Ashes 2009 May 20, 2009

McDonald in, Symonds out of Ashes squad

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Andrew Symonds' colourful 26-Test career appears all but over after he was omitted from Australia's 16-man Ashes touring squad. Symonds, who turns 34 next month, was overlooked in preference of younger allrounders in Shane Watson, Andrew McDonald and Marcus North for the five-Test series against England, beginning in Cardiff on July 8.

Andrew Hilditch's selection panel remained loyal to the young squad that defeated South Africa in three out of four Tests in 2009, ensuring McDonald got the nod over candidates such as Symonds and Brad Hodge. Watson, Australia's allrounder of choice on last year's tour of India, has also earned a call-up despite only recently returning to bowling after another stint on the sideline with back stress fractures.

The move to select three all-rounders and no specialist reserve batsman is a considerable risk on the part of selectors, and leaves little wriggle room if members of the top order are beset with form or injury issues in England. But it will provide Australia with added bowling options to relieve the pressure on their paceman, all of whom shouldered heavy workloads over the past 12 months, resulting in injuries to the likes of Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and Peter Siddle.

"Without a doubt this is the one of the most flexible squads we've taken away and that's something I think the selectors were really looking for," coach Tim Nielsen wrote on his blog. "Shane Watson adds plenty for us; he's played well for Australia over the last little while in the one-day arena and has shown that he can make hundreds at the top of the order and bat anywhere between one and seven. Obviously when he gets over his groin injury we expect him to be able to bowl which will add another dimension to our squad also."

The inclusions of Watson and McDonald were the only contentious calls in an otherwise predictable Australian touring party. The five-man pace contingent largely selected itself - although Doug Bollinger can consider himself a trifle unlucky - and competition will be on in earnest when the Australians commence their first tour game against Sussex at Hove on June 24. Mitchell Johnson and Lee are likely to be given first shot at the new ball, leaving Clark, Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus to duel for the final one or two slots, depending on whether Nathan Hauritz, the specialist spinner, is played.

The make-up of the Australian top order also went to script. The top six from the tour of South Africa were all retained, and Brad Haddin, unsurprisingly, held his position. Haddin will be supported on tour by back-up wicketkeeper Graham Manou.

"The Ashes squad contains an exciting blend of experience and youth," Hilditch said. "The core of the squad is made up of the side which successfully won the Test series in South Africa and includes Phillip Hughes and Marcus North who both scored hundreds on debut.

"The young fast-bowling group which performed so well in South Africa of Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus will all be taking part in their first Ashes tour to England and as shown in South Africa, they have the skills to perform at the international level and will be well suited to English conditions. The bowling group has been further strengthened by the return from injury of Brett Lee and Stuart Clark."

The omission of Symonds was not entirely surprising given his recent controversial history and the strong cases presented by Watson, McDonald and North, but is notable after Ricky Ponting's glowing endorsement on the eve of the squad selection. Ponting, though, was philosophical when assessing Symonds' exclusion on Wednesday.

"I can't personally be disappointed," he said. "The facts are he (Symonds) went out of the side ... and we gave opportunities to others and they've played well enough to keep Andrew out of the squad. That's as simple as it has to be."

Squad Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Phillip Hughes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Graham Manou, Andrew McDonald, Marcus North, Peter Siddle, Shane Watson.

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Barnesy4444 on May 22, 2009, 2:28 GMT

    No spare specialist batsmen in a touring Ashes squad? Two part time all-rounders? Manou should be playing county cricket as second keeper. The selectors should have told Manou months ago to seek a County contract. Mcdonald out, bats at 10 and bowls 125km/h, not test standard. Watson out, not a test number 6 and not in best 5 bowlers. Probably will get injured anyway. Hodge should be at number 6, no questions asked. If there was 2 spare batsmen and 2 spare bowlers in the squad it gives the fexibilty the selectors are after and keeps the blokes in the XI on their toes.

  • topeleven on May 21, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    The Opening Pair of Hughes and Katich should bat well. If not they will not be having any option of altering the opening stand. So Phil Jaques should have been selected instead of Mcdonald. In the bowling front, Bracken or Bollinger could have been given a chance as they swing the ball into the righthander.

  • mkalantri on May 21, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    problem with hodge is that he is a victorian...and australian selectors dont care about victorians however Mcdonald is lucky in this scenario....they should have selected symonds for mcdonald ..... hodge should have been given a chance .... i guess we will see a repeat of 2005...

