India v Australia, 1st Test February 17, 2013

Warner injury a concern for Australia

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Shane Watson may opening the batting in the first Test in Chennai with Ed Cowan after the national selector John Inverarity revealed significant concerns about David Warner's recovery from a fractured thumb five days before the first Test.

Warner is yet to face anything more demanding than throw-downs since his arrival in India, following a broken thumb inflicted by Mitchell Johnson in the WACA ground nets that kept him out of the ODIs against the West Indies. The captain, Michael Clarke has trained freely enough in the latter stages of his recovery from a hamstring strain and is not in any doubt, but Warner's thumb must improve over the next few days to ensure he is fit for the first Test.

"David's thumb has improved in the last couple of days, he wasn't fit enough to play in this game, he had some throw-downs yesterday with a cricket ball, and we're hoping his fitness improves a great deal in the next couple of days so he comes into contention," Inverarity told ABC Radio. "We won't make a decision on that until a few days out from the Test.

"There is some concern with David because he hasn't been able to practice, but Michael had an hour's batting in the nets yesterday and he played beautifully, so I'd say there are very few concerns around Michael because of his experience and the fact he was able to practice."

The injury-enforced absence of Warner would be a major blow to the tourists but, at the same time, a temporary way around the vexing issue of where Watson should bat on his return to the Test side as a non-bowling member of the team.

Numerous influential voices, including those of Ian Chappell and Brett Lee, have been raised in recent days to argue that Cowan should be dropped to make way for Watson. But Clarke and the rest of the selectors have valued Cowan's steady hand at the top, and Matthew Hayden has been one advocate of the left-hander's retention despite a run of scores that have been handy rather than outstanding.

Glenn Maxwells's prospects of a Test match debut in Chennai also rose when Inverarity hinted strongly at the use of three fast bowlers, one spinner and a slow bowling allrounder. As the Australians struggled to dismiss India A in their warmup match, Inverarity said the tourists were still leaning towards a heavy reliance on pace despite the surface at Chennai's Chidambaram Stadium appearing likely to spin sharply.

"The wicket for the Test match is already prepared. We could've played on it today, we could have played on it yesterday or the day before," Inverarity said. "There is not one blade of grass, so you'd suggest it is a wicket for spinners. But with our Australian team I think the strength lies more with the pace bowlers than with the spinners.

"We've got the option of playing two pace bowlers and two spinners, but it'd more likely that we'd go in with three pace bowlers and one spinner, plus some spin support. I don't think it's clouded. We know what we're going to do. The Indian players, of course, are very good players of spin. Yesterday, our spinners didn't bowl well and the Indian batsmen took heavy toll of them, but we're fairly clear in regards what we're going to do in terms of spin bowling in the first Test match."

Maxwell was left out of the team to play in the tourists' final preparatory fixture, but has been groomed for a role in India for more than a month, since he was 12th man in the third Test against Sri Lanka at the SCG. While his offspin has shown signs of improvement across the ODIs against Sri Lanka and the West Indies, Maxwell's batting has been less convincing as a Test match proposition.

Steve Smith is the other notional option as a middle order batsman and spin bowler, though his leg breaks were treated harshly in the tour opener.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | February 17, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    Cowan has made two decent starts in a row (40, 58) so he is virtually a certainty to open, with who is a different matter. People also conveniently forget/ignore the fact that the Warner/Cowan has been the best performed opening pair in all of test cricket for the past year (by aggregate of runs and average partnership) and we've played 5 tests less than England. Watson's currently on 75 from opening so if warner's not ready, the onbvious and only choice would be him and Cowan. But still, if warner's ready, we need to persist with them to add all stability to the top order and a sense of fighting for the team not for their place. Cowan can't not be an opener, and he is very reliable and steady; the traditional opener and it is obvious the Watson only prospers as opener (by the way he plays when opneing and his stats), so to me, if a change is necessary in te opening stand, warner should move to 6. He can generate his own force for the old bowl and can face the second new ball.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | February 17, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Though Warner is a key player for us, its good that Watson and Cowan may open in the first test as it allows us to see who is the better man for the job. I have been advocating Watson as the man as he is tailored made for opening but Cowan can prove me wrong in the first test. Ian Chappell made some very good points today on why Watto should open too. Also give Khawaja a chance at 4 to show what he can do in the first test. From the looks of things the lineup will be Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Henriques, Wade

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | February 19, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    @Meety I can't see them picking your latest team, however if they did, I'd be happy with it, it feels right. The more I think about it the more I agree we need two full time twirly men at least for the first test. With Lyon and Doherty the Indians will be tempted to come at them hard.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 19, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    @disco_bob on (February 19, 2013, 2:54 GMT) - sorry mate, I can't take you up on that bet (even a cyber bet), as I am pretty sure I just read that Agar is going home today! LOL! I am PREPARED to have a "cyber bet" on this side instead 1. Cowan, 2. Watson, 3. Hughes, 4. Clarke, 5. Wade, 6. Henriques, 7. Johnson, 8. Starc, 9.Siddle, 10. Doherty, 11. Lyon. I think that Doherty will get the nod. I am just assuming that Clarke comes in for Khawaja & the NSP will consider Henriques a better batting option in India than Maxwell, Smith & Khawaja. If I was the NSP & Warner was fit, I would bring Warner in for Henriques, with Watson @ #5 & Wade #6. The 'theory" behind it is that we kill two birds with one stone with this team. On the one hand we have 3 seamers (our strength), & on the other hand we have 2 spinners (an Indian necessity?). I consider Wade good enuff against spin (see ton v WI in spinning conditions).

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 19, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    @mikey76 on (February 18, 2013, 23:50 GMT) - LOL! Stats are the only way any arguement can possibly be made. Otherwise I'll just say that all the Ozzy players "...look the business..." more than your mob. Fact Broad's ave away from home is 43 in England it is 29. Fact the ONLY 2 teams he has done well with the ball against is India & Pakistan & WI. Fact Anderson is ranked BELOW Siddle in the ICC Rankings, FACT Siddle's stats are better than Anderson regardless of any "lean years" he MAY of had. YOU are the one making clown-like statements like "...Anderson is better than anything you have, as is Finn, Tremlett and probably Onions..." when there is ZERO sound supporting evidence. If YOU don't like being shown that you are WRONG, just don't make unsubstantiated comments - easy.

