Australia in India 2012-13

Australia's cast of thousands for India tour

Daniel Brettig

January 30, 2013

Comments: 89 | Text size: A | A

David Warner fractured his thumb after getting hit by Mitchell Johnson while batting during a net session, Perth, January 30, 2013
Mitchell Johnson broke David Warner's thumb with a short ball at the WACA nets on the eve of the selection for the India tour © Getty Images
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In the present absence of quality, Australia's selectors are expected to opt for quantity when they name the squad for the Test tour of India on Thursday.

The national selector John Inverarity is set to unveil a 17-man squad for the four Tests, covering as many bases as possible after their initial plans were torn asunder by Michael Hussey's retirement and Shane Watson's decision to give up bowling.

Inverarity's blueprint was thrown into a state of further disorganisation by the revelation that David Warner had suffered a fractured thumb while batting in the WACA ground nets on the eve of the squad's announcement. While Warner is out of the first two ODIs against West Indies as a result, he should be named for India with an asterisk against his name pending his fitness.

Apart from the XI that took the field in the third Test against Sri Lanka at the SCG in the first week of January, allrounders Glenn Maxwell and Moises Henriques are both likely to be taken to India, as is the left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty in the role of Nathan Lyon's understudy and potential partner.

Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith are probable inclusions as batsmen, with the duo to compete against Maxwell and Henriques for the final spot in the top seven. Matthew Wade's position may shuffle between Nos. 7 and 6 depending on circumstances, after he showed a liking for promotion by making a century at the SCG.

Brad Haddin will not be chosen as a back-up wicketkeeper for the tour, given the relative ease with which a player may be flown to India in the event of injury, but his place as Wade's back-up remains unquestioned. Haddin will likely re-take the ODI gloves against West Indies when some members of the India tour party leave early - around February 7.

Among the pace bowlers, James Pattinson is set for a recall after having his recovery from a side/rib injury carefully monitored, while Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson in particular can expect to have to put in plenty of exacting spells on unhelpful pitches. Ben Hilfenhaus will not be considered as he recovers from his side strain.

Having made his return to the Test team against South Africa and then strengthened his place via a series of intimidatory displays against Sri Lanka, Johnson looms as a pivotal part of the team's efforts to win in India. The subcontinent has arguably seen the best of Johnson, where his low, slingy action has afforded him useful skid and the occasional hint of reverse swing on otherwise unhelpful surfaces.

"It'd be really nice to get an opportunity to play Test cricket in India again," Johnson said. "I've always said it's a great challenge in India with the conditions over there, the heat, the wickets, the players we come up against. So fingers crossed I get that opportunity, but first and foremost is these one-dayers, we need to go out there and really dominate the West Indies.

"The experience definitely comes into it, the challenges over in India are very different to what they are here, so hopefully my experience does come into account. But you've got to go by form in the end - if you're performing you should be picked and playing."

Johnson underlined his reticence to be considered an allrounder, despite assuming the role briefly in the SCG Test against Sri Lanka. His unease at being considered a responsible batting part of the top seven provided another reason for the selectors to consider other all-round options for India, namely Henriques and Maxwell.

"For me primarily I'm a fast bowler, I want to go out there and bowl fast, take wickets and do a good job for our team," Johnson said. "The batting side, it is a bit of a bonus for me, I do love my batting and want to have that allrounder status, but the way it's worked for me is if I focus on my bowling and then chip in with runs at the end, we've got a good tail. I do get talked into the allrounder role at times, but I like to do the best job with the bat that I can."

Possible squad: Michael Clarke (capt), Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, Xavier Doherty, Moises Henriques, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner, Shane Watson.

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

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Posted by Potatis on (January 31, 2013, 11:32 GMT)

@OzWally (January 30 2013, 15:44 PM GMT) - Brilliant post! My sentiments exactly! Everyone should go back and read this post.

Posted by Hammond on (January 31, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge- I wouldn't knock the Aussie captain mate, he's played and learnt under the best, remember Steven Waugh? If this Aussie team gets some player continuity then MC can do the job that he was born to do. I agree with the rest of the comment (the minnow comment was surely tongue in cheek), but knock Clarkey at your peril.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

Journos and fans are, by and large, more accurate in assessing the quality of players. Selecters, often has a different logic, at least about 3-4 players. In case of Inverarity, he is invariably inverse, in his logic.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 31, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

"In the absence of quality, Australia opt for quantity". Never was a truer word spoken, I nearly fell of my chair over this one! The fact is that some aussie fans are just waking up to the reality of just how bad Australia is right now, and have been for 5 years. The lack a spinner, they lack decent seamers, one of whom does the job as 'spinner', they lack a test-level top 6 and a captain with a brain. It's a shame to see Australia as one of the minnows of world cricket, but that's where they are.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (January 31, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

As usual the selection panel make outrageous selections. Steve Smith? He's a good fielder who occasionally scores runs and often leaks them while bowling. I wouldn't pick that guy for a grade cricket side yet he somehow makes the side. And it's unfathomable that a NSW player actually deserving selection in Steve O'Keefe can't get a callup despite outstanding form for an extended period of time. Complete reverse of the usual trend.

