Gloucestershire v Australia A, Bristol, 1st day June 21, 2013

Maddinson's rapid ton shows potential and pitfalls

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Gloucestershire 104 for 5 (Sayers 3-24) trail Australia A 331 for 4 dec (Maddinson 181, Hughes 47) by 227 runs
Scorecard

Boom. A lofted straight drive clatters into the construction site at the Ashley Down Road End of the County Ground in Bristol. Whoosh. An attempt to repeat the shot next ball draws a wild swing and a near outside edge. It is 45 minutes before lunch on day one of a first-class match. This, more or less, is the existence of Nic Maddinson, arguably the most conspicuously talented of Australia's young batsmen in England in 2013.

On a day when Australia A clambered all over Gloucestershire, Maddinson's ball-striking - and occasional ball-missing - left the most lasting impression. In a little more than three hours he crashed 181 from 143 balls, and spent just 34 balls hurtling from three figures to his final tally. Unbridled flair taking hold of modest bowling on an unexpectedly sunny Friday made for pleasant, light-hearted viewing: the Ashes are not at stake here for the tourists, nor any Division Two points at risk for the hosts.

Less jaunty was Gloucestershire's batting in response to Australia A's 331 for 4. Jackson Bird and Ryan Harris are working back into fitness and form while Chadd Sayers has only one full first-class season behind him, but all were made to look piercing as the shadows lengthened. Sayers could count the wicket of his South Australian team-mate Michael Klinger among three victims, while Ashton Agar also nipped out the wicket of Dan Christian. Gloucestershire's two Australians could manage only 14 runs between them.

Earlier it had been possible simply to sit back and enjoy Maddinson's spectacle, studded with 22 boundaries and a blink-inducing nine sixes. Yet amid the flurry of runs, Maddinson showed why he has some way to go before maturing as a batsman, and why at 21 he is still deciding what sort of player he will become: a Twenty20 blaster or a more rounded Test match contender.

Regular visitors to Nevil Road could be forgiven for wondering aloud why a batsman so obviously gifted as Maddinson was not in the Ashes squad proper. Their answer can be provided by a record that shows that days like these do not come as the result of an easily repeatable approach to batting.

The best Maddinson can offer is unforgettable, as a wonderfully free swing of the bat can send perfectly presentable deliveries soaring into the stand at square leg or bouncing percussively off the top of Gloucestershire's new pavilion under construction. But he remains an unfinished article, vulnerable early on when the ball is new and the bowlers fresh, and prone to frequent lapses of concentration thereafter. In the early overs Maddinson struggled by comparison with the more obdurate Jordan Silk, beaten often outside off stump even if he was not aiming an almighty heave towards the cover fence.

Later, well after a more experienced player would have settled in, Maddinson showed a tendency for the over eager, often following a pristinely struck boundary with a six, and then a swing-and-miss. In this he recalled nothing so much as the former Australia coach Bob Simpson's line that Ian Healy "bats faster and faster until he gets out". At one point Maddinson offered a vertical bat in some kind of outlandish ramp shot attempt that fell just out of reach of the field. Somewhat fittingly he was to be dismissed the ball after clouting his biggest six of all, skying Benny Howell to mid-off.

Maddinson was certainly playing a game not familiar to his batting partners, two of whom have greater challenges ahead. After Silk offered no shot to be bowled by Gloucestershire's Twenty20 signing Christian, Phillip Hughes strode out at No. 3. A few balls after his arrival Hughes faced up to Liam Norwell, who shares some quirks of a bowling action, if not a common level of skill or pace, with Andrew Flintoff. The Gloucestershire captain Klinger posting a leg slip. This show of 2009 Ashes nostalgia did not overtly perturb Hughes, and his dismissal cutting at Howell was a surprise.

Usman Khawaja followed Hughes to the middle, and set about batting in an unhurried manner that did not suggest too much anxiety about not having topped 51 on tour so far and therefore not really enhancing his claims to an Ashes batting spot. He was comfortable without dominating, composed without looking commanding. Perhaps bigger runs will come in the tour matches against Somerset and Worcestershire, but it was difficult to imagine Khawaja being entirely thrilled when the captain Steve Smith - leading in place of a resting Brad Haddin - declared at tea.