  • Fel_rocks_RD on May 21, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    Instead of Manou, Brad Hodge or David Hussey could have been selected, as Mr. Cricket has had wicketkeeping experience in England since his Under-23 days.

    The omission of Nathan Bracken will deplete the fast-bowling ranks, as he could provide able relief and/or support to Johnson.

    Symonds' omission is appreciated. Watson did extremely well in India. McDonald could have made way for a second spinner in Krejza or Casson.

    Hayden, Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath will be missed forever by Australia.

  • NumberXI on May 21, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    After looking at this squad, England will probably fancy their chances of regaining the Ashes. Two of Australia'a main quicks, Johnson and Lee, are not too fond of alien bowling conditions, as their record shows. As for the rest, Stuart Clark is accurate without being overly threatening, while Hilfenhaus may not be in the first XI. Siddle definitely looks like a good bet. Also, against England spin is always a good option but it is strange why Australia have left out Krejza who seemed to show a lot of promise in India, and included Hauritz.

  • Nerk on May 21, 2009, 3:23 GMT

    i really dont understand the Aus selectors at the mo. I mean, whatever happened to picking the best 16 players. For some reason they are obsessed with finding an allrounder. Why? Australia has a strong tail, Brad Haddin is a good batsman, Johnson is aslo good. We dont need an allrounder. Why not pick another batsman like Hodge or Rogers or another bowler?

  • stuartk319 on May 20, 2009, 20:45 GMT

    Why on earth do the selectors persist with Shane Watson? Time and time again this level of cricket gets the better of his body and he hasn't even done anything noteworthy in the 4 years he has been picked. Would have taken Callum Ferguson instead as he has some real potential and squad is lacking a solid back up batsman if M Hussey or North come to grief. Otherwise, no gripes with the squad, they all performed in South Africa deserve to be picked again.

  • back_foot_punch on May 20, 2009, 17:47 GMT

    I don't think McDonald cuts the mustard at the highest level. The four pace bowlers select themselves really; with Lee, Clark opening the bowling and either Johnson or Siddle at first change. Clark is competent enough to swing the ball (both conventional and reverse) and is really a better bowler than Lee in that respect. I'm sure he will be the leading wicket-taker for Australia this series.

    I would not pick the spinner, however unfortunate for Krejza, since he has not played enough Test cricket since India. It's better for Australia to go in with the four pacemen, than to experiment with a spinner, especially given the sheer number of selections since the retirement of Brad Hogg.

  • DeepPoint on May 20, 2009, 17:46 GMT

    Hodge and Bollinger should be in the squad. Six batsman is one too few. I am not sure why everyone is raving about McDonald. He seems almost an English selection - bat a bit, bowl a bit but not too much of either. And Shane Watson - is he in as a bowler? a batsman? all rounder? Hussey has not been in good form and Ponting doesnt have the regality of old either. The batting should have been bolstered when you consider that 3 of the top 6 have never batted in a test in England.

  • sacricketlegend on May 20, 2009, 17:43 GMT

    I cannot believe McDonald is in the squad. He literally is there to just make up the numbers, and why wouldn't you rather have Symonds in to make up the numbers? I'm also puzzled that Hilfenhaus was picked over Bollinger. Just look at how well he played against Pakistan in the ODIs! And regarding poor old Hodgy, I think the selectors really stuffed him up - I reckon he would have turned out a fine Test cricketer. Anyway.

  • Barnesy4444 on May 22, 2009, 2:28 GMT

    No spare specialist batsmen in a touring Ashes squad? Two part time all-rounders? Manou should be playing county cricket as second keeper. The selectors should have told Manou months ago to seek a County contract. Mcdonald out, bats at 10 and bowls 125km/h, not test standard. Watson out, not a test number 6 and not in best 5 bowlers. Probably will get injured anyway. Hodge should be at number 6, no questions asked. If there was 2 spare batsmen and 2 spare bowlers in the squad it gives the fexibilty the selectors are after and keeps the blokes in the XI on their toes.

  • topeleven on May 21, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    The Opening Pair of Hughes and Katich should bat well. If not they will not be having any option of altering the opening stand. So Phil Jaques should have been selected instead of Mcdonald. In the bowling front, Bracken or Bollinger could have been given a chance as they swing the ball into the righthander.

