Australia news December 13, 2011

Cowan subbed into Chairman's XI for ailing Marsh

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Ed Cowan, the Tasmania opening batsman, is edging closer to Test selection following his transfer from the first to the second of two tour matches against the Indian touring side in Canberra in order to cover for the ailing Shaun Marsh.

The change has been made partly to accommodate the wishes of the Sydney Sixers, Cowan's Twenty20 Big Bash League team. But it is also to replace Marsh, who has been ruled out of the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI because his problematic back, which flared during the first Test against South Africa in Cape Town last month, is still not up to the rigours of batting.

Originally, Cowan had been selected as captain of the team for the first tour match, a two-day affair starting on Thursday. However he will now play for the Sixers in their competition opener against the Brisbane Heat at the SCG on Friday, before going on to Canberra for the three-day fixture against the Indians from Monday, December 19.

Ryan Broad, the Queensland opening batsman, has replaced Cowan in the squad for the first tour match and will captain the side, which is composed of players uninvolved in the BBL.

Cowan, 29, has made centuries in three of his past five first-class innings for Tasmania and Australia A.

Marsh's difficulties give Cowan a chance of consideration for a debut, given that changes will be made to the team that lost by seven runs to New Zealand. Shane Watson is likely to return to the squad as a batsman if not an allrounder, and the national selectors must deliberate on numerous players who failed to make a strong enough case in Hobart.

Pat Howard, CA's team performance manager, said the compromise between the Sixers and the tour match had been agreed after an update on Marsh's faltering fitness.

"Our long term planning for the Boxing Day Test had been based around the principle that all fit players would be available for round one T20 Big Bash League games and then their focus will turn towards their individual preparation plans for the first Test against India," Howard said.

"While we are hopeful, Shaun's chances of recovering sufficiently in order to be considered for the first Test against India are considered unlikely at this stage."

One other forced change has been made to the team for the first tour match, with the SA seam bowler Joe Mennie withdrawn due to a hip complaint. His place has been taken by the Queensland legspinner Cameron Boyce.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 16, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    Katich should be given a go ahead with loads of experience behind his back. He aloongside Watson formed a very potent partnership at the top of the order for long. Hughes should be give a break to regain his form in the domestic Shield matches or the BBL. Hauritz should've also been tested as he has proved himself as a bowling allrounder incase Watson returns as a specialist batman.

  • HatsforBats on December 16, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    @ zenboomerang, spot on, pick your best XI which just hasn't happened for years (about 5 years I guess). Apathy is the problem; Australian success bred laziness in the system and now we're paying for it. Look at England; years of failure bought about positive change to their system and the results show. Hopefully we're on the cusp of enlightenment, there's plenty of players ready to take their chance.

  • zenboomerang on December 16, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    @HatsforBats... agree on Starc - seemed nervous all the time, hopefully will settle down with time (only 21) - the clanger didn't help his confidence... O'Keefe just doesn't make sense - low bowling average & good batting... Somethings wrong - either need more SS teams or revamped system - O'Keefe has only played 17 FC games @ 27yr old... Same issue with Warner - told CNSW to pick him at SS or he would leave State... As for pace lefties - if best 3-4 bowlers are right-handed, pick them above an average lefty anytime... I understand the tactics but it hasn't worked with Johnson...

  • HatsforBats on December 15, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    @ zenboomerang, not really, O'Keefe is from NSW and can't even get a sniff, and Rogers/Hodge/AB all got picked at some point. Klinger had 2 good seasons after moving to SA and has since dropped his performance level. As for Butterworth, he can't be picked because then people would start saying there was a Tasmanian bias. I agree though, Starc was a wasted addition (at this point); if they wanted a lefty they should have gone with Faulkner who is a magnificent prospect for higher honours.

  • zenboomerang on December 15, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    @ThugbyFan... Not sure why you are trying to compare Warner with Hughes - completely different style of batting & mental attitude... Forget media hype... Yes Finch has had a few issues but will come back... Openers: Cowan(39.97), Lynn(42.6) batting well - Warner in form, Watson/Khawaja/Marsh can slot in... Don't see problems finding openers... ... Boyce is often over-rated, his bowling average 41.96 / bat 12.52... Maxwell 39.68 ball & 47 with bat... O'Keefe 25.55 ball / 37.05 bat...

