Australia in Sri Lanka 2011 July 29, 2011

Test players picked from anywhere, White believes

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Cameron White, the Australian Twenty20 captain, says the rapid promotion of Nathan Lyon to tour Sri Lanka next month suggests the national selectors are employing an open door policy for the Test side, irrespective of the format a player makes his name in.

Lyon's selection, having played only four first-class matches and a handful of Twenty20 and limited overs matches for South Australia last summer, has illustrated how far the national panel is prepared to look in its pursuit of "champion" players.

White certainly sounded bemused when questioned on what Lyon's selection, alongside Michael Beer and Trent Copeland, signified for the rest of Australia's cricketers.

He concluded that it now meant that a player could be plucked from Twenty20s to play Tests or Sheffield Shield cricket to play Twenty20, as talent identifiers ceased to discriminate between formats and disciplines.

"Very interesting question. It is a tough one for me to answer," White told reporters in Brisbane before the Twenty20 squad flew out for Sri Lanka. "I guess if you are in the right place at the right time you can be picked.

"If you are in form and the selectors view that you are the right man for the job they can pick you. It seems as though the door is open for everyone in first-class cricket, one day cricket, and Twenty20 cricket to play Test cricket, if that makes any sense."

Both Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, and Greg Chappell, the national talent manager and selector, have stated that their present policy is to cast around widely in the hope that certain players will show immediate signs of becoming top class performers. It is an approach laced with risk and uncertainty, and far removed from that employed by the national panel when Australia was last struggling so markedly in the mid-1980s.

At that time the selectors identified a group of players with talent to support the captaincy of Allan Border, and largely stuck by them until results began to improve. The likes of Steve Waugh, Dean Jones, Merv Hughes, Geoff Marsh, David Boon and Craig McDermott emerged as the nucleus of a strong Australian side, that later became great when younger talent was introduced to a stable dressing room.

"We're picking the best team for Australia," Hilditch said when announcing the Test squad in Adelaide. "But we need some experienced players, which we think we have got, and we also need to find a couple of new champions in the next couple of years."

Australia's coach, Tim Nielsen, is not a selector, but he defended the scatter-gun ways of the panel, which is under heavy scrutiny as part of the Don Argus-led Australian team performance review. The review is due to table its findings to the Cricket Australia board at its next meeting on August 18-19.

"We are obviously looking for the spinner who can take us forward in all three forms of the game," Nielsen said. "To be honest no-one has taken their opportunity and made it their own yet. No-one has made their spot their own. And that is why we see some fluctuations in who is selected.

"Because whether it be through injury or performance we haven't seen one spinner really take the job on. Lyon and Beer now have the opportunity to stake their claim.

Nielsen did not see anything inconsistent about the rapid distribution of baggy green caps, particularly to spin bowlers. Twelve have now been elevated to the Australian Test squad since Shane Warne retired in 2007.

"We have come off a summer where we didn't have the success we would have liked," he said. "And it's pretty obvious we are searching for the mix of players we think will take us forward.

"We have seen a couple of players who are perceived to have jumped the queue because they have performed well when given the opportunity, and I think that is the way it has always been. If you are given a chance at domestic or Australia A level and do well the selectors will reward that."

Nielsen's role is also being analysed closely by the review, and his support staff has been significantly altered by the additions of Steve Rixon as fielding coach and Craig McDermott as pace bowling coach. The players have enjoyed the presence of more mentors with Test match experience, something Nielsen himself cannot call upon.

Rixon was appointed at the insistence of the new captain Michael Clarke, and Nielsen said the team now bore the stamp of the new leader.

"Michael's very clear on how he feels the team should be playing and the things he feels are important for the team to be playing that way," he told AAP. "We've got some new staff around the place, a new captain, a new vice-captain so all of those things lead to a different voice and a different idea.

"It's been really positive so far, I've really enjoyed working with those guys. I'm sure in the next little while, even if it doesn't transfer into wins straight out of the blocks, we're hopeful the new cricketers we've got in the team and the different direction we're taking will lead us back to the levels we want to be playing at and the standing we want in world cricket."

The Australian Twenty20 squad departs on Saturday for two matches on August 6 and 8, with limited overs and Test series to follow.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY JohnnyRook on | August 1, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    @RJHB. You can find the reasons of Indian hatred for Chappel by going through the comments of Australian people who are hating him for what he doing to theie team. Chappel's method is to basically gamble with new talent instead of proven performers. This is never a good idea. AS far as India is concerned, we haven't even been able to fill up the place Ganguly vacated 2 years back. And as a test batman, he was nothing compared to Dravid & Tendulkar. So much for new young talented energetic hungry guys, Chappel is in love with.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | August 1, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    To all you Indians-you were right about Chappell.I admired and respected him as a player when i was growing up,but he is poison as an administrator.Unfortunately,the entire CA administration,Board,selection and coaching staff are identical,so Chappell doesnt appear out of place.For most traditional supporters,its not about winning or losing,but how they play the game.There is also the matter of fair play in selection which has vanished and the scandalous misuse of existing resources.Whatever australian cricket has been over the preceding 130 years,under this administration,it has died.