Smith's decision granted his bowlers the chance of an afternoon run, and the pacemen were to find enough movement in the air and off the pitch to be dangerous. Sayers showed his command of line when Chris Dent shouldered arms and was bowled, and Harris coaxed a feather-edge from Dan Housego after he was swung around to the pavilion end in place of Bird, who was tidy in his opening spell.

Sayers would go on to have Klinger taken at mid-on, and Gareth Roderick losing his off stump. Like Maddinson he is not in direct Ashes contention, but may be attracting the interest of several Championship sides with his consistency and knack for wickets. The left-arm spinner Agar had Christian snaffled at short midwicket and Fawad Ahmed, now eligible for his passport thanks to the passing of new legislation back in Australia, twirled through two overs before the close.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | June 22, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    I'm sure the selection for these games was preordained with Siddle and Pattinson playing the first two with Harris & Bird (both of whom have had injuries) held back for this one. Despite the pitches Ahmed and Agar have both played the last two also. Basically unbalanced teams to give players playing time and make a Ahmed/Agar decision for the last spot before the Australia (rather than Aust A) portion of the long form cricket starts. If we can have a convincing innings from Khawaja and Hughes and a good second innings bowling performance from Harris, Bird & the spinners this A team run of 3 games will have been a good lead up to the 2 full team warm up games. Australia may well lose the Ashes but in terms of preparation opportunities over 5 warm up games they have given themselves their best possible chance.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    3 things...I hope Pattinson is ok. I may just be paranoid however he had a poor match against Ireland and is sitting out of this match so I hope he is injury free. I am dissapointed both by Smith's score and his declaration. Could be seen as selfish in denying Khawaja and Wade a chance to press their claims for a spot when he (smith) has been touted by the selectors as a potential inclusion. Chadd Sayers should be included in our squad as of now; his form is cherry ripe and the rest of the bowlers are injury prone enough to warrant it. I can almost guaruntee that he will need to be called up before the 5 test series is through as the next best outside of the squad (by the nsp reckoning) because of probable injuries to Harris or Pattinson or poor form by mitchell Starc. What we would all give to be on the NSP. Khawaja's form is crucial to Australia's chances and should bat up the order in the 2nd innings to get a shot at a long innings! Hang on a sec...that maybe 4 things!

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | June 22, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Maddinson obviously has talent but he needs guidance and role models as to what it takes to become a Test batsman. There will come a time soon when the selectors will have to take a punt on players they think have the technique to succeed in that form ..... Silk? maybe Maddinson? Burns? Doolan?. Not close enough to Shield cricket to know of others. I just think patience with players with thrashing techniques like Hughes and Warner will run out soon. The Aust revival in 1989 started by having faith in players like Taylor, Marsh, Boon, Jones , S Waugh many of whom took time to develop. I'm hoping Australia A can bat again today and give Khawaja , Wade etc the chance of playing a long innings. Another run out for Bird & Harris and an extended bowl for Ahmed and Agar and it will have been a productive 3 days.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    @Matt Gibb, it worked out okay for Michael Slater and Michel Clarke, not every young player struggles, gets dropped and comes back later. Worked pretty well with Hughes too for a little while. Working okay for Joe Root right now too. Having said that i'm not sure i'd be picking the guy yet either, having not seen him play for over 12 months its impossible to judge.

    @Dashgar, agree and even more importantly he is starting to hit big centuries, three for the year to date, that is 3 more than Ed Cowan, for example. Centuries win matches, not ground out 40's. And as Chappelli always says, its not 'how', its 'how many'! I think i'd at least be adding him to the main squad right now, particularly with Clarke and Warner out of action.

