The Ashes 2010-11 November 20, 2010

Doherty in Test squad, Hauritz dropped

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The offspinner Nathan Hauritz has been dropped for the first Ashes Test and been replaced by the spinners Xavier Doherty and Steven Smith, who have been included in the 13-man squad to face England on Thursday. Doherty, the left-arm orthodox from Tasmania, is a surprise inclusion after a bright start to the summer and the selectors hope he will be a threat for the right-handers in England's order.

Doherty is now a certainty to play from Thursday while Smith, the legspinning allrounder, is likely to be considered more closely for the second game in Adelaide. Michael Hussey was selected after his century for Western Australia on Friday while Marcus North, the other under-pressure batsman, was also included.

Four men were cut from the inflated 17-man unit chosen in Sydney on Monday. Callum Ferguson and Usman Khawaja failed to impress for Australia A in Hobart this week while Ryan Harris' knee makes him too much of a risk for such an important engagement.

However, it is the omission of Hauritz, Australia's first-choice spinner since the 2009 Ashes, that is the biggest change. Hauritz struggled during the two Tests in India last month and has been under-bowled since returning home. He was given only six balls in New South Wales' Sheffield Shield game against Tasmania, in which Doherty collected two victims, including bowling Simon Katich around his legs.

"Nathan Hauritz is one of these players omitted and he can consider himself unlucky as his Australian record has been very good over the past 12 months," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. "However the panel believes the left-arm orthodox variety Xavier Doherty provides against a predominantly right-handed English middle order is the better option in this game."

Kevin Pietersen is not as comfortable against left-arm slow bowlers, with Steve O'Keefe adding to his problems by bowling him for 5 in the first innings in Hobart. England have two left-handed openers in Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook in their preferred XI, along with the bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson.

Doherty's overall career average is 48.26 in 35 first-class games and he has only been a regular in the Tasmanian outfit since the start of the season. The past six Shield contests over two summers have earned him 23 wickets and he has impressed his state team-mate Ricky Ponting, whose captaincy career relies on what happens during the Ashes.

Doug Bollinger returns to the squad after recovering from the stomach injury that ruled him out of the second Test in India last month. Bollinger was hit for six as Tasmania beat New South Wales yesterday, but he gained three wickets in the first innings and will battle with Peter Siddle for the final bowling place alongside Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus. The squad will arrive in Brisbane on Sunday.

Australia squad Simon Katich, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Marcus North, Brad Haddin (wk), Steven Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Xavier Doherty, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • montys_muse on November 25, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    surprising to me that o'keefe isnt playing...

  • Meety on November 23, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    @Gily4ever - I think Hilfy will get the nod over Sid due to a Man of the Match last start @ the Gabba. @Jose Cyriac - maybe but Doherty is getting selected ahead of him @ Hobart. @c5nv2838a47i - agreed. I would nearly go O'Keefe for North & keep Hauritz. @thebarmyarmy - (& anybody quoting Dohertys average), - the last year or so Doherty's ave has been good, so he is obviously improving & he also bowls on the best batting strip in Oz. @EverybodylovesSachin - LOL - just like how Sth Africa is going to end SRTs career hey!@allblue- the McGrath/Warne era was not an anomoly - the anomoly for Oz was the mid 1980s, otherwise we have been either the best or nearly the best for over 120 years!@Steve Andrews re:Copeland - agreed, except can you imagine the outcry of another NSW player. @Gilly4ever - agreed with Doherty - his form is much better over 2 yrs then career. @popcorn - good onya!

  • landl47 on November 23, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    @Australia17594- Johnson does have more total wickets, but that's because Hilfenhaus was injured during the Australian summer of 2009/2010 and therefore Johnson played an extra 7 matches. If you just take the matches in which they both played (Hilfenhaus has never played a test in which Johnson wasn't playing) in the last 18 months, you find that Johnson took 35 wickets and Hilfenhaus took 41. Johnson's average was 35.4 and Hilfenhaus's was 27.4. Case proved, don't you think? Oh, and Hilfenhaus took 22 wickets in the last Ashes series to Johnson's 20. However, I do agree with you that Hilfenhaus can bowl straight.

  • howzat_notout on November 22, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    Ratings are interesting but like stats, they can be bent to show whatever you want them to show. The Aussie bowling has the edge over the English full stop. The Doug, Mitch and Siddle are much more impressive than the Pommie 3, especially in Australia. But the batting of both sides remains wobbly and they are pretty even here. Khawaja is unknown but I wish him all the best if he does play. Does anyone still miss Brad Hodge? I do...

  • on November 22, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    hyclass i agree with you. i have been calling for trent copeland to be seriously looked at as he is the best bowler in australia, he keeps taking big bags of wickets at a great economy and strike rate. O'keefe is the other outstanding player who deserves selection. The only 2 batsman that i would add to the team is hughes and khawaja. Ferguson and marsh all average mid 30's in 1st class they will never be test batsman, forget it. Those 4 players should be next in line, khawaja, hughes, copeland and o'keefe. I am a Qlder and hate nsw but they still should be picked, they are the best in the country.

  • Australia17594 on November 22, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    @Landl47 Johnson has more wickets than anyone else in the team apart from bollinger where they are tied... and i think johnson top wicketed in ashed 09. So... he is better than hilf although hilf can bowl straight at the stumps

  • landl47 on November 22, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Come on, P-Dub, those ratings are nonsense and you know it. You give Australia a 4-point bowling advantage because you include Trott, Pietersen and BELL in the ratings? The only way Bell bowls an over is if it's the last one in a game that everyone has conceded will be drawn. Among the top 5 bowlers, the people who actually will bowl, the ratings give England a 34.5 to 34 advantage. Even there, rating Broad (who destroyed Australia in the last test between the two countries) below young Finn makes no sense. Likewise, what year is Johnson being rated on? He's done nothing to be rated above Hilfenhaus in the last 18 months. The only point that is valid is that Watson is a better 4th seamer than Collingwood, which gives Australia an advantage in a high-scoring game when the bowlers have to put in a lot of overs. If you seriously believe that Australia's occasional bowlers will be the difference between the two teams, you're dreaming. I hope Ponting follows your advice.

  • landl47 on November 22, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    If Clarke is unable to play at 100% (and not being able to practice 3 days before the game doesn't look good) it's a huge blow to Australia. The Australian batting already looks fragile and with Clarke missing or limited, there's even more reason to worry. There's also Clarke's fielding; he's a superb fielder and if he can't move properly in the field it will make it even harder for Ponting to contain an England side which has scored very freely in the games so far. I never want anyone to be hurt, so I hope he's OK. He's a beautiful player to watch when he's going well.

  • venom2709 on November 22, 2010, 2:44 GMT

    O'Keefe has been in form, and not just with the ball but with the bat also. Crazy that he wasn't in the squad...

  • HatsforBats on November 22, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    Disregard Dohertys FC avg of 48, he's better than that. His debut ODI showed him to be a superior bowler than what Hauritz is (or could be). He bowled tight lines with good variationand got good wickets, and looked in control when he was bowling, something Hauritz never does. Hauritz was picked (when not even in the NSW XI) to contain the scoring when Krezja was too expensive. He hasn't been cheap enough or taken enough wickets and Doherty is in form. I would have even been happy for O'Keefe to get in for Hauritz (he's also a better choice than Smith) but I guess the selectors want him to play a few more games first. Do I feel sorry for Haurtiz? Yep, but being a nice guy shouldn't cement your place in the side at a better players expense, and Doherty has showed more ability at important times.

  • montys_muse on November 25, 2010, 3:40 GMT

    surprising to me that o'keefe isnt playing...

  • Meety on November 23, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    @Gily4ever - I think Hilfy will get the nod over Sid due to a Man of the Match last start @ the Gabba. @Jose Cyriac - maybe but Doherty is getting selected ahead of him @ Hobart. @c5nv2838a47i - agreed. I would nearly go O'Keefe for North & keep Hauritz. @thebarmyarmy - (& anybody quoting Dohertys average), - the last year or so Doherty's ave has been good, so he is obviously improving & he also bowls on the best batting strip in Oz. @EverybodylovesSachin - LOL - just like how Sth Africa is going to end SRTs career hey!@allblue- the McGrath/Warne era was not an anomoly - the anomoly for Oz was the mid 1980s, otherwise we have been either the best or nearly the best for over 120 years!@Steve Andrews re:Copeland - agreed, except can you imagine the outcry of another NSW player. @Gilly4ever - agreed with Doherty - his form is much better over 2 yrs then career. @popcorn - good onya!

  • landl47 on November 23, 2010, 0:35 GMT

    @Australia17594- Johnson does have more total wickets, but that's because Hilfenhaus was injured during the Australian summer of 2009/2010 and therefore Johnson played an extra 7 matches. If you just take the matches in which they both played (Hilfenhaus has never played a test in which Johnson wasn't playing) in the last 18 months, you find that Johnson took 35 wickets and Hilfenhaus took 41. Johnson's average was 35.4 and Hilfenhaus's was 27.4. Case proved, don't you think? Oh, and Hilfenhaus took 22 wickets in the last Ashes series to Johnson's 20. However, I do agree with you that Hilfenhaus can bowl straight.

