Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth December 15, 2010

Australia must plan for the future - Steve Waugh

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Steve Waugh has praised the togetherness of an England squad that he believes are favourites to secure the Ashes with victory in the third Test at Perth, but says that the time has come for Australia's selectors to identify the men that they believe can return the Test team to winning ways, and then back them through thick and thin - in much the same way that he himself was given time to learn his game in the early years of his own international career.

Though Waugh finished his career with a formidable record of 10927 runs in 168 Test appearances, his early days coincided with the absolute nadir of Australia's fortunes, as he was selected on a whim as a 20-year-old allrounder in December 1985, in a team that had been ravaged by the retirements of three key players in Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh, as well as a raft of defections to a rebel tour of South Africa.

"Allan Border was captain and he'd played more Tests than the rest of the team combined," Waugh recalled. "That's a very inexperienced side, this side has still got some experience and good players. But what the selectors have got to do now, that they did then, was have belief in the younger players that they pick. Say, look, we believe in you, you're the future of Australian cricket, and you're going to have a bit of leeway.

"It's not always going to be successful all days, and I guess I was the perfect example," he added. "I didn't score a hundred until my 26th Test, I never won a Test until my 13th Test for Australia, so you've got to see the bigger picture. You can't just chop and change, if someone fails in one Test and doesn't look the goods, you've got to give them an opportunity."

With that in mind, Waugh was especially critical of the treatment meted out to the left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty, who has been jettisoned from the squad after just two Test appearances, in favour of Western Australia's Michael Beer. "We've been going through a lot of players," he said, "but you don't just chop and change for the sake of it.

"It's a great honour to play for your country, and I feel disappointed for someone like Doherty who's played two Tests and now he's gone. I think you pick a player, believe in them, and give them a good opportunity, and you don't change that side unless you believe you can improve the side by getting another player in."

Speaking at the MCC World Cricket Committee meeting in Perth, Waugh believed that Australia's spirit in adversity would give them a fighting chance in the forthcoming contest, but backed England's greater cohesion to hold sway - an upshot, he added, that would heap huge pressure on Ricky Ponting's tenure as Australia's captain.

"Ricky acknowledged [the pressure] at the start of the series," said Waugh. "He would be thinking he can turn it around because that's always been the case for Australian sides that I've played in, but questions will be asked for sure if they lose this series. It's unlikely, looking at form, that they can turn this around, but anything can happen in sport, particularly on this unique wicket which is like no other pitch in the world. It's only 1-0 down in the five-Test series, and the great uncertainty is what keeps us coming back."

England, however, have looked a formidable unit in the series to date, and Waugh - who has never been shy of stating his opinion on previous Ashes squads - believes that the influence of Andy Flower has been instrumental in moulding an outfit that is becoming the team best placed to inherit Australia's mantle as the world's No. 1 side.

"They've impressed me for a couple of years," he said. "I noticed the turnaround when England drew three Test matches having lost nine wickets in the fourth innings [at Cardiff, Centurion and Cape Town]. That showed to me a side that was together. Sides that aren't strong don't survive those sorts of matches.

"That was a turning point for English cricket," he added. "They look like they enjoy each other's company, they are playing for each other, and they've prepared very well. I like the fact that Flower is their coach, behind the scenes and low-key. They look like they all know their roles and they are playing some good cricket.

"All great eras have to come to an end," he added. "I guess we modelled a bit of our cricket on the great West Indies era, because if you're smart you look at the best and what they are doing, and look at their blueprint, and modify it to suit your needs. I think you can see England have done that with their cricket. They've looked at how we've been successful, altered it to suit their players, and now they're playing their own style."

The net result is an Australian side with no choice but to go for broke in a bid to avoid their first home Ashes defeat in 24 years. "What option have they got?" said Waugh. "They were totally outplayed on a flat pitch at Adelaide. You've got to say England were dominant and that will have hurt the Australian side, particularly Ricky. They'll give everything they've got in this Test, and I expect them to really firing up on the first morning, being really positive in their body language, and with a couple of younger players so I expect to see more energy in the field.

