Australia in India 2012-13

Recovering Warner faces quicks in Australian nets

Brydon Coverdale

February 19, 2013

Comments: 44 | 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
Australia coach Mickey Arthur is "confident" David Warner's fractured thumb will recover enough for him to play the first India Test © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Mickey Arthur | David Warner
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India
Teams: Australia | India

David Warner faced pace bowling in the nets for the first time on Australia's tour of India on Tuesday as he aims to prove his fitness ahead of the first Test in Chennai, starting on Friday. Warner's recovery from a fractured thumb is the real injury concern for the Australians in the lead-up to the Test and his availability will also have a knock-on effect on the rest of the batting order.

If Warner does not play, Shane Watson will return to the Test team as an opener alongside Ed Cowan but if Warner is fit, as expected, the likely scenario will involve the continuation of the Cowan-Warner opening combination with Watson to bat at No.4. Watson has made no secret of his desire to face the new ball in Test cricket and his innings of 84 and 60 opening in tour match against India A strengthened his case.

But Cowan has also batted well so far on this trip, scoring 58, 40 and 53 in the two tour games, and Australia would be reluctant to split up an opening pair that has been the best performing in world cricket for the past 14 months. Australia's coach Mickey Arthur said it was too early to determine whether Warner would be fit for the Chennai Test, but he said he had been impressed by the way Cowan handled spin during the warm-up outings.

"We just want to see how Davey Warner comes up over the next day or two," Arthur said in Chennai ahead of Australia's training session on Tuesday. "It's critical that he trains well over the next day or two to play. I'm pretty sure and confident he'll come through but he hasn't faced any quicks yet. He's been doing a lot of batting against spin which has been fantastic. He hasn't faced pace bowling - that's the only concern - but he ticks that box today.

"Ed has come out of these practice games with his head held high. He's had a good method against the spin and he's played exceptionally well. [Opening with Watson and Warner] would be a tough call but that's something we have to only weigh up once Davey Warner is fit or not fit."

Watson's strength against the fast bowlers is often cited as a reason for him to move back to the top of the order but he is also one of Australia's most experienced campaigners in India. In 14 Test and ODI appearances against India in India, he has averaged 40.63 with the bat and Arthur said with the Chennai pitch expected to offer significant turn, selecting a largely untried middle order in such conditions would be risky.

"I think Watto's a class player so wherever Watto fits in I think he adds value," Arthur said. "Potentially through the middle is going to be a real tough time to bat, so you want your most seasoned campaigners in that area.

"We've got to look again and see what we think is going to be the best possible way of winning. That's the primary focus for us, how are we going to beat India in India. We've got to look at our best possible combination to do that. I do think though that we've just come off a series where we've been Sri Lanka 3-0 - do those players get first opportunity? I don't know. That's something that we'll have sorted out by the end of today."

The other major question surrounds the make-up of Australia's attack and the likely inclusion of an allrounder to offer a fifth bowling option. The seamer Moises Henriques strengthened his case with 4 for 12, including three top-order wickets, in the first of the two warm-up games. He found some reverse swing, which will be key if the pitch deteriorates, and also made a useful 33 in the second game.

Henriques appears to have the edge over the offspinning allrounder Glenn Maxwell, who took 1 for 20 from four overs in the first warm-up match, in which he also scored a first-innings duck, and did not play the second game. Arthur said Australia would not be tempted to name a spin-heavy team if they felt their pace options provided them with greater wicket-taking potential.

"Moises has done everything right to possibly get a Test match here," Arthur said. "We've chatted at length about it. We'll consider everything before we get the team out. But Moises has certainly done very well in these games. He's bowled exceptionally well I thought. The way he batted the other day was exactly as we want our batters to play. You've got to play with that intent here.

"We've got to look at what our best opportunity is to take 20 wickets. Maxie has worked extremely hard. I think Maxie has got a huge future. We have to weigh that up. There's probably one allrounder position in our team that's up for grabs. We've got to then determine is it the allrounder that can give us reverse swing or is it the allrounder that can give us a little bit of handy offspin?"

