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Hodge ponders Ashes bid

Daniel Brettig

January 21, 2013

Comments: 69 | Text size: A | A

Brad Hodge scored 88 off 58 balls, Adelaide Strikers v Melbourne Stars, Big Bash League, Adelaide, December 27, 2012
"I am still playing good enough to represent Australia I think" © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Brad Hodge

Brad Hodge is seriously considering a last-gasp effort to push for a spot on the Ashes tour, and Victoria's selectors have discussed the possibility of finding room for him in the closing three Sheffield Shield matches of the summer.

Currently playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, 38-year-old Hodge has revealed that he is weighing up the possibility of a return to the Victorian Shield team in the closing months of the season.

ESPNcricinfo understands this has been a topic of conversation at the Bushrangers' selection meetings, which have factored in filling the hole left should David Hussey and/or Glenn Maxwell be chosen for the four-Test tour of India that begins in February.

While Hodge will not be considered for Victoria's next Shield fixture against South Australia at Adelaide Oval from Thursday, he may yet turn out in their matches against Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania. The Bushrangers are currently second on the table, level on points with the Bulls but returning an inferior quotient.

"Would I like to play for Australia? Of course, everyone would," Hodge said after making 53 for Barisal against Khulna in Dhaka. "I probably deserved to play a little bit more when I had the opportunity. It seems that there seems to be a lot more rotating players than when I was in my prime.

"I am still playing good enough to represent Australia I think. But I do believe that my opportunity is passed. Having said that I am considering after this tournament, to go back to four-day cricket and have a quick shot at trying to make the Ashes team."

Hodge's outstanding form for the Melbourne Stars during the BBL once again raised the question about where he ranked among all batsmen still playing the game in Australia, having played the last of his six Tests in 2008. He was third behind Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach on the competition aggregates, and made his runs at a faster rate than either.

"You know what, I wouldn't even write off Brad Hodge," Shane Warne said earlier this month. "He is in the best form of his life and you look around at who's the best young player going around. There's so many but I think it's really important Australia have that mix of experience and youth.There's no point in picking two or three young blokes for the sake of it because they're young. They've still got to earn their spot."

Asked about Hodge's prospects of a return to the national Twenty20 team, the national selector John Inverarity said he was "very unlikely" to be called up for the shortest format. "You'd never say never but unlikely," he said.

Nevertheless, Australia's planning for 2013 has been thrown significantly by the retirement of Michael Hussey, leaving the Test side short of a senior batsman. Brad Haddin's chances of tours to India and England have been greatly enhanced by the experience gap, and Hodge is now looking at trying his luck.

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

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Posted by Meety on (January 23, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

@Gavin Frantz - I agree with the "unluckiest" bit, but not the "unfair" part. @John Baker - really good point.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

This is why Victoria will never be as good as NSW, picking a guy who retired several seasons ago to help them win the Shield instead of trusting a younger guy who might have a future.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2013, 2:20 GMT)

Hodge and MacGill, two of the unluckiest if not the most unfairly treated cricketers Australia have ever produced in the modern era. Classic cases of wrong place wrong time. Nothing against the current selection panel though, if they had been around earlier perhaps these guys would have gotten a fair go

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 23, 2013, 0:57 GMT)

i never really understood why hodge was sidelined from international cricket. the last i remember him was making a test century against S.Africa on boxing day i think and never picked again!! he avgs 52+ in handful of tests he's played. i recall in one interview he said "you can't do much when the captain and the coach don't want you in the team" ! ponting get up and take your baggy green off for ruining international career of a great player in the making !!

Posted by Okakaboka on (January 22, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

The opportunity to correct the biggest selection injustice of all time is there. News for you Inverarity....the worst test batsman I ever saw: Hodge is the best current batsman in Australia and is only 80 Kabillion trillion times better than you ever were. Message is: 'Pick him'!

Posted by Hammond on (January 22, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge - mate you'd better hope that Hodge doesn't play, he is still good enough to do some serious damage. Brad Hodge is probably the best batsman Australia have produced in the last 20 years, and he never got a decent go at the top level. Even in his twilight he is still a mighty batsman.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (January 22, 2013, 5:05 GMT)

I don't think you can question Hodge's talent, but if he plays any young player(i.e Khawaja, Hughesetc) that have a chance of becoming a regular test cricketer will be thrown out the window. The ashes is a perfect time to see which up and coming player has what it takes to be something special. Take him as maybe a backup. Starting XI for the Ashes series (if all fit) Warner, Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Wade, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon, Bird, Starc 12th man.

