Australia news April 30, 2013

Inverarity wrestles with Australia's batting woes

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Australia's national selector, John Inverarity, has spoken frankly of his panel's struggles to find batsmen capable of thriving in a Test match following the retirements of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, admitting he is not sure whether they will emerge in strong numbers ever again.

In a searching interview with ESPNcricinfo, Inverarity said that Twenty20's influence on the Australian summer schedule loomed large among a variety of reasons for the tailing off of Australian batting in recent summers, to a point where the captain Michael Clarke is now the only member of the Test top six with an average of better than 40.

"I don't think anyone has got the exact answer as to why we haven't got players coming through who bat for long periods," Inverarity said. "But one thing I am sure about is young players need to work it out for themselves ... Society is different now, there's fast food and immediate gratification and those things, so whether we'll see it in the abundance that we've seen it over the years before I don't know.

"I think an intelligent young player with some talent, and looking to make his way in cricket, I would think high on his agenda would be developing an appetite and the wherewithal to bat for long periods and make big scores. A young player, if he wanted to play Test cricket, then applying himself in that regard is what we're on the lookout for."

While careful to credit the T20 Big Bash League with building a new audience for the game in Australia, Inverarity conceded the lack of Sheffield Shield cricket across summer's prime months in December and January had affected a player's ability to develop continuity, momentum and the habit of high scoring.

"The cricket scene now is more fragmented than it was, with T20. If you'd said 10 years ago that there wouldn't be any domestic first-class cricket in Australia in December and January you would've thought that was not possible," he said. "The Big Bash League has been a great attraction and in spreading the word of cricket it's been a great success. But in terms of players developing momentum it has made it rather difficult.

"A very good example is Alex Doolan, who has been a very promising player for some time and built up some real momentum in October/November, and then of course the next time he played a Shield match was in February. So that was difficult for him."

Inverarity mounted a staunch defence of the management and rotation of Australian players over the 2012-13 summer, and disputed claims that batsmen - in contrast to bowlers - were disadvantaged by being given the occasional rest instead of playing throughout the year.

"I think that's exaggerated. It does not stand up to scrutiny," he said. "Missing a game or two for an elite professional cricketer, who plays all three formats and for numerous teams, should not be an issue at all. Players regularly come back from a prolonged layoff for injury and bat brilliantly.

"Playing in all forms, players can tend to become jaded. I think Michael Clarke at the moment is benefiting greatly from having a break. Over a period of five years, my view is you'll get more out of a player if he has appropriate breaks. And of course that creates opportunity for others. Jackson Bird playing for Starc in the Boxing Day Test was a great benefit to Australian cricket."

There was also an explanation for why the New South Wales spin bowler Steve O'Keefe has not been selected for national duty, despite handsome domestic figures. Inverarity said he had been close several times, but the panel's collective view had remained consistent that other, better options existed.

"Steve O'Keefe is a very good cricketer. He's taken wickets, and he's a steady batsman," Inverarity said. "Whenever we've been at the selection table, we've marginally preferred other players to him. But he's still regarded as a good cricketer. We're very aware of his figures and we do look deeper than that. But there's a panel of five of us and there's a consistency of view when we select the spinners."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY wellrounded87 on | May 1, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    The answer seems pretty obvious. At least to me. the domestic cricket in Australia needs an overhaul... desperately. We used to have a plethora of batsmen averaging in the high 40's and low 50's in sheild cricket. Now we have what less than 10 averaging over 40? The pitches are curated to give plenty to the pace bowlers so we get more results and less draws. As a result we have plenty of depth in fast bowling but none in spin bowling and batsmen. We need to have at least 2-3 pitches made under different conditions. Let's get some flat tracks for the batsmen to develop the ability/temperment for long innings' and let's get some dry pitches that will deteriorate and help spinners. This way we round out our talent pool more and should find some quality in batting and spinners developing through the domestic levels.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | May 2, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    @Meety i am a fan of Khawaja but you have summed it up well mate, he didn't play any red ball cricket since November and he did well in shield which is why he got picked for national honours. Lets hope he gets a descent crack in the ashes because he can be a test star for us. @Mark i am not sure the VC holds much emphasis anymore. We already have a captain, a coach, a batting coach, a bowling coach, a fielding coach, a fitness coach, a high performance manager etc etc - what does a Vice-Captain do? So much of the historical role of captain has already been diminished, so surely VC role is not really that important.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 2, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    @stumpedlloyd on (April 30, 2013, 23:12 GMT) - Inverarity cannot "...move the BBL..." That is decision-making above his pay grade. He can complain about this in the hope that one day an obvious scheduling issue will get fixed. Yes, he does sound like he is looking for excuses, but he does have a point. When the Lankans came for the second test series for the summer, the Shield comp had been dormant for about 3 to 4 weeks. Could you imagine the County season stopping between NZs tour & the Ashes? It is dumb planning & it will cause continuity issues. This is not the SOLE reason for Oz's batting stocks being low. The reality is that Oz is more exposed to the 20/20 problems, due to the timing of the IPL (& BBL & Champ League too), but also as most of our batsmen have been developed POST the IPL ERA. England & SA's batting line up are mainly players who started FC careers BEFORE IPL & have not had their technique corrupted so much. Oz talent still strong - application not so.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 2, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    @ landl47 on (April 30, 2013, 22:53 GMT) - Khawaja is a talented batsmen, with the odd question mark over commitment. During the Oz Shield season, Khawaja ended up averaging less than 40, however, there is a big caveat on that stat. In the matches that Khawaja played in, he was the highest runs corer for his team & was often the match highest scorer. He outperformed the top 7 (both sides), in most of the games he played. So I would say his ave of about 39, was worth a lot more. I do agree that there seems to be some desperation amongst fans to annoint Khawaja as some sort of saviour to the Test team. IMO - he is a player, when his head is in the right place, & with a decent run in the Test team, good enuff to average 45 to 50 in Test cricket against good opposition. Khawaja should never of been selected for the ODI side & the madness in the scheduling (coupled with a wash out), meant he didn't face a red ball post Nov, until he was in India.

  • POSTED BY Amith_S on | May 2, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    @JosephLangford well said.

  • POSTED BY Amith_S on | May 2, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    @SirViv1973 good comments mate, i am part of the Khawaja fan club, wasn't before but his performances for the Bulls really impressed me this year and it helps that i am from Brisbane. But taking state allegiances out of it, the kid does deserve his crack and no one is making him out to be our saviour but i tell you he is one of our better young batsman. Just take a look at some of the highlights of his Ryobi and shield innings for the bulls this year and you will see that he is one of our better prospects for the ashes. My prediction is that he will fire in the Aus A games and start in the top 6 on July 11. Mary and Hyclass make some good points too on his performances and barring a 3 month period after he first got dropped he has performed consistently througout his shield career both for NSW and now the Bulls. And its hard to ignore Mike Hussey publicly backing him as his successor given his brother was also in the running. The ashes could be his making.

  • POSTED BY on | May 1, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    @ SirViv1973 .... I have gone through the UK's stat's in test cricket and showed how he was outperforming most other Australia players during his brief Test Career and being dropped so that they could rush Marsh back into the team proved again how pathetic our selectors are.

    Last year he could have easily won the Sheffield Shield player of the year but was consistently pulled out of the Teams to sit on the bench, and was not allowed to play in the SS Final while he warmed the benches in India.

    Anyone who knows anything about batting realises that time in the middle is invaluable ..... for some reason last season CA did everything possible to deny UK representative batting time.

    Can somebody please remind me of how well Hughes batted in India to continually get selected?!?!?!? And how well Maxwell and Doherty played??

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | May 1, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    @Jayzuz, I think Warner's ave was overinflated from playing a lot of ordinary attacks early in his career. If he can keep around the 40 mark then he will be doing very well.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | May 1, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    @Landl47, I couldn't agree more re Khawlja. There does seem to be a general feeling among the majority of oz fans here that he is some sort of Savior. His stats at least in both tests & FC cricket certainly don't back that up and although he has been somewhat hard done by, by not getting picked I don't think he has made an outstanding case for selection. Those expecting him to play a major role in the ashes should be cautious. A lot can change between now & jul 10 but with Warner & Cowan likely to open & Clarke & Watson likely to be at 5 &6 that leaves the other 3 vying for the 3 & 4 spots. You can't see Rogers starting on the bench at his old & I think Aus like the idea of another 'older' head in the middle, which leaves UK & Hughes fighting for the last spot and Khawlja looks more suited to 1st drop than Hughes does.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | May 1, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    I thought the Aussies were going to white wash England come what may.Is this part of the mental disintegration?

