Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth

Australia consider full hand of quicks

Peter English at the WACA

December 15, 2010

Comments: 57 | Text size: A | A

Ryan Harris could be part of a four-man pace attack, Perth, December 15, 2010
Ryan Harris is certain to start at the WACA and could yet be part of a full pace attack © Getty Images

Australia are considering unleashing four specialist fast bowlers to soften up England, but first Ricky Ponting has to be convinced the WACA surface will not trick him again. Ponting delayed naming his XI for Thursday's crucial third Ashes Test until he has a final look at the pitch, which is much greener than usual.

Ponting has misread this wicket before, most notably against India in 2007-08 when it looked fast but played low and slow, and had a rare discussion with the groundsman Cam Sutherland today. If Australia go with the pace quartet of Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus they will be flooded with options. Shane Watson's availability actually makes a speed quintet possible, while the legspinner Steven Smith is also on call.

The chances of Michael Beer, the left-arm orthodox spinner, making his debut have reduced slightly, although the hosts could quickly revert to a more traditional attack if the pitch dries out before the toss. To level the series 1-1 Australia require 20 wickets, four more than they have managed in the first two Tests.

The WACA used to be a fast-bowling Mecca and every time teams come here they expect short-pitch tactics to stir up their opponents. Australia are preparing an attempt to bounce England's top order and deliver some discomfort to the tourists, who have dominated since being dismissed for 260 on the opening day of the series. "I honestly feel the pitch conditions here are as foreign to English players as probably anywhere else in the world and hopefully we can exploit that this week," Ponting said.

It is impossible to understate the importance of this game for Australia. If they lose England will retain the Ashes and Ponting's captaincy and playing future will be on the line. He usually announces his side the day before the game but will toss and turn for another night before deciding what to do.

Western Australia, the local state side, have also been confused by the surface, which although it looks green is not always conducive to seam. Ponting is unsure whether it will play as it looks. "There's a chance of that and that's probably due to the different type of grass that's on it at the moment," he said. "It's not the thicker, coarse grass that was on the wicket the last couple of years, it's a finer leaf sort of grass.

"When you've got wickets like that the ball tends to skip off that grass rather than holding on it. That's why it's important to get a good feel of it tomorrow morning and see how hard it is, and whether there's any moisture left in the surface before we make our decision."

Hilfenhaus and Harris will be used as into-the-wind bowlers while Johnson, who has been trying to rebuild his action over the past week, will be able to charge in with the breeze. Siddle is another who will enjoy having the wind at his back if he is selected. Both Hilfenhaus and Johnson didn't bowl in the nets during the final practice session in preparation for their returns after being dropped for the Adelaide game.

Whether Siddle, who hasn't take a wicket since his six on the opening day in Brisbane, or Beer fits in is still to be determined. Ponting said Beer's inexperience would not be a factor in deciding the line-up.

"It's more so we can get the best four bowlers for us on that wicket, it's as simple as that," he said. "The fact that Michael is a debutant doesn't come into it. If he's in our four best bowlers for the wicket we see tomorrow then he'll play."

Spinners have been successful over the latter stages of Shield games in Perth this season and Ponting planned to have lunch with Beer to talk tactics. Australia have Smith to bat at No.6 and bowl as well, but the team management seems confused by all the potential options.

If he plays, Beer will be heavily involved in the second half of the game, while an extra paceman will be expected to cause more problems in the first innings. Ponting has too much to think about but must be wary about over-stocking his pace department on a surface that has bitten him before.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by CoreyP on (December 16, 2010, 1:57 GMT)

What we are all forgetting is- Aus have dropped some easy catches at crucial times which have allowed Eng to post huge scores- which then puts pressure on our batsmen and bowlers!! We are renowned for our fielding and its been D grade. This is where Aus have been ruthless in previous years...taking all catches even half chances. Also alot of missed run out opportunities. As the saying goes thats been around for centuries- catches win matches!! Eng have held all of theres. I dont agree with the Beer selection...isnt selection for test matches meant to be the best possible players and ones that are in form? Hilditch needs to GO!! A possible Aus side for the future. 1. Hughes 2. S.Marsh 3. Kwaja 4.Clarke(step up son or leave)/ C.Lynn 5. Watson(neds to bat here as doesnt go on with starts as an opener should) 6. Ferguson(havin a good year in shield) 7. Haddin (C)/Paine 8. Hauritz 9. Johnson 10. T.Copeland 11. Hilfenhaus (we need his swing)

Posted by aracer on (December 16, 2010, 1:57 GMT)

Lunch with beer seems like Punter's best option right now!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 1:42 GMT)

bring back warnie!