"It's a huge Test, and it's going to be on," he added. "The WACA is a great place to watch and play Test cricket, the quicks can get it through, it's exciting, and more than likely it's a place where players can get injured if they are not switched on. It's going to be a bit of a battlefield out there."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 19, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    Steve Waugh, once again proving why is one of the most valuable men to have represented Australia. When he speaks, people should listen..

  • Vishnu27 on December 18, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    lankan_neutral: you bowl them out for 187, then make good runs in the 2nd dig. Then have them 5/81 at the close of the 3rd day. Nice work Australia. 1-1 at the 'G. Merry Christmas

  • CustomKid on December 18, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    I totally agree with Adrian Meredith. The sooner CA appoint Steve Waugh and Allan Border to positions of chief selectors and or coach the sooner the national side starts to develop. I honestly don't see much development taking place under the current coaching staff or selection panel especially their most recent appoint of the head selector in Greg Chappell.

    I guess time will tell......

  • handyandy on December 17, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    We may as well face the fact that this Aussie team is done and dusted, and start the rebuilding process.

    Perhaps Hughes and Smith were chosen too early, but they are there now ... so they should get a fair run.

    We need to look for replacements for Ponting and perhaps Clarke. We need a leader for the bowling attack as well.

    Watson is a makeshift opener and that is becoming more obvious as time goes on. We need an opener who can convert fifties into hundreds. Watson is better suited down the order.

    As for a spinner ... well the search continues.

  • on December 17, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    MY XI for the boxing day test Watto Khawaja Punter Pup Huss Haddin Smith Johnson Harris Hauritz siddle

  • on December 17, 2010, 0:00 GMT

    Let's make Steve Waugh chairman of selectors and then maybe we have a chance of having a decent team.

  • Legionnaire on December 16, 2010, 23:57 GMT

    Perhaps, Shane Watson is someone like a Steve Waugh, but sadly not too many people identify him as a potential captain of Australia. In the chaos he has been a consistent half century maker, which is becoming a precious commodity in Australian cricket at present. He could be a more dominant force down the order, give up his bowling and captain the side.

  • on December 16, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    Anyone suggesting Cameron White - He is averaging 20 with the bat this year for Victoria and has bowled only 15 overs for no wickets and the team he is captaining so well is last in the Shield - Get him in the man is a genius lol- Now the reality is we need blokes in form if we are going to make changes - Khawaja from NSW, Lynn the youngster from QLD and Marsh instead of Hughes are probably the form choices, with Ferguson - so those 4 are your best choices and perhaps McDOnald when he comes back at 6

  • cricket_for_all on December 16, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    It is not the bowlers It is the batsmen who fail again and again. How can you defend 1st innings score of 268. This will give bowlers hell lots of pressure and make them fail too. I think AUS should consider better replacement batsmen not the bowlers.

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    On the Hauritz issue, I don't believe he will ever agree to play for Australia again as long as Ponting is captain, or even in the team, because of their well known antipathy. Where does this leave the selectors?

  • on December 19, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    Steve Waugh, once again proving why is one of the most valuable men to have represented Australia. When he speaks, people should listen..

  • Vishnu27 on December 18, 2010, 19:04 GMT

    lankan_neutral: you bowl them out for 187, then make good runs in the 2nd dig. Then have them 5/81 at the close of the 3rd day. Nice work Australia. 1-1 at the 'G. Merry Christmas

  • CustomKid on December 18, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    I totally agree with Adrian Meredith. The sooner CA appoint Steve Waugh and Allan Border to positions of chief selectors and or coach the sooner the national side starts to develop. I honestly don't see much development taking place under the current coaching staff or selection panel especially their most recent appoint of the head selector in Greg Chappell.

    I guess time will tell......

  • handyandy on December 17, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    We may as well face the fact that this Aussie team is done and dusted, and start the rebuilding process.

    Perhaps Hughes and Smith were chosen too early, but they are there now ... so they should get a fair run.

    We need to look for replacements for Ponting and perhaps Clarke. We need a leader for the bowling attack as well.