  • mkalantri on May 21, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    problem with hodge is that he is a victorian...and australian selectors dont care about victorians however Mcdonald is lucky in this scenario....they should have selected symonds for mcdonald ..... hodge should have been given a chance .... i guess we will see a repeat of 2005...

  • Fel_rocks_RD on May 21, 2009, 7:04 GMT

    Instead of Manou, Brad Hodge or David Hussey could have been selected, as Mr. Cricket has had wicketkeeping experience in England since his Under-23 days.

    The omission of Nathan Bracken will deplete the fast-bowling ranks, as he could provide able relief and/or support to Johnson.

    Symonds' omission is appreciated. Watson did extremely well in India. McDonald could have made way for a second spinner in Krejza or Casson.

    Hayden, Warne, Gilchrist and McGrath will be missed forever by Australia.

  • NumberXI on May 21, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    After looking at this squad, England will probably fancy their chances of regaining the Ashes. Two of Australia'a main quicks, Johnson and Lee, are not too fond of alien bowling conditions, as their record shows. As for the rest, Stuart Clark is accurate without being overly threatening, while Hilfenhaus may not be in the first XI. Siddle definitely looks like a good bet. Also, against England spin is always a good option but it is strange why Australia have left out Krejza who seemed to show a lot of promise in India, and included Hauritz.

  • Nerk on May 21, 2009, 3:23 GMT

    i really dont understand the Aus selectors at the mo. I mean, whatever happened to picking the best 16 players. For some reason they are obsessed with finding an allrounder. Why? Australia has a strong tail, Brad Haddin is a good batsman, Johnson is aslo good. We dont need an allrounder. Why not pick another batsman like Hodge or Rogers or another bowler?

  • stuartk319 on May 20, 2009, 20:45 GMT

    Why on earth do the selectors persist with Shane Watson? Time and time again this level of cricket gets the better of his body and he hasn't even done anything noteworthy in the 4 years he has been picked. Would have taken Callum Ferguson instead as he has some real potential and squad is lacking a solid back up batsman if M Hussey or North come to grief. Otherwise, no gripes with the squad, they all performed in South Africa deserve to be picked again.

  • back_foot_punch on May 20, 2009, 17:47 GMT

    I don't think McDonald cuts the mustard at the highest level. The four pace bowlers select themselves really; with Lee, Clark opening the bowling and either Johnson or Siddle at first change. Clark is competent enough to swing the ball (both conventional and reverse) and is really a better bowler than Lee in that respect. I'm sure he will be the leading wicket-taker for Australia this series.

    I would not pick the spinner, however unfortunate for Krejza, since he has not played enough Test cricket since India. It's better for Australia to go in with the four pacemen, than to experiment with a spinner, especially given the sheer number of selections since the retirement of Brad Hogg.

  • DeepPoint on May 20, 2009, 17:46 GMT

    Hodge and Bollinger should be in the squad. Six batsman is one too few. I am not sure why everyone is raving about McDonald. He seems almost an English selection - bat a bit, bowl a bit but not too much of either. And Shane Watson - is he in as a bowler? a batsman? all rounder? Hussey has not been in good form and Ponting doesnt have the regality of old either. The batting should have been bolstered when you consider that 3 of the top 6 have never batted in a test in England.

  • sacricketlegend on May 20, 2009, 17:43 GMT

    I cannot believe McDonald is in the squad. He literally is there to just make up the numbers, and why wouldn't you rather have Symonds in to make up the numbers? I'm also puzzled that Hilfenhaus was picked over Bollinger. Just look at how well he played against Pakistan in the ODIs! And regarding poor old Hodgy, I think the selectors really stuffed him up - I reckon he would have turned out a fine Test cricketer. Anyway.

  • Suren27 on May 20, 2009, 17:23 GMT

    India v Australia always is a better series! As for this series i see the Aussies beating England. England beat a very poor West Indies side on home turf but lost over in the West Indies somehow!

    Pietersens injury is an achilles injury which wont heal easily! Flintoff will be saying he will come back but will be injured. 2 massive players gone! Anderson is a good bowler but will he be able to carry his form through the Ashes? As for the batsmen i can see Johnson, Lee and Clark showing they are average.

  • fahadist on May 20, 2009, 16:54 GMT

    I think the issues aussies have been having with spinners, this team is a bit thin on batting. Injuries or bad form can happen anytime and with so many allrounders aussies might have the same problem english bits and pieces teams had in the past. Too many who can do alot in good situations but not many who can hold the fort when the chips are really down.