Posted by zenboomerang on (January 22, 2013, 1:06 GMT)

If Oz is looking for a reliable senior top order batsman it would be very hard to go past either Chris Rogers (35y.o.) or Adam Voges (33y.o.) - personally like Voges (stats similar to Watson) as a rh bat & lao bowler - would be handy on the India tour & O'Keefe is a similar player who fits as a lower order bat for that series...

Posted by zenboomerang on (January 22, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

@Daniel Brettig... Think you have misrepresented Brad in this article... Hodge did say - "Would I like to play for Australia? Of course, everyone would" followed by "But I do believe that my opportunity is passed" - think that says it all really... Basically he is returning to SS to bolster Vic's chances of playing in the finals with D Huss &/or Maxwell likely to be missing some games...

Posted by biggersn on (January 22, 2013, 0:16 GMT)

I think that selecting Hodge would be a retrograde step - he is still a good player but we need to nuture talent for the future rather than selecting a 38 year old. It's a shame that his grammar is not up to the standard of his batting - "playing good enough to represent Australia"? Surely he means "playing well enough"!

Posted by Dashgar on (January 22, 2013, 0:12 GMT)

Competition for places can only be good. If Hodge piles on the runs and is best man for the job then pick him. If he doesn't then it means we have better players. Certainly nothing lost by him throwing his hat into the ring.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 21, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

The fact the selectors need to consider this decision is worrying to be honest, Khawaja is head, shoulders and wang length above the other candidates for test cricket. The only thing on the selectors' minds should be if they want to take Watson for the first two tests before he goes home or give him the entire Indian tour off.

Posted by __PK on (January 21, 2013, 21:19 GMT)

Would love to see Hodges get a shot at an Ashes series. It would be a great move for Australia. Warnie's comments don't add any weight to the argument, though - firstly, he also said HE would automatically make the Test team and secondly, he's calling for young blokes to prove themselves before getting picked - how many Shield games did HE play before being selected for Australia?

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 21, 2013, 20:31 GMT)

A lot of oz fans saying they want Khawlja in at 6 to replace Hussey but I can't see it happening in the short term at least. CA seem obsessed by having an all rounder in the side & with Watson now likely to play as a spec bat, I strongly suspect Wade will bat at 6 in ind following his ton against SRL. That frees up the 7 spot to play an all rounder which I expect will be Maxwell in Ind, that will allow him to play as the 2nd spinner & oz play 3 quick's. As the extra 2 spin option won't be needed in the ashes I think CA have their eyes on Henriques to fit the 7 slot. I think oz will stick with the younger guys in Ind so this is the team I think may play 1st test.Warner,Cowan,Hughes,Watson,Clarke,Wade,Maxwell,Starc,Siddle,Lyon,Bird. EC is on notice & if he fails again in Ind I can see Watson opening in the ashes & perhaps an old head added to the middle order such as D Hussey or Rogers but I doubt very much it will be hodge!

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 21, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

there must be a severe dearth of talent for this to happen.Why don't you bring back Border as he still has more talent than this current batch

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 21, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

Bring back Brice Mcgain! Bring back Steve Waugh! Bring back Hodge! Isn't all this five-year long Aussie desperation just golden to watch. Even RandyOz is now giving the Ashes up as lost. Is reality starting to hit?

Posted by Stranger2050 on (January 21, 2013, 17:26 GMT)

why hodge is not Australian cricket team. I do not understand

Posted by Stranger2050 on (January 21, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

why hodge is not squad in Australian cricket team. I do not understand ...

Posted by Jaffa79 on (January 21, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

Hodge was hard done by to play most of his cricket when Australia had lots of batting talent and even though the stocks are heavily depleted these days, his days have past. If he was picked what kind of message would that send out to the batters in state cricket? The Aussies need to stop digging up names from the past; it reeks of desperation.

