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Batting woes have Rogers, Voges in Ashes contention

Daniel Brettig

April 3, 2013

Comments: 142 | Text size: A | A

Chris Rogers scored 101 to put Victoria on top, Victoria v Queensland, Sheffield Shield, Melbourne, February 19, 2013
Chris Rogers has an outstanding first-class record in England © Getty Images

So worried are Australia's selectors by the lack of batting quality available to them for this year's dual Ashes assignments that the seasoned duo of Chris Rogers and Adam Voges are being seriously considered for Test squad duty.

The national selector John Inverarity mentioned both Rogers, 35, and Voges, 33, as possible Ashes tourists while speaking at some length about Australia's widespread batting problems as he announced the list of centrally contracted players for 2013-14. Only six specialist batsmen were granted contracts among the 20 players chosen, leaving Inverarity's panel plenty of scope to choose batsmen from outside the list when they name an Ashes squad of 17.

Rogers and Voges both have the advantage of considerable batting experience in England, the former an especially prolific performer during northern summers. Rogers, who played his only Test match in 2008, has compiled 9,230 first-class runs at an average of 53.97 in England with 28 centuries, the vast majority made at the top of the order against the moving ball.

Voges' record is not quite as imposing, but his 2736 runs at 45.60 with four centuries for Nottinghamshire have added lustre when it is considered that the club's home ground, Trent Bridge, is where the first Test of the Ashes series will be played. Never chosen in a Test XI, Voges made a composed ODI century at the MCG earlier this year.

Inverarity said Rogers "has been and will be in discussions", and mentioned Voges alongside Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith and Alex Doolan as other batting contenders among the group who did not receive a CA contract. Overall, however, Inverarity maintained a disappointed if not quite bewildered tone at the problems of Australian batting, exposed as they were by a series of horrid displays in India.

"We do not have the batting depth in Australian cricket now that we enjoyed 15 years ago. We just don't. That's something that cricket in Australia really needs to address and we need to get more batsmen making runs prolifically," Inverarity said. "We thirst for players who do really well across all formats.

"That's a concern for Australian cricket, as we've said consistently in recent times. We are looking for consistent, prolific run-scorers in all forms of cricket. Those players to whom it doesn't matter whether it's white ball, red ball, Twenty20, whatever it is, they go out and they churn out the runs.

"There has been an absence of that in recent years in club cricket, domestic interstate cricket, and international cricket, and that needs to be a real focus of coaching and development in Australia. It's just got to be done, it needs to be done. That involves technique but mindset as well. That's what we need."

Australia's increasingly jumbled schedule of different formats both at junior and domestic levels has been a major bother for the selectors. Australia's limited-overs captain George Bailey made only one first-class half-century all summer, a famine largely attributable to a season in which he jumped ceaselessly from first-class to one-day to T20 and back again.

Inverarity cited the example of Doolan, who was the dominant domestic batsman in the early part of the season, peaking with an attractive century for Australia A against the South Africans at the SCG, but then spent much of the December-January period as a fringe player for the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL. Perhaps not surprisingly, he struggled to regain his earlier touch when the Sheffield Shield resumed.

Khawaja's case provides further cause for disquiet. His place as a reserve batsman for the national team kept him out of numerous Shield engagements for Queensland including the final. Whether or not Khawaja should have played Tests over that time is a matter for the selectors, but the schedule left them with precious little evidence on which to choose him.

"He worked very hard in India and did well, and he will be well prepared," Inverarity said. "He's strongly in contention for the Ashes, but it is a concern [the lack of first-class matches]. It's certainly not an ideal preparation, him not playing more red-ball cricket."

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

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Posted by Clyde on (April 10, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

Probably time to split the codes. There could be a Test administration and an administrations of the others.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (April 8, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

@hyclass well said champ. For me i would keep the focus on Hughes, Khawaja and Warner as these 3 have the potential to make our batting world class. Focus has to be on the youth.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 8, 2013, 0:16 GMT)

@hyIcass i agree completely with you. Khawaja and Harris are key additions to the ashes team. Sayers has impressed me simply because the pitch he bowls most on is a batting paradise in the Adelaide oval, good on the young man for making his mark this season. @katanthat3 i also expect Khawaja to fire in the ashes but also expect big runs from Clarke and Warner as well, for me its our batting which will decide the outcome of this series as both sides are strong on the bowling

Posted by popcorn on (April 7, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey are PRIMED and PUMPED UP to regain The Ashes. Both are HURTING from losing the Ashes in 2005 and 2009 in England,and again in 2011 at home.They MUST reconsider their decision to retire. WE NEED THEM. THEY INSTIL FEAR IN THE POMS. Ricky Ponting is in such good nick. He has just been awarded the best batsman award in Shield Cricket this year, and helped Tasmania win the Title.And he is fit as a fiddle. He is playing in the IPL and in the Carribean Premier League, so what 's this abut spending more time with the family at home? The Selectiors MUST DROP THEIR EGO and REACH OUT to Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey. These two guys will do ANYTHING for the Country - to REGAIN and RETAIN The Ashes.

Posted by Meety on (April 7, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

@Claydo78 on (April 6, 2013, 10:53 GMT) - won't argue, just reckon that was the theory! I think Watto is the most vulnerable, & I don't think they are really serious (could be wrong) about Voges. That said, Voges did well in his ODI chance, & given the NSP don't seem to know what goes on in the Shield - maybe they do want to select him?

Posted by Hammond on (April 7, 2013, 10:29 GMT)

Australia. 4th in tests, 4th in odi's, and 7th in T20. To aggregate this, they are about the 5th best cricket country in the world at the moment. I would say that is about accurate. Not even bog average anymore, they are now officially below average. Don't see how re-recruiting Dad's army to reinforce a techniqueless middle order is going to help them improve that situation.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (April 6, 2013, 17:05 GMT)

It's pretty obvious Aus. care very little for tests now. Hanging onto short-form specialists like Warner and Hughes for tests is ridiculous. These long lists of fast bowlers that Aus. fans keep reeling off is nothing but mockery, as most can't cope with tests and the rest get injured opening their cans/bottles of beer. There are perfectly good test-standard players in Aus. (including wrist-spinners) that are being totally shunned. Disappointing.

Posted by hycIass on (April 6, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

@Amith I would have Warner and Watson open, Khawaja is also the best number 3 in my book as well, I would include Harris in your lineup as he is the best fast bowler when fit and like you i have my doubts on Phil after India but he can prove everyone in the ashes.

Posted by Claydo78 on (April 6, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

Meety, who drops out of that top six if voges and/or rogers are picked? Clarke won't go for obvious reasons, Watson is CA pretty boy and won't get dropped, Warner puts bumbs on seats so there's no chance he makes way, I personally think Hughes will score a mountain if runs in England so it won't be him. That only leaves Cowan and he is just as good as voges or rogers so that top order hasn't improved at all!

Posted by Meety on (April 6, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

@Claydo78 on (April 6, 2013, 0:22 GMT) - the "theory" behind Rogers & Voges (hopefully) is that they are good enuff to play for Oz now, with the added bonus that allows a bit more time for the younger talent to develop.