Posted by   on (January 31, 2013, 6:02 GMT)

As per yesterday : Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, O Keefe/Smith, Starc/Johnson/Pattinson/Bird/Siddle, Lyon.

Have Wade but what happens if he drops another 6-catches and we are down 1-0 after 2-Tests. Just take Haddin or Paine!!!

If batsmen don't fire, you have a lot of flexibility, you can keep Henriques but I would have Cutting before Maxwell. But I think Maxwell was promised a place a few weeks back (See January 29 2013, 12:22 PM GMT "Maxwell's bowling 'better and better' - Arthur"). But in reality you only need one of the three. Send the other two off to county cricket. Maybe another batsman??

Smith is for - Lyon isn't firing and you are up 1-0 with one test to play. The replacement of Lyon with Smith allows you to bat to 11.

But if you are down 1-0 on spinning wickets and Lyon is bagging a few, O'Keefe is your best option.

The other BIG PLUS about taking O'Keefe is that he will be able to bowl to your batsmen in the nets between tests.

Posted by Humdingers on (January 31, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

I think if any team wants to fill its subcontinent win column, now is the time. The Indian team is probably at it's weakest (even worse than the 80's where we could actually manage to draw games at home). But looking beyond that to the ashes, I can't see this Aussie team beating the Poms. Bit-and-Pieces is ok for 20-20 and ODI's, but you need specialists in Tests. Playing a spinning or quick all rounder is good idea, but as long as you have 5-6 other specialist batsmen in there to do the job. Apart from Clarke (and maybe a firing and fit Warner), I can't see too many who will graft their way to big scores.

Posted by Dirk_L on (January 31, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

As a non-Australian supporter, all I can say is that Mitch Johnson is the one player in the current squad that displays (at least when playing against us) the uncompromising belligerent grittiness that was the hallmark of the Steve Waugh era. Dare I say the mentality of a truck driver -- I'm here, this is my road, I'm turning NOW, don't you dare to pass, if there's a collision you will come off second-best.

Posted by __PK on (January 31, 2013, 3:33 GMT)

This situation is screaming for James Hopes' inclusion. Oodles of experience, more than a little bit of it in tight ODI situations, leadership ability, a genuine allrounder. Is he a star who will take Australia to No 1 and keep them there for years to come? No, of course not, but if you're looking to inject consistency into the middle of the team, pick Hopes and bat him 7 behind Wade. He's definitely Test No 7 quality. He could bowl dozens of overs per day at a miserly rate, even if he doesn't get wickets, allowing the three quicks to go hard, sparing Watson and still leaving room for a spinner. Hang on, though, he's not from NSW, so I guess he's ineligible.

Posted by Wefinishthis on (January 31, 2013, 3:10 GMT)

There is no way anyone could possibly justify taking Doherty over O'Keefe. How are they justifying this? Journalists - do your job and question them at the press conferences! I think it's time that we made records a requirement for selection. If you don't perform, you don't get selected. This would have prevented disasterous selections like 'haus, Beer, Doherty etc from being selected. Whilst I don't think Henriques is any good, at least they could justify his selection based on his most recent season, the O'Keefe omission is a scandal.

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (January 31, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

Let's hope 'Invariety' has a damn good look at Lyon in India. It's clear he can't spin a ball. He would be in the top 3 players in Aussie Cricket history to have played 20 undeserved Tests. The other two got games because of WSC. There's no such excuse for Lyons selection. If he's the best spinner in Australia, then we went from chocolates to boiled lollies in a hurry. Couple Lyon with the rotation 'system' and the baggy green is now as devalued as the US Dollar. Warneys assessment of Howard as a muppet is spot on! How can a 'high performance manager' oversee an organisation where a player (Starc) produces a high performance and then is 'rested' for the next game? Really going to keep the mental edge over opponents when the most recent threat is deliberately taken out of the equation. Not to mention the fact that the player isn't allowed to take maximum advantage of his good form and fast track his experience. Great template; India, Ashes, then into the wilderness.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 31, 2013, 1:37 GMT)

100% correct prediction, unfortunately. I was hoping for David Hussey, Steve O'Keefe and Alistair McDermott to be given a shot; but I guess that the fact that they weren't playing ODIs or T20s (well, D Hussey was until he was dumped) suggests that they are a fair way out, unfortunately. Really happy to take Doherty, as he is the biggest spinner of the ball that Australia has had since Stuart MacGill. Sure, offspin vs legspin but the degrees of spin is huge. That doesn't help much in Australia but on the subcontinent the ones that spin it a long way get the wickets, as Monty Panesar showed recently.

Posted by Hoggy_1989 on (January 31, 2013, 0:32 GMT)

If I was Steve O'Keefe right now, I'd be getting a visa in order to leave the county to go play for NZ. What on earth does the guy have to do to get a Test match cap? I'll remind everyone, that in the lead-up to the last Ashes series in this country, he nailed KP in an Aus A game with one of the best left-arm orthodox deliveries I've ever seen (as was the plan, with his alleged 'weakness'), top scored in the only innings they batted...and *still* didn't get picked!

