Australia news December 5, 2012

Khawaja shuffle adds intrigue to Test squad

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Usman Khawaja will be an Australian Test aspirant one day and a Twenty20 billboard the next after a hurried compromise between Cricket Australia and the Sydney Thunder following Michael Clarke's forced withdrawal from the opening round of the BBL.

Named as captain of the CA Chairman's XI to face the Sri Lankans in Canberra from Thursday, Khawaja will be withdrawn from the match on the Saturday morning and fly up to Sydney in time to take part in the Thunder's opening match against the Sydney Sixers at the SCG.

After Australia's team physio Alex Kountouris strongly recommended that Clarke be ruled out of the opening round of the BBL - his one scheduled appearance for the Thunder before the start of the Test series against Sri Lanka - the BBL side immediately requested that Khawaja be withdrawn from the tour match at Manuka.

A hasty round of negotiations followed between CA, the Thunder and Cricket NSW, resulting in a compromise whereby Khawaja will play for two days with the Chairman's XI before also playing for the Thunder as their biggest local name in the absence of Clarke.

Discussion of how Khawaja's batting services would be spread across the weekend took place against the backdrop of selection talk about the make-up of the Australian Test side for the first match of the series against Sri Lanka in Hobart. The squad is due to be named on Thursday.

Khawaja is part of a four-way battle to replace Ricky Ponting in Australia's batting order, also including Phillip Hughes, Alex Doolan and Rob Quiney. Doolan is also taking part in the Chairman's XI match, while Quiney and Hughes will be playing this weekend for the Melbourne Stars and the Adelaide Strikers, respectively.

With 570 runs at 81.42 this summer including an unbeaten 161 for Australia A against the South Africans in Sydney, Doolan is second only to Clarke among Australia first-class run scorers this summer. Hughes is third with 524 runs at 47.63, while Khawaja's 438 runs at 39.81 places him fifth. Doolan said Hughes and Quiney were both ahead of him in his own mind.

"If I was picking the team I'd probably put Phil Hughes in there just simply through weight of runs," Doolan told AAP in Canberra. "It seems every time he steps onto the crease he's hitting runs and hitting them at good pace and in a consistent way.

"I'm not saying that I'd be happy to have someone picked ahead of me but I think Bobby [Quiney] deserves it as much as anyone. I really hope he gets another crack at it. He deserved his call-up to the national team and obviously results didn't go his way but that just shows what the game is.

"It's a fickle game and sometimes results don't go your way but I've no doubt he's Test quality and I'm sure he'd show it if he got another go."

Injuries to Josh Hazlewood and John Hastings have reduced the selectors' bowling options for the Hobart Test, leaving Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus to slot back into the squad alongside Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon.

Possible Test squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, Matthew Wade, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Lyon.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • pat_one_back on December 8, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    What at first seemed like logical choices now questionable after being so poorly explained. Quiney was WATSON's short term replacement, Ricky's spot was not up for grabs at the time and so it seemed appropriate to pass over those next in line (Phil & Ussie) since Aust never bring long term prospects in as short term back fills, can stunt development. Now Ricky's spot has opened, it was unnecessary to share that Hughes (and Khawaja) were shielded, smart to provide a long runway for a long term replacement, not so smart telling everyone!!!! Undoubtedly Hughes or Khawaja would have placed themselves under enormous pressure against SA, how many times can you fail whilst establishing yourself...

  • eng_mdkhan on December 7, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Since the Aussies have a rotation policy so I think both can be given a fair chance albeit that has to be decided by the people who know their job. I have heard good about Khawaja and seen him on TV and from what I have seen he seems to be a good bet for the long run on the other hand Hughes has this jittery demeanor and I have seen him do really bad. But if Hughes has turned the corner then its a different story. I think the Aussie cricket board is going the BCCI way.....a non merit based selection system.

  • Busie1979 on December 7, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    Hughes has a better overall record and better form than Khawaja in Test and FC cricket. Hughes should be picked. Selectors were right not to pick him for South Africa - he needs to find his feet and build confidence. He was thrown to the wolves last time - picked when out of form with no experienced players with him in the top 3. He needs to be managed carefully. Both are potentially solid Test cricketers but I don't expect either to be world beaters and both are fielding liabilities who don't bowl. For the record - Khawaja didn't choose to play the 20/20 - he was told to. My top 6: (1) Cowan (like Quiney a stop-gap) (2) Warner (3) Hussey (4) Clarke (5) Hughes (6) Watson.