Posted by Claydo78 on (April 6, 2013, 0:22 GMT)

why are we considering voges or rogers? both are not in australias future and personally dont think either would play well enough to influence the outcome of the ashes! Why doesnt silk, burns or doolan get considered for the australian squad? these sort of players are the future of austrlian cricket and should be given a chance to prove themselves! for years the public and the media were on pontings and hussey back because of their age so pick players of a similar age who are no where near the quality of either ponting or hussey! once again more questionable decision making from cricket australia

Posted by wayno1971 on (April 5, 2013, 15:49 GMT)

It's fine to say young players area a must, the only problem with aussie cricket is no one is standing up to say pick me, one thing that could solve some problems tho is have each comp a standalone thing with more emphasis on the sheffield shield, the way the domestic season is setup is a joke, the only thing Cricket Aust is interested in is making money off the 20/20 crap which breeds ordinary cricketers as in Maxwell and sorry to say is well below test standard but with Australian cricket at the moment mediocrity is par at best

Posted by inefekt on (April 5, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

I saw this coming a mile away. Why is it that an armchair fan can see the problems before they appear while the so-called experts only see them when it's too late? Guys like Rogers and Dave Hussey needed to be in the team two years ago in place of the likes of Cowan and Warner, they needed to make runs at Shield level, get themselves a good first class record to justify their selections. This whole saga highlights the perils of picking your team based on potential rather than on proven track records.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (April 5, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

Crickethistory; Its hard to tell whether you are a follower of AUstralian cricket. Surely you would know that Smith is not picked as an allrounder and purely as a batsman. He bowls as many overs as Warner. The reason they went with an allrounder in India is the climate is hot and humid and very hard to get away with just 4 bowlers. Im pretty sure come England they will be back to 6 batsman and 4 bowlers. As for why Khawaja want given a chance didnt you read the news, he was about to be picked and he didnt do the team thing and was dropped. This has also hurt his chances for an Australian contract. However, Cowan didnt have a contract last year and was picked for the first test after contracts so shouldnt hurt him playing for AUstralia, If he is able to demonstrate that he is committed and a team player.

Posted by vithur1507 on (April 5, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

Clearly Aussies have the experience in the country to fill the vacancies created by Ponting and Hussey. With back to back Ashes coming up, its better to slot in Rogers to the top order, other than Clarke the team doesnt have a player to bat around, bringing in Rogers could repair the damage. The team needs someone to support Clarke's aggression, the fact is Hodge is purely out of contention it would be the right time to give Voges a chance. The batting lineup would be very much settled with Rogers, Warner with Voges in the middle order. Playing Watson purely as a bowler who can bat, watson's reversing has more venom than Johnson's pace and Watson is a better lower order player than Johnson. The line up should be Roger, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Voges, Khawaja, Watson, Haddin, Lyon, Pattinson and Siddle.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 5, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

@crickethistory you make a very good point, at a time when we were down we picked allrounders instead of one of the more promising young batsman in Khawaja, i think its becoming obvious folks want Khawaja to come in. For me, this is also the point, T20 shouldn't be considered when handing out CA contracts. I don't have a prob with khawaja not getting a contract, my main issues are that Maxwell, Haddin and Cummins get one.The big shows not good enough yet, no point awarding a full contract to the second wicket keeper that won't play many games and Cummins hasn't even played fc cricket at all, giving someone a contract so you can oversee his recovery is stupid, someone that actually plays could have that spot, dare I say, like Khawaja.

Posted by On_The_Boundary on (April 5, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

I'm all for these 2 - if there's one thing the Aussie squad needs, it's fresh young blood.

Young guys keen to go out and do their best, even if they lose, they keep coming back for more. That's where great teams come from, and it's one of the great Aussie attributes.

Posted by aus_trad on (April 5, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

@balajik1968 - you've hit the nail on the head. No one who can't hold his spot in the team as a batsman or as a bowler alone, has a place in test cricket. To take the thought further re the Aus batting, which is at its worst at least since the mid-80s, what is required is to identify, promote and have faith in players who at state level look as though they have the potential to be good test players i.e. able to bat for long periods, often with little regard to scoring rate (Alistair Cook is about the best example of that around at the moment). It's a bit of a lost art in Aus at the moment. The sad thing about the talk of Rogers and Voges is that these are probably just such guys, but have been selected for one test between them! As a stop-gap it might be a good idea to give them a chance, while the next generation develops. What also needs desperate attention is the Aus domestic schedule: all the chopping and changing formats is no good at all for developing test batsmen.

Posted by crickethistory on (April 5, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Interesting that John Inverarity has expressed disappointment at the problems with Australia's batting. In the 3rd & 4th Tests of the recent tour of India, the selectors went with 4 specialist bowlers plus allrounders (Smith, Henriques & Maxwell) rather than specialist batsman and paid the price. In the case of Khawaja, why was a young specialist batsman chosen for this tour and not given the opportunity to play a test when the batting wasn't performing? I've always thought highly of Adam Voges, but given that he is 33 years old, I'd wouldn't like to see him selected at the expense of a young batsman such as Hughes or Khawaja.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

Rogers will be picked as an injury reserve at best, if he is lucky. Why give Hughes, Warner, Cowan CA contracts if Rogers is on the radar?

Posted by   on (April 5, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

@Bob Watson, spot on! Remember when Elliott and Hayden were going at it ton for ton, season after season! Nowadays Ussie Khawaja scores a pair of fifties and people think he´ll come and make all the difference. Rogers with 3 centuries this summer is the only one with the kind of performances you´d be hoping for from players wanting to break into the first xi.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2013, 1:45 GMT)

The reason we don't have prolific batsmen is that we pick T20 specialists like David Warner, so the perceprion of the selectors is that they will pick platers for test matched based on short format form rather than shield or in the of season county form. For how many years was brad hodge prolific at shoeld level? David Hussey is another who prior tothis season made decent runs season after season. Michael Klinger is another maybe the AUS selectors should take a closer look.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (April 5, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

I think that we are missing a very promising young batsman by the name of Jordan Silk, who, 3 matches in to his FC career, averages over 50, and helped Tasmania to the Sheffield Shield final, and to drawing it to lift the trophy.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 5, 2013, 0:26 GMT)

Yes he was hyclass, folks often forget that about Inevarity, wthether you agree with him or not he does deserve respect.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (April 4, 2013, 23:51 GMT)

"We are looking for consistent, prolific run-scorers in all forms of cricket. Those players to whom it doesn't matter whether it's white ball, red ball, Twenty20, whatever it is, they go out and they churn out the runs."

Yeah, good luck with that!

Not even our best bat, Clarke, believes in that.

And our only batsmen across all three formats are Watson and Warner - and we've seen how the short form has affected their ability to knuckle down and concentrate for long innings in Tests.

I though most countries learnt years ago that that was a pipe dream, and it's better to look for and encourage the best players in each format.

What a numpty! Do we need another new selection panel?!

Posted by Batmanian on (April 4, 2013, 22:38 GMT)

@Lliam Flynn, your lineup goes deep on bowlers who can bat, but is very fragile. You're really relying on two of Rogers, Hughes, Huss, Khawaja and Wade to fire each innings, Cowan to nut out his 32 off 112, and Clarke to ton up in order to put 400 on in the first innings. That's not an unreasonable ask, but there is no evidence that Rogers, Hughes or Khawaja are truly of Test standard. Huss is, but he's not young and stepping up a level there.

The Khawaja question is really annoying; we should know if he's good enough by now, and we haven't had a chance these last few series. In theory he looks like he might be, in Tests as a youngster he wasn't quite there.

The bowling does look good without Lyon, I must admit. It would be so good if Clarke could still bowl. You'd back 150 from the last four wickets with Wade or a batsman marshalling them.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (April 4, 2013, 21:43 GMT)

@Dashgar 4 man pace attack? I must admit i wasnt aware that Swann had started bowling pace.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

Yes! Come on Voges! Great to see Faulkner shaping up to become a all-rounder. Khawaja needs to be given a go before you talk about opportunities.

Posted by hycIass on (April 4, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

@Mary i didn't know he had done well as a shield captain, that's a good record, lets hope he gets the call right on the batsman as its not right for one guy to be on the bench for 3 months and miss on a contract because of that wait.

Posted by brusselslion on (April 4, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

The Australian selectors do seem to be adopting the 'Infinite Monkey' theorem when it comes to picking batsmen!