Posted by MinusZero on (December 16, 2010, 1:27 GMT)

Why is Nielsens role not under scrutiny. In Rugby League he would have been gone months ago for a underperforming team

Posted by MinusZero on (December 16, 2010, 1:26 GMT)

If Beer doesnt play, his selection was pointless since he was selected for the apparent home ground advantage.

Posted by CaptainMurugan on (December 16, 2010, 1:19 GMT)

Alexandria, you are absolutely right ! That never occured to me. The need to take 20 wkts to win a test match is clearly misplaced. I think india should play with 11 proper batsmen, deliberately underperform in the first innings, lull SA into declaring their innings and then india should be able to chase down ANY target in the second innings with 11 quality batsmen. Genius !

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 0:56 GMT)

I am going to agree with Herbet. What happened to the days of the Australian bowling lineup causing fear for the batsmen. You don't have to worry about Johnson hitting you because most of his balls are going to be sailing through leg slip for 4 wides and the rest of them aren't quick enough to worry the best of the English lineup. Need someone with the x-factor, Tait isn't the most accurate of bowlers but he can push 155km/h same with Lee. I guess Tait being picked is out of the question as he is a South Aussie, moved to Victoria or QLD he might get a look.

Posted by Bhatin on (December 16, 2010, 0:55 GMT)

Everyone is talking about the bowling line up, this and that, but Aussie batting has been a disaster in this series so far except for Hussey and Haddin. First test was saved by those 2, Watson starts but does not carry on, Clarke looked good in 2nd innings in 2nd test. Ponting is complete disaster. Katich is out and Huges is untested quantity considering he's making comeback. Also not to forget, preparing fast track and backfire big time as well with Anderson, Finn, Tremlett almost certain to play. Finn and Tremlett can extract bounce and Anderson can swing around. Swann can be weak link considering fast track, but then he has so much variations.. It all will depend whose batting clicks.

Posted by Something_Witty on (December 16, 2010, 0:32 GMT)

@bouncedout, yes probably. Unfortunately there really aren't many genuine quicks left in the game. But Dougy and Siddle are both well capable of reaching 150 kph, and Mitchell Johnson when he's in good form and not injured is among the quickest bowlers in the game at the moment. But yes, the last consistent, genuinely quick bowler in the world is Steyn, and even his pace seems down of late.

Posted by mikaelnorm on (December 16, 2010, 0:26 GMT)

@Alexandria it's very rare that a team that declares in either innings of a Test match goes on to lose. Then again...India v England at Chennai comes to mind

Posted by SCRIVENER-AS1100 on (December 16, 2010, 0:22 GMT)

Hey readers! i believe that the aussie selectors made a HORRIBLE decision on the including of steve smith. I mean he's hardly experienced, averages 48 IN BOWLING (which is horrendous) and is only 21. Y didnt we choose some more experienced guy like brad hodge?

Posted by kabe_ag7 on (December 16, 2010, 0:12 GMT)

"in 2007-08 when it looked fast but played low and slow" - That's the first time I'm hearing that. You are saying Ponting was in all sorts of troubles against young Ishant Sharma on a low, slow pitch? Ponting wouldn't like to hear that.

Posted by WeirPicki on (December 15, 2010, 23:33 GMT)

Pick the best bowlers whether all quicks or not, Beer is a joke selection, surely he won't play.

Posted by tullym on (December 15, 2010, 22:17 GMT)

If Watson who bowls 135km/h plus consistently is not a quick the Glenn Mcgrath wasn't either. He's not express but he is a pace bowler.

Posted by Metman on (December 15, 2010, 22:16 GMT)

Hey readers!I think the ICC needs to launch an investigation into the outcome of the first two test matches !Match fixing and spot fixing are not only confined to Pakistan.It is a world wide thing people.If it was Pakistan,people would have been quick to accuse Pakistan of this and that.

