The Ashes 2013-14

England tour raises Western Australia depth concerns

Daniel Brettig

October 15, 2013

Comments: 68 | Text size: A | A

A game of cricket in idyllic surroundings, Western Australia v New South Wales, Future Leagues match, day 1, Perth, October 14, 2013
There has been a decline in Western Australia's talent stocks over numerous years © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: England tour of Australia
Teams: Australia | England

England have asked Cricket Australia to ensure the Ashes tourists face adequate opposition in their tour matches, with players set to be drafted in from around the country to bolster a Western Australia state XI for the tour opener in Perth.

Each of the three matches scheduled for England ahead of the first Test in Brisbane will clash with a Sheffield Shield round, and the first will take place while Australia's ODI team are still on duty in India. These circumstances will likely leave the WA squad for the three-day match at the WACA ground particularly weak.

ESPNcricinfo understands that early discussions have taken place around the shape of that team, and players not chosen for Shield duty in some of the stronger states may be required to fly across the continent and don the Western Australia cap for a week.

Some of the players likely to find themselves around the fringes of state sides making room for numerous international participants include Peter Handscomb and Scott Boland for Victoria, Scott Henry and Kurtis Patterson for New South Wales and Luke Feldman in Queensland.

There is less ECB concern about the subsequent four-day encounter against a New South Wales side at the SCG given the state's deeper pool of talent, while the Australia A team to face the Englishmen over four days in Hobart between the two state matches is expected to be stronger on batting than bowling, as was the case when they faced the South Africans in Sydney last year.

Western Australia's struggles to cobble together a strong enough team highlight the lack of depth in the state, a decline over numerous years contrasting with talent stocks in the 1990s that were so strong as to push the likes of David Hussey and Stuart MacGill to the eastern seaboard.

The coach Justin Langer has already enlisted the services of his former Test team-mate Simon Katich as a senior pro in the domestic limited-overs competition, and may be attempting to convince the 38-year-old to take part in more Warriors fixtures either in the Shield or against the Englishmen.

England have themselves switched players from county to county for tour matches in the past, Nick Compton playing for Worcestershire as well as Somerset in the early weeks of the Ashes tour this year as the home selectors pondered his place on the fringes of the Test team.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by wch77 on (October 18, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

What is happening to our cricket? They are going to have interstate players come in and play for WA. Why not jet in a few Kiwis as well. What a joke this is. It's Western Australia, it should be players from WA. For one thing it's a farce that the hit and giggle in India is again stuffing our Ashes series up. A full strength WA team would not only be the decent thing to do but wd give Johnson and Coulter Nile a good hit out against the English. Sutherland has to go.

Posted by Chris_P on (October 17, 2013, 21:04 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding. Agree with you. They probably made a polite enquiry as any touring team would & this gets written up. I really doubt, unless selectors want to look at a potential player & request that player has a guest stint, that players will be invited from other states. And if you know Western Australians, they are fiercely protective of their own.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (October 17, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

@Chris_P, I dont disagree, but if you read the article theres a lot of 'its understood', 'may be' statements in there, like a lot of articles on cricinfo i take it with a pinch of salt, its in the writers interest to spark a controversial tone. I think any touring team would request a challenge as they want to learn lessons and have a tough game, otherwise they'd simply arrange 3-4 presidents XI games.

Posted by Chris_P on (October 16, 2013, 20:09 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding. I understand that about CA, but I really hope they never do. It should, always, fall back on the states/counties & their respective associations to determine what way their teams would be selected. I would hate to ever see a BCCI style of "requesting" considerations. it has, as you know, always been the way of counties to rest their star players & blood youngsters against touring sides & visiting teams just took it. I would suggest the tourists adopt the same attitude or else organize a game against the Young Lions, but really, why even go this way? it only serves to fire up your opposition.

Posted by milepost on (October 16, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

@willsrustynuts, Australia have never doctored pitches, despite our colonial roots, there are many depths we won't sink to. A sub par WA side would give England a run for their money anyway in unfamiliar conditions.