Posted by Beertjie on (January 21, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

@Gordo85 on (January 21 2013, 07:59 AM GMT): I don't know that Hodge had a fall out with Ponting, but I know Rogers did. For the Ashes it would be better to recall Rogers (for Cowan who I'm sorry to say is bound to fail in India) to give stability at the top. He's slightly younger than Hodge and if we happen to lose Warner and Hughes quickly he could provide the needed experience (in English conditions) to anchor one end. All of this helps keep the youth-experience balance of the team, even if Rogers's only test was 5 years ago. @Liquefierrrr on (January 21 2013, 05:01 AM GMT) agree that "The Ashes should be used to play our best players, not develop players for the future", so if David Hussey can have good second half of the season I'd have him in for Ferguson or Doolan; likewise if Paine improves with the bat, he'd go ahead of Haddin. A good Ashes squad: Rogers, Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, D Hussey (or Watson), Wade/Paine, Starc, Siddle, Harris, Holland, Pattinson, Bird, Lyon.

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 21, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

@Allan_Stephens great summary bud, yes Khawaja has had a raw deal in the past but that was under the previous selectors, the current selectors will give him a better deal at test cricket and he should get the entire India series to show what he can do. I have enjoyed watching Hodge in the big bash and would much rather prefer watching him in the Aus T20 side then the test side where he might struggle at 38 especially against the class of the English bowling attack.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 21, 2013, 13:59 GMT)

well 1st we had warne then hodge anymore of the oap want to be included.we get guys saying how strong the state game is. a guy retiring and one 2 years older wanting to take his place. then a great spinner wanting to be considered for the ashes. they have a guy who made runs in CC,granted it was 2nd division, but the pakistani born khawaja should be next in line. never has the batting stocks been so low

Posted by sony_sr on (January 21, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

@Chark_attack, simply cannot believe a guy with 55 avg played only 6 test matches. there must be some hidden reasons!

Posted by venkatesh018 on (January 21, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

Hodge and Mike Hussey together for the India tour...will be a great choice.

Posted by bouncedout on (January 21, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

It is hardly going to make a difference if Hodge plays or not.

If you consider what SL did to Aus with a swinging ball in the recent ODI then what chance do the poor Aus batsmen have against the King of Swing Jimmy Anderson.

Hodge wasn't good enough when he was younger (Warne has been retired for 5 years and so it isn't him keeping Hodge out) and so why is he good enough now? Simple answer is that the standard of the Aus team has dropped and Hodge is now seen as someone who can improve couldn't make it up

Posted by Steggz on (January 21, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

Hodge will not come back. He hasn't played red ball cricket in years and BBL form is no marker for Test cricket. He marked his own cards years ago.

Posted by jpeacock158 on (January 21, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

Brad Hodge could be considered! Factor in the retirements of Hussey and Ponting and he could be the experienced glue in the middle order, even if only for a year or two while the likes of Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja play more matches. Oz only have Clarke as the middle order experienced guy, Hodge could be given a go. Im an Englishman, but can't believe players like Damien Martyn, Marcus North, Andrew Symonds played more in Test matches. He's a decent part-time offie too. Anyway, c'mon England!

Posted by V-Man_ on (January 21, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

i would have hodge in my team any day. drop watson and get hodge in specially since he cant bowl anymore. hodge will out perform watson on any day with the bat.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (January 21, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

Love Hodgey but surely Khawaja has to be next in line for Mike Hussey's spot. He was injury cover for Ponting in the 2010 Boxing Day Ashes test and not used. Marsh got injured in SA and Khawaja comes back in as injury cover and top scores in the Jo'burg run chase. Khawaja then plays the NZ series and is unluckily run out by Ponting at the Gabba (the first time his partner runs him out in Australian colours) He was dropped 1 game later. He misses out to Phil Hughes as Ponting's replacement for the SL series (an acceptable selection) and is on standby for Clarke's dodgy hamstring for the Boxing Day test in 2012. Injury standby for Clarke again in the SCG test and despite Hussey announcing his retirement and Watson's unavailability selectors refuse to play him. Now the ODIs are here and he is given one match (3 runs off 11 balls before an unlucky run out) and dropped. Its time to give the lad a fair go(not as a injury cover or for 1 game only) and give him the full series in India.