Posted by Dr.Scott on (April 4, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

I cannot believe how many people think Cowan should play the Ashes. He has failed as a test match opening batsman, he is not good enough, never was good enough, never will be good enough. He fights hard and does his best, we have seen his best and it is not good enough. While Australia keep picking incompetent batsman like Cowan then Australia will never be any good. The Ashes is the pinnacle of cricket, we need to pick the best whatever their age. In the openers that is Rogers and Hughes. Warner as reserve. Get rid of the failure Cowan

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 4, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

Apart from Inevarity captaining WA to 4 titles in the 70s, Invers was invaluable support to David Hookes leading SA to the 1981/82 Sheffield Shield title. So the guy does know his cricket but at present the list of 20 contracted players reflects confusion. I don't know that it's all Inver's fault. CA needs to decide if its future is test cricket or T20, & provide resources & structures accordingly. If the circumstances surrounding Khawaja not playing enough first class cricket weren't so patently real, then Inverarity's comments would be hilarious. My feel is that they have Khawaja firmly in their plans for the ashes and rightly so. And i know folks will say that Inevarity last played test cricket 40 years ago but that simply means he has more expereince in decision making and i hope we start to get the right batsman in for test cricket.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

Forgot to add the side I think would do the best job in the Ashes: Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, D. Hussey, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Pattinson, Starc, Siddle, Harris.

Warner and Watson have had mediocre seasons and it's time to give them a rest. The consistent performances of Rogers and Huss (Huss in England) needs to be rewarded. Hughes will do a lot better back on green pitches. Huss can roll his wrist over when required. There are no batting bunnies to be found anywhere. Maybe swap out Starc for Faulkner/Cummins/whoever and then the bowling lineup will average about 24. In conclusion, that's a strong batting lineup that goes very deep and a very strong pace attack.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

For once reading peoples comments has been enjoyable here as there is no malice in the comments and each person has put across valid points. Right I could watch cricket 24/7, but even I realise that there is too much international cricket. Because of this the grass roots cricket ( Sheffield Shield and club cricket ) is suffering. Where are the standout cricketers in the current State Squads. There are none, no one is grabbing your imagination. I'm going back a bit but when David Hookes ( RIP ) was playing for South Australia he was murdering bowling attacks. When Greg Chappell was playing State cricket he was doing the same. When Glenn McGrath was playing for NSW he was going through state sides like Indian Curry. These guys just to name a few grabbed our imagination. We would get the latest scores and Hookes would score a ton fifty in record time game after game and we wondered when he was going to get picked for the Australian side. For 5 years we have put up with this.

Posted by Amith_S on (April 4, 2013, 8:06 GMT)

@fai501 I don't think Khawaja is too far from his long awaited opportunity, I wasn't impressed last year but he went to Queensland and worked hard under book and deserves his chance, great attitude. Australia are well behind England in experience and acheivement with bat and ball. Despite our promising bowling, remembering that greater bowlers than these have come off second best, it's hard to see an upset. For the batting, lasting 4 sessions might be some sort of a triumph.So Clarkey needs to get our batting right and get Khawaja in, watto bowling again and have wade batting at 7 to add depth

Posted by Mr.Cr1cket on (April 4, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

My XI for the first Test: Warner, Rogers, Cowan, Khawaja, Clarke, Bailey/Watson, Wade, Starc, Siddle, Lyon, Bird

Warner because has talent, Rogers becasue of his first-class record, Cowan because he has concentration and did well in India, Khawaja because we have no-one else, Clarke makes runs at five, Bailey because we have no-one else or Watson if he's bowling, Wade is a good keeper, Starc swings it, Siddle is the spearhead, Lyon did well in the last Test in India and Bird because he swings it.

Posted by pitch_curator on (April 4, 2013, 6:55 GMT)

@ Matt Gibb -- How did you miss your best player on the Indian tour -- Pattinson?? I thought he should be the first name on the team sheet. And Johnson bowled very badly in the one test he played in India. Better to play Starc in English conditions where the ball swings longer.

Posted by howizzat on (April 4, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

Border built a team and then transferred to Taylor. Taylor carried forward and then handed over to Steve Waugh.Transition was never felt by Aussie Selectors. Waugh made the team invincible and handed over to Ponting. Again the transition was not felt. It was such a strong and invincible team that Ponting kept enjoying the fruits. On paper statistically he was hailed as the best captain. But sadly he didnt care to build the team. With Waugh boyz retiring, Ponting was all at sea and completely exposed. Aussies felt for the first time the tremours of transition. The bench got dried but still the transition is on and on and on....

Posted by hycIass on (April 4, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

@MattGibb i agree mostly with your lineup. I like that you have got SOK in there, we need a second spinner to backup Lyon, agree wtih you that Khawaja should be there, fantastic technique and will do well in England and lets hope Harris can stay fit. @FlemingMitch well said bud.

Posted by Fai501 on (April 4, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

Why is not usman khawaja getting chance,last time he scored half century against newzeland in so much difficult conditions.Is the australian selection fair enough to trust

Posted by Meety on (April 4, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

@Shaggy076 on (April 3, 2013, 22:06 GMT) - re: QLD. Cutting & McDermott were injured. As far as batsmen are concerned, Burns was shunted up & down the order a lot in the early part of the season. His last half of the season (where he did fairly well), was a result of batting down @ #5 & #6. @ handyandy on (April 4, 2013, 0:59 GMT) - when Langar retired, Oz had Jacques & Katich vying for the position. Also - Rogers has not always has complete Shield seasons, I recall him having a couple of injuries that may of come at the wrong time for him to stake a claim. @Matt Gibb - fairly good selection, although I would hold Harris back from the 1st Test & play him in the 2nd Test @ Lords. I think he'll be lethal there, & with his injury record, I would want to play him very strategically!

Posted by waitara on (April 4, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

This is exactly the problem NZ has, except it's even worse because our batsmen get even less first class cricket: two match test "series," no tour games or (even more farcical) 3 day tour games that are not first class. One day and T20 games are meant to supplement, not usurp, first class cricket.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 4:14 GMT)

So, I normally don't do this, but I figured that I'd join in the crowd.

My XV to tour England: Clarke, Watson, Warner, Cowan, Smith (sadly), Wade, Haddin, Harris, Rogers, Khawaja, Lyon, O'Keefe, Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson

My XI for the first Test: Warner, Cowan, Rogers, Clarke, Khawaja, Watson, Wade, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon

Warner is a talent and needs another shot. Cowan did well in India. Rogers has a much better technique than Hughes and won't be found out like Hughes was against the Poms in 2011. Clarke picks himself. Khawaja has a good technique, especially against pace bowling, and has the mindset to bat for a long time. Watson needs a second chance but lower down the order and bowling. Wade, just cause he's the incumbent. Johnson cause he bowled well when he got the chance in India and also because he makes stuff happen when others can't. Siddle cause he's the spearhead. Harris cause he's on fire (and a Queenslander) and Lyon cause he bowled well in India.

Posted by bobagorof on (April 4, 2013, 3:21 GMT)

AlanF: Interesting that you don't rate O'Keefe or Pattinson. I can understand forgetting O'Keefe - it seems that everyone at CA has - despite his being the leading domestic wicket-taker amongst spinners in First Class cricket this summer, but I thought Pattinson had been performing pretty well even on unhelpful Indian pitches. It's a shame Bird misses out, too, but I guess you can't pick everyone.

Posted by Gazooligan on (April 4, 2013, 3:06 GMT)

@AlanF - "Australia should really withdraw from all limited overs cricket and concentrate on Tests." Is this a serious comment? You may have made some good points following this, but with this opening line I couldn't take anything that followed seriously. On what planet do you think this would even be considered? A drop in form after over a decade of dominance, meaning they're playing at a level that is back amongst the pack, and one admittedly very poor test series, and all other formats should be dropped to concentrate on improving test status? As a lover of test cricket I would choose it over any other format, but I'm aware the greater population of viewers doesn't necessarily share my view, and I think killing the revenue streams created by shorter formats would have its own (negative) impact on Australian cricket overall.

