February 15, 2009

Australian cricket

The summer of the cheap cap

Brydon Coverdale

The rise and fall of Mark Cosgrove shows that Australia's scattergun approach to selection can do emerging players more harm than good, writes Robert Craddock in the Courier-Mail.

This has been the summer of the cheap cap. Allrounder Moises Henriques was chosen for Australia's Twenty20 side last night despite having done nothing for NSW this summer. Adam Voges got a recent one-day call-up when he was one bad match away from being sacked by Western Australia. Shaun Marsh has been fast-tracked into the Australian one-day side despite averaging 34 over eight years as a first-class player.

Luke Ronchi got four one-day internationals last year but now has been dropped to district cricket because he can't fire for WA. Dave Warner still hasn't played a four-day game for NSW despite being rushed into the Australian one-day side and bats like Tarzan on some days and Jane on others.

The obsession with finding the next big thing has prompted Australia to adopt a scattergun policy at the selection table and history tells us that scatterguns rarely work. Which brings us back to Cosgrove, the big fellow who scored a century against Queensland in the Sheffield Shield match at Adelaide on the weekend and is suddenly back in favour after a painful demotion from his state team. Cosgrove is one of the most interesting cricketers of the modern era because he is so different. So - er, how do we say it - fat.

In the Age, Will Swanton looks at what the coming tour of South Africa means for Phillip Hughes.

Ricky Ponting heads to South Africa on Monday and writes in his column in the Australian about how times have changed.

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Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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