  • on December 7, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    Can't quite fathom how they're doing this. What's with the doublespeak? If Hughes isn't good enough, he isn't good enough. Just betrays an agenda to get him in no matter what. As far as I know, Khawaja and all other contenders for the no.3 spot are being royally jerked around, nay, made to feel as if they don't really exist. So you mollycoddle this one bloke, cotton-wool him against greater opposition by using a human shield (poor Rob Quiney), while telling the others they can continue to display excellent form without warranting a look-in because we've earmarked a consistently misfiring opener for the no.3 slot who we think isn't up to it anyway but for some birthright. Nicely played, NSP.

  • swat1999 on December 6, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Usman Khawaja should give chance for Pnting place at Hobert. He is an excellent stroke player

  • .Raina on December 6, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    Hughes' selection looks surprising, especially for the position he has been picked up, but practically he has always been ahead of others in terms of numbers (& his supporters in CA). His greatest attraction is the runs he puts on, and his consistency. Khawaja is also a great talent and somehow scores runs in difficult conditions, and I feel the selectors are waiting for him to be a bit more consistent. He always gets starts but his conversion rates of 50s to 100s hasn't been very good. And Hughes more often than not gets to 3-figures after getting a start. Hughes should play as an opener, and not as a replacement for No.3, and this would lead to a change in the batting order that is anyway not settled yet.....Mr. Cricket should come up, if Pup doesn't have the confidence to do so himself.....

  • shaz101 on December 6, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Hughes was a failure attempt after attempt and now you will give this prick another chance... Khawaja is no certain to score and may not be a international player but giving him another try will be best option.. Hughes had too many failures at international level.

  • on December 5, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    Khawaja or Hughes in for Ponting, and batting at 3. Clarke 4, Hussey 5, Watson 6.

    I would have said Khawaja is first choice for the spot, but have changed my mind, as it appears he would rather play pointless 20/20 cricket...

  • Big_Chikka on December 5, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    ageism shouldn't be part of any selection process, if you tick the boxes you should get the opportunities unless of course there's a box that says is he under 27 or something? or he took too long making it in fist class cricket :).

  • ak_dragon on December 5, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    Where is SHAUN MARSH....he has good batting Average against Sri Lanka..

  • pat_one_back on December 8, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    What at first seemed like logical choices now questionable after being so poorly explained. Quiney was WATSON's short term replacement, Ricky's spot was not up for grabs at the time and so it seemed appropriate to pass over those next in line (Phil & Ussie) since Aust never bring long term prospects in as short term back fills, can stunt development. Now Ricky's spot has opened, it was unnecessary to share that Hughes (and Khawaja) were shielded, smart to provide a long runway for a long term replacement, not so smart telling everyone!!!! Undoubtedly Hughes or Khawaja would have placed themselves under enormous pressure against SA, how many times can you fail whilst establishing yourself...

  • eng_mdkhan on December 7, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Since the Aussies have a rotation policy so I think both can be given a fair chance albeit that has to be decided by the people who know their job. I have heard good about Khawaja and seen him on TV and from what I have seen he seems to be a good bet for the long run on the other hand Hughes has this jittery demeanor and I have seen him do really bad. But if Hughes has turned the corner then its a different story. I think the Aussie cricket board is going the BCCI way.....a non merit based selection system.

  • Busie1979 on December 7, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    Hughes has a better overall record and better form than Khawaja in Test and FC cricket. Hughes should be picked. Selectors were right not to pick him for South Africa - he needs to find his feet and build confidence. He was thrown to the wolves last time - picked when out of form with no experienced players with him in the top 3. He needs to be managed carefully. Both are potentially solid Test cricketers but I don't expect either to be world beaters and both are fielding liabilities who don't bowl. For the record - Khawaja didn't choose to play the 20/20 - he was told to. My top 6: (1) Cowan (like Quiney a stop-gap) (2) Warner (3) Hussey (4) Clarke (5) Hughes (6) Watson.

