touch with his batting.The 'nearly' men - Trimble, Potter, Siddons, Cox are perhaps the three standouts. Great Sheffield Shield men who missed the final step of test selection. At least Khawaja & Hodge & even Law, can say they played a test match but seriously its time to cut the guy a break and give him a good run in India for the comign series.

Posted by Meety on (January 15, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

@Jono Makim - fair enuff. Maybe I am looking for stuff that is not there!

Posted by Meety on (January 15, 2013, 3:54 GMT)

@Andross on (January 14 2013, 13:37 PM GMT) - interesting theory re: Ice baths. I think the key to whether you are onto something or not, is work out why it works for other sports & NOT cricket. I s'pose in say the NRL, there is a lot more bruising, so the ice reduces the bleeding. Where as cricket is a bit more repititive? Dunno, but that would be interesting to see how that idea plays out!

Posted by Meety on (January 15, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

@ ygkd/ hyclass - I am sorry but I don't agree with you guys regarding Sri Lanka. Yes, teams have fallen into the trap (bar England), of trying to be like Oz during the late 90s & early 200s where they just rode into town on minimal trial practise & go straight into tests, but how is that any fault of Cric Oz regarding SL? They held a series v NZ just prior to the tour of Oz, there was no room for trials, it would of been better if they played their tour game at Hobart, but given Belreive required a lot of remedial work to get up to standard, that was a no-go. Sth Africa played one tour match, (by choice), & had to play in Sydney before going to the Gabba. Tour itineries are approved between TWO boards! Oz may have more pull then some countries, but honestly I don't believe Cric Oz were at fault in this instance!

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 15, 2013, 2:47 GMT)

@Jayzuz I get the feeling there's a bit of 'Hodge' treatment with Khawaja. From what his team mates in Bulls and Thunder have said publicly he is a very funny guy and a great team man so it can't be his issues with geling with the team. It might be the different cultural background leading to a more serious personality that grates a little more. It seems clear that the selectors are biased towards Maxwell more than Khawaja which is a shame because Khawaja is a fantastic long term talent.. Talent and performance in shield is surely on Khawaja's side. The obvious improvement on Khawaja's fielding since he was very poor when in the test team also gives Khawaja a tick of approval in the 'hard worker' department too. On cricketing terms Khawaja should be treated with the same level of 'next generation' appreciation of the likes of Bailey, Warner and Hughes. I really hope Khawaja is still on the plane to India and is given a proper go like the other younger batsman.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (January 15, 2013, 2:16 GMT)

@Jayzuz i agree with you mate. Someone needs to grill the selectors, and I do mean grill them, not ask one question and meekly accept their spin, but keep pushing them until they explain why they keep messing Khawaja around and why they seem to prefer older players with poorer records and less potential of bits and pieces allrounders who are barely good enough for state cricket.

Posted by ygkd on (January 15, 2013, 1:49 GMT)

Again, I agree with @hyclass - about the treatment of Sri Lanka on this tour. Proper warm-ups should be non-negotiable. If there is "no room in the schedule" it is because the schedule is wrong.

Posted by Andross on (January 14, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

@Bikkie Ess, well written comment, I agree. @ meursault, You may be right, but they could TELL us that... @Muhammad Moosa & Hyclass, What worries me, is their continued use of ice baths despite several players developing tendon and muscle injuries. A dose of simple physics will tell you that cold contracts, and when you've got hot muscles, that may already be slightly strained or stretched after a hard days work, that is precisely the thing you DON'T want to do, it contracts the muscles & puts more pressure on the tendons. Ice is useful to bring down swelling in joints and on the head, but for any soft tissue related injury/strain, heat is the best thing as it increases circulation to the area. A shower or a leisurely swim in warm water would be far better than a bath in ice.

