The Ashes 2010-11 November 14, 2010

Injured Clarke and batting form concern Australia

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Michael Clarke's back and the form of the batsmen are Australia's biggest issues ahead of the first Ashes squad announcement in Sydney on Monday. Clarke's long-standing disc problem flared in his century for New South Wales and he winced in pain during his second-innings 39, which secured a draw for the Blues on Saturday.

Clarke has dismissed the complaint as minor, but his reactions and the speed of his running showed it was serious. It is unlikely he will be risked for New South Wales against Tasmania this week, but at least he knows he is in form.

Apart from Marcus North, Clarke is the only Australia batsman to own a century in the domestic competition this summer. Since returning from India, North has first-class scores of 10, 101, 19 and 1, while Michael Hussey managed just three runs in two Sheffield Shield innings against South Australia. Hussey did produce an ODI half-century against Sri Lanka, but he has registered only 112 runs in his past six Test innings. Both Western Australians have strong supporters in the selection panel.

The opener Shane Watson got starts of 20 and 15 against Victoria while Brad Haddin finished that game strongly with a patient and unbeaten 61. In Hobart Ricky Ponting collected 32 and 5 during a match occurring at the same time as England's batsmen, particularly Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss, were running into strong form.

While his team-mates struggled to find their touch in the domestic arena, Simon Katich hadn't even made it that far due to a thumb broken in India. Katich turned out for his grade club Randwick-Petersham on Saturday and scored 94, which was a promising sign, but the intensity can't be compared to what he will face at the Gabba on November 25. His next step is to play for the Blues in their Shield game at the SCG on Wednesday.

Australian selectors have been reluctant to include extra batsmen in their home squads unless they are covering for injured men. If Clarke's fitness is already a significant concern Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson are the most likely candidates. Khawaja, who toured England with the Test squad during the winter, has the stronger claims due to his 339 first-class runs at 84.75, which put him second on the domestic list behind Andrew McDonald.

The players have another round of Shield matches this week - and an Australia A game against England - but the performances will come too late to influence the selectors for Brisbane. Cricket Australia's marketing commitments mean the team will be named on Monday, 10 days before the opening Test. Andrew Hilditch, the selection chairman, will announce the squad at the Sydney Opera House in a free event, which will give an indication of how much local interest is in the series.

Hilditch spoke last week about wanting only four fast bowlers in the squad, but the excellent return of Ryan Harris in Hobart over the past week may convince him to pick a 13-man outfit. Queensland's Harris, who is back after knee surgery, took a career-best nine wickets for the game and had the bonus of starring in front of Ponting.

Mitchell Johnson remains Hilditch's preferred man as attack leader and Ben Hilfenhaus and Nathan Hauritz are the other bowling certainties. Peter Siddle is fit but not yet firing after a back stress fracture, but he has been a favourite of the panel over the past two years. He has 13 domestic wickets in three matches, including four against the Blues.

Like Katich, Doug Bollinger played in Sydney grade cricket on Saturday, taking 1 for 30 in his first game since hurting his stomach in the Mohali Test. It's not ideal preparation for facing England, but Bollinger is not alone in being under-done.

Likely squad Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Marcus North, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Deuwl on November 15, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    Aussies need to get realistic about this. The team hasn't performed too bad concerning the batting as the hype from media and other sources indicate. The main problems with the batting are the lower middle order: Hussey & North. I believe North has failed to impress me as a consistent batsmen at this level. I think its past time we give the likes of Ferguson or Khawaja a go.

    Bowling: Our bowling is what is the main problem. Johnson is just too inconsistent and can't swing the bowl. We lost to India recently due to the main fact their bowlers swung the bowl and ours didn't apart from Hilfenhaus. The bowling needs to be revamped with Siddle, Hilfenhaus and Bollinger + spinner (I don't like Hauritz, but I don't have a clue who can replace him)

    My side: S.Watson, S.Katich, R.Ponting, M.Clarke, U.Khawaja, C.Ferguson, Haddin, Harris, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger (yes I wouldn't play a spinner in the 1st Test as I don't think we have a spinner of Test level in Australia at the moment)

  • Meety on November 15, 2010, 2:13 GMT

    @Simon Jessup - well said matey, but you musn't say anything negative about India's #1 ranking, it will end in tears! @outsiders - maybe right about North & Hussey, but Punter won't be dropped unless he gets about 6 ducks & a series aggreagate of less then 20 runs. @phoenixsteve - good on you! I hope your dissappointed by the end of the Sydney Test though!!! @ashes61 - the pessimism is that many people believe the best side won't get selected, because the selection panel are a bit daft! @Wato_90 - agreed except O'Keefe can't even get a game with NSW (I am a big fan of his).

  • MasterBlaster74 on November 15, 2010, 1:10 GMT

    So the Australian Ashes squad was announced today. Usman Khwaja deserves selection, but look what the selectors have done to the career of Phillip Hughes. Hang your heads in Shame selectors. A guy scores 89 of less balls against NZ and then gets dropped. Hilditch must go.

  • Andy_New_York on November 15, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    @Simon Jessup, "I am not sure India has won any series outside subcontinent". FYI, India has won last series in England, New Zealand, West Indies. The only countries outside subcontinent, they did not win their last series are South africa and Australia(courtsey Buknor). Please update your cricket knowledge.