Posted by Meety on (January 31, 2013, 0:22 GMT)

@Moppa on (January 30 2013, 11:04 AM GMT) - I think it is worth noting, that since 1st jan 2000, MJ is the leading non-Indian wicket taker in India. He has 37 wickets from 20 matches. In Tests he has 21 wickets from 6 matches (albeit @ 37). So I think there is enuff to suggest that MAYBE, he could do well over there. I agree re: Harris.

Posted by smudgeon on (January 31, 2013, 0:04 GMT)

I guess we should wait until the squad is actually announced before the "what about PlayerXYZ?"!

Posted by selvank on (January 30, 2013, 23:53 GMT)

@Pat _Muld. I could not agree with you more. I think Steve O Keefe deserves to be picked as the 2nd Spinner. IMO, If they choose Steve Smith or Glenn Maxwell, they wouldnt be more then bits and pieces players as their first class records and experience do not compare to Steve O Keefe. I hope he gets picked, but I won't be surprised if the selectors ignore him and go for Smith and or Maxwell. Steve O'Keefe would also be ideal for the number 7 spot if the selectors wanted to play 2 spinners and 3 fast bowlers.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 30, 2013, 23:45 GMT)

I can't see any warm up fixture listed is that true? If so why 17 players?

Posted by bobagorof on (January 30, 2013, 23:29 GMT)

It remains to be seen how close this possible squad is to the actual squad, but what does Steve O'Keefe need to do to get picked??!? His record far outstrips Doherty's, plus Doherty was taken to pieces against England a couple of years ago when he bowled flat and with no turn. O'Keefe almost single-handedly won NSW a game on the weekend with his bowling. He is the highest wicket-taking spinner in the Shield this season with 17 (next highest is 8) and averages 24. Doherty has taken 2 wickets at 80.

Posted by Meety on (January 30, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

Where is this push for Doherty coming from? Surely the current NSP won't make the same mistake as Hilditch? Doherty was shot into the Ashes line up, on the back of some good BBL form & ONE bowling performance in an ODI v Sri Lanka. He failed badly against an in-form England side. His Shield returns have not been much better than before his Baggy Green. He has been a good defensive option for Oz in short forms & then out of the blue again bags a few Sri Lankan wickets & suddenly he is better than a bloke that is taking Shield wickets & scoring some runs? I have tried very hard to be understanding of the decision-making process that the NSP/Management have made over the last 2 years. We have had some eroding form in ODIs, but came very close to reclaiming the #1 Test ranking, despite a lot of injuries. SO'K must be selected for India as the 2nd spinner, NOT Doherty, NOT Beer, NOT Krezja, NOT Zampa, NOT even Hauritz.

Posted by Moppa on (January 30, 2013, 23:00 GMT)

Doherty's record in the Shield this summer: 4 matches, 53 overs, 2/160. He has absolutely no red ball form at all, and no much more with the white ball. If Beer was fit I would have both him and O'Keefe ahead of Doherty. Smith doesn't really bother me because he won't play - but I think CA would be better off saving the air fare. Maxwell is dangerous because Arthur loves him and he could displace Khawaja or Watson, which would be madness. I can see the attraction of Henriques: if you play two spinners and are concerned about the risk of Pattinson for example breaking down mid-match, you may want a batting all-rounder who bowls seam up (NOT spin, so Maxwell is no use). On the assumption Watson isn't bowling my team would either be: Warner, Watson/Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, D.Hussey, Wade, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon - or I can see a case for Warner, Watson/Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Henriques, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon. But, no Maxwell, Smith or Doherty!!!

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (January 30, 2013, 22:58 GMT)

My squad would be : STEVE O'KEEFE, STEVE O'KEEFE, STEVE O'KEEFE, STEVE O'KEEFE, STEVE O'KEEFE, STEVE O'KEEFE, STEVE O'KEEFE etc etc. Can we forget 'allrounders' who cant bat or bowl well enough to play Tests on the basis of either discipline and pick specialist batsmen and specialist bowlers. With Mitchell Marsh injured and under-developed and Watson suffering from being too fat to bowl there is no all-rounder worthy of the term. Dont pick nonenties like Maxwell, Smith or Henriques as none are up to Test cricket.

Posted by Justcoz on (January 30, 2013, 22:46 GMT)

Without two quality spinners it is difficult to compete in India - as England's first test showed. Whether Lyon + O'Keefe/Doherty are enough is debatable.

Posted by Hammond on (January 30, 2013, 22:42 GMT)

I smell blood. I get the unpleasant feeling that India will turn this into a blood bath. Let us hope that MC doesn't get too psychologically damaged going into probably the most important period of his captaincy- back to back ashes series.

Posted by Nerk on (January 30, 2013, 22:31 GMT)

I hope that Maxwell does not suffer the same fate as White - a player with great potential expected to perform against some of the best players of spin in the world who ends up getting smashed from pillar to post. SOK should be picked based on first class form, but Doherty is not bad and deserves a second chance at test level. Both are SLA who bowl the ball a bit quicker, much in the same way Panesar did in the recent series between Eng and Ind. (Obviously, neither SOK or Doh are in the same class as Panesar yet, but they could perform a similar role.) Either way, once the team is selected we Aussies should get behind them and support them all the way. They'll need it playing against India, who I expect will be ready to fight after a disappointing series against England.

