Bangladesh v Australia, 2nd ODI, Mirpur April 10, 2011

Faltering White urged to swing harder

27

Has Cameron White simply become scared to hit the ball? That is the question running through the minds of Australia's new captain Michael Clarke, chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch and coach Tim Nielsen as they decide whether to persist with White for the remainder of the limited-overs series against Bangladesh.

An integral part of Australia's limited overs set-up for the past two years and the national Twenty20 captain, White's sharply diminishing stocks were summed up by a labourious 20 that soaked up 50 balls in the first match against Bangladesh in Mirpur on Saturday. His torture ended with an unconvincing punch over the top that found a fielder in the deep, and watching from the sidelines, Nielsen was convinced that White has to swing harder.

"There was a maiden over before he got out and he faced the first two balls of that over, and then tried to work the ball over the top. Honestly I'd prefer to see him try to hit it for six if he's going to hit it in the air, rather than try to just work it over the top," said Nielsen. "In the end the return for the shot he was going to play was one or two runs, and increased the risk.

"He's just going through a patch where everything he does doesn't work for him. If he does get to 20 again or 30 he needs to really cash in and get to 50, 60 or 70, a real confidence-building innings under his belt."

Nielsen said White is being encouraged to hit the ball hard, as he had done quite successfully in the 18 months leading up to the 2010-11 season, as well as to rotate the strike more often than he has managed lately. "The big difference for Cameron over his last six or eight hits is that he hasn't batted deep enough to really attack the bowlers late in the innings," he said. "So he's got to keep trusting himself. We're talking about him keeping his intent up to hit the ball hard or firmly down the ground from the start and look to rotate the strike."

Callum Ferguson is pushing White for a spot in the XI, having used a less spectacular but arguably more efficient method to average 44.00 at a strike rate of 85.60 in 28 matches, against White's 35.12 at 80.48 in 87. Tellingly, Ferguson has done it without hitting a six, speaking volumes for his ability to work the ball around.

"His numbers really stack up well," Nielsen said of Ferguson. "He was unfortunately injured during the ICC Champions Trophy final in 2009, and someone else has come in and taken his spot. He'll get more opportunities at some stage, there's no doubt about that, and when he comes in, I expect we'll see him doing those things [that have brought him success so far]. He'll add a bit of spark and a different way of playing to the middle order."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on April 11, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    @Dr.Qwert - re: Ferguson, true but his S/R suggests that he is not playing for a not out next to his name. Its not a bad sample size to suggest that he could maintain that over his career. Regarding Haddin, I am a fan of his, but I think his time is coming to an end, particularly in the short forms. I would say he has 2yrs at the most left in Tests (if his batting remains strong), & I would NOT have selected him for this tour. Paine needs to play in the 3rd game, so too Pattinson.

  • Dr.Qwert on April 11, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    VivGilchrist, he's only had 24 innings in ODI cricket, inc. 9 not outs, it's hardly deep into his career & not truely representative of where he'll end up. his 'List A' isn't too impressive, only 2 centuries at an average of 35. i wouldn't go locking him in as a permanent fixture just yet. & you guys are being quite harsh on Haddin, he isn't the best keeper but he is adequate & has been doing more than his share with the bat. quite ugly to watch in ODI mind you as he backs away & tries to whack everything over cover, but has been effective.

  • VivGilchrist on April 11, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    @MinusZero. You're a tough marker. Ferguson av 44 SR 85, and you don't rate him. I'm interested, do you rate Viv Richards or does he fall short by your standards?

  • on April 11, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    Please, PLEASE replace him with Fergy! Or if not him for some strange reason, bring in Usman K. Tend to agree with the anti-Haddin remarks here too. T-Pain is the way forward if they are thinking about the future properly. Haddin's only shot at the moment is the step-away slog over cover.

  • Meety on April 11, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    @Ramasamy - I think Smith is VERY close to International standards, he hasn't been utilised to great extent yet. He is much better option @ #& then White.... unless White starts bowling 2 to 6 overs a match effectively.. @hitu_8 - when Whites mind is clear he plays spinners very well, as in he hits them deep into the stands. He just seems to want to nurdle at the moment! @ MinusZero - no-one knows mate. I will say that it is no fluke that Ferguson averages 44 in ODIs. He is very good, whether he will eventually convert this to Tests remains to be seen, (I'm not sure).

