Australia A v South Africa A, Townsville August 11, 2014

Hughes to captain Australia A

ESPNcricinfo staff

Phillip Hughes will captain Australia A in their second four-day match against South Africa A in Townsville this week after allrounder Moises Henriques was ruled out due to a groin strain.

Henriques led the Australians during their loss to the South Africans over the past week, but he was unable to bat in the second innings due to the groin problem he picked up.

He will return to New South Wales for rehabilitation and will be replaced in the Australia A squad by Victoria seamer Clint McKay.

Queenslanders Michael Neser and Cameron Boyce have left the squad to take part in Queensland's pre-season camp, although their state team-mate Peter Forrest has remained with Australia A.

That means left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe will likely play his first Australia A match of the winter and will be hoping to remind the selectors of the skills that made him the leading Sheffield Shield wicket taker last season, when he collected 41 victims at 20.43.

The second and final four-day match begins on Thursday.

Australia A squad Phillip Hughes (capt), Marcus Stoinis, Tom Cooper, Peter Forrest, Callum Ferguson, Matthew Wade, Peter Nevill (wk), Steve O'Keefe, Gurinders Sandhu, Chadd Sayers, Clint McKay, Jason Behrendorff.

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  • Scott on August 14, 2014, 22:32 GMT

    @ChrisP, I know why you were responding, I'm just saying - once again! - that you can't compare shield cricket to test match cricket. We've argued Watson v MoHen before. Personally, I'd keep Watson, but happy to admit that he needs to give us more. Also, without checking, as I really couldn't be bothered, from recollection, Watto has played like once for a shield side in the last 4 years. So again, your comparison doesn't really hold any weight - and all the A and pre-test series warm ups, although given FC status, don't really give a lot to a stat analysis. Also, as stated in my previous post, I like MoHen, just not as much as you!

    @dunger.bob, I disagree.Watson averages nearly 42 @ 3 with 2 tons and 4 50s from 10 matches. From 1-3 he avgs 41,from 4-7 he avgs 23. I'd say, stick him somewhere near the top end. Add to that his bowling, which maybe hasn't taken as many wickets recently as we'd like, but has been damn tight and dried teams up. Why are we getting down on this bloke again?

  • James on August 13, 2014, 1:03 GMT

    @dynger.bob:Spot on, fully agree with all that.

  • rob on August 12, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    I thought Henriques did as well as anyone else in India. Put it this way, he wasn't obviously worse than most of the others. The whole touring party was pretty dire on and off the field I thought.

    I like Watson better at 6. He's a good bat but not a genuine Test #3 because his conversion rate of 50's to 100's is completely diabolical. At 6 he enhances the team, not weaken it like he does at 3. Depending on the situation he can either go the tonk or try to arrest the slide at 6 but at 3 it must be a comfort for the opposition knowing he rarely scores 100's.

    Long story short, I'd stick with Watto until he's clearly no longer an all rounder. That is, he stops bowling altogether and has to selected as a batsman only. When that happens I think it's definitely time for him to make way.

  • Peter on August 12, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    @ScottStevo OK Let's go deeper, comparing only FC (no Tests) the past 4 seasons sees Watson with LESS than 25 average in the same time frame and bowling average of more than 50? MoHen outperformed Watson in India if you care to to at the their efforts there & MoHen got dudded big time by Wade. He is, IMHO, a far better option as a bowling allrounder than Watto & I am from NSW! My response was that he was labelled a "nothing allrounder" which clearly given his performances in the past 3 seasons he isn't, unless I am mistaken that 50+ averages mean nothing any more? Cricinfo please publish.

  • kieran on August 12, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    @ScottStevo, I agree completely re: the test/FC argument, it's not valid to compare their respective numbers when Watson is lucky to play a couple of shield games a year. But considering the strength of the shield attacks over the last few years (with plenty of quicks averaging under 25) Henriques batting performances shouldn't be ignored. Although the green nature of the strips the states were trotting out probably tempers his bowling numbers a fair bit.

  • Scott on August 11, 2014, 21:39 GMT

    @Chirs_P, not this again?! We've been over this!!!!! You're comparing apples and oranges! As in, Watson is playing test level and MoHen is playing shield cricket. They're completely different games, mate, and I couldn't care less if they're both deemed as FC cricket. In that, there's no argument - surely not, right?! I like MoHen, but he really didn't do himself many favours in India - not sure why you return to that argument.

  • Peter on August 11, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx. No problem with having an opinion, I see him play most of his home games & his improvement from his early days has been huge. The fact he has scored more runs, taken more wickets than Watson in the past 3 years in FC at both a higher batting average & lower bowling average would lend weight for consideration. His performances in India, while unspectacular, indicated more than a little promise & that included a run out for 0 courtesy of an awful call from Wade. He has got, by figures alone, the best numbers for our leading all-rounder for the past 3 seasons, although I am big on "horses for courses" as performances in one country doesn't necessary represent success elsewhere. Cheers!

  • James on August 11, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    I'm with pvck on this one. I just don't see Henriques making it as an internatioal cricketer anymore. He has stalled at the wrong moments, even though he has the talent he just hasn't been consistent enough and with a few youngsters putting their hand sup now, i don't see how he can get back in.

  • Jurie on August 11, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Well played SA A! Was expecting much tougher opposition from Aus A, hopefully they'll bring some game to the next match

  • Chris on August 11, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Sandhu, Sayers, O'Keefe, Nevill. Solid attack that. Great to see the selectors starting to take notice of performances instead of wild guesses (Doherty, Beer, 'haus etc). With MJ and Harris to guide Cummins, Bird, Pattinson, Sayers and Sandu etc, the future's not looking all bleak.

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