  • Marcio on November 15, 2010, 0:22 GMT

    I find some of the comments about Phillip Hughes illogical, to say the least. He has an unorthodox style. So, what happens when he gets out playing an unorthodox stroke? "Hughes dismissal confirmed concerns that his unorthodox style." (that's what the media report said of his last NSW game) How silly is that! When Michael Clarke gets out people don't write that his orthodox style got him out, and he averages fewer runs! Hugges averages 51 in tests and 55 in first class games. He is a very successful batsman. If you bat unorthodox you get out unorthodox, if you bat orthodox you get out orthodox. Doh! Runs are runs, no matter how you score them.

  • srivatsan on November 15, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    @ashes61 As an Aussie fan I'm realistic not pessimistic (or) optimistic. This team has zero qualities that made Australian team of the 90's. I think they need a major purge and it will come after they lose Ashes (2-1 if Ponting/Watto and Katich score, I don't have any doubts whatsoever that Clarke/Hussey will score or 3-0 if batting fails. Even a 5-0 is a remote possibility (assuming none of the 5 tests is not washed out).

  • on November 15, 2010, 0:10 GMT

    So Mcdonald gets 2 hundreds and we are talking about 3 fella's from NSW? Am i watching a different game? Test team should be this Watson, M Hussey (make him open as he has 10,00 fist class runs there and say last chance) Ponting, Clarke, North, Mcdonald, Haddin, Johnson, Hilfenhaus, Harris, Siddle, Hughes 12th man. Clarke and North can spin enough for the Gabba. make Hauritz go get some wickets ready for Adelaide, melb and syd. Hussey fails, play hughes in perth.

  • wato_90 on November 14, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    First of all, this talk of doherty playing test cricket needs to stop. He only became a regular first class player for Tasmania this year, and still has a career average of 40. Krezya cant get a spot before him and becomes redundant. Smith is merely a batsmen who can bowl spin, a bit like White however I do not think his form warrants a spot at the moment. I think O'keefe is the future however need more first class experience. Hughes isnt really firing for NSW and has only ever opened and thats the one position in the Australian team that seems to be settled with Ponting also number 3 (with his captaincy not spot having question marks). The ideal team would be Watson, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Khawaja, White, Haddin (I still believe Wade should be his understudy not Paine), Hauritz, Hilfhenhaus, Harris, Bollinger with a back up bastmen of Ferguson, back up keeper of Wade, back up all rounder McDonald and back up bowlers of Johnson, Siddle and perhaps O'Keefe.

  • ashes61 on November 14, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    Well, as a Pom reading this thread, I feel like an intruder at a stanger's funeral! Very strange remarks to read, coming from proud Aussies just before an Ashes series. Although the England side has improved and is certainly better organised than in 2006/07, and many great Aussies have retired, I think your pessimism is a bit premature. The fact remains that Oz are playing in front of their own crowds, in familiar conditions and in temperatures which any Pom will find tough. AND Ponting's men have a great incentive - winning back the urn. (No disrespect to India fans here when I say that competing for ICC rankings simply doesn't compare - nor does ANY W/Cup).

    Let's hope for a great rubber - it should at least be closer than last time over there! Respective preparations for each team & early media hype notwithstanding, all things point to a close tussle. Amazed at commercial reasons behind early Brisbane selection, though - but that's modern sport, I suppose. C'mon you Poms!

  • on November 14, 2010, 20:22 GMT

    Stop putting blokes in based on what they have done in the past, start living in the now! Swap one Hussey for another Hussey and we will see the younger perform brilliantly, if Australian selectors had of used younger players and trialed new blood on a regular occasion we wouldnt be sitting here wondering who to put in a team when half the squad loses form or gets injured, the squad should be something like: Watson, Katich, Hughes, Khawaja, Fergurson, D.Hussey, White, Payne, Harris, Starc, Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger, Smith. thats looking a lot better than the current squad, maybe few ins and outs but at least give the future a go.

  • Deuwl on November 15, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    Aussies need to get realistic about this. The team hasn't performed too bad concerning the batting as the hype from media and other sources indicate. The main problems with the batting are the lower middle order: Hussey & North. I believe North has failed to impress me as a consistent batsmen at this level. I think its past time we give the likes of Ferguson or Khawaja a go.

    Bowling: Our bowling is what is the main problem. Johnson is just too inconsistent and can't swing the bowl. We lost to India recently due to the main fact their bowlers swung the bowl and ours didn't apart from Hilfenhaus. The bowling needs to be revamped with Siddle, Hilfenhaus and Bollinger + spinner (I don't like Hauritz, but I don't have a clue who can replace him)

    My side: S.Watson, S.Katich, R.Ponting, M.Clarke, U.Khawaja, C.Ferguson, Haddin, Harris, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger (yes I wouldn't play a spinner in the 1st Test as I don't think we have a spinner of Test level in Australia at the moment)

  • Meety on November 15, 2010, 2:13 GMT

    @Simon Jessup - well said matey, but you musn't say anything negative about India's #1 ranking, it will end in tears! @outsiders - maybe right about North & Hussey, but Punter won't be dropped unless he gets about 6 ducks & a series aggreagate of less then 20 runs. @phoenixsteve - good on you! I hope your dissappointed by the end of the Sydney Test though!!! @ashes61 - the pessimism is that many people believe the best side won't get selected, because the selection panel are a bit daft! @Wato_90 - agreed except O'Keefe can't even get a game with NSW (I am a big fan of his).

  • MasterBlaster74 on November 15, 2010, 1:10 GMT

    So the Australian Ashes squad was announced today. Usman Khwaja deserves selection, but look what the selectors have done to the career of Phillip Hughes. Hang your heads in Shame selectors. A guy scores 89 of less balls against NZ and then gets dropped. Hilditch must go.