Posted by hyclass on (January 14, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

@Bikkie Ess and @Muhammad Moosa...well done- impressively considered blogs. There is a dearth of certainty, transparency and quality of process that undermines results. The metier for action is underwhelming and regardless of the professed,'thought' that is claimed to have occurred,gives every appearance of being both frantic and random. I recall reading that David Bowie used to place words in a hat and pick them out at random as lyrics. At least his songs were entertaining and had merit. It's a long time since Ive seen less respectful and more dismissive behaviour towards a visiting team in SL. It reminds of Hayden's publicly professed,'Lack of investment in traditional cricket other than Eng and India'while a CA Board member. I wondered at the time how SA felt while playing Aus.I also found it revealing that he named the two T20 money powerhouses as his countries of interest. Bradman stated that he feared for cricket once money pervaded.It had dignity,honour and ethos that seems lost

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

@Meety, I think Siddle saying he pulled out and Arthur saying he was rested are the same thing. I don't really see any conflict there. Strange that he didn't mention Hilfy regarding that match, maybe he just forgot! Just whingers and trollers, there is no fun in that! And why wasn't Kane batting at 3? I think the main injury concern in all of this is Starc, he is obviously carrying an injury to his ankle, Arthur says as much, in which case getting match fit and staying that way through bowling is not the solution. Far better to reserve him for when needed most, or getting him under the knife and having it sorted out. Personally, I think if he needs surgery I'd be getting him in asap and hope he's right for the Ashes in July. He'll end up playing more cricket that way over the long term and if he only misses the tour of India and some odi's i don't see it being a big loss.

Posted by Meety on (January 14, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

@ RightArmEverything on (January 13 2013, 23:54 PM GMT) - I think that has been done. The evidence was, the average pacer bowled way more balls in a season despit playing less games. this was because the mix was mainly FC games & club games in the 70s in Oz. Nowadays, they p;lay more matches, which means more travel, but bowl less balls as they are more short form games. I think the mix is the problem. I have no problems with rotation, as long as it means prime bowling assets play little short form games & do not play in foreign T20 leagues. If players don't like it, they can take the Tait route, but the reality is that Oz cricketers still desire the Baggy Green over all else & as long as their salary is still competitive, will toe the line.

Posted by Jimmyrob83 on (January 14, 2013, 7:29 GMT)

I think this just shows that the Australian selectors don't really care about ODI's. Try some new players in meaningless games. Which is fair enough in my book.

Posted by Batmanian on (January 14, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

It's only one day cricket; just not that important in the scheme of things. Of course rotation is a good idea.

Best case scenario, a few of the Test prospects get some confidence from the ODIs. Hughes, Khawaja, maybe Maxwell, some of the young quicks (we need a pool of at least ten, given the injury plague; we need six fit and ready to go quicks, including some seaming capacity, at the ready). Heaven help us for spinners; we've got nothing, really.

Very hard to see why David Hussey won't start in Australia's next Test in India. There are three important series coming up, and we have no idea how to replace his brother otherwise.

Posted by hyclass on (January 14, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

It must be added that from the evidence, the physio team and sports medicine people need to go back to basics. They are a staggering failure. There may never have been a period in Australian cricket history more replete with injuries of every kind. The last 5 years right up to the 2nd ODI are prima facie evidence of that. Call it rotations or resting-call it whatever fancy name you want. The players left to their own devices surely couldnt do a worse job. Bring back the days of Errol Alcott.

Posted by trenta01 on (January 14, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

@Jayzuz can't recall Aus having beaten either of them recently in a test series champ and didnt the aussies fail to win a single game on an ODI tour of the UK last year. talk to me after a tour to India and 10 ashes tests and see if you think they are evenly matched

Posted by warnerbasher on (January 14, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

Best and fittest players to play every game. Simple. The rotation policy has been an abject failure and CA need to admit it and can it. As a spectator and customer I want to see the best team available for Australia on all occasions. I pay the dollar I rule. I don't want my national team compromised due to the pie in the sky ideas of a group of hangers on trying to justify their positions and pay. Just an aside haven't South Africa done well since Uncle Arthur finished up.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

@Peterincanada: Australia's having it's hottest Summer ever. Bad time to use a 'this is just like global warming, which as you know is crap' analogy.

Posted by Meety on (January 14, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

@Jono Makim - re: Arthurs. I can understand him getting frustrated, but the problem is that whilst the Argus findings have been implemented in terms of communication with the players, it hasn't really improved with the public. I am happy that Arthurs has clarified the Starc situation, however he has unfortunately created a bit of a conflict on the Siddle/WACA Test. Siddle came out & said that he pulled out as he didn't think he could get thru the test, Arthurs says he was rested. IMO, the NSP (via whatever PR experts Cric Oz have), should release a statement outlining changes to a squad with the rationale used. The naming of a squad could also have a draft plan, i.e intention to use all 14 players over 2 ODI games. This would take a lot of heat out of debates, & all you would get left with are whingers & trolls.