The frontline spinners Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty, and the part-timer Steven Smith were bowling in the nets at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday but the young left-armer Ashton Agar was not with the group. Although there was a chance Agar, who was with the group to gain experience by playing in the tour games, would be kept on for the Tests, he has been released from the touring party and has flown home to Perth.

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

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Posted by Harmony111 on (February 20, 2013, 6:10 GMT)


I had said I guess he would get at least 1 100. It means I am also guessing he may get more.

Players like Warner are not essentially for long innings. If they get those then great but generally speaking, they are like nitro boosts. They may get you a rapid fire 80 or 70 or even a quick 50. That will be great to demoralize the bowlers, make the other captain change his plans quickly, give his team an acceleration and to get a grip on the session if not on the innings/match/series.

Ofc you need someone to play like Cook who can take full usage of Warner's burst to build a big score for the team. You need players of both kind to get the max possible output. Having only one of them would mean either too turtle an innings that lasted far too long or too much height in the run rate but little distance for the scoreline.

Posted by RandyOZ on (February 19, 2013, 23:47 GMT)

The most destructive batsman in world cricket. Makes the South African KP look like his fellow countryman trott

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 19, 2013, 23:15 GMT)

Australia's job would be much easier if they could find just a single spinner anywhere in the country. There really should be a search put out for one. Perhaps it could be made into a reality tv show, where a camera crew finds an up-and-coming player, films him playing a match, and gets him plucked from obscurity.....there again they could just bring back Nathan Hauritz...

Posted by bumsonseats on (February 19, 2013, 20:11 GMT)

harmony111 if hes that good and gets 1 century in a 4 test series and hes an opener you do not set the bar very high. at the end of the series india would take that every time. he needs to score like cook in that his 100s go on and win the series. warner is a T20 / odi player at best and a swing from the hips player in tests who if its his day could come off, his best 100 was against NZ when they lost and all around him faltered and in that innings he could have been out 1/2 a dozen times.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 19, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

@dunger.bob, Khawaja is going to replace Warner and Henriques, I can see why people don't want him in the team because we'd only be playing with 10 men.

Siddle didn't find a way in Adelaide though did he and if the going gets tough in India you can be sure that they have someone who knows how to stonewall at home. I agree with Bird but Johnson MUST play, surely. So it's Birdy for Sidds in my book. For the first match anyway, Siddle is a good man to have in reserve though.

Posted by blink182alex on (February 19, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

Aus need to start well, if we lose the first test it will be very hard to turn it around. Warner has been one of the few plus points in our batting over the last 15 months. The only thing is that he has only played 3 tests outside Aus on the slow tracks of WI and he struggled. Seems to me as if Arthur has pretty much said Henriques will play instead of Maxwell as the all rounder. Although i think Wade at 6 and Henriques at 7 seems a bit short to me.

Posted by Beertjie on (February 19, 2013, 16:21 GMT)

Mostly agree @ravi_hari on (February 19, 2013, 8:55 GMT). This first test will be crucial. But Clarke's hamstring will likely keep him out of a test if he risks it by bowling. For those who want both Lyon and Maxwell as spinners, what possible value can the big show with HIS offies that Lyon doesn't already offer? And so why him rather than Henriques to debut given their form in India so far? @HansonKoch on (February 19, 2013, 9:34 GMT) Maybe they can send Chris Rogers over when Watson returns on paternity leave. @Gordo85 on (February 19, 2013, 11:29) It was Ponting who did "not like the guy for some unknown reason." After we lose this series those muppets on the NSP (ie Invers + Arthur) will 'blood' new failures in England. Talk about stupid!

Posted by jonesy2 on (February 19, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

and they should play dave even if he isnt quite 100%, he could tonk a 100 ball double ton with just his right hand if he needed to..

Posted by eyballfallenout on (February 19, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

ok, ill add my 2 cents.

Cowan, Warner, hughes, clarke, watson, wade, henriques, johnson, siddle, patenson, lyon....

Clarke to 4, johnson bowling well and as success and experience in india, cant go past Henriques bowling in the warm up, seems hes got the indian wickets down already.