  • Andy_New_York on November 15, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    @Simon Jessup, "I am not sure India has won any series outside subcontinent". FYI, India has won last series in England, New Zealand, West Indies. The only countries outside subcontinent, they did not win their last series are South africa and Australia(courtsey Buknor). Please update your cricket knowledge.

  • Marcio on November 15, 2010, 0:22 GMT

    I find some of the comments about Phillip Hughes illogical, to say the least. He has an unorthodox style. So, what happens when he gets out playing an unorthodox stroke? "Hughes dismissal confirmed concerns that his unorthodox style." (that's what the media report said of his last NSW game) How silly is that! When Michael Clarke gets out people don't write that his orthodox style got him out, and he averages fewer runs! Hugges averages 51 in tests and 55 in first class games. He is a very successful batsman. If you bat unorthodox you get out unorthodox, if you bat orthodox you get out orthodox. Doh! Runs are runs, no matter how you score them.

  • srivatsan on November 15, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    @ashes61 As an Aussie fan I'm realistic not pessimistic (or) optimistic. This team has zero qualities that made Australian team of the 90's. I think they need a major purge and it will come after they lose Ashes (2-1 if Ponting/Watto and Katich score, I don't have any doubts whatsoever that Clarke/Hussey will score or 3-0 if batting fails. Even a 5-0 is a remote possibility (assuming none of the 5 tests is not washed out).

  • on November 15, 2010, 0:10 GMT

    So Mcdonald gets 2 hundreds and we are talking about 3 fella's from NSW? Am i watching a different game? Test team should be this Watson, M Hussey (make him open as he has 10,00 fist class runs there and say last chance) Ponting, Clarke, North, Mcdonald, Haddin, Johnson, Hilfenhaus, Harris, Siddle, Hughes 12th man. Clarke and North can spin enough for the Gabba. make Hauritz go get some wickets ready for Adelaide, melb and syd. Hussey fails, play hughes in perth.

  • wato_90 on November 14, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    First of all, this talk of doherty playing test cricket needs to stop. He only became a regular first class player for Tasmania this year, and still has a career average of 40. Krezya cant get a spot before him and becomes redundant. Smith is merely a batsmen who can bowl spin, a bit like White however I do not think his form warrants a spot at the moment. I think O'keefe is the future however need more first class experience. Hughes isnt really firing for NSW and has only ever opened and thats the one position in the Australian team that seems to be settled with Ponting also number 3 (with his captaincy not spot having question marks). The ideal team would be Watson, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Khawaja, White, Haddin (I still believe Wade should be his understudy not Paine), Hauritz, Hilfhenhaus, Harris, Bollinger with a back up bastmen of Ferguson, back up keeper of Wade, back up all rounder McDonald and back up bowlers of Johnson, Siddle and perhaps O'Keefe.

  • ashes61 on November 14, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    Well, as a Pom reading this thread, I feel like an intruder at a stanger's funeral! Very strange remarks to read, coming from proud Aussies just before an Ashes series. Although the England side has improved and is certainly better organised than in 2006/07, and many great Aussies have retired, I think your pessimism is a bit premature. The fact remains that Oz are playing in front of their own crowds, in familiar conditions and in temperatures which any Pom will find tough. AND Ponting's men have a great incentive - winning back the urn. (No disrespect to India fans here when I say that competing for ICC rankings simply doesn't compare - nor does ANY W/Cup).

    Let's hope for a great rubber - it should at least be closer than last time over there! Respective preparations for each team & early media hype notwithstanding, all things point to a close tussle. Amazed at commercial reasons behind early Brisbane selection, though - but that's modern sport, I suppose. C'mon you Poms!

  • on November 14, 2010, 20:22 GMT

    Stop putting blokes in based on what they have done in the past, start living in the now! Swap one Hussey for another Hussey and we will see the younger perform brilliantly, if Australian selectors had of used younger players and trialed new blood on a regular occasion we wouldnt be sitting here wondering who to put in a team when half the squad loses form or gets injured, the squad should be something like: Watson, Katich, Hughes, Khawaja, Fergurson, D.Hussey, White, Payne, Harris, Starc, Siddle, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger, Smith. thats looking a lot better than the current squad, maybe few ins and outs but at least give the future a go.

  • Beertjie on November 14, 2010, 20:09 GMT

    Trying to second guess moribund derelicts is a waste of time so I'll take @balders line and suggest a XV to tour SA next October: Watson, Hughes, Ponting, Clarke, Khawaja, Smith, Paine, O'Keefe, Harris, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, Siddle, Krejza, Starc, Ferguson. Here's too Ashes success despite Hilditch & Co, but if CA can't see the writing on the wall, we'll get what we deserve and hit rock-bottom like we did till the '89 resurrection!

  • phoenixsteve on November 14, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    All but the most partisan/ignorant must see that the form book points to England doing well in the forthcoming Test series? Sometimes I read these comments and wonder if these peope know anything about this great game? Too many are using the Ashes as a vehicle to air their anti-Austrailia/anti England prejudice! It's such a shame as sport has the ability to unite people and nations - but an open mind is needed. As someone once said "the mind is like a parachute.... it works best when fully open" As an England supporter I believe the signs are encouraging for a good showing from England and the RETENTION of the Ashes..... but may the best side win. We all suspect that the Aussied will raise their game - but will it be enough? COME ON ENGLAND!

  • on November 14, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    Australia will win the ashes no matter what team they put on the field cause they still have that aussie flair in them and they won't let the poms take the ashes from their home that easy cause england batting wasn't at its best in the summer and the bowling apart from swaan isn't going to harm aussie batsmen. so ashes coming back to australia !!!!