  • NinjaStarr on May 20, 2009, 16:13 GMT

    What has happened to Phil Jacques?

  • NinjaStarr on May 20, 2009, 16:09 GMT

    Pity about Shaun Tait. Is Nathan Bracken injured?

  • domgriffiths on May 20, 2009, 15:44 GMT

    Carni you're a pedant aren't you! - I think we can assume that one of those hilarious Aussies has played a little practical joke. England 1 Australia 0

  • tfjones1978 on May 20, 2009, 15:10 GMT

    I am curious about the method of selection for tours by Aussie selectors.

    How many runs does Klinger (1203@70), Rogers(1196@75) or Brad Hodge (803@62) have to make in Shieffield Shield sides to make the International side?

    Compare this to Ponting (861@39) & Michael Hussey(716@34) since 01 Oct 2008 and Ponting(263@33) & Hussey(207@30) in last 4 test matches.

    Similarly, how many wickets (from 8-10 matches) does Dorey(42@24), Nannes(38@21), Magoffin(38@23), Geeves(37@24) & Hopes(34@23) have to make to get in the side?

    Compare this to Lee (21@48 off 8, injured), SR Clark (9@36 off 4, injured) and Siddle (9@47 off 3).

    And as for Symonds ... 167 runs @ 24 and 1 wicket for 57, returning for injury. Thankfully the board at least got this one right.

  • TheNav on May 20, 2009, 14:59 GMT

    can't remember what i wrote last but it was about krejza, i believe you have to give this bloke a chance 12 wickets against the 'masters' of spin in India, the man can bowl...if not you must pick another spinner he must be an attacking spin bowler in Bryce McGain, 'God' aka Warnie has said he is a good bowler and if he says that then he isn't wrong. Since i've given a lot of flack over the squad i'd better put mine up for debate, (first XI 1st test) Hughes, Katich, Ponting, Hussey, Clarke, Hodge/North, Haddin, Johnson, Lee, Siddle, Hilfenhaus. Res: Symonds, Hodge/North, McGain, Krejza, Jaques/Rogers.

  • _Oracle_ on May 20, 2009, 14:50 GMT

    There are a few points I would like to make before I mention my final yah or nah on the team selection. First, Watson can be very handy with ball in English conditions, however, he is injury prone. I like dkirby's comment. Secondly, I like the idea of picking Graham Manou. Its good to have a backup wicket-keeper in a long tour just in case. Thirdly, with Marcus North, Shane Watson and Andrew McDonald in the squad not having extra batsman is justified as one of them can pick-up the slack if one of the front-line batsman goes out of form. And Finally, some people are mentioning that Brad hodge should get a chance, but I don't agree. He is a limited overs player and not a test player in my opinion. Overall, I am satisfied with the sqaud selection.

  • TheNav on May 20, 2009, 14:41 GMT

    to continue...Brad Hodge has well and truly earned his place in a ashes squad, in my opinion he should have been in the squad in '05...this time he's had the form, the proven success in england, with Leicestershire and Lancashire as well as his last few years with Vic, he may not be getting younger but jeez he would be a shining star for any other team in the world (bar S.A and maybe IND) Andew Symonds is a match-winner. The more match-winners you have in your squad the more likely you are to be successful. His off-field indiscretions should not hide the fact he can take a game away from the opposition, and with our problems with spin bowling his partnership with Clarkey (and hopefully Katich) he would be an invaluable part of a winning team. If Haddin breaks down THEN draft a keeper into the squad, Man-who already said he would be playing 2nds in Pom-land just in case. With the spin problems you have to ask the question, Krejza was great, a wicket-taker that may leak runs but...tbc

  • aravinda.nayak on May 20, 2009, 14:21 GMT

    Why no Hayden? He could have been played this year.

  • popcorn on May 20, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    This is a fantastic selection! Very balanced! Ronnie McDonald has proven himself both in the bowling and batting departments - bowling stump to stump, restricting and frustrating the batsmen, and playing a great knock as he did in South Africa. I wou;ld have chosen Symonds, keeping out Graham Manou, just for the Fear Factor.

    The Poms will be worried. I predict Australia will win 4 nil.