Posted by mumbaiguy79 on (January 30, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

Unhelpful pitches? Well, England won the test matches under similar conditions. If Australia win, this could setup a thrilling next Ashes series. It will be tough though given Hussey is out and potentially Warner too. Law of averages will catch up with Clarke who I predict will have a miserable one this time in India.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (January 30, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

I am compelled to echo the comments of previous posters - a genuine all-rounder needs to be able to be picked on the strength of either discipline. These players are extremely rare. At the moment, Shane Watson is the closest thing we have and he has declared himself not fit to bowl. IMHO, that means there is no all-rounder available for selection (unless McDonald is fit by India, but I wouldn't pick him anyway).

The fact that Maxwell - a batsmen who can bowl a bit i.e. a part-timer - is being considered for selection as a second spinner beggars belief. The selectors MUST select a specialist second spinner for India. Going on fitness and form it can either be SO'K (a bowler who bats a bit) or Doherty. Personally, I would select SO'K as I don't think Doherty will be up to it.

Posted by JustIPL on (January 30, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

It can be very very competitive series as English bowling is not as strong as it used to be on the other hand the indian batting is also developing. Any team will be good on a day. Ojha will be the key as he troubled quality English batting so can do the same to aussies and can be more effective even.

Posted by Kelum_w on (January 30, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

Well Invariarty(mind the mis-spelling) in the last few months has contradicted himself to a great deal. First Watson isn't good enough to play as a batsman and now he's been included as a specialist batsman. What did happen in the last 8 weeks that changed his mind I wonder. And now this hallaballoosa about Maxwell being a 2nd spinner to bowl in India, where Shane Warne struggled. Cricket is a simple game, and more often than not the best teams are the one's who do the simple things right. This over-engineering of training, selection etc is really a bit a joke. What do they really think? that the general cricket loving public, let alone the Aussie fans are idiots?.

Posted by wix99 on (January 30, 2013, 21:09 GMT)

I would leave Shane Watson at home so he can get fit to bat and bowl in the Ashes. That opens a place for another batsman or batting all-rounder. Alex Doolan, Callum Ferguson or Dan Christian could be given a chance.

Posted by ygkd on (January 30, 2013, 20:57 GMT)

Well, Australia might well win in India with such a team but if they do so it will say more about the current state of Indian cricket than it does about ours. Have to agree with @SirViv1973 about the cobbled-together bits-and-pieces look a-la England in the 1990s. It's light on specialist batting, light on keeping, light on spinning - frankly just light-weight. It's hard to think this squad is for four Tests in the India, rather than four ODIs at home. Also have to agree about O'Keefe. It's hard to remember someone from NSW ever having to do so much to get selected, in fact ever having to do anything much at all...

Posted by Pat_Muld on (January 30, 2013, 20:22 GMT)

What more does S. O'Keefe have to do to crack it in this team! Despite having a bare cupboard of slow bolwers he is overlooked time an time again. You think that they might take FC averages into account when there is no obvious 2nd spinner available. Maxwell isn't good enough for a tour to India yet - he'll be murdered. Why not take the guys who shows form and has some talent with the bat as a bonus??

Posted by KeithMillersHair on (January 30, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

Decisions that need to be made: The selectors need to make a decision on whether they will play six best batsman, or use an all-rounder. If Watson can't bowl they need to make a decision on whether he is good enough to be the top six without bowling. If they decide to play an all-rounder they need to decide who it is going to be, and not take THREE on tour. If they decide Johnson can bat at seven and Wade can bat at six (which isn't totally crazy) then they should take the leap and do it. And if they decide to take Doherty instead of O'Keefe then they should admit they don't know what they're talking about.

Posted by KeithMillersHair on (January 30, 2013, 20:18 GMT)

Gee it makes me nervous when the selectors say they want to cover 'every possible base'. That's just code for them saying they're not actually making ANY decisions. A few basics... A genuine all rounder has to be good enough to be picked in the side on both disciplines, a batsman who can bowl is a part timer and a bowler who can bat is just handy. A player who can do a bit of bowling and bat OK but wouldn't get picked on the sole merit of one or the other is not an all-rounder of any kind and they don't actually 'cover' any bases.

Posted by mzm149 on (January 30, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

No matter what squad Australia chooses, they will win the series. Just like England, its now Aussies' turn to expose Indian batting lineup first away and now at home.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 30, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

as a rider to that last piece. win the tosses, something cook could only manage the last test.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 30, 2013, 19:07 GMT)

most of the cricketing world understands the lack of quality in the batting. but their pace attack when the required bowlers are fit, are good. to go in with doherty as a spin option the Indians will murder him. i would go in with the faster bowlers who are fit, along with Lyon although i do not rate him the larder is bare, i would have the captain as 2nd spinner, i big workload i know but he has shown in the last aus v ind series can do a job as he does what Lyon do not he spins the bow.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (January 30, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

"In the present absence of quality, Australia's selectors are expected to opt for quantity when they name the squad for the Test tour of India"

I almost died at this. Never was a truer statement made by cricinfo. Australia's long time without any players of quality has been made even the more starker by England's cricketing heroes. Asutralia are gonna get crushed in India.