Lets see what happens.

Posted by Mary_786 on (February 19, 2013, 13:42 GMT)

@dunger.bob good points mate, i am a big Khawaja fan but i don't think i would leave Warner out if he is fit to go. Ideally reading all the comments and from what i have seen in the warm ups i think its best for us to go with 6 specialist batsman with Khawaja at 6 but don't think that will happen. Either way i think Watson at 4 will struggle as he will be up against spin from ball 1 and we will once again rethink our batting lineup. Cowan got runs in the warm up matches but they came against medium pacers, the Indians will throw spin at us earlier so Cowan will have to prove himself which i am not sure he can. But may the best man get the opening slot.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (February 19, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

1. Cowan 2. Warner 3. Hughes 4. Watson5. Clarke 6. Khawaja7. Wade 8. Starc 9. Siddle 10. Doherty 11. Lyon 12th man Johnson With no grass on the Chennai wicket we need a solid middle order and Khawaja is the best man for it, and Mike Hussey and Mark Waugh have stated the same in the last few weeks. Brett Lee and David Boon came out today stating they think Watson should open in India so Cowan has to prove alot of folks wrong, given he is up against his weakness(spin bowing), i am not sure he will be able to do it. Also going forward I'd suggest Shaun Marsh as an opener, he has proven his effectiveness on subcontinental pitches. While his last Test series against India was beyond a mess, his experience and his ability to bat as long as Cowan can but not look so consistently unstable could be a top-order boon.

Posted by dunger.bob on (February 19, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Bit of a bummer about Warner being fit. It complicates things a bit. .. I'm not looking forward to the slanging match when people realise that Kawaja misses out to accomodate Warner and Henriques. .. I think the bowling has to be Starc (because of his swing and stamina), Siddle (because Sids always seems to find a way) and, wait for it, Bird. I'm really impressed with Bird and I think he could be smart enough to think on his feet and adjust his length as the ball ages and softens. .. he's a bit quicker than most people give him credit for as well.

@ RednWhiteArmy: "I cant believe theres debate about australia playing two spinners as i wasnt aware they had one." ... of course we've got one, unfortunately she retired the other day. .. seriously though, you watch young Lyon go. .. he's going to bowl really well. I look forward to his mystery ball which he calls Jeff, or George or Jim or something. ...

Posted by Harmony111 on (February 19, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

If Warner is at least 90% fit then I would always play him. He is a destructive batsman who on these flat wickets can change the match and series in a single session. India should be very wary of him. India don't really have bowlers to trouble Warner and if he gets going then no one will be able to stop him. I would hate to see him getting a 100 here but I am pretty sure he will be get at least one hundred this series, and that is bad news for India.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Wade, Maxwell, Henriques, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon. That'd be my lineup. becoz of heriques present form he can act as 3rd seamier maxwell will be spining allrounderso that batting order will get strengthened... let'c how clarck will go...

Posted by KhanMitch on (February 19, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

I love the debate about the makeup of the team. Surely all of us armchair experts should make a call as to who will actually notch up a test century. I am picking four players to get past the ton mark. - Captain King Pup - i am stoked for him. - Shane Watto - about time mate. - Phil Hughes - the ugly duckling will show his style! - Usman Khawaja- Classy left hander who is due for a big one. Of course Khawaja may not play if Warner is fit but just some tips. To be a successful opener for a long period of time and to craft the innings at the top of the order that Australia so desperately need, a wider range of shots must be available and Cowan simply lacks that. His runs come almost exclusively square of the wicket and through the covers, with short punchy singles every 4 or 5 balls his forte. However We have won 9 out of 13 tests and had the better of an outstanding SA team in 2 tests with Cowan as opener so there are 2 sides to the story. He can prove me wrong in this series.