  • POSTED BY Jaga2011 on | July 31, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    Oh boy, Chappell at work again, eh? You poor Aussies. It appears that when he was brought to India as coach to bring in the Aussie professionalism/planning, he exchanged it for our crazy selection ideas and took those back home when he left. The current Aussie cricket setup looks like our indian setup from the past and our Indian setup looks a lot more like the old Aussie setup in terms of planning and approach.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    if the aussies do beat lanka with this team, chappell will become a hero!!

  • POSTED BY tdobbo on | July 31, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Dashgar, I respect your views but I hope you are joking. Spinners since Warne, the list is getting longer and longer. It's an embarrassment for the team and it doesn't stick that you just brush these things aside when for years the Aussies were loudest and most critical of other teams when they were doing it tough. A bit rich, its not a one way street.

    My view, their bowling lacks heart, no ticker, you'll never do any good with Timid Mitch leading from the front and frankly Hilfenhaus, Siddle, Bollinger and Harris are either not up to and give up when the going gets tough or both. The batting has folded like a deck of cards in two Ashes series now, against good opposition they are a rabble.

  • POSTED BY PYC1959 on | July 31, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    Can't wait for that date in August when Chappell and Hilditch are told their services are no longer required...............

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    First Oz got to fire Andrew Hidlitch and Greg Chappell.Hidlitch has been randomly picking players and knocking them off.Remember Phil Jaques and Chris Rogers,anyone?Phil Jaques was the first choice opener but suddenly disappeared with an injury and never got a chance again.Logically he was the one to have got the opening slot after the 2009 Ashes.Rogers was in the mix,got a test match at Perth against us,was dropped once Hayden came back and never got a look in again.Now he doesn't even have a state contract.Hughes too has been a victim though he has managed a 2nd chance.After those hundreds in SA,he did struggle in the Ashes but should have been persisted with,not kicked out.You also got many spinners.Hauritz is the best of the lot but he has been in and out.And Chappell,as an Indian got experience of what he did to my team.Now the same is happening in Oz.He said Ponting and Hussey must quit since Oz have limited talent(?) and made Simon a scapegoat,kicking him out.

  • POSTED BY AlanHarrison on | July 30, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Well Cameron White is certainly right in suggesting that Australian test players certainly seem to be picked these days from "anywhere": indeed, the example of Nathan Lyon suggests that these days the selection even of individuals who have little or no previous association with the game of cricket is considered. I am interested to see how the squad fares: Sri Lanka's bowling after Murali are struggling for penetration, but noone is going to find it easy to win test matches against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka

  • POSTED BY CricketPissek on | July 30, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    australia are giving a weak sri lankan test side every opportunity to make amends after a poor england tour :-D mahela, sanga, dilshan and co. will have these spinners for breakfast!

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | July 30, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    Can we stop adding the spinners used since Warne. It is getting old. Australia do need new blood but the problem is that the new blood doesn't need to be under 22 with less than 10 first class games of experience. There are players in the state system with lots of experience, lots of years left who are ready made test players. Cameron White is just one of these players. George Bailey, Mark Cosgrove, Shaun Marsh, Matthew Wade, Callum Ferguson, Luke Butterworth, Steve O'Keefe and Dan Christian are others. We have a very good fast bowling attack at the moment, we have the potential to have a good batting lineup. All we need is a spinner who can get through overs, maintain pressure and provide the odd wicket and we'll be a complete side. Look at SA, second best test side in the world and no quality spinner. I think Lyon will be better than most of the names that came before him but he needs some time in shield cricket first.

  • POSTED BY JohnnyRook on | August 1, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    @RJHB. You can find the reasons of Indian hatred for Chappel by going through the comments of Australian people who are hating him for what he doing to theie team. Chappel's method is to basically gamble with new talent instead of proven performers. This is never a good idea. AS far as India is concerned, we haven't even been able to fill up the place Ganguly vacated 2 years back. And as a test batman, he was nothing compared to Dravid & Tendulkar. So much for new young talented energetic hungry guys, Chappel is in love with.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | August 1, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    To all you Indians-you were right about Chappell.I admired and respected him as a player when i was growing up,but he is poison as an administrator.Unfortunately,the entire CA administration,Board,selection and coaching staff are identical,so Chappell doesnt appear out of place.For most traditional supporters,its not about winning or losing,but how they play the game.There is also the matter of fair play in selection which has vanished and the scandalous misuse of existing resources.Whatever australian cricket has been over the preceding 130 years,under this administration,it has died.