  • POSTED BY deep6321 on | February 19, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    i dont understand Maxwell's selection in the squad.But i think Australia has got a very good side & it will be a test for Indians to face their bowling.Indian fast bowling is also looking pretty weak.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | February 19, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    @Meety, wow, that is a thought provoking team you propose I am impressed by your boldness and I'd be willing to put a tenner on it if the odds were right.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | February 19, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Henriques, Wade, Johnson, Starc, Bird, Lyon

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | February 19, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    I think even if Warner plays he should be down the order at 5. Open with Cowan and Watson as they are our form batsmen so far this tour. All the rest of the team I trust the selectors to pick the right guys.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | February 19, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Sad to think that Henriques may miss out after the good form he has shown in the warm up matches, but if the selectors want 3 seamers, a spinner and a slow bowling all-rounder, then the XI should be: Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Maxwell, Wade, Starc, Johnson, Pattinson, Doherty. I would prefer Bird to Doherty and Henriques to Maxwell but I think that this is the team that they may go with. I can't see Siddle being in contention, given his horrific form in India both this tour and the last time he came - sorry Siddle fans. Johnson and Watson should be certainties, given their results in India, both last time and this time, and it seems likely that Doherty has the spinner spot sewn up.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | February 17, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    Cowan has made two decent starts in a row (40, 58) so he is virtually a certainty to open, with who is a different matter. People also conveniently forget/ignore the fact that the Warner/Cowan has been the best performed opening pair in all of test cricket for the past year (by aggregate of runs and average partnership) and we've played 5 tests less than England. Watson's currently on 75 from opening so if warner's not ready, the onbvious and only choice would be him and Cowan. But still, if warner's ready, we need to persist with them to add all stability to the top order and a sense of fighting for the team not for their place. Cowan can't not be an opener, and he is very reliable and steady; the traditional opener and it is obvious the Watson only prospers as opener (by the way he plays when opneing and his stats), so to me, if a change is necessary in te opening stand, warner should move to 6. He can generate his own force for the old bowl and can face the second new ball.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | February 17, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Though Warner is a key player for us, its good that Watson and Cowan may open in the first test as it allows us to see who is the better man for the job. I have been advocating Watson as the man as he is tailored made for opening but Cowan can prove me wrong in the first test. Ian Chappell made some very good points today on why Watto should open too. Also give Khawaja a chance at 4 to show what he can do in the first test. From the looks of things the lineup will be Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Henriques, Wade

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | February 19, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    @Meety I can't see them picking your latest team, however if they did, I'd be happy with it, it feels right. The more I think about it the more I agree we need two full time twirly men at least for the first test. With Lyon and Doherty the Indians will be tempted to come at them hard.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 19, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    @disco_bob on (February 19, 2013, 2:54 GMT) - sorry mate, I can't take you up on that bet (even a cyber bet), as I am pretty sure I just read that Agar is going home today! LOL! I am PREPARED to have a "cyber bet" on this side instead 1. Cowan, 2. Watson, 3. Hughes, 4. Clarke, 5. Wade, 6. Henriques, 7. Johnson, 8. Starc, 9.Siddle, 10. Doherty, 11. Lyon. I think that Doherty will get the nod. I am just assuming that Clarke comes in for Khawaja & the NSP will consider Henriques a better batting option in India than Maxwell, Smith & Khawaja. If I was the NSP & Warner was fit, I would bring Warner in for Henriques, with Watson @ #5 & Wade #6. The 'theory" behind it is that we kill two birds with one stone with this team. On the one hand we have 3 seamers (our strength), & on the other hand we have 2 spinners (an Indian necessity?). I consider Wade good enuff against spin (see ton v WI in spinning conditions).

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 19, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    @mikey76 on (February 18, 2013, 23:50 GMT) - LOL! Stats are the only way any arguement can possibly be made. Otherwise I'll just say that all the Ozzy players "...look the business..." more than your mob. Fact Broad's ave away from home is 43 in England it is 29. Fact the ONLY 2 teams he has done well with the ball against is India & Pakistan & WI. Fact Anderson is ranked BELOW Siddle in the ICC Rankings, FACT Siddle's stats are better than Anderson regardless of any "lean years" he MAY of had. YOU are the one making clown-like statements like "...Anderson is better than anything you have, as is Finn, Tremlett and probably Onions..." when there is ZERO sound supporting evidence. If YOU don't like being shown that you are WRONG, just don't make unsubstantiated comments - easy.

  • POSTED BY deep6321 on | February 19, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    i dont understand Maxwell's selection in the squad.But i think Australia has got a very good side & it will be a test for Indians to face their bowling.Indian fast bowling is also looking pretty weak.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | February 19, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    @Meety, wow, that is a thought provoking team you propose I am impressed by your boldness and I'd be willing to put a tenner on it if the odds were right.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | February 19, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Henriques, Wade, Johnson, Starc, Bird, Lyon

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | February 19, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    I think even if Warner plays he should be down the order at 5. Open with Cowan and Watson as they are our form batsmen so far this tour. All the rest of the team I trust the selectors to pick the right guys.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | February 19, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Sad to think that Henriques may miss out after the good form he has shown in the warm up matches, but if the selectors want 3 seamers, a spinner and a slow bowling all-rounder, then the XI should be: Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Maxwell, Wade, Starc, Johnson, Pattinson, Doherty. I would prefer Bird to Doherty and Henriques to Maxwell but I think that this is the team that they may go with. I can't see Siddle being in contention, given his horrific form in India both this tour and the last time he came - sorry Siddle fans. Johnson and Watson should be certainties, given their results in India, both last time and this time, and it seems likely that Doherty has the spinner spot sewn up.

  • POSTED BY andrew-schulz on | February 19, 2013, 1:27 GMT

    Auscricketwriter, sometimes you need to look beyond the statistics. (and I don't think you've even looked at them.) You say Siddle has a poor record in India. He has n fact played one Test in India, which was his Test debut. He took 4for 176, which doesn't look great, but he was very close to Australia's best bowler in both innings in a Test where India's batsmen averaged over 60 runs per wicket. An excellent performance in his only Test in India and you say he has a bad record there? Having said that, it does appear difficult to fit him in the side for Chennai. Meety, there is no way they will go with Wade at 5 followed by two bowling all-rounders at 6 and 7.