    Watson is a makeshift opener and that is becoming more obvious as time goes on. We need an opener who can convert fifties into hundreds. Watson is better suited down the order.

    As for a spinner ... well the search continues.

  • on December 17, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    MY XI for the boxing day test Watto Khawaja Punter Pup Huss Haddin Smith Johnson Harris Hauritz siddle

  • on December 17, 2010, 0:00 GMT

    Let's make Steve Waugh chairman of selectors and then maybe we have a chance of having a decent team.

  • Legionnaire on December 16, 2010, 23:57 GMT

    Perhaps, Shane Watson is someone like a Steve Waugh, but sadly not too many people identify him as a potential captain of Australia. In the chaos he has been a consistent half century maker, which is becoming a precious commodity in Australian cricket at present. He could be a more dominant force down the order, give up his bowling and captain the side.

  • on December 16, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    Anyone suggesting Cameron White - He is averaging 20 with the bat this year for Victoria and has bowled only 15 overs for no wickets and the team he is captaining so well is last in the Shield - Get him in the man is a genius lol- Now the reality is we need blokes in form if we are going to make changes - Khawaja from NSW, Lynn the youngster from QLD and Marsh instead of Hughes are probably the form choices, with Ferguson - so those 4 are your best choices and perhaps McDOnald when he comes back at 6

  • cricket_for_all on December 16, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    It is not the bowlers It is the batsmen who fail again and again. How can you defend 1st innings score of 268. This will give bowlers hell lots of pressure and make them fail too. I think AUS should consider better replacement batsmen not the bowlers.

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:32 GMT

    On the Hauritz issue, I don't believe he will ever agree to play for Australia again as long as Ponting is captain, or even in the team, because of their well known antipathy. Where does this leave the selectors?

  • on December 16, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    @Geoff Oppray I don't see how you can believe that Hussey and Haddin should go - look at the scores!

  • Jabari18 on December 16, 2010, 19:14 GMT

    Australia modelled West Indies to success and are now modelling them in failure

  • on December 16, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    Amazing that some people are still calling for hussey's departure (Geoff!) and haddin too!! England would have the ashes wrapped up by now if it wasn't for these two-if the rest of the team found the guts to fight back to form like these guys then they would be ok-sometimes you need to score "dirty " runs. Are the england players that much better or are they better prepared by the back scenes team?

  • on December 16, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    Australian team combination is messed up. Unfortunately Katto got ruled out. Khawaja should make his way in to the side and Hauritz should be their specialist spinner. I wonder what talent they see in Steven Smith. He is pretty much a half cricketer at the moment and I hope he will improve at a rapid rate. His bowling is pretty average and so is batting. I don't believe in Michael Beer as well.Hughes is crap and should not open. Khawaja has been knocking on Greg Chappels door during this summer and it is the perfect time for chappel and co selectors to open it.

  • Micgyver on December 16, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    So true Steve Waugh.However is might be time to test untapped young batting talent at test level.Whether its this season or next,2 particular batsman come to mind.Khawaja who is already on the cusp of selection,and Chris Lynn from Qld.Most people would have seen Khawaja's stylish orthodoxed batting tecnique that has reaped him state cricket runs.And Lynn is one of the most agressive confident young batsman to surface in a while.

    On the bowling front i think Hilfenhaus,Siddle and Johnson will eventually fire on a more consistent basis.With George and Hazelwood good enough to make test players if injury occurs. My biggest problem is the spinner.I still think Hauritz has alot to offer Australia however my future selection in this position is Steve O'Keefe.Mentally tough,and underated,he would not be out of place with an immediate call up.Pity NSW selectors dont see the same.

  • on December 16, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    to be a good captain u should be like a king who's never sacred like waugh n pollard (who r mentally very strong n fight to death n never scared). ricky is good captain too. replacing ricky with clarke is just foolish. clarke has no great quality to become a captain. infact he's exactly opposite to a fighter. i've seen him scared to death in many situations on field. u can see it in his face. he's just jovial n good person. captaincy to him is foolish. mike hussey is a good fighter, if not great. at present ricky is the only 1 capable. even waugh cannot win any match if he captains NZ or banglad. the problem is in the selection process as waugh stated.