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | June 22, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    I seem to remember posting similar concerns (though not with as in-depth an analysis) a few days ago after Maddinson scored his hundred against Ireland. There's no doubt he can hit the ball, but until he shows the ability to be patient and grind out an innings when things aren't going his way I'd keep him away from the International scene. He's a very talented young guy and Australia will look to him to be a central piece in their batting lineup in years to come. Really hope his development continues.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | June 22, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    The fact of the matter is is there isn't a "bare cupboard" in the batting stocks - especially in the young batsman - as many postulate. It's just that those batsmen in the test team have all collectively been poor and some arent even in the best batsmen in australia (watson, warnee, cowan). Joe burns, Jordan silk, usman khawaja, Steve smith and to a lesser extent Alex doolan will all be in the test team in three-four years and all have good FC records in a shield system with very good quicks and assisting tracks.

    Two 100's in a row by maddison has shown his undoubted talent (and good on inverarity -suprisingly - for selecting him), but has also highlighted another underlying problem that brettig points out. In his other ton, I read that he had a huge discrepancy between his low scores and his high scores, surely something that he will get rid of over time. Please don't select him early though.

    Very stupid declaration as mentioned. Hope bird can prove why he's our best seamer tomorrow

  • POSTED BY sifter132 on | June 22, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Can't believe they specifically drafted in Wade to this side to find form and declared when he was on 3*! And hear, hear on the general vibe in the article about Maddinson. Trouble is, he's hardly got great role models in guys like Warner and Hughes. Those guys have found their spots based on very free flowing, often reckless batting, all in the name of 'talent'. None of them would fancy a 150+ ball innings where they haven't reached a century yet. It seems to be the reason Ed Cowan has been such an important balance, someone who's happy to leave the ball. Yet even Ed has felt pressure to score quickly in this Aussie team, and I think that aggressive approach is admirable, but stupid

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | June 22, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    My thought exactly @ToneMalone on (June 22, 2013, 3:19 GMT). I hope he sees the bigger picture assuming he doesn't enforce the follow on!

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    maddinson reminds me a lot of hayden...may not be as big as him but can hit the ball freely...that is wht is required....and young silk is a name for the future...certainly maddinson and silk have got more tick mark in my boxes than warner or hughes.....

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    He has struggled in australia the last season or 2, to see him play his natural game for australia A in England conditions is really fantastic to see, I dont think he needs to put away the big shots, its part of his game and it works for him

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | June 22, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    I'm sure the selection for these games was preordained with Siddle and Pattinson playing the first two with Harris & Bird (both of whom have had injuries) held back for this one. Despite the pitches Ahmed and Agar have both played the last two also. Basically unbalanced teams to give players playing time and make a Ahmed/Agar decision for the last spot before the Australia (rather than Aust A) portion of the long form cricket starts. If we can have a convincing innings from Khawaja and Hughes and a good second innings bowling performance from Harris, Bird & the spinners this A team run of 3 games will have been a good lead up to the 2 full team warm up games. Australia may well lose the Ashes but in terms of preparation opportunities over 5 warm up games they have given themselves their best possible chance.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    3 things...I hope Pattinson is ok. I may just be paranoid however he had a poor match against Ireland and is sitting out of this match so I hope he is injury free. I am dissapointed both by Smith's score and his declaration. Could be seen as selfish in denying Khawaja and Wade a chance to press their claims for a spot when he (smith) has been touted by the selectors as a potential inclusion. Chadd Sayers should be included in our squad as of now; his form is cherry ripe and the rest of the bowlers are injury prone enough to warrant it. I can almost guaruntee that he will need to be called up before the 5 test series is through as the next best outside of the squad (by the nsp reckoning) because of probable injuries to Harris or Pattinson or poor form by mitchell Starc. What we would all give to be on the NSP. Khawaja's form is crucial to Australia's chances and should bat up the order in the 2nd innings to get a shot at a long innings! Hang on a sec...that maybe 4 things!

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | June 22, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    Maddinson obviously has talent but he needs guidance and role models as to what it takes to become a Test batsman. There will come a time soon when the selectors will have to take a punt on players they think have the technique to succeed in that form ..... Silk? maybe Maddinson? Burns? Doolan?. Not close enough to Shield cricket to know of others. I just think patience with players with thrashing techniques like Hughes and Warner will run out soon. The Aust revival in 1989 started by having faith in players like Taylor, Marsh, Boon, Jones , S Waugh many of whom took time to develop. I'm hoping Australia A can bat again today and give Khawaja , Wade etc the chance of playing a long innings. Another run out for Bird & Harris and an extended bowl for Ahmed and Agar and it will have been a productive 3 days.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    @Matt Gibb, it worked out okay for Michael Slater and Michel Clarke, not every young player struggles, gets dropped and comes back later. Worked pretty well with Hughes too for a little while. Working okay for Joe Root right now too. Having said that i'm not sure i'd be picking the guy yet either, having not seen him play for over 12 months its impossible to judge.