Posted by inthebag on (December 15, 2010, 22:00 GMT)

So we don't have a spinner, we'll use Smith until one turns up that deserves a place and in the mean time go with the 4 quicks. We used to be so desperate for an all-rounder we'd pick anyone, that was crazy and so is this spin cycle. We've got 4 good quick bowlers they need to bowl as a unit, confident of their place in the side and with regulation fields so they can bowl at off-stump. Time to start today.

Posted by Clive_Dunn on (December 15, 2010, 21:29 GMT)

Ahh Something_Witty, bitter or Beer - you decide !

Honestly though, Smith at 6 is a big reach for Australia. He's a 7 or 8 at this point of his career.

Posted by shameerpvt on (December 15, 2010, 20:04 GMT)

Ricky always has depended on individual performances of players such as Warne, McGrath & they delivered. He has not been tested with poor performances of his team mates & challenged his captaincy skills. Now is the time that his captaincy skills are most required & we would see how effective they are.....

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 19:49 GMT)

It doesnt require 20 wickets to win a test as a team can declare and still lose the 20 wicket thing is a myth

Posted by parthaa on (December 15, 2010, 19:27 GMT)

doesnt the whole thing sound as if the toss is up for grabs to punter... what if strauss gets it right and his seamers go on to nail the aussies on a full green grass top on day one, which supposedly is to hold for 4 - 5 days... remember the aussie openers havent proved anything so far but on the other hand cook & strauss are turning out to be a nightmare for them. am i missing anythin out here

Posted by harshit18 on (December 15, 2010, 18:56 GMT)

i think they should have called for nathan hauritz, pointing's ego might be leed to his downfall

Posted by KBCA on (December 15, 2010, 18:43 GMT)

doherty is not test quality and should never have been picked in the first place. smith is just plain bad, batting him at 6 will be australias downfall. hauritz should never have been dropped but since being should definately be recalled. as much as i hate the arrogant pom/south african team they will win this series quite comfortably probably 2-0 or 2-1

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 16:40 GMT)

Interesting how Ponting's future will be on the line if they lose this, but Hilditch will escape scot free.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (December 15, 2010, 16:33 GMT)

Seems as if Punter has been recruited by the headless chicken brigade? Don't the Aussies realise that a "fast and bouncy" track is probably going to suit England even more than it will benefit Australia? If it's slow and low (the other extreme) that will suit England too.... how about just prooducing a good test wicket with average pace and spin as the game progresses? (Who would that suit I wonder?) The key to this match (and others) is scoring big runs at a decent rate. If you can put 500+ on the board and keep the oppostion in the field for a couple of days, then you are on top! Scoring runs at a snails pace can be attritional but doesn't always set up a winning position! It will be fascinating to see the selectorial dilemma solved and how the key players respond? COME ON ENGLAND!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 16:28 GMT)

always play a spinner......ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 15:49 GMT)

@Jimmy DeMar Morrison "Pick the 4 seam bowlers and save beer for Sydney. We have smith, clarke can bowl, and katich if need be"

Gosh... I thought Katich was out for the series... but there again, maybe the Aussies have referred him to the same miracle cure medicine man that they hope has fixed Johnson.

Posted by beakyjonjo on (December 15, 2010, 15:38 GMT)

Four quicks is the only option....beer is simply not good enough and if the four quicks bowl tightly it shouldn't be a problem....I have faith in Hilfy and Harris...I have no faith in johnson and very little in siddle. As for playing smith at number 6...the jury is still out. The selectors should have picked Copeland instead of beer...the guy is arguably the best bowling prospect in australia at the moment. We don't have a good spinner in Australia at the moment..only capable ones and If you were going to pick a spinner, then Hauritz should have been picked. So play to your strengths...no spinner!! I actually think they have to pick for the future as Steve Waugh has suggested. So for Melbourne and Sydney I'd play Harris, Hilfy, Copeland, Cameron/ Christian and for sydney...O'keefe.

Posted by John-Price on (December 15, 2010, 15:32 GMT)

It is impossible to understate the importance of this game for Australia.

Should this be overstate perhaps? Good point though, and it's not just Ponting who will be worried. The money men as well. If the match goes England's way, attendances will not be good for the last two tests.