  • zenboomerang on December 15, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    @HatsforBats... You shot yourself in the foot - you can't have it both ways... You say no NSW bias & then say that the best SS players in Aust for the last few years have come from interstate but cannot get selected... Why can't they get selected?... Because of bias - percieved or otherwise... Klinger has shown good consistent form over a number of seasons & would hold up one end a lot better than Hughes has... Butterworth (still injured) but would have been just as good as Starc & probably better in the last 2 Tests - his allrounder ability would have been priceless in Hobart... Christian should have played as well...

  • HatsforBats on December 14, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    @ Chris_P, thanks for the offer but I think I follow shield cricket close enough. Notice how I wrote that Cowan is the form batsmen? Notice that I wrote he is from NSW? That infers I know that he is one of the leading run scorers for the year, which subsequently infers that I know he is playing for Tasmania, and suprisingly indicates that I was aware he moved to Tasmania because he wouldn't get an openers berth in NSW behind Hughes, Jacques, Watson, Katich. As for the consipracy theory, have you not heard that people not from NSW percieve a test selection bias toward the Blues? And since when in the last 5 years has Shield form been an indicator of selection. Rogers, AB Mac, Hodge, D.Hussey, Klinger, O'Keefe, Butterworth would argue. Again, thanks for the offer.

  • ThugbyFan on December 14, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Cowan has been going well for the last 2 years and good luck to him. Funny bout Warner, I heard the same accolades about Phil Hughes who was murdering shield teams for year before he was selected. Apart from NSW and Cowen (ex NSW), the only opener I can think of that could get in the Aus side is Aaron Finch, but this year has been horrendous for him. What excites me here is They selected the spinner Cameron Boyce for a game against India. He is rumoured to be about the best spinner in Oz, is a leg spinner (damn, we been looking for one since Old Shagger Shane retired years ago) and is NOT from NSW. I think playing Watto just as opener is a mistake unless he can get some runs and practice elsewhere. Dan Christian or Mitch Marsh would be a better bet and Harris for Starc would be a gun bowling side.

  • bighit14 on December 14, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    My XI would be Watson, Warner, Ponting, Khawaja, Clarke, Hussey, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon and Harris

  • featurewriter on December 14, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    If Hughes needs to go, so too does Khawaja. His batting record is worse than Hughes'. I'd go Cowan, Warner, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Watson, Haddin, Pattinson, Siddle, Copeland and Lyon. (With the option of moving Watson to open with Warner and putting Cowan in at first drop.) After the India series we need to start planning for the Ashes. My Ashes pick: Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Watson, Butterworth, Wade, Johnson, Cummins, Pattinson, Lyon. Get Hughes and Khawaja back in touch and that lineup will help us reclaim the number one Test team ranking - and the Ashes!

  • on December 16, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    Katich should be given a go ahead with loads of experience behind his back. He aloongside Watson formed a very potent partnership at the top of the order for long. Hughes should be give a break to regain his form in the domestic Shield matches or the BBL. Hauritz should've also been tested as he has proved himself as a bowling allrounder incase Watson returns as a specialist batman.

  • HatsforBats on December 16, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    @ zenboomerang, spot on, pick your best XI which just hasn't happened for years (about 5 years I guess). Apathy is the problem; Australian success bred laziness in the system and now we're paying for it. Look at England; years of failure bought about positive change to their system and the results show. Hopefully we're on the cusp of enlightenment, there's plenty of players ready to take their chance.

  • zenboomerang on December 16, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    @HatsforBats... agree on Starc - seemed nervous all the time, hopefully will settle down with time (only 21) - the clanger didn't help his confidence... O'Keefe just doesn't make sense - low bowling average & good batting... Somethings wrong - either need more SS teams or revamped system - O'Keefe has only played 17 FC games @ 27yr old... Same issue with Warner - told CNSW to pick him at SS or he would leave State... As for pace lefties - if best 3-4 bowlers are right-handed, pick them above an average lefty anytime... I understand the tactics but it hasn't worked with Johnson...