    @Dashgar, agree and even more importantly he is starting to hit big centuries, three for the year to date, that is 3 more than Ed Cowan, for example. Centuries win matches, not ground out 40's. And as Chappelli always says, its not 'how', its 'how many'! I think i'd at least be adding him to the main squad right now, particularly with Clarke and Warner out of action.

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | June 22, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    I seem to remember posting similar concerns (though not with as in-depth an analysis) a few days ago after Maddinson scored his hundred against Ireland. There's no doubt he can hit the ball, but until he shows the ability to be patient and grind out an innings when things aren't going his way I'd keep him away from the International scene. He's a very talented young guy and Australia will look to him to be a central piece in their batting lineup in years to come. Really hope his development continues.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | June 22, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    The fact of the matter is is there isn't a "bare cupboard" in the batting stocks - especially in the young batsman - as many postulate. It's just that those batsmen in the test team have all collectively been poor and some arent even in the best batsmen in australia (watson, warnee, cowan). Joe burns, Jordan silk, usman khawaja, Steve smith and to a lesser extent Alex doolan will all be in the test team in three-four years and all have good FC records in a shield system with very good quicks and assisting tracks.

    Two 100's in a row by maddison has shown his undoubted talent (and good on inverarity -suprisingly - for selecting him), but has also highlighted another underlying problem that brettig points out. In his other ton, I read that he had a huge discrepancy between his low scores and his high scores, surely something that he will get rid of over time. Please don't select him early though.

    Very stupid declaration as mentioned. Hope bird can prove why he's our best seamer tomorrow

  • POSTED BY sifter132 on | June 22, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Can't believe they specifically drafted in Wade to this side to find form and declared when he was on 3*! And hear, hear on the general vibe in the article about Maddinson. Trouble is, he's hardly got great role models in guys like Warner and Hughes. Those guys have found their spots based on very free flowing, often reckless batting, all in the name of 'talent'. None of them would fancy a 150+ ball innings where they haven't reached a century yet. It seems to be the reason Ed Cowan has been such an important balance, someone who's happy to leave the ball. Yet even Ed has felt pressure to score quickly in this Aussie team, and I think that aggressive approach is admirable, but stupid

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | June 22, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    My thought exactly @ToneMalone on (June 22, 2013, 3:19 GMT). I hope he sees the bigger picture assuming he doesn't enforce the follow on!

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    maddinson reminds me a lot of hayden...may not be as big as him but can hit the ball freely...that is wht is required....and young silk is a name for the future...certainly maddinson and silk have got more tick mark in my boxes than warner or hughes.....

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    He has struggled in australia the last season or 2, to see him play his natural game for australia A in England conditions is really fantastic to see, I dont think he needs to put away the big shots, its part of his game and it works for him

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | June 22, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    Let's not rush the poor guy. I have sat, tortured, watching this guy go from the sublime to the awful. He is very much in development mode & tours like this can only do him good things for. Believe me, he has a way to go to get to test class standard, but he is impressive when "on song". Good effort by the quicks. him

  • POSTED BY ToneMalone on | June 22, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    Good point about the timing of Steve Smith's declaration. Surely giving Khawaja and Wade another hour at the crease would've better balanced the needs of Australia's Ashes squad players. Was Smith was a bit bored back in the pavilion after getting out cheaply?

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    As this article suggests, Maddinson would be found out big time against a superior bowling attack such as England's. Technically unsound and can be careless in his shot selection.

    Great read btw!

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | June 22, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Maddinson is a star in making, but terrible declaration, what about giving Wade and Khawaja some time in the middle, ashes is our priority boys not winning against a county side.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | June 22, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    If Maddinson keeps up this form he has to be in the squad. I don't like this idea of players not scoring "in the proper way". If Maddinson can average 50 he's going to be better than a guy who averages 30 at half the speed. That's simple logic to me. If he really is as hit and miss as Brettig says then at worst he is an in form, non controversial David Warner.