  • howzat_notout on November 22, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    Ratings are interesting but like stats, they can be bent to show whatever you want them to show. The Aussie bowling has the edge over the English full stop. The Doug, Mitch and Siddle are much more impressive than the Pommie 3, especially in Australia. But the batting of both sides remains wobbly and they are pretty even here. Khawaja is unknown but I wish him all the best if he does play. Does anyone still miss Brad Hodge? I do...

  • on November 22, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    hyclass i agree with you. i have been calling for trent copeland to be seriously looked at as he is the best bowler in australia, he keeps taking big bags of wickets at a great economy and strike rate. O'keefe is the other outstanding player who deserves selection. The only 2 batsman that i would add to the team is hughes and khawaja. Ferguson and marsh all average mid 30's in 1st class they will never be test batsman, forget it. Those 4 players should be next in line, khawaja, hughes, copeland and o'keefe. I am a Qlder and hate nsw but they still should be picked, they are the best in the country.

  • Australia17594 on November 22, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    @Landl47 Johnson has more wickets than anyone else in the team apart from bollinger where they are tied... and i think johnson top wicketed in ashed 09. So... he is better than hilf although hilf can bowl straight at the stumps

  • landl47 on November 22, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Come on, P-Dub, those ratings are nonsense and you know it. You give Australia a 4-point bowling advantage because you include Trott, Pietersen and BELL in the ratings? The only way Bell bowls an over is if it's the last one in a game that everyone has conceded will be drawn. Among the top 5 bowlers, the people who actually will bowl, the ratings give England a 34.5 to 34 advantage. Even there, rating Broad (who destroyed Australia in the last test between the two countries) below young Finn makes no sense. Likewise, what year is Johnson being rated on? He's done nothing to be rated above Hilfenhaus in the last 18 months. The only point that is valid is that Watson is a better 4th seamer than Collingwood, which gives Australia an advantage in a high-scoring game when the bowlers have to put in a lot of overs. If you seriously believe that Australia's occasional bowlers will be the difference between the two teams, you're dreaming. I hope Ponting follows your advice.

  • landl47 on November 22, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    If Clarke is unable to play at 100% (and not being able to practice 3 days before the game doesn't look good) it's a huge blow to Australia. The Australian batting already looks fragile and with Clarke missing or limited, there's even more reason to worry. There's also Clarke's fielding; he's a superb fielder and if he can't move properly in the field it will make it even harder for Ponting to contain an England side which has scored very freely in the games so far. I never want anyone to be hurt, so I hope he's OK. He's a beautiful player to watch when he's going well.

  • venom2709 on November 22, 2010, 2:44 GMT

    O'Keefe has been in form, and not just with the ball but with the bat also. Crazy that he wasn't in the squad...

  • HatsforBats on November 22, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    Disregard Dohertys FC avg of 48, he's better than that. His debut ODI showed him to be a superior bowler than what Hauritz is (or could be). He bowled tight lines with good variationand got good wickets, and looked in control when he was bowling, something Hauritz never does. Hauritz was picked (when not even in the NSW XI) to contain the scoring when Krezja was too expensive. He hasn't been cheap enough or taken enough wickets and Doherty is in form. I would have even been happy for O'Keefe to get in for Hauritz (he's also a better choice than Smith) but I guess the selectors want him to play a few more games first. Do I feel sorry for Haurtiz? Yep, but being a nice guy shouldn't cement your place in the side at a better players expense, and Doherty has showed more ability at important times.

  • P-Dub on November 21, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    Continued...Whether Australia's batting strength can expose England's lack of bowling depth remains to be seen, but the opportunity is there. On the other side we have the problem of Ponting's reluctance and/or inability to use Australia's back-up bowling resources wisely. He needs to realise that these bowlers are wicket-takers and can be used sooner rather than last throw of the dice options. This is where he needs to improve his captaincy, along with his frustrating habit of reverting to defensive fields too quickly in an innings. He is not alone though with this captaincy flaw, it is the modern trend and all current captains are guilty of it, Strauss included. So in conclusion, unless weather intervenes, i predict a result in every test match. Brisbane - Aus win, Adelaide - Eng win, Perth - Aus win, Melbourne - Aus win, Sydney - Eng win. Australia win series 3-2, Ashes regained. Players to watch...for Australia Ponting, Johnson & Watson. For England Collingwood, Broad & Swann.

  • P-Dub on November 21, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    Continued...England have Panesar and Australia have Hauritz. In the pace bowling England have Tremlett, Bresnan & Shazhad and Australia have Siddle & Harris. So the player ratings show the real difference between the teams, and that is the back-up bowling. Australia may have the edge in the 3 pronged pace bowling department (with the x-factor of Johnson being the difference). England definitely hold the advantage in the frontline spinner department with Swann far superior to the unproven Doherty. It is in the fifth bowler department where Australia hold a decided advantage. This is where you see the real value of a genuine all-rounder in the top six, and Watson is that. Also the genuine credentials of the part-time spinners in North, Clarke & Katich (all of whom have 5-fors in test cricket) help negate the spin advantage England have with Swann. The only real fifth bowler option for the Poms is Collingwood who has a mediocre record. TBC

  • Balaviswanathan_V on November 21, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    Doherty is in good form. I wish Mitchell Johnston does bowl stump to stump and unexpected yorkers instead of spraying off side.

  • Jafjaf on November 21, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    Haven't you got another photo? This one been used for the last few articles.

  • P-Dub on November 21, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    First Test Player Ratings - Aus Batting Ratings (out of 10): Katich 8.0, Watson 7.5, Ponting 9.0, Clarke 8.5, Hussey 7.0, North 6.5, Haddin 6.0, Johnson 5.0, Doherty 3.0, Hilfenhaus 3.5, Bollinger 1.0 - TOTAL 65.0 Eng Batting Ratings: Strauss 8.0, Cook 7.0, Trott 8.0, Pietersen 8.0, Collingwood 7.0, Bell 7.0, Prior 6.5, Broad 5.5, Swann 5.0, Anderson 3.0, Finn 1.0 - TOTAL 66.0 Aus Bowling Ratings: Hilfenhaus 7.0, Bollinger 7.5, Johnson 8.5, Doherty 5.0, Watson 6.0, North 4.0, Clarke 3.5, Katich 3.5 - TOTAL 45.0 Eng Bowling Ratings: Anderson 7.5, Broad 7.0, Finn 7.5, Swann 9.0, Collingwood 3.5, Trott 2.5, Pietersen 1.5, Bell 1.5 - TOTAL 40.0 AUS TOTAL - 110, ENG TOTAL - 106...Points victory to Australia. I don't see either team having an advantage in the other key areas of fielding, wicketkeeping & captaincy. Both teams have good back-up players, in the batting England have Morgan and Australia have Hughes & White (forget Khawaja & Ferguson for now). In the spin bowling TBC

  • ShankarKR on November 21, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    I feel Aussies were No.1 in cricket, only after inlcusion of the Siddle and Hiffenaus in their team Aussies have lost their status. Peter siddle and Hiffenaus have done very little in Aussies victory. Aussies please drop these guys and give chance to mckgay and harris and bollinger and restore Aussies pride again.

  • bjcm12 on November 21, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    thank god - at last Hauritz is dropped. He is no test player. It was proven many times. Good that Aus tries new faces including Doherty.

  • on November 21, 2010, 7:56 GMT

    As an England supporter, I always have that nagging doubt that it's all going too well and the Aussies will find form and hammer us. Best to think the worst, that way I'm never disappointed lol!

  • GRL9411 on November 21, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    Nathan Hauritz deserved to be omitted. Bowlers are selected to take wickets and/or restrict the scoring opportunities of the opposition batsmen. Of late, Hauritz, unfortunately has done neither. Mitchell Johnston will be next. A bowler cannot afford to be spanked for 6 an over at test level. Bowlers at this level should not be presenting the opposing batsmen with deliveries pitching two thirds of the way down the pitch and half a metre wide of the stumps. In doing so the bowler is relying on the batsman's mistake to take a wicket. of late the batsmen have been having a field day whacking the ball to the fence. The Ashes will be won by the team with the best bowlers. At present only Ben Hilfenhaus would be considered for the English squad and he would be struggling to get a gurnsey on match day.

  • on November 21, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    If someone asks me "WATS ON" ..all i would do is tell him is i know my PRIORities by POINTING towards to Tv and asking him what he HADDin his mind when he asked that..It doenst matter if ur JOHN's SON or PETER's SON or for that sake ANDER's SON all tat MATTers is whether those who SWANN(m) across the BROAD oceans with their FINN all the way from the NORTH be able to conquer the team filled HOPES...HUssY up... THE ASHES .....