  • on December 7, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    Can't quite fathom how they're doing this. What's with the doublespeak? If Hughes isn't good enough, he isn't good enough. Just betrays an agenda to get him in no matter what. As far as I know, Khawaja and all other contenders for the no.3 spot are being royally jerked around, nay, made to feel as if they don't really exist. So you mollycoddle this one bloke, cotton-wool him against greater opposition by using a human shield (poor Rob Quiney), while telling the others they can continue to display excellent form without warranting a look-in because we've earmarked a consistently misfiring opener for the no.3 slot who we think isn't up to it anyway but for some birthright. Nicely played, NSP.

  • swat1999 on December 6, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Usman Khawaja should give chance for Pnting place at Hobert. He is an excellent stroke player

  • .Raina on December 6, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    Hughes' selection looks surprising, especially for the position he has been picked up, but practically he has always been ahead of others in terms of numbers (& his supporters in CA). His greatest attraction is the runs he puts on, and his consistency. Khawaja is also a great talent and somehow scores runs in difficult conditions, and I feel the selectors are waiting for him to be a bit more consistent. He always gets starts but his conversion rates of 50s to 100s hasn't been very good. And Hughes more often than not gets to 3-figures after getting a start. Hughes should play as an opener, and not as a replacement for No.3, and this would lead to a change in the batting order that is anyway not settled yet.....Mr. Cricket should come up, if Pup doesn't have the confidence to do so himself.....

  • shaz101 on December 6, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Hughes was a failure attempt after attempt and now you will give this prick another chance... Khawaja is no certain to score and may not be a international player but giving him another try will be best option.. Hughes had too many failures at international level.

  • on December 5, 2012, 23:13 GMT

    Khawaja or Hughes in for Ponting, and batting at 3. Clarke 4, Hussey 5, Watson 6.

    I would have said Khawaja is first choice for the spot, but have changed my mind, as it appears he would rather play pointless 20/20 cricket...

  • Big_Chikka on December 5, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    ageism shouldn't be part of any selection process, if you tick the boxes you should get the opportunities unless of course there's a box that says is he under 27 or something? or he took too long making it in fist class cricket :).

  • ak_dragon on December 5, 2012, 22:49 GMT

    Where is SHAUN MARSH....he has good batting Average against Sri Lanka..

  • on December 5, 2012, 22:45 GMT

    This is the worst example and unjustice to a talanted player from a nation , which always has good management and been champions for a decade. That is absolutely wrong , to make a most talanted a scape goat for a mere 20/20,,,, How can he prove when he is demoralised by taking him out of captainship one day before the CHAIRMAN'S 11 VS SRI LANKA,,, Decisions like these are the reasons Australia is struglling in Test Matches.

  • Sunil_Batra on December 5, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    @Pras_Punter i wouldn't get too frustrated if Khawaja does not make the cut this time, he is next off the rank and we will need quality batsman like him around if there is another injury and to keep the top order honest. Best young batsman in the country in my view and a great representative for Asian migrants in Australia

  • Flemo_Gilly on December 5, 2012, 22:38 GMT

    @land47 no doubt Khawaja was told that Hughes has been selected otherwise he wouldn't agree to this. For me Khawaja is the best number 3 and he can't be too far from a call up. Khawaja is the best man best suited for the number 3 position, this is where he bats for his state and he has the best technique to face both spin and fast bowling. Hughes is a natural opener and to bring him in at 3 will show signs of favoritism which I hope does not happen. Our goal is to win the ashes and Khawaja is a must for that as he is the best player of swing bowling in the country and his fieliding and running between the wickets looks sharp.

  • Mary_786 on December 5, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    @mrtorr agree with you mate, Khawaja is our best option for number 3 and i don't think he is too far from a call up. @Barnesy444 Khawaja was asked to go play the Big Bash, its not his call mate. He is our best young test prospect, so get him ahead in your queue.

  • L.P.Grace on December 5, 2012, 22:23 GMT

    No big deal it's a three day game, and he's only missing one day. IIf these three-day tour matches were so important to team selection, then why wasn't Dooland picked over Quiney?