  • TrueFactors on May 20, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    So, Tait was right. Aussi did not allow him participate in IPL is not justified. I think Aussi management knew from begining, and they gave no chance to Shaun Tait to show his performance at highest independent level, to prove his point and push himself for the team. Main thing is: Ashes is totally over-hyped matches. It has got unnecessary publicity and its below ordinary quality matches. That hype is not justified either. I personally have no interest in it, if anywhere one-day or 20-20 is getting played, I would love to see than over it.. Gayle said absolutely clean right thing. All Aus/Eng Hypocrites, accept this fact now.. You are living in past.

  • carni on May 20, 2009, 12:26 GMT

    Canary, the 5 would have to be upside down and REVERSED in order to look like a 2.

  • RajivT on May 20, 2009, 12:10 GMT

    I'm really frustrated.I cant seem to fathom why they would want someone like McDonald in the squad let alone their starting XI.Can anyone plsexplain to me any possible reason as to why he is in the squad and what exactly he offers?The only place he will be in the team is at number 8 but I don't understand why we need to pick such an in-effective bowler who can bat abit.We need bowlers who can pick up 20 wickets and McDonald is not going to contribute to that.We have Lee back in the squad so he should bat at 8 and Johnson at 9 - that's a strong enough lower order and then atleast we will have 4 frontline bowlers! I don't understand Hauritz's selection.I don't know what the selectors are doing with Krezja.The guy has picked up 12 wickets in his last test match and it seems as though the Cardiff pitch is going to be very similar to the pitch where he picked up his 12 wickets! And why no reserve batsman in the team?What if any of the batsman lose form/get injured-i'm baffled and worried!

  • schona36 on May 20, 2009, 11:09 GMT

    Yeah I am Hodgy15, but I'm not the only one out there who would agree with me on Hodge!

  • Canary on May 20, 2009, 10:37 GMT

    As a Pom, I'm delighted Symons isn't selected. But I find it typical of the hardline attitude of your selectors, which ours traditionally struggle with. What it means is, (apart from the obvious issue of who is the all-rounder) that the players selected know they cannot mess up, or they'll be out of the side. That's a strong message and it'll pay dividends. I still think your squad is a bit inexperienced, but it's probably good enough to win back the Ashes because England are too inconsistent. If the Poms can find some consistency, they could surprise all the experts.

    PS Has anyone noticed that the "5" in the photo is really an upside down 2?

  • choohi on May 20, 2009, 10:30 GMT

    a good squad overall but wheres brad hodge??? he is great player and he should hav been picked!

  • zeelu on May 20, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    Hodge is the one who deserves the chance ..

  • dkirby on May 20, 2009, 10:19 GMT

    So we're set for a battle of the all-rounders? Flintoff vs Watson - who'll break down first?

  • Sezer101 on May 20, 2009, 9:41 GMT

    why is hilfenhaus being picked he doesn't have much pace his form in the south african test were horrible and his performance in the one dayers against new zealand and south africa was not exactly anything to shout about. Someone else should definatly been picked ahead of him someone like Doug Bollinger, Dirk Nannes or even Nathan Bracken. All of them can swing the ball both ways at pace and are much harder to pick up as a batsman compared to Hilfenhaus.

  • Bagzlan on May 20, 2009, 9:24 GMT

    they should have selected Symonds or a strong batsman such as Brad Hodge. Mc Donald isnt that great at all he can bowl a bit of medium so what, so could Hayden and Langer. He cant bat and thats it.

  • prendergaj190391 on May 20, 2009, 9:12 GMT

    pretty good squad except didn't need watson and mcdonald, just 1 and a spare bat. i agree with boooonie would like to see hopes given a crack. as for zordrac you clearly have no idea what your talking about, Bracken has played test cricket and he is useless as soon as the ball stops swingin, we also have a very strong pace attack going and hilfenhaus will do very well in english conditions. As for the keepers Manou was the best of a bad bunch to be picked as the backup, Hartley would be the worst of the bad bunch, he is a joke. Brad Haddin is a decent keeper and at least he can make runs. Will be interesting to see which bowlers get the nod to start i am struggling to see a place for Lee in the starting 11.