  • THX_droid_adidas on November 21, 2010, 5:54 GMT

    Honestly, what are the selectors thinking?? They have no idea who is in form and performing because they're too busy doing non-cricket related crap!! Why drop Hauritz, when in Indian conditions, a whole heap of spinners haven't used the conditions to their advantage?? Surely, Xavier Doherty is not "better" than Hauritz!! Still, why not pick Steve O'Keefe?? He did a damn good job against the Poms in the "A" game, can bat better than Doherty and is slow left arm. Cameron White and Phil Hughes also did a damn good job, and they weren't even seen as "the best" 17 players in the country!! Again, why isn't Andrew McDonald there? Peeled off 3 centuries in as many games, and if they want someone to tie up an end, should be McDonald. Too bad he is now injured. He did a damn good job against SA, and dropped. Outrageous that only 1 Victorian is selected!! We need Shane Warne to be assistant coach & a selector, fire Andrew Hilditch, Jamie Cox and David Boon and problem solved!!

  • P-Dub on November 21, 2010, 5:33 GMT

    Continued...that Australia are able to remain competitive throughout a test match, but on the other hand, disturbing, that they lack that killer blow to clinch close test matches. So the Australian team comes into this contest down on confidence, and with a few players under pressure due to lack of form. It will be interesting to see if the English players returning from 96/97 bear any scars from the previous thrashing. In particular, Cook, Anderson & Bell. I don't take much confidence out of the fact that Australia won 5-0 in the last Ashes series in Australia though. The Australian team had 4 genuine greats in that side McGrath, Warne, Gilchrist & Ponting, and an (almost) great in Hayden, whereas the Poms had one (almost) great in Flintoff. Ponting is the only remaining great in either side, although Swann has the potential to become an (almost) great. When you line up the two likely teams for the first test at Brisbane, they match up quite evenly. Using player ratings out of 10..TBC

  • P-Dub on November 21, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    As a parochial supporter of all teams Australian, i would like to say that Australia will win back the Ashes with a convincing 5-0 thrashing of the Poms...but commonsense does not allow such a comment. The truth is, this series will be a close contest between two average, inconsistent test sides. Both teams are capable of excellent cricket, but are equally capable of undermining all their good work with one horror session. Any way you look at it, it is difficult to separate these two teams. On one hand, England have the edge in form, confidence and experience, but the majority of the squad are either unproven or have poor records in Australia, with the exception of Pietersen and Collingwood. Australia were impressive at home last summer, beating West Indies, Pakistan and New Zealand, but during the winter they drew 1-1 with Pakistan and lost 2-0 to India. The fact that Australia were in a position to win all 3 test matches that they lost during the winter, is on hand encouraging, TBC

  • on November 21, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    Re Doherty....his 1st class average is 48. I honestly fail to understand how the selectors could event consider him. Hauritz had a bad tour of India, but that's perfectly understandable given that Indian cricketers are amongst the best players of spin in the world. Even Warne n Murali have an atrocious average there.

  • Australia17594 on November 21, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Doherty is good... His first class average over the year has probably been the best. Krezja got blasted in the WACA that's why they're not choosing him

  • on November 21, 2010, 0:58 GMT

    Hey Fellow Aussies , With my luck I know how to get Australia to WIN . Back the To & From's and sure enough they will get rolled . Murphy's Law !

  • hyclass on November 21, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    Cricket is now a totally professional sport. It is no longer the parochial liesuretime of our pasts. The essence of the modern game was blue printed by Kerry Packer with WSC and has been further enhanced by The IPL and world wide embracing of the T20 format. Players can expect to be extremely well rewarded for relatively modest exertions. In return, they are required to be fully prepared in their skill set when called upon. It is unacceptable to excuse long term failure. The game is awash with 'qualified'coaches and myriad support staff. The facilities are first class and all countries with a pretention to success have succession and talent identification plans at all levels. There are institutes of excellence. It is inexcusable any longer to use quality player retirements to justify failure. Those who do encourage failure as an objective. Australia is filled with class and lacks only the hierarchy with vision and ability to apply it. Make it accountable.

  • on November 20, 2010, 22:20 GMT

    I think to make the Australian side you need to be the captain's or vice captain's mate. Doherty and Smith have done zero to replaced Hauritz in the squad. I'm not saying Hauritz should be either, but he has more runs on the board then either of his replacements...Trent Copeland needs to be there, and so does Ryan Harris(injury permitting) both of these bowlers will offer far more to the Australian cause than Siddler or Bollinger do in my opinion... by going with North(which I don't disagree with) who have spin options covered in North, Clarke, Katich for the spot overs that Punter uses spinners anyway... which gives Australia four quicks anyway... but they won't do that because they are afraid to lose, which means we Oz probably will. Which may be a good thing to create the change that australia need... from the less than ordinary selectors to the less than ordinary coach and less than ordinary captain

  • zoonmatt on November 20, 2010, 22:10 GMT

    and there's only 1 Victorian. GO SIDDLE!!!

  • lamek on November 20, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    North will be a liability. I would have pushed Hughes or Cameron White in there. And it must be a curse to be last-named Copeland. Siddle - if he plays - will grovel where the more McGrath like Copeland would have flourished.

  • on November 20, 2010, 17:32 GMT

    it's a good selection & i think inclusion of doehtry is a good thinking, but england are tough opponent

  • stevejone on November 20, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    How can North be dropped when he scored a century in the last test that Australia played in India?Yes, North was definitely out of form before that innings but he scored that ton to assure his place for the Ashes.I don't agree with Harris's exclusion at all. If his knee was too much of a risk, then why was he selected in the first place?The selectors have no idea what they are up to.Harris has the knack of picking wickets. When he gets one he invariably goes on to take a bagful which has done consistently.He had just taken 9 wickets in a match against Tasmania and proved that he was match fit.I would definitely go for Harris over Siddle who is a good bowler but does not get wickets consistently.The argument that Hauritz has a good record in Australia does not hold for much.That was one year back.If Hauritz struggles to take a wicket in India then how is he supposed to be a success in Australia?He was the main reason why Australia lost the series in India.

  • on November 20, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    Haurtiz has been given a raw deal. Agreed - he has failed in India. But the whole attack has failed in India and hence why blame Hauritz alone? In Indian conditions and with the Indianplayers play spin ith authority he was not successful. He could hafe been a success against England in different conditions. It is quite harsh on the part of selectors to hae axed him on the first Test. They could have waited for the first Test atleast to make an assessment. Nothing against Doherty the leftarm spinner but he could have been brought in only when Haurtiz failed. Indian and Aussie conditions are different and it is quite surprising that a spinner of the calibre of Haurtiz has been shown the door. Hauritz's main qualification is his accduracy though he does not turn the ball much. Hope beter sense will prevail when the selectors meet to pick the squad for the remaining Test matches.

  • hariharan_cricinfo on November 20, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    Everybody is looking for new spinner as Hauritz not doing well.It will be interesting to see how English batmen is going to play against Doherty and Smith.Because Eng batsmen are not expecting new spinners.I think its a good move by Aussie selectors

  • sidzy on November 20, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    i think my felloow popcorn is right great selection

  • vinodkd99 on November 20, 2010, 15:33 GMT

    I am expecting 2-1 for england this time round.

  • allblue on November 20, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    Welcome to the real cricket world Aussie fans. The era just passed was an anomaly, a team so good the XI picked itself and selection meetings were no more than a nice lunch. Warne, if not Warne, MacGill. There you go, spinning dept. sorted. Now it's different. A clutch of decent state sinners are available, but which one of those, if any, can win you Test matches, or at least do the Giles/Paul Harris containment role? Suddenly the art of selection comes into play, and as we know everyone's a selector. Take a tip from a long-suffering England fan who in the past has seen years of the 'pin the tail on a donkey' method of selection. It is an art, not a science, if it was based on stats alone a simple computer programme would be cheaper and quicker. It's going to be a rough ride as the squad churns seeking the right formula, particularly when Ponting and co. retire. The Aussies are now back with the pack, winning Test matches has become difficult again, back in the realm of real cricket.

  • on November 20, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    I was hoping that the selectors might go outside the squad and pick O'Keefe, particularly after his Australia A performance. Remember that Hobart isn't a great place for spin bowling, and he picked up 4 wickets. Seriously, the selectors are doing their best to ruin careers. Smith is being picked before he really knows if he's a batsman, bowler or all-rounder. Hughes was axed after two bad performances (which weren't that bad anyway) on his first Ashes trip and now look what's happened to his confidence. Doherty is a one-day spinner and his international credentials could be ruined by test cricket. I think he should be the ODI spinner hands down, but not in tests. Like Brad Hogg was. They pick White as a front line spinner to play India at a time when he hardly bowled for Victoria and his batting form was pretty good. And O'Keefe went to England, played a T20 and did well, now doesn't seem to be anywhere near the team. Aussie selectors are hopeless.