Posted by ian2208 on (October 16, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

It was Swann who "refused" to bowl at Ed Cowan when he was at Notts. Not quite sure how any Aussie can complain about the hospitality, can you imagine Queensland or WA signing an England Test player for a month or so prior to the Ashes series? well Notts and Middlesex have Rogers and Cowan pre-Ashes practice.

Stop bleating about England asking CA to ensure they're not up against WA U17s. All three counties put up half decent sides against you lot this year, that you stuffed them proves to all the difference between first class and Test cricket.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (October 16, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

@Mitty2, thats not strictly true, as it was a list A game, and consisted of D Hussey and Cam White both of which have played at international level in the previous 2 years.

Posted by Mitty2 on (October 16, 2013, 12:25 GMT)

@shaggy076, yes, but Vic Second XI hammered the Eng Lions last summer - a reflection of which? Depth of Victoria or lack of depth of England?

Posted by smudgeon on (October 16, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

Quite sure last week I saw Jason Krezja in Martin Plaza, holding a sign that said "Will bowl for food"...

Posted by willsrustynuts on (October 16, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

As an Englishman I would prefer to see the Aussies get all precious and field a schoolboy eleven and then doctored the pitches as they have promised...beating them will then be even sweeter.

Big thanks to all for making winning such a pleasureable experience.

Posted by Yevghenny on (October 16, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

well first_drop, the sides you are complaining about were all first choice selections, Somerset have been there or there abouts for the previous 4 seasons in the county championship. So short of actually calling up the England team, I'm not sure what else you were expecting from the selections. There is no basis for saying the sides were "poor", or weakened, as that is simply not the case.

I think this is just giving off a lot of aussie nerves - behind the bravado of how aus will walk all over England on this tour, you are all quite worried about when you will next see an australian side win the ashes

Posted by First_Drop on (October 16, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

@Yevghenny - the whole argument is about whether or not Western Australia should strengthen their squad for the v England match. I'm arguing that this should not happen as the English bowling the Aussies faced in the lead up to the last Ashes, was poor. I've not suggested anywhere that the 'entire England team' should turn out for the warm up matches, have I.....lets not exaggerate now....

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (October 16, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

@Chris_P, I think you forget that it would have been upto CA to request that counties play a full strength side. In the end you face the opposition that is in front of you. In fact the ECB actually gave permission for a full international to play the first 2 warm ups, Compton, partly to strengthen Worcs, and partly for its own benefit.

@Jagger, At the time you mention Broad was on a full England contract and thus under the orders of the ECB, however, I'm surpised you forgot the Monty bowling incident against India. It is the ECB's perogative to manage its players just as its CA's perogative.

It should also be noted that they have not demanded full internationals only that players not selected (effectively 2nd XI players) for shield games drafted in to strengthen the WACA squad.

Posted by Winsome on (October 16, 2013, 6:13 GMT)

How kind of CA. The English counties first or second division were resting a lot of their top players against the Aussies in tour matches, you only have to look at the scorecards to see that.

Posted by popcorn on (October 16, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

Why should we got our way to help the Poms? They did not give us good net bowlers or County games.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (October 16, 2013, 3:03 GMT)

hhillbumper; Unfortunately we don't have any kiwis, I'm sure the English would have selected the quality kiwis found some obscure passport (connecting there birth great grandmother) and called them English. Its strange that the Aussies not making the test side are the dominant forces in county cricket. I'm sure if all your counties were playing cricket and had a one-day national team abroad the county team put up for a practise game would be of very poor standard. In the past our state second XI were good enough to beat touring sides, but you are right our standard has dropped and touring sides are now able to beat our state second XI's.

Posted by Chris_P on (October 15, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

Wow, I am stunned at this request. Perhaps the ECB should have set the example by asking their own country teams for the same consideration? This has GOT to be a gee-up, surely. They really can't be serious, could they?

Posted by   on (October 15, 2013, 23:34 GMT)

This is clearly a problem when you have such a small time to program the Shield. They have to do something about the length of the BBL next summer!!

Posted by   on (October 15, 2013, 23:09 GMT)

Somerset internationals: Trescothik, Compton, Trego, Kieswetter, Dockrell. Hildreth was England Lion, Overeton and Barrow England Under 19s. So...8 out of 11 International, Ex-International, or on track to be International. Worcestershire were much weaker, but any idea that England deliberately provided weak opposition is silly, or that Australia are planning to.