Posted by Meety on (January 14, 2013, 1:20 GMT)

@Jayzuz on (January 13 2013, 13:39 PM GMT) - IMO, it was not rotation that was soley responsible for the turn around in results against the Lankans. Bailey summed it up nicely BEFORE the match, saying that the biggest hurdle with an inexperienced team is getting the consistancy. So, in Match 1, we thrashed one of the best ODI units around, Match 2 - they returned the favour. The other factor, one which needs to be mentioned but should only be considered a part of the reason for the defeat, was it was a good toss to win. There was plenty of swing & zip off the pitch, SL exploited it brilliantly, we failed to counter it. Agree with your other points about the eveness of the teams, & the pitfalls of scientific data.

Posted by gcdc on (January 14, 2013, 1:20 GMT)

How many other countries have a "rotation policy"???!!! Pick the best XI

Posted by Meety on (January 14, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

@ featurewriter on (January 13 2013, 12:29 PM GMT) - I think whilst Kane has done some good things & has lots of promise, I think in this case he was in the right spot at the right time. I don't think the NSP bargained for the MJ pull out, & so saved an airfare to have Richo in the squad. A bit like when Luke Pomersbach got drafted into the Oz zide in a T20 match years ago. @Chris_Mcintosh on (January 13 2013, 13:02 PM GMT) - I think the parameters are not set completely right with rotation. Oz have rotated their ODI bowlers for a long time, but never rotated Test bowlers until the last 12 mths. The difference being, is the T20 Leagues (in particular the IPL & Champ League), are a drain on player recovery time & the nature of T20 games inherantly lead to injury (one over spells, very short time allotment for over quota's, heavy emphasis on rugged fielding & ultimately the low work rate leads to lack of fitness). Rotation needs to include T20 Leagues - not JUST Internationals!

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 14, 2013, 0:34 GMT)

And another thing. How the hell are guys like Khawaja, Smith, Maxwell, Richardson etc supposed to get any consistent match practice if they just play the odd game every few weeks? How does that develop a team? It's more like a bunch of mercenaries. The poster who said that Smith and Maxwell were "hideous"is being totally unfair. They were no more hideous than Khawaja the game before. They simply failed, as will a certain percentage of players every game. So that's another problem. You come in for your one game and fail, then either dropped, or left hanging for a month feeling like you are on the edge of being dropped. Or, like Starc, you do great, but are rested then can't build on it. Having said all this, the rotation policy MIGHT work in the long run - given two years+. That will be when we have a nucleus of, say 20-25 experienced players. Right now we have a whole heap of greenhorns who don't know whether they bare Arthur :-) or Marthur.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (January 14, 2013, 0:19 GMT)

Reminds me of a quote that Thirimanne said in the press conference when asked what he thinks of people calling the team the "Australia B Team". He stumbled a little to answer for a bit, and then he said this gem, "Australia A Team or Australia B Team, we don't care. We're here to win".

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (January 13, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

keep going mickey 'mouse' arthur & CA... u are losing yr best players and yr best coaches... u are doing a great job.... For every other cricket nation!

Posted by RightArmEverything on (January 13, 2013, 23:54 GMT)

It would be interesting to see an article that compares how much cricket a full-time Aussie player might play if they played every game in a year compared to, say, a full-time key player in the 1970s or other previous eras. This should include all forms of cricket including T20, ODI, Tests, First-class. Just to see what the difference really is. Maybe other factors should be looked at too, e.g. how much travel is involved.

Posted by wix99 on (January 13, 2013, 23:40 GMT)

I think the selectors chop and change way too much. New players coming into the team need more than one game to realise their potential.

Posted by gjcj on (January 13, 2013, 23:39 GMT)

'The constant thought that sports scientists are picking the team is so far off the mark that it's frightening. They give us information, the information is then left up to us to make that decision. Michael, myself and the selector on duty make the decision based on the information we're given. When we get that information we will see if it holds up and if we think it's not worth the risk.' sounds like sports scientists controlling things to me. BTW Black Caviar is a she Mickey.

Posted by skollbloks on (January 13, 2013, 23:08 GMT)

Australian cricket has lost the plot.2 words sum up the situation, Kane Richardson! Seriously the selection of someone who clearly has issues with his action shows the state of mind of the selection comitee , C grade club performance at best. If it was a touring bowler the press etc would be all over it howling for blood, bans,inquiries and don't forget the sledging hammering the individual would cop on the field from the Aussies!