  • POSTED BY wellrounded87 on | May 1, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    The answer seems pretty obvious. At least to me. the domestic cricket in Australia needs an overhaul... desperately. We used to have a plethora of batsmen averaging in the high 40's and low 50's in sheild cricket. Now we have what less than 10 averaging over 40? The pitches are curated to give plenty to the pace bowlers so we get more results and less draws. As a result we have plenty of depth in fast bowling but none in spin bowling and batsmen. We need to have at least 2-3 pitches made under different conditions. Let's get some flat tracks for the batsmen to develop the ability/temperment for long innings' and let's get some dry pitches that will deteriorate and help spinners. This way we round out our talent pool more and should find some quality in batting and spinners developing through the domestic levels.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | May 2, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    @Meety i am a fan of Khawaja but you have summed it up well mate, he didn't play any red ball cricket since November and he did well in shield which is why he got picked for national honours. Lets hope he gets a descent crack in the ashes because he can be a test star for us. @Mark i am not sure the VC holds much emphasis anymore. We already have a captain, a coach, a batting coach, a bowling coach, a fielding coach, a fitness coach, a high performance manager etc etc - what does a Vice-Captain do? So much of the historical role of captain has already been diminished, so surely VC role is not really that important.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 2, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    @stumpedlloyd on (April 30, 2013, 23:12 GMT) - Inverarity cannot "...move the BBL..." That is decision-making above his pay grade. He can complain about this in the hope that one day an obvious scheduling issue will get fixed. Yes, he does sound like he is looking for excuses, but he does have a point. When the Lankans came for the second test series for the summer, the Shield comp had been dormant for about 3 to 4 weeks. Could you imagine the County season stopping between NZs tour & the Ashes? It is dumb planning & it will cause continuity issues. This is not the SOLE reason for Oz's batting stocks being low. The reality is that Oz is more exposed to the 20/20 problems, due to the timing of the IPL (& BBL & Champ League too), but also as most of our batsmen have been developed POST the IPL ERA. England & SA's batting line up are mainly players who started FC careers BEFORE IPL & have not had their technique corrupted so much. Oz talent still strong - application not so.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | May 2, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    @ landl47 on (April 30, 2013, 22:53 GMT) - Khawaja is a talented batsmen, with the odd question mark over commitment. During the Oz Shield season, Khawaja ended up averaging less than 40, however, there is a big caveat on that stat. In the matches that Khawaja played in, he was the highest runs corer for his team & was often the match highest scorer. He outperformed the top 7 (both sides), in most of the games he played. So I would say his ave of about 39, was worth a lot more. I do agree that there seems to be some desperation amongst fans to annoint Khawaja as some sort of saviour to the Test team. IMO - he is a player, when his head is in the right place, & with a decent run in the Test team, good enuff to average 45 to 50 in Test cricket against good opposition. Khawaja should never of been selected for the ODI side & the madness in the scheduling (coupled with a wash out), meant he didn't face a red ball post Nov, until he was in India.

  • POSTED BY Amith_S on | May 2, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    @JosephLangford well said.

  • POSTED BY Amith_S on | May 2, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    @SirViv1973 good comments mate, i am part of the Khawaja fan club, wasn't before but his performances for the Bulls really impressed me this year and it helps that i am from Brisbane. But taking state allegiances out of it, the kid does deserve his crack and no one is making him out to be our saviour but i tell you he is one of our better young batsman. Just take a look at some of the highlights of his Ryobi and shield innings for the bulls this year and you will see that he is one of our better prospects for the ashes. My prediction is that he will fire in the Aus A games and start in the top 6 on July 11. Mary and Hyclass make some good points too on his performances and barring a 3 month period after he first got dropped he has performed consistently througout his shield career both for NSW and now the Bulls. And its hard to ignore Mike Hussey publicly backing him as his successor given his brother was also in the running. The ashes could be his making.

  • POSTED BY on | May 1, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    @ SirViv1973 .... I have gone through the UK's stat's in test cricket and showed how he was outperforming most other Australia players during his brief Test Career and being dropped so that they could rush Marsh back into the team proved again how pathetic our selectors are.

    Last year he could have easily won the Sheffield Shield player of the year but was consistently pulled out of the Teams to sit on the bench, and was not allowed to play in the SS Final while he warmed the benches in India.

    Anyone who knows anything about batting realises that time in the middle is invaluable ..... for some reason last season CA did everything possible to deny UK representative batting time.

    Can somebody please remind me of how well Hughes batted in India to continually get selected?!?!?!? And how well Maxwell and Doherty played??

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | May 1, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    @Jayzuz, I think Warner's ave was overinflated from playing a lot of ordinary attacks early in his career. If he can keep around the 40 mark then he will be doing very well.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | May 1, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    @Landl47, I couldn't agree more re Khawlja. There does seem to be a general feeling among the majority of oz fans here that he is some sort of Savior. His stats at least in both tests & FC cricket certainly don't back that up and although he has been somewhat hard done by, by not getting picked I don't think he has made an outstanding case for selection. Those expecting him to play a major role in the ashes should be cautious. A lot can change between now & jul 10 but with Warner & Cowan likely to open & Clarke & Watson likely to be at 5 &6 that leaves the other 3 vying for the 3 & 4 spots. You can't see Rogers starting on the bench at his old & I think Aus like the idea of another 'older' head in the middle, which leaves UK & Hughes fighting for the last spot and Khawlja looks more suited to 1st drop than Hughes does.

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | May 1, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    I thought the Aussies were going to white wash England come what may.Is this part of the mental disintegration?

  • POSTED BY on | May 1, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    The state of Australian Cricket isn't that bad .... we just have terrible management and terrible selectors and a terrible captain. There is no vision, no strength, no capacity ...... and certainly no will to change.

    I simply couldn't believe that Haddin was named Vice Captain for the Test Team. They simply do not want to acknowledge that Wade is not up to standard as a keeper and are unwilling to give others (Players that don't come from NSW) an opportunity. I reiterate .... NO WILL TO CHANGE!!!

    Australia's strength will be in the bowling, and I hope they hold the willow as well as they have done over the past four years because I think that Australia is going to need this.

    I really hope that Australia plays out of their skin but it wouldn't surprise me if Simon Katich has a ticket for Day 4 of the 1st Ashes Test as many believe that it will be on this day that Clarke will lead Australia to their 5th successive Test loss .... I believe that this will be a new record for Australia.

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | May 1, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    @land47 i don't think there is a conundrum, he is our best player of swing and pace, even Inevarity stated that in his announcement. If you want evidence take a look at couple of his innings in shield, he only played 5 shield matches this year and was man of the match in 3 of them, a 140 against Tasmania on an absolute green deck against Bird, Butterworth, Faulkner where Tasmania only got 90 and 130. And another man of the match performance against NSW(Copeland, Starc, Hazelwood and Bollinger) at AB Oval where he top scored in both innings, one thing the kid can do is play against pace, just needs half the chances that have been given to the likes of Hughes and Cowan.@Lewis I didn't even realise this was happening as I was focussing on the Lions tour. A tough group we are in but a good squad. Importantly between this and the A tour we get a great look at the way everyone in the Ashes squad is travelling.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | May 1, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    @land47 I am sure Khawaja will come through for us, he top scored in man of the match performances to take Derbyshire to division 1 in their final 2 matches. He was second on both shield and Ryobi run scorers by the Christmas break after which he didn't get a game in shield or test cricket. In the 3 ODI's he got he got run out in the first, not out in the second and third on a fiery WACA pitch. I am not too concerned about the ODIs as I believe he is our best test prospect and Mike Hussey endorsed him as his replacement so he must have some class about him, can't wait to see him fire in the ashes. @SK7645 ? I understand that it's a different format for the champions trophy, but conceivably at least 4 of the XI (Warner, Watson, Clarke, Starc) will be in the starting XI of the first test a couple of weeks later. Take Hughes, whose spot is under pressure from Khawaja and perhaps Rogers. All making for a great contenst for batting spots.

  • POSTED BY on | May 1, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    Sam Hibbins - I think Katich being dropped had more to do with him strangling Clarke. BTW> The Kat scored a 90 in the county stuff the other day.