Posted by india666666 on (February 19, 2013, 12:29 GMT)

since mitchell johnson and mitchell starc can bat, no point in having moises in the line up. Mitchell cna very much bat at 7 and aus should go with 3 spinners and 3 line up would be like this

warner, cowan, hughes, watson, clarke ,wade, johnson ,siddle, starc ,lyon, doherthy

Posted by Mary_786 on (February 19, 2013, 12:17 GMT)

Glad to hear that Warner is coming along well. I am a big fan of Khawaja but if Warner plays he won't get a game until Watson goes home or unless Warner misses the first test which is a shame because i would have him as the logcial replacement for Mike Hussey.The Australian batting card in this tour has been very instructive, the batsmen do well until the medium pacers are replaced by the spinners then the scoring stops - the openers are getting scores because of the bowlers they face.Clarke would alter that but without Hussey there as well the batting order looks somewhat thin.I also think given the Chennai pitch the selectors have no choice but to play Lyon and either Doherty or Maxwell. Even with Clarke and Warner they need a good 40+ overs per day out of spinners. My preferred lineup would be Watson, Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Henriques, Wade, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon

Posted by hycIass on (February 19, 2013, 12:12 GMT)

@Ravi_hari yes i agree with you, i think given Warner hasn't played a match in the last month they should ease him into the second test and get Watson and Cowan to open and Khawaja coming in at 4. Khawaja and Hughes are ready for a big series but need an opportunity. And we can have a play off between Watson and Cowan at the top of the order. Alot of folks have talked down the Australia batting lineup but i think the lefties(ie. Khawaja, Hughes and Wade) will play well in this series. My lineup Cowan, Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke MJ, Starc, Pattinson, Siddle and Lyon. @HansonKoch with every comment you lose credibiltiy mate, Hughes and Khawaja have been among the top 3 batsman in both shield and Ryobi this year and they have age on their side, we need to build for the future not bring in 36 year olds for debut.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

As an Indian I hope Shane Watson does not play.

Posted by PrasPunter on (February 19, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

Given that Pattinson and Starc bat pretty well, wondering why we should go with Moisy. Throw in MJ and it should do it for us. Warner, Watson, Clarke, Hughes, Wade and Cowan are my batsmen. MJ, Starc, Pattinson, Siddle and Lyon are my bowlers. This attack has the best chance of getting the 20 wickets. No X please.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2013, 11:44 GMT) your lineup except for the fact that I actually prefer watson and Cowan to open with Warner coming in at number 3 and hughes at 6. Warner could end up being the perfect number 3 in the long term as someone who is able to counter attack and keep the score board ticking. but for the sake of team fairness and consistency I can understand Warner opening again.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (February 19, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

So now we have 5 bats pretty much guaranteed (Warner, Watson, Cowan, Hughes and Clarke), keeper guaranteed (Wade) and 2 pacers that should be guaranteed (Johnson and Starc) - though you never know. So there should be 1 batting and 2 bowling spots up for grabs. 1 batting out of Smith, Henriques, Khawaja and Maxwell - and by all accounts Maxwell is favourite, in spite of Henriques being in great form and Maxwell and Smith not playing a game. 2 bowling out of Siddle, Bird, Pattinson, Doherty and Lyon - yet we are yet to see Bird in action. Doherty seems likely to play and it looks like Pattinson will too - though if they want more experience and less prone to injury then Siddle may get a go in spite of his poor record in India. So it looks like it will be Cowan, Warner, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Maxwell, Wade, Starc, Johnson, Siddle, Doherty.

Posted by HatsforBats on (February 19, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

Am I the only one wondering why Warner is practising against quicks? Either way, don't play him half fit. To those calling for Maxwell over Doherty, I agree as we'll need the extra runs, but Doherty was picked to have spin going both ways (surely the only reason O'Keefe was overlooked) so he'll probably get first run. Playing two debutants is a bad idea but I think Henriques & Maxwell is the more positive selection. And I just have to add, Doherty has the worst throwing arm I've ever seen, has anyone else noticed this? It's ridiculous.