  • POSTED BY Jaga2011 on | July 31, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    Oh boy, Chappell at work again, eh? You poor Aussies. It appears that when he was brought to India as coach to bring in the Aussie professionalism/planning, he exchanged it for our crazy selection ideas and took those back home when he left. The current Aussie cricket setup looks like our indian setup from the past and our Indian setup looks a lot more like the old Aussie setup in terms of planning and approach.

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    if the aussies do beat lanka with this team, chappell will become a hero!!

  • POSTED BY tdobbo on | July 31, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Dashgar, I respect your views but I hope you are joking. Spinners since Warne, the list is getting longer and longer. It's an embarrassment for the team and it doesn't stick that you just brush these things aside when for years the Aussies were loudest and most critical of other teams when they were doing it tough. A bit rich, its not a one way street.

    My view, their bowling lacks heart, no ticker, you'll never do any good with Timid Mitch leading from the front and frankly Hilfenhaus, Siddle, Bollinger and Harris are either not up to and give up when the going gets tough or both. The batting has folded like a deck of cards in two Ashes series now, against good opposition they are a rabble.

  • POSTED BY PYC1959 on | July 31, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    Can't wait for that date in August when Chappell and Hilditch are told their services are no longer required...............

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    First Oz got to fire Andrew Hidlitch and Greg Chappell.Hidlitch has been randomly picking players and knocking them off.Remember Phil Jaques and Chris Rogers,anyone?Phil Jaques was the first choice opener but suddenly disappeared with an injury and never got a chance again.Logically he was the one to have got the opening slot after the 2009 Ashes.Rogers was in the mix,got a test match at Perth against us,was dropped once Hayden came back and never got a look in again.Now he doesn't even have a state contract.Hughes too has been a victim though he has managed a 2nd chance.After those hundreds in SA,he did struggle in the Ashes but should have been persisted with,not kicked out.You also got many spinners.Hauritz is the best of the lot but he has been in and out.And Chappell,as an Indian got experience of what he did to my team.Now the same is happening in Oz.He said Ponting and Hussey must quit since Oz have limited talent(?) and made Simon a scapegoat,kicking him out.

  • POSTED BY AlanHarrison on | July 30, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Well Cameron White is certainly right in suggesting that Australian test players certainly seem to be picked these days from "anywhere": indeed, the example of Nathan Lyon suggests that these days the selection even of individuals who have little or no previous association with the game of cricket is considered. I am interested to see how the squad fares: Sri Lanka's bowling after Murali are struggling for penetration, but noone is going to find it easy to win test matches against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka

  • POSTED BY CricketPissek on | July 30, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    australia are giving a weak sri lankan test side every opportunity to make amends after a poor england tour :-D mahela, sanga, dilshan and co. will have these spinners for breakfast!

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | July 30, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    Can we stop adding the spinners used since Warne. It is getting old. Australia do need new blood but the problem is that the new blood doesn't need to be under 22 with less than 10 first class games of experience. There are players in the state system with lots of experience, lots of years left who are ready made test players. Cameron White is just one of these players. George Bailey, Mark Cosgrove, Shaun Marsh, Matthew Wade, Callum Ferguson, Luke Butterworth, Steve O'Keefe and Dan Christian are others. We have a very good fast bowling attack at the moment, we have the potential to have a good batting lineup. All we need is a spinner who can get through overs, maintain pressure and provide the odd wicket and we'll be a complete side. Look at SA, second best test side in the world and no quality spinner. I think Lyon will be better than most of the names that came before him but he needs some time in shield cricket first.

  • POSTED BY freaky_guy on | July 30, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Fire Hilditch, Nielsen, Chappell. They are useless. Ok Chappell was a great batsman, probably 3rd best for Aus after Don and Ricky, but he is terrible in administration. CA should somehow involve Warney or Steve Waugh in the process, they are capable of reviving Australian cricket.

  • POSTED BY ucperera on | July 30, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    Here most of the comments bound with Indian team. but guys, do not forget that australia touring sri lanka not to india these days...LOL.

  • POSTED BY vatsmanoj on | July 30, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    Chappel done the same thing to India try too much with new players he make ganguly sit out zheer out sehwag out and result was in front of everyone india was out in WC 07 he should let the players chance to settle i dont find any thing wrong wid hauritz he performed bad in India so waht even likes of murli and warne were far from impressive in india against india certainly we are missing a great force in cricket that used to be called AUS

  • POSTED BY sajansilwal on | July 30, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    it's good to hear that the talent of many first class players are not being overlooked by the selectors because in the past many have been restricted to only certain formats of the game. now, warner, david hussey and white can push for their selection in the test side. it'll be good for them

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    I know the selectors won't ever read this, but seriously, picking guys with virtually no experience at the higher levels (IE first class, list A) is not going to achieve anything. I'm of the view that australia should quit searching for a spinner to replace Shane Warne (fair enough to pick spinners on a tour to Sri Lanka, but Beer and Lyon? Seriously? What happened to Hauritz, Smith, O'Keefe, White, Cullen, Bailey, Casson, Holland?? All of whom i'd have in a test XI ahead of either Beer or Lyon mind you...) They need to start focussing on picking the best players available in my opinion...

