Australia news October 22, 2012

Holland's season in doubt due to shoulder injury


A week ago, Jon Holland was hoping to get a chance to prove himself over the next fortnight after being named one of Australia's best two spinners by the national selector John Inverarity. Now, Holland is simply hoping he won't be told he needs another shoulder reconstruction after hurting himself in Melbourne's grade cricket at the weekend.

Holland injured his left shoulder while throwing a ball in from the outfield and preliminary scans on Sunday indicated he might have suffered a recurrence of a problem that forced him to have a reconstruction in early 2010. He consulted Victoria's team doctor on Monday and was due to see a specialist on Tuesday to find out how long he would be sidelined.

While the best case scenario would be only a few games - Peter Handscomb has been brought into Victoria's squad to replace Holland for this week's Sheffield Shield game against Tasmania - the worst case would be another reconstruction. Holland, 25, also missed most of the 2007-08 season with a shoulder problem and the timing of his latest injury could hardly have been worse, as he hovered on the fringes of the Australia side.

"He's had a preliminary scan, which showed there might be a bit of a problem," Shaun Graf, Cricket Victoria's general manager of cricket operations, told the Age. "He certainly looks as though he may have re-injured the same spot that he had repaired [in 2010]. He threw off balance and he's obviously created a problem. We won't know the full extent [until after further scans] but I'd say at this stage he's in a bit of strife."

Holland impressed the national selectors during the Australia A tour of England this year, when he outbowled the Test incumbent Nathan Lyon. A left-arm orthodox bowler whose subtle changes of pace and flight troubled the batsmen in England, Holland had played both of Victoria's first two Shield matches of the season but had bowled only 10 overs as the fast men skittled their opponents.

While Lyon was expected to hold his position for the Test series against South Africa next month, Inverarity's praise indicated Holland could put pressure on Lyon with strong Shield performances. Western Australia's left-arm spinner Michael Beer, who played a Test during Australia's tour of the West Indies in April, is likely to be the second in line behind Lyon if Holland's injury proves to be serious.

It's not the first time luck has deserted Holland at the wrong time. He was part of Australia's ODI squad for their tour of India in 2009 and was set to make his international debut in the final game, but the match was washed out.

Victoria Sheffield Shield squad Chris Rogers, Rob Quiney, David Hussey, Cameron White (capt), Peter Handscomb, Andrew McDonald, Matthew Wade (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Peter Siddle, John Hastings, James Pattinson, Clint McKay.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on October 25, 2012, 2:10 GMT

    @Moppa on (October 24 2012, 08:21 AM GMT) - no worries, I took it as you were thinking of plausible explanations for an odd occurance.

  • Guy on October 24, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    @zenboomerang and @Meety, perhaps the 'cherry picking' term was not right, as it implies a deliberate strategy by O'Keefe - that wasn't really what I meant, and it's not all linked to his captaincy. The phenomenon of SOK not bowling that much pre-dated him becoming captain. My point was more that he's been surrounded by a strong pace attack, plus good part-timers like Henriques, and from memory hasn't been in a lot of games where he's had to bowl a lot to batsmen who are well set - and so his average will look better than players like Holland, Doherty or Beer who have to carry a big workload when the going is tough. I'm happy to revise my opinion if he bowls a lot and performs this season, but to be honest I'm not holding my breath. Re accommodating a second spinner in India, I'd rather go with two hard working quicks (e.g. Siddle and Hilfenhaus, or even Copeland), plus two spinners (let's say Lyon + Beer or Holland if fit) and with Watson to support.

  • Andrew on October 24, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    @zenboomerang on (October 23 2012, 06:37 AM GMT) - please explain where @Moppa has said that SO'K cherry picks his wickets???? He did say IF! Hmmm?

  • Roo on October 23, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    Dutchy sure has had a bad run with injuries over the years & all in the same region - all we can hope for is that it is easier to treat than his last one... Still not conviced he is the no.2 spinner in Oz, but regardless this injury will postpone that issue for a long time to come... All the best Dutchy & get back on the paddock asap...

  • Roo on October 23, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    @Moppa... re: O'Keefe cherrypicking when to bowl - well he has only been captain for 1 full season & it was also statistically his worst bowling, so that doesn't make much sense... He is also very much a team man as most captains are expected to be - so perhaps a bit disingenuous by you?... Lets see how the season goes before condemning players prematurely :) ...

  • Roo on October 23, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    @jeauxx... For me O'Keefe would be a good 2nd playing spinner for SC tours - aka the India 4 Test tour early next year, though I also think Maxwell could also fill that role - much will depend on who has a better SS summer with both bat & ball... Maxwell also averages 12 overs an innings to O'Keefes <6... O'Keefe's last season was affected by a number of issues, including a number of injuries (split webbing between his spin fingers - calf injuries) so I treat it as an anomaly atm - time will tell...

  • Andrew on October 23, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    @ Moppa on (October 23 2012, 01:13 AM GMT) - can't argue with anything you said. It is a concern that has to be viewed in conjunction with his stats. That said, I doubt he a) cherry picks his wickets or b) doubts his abilities, moreover may find it easier to captain when not nowling - dunno! I agree 100% about balance & perservering with Lyon - although in my mind, SO'K would be a good addition to the team in tandem with Lyon for the tour of India. I wouldn't select Cowan in India, so I would consider moving Watto to open - & all the other batsmen move up one spot & have SO'K or Wade @ #6.

  • Guy on October 23, 2012, 1:13 GMT

    @Meety, I'd be very concerned about comparing Steve O'Keefe with other spinners for exactly the reason you mention, that he doesn't bowl much. Often spinners bowl lots of overs when the pitch is flat and the opposition are in for a long time, to preserve the pacemen - this inflates their averages. If O'Keefe is 'cherry picking' when he bowls, his stats will be artificially improved. Also, when captain he seemed to fall into the Cameron White trick of rarely bowling himself - if O'Keefe himself doesn't think he's much chop as a spinner, why would we give him a test cap? If O'Keefe bowls 300+ overs this season and takes 25 wickets at 30-odd, I'd consider him a chance for a Test cap - this is what Beer and Holland achieved last season. @DylanBrah, whilst O'Keefe's batting is handy, it is hardly worth disrupting the balance of the team or the continuity of Lyon's selection for. Let's not do a Hauritz to Nathan Lyon too.

  • Andrew on October 22, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    @jeauxx/Dashgar - I wonder how much of Lyon's stats are to do with Pup's captaincy?

  • Tim on October 22, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    I definitely wouldn't write off Lyon. His test stats are excellent and he looks the most potent of our spinners purely from watching him. He hasn't got the wickets yet this season but apparently has had a lot of catches dropped off his bowling. I think he should get the first test regardless of form.

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