Posted by hycIass on (January 13, 2013, 22:46 GMT)

@hearth1974 completely agree with you, Khawaja should have played and resting him was an excuses. @Ru4REALNICK i think most fans can see through that Khawaja is not getting fair treatment. @RaadQ agree with you mate. @KrishSeepersad my gut feel is that Khawaja will play at least one more game, if he doesn't then selectors have alot to answer for.

Posted by Mitcher on (January 13, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

Explain all you like, but picking Steve Smith over Khawaja was an absolute JOKE! Nevermind Smith has repeatedly proven he's nothing but a domestic bully, to bring him in on an Adelaide wicket doing a bit with a bunch of avg players around him was laughable. Smith must have compromising photos of people in power. How else can you explain this guy constantly bringing in lucrative CA contracts while achieving absolutely NOTHING for Australian cricket. The treatment of Khawaja, on the other hand, has been a disgrace.

Posted by gogoldengreens on (January 13, 2013, 22:34 GMT)

If rotation or "player management" works so well why are there bowlers injured after the lay off ie: Hilfenhaus straight after a layoff. Starc injured for this game in Adelaide & Johnson who has had half the season off. Pattinson & Commins injured at the thought of playing cricket... Until there is proof in the pudding that it works public will continue to be sceptical!!

Posted by samgannon22 on (January 13, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

Why is a South African coaching our cricket team? It is simply embarrassing. Like having a Kiwi coach our rugby team. It is pathetic and makes me ashamed to be Australian

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 22:22 GMT)

Arthur very conveniently forgot to mention that it wasn't just Siddle who was rested at Perth, Hilfenhaus was also rested. We all know that Hilfy was then injured in the next test in Hobart. I'd like to hear Arthur, or anyone involved, explain how that particular scenario occurred.

Also, you can't pick only 4 specialist batsmen for a live international match and not expect to cop some form of criticism. And giving Khawaja one match? Why? Smith has played 30+ games, we all know what we're going to get there. Give Khawaja a run already.

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 22:07 GMT)

Mickey Arthur, you and CA have missed the point. Not only is your rotation policy not working, you have cheapened the Baggy Green Cap. Telling players they can't play in various games when they they feel OK and want to play is rediculous. The real problem comes from the very top with TOO MUCH CRICKET - look at the dwindling crowds. Too many meaningless 50 and 20 over matches. Also wondered why third day of Sydney test, reported as sell out, had so many empty seats

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (January 13, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

I paid my hard earned money in advance expecting to watch Warner, Watson, Clarke, Mike Hussey, Wade, Hilfenhaus, Starc and Pattison. Agreed some were down with injuries, therefore Cricket Australia should have not rested the other stars. I did not pay big money to watch Australia A v Sri Lanka and have been ripped off.

Posted by srriaj317 on (January 13, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

If Khawaja was dropped on the basis of giving each batsman one game, how is it fair that Finch gets another match in the side? Why would you go in with 3 part-time spin bowling batsmen on a wet Adelaide pitch? How is Kane Richardson good enough to play int'l cricket after a half-decent BBL season? This rotation policy is devaluing the value of an Australian cap and good specialist players are not getting the chances they deserve as a result. If you are going to keep rotating inexperienced domestic-level players in, stop the traditional cap distribution ceremony for debutants as it is becoming too frequent to watch and bear.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 13, 2013, 21:03 GMT)

Well, the rotation policy obviously lacks flexibility. Surely after seeing the pitch, the best X1 for the conditions should have had Usman ahead of either Smith/Maxwell? You cannot defend stupidity Arthur....

Posted by wellrounded87 on (January 13, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

In a way i feel for Arthur and the selectors because they're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't in this scenario. It was only last year that the selectors and coach were criticised for ignoring the sports science that told them Pattinson would break down if he was played, now they're actually going through the rotation policy and they're criticised again.

Personally i don't go for the rotation policy. Players get injured, regardless of workloads they will always get injured. Some are more prone to injury than others. But usually when one player is injured it provides an opportunity for a young player to step up. Starc was rested and still ended up getting injured. Just play them when they're fit and if you must rest players do so in dead rubbers

Posted by Chicagoan76 on (January 13, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

Agree with Krish Sreepersad. For a youngster to come into his own, you need to give him space and certainty, like they are doing with Hughes. But of course, it matters where you were born and Khawaja was born a wrong color.