  • POSTED BY Insult_2_Injury on | May 1, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    The mess Australian cricket is in, is now obvious after hearing from the head selector. Test Players inability to bat for long periods of time is their fault and they have to work it out for themselves! What the hell are all the coaches and ancillary staff being employed for then? Aren't they employing batting coaches who are supposed to be passing on the advice relevant to structuring innings appropriate to the style of the next game - Test, One Day or T20? What a joke. Also easy for a guy who got more than enough opportunity to play for Australia to say it's fine for players to miss game time because the 'staff' decide he needs a break. It's obvious a fair percentage of Australias' problems stem from the staff not the players. These are the people who hadn't put a tough succession plan in place for the mid 2000's retirements. Now they're blaming the players for not being 'ready'. Again, what a joke!

  • POSTED BY InnocentGuy on | May 1, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    The proverbial pre-Ashes excuse-fest begins. And what a surprise, it's T20!!

  • POSTED BY Big_Maxy_Walker on | May 1, 2013, 2:42 GMT

    @simoc, yes scg is a spinner's paradise, that's why o'keefe should have been picked for the spinner's paradise tour in india where all the pitches are spin friendly.

  • POSTED BY HOMEBREW on | May 1, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    If BBL is destroying the up and coming test batsmens technique by playing this format during the summer months, then why the hell not schedule BBL after the sheild final and before the start of the AFL season. The AFL didn't start till near the end of March so the MCG & Etihad would of been available. Plus the bonus is thats it's closer to the start to the IPL. So you can quickly sort out who wants to play upcomng tests and who wants to play hit & giggle in India.

  • POSTED BY on | May 1, 2013, 0:20 GMT

    I wonder if Simon Katich would still be playing had he not been dropped for being 1 of 3 older batsmen. (The others being Punter and Hussey)

  • POSTED BY ghost_of_len_hutton on | May 1, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    Apart from Inverarity's apparent blame of fast food for Australia's batting woes, perhaps the most bizarre statement here is that concerning Steve O'Keefe. Inverarity acknowledges that O'Keefe has the best first class figures of any Aussie spinner, but apparently there's "a consistency of view" when picking Australian spinners. I can only assume that consistency of view is to constantly chop and change - eg White, Casson, Hauritz, Doherty, Beer, Lyon, Doherty again, Maxwell - on and on it goes. Perhaps O'Keefe's dog ate his homework.....

  • POSTED BY stumpedlloyd on | April 30, 2013, 23:12 GMT

    Okay, someone who follows Australian domestic cricket more keenly than I could perhaps explain this to me. Here's Inverarity's statement: "The Big Bash League has been a great attraction and in spreading the word of cricket it's been a great success. But in terms of players developing momentum it has made it rather difficult." Doesn't Cricket Australia control the Big Bash League or is it controlled by some other outfit? Because if CA is still in charge and the BBL causes momentum problems for the likes of Alex Doolan, as Inverarity suggests, why doesn't CA move the BBL to the end of the season, after Sheffield cricket is done? I am sorry if my statement sounds ignorant, but Inverarity's complaint makes absolutely no sense to me if he's not willing to move the BBL.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | April 30, 2013, 22:53 GMT

    A comment on the Khawaja conundrum. He's played 8 games in 2013: 1 FC, 3 ODIs (in which his scores were 3, 8* and 3), 2 T20s and 2 'others', ie friendlies. He's made 2 fifties, one in a T20 on Jan. 4th and the other in a OD friendly. A total of 226 runs in 3 formats at an average of 32, including 102 runs in friendlies.

    Why hasn't he played more? He was in the squad for the Sri Lanka series and played one ODI. He was in the squad for the India tour and played two games, one of which was a friendly. Inverarity says that young players need to come through and demonstrate their ability to bat for long periods. Yet Khawaja has been sitting doing nothing when he could have been playing domestic cricket.

    Although I think Khawaja isn't the talent some fans seem to believe (34 average in Div. 2 of the county champioship in England last year doesn't indicate he plays seam and swing well), I do think he's getting a rough deal. What kind of preparation is this for the Ashes?

  • POSTED BY bitofcricket on | April 30, 2013, 22:31 GMT

    The question is not if there are young batsmen out there wanting to establish themselves in the longer format, it seems more of a question of the selection panel promoting these guys to the test team and allowing them to settle. Anyone following Australian cricket can just look to a young gentleman who will be known as "K" to see an example of the selection committee undermining the development of such talent. Maybe "K" is good enough, maybe not, but a couple of games here and there are not going to provide these types of players the chance to establish themselves. (Making a quick 75 in a T20 should not be a selection criteria for the test team)

  • POSTED BY VillageBlacksmith on | April 30, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    Didnt the aussies get walloped by 3 massive innings defeats with hussey and ponting still in the team??? And didn't that team also include the 2 new supposed saviours hughes and kawaja?? And after SCG 2011 didnt the aussie press call their team the worst team ever?? I can still see the headlines now, feel free to check them out... the writing has been on the wall for a while invers and who have you come up with?? R Quiney!

  • POSTED BY MinusZero on | April 30, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    First thing is to dump Watson from tests and play him only in T20 and ODI where he is clearly a better player. You cant make a good test player if they dont have the patience.

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | April 30, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    Inveraity is making excuses already. He knows what is going to happen this summer...

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | April 30, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    This seams more like excuses than genuine reasons for Aus recent woes. JI sounds like a guy who is pretty desperate to hold on to his job. Having been the world's no1 team for over a decade & a half CA ( & many Aus fans) just assumed it would stay that way forever with it's endless conyer belt churning out quality tbatsman who would ave 45+ in test matches. Well the reality is that every dog has its day & for the time being at least Aus has had its. From the mid 90s through until 2007 Aus witnessed a true golden era which could never last forever. There were signs of decline almost immediately after the 06-07 ashes with very few young players being introduced, & many of the outgoing legends being replaced by players in their late 20s & 30s. A few veterans of the wonder yrs were able to hold the thing together & paper over the cracks but with the recent retirements of Ponting & Huss the cracks are now finally wide open & I suspect there will be more tough times ahead in the near future

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | April 30, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    T20 will negatively affect batting technique and australia is suffering precisely because of this , inverarity is right and i think this will be applicable to all countries in the long term. also people pointing out to the south african players like amla , kallis , ab devillers or even KP from england has to understand that they all have solid first class cricket background and came into t20 only at a mature age , its the younger players who will be affected with this IPL/big bash etc..

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | April 30, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    @Nightwing, I don't think playing shield during the week & BBL on the w.e is a goer. Players would be playing for one team during the week then playing for another team in another part of the country on the w.e then back to their other team on Mon. There's also the question of overseas players. It's far easier to recruit good quality overseas players if its for a 4 or 5 week period rather than every weekend over a 3 or 4 month period. From what I can gather things will be different next year as the tests will be completed in early Jan & the ODI programme has been reduced to allow BBL to take center stage.

  • POSTED BY GreenDeviln on | April 30, 2013, 19:19 GMT

    @Peterincanada Spot on dude spot on. In present line up I think Wade, Watson(as allrounder), Warner have that in them to make it big in Test format. They have already proved their worth in limited forms of the game and just need some patience of selectors and professionalism from coach..

  • POSTED BY Juiceoftheapple on | April 30, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Its strange isnt it, when you cant quite tell if the probings, ideas and complex theories of the selectors panel/cricket board are either hindering the national team's development or doing the best in a bad situation. The ECB's stubborness in the face of the IPL currently seems to be the right way in terms of keeping the focus on first class cricket, even if the players dont like it. And the clock has been turned back further with the end of a T20 period in the season, with all T20 to be on Friday nights over a season. Ultimately most people would equally see a local lad do well as they would a foreign star, either way with competitive high scoring and high tension cricket. The young Aussie players are filling their boots in the IPL, whilst here the focus is Championship cricket, which in Div 1 is finally getting on a par with the quality of Shield cricket. I'm glad the ECB have the little Britain mentality as it is serving our team well. When will CA stop putting the buck first?

  • POSTED BY Fine_Legs on | April 30, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    I feel Inverarity needs to acknowledge that if Hussey's retirement had been better managed, the transition would not have been quite so painful. Every top test team is based currently on a troika each: Amla-Kallis-Smith, Cook-Trott-Pietersen, Kohli-Pujara-Tendulkar and so on. Australia really needed Hussey to be around for Clarke for another year and a half: between the two of them they equal if not outshine those other threesomes. Being wary of twenty-twenty is not going to help: in fact, watching Steve Smith bat in this format, you can see raw talent and fighting spirit in abundant evidence, and here is one batsman who should be spoken to and groomed carefully for a larger role in five day cricket, and there could be similar recruits from the twenty twenty arena if the point of view is less jaundiced.