  • HatsforBats on December 15, 2011, 21:12 GMT

    @ zenboomerang, not really, O'Keefe is from NSW and can't even get a sniff, and Rogers/Hodge/AB all got picked at some point. Klinger had 2 good seasons after moving to SA and has since dropped his performance level. As for Butterworth, he can't be picked because then people would start saying there was a Tasmanian bias. I agree though, Starc was a wasted addition (at this point); if they wanted a lefty they should have gone with Faulkner who is a magnificent prospect for higher honours.

  • zenboomerang on December 15, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    @ThugbyFan... Not sure why you are trying to compare Warner with Hughes - completely different style of batting & mental attitude... Forget media hype... Yes Finch has had a few issues but will come back... Openers: Cowan(39.97), Lynn(42.6) batting well - Warner in form, Watson/Khawaja/Marsh can slot in... Don't see problems finding openers... ... Boyce is often over-rated, his bowling average 41.96 / bat 12.52... Maxwell 39.68 ball & 47 with bat... O'Keefe 25.55 ball / 37.05 bat...

  • zenboomerang on December 15, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    @HatsforBats... You shot yourself in the foot - you can't have it both ways... You say no NSW bias & then say that the best SS players in Aust for the last few years have come from interstate but cannot get selected... Why can't they get selected?... Because of bias - percieved or otherwise... Klinger has shown good consistent form over a number of seasons & would hold up one end a lot better than Hughes has... Butterworth (still injured) but would have been just as good as Starc & probably better in the last 2 Tests - his allrounder ability would have been priceless in Hobart... Christian should have played as well...

  • HatsforBats on December 14, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    @ Chris_P, thanks for the offer but I think I follow shield cricket close enough. Notice how I wrote that Cowan is the form batsmen? Notice that I wrote he is from NSW? That infers I know that he is one of the leading run scorers for the year, which subsequently infers that I know he is playing for Tasmania, and suprisingly indicates that I was aware he moved to Tasmania because he wouldn't get an openers berth in NSW behind Hughes, Jacques, Watson, Katich. As for the consipracy theory, have you not heard that people not from NSW percieve a test selection bias toward the Blues? And since when in the last 5 years has Shield form been an indicator of selection. Rogers, AB Mac, Hodge, D.Hussey, Klinger, O'Keefe, Butterworth would argue. Again, thanks for the offer.

  • ThugbyFan on December 14, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Cowan has been going well for the last 2 years and good luck to him. Funny bout Warner, I heard the same accolades about Phil Hughes who was murdering shield teams for year before he was selected. Apart from NSW and Cowen (ex NSW), the only opener I can think of that could get in the Aus side is Aaron Finch, but this year has been horrendous for him. What excites me here is They selected the spinner Cameron Boyce for a game against India. He is rumoured to be about the best spinner in Oz, is a leg spinner (damn, we been looking for one since Old Shagger Shane retired years ago) and is NOT from NSW. I think playing Watto just as opener is a mistake unless he can get some runs and practice elsewhere. Dan Christian or Mitch Marsh would be a better bet and Harris for Starc would be a gun bowling side.

  • bighit14 on December 14, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    My XI would be Watson, Warner, Ponting, Khawaja, Clarke, Hussey, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon and Harris

  • featurewriter on December 14, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    If Hughes needs to go, so too does Khawaja. His batting record is worse than Hughes'. I'd go Cowan, Warner, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Watson, Haddin, Pattinson, Siddle, Copeland and Lyon. (With the option of moving Watson to open with Warner and putting Cowan in at first drop.) After the India series we need to start planning for the Ashes. My Ashes pick: Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Watson, Butterworth, Wade, Johnson, Cummins, Pattinson, Lyon. Get Hughes and Khawaja back in touch and that lineup will help us reclaim the number one Test team ranking - and the Ashes!

  • ammiel on December 14, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    I think the boxing day test in batting order must read this way, given the unlikelihood of S Marsh's fitnes: 1. Watson 2. Warner 3. Ponting 4. D Hussey 5. M Clarke 6. M Hussey 7. Haddin 8. Siddle 9. R Harris 10. Pattinson 11. Lyon. David Hussey deserves a go at test level, in very similar circumstances that saw Warner given his chance. Hussey has excelled at first class level for a decade for Victoria and Nottingham.