Posted by Wefinishthis on (April 4, 2013, 2:45 GMT)

Don't anyone get their hopes up about Rogers. I don't think I'd get my hopes up about Bird, Harris, Faulkner and O'Keefe either. In fact, I wouldn't be suprised if Pattinson is dropped for 'haus or someone else who has a disgraceful record against England. This NSP has proven to be just as clueless as the last one and will cost us the England series. They don't even know who our best XI are. Hopefully we can have another Argus-like review when the test team comes back to Australia ashes-less yet again only this time, they can drop any selector who picks anyone on ODI form over Shield form (*cough* Watson, Doherty *cough*). Then we'll end up with the 'correct' bowling squad of Pattinson, Harris, Bird, O'Keefe, Siddle, Faulkner, Lyon with a view to replace any of those who don't perform consistently with Sayers, Sandu, McDermott, Agar etc. The NSP are like a road accident blocking the highway for all our best talent to get a fair go.

Posted by KhanMitch on (April 4, 2013, 2:00 GMT)

Amith T20 cricket is here to stay so best to accept it as all countries will have the same issues with their batsman. Hopefully it pans out that Khawaja and Bird t on the Ashes tour party. It then brings into question the worth and point of central CA contracts. If contracted players aren't the first picks. I understand the need to have central contracts across three formats. But why not split them, so the general public can make sense of it. Have a test contract list, ODI contract list and a T20 list. If you are on all three good luck to you. At least then players and the paying public know who's on the team. Every other Australian sporting code has different list types for players (rookie, senior/veteran, marquee etc..) Not sure why CA hasn't made the differentiation. As the way it stands it appears CA prefer the Flash in the Pan Swiper that is Glenn Maxxwell over Usman Khawaja And then Invers says we have a batting problem; but Ussie can't get a gig?

Posted by Gowza on (April 4, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

should be looking at david hussey to

Posted by Nokesy on (April 4, 2013, 1:29 GMT)

Hardin and smith should be in the middle order

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (April 4, 2013, 1:10 GMT)

@Mitty some good comments mate. I would also have a similar lineup to you. Warner, Hughes and Khawaja are key players for me as well with Khawaja the one to watch out for as he did well in the longer form in county last year. As for the bowling Siddle, Patts, Starc and Harris would be good 4 picks but boy we are spoilt for choices with Bird, Johnson, Hilfe in the wings ready to take their chances.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 1:04 GMT)

Cowan was one of the only Batters to score runs in India....... Again you are fools for calling for his head. Warner on the other hand didn't do all that much at all in India....

Give Cosgrove a crack, he's got a good England batting record- I don't care if Gatorade can't promote his Image- the guy can bat..... Cricket credentials, not modeling contracts.... AnyBODY can play cricket!

Posted by handyandy on (April 4, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

Rogers should have been called into the team when Langer retired. The selectors need to just get back to selecting players on merit and not worry about age.

If a young player can still get into the the team just on merit then all the better.

I am not so sure about Voges ... but I would give Cosgrove some consideration. Harris would also toughen up Australia's already formidable bowling attack.

O'Keefe and Faulkner could be interesting all rounder options.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 0:49 GMT)

"We are looking for consistent, prolific run-scorers ... to whom it doesn't matter whether it's white ball, red ball, Twenty20, whatever it is, they go out and they churn out the runs."


Posted by MinusZero on (April 4, 2013, 0:22 GMT)

The first thing they should do is relinquish Watson of the vice captaincy so he can be dropped from the test team. They need a real batsmen (of the few they have)

Posted by V-Man_ on (April 4, 2013, 0:20 GMT)

Why Inverarity is looking for players who do really well across all formats!!! Again proving that him and his team are incapable of doing the job. There are no gillies or punters or McGraths and the likes anymore. and I doubt there will be one anytime soon. STOP looking for players who do really well across all formats otherwise you will end up with players like watsons and co.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 0:01 GMT)

Australia need to pick 2 openers and not 4. Out of Watson, Warner, Cowan, Hughes & now Rogers, only 2 can play. Number 3 and 4 need to be batmsen for that position, like Marsh, Khawaja, Doolan, Ferguson etc not make shift openers like Hughes. They are trying to make Hughes into another Langer or something moving him around when he clearly is the best opener. Hughes, Watson, Rogers, Warner all have to work out what works best. If Watson goes back to 6 he will struggle but he has to bowl. Otherwise our strongest line up for the Ashes should be Rogers, Hughes, Khawaja, Voges, Clarke, North, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon, Bird.

I don't know why no one has mentioned North for this tour especially since he scored 400 runs and made 2 tons there last time.... Go on performance not potential future talent for once.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 23:53 GMT)

Chris Rogers should have been playing for years. Clearly the best opener in Shield cricket and is at home in English conditions. Trouble is the selectors have ignored him. He is a Victorian after all and they continue to pick from other States.

Posted by CSpiers on (April 3, 2013, 23:31 GMT)

Good to see Chris Rogers finally being seriously mentioned, been calling for it for a month or two now. Quality, consistent bat with a lot of experience in English conditions.

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 23:19 GMT)

@AlanF on (April 3, 2013, 18:02 GMT) - you forgot Reardon, Hopes & Nesser!

Posted by Dashgar on (April 3, 2013, 22:50 GMT)

@RednWhiteArmy, thanks for making me feel better. If England play Broad and Bresnan as part of a 4 man pace attack then Australia really don't need to worry about batting. We have enough talent to see off Anderson if its just those two to pick up the slack. If Peter Fulton can smash twin centuries against England then whoever we pick of the names suggested are more than a good chance. Clarke will will run riot, if he ever gets to the crease, some 2/600 declarations might be on the cards.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (April 3, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

There are slight adjustments the team should make as they leave India and go to England and that would definetely play 6 batsman in England. The conditions arent as harsh for bowlers and the requirement for a fifth bowler is much less. I understand why they needed 5 bowlers in the hot/humid conditions of India.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (April 3, 2013, 22:06 GMT)

Really some people have no idea. The Qld theory gets thrown up a lot yes they made finals in all comps. THere was no stand out shield team and the reason Qld and Tas are making finals is because every game at home there is substandard pitches and one team will get the full 6 points. The only batsman of any note for Qld this year was Khawaja who wasnt there previously. Burns is a talent but he too only averages a tick over 30 for the shield season. The Australian bowling set-up is very good and those calling for CUtting and Mcdermott can you please explain to me why he couldnt make the shield final team? The AUstralian test side is not that bad (except for on Indian pitches) and there is no need to make wholesale changes. We are developing a squad who have now had experience and to completely change now would void that experience. Cowan/Hughes/Khawaja when he gets in were the best performing shield batsman when they got selected. Its time for perseverance rather than sweeping change.

Posted by landl47 on (April 3, 2013, 21:53 GMT)

I'll have a stab at what I think the Aussie squad will be (not should be). Batsmen: Clarke, Watson, Hughes, Warner, Cowan, Smith, Bailey. Wicketkeepers: Wade, Haddin. Seam bowlers: Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Johnson, Hilf, Harris. Spinner: Lyon. All-rounder: Maxwell.

Khawaja misses out to Smith and Bailey because he's a left-hander and Swann bowls well to left-handers. I'm assuming neither Cummins nor Bird will be match fit; Hilf got a contract and Bird didn't, which I think is significant. Harris is there to play 2 or 3 tests- he's another who got a contract. Maxwell, who got a contract, is there over Henriques, who didn't, because he's cover for Lyon. Neither of them made a convincing case in India but seam bowling is the area in which Aus is deep, so Moises misses out.

For all the talk, I think Aus will stay with the bulk of the same squad- those who got contracts. They need a reserve bat and Smith's it.

Folks, they give these contracts out for a reason.

Posted by Nerk on (April 3, 2013, 21:44 GMT)

There are a few players both old and new who performed well enough in the last Shield season to be called up to the test team in India, but the selectors preferred one day form to first class, both in bowling and batting departments. The potential is there amongst numerous players, but they aren't getting a go because of a selection panel that one minute is picking players for the future like Maxwell and then saying they have to go to old heads like Rogers. Pick the best XI in Australia, based on their first class performances, and see how they do. That's how it used to be and it didn't always work, but at least there was some method to the madness.