  • POSTED BY Thefakebook on | April 30, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    Better option as in Beer and Lyon,WOW!enough said.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | April 30, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    @ Jayzuz. Ups and downs do characterize the initial averages of a test career, & it takes a while for them to settle. Warner's test ave started with 15, then hit 76.5. After 8 tests it sat at 44.08. Over the next 11 he peaked at 44.68, & bottomed out at 39.4. His "average" average over those 11 is 42.61. India dragged down his cumulative & does not reflect consistency over his short career. The average of his "settling in" period and his "settled" period is 43.35, & probably (in my opinion) is a fairer representation of his short career than is his current cumulative ave, and also negates the influence of the difficult Indian pitches.

    You wrote "Warner... was consistently averaging 45-50 for his entire 1st year & a half in the team." That is inflated, & shows how easily our perception is often at odds with realistic figures. I'm not going to crunch numbers for the rest of the players, but hopefully this analysis helps somewhat to clarify perception of the "under-40s thing."

  • POSTED BY jplterrors on | April 30, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    "Danson" Inverarity would kill to have a Pete Fulton on the plane to England mind u so would any other International team. Bad luck to all tho NZ has the best opening bat in the game and plenty more centuries are round the corner for the big fella!

  • POSTED BY Romenevans on | April 30, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Why i never see South African cricket officials whine about their players? They play IPL and still at the top in every form of the game. The problem with Oz fans and setup is that they are still living in the glory of that golden era and can't digest the fact that every team goes through a re-building phase. They whine about their batsmen, what about their fast bowlers factory they have with them? Probably the best at present. Pattinson, Cummins, Starc, Faulkner, Richardson, Hilfy, Harris...and several others. They also play, but keep improving all the time. Its all in your mind set.

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | April 30, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    @ Parkies. Media called Faf a T20 specialist. How wrong!

    SA's top tier schools cricket is high quality, fiercly competitive, & a national competition. From the start, kids are taught classical technique. (Comics call Kallis "the human textbook." How Smith made it thro - ????) Faf was AB's' captain in an unbeaten team. As boys they played real, serious cricket.

    Faf played 78 non-test FC games, incl. county at Lancashire. He left, refusing the requirement of sole eligability for Eng. IPL success marked him a short-form specialist, but SA's A team skipper was in Aus because of results, not potential. Duminy's injury opened the door.

    At 28, Faf had waited, put in the hard yards, & knew his game - attack & defense. At the Oval he walked out for his country, not himself, his poise & focus the application of 18 year of schooling, training, & experience. Today, cricket "news" is all flashy attack, yet 2 inngs of old-school test defence became instant legend. Real fans still respect it.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    @PeterInCanada, I agree largely, people look back at the '89 batting line up and think how great it was, as you righlty point out it didn't look half as good on the way over as it did coming home.

    @Green and Gold, 100% agreed having Ponting, Clarke and Hussey occupying the complete middle order for the last three years has made it pretty difficult to get the likes of Khawaja into the team for a decent run. Ponting moving down to 4 made it even worse, perhaps he should have been let go then while Hussey was still going to be around a good while, its not like he made any runs batting there anyway. Clarke probably should have an extended run at four now to give someone like Khawaja or Burns a good run at 5

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    It is very mind boggleing indeed, to hear the excueses that Cricket Australia puts out when they are in deep trouble, when they are the ones responsible for the demise they put themselves into. You can never keep track on how they select players. At any given time, they will release publications of their requirements , then discarded the unwanted ones who does not fit their profile. Then when they find themselves up the river without a paddle, comes another publication to contradict what they said earlier. It seems that their heads are on backwards.

  • POSTED BY Peterincanada on | April 30, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    In 1989 Australia had been on the receiving end of many thrashings. They came to England as marked underdogs. Border was the only batting star. Jones, Boone and Marsh had overcome bad starts and were just staring to show promise. Taylor and S. Waugh had shown absolutely nothing. They all came good and in the six tests they scored over 400 in every first innings and over 600 twice. The selectors saw promise and showed patience. With changes as required they dominated world cricket for a long time. That was the recipe for success not wholesale chopping and changing.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | April 30, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    The main problem here i think lies in chucking in young players into the deepend, the pinacle of cricket (test cricket) when they are still very raw and imature. Make youngsters hunger for the baggy green and not just give it to every Tom Dick and Harry who becomes a one season wonder(e.g. that lad who made a debute agaist SA last year because of his performance in the warm up match against SA). And also I find it odd that Aus picks T20 type cricketers(Warner,Watson,Starc,Maxwell,Wade and now fans are making noise about the inclusion of another one, Faulkner) ahead of players that are better suited for the longer format and then at the end of the day blame T20 cricket for "destroying their batsmen". Not over looking the general lack of serious test quality players in Aus at the moment, I think they can do better with the brains trust in the selection, player development and management which is currently close to non existant

  • POSTED BY KeithMillersHair on | April 30, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    "I think an intelligent young player with some talent, and looking to make his way in cricket, I would think high on his agenda would be developing an appetite and the wherewithal to bat for long periods and make big scores." He says this, but sadly it is not reflected in the selections they make, which shows a deference to T20 performance and bits and pieces part timers. The NSP needs to face up to the fact that its selections have been part of the problem. While good progress has been made in the Ashes and Australia A squads, this only shows that the NSP realizes the India squad was a mistake. It would be nice if Invers could admit as much instead of giving non-answers. His SOK response was worthy of a politician.

  • POSTED BY gdavis on | April 30, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    On one hand it is professed that too many/long breaks are contributing to the lack of longer innings played by batsmen, yet players are being rotated even when they are keen to play. Playing against weaker opposition is where (new/ lacking confidence) players learn to bat longer and in turn build confidence and averages (which build confidence), there is alway a balance between playing tough opposition and playing against weaker teams.

  • POSTED BY Green_and_Gold on | April 30, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    New guys (except for specialist openers) need to start their career in the national side at #6 where there is already talent in the side. They need to earn the right to bat up the order (in my eyes #3 and #4 are the 2 best batsman in the side). This should have been Ponting and Clarke (then Clarke and Hussey) before the retirements. You then have #6 for the new guy (marsh, hughes etc). What happened instead was that new guys went into #3 got some runs in one series, a string of poor performances and then dropped. We need a long term strategy and plan for the batting order however i am more supprised when in recent series we have dropped the specialist #6 batsman for a keeper and then played all rounders that lacked an influence in either discipline. At the end of the day T20 affects everyone however only Cric Aus management affects the Aus cricket team.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | April 30, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @Mitty2: Welcome to the real world, the world where Australia really did lose the last five years' worth of Ashes and where they really did get whitewashed in '12. Congrats on beating our under 17's Lions, but having the England 1st XI spend 5 years being superior in all facets of test cricket over Australia is something many are more than happy with. Do check out the Ashes DVD box sets to update your knowledge. And tune in to this years' Ashes if you can bear it..

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | April 30, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    The BBL is on during the prime cricketing months, couple that with contracts being given to t20 players instead of fringe test players, it shows where CA are at. This attitude must filter down, how can it not? As for O'Keefe, there is still no reason for his ommission. What "deeper" is he missing? Why is Doherty and Maxwell preferred?

  • POSTED BY duralsumo on | April 30, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    T20 tournaments should not take 6 weeks to complete. Why do we need a home away system. I can always remember that Australia won the Centenary Test by 45 runs but I cannot remember the exact margin that the Queensland team won the Big Bash this year. I rate T20 to be equivalent of a Soap Opera, Limited Overs Cricket to be a weekly Tv show and test cricket to be a movie. Not all movies are classics. However to be a movie star you have to be able to the do right things and have the training. An improvement in all world first class competitions and structures is what is needed. This is where the ICC should intervene. Yes there is a role for T20 however there should be a structure for all levels of cricket and the bombardment of T20 that we have now. All three structures can co-exist. Lets not treat T20 like the duck who layed the golden egg.

  • POSTED BY blink182alex on | April 30, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    What's clear from the interview here is that the BBL is schueled at the wrong time. Right in the middle of the test summer is not the time for just domestic T20 cricket. Have it from mid Jan to mid Feb. That way all of the attention can be on the test series, and Shield form won't stop. Odi cricket is going on at that time.