  • on December 16, 2010, 5:25 GMT

    The selectors must get rid of Hughes, Clarke, Hussey and Haddin. Put in Marsh, Khawaja, White and Paine and give them time to get established. In the meantime, we will continue to be a team of has-beens.

  • Kothandaram on December 16, 2010, 5:07 GMT

    The Aussies look pretty down these days and the England team is exposing them thoroughly. it is time the Oz zero in on a bunch, with a fair sprinkling of youngsters and stick with it for a few years and allow the players to develop. constant chopping and changing won't help. it is the bowling that is a cause of worry, it is not potent enough to drive fear into the minds of opposition batsmen. the Aussie selectors face tricky times and how they respond will determine the future of the team

  • on December 16, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    It is just about time to start seriously thinking about getting together a group of 15-18 players under the age of 28, and work on those guys. I'm not suggesting scrapping the entire team, but I think a serious review of the team needs to be considered, especially if Australia goes on to lose the ashes. Its time to blood the next generation and stick with the same core group of youngsters.

  • wix99 on December 16, 2010, 2:05 GMT

    Youngsters Steve Smith & Phil Hughes are in the Test team now and sure to be a big part of the future of Australian cricket. Australia just need to add Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, Shaun Marsh & Cameron White to round out the future batting line up.

  • Timmuh on December 16, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    I'm not sure that "pick them young, and stick with them" always works. Its quite possible to pick duds, or that players need to be dropped for a while after getting a taste - quite common in Waugh's younger days, Boon was dropped three times for example. I'm a fan of picking the best team at the time, and making guys earn their caps - but also making guys in the team earn their place, not have it granted as a right. That might mean less 20 year olds get a run, but when they do get there a few years later they've done the hard yards at Shield level. That means droppng Johnson until he finds wickets, for the last 20 months he's struggled to find the pitch. That means North should have gone ages ago, Khawaja could well be in his place. That means still picking Hauritz, except in Perth and maybe Melbourne where perhaps no spinner would be chosen, because none of the others are any better. And it means looking to get Copeland into the side.

  • gzawilliam on December 16, 2010, 0:40 GMT

    To the coment by popcorn... How could say that. Its the selectors who are brining the doom and gloom and negativity. Steve waugh is just smart enough to realise what australian cricket is doing to itself.

    Gos i wish Steve waugh was a coach. he'd be inspirtational.

  • Nadeem1976 on December 16, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    steve waugh was great player and a legend leader. He is 100% right that play young good talented players and have faith in them and give them chance for 10 to 15 test matches. Like australia did in 80s. Now its again the time to do the same. Pick talented australian players and build a team and dont switch. Even Bangladesh is not switching that many players the players australians are switching and threatening these days.

    Selection commitee should get out of their offices and search for talent and then trust them for some time and rebuild the team.

    Good words of wisdem by Waugh. He is truely australian.

  • Meety on December 16, 2010, 0:06 GMT

    Part 5 Whilst I think Vogues has gone backwards & Pomersbach has off field dramas - both players have huge potential in them, WA bowling stocks have some green shoots that may be in contention in a couple of years. Tassie have Piane & Cowan as frontline contenders for a spot, Victoria have Hill, White & Hussey all with varying degrees of potential. Throw in Cameron, Neville, Hazlewood & Starc, Oz have a plethora of possibilities to supplement the core they currently have. Its not time to throw the baby out with the bath water, the Ashes at least for the next 5 days are still alive, a win or a draw for Oz keep it that way for the MCG. I think Punter has got at least 2 centuries in him before the series is out & MJ a couple of 5 wicket hauls. I would like to think Smith & Clarke will have a big influence over the next 3 Tests. So I suppose I repeat what I started with - will Steve Waugh join the selection panel????????