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

Arthur was sent as a secret agent from SA to keep Australia weak

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 13, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

its amazing how many of these bowlers get rotated. Yet still Lyon doesn't get rotated.Bit like his bowling really

Posted by Big-Dog on (January 13, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Arthur is clueless. The rotation policy clearly is'nt working as 'rested' players are still getting injured & in the meantime Australia is losing games it should be winning.

Posted by Simoc on (January 13, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

So many conspiracy theories here when mostly the selections look to be common sense. It's high time Maxwell did something worthwhile as at present he is just a very good fieldsman. It's good to see new names out there and seeing if they can deliver under limited opportunity. So far Finch can't, as Quiney couldn't. As for the fast bowlers Lillee and Hadlee came back from injury with shortened runs and flowing actions. You'de wonder why all fast bowlers don't copy them.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 13, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

randy nothing to do with officials,they dont bowl or get beat by innings, maybe the lack of quality batting or spin bowlers has something lacking in state cricket. you been away has not helped even though you are still giving us your comments from gods country

Posted by mikey76 on (January 13, 2013, 19:03 GMT)

So Randy are you admitting now that Australian cricket is in pieces?? It kind of contradicts all of your statements about being one of the super powers of cricket along with South Africa. On paper that is one of the worst Australian one day outfits I have ever seen. On grass they were even worse. Doherty and Smith just to name two would be lucky to get a game in the Lancashire league. I think the Aussies have about as much chance of regaining the ashes as England did under Hussain in 02/03.

Posted by Peterincanada on (January 13, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

@KingOwl, Jayzuz I am afraid that it is not science that rules the world itis pseudo science that rules the world. Think Al Gore and all those global warming zealots. I have to agree with most of the posters. When criticism is due it is not whinging. Smith and Maxwell are not bowlers. If they are given a lot of overs in India or England they will get hammered. May as well call Warner and D. Hussey all-rounders. Six batmen four bowlers and a keeper is the only way to pick a team. Hope your bowlers can score a few runs and your batters can bowl a bit. When Oz and the Windies ruled the world that was how they picked their teams. Rarely did a bits and pieces player get picked.

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

Don't worry, just invite India for a few matches and everything will be fine. India is the world's No. 1 team in helping struggling players from other teams. It was only thanks to them that Ponting could respectfully retire as opposed to getting dropped. In their recent HOME series, a mediocre bowler Panesar was made to appear like a legend.

Posted by Sinhaya on (January 13, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

I feel rotation is good as shown by how some players are injury prone. If there was no rotation, there will be criticism of playing too much cricket. So the best way with a hectic schedule is to rotate players and test the reserves to the maximum.

Posted by IanJF on (January 13, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

AUS will pay (on the long run) for this excessive "Rotation Policy".. The high % of Run-Outs will be the best example of it. Cause one guy doesn't trust the other - how can they ? they haven't played together before.. ha ha Come end January, the Lion will come back with its head held high !!

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

Australia has too many potential and that's the problem for Arthur. He (Arthur) did not had that amount of talent to play with when he was coach of SA so he had to play with a steady bunch of guys and that to me was a good thing because you want guys to get a feel at that level of cricket when they are selected; a good example of this was SA Bruce Edgar. If Edgar was an Australian he would have had the same faith as Khawaja. Australia is trying too many half talented cricketers and not letting them develop their skills at state level. Khawaja has done so much at state level and when selected the selecters always find a reason to drop him. Could you imagine Khawaja got run out in the ist ODI but he was drop for Smith. It seem though that the Australia selectors don't want Khawaja on the Australian team.

Posted by RandyOZ on (January 13, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

Arthur has been the worst coach in Australia's history. James Sutherland, who has essentially destroyed cricket in Australia off his own back, has a lot to answer for.

Posted by Beertjie on (January 13, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

@Cedrik on (January 13 2013, 15:07 PM GMT): "My point is if we are fed lies by the ACB then it's so hard to believe anything they say." Spot on mate. What's more Arthur has a central role (as one would expect from the coach) in this rubbish. @RaadQ on (January 13 2013, 14:48 PM GMT) "This bloke is an absolute joke" and the logic used is ridiculous." That much should have been evident from people following his tenure as Saffa coach. I tried to say as much, but I guess Cricinfo thought I was being derogatory toward the new coach. Whose bright idea was it to put Maxwell in the squad for the final test? And he's going to India in some or other capacity? Or maybe Smith? Get real mate.