  • on November 20, 2010, 14:19 GMT

    well, well, well, well, well, well, well!!! now bring on the Gabba and lets have this long awaited test match! All will be reviled then

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 20, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    It's 79 years since a a strategy was evolved for ONE player.(Bodyline for Bradman) Now it's slow left arm for KP.( And one with a career average of 50 at that) Scared? Try a chocolate mouse. Ask Prior if he still has any jellybeans. I suggest Ponting gets a medical checkup before this series. Blood Pressure, Hyperacidity,general stress...Old Hussey must be feeling the back of his neck a bit too. This time's survivor may be next time's victim.

  • svengali47 on November 20, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    This would have been my team if I had my way

    Katich, Watson, Ponting, Smith, O'Keefe, Clarke, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Bollinger, Copeland

    5 different pace bowlers, 4 different spinners and a mix of batting down to number 9 that would enable us to give the Poms a good test...

  • on November 20, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    i think it is a good team selection...moreovr north should not plat d 1st test...he is a waste....steve smith & Xavier will do welll..lets hp 4 d best

  • on November 20, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    from my point of view its not a right decision. Hauritz have more Quality then others who selected for squad .

  • tfjones1978 on November 20, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    I dont agree with the 13 selected, but if they are going to resolve problems I would drop from the final 11 North and 1 of the pace bowlers (exc Johnson). This would give 3 pace, 2 spin & 1 medium pace as front line bowlers. Johnson & Smith would fulfill the job of North, whom was scoring the same as a tail ender anyway. On average J/S will score a batsmen score. This side would mean that if 2 front line bowlers are having a bad match, then Ponting would still have 4 front line bowlers to use. Also with 3 alrounders in the side, Aust would still bat to number 8.

  • chad_reid on November 20, 2010, 12:43 GMT

    if any one who deserved to replace hauritz it had to be okeefe or kreja. Doherty cant even hold a regular spot in his state side and with his bowling average what were the selectors thinking it seems they get dumber each passing day as for steven smith he is a batsman and a part time bowler he and doherty are known as spinners but they cant really spin the bowl unless they use they rough stuff which anyone can do. Well their goes the chances for AUS without even a ball being bowled

  • Biggus on November 20, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    @SettingSun-Terribly nice of you guys to go easy on us. Should we win it might look uncomfortably like misplaced arrogance though, don't you think? I think not having won down here for a while has messed with your heads. You're going on like some kids that have been at the red cordial.

  • Tigg on November 20, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Dear selectors,

    Thank you very much for selecting Mr Doherty, a bowler who's average would be superb if he was a batsman. Over Mr Hauritz who took five wicket hauls and was probably the best bowler in the side during the last test series played in Oz.

    Of course we can understand that one excellent ODI performance could be an indication of greatness and that the desire to get Kevin Pieterson, consistently fighting with Alastair Cook for the position of most out of form batsman in the England side, out cheaply is a major factor.

    In short, we the England camp would like to reiterate our thanks over your selectorial decisions and can feel that little bit more secure in our ability to retain the ashes.

    Yours

    The England Team.

  • on November 20, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    You gotta be kidding me! A bowler who averages 48 in FC cricket is picked for a test against the Poms? What on earth is the selection panel thinking? I would rate Hauritz over Doherthy any day and Kreza over Hauritz!

  • on November 20, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    How about dropping Hilditch the worst selector and he was no great shakes as a cricketer anyway

  • on November 20, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    ITS ABSOLUTELY UN FARE ON THE PART OF HAURITZ HE HAS NEVER PLAYED IN THE AUSTRALIAN SIDE WITHOUT A SWORD ON HIS NECK HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN ANOTHER CHANCE SELECTORS CANT SIMPLY GRADE HIM ON BASIS OF INDIA TOUR EVEN GREATS LIKE WARNE,MURALI STRUGGLED IN INDIA HAURITZ WAS NO EXCEPTION HE IS ALWAYS UNDER TREMENDOUS PRESSURE ATLEAST LETS HOPE HE WILL GET A CHANCE 2 PLAY AT THE ADELAIDE,ANY WAYS ALL THE BEST XAVIER

  • Bigbanger666 on November 20, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    One down, North and Hussey to go and I'll sleep well at night.

  • on November 20, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    Looks like Ponting wants to get as many Tasmanians into the side as possible, because he knows that he hasn't got much longer left. Now the OZ selectors are going to ruin Hauritz AND Doherty.

    England wins this series 3-0. What a joke.

  • popcorn on November 20, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    This is an excellent Team selection.Firstly,KP is finished before the first ball was even bowled - he is susceptible to left arm spin. "Gotcha",says, Xavier Doherty. Secondly, Doherty will be the X factor. The Poms don't know anything about him, and must be rushing to buy videos of him in the blacl market. Thirdly, now Swann has serious competition! Fourthly, the rest of the Team is SOLID AS A ROCK. Now, you doubters, do you know why the Selectors went through the RIGHT PROCESS by selecting a 17 man squad?

  • Hareendra on November 20, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    I think its time the Aussi selectors looked at Hilfenhauses average. He really should not be considered. Siddle is a much better choice

  • SettingSun on November 20, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    Oh dear! Just to put it all into perspective, possibly the best two spinners in England, even ahead of Swann - namely Adil Rashid and Gary Keedy - aren't even on this trip. That's how easy we're going on you! You can bet your bottom dollar that if England selected a spinner with an average of 48, not that we would because our spin-bowling reserves are considerably more impressive, then Aussies would be all over it like a rash. Let's face it - North is your best spinner!

  • chickenpoo on November 20, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    im tired of people adding 'young' in front of Steve Smith's name as to say 'Young Smith...' It just doesnt sound right. Obviously he is young but dont have to say so.

  • vulpecula on November 20, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    What is all this concern about Australia getting Pietersen out ? If England pick him above Ian Bell it would beggar belief !! Andrew Strauss has said that England won't carry passengers, so send Pietersen home and pick someone with guts and team-spirit - Bell

  • essamkhan64 on November 20, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    i dont think so doherty is a bowler...lol.....look at his averge in first class...think near the clas....so how can u put him in the ashes.....hauritz no doubt better then him...but not class...why north is in the squad....pooor selection....england is at their peak....aussies r no where near them....

  • vinvin2210 on November 20, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    Hahaha...Axing Hauritz so as to get Pietersen out...Waah!!

  • on November 20, 2010, 8:31 GMT

    Disaster to leave him out.. like it or not hes our best spinner, Australia being defensive in going with Xavier

  • on November 20, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Love it, picking a spinner just to get Pietersen out when there are at least 5 other people in the probable team batting better than him.....

  • on November 20, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    Thank Aus selectors, play Steven Smith and we have wasy runs, im sure Doherty will be the man picked but if he is struggling to take Hauritz out of the team then he cant be much good himself, and nice to have North and Hussey in struggling for their careers, could go either way, England really should win this

  • adamgilly on November 20, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    good one Hildich.... hope u hd shown more common sense in kicking north and hussey out... nevertheless, go for all pace attack, spinners wont do anything on that deadly pitch.... hope its last assignmnt of punter's captaincy... Go OZ....

  • ihaq1 on November 20, 2010, 7:25 GMT

    well in the spinning department o keefe seems tobe teh best spinner having bowled well against pakistan and england..okeefe has a tendency to get thru bat and pad but the australians preferrred Doherty who has'nt been proven tobe as good...steve smith who tries to imitate a shane warne action isnt that good and probably his better batting gets him thru or the australians are thinking of the world cup...even in batting o keefe scored against england...The australians will have to depend on their opening batsmen as their middle order has of late been in trouble...with johnston not performing their bowling might depend only on bollinger...the australians should keep a few fast bowlers in mind as replacements

  • on November 20, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    Iam the happiest AUSSIE FAN EVER TO hear this comment. I dont think hauri is the best spinner of austalia, he dosent have any real stuff. Get the young steve smith,o'keefe and doherty in. hauritz dosent hav any varieties whilst smith has top spinner, straighter one, wrong un and a faster one (not a flipper) but he hasnt got a good leggie and a match saving batsman.My team is RICKY,CLARKE,HUSSEY.M,BOLLINGER,JOHNSON,KATICH,WATSON,SMITH,DOHERTY,HILFY AND HADDIN.

  • danithereddevil on November 20, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    i dont think so doherty is a bowler...lol.....look at his averge in first class...think near the clas....so how can u put him in the ashes.....hauritz no doubt better then him...but not class...why north is in the squad....pooor selection....england is at their peak....aussies r no where near them....

  • on November 20, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    north and smith are the men chosen wrongly by the selection panel.

