September 14, 2008

Australian Cricket

Jason Who?


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.


© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by D.V.C. on (September 17, 2008, 7:27 GMT)

I couldn't agree with you more.

Posted by Gerard on (September 15, 2008, 9:34 GMT)

For years Australians have criticised England for their negative approach to the Ashes, and now our board are copying their tactics.

Casson was effectively declared to be Australia's #1 spinner with his selection against the West Indies. Having performed well, he is left out of the squad for India 'to protect him'. The selection panel are waving a white flag to the Indians before the tour has even started.

What happened to the 80s approach of picking young players with room to improve?

Posted by Aniruddha on (September 15, 2008, 2:53 GMT)

Casson has been overlooked because they dont want to expose him against India this early in his career. In all likelyhood Australia wont play two spinners in the same match. If conditions were to be favourable they might even consider playing 5 quicks though thats far fetched.

Posted by Brendanvio on (September 15, 2008, 2:07 GMT)

It was a completely out of the blue selection, but also feel for Aaron Heal who, although he had a quiet season last year, has shown talent.

I never thought Cullen was good enough for international cricket, I actually think Hauritz is a superior bowler to Cullen. It just goes to show that Australia has neglected to properly nuture a spinner in time to take over from Warne.

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