  • Meety on April 10, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    @arya_underfoot - I actually don't think they are quite the best young batsmen in the country in terms of short forms of the game. I DO think Ferguson is a must for the ODI side - NOW! I think Khawaja needs to be given a go soon. I am happy to leave Hughes for Tests only. @VivGilchrist - I agree Ferguson in, but I don't agree that Smith is out of form, he doesn't get many opportunities at 7. @BenKrankenhaus - No White @ #4. He doesn't rotate the strike. At least when Pup was out of form he worked singles. Pup & both Hussey & Ferguson are best suited to the middle overs. @Okakaboka - I am steadily getting on the Wade bandwagon, I would like to see Haddin retire from short formats & see Paine & Wade "audition" for the next in line for Test duty thru ODI/T20 performances. @Blake Houston - becoming a fan of Wade, but he needs to be a straight swap for Haddin. I have Wade ahead of Paine in short formats of the game. @Ben Yan - hopefully Christian will get his turn soon!

  • Meety on April 10, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    @DaisonGarvasis - wrong re: "No Bricks", plenty of talent - just needs to be selected. Also re: Warne & McGrath - they would probably do better then all but a few of the current Test cricketers doing the rounds at their "elderly" sporting age! @Something_Witty - I think White wanted to bat at 4, back a few years ago, (he got a century against the Poms in an ODI), & ever since he has been trying to bat like Pup. Unfortunately Oz only need 1 Pup in the batting line up, White needs to drop down the order (or be dropped altogether), so the equation is simple. Wickets in hand not many overs to go - slog, wickets lost - rebuild & occupy the crease. His lack of runs is proof he can't be selected as a Test Batsmen. Applaud him being given a bowl though. @Naren - Yes! I often thought he would be good to cash in on the field restrictions. Not needed with Haddin w/k, but with the slower Paine a big YES!

  • MinusZero on April 10, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    While I dont rate Ferguson very highly, why is White getting the gold star treatment. He isnt worthy of a star of any colour. How bad does he have to play to get dropped. This is exactly why the Australian team cant move forward. They are sticking with their pals and not giving better players a chance. If White can only manage 20 against Bangladesh and only 4 against another 11, why is he still there. He has no place in this team. Joe the cameraman said it well, Can't Bat, Can't Bowl

  • on April 10, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    everyone talks of White, what about smith. why is he given so much of preferential treatment. he might be young a great prospect for future, but he is nowhere close to international standards. Australia should play dan christian instead of steve smith and bring in Luke pomersbach for white. Also it is time that Mike hussey should calls it quits, he is not going to be around for 2015 WC, hence he can play t 20 and test cricket and allow Ferguson to settle in ODI squads

  • Rajeev129 on April 10, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    My god, i am fearing for White. We, the Deccan Chargers fans had so many expectations on him, already our record at home is one bad aspect for us and then this guy's form is more worrying.

  • Meety on April 11, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    @Dr.Qwert - re: Ferguson, true but his S/R suggests that he is not playing for a not out next to his name. Its not a bad sample size to suggest that he could maintain that over his career. Regarding Haddin, I am a fan of his, but I think his time is coming to an end, particularly in the short forms. I would say he has 2yrs at the most left in Tests (if his batting remains strong), & I would NOT have selected him for this tour. Paine needs to play in the 3rd game, so too Pattinson.

  • Dr.Qwert on April 11, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    VivGilchrist, he's only had 24 innings in ODI cricket, inc. 9 not outs, it's hardly deep into his career & not truely representative of where he'll end up. his 'List A' isn't too impressive, only 2 centuries at an average of 35. i wouldn't go locking him in as a permanent fixture just yet. & you guys are being quite harsh on Haddin, he isn't the best keeper but he is adequate & has been doing more than his share with the bat. quite ugly to watch in ODI mind you as he backs away & tries to whack everything over cover, but has been effective.

  • VivGilchrist on April 11, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    @MinusZero. You're a tough marker. Ferguson av 44 SR 85, and you don't rate him. I'm interested, do you rate Viv Richards or does he fall short by your standards?