  • POSTED BY svln on | July 30, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Australian selectors are a confused bunch.Steve Smith was a good spinner who could bat a bit.What do they do.They tell him you are now a batsman so go and score centuries.If required we may allow you to bowl.In the process they have wrecked the career of a great young talent.

  • POSTED BY Parthi_nava on | July 30, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    @RJHB : Boss don't be too ambitious. We have better bench strength compared to others.. And also we have better first class cricket in place where still lot of young cahins, dravids and Laksmans are waiting for their chances.... Please see the great INDIA will never decline and it will rule the cricket world till cricket is there in the world. I guess you guys cannot tolerate that India being the number 1 team.

  • POSTED BY NRI- on | July 30, 2011, 1:05 GMT

    I wil say it again too O'keefe, O'keefe

  • POSTED BY PACERONE on | July 29, 2011, 23:52 GMT

    Michael Clarke,Hilditch ,Neilsen,and Chappel will screw up Australia's revival.These guys are more interested in showing that they are incharge.Has nothing to do with picking the best team,

  • POSTED BY RJHB on | July 29, 2011, 23:35 GMT

    Whats with the continued Indian hatred of Chappell?? Didn't he just try to get some new blood into your team to make you better instead of continuing to rely on the old stagers? Your time at the top is rapidly coming to an end, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Khan WILL NOT go on forever and as Australia knows, once the superstars retire, the lesser lights beneath them suddenly aren't as good! Examples of this are Clarke, Johnson and even Ponting perhaps. I'll enjoy the Fall India when it does inevitably come, with much relish!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 23:26 GMT

    O'keefe, O'keefe, O'keefe, O'keefe. Ive said it before and ill say it again Stephen O'keefe. My daughter thinks he's cute and i think he can play cricket. As someone mentioned here, he has a terrific average both bat and ball, strike rate, economy rate etc. Now he starts dont just look good because he has played 3 games and done ok, he has played 14 games and has over 50 wickets. he has shown consistent performances. Didnt the selectors say they wanted a left arm finger spinner for the ashes last year and is why they picked beer. Where the hell was the phone call to o'keefe. he is a left arm finger spinner and i would put him at no.8 in the batting ahead of MJ.

  • POSTED BY Antomann on | July 29, 2011, 23:14 GMT

    If this scattergun approach really is a selection policy, it stands to set back the cause of Australian cricket by five years. The upside is that by somehow finding these 'champion' players out of nowhere, Australia will have circumvented the usual rebuilding process which once-great teams need to go through. The downside is that in the process, many potentially good cricketers will be discarded after a couple of games, their confidence in themselves and the selectors shattered for good. Sadly, so far we have seen only the downside. Personally, I think it's morally reprehensible for the Aussie selectors to try to justify their previous bungles by telling the world that it was their cunning selection policy all along. Apart from anything else, to treat First Class cricketers like that is despicable.

  • POSTED BY katandthat3 on | July 29, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    Maybe that's CA's plan all along. Pick guys on T20 form to show you can get Test selection so the new format continues to grow strength to strength and become a basis for selection replacing the relevance of Shield cricket. You'll notice them talking up Dave Warner now. It's all bollocks of course. How O'Keefe gets shafted is beyond me and it's harsh on Hauritz to say he hasn't taken his opportunity when playing, he's only had one bad series I can remember and that was in India (he's not alone there), when he's fit again he'll be straight back in there. Please get rid of Neilson, make CA a new independent commission style structure, Make Rod Marsh head of selectors, let Chappell just be a skills coach for batting and nothing else, give Rixon a run as head coach and give Hilditch & Cox a holiday. Work harder to make Shield a relevant format by playing a few more games a little later so people can get to the games after work, show highlights on fox and play in regional areas. It matters.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    I agree with White I think they are playing russian roulette playing inexperienced bowlers such as lyon and beer who have no idea of the sri lankan conditions.the Lions at home are strong India and S.A. found it difficult ,if Aus ,are seriously thinking of climbing back to no 1 spot I wish them the best without katich or bollinger

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    if da "next shane warne" is wat they are looking for why dont they hire him as a spin bowling coach... and i totally agree wit comments above, if u dont hav any spinners then dont play them, just a waste of space in da team..

