Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth December 11, 2010

Michael Beer surprised at Test call-up

ESPNcricinfo staff

Michael Beer's selection for the third Test in Perth was a shock to everyone in Australian cricket - not least to Beer himself. Having played only five first-class matches since his debut in October, Beer has suddenly found himself in line to become Australia's 418th Test cricketer, as the selectors search for a way to blunt England's powerful batting line-up.

It has been a sharp rise for a man who until last summer was playing club cricket in Melbourne, working at Puma and hoping to find a way into a Victorian team that already featured the spinners Bryce McGain and Jon Holland. Beer is the biggest bolter Australia's selectors have chosen since Peter Taylor, the offspinner, who bowled Australia to victory in Sydney in 1986-87 having played six previous first-class matches.

"I was a little bit surprised and I don't think it really sank in until I rang my parents and actually blurted it out myself and thought hang on, what's going on here?'" Beer said. "Twelve months ago I probably wasn't a professional cricketer, that's in all facets, and then WA gave me the opportunity under Mickey Arthur and they've been really great and backed me and I've enjoyed every minute of it.

"The move to Perth has been brilliant for me. It definitely created a lot of opportunities and I've really enjoyed playing with the Warriors. I love it and the deck's good. I love bowling on it."

A tall left-armer, Beer has impressed Arthur, his state coach, with his competitiveness, despite having not taken more than three wickets in an innings at state level. "He has a way to go. He is young in the game, but in a year's time he will be sensational," Arthur said. "He will be able to handle anything international cricket can throw at him."

The challenge for Beer is to ensure that in a year's time - or in a month's time - he has not become yet another in Australia's long list of discarded spinners. If he debuts at the WACA, he will be the tenth slow bowler Australia have used in Tests since the retirement of Shane Warne and No. 9, the newly-axed Xavier Doherty, believes the selectors are panicking.

"There is probably a little bit of panic there, but it is only a short series," Doherty told the Mercury. "We've got to turn it around pretty quickly. In an ideal world, I would have liked a few more chances. You have seen how many spinners they have used over the last couple of years, so I'm sure the selectors aren't quite sure who the next person is. But I'm sure if I am given another chance, I can certainly make an impact.

"I started to feel the pressure. Once I started leaking a few boundaries instead of getting back to the basics of what I learnt in Shield cricket over the last couple of years, I probably went searching for a few more wickets and probably produced a few more bad balls. It cuts me pretty deep to know I didn't put in my best performance in Adelaide and knowing I'm a better bowler than that."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    The selectors were probably "throwing down" a pint during the selection meeting! But seriously though, the Aussies are acting like they lost the series already. They need to get back to basics. Or maybe Beer's selection is just a smokescreen to get England off their focus. Anyway, this creates great discussion

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    Now thts wat i call a Pakistani kind of out f the blue team call !!!!!

  • Anver on December 13, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    Beer is a surprise package.......CHEERS !!!!!!!

  • Victor on December 12, 2010, 23:33 GMT


  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    Sadly Aussies aren't playing India, else de Beer woulda got Sachin at least :D

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2010, 17:25 GMT

    What the? how can Beer be picked? It's almost like I'm playing club cricket (I'm on the third XI for a local club in Washington, DC) then suddenly promoted to the national team without being on a first XI. What the hell??

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    Well.. I remember a certain Jason Krejza who toured with Aussies to India in their previous series. He picked tons of wickets in one game, although he leaked close to half the runs India scored. I am not sure if he's healthy or not. But given the match was in the sub-continent where even the best of the best spinners struggle to contain runs, I think he was a very good prospect. I am not sure why he was discarded. Players like him should be groomed and backed and I think he could likely fill Wane's boots. Well I am not an expert but this is my 2 cents. I hope Beer is the answer to the 'Miracle Player' the Oz are looking for right now. GL Aussies.

  • JIGNESH on December 12, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    Selecting Nathan hauritz and Michael Beer, Australian selectors shown the world how stupid and desperate they are. Nathan Hauritz's bowling average in domestic matshes is over 42 runs per wicket in 66 matches, and he did not even take 10 wicket haul yet in domestic matches, and Michael Beer has just played 5 domestic matches, and his bowling averages is close to 40 in just 5 games. I don't know what Australia is showing the World? May be they are saying that they don't have better candidate than Hauritz and Beer in whole Australia. What a foolishness.

  • Dummy4 on December 12, 2010, 9:28 GMT

    @Spinoza Australia have proved in their history that importing spin bowlers works. Their best ever (Clarrie Grimmett) was a New Zealander.

  • Lalith on December 12, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    I just started practicing spin bowling: slow left arm, right arm googly and under arm straight. I also got secret weapon rather a new invented ball (not the carrom ball, doosra or slinger). I got a club match in 2 days and trying to get into NSW against QLD sheffield match starting on 18th. I hope I can play in the 5th TEST in Sydney because I live in Sydney and very much familiar with SCG pitch. I pray Mr Hildrith. I am not BEER, WHISKEY, RUM, or VODKA.

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