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

Faltering White urged to swing harder


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

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  • Andrew 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.

  • David 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.

  • Basil 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?

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Andrew 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).

  • Andrew 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!

  • Andrew 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!

  • Harvey 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

  • Dummy4 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

  • Rajeev 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.

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