Posted by sweet2hrme on (January 13, 2013, 15:17 GMT)

I think finch, maxwell and smith are baby players. They are gud in domestic but not fit for international level.

Posted by Cedrik on (January 13, 2013, 15:07 GMT)

Well here we go again. Being told what is going on now is too late. Siddle wanted to play in Perth and declared himself fit. Media and public criticism over resting him led to (remember he's under contract) Siddle being "interviewed" and saying he had a minor injury. His figures for the two tests, Gabba and Adelaid, were close to Steyn's. And who in their right mind would have rested him -nobody-. My point is if we are fed lies by the ACB then it's so hard to believe anything they say. This summer's cricket management has been atrocious. Pick a horse ready to run and run it don't try to bullshit your way out of your failings it only injures the game so many of us love and as we know if its injured it won't run.

Posted by RaadQ on (January 13, 2013, 14:48 GMT)

This bloke is an absolute joke, and the logic used is ridiculous. If you have too many games, reduce training/gym etc. Any of the best bowlers in the game will tell you that playing games is the best training method. So give starc and other bowlers less net sessions/gym sessions etc and more games to reduce the workload! A perfect example of this is JP Duminy's injury that occurred in training. Many people are also arguing Khawaja isn't good enough blah blah, well Steven Smith has been an absolute failure, so clearly someone BETTER isn't being given an opportunity. Not sure why warner needs a rest as an opening batsman. Too many inconsistencies, this is a failed PR stunt by Arthur.

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 14:30 GMT)

Difficult time for the coaching staff in that regardless of selection policy, the seam attack Australia put out today was probably as good as the Aussies could put on the park, bearing in mind all the injuries. I agree with Arthur to some extent that the criticism is a little over done. When your bowling stocks are dropping like flies, what more can you really do? There is no magic well of guys with 200 test wickets and all the skills of Wasim Akram or Malcolm Marshall.... There was not much more the bowling attack could have done today, the simple fact is that there just wasn't the runs on the board to defend. Felt bad for Richardson, who I thought was bowling quite well, that he wasn't able to bowl his full allocation. I reckon he is a serious prospect.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 13, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

Specific Fast bowlers for specific format and no bowler wil play more than 2 format 1. Test Group: Harris, Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Pattinson, Starc, Bird and Mcdermott 2. ODI Group: Johnson, Hazelwood, Cummins, Cutting, Counter-nile, Bird and Mc dermott 3.T-20 Group: Starc, Hazelwood, Cummins, Cutting, Counter-nile, M.Marsh, Henriques.

Posted by quittthewhinging on (January 13, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

We had Mickey Arthur before, now it's your turn. Enjoy.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (January 13, 2013, 14:18 GMT)

Australia loose one game and the vultures came out. Lets face it, Australia can not win ever match and when we go into matches with players that are just starting their careers (two players on debut, two players in second match, two other players in side for less then a year) or making come backs (three other players fighting back into the side). This was on paper a side with more potential then experience, a side which was always going to struggle in this side. But why is that a bad thing? A side that just wins is of no use, but a side that puts forward players for the future is of meaning. Despite our 10 over loss, all of our players got a go at what they were meant to do. Haddin showed that he can still bat at international level, cuttings showed he is a bowling alrounder, bailey & hussey got time in the middle and our main bowlers all got a run. In two years time Australian fans will look back and laugh!

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 13, 2013, 14:08 GMT)

For remaining matches pace attack should Be Cutting, Counter-nile and Hazelwood, all three deserves the place at this moment and it is right time to give exposure to them in front of not so strong opposition. If they get run of three matches atleast we will come too know who should be preffered in future if any one of them is required when all top bowlers make come back. Australia should make 3 groups of bowler Group 1:Only play test and t-20 Group 2 Only Play Test and ODI 3. Only ODI and test. That way the bowlers will be ready for every format.

Posted by peeeeet on (January 13, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

The problem with rotation at the moment is that players are still getting injured, and others are getting rested at the wrong times. I remember players like McGrath and others around that time sitting out the odd game, but it was always an inconsequential match that had no bearing on a series result and was never a test match. I hope Smith and Maxwell aren't in the squads for the rest of the series as they both looked hideous today.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (January 13, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

Why are such injury-prone, fragile-action bowlers like Cummins, Pattinson etc. always considered for tests? It just doesn't make sense. Keep bowlers like this for the trashy shorter formats, and then protect decent bowlers like McKay, Starc, Bird etc. for the pinnacle format which is tests. Certain players like Smith and Doherty have already been trialled for far too long, so the excuses like "Usman Khawaja was dropped for Steve Smith under a pre-defined plan to give each batsman one game" is unjustified/unnecessary.