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | February 18, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Meety, like most of the clowns on here you are tangled up in stats. Anderson has a high bowling average simply because he had a couple of lean years early in his career. Over the past couple of years he has been the second best fast bowler in the world. Broad has collected five wicket hauls against Australia and South Africa who last time I looked aren't from the sub-continent. Again you bring up stats in regard to our batsmen. Root has hardly put a foot wrong in any format and looks the business as opposed to Khawaja who looks out of his depth. The same could be said for Bairstow who made 90&50 against the champion SA attack when the chips were down. Taylor has an excellent record in first class cricket over a number of seasons, who cares if the Lions are struggling down under right now, its nowhere near a full strength side, purely a developmental squad.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | February 18, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    Warner or no Warner, it will be cake walk for Australia.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | February 18, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    If Maxwell is being seriously considered as an allrounder, it's bordering on the incredible that he was not only left out of the second warm-up game when 3 spinners were played (and incidentally got 8 of the 10 wickets that fell), but was only given 4 overs in the first game, while Agar was given 8. Personally I don't think Mad Max has shown that he's test class yet, but to throw him in against India with so little preparation is not fair on him or the side.

    Cowan's made two fifties and a 40 in three innings so far, so if anyone should be dropped I don't know why it should be Cowan. However, if Warner's injury prevents him from playing, the problem solves itself, at least for the first test.

  • POSTED BY CricketFollowers on | February 18, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Tharunnira, Do you watch cricket, because we do. I accept the fact that Indian team is on a transition period, so losing the series in a row, but India have done fairly well than SL. SL has nothing in their kitty other than 96 worldcup and i dont see SL will win any of the major tournaments for the nxt 8 yrs with your current team and dont even think of winning a match in Aus,Eng,SA which we have done in the past. Gilly cried after winning India in India(He never cried even after 3 wcs) thats the respect we got. India never produced good fast bowlers but Indian batsmen and spinners have done a tremendous job in the past. i dont want to be rude but like to tell you that SL used to get tarnished by our state teams(Tamilnadu) please check the stats.If you dont know the facts, please keep it away. I believe this series is going to be tight and i would say Australia have better chance because they are tough guys, when compared to Indians. If Aussies dnt play spinners well it will be tight

  • POSTED BY evebathowsai on | February 18, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    Watson seems to be back in form. Lets hope he gets a 100 (RUN A BALL?!) in the first test. Cowan is mr consistent so if he can out-last 150 balls and score some runs on the side, hes done a decent job, if he scores a 100 give him a 9/10 for the match. I look forward to this series, if AUS can do a good job here, it'll give their confidence a boost and gives us half a chance of winning in ENG. As of right now, I think the poms are up in one major area "Confidence". Come on you good thing!

  • POSTED BY yoohoo on | February 18, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    Any other time, any other Indian team, this would have been an easy 3-0 or 4-0. But this team, with younsters still finding their feet, it will be an achievement if they can win the series. The problem here is that neither team seems to have the bowling to take 20 wkts. Aussie pacemen will get wkts on indian flat-tracks only if the indian batsmen gift them, and the Indian spin department has been the weakest in years. Not much needs to be said about indian pacers or aussie spinners.

    Aussie batting is no SA batting, but they are used to the subcontinent tracks now. and indian batting is nowhere near being good.

    So, there you go the luckier team will probably win.

  • POSTED BY straightbreakbowler6 on | February 18, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    For some reason the selectors are obsessed with Smith and more so Maxwell, what have they done? Smith is a slogging batsman who bowles average wrist spin and Maxwell is the same but an off spinner. If Australia take either of these part-timers in they will leave themselves short. At least with Lyon or Doherty/Agar they get specialist bowlers (even if they are not the best Australia has had) if they need to pick another player to help carry the overs load then Henriques can carry some of that. This is where David Hussey would have been vital in helping to fill the hole. As for the batting Watson should open and Cowan can partner him. both have performed in the warm up games. Hughes will be tested in these conditions, Clarke is the only batsman of high class in the Australian line up. This test series will be a challenge for the Aussie batting line up. There are so many questions as to who will play, this type of insecurity in players is not a good thing-to much pressure on positions.

  • POSTED BY Hammond on | February 18, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    It won't matter. Kind of like moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | February 18, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    It sounds as though Maxwell has got the job at number 6 as a batting/spinning all-rounder. ... gee whizz, I hope the selectors know what they're doing. .. I was keen to see how he would go when he first hit the Int'l scene, but I think I've seen enough now. I think I must be missing something because I can't see what makes the NSP think Glenn will cut it as a Test cricketer. .. I would love it if he came out and played a blinder, or even if he just pulled his weight that would do. . . can't see it happening but I'll guess we'll see. .. Unless it's an old fashioned double bluff and it's actually Henriques whose got the job. .. either way I think we've got bigger problems than which untried allrounder we bat at 6. ..

  • POSTED BY chandanpau on | February 18, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    watson,cowan,hughes,clarke,khwaja,maxwell,wade,johnson,starc,siddle,lyon

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 18, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    @@mikey76 on (February 17, 2013, 21:45 GMT) - LOL! "Anderson is better than anything you have, as is Finn, Tremlett and probably Onions. Broad is also back up to something like 100% after a heel injury so we have plenty of depth in fast bowling..." That is the most delusional post I have witnessed on cricinfo in ages! Anderson still hasn't got average better than Siddle. Tremlett hasn't played a Test in OVER a year (that's like Ozzy fans saying Cummins & Harris will smash your batsmen). Broad only gets wickets in friendly conditions against batsmen from the sub-continent, Onions greatest claim to fame is he beat up an under strength WIndies & 40% of Finn's Test match wickets come against Bangladesh! Taylor is part of Lions squad getting hammerred by 3rd string state sides, Root is stat-wise no better than about 10 Ozzy batsmen & Bairstow is stat-wise no better than Khawaja. Keep living in that bubble matey, the reality is SA are ahead of the pack, the rest are similarly matched.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    paps123 is spot on, Henriques batting is looking a lot more handy than Maxwells at this stage which is what we need, plus the fact Henriques seems to be able to conduce reverse swing a lot quicker than our other bowlers, so this along with needing two front line spinners in Chennai seems to point to obvious selection for me, doesn't seem the selectors are going to swing that way though, which is a pain!