  • kewlneeraj on May 20, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    "The Ashes squad contains an exciting blend of experience and youth," Hilditch said. "The core of the squad is made up of the side which successfully won the Test series in South Africa and includes Phillip Hughes and Marcus North who both scored hundreds on debut.

    well Mr. Hilditch only Marcus North scored a century on debut, hughes did it in d 2nd test.... but heck this was one tough selection meeting these guys must've had

  • _Australian_ on May 20, 2009, 8:50 GMT

    Why must we only select 16. We did so in 2005 and we know the result. Previous Ashes series Australia have taken more players. If we were to select 18 Hodge could be the back up bat and Symonds could also be selected which is a must if the pitch suits spin. Which England will assume to endevour to do because of our lack of depth. They will base their play on swing and spin. I am happy to see Watson selected as for those who watched the India series will know if he plays as well in England conditions he will do well for Australia.

  • Hodgy15 on May 20, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    Gee Schona I wonder if you're Victorian???!!!

  • Woody111 on May 20, 2009, 8:06 GMT

    Why are people bemoaning Symonds' omission? What has he done to warrant selection? Surely Hodge is more unlucky than anyone. I agree that McDonald could easily get replaced - but only if Watson can bowl 15 overs in a day. Otherwise strengthen the batting; which they can't do because they are a batsman short in the touring squad. Also, they are carrying Hussey who I believe should be getting a last chance in the first three tests. That surely has to be enough time to get back into form with so many great batsmen around. It seems if you're a batsman it's harder to get dropped from the team than getting into it (unless you're Hodge).

  • pragmatist on May 20, 2009, 7:49 GMT

    If you were to ask Strauss whether he would rather play against a team including McDonald or one including Symonds, he would choose McDonald any day. Australia have made a mistake here. This squad isn't a patch on the 2005 team. However they are no West Indies either so it could be a really interesting series. England are far from perfect, but so are these guys. And England should resist going back to Vaughan. A proper bowler - or Freddie - for Bresnan and you have the Cardiff team.

  • JackMacl on May 20, 2009, 7:41 GMT

    How Brad Hodge is not in this team shocks me. In six tests, he averages 58 with 2 fifties and a 200. Hopeles Hussey has done nothing for a year, and no matter how he went in his first test, Bryce McGain is still the best spinner in Australia. Happy Symonds is out, Manou is a waste of a position. We don't need two keepers. If Haddin gets injured then send Manou over, otherwise you could pick Hodge or McGain or even Symonds or Bollinger.

  • Screen1990 on May 20, 2009, 7:40 GMT

    As everyone said i too like to include symonds in place of mcdonald,mcdonald is a bits and pieces cricketer..mcdonald made only one good contribution against SA in 5 tests he played,so moreover he can be considered as a bowler rather than allrounder,symonds at no.6 will be good than watson or mcdonald,symonds is a fighter and he saved aussies so many times by coming at that position...then coming to marcus north,he scored only 1 centuary against SA and in rest of all innings he failed,D.hussey or Hodge deserves a chance other than north..bowling is verymuch strong with lee,johnson,siddle,watson,S.clark

  • Strongscotch on May 20, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    This is a terrible Mistake. Andrew Symonds should have been in the squad!!!

    He is back to his old hard hitting form in the IPL series and will be extremely disappointed.Andrew is also an experienced player under English conditions and a superb Fielder.

    McDonald should have been omitted!!!

    again a HUGE Mistake!!!

  • Zakiul on May 20, 2009, 6:42 GMT

    I guess the selectors should have given a chance to Andrew Symonds, as he is regaining his form back. Also, i see no point in Aussie selectors picking up Hauritz as Beau Casson should've had another chance, as he could've suited himself to the English conditions. Otherwise, the squad is almost great for Australia to clinch the Ashes again!

  • Zakiul on May 20, 2009, 6:42 GMT

    I guess the selectors should have given a chance to Andrew Symonds, as he is regaining his form back. Also, i see no point in Aussie selectors picking up Hauritz as Beau Casson should've had another chance, as he could've suited himself to the English conditions. Otherwise, the squad is almost great for Australia to clinch the Ashes again!

  • schona36 on May 20, 2009, 6:31 GMT

    I agree with riteshjsr, Aus don't need 2 all-rounders who bowl mediums. I think McDonald is good, but then no Watson. I feel Watson has had plentiful opportunities in Tests, and McDonald should be the shoo-in. I think Aus will need another back-up batsman, an opener in Jaques/Rogers, or a versatile batsman in Dave Hussey or Brad Hodge. Also, I would of liked to see a younger keeper chosen, ie. Chris Hartley or Matt Wade.