  • zenboomerang on December 14, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Good to see Cowan getting a bat against India... But he played for Aust A v NZ - got a century & wasn't considered... With Watson & Warner certainties, bringing in Cowan would require Ponting or Hussey to be dropped... I can see it, but the selectors wont... Still, if Watson can't bowl, then his form with the bat is pretty average lately & makes our no.1-6 look very fragile... Also if he can't bowl, then his hamstring must be a concern & with no runners allowed now, then he could be a liability in the Boxing Day Test... Exactly what we don't want in the crucial 1st game of the series...

  • Aussierise on December 14, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    still not sure how and why Christian is not given a go in either of these games?? is does not einstein to work out that we have some outstanding allrounder prospects in Australia - Christian, Henriques, M Marsh, Butterworth, Faulkner, Cutting, and Coulter Nile. Our future team will have at least 2 allrounders in it so we may as well start blooding them in tour games like this....

  • kearon47 on December 13, 2011, 23:14 GMT

    Next Test in batting order: E.Cowan, D.Warner, U.Khawaja, M.Clarke, S.Watson, G.Maxwell, M.Wade, P.Siddle, J.Pattinson, N.Lyon, R.Harris.

  • Mary_786 on December 13, 2011, 23:07 GMT

    With Watson back and Marsh out, i would bat Khawaja at 3 and Warner and watto to open. Can't bring Cowan in for such a big game.

  • auscrktfan on December 13, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    Spence can you read???? He has been subbed out of a 2 day warm up game to a 3 day warm up game and he can also play a Twenty20 game as well, so he is actually getting MORE cricket than he would have...

  • Chris_P on December 13, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    @Foxswoop. It was actually the 2008/09 season he moved there and had a tremendous first up seaosn for Tasmania, but point taken. Conspiracy theory HatsforBats? Picking the form opening batsmen for a test? Let me offer you to follow the Shield cricket a little closer, even get out to some games. You'll be surprised by the great talent on display and spot future test players, maybe even find out who is playing for what state! I am excited by the number of young players coming through, give them a couple of years and they'll be fully ready to step up to tests. Cowan? He is the form opener at present, but will he be selected for Melbourne? With Marsh out, I see Khawaja staying at #3 with Watson replacing Hughes, and if fit, Harris for Starc, otherwise the one change. I don't agree with the squad, but I think it will be the one the selectors will go with.

  • HatsforBats on December 13, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    @ Foxswoop, that doesn't make him Tasmanian does it? Ponting has lived in Sydney for 10 years, doesn't make him from NSW.

  • Mitcher on December 13, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    As much as hussey's past two (mini) series have been frustrating. He did dominate in Sri Lanka and was our best batsman in ashes. My biggest disappointment would be if khawaja was dropped at this point. I know he has struggled for a big score so far but surely anyone who has watched this guy bat would know he has what it takes. I think sticking with him is worth it. Ponting and haddin (particularly) for mine should be on the block. As for Cowan, good to see everyone arguing for another nsw player in the team (along with last weeks support for dan Christian). What is the conspiracy theorists' (read: whingers) view on those guys?

  • spence1324 on December 13, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    Australia are a absolute joke!,letting a player play for his slogg side instead of a practice match before arguably the biggest test series out side the ashes. What are you? india in disguise!

  • ygkd on December 13, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    May I say that Cowan appears too old to debut. He's 29. That's a whole decade since he played U19s, in which time he'll have learnt way too much to be of any use to a modern, forward-thinking-structured side. He's no longer "green" enough for the baggy green. Pick a 17yo, that's the way of the future! And when he inevitably and unfortunately breaks down, pick one a few weeks younger...

  • Foxswoop on December 13, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    @HatsforBats, Cowan actually plays for Tasmania. He moved there from NSW this season.

  • on December 13, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    I'm a West Australian but I say forget about Marsh; he is always injured and adds no value to the team in his condition. Let's move on!

  • Mervo on December 13, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    Who is left after all this crazy 'big thrash' cricket? It is cricket for non-ricket lovers and destroys the technique of most players for test cricket, as we have seen in Australia.