Posted by Beertjie on (January 30, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

@Moppa, great post: agree mostly, especially about Johnson. This lack of perspective is really disturbing, as if we're not playing India on the deadest wickets in the world (directive from Dhoni to groundsmen). As correspondent and tipster you may well be correct in your possible squad, Daniel. However, if you are, there are serious questions: 1. On what basis is O'Keefe overlooked for Doherty? If Maxwell's selection is based upon his first class record so far, why does that not apply to SO'K? If performance this season is a criterion why does he continue to be overlooked? This is contrary to Argus, so how can it be justified? Agree @mattboosa that Cutting would be a better all rounder than those touted. Given that Watto will need to return for the birth of his child, the 17 should really be: Watson, Cowan, Warner, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Doolan, Wade, Lyon, O'Keefe, Doherty, Johnson, Starc, Siddle, Pattinson, Bird. On standby for Warner: Maxwell, for the fast bowlers: Harris

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 30, 2013, 18:06 GMT)

Well if that is going to be the squad then clearly the selectors don't read these pages! It seems every oz fan and his dog thinks O'keefe should be in. I've never seen him play but his stats do stack up well. As I suspected CA seem intent on playing a bits n pieces player at 7 with 3 of them likely to make the trip. Surprised to see Smith back in favor, as an Eng fan I will be delighted if he rocks up for the ashes. I also strongly suspect that Khawlja will be the reserve batsman despite most of the fans wanting him to replace Hussey. He may yet get a chance if Warner doesn't make it & Watson ends up back at the top of the order. The make up of the squad resembles the one's Eng would pick in yesteryear, when we picked more players than were needed & players who weren't specialists in any department, instead of Maxwell,Smith & Henriques we had players like Ealham, Hollioake & Irani. Ind have their problems but its difficult to see this squad of players being successful there.

Posted by MadhavY on (January 30, 2013, 17:43 GMT)

AUS bowling is way better than India's and Clarke, Cowan, Watson, Wade are good batsmen. If they can find some support from Hughes, Warner then Aus can win this series.I sense another unexpected thrashing for Indians. Especially with Gambhir, sehwag still being openers.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 30, 2013, 17:42 GMT)

@Sam Roy, I beg to differ, although Ojha is a good bowler to say he will end up being much better than Panesar is premature. Also having the better spinners wasn't the only reason we won the series. Anderson was clearly a cut above any other seamer in the series, our batting was also superior.

Posted by pull_shot on (January 30, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

Aus is completely loaded with left handers(expect clarke,watson) which make bowling some what easy to them but one thing is India struggled against quality left handers.India r at there possible worst position it gives enough inspiration to aussies to get on top of them. clarke,wade,waner will be key.I think England scheduling is far better than aus for ashes as they play with NZ which r conditions similar to aus and mainly i dont know why aussies r wasting there time in india with test series and ipl to come.

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 30, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Tough series this for quite a few youngsters from both the teams , although australia are little better than india in tests but home conditions nullify any such advantage. Even teams and lot to prove from both sides. Rebuilding phase for two powerhouses of cricket . Just expect tight encounter like the english indian test series with little more turn for spinners in atleast 3 tests. Series will be decided by adjustments made by aussie pacers and how they counter spin trail. I think india will edge it 2-1 .

Posted by   on (January 30, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

india have slight upper hand in series, but india's toothless bowling attack and woeful form of batsman is biggest merit for australia. india is going through worst phase in test cricket and opportunity for australia to capitalize, they must learn from england art of application and self belief to beat india in india. surpirsie to see doherty picked up. hope umesh yadav, zaheer khan gets fit and india must recall domestic stalwart wasim jaffer and throw out gautam gambhir

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (January 30, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

We (India) have our own worries. But still to bet us at home will need ome doing. Eng had that in bating, Cook and in bowling Swann & Panesar. Clark can match Cook, can do even better. But Lyon & Doherty? Are they half good as Eng? I don't think so. Johnson can be the key. He has got his mojo back and left armers have always troubled India. It will be interesting to see two houses fighting with both having their roof tops blown.

Posted by SamRoy on (January 30, 2013, 16:55 GMT)

@redmedicine England won because England had superior spinners (Though Ojha will eventually become much better than Panesar, currently he still has a long way to go). Australia doesn't have one good one.Their only hope if India plays all the 3 non-performers (Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin); Ashwin keeps bowling pies and Starc and Johnson rip through rest of Indian top 7.

Posted by DC75 on (January 30, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

I am surprised at the comments here, India are at their worst possible form, we do not have openers, no strong middle order in fact we have about 4 to 5 walking wickets in the team. The less we talk about the spin options the better, I mean we were outbowled by english spinners in both tests and odi, come on, how are we expecting to win is beyond me. AUS is going yi beat us at home, our only hope is to bring back kumble or probably bedi....

Posted by perl57 on (January 30, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

Two equal teams will play here. One who can be said as relatively good in batting and another who can be relatively good in bowling. Bottomline, India has poor bowling and Oz poor batting. I guess it will be 0-0 in favor of Oz. Unless Kohli, Dhoni, Gauti, Pujara play like Sachin, Laxman, Dravid and Gangu, it will not be possible to get anythingt from this tour for India.

