Australia A v England XI, Tour match, Hobart November 9, 2013

Anderson, Root enjoy time in middle

60

Australia A 3 for 119 (Doolan 31, Anderson 2-20) drew with England XI 7 for 430 dec (Cook 154, Carberry 153, Root 58, Cutting 2-75)
Scorecard

England have one senior player injured and another trio well short of rhythm, while Australia sorely need Shane Watson in their batting order during the Ashes and could do much worse than adding Ben Cutting to their bowling attack for the first Test. This much was clear on the final afternoon of the tour match in Hobart, as Alastair Cook's team tried to make up for two days of lost play by offering time in the middle to batsmen and bowlers alike.

Aside from the troubling news of Matt Prior's calf problem less than two weeks before the toss of the coin at the Gabba, there were plenty of other portents to be drawn from the afternoon's cricket on both sides. While a nervy Gary Ballance made his first run in an England shirt before exiting for a scratchy four from 17 balls, Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann were glimpsed only briefly, and must now all be expected to play in the final warm-up in Sydney next week.

James Anderson bowled with familiar class, exposing the shortcomings of Alex Doolan and Usman Khawaja in particular. Doolan's 31 was fluent and attractive as he often is, but ended when Anderson burst through a rather large gap between bat and pad to clip off the bails. Khawaja hung his bat out a little too predictably at a ball moving across him, leaving the national selectors to hope the encouraging progress of Watson's hamstring ailment, confirmed from Brisbane on Saturday by the national coach Darren Lehmann, continues.

Broad and Swann at least bowled a few cobweb-shedding overs each in the final session, but Pietersen was given out lbw to a Trent Copeland delivery that crept through low after a brief and unconvincing stay. Cook and Michael Carberry retired on their three-day-old totals, before the rest of the batsmen were made to scrap particularly hard for their runs by the Queenslander Cutting, who bowled with speed, accuracy and hostility to make a decent case for inclusion in the Brisbane squad.

The strong intention of Australia's selectors to give England as little quality bowling as possible did not align with Cutting's equally firm desire to state his case. Figures of 9-3-17-2 make for compelling reading, and it was equally arresting to view Cutting's use of a still newish ball on a pitch freshened up somewhat by two days under the covers. Pursuing a full length and line around off stump, he beat all batsmen with movement off the pitch, coaxing an edge from Jonathan Trott before ending Ballance's stay with a ball that straightened after pitching in line for a clear lbw.

All the while Joe Root showed a similar disparity between front and back foot to that he demonstrated in the previous Ashes bout. Though struggling mightily to keep out anything pitched up, eluding a desperately close lbw appeal by Cutting, he thrived on anything short and improved somewhat in fluency as the innings went on. It was while batting with Root that Prior experienced calf tightness, and after his innings ended with a predetermined attempt to sweep Jon Holland it was to be Root who took the wicketkeeping gloves when Cook declared.

The moment of the closure coincided with another curious passage of play involving Broad, who swung Holland into the deep where Khawaja took a fine low catch. Fulfilling his now familiar role of agent provocateur, Broad appeared to query whether or not Khawaja had scooped it up on the bounce, resulting in a brief stand-off before Cook called both batsmen in.

Doolan opened with Michael Klinger, and quickly asserted himself with a confident flurry of boundaries. It was Broad who suffered most, two consecutive fours through the offside followed by a sharp bouncer that struck Doolan on the arm. Another followed that sailed over Root's head for five wides, before Anderson struck at the other end to remove Doolan for the kind of pretty cameo he had specialised in with Tasmania for several seasons before maturing.

Klinger's stay was longer but less compelling, several lbw appeals denied and 17 balls elapsing before he scampered a first run. But he was to outlast Khawaja, and forged on until departing lbw to Swann in the closing overs. Shaun Marsh played with composure and no great haste in the company of Callum Ferguson as the match petered out, to be replaced by the sight of England sending their remaining players out for centre-wicket practice at the moment stumps were called. Time is getting tight.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • MinusZero on November 11, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    "while Australia sorely need Shane Watson in their batting order during the Ashes" Are you kidding? Watson is so over rated and his performances over the last few years do not deserve selection. Selectors need to start separating test and odi form and realise that they are two different things. A good ODI player doesnt mean a good test player. Its time to move on. I would not select Watson or Johnson.