Posted by Simoc on (January 21, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

A bit like Jamie Siddons, Darren Lehmann, Stuart Law and others Hodge has been outstanding in the past but wasn't nearly as good as the incumbent batsman which was Damien Martyn at the time. He's better off cashing in on T20 now.

Posted by njr1330 on (January 21, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

Could do worse. Always pick a man who has something to prove! His Test average is 56...yes, 56, inc. 203 no against S.A. They say a great player is one whose Test average is higher than his F.C. Average. Hodge: Test 56; F.C. 49. I saw him open for Leicestershire, with a young upstart called Sehwag at the other end...Ah, those were the days!

Posted by hycIass on (January 21, 2013, 11:43 GMT)

@t202007 I was critical of Khawaja earlier in the season but he has proven me wrong by scoring in shield and showing that his fielding is much improved. In shield cricket this year he has nearly 450 runs at 40 and second on the run table after Hughes. Bit lucky to be dropped at international level as he top scored 70 in a record 300 chase against South Africa and was run out on 40 the game before he was dropped. He went back and worked on his game and under boof he looks so much more aggressive this year then he did last year. And i am sure selectors will reward him for the Indian tour. i see him and Hughes as main stays of the Australian batting lineup in the years to come. For the spinners the more likely candidate for a second spinner could be Adam Zampa, who is a leg spinner. He isn't really ready yet but is worth taking on tour, he could be our next great hope. As for Hodge he was great 5 years ago but hasn't played first class cricket for over a year so not sure he will be ready

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (January 21, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

Well, playing one or two older guys is OK. If we play all inexperienced guys or youngsters (as looks to be the case now, Clarke and maybe Watson excepted) then there might be problems. The key would be if he has good technique for English conditions. If he doesn't, don't take him.

Posted by whoster on (January 21, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

The Aussie batting line-up is alarmingly short on experience, and several batsmen are yet to fully prove themselves on the Test scene. If Brad Hodge is playing well enough, it'd make total sense to pick him for The Ashes tour. He's got a fair amount of experience in English conditions, and the Aussies have never really given him the opportunities he's deserved. He was unlucky to have peaked around the time that forcing his way into the Aussie team was almost impossible. Times are different for Australia now, and if Hodge shows the form and hunger required, they'd be daft to leave him at home.

Posted by t20-2007 on (January 21, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

heard a lot abt khawaja............but r u guys serious about khwaja...he is just an average bloke with little runs in international cricket.I doubt his capability n competence to perform in front on int teams

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 21, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

Khawaja and Quiney are our best batsman to replace Mike Hussey. Khawaja should be a straight swap for Mike Hussey in India and Quiney should be backup. Quiney deserves better then just being a scapegoat for the South African series. As much as i love Brad Hodge he hasn't played any shield cricket this year and T20 form doesn't mean anything for the longer format. As for Khawaja lets get him in and stop finding excuses not to include him. Khawaja should be given a lengthy stint in the team, instead of in one game out the other. Ulitimately I think Warner, Clarke and Khawaja are the best we have in difficult batting conditions and we will see this in the ashes.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 21, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

@Mitty agree with you champ, I would bring in Khawaja as the straight swap for, though i don't think it will be easy to score against the Indians as their spinners are very good in their conditions.

Posted by 68704 on (January 21, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

The best option is to consider Hodge for India first. he has played a lot of cricket in the sub-continent and has enough ability and experience to walk into the side. He is a darn sight better than some of the younger players . I am sure the tour of India is as good an indicator of whether Hodge can handle the high pressure situation that playing in the sub continent offers and I would be very surprised if he is not one of the top three scorers here. I think Australia has some really hazy notions and plans and their desire to think too far ahead is actually hurting their present. Take the case of overlooking Mike Hussey for instance. he could have ensured that australlia were not humiliated against Sri Lanka as they were without him. the same might very happen in England unless Australia takes some serious steps. Older players have come back in previous years and done well on occasion. Hodge could do that too , he got a raw deal in 2008 and maybe this is as good a remedy as any. sridha

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 21, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

It indeed would be a great thing if Hodge finally gets a test. It will be one great mystery to us for the way this fab batsman was treated by the selectors. Even if he had scored half the runs he scored in tests he still deserved a longer rope cos he looked a nice batsman but with the runs he got it is sad he did not play much.