  • swervin on November 14, 2010, 16:25 GMT

    i am not sure what to do about the batting line-up but hussey and north are on borrowed time....but i think harris has to play, seems to have a great record...sounds like he probably won't though - seems to be stupid that australian selectors sort of classify bowlers as one-day specialists like they can only bowl 10 overs or something

  • on November 14, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    Australia Pls Consider David Hussey. I Bet, He will win the Game For You!

  • Gapsted on November 14, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    What more does Andrew McDonald have to do?!?! Some of the current Australian team must have incriminating photos on the Australian Selectors. Hughes is liability and always will be ... and yet he continues to be considered ... he must have some of the same photos. Xavier Doherty is the answer to our spin worries ... either that or bring back Warnie!

  • on November 14, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    "but I guess what typifies this joke is having your spearhead bowler as first change because he wastes the new ball, cant be trusted to make the batsmen play and admits that swing is a mystery to him" Very well said @morethan20-20! Pathetic that the strike bowler doesn't take the new ball. And for everyone wanting McDonald, at the moment he just can't fit in the team because we have Watson. We're not going to play to medium allrounders, so its just unlucky because you can't really fault Watson too much since his recall to the test team. I would play Katich Watson Ponting Clarke Hussey Khawaja Paine Haurtiz Harris Hilfy Bollinger in my team. I used to put White in the middle order, but his batting hasn't been what it used to be. I hope he can get better in the first class cricket because he would be one of Australia's finest captains if he can be a test regular.

  • RJHB on November 14, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Can't believe the early naming of the aussie test squad is all for a frivilous marketing event! If ever there was an indication that Australian cricket has its eye off its game, this is it! The Poms will be loving this. Meantime, Hussey ain't making runs, North is still century or nothing, Ponting's looking old, Johnson is bowling like an english county circuit pie slinger, and the young guns can't get a sniff! There's a whiff of 86/87 about all this.

  • on November 14, 2010, 10:52 GMT

    As an Englishman with fond memories of Illingworth's and Gatting's teams I would love to believe that England will win. I'm not so sure. Ponting is in decline, 50s rather than 150s, Hussey and North don't seem to be making enough runs either. However, I just can't believe that Cook, Pieterson and Bell will be consistent enough for us to win.

  • outsiders on November 14, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    one thing is certain - if aussies are trailing by the time they get to the boxing day or sydney test - AND hussey or north haven't impressed with the bat they r goners ... and if Ponting fails to Win he is GONE!

  • baldster on November 14, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    Predicting a side for this coming Ashes is too difficult and somewhat pointless as the selectors won't change a thing, unless forced to by retirements ala Damien Martyn or through injury. I will though, pick a test team I feel could be picked by or before the NEXT home series. 1)Hughes 2)Watson 3)Clarke 4)Khawaja 5)Fergusson 6)White?/Marsh/Smith/Someone... 7)Haddin/Pain 8)Spinner? 9)Harris 10) Bollinger 11) Hilfenhaus Hauritz, Krezja, Johnson, Starc, Marsh, Maddinson, Siddle, George and a few others will all still be around and placing pressure on these players. Hopefully a few more emerge or reemerge and can place some real pressure on these guys also. So we can get some competition for places. Should be an interesting few years for Australian Fans.

  • on November 14, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    @ Chrislawrencev dude don ya need steve waugh n ll ??? symonds brett lee r retried

  • Les46 on November 14, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    The Australian Ashes team for Brisbane should not see any surprise changes by the selectors. With Bollinger, Haddin and Harris (Ryan) injury free, the twelve will likely be: Katich, Watson, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, North, Haddin, Hauritz, Harris, Johnson, Hilfenhaus and Bollinger. If Clarke's back keeps him out, a likely replacement could come from Hughes, Khawaja or Ferguson. Andrew McDonald, Stephen O'Keefe, Trent Copeland and Mark Cameron might feature in the series later on. Peter Siddle may need to demonstrate more of the ability that he has already shown before he could expect a recall. Lester Martin, Canberra,

  • Iceborn999 on November 14, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    If Mitch Johnson, Hauritz or North play.... we will lose..... Watson, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Khawaja, McDonald, Haddin, Doherty, Harris, Bollinger, Siddle......... There is our best team. Why is Boon a selector ??.. why was Merv a selector??... both guys were notorious boozehounds... no wonder we started to lose... must of had a few too many pints while selecting our team!!!!.

  • suid111 on November 14, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    I only way Aussies are gonna even try of winning Ashes back is getting back Symonds.. Player of His calibre left out for some Discipline reason.. He adds so much into the side..

    Get in Brett Lee / Shaun tait

    Playin Eleven

    Shanewatson Simon Katich Ricky Ponting Michael Clark Micheal Hussey Andrew Symonds Brad Haddin Doug Bollinger Brett Lee/Shaun tait Peter Siddle Bil Hilfenhaus

    Not including Nathan hauritz believing Symo/Clarki can share Spin responiblities///

  • on November 14, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Not sure who seeking alpha supports but either way the comments are strange. there is nothing between numbers 2 and 5 in the ratings so SA are not that far ahead of the ashes combatants. India are a little way ahead but I amnot sure if they have ever won a series outside the sub continent. So you have SA at home (where they could not beat England and lost to Australia) against India who travel about as well as 50 year old skoda. I'll stick with the ashes thanks. PS check the gates for the respective games.