Posted by redmedicine on (January 30, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

Luckily for Australia, England have just given them an excellent blueprint for how to win a Test series in India. But can they follow it? For Australia to win, one of the extra spinners will have to prove himself Test quality, and at least one of the batsmen not named Clarke will have to step up. I don't know if they can do that, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

Posted by OzWally on (January 30, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

Australia is about to embark on a tour to India, the toughest country to visit in the world. Even when we were clearly #1, we struggled to win there. And how are they preparing? By playing a meaningless ODI series with the WI, and to top it off a T20 just 9 days before the 1st Test. No warm up game to to help adjust to the conditions, nothing.

Sure, a few of the players have gone over early to get net practice. But all that has done is shortchange the home crowds on seeing the best ODI side possible. Well done Cricket Australia, in a chase for the almighty dollar, your scheduling has screwed the home fans and hindered the touring team's chance to succeed.

Now we wait and see how badly you mess up the team selection based on your predictions of who you "think" will perform there, rather than who actually "is" at home.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (January 30, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

As and Indian and knowing the conditions i will like to suggest bring 2 good spinners rather than partimers like Smith and Maxwell, as they will not that much useful on this pitches, thewy may perform better in LOIs but in test team they doesnt suit. Australis should select following players, Warner, Watson, Hughes, Shaun Marsh, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Starc, Pattinson, Bird, Lyon, Johnson, Siddle, Paine, Cowan, Fergusson and another good spinner (it might be SOkeefe).

Posted by drei on (January 30, 2013, 14:55 GMT)

Not paying any money to Mitch till India squad is announced! I know Warner's no Hayden just yet but the image of a hard hitting leftie opener with a big mouth... and Matty Hayden was a nobody when he toured India in 2001.

Posted by 12thman on (January 30, 2013, 14:34 GMT)

Dream on Aussies. Will come back licking their wounds. Michael Clarke peaked too early. It's all downhill from here. Inexperience on the sub-continent will tell.

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 30, 2013, 14:31 GMT)

my prediction for first XI: Ed, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Watto, Khwaja/Glenn, Wade, Johnson, Siddle, Lyon, Bird

Posted by lesslowe on (January 30, 2013, 14:26 GMT)

Give Khawaja a chance. What else does this kid need to do in order to get a place in this very mediocre team ?

Posted by blink182alex on (January 30, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

I am speechless, having Maxwell and Henriques picked is bad enough but at least there is some consolation in that they shouldn't play as they don't get anywhere near the best 11 in the country.

I am absolutely stunned to see Doherty and Smith rumored to be in the squad, i would of thought their both continued failure in first class cricket (not even test standard!) would be enough to show the selectors they will not succeed in India. Surely the selectors must know these players will not do well in test cricket, us fans can see it!!!!!

Posted by burnsy7 on (January 30, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

Bailey should be picked!!! Hes the captain for 20/20 and stand in captian for ODI when clarke is out!!! he should be at least in the squad to go to india and the ashes!! Top Class player, may not score fast but he has a smart cricketing brain :)

Posted by Jayzuz on (January 30, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Fans keep whining, English keep predicting doom, and the test team just keeps doing well. Wonder why that is?

Posted by GlobalCricketLover on (January 30, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Having 17 in the squad was given as one of reasons for the ashes disater for Aus. Can't beleive they are repeating the mistake after that. They should make up their minds and give the shortlisted players full backing. Quantity is definitely not going to work. See what happened when Aus played White as a spinner/alrounder in Ind!

Posted by ajayrcs on (January 30, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Where is P forrest? He showed that he has good defence against spin last summer. He can be better replacement for Ponting.

Posted by swat1999 on (January 30, 2013, 13:38 GMT)

Wel enouth squad to beat India by 3-1 in test matche becouse Indians are too weak in Test Match

Posted by ravi_hari on (January 30, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

It is not easy to select a team for India especially when you are without Ponting and Hussey. Added to this Warner and Watson are not fully fit. It leaves only Clarke the best bet and if he fails the team will collapse. All the others will find it difficult to negotiate spin which will be used extensively by Dhoni. If Shaun Marsh is considered it will help Aussies as he can play spin very well. On the bowling front Aussies look quite capable. Indians always have problems with left-arm pacers and having Starc and Jhonson in the squad is a huge plus for them. Added to this Siddle's big heart and Lyon's persistance will make a formidable attack. However, they will miss an all-rounder like Watson / Symonds. Istead they should go in for an extra batsman as they will have to bat India out of each innings to make any impact on the tour. Despite their loss to England, I feel India are favourites and it will need Aussies to make a big effort to win or even save the series.

Posted by Jason_Mcphee on (January 30, 2013, 13:17 GMT)

I still believe this side can smash India in their backyard but we are lacking experience, no punter, no Mr.Cricket, a sad scene :( still this side is good enough to clean sweep Ind.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (January 30, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

It's fortunate that Warner and Hughes seem to have finally got most of the critics off their back. They are two superb batsmen who just need test experience like all top test batsmen before them. I think they will both in time become major thorns in opposition sides just as Hayden and Hussey before them. The other superstar for me is Khawaja. Khawaja still has some work to do to prove his worth. Unfortunate he was run out in his first ODI(but gets a chance to redeem himself in Perth) game but came back with a brilliant run out which must have silenced the fielding critics a bit. he needs one big international score. The criticism that he doesnt make big scores is spurious when you consider the 214 he made a year or so back at first class level. There's no doubt he's got loads of talent. He just needs to buy himself that middle order position with a big score and I am confident he will do that in both the ODIs and in India as well.

