Australia news December 13, 2011

Cowan subbed into Chairman's XI for ailing Marsh


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One other forced change has been made to the team for the first tour match, with the SA seam bowler Joe Mennie withdrawn due to a hip complaint.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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • kieran 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.

  • Roo 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...

  • kieran 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.

  • Roo 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...

  • Roo 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...

  • kieran 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.

  • John 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.

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

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

  • Jeff 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!

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