  • Meety on December 15, 2010, 23:56 GMT

    Part 4. So I think Hauritz had as much right as Hussey & North to have played in the 1st Test @ the Gabba. I feel Doherty is a talent - but had really on been proving himself in the shorter formats of the game. I would genuinely consider him as our leading specialist spinner in ODIs. He should of played for Oz A against England to see our he would of done - not the Gabba. On the fringes - players that need to be given a go very soon are - O'Keefe (is he injured?), Smith (gets a go @ the WACA, not a place of note for Warney, but behind 4 pace bowlers doing their job it should be okay), Khawaja - kid is class, Copeland 6 wickets a match & his a scrooge with conceeding runs, Feldman, Swan, Cutting & Lynn from QLD all look like they could be in the mix sooner rather then later, wouldn't be surprised if Boyce ends up getting a call from the selectors for the SCG! Ferguson, George & Christian are developing good cases for selection. I think Vogues has gone backwards over the last 2 yrs.

  • MinusZero on December 15, 2010, 23:49 GMT

    I have been saying it for years. They never prepared for the end of the Warne / McGrath era and they are not preparing again. When Katich, Ponting and Hussey retire who will take over. I hope England crush the Aussies. Maybe then the selectors will wake up. They need to give young players an extended chance. Ok, they brought in Steve Smith who is only 21, but whats to say he will see out the series if he underperforms. I dont agree with his selection anyway, they replaced North (Batsman) with Smith (All Rounder). Surely Khawaja should have come in. I would have put Khawaja at 3 and dropped Ponting down to 6. Smith is certainly not the solution to the spin woes. Hauritz should have been back in. The other thing they need to do is stop the captain filling the team with his mates. Pick the team on current form. Who cares what they have done in the past 12 months, what did they do in the last 2 months? Looking at you Clarke

  • Meety on December 15, 2010, 23:46 GMT

    Part3 Bowling wise on paper Oz have a good squad. Johnston statistically stacks up to the best bowlers around the world. He is one of the few pace bowlers in the world that can run thru an entire line up. My biggest concern with MJ is that he is also a talented batsmen, but when he is out of form with the ball - his batting suffers too. Theoretically this should be mutually exclusive unless their are other more mental issues. Bollinger, Harris & Siddle are International standards, I think Hilfy has a huge heart (has to with Hobart as his home strip!) - but he needs to swing the ball more to be great at Test level. If he does develop his swing more - he will be Oz answer to Zaheer & Anderson. Spin wise - Hauritz statistically is not too bad. He was getting better until injury in England against Pakistan, he returned to the Test team possibly minus the practise required against India & got hammerred - no big deal as plenty of spinners have copped that before in India. TBC!

  • righthandbat on December 15, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    Australia should really just play:

    Hughes Watson Ponting Clarke Hussey Haddin Smith Hauritz Harris Siddle Hilfenhaus

    for the rest of the series. New talent like O'Keefe is worth developing for another six months or so before making these key changes that Waugh wants to make. The true transition should happen around mid-next year where Ponting is axed and a team re-shuffle towards youth occurs.

  • Meety on December 15, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    Part 2 - Watto is safe at the top of the order - obviously needs to convert a ton. Katich's injury has put a question mark over his future, but he was as consistant as Watto, & also needed to convert more. Ponting is/was a class act, he needs every opportunity to be given to show he still can cut it internationally. People wanting him dropped need to only look at what SRT has done over the last 2 yrs following a "slump". I think Punter's is being weighed down by captaincy - (Something neither Lara nor SRT handled well). Ponting has been run out so many times over the last 4 or 5 years, which is not a skill/age issue - its mental. Runs are just around the corner for him. Hussey - is safe for another 12mths at least. Depending on the parameters - Clarke has been our best batsmen over the last say 3 years, - his stats prove this as he averages 49. Haddin is safe for up to 2 years - his batting is looking very good at the moment - & we seem to need every run we can get. TBC!