Posted by ruester on (January 30, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

I'm shaking my head in disbelief, surely Steve Smith must be related to invarerity! How can he possibly be picked for the Australian test team on ability alone. What has he ever done to deserve the baggy green? Does Watson deserve a place as a batsman alone, mediocre average in tests, had plenty of opportunities as well. Looking at a heavy series defeat I think.

Posted by ZAB2121 on (January 30, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

you can tell the cricket is dying in Austrailia. Where is the exceptional talent like McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist, Hayden, Lee etc which we saw for years?

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 30, 2013, 12:38 GMT)

One cant expect a Michael Hussey, with all that experience, is suddenly going to appear. This is a period of rebuilding. There are potential Husseys out there but they've got a couple of years to develop. We've got a talented bunch of kids such as Hughes, Warner, Khawajaetc who are ready to step up and must be selected. But we cant expect consistent performances from this lot like Ponting, Hayden, M. Hussey, Clarke, the Waughs and Border at their prime, for a few years yet. That comes with experience. With this line in mind give Khawaja the full series in India and you will have test star ready to unleash in the ashes.

Posted by asimsiddiqui1968 on (January 30, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

why steve smith or Moises Henriques along with Glenn Maxwell. if Aussies want to show good in india they must have to pick experience batsman like Brad Hodge and George Baily along with a good left arm spinner like Xavier Doherty and must include shaum Marsh.my side is Michael Clarke David warner,Ed Cowans, Bird,Johnson,Pattinson,Starc,Brad Haddin, Brad Hodge, George Bailey,Shaun Marsh,Nathan Lyon,Xavier Doherty,Usman Khawaja,Huges,Watson,Finch,

Posted by luks on (January 30, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

Why is the author so confident that Haddin won't be picked? I think he has a major role to play, as one of the few Aussie batsmen who play spin well and have done it in the past. Other than Clarke and him, the team looks weak against spin. Need at least two more batsmen who can play long innings against spin. Watson may be able to do the job, but I am doubtful.

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 30, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

@Shaggy076 i agree with you, i would like to see Mcdonald or Faulkner. I was at the the PM's match yesterday and Faulkner looked great. Mcdonald is injured so may be a good bet for the ashes. I've seen a few comments proposing Xavier Doherty as our second spinner for India. He averages 44.78 with the ball and 13.44 with the bat so it will be interesting if we pick him. Khawaja should defiintly be the number 6 as he is our best option. He averages 44 after 60 matches or 103 innings. He has scored 11 centuries which means he averages centuries every 9.4 innings.Who do you want in your team. Someone who scores a century every 20 innings or one who scores centuries every 9.4 innings. Forget the flashing occasional good score. What is the player like over the distance…same as horse racing. Its not the guy who bursts out of the boxes and leads the first furlong. Its the horse that measures its pace and wins.

Posted by Thefakebook on (January 30, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

And there it is O'Kiffe will only be considered when he moves to a different state(Unlikely) and @35or36years on a seam friendly wicket where he'll go for 160 @6 an over!A.K.A Bryce McGain reborn!

Posted by fazald on (January 30, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

Steve O'Keefe should be selected instead of either Maxwell, Henriques or Smith since he is sure to fulfil that role as a left arm spinner and could also contribute with the bat. He is also an excellent fielder and very lively on the field.It would be better to have the three spinners in Lyon, Doherty, O'Keefe and have an extra fast bowler since our fast bowlers are very injury prone. The 17 man squad should read Clarke, Watson, Warner(subject to fitness), Hughes, Khawaja,Wade, Dooley, Lyon, Doherty, O'Keefe, Johnson, Starc, Pattinson, Bird and Siddle. David Hussey could be a possible inclusion to counter the Indian spinners and Maxwell could be a late inclusion as an allrounder since Mick Arthur has been boosting his profile very much these days.

Posted by Hammond on (January 30, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

@RoJayao- mate let's just face it, we don't have the personnel. Better to pick plenty of bog average fill ins than talented unproven youngsters who could literally die in the backside taking their whole career with it. India looks pretty weak too, but I foresee that Australia will not be able to compete like England did. Buckleys chance really. Will be interesting viewing though. Let's see how far Australia has really come.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

What is this an ODI squad? The problem with articles like this, is that they are generally pretty close to the mark, in which case the selectors would need dispensing with. The big question is, will Invers and co. take into account the fact that Steve O'Keefe has the best record of the state spinners and is taking wickets in current matches, that to me is a sign to pick him if ever there was one. It is one thing to disregard current form, or ignore a long track record, but you can't ignore both at the same time, particularly when they stack up far better than any of the other contenders. Well, we shall see what transpires!