Posted by Gevelsis on (January 13, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

So Arthur is 'annoyed and frustrated' and suggests that he has the patent on 'common sense'. He also claims that anyone who disagrees with the policy is 'naive or stubborn', and that anyone who thought that Starc should have played on Boxing Day (including Starc himself presumably) is 'plain stupid'.

Then he claims that the 'sports scientists' are not picking the team while admitting that the the team is picked according to their 'information'. Why not just ASK THE PLAYER? Oh and he's also 'sick and tired' of all the ignoramuses who dare to disagree with him. Great PR exercise there Mickey-boy.

Perhaps we should all just shut up now, 'Coach' might get peeved.

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 13, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

@trenta01, England and SA are not clearly the best sides. They are evenly matched with Australia, as results show. Both have win/loss ratios in all formats in the past few years that show this clearly, even if you begin with the last Ashes series (in fact SA has won far less than 50% vs AUS in the past year or so). But I agree that the rotation policy is causing as many problems as it is solving. IMHO the biggest is the loss of team cohesion. This policy has been used in AUS' T20 team for a while, and the results have been terrible. AUS won the 1st ODI game here by over 100 runs, and now lost by a big margin. In the tests they were all over SA, then lost badly after the team was changed around for the 3rd test. When you have it over the opposition, why change half the team and lose the psychological advantage? I wonder what the effect on team morale is? I expect Starc, Khawaja, Wade, Warner, Siddle and a few others will be less than impressed with what's going on here.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 13, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

as a bowler could be injured doing warm ups, not sure that resting him makes sense. if a bowler is injured during a test so what resting him for the previous game does not help. county cricket bowlers of only 15 years ago would bowl over a 1000 overs in the uk. play test cricket and go right back into a county cricket 3 day game. and remember the great bowlers of the world then played CC in any great bowler of that period and he would be bowling that amount of is ok if you have a niggle but if fit get on with it

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

So they picked the best side possible to go out and win? Sorry, but didnt Sri Lanka win? The rotation policy is working well for them.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (January 13, 2013, 13:30 GMT)

I am fine with those changes, however, resting Khawaja was just silly and unfair to him. The selectors need to give all players a fair go.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 13, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

Christ_Mcintosh I think the selectors had decided to Pick Smith for Adelaide as its a great batting track and 3 top order batsman would be enough but when they saw the rain and tough batting conditions they should have automatically gone for Khawaja, they need to be able to change their thinking when conditions dictate and they got this one very wrong. Mark Taylor pointed out the same thing rightly in his commentor

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 13, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

@King Owl "There is nothing better than going by science. Science is what rules this world". Sadly, this is an extremely naive belief. There is no such thing as totally objective science in all realms and endeavors. Science is only as good as a) the data b) the assumptions which underpin the data, including its collection and processing. Human beings have innate and natural intelligence which is often far smarter than science, and this is because the human brain can process far more information than can be collected by measurement, more so in some areas than others. A human being should be in touch with his body, and know how far he can push it. By all means, supplement that with science. But don't lose the connection with the body. That just leads to robotic behaviour detached from common sense. It also leads to a distrust in intuition and gut instinct, and all great sportsmen have that immeasurable quality. Don't turn the AUS team into automatons!

Posted by KhanMitch on (January 13, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

I totally disagree with Khawaja's treatment. How on earth did the selectorts think replacing Khawaja with Smith was a good idea? For starters he is not in the same league as a batsman, as shown by his performance today. Furthermore instead of replacing Khawaja with another pure batter, they went for another allrounder/spinner. WHY? We already had one as well as a specialist spinner. Not sure why Richardson was picked either instead of someone else. Oh well at least we have Clarke and Warner to look forward to for the next game and i seriously hope Khawaja gets at least one more game to show what he can do.