  • XaViVeK on May 20, 2009, 6:01 GMT

    I think Andrew Symonds deserves his place in the 16- man squad of Australia. His off-field controversies should not let him sit out of the Ashes. He has experience in his side and his ability to bring out Australia from difficult situations should be taken into consideration. Symonds should have definitely been preferred in place of McDonald because McDonald only possess the bowling prowess whereas Symonds provides them with the essential batting, bowling seam-up or off-spin as well as his fielding capabilities.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 20, 2009, 5:57 GMT

    B-R-A-C-K-E-N! Bracken has been the best bowler *IN THE WORLD* in one day matches, yet doesn't get considered for a test? Seriously, guys! This is insane! As for Manou, seriously, he is an average keeper and an average batsman, behind others in both fields. Why is he even in the mix? There is a perfectly good wicket keeper (unlike the hopeless Haddin) playing for Queensland called Hartley. Why not put him in? I would have put Bracken and Hartley in in place of Hilfenhaus and Manou. As for the others, they are fair enough. Close to a full strength Australian squad. The best squad Australia's selectors have put on the pitch for some time now. Perhaps Australia can succeed for a change.

  • kunal_narsey on May 20, 2009, 5:56 GMT

    I think Symonds would be a better pick ahead of Mc Donald ...solely on the basis that he could take away and win you a game in a session. He has the ability to do so both with the bat and ball. For me, he would have been there ahead of Mc.Donald.

  • Rajit on May 20, 2009, 5:40 GMT

    I think the selection is good barring a reserve opener,who is not selected..Brad Hodge was my pick ahead of Andrew Mcdonald.But I guess Aussies would clean sweep the Englishmen.

  • NeilCameron on May 20, 2009, 5:28 GMT

    Lee has not done enough to warrant selection. To be honest his performances against England in England are ordinary (29 wickets @ 45.44 in 10 Tests, 2001 and 2005) and his recent "form" needs to explanation. His bowling was so awful in the 2005 series that it could be argued that his performances lost Australia the Ashes. It would've been so much better had Dorey, Nannes or Magoffin been selected in his stead. I'm also sad that no place was found for Rogers or Klinger, though it should be pointed out that Hussey deserves one last chance to rediscover his form. As for Hauritz, I would agree that he was Australia's best spinner during the 2008/2009 season, yet it is unlikely that he would have any positive effect upon Australia's bowling attack. An attack consisting of Johnson, Siddle, Clark and MacDonald should be the preferred bowling selection. The only reason to include Watson would be if he breaks into the batting lineup on merit (ie runs against the counties)

  • boooonnie on May 20, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    If Aust was looking at all rounders then perhaps Hopes should've got a look in - he was very good in a beaten Qld team in the final and he has proven that he can handle the pressure of international cricket in the ODI. Sad about Symonds but he has had plenty of chances in the past.

  • vallurivamsi on May 20, 2009, 4:22 GMT

    i think they should have included Symonds in place of McDonald otherwise the team is very good

  • CricSoul on May 20, 2009, 4:03 GMT

    This squad is more than enough to beat England.I think Mcdonald would play a vital role in this ashes with his medium pace.But the interesting thing is which 5 players would sit out...since everyone except manou has represented australia.If australia sweeps the series in the first 4 tests itself manou would get a chance..otherwise he wont be in the playing XI.My XI are Hughes,Katich,Ponting,Clarke,Hussey,North,Haddin,Mcdonald,Lee,Johnson,Siddle/clark/heilfenhaus

  • riteshjsr on May 20, 2009, 3:34 GMT

    I guess the squad pretty much selected itself. With Brett Lee back to full fitness, the bowling looks very strong. Most likely, Aus will go for a four pronged pace attack in Lee, Clark, Johnson, and Siddle, while North and Katich will share the responsibilities of the spin department. The batting is looking good too with Hughes piling up the runs for Middlesex. Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, and North make a formidable middle order. My only criticism of the squad would be the selection of McDonald. Did Aus really need an extra allrounder? I mean, Watson himself is not sure of a place in the starting 11. The selectors should have gone with a reserve opener in Phil Jaques. Jaques can come in handy if one of the top 6 batsmen gets injured or struggles to get runs.