    Also the selectors say they are looking for batters who bat long with big scores? Yeah that sounds fine until you see Moises Henriques and Glenn Maxwell on the team sheet.

  • POSTED BY tfjones1978 on | April 30, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    The Big Bash League should be scheduled to occur AFTER the summer test matches in Australia have concluded. The international scheduling should be: (1) Early Oct first ODI series for summer (five ODI over two weeks). (2) Late Oct to early Jan, test series for summer (five or six tests over 10 weeks). (3) Late Jan to early Feb, second ODI series for summer (five ODI over two weeks). The domestic scheduling should be: (1) Late Sept to mid Oct first part of domestic one dayers (ten ListA over three weeks). (2) mid Oct to mid Jan, first class cricket (ten FC matches & final over 12 weeks with final starting day after final test). (3) Late Jan final part of domestic one dayers (five ListA & final over 2 weeks). (4) All of Feb, Big Bash League (14 T20s & final over 4 weeks). This would work as it would allow international teams to play their matches in groups and would allow our domestic squads to be playing what our international do. Also BBL should occur in Feb after traditional summer mth

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | April 30, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @FFL, what a joke, the county is superior to the shield? Hah. It never has been; and it never will be. Division 2 sees trundlers who bowl at 125km/h prosper, and openers averaging less than 30 opening the batting. Division 1, albeit improved, has shown that the next cab off the rank is root - who averaged under 37 when first selected; Bairstow is not a test batsman - have fun being bounced at every innings, whereas taylor will be seen edging to slip more than cook. Your quick stocks are quite obviously inferior to ours - so how exactly, on personell, is the county better?

    I remember you bashed australia's ashes chances over a meaningless and unprepared for ODI series in '12... so let me correlate limited overs performances to that of FC/test ability. Your lions - full of your county specialists who had players in whom had not yet been selected (except taylor) - got absolutely demolished 0-7 against our shield representatives. A reflection of the difference in competitions perhaps?

  • POSTED BY whofriggincares on | April 30, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    @steve back, the comparison of Strauss and the current Aussie top order is pointless. Strauss had his whole career to improve his average and didnt (although 41 as an opener is decent). Most of the Aussie top order will have a lot of tests to up their averages. Remember Matt Hayden early in his career? Or J.Langer? Both had modest averages at a comparable stage. If we find one player of the calibre of those guys we will be happy.It's a bit like comparing Englands 30 plus average pace attack , with Pattinson ,Cummins and Birds very low early career numbers.On that subject Siddles average is superior to every english bowler including Swann . Our batting all rounder has a better test average than your strike bowlers in Broad and Anderson. In fact even the much maligned M.Johnson has a comparable record to Anderson and eclipses Broad. Oh and lets not forget the wildcard R.Harris who has 47 wickets at 23 in 12 tests. Chasing 250 odd will be easy even for our struggling top order .

  • POSTED BY Paul_Rampley on | April 30, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @DanielSimpson good points mate, i mentioned in my previous post that its important to show confidence in our batsman and I hope the likes of Hughes and Khawaja are given that in the ashes, especially Khawaja who is well overdue for his chance. @Ravi withl BBL becoming so dominant the only chance guys like Warner & Maxwell will have to play FC is in county cricket because the rest of the year they are playing either for Australia or playing franchise T20.

  • POSTED BY MrKricket on | April 30, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    Simple. Split the BBL in two, some early season and then finish it in January so there's not the long lay-off. In any case many of the T20 players are not first class cricketers (I've been to a couple of games and hardly known any of the players apart from the imports) so they wouldn't be missed if the Shield went on regardless. No one attends the Shield games so there would be no drain on the BBL audience.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | April 30, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    "A young player, if he wanted to play Test cricket, then applying himself in that regard is what we're on the lookout for." Right on: Jordan Silk, but don't ruin him by early selection. Spot on @DeekshaSpeaks on (April 30, 2013, 5:10 GMT) about ruining young batsmen. Burns is the next cab off the rank if he get's a better start next season than last. Good post @jmcilhinney on (April 30, 2013, 4:03 GMT). The NSP are living in dreamland about regaining #1 when they should have been realistic and picking journeymen like SO'K. He'd score runs (unlike Maxwell and Doherty) and bowl more steadily than the former. Take him to England if Fawad's travel docs are not ready. Agar can wait or he too will be sacrificed in the search for quick results by the NSP. You're beginning to sound like Hilditch in spite of yourself, Invers. Very good point @ PrasPunter on (April 30, 2013, 4:38 GMT) about cutting "all the meaningless bilateral ODIs."

  • POSTED BY it_happened_last_in_2001. on | April 30, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    @Jayzuz, I would suggest that the under 40 batting averages of 5 of your top 6 batsmen is more a reflection of a lack of application on their part than anything else. For sure the T20 IPL crash bang is going well for some of them, but come July they'll need to bat more than 20 overs. You may find Cowan & Rogers playing county cricket turn out to be your best bats. Good luck !

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    The performance of some of the Aussie batsmen in the recent Test series in India may not be a guide to how they perform in England. Conditions are different, the problems in India were against spin on Indian pitches. Though we English have Swann - who also did well in India along with Panesar - the main challenge is going to be from the pace bowlers.

    England lost badly to Pakistan the previous winter, again it was against spin on pitches different to their home ones. By the time they got to India the following winter, something had clearly been learned.

    So it's difficult to predict how the Aussie batsmen will do in the Ashes, and they must not be written off. Also it is quite common for any team to find that one or two batsmen just click and have a good series, and a couple more don't. Hughes could get absolutely slaughtered as the English know how to get him every time - or he could make a huge amount of runs because he is a good batsman and has learned from the past.

  • POSTED BY ozwriter on | April 30, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    only inverarity has an inkling of respectability. the others including coach mickey and captain prima donna clarkey are just 'boys' club / select your mates material. also the picture in the article tells the story. any one else getting the teacher's pet vibe from cowan? this guy admitted he talked to the coach about his 'concerns' after the homework gate saga. every time the cameras show the coach/captain/chief selector, cowan is there being a pit. shameless.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Not having the players is a slack excuse. Is it even completely true? They show a consistent reluctance to pick the shields best batsman. How did Maxwell and henrieques get a spot against India ahead of Mark Cosgrove and Chris Rogers? Henrieques may have averaged 65 in the shield this year but if 1 years performance is enough Doolan should of been the man picked. Why did they never put khawaja in the team or even any 6 batsman inspite of sub par performances? Even earlier why was it they were so quick to drop Hughes and khawaja at a critical stage in their developement? How did shane Watson get a spot as a batsman inspite of averaging under 30 for 2 years? And if Watson was going to play, why not as an opener, his obvious niche position? Why is Steve O'keefe not being selected in spite of being the best sinner in the country and having a batting average of 30 to boot. Where are Jacques and Katich? Not having the players is one thing, not utilizing the players you have is another.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    Make sure there is first class cricket in December & January in future. Not sure why they think the Big Bash is such a success when it loses heaps of money & crowds were down once again

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    FC cricket in Australia is silly, look how many county and ranji teams there are, but there is only NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC and WA, 6 teams? You need 8 minimum, 10preferable, State-based teams, although traditional, is ridiulous, it should be more natural, Sydney has 4.5 million people and One State team, and Adelaide has One million, Sydney should have 4 or 5 First class teams, Victoria should have 3-4, etc, they should have more teams, more games, and use different venues. The Big Bash can poach the FC players all they want, or the teams and games can shuffle around that, who cares, they want to poach watson and faulker for big bash, no problem, some grade cricketers can be selected. There needs to be more 4 day cricket played, the smallnumber of teams, combined with long distances between games is the major problem. This is the Best Solution. If you look at India, they are producing batsmen who play all 3 formats, the best batsmen play all 3 formats, and you want them to.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | April 30, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Good interview.You can say all the negative things about our cricketers that we wish ,but really we just do not have the talented players that we had a decade ago and it is indeed probable then that our team is at the same level as Borders team all those years ago. In saying that like Borders team we have the talent there to get the next great team, guys like Starc and Pattinson excite as bowlers and guys such as Khawaja and Warner excite as potential test stars. No doubt there are some issues with our cricket at the moment and for the readers to have a better understanding I suggest that they read 2 book, The Reasons Why by Bob Simpson 1996, Run Out by Graham Halbish 2003 [a former CEO of the ACB]. By doing so the goings on by the board and the overall ability of the players,is very educational Sure its all in the past and indeed there have been changes. For me ,someting has to be done with Shield cricket,the once test arena nurser, no crowds.no interest.