Posted by bobagorof on (October 15, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

Regardless of the relative strength of a Western Australia 2nd XI, in the 1990's it used to be the case that the tour match replaced the Shield game for that round - ie the state side was able to field its full-strength (including Test players) team because they weren't also playing against another state side at the same time. This year, Western Australia begins a 4 day match against Victoria on 30 Oct and a 3 day match against an England XI on 31 Oct. One or both of those side will not be 'full strength'. Who decided on this schedule?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (October 15, 2013, 22:41 GMT)

@Jagger on (October 15, 2013, 19:58 GMT), Broad and Finn play for different counties so how could they both refuse to bowl to the same county team-mate? I assume that the Aussie you're referring to is Chris Rogers. He plays for Middlesex, as does Steven Finn, while Stuart Broad plays for Nottinghamshire. Exactly what does Steven Finn's alleged action prove about Stuart Broad? Feel free to make something up if you like.

Posted by   on (October 15, 2013, 22:11 GMT)

@ Dylan Young, when you say Div 2 opposition they played 4 tour matches with the opposition being Somerset, Worcestershire, Sussex and the Lions. There is one div 2 team there! Somerset and Sussex have consistently been challenging for the County Championship and had 4 internationals each. The Lions team included 6 international players and promising youngsters to help them develop. I don't think then cheating debate should start as while Broad was in the wrong I have seen many other International cricketers not walk. It is just the culture.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (October 15, 2013, 21:48 GMT)

Why is CA giving the poms a warm up match at the WACA?

IT would be to our advantage for quicks to hammer into their newer batsman such as Root and Bairstow without ever having played there.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (October 15, 2013, 21:44 GMT)

@SamRoy Time was when Australia's state sides aimed to win every match against the tourists and mine their morale a bit, instead of playing them into form. I recall some boasts that England would lose every game on their 2010/11 tour.

Aren't England being sent to Alice Springs to prepare for a match in Adelaide? And on the last tour the best preparation for a Test in hot, dry conditions was to give them a game at a windswept ground in Tasmania. It's par for the course. A non-issue.

Posted by Jagger on (October 15, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

Prior to the last Ashes, it was reported that after learning their Aussie county teammate was named in the Ashes squad, Broad (& Finn I think it was) refused to bowl to their Aussie teammate in net practice. The report specifically stated they didn't want him to get practice facing their bowling.

The poms can't deny it because the Aussie player can confirm this as fact.

We all know about Broad and standing his ground now, don't we?

Posted by Yevghenny on (October 15, 2013, 18:29 GMT)

First_Drop, what point exactly are you trying to make? That the entire England side turn out for Somerset and play the warm ups as well as the test matches? The somerset players are all seasoned professionals in the English county championship and have either played for or been on the fringes of playing for England

Posted by JG2704 on (October 15, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

I see we already have a few desperate comments re the domestic sides England put out to play Australia and doctored pitches? Of the warm up games Aus played Eng lions played a typical Lions side and gave Aus a good game , Sussex was near full strength , Somerset were missing a couple of batsmen but all their bowlers had played regularly enough and Worcs are not a great county side anyway and were in fact strengthened by Compton guesting for them If I were an Aus fan I'd want to see the domestic sides give Eng hard time - don't let them get into a rhythm etc

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (October 15, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

There may well be less overall cricket but there is certainly more international cricket which is squeezing the teams that are supposed to be developing the players to play it. In this situation for example Mitchell Johnson will play for Australia in India instead of playing for WA in Melbourne against Victoria or even for another WA against the tourists. He should play in all three of these matches. If its not physically possible the schedule is wrong

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 15, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

There are 2 ways of looking at tourists' fixtures-either play a substandard side because it is not in a competition or play a srtong side and hope to do some damage to the tourists' before they get into their stride. I do not think the first is so harmful as people think as people get played in, albeit by weak players, though I think it looks a bit cynical. Essex even did this with England. In the old days counties states put out their stiongest sides and the fixture was held in very high regard, which is preferable and maybe serves boards better as talents can be unearthed out of the blue. Only in 2005 Cook made 120 for Essex v Australia and the winter after made his debut. As tourists, England like a good preparation and doubtless like a strong opposition. Other side require less,even limiting themselves to a 3 day practice game. To me it makes sense to be fully ready for Tests and properly worked out.Hitting the floor running is wisest.Games v A XI's should be tough.