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  • riteshjsr on May 20, 2009, 3:34 GMT

    I guess the squad pretty much selected itself. With Brett Lee back to full fitness, the bowling looks very strong. Most likely, Aus will go for a four pronged pace attack in Lee, Clark, Johnson, and Siddle, while North and Katich will share the responsibilities of the spin department. The batting is looking good too with Hughes piling up the runs for Middlesex. Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, and North make a formidable middle order. My only criticism of the squad would be the selection of McDonald. Did Aus really need an extra allrounder? I mean, Watson himself is not sure of a place in the starting 11. The selectors should have gone with a reserve opener in Phil Jaques. Jaques can come in handy if one of the top 6 batsmen gets injured or struggles to get runs.

  • CricSoul on May 20, 2009, 4:03 GMT

    This squad is more than enough to beat England.I think Mcdonald would play a vital role in this ashes with his medium pace.But the interesting thing is which 5 players would sit out...since everyone except manou has represented australia.If australia sweeps the series in the first 4 tests itself manou would get a chance..otherwise he wont be in the playing XI.My XI are Hughes,Katich,Ponting,Clarke,Hussey,North,Haddin,Mcdonald,Lee,Johnson,Siddle/clark/heilfenhaus

  • vallurivamsi on May 20, 2009, 4:22 GMT

    i think they should have included Symonds in place of McDonald otherwise the team is very good

  • boooonnie on May 20, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    If Aust was looking at all rounders then perhaps Hopes should've got a look in - he was very good in a beaten Qld team in the final and he has proven that he can handle the pressure of international cricket in the ODI. Sad about Symonds but he has had plenty of chances in the past.

  • NeilCameron on May 20, 2009, 5:28 GMT

    Lee has not done enough to warrant selection. To be honest his performances against England in England are ordinary (29 wickets @ 45.44 in 10 Tests, 2001 and 2005) and his recent "form" needs to explanation. His bowling was so awful in the 2005 series that it could be argued that his performances lost Australia the Ashes. It would've been so much better had Dorey, Nannes or Magoffin been selected in his stead. I'm also sad that no place was found for Rogers or Klinger, though it should be pointed out that Hussey deserves one last chance to rediscover his form. As for Hauritz, I would agree that he was Australia's best spinner during the 2008/2009 season, yet it is unlikely that he would have any positive effect upon Australia's bowling attack. An attack consisting of Johnson, Siddle, Clark and MacDonald should be the preferred bowling selection. The only reason to include Watson would be if he breaks into the batting lineup on merit (ie runs against the counties)

  • Rajit on May 20, 2009, 5:40 GMT

    I think the selection is good barring a reserve opener,who is not selected..Brad Hodge was my pick ahead of Andrew Mcdonald.But I guess Aussies would clean sweep the Englishmen.

  • kunal_narsey on May 20, 2009, 5:56 GMT

    I think Symonds would be a better pick ahead of Mc Donald ...solely on the basis that he could take away and win you a game in a session. He has the ability to do so both with the bat and ball. For me, he would have been there ahead of Mc.Donald.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 20, 2009, 5:57 GMT

    B-R-A-C-K-E-N! Bracken has been the best bowler *IN THE WORLD* in one day matches, yet doesn't get considered for a test? Seriously, guys! This is insane! As for Manou, seriously, he is an average keeper and an average batsman, behind others in both fields. Why is he even in the mix? There is a perfectly good wicket keeper (unlike the hopeless Haddin) playing for Queensland called Hartley. Why not put him in? I would have put Bracken and Hartley in in place of Hilfenhaus and Manou. As for the others, they are fair enough. Close to a full strength Australian squad. The best squad Australia's selectors have put on the pitch for some time now. Perhaps Australia can succeed for a change.

  • XaViVeK on May 20, 2009, 6:01 GMT

    I think Andrew Symonds deserves his place in the 16- man squad of Australia. His off-field controversies should not let him sit out of the Ashes. He has experience in his side and his ability to bring out Australia from difficult situations should be taken into consideration. Symonds should have definitely been preferred in place of McDonald because McDonald only possess the bowling prowess whereas Symonds provides them with the essential batting, bowling seam-up or off-spin as well as his fielding capabilities.

  • schona36 on May 20, 2009, 6:31 GMT

    I agree with riteshjsr, Aus don't need 2 all-rounders who bowl mediums. I think McDonald is good, but then no Watson. I feel Watson has had plentiful opportunities in Tests, and McDonald should be the shoo-in. I think Aus will need another back-up batsman, an opener in Jaques/Rogers, or a versatile batsman in Dave Hussey or Brad Hodge. Also, I would of liked to see a younger keeper chosen, ie. Chris Hartley or Matt Wade.