Posted by screamingeagle on (December 15, 2010, 15:20 GMT)

Hope Beer doesnt bowl too flat, if he plays. Flat beer aint good...

Posted by bouncedout on (December 15, 2010, 15:17 GMT)

@ at something witty. the same could be said of Siddle, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus or indeed Johnson of late :)

Posted by TheCaptayne on (December 15, 2010, 14:34 GMT)

Vishnu27 I agree, the Aussies could have made more progress if the selectors had more faith in their selections. In terms of ability there is not much difference between the two sides but Australia might well get a 3 or 4-0 shellacking here, due to the loss of confidence all the dithering has caused. Chaos.

Posted by bobagorof on (December 15, 2010, 14:27 GMT)

Bring on Cameron White! His career batting average of low 40's and fearsome bowling of 'I gave that away years ago' will strike fear into the hearts of teams, particularly as he is averaging an astounding 32.16 from 7 innings against all comers this season with the bat (16.4 from 6 if you take out the hundred in the Australia A game). Surely replacing an out-of-form batsman with an out-of-form batsman is the answer. But hey, as we're looking around for batsmen as an answer to the spin question these days, why not try someone who brings himself on to bowl a whopping 15 overs in 4 matches (down from 28 in 5 last season). At least he's shown great sportsmanship as a captain, highlighted by impeding a batsman and then appealing for a run-out in a ODD a few years ago. Mind you, that may still be an improvement over the current beacon heading the national team...

Posted by westindiancanadian on (December 15, 2010, 14:11 GMT)

70's and '80's Windies used 4 quicks all the time even when they had top class spinners to choose from but the game has changed......Batsmen in general have become better on the backfoot and the limitations on the use of the bouncer in one over has also changed the game and tactics. Pick a spinner! Watson can become that 4th quick if needed. This is not Lamb and Boycott and Gooch days, this new breed can play with great comfort on the back foot.

Posted by bobagorof on (December 15, 2010, 13:55 GMT)

The editing of this article needs some work, as a few errors crept in: It is actually impossible to OVERstate the importance of this match to Australia, as it is so important that even if you said it was the most important thing ever, it would still not be an overstatement. Also, NEITHER Hilfenhaus nor Johnson bowled in the nets during the final practice session, as you can't have 'both' people 'not' doing something. But back to cricket - I will be most interested to see whether the selectors have faith in Steve Smith's bowling enough to be the sole spin option (assuming Clarke's back will prevent him from bowling). Hauritz has shown that spin can take wickets on this ground this season with 7 against WA. Smith has previously been chosen as Hauritz's replacement against Pakistan, so the question is 'Has he developed enough to be an international bowler?'. Or, alternately, 'Is he a better bowler than Beer?'

Posted by landl47 on (December 15, 2010, 13:54 GMT)

Playing 4 seam bowlers seems a strange choice to me. Watson is a useful 4th seamer (it's one of the few advantages Australia has over England) and if the 4 seamers play he won't be used. Then the option of having a left-arm spinner on days 4 and 5 is gone. Australia must be praying this track is quick and bouncy and doesn't break up. If it's slow, or if it takes spin later in the game, then it's hard to see how England will lose. Whatever the conditions, I like England better, not least because of captaincy. The game hasn't started and already we're seeing the indecisive Ponting we always see when Autralia is in trouble. He has no plan and no ideas. Cam White would be a much better choice as captain, even if he isn't quite test calibre as a player.

Posted by SettingSun on (December 15, 2010, 13:53 GMT)

@Josh Hayward - yeah, it would be great if you put that team out. First of all, you drop the wicketkeeper who has been your second best batsman of the series so far. Then you are relying on Cameron White as your spinner even though he doesn't really bowl any more. Then you have the plodding all-round medium pace of McDonald amongst your specialist bowlers, meaning you would actually only go in with three specialist bowlers. Good calls! You know, you Aussies spend so much of your time criticising Hilditch and friends, but your own suggestions are actually far worse.

