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Faulkner anointed a leader for future

Daniel Brettig

June 6, 2014

Comments: 34 | Text size: A | A

James Faulkner hit Tim Bresnan for three consecutive fours to win the game, Australia v England, 2nd ODI, Gabba, January 17, 2014
James Faulkner's ability to play with both passion and calculation has endeared him to the national selectors © Getty Images

James Faulkner has joined Steven Smith in the front rank of Australia's leadership prospects for the future following his unveiling as Australia A captain for a quartet of four-day matches against the A teams of India and South Africa in July and August.

At the ages of 24 and 25 respectively, Faulkner and Smith are the two young men being guided in the direction of future national captaincy appointments by Cricket Australia, having impressed with their growing poise on the filed and maturity away from it.

Smith led New South Wales to the Sheffield Shield title in Canberra earlier in the year, and now Faulkner is set to test his leadership skills in the series of top end matches devised to prepare Australia's Test and limited overs reservists for future call-ups for international duty. Captaincy experience as a junior and the wisdom of his Tasmanian mentors Dan Marsh and George Bailey will inform Faulkner's ways.

He will likewise call on the memories of some stunning displays for Tasmania and Australia, highlighting an ability to play with both passion and calculation, but also the more chastening experience of having public words about the West Indies rebound on him during the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

"James is a young man with plenty of character and possesses a great desire to win," the new National Selector Rod Marsh said of Faulkner. "He is still developing as an all-rounder but we believe this captaincy provides him an opportunity to do that as well as develop his leadership skills."

Three varied squads have been chosen for the matches against the India and South Africa XIs, with a wide array of batsmen, bowlers and allrounders given chances across opponents and formats. Alex Doolan and Phillip Hughes will hope for runs to bolster their incumbent places as members of the Test squad, while Faulkner, Moises Henriques and Mitchell Marsh will stretch each other to prove their worth as the most viable allround option for the future.

Cameron Boyce and Steve O'Keefe were the two spinners chosen for the fixtures, the latter needing to recover from off-season shoulder surgery in order to be fit in time for the chance to bowl to the South Africans in Townsville. Western Australia's Sam Whiteman has the gloves for the first fixtures in Brisbane, but hands them over to Peter Nevill for the remainder.

Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were not formally named in the squad, but Marsh indicated that either or both may play depending on their pre-season schedules ahead of Australia's tours to Zimbabwe and the UAE.

Clint McKay's inclusion in the limited overs squad keeps him in the frame as an ODI bowler, despite his omission from the annual naming of CA contracts. Another Victorian, the well-travelled Cameron White, will lead the limited overs team.

In the midst of his recovery from hefty knee surgery, Ryan Harris will try his hand as pace bowling coach during the series, alongside the overall guidance of Michael Di Venuto.

Australia A squads

Four-day matches against India XI in Brisbane: James Faulkner (capt), Cameron Boyce, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Peter Forrest, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Sam Whiteman (wk)

One day matches in Darwin and Palmerston: Cameron White (capt), Cameron Boyce, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Callum Ferguson, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh, Clint McKay, Peter Nevill (wk), Kane Richardson

Four-day matches against South Africa XI in Townsville: James Faulkner (capt), Jason Behrendorff (subject to fitness), Tom Cooper, Ben Cutting, Callum Ferguson, Peter Forrest, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Chris Lynn, Peter Nevill (wk), Steve O'Keefe (subject to fitness), Chadd Sayers.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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Posted by   on (June 28, 2014, 3:11 GMT)

It is great to see faulkner as captain..he must prove that he is future captain

Posted by Crossroads16 on (June 11, 2014, 4:40 GMT)

The thing I am most disappointed about this trip is Sam Whiteman not coming to Townsville, he has really impressed me in domestic cricket and i was really hoping to get a look at him. I also thought Carters deserves a crack especially in the onedayers, in particular as keeper. I think he is someone who could potentially make a massive difference in the Australian teams as they could bat considerably deeper if he can open the batting. My 4 day A team for both tsv and brisbane would have been doolan, hughes, Cooper, lynn, Henriques, Whiteman, Faulkner, Behrendorf, Hazlewood, Sayers, Boyce, 12th man would be Marsh. My a team for the one dayers is white, carters, hughes, cooper, lynn, marsh, henriques, Cummins, Mckay, Hazlewood, Boyce, 12th Man Richardson

Posted by Chris_P on (June 8, 2014, 16:49 GMT)

@Ms.Cricket. With all due respects, if Faulkner can ever match Broad's skills, I would be very, very happy. He has a bit to go to get to that level, although agree with both their personal behaviour.

