From Michael Sheppard, Australia
The recent selection of Darren Patinson by England only a couple of months ago looks positively normal when put alongside the strange picking of Jason Krejza for India, an off-spinning bowler with batting potential, who only last year was forced to travel interstate to find a first class birth.
Bryce McGain, as Andrew Hilditch pointed out, deserves his place in the touring squad owing to his amazing season in Jason Crejza, on the other hand, achieved very little of note - except for increasing an appalling average and being caught for 'drunk driving'.
Beau Casson has a right to feel aggrieved. His all-round talent greatly contributed to the success of the New South Wales side in claiming the Pura Cup. He also acquitted himself admirably, though not spectacularly, in the West Indies earlier this year. Perhaps the selection panel felt that selecting two wrist spinners in McGain and Casson would not sufficiently utilise the Indian pitches, which Andrew Hilditch seemed to indicate by stating that Crejza was a selection purely on account of the conditions.
But why Crejza?
I admit, Daniel Cullen has not been bowling at near his best for some time, but in his last match for South Australia he claimed 4 vital wickets before suffering an injury. By not picking Cullen, the selection panel has indicated that they feel they made a mistake in awarding him a contract for the past two years and for playing him against Bangladesh in 2006.
This selection reminds me of the controversial selection of Nathan Hauritz over Stuart Macgill some years ago, or not selecting Macgill for any of the Ashes tests in 2005 when Warne was destroying England single handedly. Incidentally, in both series Australia lost. In my opinion, those were mistakes then, and the selection of Crejza over Casson or indeed Cullen, is now.