Posted by Gordo85 on (February 19, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

To be honest HansonKoch I don't think anyone that selects a squad cares about Chris Rogers because this has been going on for years even before Arthur was made Australia coach. I just think they must not like the guy for some unknown reason. So far he has only played one Test back in 2008 and to them they never want him to play Test Cricket ever again after that just one Test. The interesting thing to note is when he moved states like so many other players do then they soon get selected for Australia but not Chris Rogers because he is playing for Victoria. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Rogers was playing for Western Australia when Arthur was coach of them then he may have got a call up when Arthur became the senior coach but no.(Due to the fact he moved)

Posted by mathmaxt on (February 19, 2013, 11:25 GMT)

get george bailey and adam voges in.

Posted by featurewriter on (February 19, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

Don't quite agree with you Chandanpau. I think this is more likely: Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Henriques, Wade, Johnson, Pattinson/Siddle, Lyon, Doherty. They'll use Henriques as a bowling all-rounder to give them the ability to bring in an extra spinner. With Watson rolling his arm for up to 10 overs an innings. That also leaves Clarke for gentle off-spin and Warner for part-time leg-spin. That'd be my lineup. I hope they use Pattinson, Starc and even Johnson wisely, because they will be better suited to the Ashes series.

Posted by chandanpau on (February 19, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

dnt play warner if heis not fit.he has gud replacement hughes is as gud as warner.and play johnson ahead of henriques coz of his experience on indian soil as an allrounder.

Posted by disco_bob on (February 19, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Looks like Johnson's got a winning stubble going on there, I think India is going to be another step for him in his continuing improvment since making his Perth comeback from injury and he's going to be fully up for it when the Ashes come around. Without doubt Warner should not be playing this first Test, there is no value in rushing him in seeing as his absence gives Australia the chance to not leave out someone who will benefit from playing. I think it is crucial that we put up a good fight in the first test if we fold (which I don't think will happen) India will be all over us like hot flannel.

Posted by mylife4cricket on (February 19, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

i think warner-watson opening pair is more effective and this right-left combination irritates the bowlers is well.Even though there is no ponting and hussey Australia are still good players of spin as many of them play in the IPL.I think the major threats for India are watson,warner and clarke,these three are very good players in these subcontinent conditions.And I expect good bowling performances from Harbhajan and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar as these two have the potential to do so with one bowler having experience and the other with his gifted talent.No excuses this time for Dhoni except winning the series!

Posted by SherjilIslam on (February 19, 2013, 10:48 GMT)

As an Indian i fear Watson more than Warner as Watson has relatively better record against India as compared to Warner.Also i feel Warner is more vulnerable to spin as compared to Watson. So, if Warner replaces Watson,it would be better for India, nevertheless both are equally dangerous.

Posted by Thefakebook on (February 19, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

I'm a huge Warner fan though if he's not recovered fully it's not worth playing him or it will worse his pain & injuries and he may miss out at the Ashes as well.Cowan does not desrve to be dropped as does not Xavier or for fact of matter Lyon to be selected.But since Oz sick wth Lyon for 19 tests why not make it a even number (20-22?) so he should play.Maxwell must get a chance and Henriques will be the 3rd seam(+bat) will be a toss up between Smith & Usman for the no.5 spot as Clarke must bat 4! Don't judge Maxwell untill he's played in a real test.But if OZs go with 3 out an out quicks no prob eaither.

Posted by __PK on (February 19, 2013, 10:45 GMT)

RednWhiteArmy, it wouldn't surprise me if there were a lot of things you weren't aware of. You're really praying for an Indian win, aren't you, because NOONE believes the English win there was worth anything.

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 19, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

Rednwhitearmy, that's really funny, I'm sure Warner just pales in comparison to the achieved likes of James Taylor, Samit Patel, Ravi bopara and eoin Morgan. I'm sure nick Compton's strike rate of 30 (in India), root's FC average of 39 and bairstow's failiure against the west indies will just strike fear in the hearts of australia's second best pace attack in the world (second by quite a fair margin actually).