  • Meety on December 15, 2010, 23:28 GMT

    Perhaps Tugger should join the selection panel. It's all very jingoistic to say let's stick with some players, one must remember the times that S Waugh first cut his teeth in Oz cricket. We had sub-standard levels of domestic cricket back then due to the aftermath of World Series, Rebel Tours & retirements. The selectors didn't have much choice. The trouble today is - we have an abundance of talent (@ piyavi - you are right). Oz have enough talent to be at the top of the Test cricket. I take what Waugh is saying less literally & read that he is saying that the selectors need to get some consistancy in their selection process. @Chris_Howard - I know we have to look to the future - but it is never acceptable to forfeit an Ashes series. I'd rather lose to NZ or Bangladesh blooding players then to forfeit the Ashes on selectorial whims. I look @ the current Oz side & beleive that 4 places in the top 6 are secure. I think Hughes will secure one of the other spots. TBC!

  • HOMEBREW on December 15, 2010, 23:02 GMT

    The current team over the last 18 months - 2 years has had so many players pass through the door. It's high time to pick at least 6 - 7 players in the 19 to 23 years old bracket and stick with them. In 3 - 5 years we should be right up near the top again. What i can't understand is with the 3 different forms of cricket being played at present and the teams so much different in the lineup we should have a different coach for the different forms of the game. In rugby league you have a club coach, state of origin coach & national coach with each team of players being totally different, but they are the best picked on there current form with a small mix of old heads and a lot of new ones. I also think the test coach should be able to approach the players each drinks break and rip it up them if there not performing, just like in rugby league the coach will rip it up a player or players that arn't performing. High time the current selected players get a good ol kick in the backside.

  • bobagorof on December 15, 2010, 22:55 GMT

    No, popcorn - what comes out is not negativity, but realism and practicality from someone who has seen a side rebuild from an absolute shambles to becoming one of the most dominant sides in sporting history. Australia used to pride itself on the stability of the side, based on identifying the right people for the job. Now there have been calls from all corners to change the side this way and that, and there have been 10 different spinners in 4 years (most getting only 2 or 3 games). What he's saying is that Australia need to identify who is going to be there in 5 years and back them to develop and show their class - not to panic and have a different team every match. There will be a great opportunity to do this after the Perth Test - they can bring in some young guns to replace the ageing/out of form players and stick with them for the Bangladesh tour. Ferguson, Marsh, Copeland, George, Hazelwood are the future.

  • gogoldengreens on December 15, 2010, 21:09 GMT

    Is it any coincidence that at the start of the great golden era that Australia was playing international games against Australia A in the one day comp. This gave the second teir players a taste of cricket at the highest level. I agree with the notion to stick with players however they have to be the right players to start with. How Beer got in ahead of O'Keefe I would not know... Why was Beer not in the Australia A team... Selectors change their minds within a few weeks?? like a boat with no rudder

  • popcorn on December 15, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    Tugga Steve Waugh's negativity comes out in bold letters.We don't need this kind of gloom.

  • addiemanav on December 15, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    i think steve waugh is right..young players need to be given chance for a long period so that they can prepare for the future..losing one ashes is not a big deal..look at england.they lost for 17 years before they won in 05'..they persisted with a group of players and made sure they were around for a long time..reason that india is such a force now is because ganguly made sure youngsters were given a longer run to show their talent..sehwag,harbhajan,zaheer,yuvraj..all these guys had poor string of performances early i the careers,but they were backed up by the captain,and now they r world beaters!u hav to giv time to a player to blossom..if u think and believe in him in the first place,u should back them..i think rivky has to take a stand and tell selectors to stop the nonsense and invest in future and dont just think about the ongoing series!!

  • on December 15, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    this article is very very important for australian cricket. when the great waugh speaks people should listen....not like others...who just try to say crap that "we would do 5-0, eventhough the team is not capable". facts r important...not fake encouragement. its like bangladesh saying "we'd win WC". he's very much correct in saying "All great eras have to come to an end" n obviously the great australian era has ended when mcgrath left.

