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Copeland, Lyon bring confidence, freshness - Chappell

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 31, 2011

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Trent Copeland starred on debut for NSW, NSW v Queensland, Sheffield Shield, SCG, 1st day, 29 January, 2010
Greg Chappell: "Trent Copeland showed [while touring Zimbabwe] what has worked for him in Australia can work at a higher level." © Getty Images

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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety 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.

Posted by RandyOZ 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.

Posted by hyclass 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.

Posted by Benster2 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.

Posted by Meety 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.

Posted by rollertroy 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

Posted by ali00 on (August 1, 2011, 10:33 GMT)

they should bring Brett Lee back to the Test Squad

Posted by   on (August 1, 2011, 8:48 GMT)

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

Posted by Winsome 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.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm 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.

Posted by hyclass on (August 1, 2011, 4:27 GMT)

@Benster2...the entire traditional cricketing public IS outraged and has been for at least 3 years.But what have we been able to do?The official CA website is studiously devoid of any tools of protest for the public.CA has been its own little self determining universe with the unfortunate capacity to wreak havoc on the game we love,an opportunity that it has taken maximum toll of in the last 4 years.We all wait with bated breathe for the outcome of the Argus Review in less than 3 weeks.Nothing less than a scorched earth policy at CA will be an acceptable outcome with the requisite apologies and dismissals.I dont think any of us could bear another fact defying explanation from any of them.Fingers crossed Argus-fingers crossed.

Posted by hyclass on (August 1, 2011, 4:11 GMT)

My theory is that Chappell,Hilditch,Sutherland,Nielsen,Jack Clarke and Hayden,were all secretly put on the payrolls of the English and Indian Boards over the last 3-5 years.No other explanation so completely covers their astonishing,inexplicable and massively destructive behaviour.Can anyone else account for the selecting,coaching,appointments and complete disregard for traditional cricket and the successful institutions they inherited,with a better theory?

Posted by camcove on (August 1, 2011, 3:24 GMT)

Behind_the_bowlers_arm makes a logical point about Lyon and the first class games that were played, irrespective of his not being in the squad for that part of the Zim tour. I play a fun mental game of working out the makeup of the side for the first test in the 2013 Ashes series. Obviosuly, it is like computer modelling and such projects - there are lots of "what ifs" or "sensitivities". I think Lyon and O'Keefe are contenders for that tour. Copeland averages over 5 wickets a match, is capable of bowling spells like in the Shield final (unchanged for most of the first and second Tas innings), is deadly accurate, moves the ball in the air and off the pitch a bit and is very tall with bounce. I think I know why he gets wickets, dsig3. By the way, I think Pattinson, Cummins, Copeland, Starc and Faulkner are likely to be contenders in 2013, assuming no injuries. This year will decide the future of Johnson and Sidds. I think Sidds will be there - not sure about Mitch. What odds Cutting?

Posted by Meety on (August 1, 2011, 3:02 GMT)

@ Benster2 - I agree re: "...the worst thing is o'keefe doesn't even seem to be in the selectors' contemplation for the test spinner's spot." I'd understand if the other spinners (Beer, Doherty, Krezja & Lyon), were regulars in their respective state teams AND performing well, but its clearly not the case. A concern I have for O'Keefe is - he isn't a regular in the NSW team, (behind Smith & Hauritz), AND the continuous overlooking of his claims may be affecting his FC batting average as he was averaging in the high 40s at the start of the year. The thing is - prior to the 3rd test, O'Keefe WAS in the selectors minds as he was in the Oz A game just prior to the 1st Test, (he did get elevated due to Doherty getting drafted into the Test squad). With the exception of Cameron White - he was the best batsmen on display for Oz (93 runs), AND took the most wickets (4), Smith who batted reasonably well (59 runs) took 2 wickets. O'Keefe gets overlooked for Beer who wasn't good enuff for Oz A!!!

Posted by dsig3 on (August 1, 2011, 1:20 GMT)

I am not really excited about either of them really. I have seen both but only in limited overs match. I understand that Trent smashed some records last year but its hard to see a clear reason why. Maybe the domestic standard has slipped. Steve Waugh said as much recently. There is nothing technically wrong with Hilfy, if he just changed his gameplan he would be the best fast bowler in Aus.

Posted by   on (August 1, 2011, 0:09 GMT)

Wholeheartedly agree wit Behind_the_bowlers_arm re O'Keefe. How can they keep ignoring him? I also read somewhere else that Nielson supported the merry-go-round of spinners because no one took advantage of their chance. How can you take your chance in only one test, and I'm pretty sure Hautiz did pretty well overall. Stupid selectors. Feel sorry for Lyon. He's probably going to get milked for runs by the Sri Lankans, and then get dropped because he didn't get 20 wickets in the series, and then he'll lose all confidence and another young spinner with potential will go down the drain.

Posted by Benster2 on (July 31, 2011, 22:25 GMT)

I'm with Behind The Bowlers Arm. Where on Earth is Steve O'Keefe? The selectors are looking for a spinner - yet they overlook a young guy, bowling at 24.05 at first class level who can really bat (36-odd). Yet they persist with junkyard spinners who average over 40 runs per wicket, who aren't half the batsmen. Then they choose a guy with virtually no experience. The public should actually be outraged - the answer to our spin problems is sitting there smacking the selectors in the face but they refuse to select him. And the worst thing is o'keefe doesn't even seem to be in the selectors' contemplation for the test spinner's spot. I would at least like an explanation for o'keefe's glaring omission.

Posted by   on (July 31, 2011, 22:16 GMT)

To be fair, the One day and First class squads to zimbabwe were picked weeks in advance and Lyon couldn't just land a game in the 4 day match. On the other hand, I'm fed up of the dribble the selectors and CA feed us. They're full of rubbish excuses and ilogical theories about how to build a good team. Here's an idea. Pick the best 11 players. It really isn't that difficult. Form is not an indicator of pure talent. A few good games here and there shouldn't warrent supprise test call ups.

Posted by   on (July 31, 2011, 21:28 GMT)

Would love to see Trent Copeland get a go at the top level. He is a consistent bowler, something we have been lacking in recent times.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (July 31, 2011, 17:12 GMT)

If Lyon's performance in the ODI's in Zim alerted the selectors that he could step up to Test cricket why was he excluded from the two (TWO) four day games against the Zim XI??? Sorry, Greg, we all have the impression that you and Mr Hilditch are making it up (and your excuses) as you go along. And he wasnt asked about poor old Steve O'Keefe (aka The Invisible Man)?

Posted by TeamRocker on (July 31, 2011, 16:19 GMT)

Oh, come on! How can Chappel mention Smith and Bradman in the same sentence!l

Posted by jonesy2 on (July 31, 2011, 14:44 GMT)

well to be fair chappell, sheffield shield is the highest level aside from test cricket but i know what you mean, the fact that these players did well on slow pitches in zim is a very good thing.

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