  • Chrislawrencev on November 14, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    I am suggesting a cracker of a squad for the Ashes 1)Simon Katich 2)Shane Watson 3)Ricky Ponting 4)Micheal Clarke 5)Micheal Hussey 6)Andrew Symonds 7)Mitchell Johnson 8)Jason Krejza 9)Brett Lee 10)Shaun Tait

  • PeteB on November 14, 2010, 8:46 GMT

    Our problems are much more to do with bowling than batting.

    Can't understand the infatuation with Smith. A decent bat, but not one of the 6 or 7 best in the country. A brilliant fielder. But more importantly, an average leggie, a work in progress. He's not good enough yet. He would be a lamb to the slaughter against the poms.

    As for Johnson, his return to grade cricket has been a worry. There's no harm in returning to state and grade cricket to get one's mojo back. If he bowls well he'll win matches. But if as seems quite probable, he bowls bad, then he'll go for 6 runs an over and put pressure on the other bowlers.

  • Criketanand on November 14, 2010, 8:40 GMT

    @Biggus well said. i totally agree with u mate. we all are fighting without a reason. we can all follow our own teams and their fortunes. no need to fight about who is best or not as at any particular time any team could be performing well or not but no need to dish out at other peoples teams just because of what we think is good well said biggus and i would urge other countries fans, if they love cricket then just watch cricket but dont try to prove that ur favorite team is the best as we never know when the results will go against our teams :-D

  • kishorekr on November 14, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    This Aussie team is in decline. Neither its batting nor its bowling inspires any degree of confidence. Loss of form of its key players (a couple of whom are nearing the end of their careers) has compounded the already serious inroads made by converging retirement of seven stalwarts, of which some were also all-time great cricketers. So the situation is very similar to the early to mid eighties period, when Australia struggled against the major nations precisely due to similar circumstances.

    So, what is now needed is what Alan Border did so painstakingly then - rebuild the side with youngsters overcoming many reverses along the way. But until Australia can find the likes of David Boon, Geoff Marsh, Dean Jones, Craig McDermott besides Border himself, who spearheaded their revival in the 2nd half of eighties, that possibility would appear quite far-fetched.

  • Chris_Howard on November 14, 2010, 8:30 GMT

    How about this for a team... Katich Hughes, Ponting, Clarke, Kwahja, Watson, Haddin, Hauritz, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger, Starc. That's a fairly decent and not unlikely team. Two from tasmania, and 9 from NSW. Almost a selector's dream team. But for those cynics who think NSW players get too easy a run to the national team, we could drop Haddin and Hauritz for Paine and Doherty, two more Tasmanians - who seem to have had a much better deal since Ponting and Boon joined forces.

  • on November 14, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    it seems like the australian selectors are picking players according to their potential and for their reputation and not their form. I read Hussey has averaged under 40 for his last 30+ tests. For a batsman who plays at 4 and 5, this number is significantly below par. Same goes for Marcus North who hasn't done anything to warrant him being a regular player in the team. Mitchell Johnson also (although i don't think the selectors have much choice with him). Even Ricky Ponting's batting has declined significantly in recent years, well below what is to be expected from a no.3 batsman.

    The selectors should start rewarding players at state level who are in form, such as Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, Ryan Harris, Dave Hussey and Andrew McDonald. Instead of persisting with players who are constantly producing sub par results, why not pick players who are at the peak of their game and scoring runs consistently.

  • David47 on November 14, 2010, 8:20 GMT

    I agree with Peter English - that will be the likely squad - the LOSING squad (apart from Harris, who should be first bowler picked but won't be). I have said before that if we go in with any two of Johnson, Siddle and Hauritz we're toast - all three will be selected in the 11 - we're toast. Only Watson, Ponting, Clark, Hilfy, Harris and Dougie would be in my side. Let all Aus fans on these blogs challenge the selectors! Most of us have jobs - right? If we don't perform over an extended period of time, we lose our jobs - right? Apart from Chappell, these selectors have taken us from #1 to #5 over the last few years. Let Hilditch, Boon and Cox write letters of resignation and put them in their bottom draws. If/when we lose the Ashes, they take the letters out and hand them over - how about that??

  • Biggus on November 14, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    @Seaking_alpha-With all due respect mate, you are free to follow any game or series you like (as are we, incidentally). What do you expect that your comment will achieve? Do you imagine that we Aussies and English will be so chastened by your input as to not follow our national teams until they are again major forces? You have to take the bad as well as the good, and we've been happily doing this for 133 years now. The teams ranked above us by the ICC have their own supporters who make plenty of noise on their behalf and don't need our input. We will undoubtedly be looking at the results of other international games with interest but don't expect us to start supporting your team (whichever that is) as we already have our own and are quite satisfied with our lot. Honestly mate, if you don't 'like'.....then don't 'look'. Then you may not feel compelled to leave these silly "who cares!!!" comments that look childish, not incisive or intelligent as you may think.

  • Alok505 on November 14, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    aussie need to go by this team katich ,watson,ponting,hussy,clarke,ferguson,haddin,smith,mcdonald,johnson,bollinger...otherwise its england time to hold asses....

  • Alok505 on November 14, 2010, 7:06 GMT

    aussies need rethink in about there batting ....bcoz i think england hav a better bowling attack this time they may go with extra batsman , so bcoz englsih batsmen can also get out to aussies allrounders... my team will be Watson,katich,ponting,hussy,clarke,ferguson,haddin,smith,mcdonald,johnson,bollinger,... hauritz should nt make it smith ...who know can be handy in bat even in bowl as well ..if this squad will take then ..aussies are going to win or drew every matches otherwise its englisg team's time..to celebrate

  • PcDadda on November 14, 2010, 6:44 GMT

    Punter is on his way to becoming the first Australian captain ever to lose 3 Ashes series !!! With Mitch Johnson as the bowling spearhead, Aussies can forget about the Ashes. Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, Harris with Watto as the supporting seamer make a much more potent pace attack.