  • POSTED BY BnH1985Fan on | July 29, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    Jonesy2 -- right, Michael Beer! A Lion Nathan brand has adorned national colors -- Peter Toohey! Alas, Boag and Duff never quite made it to the Australian team!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 20:42 GMT

    i remember thinking to myself in about 2006, when the ausies were bosting about dan cullen & cullen baily, that they didnt have spiiners who were good enough .They both averaged 40s with the ball in first class cricket They were talking about Cameron White years ago like he was the next Shane Warne, purely because hes was a leggie. they ignored the fact that he seemed reasonably inefective and underbowled in first class cricket. It took them till 2009 to relise hes a quality batsman, rather than a number 8 legspinning batsman (as he played on his debut v india). Again they are rushing into things with this lyon. yes i know they planning for the future, but what about nathan hauritz and even jason krejza. They both have decent records in first class cricket, and although Krejza is largely expensive, he still bowls that wicket taking ball now and again. At this moment in time, Paul Harris would even walk into this team!!

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | July 29, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    BnH1985Fan --i noticed that haha and of course michael beer!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    For those Cameron White haters, he seemed to be more restrained than Katich. In fact he was very observant and analytical. Not sure what happened to White in the IPL this year. Expected quite a bit from him. On a lighter note, I told Hilditch and Greg Chappel not to seek advice from Ijaz Butt, but they would not heed my words..

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    Greg Chappell can make and break careers, Suresh Rain, Ganguly are examples.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    Australia and Sri Lanka are rebuilding teams for the future. Let the youngsters play regardless of results.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 17:40 GMT

    the greg chappel effect :)

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | July 29, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Chris Rogers is one of the best first class players in Australia yet he has only played 1 test. Go look him up - he averages 51 with 47 tons and 73 halves. He should have played in the Ashes instead of Phil Hughes. If he was a Kiwi he would get picked. We are rubbish but at least we pick on merit.

  • POSTED BY yorkshire-86 on | July 29, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    @stormy16 and to answer your question when did kreja put in a test winning performance, he did that on debut against the best players of spim in the world - takling 10 wickets in his first match.... Really. Firstly INDIA WON that match, so it was not a 'matchwinning' performance. Secondly he conceded OVER 350 RUNS in that game... Jason Krejza was the reason Australia lost that game (or Ponting's inability to realise he was getting UTTERLY HAMMERED and withdraw him from the attack), and that is the reason he only played 1 more test before getting discarded. Half his wickets were tailenders anyway.

  • POSTED BY D-Train on | July 29, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    So they are rewarding the players who perform at domestic level? Then how do you explain how Michael Beer who averages 48, plays a test match and Steve O'Keefe who averages 25 with the ball and in the 30's with the bat doesn't even make the A team?

  • POSTED BY mixters on | July 29, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Nobody had heard of warne and he was far from impressive on debut, hope lyon dose well and the selectors find that long tearm spin ace they are seaching for

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | July 29, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    Not sour grapes from White although he has reason to have them. The leaders of the team need to stand up and speak their mind if things are wrong. White is a captain of Australia so it is his job to speak up. Remember that White has a First Class Average of 42 yet has never been picked in a test as a batsman. Where's the reward for effort?

  • POSTED BY BnH1985Fan on | July 29, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    My Ozzie mates may have noticed it -- Nathan Lyon, AKA Lion Nathan -- anyone associated with a big brewery has to be given a chance in the national team. Let the brews flow

  • POSTED BY seagrip on | July 29, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    @spaldo, doesnt sound like sour grapes at all. What he has said is exactly true. He didnt say he should be in the test/ODI team. He just said that the selectors are picking people who have not excelled in the format of the game they are picked for. Beer, Marsh, Lyon, Pattinson are all fine examples. Look at their career stats and tell me they have outperformed their competitors, or even that they are close to the best around at the moment. Not to mention the chop/change policy which shows they have no confidence in their own selection methods. They drop people who do perform (e.g. Katich, Bollinger), stick with people who have never performed (e.g. M North) and pick complete unknowns or people with extremely poor records in first class cricket (see 11 spinners to date) when there are better alternatives who have been proved in first class cricket (O'Keefe). Whats the point in playing Shield cricket if its ignored for test selection?!

  • POSTED BY seagrip on | July 29, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    @stormy16 and to answer your question when did kreja put in a test winning performance, he did that on debut against the best players of spim in the world - takling 10 wickets in his first match. He was then promptly dropped at the end of the tour and didnt play again for some time. Well done hilditch, great strategy. Finally stumble asccross someone who takes some wickets and then drop them in favour of some more unknowns and only terurn to them when their form and confidence is shot. Not that I am supporting kreja for the team, just another example of the complete mess the selectiors have made.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | July 29, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    I agree with @ Kane Weston about O'Keefe. Why were they so keen about Steve Smith, but don't see any point in taking O'Keefe along and pick Lyon instead - nothing makes sense in the selectorial cloud cuckoo land 'they' inhabit. I agree that these a re lean times and one must be realistic, especially on the spinning front. Seeking instant solutions comes with that 20-20 mind set, but we're talking about test cricket here, so take the long-range perspective, please.