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | February 18, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    @popcorn i echo your every word mate and agree with your lineup. Hopefully we can make the best of batting conditions today given we have followed on. @Hanscoch its a bit hard comparing shield averages when the likes of Hughes, Khawaja and Cowan haven't played a shield game since christmas. Both Hughes and Khawaja were 1 and 2 in shield and 2nd and 3rd in Ryobi as of christmas after which they didn't play any shield and Ryobi games due to national duties. They have earned their spots mate based on domestic runs, full stop.Starc, I agree, has come along very nicely, but I really wish he'd re-think he's approach to bowling at no's 8-11. If he's getting the top order out with full, swinging balls, getting them LBW, bowled, or caught in the cordon, then why oh why does he revert to bowling half-track stuff to the tail? Straight away he's removing three methods of dismissal - which he relies on earlier in the innings - from the equation. if he gets it right he will be our leading bowler

  • POSTED BY paps123 on | February 18, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    pitch_curator is right. Besides If Maxwell plays, there will be bit of off spin anyway. It is always more difficult to play the ball turning away with India having 6 righthanders and Lyon is no Swann, anyway. But I would play both spinners, Lyon & Doherty, as fast bowlers would get nothing on this Chennai turning track. Besides Henriques has batted decently so far on tour and can be the third seamer. 3 specialist seamers would be suicide in Chennai, unless it is Wasim, Akhtar in form and may be Allan Donald playing for the same side.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | February 18, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    @Dylanbrah i think our top 6 is not as weak as you think, yes it will struggle against spin but traditionally most of our batters even in the golden age struggled against spin. I think Hughes and Khawaja will be stars for us, Khawaja like Cowan needs a good run to show what he can, Cowan has had 13 games in a row and is now starting to stand up, Khawaja just needs half this(i.e 6 games in a row) and i am sure he along with Hughes will shine. Its difficult for a guy to shine if he only comes in 1-2 games at a time as Khawaja has. And Agar is heading back after this game which i think is a good decision as we have 2 spinners in India already. I am sure in time Agar will come back as a stronger bowler but he needs time in shield to build his confidence, he is only 19 years old.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | February 18, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    @RaviHari some very good points, yes Warner's injury will be a blessing for not only Watson and Khawaja but also Cowna, it allows Cowan and Watson to bat off against each other and a further opportunity for Khawaja though i really wish Khawaja get an extended run and not injury cover as he always does as he always has one innings to prove himself. As for our spinners i am worried, very worried and really hoping our paceman can shake up the Indian batsman but the pitches won't help them.

  • POSTED BY Tharunnira on | February 18, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    it is just simple, bring the club level Australian cricketers and they will win against, minnows like Indians.

  • POSTED BY Buckers410 on | February 18, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    1.Watson 2.Cowan 3.Hughes 3.Clarke (c) 5.Smith 6.Wade 7.Henriques 8.Siddle 9.Starc 10.Lyon 11.Agar

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | February 18, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    !This might get very ugly. We have no choice but to play our best fast bowlers - Siddle, Pattinson, Starc - and then pray that fate forgets the usual plot and wickets fall anyway. Then, of course, it's over to our batsmen ... both of them! "

    Classic post, I almost died of laughter. It doesn't look too good at the moment, to state the bleeding obvious, but let's not forget that Lyon may get the ball to swing, and may tie up an end at six an over, and Johnson may bowl 2 out of every 6 on the pitch and take the odd wicket as a result so all is not lost my friend.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | February 18, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    @ pitch_curator: Seeing that you missed that Eng V Ind series, let me help you with your knowledge gap. Here's how many wickets the lethal Swann took that series: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/bowling/most_wickets_career.html?id=7339;type=series

    Stats are a wonderful debate-changer now aren't they?

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Watson-Cowen combo is doing a good opening js already in Chennai. Warner won't be missed.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    This might get very ugly. We have no choice but to play our best fast bowlers - Siddle, Pattinson, Starc - and then pray that fate forgets the usual plot and wickets fall anyway. Then, of course, it's over to our batsmen ... both of them!

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | February 18, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    Warner's positive approach in the middle will be certainly missed !!! I hope the new combination of Watson & Cowan will provide a sound platform for Aus in 1st test !!! Cowan's approach & batting on Indian soil is to be tested in this series....l

  • POSTED BY pitch_curator on | February 18, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    If Aussies are planning to play only one spinner then it better be Doherty and not Lyon. traditional off spinners against a batting line up mostly of right handers grown up on spin pitches has very little chance of success. Even in the England series, it was Monty who made the difference not Swann.

  • POSTED BY DylanBrah on | February 18, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    1. Watson 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Khawaja 6. Wade 7. Henriques 8. Johnson 9. Pattinson 10. Siddle 11. Lyon

    Clarke can provide plenty of overs of spin if his body is healthy. Whatever XI is picked, I think we are in big trouble. Still huge question marks over Khawaja at international level. That top 6 is one of the weakest in Australian Test history, no question. Not to mention our spin stocks are as bad as they have ever been. Clarke needs to make a double century for us to stand any chance of drawing this match. He is the only man in this team I can trust making a big score. Cowan and/or Watson need to man up and make a fighting century.

  • POSTED BY ravi_hari on | February 18, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    Warner's injury is a blessing in disguise for 2 - Watson and Khawaja. Both were un sure of their selection and their position in the team. If Warner is ruled out then Watson can open and Khawaja can step into Hussey's shoes. With Cowan, Hughes, Clarke and Wade the line up looks decent. Starc, Siddle, Jhonson and Lyon make the bowling 4. However the remaining 1 will be tricky. I feel they should go in with Henriques as no other so-called all rounder will fit in. Atleast Henriques can send down some tight overs and can give some batting support to the top order. His medium pacers would trouble Indians more than the spin of Maxwell, Agar, Doherthy or Smith. Lyon will also struggle but could purchase wickets especially when the pacemen make run scoring tough. Clarke should ensure that runs do not flow freely otherwise on the flat tracks it is impossible to stop the Indians and to equal scores of over 400 in each innings will be very tough with 3 spinners bowling with 5 close in catchers.