  • POSTED BY on | June 22, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    You can't keep "rolling the dice" on guys like this. We did that with Warner and 5 years later, he's worse than when he started. They need to identify talented batsmen with good techniques and give those guys a shot. Khawaja is a prime example. He deserves more than one match to get settled at test level. Even someone like Silk. Sure, Maddinson might make 100 in 50 balls, but he's only going to do it once a year. As soon as the ball starts swinging or spinning he won't stand a chance. There's mention of Hayden, Ponting and Hussey, but these guys had a bit of mongrel about them. Even when they were out of form on a swinging deck they could knuckle down and claw out 50 off 200 balls. Many of these young guys brought up playing 20-20 don't have any mongrel and just throw their wicket away.

  • POSTED BY chicko1983 on | June 22, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    he's a very talented batsman and can bat more slowly. There are probably 2-4 more bats for Maddison before the first test. I would send him to meet up with the Australians at the conclusion of this match and play at Taunton and Worcester. If he makes runs there, then through him in the Test team as a middle order batsman. Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Bailey (after his good ODI form), Maddinson, Haddin, Pattinson, Harris, Siddle, Lyon.

  • POSTED BY nickvegas on | June 22, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    The selectors have the wrong players in the test team.

  • POSTED BY hmmmmm... on | June 22, 2013, 1:17 GMT

    @batmania, I think our batting concerns have been created by that very problem - selecting aggressive (if not careless) but talented players...they might get away with it more often against even a decent first class attack but against a top flight international bowling unit they are shown up. they need time to mature mentally and know how to judge the situation, exactly the issue with warner and hughes and to some degree watson.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | June 22, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    Well batted Maddinson, a real talent of the future for us. And Brettig is spot on, this was a very bad declaration, both Khawaja and Wade could have done with time in the middle given they are in the ashes squad and for some reason Smith declares in a warm up match at tea, what's he trying to achieve.The purpose is to give our ashes batsman a hit not pull off a great win.

  • POSTED BY Booniedoon on | June 22, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    Absolutely agree about Khawaja potentially not being happy about that declaration. These games are as much about giving everyone some time in the middle and pushing their individual cases for selection as winning games. 331 quite an early declaration too, really disappointed for Usman having got a start..

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | June 22, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Good to see an Aussie batsman scoring runs, no matter who the opposition is.

  • POSTED BY Sprojy on | June 22, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    @ Mishra, the problem is, the selectors have shown a fear of choosing young batsmen with potential and prefer to pick old blokes with half a good season or two big scores behind them. The young batsmen will get their turn but let them mature first.

    When i say mature, I am not talking about necessarily taking away their exciting ways but letting them understand how to time an innings as in when to go hard and when to baton down the hatches and let THEM do it, not these stoopid sports psychologists who confuse the heck out of players.

    People also tend to forget that guys like Hayden, Ponting and Gilchrist were either dropped or not at their peaks until 27-32. Ponting and Amla both averaged 40 or less through their first 30 tests. Food for thought right? Give these young guys time and don't mess with their minds, we will have a world class team in five years if we do.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    With a few notable exceptions (Ponting, Clarke, Harvey are a couple), most Aussie batsmen have needed a few years of first-class cricket to hone their game. The Chappells, Walters, Mark Waugh, Hussey, Hayden, Langer, Martyn, Taylor etc have all had two or three really good years to knock on the selector's doors, some with failures when they were too young. Steve Waugh was selected too soon and struggled for four years before he scored a ton. Hughes, Khawaja and Smith were selected too soon and we have paid the penalty. Let's give Maddinson another couple of good Shield seasons before choosing him. I first saw him when he was a teenager playing for Sutherland in grade cricket. He is good. He also has three younger brothers who are excellent cricketers, two already playing grade with the Sharks, the youngest playing in their junior rep teams.