Posted by First_Drop on (October 15, 2013, 17:11 GMT)

@ Selassie-I - and BTW, it was almost exactly the same in the match v Worcester, but the English attack was even worse than the Somerset attack. in the 1st innings the Aussies declared on 4-396, and two of those wickets were run outs and the aussies were scoring at 4 an over. In the 2nd they again declared at 5-344 but scored at 6 an over. and tell me who from the Worcester attack was notable?

Posted by First_Drop on (October 15, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

@ Sellasie-I - Trego (FC average of 33) has never been better than average and Overton, whilst promising, is only 19 and not good enough to supply the Aussies with a stiff test. And it showed. Australia won the match way to comfortably - they declared their first innings with 5 wickets in hand and only needed 4 in the 2nd to win. Trescothick is waaaay past his best, but he's obviously not a bowler anyway. As regards doctoring of the pitches - you've made my point for me, but the Aussies dont do it, and they should. The poms have not tried to hide the fact that they do.

Posted by SamRoy on (October 15, 2013, 17:00 GMT)

If I were Australian I will only play U-19 teams on the slowest, lowest pitches available in Australia vs England for their practice matches.

Posted by   on (October 15, 2013, 16:18 GMT)

Australia shouldn't be rolling out any red carpets for England this summer. Not after they provided the Australians with div2 county opposition, heavily doctored pitches, slow over rates, boring defensive cricket and cheaters like Broad. No heart. Not to mention the completely incompetent umpires. The entire series was anti cricket. Anyone new to cricket would be completely turned off. Cook is a terrible captain and will be found out in Australia. I have English mates who were complaining about their style of play. I get the feeling the Australian camp is a bit ticked off about the recent Ashes series.

Posted by android_user on (October 15, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

@jb633 Aus were scheduled to play odi when they tour in Feb March for test series but they refused at that time so This series is now organised.so it's not BCCI fault its CA fault and hence now series happening. so get your facts clear before pointing fingers on India.

Posted by   on (October 15, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

A couple of points that should be made here. Firstly LESS cricket is played at FC level now than was 20 years ago, and that is a lot LESS than 20 years before that. in 1981 Ian Botham bowled 582 overs in tests (more than any seamer in any country bowled in their entire FC games in 2012) but that was just in tests. He also played another 17 FC games and chalked up another 412 over. Almost 1000 FC overs in a calendar year, and he had by no means the biggest international work load. Chris Old bowled 1300+ In perspective, the highest so far in 2102 is Broad with 472 overs and he'll struggle to get to 650 by the end of the year - barely half the highest 30 years ago. Less games, less overs, better physio, medical and dietry care. MUCH better pay - and still they moan

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (October 15, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

This is a storm in a teacup, I'm sure CA contacted the ECB and asked for them to ensure that the sides they played were at a good strength.

In regards to the claims of pitch doctoring by the ECb, some fans sould really look at thier own boards before throwning stones. On the 2010/11 tour the BCCI and Dhoni openly admited they doctored the pitches, though i suspect they wish they hadnt.

Posted by jb633 on (October 15, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

@Behind_the_bowlersarm, unfortunately all the boards do care about is money. The way cricket in general is being administrated is a disgrace and it is ruining the game. The Aussie side is a perfect example of that. How is this series in India going to help them for anything? All boards at the moment are at the mercy of the BCCI and if they want a series to happen they will get it. I am fearful that give it 20 years time international cricket want exist but we will have just franchise cricket competing in meaningless games 365 days of the year. In terms of the article here we go again. I have said it for a year, this Aussie side is not too weak. I think given the right wickets they could cause us some series issues. I am concerned about our bowling attack on flat decks and if anything happens to Jimmy we are right up against it. As for the Aussies they need to show a bit more composure in the crunch moments and they will start winning test matches.