Posted by runout49 on (June 8, 2014, 7:27 GMT)

Hopefully responsibility will mature Faulkner. Feel sorry for Tim Paine who is still a fine keeper. He deserves a chance to get back into Australian colours.

Posted by   on (June 7, 2014, 5:38 GMT)

@Buckers, Not sure what your fascination with Cutting is? I only ask because the rest of your team and what you say makes perfect sense, but I don't think Cutting would make a fourth team right now if Aus were picking their best xi from top down. I'd much rather see Sayers and he has certainly earned the chance to step up a level.

@Big_Maxy, I think with Richardson you just have to go on a hunch. He is tall, has good speed and a very good action, I believe. He has time on his side in putting the rest together and I strongly believe that he will. I think he has as much potential as anyone who is uncapped at test level. The exposure to this level will do him great good.

Putting together a single xi from the four day squads I'd be going with; Hughes, Doolan ,Lynn, Cooper, Henriques, Nevill, Faulkner, Richardson, O'Keefe, Sayers, Behrendorff.

I've only picked Faulkner because he is the captain, I think Henriques a better allrounder, playing them head to head will be of interest.

Posted by Buckers97 on (June 7, 2014, 4:27 GMT)

Brisbane Team should read; Hughes, Doolan, Forrest, Lynn, Henriques, Marsh, Whiteman (wk), Faulkner (c), Cutting, Boyce, Hazlewood. (Sayers).

Townsville Team should read; Hughes, Forrest, Ferguson, Lynn, Cooper, Henriques, Nevill (wk), Faulkner (c), O'keefe, Hazlewood, Behrendorff.

But this is what it REALLY should look like; Hughes, Doolan, Smith (c), Lynn, Ferguson, Marsh/Henriques, Whiteman (wk), Cutting, O'keefe, Hazlewood, Behrendorff.

If CA were to makle any sense of the 'Top End Tours' they would play Steve Smith and make him captain so he gets used to captaining other cricketers and not just his NSW team-mates. Give Smith some batting practice and captain practice. Making Faulkner captain has no logical sense. Henriques is a better captain then him and he and Smith are the same age, and we all know that Smith is 'the man' in line for the job.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (June 7, 2014, 0:31 GMT)

Faulkner is as good or as bad as Stuart Broad in cricketing skills and personal behaviour.

Posted by Steven_Scott on (June 6, 2014, 17:41 GMT)

Smith will be the ideal bits and pieces player to captain this bits and pieces team. Smith maybe making runs now, but a technique like that (remember he was originally a failed leg spinner who is now trying to pass himself off as a batsman) he won't have a long career in the test format for sure. It is just a matter of finding a genuine batsman (Doolan/Burns?) to replace him. As for Faulkner, always more words than action and his role in the team seems to be simply to rile up the opposition rather than anything meaningful.

Posted by   on (June 6, 2014, 15:47 GMT)

The Future Australian Cricket Team

1.David Warner 2.Aaron Finch 3.Mathew Wade 4.Glenn Maxwell 5.Steve Smith 6.Mitchell Marsh 7.James Faulkner 8.Ben Cutting 9.Ashton Agar 10.Mitchell Starc 11.Pat Cummins

Subs. 12.James Murihead 13.Moises Henriques 14.Nathan Coulter-Nile 15.Kane Richardson 16.Phillip Hughes

Posted by Naren on (June 6, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

Smith and Faulkner no comparison at all. Calm, collective guy with cricket brain beyond his ages. A guy who makes sensible statements and fair observations. Smith is the future of Australian Cricket and a very good one too.

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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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