  • POSTED BY GeoffreysMother on | April 30, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    It is interesting to compare this to England in chilly April. The new kids on the block Root, Taylor, Buttler and Compton have already got good hundreds. Bairstow has in a 'friendly' with Lancashire and Wells at Sussex (with a 200) and Adams at Hampshire are pushing them close. Of the Aussies, Cowan has batted well but been out around 50, Klinger is well down and the honours so far go to .....Katich. What are Kahwaja and Hughes doing at the moment? It seems like Cricket Australia have effectively stopped Kahwaja from batting for the last 6 months - not a great strategy.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    The whole T20 scenario is bringing some very, very average cricketers to the fore e.g. Finch, Marsh, Maxwell. Wouldn't get a look in at test level or even state cricket a decade ago.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Calling his comments about O'Keefe an 'explanation' seems very generous

  • POSTED BY OneforTen on | April 30, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    While I believe that the ashes selections were better than recent squads - I think i agreed with 12 out of 16, any comments trying to justify that Xavier Doherty was a better selection than O'Keefe for India take away pretty much any credibility he had.

    "We're very aware of his figures and we do look deeper than that".

    Well don't look deeper than that! One averages 26 (and 31 with the bat), the other 45 (and 13 with the bat). That is for a reason!

    Stop trying to be clever and just pick the best players. We saw how Andrew Hilditch went trying to magic players, and spinners in particular, out of hats. If the best possible Aussie team is on the park I will be happy. If they are not good enough then so be it. What annoys me is when we are competing with a series of rabbits from hats in the team, such as Quiney, Beer, Doherty etc...at least the selection of Chris Rogers suggests he is starting to learn this lesson...

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | April 30, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    Without wanting to sound like a broken record, how will young players who can bat for a long time get noticed by Mr Inverarity and others, if junior representative cricket is obsessed with short-stuff and grade cricket has lost its sheen? The point is, if a player is a long-form top-order batsman at U23 level he was, a few exceptions aside, probably headed down the same route at U17 and U19 levels. But if he was stuck playing mostly one-dayers and 20/20s in that time, how'd he move up the pecking-order? You don't need to be an up-and-coming athlete to achieve that, you need to be Harry Houdini.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    I rellay dont understand the policy of selection espcially leaving Johnson and even Hodgy he might be old but right now he's in cracking form, then of course we have the T20 Leagues popping up every where and players scoot off after the cash, best example is Hussy, he definitely had at least 2 more yrs of test cricket in him. He decided to go for a financial kill while he is in supreme form. I think Cricket Aus should restrict the players up-to an extent of the amount of T20 leagues and time spent on them. England is a good example. If We end up getting hammered in the Ashes then that will clearly go on to show that the strategy on T20 restrictions by the ECB worked well, we can't make everyone happy. The players should be reminded that they are where they are because the Cricket Australia gave them the opportunity compete at the highest level and they should have the gratitude and they have a obligation to what is in the best interest of the country FIRST.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | April 30, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Why are the interviewers so weak, push him on S'OK!!!

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | April 30, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    Again, no real excuse for not picking Steve O'Keefe, what is going on behind the scenes of this boys club?

  • POSTED BY Simoc on | April 30, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    I guess the selectors are stating the obvious about O'Keefe. You can skite all you like about taking wickets in Sydney (the only spinners paradise), and no-one listens. O'Keefe could move interstate to press his claims but then he may not get a game at all. His popularity is localised to one of the worst performing states in Australian cricket, NSW.

  • POSTED BY Nicely_Time.Man on | April 30, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Now Australia is remembering their seniors after retirement. Now current seniors are axed, punished, not selected in the team. Katich, Haddin, Johnson, Watson, Hodge, White, Marsh, Hilfy, Paine, Hogan, Hussey Brothers, Klinger, Krezja, hauritz, ETC. This Ashes is the last test for Haddin, Siddle, Probably Watto.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | April 30, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    Not having the players is no excuse, an unwillingness to adapt their inferior domestic circuit and academies has cost Australia big time. not having the players is no excuse either for bashing other teams that beat you just because they have better players. Australia are inferior to the rest of the world's top 5 or 6 teams, and having watched England dominate them for five years, this all looks set to continue in what is a historic B2B Ashes year. England are itching for it to begin. Australia aren't. I wonder why...

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | April 30, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    "The 200th-best Test cricketer" is not what I said, @Jayzuz. It does help sometimes if you read things properly.... for what I was saying is that the 200th-best cricketer in the land, if you could identify such a person, is a probable nobody, whether you like the game or not. So maybe the fact there is only 11 places in a Test team and there are only six Shield teams is part of the whole point???

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | April 30, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Hopefully now that the other players who were preferred to O'Keefe have been shown to be useless, he will finally get reward for his domestic performances. Then again, this is the Cricket Australia that has identified Twenty20 as causing a problem with the batting but then deciding not to do anything about it...

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | April 30, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Poor quality of players and poor talent pool for Australia and excuses are T20. I told very earlier (when Clarke become Captain) Aus will give competition to WI. Guess what same track. WI,PAK,NZ are the flop teams before T20 and Aus after Clarke Captaincy.

  • POSTED BY palla.avinash on | April 30, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Inveraity is spot on he said exactly what i think they aren't many ausrtalians who wnats to tests as a batsmen as they are fully focused in getting money from T20 leagues and ipl is bigger than any t20 league in world not only they play many matches and 2 months and t20 league put more pressure to perform so they focus really hard on it ,but in a t20 league in england and south africa how many care above those countries but many care in ipl.It is time to bring specialists as England doing and for now only few sa players got chance in ipl and one of them is finding hard to get a place in his team thats morkel and England doesn't play ipl,even india struggled to win a single test in overseas conditions previous they are quite better and leading run scorer for india in recent test series in pujara who merely played 4 matches and failed in ipl.I can definitely say t20 s and putting more pressure on players to choose one kind of playing social reasons players now a days want instant money

  • POSTED BY HansonKoch on | April 30, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Maybe they don't like standing outside in the scorching sun day after day.

  • POSTED BY Clyde on | April 30, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    I and I suppose of lot of others don't have enough information from articles and so on to have an opinion about this. We need to read about the itineraries of a number of Test players or potential Test players to see whether they are getting enough time in the middle in four- and five-day matches, by comparison with players from the time when Tests were the preeminent form. As well as these biographies, or alternatively, we would need to see exactly how the four- and five-day calendars have changed, to be able to compare in a graphic way the before and after of the rise of other forms of the game. The statistics usually presented about cricket need now to be complemented by statistics about the opportunities players of different times have had, and other influences on the way players bat or bowl. Two trends that need to be made subject to statistics looking for causes are lower scoring by batsmen and more injuries to bowlers.

  • POSTED BY nickvegas on | April 30, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Yeah the O'Keefe excuse is appalling. He seems to be one of the top 2 spinners in the country and can't get a game. Who's daughter did he mess with to get this sort of treatment????

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | April 30, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    The O'Keefe justification is beyond belief. If his figures were marginal with some of the other candidates then you could excuse a judgement call. But his figures are worthy of a selection (at least a chance in some format) and the figures of the others would see you dropped from a pub side. A pub side run by your mate. As i understand it junior cricket is dominated by short over games and players either arent encouraged or allowed to bat long periods. Marry that up with shutting down the 4 day game in the peak cricket period in the summer for the swipe and swish stuff and there is your answer. I also think cricket may be suffering in attracting talented boys due to the growth in AFL squads and opportunities. Probably 20 cricketers make a decent living in Australia while a 17 yo Aussie rules footballer can have an AFL contract with a bigger opportunity of making a living from that game.

  • POSTED BY Harlequin. on | April 30, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    @Tlotoxl - true, but the Aus/Ind T20 leagues are different in that the teams that make up the franchises are not the same that will play first class cricket (though the Australians are fairly similar), so not only is there a clear dividing line in terms of team and salary, but also in theory you can get selected for a T20 franchise without needing to be part of the FC team. In the UK, because it is still your county, an emerging player will more likely get selected if his FC game has been good, so that is the basis of their skill set.

    I probably could have explained that better but hopefully you get the gist of it!