  • Dashgar on December 5, 2012, 22:18 GMT

    @Blake, Quiney may not be technically perfect but he's a lot better than Hughes. Quincy's selection shows that we are finally reward the guys who have gone back to shield crick and plundered runs for multiple years. Not just had a good season and ridden on the back of a reputation. Hughes was woeful last year. In tests and in Shield. He should remain out of the team till he can prove this run isn't just a purple patch.

  • Buggsy on December 5, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    How about we have both Hughes AND Khawaja? Warner's done.

  • Beertjie on December 5, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    @Nightwing32, I'd rather play Warner at #6 and have Hughes open with Cowan with Clarke and Hussey moving up one. Having said that, now is the time to drop Watto further down if they want him to bowl with some effect, but Clarke won't bat at 3. Go figure. But questions about Hughes's technique will best be answered in swinging conditions and good quickies. Like @mrtorr on (December 05 2012, 14:21 PM GMT) I think Khawaja would be our most solid number 3 and I fear that "the way the situation was handled might dent Khawaja confidence as it basically once again underlines that the selectors have little faith in him." He deserves a fair go ahead of perennial golden boy Hughes.

  • DylanBrah on December 5, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    If Hughes is selected I hope he does not fail again because he is a tremendous talent, top bloke and a bloody hard worker. He's a guy with a lot of pressure on him, and Australia is desperate for him to succeed.

  • mrtorr on December 5, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    Another article to confirm what I said before. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/cricket/big-bash-call-up-hits-usman-khawaja-test-tilt/story-e6frg7rx-1226530784211 I think Khawaja would be our most solid number 3. Imo Hughes is an opener but I think what the selectors are doing is trialing Hughes and if Cowan/Warner remain inconsistent can have him slot up and bring in Khawaja in later. The problem with this is the way the situation was handled might dent Khawaja confidence as it basically once again underlines that the selectors have little faith in him. Last time they moved him up and down the order -_-. Hopefully he proves me wrong and continues to churn out runs.

  • Nightwing32 on December 5, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Hughes to be slotted in No.6, please, Worked for Hussey, he opened and he was a top order player in the FC career

  • jonesy2 on December 5, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Blake Houston -- i agree, i was staggered when quiney was picked for the tests. to me he wasnt even close to contention. ODI team absolutely but not tests that was just madness especially with usman and hughes in such great form. word is that hughes is all but in the test squad to replace ricky

  • on December 5, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Huges and Khawaja are the future prospects for Aussies. Aussies should include them in all test matches so that they could build themselves to be solid batsman for them. Both are highly talented young players if they keep playing for 2 year continuously then they could become more reliable players for Aussies. Selector's please don't waste time in selecting Quiney or players more than 26 years old. Give these two a chance to play for Australia for next 2 years. There is a great chance of Aussies retaining and maintaining No.1 Spot. Still they need to find a good spin bowler and consistent fast bowler. Siddle has been given lot of opportunities but he is not consistent enough. Waiting to see a consistent and No.1 pace Bowler from Australia. I guess it has ended with Mcgrath and Lee era.

  • SmashingBaby on December 5, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    I couldn't agree more strongly with everyone who has commented that Tests should be the priority, and prospective test players shouldn't be playing T20. Test matches are cricket, T20 is for people who didn't really like cricket to begin with and have short attention spans. Unfortunately those governing the game of cricket are more interested in money than the game itself, as if the money helps with the development of cricket at the grass roots! @Barnesy4444 - that is such a good point about Hughes, I wasn't a fan before but his focus on first class cricket has brought good results so maybe the time is right to bring him back. I wonder if Quiney should get more of a shot though, he didn't do much yet but he's performed well at first class level.

  • landl47 on December 5, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    What puzzles me is why Khawaja agreed to this. He must have been told either that he was definitely in the test squad or definitely out of it, no matter what he did in the chairman's match. Since it's hard to imagine that he would be named captain of the chairman's XI if he had no chance of playing in the tests, I assume he was told he's definitely in. That being so, you'd have thought he'd have wanted to play first-class cricket instead of a few overs of hit-and-giggle. This T20 rubbish is starting to diminish cricket. I can understand it in India, but it's sad to see Aus going the same way. No doubt England will soon be climbing on the train to nowhere as well.