Posted by brusselslion on (October 15, 2013, 15:11 GMT)

@Behind_the_bowlers_arm: "Or is it all just about money and more money?" Mate, I think that you've answered your own question there!

Posted by mikewright on (October 15, 2013, 14:59 GMT)

First_Drop - I agree, Australia should definitely prepare pitches that suit their side. What I'm confused about was when this practice became known as "Doctoring". I've been following test cricket since the early eighties and sides have certainly since then always prepared a pitch to suit themselves. In fact until recently, the only side who didnt was England!!

Posted by 122notoutWestByfleet1996 on (October 15, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

moaning about doctoring pitches to me indicates a lack of understanding about cricket and the climate of different countries and how this impacts on the the type of bowlers a country produces.

it is not the bowlers that dictate the type of wickets that are produced - it is the climate that dictates the type of pitch and therefore the type of bowler.

take NZ - damp and warm climate, ball swings, pitches and outfields green. produce lots of good medium pace swing and seam bowlers. dont produce many good spinners because pitches and climate dont encourage this type of bowling.

Pak/India/SL/Bang - hot dry climates, little moisture, therefore pitches tend to be dry, as do outfields. therefore spin bowlers tend to be more prevalent, as do purveyors of reverse swing. dont produce many bang it in fast bowlers as pitches dont encourage this.

is is therefore quite normal and in fact part of the beauty of the game of cricket that different countries offer such a variety of conditions.

Posted by Selassie-I on (October 15, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

@ First Drop, Somerset's bowling is weak as it is, but they played Jamie Overton a promising youngster who's been touring with teh England youth teams, Machede - a first team regular, Trego - another first team regular, seasoned campaigner and previous PCA player of the year. It also suprises me that the only batsman you've heard of was Compton - who was only just dropped form the England team, if you never heard of Trescothic then you've clearly not been watching any England cricket before 2006! He's one of the best openers in the counties to this day having been Englands test and ODI opener for many years, Keiswetter, another England capped player and Hildreth another player on the fringes of England selection.

What complete rubbish that this was a weak team! As for 'doctored pitches' both teams play on the same pitch and realistically it's the perogative of the home team to prepare a pitch that suits them, but I heavily doubt this, there were no turners!

Posted by hhillbumper on (October 15, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

Just one question.Do Aus have any players worth while drafting in? If England wants to play a better team maybe they could get some Kiwis in?

Posted by PanGlupek on (October 15, 2013, 13:58 GMT)

First_Drop: Personally I don't think England doctor pitces - yes, the ball swings & seams in England, but that's because of overhead conditions & the duke ball - the tracks themselves play pretty well.

Although even if they did, I don't see why they shouldn't, don't see a problem with any home team making a pitch that suits them, as long as it's not dangerous & within ICC regulations (as stupid as some of them are).

Most teams can't doctor pitches very much anyway, it's the natural elements that make them what they are - sure, you can change it a bit, but you'll never be able to make the WACA a slow-low dustbowl or tracks in the UAE greentops...

Posted by PanGlupek on (October 15, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

Bit rich from the ECB really: If players aren't available due to international/shield games, players aren't available, simple as. Ok, they can ask CSA for a strong oppo, but can't complain if they say no.

As many people have pointed out, county sides don't exactly bend over backwards to be competitive against touring teams (mainly because they can't - their players play almost every day, you don't want to knacker them for a game with no points on the line).

Aus, on the other hand, always used to make a point of making themselves impenetrable, even in the warm-ups (they made tourists face Lillee & Thompson on Lilac hill while still jetlagged), as if to say, "No easy runs in this country, mate".

As Nutcutlet said, sign of the times, more cricket gets played now & players can't be in 2 places at once.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (October 15, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

It's a sign of the times. Some tours are more drop-ins than tours in the C21 & the international fixture list (called the FTP in some quarters, but not all) is a cynical attempt to manipulate the cricket-loving public to part with their hard-earned at every twist & turn. Nowhere is this more evident than the 7 match ODI series that Oz is currently expending its energy over in India. Preparation for the Ashes? Nope! But who gives a fig? Certainly not CA, otherwise they wouldn't have entertained it. India plays à la carte with their fixtures, but others have to get on with the set menu - thin gruel though it sometimes is. Here, everyone concerned just has to get on with it; it'll probably be yet another net-in-the-middle. I hope there's no ticket price for the fare on offer (and that is not being disrespectful to either side).