  • POSTED BY Governor on | June 21, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    People have to realise that the Australia A side was playing an average County side. The problem is the production line of producing young batsmen who can build an innings in a 4 to 5 day game. Most of the young batsmen are interested in earning the 20-20 coin. The blame should soley rest on James Sutherland and India. India have ruined the game of cricket with their bully tactics. I will be a happy man when the Indian empire collapses in the same manner as Allen Stanford!!

  • POSTED BY VivGilchrist on | June 21, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Sayers! Sayers all the way. He is in great form, has been for a while, and the method of his dismissals are what really stand out to me. He is perfect for UK conditions and should be drafted in to the main squad. He will out bowl the others on this tour given the chance. Definitely ahead of Starc in my humble opinion.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    @Batmanian and Priyabrat: Neither of those approaches is how you mould a successful Test players. Those approaches are how you mould T20 players. You don't just chuck a bloke into the middle of the Ashes and say, "Have a go son!" and expect him to do well. Ponting, Gilchrist, Clarke, Rogers, Hussey and others only won their spots due to their force of runs in the domestic scene. Maddinson is only 22. Sayers only has one domestic season under his belt. Cummins is just 19. So is Agar. Smith has an average less than 50 as a batsman in Shield cricket. The way you pick people for the Test side is based on their performances in Shield cricket, not by giving them a run in the side and waiting for them to come good.

  • POSTED BY Showbags88 on | June 21, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    The best "pure batting talent" Australia has produced in a long time, probably since Shaun Marsh (let's hope he turns out better than Marsh did).

    We actually have some good younger batsmen coming through tbh. Maddinson, Khawaja, Burns (though he has been pretty poor in England), Silk, Smith, Hughes, and quite a few other decent bats in Shield who are below the age of 23. Just need to get a crop to come up to international standard in the next 4-5 years and I think we can challenge for number 1 again.

    Also Agar is a find in my opinion. Has an early knack for wickets and keeps it tight as well. Could be Australia's answer to a Dan Vettori type of player which would be a perfect foil to our pretty decent looking seam stocks coming through as well.

  • POSTED BY njr1330 on | June 21, 2013, 22:29 GMT

    Dan Brettig is worried about Maddinson playing and missing...I think we can safely assume that a guy who gets 150 and 180 in two innings isn't missing much!!

  • POSTED BY Batmanian on | June 21, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    I know it's only Ireland and Glos., but can Australia afford not to roll the dice with Maddinson? Watson, Rogers, Maddinson, Hughes, Clarke, Smith/Khawaja, Haddin looks a lot scarier than Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Warner, Clarke, Watson, Haddin or whatever more likely combo they'll field. Could be the answer to the first drop lacuna. I think Warner should sit a Test or two out - but of course his potential brilliance will be needed soon enough.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    Even so, if he is as gifted a player, why not include him into the Ashes squad and let him develop his international experience rightaway? Doesn't make sense to subject him to more scrutiny....Remember, the 1990-2000s invincibles of Hayden, Gilly, Bevan, Ponting, Hussey, et al emerged like that, encouraged to continue their high-flying ways, and boy, they turned so good at it even at the test level...he could be Aussies new reckoning! Get him on that squad, Mick! P.S. : Recall how India stuck to a gifted Rohit Sharma, a Sehwag, a Kohli during their high hitting in nets, ducks in games forms...and it wielded amazing results. Give it a try I say!

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  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    Even so, if he is as gifted a player, why not include him into the Ashes squad and let him develop his international experience rightaway? Doesn't make sense to subject him to more scrutiny....Remember, the 1990-2000s invincibles of Hayden, Gilly, Bevan, Ponting, Hussey, et al emerged like that, encouraged to continue their high-flying ways, and boy, they turned so good at it even at the test level...he could be Aussies new reckoning! Get him on that squad, Mick! P.S. : Recall how India stuck to a gifted Rohit Sharma, a Sehwag, a Kohli during their high hitting in nets, ducks in games forms...and it wielded amazing results. Give it a try I say!