Posted by landl47 on (April 3, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

So Aus might turn to the veterans for the Ashes tests? There are precedents; I remember David Steele being picked at the age of 33 to play against first Australia and then the West Indies in 1975/76. He did well, averaged 42 and stood up to some of the most fearsome bowling around- Lillee, Thompson, Roberts, Holding, etc. It's true that England didn't win any of the 8 tests in which he played (lost 3, drawn 5), but he became a symbol and a national hero.

Rogers has been a very good player for a very long time now and Voges has a lot of experience. The disdavantage of Rogers is that he is another opening bat, which would make 5, and Voges has always seemed to be a little short of test class, though a very good one-day player. Still, it appears that Aus may be taking the view that it would be better to mark time with veterans than throw the youngsters in.

Not a bad option- always assuming that young players are being developed to replace them.

Posted by Batmanian on (April 3, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

A lot of armchair selectors here seem to think Smith isn't a shoo-in. He is, I'm afraid. Siddle too, unless injured. Dream all you like, but they're playing. 'In only fifteen years, we'll be voting Feldman/Haim', went the Family Guy song, and the selectorial equivalent is Watson/Warner to open. Less than a hundred runs across two innings from Cowan, the Trumper of the Leave, and the selectors will go Feldman/Haim. You watch. The Two Coreys scenario is the only way I can see to give Khawaja the lower-middle order protection to have (another) chance at blossoming, though. Hughes did well at County cricket, so gets another chance or two. First Test Direct-to-Video: Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Smith, Wade, Harris, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon Second Test Lost Boys:Watson, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Khawaja, Wade, Harris, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon (possibility of a seamer swap) It's a terrible batting team, but is capable of twenty wickets in seven or eight sessions .

Posted by Mervo on (April 3, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

There should be a winter comp arranged, or one early in Spring, to allow long stay batting practice (Aust a versus B) and not the 20/20 nonsense that promote players with a good eye and a poor technique.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 19:57 GMT)

If Aus want to win then the team should be-- Rogers,Cowan,Hughes,Clarke,Doolan/Voges,Wade,Watson/Faulkner,Starc/Harris,Pattinson/Bird,Siddle,Lyon If Aus want to build a team then it should be: Watson/Warner,Cowan,Hughes,Clarke,Doolan/Bailey/Voges,Burns/Smith/Faulkner,Wade/Payne,Starc/Pattinson,Bird/Harris,Siddle,Lyon

Posted by ThatsJustCricket on (April 3, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

"We are looking for consistent, prolific run-scorers in all forms of cricket" - my goodness, there's the biggest issue staring right at you. How many batters we know who can be a mindless hitter in T20s and have genuinely good technique for the 5 day game at the same time? Now we know the source of the problem.

Posted by hhillbumper on (April 3, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

the young talent coming through is amazing.ironic smack of hand on forehead

Posted by Mitcher on (April 3, 2013, 18:58 GMT)

@Jimmyrob: Our best athletes are playing American sports? So we should be watching the laughable NBL to see where our batsmen went? Is there even a baseball or gridiron league? Didn't realise they were so popular. As for AlanF: No Pattinson? No credibility...

Posted by AlanF on (April 3, 2013, 18:02 GMT)

Australia should really withdraw from all limited overs cricket and concentrate on Tests. Also, forget NSW - Tasmania and Queensland have dominated the Shield in recent years, and some of their players deserve a chance.

That aside, Rogers is by so far the best opener in Australia that his non-selection should be the subject of a Royal commission. He had one bad Test and they drop him? On that basis, Trumper and Bradman would never have played a second Test. You also have to wonder what more Butterworth has to do to get a Test. My Test 12 would be:

Rogers, Townsend, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Burns, Hartley, Faulkner, Butterworth, Cutting, Siddle, Lyon

There are a few options there - Rogers can open with Hughes or Townsend, you can have Hughes at opener or no 3, you can have four or five bowlers. I don't think there is a second spinner in Australia who would make a county team, but I suppose Fawad Ahmed is the next best.

Posted by AKS286 on (April 3, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

Good news since last 4yrs i'm stating that Voges for no.5/6 position in test. I want to see Hussey & Voges partnership but Huss is retired.

Posted by Chetan007 on (April 3, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

Selectors must support their players. Keep changing the squad constantly will demoralize the players. If I would be the selector I would have stick to the same team that lost to India except including a few batsmen like Roger. Any team needs atleast needs 2 experience players one at the top and other in the middle. I would have asked Roger to play at no. 3 and drop down Watson to no. 7. Hughes is good at no. 4.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (April 3, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

@Talha Imjee, You are quite right regarding Katich and to bring in a player like Rogers or Voges now would seem like an admission from CA that their strategy has failed. However given how badly the Aus batting performed as a Unit in Ind I don't think they have much choice. Rogers would appear the stronger candiate given his very good record & form in the recent shield competion. Voges recent form hasn't been great I think he ave under 30 in the shield but his experience in Eng conditions and the fact he is a couple of yrs younger than Rogers may give him a chance.

Posted by James_Murphy on (April 3, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

Agree with Moppa re comments about technique in India compared to England. Am afraid the techniques of Hughes, Smith, DHussey, Warner to an extent and definitely Bailey may not stand up. Bailey plays and misses so much against the swinging ball its not funny, how would he go versus Anderson and against the swinging duke? Khawaja is technically very good, but mentally poor in application and bars at a snail pace allowing the opposition to take control. Ponting was the opposite. My team: 1. Cowan 2. Watson (only 8 overs of bowling per innings) 3. Rogers 4. Clarke 5. Hughes 6. Warner (bat at six like symonds did) 7. Wade 8. Starc 9. Pattinson 10. Siddle 11. Depending on passports

Posted by naveenpnayak on (April 3, 2013, 16:08 GMT)

1. Warner 2. Watson 3. Cowan 4. Rogers/ Voges 5. Clarke 6. Bailey/ Khwaja/Smith(or any one from 4) 7. Wade/Paine 8. Starc 9. Flaunker/Bird 10. Cummins/ Pattinson 11. Doherty/ (Any 1 from 9 or 10)

Posted by Jimmyrob83 on (April 3, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

Australia will never again have the batting talent it used to have for one simple reason. Our most talented athletes in this current age don't like cricket. AFL and American sports are way more popular.

Posted by Clyde on (April 3, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

I think Mr Inverarity is wrong in asking present-day batsmen to do so much more than the batsmen they are compared with from the past, who only had to play at whatever level they could on the way, ideally, to Tests. I don't see much similarity between State and Test cricket, on the one hand, and the shorter forms, on the other. It is the glory of the game of cricket that there are so many forms, from backyard to Lords, so that so many different people can play. I have no idea where he got his notion from that a brilliant stone-wall batsman should also be able to play short forms. John sounds to me to be rather like the 17th-century drill master Jean Martinet. He seems to be using cricket as a kind of discipline, as opposed to a game.

Posted by Matt. on (April 3, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

Warner, Watson and Hughes should be playing county cricket instead of IPL. Show some committment to test cricket!!!

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 15:36 GMT)

Micheal Clark & selection panel is out of their mind . They dropped Simon Katich because of age factor now what they are expecting from these old guns and how much they can play for oz in future?

Dual Policy

Posted by RodStark on (April 3, 2013, 15:27 GMT)

Well, as an England fan I wasn't going to tell Inverarity, but picking Rogers to provide a little experience in the test side is exactly what I wouldn't want you to do. The only thing worse would be persuading Hussey to unretire.

