Australia news July 31, 2011

Copeland, Lyon bring confidence, freshness - Chappell

ESPNcricinfo staff

Greg Chappell, Australia's selector and national talent manager, has said Nathan Lyon and Trent Copeland were among those that showed they could perform at a higher level during the A side's tour of Zimbabwe. Fast bowler Copeland and offspinner Lyon - who was the leading wicket-taker in the tri-series in Zimbabwe that also included South Africa A - have since been picked in Australia's Test squad for the Sri Lanka series that begins on August 31.

"They are very exciting cricketers," Chappell told Australia's Sunday Telegraph. "The Australia A tour to Zimbabwe was a huge success. Those guys were two of a number who showed that what has worked for them in Australia can work at a higher level. They bring with them some form and confidence and freshness."

The fast bowlers who missed out on Sri Lanka, Doug Bollinger and Ben Hilfenhaus, need to work on their fitness, Chappell said. "The message to both of them is quite clear. Doug's fitness levels were not where they are needed to be. He knows what he has to do. The same with Ben. He struggled technically last summer [during the Ashes]."

A big talking point about the Test squad was the omission of legspinner Steven Smith, but according to Chappell, this is all part of his maturing process. "He is in the same position that most players are in early in their careers when they get an opportunity. They get to have a look at it. Very few players are ready to go.

"Most of us have been dropped. Even Bradman was dropped. You go away and rethink it. That's where Steve's at. I think he has the ability to be a very fine player for Australia, but this is only part of his development."

Australia are yet to find a long-term replacement for Shane Warne, and if spinners are to do well, Chappell said, the environment in which they are nurtured has to change. "The environment in which young spinners are growing up is very different from before. I just don't see them getting the encouragement from captains and coaches, who see them as bowlers who leak runs rather than one who have the opportunities to take wickets."

"They are a last resort option in junior cricket, club and first-class cricket at times. If we are going to produce champions [in the spin department], we have to encourage environments where spinners get the opportunities."

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  • Andrew on August 3, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    @RandyOZ - I think Pup got heaps of criticism just after the Ashes loss & during the ODIs, but as Oz started WINNING (& Pup doing fairly well as captain & batsmen), the criticism dropped off & was directed at Punter & White & MJ.

  • Randolph on August 2, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    Hi guys, long time comment reader, first time poster. I've gotta say first I totally agree with all the comments about O'Keefe, how Beer has a place over him is beyond me. Secondly is to do with Punter, although not in great form of recent years (he wasn't the only one to fail in the Ashes though - Clarke deserves just as much but has escaped a lot of criticism), surely he deserves at least a chance before we write him off? I am all for bringing in the youth but the fact is apart from Hussey, now that Kat is gone (again, all the comments on this farce I agree with) we don't have any players who can dig in. That's a fact. With his decreasing role in the team I think he can really step up to the plate, and fight adversity. Unlike Tendulkar, Ponting can and has performed when the team needs him. I agree he probably should've gone instead of Kat, but the fact is he is still there and hence we need to give him a shot - enough of the nay sayers....for now.

  • Christopher on August 2, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    @Benster 2..I think that a certain amount of respect has to go to the journalists position.What we can speculate about with good cause and reasonable conclusions in our blogs,cannot always be printed by journalists given that there can be legal ramifications.Equally,journalists have a fine balance of relationships to maintain with CA and its employees in order to retain access.While their opinions may or may not always concur with ours,they cannot always express it in print.Im certain that anyone with cricketing knowledge cannot fail to be impressed by the utter failure of traditional cricket and values under this CA administration and the changed policies that have led to it.I believe that noone associated with cricket could fail to be aware of the names of these self serving charlatans-Jack Clarke,Hilditch,Chappell,Sutherland,Nielsen,Boon,Cox,Hayden.I think that if Argus pulls any punches,or CA seeks to circumvent or mitigate its recommendations,then we will see the press barrage.

  • Ben on August 1, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    @Meety. I couldn't agree with you more. Reading your comment just makes me even angrier about these mental selection policies.

    I just don't get the Beer selection over O'Keefe. Beer has less experience, Beer's bowling stats are way worse and he can't even hold a bat. My recollection is that he was literally a nobody until Shane Warne made some bold declaration that the selectors should try him for his "local" knowledge/experience for the WACA ashes test. I love Warney - but that was a dumb call and for some reason the selectors, without any other justification, have penciled him ahead of O'Keefe.

    And Meety I agree re the effect of keeping O'Keefe out of the side - it can affect his confidence and his performances.

    @hyclass - good to hear the general public is equally outraged. It just seems like no one else cares as, as far as I'm aware, there hasn't been much media outrage. I just thought that it was slipping under the radar. I really hope that the Argus review sorts this out.

  • Andrew on August 1, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    @dsig3 - why would you say G McGrath got the 1,000s of wickets he did? Or Stuey Clark, they never did that much with it, Copeland is tall gets extra bounce & gets some seam movement. If you accurate & patient - wickets will come! @Behind_the_bowlers_arm - I believe Chappell was on tour with the Oz A side.

  • troy on August 1, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    i agree completely there is simply no selection consistency and as a fan, this is frustrating, as a player it must be exasperating!! i really feel sorry for the fringe players and guys outside obvious inner sanctum.kat's departure robs the team of its most consistent batsman and a partnership breaker with the ball. where will clarke turn if needs be? himself and his dodgy back? top 6 of watto, hughes, ponting, clarke, hussey & khawaja/marsh doesn't look balanced in terms of bowling options. especially in hot countries with flat wickets like SL.

    i also agree with the o'keefe public sentiment; why was he given a oz a game and perform then slip behind lyon, beer, doherty, kretza? none of which have had domestic seasons that demand selection. however, i am concerned that all the conjecture just puts more pressure on him to be the messiah, in the same way that mitch crumbles every time he talks himself up as the attack spearhead

  • ali on August 1, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    they should bring Brett Lee back to the Test Squad

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    Did Greg Chappel just compare steve wmith to don bradman?? cmon mate now uve really lost it

  • Lou on August 1, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    NathanKiely, they could have thought about it. After all, at least 2 players from the squads got injured during the one day series, they didn't replace Maddinson in the end. I think they really wanted and expected Krejza to shine in Zim. Lord knows why, he was hardly convincing in the World Cup even against lesser teams.

  • Terry on August 1, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    I just dont accept the point that in the modern day (mobile phones! email!)that the selectors could have been impressed by Lyon in Zim (were some or all there?) and not have had a word to the A Team management and say 'we'd like to have a look at him in a 4 day match as we are now considering him for the Sri Lanka tour'. The comments by Hilditch about the revolving door selection policy of selecting spinners being deliberate genuinely shocked me. I read his comments about Beer's selection as 'perform or thats it'. Away in SL against some of the best players of spin in world cricket! Would be funny if it wasnt so mad.

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