  • POSTED BY Jayzuz on | April 30, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    What a pointless analogy @YDKG. The 200th best test cricketer!? There are only 11 places in the AUS cricket team! Who is the 200th best AFL test player, LOL.? I can't name even one, I find the code so dull. Same for NFL. Watch the kick and giggle game if you like. I'd rather have a long nap.

  • POSTED BY Jayzuz on | April 30, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    The under-40s average thing is something of an aberration. Because there are so many inexperienced players in the squad having played few tests, it is inevitable that averages will drop drastically after a disastrous 4- test series. Warner, e.g., was consistently averaging 45-50 for his entire 1st year & a half in the team, but it dropped to 39 after a poor series where he played 8 innings. averages will go up significantly for players over the two Ashes series. It is inevitable that at least one or two of the newer batsmen will have very good series, and have a huge spike in their average. The good thing is that the team will not have to put up with the massively doctored tracks they encountered in India for a long time. All you have to do is look at how so many AUS players - Warner, Watson, Hussey, Faulkner etc are dominating on standard Indian pitches in the IPL to see how badly manufactured those test wickets were. Pitches don't just turn up cracked &grassless on day1.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    I think we are going through a seasonal bad trough in cricket, otherwise we would be looking forward with great apprehension to the Test exploits of one Michael Hussey who is smoking red hot in the IPL. Oops. No we are not. He was scared into retirement. It is going to be another summer of our discontent in England.

  • POSTED BY Tlotoxl on | April 30, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    Can I just point out that England has had a T20 league longer than any other country and yet we have no shortage of batsmen that that can grind it out for 3 or 4 sessions as all the established English batsmen have proven in the last year.

  • POSTED BY Apocalypse_EX on | April 30, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    @Ms.Cricket Warner was NOT selected into the test team on the basis of T20. He was easily the best batsman in shield cricket and was dominating bowling attacks. If I remember right he averaged around 60 the season he was selected.

  • POSTED BY FreddyAmit on | April 30, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    On recent performance of Australia we can easily said that Australia will once again loose Ashes but I think that past is past and Once this team get some time then will show the world that they are once again on right direction to get world no. 1 spot.

  • POSTED BY Great_Nate on | April 30, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Society is different now, there's fast food and immediate gratification and those things, so whether we'll see it in the abundance that we've seen it over the years before I don't know.

    Really? Maybe it was different when you were a kid John, but I'm older than Ponting and it was like that when I was a kid. This has nothing to do with 'fast food and immediate gratification' and more to do with 14 year old kids playing lots of T20 cricket and not learning to bat for long periods of time.

  • POSTED BY Mitcher on | April 30, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    @Ms.Cricket: So on the one hand you're attacking the selections of Hughes and Warner and captaincy of Clarke, yet you're going to defend Watson? He who never performs in the Test arena. Oh, sorry, he's got 'Xfactor', carry on then.

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | April 30, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Another question I have is that seriously what's the point of putting any emphasis on T20 selection in the contract. If you are any good at T20, you get picked up and play IPL and make a fair amount of money. or you make a fair amount of money playing BBL.Shouldn't the contract be given to test players with perhaps some emphasis on ODI players to protect those formats.By giving contracts to test players ensure that people who are good test players but not good at T20 cricket ensure they can still make a decent salary playing Test Cricket instead of just focusing themselves on T20 cricket. Good examples are Khawaja and Cowan, 2 of our better test batsman, they don't play much T20(though Khawaja had a very good season for Thunder last year with 250 runs at nearly 50) and focus on test cricket and this is where our contracting system is going wrong. As for the ashes Clarke, Khawaja and Watson will be our best batsman in July and August.

  • POSTED BY Ms.Cricket on | April 30, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    Players like Warner have made the Test team based on T20 performances so what do you expect? Phil Hughes gets consistenltly out in the slips to fast bowlers (and also struggles against spinners as we recently discovered) and you still pick him so what do you expect? Clarke blunders as captain (though outstanding as a batsman) against South Africa and gets leads Australia to annihlation in India and you still continue with him as captain so what you you expect? You treat your XFactor player Watson with contempt in the media so what do you expect? Look within yourself for answers Mr. Inverarity!

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | April 30, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    This has a distinct tie-in with another piece about how cricket is losing out to footy. One point is, one doesn't have to know who the 200th best AFL footballer is to give a likely description. He'll no doubt be a hardened professional, a walk-up start in his team and something of a household name. He'll have some sort of media presence and probably a twitter following or somesuch. The 200th best cricketer in the land is... who exactly? And where? If he's older, then probably, he'll be looking at the BBL with wishful thinking. And that's about it. If he's younger, he may be on a rookie list or something. There's a huge discrepancy between the two and therein, to some extent, lies the current batting woes.

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | April 30, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    @simonviller agree fully with you mate on giving young UTK his chance, he is the best young test batsman we have, hopefully the ashes will be his making. Pick Starc in swing friendly conditions, but "rotate" him out if he doesn't take at least 5 wickets for the match he plays in. Pick a second spinner to back up Lyon if he loses form, someone who can come in keep the run rate down if not take wickets. It would be a great chance to take Agar or Haurtiz on tour given we have room for 1 more spinner.Bat Clarke permanently at 4.. Pick him in the squad but Clarke say he's not playing just before the toss and gives his wierd reason.Play this side; 1.Watson 2.Cowan 3.Hughes (vc) 4.Clarke 5.Khawaja6.Warner7.Haddin 8.Siddle 9.Starc 10.Harris 11.Lyon (if he goes bad, Aus brings in Agar) THIS is how We win the ashes.

  • POSTED BY Amith_S on | April 30, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    There is no doubt that there isn't enough long term survivabilty in the batting and the English can bowl and have knocked over much better outfits than this one.All top order batsman will be on notice from the first test, given their ordinary Indian form. Cowan has not scored a 100 on foreign soil either.But these things can be worked on, definately 6 batsmen, Watto if he's good enough bowling optional, in an attempt to stay in a match as long as possible. Something that apparently did not cross the mind of anyone who mattered in India. No allrounders unless they are part of the 4 man bowling attack. Enough has been said on Khawaja getting a chance and my prediction is that he will be a key batsman given how well he plays pace bowling, just give him more then 1 game in a row. The bowling is potent, however though the opponents are English, they are not stupid. Cook, Trott, Pieterson, Bell and Prior carry a wealth of talent, experience and grit.

  • POSTED BY Sanj747 on | April 30, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    @jmcilhinney and @158notout spot on. The explanation provided on the O'Keefe issue is incomplete. If other players like Xavier Doherty and Glen Maxwell were preferred it is clear these 2 selections did not work. If I was a gambling selector like the ones we have O'Keefe would have been a better choice than XD or GM. XD should never play test cricket again and as for GM he is still in his nappies. Can't run before you can walk.

  • POSTED BY DeekshaSpeaks on | April 30, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    He struggles to find capable batsmen? Well, the lack of runs in the team is not for lack of talent, but rather stems from the fact that the talent has simply not been around long enough. Thanks to his obsessive youth policy, a few players who could have used 3-4 years more at the Shield level suddenly found themselves playing cricket for Australia. And soon, almost the entire team was comprised of these bewildered young men.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    So it's about modern lifestyle and fastfood and instant gratification... Now one of two things is true - either Australia is unique among cricket playing nations as the only one to enter the modern world, while England, South Africa, England and the like figures out a way to stay in a time bubble keeping them permanently in 1973... or those things affect all nations and if they aren't stopping Cook and Trott from grinding out long innings... then it becomes a really, really stupid explanation for Australia's batting woes.

    Is it really that hard to figure out that elite sporting talent just naturally has peaks and troughs? That at any given time there's rarely more than 4 or 5 high quality test batsmen in a country, and frequently many less. It happens. You make do with what you've got, and while there's always scope for reforms to improve the quality of young talent, you have to accept that at times the cupboard is going to look a little bare.

  • POSTED BY simonviller on | April 30, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    Mr Inveraity ,you troubles started before the players' indulgence in this "instant gratification '' . You probably would have done the same if there was such in your time . As for batsmen ,you have to give guys like Khawaja a reasonable chance to succeed , only then will you get the quality replacements .