Also, it sounds from the article that Inverarity is obsessed with the idea that batsmen should be equally good in tests and T20s. Sounds crazy to me. If you can find a player who's really good at just one form of the game you should count your blessings.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

given khawaja's perceived poor attitude I think his card has been marked as never to play for australia so Mr Inverarity is politely making excuses. I have no issues if Rogers or Voges is picked for Australia. We talk of building for the Ashes but this is the Ashes. Lets win it! If these guys help us then so be it, who cares about their age?!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (April 3, 2013, 14:53 GMT)

The elephant in the room is of course that Australia don't have the players. Their lack of a spinner made the headlines in India after some had been pointing it out for ages. The divisiveness of Clarke came to the fore, and Australian newspapers screeched that 'the cupboard is officially bare'. And the less said about Wade's inability to catch the better. Australia should give contracts to academy players to back the next generation of players, as this lot, as shown, aren't up to the task.

Posted by BobCo on (April 3, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

If the selectors are seriously thinking about the older generation, why not one D.Hussey? His record in England is pretty exceptional.

Posted by OzWally on (April 3, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

@stumpedlloyd - you hit the nail right on the head. The scheduling makes no sense. Australia at home plays tests from Nov thru Jan, that should be when your Shield season takes place. 20/20 needs to be an end of season "let your hair down" time in Feb. And if they do have an overseas series scheduled, like this year in India. It gives those participating a chance to acclimatize to the foreign conditions, rather than playing meaningless 20/20's or ODI's (as they did this year).

Posted by gaurav_92 on (April 3, 2013, 14:07 GMT)

My XI 1) Warner 2) Rogers 3) Watson 4) Clarke 5) Ferguson/Doolan 6) Voges/Hughes 7) Wade 8) Starc 9) Siddle 10) Pattinson 11) Sir Nathan Lyon My inclusion of Rogers, Voges and Ferguson is to get more experience in the batting line up, which heavily revolves around Michael Clarke. Rogers and Voges have the English county experience and have succeeded there, as stated in the article. Although Steve Smith made runs in the 3rd test in Mohali against India, I feel his technique will make him vulnerable to swing bowling in English conditions. Similar to Hughes he has a tendency to play away from the body increasing his chances of edging the ball to the slips.

Posted by jackthelad on (April 3, 2013, 13:49 GMT)

I think probably the main problem is that modern top-class cricket is no longer one game but two, which are in many ways quite different and require different sets of skills and temperaments. First-class cricket, including Test cricket and the national competitions, needs a wide variety of abilities and approaches - you can't plan your performance over a handful of overs, it's got to be longer-term thinking; even One-Day cricket, albeit restricted to one innings, still has room to develop strategies (after all, quite a few first-class innings don't last much more than fifty overs).T 20, in sharp contradistinction, requires all guns blazing from the start and has minimal opportunity for building performances - you've got your first few overs when each side jockeys to take an advantage, your middle bit and a few death or glory overs at the end where anything goes. Because mainly of the financial rewards in this form, too many players are gearing their skill development to its needs.

Posted by fah4 on (April 3, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Mr. Inverarity please drop Khawaja as he hasn't had recent "red ball cricket" and never select him again just to warm the benches and loose his form in the process. Let him play at least sheild matches and in county if he gets some offer. Best of luck Khawaja time has finish for you in Australian team with out getting chance great.

Posted by ruester on (April 3, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

Surely Australian batting has now hit the lowest depths ever? As an Englishman I have grown up watching fantastic Aussie batters ply their trade in the county game and never got close to a test spot. I am amazed that the Australian batting strength has depleted so low that the likes of Hughes, Cowan, Warner and most staggeringly of all SMITH get into the test side. I'm a Worcestershire supporter and was very disappointed at the new, improved technique of Hughes last season, nothing seems to of changed. He plays away from his body with a semi horizontal bat and flashes through gulley and point in the air regularly throughout his innings. He will surely be one of the most flawed Aussie number threes of all time to play for Australia. The no 3 spot is for the best batter traditionally, that is where Bradman, Ponting, Boon made the majority of their runs. Aussie selectors, Clarke is your best player he needs to man up and move to three.

Posted by stumpedlloyd on (April 3, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

I am curious about Inverarity talking about Doolan's dominance in the early part of the season, then spending the BBL pretty much on the sidelines and being unable to regain his form when Shield cricket started back up. I don't follow domestic Aussie cricket keenly, so perhaps someone else could fill me in. But is there a valid reason why Cricket Australia throws the BBL right smack in the middle of the Shield season? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to the cricketers if the BBL was played either at the beginning or end of the season so that cricketers could find form in the longer format, thereby adding more depth of Austraila's batting reserves? These aren't the days when the likes of Greg Blewett and Brad Hodge were in the wings and couldn't find a steady place in the national side. The current set up doesn't seem to make sense to me, at least.

Posted by kohomban on (April 3, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

australin selection committee should look at their batsmen techniques,should not look at first class runs they have got,that is the big in australin cricket.

Posted by blink182alex on (April 3, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

@axe_hay, Cosgrove won't be considered because of his physical shape.

I think Rogers is a must in England, whilst i have been promoting Voges for the trip as a number 6 batsmen. He has experience in England and has stepped up to international level cricket albeit only one day matches.

You select the best players that are available at the time, you can't discount Rogers for being 35 and include someone like Maxwell with half the talent because he might make it in the future.

1. Watson 2. Warner 3. Rogers 4. Hughes 5. Clarke 6. Voges 7. Haddin. This would be my batting line up, Cowan is dropped as Watson has to play and is better opening.

Another little interesting think was the schedule of the BBL and the impact of form that had in the shield for Bailey and Doolan.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (April 3, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

The article contains both the problem and the reasons for the poor quality of batsmanship in Aussie domestic cricket at present. Why can't be there a better schedule which negates the need for players to frequently switch between formats? Also there is nothing wrong in going back to experienced ie older hands to strengthen the Aussie test batting line up. I would also recommend the names of Callum Ferguson, Mark Cosgrove to be added to the list of probables for the Ashes.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

Australian Cricket and Selectors discard you at their leisure and without much justicifation, and then call upon you when desperation sets in. These cricketers should refuse them and set a standard for upcoming young cricketers. Australia Cricket and Selectors needs a wake up call. This is the right time to do it to them.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

Australia have missed a trick or two in not having utilized Brad Hodge to his full potential. Imagine having him in the middle order and the amount of stability and experience he would have brought to the Australian middle order. Till very recently the team had so many choices that people like Andrew Symonds were disciplined into retirement and Hodge was rotted into the same. The situation is not very different in India. Fortunately for us, we now know that our batting can dictate terms in at least the home conditions and there is ample evidence that these new bunch of players can excel in overseas conditions. Having said that, I would still say India would go head over heals to have atleast one fast bowler equal to the Australian pacemen. Unfortunately India cant produce them as Australia can produce Cheteshwar Pujaras and Shikhar Dhawan.

Posted by axe_hay on (April 3, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

Why are the selectors ignoring Mark Cosgrove ? Why is'nt he in contention for the Ashes ? He has been very consistent over the years but has always been ignored !

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

Voges and rogers are must..tbh smith and kahawaja are just overrated who have failed multiple times on int lvl

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (April 3, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

@Mary the only reason Khawaja hasn't had recent "red ball cricket" is because, after performing very strongly for Queensland, he was dragged along all summer (and then to India) as the 'next man in' yet never gave him a chance to play. Just glad to see some positive comments on his ashes chances, lets hope they follow through and give the kid his deserved chance. Pat Cummins is a great talent but he needs a year to go and play shield cricket. Yes he is very talented but he needs to prove he can maintain his fitness before he should even be considered. He hasn't played for Australia since his debut series in South Africa due to injury (approximately 18 months)

Posted by rockiniboepip on (April 3, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

Think of all the great players from the last generation, ones who hardly got a look in to the test team, amazing first class players.... Love/DiVenuto/Cox/Law/Rogers......... These guys would walk into the team now..