  • tearawayquick on November 20, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    I would leave out smith and Doherty for the first test. The 4 best bowlers should play irrespective of whether it offers variety or not...Going by the conditions in Gabba this year fast bowlers should get plenty of assistance. Siddle deserves to play for his dedication and never give up attitide. He symbolises Oz cricket

  • Abhishek_australia on November 20, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    Aussies selectors makes a hard call by the inclusion of Xavier and keeps out hauritz, the main purpose of Xavier selection is that he can takes control of right handers batsman likes of pieterson and bail, i feel sorry for hauritz but i think he really feeling sort of confidence even in the domestic match and aussies selectors play a card and if this card will success i think that wuld be the biggest achievements for them. Xavier himself is very consistent bowler and he will definitely controls the flow of runs.

  • landl47 on November 20, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    What surprises me is that anybody is surprised at what the selection committee have done. If either Khawaja and Ferguson had made a couple of big scores they might have put some pressure on North, but he made 40 for once out against their combined 30 for 4 times out. Hussey made a hundred, Johnson made runs and took wickets, Harris isn't fit and that only left the spinning option open. The 'head-to-head' between Doherty and Hauritz never happened since Hauritz only bowled 1 over. They picked Doherty for one reason: to bowl at KP, who has struggled with SLA bowlers for the last year. I haven't seen enough of Doherty to judge, but O'Keefe looked a mighty good prospect to me for Aus A. Smith is cover for the batting and the choice will be between Bollinger and Siddle for the last bowling place. If Bollinger's fit, they'll probably take him. An entirely predictable side; let's see how they get on.

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 20, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    I'd play 4 quicks in Brisbane with Smith in at 6. But the selectors already promised to play a front-line spinner so Doherty will play. It is a pity, because he will get routed, and then all of the cynics out there saying that a FC average of 48.... blah blah blah will jump on him like nothing else. On the other hand, though, if Doherty does somehow manage to extract something from that wicket, then he is a pure genius, and all of the doubters will shut up hopefully.

  • KingofRedLions on November 20, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    I've been faithful with the selectors for a while now, but this is a step too far.

  • jonesy2 on November 20, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    ahaha cricinfo you damage your intigrity by letting people like these comment on your stories

  • sawifan on November 20, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    If they want to pick the form spinner, why do they not pick O`Keefe? He out-bowled ( and out-batted) Smith in Hobart. And just look at his record, it is far superior to any other current Aussie spinner. Sure he has only played 10 first class matches, but that is not many less than Smith. Not many Aussie spinners average under 40 in 1st class, hr averages 24! And also, why is Trent Copeland`s name never raised by selectors? He has been phenomenal since breaking into. The NSW team. Anyway, i hope they pick Bolly, Hilfy and Mitch. I like Siddle, but he is not a game breaker, just an honest trundler. Here`s hoping for a exciting series though! C`mon Aussie!!

  • pontingkhan on November 20, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Good job. Hauritz is may be a good athelete but he is definately not the best spinner of australia. I am a steven smith fan, expect big things from him. Maybe the next shane warne, who knows and xavier seems very talented too. good on ya ACB

  • tikna on November 20, 2010, 5:31 GMT

    I dont think Hauritz is a great spinner or anything but you dont have to be one against England!! Dont know enough about Doherty to comment on him. The real suprise for me is Steve Smith, I mean what is about this guy that Australia love him so much?? He is an average spinner at the very best and plenty and plenty of batsmen are better then him. He is the one who should have been dropped in favour of a good batsman

  • on November 20, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Greg Chappel is now doing his funny experiments with aus team just like he did with india. wat the hell is wrong with this guy and he was appointed a selector, seriously.

  • on November 20, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    I wish I could drum up some confidence about out chances in the 1st. Test . From comments before me it's plain that North should be replaced by Andrew McDonald (my choice) . I wouldn't pick a spin bowler to play in Brisbane because no-one is setting the grass on fire . Stick to the 4 quicks with Clarke and Hussey to give them a spell . Jeez the Ozzies are a pretty ordinary side , but they were chosen by a very hard to fathom lot of Selector's . I really think that gate takings will be well down this Series . Whom wants to watch us getting a hiding . Yeah , I know whom , the To & Froms .

  • on November 20, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    Dohorty is an interesting selection, Australia would do good understand that spin is no longer there striking power, Dohorty might be doing lot of containment role..

  • on November 20, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Thank god, ACB remove the nathan Hauritz from the squad for ashes first test. This team i likely. thanks Oz seletion.

  • katwash on November 20, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    It was always a mystery to me why Hauritz was ever picked for Australia, you only have to watch him bowl a few overs to see he is not Test standard. As for Johnson, lets hope he can finally live up to the DK LILLEE hype of being a "one in a century bowler"', because if he does not peform in Brisbane, only the weather will save Australia.

  • dissapointed on November 20, 2010, 4:54 GMT

    Spinner, spinner makes my head spin. Playing 4 quicks reduces the workload and increases the intensity for the fast man. In Australia, on any pitch, if it is suited for spin, it suits for pace with the variable bounce and carry. Sure, if you had a Warne, but bolster the attack with a Steve Smith, he made his Test debut 18 months younger than Warne and his consistency is better (probably thanks to Shane). Idiots like the new selector, who couldn't deal with the demand of the game 30 years ago so was granted to play only at home, thanks to a famous grandfather have no comprehension of todays game and problems. 5 recognized batsman, Brad who could keep his place solely as a batsman if he didn't have the burden as keeper, Steve Smith is a genuine number 6 and the tail is the best in the business. Australian selectors, you're a joke... get with the program. PS. Bring back Hughes, he can play at any position!

  • on November 20, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    i think its a good decision , he was very successful against Sri Lanka . KP will struggle against him , pitch in gabba , also will help his bowling . he will be successful .

  • srivatsan on November 20, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    @@melayaraja: Absolutely true, I don't want Johnson part of playing XI..Strauss and Cook will tear him apart.

  • Percy_Fender on November 20, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    It is very disappointing to know that Hauritz has been dropped from the 13 for the Brisbane Test. But I do not expect Doherty to make it to the XI either. They will have Smith as the option for spin however undercooked he may be as a spinner, given that he seems a pretty useful batsman. Coming after North he could add a lot of attack in the Australian batting lineup. I hope however that Hauritz is brought back for the Adelaide Test because two spinners are necessary there. I hope Hilditch and his team realise that if Shane Warne never had success in India, no spinner can.Richie Benaud was the exception because the Indian batting was not as powerful in the 50s as it is today.The selectors have erred in dropping Hauritz. I was sure he would do well.

  • Someguy on November 20, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Why are so many people still thinking of Smith being in the squad as the number 1 spinner? That is not why he is in the squad, he is there as a batting allrounder that bowls a few leggies.

    In time we hope he will become a genuine allrounder that can be a frontline spinner, but at the moment he is just a backup option, along with Clarke and Katich. If he gets a start it will be in place of Hussey, or more likely, North.

    Doherty is as good as in, there is no way they will go with 4 quicks, plus Watson (who on a green wicket with a bit of movement is a dangerous bowler).

    And as for Doherty's of career bowling of 40+, that means nothing. It's his figures in the last 12 months that are important and why he got selected. Hauritz is probably unlucky, and I don't know why O'Keefe didn't get a look in, considering his current form, particularly against England in the Australia A match, but there it is.....

  • Benkl on November 20, 2010, 4:12 GMT

    Steve smith may slot in for North if they play 4 quicks , 4 quicks with Mitchel is not a bad idea...if he under performs. Your going to find someone for the conditions and keep your bowlers ( eager withe competition) fresh.

    Australia seem to have a richness in excellent All rounders at the moment Xavier , Smith , White , Steve O keith , Watson and Holland. yet alone excellent part timers like Katich , Clarke ( back permitting.) and North. White and Holland are very unlucky not be in the side on their batting alone.

  • starbashers on November 20, 2010, 4:06 GMT

    There should be no spinner in australian squad. If north plays in XI, then he has to bowl his spin also. Clarke needs to work on his spin in the first test also. There is no effective spinner in Australia this time. Why so much fuss about picking a spinner? Selectors need to concentrate on choosing good in-form batsmen for the Ashes. Batting is a bigger problem than a spin bowler. In bowling, only worry is Johnson because he can be "awkwordly" wayward which reduces pressure on the Poms and Aus can loose the new ball advantage if Johnson plays. Hilfy, Dougie and Sid should be in the XI. Cut loose Johnson!!! Hussey deserves one more chance in 1st test. North can stay (as he can bowl). Problem with Aus is they have lost the "Aura" and confidence of winner. That's why there is so much fuss about selection. Poms are stronger team this time which adds pressure. Anyway read the astrology prediction from my last post. Final score Eng 2 - Aus 1. Eng retains Ashes.

  • on November 20, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    at last ! hauritz is gone. no disrepect intended but you never ever ever ever got the feeling he was going to get someone out ... at best, maybe the batsman would make a mistake. but the spin dilemma continues ... bring on steve o'keefe.