  • POSTED BY crkt4evr on | February 18, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    indian spinners vs aussie batsmen,indian batsmen vs aussie spinners - these r easily answerable...the real questions wil b how indian batsmen wil fare against aussie quicks n how much support can indian pacers provide to indian spinners...looking forward to contests(sad tht none of them r in bangalore)

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    Attention Australian selectors.... FLY IN ANOTHER BATSMAN!! Surely Rogers, Doolan, Cosgrove or even d.hussey, in spite of his recent record, would suffice temporarily...

    @frount-foot-lounge you clearly have not seen starc or pattinson bowl if you think they are hopeless, a quick glance at their records alone prove you are full of it, and clearly you are english if you think aussie fans fear them for a second... You dont have any reserves yourselves, Victoria destroyed your second side, not aus a, victoria...

    I do agree Lyon and doherty are spuds but O'keefe is a sound spinner, I think Anil Kumble might protest to you thinking you have to bowl magic balls to be a good practitioner of spin

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | February 18, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    Warner's injury settles the batting lineup confusion well ahead of the Test match. The XI will most probably be: Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khwaja, Maxwell, Wade, Pattinson, Starc, Siddle and Lyon. God Save Australia if Watson and Clarke fail ! India's best chance for a whitewash if Dhoni's really cares about this Test series.

  • POSTED BY HansonKoch on | February 18, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    What has Khawaja, who is an good, but not outstanding, batsman at domestic level done to earn his place on this tour?

    Find him on these rankings of batsman by averages for the current season:

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/australia-domestic-2012/engine/records/batting/highest_career_batting_average.html?class=4;host=2;id=2012%2F13;type=season

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/australia-domestic-2012/engine/records/batting/highest_career_batting_average.html?class=5;host=2;id=2012%2F13;type=season

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/australia-domestic-2012/engine/records/batting/highest_career_batting_average.html?class=6;host=2;id=2012%2F13;type=season

  • POSTED BY stoos on | February 18, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    They would have taken hussy to india I just don't see why they wouldn't take hodge. Far better record than just about all the other Australians. I means you do play test cricket to win don't you not just to 'blood' new talent.

  • POSTED BY on | February 18, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    Maxwell getting a test cap? And if Warner was still recivering why bring him to India? John Inverarity - thou art a travesty.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | February 18, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    @Mitty2 on (February 17, 2013, 12:00 GMT) - At one point during the summer, the Warner/Cowan partnership was 3rd on averages in Oz history! So they have done what openers are supposed to do. I have been really happy with Cowan's performance on tour as I felt his game was less suited to India as opposed to playing in England. I want a fit Warner playing, but if he isn't 100% it has to be Watto & Cowan. == == == I am going to go out on a limb & say (assuming Warner is out), the Oz side will be 1. Cowan, 2. Watson, 3. Hughes, 4. Clarke, 5. Wade, 6. Henriques, 7. Johnson, 8. Starc, 9.AGAR, 10. Siddle, 11. Lyon 12th Maxwell/Smith. No Khawaja as Clarke will come back in his spot, Henriques is one good batting performance from a Baggy Green & Agar is in for primarily his bowling but also that he is a useful batsmen. This is NOT the side I would of picked, I'd of had SO'K (but he is injured), I'd probably take DHussey over Maxwell atm, & say his experience & Ryobi form trumps Shield!

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | February 17, 2013, 23:31 GMT

    @Moppa i am sure of it mate, how can Maxwel play when he is not in the warm up game, trust me mate its not getting yourself beat over. Our batting lineup as most folks have pointed out will be Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Henriques. @vrn59 i like your team but i think Warner will not be fit for the first test. @disco_bob i don' tthink anyone is really critising Cowan, Khawaja or Hughes, its their first games in India and it takes time to get used to the spin conditions there.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | February 17, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    We should play to our strengths,and not worry too much about trying to fight fire with fire, by selecting two spinners.India have a very poor batting line-up. Apart fromn Tendulkar and Sehwag, they have NOONE with EXPERIENCE.David Warner's injury is an opportunity to give Usman Khawaja his well -deserved place in the side. Here is the Team I suggest in batting order: Watson,Cowan,Hughes,Khawaja,Clarke,Wade,Maxwell,Siddle,Johnson, Starc,Lyon.12th man: Bird. If Warner plays, Watson at 4, Khwaja at 6, drop Maxwell.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | February 17, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    For everyone picking Siddle as a "certainty", just a note that Siddle is one of only 4 Australian players (along with Watson, Johnson and Clarke) to have played in India before, and is the only one with a bad record. Johnson is a certainty, Siddle is unlikely.

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | February 17, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    @Ken McCarron. As annoying as FFL is (basically our version of RandyOz), it doesnt make your comments any less ridiculous. Swann and Panesar flighted the ball beautifully to collect 37 wickets. Swann bagged 20 in the series which hardly constitutes going off the boil. As for Englands depth in talent, well that can't be judged simply because guys like Roland-Jones, Harris, Meaker and Topley havent played test cricket yet. Anderson is better than anything you have, as is Finn, Tremlett and probably Onions. Broad is also back up to something like 100% after a heel injury so we have plenty of depth in fast bowling and some good young batsmen (Root, Bairstow, Taylor) pushing hard for selection. And you're not a tad behind us, its a significant gap.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | February 17, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    @Lewis_Edwards... I desperately want to agree with you, but Inverarity himself said "it'd be more likely" they go in with three quicks and one spinner, with spin support, which surely means Maxwell. Maybe if Maxwell makes a duck in this game that will change their minds... oh, hang on, he made a duck in the *last* game and isn't playing in this one.

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Three points of note :

    1. If Warner can't face a ball in the nets ..... 'WHY IS HE THERE?!?!?' Surely they knew this prior to him jumping on the plane.

    2. Who is the reserve batsman now if Warner is out?? What happens if Watto gets tight or Clarke steps on a ball or another batsman takes one on the glove?? Are they going to ban fast bowling in the nets?? As I pointed out in the story about the selection, the selectors have taken three all rounders (used very loosely) and two spinners (again used very loosely), then included an apprentice spinner but there is no reserve batsman. Once again the selectors have proven their worth.