Posted by nzcricket174 on (April 3, 2013, 11:40 GMT)

Glad to see Rogers may finally be getting his well deserved chance.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

D Hussey should not be involved really, but his weight of English runs surely puts him in contention. 69.21, 68.05, 47.62, 83.93, 81.40, 66.50.. These are his avgs! Hodge isn't as well performed. And he is 38.. And he will never be picked for Australia again. For some unknown reason.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 3, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

@Amith some fantastic point, yes not the young kid's fault he has been on the bench and i can't wait to see him in action in the ashes.For me as long as Cricket Australia prefer to contract designated hitters rather than batsmen with a half decent technique, the shortage of good batsmen will continue. With the ludicrous money being offered in IPL contracts, its already very attractive for batsmen to focus on the stand and deliver approach, on good batting wickets to impress for the IPL. Cricket Australia have now added to the incentive for young batsmen to do so. Why develop a solid technique, learn the art of building an innings or playing the moving ball well if there is little chance of gaining a contract anyway? Khawaja is a great example, ready made for test cricket and someone who hasn't focused on the IPL but not given a contract. Blaming his lack of recent red ball cricket is a joke given he has been kept on the bench by the coach.

Posted by jonesy2 on (April 3, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

inverarity is absolutely clueless and it hurts me to say that about a WA legend but he has no idea what he is talking about and what he is doing im convinced he hasnt watched a game of cricket for 30 years. for me the batting has immense depth rogers wouldnt be a bad option but warner and watson should be the openers so where would cowan and rogers fit in?

Posted by Ducky610 on (April 3, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

@Corey... Check out Brad Haddin's ashes record and first class season this year. It is very imposing, he defiantly deserves selection in England. Rogers is another must have and should of been ever since Katich was unceremoniously sacked...

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (April 3, 2013, 11:34 GMT)

I don't have a problem with an experienced 35 year old getting a game, as long as he's ready for it.

I see the future of international player management being specialist in particular formats. Test specialist, ODI and t20 specialist. Some players may cross over but on the whole it's probably better for test players to skip things like the BBL to go back and play grade cricket. But the money factor is an issue.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (April 3, 2013, 11:06 GMT)

Rogers should have been in the team years ago. He has 14,000 more first class runs and 10 run higher average than Cowan. And David Hussey's average is higher than Rogers. Amazing these experienced professionals have been ignored because the selectors are bewildered. We have no chance.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

I think this list is confusing. Why Haddin and not Paine?Wade should be o d I keeper and Paine Test keeper. Faulkner is a good selection and should be in squad. Mitch Johnson, Watson, Haddin etc have to be moved on and we have to put some games into youth. That is what Border did with McGrath, Warne, Waugh, Waugh, Slater etc....we have to punt on giving games to younger blokes. Pattinson, Bird, Cummins, Starc, Faulkner and then Lyon, Agar are our next generation bowling attack....with Siddle as the mentor. Forget the rest. Hughes, Warner, Doolan, Burns, Kiwajha, Smith and then new guys like Head and Henry are the batting youth with Cowan and Clarke mentoring them. Paine is the best glove man in Australia...Wade is not up to standard as a test keeper. His last test was a shocker Start with a plan and then go from there. Not jumping all over the shop as we have done in the last few years. The faster they get Boof Lehmann into the coaching role the better we will be.

Posted by Dashgar on (April 3, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

I'm definitely not against Voges and Rogers getting a run, especially if Joe Burns and maybe Doolan is there too. Clearly the guys who went to India aren't the answer. My top 6, Rogers, Cowan, Voges, Clarke, Bailey, Burns

Posted by Dr.Scott on (April 3, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

Australia's best team is Rogers, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Doolan, Smith, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon, Harris. The rest of the Ashes squad should be Warner, Wade, Bird, Starc , Doherty and another middle order batsman. The batting is young, inexperienced and largely unproven but better than proven failures like Cowan and Watson. Warner perhaps unlucky not to be opening but I just think Rogers and Hughes are the best two openers available.

Posted by Mitty2 on (April 3, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

@tuhin, henry's average is abysmal and Ross hasnt even played a FC game so dont know why you're suggesting him.. If we wanted a very young batsman to debut who has very little experience than it's silk or no one.

I think that McDermott will be a very good prospect but currently, he is behind cutting, Faulkner and coulter-nile. Not to mention Cummings, bird, patto and starc.

Posted by LiamF on (April 3, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

There should never of been any doubt that Rogers (and D. Hussey) was in contention. I know Hussey's first class season wasn't overly flash but he's got a handy record including lots of county runs and he has stated a hunger to still play Tests. His sudden axing from the ODI team probably didnt help his mindset thought. I'd have no problem with Voges getting a run either.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (April 3, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

I don't mind Rogers as an option but would like to ask why David Hussey isn't being considered? Brad Hodge has also said that he is open to a return to test level for the Ashes. It wouldn't be the worst outfit out there if they were picked. Also let's not forget Jordan Silk, with an average of over50 in his first 3 FC matches.

The main problem, though, is practice. Regardless of who they pick, they have to do it sooner rather than later, so that they can get out the old Duke ball and get used to playing with it. If they wait until the last moment, they will have no chance to be ready for the Ashes and will fail.

Posted by Mitty2 on (April 3, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

@moppa, check out Cowan's efforts in Australia A's tour of England. Think he did enough in England too!

On the left handers against swann, that will be a problem, I can remember even hussey edging to him on numerous occasions but there's no right handers in my opinion who truly warrant a selection over my suggested six. I'd take burns over doolan though. Imagine if doolan was picked against SA instead of quiney!

Posted by Simoc on (April 3, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

Rogers & Voges might be in contention but they won't get picked. Khawaja is a certainty because he didn't fail in India, they made sure of that. The team will be the same minus Henriques, Maxwell and possibly Johnson. Because they are the best we have with Faulkner as an inclusion (and hopefully Bird).

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

ALEX DOOLAN, ALEX ROSS is far better than cowan, warner, hughes...DOOLAN, ROSS should get chance in test squad...warner, cowan, hughes has no good technique...just like middle class batsmen...ALISTER MCDERMOTT should be come in test squad instead of my best AUSSIE squad for first XI is like this: 1. Scott Henry, 2. Watson, 3. Clarke, 4. Doolan, 5. Alex Ross, 6. Sean Abbott, 7. Smith, 8. Starc, 9. Hilfenhaus, 10. Mcdermott, 11. Lyon* * if AUSSIE get a good spinner then he should be played instead of Lyon...

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (April 3, 2013, 10:08 GMT)

Whooops! While Englands 11 is more that likely 1 Cook 2 Compton 3 Trott 4 KP 5 Bell 6 Root 7 Prior 8 Bresnan 9 Swann 10 Broad 11 Anderson as well as extras like Monty, Bairstow, Onions, Finn & the fit again Tremlett, no one in australia can be discounted from a shock ashes appearance.

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

@Mitty2 on (April 3, 2013, 8:57 GMT) - no arguement with your top 6, BUT, it is FIVE Lefthanders in the top 6, with the liklihood of Wade & Starc @ #7 & #8. That said - I don't think there are any obvious RH bats, maybe Smith, maybe Doolan, maybe Burns, maybe Watto (depend on a) Champ Trophy form, b) full fitness & c) he is on his last chance)

Posted by Moppa on (April 3, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

@featurewriter, nice to know that we're on the same page! Though I must admit, I'm coming around to the view of @Mitty and @Meety that Rogers should be in the squad, presumably then displacing Doolan. Doolan may not have the acceleration you want in a six, so maybe you go with Rogers as an opener or three and move Warner or Hughes. Re Butterworth, you can definitely make a case to pick a genuine outswing bowler, probably in place of Johnson, in which case Butterworth's batting and experience might just edge Sayers (he and Butterworth are both superior to Hilfenhaus). PS: I should clarify an error in my earlier post, I meant to say that Cowan did enough in *India* to get selected for the Ashes.