  • piyavi on December 15, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Especially since 80s, Australians posses' very effective academy network that absorbs plenty of distributed talent into their national squad. They have already made hundreds of brilliant skillful cricketers. I personally believe that they could make two teams that are very competitive to each other. If it ever happens, even their 2nd team would be able to win a game against England. Difficulty of finding their final eleven will be the downside of this huge advantage. Hence I believe that Australian "Players Production rate" has exceeded more than the optimum level. This pressure makes uncertainty in the team configuration and it will lead to poor performance in the end. Predominantly it reduces the team spirit and build up certain level of selfishness in players' minds due to the humongous competition. Even the most nearest solution I have for this crisis is still beyond wildest dreams. "What about an Australian A team playing along with their first eleven? It is quite funny, yet the

  • Dr.K.H.Iyer on December 15, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    If one Aussie has to be taken seriously, it is the Ice Man Waugh!

  • Beertjie on December 15, 2010, 17:10 GMT

    Well spoken, mate. Steve Smith could become the next Benaud (laugh if you can't remember how poor Richie was for his first SIX years - 1951-1957). Hughes is the Slater-type; Khawaja is special (ask AB); Starc + Hazelwood= L + T; George= McGrath; Paine=Healy; O'Keefe another all-rounder (needed NOW, Mr Hilditch). That's the way to go, but keep a couple of experienced hands until they reach their sell-by date (knowing when to make the call is what you're paid for, Mr Hilditch!). But who will be your Captain Grumpy, Steve? That smiling lap-dog, Pup?

  • Bradman12345sachin6 on December 15, 2010, 14:14 GMT

    The selectors were too arrogant to admit their mistake of not picking Nathan Hauritz that they didn't go back to him and instead went to Michael beer!!!!!

  • bumbles11 on December 15, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    Aussie selectors are doing as much damage as Englands batsmen! Dropping Hauritz, picking junior/inexperienced spinners is a bizzare decision?

    The England team look solid, are playing well and have a more dangerous attack (Tremlett will be ahandful in Perth).

    The Aussies look like England a la 1995 - dropping/picking players on whims, praying they will find form, not picking proven players like Jacques, Hodge or D Hussey (averages 50 in 1st class cricket).

    Its a total mess and England can't believe their luck. I honestly can't see the Aussies winning a Test...draws at the moment would be considered a good result and England would still be dissappointed to win only 1-0!

  • tfjones1978 on December 15, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    The thing about staying with a bunch of players is that you can end up having a team of out of form useless players that cause the better players with more potential to give up on test cricket as they know that they board dont care about form only whether they think a player will be good one day. I do agree however that a player should have more then 2 tests. There should be a standard approach, like players being split into permanent (4 bats, 1 wick, 2 bowlers) and casual team mates (2 bats, 2 bowl) with the casual positions being rotated on a 3 test basis (unless the player gets hurt or pitch requires a different configuration). The rotation should be 4 back up players, as well as allowing warm up tests against lesser nations where the permanents rotate resting.

  • Something_Witty on December 15, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    Steve Waugh is bang on. 25 char.

  • cricguide on December 15, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    Still They have good Players Selectors Missed Steve o'kafe,Hasting Should be in One day side,Hiddle and hilfy is not so good to be in int,Bring back Lee as he is now in form

  • Salim_123 on December 15, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    I think Steve has made an excellent point which i have been trying to convey in my past comments. To be very honest we may lose the ashes but the selectors should start working on the team for the future just as it happened in Border era. But first i think the change should start from the selection team. Then the new selctos should start identifying the future players and maintain faith in them. I can assure you the team will come back as dominant as it used to be. Start looking at the hughes, Khawajas, Fergusons, Hazzlewood, Michael Starc, Daniel christian etc etc.

  • Philip_Gnana on December 15, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    I cannot disagree with anything that Steve has said. The plain and simple truth. There does not seem to be a concept ofan Aussie squad. Surely if you were in the squad you would be next in line for a place in the team? right?No. Not anymore with these selectors. It is so easy to be blaming Pointing, an easy scapegoat for all. This totally ignores the lack of talent that is available. We were all under the impression that there were good guys coming through, but they have failed when tested. You need to stick with them as they were good enough to be selected in the first place. If they were not good enough, then the selectors need sacking too. I remember when the Waugh brothers started playing they did not seem top class cricketers, but given time they came good...excellent. If the young guys get in to the squad you need to stick with them. Philip Gnana, Surrey

  • on December 15, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    thats well said by Steve Waugh the legend.....the selectors must read this article

  • Advance-Australia-Fair on December 15, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    Dear Mr. Waugh: If you've got nothing useful to say regarding Australia's attempts to win the Ashes.... then say nothing.