  • dons33 on November 20, 2010, 3:58 GMT

    Far too harsh on Hauritz. Smith got smacked to all parts by the English batsmen in the Australia A game and Doherty averages near 50 with the ball in first class cricket. Steve O'Keefe should no doubt be in the side. The Aussie selectors have got it wrong once again. I hope they just use North, Katich and Clarke as the spinners for this match and then bring Hauritz or O'Keefe in for Adelaide.

  • jimbond on November 20, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    Reasonably bold selection. Good to see Doherty in- at least there is a chance that he may perform, whereas Hauriz was sure to turn in an average show. Of the thirteen now two have to be droppped. First should be Smith- he can be used as a bowler only against very average sides. The second to be removed should be Mitchell Johnson- he is the most predictable of the fast bowlers on show. Siddle and Hilfenhaus can keep the pressure for long periods if things dont go according to plan, and Bollinger provides the cutting edge.

  • gtch on November 20, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    The possible selection of Steve Smith reminds me a little of the Taylor/Bevan fiasco circa 1997. Selected not on performances but to cover the backsides of nonperforming batsmen. C'mon enough of players not earning their place in the team. Hauritz is Australia's best spin option. Even the best spinner of all time struggled throughout his career in india, that's the basis of the panels decision to drop him! Of all the nonperforming australians to drop... the knife could easily have fallen on 4 of the top 6.

    I sort of hope Kevin Pieterson breaks the 100 hoodoo and and goes big! C'mon KP, it's your time champ.

  • on November 20, 2010, 3:35 GMT

    I can't believe the ACB. The current selectors should be removed. O'Keefe seems to be the current inform spinner and he's not even in the first 17. A.B. McDonald is clearly superior in every way to North, but never gets picked and the only time he was picked (South Africa tour) was the only really successful test team Australia had for a long time. Get rid of the selectors, they've been rubbish and NSW centric for far too long. Bring in White to replace Ponting and get rid of North and Hussey.

  • Kaze on November 20, 2010, 3:23 GMT

    Why are people assuming that Xavier will play ? They could play Smith as the spinner and have him backed up by Clarke, North and Katich. Smth would also make the 8th batsman for the side, combined with Johnson it could make a decent backup for the top order.

  • johntycodes on November 20, 2010, 3:21 GMT

    Hooray, hauritz has ended up playing however many matches he played more than what he should have in his career. He isn't even his state's number one spinning option and I think the word spin is significant. Hauritz is a slow right arm bowler, not spinner because he never spins it.

  • handyandy on November 20, 2010, 3:21 GMT

    The middle order looks very fragile ... I can't believe they are sticking with North.

    My personal choice wood be to bring in Hughes as opener and drop Watson down the order.

  • knowledge_eater on November 20, 2010, 3:01 GMT

    Katich, Watson, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, North, Haddin, Mitch, Siddle, Hiffy, Douggy, if its gaba no need of spinners. If needed North and Clarke can do it. Mitch recently scored 100 somewhere right ! Seeing how defensive Poms can get with batting, they will need all bowling they can get which is currently their strength. If Bowling is their strength currently, then use that properly. Seeing how bowlers can survive an average 30 to 40 balls they can easily post decent target. Dropping Hauritz doesn't make any difference, because I think spinner shouldn't even be playing on this pitch. Use your brain and your strength its your pace attack.

  • melayaraja on November 20, 2010, 2:55 GMT

    Kindly drop Johnson from the XI and have Bollinger, Hilfenhaus and Siddle playing in the 1st test. Johnson's wayward bowling will release the pressure on the Eng batsmen created by other bowlers.

  • on November 20, 2010, 2:50 GMT

    Smith should play notwithstanding Bell taking to him in windy conditions. With three pace bowlers and Wstson likely to do a lot of the bowling Australia should play Smith regularly simply because his batting with that of Mitchell Johnson can help Australia who have two batsmen struggling at nos 5 and 6. North continues to be selected, but then who will replace him? Maybe Hughes who seems to be in better form than Ferguson and Khwaja if the England A game is any indication. Maybe even White can play, I am sure he will be a darn sight better than North . Clearly the Australian selectors are panicking but Hauritz is completely short of confidence and Doherty at least can bowl tight unlike Hauritz who for an off spinner is notoriously loose. I just hope that ponting makes runs and Johnson bowls straight,. The only hope for Australia is that England is overconfident . Still two ordinary teams , I am sure it will lead to great viewing. sridhar

  • skkh on November 20, 2010, 2:44 GMT

    EverybodylovesSachin...mate thanks for your prediction. This is an Aussie side mate not an Indian one. Ponting is very much our No:1 batsman and he did not chicken out of the captaincy to concentrate on his batting. Sure our players have been performing below par and their confidence is low. But I am sure they will be fighting like tigers once the test starts. We the aussie fans have been critical of them of late but come Ashes we are 100% behind them. Come on Aussies our team needs us the most at this moment.

  • hyclass on November 20, 2010, 2:32 GMT

    It has been said that a true sign of madness is to continually repeat a pattern of action or behaviour and expect a different outcome. This squad will be familiar to anyone who viewed the last losing Australian Ashes Team-its nearly identical. What has changed since then? The Australian team has fallen to fifth in the international rankings. The management, selectors and coaching staff have failed to respond in any meaningful fashion to a wholesale deterioration in standards-particularly in batting and fielding-of the older generation. My injustice-everybodys' injustice- is an indication of the complete lack of accountability for outcomes that the rest of the community is held to every day. Pick coaches who actually improve players records. Pick better players. Pick the extraordinary T. Copeland and O'Keefe. Pick Hughes who already averages over 50. Forget Marsh, Ferguson, North and Xavier. Pick those who can sustain class and endure in battle and in whom we can build faith.

  • Chris_Howard on November 20, 2010, 2:30 GMT

    These selectors have no idea. Doherty averages 48 with the ball; Ferguson 36 with the bat; Smith 44 with bat, 49 with ball. Meanwhile O'Keefe, a genuine all-rounder - 52 with bat, 25 with ball - gets ignored. I'm sick of seeing NSW players continually being picked, but O'Keefe is one that has to be. Drop North and Hussey. Bring in Hughes (who also deserves another go and better treatment) and O'Keefe, and send Watto down the order.

  • smudgeon on November 20, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    I am quite surprised to see Doherty get the nod ahead of Hauritz - but pleasantly so. His recent performances in Pura Cup have been good, and he's more willing to attack batsman than Hauritz has been. I do feel sorry for Hauritz, India is a rough gig for all spinners. The selection that disappoints me most here is Marcus North - I think a calculated swap for Cameron White would be worth exploring. He bats well in the middle order and has strong leadership qualities (which are sorely lacking in the current squad). Smith's selection is also a disappointment, he undoubtedly has talent but needs to work on his bowling if he is to be a true allrounder. I just hope they don't heap too much pressure on the cocky little sod, because he has potential to be a future match-winner.

  • on November 20, 2010, 2:12 GMT

    i could see why they dropped hauritz and brought in doherty seeing he would be effective against right handers but hauritz is very unlucky here

  • Slobberdog on November 20, 2010, 2:11 GMT

    @Jose Cyriac: Krejza and Doherty have near-identical first class career records. They're both rubbish. Is the criterion for Australian selection an average of less than 50 if you're a spin bowler? Australia simply does not have a world-class spin bowler. Most of the guys listed can barely hold their own at first class level. It's about time Australia put its hand up & declared that it simply does not have any quality spin bowlers & instead, fielded 4 quicks. Of course, the selectors are too fearful of being crucified in the press if they pursue that path & the attack fails to bowl the opposition out for under 400.

    And please get rid of Marcus North; he never makes runs when the pressure is on.

  • c3vzn on November 20, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    Steven O'Keefe has proven to me that he has what it takes to fill in the spinner's role in the Aus A match. It doesn't hurt that he's a pretty good batsman too. I wish Doherty all the best but I currently believe O'Keefe is our test spinner for the future.

  • souwesterly on November 20, 2010, 2:10 GMT

    Phew - I reckon Australia have a few problems. Marcus North should have been dumped ages ago. Steven Smith is hardly a problem to defeat - as a bowler or batsman. Ricky Ponting is slipping - the only real justification in keeping him is his record. Xavier Doherty is only in because his opposition failed. Michael Hussey is in on the strength of one innings. Doug Bollinger is a fitness risk.

    If just half of the England team fire then they'll give this Aussie team some bother.

  • on November 20, 2010, 2:08 GMT

    good selection but england will win ashes struss and pterson collingwood bell and swan board and anderson aslo piror cook morgan no doubt england will win

  • Nadeem1976 on November 20, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    Spinner dont matter in australian condition untill and unless it is shane warne. Other than warne no body can do wonders in australia as spinners. Good batting selection as they kept all senior players and no new comers. Remember other than swan no english bowler is big threat therefore it is important for australia to play with experienced batsmen who can play long and hard in test. No new commers. They will ruin the party. Good fast bowlers selection, thats the talent australia has now. Therefore i think 80% perfect selection. 20% surprizse may rise to new shane warne . Who knows. Its australia and australia wins becuase of australizm not by one player.