  • on April 11, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    Please, PLEASE replace him with Fergy! Or if not him for some strange reason, bring in Usman K. Tend to agree with the anti-Haddin remarks here too. T-Pain is the way forward if they are thinking about the future properly. Haddin's only shot at the moment is the step-away slog over cover.

  • Meety on April 11, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    @Ramasamy - I think Smith is VERY close to International standards, he hasn't been utilised to great extent yet. He is much better option @ #& then White.... unless White starts bowling 2 to 6 overs a match effectively.. @hitu_8 - when Whites mind is clear he plays spinners very well, as in he hits them deep into the stands. He just seems to want to nurdle at the moment! @ MinusZero - no-one knows mate. I will say that it is no fluke that Ferguson averages 44 in ODIs. He is very good, whether he will eventually convert this to Tests remains to be seen, (I'm not sure).

  • Meety on April 10, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    @arya_underfoot - I actually don't think they are quite the best young batsmen in the country in terms of short forms of the game. I DO think Ferguson is a must for the ODI side - NOW! I think Khawaja needs to be given a go soon. I am happy to leave Hughes for Tests only. @VivGilchrist - I agree Ferguson in, but I don't agree that Smith is out of form, he doesn't get many opportunities at 7. @BenKrankenhaus - No White @ #4. He doesn't rotate the strike. At least when Pup was out of form he worked singles. Pup & both Hussey & Ferguson are best suited to the middle overs. @Okakaboka - I am steadily getting on the Wade bandwagon, I would like to see Haddin retire from short formats & see Paine & Wade "audition" for the next in line for Test duty thru ODI/T20 performances. @Blake Houston - becoming a fan of Wade, but he needs to be a straight swap for Haddin. I have Wade ahead of Paine in short formats of the game. @Ben Yan - hopefully Christian will get his turn soon!

  • Meety on April 10, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    @DaisonGarvasis - wrong re: "No Bricks", plenty of talent - just needs to be selected. Also re: Warne & McGrath - they would probably do better then all but a few of the current Test cricketers doing the rounds at their "elderly" sporting age! @Something_Witty - I think White wanted to bat at 4, back a few years ago, (he got a century against the Poms in an ODI), & ever since he has been trying to bat like Pup. Unfortunately Oz only need 1 Pup in the batting line up, White needs to drop down the order (or be dropped altogether), so the equation is simple. Wickets in hand not many overs to go - slog, wickets lost - rebuild & occupy the crease. His lack of runs is proof he can't be selected as a Test Batsmen. Applaud him being given a bowl though. @Naren - Yes! I often thought he would be good to cash in on the field restrictions. Not needed with Haddin w/k, but with the slower Paine a big YES!

  • MinusZero on April 10, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    While I dont rate Ferguson very highly, why is White getting the gold star treatment. He isnt worthy of a star of any colour. How bad does he have to play to get dropped. This is exactly why the Australian team cant move forward. They are sticking with their pals and not giving better players a chance. If White can only manage 20 against Bangladesh and only 4 against another 11, why is he still there. He has no place in this team. Joe the cameraman said it well, Can't Bat, Can't Bowl

  • on April 10, 2011, 18:46 GMT

    everyone talks of White, what about smith. why is he given so much of preferential treatment. he might be young a great prospect for future, but he is nowhere close to international standards. Australia should play dan christian instead of steve smith and bring in Luke pomersbach for white. Also it is time that Mike hussey should calls it quits, he is not going to be around for 2015 WC, hence he can play t 20 and test cricket and allow Ferguson to settle in ODI squads

  • Rajeev129 on April 10, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    My god, i am fearing for White. We, the Deccan Chargers fans had so many expectations on him, already our record at home is one bad aspect for us and then this guy's form is more worrying.

  • on April 10, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    White is way better than Smith, Play him at 7 .. once he's back to his best bring him back to 5 ! No.5 rite now should be either Ferguson or DJ huss

  • Naren on April 10, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    @Anumanth: Before you call something as a stupid decision get your stats right. Not having played in that position is not an excuse for not making someone bat there. Neither Haddin or Watson or Katich were opening prior to being thrust in there. White had played at no 3 three times and he averages 60+ and in 2 of those innings he has come to bat before the end of the 5th over. He needs to hit over the top to get back his confidence and with field spread around he is hitting to the fielders. Only in the first 10 overs he has the luxury of having only 2 fielders out. It is just a thought.