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (January 30, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

We Eng fans will enjoy following this test series. "Wait til you come to the sub-continent" - PART 2. On paper, Aus has a tough task ahead but hey who knows. This is cricket...stranger things have happened. Rooting for Aus will feel so dirty cause being an Eng fan we root for 2 teams...England and any countries who's playing Australia. Hope it's a good series. Can't wait for the whining to start :P

Posted by RoJayao on (January 30, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

Yikes! Well, mr article writer man, I hope ur dead wrong, cos that squad is rotten! Doherty? Really? Smith? You're kidding?! Maxwell and Henriques?? Neither are as yet up to test cricket, batting or bowling! If you're going to plumb for speculative picks, at least go for someone who knows India, has had success in the subcontinent, can actually play at the top level and but for a terrible rut of form last summer, would still be our number three. Surely Shaun Marsh is a better pick than a very very mediocre Smith?! Hate to say it but pommy trolls would love the look of that squad, assuming they'd be picked again.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

much as i'd love to see india winning tests, this one's going to go in australia's favour all the way. 2-1 defeat again for india.

Posted by simba110 on (January 30, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

Moises Henriques plays one good shield innings on a flat pitch and gets selected, Steve Smith has done bugger all for the national side, and Steve O'Keefe doesn't turn the ball. Shane Watson shouldn't get a cap for mine, as a pure batsman he isn't good enough, and Glenn Maxwell is more of a short form cricketer and a bit young for Test selection. Just hand India the trophy now

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 30, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

I usually support the selectors but cant support the inclusions of Smith, Maxwell and Henriques. I dont think any of them can be considered allround options due to the inablility to bowl. I will admit Henriques has had a good year with the bat but not sure he is going to be picked as a batsman at this stage of his career. Id prefer an allrounder like Faulkner or Mcdonald who are good enough to be picked as a bowler (Faulkner) or batsman (Mcdonald). As for Doherty I cant see how you can pick someone who only has two shield wickets for the season. Looking at this years stats you would have to go O keefe.

Posted by Skott on (January 30, 2013, 11:17 GMT)

Steve O'Keefe. That is all.

Posted by Energetic. on (January 30, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

I swear these 2 teams played eachother in a test series last year which Australia won 4-0. Just shows how boring and unpopular Cricket is :D

Posted by mattboosa on (January 30, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

Stephen Smith? Glenn Maxwell? Crazy! Even Doherty is not the second best test spinner in the country. O'keefe must be considered ahead of Doherty in the long form of the game. Cutting deserves a look in also. Even Watson's place in the team as a batsmen is under question IMO.

Posted by Wozza-CY on (January 30, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

The squad pretty much picks itself really. Although I think Steve O'keefe would be far better value than Steve Smith. In fact, looking at SOK's numbers over the last two years, it would be a travesty if he wasn't selected.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2013, 11:08 GMT)

while i can understand why the selectors may feel they need to consider an all-rounder (henriques, maxwell) to play 5-bowlers now that watson won't be bowling.

If this cricinfo articles prediction comes true and doherty, steve smith is anywhere close to this test team/squad - i will puke

Posted by Mitty2 on (January 30, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Why are Steven smith, Glenn Maxwell and henriques even being suggested for the squad in the first place? None of them have developed enough to ready for test cricket, let alone in India. And more importantly, none of them are good enough to prosper in either departments, but henriques is definitely a talented prospect. Steve smith should be at the complete back of mind for the selectors, how he can possibly come before doolan or burns is beyond me. We need specialists, not bits and pieces players, a 6-1-4 setup to score heavily, and maybe a 5-1-5 if the conditions suit it. But no all rounders.

If Steve o'keefe isn't selected.. When he is the only spinner with a decent average, and his is more than dcent for a spinner. Not to mention his allround batting ability. Doherty can turn a few though, but he got badly exploited in the ashes and he just doesn't look the part. Lyon and o'keefe as a duo is a necessity.

Also, stark and Johnson don't work in the same team, use one or the other.

Posted by Moppa on (January 30, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

Doherty, Smith, Maxwell, Henriques. India will be quaking in their boots. Shall we just give them the Border-Gavaskar Trophy now? What are the selectors thinking? I'm working on the assumption that these 'possible squads' are usually based on selective leaks and quiet chats with well-connected people. I can remember the last time Doherty was named as part of a 17 man Australian Test squad, and it didn't end well... For the record, my squad: Doherty out, O'Keefe in. Maxwell out, D.Hussey in. Smith out - no need to replace him as he won't play under any circumstances. Leave Henriques in by default. Personally I think Johnson will be ineffective on Indian pitches, contrary to the comment in the article, he needs bouncy pitches to be effective. How can a guy be both a WACA specialist and a sub-continent specialist? If Harris is half fit I'd have him ahead of either Bird or Johnson (nothing against Bird, just don't think he'll be effective in India).

Posted by Anks_666 on (January 30, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

what on earth M Henriques, G Maxwell And S Smith is doin in this squad.. these aus selectors have gone crazy.. or there aim is to push aus down in the rankings i guess.. C'mon Warnie do something..

Posted by Hippiantor on (January 30, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

Would be a good squad but struggle to see how it is possible for Doherty to be selected over O'Keefe due to the obvious reasons many other posters have already discussed on previous articles.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (January 30, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

apart from injury , they need more players to ensure that the "recently discovered rotation policy" can be applied in the Indian tour as well!!

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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