  • Fahii on November 20, 2010, 2:05 GMT

    possibly the best squad which aus could have at the moment, but gona lose to eng

  • Slobberdog on November 20, 2010, 2:03 GMT

    @Jose Cyriac: Krejza and Doherty have near-identical first class career records. They're both rubbish. Is the criterion for Australian selection an average of less than 50 if you're a spin bowler? Australia simply does not have a world-class spin bowler. Most of the guys listed can barely hold their own at first class level. It's about time Australia put its hand up & declared that it simply does not have any quality spin bowlers & instead, fielded 4 quicks. Of course, the selectors are too fearful of being crucified in the press if they pursue that path & the attack fails to bowl the opposition out for under 400.

    And please get rid of Marcus North; he never makes runs when the pressure is on.

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 20, 2010, 1:57 GMT

    This is like a broken record. 48. 48. Everyone says 48. Doherty's FC bowling average is 48. Does it matter that his average in the past 2 years is 27? His one day domestic average is 28 and in the past 2 years it has been 17. On his debut, in a one day match, he destroyed the Sri Lankan batting line up that nobody else was able to do. And that bowling average of 48 came mostly when he was 18 years of age, yet to develop as a spinner. Refusing to pick someone based on what they did 9 years ago is a bit unfair, when he is in form and right now is the best spinner in the country. Also, the selectors gave Hauritz a chance in their shootout. Doherty did brilliantly while Hauritz failed. Simple. Doherty deserves his debut.

  • Dashgar on November 20, 2010, 1:54 GMT

    I am happy with these selections, I'll go through them one by one. North: I'm sure they wanted to drop him in a way, they brought two potential replacements into the squad and waited till all three had batted twice. Of the 3 North performed easily the best (although not great) so he's in. Doherty: He isn't being picked on his first class average, get that out of your head. Check out his bowling this year in all forms of cricket, he has been easily Australia's best spinner, well ahead of Krejza who he has played alongside, has impressed with his brief foray into ODI cricket and when put under pressure this week in a shield game again performed. Hauritz: He hasn't been dropped just because of India, he has been awful for a while, or he has been injured. He is completely out of confidence and is not talented enough to bounce back in such a short time. To be honest if Doherty goes well in the ashes then Hauritz could be finished. Smith: Only one I don't understand, shouldn't be there

  • coweejones on November 20, 2010, 1:51 GMT

    Englan will loose the Ashes by 5 to 0.australia will win.Gotta problem with what i say huhhhh.The press and cricinfo is putting the Aussies down .but its a mistake.COWEE

  • on November 20, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    I think Kevin Pietersen is one of the reasons why Australia went for Doherty ;-) I guess Aussie fans/Australian team will be ready to admit secretly that they still fear the man who took away the Ashes from them @ Oval in 2005 :P

  • CSpiers on November 20, 2010, 1:47 GMT

    apparnetly doherty has averaged about 25 with the ball in his last 5 or so first class matches, so he's showing form, he also did well against Sri Lanka in an ODI recently (4/46 i think)... he's quite good at flighting the ball and gets decent turn, it'll be interesting to see how he goes.

  • David47 on November 20, 2010, 1:46 GMT

    Well, the selectors have made one good decision but there's still a few more to be made before the series is finished. I'll keep saying it, Steve O'Keefe is THE best spinning prospect in this country. Dougie won't get in the 11 - reason?? two left armers will scuff that side of the wickets and allow Swann to get too much purchase off the deck on the 4th/5th days. So, given the 13 chosen, it SHOULD be the usual suspects in the top 5, Smith at 6, keeper, Johnson, X, Siddle and Hilfy. Is that side good enough?? - I don't think so, but I hope so. Either way, THE best fast bowler in the country should be rushed back into the side as soon as his knee is 100%. Starc and Copeland should also be preparing to launch as soon as it is shown they are needed.

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 20, 2010, 1:42 GMT

    Cannot believe that north finds a place at a time when a.aussie middle-order is weaker than it ever was in 10yrs and b.eng have a very very good bowling attack.

    For hussey one can understand as he is a class player,but not so much with North,it will cost them dear.

  • EverybodylovesSachin on November 20, 2010, 1:41 GMT

    Whoever they pick they are going to loose....End of Ricky Pointing's Career, a new captain and that is not going to be Clark....

  • on November 20, 2010, 1:41 GMT

    What a joke, the selectors have absolutely no idea what their doing. I agree hauritz has struggled but no one else other then o'keefe is pushing him. Doherty averages almost 50 with ball and struggles making the tassie side. They keep smith i think for cover as a batsman for a struggling middle order because o'keefe outclassed him in tassie with both bat and ball. I think it is time to shake up the national selection panel and get some more recent reitred players on there with greg chappel. Someone like mark waugh, shane warne, craig mcdermott etc.

  • nlabhe on November 20, 2010, 1:38 GMT

    Is something wrong with the ACB? Dropping Hauritz due to bad India tour is not fair. I believe Aussies have much more talent and capable players to step in as deserved aussie caps like Krezja, D.Hussey etc. I am positive about White filling a middle order slot in Tests. I would equate him closely with the likes and styles of Sehwag and Gayle. He can be a swashbuckling batsman in all formats of the game to cover Hayden's pit. More or less he may be employed as a part-time bowler in credit with his batting.

  • on November 20, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    this is getting to the point where i am not even shocked with the teams this selection panel comes out with. doherty has no place in an ashes squad, he has shown potential not achieved anything. 1 or 2 one day performances do not translate to tests. marcus norths inclusion really does make me sad. he has failed so many times. how many chances does he need. 1 century and 5 ducks is not his job. he needs to be consistent. i hope they plan on taking 2 spinners and dropping north for smith. at least 2 spinners might have a chance of troubling the english. surely this team doesnt worry them at all

  • on November 20, 2010, 1:31 GMT

    The Australian middle order is struggling if you look at the last 5 testsPonting is averaging 35, Hussey 28.5, North 27.6 and Clarke 26.5. Clarke was a good player when he had Hayden and Langer and Ponting dominating and he would come in and the score was 3 for 400. When Martyn retired the Australian team was hoping Clarke would push up and bat four but he either wasn't good enough or liked it easier down at five. Hussey was a better player down the order at six battinglike Border or Steve Waugh later in their careers. He would still be making runs in that position. I like how the Australian team has kept the same batting line up as consistency in the team is important. The big issue I have is the bowling line up changes every single test. Lets pick a team and stick with it. Make players earn their spot with 3 or 4 years in shield cricket. Hayden, LAnger, MArtyn, Hussey, Lehmann, North, Love, Hodge all performed well at test cricket after being prolific run scoreres at shield level.

  • on November 20, 2010, 1:29 GMT

    What ia rough deal for Hauritz. It was a brain dead decision by the selection Panel to send Hauritz to India and expect him to do well against the one of the best batting lineup ever (certainly the bext against spinners and not shabby against anyone anywhere) in their own backyard. Apart from Saqlain, no spinner has done well against Indian batsmen in India in last 25 years. Hilditch should be fired for a dumb decision.

  • dr.thirsty on November 20, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    As an England fan, I'd rather have seen Hauritz selected instead of Doherty - better the devil you know. I just heard Jim Maxwell on ABC mention that the last bowler given a test debut with such an ordinary average (8 fc wkts @ 45) was one Shane Warne. So who knows - they've got to start somewhere! Oh, BTW, Smith just got a golden duck, shouldering arms to one that took his off stump out of the ground. Maybe North is on firmer ground than you think

  • timmytimmytimmytimmy on November 20, 2010, 1:22 GMT

    i want to see smith play the first test. His batting will really be needed over the summer. an extra 50 runs here and there will really be useful to a batting lineup which collapses to often and has a tail which rarely wags

  • longdonkey on November 20, 2010, 1:20 GMT

    Q. What did North do to earn his spot. A. A century in his last test. People have short memories. Hauritz had a similar record to Doherty when he got his call up, he couldn't get a game of Shield cricket. Ponting has obviously lost confidence in his ability to contain a batsman. And its not Siddle vs Hilfenhaus it is Siddle vs Bollinger and for balance I would choose Siddle. Don't like the thought of 3 left arm bowlers and one right arm. Smith in the 13 - I don't understand 2/118 says it all to me - I haven't seen the 2 dismissals but my guess is they were both caught trying to smash him out of the ground

  • thebarmyarmy on November 20, 2010, 1:12 GMT

    First-class average of 48.26? Big difference in Australian spin quality from Englands last tour down under. As an England fan Im happy. Why did they select him? Was it his ODI bowling average? Stunning average of 15 I guess...... Only 1 game tho.