Posted by cokemannz on (December 15, 2010, 13:26 GMT)

"Ponting planned to have lunch with Beer..." Of course.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 13:23 GMT)

sultanwarrior a wicketkeeper might be useful too

Posted by Something_Witty on (December 15, 2010, 13:21 GMT)

Herbet, yep we can stop referring to Watto as a "quick" he isn't, he's a medium pacer. However, if we're going to be technically correct, we need to stop referring to Anderson, Tremlett, Bresnan and Finn as "quicks" as well. :)

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 13:01 GMT)

If we pick our 6 best bowlers, we wouldn't have a spinner in the team. Our best six bowlers of pace or spin are as follows: Hilfenhaus, Johnson, Harris, Watson, Bollinger, and Siddle. Therefore, why do we have to play a spinner ever?

On a turning track, Smith's bowling will be sufficient, particularly on on days 4 and 5 when it's needed.

BTW, the strongest Australian team (barring injury) is:

Watson, Katich, Hussey, Clarke (vc), Ponting, Cam White (captain), Paine, McDonald, Johnson, Harris, Hilfenhaus.

That gives a mixture of pace options and White's bowling is a useful spin option on days 4 and 5. This lineup will take us back to the glory days of the early 00's.

Posted by kootchyrocker on (December 15, 2010, 12:39 GMT)

I definitely agree - there is no way that they can pick Beer! When were baggy greens ever this easy to get? Maybe i should get one two? I recently rolled my arm over at the local leisure center indoor nets. I'm proud to say that i completely bamboozled a former Glastonbury under 12's second 11 number 10 batsmen! I could be there for boxing day if the selectors give me a call!

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 15, 2010, 12:37 GMT)

If you have 4 top quicks and you play all four then you may present more problems to your opposition if the wicket is right. If all 4 quicks lack that certain x factor, are straight up and down, not very fast and not particularly concerned with accuracy then playing all four tends to get your opposition into a happier frame of mind than playing a spinner. I've seen England go down this path and barring early season green seaming wickets it has always failed. With added pace off the wicket this prospect should be boon to English batsmen, and a chance to exercise their cutting skills. Bring it on!!!

Posted by bouncedout on (December 15, 2010, 11:55 GMT)

Talk it up all you want Ricky. If you had a spinner that you had any confidence in then he would play its as simple as that. The way in which they have treated firstly Hauritz and more recently Doherty is shocking and smacks of a complete lack of direction. Pressure, pressure Ricky

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (December 15, 2010, 11:19 GMT)

This is just changing the pillow for the headache. All are in PANIC mood. Aussie do not care any other Test Series but this is Ashes in their back yard. It is shame for Aussies to loose in the backyard. Wait and see for next 5 days. Good luck to BEER and hope it is not his last test

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 10:54 GMT)

Pick the 4 seam bowlers and save beer for Sydney. We have smith, clarke can bowl, and katich if need be. That being said, if beer gets choose, i will be happy for him, and support him. I think we (Aus) need to start thinking long term and having him in and out of the side wont do anyone any good. Oh well, we will find out tomorrow i suppose....

Posted by Herbet on (December 15, 2010, 10:37 GMT)

Oh, your gonna soften us up are you? 2 better openers off the back foot than Strauss and Cook you will struggle to find. As just about everyone is well aware Pietersen and Trott were brought up in South Africa, where it is also pretty hot and the pitches pretty hard. Collingwood doesn't mind digging into the odd hook and pull and Bell and Prior are good enough to handle toe or temple crushers. Plus,4 quicks works if they are Ambrose, Walsh, Marshall and Bishop. I'm not sure it works when they are called Johnson, Siddle, Harris and Hilfenhaus. I might be worried if Tait and Lee were playing but as things stand I should have a good nights sleep. Plus, can we please stop referring Shane Watson as a 'quick'!