Hey, we saw Hussey debuting at 30 and then leaving a superb trail. Could Hodge do the double impossible? Could he now finally get a nice chance of 5 tests and then do so well in them that they give him more and more tests till he turns 40-41?

Come come, I am being too ahead of the present now.

Posted by smudgeon on (January 21, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

Danny Buckingham's in fine form for Burnie-Yeoman, and he was overheard to remark at The Menai that he's making a tilt for the upcoming home Ashes series. That'd be my idea of a feel-good story. Not sure about this Hodge bloke, though...

Posted by Hammond on (January 21, 2013, 9:12 GMT)

Great player. Australia need him, even at his age. He could single-handedly win a few games for Australia.

Posted by wnwn on (January 21, 2013, 8:43 GMT)

Brad Hodge: 6 test matches, 503 runs, Average: 55.88

I would totally understand if he says he hasn't been given enough chances unlike players like Ashraful etc who have said this in the past.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 21, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

Brad Hodge has been ignored for so many years when he was in the form of his life so why should now be any different? Because the batting is a lot worse now than it was when he was in the form of his life? Maybe. But there is still no hint that selectors are ready to give him a try.

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (January 21, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

Nah, bring back Richie, he still has a few years left in him.

Posted by derpherp on (January 21, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

Well hopefully he has learn to play the short ball....

Posted by Deep_Point on (January 21, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

I would love to see Hodge back for the Ashes. That would just further support my 3-1 prediction for an England romp at home. He is something of a folk hero here in Melbourne, but on a green top in Cardiff or Durham he will be woefully exposed. Another potential backwards step for CA just plays into England's hands once again. I can't wait for July now! While you are at it CA, how about recalling Shane Warne or Ian Healy?

Posted by CricketFan365 on (January 21, 2013, 8:05 GMT)

He is 38, but he is still fit to play International cricket. His presence in the field could encourage young players to work harder. Pick him for his one last Ashes series and let him say goodbye to International Cricket with dignity. The kind of form he is in now, I don't see him doing any harm but good to the current rebuilding Aussie team. It would be a fairy tale if he comes back, who would want to miss that.

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 21, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

Brad can't let it go due to the fact he was out of the team for some unknown reason. As you can tell he was playing great Test Cricket but then something happened and then he never played another Test. Ponting may have had a falling out with Hodge so now Hodge doesn't have that as a problem anymore(Who knows if this is true or not I have no idea)

Posted by Chark_attack on (January 21, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

@sonny sr nope not a mistake he got droped 2 matches after scoring a test double century agains southafrica

Posted by   on (January 21, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

To everyone outside Australia it's clear that as a Victorian, he stood little chance of selection on merit. Had he represented NSW, he'd had a long and distinguished test career, but can take comfort from the fact that there are very few New Southwelshmen who equal his 51 first class centuries, one a triple, with a double from his all-too-few six tests. Nor are there many Australian batsmen thatequal let alone better his test average of 55.86. Furthermore, he's had a distinguished career with Lancashire, Leicestershire and Durham so knows English conditions and test grounds better than all but possibly Phillip Hughes. (Another one as badly treated by the Australian selectors is Queensland's Stuart Law.)

Posted by   on (January 21, 2013, 7:32 GMT)

I would love 2 see Hodge performing in next Ashes.. A quality player in all format of the game and a fabulous team man as well.

Posted by anver777 on (January 21, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

With Aus selector's current rotation policy among the newcomers, i don't think Hodge stands a chance for a comeback.... any way if he gets a recall, its great to see him again in baggy green cap !!!

Posted by Mani_Majra on (January 21, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

What about Symo? Aus Should Recalled Andrew Symonds at No 6. Brad Hogg at 3. D Warner S.Watson B Hogg M Clarke A Symonds M Wade B Haddin M Starc P Siddle N Lyon/M Jonson J pattison

Posted by sony_sr on (January 21, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

I just checked hodge's stats in cricinfo and it reads 6 matches, 11 innings, 503 runs at an average of 55.88. Is it a mistake?

Posted by Humdingers on (January 21, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

One of the best batsmen in Australia to never have an extended go in the national side. Waste of a special talent.