  • POSTED BY Batmanian on | June 21, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    I know it's only Ireland and Glos., but can Australia afford not to roll the dice with Maddinson? Watson, Rogers, Maddinson, Hughes, Clarke, Smith/Khawaja, Haddin looks a lot scarier than Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Warner, Clarke, Watson, Haddin or whatever more likely combo they'll field. Could be the answer to the first drop lacuna. I think Warner should sit a Test or two out - but of course his potential brilliance will be needed soon enough.

  • POSTED BY njr1330 on | June 21, 2013, 22:29 GMT

    Dan Brettig is worried about Maddinson playing and missing...I think we can safely assume that a guy who gets 150 and 180 in two innings isn't missing much!!

  • POSTED BY Showbags88 on | June 21, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    The best "pure batting talent" Australia has produced in a long time, probably since Shaun Marsh (let's hope he turns out better than Marsh did).

    We actually have some good younger batsmen coming through tbh. Maddinson, Khawaja, Burns (though he has been pretty poor in England), Silk, Smith, Hughes, and quite a few other decent bats in Shield who are below the age of 23. Just need to get a crop to come up to international standard in the next 4-5 years and I think we can challenge for number 1 again.

    Also Agar is a find in my opinion. Has an early knack for wickets and keeps it tight as well. Could be Australia's answer to a Dan Vettori type of player which would be a perfect foil to our pretty decent looking seam stocks coming through as well.

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    @Batmanian and Priyabrat: Neither of those approaches is how you mould a successful Test players. Those approaches are how you mould T20 players. You don't just chuck a bloke into the middle of the Ashes and say, "Have a go son!" and expect him to do well. Ponting, Gilchrist, Clarke, Rogers, Hussey and others only won their spots due to their force of runs in the domestic scene. Maddinson is only 22. Sayers only has one domestic season under his belt. Cummins is just 19. So is Agar. Smith has an average less than 50 as a batsman in Shield cricket. The way you pick people for the Test side is based on their performances in Shield cricket, not by giving them a run in the side and waiting for them to come good.

  • POSTED BY VivGilchrist on | June 21, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Sayers! Sayers all the way. He is in great form, has been for a while, and the method of his dismissals are what really stand out to me. He is perfect for UK conditions and should be drafted in to the main squad. He will out bowl the others on this tour given the chance. Definitely ahead of Starc in my humble opinion.

  • POSTED BY Governor on | June 21, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    People have to realise that the Australia A side was playing an average County side. The problem is the production line of producing young batsmen who can build an innings in a 4 to 5 day game. Most of the young batsmen are interested in earning the 20-20 coin. The blame should soley rest on James Sutherland and India. India have ruined the game of cricket with their bully tactics. I will be a happy man when the Indian empire collapses in the same manner as Allen Stanford!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 21, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    With a few notable exceptions (Ponting, Clarke, Harvey are a couple), most Aussie batsmen have needed a few years of first-class cricket to hone their game. The Chappells, Walters, Mark Waugh, Hussey, Hayden, Langer, Martyn, Taylor etc have all had two or three really good years to knock on the selector's doors, some with failures when they were too young. Steve Waugh was selected too soon and struggled for four years before he scored a ton. Hughes, Khawaja and Smith were selected too soon and we have paid the penalty. Let's give Maddinson another couple of good Shield seasons before choosing him. I first saw him when he was a teenager playing for Sutherland in grade cricket. He is good. He also has three younger brothers who are excellent cricketers, two already playing grade with the Sharks, the youngest playing in their junior rep teams.

  • POSTED BY Sprojy on | June 22, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    @ Mishra, the problem is, the selectors have shown a fear of choosing young batsmen with potential and prefer to pick old blokes with half a good season or two big scores behind them. The young batsmen will get their turn but let them mature first.

    When i say mature, I am not talking about necessarily taking away their exciting ways but letting them understand how to time an innings as in when to go hard and when to baton down the hatches and let THEM do it, not these stoopid sports psychologists who confuse the heck out of players.

    People also tend to forget that guys like Hayden, Ponting and Gilchrist were either dropped or not at their peaks until 27-32. Ponting and Amla both averaged 40 or less through their first 30 tests. Food for thought right? Give these young guys time and don't mess with their minds, we will have a world class team in five years if we do.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | June 22, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Good to see an Aussie batsman scoring runs, no matter who the opposition is.