  • on November 14, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    I believed Greg Chappel would have been a bold selector favoring young players. But I dont know why he still dont want to go for the younger player and supporting the old horses? Current players are once good but they cannot win the Ashes now. Ponting is really struggling, but just surviving with his confidence. North he fires once in 10 match. Hussey, when he started his Test career I just wondered abt his average. Oops, but he longer that best. No front line spinner. Johnson no longer the weapon he was. Whatever the team selection would be I think this time, England will lift the Ashes

  • jackbic on November 14, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    Why the selection panel keep picking M Johnson is now becoming a joke. His only claim to fame the last South African tour where he bowled quite well, since them just gone from bad to worst. Whats the use of a strike bowler who is completely erratic? Queensland dropped him for this very reason. Harris/Starc/ George/Bellinger are far better bowlers. If Hussey is to be dropped so should be Clarke and North, all three cannot now be relied upon to be consistant run scorers. Forget about the option of spin bowling. They are in the eleven for their batting. Choose three fast strike bowleres who can bowl as per the captains instructions to suit the pitch condition and the opposing batsmen plus one good spinner, then you have the makings of a test team comparable to the English opposition. Jacbic

  • landl47 on November 14, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    I'm not sure why the author of this article thinks the batting is the Aussies' big problem. The only bowler who has been in form in test matches recently is Hilfenhaus, who is a swing bowler and, according to Aussie folklore, won't get wickets in Australia. Johnson is in such poor form he's playing club cricket (unlike Katich and Bollinger, he's not recovering from injury). Bollinger, Harris and Siddle have been injured and Hauritz hasn't been taking wickets in test cricket. Starc is injured, Smith clearly isn't ready to be a test front-line bowler and George is very inexperienced. McKay looked good against Sri Lanka, but Hastings didn't show much penetration. McDonald is just a fourth seamer and they already have that in Watson. That leaves Doherty, with an average of 52 in first-class cricket, and Cameron, who is nearly 30 and has played only a dozen first-class games. The selectors will probably stick with the guys who have been losing recently- why change a losing combination?

  • chickenpoo on November 14, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    Sick of people saying that Clarke is out of form. He's actually the most form batsmen in the current Australian squad

  • on November 14, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    It will b D Aussies this time !! Although the batsmen hav had little probs here and there , they really look like a tough side to beat ! Although there hav been player to player comparison and stuffs like the English cracking the nuts of Aussies , it all depends on tht series , which i feel will belong to the Aussies I predict 3-1 win for the Aussies

  • dadashton on November 14, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    We have to realize that we are rebuilding this team, as otehr countries have had to do. I really like Mike Hussey's play, but I don't think his form warrants him being in the team at the moment. Mitchell Johnson needs to be sent back to Shield cricket to short his technique - expecially his accuracy - before being included.

    We have excellent bowlers and batsmen in State teams and they should be given a go. I think we need to include Callam Ferguson - for his temperament as much as his skills -, Steven Smith to develop his bowling, and perhaps Usman Kwahja, Starc, and Cameron.

    It took 10 years to rebuild the team under Border, and we need to have the patience to let this happen. Steve Waugh took 25 Tests to register a hundred, including stints back in Shield cricket.

    We could look to Stuart Clark, who seems to present the best option for accuarcy and consistency, maintaining his length and line , something Johnson can't do at the moment. North should not be in till he fixes his play

  • on November 14, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    If Clarke is injusted the Ferguson will be the perfect replcement. Also like to see Andrew Mcdonald as he is in superb form and also a very good Allrounder. I feels the Team is like : Watson, Katich, Pointing, Hussey, Ferguson, Mcdonald, Haddin, Hauritz, Harrish, Hilfenhas, Bollinger (or Johnson ). Great to see this team with full strength of Bowling as well as Batting.Pointing will score atlest 2 Centuries. Come on Ricky.

  • JamHyderabad on November 14, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    Life is full of Ups & Down, sometime Ups and sometime Down. So these days Aussies are going down as last decade they were almost unbeatable. History always repeats so Windes saga have been repeated with Aussies. Windes never had a backup team during their days so as Aussies. Their selector need to pick up young and talented team for future. To make their present days good they are wasting Future too. Lets you guys keep your EGO out and work for a better future. I think these series will be evenly contest may be England have a slightly edge over aussies but Aussies will roar back as they are underdogs and they don't much to loose. Stick with Katich, Watson,Ponting, Marsh,Hussey,North,Haddin, Smith, Johnson,Ryan Harris and Peter siddle. These looks a settled team.

  • on November 14, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    What time is the squad being named atthe opera house tomorrow?

  • on November 14, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    Give Huss a break he saved us against Pakistan and is still a good player probably his last ever Test Series. North I think needs to bat well in the first test otherwise he goes. Hauritz needs to be a matchwinner and I think he can do that. Johnson needs to in swing to cause any havoc to the batsman.

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 14, 2010, 5:26 GMT

    McDonald is in decent form, but it is only for a month or so, and it'd be a risk to take him. McDonald should be given a trial in the one day arena first. Oh how I miss the World Series Cup to try out new players and get them into form! Same for Khawaja really - his stats are decent but we do not yet know if he could cope with the extra pressure. For me, North's spot should go to either Steve Smith or Cameron White, and if we dump Michael Hussey (which I am 50/50 on), then we should play both of the above. I wouldn't have either McDonald or Khawaja in my side. As for Hauritz, well, we should go for all-pace at Brisbane so he is irrelevant. At Sydney, though, play Doherty. Finally, Ryan Harris should definitely be bowling, as he is fit and in form.