  • PrasPunter on December 5, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    probably the reason why we are where we are !! Go around and play all the useless hit and giggle stuff and break down on the eve of a crucial test . I dont see us progressing beyond where are . No chance of a test match win against india and england in the upcoming tours , leave alone winning the series !! Throw Argus report to the dust-bin !!

  • on December 5, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Im sick of seeing Quiney's name mentioned, he has technical flaws and is impatient, he is not geared for test cricket, he is more of a one day player. I want Hughes or Khawaja to be picked as both will be a part of australias long term future and both have the temperament for long innings

  • Barnesy4444 on December 5, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    Soft. If I was pushing for test selection I wouldn't throw away the opportunity to make a century against a visiting test team in favour of a domestic 20 over game. Phil Hughes quit the big bash last year to go away and focus entirely on improving his test game. THAT'S the sort of player we want in Australia's test team. Make Hughes the captain of the Chairman's XI game. Khawaja goes to the back of the queue in my book. Weak as p..s.

  • Mervo on December 5, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    Why are any of the Test players in the Big Bash or what ever it is called? They have a test coming up. Don't they see all the injuries that have come from this T20 stuff - Watson, Hazlewood, and on and on. And for what? Get a few club cricketers involved in the BB instead.

  • bobagorof on December 5, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    I guess we rule out Khawaja from Test reckoning, then. You can't seriously expect someone to adequately prepare for a Test match by pulling out of a First Class match halfway through to play a Twenty 20. His mindset will be all over the place.

    Then again, Quiney was picked on Twenty 20 success, Lyon was discovered in Twenty 20s and Watson forced his way back in through the IPL. So maybe it's really a sign that Khawaja is at the front of the queue...

  • Dashgar on December 5, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    Thunder can't do that. Khawaja is playing for a chairman's XI, that is more important than domestic cricket. Every state loses players for this game, it's part of the job of domestic sides to recover from this.

  • kensohatter on December 5, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    This is absolutely ridiculous! Here you have a player on the verge of test match selection about to play a game that could cement his spot in the national team and the priority is a 20/20 hit and giggle match!?! BBL, IPL and all 20/20 forms are DESTROYING cricket not enhancing and I am really not sure how more people dont see it. In 15yrs time test cricket wont exist and we will be left... I really believe the Michael Clarkes, AB Devillers and Alistair Cooks of this world are the very last of the test generation with the future to be made up of six hitting specialists. Sad if that happens ill go jump on the baseball bandwagon... at least their game was always meant to be 3hrs.

  • peeeeet on December 5, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Still unsure as to whether I'd go with Hughes or Khawaja as I like them both (side note - Hughes should be playing ODIs for Australia in my opinion). As for bowling, I'd like to see someone like Putland or Cutting get chosen ahead of Johnson. I'd have Sids, Hilfy, Starc and one of those two in there.

  • Big-Dog on December 5, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Johnson was outbowled by Jackson Bird in the Shield Game in Hobart prior to the Perth Test. Johnson's inclusion in this side will be pointless when there are better performed bowlers to choose from. Bird, Butterworth, Feldman & Cutting have all done better this season.

  • chippymunk on December 5, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    Khawaja has to be named in this squad. He has not scored as many runs, but he has been the best bat in many of the matches he has played in, and they have been on pitches favouring bowlers. Scored his century when the other team's total was less that a hundred. Then was on course for another century until runout unfairly. he is the class player we need. give him a go, not hughes who is a flat track bully.

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 5, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    I sincerely hope that they aren't giving Mr Poor Technique, aka Phil Hughes, another go. Have I blinked and missed the news that he has fixed his technique? GEORGE BAILEY is the one who deserves this. Just insane.

  • Meety on December 5, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    This is completely ridiculous! Its bad enuff that endless T20s prior to the Test series blunted Oz's performance by hampered preparation, we have the early start to T20s that means should an injury or replacement be required after the 1st Test, by the time the 2nd Test rolls around it will be at least 3 weeks since anybody has played an FC game. Now with one last prep match, we have to mock the whole charade of Test primacy, by pulling the captain out of a tour match to meet some publicity requirement for a Franchise. Stupid. Whilst I expect Oz to beat Sri Lanka in the Test series, IF Oz lose a match, how much will be from haphazard practise. The BBL should be condensed to just prior or after Xmas, (I'd prefer it to be a January beast), & let the Shield roll right up until just before Xmas. Play the Ryobi in February to free up some more space in the itinery. BTW - I even more so, would like to see the Futures League beefed up over the duration of the BBL!