    3. Maxwell?? Is Australia going to continue with the current practice of giving away caps??

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge, you appear to know little about any form of cricket. While Australia may be just a tad behind England, we have far more depth as can be seen by the poor squad put together resembling England A who are being trounced by the Aussie 5th elevn. England would love to have the same depth in pace bowling and Jimmy Anderson would be the only bolwer better than Starc, Siddle and Co. Sure the top England spinners are better but Swann has gone off the boil of late and it was in fact Momty Panessar who made the difference when the Poms were in India. The policy was actually to bowl darts rather than beat the batsmen in flight. Maybe the Aussie spinners are better at bowling darts......

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | February 17, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    It is bit presumptuos to expect Warner to fully recover from a fractured thumb in <8 to 10 weeks!. The same is the case for Clarke from his hamstring injury, unless it is just a minor strain. Watson is lucky to play with his long term calf injury. Both Starc & Pattinson are also injury prone. So Australia should keep on eye on fitness first. As for the opening bat, Katisch was the best prospect before he got suspended. It might be worth recalling him. Why was O'Keefe dropped? I still think Lyon is the best of the 3 Aussie spinners & will be the first choice. He bowls around 95 KPH & must consider sacrificing some pace for spin. Australia will rely heavily on Clarke & Watson in batting with 3 pacemen + Lyon. Clarke is still the best Aussie LH spinner, if his hamstring can take it. India has not selected its best spinners which gives the OZ team a better chance to play themselves into the series. Nadeem & Rasool are not even in the squad whilst Harbhajan walks in with no performance!.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | February 17, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    If that was always the idea why play Mo instead of the big show in this game? Are they hiding him in the hope that their great hope conquers all before him (lol)? Andrew Symonds II will leave all of us fans with the greatest hangover since the last Ashes. Spot on @Slysta on (February 17, 2013, 12:21 GMT). @James_Murphy on (February 17, 2013, 13:08 GMT) you may be right with the team Invers' is punting, so I agree that IF the big show plays Doherty replaces Lyon for the sake of variety in spin options. Either way the Indians will be smiling. They have no lefty quicks, but if WE supply two of these, they will have two smiling offies in their team ready to rout our lhbs. Maxwell + MJ will leak runs on low slow wickets. Prepare to weep!

  • POSTED BY 777aditya on | February 17, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    Dhoni is no longer interested in tests or at least it seems so. He plays or leads convincingly only after a string of defeats, and this has been the pattern for the past couple of years. What would be really interesting to see is that after a brief period of rest, India comes all guns blazing or appear rusty. Australian fast bowlers are robotic, in the sense that they do not have the variety of RSA or even English bowlers. So, if they rely too much on pace, its going to be a leather chase. Sehwag should relish this opportunity and one hopes that he sees things in different perspective with his new specs. Really heartening to see Gambhir scoring a century as a captain and leading India A well against the Aussies. Gauti has got real character. Dhawan and/or Vijay will have to play out of their skins to keep him out for long. Hope Bhajji is not limited to carrying refreshments - would be really heartbreaking for him if he does not get an opportunity against his favorite team.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | February 17, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    It's unfortunate that Hussey has retired, he was often the only run scorer in the team on the many occasions Australia were in a mess from losing early wickets. He was their only decent bat. But at least now, he'll have ring-side seats to watch Australia lose a Historic back-to-back Ashes' series!

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | February 17, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    My Test XI's for the upcoming series in India: IND: Vijay, Sehwag, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni (C&wk), Harbhajan, B Kumar, I Sharma, Ojha. AUS: Warner, Watson, Hughes, Clarke (C), Khawaja, Wade (wk), Maxwell / Henriques, Johnson, Siddle, Lyon, Pattinson / Doherty.

  • POSTED BY gsingh7 on | February 17, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    thats a body blow for india , cowan is far better in defence, warner is a walking wicket on indian rank turners , now they have a chance to draw a few tests on low slow wickets.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | February 17, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    Australia's stocks are empty so this is a blow. Hopeless seamers like Starc and Pattison, who never threaten to do anything with the ball have been exposed already, and using a guy who can't spin the ball as your spinner (Lyon) just does a bad job at masking the lack of talent in Australia. What's even more remarkable are the fans who want Lyon replaced by another dart bowler, just because he bowls 'better darts'. What a tragic comparison this is to England, who have Swann. Especially so, given the historic back-to-back Ashes series that loom ever closer, and of which aussie fans must thinking about with sheer dread.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | February 17, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    It is amusing to remember all the vitriolic comments at the mere hint of a mention of Johnson's name before he came back from injury. Suddenly all that has vanished and now seems reserved for Hughes and Khawaja at the slightest hint of failure.

    India will be a tough test of character and the perfect preparation for b2b Ashes. I think Cowan will do well in India.

  • POSTED BY Always-positive on | February 17, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    Posted by Abhinav Kumar on (February 17, 2013, 15:00 GMT) Warner is injured; this may prove blessing in disguise for Aussies. Being an Indian, I wish Warner should play instead of stubborn Cowan who is difficult to be dislodged.

    With Hughes and Kawayaja below you need to pray he is hard to dislodge !!

  • POSTED BY Thefakebook on | February 17, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    Best option for OZ is play 3 quicks Starc,Siddle and Bird/Jhonson.If Warner can't play then Watto will open with Eddy.Playing XI should be.1 Watto 2 Eddy 3 Hughes 4 Usman 5 MJ Clarke 6 Wade 7 Maxwell 8 Jhonson/Bird 9 Starc 10 Siddle 11 Lyon.I hope Iverarity does not pull a rabbit out hat and play both Xavier and Glenn.Then even a Michael 200 won't be enough.

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Warner is injured; this may prove blessing in disguise for Aussies. Being an Indian, I wish Warner should play instead of stubborn Cowan who is difficult to be dislodged. Warner IMO shall be an easy wicket for Ind bowlers mainly bcoz of his attacking nature.

  • POSTED BY ajayrcs on | February 17, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Replace him with P. Forrest, he can play spin better than anyone in Austarlia.

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | February 17, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    Agreed Michael_Sheridon, lets give our young batsman the full series before we pass judgement. Wonder how Warne feels about our spin dilema, he would love to be rolling his arm over, still could do alot of damage as well.

  • POSTED BY blink182alex on | February 17, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    Looks like it will be Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Wade, Maxwell, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson/Bird and Lyon then.