  • tfjones1978 on November 14, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    Whats the point in have a first class competition if selectors just ignore the results? Some of Australias batsmen have been struggling for ages. North has only scored 3 centuaries in 2 years since his maiden series. Another batsmen had the same start as North and got dumped because the media made fun of him for being unorthodox. Bradmen in his day had a lot of "unorthodox" shots that are now mainstream shots that all players must learn. Ponting, Hussey and Katch are all at the end of their careers, but no "last test series" has been announced for them. They should do like McGraph did 4 years ago and announce this is their last series with ODI WC being their last. Its time to put in talent for talent ... retire Ponting, Hussey & Katch at end of test series, ditch North the "alrounder" who is pittyful doing either, bring in White, David Hussey, Steve Smith and another batsmen. It would give Australia 3 fast 2 medium 2 spin 3 specialist batsmen & 1 wicky. Select players on performance!

  • Seaking_alpha on November 14, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    Who cares!!! The number 4 ranked team is playing the number 5 ranked team. The two top ranked teams are about to play a series at the same time and you wouldnt know from all the noise the Poms and Aussies are making

  • azzaman333 on November 14, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    Watson, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin/Paine, McDonald, Hauritz, Harris, Siddle, Hilfenhaus. If Clarke's injured, bring White or Ferguson in depending on who performs better in the AusA. Gives us a balanced, varied bowling lineup and a solid, if not spectacular, batting line up. You need to take 20 wickets to win a test, get the bowling lineup right and everything else falls into place.

  • PRasHanT_PoL on November 14, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    My Squad: 1) Shane Watson, 2) Cameron White, 3) Ricky Ponting (capt), 4) Michael Clarke, 5) Michael Hussey, 6) Callum Ferguson, 7) Brad Haddin (wk), 8) Mitchell Johnson, 9) Nathan Hauritz, 10) Doug Bollinger, 11) Ben Hilfenhaus, 12) Peter Siddle, 13) Ryan Harris.

  • ankitbhat on November 14, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    though i am supporting the Englishmen but i want Midge Johnson to fire

  • on November 14, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    Let's play 4 seamers and leave Hauritz out. North and Katich will bowl more productive/aggressive overs than Hauritz and that also means that Watson is not burdened with large spells risking him to likely fatigue/injury.

  • Meety on November 14, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    Not actually my XI - but a form Oz XI would be; 1. Cowan, 2.Hill, 3. Clarke, 4. D Hussey, 5. Cosgrove, 6. AB MacDonald, 7. Haddin (hardest selection as Paine & Hartley playing well), 8. Butterworth, 9. O'Brien 10. Harris 11. Cameron. From this - I feel there is only 2 current Test players "in form", however, Watson & Katich (if fit), & Ponting are automatic selections. This means assuming Clarke is fit the places (as we already know), that are contentious are Hussey & North in the Top 7. Bowling attack is getting tougher (in a good way), with Harris, Cameron, Starc & George playing well - Starc out now with injury. Hauritz showed signs of "form". O'Keefe a player I have big wraps on didn't even get a game this week! S. Smith missed a golden opportunity to press his case, but failed this time around, to a lessor extent so did Khawaja. A player for the future I think is QLDs Lynn, Ferguson failed to state a case but what about AB McDonald? His stats are not brilliant @ Test level but...

  • Screen1990 on November 14, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    I think poms gonna win this series as well for sure...AUS gonna persist with north, johnson, hauritz...It wont help for australia's cause, selection policies in aus will surely cost aussies this series

  • on November 14, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    Ryan Harris will be in squad. He will disturb England batsmens by his fast and accurate bowling. I prefers Harris & Hilfenhas will get support from Bollinger & Watson while in spin Hauritz will get support by North. Comon Pointing crush england by 3 - 1. You can do it.

  • on November 14, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    Ryan Harris will make English Batsmens worry as he is in a very good form. I recommand Bowling Attack like : Harrish, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus. Watson will support them & in Spin Hauritz will get support from North. Come on Aussies you will do it. Crush them by 3 - 1.

  • D-Train on November 14, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    The team for the first test will be Watson, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, North, Haddin, Hauritz, Johnson, Hilfenhaus and Bollinger/Harris(depending on fitness).

    That shouldn't be our team. That is not our best test. But the selectors are predictable and flawed that, that will be our team.

    I would drop Hussey, North and Hauritz and have 3 of either Khawaja, McDonald, White or Smith.

    With Watson bowling well we can easily have the 3 front line pacemen and then have either McDonald or Smith depending on whether the pitch is better for spin or pace. So the line up could be Watson, Katich, Ponting, Khawaja, Clarke, White, Haddin, McDonald, Johnson, Harris, Bollinger

  • on November 14, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    that is still a great squad, will be a cracker of a series

  • on November 14, 2010, 3:02 GMT

    The top six struggling, the team on a losing streak, some of the players back from injury- how much will all this matter in the face of a determined enemy that has been winning matches and series regularly? I think Australia is being dumb in sticking to its policy of announcing the team 10 days in advance of a new season"s first test match. This is not the Australian team of 2005 with eleven settled players. We knew who the eleven would be 10 days in advance. Where were the replacements for Langer, hayden, Martyn, Gilchrisht, Warne or McGrath waiting in the sidelines? I think Australia should change its losing streak and team and no better way than through young talent. Maybe Khwaja and Ferguson have not done anything this week, but since when have test batsmen been chosen on the current weak"s performance. If Greg Chappell and Doug Walters had not been given chances when they were young, would they have made such an impact. Be bold Australia or be prepared to lose. Again. Sridhar

  • on November 14, 2010, 2:55 GMT

    Instead of Hauritz put in Smith This looks like the Squad that Whitewashed Pakistan. They whitewashed them so it looks like it could be very close evenly contest. Go Aussies

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 14, 2010, 2:39 GMT

    If Michael Clarke is out injured, it is a blessing in disguise. Can we get Marcus North and Nathan Hauritz to get injured too? That'd be great. Then maybe we can get some good players in.