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (October 15, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

Mr Brettig this is a pretty silly article. Australia's top players should be playing shield to help prepare the national team not help out England.

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (October 15, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Come on England. You can't expect Australia to put out a strong team against you : Clarke is injured and Ryan Harris can't play every game!

Posted by gbqdgj on (October 15, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

@deeplongon...I was at the Sussex/Aussie game and whilst Sussex 'blooded' a couple of youngsters there was a pretty strong side and indeed they drafted in James Taylor (albeit that this was more for Taylor's benefit that that of Sussex) but I'm surprised that CA don't do the same in the WA game.

Posted by First_Drop on (October 15, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

@ Yevghenny - Clarke and Co were being polite guests. The opposition was poor and it was obvious. Very few, if any, internationals - Compton was the only one that springs to mind, and his intenrational career was already in the past. Some of the games had several FC debutants.

Posted by milepost on (October 15, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

Why would Australia do England any favours after their tour to England, it's not like they rolled out the red carpet offering modest county sides. Shut up and get on with it.

Posted by First_Drop on (October 15, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

Just a few short months ago I had a chat with some England friends. My question to them was there was such poor quality English bowling in the practice matches v Australia (in prep for the Ashes). They responded that it has always been that way - that England dont want to help the Aussies prepare too well and the Aussies, they said, are exactly the same. In light of the really poor bowling the aussies faced in the lead-up to the last Ashes, I cant see why Australia would want to help them by providig decent opposition(?) The Aussies should also be doctorign pitches appropriately, just like the English - lets have a level playing field.

Posted by Yevghenny on (October 15, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

deeplongon, on the tour just gone, Australia were pitted against Somerset that had a few internationals in the side, and Worcestershire. They were both decent games and Austrlia gained a lot from it (their own words)

Posted by woodgreen on (October 15, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

Isnt this just looking for a problem where there is none.If Hampshire for example had a tour game against the Aussies and there was a championship match on at the same time they would struggle to put out a competitive 11 as would any side

Posted by deeplongon on (October 15, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

So England expect Australia to provide them better preparation in Australia than England provide Australia in England. No surprises there. They are poms. And we Aussies are going to crush them here this summer.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (October 15, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

So let me get this straight .... in late October the Australian national team is still in India , Western Australia (& all the other states) are engaged in Sheffield Shield fixtures and Western Australia are now being asked to come up with a team to play an England X1. Does anyone in charge of scheduling cricket fixtures think we have now got to a stage where they are trying to force an ocean into a pint pot. Play less and make it memorable. Or is it all just about money and more money?

Posted by Mitty2 on (October 15, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

I included North and S Marsh (averaged less than 20), Davis (did he pass 50?), but anyway, I remember it well, I don't think Hussey did too well for WA last season when he was playing. But yes Voges had a good season, and I'm not certain if North had a good season

Posted by Mitty2 on (October 15, 2013, 10:43 GMT)

@D-train, excited to see how Turner goes this year.. There must be a reason he was allowed to play in the tour game. But, you might need to reconsider the Gannon suggestion... He throws it at 120km/h - his success was due to incompetent batsmen and sub-standard pitches. Also get rid of Forrest - that ship sailed long ago But yes we can't forget the Eng Lions 7-0 smashing! And there's talk of our poor depth...

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (October 15, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

@Mitty2, don't forget that in the sheffield shield they have the services of Shaun Marsh, Voges, North and Davis and later on had Mike Hussey, so that's what got them there. But i agree with Showbags88, you play what you have infront of you, get on with it.

Posted by   on (October 15, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

Why should WA have to call up players? England put up 2nd string county xi's for the Aussies, we need to return the favour!

Posted by D-Train on (October 15, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

From an Australian perspective I don't mind the idea as it gives a few younger blokes some exposure to these guys.