  • POSTED BY bobagorof on | July 29, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    What, then, is the point of the Sheffield Shield if it's not being used to groom Test players? I have nothing against giving a talented youngster the opportunity to shine - and in the case where there is a spot available, pick them if they're good enough - but the problem is that there's no consistency. Of the spin bowlers to have played since Warne, Hogg and MacGill retired after a few matches (can't do anything about that), Casson, McGain, Doherty, Krejza have played only one or two matches, with only White and Hauritz getting a decent run (White being a batsman picked for 4 matches as an 'allrounder'). Beer is yet to add to his solitary cap and Lyon hasn't played at all. Smith was picked as a spinner for a few matches but as an allrounder for others so who knows what the thinking has been there. The point is that if a guy really is supposed to be talented, then stick with him for a series (or two) to give him a chance to settle!

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | July 29, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    I am not sure if some of the criticism here is fair. Australia desperately need a spinner and there isnt much talent around so 'throwing the net far and wide' is not the unreasonable call. If they brought in unknown batters while leaving out the likes of Kawaja and Marsh I can understand the critisism but not for a spinner. Having said all of that I must Kretza and Hauritz with their experience were surprise ommissions but let me ask this question - when did either of these two put in a match winning performance for Aus?

  • POSTED BY spaldo on | July 29, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Cameron White has consistantly buckled under pressure since been given the opportunity to play for Australia, it was only his captaincy skills that kept him in as long as he was. Clarkey won that battle and now there is no need for him there as they will be moulding the team to fit this. What CA is looking for is someone that is up to the task, that gives their best when handed an opportunity, which is exactly what Lyon has done. He deserves a shot where every other spinner before him has failed on this basis. Test cricket needs people not playing within their shells.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | July 29, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    I don't mind Nathan Lyon in the team. Michael Beer is seriously stupid though. But then comes the sheer stupidity - no Doug Bollinger, Clint McKay or John Hastings. And let's not forget no Simon Katich. And they still refuse to pick Dan Christian. Oh dear. You can build a team without sacrificing on the quality of the team you are building. Does it really help that the selectors have decided to forfeit a very winnable series just for the sake of the distant future?

  • POSTED BY Puffin on | July 29, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    CA still seem to be stuck in the mindset that tells them if they dig hard enough in enough places, they can unearth the next Shane Warne and happy days will be back again. Never mind about having a long-term strategy and patient teambuilding. They need to realise it may be a very long time before they get a spinner like him again, and it would be better to concentrate on some of the their other problems that can be fixed a little easier. Otherwise stand by for more sad and bemused headshaking from onlookers.

  • POSTED BY bhushanjain78007 on | July 29, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    It can't happen , a team who ruled the world for almost a decade , suddenly left with Hobson's choice. Fire Tim Nielson , he is of no use.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 10:02 GMT

    If players like Cameron, who have prolonged their careers only due to the blind faith shown by the selectors, are questioning the present selection policies then definitely there is something very wrong with this selection panel. Seems like this circus will go on until Australia hits the bottom of the rankings.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    What the hell are they doing?!? They're totally clueless. Where is Nathan Hauritz? He caused England all sorts of problems yet they discarded him for not bowling out India who are the best players of spin in the world. They're like headless chickens. A guy with 4 first class games and an average of 40 is going to go round the park. Bring back Hauritz!

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    All because Nathan Lyon is picked in the squad doesn't mean he'll play a test, he'll be there for experience like they do with all young talent. I agree the selectors are making some strange decisions but if you are looking to the future you need to pick young. Lets face it Shield cricket is it that strong anymore.

  • POSTED BY kasyapm on | July 29, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Is Nathan Hauritz still injured? or hasn't he picked up form. I am an Indian and do not know the current form of Beer or Lyon, but Hauritz seemed the best of the lot tried so far. Atleast he had success in Australia. May be they should have persisted with him for some more time.

  • POSTED BY RohCricket on | July 29, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    theys hould do exactly what they did in the 80's. identify a group of talented players and make them the nucleus of the team. this current approach is rubbish. i like the look of lyon however. hope they at least let him settle and give him the time he needs to flourish. there is no quick-fix.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Greg Chappell is capable of causing total mayhem in a very short time. Aussie fans beware!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY yorkslanka on | July 29, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    i absolutely agree with white's comments..i dont see the point of having centrally contracted players if you are going to pick from outside that bunch..if you want to try a new player, isnt that what "A" teams are there for?