  • on November 14, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    If that is the likely squad, then I can't see Australia getting the ashes back. The Australian selectors must have their money on England winning. Get McDonald in and get rid of North. I'm not over keen on Johnson either, but if McDonald is bowling tight on the other end maybe it will relieve the pressure on Johnson to strike. Hmm, get rid of Ponting as well.

  • morethan20-20 on November 14, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    The sham that is the Oz selection policy will hopefully be exposed soon...when did form stop being relevant ? but I guess what typifies this joke is having your spearhead bowler as first change because he wastes the new ball, cant be trusted to make the batsmen play and admits that swing is a mystery to him !! A.R.Border save Oz cricket a second time!! get hilditch a good helmet because he appears to like smashing his head into a brick wall.

  • Hoggy_1989 on November 14, 2010, 1:45 GMT

    "Andrew Hilditch, the selection chairman, will announce the squad at the Sydney Opera House in a free event, which will give an indication of how much local interest is in the series." Two things to take from that. a) CA thinks that people don't work on Mondays, and will totally turn up to something they can read here 5 minutes later and b) Why does espncricinfo.com writers keep dumping on Australian Test cricket? Australia is probably the only country where Test cricket will survive!

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  • Hoggy_1989 on November 14, 2010, 1:45 GMT

    "Andrew Hilditch, the selection chairman, will announce the squad at the Sydney Opera House in a free event, which will give an indication of how much local interest is in the series." Two things to take from that. a) CA thinks that people don't work on Mondays, and will totally turn up to something they can read here 5 minutes later and b) Why does espncricinfo.com writers keep dumping on Australian Test cricket? Australia is probably the only country where Test cricket will survive!

  • morethan20-20 on November 14, 2010, 2:01 GMT

    The sham that is the Oz selection policy will hopefully be exposed soon...when did form stop being relevant ? but I guess what typifies this joke is having your spearhead bowler as first change because he wastes the new ball, cant be trusted to make the batsmen play and admits that swing is a mystery to him !! A.R.Border save Oz cricket a second time!! get hilditch a good helmet because he appears to like smashing his head into a brick wall.

  • on November 14, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    If that is the likely squad, then I can't see Australia getting the ashes back. The Australian selectors must have their money on England winning. Get McDonald in and get rid of North. I'm not over keen on Johnson either, but if McDonald is bowling tight on the other end maybe it will relieve the pressure on Johnson to strike. Hmm, get rid of Ponting as well.

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 14, 2010, 2:39 GMT

    If Michael Clarke is out injured, it is a blessing in disguise. Can we get Marcus North and Nathan Hauritz to get injured too? That'd be great. Then maybe we can get some good players in.

  • on November 14, 2010, 2:55 GMT

    Instead of Hauritz put in Smith This looks like the Squad that Whitewashed Pakistan. They whitewashed them so it looks like it could be very close evenly contest. Go Aussies

  • on November 14, 2010, 3:02 GMT

    The top six struggling, the team on a losing streak, some of the players back from injury- how much will all this matter in the face of a determined enemy that has been winning matches and series regularly? I think Australia is being dumb in sticking to its policy of announcing the team 10 days in advance of a new season"s first test match. This is not the Australian team of 2005 with eleven settled players. We knew who the eleven would be 10 days in advance. Where were the replacements for Langer, hayden, Martyn, Gilchrisht, Warne or McGrath waiting in the sidelines? I think Australia should change its losing streak and team and no better way than through young talent. Maybe Khwaja and Ferguson have not done anything this week, but since when have test batsmen been chosen on the current weak"s performance. If Greg Chappell and Doug Walters had not been given chances when they were young, would they have made such an impact. Be bold Australia or be prepared to lose. Again. Sridhar

  • on November 14, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    that is still a great squad, will be a cracker of a series

  • D-Train on November 14, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    The team for the first test will be Watson, Katich, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, North, Haddin, Hauritz, Johnson, Hilfenhaus and Bollinger/Harris(depending on fitness).

    That shouldn't be our team. That is not our best test. But the selectors are predictable and flawed that, that will be our team.

    I would drop Hussey, North and Hauritz and have 3 of either Khawaja, McDonald, White or Smith.

    With Watson bowling well we can easily have the 3 front line pacemen and then have either McDonald or Smith depending on whether the pitch is better for spin or pace. So the line up could be Watson, Katich, Ponting, Khawaja, Clarke, White, Haddin, McDonald, Johnson, Harris, Bollinger

  • on November 14, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    Ryan Harris will make English Batsmens worry as he is in a very good form. I recommand Bowling Attack like : Harrish, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus. Watson will support them & in Spin Hauritz will get support from North. Come on Aussies you will do it. Crush them by 3 - 1.

  • on November 14, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    Ryan Harris will be in squad. He will disturb England batsmens by his fast and accurate bowling. I prefers Harris & Hilfenhas will get support from Bollinger & Watson while in spin Hauritz will get support by North. Comon Pointing crush england by 3 - 1. You can do it.