  • on November 11, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    To be honest the last Ashes was pretty ordinary played by a side on the rise and a side who will be in transition once at least three retire soon. England will win or should win this time but I genuinely believe it will be again a pretty ordinary series. A bit confused by all this talk though of a better Australian attack. We have an Anderson and Swann, both world class and proven match winners. Also Broad in 2009 at the Oval and this year at Durham proved that. Australia have a lot of good bowlers but also a lot of inconsistencies in that they do not have the ability to bowl teams out cheaply twice. Last series was a prime example of that.

  • Mitty2 on November 10, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    @JG2704, describing Cosgrove as a balloon made me laugh and yes he is, although he apparently lost 16 kg in the winter.

    @landl47, I was thinking of Overton yes. And on Jordan and Stokes, they both look like all rounders and not really test bowlers - I don't know what it is (lack of movement?) but from watching them in the ODI's although they both had some good spells they didn't look to be really that quality to qualify for the third seamer's spot.

  • JAH123 on November 10, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    I don't think too much should be made of the gap between Doolan's bat and pad - I saw that ball live and it was an absolute peach that would have dismissed plenty of quality batsmen, came back from well outside off. Doolan's pad was several inches outside the line of off stump and he probably could have been excused if he had decided to leave it.

    On a pitch with uneven bounce where most other batsmen from both sides struggled - with the possible exception of Root, who impressed me once he survived Cutting - he clearly looked the most fluent and confident. Slotting him in at 4 or 5, where the ball won't be quite as new, wouldn't be a bad option.

  • Moppa on November 10, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    @Lyndon McPaul, no worries and all cleared up! @dunger.bob, on reflection you're right about Lee, he did hit 150 often in Tests, but my point still holds, he was never much above 150 in Tests whereas he had spells approaching 160 in some ODIs, and I would say his 'standard' speed was consistently 5km/hr faster in ODIs.

  • on November 10, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    landl47. Its called a warmup match. That's all it is

  • Chris_P on November 10, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    @JG2704. Cosgrove was certainly a balloon, but he has stripped a lot of weight off in the off-season, almost unrecognizable when I first saw him this season. @landl47, I think you need to look past his figures, he did bowl very well, beating the bat consistently. A greatly improved bowler from 2 years ago when everyone was calling for his inclusion in the Test team, way ahead of his time. His efforts , from our POV, was the standout.

  • ScottStevo on November 10, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    @landl47, "terrified"! Hardly! But quite amusing nonetheless! In that same match both he and Stokes went for plenty too; at around 5/6 rpo! Also, don't recollect Stokes hitting 90mph - as he didn't and bowled between 85-88. In fact, of the 3 quicks used by Eng that day, he was the only one not to hit 90mph! Hard to say these guys did well when they got slammed by Watson and Clarke. A bit hard to see too much potential from that performance, not to say that either of them couldn't develop into fine bowlers in the future, but I don't think they'll have earned too many plaudits off the back of that performance...

  • landl47 on November 10, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    @Mitty2: I'm not sure if you're talking about Jordan, who terrified a number of the Australian batsmen in the last ODI in England, or Overton, the 19-year old quick from Somerset, or even Stokes, who got 5 wickets in the last ODI and is another who touches 90mph, but you're right, England does have some good prospects coming through.

    @Lyndon McPaul: 0-318.

  • JG2704 on November 10, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    @wellrounded87 on (November 9, 2013, 22:18 GMT) Wow - several debutants there in your side. I've not seen much of the m TBH. Is Cosgrove the balloon who spent some time at Glamorgan?

    @Lyndon McPaul on (November 10, 2013, 6:38 GMT) I'm English and pretty much agree with you re our back up bowlers on this tour so yoy're not going to cop a barrage from me. However , we were getting comms pre the last series about how much better (statistically) the Aus bowlers were than the English bowlers and Eng ended up having 3 of the top 4 bowlers in that series so I'd say stats/pre series form isn't the be all and end all. I would consider trying to get Faulkner into the side as maybe a number 6/7 bowling all rounder. Not sure how his domestic form is but the guy has a bit of character about him and I think he'd thrive on the occasion.