    Not to sure about Wade at 6, he has struggled on slow spinning wickets before, i'd rather see him bat at 7 and have a proper batsmen at 6 as Warner is doubtful. Atm the form batters in Aus are Bailey, Rogers and Voges. Voges is in the form of his life, plus he could do the same job with the ball as Maxwell or Smith, except score more runs.

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | February 17, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    Well done Watson. I know spin is not our strength but we need both Lyon and Doherty in the attack and forget about this obsession with Maxwell. Maxwell is not ready and wade is not the man at 6, the guy at 6 whilst commonly a more junior batsman, should still be someone you can at least envisage anywhere from positions 3 to 6. Wade is competent and deserves respect for centuries already scored, but he is out of place in a key batting role. A real allrounder is up to test standard in both disciplines, but a decent one at least one! Why is there even talk of â€the allrounder position, since when was it a requisite in a test team?Cowan to me deserves more respect than afforded, give him this series to prove himself and same goes for Khawaja and Hughes. @HansonKoch take a chill pill champ. They didn't get runs today but they will shine this series. And with Watto forget the "only made 2 centuries" argument. He is confident when he opens.

  • POSTED BY James_Murphy on | February 17, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Is Invers playing funny buggers, or giving away the first test team in the media? From what he's saying it looks like Watson Cowan Hughes Clarke khawaja wade maxwell Johnson Siddle Starc and Lyon. I'd almost prefer Doherty to Lyon.

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    Aussies will find it difficult to find a replacement for Warner. He is a very good player of spin, and would have been key to the performance of the Oz top order. India will have a sigh of relief. With the subcontinental pitches known to be difficult for those who have limited experience of the conditions that prevail here, Ed Cowan has to really rise to the occasion in a big way.

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | February 17, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    @Moppa i understand your frustations bud, but Inevarity said our strength is pace so i would be very surprised if we go with Maxwell given he is not playing this warm up match. Moses should get the allrounder spot for the first test and that's a good decision. @HansonKoch Khawaja got a start last game and is coming off solid shield and ryobi runs so how about giving him the full series before you make unfair statements, guy always gets only 1 game at a time so time to give him a fair crack. I predict both him and Hughes to have big series but they are new to India and need time to adjust. As for the opening slot Cowan has to bat opener or no where else. I think with Warner injured we will get to see in the first test who out of those 2 are better at it. Its a real shame Cowan wasn't able to get a big one in the warm up matches as that would have shut up all critics. @Hyclass some very good points but lets see how things pan out. @Ozcricketwriter agree with your team 100% for the first

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | February 17, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    @HansonKoch take it easy mate, Cowan, Hughes and Khawaja all got out within a few overs of each other. No one is making him out to be the next big thing but if he can get a fair go at a test spot that might help. Cowan has had 13 tests in a row and is starting to find his feet, lets give Khawaja perhaps a full series(i.e 4 games in a row) and not 1-2 games as previously given. And I know this wasn't the best test for our spinners but keep in mind that our strength is pace and i would be very surprised if we are not going with 3 pace bowlers. Moses bowled well again so he may be picked along with 3 pace bowlers and a spinner.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | February 17, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    With his current form, I would think that Henriques would be the next cap off the rank. For me, the team for the 1st test is: Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Henriques, Wade, Starc, Johnson, Pattinson, Bird. Doherty is a possibility with his strong performance in the warm up but spin hasn't done well in India for Australia lately so it may be a risk too far.

  • POSTED BY Jayzuz on | February 17, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    "Not one blade of grass"" on the wicket? Have India no shame? It's amazing how they moan and groan about other teams doctoring tracks abroad (after they get thrashed 4-0), and then they do stuff like this! Talk about hypocritical! There is absolutely nothing in the climate of any region of India that precludes the growth of grass. The ICC should investigate. All cricket wickets should have grass on them. Period. Shades of the Galle test in Sl last time round. That backfired badly. At any rate, whoever wins the toss will bat and pretty much has this test won. How is that in any way within the spirit of cricket? I guess Dhoni and co just don't care.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | February 17, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    Watson outscored Cowan today however what's worrying me about Cowan is that he gets out every time the spinners are introduced, both times in the warm up game. Both Hughes and Khawaja got 1 today but both came in when spin was on so didn't have the medium pacers to get their eye in to. Watto got 84 because as a opener he gets his mojo against the new ball. I think both Watson and Cowan will play in the first test but by the end of the series Watson may have won the battle. Most likely lineup for first test will be Shane, Ed, Phil, Usman, Michael Clarke, Moses, Matt Wade, Siddle, Starc, Johnson, Lyon

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | February 17, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Watto is the better opener and showed that again today with a 84 in the warm up game. You need someone at the other end from Warner who is also scoring so all the pressure of scoring is not on Warner's back. Watson should be there, given he has a better average than Cowen, certainly as an opener, and he scores quickly so that Warner isn't being pressured into making up the score one handed.I think this belief that it is OK to have one player holding down one side but scoring at a slow pedestrian rate, is rot, especially if they are averaging only 32 and the fellow is 30 years old. What you're after is getting the side off to a solid and a relatively quick rate so you can to take the pressure off later batsmen and ensure you have time to win the game. Surely scoring 350-400 in a day is better than scoring 250 in the same time. With Watson and Warner, you have the potential there of scoring 150-200 in quick time, which means the remaining players have a good foundation.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | February 17, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    the big show is a certainty and a no brainer he provides a rare comodity of being a spin bowling allrounder who should be tailor made for batting at 6 in india. i hope warner can recover friday is a way off

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | February 17, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Well, apparently everyone in Australia is a better spin bowler than Steve O'Keefe, so why not pick Maxwell? He's taken a couple of wickets before...

    The only decent thing to come out of this will be (hopefully) a chance for Watson and Cowan to show their wares. Let's see if Watson's success at opening was positional or just due to his purple patch...

  • POSTED BY Slysta on | February 17, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Spot on Moppa, why do we keep making the same mistakes over and over again? When Maxwell was omitted for the India A game, I dared hope that the selectors had woken up. But obviously not - he's already been told he's in the XI for Chennai, and God help us all. "Spin support"? Didn't we try that with Cameron White in 2008, anyone remember how that turned out? If we want two spinners, we have to pick Lyon and Doherty, and back our batsmen to do the job they are paid for. Maxwell is not going to win/save games for us at #7, simply isn't good enough... I would rather have Henriques or Johnson batting there, safe the knowledge that neither will be a liability with the ball.