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | July 29, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    " Both Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, and Greg Chappell, the national talent manager and selector, have stated that their present policy is to cast around widely in the hope that certain players will show immediate signs of becoming top class performers." .. Ha ha ha !!! Sounds a bit hit and miss to me..."Hey Andrew, this guy looks pretty good... he's just scored a 20 ball 50 in a recent T20 match" "Great Greg.. let's sling him into the test team and see how he goes"

  • POSTED BY duck_season on | July 29, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Sadly, the clowns at Cricket Australia are hellbent on turning us into the laughing stock of the cricketing world. Their blatant disregard for the first class competition and going over the top trying to emulate the IPL is very disheartening. Meanwhile England are a settled side, with stable leadership and with a clear priority on the longer form of the game. Sutherland, Hilditch and Nielson need to be shown the door.

  • POSTED BY rustyryan on | July 29, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Thanks Greg You're doing a fantastic job for every other countries except Australia.. :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    As an Indian I should say i am very surprised by what has been happening in Aus cricket in the recent times.Despite CA's tall claims for the love of test cricket Aus landed in India (of all places) to play a 2 match test series while England was already travelling around Australia and practicing.The series resulted in a 2-0 defeat,a lot of flak and injury to a key bowler.Through out the Ashes series Selectors came up with errors (well documented)and what is shocking is that THEY ARE STILL SELECTING!!!doherty may never play a test match again but those who selected him are STILL SELECTING SPINNERS FOR TESTS.how can one believe they will do better when they have demonstrated they dont have the skill to select.And just think Hilditch has been at the helm for 5 years or so now still he is learning..!!!OMG should say we thought things were very professional down under and accountability a key word.As a cricket lover i feel disappointed..and about Greg Chappell..well..you know wat i l say

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | July 29, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    it makes perfect sense, t20 players like lyon can develop into test cricket stars instead of developing into sheffield shield cricket stars first.

  • POSTED BY Green_and_Gold on | July 29, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Regarding the comments on spinners "To be honest no-one has taken their opportunity and made it their own yet." I am bemused that they can say that when they have turned over 12 spinners in recent times. Feel that Hauritz is hard done by, I know he isnt a great spinner however if they had stuck with him he would at least be experienced (and hopfully more confident) in the test arena. While he is playing the selectors could then be targeting the youth and watching how they perform at state level. Its almost like they are treating a test series as a job interview and when they dont perform then they are out. Cant wait for the findings of this review to be published, i sense some changes happening.

  • POSTED BY boris6491 on | July 29, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    The selectors are so flustered by Australia's fall from grace that they are panicking and really, to us ardent Australin fans, conducting a lottery with every state player in the hat for spots in the team. It is out of sheer desperation, and all it proves is that the selectors don't have a clue about selecting. Last I remember, our society is such that those who don't know how to do a job aren't usually kept in the job. Replace the selectors, specifically Hilditch who really has no idea. White highlights only one of many concerns in Australian cricket but when you come down to the core issues, all of them revolve around selection. Guys like White and Hodge, who also came up with a statement of his own on the declining state of test cricket, have been around for ages, they've been a part of yesteryear when Australia were the best and, despite fantastic state performances, couldn't get a run in the team because the selectors picked the best. Ask Hodge about it. Selection committee to go.

  • POSTED BY Yevghenny on | July 29, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    Is Hauritz really that bad? What's the point throwing all these club cricketers in, and what was the point dropping Steve Smith, or should I say, what was the point sticking him in at number 6 in the ashes series if he was going to be dropped for the next one? Bit of panic for the aussie selectors at the moment - first time they've had any work to do for over 10 years

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    Bart Hurst; you are !00% right if we don't have a spinner don't play one there's no rule saying you must have a spinner. I do have to say this though everyone look at Stephen O'Keefe's stats as the Australian selectors continue to pick spinners that have proven to be useless in the longer format continue to over look someone who has 52wks in 14 matches at an avg of 24 an econ of 2.83 and a strike rate of just 51. Every single important part of spin bowling covered not to forget 544 runs at an avg of 36 with 4 50's. I just don't get it.

  • POSTED BY unregisteredalien on | July 29, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Meety: exactly! Remember Shane Warne and Brad Hogg? That seemed to work pretty well.

    Everyone else who isn't Hilditch or Chappell: exactly! Maybe those two guys think there will be a eureka moment and a star will be discovered and their methods will be instantly vindicated, but that moment hasn't come yet and in the meantime more and more damage is being done to Australian cricket.

    And props once again to Brettig for telling it how it is.