  • on November 20, 2010, 1:11 GMT

    As far as I am concerned, Krejza is best offie Australia.. Doherty's first class record is not good. Smith wont be of any use, If England play him sensibly.

  • on November 20, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    Steve O'Keefe has impressed me in this Aus A match and having a look at his career figures - only 9 games but ave 50 with the bat and low 20s with the ball makes him much more impressive then Smith who might be enthusiastic but his bowling is below shield level let alone tests . I think O'Keefe will be in the test side by the end of the season at mayby 7 with Haddin up to 6. Smith isnt up to test Standard

  • chokkashokka on November 20, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Whoopidooo.....who is Sidel and who is Dohertu? Two washed up teams trying to hang on to past glory. Can we stick to the business in hand and focus on the test match featuring the premier test side in the universe - and it happens to pay the bills for these auxiliary sides. Put that in your pipe.....:)

  • on November 20, 2010, 1:00 GMT

    I'm glad to see Doherty in the squad, Hauritz has looked flat for a few tests, and its good to see the selectors choose an in form player. I can only hope that the selectors now choose Smith over North.

  • c5nv2838a47i on November 20, 2010, 0:55 GMT

    Anyone who has been following Sheffield Shield cricket since last year knows that Steve O'Keefe is the only spinner playing in the competition that is actually taking wickets on a regular basis. He's the first wicket taking spinner in Shield cricket since MacGill and Warne retired. Not only did he take 4/88 against England yesterday but also top scored batting at no. 8. Steve Smith has potential but just isn't performing yet as a spinner. Krezja didn't do well for Tas last season and got dropped. Doherty's bowling average is worse than Steve Smith's. I'll say it again: STEVE O'KEEFE IS THE ONLY SPINNER TAKING WICKETS IN SHIELD CRICKET. I can't understand why the selectors are ignoring him.

  • Ads_1 on November 20, 2010, 0:52 GMT

    @Vineet JOY doesn't McDonald have a broken hand??

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:51 GMT

    No disrespect but Xavier Dohertywould be lucky to be the best ten spinners in the country. Steve O'Keefe is the best spinner as his figures show (bowling average in mid-20s). But here are some better spinners: Kreija, McGain, Holland, Aaron O'Brien, Hauritz, O'Keefe, Smith, plus the WA and Queensland spinners would be better also).

  • Hoggy_1989 on November 20, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    Obviously the selectors were watching some other Australia A game, cause the one I saw had Steve Smith being demolished by Collingwood and Bell. It'd be a better move playing Hauritz and Doherty together at Adelaide, than trying to justify dropping North or Hussey to play Smith and Doherty. I just hope the selectors don't see a really green pitch and immediately go in with four quicks, because thats a very bad idea...and shows the selectors have a very short memory, forgetting the Oval in 2009. With all that extra bounce you get in the Brisbane, there is some merit in taking a spinner to the Gabba.

  • sundarb on November 20, 2010, 0:41 GMT

    Oh Boy what do we have here? Hauritz, for all his deficiencies - is a decent enough bowler who did well against England last year and Pakistan early this year as well. He has more experience at the international level as well. Even the legendary Shane Warne did not succeed against Indians at the sub-continent, so thats hardly anything against Hauritz. Is this decision to take in an inexperienced spinner going to cost Australia the Ashes? The last time they dropped Hauritz, it certainly cost the Ashes. Only time will tell the answer.

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:37 GMT

    can someone please tell me what Steve O'Keefe is doing wrong?

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    As far as I am concerned, Krejza is best offie Australia.. Doherty's first class record is not good. Smith wont be of any use, If England play him sensibly.

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    Dropping Hauritz is not a good sign...hope he would be in for the rest of the tests (3-5)...might be because smith is more capable batsman, who can cover for the vulnerable line-up?

  • nzcricket174 on November 20, 2010, 0:33 GMT

    Stop including North. How stupid can they be?

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 20, 2010, 0:33 GMT

    Good to see that the selectors followed through on their promise. Hauritz vs Doherty had a shootout and Doherty clearly won. I am glad to see that based on that they included him. Similarly, Khawaja and Ferguson had a chance but failed in both innings (for both of them) against England, while Hussey got a century. North is yet to secure his spot, after failing in the first innings and getting a low not out in the 2nd, while Smith got a half century. It is North vs Smith for the final batting spot, which is a tough decision. With bowling, it is largely about injury. Has Bollinger recovered? If so, he is in. Has Siddle recovered fully? If not, he is out. Assuming all are fit, it is Siddle vs Hilfenhaus for the final bowling spot with Hilfenhaus in slightly better form, but Siddle tends to play better at home than Hilfenhaus does.

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    The Austaralian selection panel needs a serious makeover. I'm not going to begin to explain why they shouldn't pick Doherty (aside from his first-class average of 50)

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:25 GMT

    What did Marcus North do to earn his spot. There were so many more deserving players ( David Hussey, Philip Hughes, Andrew McDonald)....

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    Marcus North is as fragile as your average England Middle Order, Hussey is living on borrowed time especially when those nerves start a jangling and he gets out cheaply in the first test, and why Hauritz has been dropped last minuite.com for a no name spinner is beyond everyone. The Australian's are making it difficult for themselves, and putting immense pressure on the few quality players they have in the top order; Ponting, Clarke, and Katich. I just hope Watson, and Haddin bookend the new and old ball well otherwise it could be a lot closer than if they just settled on the team that was doing a great job of rebuilding about 6-12 months ago.....Xavier who, come on, Pietersen would feast like a king against such youth in their first Ashes test! Great to see Doug and Siddle bringing back the mongrel!

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  • on November 20, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    Marcus North is as fragile as your average England Middle Order, Hussey is living on borrowed time especially when those nerves start a jangling and he gets out cheaply in the first test, and why Hauritz has been dropped last minuite.com for a no name spinner is beyond everyone. The Australian's are making it difficult for themselves, and putting immense pressure on the few quality players they have in the top order; Ponting, Clarke, and Katich. I just hope Watson, and Haddin bookend the new and old ball well otherwise it could be a lot closer than if they just settled on the team that was doing a great job of rebuilding about 6-12 months ago.....Xavier who, come on, Pietersen would feast like a king against such youth in their first Ashes test! Great to see Doug and Siddle bringing back the mongrel!

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:25 GMT

    What did Marcus North do to earn his spot. There were so many more deserving players ( David Hussey, Philip Hughes, Andrew McDonald)....

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    The Austaralian selection panel needs a serious makeover. I'm not going to begin to explain why they shouldn't pick Doherty (aside from his first-class average of 50)

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 20, 2010, 0:33 GMT

    Good to see that the selectors followed through on their promise. Hauritz vs Doherty had a shootout and Doherty clearly won. I am glad to see that based on that they included him. Similarly, Khawaja and Ferguson had a chance but failed in both innings (for both of them) against England, while Hussey got a century. North is yet to secure his spot, after failing in the first innings and getting a low not out in the 2nd, while Smith got a half century. It is North vs Smith for the final batting spot, which is a tough decision. With bowling, it is largely about injury. Has Bollinger recovered? If so, he is in. Has Siddle recovered fully? If not, he is out. Assuming all are fit, it is Siddle vs Hilfenhaus for the final bowling spot with Hilfenhaus in slightly better form, but Siddle tends to play better at home than Hilfenhaus does.

  • nzcricket174 on November 20, 2010, 0:33 GMT

    Stop including North. How stupid can they be?

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    Dropping Hauritz is not a good sign...hope he would be in for the rest of the tests (3-5)...might be because smith is more capable batsman, who can cover for the vulnerable line-up?

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    As far as I am concerned, Krejza is best offie Australia.. Doherty's first class record is not good. Smith wont be of any use, If England play him sensibly.

  • on November 20, 2010, 0:37 GMT

    can someone please tell me what Steve O'Keefe is doing wrong?

  • sundarb on November 20, 2010, 0:41 GMT

    Oh Boy what do we have here? Hauritz, for all his deficiencies - is a decent enough bowler who did well against England last year and Pakistan early this year as well. He has more experience at the international level as well. Even the legendary Shane Warne did not succeed against Indians at the sub-continent, so thats hardly anything against Hauritz. Is this decision to take in an inexperienced spinner going to cost Australia the Ashes? The last time they dropped Hauritz, it certainly cost the Ashes. Only time will tell the answer.

  • Hoggy_1989 on November 20, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    Obviously the selectors were watching some other Australia A game, cause the one I saw had Steve Smith being demolished by Collingwood and Bell. It'd be a better move playing Hauritz and Doherty together at Adelaide, than trying to justify dropping North or Hussey to play Smith and Doherty. I just hope the selectors don't see a really green pitch and immediately go in with four quicks, because thats a very bad idea...and shows the selectors have a very short memory, forgetting the Oval in 2009. With all that extra bounce you get in the Brisbane, there is some merit in taking a spinner to the Gabba.