  • wix99 on December 5, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    What if Sri Lanka bat for most of the first two days of the practice match and Khawaja doesn't get a chance to bat? It's absolutely ridiculous that first class cricket has become subordinate to a short game designed entirely for television.

  • jonesy2 on December 5, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    it should be this simple: usman comes straight in and bats at 3 watson down at 4 , siddle comes straight in for hastings and its as you were.

  • simba110 on December 5, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    How stupid! If Khawaja wants to play tests he should be playing in the Chairman's XI match instead of some useless, pointless t20 game.

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  • simba110 on December 5, 2012, 6:25 GMT

    How stupid! If Khawaja wants to play tests he should be playing in the Chairman's XI match instead of some useless, pointless t20 game.

  • jonesy2 on December 5, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    it should be this simple: usman comes straight in and bats at 3 watson down at 4 , siddle comes straight in for hastings and its as you were.

  • wix99 on December 5, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    What if Sri Lanka bat for most of the first two days of the practice match and Khawaja doesn't get a chance to bat? It's absolutely ridiculous that first class cricket has become subordinate to a short game designed entirely for television.

  • Meety on December 5, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    This is completely ridiculous! Its bad enuff that endless T20s prior to the Test series blunted Oz's performance by hampered preparation, we have the early start to T20s that means should an injury or replacement be required after the 1st Test, by the time the 2nd Test rolls around it will be at least 3 weeks since anybody has played an FC game. Now with one last prep match, we have to mock the whole charade of Test primacy, by pulling the captain out of a tour match to meet some publicity requirement for a Franchise. Stupid. Whilst I expect Oz to beat Sri Lanka in the Test series, IF Oz lose a match, how much will be from haphazard practise. The BBL should be condensed to just prior or after Xmas, (I'd prefer it to be a January beast), & let the Shield roll right up until just before Xmas. Play the Ryobi in February to free up some more space in the itinery. BTW - I even more so, would like to see the Futures League beefed up over the duration of the BBL!

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 5, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    I sincerely hope that they aren't giving Mr Poor Technique, aka Phil Hughes, another go. Have I blinked and missed the news that he has fixed his technique? GEORGE BAILEY is the one who deserves this. Just insane.

  • chippymunk on December 5, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    Khawaja has to be named in this squad. He has not scored as many runs, but he has been the best bat in many of the matches he has played in, and they have been on pitches favouring bowlers. Scored his century when the other team's total was less that a hundred. Then was on course for another century until runout unfairly. he is the class player we need. give him a go, not hughes who is a flat track bully.

  • Big-Dog on December 5, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Johnson was outbowled by Jackson Bird in the Shield Game in Hobart prior to the Perth Test. Johnson's inclusion in this side will be pointless when there are better performed bowlers to choose from. Bird, Butterworth, Feldman & Cutting have all done better this season.

  • peeeeet on December 5, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Still unsure as to whether I'd go with Hughes or Khawaja as I like them both (side note - Hughes should be playing ODIs for Australia in my opinion). As for bowling, I'd like to see someone like Putland or Cutting get chosen ahead of Johnson. I'd have Sids, Hilfy, Starc and one of those two in there.

  • kensohatter on December 5, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    This is absolutely ridiculous! Here you have a player on the verge of test match selection about to play a game that could cement his spot in the national team and the priority is a 20/20 hit and giggle match!?! BBL, IPL and all 20/20 forms are DESTROYING cricket not enhancing and I am really not sure how more people dont see it. In 15yrs time test cricket wont exist and we will be left... I really believe the Michael Clarkes, AB Devillers and Alistair Cooks of this world are the very last of the test generation with the future to be made up of six hitting specialists. Sad if that happens ill go jump on the baseball bandwagon... at least their game was always meant to be 3hrs.

  • Dashgar on December 5, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    Thunder can't do that. Khawaja is playing for a chairman's XI, that is more important than domestic cricket. Every state loses players for this game, it's part of the job of domestic sides to recover from this.