  • coldcoffee123 on April 10, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    I have said this so many times now - White does not have the skill to play spinners. It appears as if he never got coaching on playing spin bowling. He just sticks out his bat and has no plan. He is a misfit in any playing 11, let alone Australia. If you think I am just blabbering, let me know when was the last time White played spinners confidently.

  • Something_Witty on April 10, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    Well Matty Wade should be in the ODI and T20 sides full-time. Pathetic that Bad-hands can even get a spot in any side. His keeping is awful and hasn't improved in several years at international level. Basically he's just a batsman with gloves on. Would only win a keeping competition if his opponent was Kamran Akmal.

  • Okakaboka on April 10, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Um @Blake Houston....Wade is actually a million times better keeper than Haddin now..... oh, Okay that's an exageration. He's only twice as good. Therefore, if Haddin is selected, he should play purely as a batsman. I think many bloggers have nailed White's problems. He developed 2 modes of playing and was starting to look like a test class batsman as well as the best one or two 20/20 batsman in the world. Somehow, he has stuffed this up and is mentally caught between the two. His confidence is shot and he should be rested. If he is not, his run of outs will continue and a very talented cricketer will be lost to Australia. Smith is just as bigger problem. White should be dropped or take Smith's spot. There is not room for both of them.

  • ibbani on April 10, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    @ Naren - Seems like a good thought, license to hit for an opener is a gift, White is a good cricketer, hope he survives and gains his form.best of luck CW :)

  • on April 10, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    It would be a stupid decision to open with white, as he never opened the innings and moreover he is not struggling for form, he has forgot how to bat. All he needs is break from international cricket and play as much as domestic cricket possible to gain some confidence and form back.

  • on April 10, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    I'm guessing White is the Andrew Symonds project of the selectors for the new decade. They persisted for ages with Symonds and eventually it bore fruit big time in the 03 World Cup (.. was that really 8 years ago now?) and evidently they want to do the same with White. See him as Australia's answer to Pollard.. when really if the IPL is any indication, surely Australia's answer to Pollard is Dan Christian

  • on April 10, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    white has 2 modes, test mode or t20 style slogging, he can't do a mike hussey and work the runs every ball, if he isn't bowling then he shouldnt be there as he isnt even doing his job which is suppose to be quick scoring but he's actually not scoring any faster then anyone else , compared to watson and hussey he is slower scoring. Ferguson should be included he scores faster and is more consistent and is improving also should never have been dropped in the 1st place..... also steve smith should go so matt wade can come in and open batting, move haddin down to 7 to finish the innings, HE is the big 6 hitter, let Wade open with Watto because Wade scores hundreds, he doesnt just hit 50 then get out , he also scores at a run a ball almost everytime he bats and is ideal in powerplays, plus when haddin retires then wade will be ready to take over as wicket keeper. aus is trying to play too many alrounders, they need stick to 6 good batsman then 1 keeper and 4 bowlers + watto and clarke bowl

  • Dr.Qwert on April 10, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    when he's in form he swings a lot harder, he doesn't even hit it any cleaner. he is just a beast of a man & combines muscle & bat speed, the problems are entirely in his head. at the moment we're pretty much set for the busy style batters in clarke & huss, for the balance of the team we're better with a white or david hussey style player who can clear the rope & score real quick runs. arya: Phil Hughes & Khawaja haven't shown much in the limited overs versions of the game. Wade would have to be closer to a game at the moment. & talking of ferguson as a young player, he's only slightly over 1 year younger than White.

  • BenKrankenhaus on April 10, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    White needs to be promoted to the top of the order...why not play him at number4?

  • VivGilchrist on April 10, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    Ferguson to five and stays there. Smith and White should be made to fight out the no7 spot. Keeping a good batsman out to accommodate two out of form guys is insane.

  • crow_eater on April 10, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    The only thing that should be swung is the axe by the selectors on Whites flagging career.

  • arya_underfoot on April 10, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    in the interests of the future of the team, callum ferguson has to come in, surely????

    the three best young batsman in the country, ferguson, khwaja and hughes, are not in the team. is this how a team is rebuilt???

  • Naren on April 10, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    If you really want to get him back to form, promote him to open the innings and give him the license to hit over the top. Make use of the Powerplay overs. Australia is too soft during the powerplay overs. You need somebody like White or Warner to open the innings. You will see a transformed Cameron White after that. Drop Haddin down the order for one match and experiment with White at the top.