Also, I can't believe there's debate over who's england's best third seamer, I'm sure Stuart broad with his extraordinary bowling average of 55 against aus is more than good enough :)

Posted by pat_one_back on (February 19, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

Almost spot on @Ken, I don't quite agree X has done enough to displace a quick though, will take 1-2 under performances to tip me. My thinking is that Indians are notorious boundary hunters, that persistent tight quick bowling, a little reverse and ring fields catching well will yield results, IMHO anyway. Would also bat Wade above Moises as you've suggested, I think Wade's built actual presence & confidence, (beyond his ugly white line fever talk). Not a bad Test team for any conditions, comes down to playing to ability and I'd say all bar Moises have already proven at this level they possess it. India are also ripe for the taking, they proved through Eng that the bar is very low at the moment. No doubt they'll have regrouped and will dig deep, this looks a well matched series, ignore all the troll hype and trash talk, this series will go to the team that takes their catches.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (February 19, 2013, 10:01 GMT)

Fantastic news for India if Warner gets selected.

Also, I cant believe theres debate about australia playing two spinners as i wasnt aware they had one.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2013, 9:58 GMT)


It is more likely that Maxwell will play in place of Doherty, and I really hope he does. Doherty is a terrible terrible bowler who will very quickly get hit out of the attack and will just waste a valuable spot in the line up. Maxwell may also be a sup par spinner, but at least he has the skill to contribute to the total.

Posted by HansonKoch on (February 19, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

What more does Chris Rogers have to do to get selected over a serial non-achiever like Khawaja? He's just scored another century today.

Posted by chandanpau on (February 19, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

warner,cowan,hughes,watson,clarke,wade,johnson,starc,siddle,lyon,doherty.5 specialist bowlers with johnson as allrounder and starc ,siddle can bat as well.

Posted by handyandy on (February 19, 2013, 9:19 GMT)

I don't know if it is worth playing two specialist spinners. If we had quality spinners it would be a different story but my inclination would be to go with our strength which would be pace bowling.

I think Australia will struggle to bowl India out whichever combination of bowlers we pick.

Posted by Syd_F on (February 19, 2013, 9:10 GMT)

I think, for Australia the best chance of winning the test & series will be to have the team with exactly the following order - Warner, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Cowan, Henriques, Wade, Starc, Siddle, Doherty, Lyon.

I Australia wants to win the series Clarke has to bat at 4, there is no simply other aussie right now, who is better for that position. And, I would chose Cowan before Khawaja. Considering, Clarke fickle back, Watson's injury history, I would consider Cowan for short and long term leadership or mentor role. Hussey was an opener, but he adjusted his game to be a great middle order. I am hoping, Cowan might deliver the same. With Watson not bowling, and reverse swing an issue, Moises surely has the advantage against anyone vying for the all-rounder slot.

Posted by Mitty2 on (February 19, 2013, 9:02 GMT)

Warner should not play the first two tests and if it's true that watson's coming home (someone please verify this?) for the last two tests, then it should be a straight swap of opener to opener with Cowan being the constant. Net sessions is not sufficient, England played one more tour game than us and still got demolished first game, so all though warner's a huge talent and more runs before the ashes will do him good, it would greatly affect our chances if he plays the first two tests.

All though siddle and Johnson both can bowl for long spells, the flatness could just prove to give them nothing, we cannot expect to win from just bowling tight, economical but innocuous overs from the pacers with Lyon expected to take the wickets from the Indians trying to attack him, this will not win us many tests. We need reverse, and Henriques and starc are the only exponents of this, with bird capable. 5 bowlers is a must.

XI: watto Cowan hughes Clarke ussie wade Henriques starc bird Lyon doherty

Posted by   on (February 19, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

1. Cowan 2. Warner 3. Hughes 4. Watson 5. Clarke 6. Henriques 7. Wade 8. Starc 9. Siddle 10. Doherty 11. Lyon 12th man Johnson Sounds like there's not a blade of grass on the Chennai wicket, hence Doherty, Lyon & Henriques. 5 bowlers an absolute necessity IMHO and Watson is out of the bowling equation. Feel free to swap Wade & Henriques at 6 & 7 if you wish.

Posted by   on (February 19, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

I'd be tempted to pick henriques over maxwell. Also Johnson as he has had experience in India. But I think we're going to get smashed. Pity we have four openers, two of which will have to play three and four.

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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