Some extra guys who could come into consideration could be

Wells, Van der Gugten, Hill, Keath, Sheridan, Stoinis, Ahmed, O'Keefe, Tremain, Floros, Forrest, McDermott, Gannon.

WA have some talented young guys who would benefit from the experience as well. Blokes like Turner, Bosisto, Morgan, Harris, Triffit, Paris ect.

Let's remember that England Lions lost to the Victorian 2nd XI last year. So they shouldn't get too cocky.

Posted by Jagger on (October 15, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

The decline of Australian cricket is synonymous with the aggressive expansionism of the football codes. Parents will usually advise/influence kids to go for the most likely mode of success. The only reason why Mitchell Marsh isn't playing football is because his father rolled out the red carpet. India have solved the problem with their IPL teams - their young blokes at least have an opportunity to make good money and develop their game in the presence of champion test cricketers. The Big Bash is just a stupid joke. The Sheffield Shield has morphed into an unnecessary burden for players who previously would never have been considered Test material - meanwhile the BCCI is playing for keeps and leaving us all behind.

Posted by Biggus on (October 15, 2013, 9:27 GMT)

How the West has fallen. 'Twas a time when WA could be pretty well counted on to beat the tourists in the tour game..

Posted by Green_and_Gold on (October 15, 2013, 9:15 GMT)

I recall someone from WA state how they would use their strength in 'spin' to do well at the champions league 20/20 - what has happened? Where are the angry fast bowlers that make the most of a traditional perth pitch? (probably playing for other sides i imagine - Mitch!). Also - im looking forward to see Kato face up to the English side. I wish he kept his rants down to one (which was fair enough as his dropping from the national side was a poor decision). Just think if he got on with making his runs that he would be in contention to come back as Rogers did.

Posted by   on (October 15, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

This is getting increasingly common for tour matches

Even without clashes professional counties/states don't want to use their best players in a match where there isn't really anything to gain for the county/state.

I would rather England supplied some players out of the performance program than under 19 players were used. The hope of winning a place on the full tour is encouragement enough

Posted by   on (October 15, 2013, 8:34 GMT)

I think Australia start to make the players ready for the ashes.They should work in a group where no other player will be there.

Batsman:Aaron Finch,Nic Maddinson,Callum Ferguson,Rob Quiney,Phil Hughes,Jordan Silk,Alex Doolan,Usman Khawaja,George Bailey,Adam Voges,Joe Burns.

Bowlers:Josh Hazlewood,Alister MccDermott,Nathan Coulter Nile,Gurinder Sandhu,Chadd Sayers,Ben Cutting,Ben Hilfenhaus.

Spinners:Jon Holland,Fawad Ahmed,Nathan Lyon,Michael Beer

Wicket Keepers:Tim Paine,Chris Hartley,Mathew Wade

Allrounders:Glenn Maxwell,Steve Smith,Moises Henriques,Andrew Mcdonald

This are the players that should be treated specially.From them the players who does well in Shield will directly get the chance without any doubt.

Note:These are the players who haven't got the taste of test cricket and haven't played much of test cricket.The players who have played in recent times have been kept away.

Posted by RJHB on (October 15, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

How very embarrassing, but a further worrying indictment on the state of Australian cricket at present.

Posted by Mitty2 on (October 15, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

WA still won 4 Shield matches last year if I'm not mistaken and almost made the Shield final despite having a nonfunctioning batting line up. Their bowling line up is good with Hogan, Coulter-Nile and Beer being a quality trio by state standards (let alone agar as an all rounder) but really their batting has been a mess and their scores are made by the tail. Harris, Davis, John Rogers and the marsh brothers have all failed to reach their batting potential and all have very miserable FC averages. North too isn't in the best form. For Australia, Eng could not warm up against a better state...

Posted by Showbags88 on (October 15, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

England can face whatever they're put up against. Stop whinging and get on with it. If they aren't happy they can have a game amongst themselves as far as I'm concerned (seeing as they usually bring out about 100 players on tour anyway). You could have a pretty decent England vs Combined South Africa/Ireland/Zimbabwe game.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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