  • POSTED BY correctcall on | July 29, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    There is a lot riding on the Argus report. England and India have structures that are ahead of Aussie. Fingers crossed this rethink can leapfrog them again. Re spinner solution - follow England and import what you need - lots of Indians and Pakistan spinners would be delighted to migrate to Australia - I think the Aus immigration policy is skills based isn't it ? Think about it Greg Chapel

  • POSTED BY seagrip on | July 29, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Well done Cameron, putting your neck on the line for the good of the team. It would be great if other members of the team(s) could also come out and criticise the selectors and their pathetic selection process. If there was enough unrest publicly displayed by senior members of the team it would force them out (hopefully Argus will take care of this pleeeeeease). Bye bye hilditch and chappell.....thanks for all your inconpetence & putting us 4 places down the world rankings and slowly destroying our position in all formats of the game. Close the door on your way out.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    Fully agreed with cameron white. Lyon, who has got highest of 35 compared with all forms of game should'nt have picked. Not only in Australia , this is happening in all the world that players are selected on basic of T20 for test side ..

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    I'm as confused as Cameron White. They are plucking players (especially bowlers specialising in spin) from anywhere and, despite what the coach says, it signifies instability. Australian cricket may have to accept the fact that before we reach the top again, we'll probably have to go through some rough patches first. It's part-and-parcel of top-class cricket... can't say say the same though about bowlers averaging in the 40s throughout their First-Class careers, then getting picked to play Tests.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 29, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    OUCH!!!! Looks like Cameron White has given up any chance of playing Test cricket for Australia, and that he doesn't want to be Aus T20 captain either. It looks like open warfare. @hyclass is going to have a field day.

  • POSTED BY Truemans_Ghost on | July 29, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    The headline says it all......

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 29, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Dunno why we need a spinner who "...can take us forward in all three forms of the game," I'd be happy for one in each format. If they'd just said to themselves Doherty will be a great short form bowler & left it at that - I think there was scope for a better Ashes result. Anyways maybe the scattergun approach may pull a rabbit out of the hat?

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Having a spinner who averages 40+ will always result in less wickets than a seamer who averages in the high 20s. what a joke. If there are no good spin bowlers, don't pick a spin bowler.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    "It seems as though the door is open for everyone in first-class cricket, one day cricket, and Twenty20 cricket to play Test cricket, if that makes any sense." - It certainly doesn't. But its definitely happening

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 6:55 GMT

    "It seems as though the door is open for everyone in first-class cricket, one day cricket, and Twenty20 cricket to play Test cricket, if that makes any sense." - It certainly doesn't. But its definitely happening

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Having a spinner who averages 40+ will always result in less wickets than a seamer who averages in the high 20s. what a joke. If there are no good spin bowlers, don't pick a spin bowler.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | July 29, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Dunno why we need a spinner who "...can take us forward in all three forms of the game," I'd be happy for one in each format. If they'd just said to themselves Doherty will be a great short form bowler & left it at that - I think there was scope for a better Ashes result. Anyways maybe the scattergun approach may pull a rabbit out of the hat?

  • POSTED BY Truemans_Ghost on | July 29, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    The headline says it all......

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 29, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    OUCH!!!! Looks like Cameron White has given up any chance of playing Test cricket for Australia, and that he doesn't want to be Aus T20 captain either. It looks like open warfare. @hyclass is going to have a field day.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    I'm as confused as Cameron White. They are plucking players (especially bowlers specialising in spin) from anywhere and, despite what the coach says, it signifies instability. Australian cricket may have to accept the fact that before we reach the top again, we'll probably have to go through some rough patches first. It's part-and-parcel of top-class cricket... can't say say the same though about bowlers averaging in the 40s throughout their First-Class careers, then getting picked to play Tests.

  • POSTED BY on | July 29, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    Fully agreed with cameron white. Lyon, who has got highest of 35 compared with all forms of game should'nt have picked. Not only in Australia , this is happening in all the world that players are selected on basic of T20 for test side ..

  • POSTED BY seagrip on | July 29, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    Well done Cameron, putting your neck on the line for the good of the team. It would be great if other members of the team(s) could also come out and criticise the selectors and their pathetic selection process. If there was enough unrest publicly displayed by senior members of the team it would force them out (hopefully Argus will take care of this pleeeeeease). Bye bye hilditch and chappell.....thanks for all your inconpetence & putting us 4 places down the world rankings and slowly destroying our position in all formats of the game. Close the door on your way out.

  • POSTED BY correctcall on | July 29, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    There is a lot riding on the Argus report. England and India have structures that are ahead of Aussie. Fingers crossed this rethink can leapfrog them again. Re spinner solution - follow England and import what you need - lots of Indians and Pakistan spinners would be delighted to migrate to Australia - I think the Aus immigration policy is skills based isn't it ? Think about it Greg Chapel

  • POSTED BY unregisteredalien on | July 29, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Meety: exactly! Remember Shane Warne and Brad Hogg? That seemed to work pretty well.

    Everyone else who isn't Hilditch or Chappell: exactly! Maybe those two guys think there will be a eureka moment and a star will be discovered and their methods will be instantly vindicated, but that moment hasn't come yet and in the meantime more and more damage is being done to Australian cricket.

    And props once again to Brettig for telling it how it is.