Posted by Beertjie on (April 3, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

@ConfusedOne on (April 3, 2013, 7:39 GMT) Great remark about the selectors being as dysfunctional as some of the players. If Invers is "not quite bewildered" it may be a good sign, at least for him. But his mantra of selecting players who "do really well across all formats" is one of the problems rather than a solution to problems. He needs to seriously re-think his interaction with other members of the NSP who don't see the bigger picture and want to ruin both Oz-cricket as well as individuals' careers. Excluding Rogers for so long when others could see how important a transitional role he might play is an example. Another would be playing players before they are ready and sacrificing short term goals for medium term success, e.g., Cummins, Agar. I like your top 6 @Mitty2 (April 3, 2013, 8:57 GMT), but 5 lefties against Swann? OK if Haddin keeps it might help, but still. Anyway, they all need to go and then selectors can try to get the order right. Watson (all rounder) + Doolan too.

Posted by CricketBirbal on (April 3, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

BAILEY has to be made a part of the test squad. He is one player who would bring the much needed solidity in the middle order after Clarke. Along with them DJ Hussey and Rogers would make up for a fine batting line up with Cowan /Hughes and Watson in top six.WK and Bowlers pick themselves. Nothing much to separate them.

Posted by Mitty2 on (April 3, 2013, 9:29 GMT)

@featurewriter, I think it's down to butterworth's pace (or lack thereof). With having the likes of Cummings, patto and starc all bowling 140+, and despite the two of them having FC averages of 30 (starc and Cummings), they are selected straight away just because of their pace. Look at MJ for example, when he was smacked around by the poms in both the recent ashes series (09,10/11), he was bowling at 145 minimum, and bowling erratically, but he was constantly chosen just because of his quickness. Butterworth is a very intelligent and accurate bowler, almost identical to bird from what I've seen but just a little slower, but he won't be selected because of him bowling 130km/h. Which is kind of ironic considering John Hastings has played a test.

The poms have shown they are good at playing pace (how they played steyn recently and MJ), but are very susceptible to accurate and tight bowling. Just look at how they failed against the NZ attack on dead tracks! Bird and Harris are a must.

Posted by hmmmmm... on (April 3, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

Batting woes = selectors picking only 5 batsmen (including an all rounder who doesn't bowl) and expecting matthew wade to bat above his potential. pick people on merit not gut feeling and drop them if they fail repeatedly (ie. hughes and at times warner).

Posted by featurewriter on (April 3, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

Moppa: I had to re-read your comment to make sure I didn't make it earlier! That's the exact team I'd select - right down to the unfortunate players to miss the cut. I think Luke Butterworth is arguably the unluckiest first-class cricketer in Australia. He's a supreme talent who has performed consistently over the past several seasons. I think he'd do exceptionally well in English conditions.

Posted by hycIass on (April 3, 2013, 9:06 GMT)

@Fleming Mitch love your comment, yes those 2 words sum it up, but Khawaja alone can't be our batting saviour, i do think he will be just the gritty batsman we need in the top order but i would also look at someone like Quiney or Cossie in the top order to make it stronger. Also how about minimal contracts for about 30 "possible" players and then just increase the match payments so those that are good enough to be selected are rewarded - with bigger payments for wins, of course.

Posted by docbob on (April 3, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

Puleez!! Inverarity's words are truly hard to swallow. Pick players and just give them a decent chance. Build confidence! Dazzling wins just won't come overnight. Persist! The answer is certainly not to turn to previously tried players now in the twilight of their careers.

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (April 3, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

And don't forget R Quiney!

Posted by QingdaoXI on (April 3, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

Cowan, Hughes, S.Marsh, Clarke, Voges, Watson,Wade, Starc, Cummins, Pattinson, Bird, Lyon.

Posted by AngryAngy on (April 3, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

Batting woes: Australia forced to turn to batsman averaging 50 in first class cricket.

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (April 3, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

That last line is a complete joke! "It's certainly not an ideal preparation, him not playing more red-ball cricket." I believe that can't exactly be blamed on him now can it?! He's not the one who picked himself in the test squad then decided that he didn't get to play the 3 matches he was available for. I never used to like Khwaja but just give him a go, everyone else seems to be squandering their chances.

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 8:16 GMT)

@ConfusedOne on (April 3, 2013, 7:39 GMT) - what form does Voges have? He should be in contention for the Champ Trophy, but his Shield season was not good.He averaged 26 for this season. Then again your name does suggest I shouldn't expect a sharp comment! LOL! @wix9/Mary_786 - in what alternate univers has Marsh put forward a case for selection? His form for WA was poor in the Shield, he finished the summer well in the 50 over format, his attitude is questionable (Scorchers in Sth Africa), he is not in the top 10 available batsmen for Oz. @Moppa on (April 3, 2013, 7:11 GMT) - agree re Voges, I really hope they don't go for him in the Ashes, it will prove they don't have a clue, he'd would of been good in India. Rogers (despite his age), is a genuine option. In difficult batting conditions last County season, he was the 2nd highest run getter in 1st division @ an ave of 40, which compliments a 3rd place in the Shield this summer @ 49. By rights, he should tour.

Posted by bobagorof on (April 3, 2013, 8:16 GMT)

The major problem that Australia is facing isn't to do with a lack of talent - it's that the selectors are limiting themselves to players that fall within a certain category or age. Rogers has been a consistent performer for many years, yet with all the talk of a lack of depth it's only after a disasterous Indian tour that he is publicly discussed. Ponting's form was in serious decline, but he continued to get selected rather than initiate a new player while Hussey was available. O'Keefe is continued to be overlooked despite his outstanding domestic record. The talent is still available, and there are proven domestic performers, but they just doesn't always fit the selectors' narrow mold.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

I think that trying to choose a batting lineup out of all the options will result in too much stress and premature hair loss. For me Clarke and Hughes are guaranteed starters. In India, Watson, Wade and Warner simply didn't take their chances and didn't show that they were thinking and adapting to the conditions. Ed Cowan is slowly improving and he earned his spot but he averages 33 and you simply aren't going to win too many games if an opener can't go on and make big scores. Trying to fit in the others, like Khawaja, Rogers, Voges, Smith, and Henriques, who despite failing in india had a mammoth season with the bat, on top of the regular lineup listed above is a major nightmare.

Posted by KhanMitch on (April 3, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

I have 2 words, Usman Khawaja, get the young kid in, he is ready. Also I am a fan of D Hussey and perhaps some county runs can get him in the ashes squad.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 3, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

@wisx99 i also see both Khawaja and Marsh as key players, Khawaja will play and do well but i am not sure Marsh will be recovered from his injury in time. Henriques' omission is hardly the big story here. Doherty gets a contract to bowl a few overs in a dying format (ODIs), yet Jackson Bird can't get a run despite being the premier quick in first class cricket the past two years. Same goes for Khawaja, our best young talent and didn't get a single game in India, i hope we don't make the same mistake in England as he will be needed. Brad Haddin is a fine player but his inclusion is pointless. Hilfenhaus - also pointless. Only 5 specialist batsmen (I don't include non-bowling all-rounders who average 25) out of 20, sad statement of the depth, or lack thereof, of this facet of the game.If Australia are going to be competitive in the Ashes, the bowlers are going to have to play out of their skins.

Posted by ConfusedOne on (April 3, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

Rogers and Voges deserve contracts on their form. Why in the world would you select a squad, pay them squillions and then go outside the squad and spend more. The selectors must be as dysfunctional as some of the players.

Posted by blitzNM on (April 3, 2013, 7:15 GMT)

australia's wasted talents till now in test : rogers, katich, bailey, dj hussey, brad hodge and even voges. I mean dj hussey and brad hodge should have got the entry once the likes of damein martyn retired or atleast after the exclusion of symonds. Brad hodge must have been around 32 when martyn retired so he still had cricket in him. Dj hussey must have been 31 after symo was suspended.....why they werent used. This is the right time to use bailey......i know he averages just 38 in first class but has experience.....and can play spin/pace well all-round the wicket.

Posted by wix99 on (April 3, 2013, 7:09 GMT)

I reckon Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh are the two key batsmen for Australia in the Ashes. Both have played a few Tests and shown they have the potential to perform at the top level. Marsh has had problems with form and more recently injury but hopefully he can get back to his best and take on England.

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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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