Posted by fazald on (January 13, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

How would you account for the inclusion of three allrounders of substandard quality barring David Hussey and two fast bowlers making their debut for the first time on a seaming wicket at the Adelaide oval? It was an utter disaster right from the start and Australia never recovered from that moment. Only Bailey, Hussey, Haddin and Mckay have played regularly in the side. Whereas Mahela Jayawardena had played more ODI matches than the whole Australian team put together.The selectors got it all wrong once again and handed over an easy victory to Sri Lanka. This rotation policy has never worked while injuries to our cricketers keep increasing with every match. The same thing happened against South Africa when we handed over an easy victory on a platter in the crucial third test after dominating the series in the first two tests due to this so called rotation policy. It seems that Australian cricket is now run by a team of scientists. Surely this is not rocket science.

Posted by snarge on (January 13, 2013, 13:05 GMT)

Feature writer, if we are looking for a back-up all-rounder, it's Cutting, who you didn't even mention in your long list. And I believe Coulter-Nile has moved well ahead of Butterworth.

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 13, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

I don't like the rotation system as its obviously not working. Bowlers need to keep bowling in order to stay in their rhythm. And as for Khawaja its a complete joke that he only got 1 game to show what he could do. The Aus selectors made a big mistake in not picking Khawaja. I understand the thinking behind establishing squad depth and building player experience, but to play 4 semi all-rounders at the expense of specialists (particularly Khawaja, who has been treated disgustingly by the NSP) is too far in the realm of experimentation, and too far removed from playing your best XI. Very dissapointed with the selectors as I thought we had moved on from the Hildrish era but now i am not so sure.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 13, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

I am all for giving young players a shot at the big time, to inspire them to what they can one day legitimately achieve - but someone tell me how on earth Kane Richardson is ahead of Alistair McDermott in the pecking order? Fair enough Cutting because of his bowling but surely McDermott is the premier state player, at least of those yet to make their debuts.

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

If science is allowing fast bowlers to be rested, let's hope that common sense can help them to correct "at risk" bowling actions, too.

I know for a fact that certain bowlers are "left alone" and then become at injury risks - all in the name of allowing them to develop naturally, a misused phrase for incorrectly.

I am not saying that injuries can't be avoided by rest, but often it is down to incorrect mechanics, poor alignment and coaches who simply don't know how to develop strong< sustainable and repeatable safe actions in the first place.

Posted by trenta01 on (January 13, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

This rotation is rubbish, look at South Africa and England clearly the two best sides going around and both have very little rotation, when Aus was a top side there was very little rotation aswell. There is no excuse for Steve Smith getting ODI games for Aus. Even the teams excuses don't make any sense all we hear is this constant rubbish about planning for the 2015 WC if thats the case please explain picking Haddin infront of Paine. Cricket in Australia is a rabble again just two years after the Argus review. Get used to alot more similar performances like Adelaide today if this is how the team is going to be chosen

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (January 13, 2013, 12:53 GMT)

Predefined plan to give Khawaja one game, what if he got a 100 in the first game, would they still drop him. Surely they had to play Khawaja today given the swing conditoins. Khawaja would be a fantastic talent at international level if only he got half the chances that other players have got. His unfairly being dropped today continues a trend for him where he was unfairly dropped last year too. Having being part of a record 300 chase against South Africa he should never have been dropped. Again today he goes through the same thing, i am surprised the young man is still getting runs after being treated the way he has been.

Posted by featurewriter on (January 13, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

Why did they give Richardson a run? Anyone who has watched him this season knows the guy has issues with his action - and, quite frankly, he's just not ready for international cricket yet. Are the selectors watching the form of Luke Butterworth? For three consecutive seasons the guy has bowled brilliantly - and backed it up with middle order-quality batting. 185 first-class wickets at 23 and more than 2,000 runs at about 28 (including a couple of hundreds). While his limited over cricket is less impressive, the guy should be a solid candidate for an Ashes series. (Well before Coulter-Nile, Henriques, Faulkner and McDonald as an alternative/back-up all-rounder to Watson.)

Posted by KingOwl on (January 13, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

I totally agree with the main premise of the article. I think all teams around the world are doing it, or are being forced to. Let's not forget that SL played its B list of seamers in the test series too. There is nothing better than going by science. Science is what rules this world; if not for science, we humans will be not much better than animals. The fact that decision makers have to defend science shows what an ignorant world we live in. We have brilliant scientists who do amazing things and then we have these masses and masses of mediocre people sitting in the sidelines benefiting from science and at the same time, throwing mud at them. Pathetic.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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