  • Chris_Howard on December 15, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    I think the mistake these selectors are making is they're trying to pick teams to win the next game. And that's why they're chopping and changing. Seeking short term rewards. That is a fatal plan. That's why they were so easily able to let go of Doherty - he was brought in to curb Pietersen. He failed, so he's gone. No consideration at all of next year, next series, next decade. If they had've used long term thinking, as they did years ago with Warnie (even tho he started badly, they knew he had something special and he wasn't picked to win his first Tests, he was picked for the future), they'd never have picked Doherty. As Steve Waugh alludes, building a team for the future has medium and long term rewards that can last many years, IF you're prepared to suffer a bit of pain in the short term.

  • Zahidsaltin on December 15, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    They would like to give a full hearted fight but they don't have a Steve Waugh - the tiger, the fighter.

  • on December 15, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    hughes could change the the balance in this game but they still need hauritz to win the series.

  • cincobros on December 15, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    I agree that australia must stick with group of players and concentrate on future instead of concentrating on ashes 2010...well said steve

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  • cincobros on December 15, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    I agree that australia must stick with group of players and concentrate on future instead of concentrating on ashes 2010...well said steve

  • on December 15, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    hughes could change the the balance in this game but they still need hauritz to win the series.

  • Zahidsaltin on December 15, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    They would like to give a full hearted fight but they don't have a Steve Waugh - the tiger, the fighter.

  • Chris_Howard on December 15, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    I think the mistake these selectors are making is they're trying to pick teams to win the next game. And that's why they're chopping and changing. Seeking short term rewards. That is a fatal plan. That's why they were so easily able to let go of Doherty - he was brought in to curb Pietersen. He failed, so he's gone. No consideration at all of next year, next series, next decade. If they had've used long term thinking, as they did years ago with Warnie (even tho he started badly, they knew he had something special and he wasn't picked to win his first Tests, he was picked for the future), they'd never have picked Doherty. As Steve Waugh alludes, building a team for the future has medium and long term rewards that can last many years, IF you're prepared to suffer a bit of pain in the short term.

  • Advance-Australia-Fair on December 15, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    Dear Mr. Waugh: If you've got nothing useful to say regarding Australia's attempts to win the Ashes.... then say nothing.

  • on December 15, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    thats well said by Steve Waugh the legend.....the selectors must read this article

  • Philip_Gnana on December 15, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    I cannot disagree with anything that Steve has said. The plain and simple truth. There does not seem to be a concept ofan Aussie squad. Surely if you were in the squad you would be next in line for a place in the team? right?No. Not anymore with these selectors. It is so easy to be blaming Pointing, an easy scapegoat for all. This totally ignores the lack of talent that is available. We were all under the impression that there were good guys coming through, but they have failed when tested. You need to stick with them as they were good enough to be selected in the first place. If they were not good enough, then the selectors need sacking too. I remember when the Waugh brothers started playing they did not seem top class cricketers, but given time they came good...excellent. If the young guys get in to the squad you need to stick with them. Philip Gnana, Surrey

  • Salim_123 on December 15, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    I think Steve has made an excellent point which i have been trying to convey in my past comments. To be very honest we may lose the ashes but the selectors should start working on the team for the future just as it happened in Border era. But first i think the change should start from the selection team. Then the new selctos should start identifying the future players and maintain faith in them. I can assure you the team will come back as dominant as it used to be. Start looking at the hughes, Khawajas, Fergusons, Hazzlewood, Michael Starc, Daniel christian etc etc.

  • cricguide on December 15, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    Still They have good Players Selectors Missed Steve o'kafe,Hasting Should be in One day side,Hiddle and hilfy is not so good to be in int,Bring back Lee as he is now in form

  • Something_Witty on December 15, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    Steve Waugh is bang on. 25 char.