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | April 30, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    We have the batsman to win the ashes. 1.Warner 2.Cowan 3.Hughes 4.Clarke 5.Khawaja 6.Watson 7.Haddin 8.Pattinson 9.Harris 10.Lyon 11.SiddleWatson must bowl. All of the top 6 (except Clarke) are on noticeā€¦if no runs in the first 2 tests, they must be dropped. Starc to get a game if any of the quicks break-down or dont threaten in the first 2 tests. Khawaja will do well given his recent form on tough deck and can't wait to see him in the ashes and Haddin will make this series count. As for the other batsman Hughes will be on notice, Burns and Maddinson can impress in the Aus A games and keep an eye out for D Huss next season.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    Aussies always starts well but unable to capitalize the momentum. They have huge number of players who can be good resource for them like young talent like Steven Smith, Alex Doolan, Steven O'Keefe, Luke Butterworth, Tim Paine, Cosgrove and many senior like Brad Hodge. They have almost wasted a key player like Hodge. Also, Keeping Simon Katich out of the contract was one the blunder. To be frank, Aussies have very less chance for the Ashes and this is the right time for them to explore new Young promising players and they should use their former player Like Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh Taylor and many more. South Africa is doing exactly same by Using Donald, Klusner, Kirsten and World Knows the SA is playing pretty well with those 3 stars.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    I honestly have never seen Australian cricket reach such a stage, & I do not mean the players at all when i say this. Since Ponting & Hussey have left, there is no doubt that Australian Cricket has not been the same. But that was bound to happen, I am sure they saw it coming at one time or another. But since then, every time one of the selectors, management or the coaches come out & speak as they are feeling the heat & frustration of the public, all they are doing is making excuses topped by silly decisions. Australian cricket through out history has been known to come out & speak freely & speak their mind, even if at times it's a bit harsh. But that is why people respected them all over the world. This interview on top as well is an example of wasting not only his own time but also the media's & the publics' time. I completely agree with JMCILHINNEY above about the O'Keefe issue. I think it's high time the people get actual answers & facts instead of random & irrelevant statements

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | April 30, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    fine. then cut all the meaningless bilateral ODIs to find time, if we can't stop the more meaningless t20s. If this is the case, then we can kiss Ashes goodbye for a better part of a decade.

  • POSTED BY PFEL on | April 30, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    What a pointless "explanation" on the O'Keefe non-selevtion. It's not an explanation. It's complete rubbish. They can't possibly have actually thought the players selected were better options. Not if they understand cricket.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | April 30, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    I think we will find some of the younger batsman such as Khawaja and Warner will stand up in the ashes particularly Khawaja who plays swing bowling very well. I am hoping Hughes does the same but he will have his work cut out against the moving ball. Also keep an eye on Maddinson, Burns and Head next year, all upcoming future players.

  • POSTED BY parkies on | April 30, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    I don't understand why Australia are looking for reasons to blame there poor batting on T20 look at South Africa they had a player like Faf who only played the shorter form of the game and batted for a day and a half in only his second test.The problem is simple that other than Clark they just don't have the technique.

  • POSTED BY 158notout on | April 30, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    "There's a consistency of view when we select the spinners." What is that consistancy then? Pick all of them at least once to give them a go? In that case why doesn't SO'K get a game? OK, I know they have stuck with Lyon for now and I agree with that but then you take XD and Marshall to India instead of O'Keefe?

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | April 30, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    I don't buy the argument that Australia's lack of quality batsmen coming through is due to external factors. It's just a dry patch and soon a couple of young talents will emerge. T20 certainly doesn't help player development, but in 'the good old days' there were no academies or performance squads or A tours. Players will make it if they have the talent and the will to succeed and Aussie players have always had plenty of both.

    As for Steve O'Keefe, I'd be very interested to learn exactly what Xavier Doherty brought to the table to be preferred to him for the India tour. His 3 test wickets at an average of 102? His FC average of 45? (O'Keefe's is 26). His gaudy FC batting average of 13, at a strike rate of 37? (O'Keefe- 30 @50). Maybe it was his fielding, although Doherty isn't exactly Jonty Rhodes. He's older than O'Keefe, so future development isn't the reason. Nope, can't work that one out at all.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 30, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    This is not an attack but Inverarity's explanation - at least the part of it quoted here - of why Steve O'Keefe has not been selected is no explanation at all. All he's said is that the selectors preferred other players. We already know that because, if it wasn't the case, O'Keefe would have been in the team. An explanation of why that was the case would actually do just that: explain WHY other players were preferred. What exactly are the qualities that O'Keefe lacked that these other options provided?

  • POSTED BY Nightwing32 on | April 30, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    I don't see why they can't play Big Bash on the weekends and have Shield during the Weekdays but then I see travelling and training would be a concern. Or maybe Big Bash after Shield but start Shield earlier I guess. It's really tough actually.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    It's funny how Australia has only one batsman averaging in the forties, while many of their fans hilariously threw mud over Andrew Strauss' retirement for him averaging a "pathetic" 41 in Tests. Oh, the irony...41 seems a mile away for these lads at the moment.

    Seriously though Australia, get O'Keefe in, what were you thinking with Doherty and Maxwell and Beer?

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | April 30, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    The problem last season was when the BBL was scheduled. It meant that players couldn't play Sheffield Shield before the tests. That needs to change. Shield needs to come first, then BBL.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | April 30, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    The problem last season was when the BBL was scheduled. It meant that players couldn't play Sheffield Shield before the tests. That needs to change. Shield needs to come first, then BBL.

  • POSTED BY on | April 30, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    It's funny how Australia has only one batsman averaging in the forties, while many of their fans hilariously threw mud over Andrew Strauss' retirement for him averaging a "pathetic" 41 in Tests. Oh, the irony...41 seems a mile away for these lads at the moment.

    Seriously though Australia, get O'Keefe in, what were you thinking with Doherty and Maxwell and Beer?

  • POSTED BY Nightwing32 on | April 30, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    I don't see why they can't play Big Bash on the weekends and have Shield during the Weekdays but then I see travelling and training would be a concern. Or maybe Big Bash after Shield but start Shield earlier I guess. It's really tough actually.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | April 30, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    This is not an attack but Inverarity's explanation - at least the part of it quoted here - of why Steve O'Keefe has not been selected is no explanation at all. All he's said is that the selectors preferred other players. We already know that because, if it wasn't the case, O'Keefe would have been in the team. An explanation of why that was the case would actually do just that: explain WHY other players were preferred. What exactly are the qualities that O'Keefe lacked that these other options provided?

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | April 30, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    I don't buy the argument that Australia's lack of quality batsmen coming through is due to external factors. It's just a dry patch and soon a couple of young talents will emerge. T20 certainly doesn't help player development, but in 'the good old days' there were no academies or performance squads or A tours. Players will make it if they have the talent and the will to succeed and Aussie players have always had plenty of both.

    As for Steve O'Keefe, I'd be very interested to learn exactly what Xavier Doherty brought to the table to be preferred to him for the India tour. His 3 test wickets at an average of 102? His FC average of 45? (O'Keefe's is 26). His gaudy FC batting average of 13, at a strike rate of 37? (O'Keefe- 30 @50). Maybe it was his fielding, although Doherty isn't exactly Jonty Rhodes. He's older than O'Keefe, so future development isn't the reason. Nope, can't work that one out at all.

  • POSTED BY 158notout on | April 30, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    "There's a consistency of view when we select the spinners." What is that consistancy then? Pick all of them at least once to give them a go? In that case why doesn't SO'K get a game? OK, I know they have stuck with Lyon for now and I agree with that but then you take XD and Marshall to India instead of O'Keefe?

  • POSTED BY parkies on | April 30, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    I don't understand why Australia are looking for reasons to blame there poor batting on T20 look at South Africa they had a player like Faf who only played the shorter form of the game and batted for a day and a half in only his second test.The problem is simple that other than Clark they just don't have the technique.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | April 30, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    I think we will find some of the younger batsman such as Khawaja and Warner will stand up in the ashes particularly Khawaja who plays swing bowling very well. I am hoping Hughes does the same but he will have his work cut out against the moving ball. Also keep an eye on Maddinson, Burns and Head next year, all upcoming future players.

  • POSTED BY PFEL on | April 30, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    What a pointless "explanation" on the O'Keefe non-selevtion. It's not an explanation. It's complete rubbish. They can't possibly have actually thought the players selected were better options. Not if they understand cricket.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | April 30, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    fine. then cut all the meaningless bilateral ODIs to find time, if we can't stop the more meaningless t20s. If this is the case, then we can kiss Ashes goodbye for a better part of a decade.