'I didn't see it coming' February 26, 2008

Cosgrove unhappy with selectors

Cricinfo staff

Mark Cosgrove remains in South Australia's plans but his lack of runs has cost him his place in the Pura Cup side © Getty Images

Mark Cosgrove is disappointed after it emerged he was dropped for being out of shape as well as his poor form, saying South Australia should base selection on runs only. This is the second time in three seasons that Cosgrove, who debuted for Australia 18 months ago, has been dumped owing to fitness concerns.

Cosgrove, 23, denied that his weight affected his game. "I don't think it makes any difference at all," he told the Adelaide Advertiser. "All you have to do is watch the ball, hit the ball. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to play cricket."

He averages 26.15 in first-class matches this year but he is the fifth highest run scorer for the struggling team. After retirements and the poor batting form of some team-mates, he still also averages in the top five of the recognised and available batsmen.

"I don't think I have let myself down in any shape or form. I can bat, bowl and I'm catching pretty well, so I am pretty disappointed. I didn't think I was going that bad. I didn't see it coming. I am the first to say I am not hitting them that great. This year was pretty disappointing but it was still a shock."

Graham Manou, South Australia's captain, offered his support. "Mark's got to go away and decide what he wants to do and what's best," he told AAP. "That's him playing good cricket and obviously presenting himself in the best possible fashion like the 28 other blokes in the squad.

"As a mate it disappoints me to be honest with you, he's got more talent in his little finger than a lot of other people going around playing parkland cricket and I'm sure they're frustrated for him. We need him playing for us, he's by far our best batsman when he's going well and this week was one of the saddest I've had as a mate for him."

Mark Sorell, South Australia's coach, said that Cosgrove was dropped for form and fitness reasons. "He knows he needs to be in the best possible shape to be a three-tiered player for us - batting, bowling and fielding,'' Sorell told the Adelaide-based Messenger earlier this month. "We've talked about the need for him to be the best he possibly can and he's got to keep working at that.''

The batsman has played three ODIs, making 74 on his debut against Bangladesh in 2006 but a return to international cricket seems further away than ever. He can't even buy a run at club level, in two knocks for Northern Districts this season he has made 3 and 12.