  • Something_Witty on April 10, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Yeah I think this stems from the fact that everyone looks at him as a specialist batsman these days. - And if he were to get out playing a big shot early on, people would call for his head even more. I think for once the coaches are right, he needs to concentrate on doing what he does well; slogging.

  • DaisonGarvasis on April 10, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Yeah, tell White that and hope he is allowed to do that by the opposition. Its a re-building phase for Australia and I cant see much of a rebuilding in the near future as there are "NO BRICKS" to rebuild. They have to recycle the old bricks and see if it fits. Now trying Brett Lee they can also see how Shane Warne perform in IPL. Warne or McGrath would do better than most current bowlers even they return at this stage.

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  • DaisonGarvasis on April 10, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Yeah, tell White that and hope he is allowed to do that by the opposition. Its a re-building phase for Australia and I cant see much of a rebuilding in the near future as there are "NO BRICKS" to rebuild. They have to recycle the old bricks and see if it fits. Now trying Brett Lee they can also see how Shane Warne perform in IPL. Warne or McGrath would do better than most current bowlers even they return at this stage.

  • Something_Witty on April 10, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Yeah I think this stems from the fact that everyone looks at him as a specialist batsman these days. - And if he were to get out playing a big shot early on, people would call for his head even more. I think for once the coaches are right, he needs to concentrate on doing what he does well; slogging.

  • Naren on April 10, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    If you really want to get him back to form, promote him to open the innings and give him the license to hit over the top. Make use of the Powerplay overs. Australia is too soft during the powerplay overs. You need somebody like White or Warner to open the innings. You will see a transformed Cameron White after that. Drop Haddin down the order for one match and experiment with White at the top.

  • arya_underfoot on April 10, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    in the interests of the future of the team, callum ferguson has to come in, surely????

    the three best young batsman in the country, ferguson, khwaja and hughes, are not in the team. is this how a team is rebuilt???

  • crow_eater on April 10, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    The only thing that should be swung is the axe by the selectors on Whites flagging career.

  • VivGilchrist on April 10, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    Ferguson to five and stays there. Smith and White should be made to fight out the no7 spot. Keeping a good batsman out to accommodate two out of form guys is insane.

  • BenKrankenhaus on April 10, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    White needs to be promoted to the top of the order...why not play him at number4?

  • Dr.Qwert on April 10, 2011, 10:40 GMT

    when he's in form he swings a lot harder, he doesn't even hit it any cleaner. he is just a beast of a man & combines muscle & bat speed, the problems are entirely in his head. at the moment we're pretty much set for the busy style batters in clarke & huss, for the balance of the team we're better with a white or david hussey style player who can clear the rope & score real quick runs. arya: Phil Hughes & Khawaja haven't shown much in the limited overs versions of the game. Wade would have to be closer to a game at the moment. & talking of ferguson as a young player, he's only slightly over 1 year younger than White.

  • on April 10, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    white has 2 modes, test mode or t20 style slogging, he can't do a mike hussey and work the runs every ball, if he isn't bowling then he shouldnt be there as he isnt even doing his job which is suppose to be quick scoring but he's actually not scoring any faster then anyone else , compared to watson and hussey he is slower scoring. Ferguson should be included he scores faster and is more consistent and is improving also should never have been dropped in the 1st place..... also steve smith should go so matt wade can come in and open batting, move haddin down to 7 to finish the innings, HE is the big 6 hitter, let Wade open with Watto because Wade scores hundreds, he doesnt just hit 50 then get out , he also scores at a run a ball almost everytime he bats and is ideal in powerplays, plus when haddin retires then wade will be ready to take over as wicket keeper. aus is trying to play too many alrounders, they need stick to 6 good batsman then 1 keeper and 4 bowlers + watto and clarke bowl

  • on April 10, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    I'm guessing White is the Andrew Symonds project of the selectors for the new decade. They persisted for ages with Symonds and eventually it bore fruit big time in the 03 World Cup (.. was that really 8 years ago now?) and evidently they want to do the same with White. See him as Australia's answer to Pollard.. when really if the IPL is any indication, surely Australia's answer to Pollard is Dan Christian