Posted by vijayshankar2003 on (December 15, 2010, 10:31 GMT)

I think aus must play with 4 pace bowlers as there are no specialist spinners to mention... if they want a spinner , it can only be nathan hauritz but at the moment thats not the case. so my opinion is to go with 5 specialist bowlers because aus can win only if they can take 20 wickets which is not happening now. so they have to do something with their bowling attack and as far as batting is considered, pointing ust score huge. lot depends on him as he is the only best in the cureent batting line up. positive thing for aus is that clarke has got his rythm back to some extent scoring 80 odd runs.

my eleven for next test: 1.watson 2.hughes 3.pointing 4.clarke 5.hussey 6.smith 7.johnson 8.siddle 9.hilfenaus 10.ryan harris 11.micheal beer(no other option)

Posted by Vishnu27 on (December 15, 2010, 10:21 GMT)

Australia's selection process is currently a complete & utter shambles. Those in charge will have many questions to answer at the end of this series. This series has been a complete debacle & an absolute disgrace. How North was even considered for the initial squad is beyond me. Then the non selection of Hauritz, & the selections of Doherty & now Beer are totally incomprehensible. There ought to be a massive cull & clear out of these numpties that have been entrusted to select a winning Ashes team. Australia is in total disarray largely because of them. Fall on your swords, Australian selectors.

Posted by sAiyAnstAr on (December 15, 2010, 10:14 GMT)

Hauritz hit a 146 on the weekend and took 3 wickets for the match. He is the form spinner at the moment yet gets overlooked for some unknowns.

Australia deserve not to win the ashes. They are not playing like a team anymore. The world dominance over and it is time to gracefully accept their reign no longer.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 9:58 GMT)

Well the fact of the matter is that we CAN'T play our 4 best bowlers because our best spinner is not in the squad. Regardless of whether the pitch spins or not, we CANNOT play Beer, he is just not good enough. Smith is a better bowler than Beer so why waste a spot on him?

Posted by Cricket_is_the_Winner on (December 15, 2010, 9:34 GMT)

I really wonder how many people that have been having a go at Mike Beer have seen him play or even seen him bowl. I played with him when he was in England and was a great player to have in the side, gave 125% every time, trained hard and loved playing cricket.

I suggest some people should stop having a go at the bloke and actually support him and wish him well. I will and I am 100% English. Good luck Beery!!!

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 9:23 GMT)

You take any combination of bowlers, still Australia are not capable of taking 20 English wickets easily. No need to worry that Beer is selected or Johnson is selected or any other bowler is selected/not selected. The bowlers can take 20 wickets only if their retired players join the squad.

Posted by   on (December 15, 2010, 8:54 GMT)

THe problem with the India match of 07 wasn't selecting 4 quicks but rather selecting long running cricket joke Shaun Tait as one of those quicks. Tait's match figures of 0/92 off just 21 overs made him more damaging to the Australian team than Tendulkar.

Posted by Samdanh on (December 15, 2010, 8:48 GMT)

Aus should simply go with 3 pacemen and two spinners in Beer and Smith. The pitch is not going to be too different at all. Even if there is some help for fast men that is going to wane after the 1st day or even the first two hours of the match. Ponting should remember what happened here when they played India in 2007-08 and also remember what happened in the Oval Test of 2009 Ashes series when he went with 4 pacemen minus Hairitz. Playing five specialist bowlers is the best option in present circumstances. Watson can any way bowl as an additional 4th paceman, if required. All said and done this weekend is going to be great for cricket lovers as the World's top four Cricket teams are playing what could be potentially most absorbing 5 days of cricket. Especially during the weekend, people in India have the opportunity to watch both matches right through the entire day from 8am to 9.30pm IST with a little bit of over lap between 2.30pm and 4pm IST

Posted by Okakaboka on (December 15, 2010, 8:34 GMT)

Are IQs dropping? Geez, it takes months to remodify an action. As a tennis coach I can tell you this is fact. One week and Johnston is all better. Well why hasn't he fixed his dodgy technique over the last year and half? Are we all that dopey? Who has been helping him?....Has there been a change in coach?...Damien Fleming??? No...Cooley...the same coach who has supervised Johnston as he has got worse and worse and worse. The selectors and Ponting must be made accountable if Johnston fails...again! Ponting should resign as captain and the selectors all need to go.....they simply are not fit to hold their current roles....end of story! What they appear to be going to do is absolutely irresponsible!

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (December 15, 2010, 8:23 GMT)


Posted by Something_Witty on (December 15, 2010, 8:18 GMT)

Beer should not play. Even though the side is unbalanced with four quicks and Watson and Smith in the top 6, Beer is not a good enough option. The ideal team would be either Smith or Hauritz batting at 8/9, with a specialist batsman at 6. All I can do is hope that Beer does not play.

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