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Pace quartet to duel for Australia A

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 18, 2011

Comments: 78 | Text size: A | A

Ben Hilfenhaus bowls for Australia A in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe XI v Australia, Harare, 1st day, July 15 2011
Ben Hilfenhaus gets another chance to revive his international career © Zimbabwe Cricket

Ben Hilfenhaus, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Ben Cutting will duel for the Test spot likely to be left open by the injured Ryan Harris when Australia A face New Zealand in Brisbane from November 24.

The pace quartet was named in a 12-man Australia A squad, the first to be chosen by Cricket Australia's new selection panel of John Inverarity, Rod Marsh, Andy Bichel and the captain Michael Clarke.

The team will be led by Tasmania's highly-regarded captain George Bailey, while the batsmen selected include the national team's current "next reserve" David Warner, Ed Cowan, Nic Maddinson, and Tom Cooper, who has previously represented Holland but is enjoying a strong start to the season for South Australia.

The wicketkeeper Matthew Wade can place enormous pressure on the incumbent gloveman Brad Haddin with a strong showing against the tourists.

"The National Selection Panel has chosen an exciting group of players in this 12-man Australia A squad who we believe have considerable potential and are therefore having opportunity invested in them," Inverarity said.

"There is obviously a great deal of interest in each of these players in terms of higher honours but first we look forward to this Australia A team being well led by Tasmanian George Bailey and giving a strong overall performance against the New Zealanders next week.

"Ryan Harris' current hip injury means the fast bowlers selected in this squad will be carefully monitored with six Test matches in succession throughout the Australian summer."

Australia A squad: George Bailey (capt), David Warner, Michael Beer, Tom Cooper, Ed Cowan, Ben Cutting, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nic Maddinson, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk).

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Dashgar on (November 21, 2011, 16:41 GMT)

With Ponting and Haddin averaging under 20 with the bat, Hughes under 30 and Johnson and Siddle over 50 with the ball in SA, not to mention injuries to Watson and Marsh, every player on this team must be considered a chance for a baggy green. Exciting times

Posted by smudgeon on (November 21, 2011, 0:59 GMT)

Winsome, Bailey has a pair of strong hundreds to his name this season, both of them under pressure when his team needed him (one of which earned him man of the match against the Redbacks). Hardly a 'bleh' season, I'd say. I think a lot of people overlook George Bailey because of his overall stats and un-sexy batting, but he's quite a strong, gritty batsman, he leads from the front when his team needs him, and is a straight-talker - traits people almost never fail to underestimate. However, his selection here is probably less about potential higher-honours, and more about the high regard his captaincy is held in around domestic circles.

Posted by zenboomerang on (November 21, 2011, 0:56 GMT)

Can't see why Bailey & Beer made the 'A' team... that is our next best team?... Seems the old boys school is still working at CA... My 'A' team: Warner, Lynn, Cooper, Cowan, Smith, Wade (wk), Christian, O'Keefe (capt), Butterworth, Starc, Cutting... 5 proven bowlers with a spare in Smith... 6 batters with 3 bowlers capable of getting very useful runs...

Posted by Meety on (November 20, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

@hyclass - I agree that Smith has been derided far more than merited. His bowling has seemed to suffer from lack of confidence & a bit of rustiness. He is a young bloke who could & should develop into a fine Test cricket as an allrounder. @Sylvester Tan - agree fully re Mitch Marsh, I think his bowling is far & away his best asset in FC cricket. His batting atm is worse than what you would expect from someone batting at #8.

Posted by hyclass on (November 20, 2011, 1:29 GMT)

Last season,Cowan was awarded the player of the Shield Final for his 154 runs for the match,despite Hughes making 231 runs in the same match.His last innings aside,his Shield season has been modest.His selection seems odd as neither his career record nor age are on his side.Fortunately,he will be playing against an ordinary NZ team from which little can be deduced in candidacy terms.Maddinsons season has been equally disappointing.Only his youth and the moderate start of other candidates to this season saves him.Surely the Beer joke has run its course.If it hadnt been Warne suggesting him,as a favour to a former club team mate,he wouldnt be playing at this level.Im in favour of Smith who has more about him than he is given credit for.At 22,like Hughes before him,he has had to endure the wrath of a mythical 'technique deficiency' media campaign,created by Nielsen and Co to deflect attention away from their disgraceful behaviour.Id like to see Maxwell,Rogers & D.Hussey given opportunity.

Posted by   on (November 19, 2011, 21:11 GMT)

Smith has been picked for his batting so SOK wasn't in competition with him. Mitch Marsh certainly shouldn't be picked on his batting atm, bowling certainly but we got quite a few of them. We don't really have too many batsmen putting their hand up this season who are realistically in contention. Liam Davis has an overall average of 30 so he's a long way off but I'd have rewarded his excellent form with a spot in the A side.

And on people using SOK average start to the season for the reason he isn't in the side, really now we are happy to use the stats card? Where was this last season?

Posted by   on (November 19, 2011, 20:31 GMT)

Now I have a question toponder did Bailey get asay on the selection as well because i think he should of. Iknow hewould be inclined to pick his own men but he still could have brought a lot more to the table. He probaly would of chosen the combination of buterworth and o keefe. Butterworth as he is hisown player and o keefe ashe would have seen him around a lot

Posted by Dashgar on (November 19, 2011, 13:08 GMT)

@Winsome, Bailey is 4th on the run scorers list this year, hardly been picked on one game. I also think Cutting is right at the top of the pecking order, I'll be very surprised if he doesn't debut against NZ.

Posted by tpjpower on (November 19, 2011, 11:09 GMT)

Ben Cutting is the best bowler in Australia apart from Harris. Harris is injured. Get Cutting in for the first Test.

Posted by Winsome on (November 19, 2011, 7:55 GMT)

It's an interesting squad, but it seems that they've have picked it on the last game played rather than season's form as Starc, Cowan, Bailey even Hilfenhaus are having fairly bleh seasons so far. I guess they have been forced into some of these picks through the amount of injuries going. Cutting is a great pick, but even though he's the best bowler in the Shield I'm sure he's miles down the pecking order. He's not getting his tyres pumped by the media in the way that Cummins, Pattinson and Starc are. Butterworth might as well kiss his chances of even Aus A representation goodbye if they won't pick him considering how average the talent is around Aus domestic cricket.

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