  • MinusZero on November 11, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    "while Australia sorely need Shane Watson in their batting order during the Ashes" Are you kidding? Watson is so over rated and his performances over the last few years do not deserve selection. Selectors need to start separating test and odi form and realise that they are two different things. A good ODI player doesnt mean a good test player. Its time to move on. I would not select Watson or Johnson.

  • on November 11, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    To be honest the last Ashes was pretty ordinary played by a side on the rise and a side who will be in transition once at least three retire soon. England will win or should win this time but I genuinely believe it will be again a pretty ordinary series. A bit confused by all this talk though of a better Australian attack. We have an Anderson and Swann, both world class and proven match winners. Also Broad in 2009 at the Oval and this year at Durham proved that. Australia have a lot of good bowlers but also a lot of inconsistencies in that they do not have the ability to bowl teams out cheaply twice. Last series was a prime example of that.

  • Mitty2 on November 10, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    @JG2704, describing Cosgrove as a balloon made me laugh and yes he is, although he apparently lost 16 kg in the winter.

    @landl47, I was thinking of Overton yes. And on Jordan and Stokes, they both look like all rounders and not really test bowlers - I don't know what it is (lack of movement?) but from watching them in the ODI's although they both had some good spells they didn't look to be really that quality to qualify for the third seamer's spot.

  • JAH123 on November 10, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    I don't think too much should be made of the gap between Doolan's bat and pad - I saw that ball live and it was an absolute peach that would have dismissed plenty of quality batsmen, came back from well outside off. Doolan's pad was several inches outside the line of off stump and he probably could have been excused if he had decided to leave it.

    On a pitch with uneven bounce where most other batsmen from both sides struggled - with the possible exception of Root, who impressed me once he survived Cutting - he clearly looked the most fluent and confident. Slotting him in at 4 or 5, where the ball won't be quite as new, wouldn't be a bad option.

  • Moppa on November 10, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    @Lyndon McPaul, no worries and all cleared up! @dunger.bob, on reflection you're right about Lee, he did hit 150 often in Tests, but my point still holds, he was never much above 150 in Tests whereas he had spells approaching 160 in some ODIs, and I would say his 'standard' speed was consistently 5km/hr faster in ODIs.

  • on November 10, 2013, 21:18 GMT

    landl47. Its called a warmup match. That's all it is

  • Chris_P on November 10, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    @JG2704. Cosgrove was certainly a balloon, but he has stripped a lot of weight off in the off-season, almost unrecognizable when I first saw him this season. @landl47, I think you need to look past his figures, he did bowl very well, beating the bat consistently. A greatly improved bowler from 2 years ago when everyone was calling for his inclusion in the Test team, way ahead of his time. His efforts , from our POV, was the standout.

  • ScottStevo on November 10, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    @landl47, "terrified"! Hardly! But quite amusing nonetheless! In that same match both he and Stokes went for plenty too; at around 5/6 rpo! Also, don't recollect Stokes hitting 90mph - as he didn't and bowled between 85-88. In fact, of the 3 quicks used by Eng that day, he was the only one not to hit 90mph! Hard to say these guys did well when they got slammed by Watson and Clarke. A bit hard to see too much potential from that performance, not to say that either of them couldn't develop into fine bowlers in the future, but I don't think they'll have earned too many plaudits off the back of that performance...

  • landl47 on November 10, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    @Mitty2: I'm not sure if you're talking about Jordan, who terrified a number of the Australian batsmen in the last ODI in England, or Overton, the 19-year old quick from Somerset, or even Stokes, who got 5 wickets in the last ODI and is another who touches 90mph, but you're right, England does have some good prospects coming through.

    @Lyndon McPaul: 0-318.

  • JG2704 on November 10, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    @wellrounded87 on (November 9, 2013, 22:18 GMT) Wow - several debutants there in your side. I've not seen much of the m TBH. Is Cosgrove the balloon who spent some time at Glamorgan?

    @Lyndon McPaul on (November 10, 2013, 6:38 GMT) I'm English and pretty much agree with you re our back up bowlers on this tour so yoy're not going to cop a barrage from me. However , we were getting comms pre the last series about how much better (statistically) the Aus bowlers were than the English bowlers and Eng ended up having 3 of the top 4 bowlers in that series so I'd say stats/pre series form isn't the be all and end all. I would consider trying to get Faulkner into the side as maybe a number 6/7 bowling all rounder. Not sure how his domestic form is but the guy has a bit of character about him and I think he'd thrive on the occasion.