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 21, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

Well Brad.. No matter how good you perform and how bad others in the main 11 perform, the selectors won't pick you.. Play global T20 cricket and enjoy good time with your family during the off time. Australian cricket certainly missed a very good batsman.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 21, 2013, 5:38 GMT)

Hodge was one of our best and i wouldn't be agaisng him going for the ashes, I would still have Khawaja as the replacement for and have either Hodge or Doolan as the backup. And after the last few ODI's i am over these all rounders, Maxwell is not a allrounder. If someone like Maxwell actually could bat or bowl, then great, but I haven't seen any of them do either. Not to keep going on Watson, he's probably not half the player he was 09-10, but he was averaging like what, 45 at opener? And taking a handful of wickets most games. THAT is an all rounder.Someone who makes 20, then takes 1 wicket every game or two is not an all rounder. Our real problem is the top order and we need solid top order batsman and Khawaja and Doolan are among the best that we have at the moment so lets get them in for India

Posted by dwblurb on (January 21, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

Oh dear. Just let it go, Brad. You were deficient against the short ball and outside off stump in your prime, it's not going to get any better for you against quality pace bowling at age 38.

Posted by AnImpatientFan on (January 21, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

It remains to be seen whether or not he can still play at first class level but if he is atleast half as good as he once was during the height of his powers then no doubt I would have him in my Ashes team.

What I don't want though it for selectors to get too sentimental and pick him on justice rather than actual form. I wouldn't want that to happen either for both Australia and Hodgeys sake.

Posted by stormy16 on (January 21, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

This is a sign of desperation and honestly I dont beleive Aus need to resort to recalling a 38 year old to beef up their batting line. He will do a couple of years and Aus will be back to the same spot. I dont see why picking a group of youngsters cannot work - sure there will be a lack of experience but it will pay off sooner rather than later. For a start Aus could do with Watto not bowling so he is able to hold a permanent batting slot and concentrate on becoming a specialist batter which no doubt he can. Then they need to give guys like Kawaja a fair go and forget about desperate moves.

Posted by wpAus on (January 21, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

Get him in there!

Posted by PFEL on (January 21, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

The odds of Hodge going to England are ~ 1:9000. It is not going to happen. But always fun to read a sensationalist article. For the record, i think he would do a great job, and if it was up to me he would be playing all 3 formats for Australia, as he should have been for the last 7-8 years.

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 21, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

Given that he wasn't selected for the International T20 team, even with his form, I think he is wasting his time coming back to the shield.

Posted by fazald on (January 21, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

Brad Hodge is one of the players who received a raw deal fron the Australian cricket selectors and should have been a senior member of the side by now. He could have walked into any international team without much effort. I reckon that he retired from first class cricket due to sheer frustration of not been selected to play despite scoring lots of runs for Victoria. He was such a wonderful batsman to watch in the "Big Bash League" for the Melboune Stars and had the third highest aggregate of runs in the competition this season. If age is no barrier I reckon he should be able to represent Australia in tests as well as in limited overs cricket once again.

Posted by Meety on (January 21, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

Thought this was a bit of a gee-up at first. IF this isn't, for Hodge to make the Ashes, IMO - he would need to ave 60 in his comeback Shield matches. I know that is a lot higher than the currentbench marks for other current players, but he has been out of the game that long, his past career has no weight due to the length of time (3yrs) since he has played a FC game. I would much rather Hussey come out of retirement for the Ashes.

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 21, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

If only he was from NSW. Dropped after a double century.. Pathetic. But, he can't seriously be hoping for a rebirth, with hussey's unforeseen retirement it seriously detriments our chances considering huss' form and experience, but it brings us a chance to completely rebuild and bring in khawaja as a straight swap. Hopefully khawja can get some big scores against a dismal and mediocre Indian attack to settle himself for his second ashes series, albeit his first full one. If usman isn't in the team for either England or india, he himself would be feeling as unlucky as hodgey was.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 21, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

Playing Hodge would be a short-term solution, but that might be Australia's best bet under the circumstances. After having lost the last two, I don't think Australia will be going into the next Ashes series looking to the future. Their concern will be the here and now, particularly with back-to-back series planned. If they think Hodge is their best chance to win then I'd expect them to take him over someone who may be a year or two away from making consistent significant contributions.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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