  • on December 13, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    With Marsh out the order should look like this: Warner Kawaja Cowan Watson Clarke (c) Hussey Paine (wk) Siddle Harris Pattinson Lyon

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on December 13, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Strange, I thought that Warm up games were an amazing opportunity for shield cricketers to show their talent against big teams. "Show me the money" seems to be the current flavor of Australian cricket..hmmm ..Wait a min ..Wait a min..as per the sterotypical vision , Isnt there only one organization (BCCI) that is supposed to be like this?

  • satish619chandar on December 13, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    @RandyOZ : With the kind of assurance Marsh showed from SL, i would put him into test squad directly and get some innings rather than asking to prove fitness.. Batsman's fitness need not be the same as the bowlers.. He is now the MOST needed batsman for Australia..

  • Damon_3388 on December 13, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    JesseV, that's the exact side I'd go with for Boxing Day too.

  • RandyOZ on December 13, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Shaun Marsh breaks down all the time. He is a liability and if Cowan fires in this match, Marsh can go back to grade cricket and prove his fitness.

  • on December 13, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Hooray for common sense!

    Hopefully we won't have the same problem next season, if CA hopefully decides to schedule the BBL from February to coincide with the limited overs portion of the international summer. Not holding my breath though...

  • HatsforBats on December 13, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    This is sure to make the conspiracy theorists happy, another NSWelshman getting picked. Cowan's the form batsmen but I'd be suprised to see him get a test berth against India. The best news here is the seeming primacy (despite the shield schedule) of FC games to the BBL.

  • JesseV on December 13, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    My XI for Boxing Day would be Warner, Cowan, Watson, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon and Starc/ Harris, depending on injury

  • satish619chandar on December 13, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    So, Marsh is going to be back without any practice in case if he is fit? I would prefer Cowan or Khawaja for Marsh if he is not going to have enough match practice.. Someone please tell whether the players in test squad or the replacement fringes allowed to play in Big Bash?

  • Mary_786 on December 13, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    With Marsh out i would open with Warner and Watson and bring Khawaja in at 3 as Marsh would have batted at 3.

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  • Mary_786 on December 13, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    With Marsh out i would open with Warner and Watson and bring Khawaja in at 3 as Marsh would have batted at 3.

  • satish619chandar on December 13, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    So, Marsh is going to be back without any practice in case if he is fit? I would prefer Cowan or Khawaja for Marsh if he is not going to have enough match practice.. Someone please tell whether the players in test squad or the replacement fringes allowed to play in Big Bash?

  • JesseV on December 13, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    My XI for Boxing Day would be Warner, Cowan, Watson, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon and Starc/ Harris, depending on injury

  • HatsforBats on December 13, 2011, 7:08 GMT

    This is sure to make the conspiracy theorists happy, another NSWelshman getting picked. Cowan's the form batsmen but I'd be suprised to see him get a test berth against India. The best news here is the seeming primacy (despite the shield schedule) of FC games to the BBL.

  • on December 13, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Hooray for common sense!

    Hopefully we won't have the same problem next season, if CA hopefully decides to schedule the BBL from February to coincide with the limited overs portion of the international summer. Not holding my breath though...

  • RandyOZ on December 13, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Shaun Marsh breaks down all the time. He is a liability and if Cowan fires in this match, Marsh can go back to grade cricket and prove his fitness.

  • Damon_3388 on December 13, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    JesseV, that's the exact side I'd go with for Boxing Day too.

  • satish619chandar on December 13, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    @RandyOZ : With the kind of assurance Marsh showed from SL, i would put him into test squad directly and get some innings rather than asking to prove fitness.. Batsman's fitness need not be the same as the bowlers.. He is now the MOST needed batsman for Australia..

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on December 13, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Strange, I thought that Warm up games were an amazing opportunity for shield cricketers to show their talent against big teams. "Show me the money" seems to be the current flavor of Australian cricket..hmmm ..Wait a min ..Wait a min..as per the sterotypical vision , Isnt there only one organization (BCCI) that is supposed to be like this?

  • on December 13, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    With Marsh out the order should look like this: Warner Kawaja Cowan Watson Clarke (c) Hussey Paine (wk) Siddle Harris Pattinson Lyon