  • POSTED BY HansonKoch on | February 17, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    How many more times has Khawaja got to turn in an ordinary innings before we scratch him off the next-big-thing list? Unfortunately the cupboard's so bare we're desperate. Maybe we need to give Chris Rogers a run for a year or two.

  • POSTED BY righthandbat on | February 17, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Watson must open if he isn't bowling. Simple. With Warner out, I'd like Clarke to push himself up the order to 3 and keep himself there. I'd prefer Hughes opening to batting at 3, but long-term I think he'd make a good number 6. I also would like Cowan to assume a role in the 4 position long-term, despite his ability to take the shine off the ball. Warner should open with Watson when he comes back in. Simply put - both of them are excellent against the new ball and if they both come off they can quickly put Australia in the box-seat. So long as they do that reasonably regularly, it's worth it.

    For this game: Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Cowan, Khawaja, Wade, Henriques, Johnson, Siddle, Lyon, Bird.

    I'd like to see Doolan, Bailey and Butterworth around the national set-up, and no, I'm not Tasmanian. Also Ludeman should get his chance.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | February 17, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    Inverarity's thinking isn't so much clouded as half-baked. If Maxwell amounts to 'spin support', so does Clarke, and the absent D.Hussey for that matter. The pacemen have hardly taken a wicket so far on this tour. Picking Maxwell alongside a three man pace attack is pure madness. Never thought I'd say this: bring back Hilditch.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | February 17, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    Inverarity's thinking isn't so much clouded as half-baked. If Maxwell amounts to 'spin support', so does Clarke, and the absent D.Hussey for that matter. The pacemen have hardly taken a wicket so far on this tour. Picking Maxwell alongside a three man pace attack is pure madness. Never thought I'd say this: bring back Hilditch.

  • POSTED BY righthandbat on | February 17, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Watson must open if he isn't bowling. Simple. With Warner out, I'd like Clarke to push himself up the order to 3 and keep himself there. I'd prefer Hughes opening to batting at 3, but long-term I think he'd make a good number 6. I also would like Cowan to assume a role in the 4 position long-term, despite his ability to take the shine off the ball. Warner should open with Watson when he comes back in. Simply put - both of them are excellent against the new ball and if they both come off they can quickly put Australia in the box-seat. So long as they do that reasonably regularly, it's worth it.

    For this game: Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Cowan, Khawaja, Wade, Henriques, Johnson, Siddle, Lyon, Bird.

    I'd like to see Doolan, Bailey and Butterworth around the national set-up, and no, I'm not Tasmanian. Also Ludeman should get his chance.

  • POSTED BY HansonKoch on | February 17, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    How many more times has Khawaja got to turn in an ordinary innings before we scratch him off the next-big-thing list? Unfortunately the cupboard's so bare we're desperate. Maybe we need to give Chris Rogers a run for a year or two.

  • POSTED BY Slysta on | February 17, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Spot on Moppa, why do we keep making the same mistakes over and over again? When Maxwell was omitted for the India A game, I dared hope that the selectors had woken up. But obviously not - he's already been told he's in the XI for Chennai, and God help us all. "Spin support"? Didn't we try that with Cameron White in 2008, anyone remember how that turned out? If we want two spinners, we have to pick Lyon and Doherty, and back our batsmen to do the job they are paid for. Maxwell is not going to win/save games for us at #7, simply isn't good enough... I would rather have Henriques or Johnson batting there, safe the knowledge that neither will be a liability with the ball.

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | February 17, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Well, apparently everyone in Australia is a better spin bowler than Steve O'Keefe, so why not pick Maxwell? He's taken a couple of wickets before...

    The only decent thing to come out of this will be (hopefully) a chance for Watson and Cowan to show their wares. Let's see if Watson's success at opening was positional or just due to his purple patch...

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | February 17, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    the big show is a certainty and a no brainer he provides a rare comodity of being a spin bowling allrounder who should be tailor made for batting at 6 in india. i hope warner can recover friday is a way off

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | February 17, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Watto is the better opener and showed that again today with a 84 in the warm up game. You need someone at the other end from Warner who is also scoring so all the pressure of scoring is not on Warner's back. Watson should be there, given he has a better average than Cowen, certainly as an opener, and he scores quickly so that Warner isn't being pressured into making up the score one handed.I think this belief that it is OK to have one player holding down one side but scoring at a slow pedestrian rate, is rot, especially if they are averaging only 32 and the fellow is 30 years old. What you're after is getting the side off to a solid and a relatively quick rate so you can to take the pressure off later batsmen and ensure you have time to win the game. Surely scoring 350-400 in a day is better than scoring 250 in the same time. With Watson and Warner, you have the potential there of scoring 150-200 in quick time, which means the remaining players have a good foundation.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | February 17, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    Watson outscored Cowan today however what's worrying me about Cowan is that he gets out every time the spinners are introduced, both times in the warm up game. Both Hughes and Khawaja got 1 today but both came in when spin was on so didn't have the medium pacers to get their eye in to. Watto got 84 because as a opener he gets his mojo against the new ball. I think both Watson and Cowan will play in the first test but by the end of the series Watson may have won the battle. Most likely lineup for first test will be Shane, Ed, Phil, Usman, Michael Clarke, Moses, Matt Wade, Siddle, Starc, Johnson, Lyon

  • POSTED BY Jayzuz on | February 17, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    "Not one blade of grass"" on the wicket? Have India no shame? It's amazing how they moan and groan about other teams doctoring tracks abroad (after they get thrashed 4-0), and then they do stuff like this! Talk about hypocritical! There is absolutely nothing in the climate of any region of India that precludes the growth of grass. The ICC should investigate. All cricket wickets should have grass on them. Period. Shades of the Galle test in Sl last time round. That backfired badly. At any rate, whoever wins the toss will bat and pretty much has this test won. How is that in any way within the spirit of cricket? I guess Dhoni and co just don't care.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | February 17, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    With his current form, I would think that Henriques would be the next cap off the rank. For me, the team for the 1st test is: Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Henriques, Wade, Starc, Johnson, Pattinson, Bird. Doherty is a possibility with his strong performance in the warm up but spin hasn't done well in India for Australia lately so it may be a risk too far.