  • milepost on November 10, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    I don't think there's any question that Australia will start at the Gabba with a much stronger bowling lineup than England. However, it has been the batting that has caused Australia problems and batting is England's strength. That the English top order was poor recently means nothing really, that was months ago. I look forward to the cricket starting so the crystal balls can be packed away.

  • Mitty2 on November 10, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    @Lyndon, as you're about to cop a barrage from the poms for the comment just make sure you mention that patto, Cummings, Starc, Bird and Hazelwood are all injured, and would all seriously challenge for their third seamer's spot ;). But in all seriousness although currently the only quality third seamers they have as back up are bresnan and Onions, and maybe Rankin, in about two years they will have a pretty fearsome crop of developed young quicks such as Mills, Finn (he probably would have gotten over his current woes by then) and Topley, and they also have Meaker and one who's name escapes me. Their fast bowling depth only looks bad here because of poor selection - if they selected Onions it would barely be mentioned.

  • on November 10, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    I take issue with the suggestion of this article that there is a purely binary choice for first-drop between Khawaja and Watson. There is quite a high number of batsmen performing well in the Shied right now - Chris Lynn, Peter Handscomb, Jordan Silk and Cosgrove seems to be playing into form. Of course, it's a tough spot for a debutant - but there are another two options who have played there before - Cameron White, for the ODI side and Australia A, and Ed Cowan, who only got one match in the position when he was apparently not fit to play.

    You can debate the merits of them all (apparently some people thought I was joking when I suggested White for 3) but it's ridiculous to say these options don't exist. Especially with this selection panel and their often wacky decisions. (Remember Quiney?)

  • on November 10, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @ dungerbob and Moppa...oops to both of you...(double duh) the last apology comment was for Moppa with my ill thought out response to his white ball/red ball speed differential!! Phew..Glad to clear that up!!

  • on November 10, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    @dungerbob...Sometimes I type faster than what I read...apologies. I must of skim read and quickly typed a response whilst missing the main thrust of the point you were trying to make!

  • dunger.bob on November 10, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    @Mitty2: I did say Chris Abbott. Whoops. .. Chris Abbott is the name of a bloke who broke my nose with a bouncer 20 years ago. :)

    @ Moppa: Agree with you about the white/red speed differential. Disagree about Lee not making 150 regularly in Tests. Shoab Ahktar as well. I think I can remember both of those guys consistently bowling at what I'd call extreme pace.

  • Mitty2 on November 10, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    @landl47, lol everyone was saying that Doolan's 30 was convincing apart from one genuine edge. And on Cutting, had Root LBW hitting middle stump (in the process of beating him 8 times in 5 overs and had Carberry dropped off a sitter, Carberry and Cook struggled to lay bat against him at times on day 1 and all this on a road. Especially when he only has one ok bowler to partner him I'm not sure he could have done much more

  • on November 10, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    @lland47..."(sorry, but 2-75 for Cutting doesn't cut it)" So your saying it isnt possible that a bowler; bowling on a very even pitch, with the ball bouncing a little over knee high and who beat the outside edges of all the batsmen he bowled to quite regularly, actually bowled well but without luck? That is the kind of bowling; which on another day and with more support from better bowlers at the other end; could of netted a bagful of wickets. And as an Aussie supporter my feeling's are hurt so forgive me this retaliatory remark. ENGLAND WOULD ONLY WISH TO HAVE BACK UP BOWLERS THE QUALITY OF CUTTING!! Instead you have a sixfoot something hasbeen trundler in Tremlett, a one ODI wonder test experiment import from Ireland and a guy who cant bowl at his best without knocking the bails of at the non-strikers end HA HA! In any respect Oz only need a reliable support for HARRIS who tore apart your top order in the last series!!

  • landl47 on November 10, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    With one game to go before the test series starts and this game truncated by rain, England will probably pick their test XI for the final warm-up (injury scares aside). Neither Ballance nor Stokes has done anything to merit a place in the test side and Bairstow hasn't played. Carberry has succeeded beyond, I'm sure, his wildest dreams and Root has scored 94 runs for once out, so it appears most likely that they will be in the test side with Root dropping down the order. Bairstow will only come in if Prior can't go.

    That leaves only the 3rd seamer to be selected. I was baffled when Tremlett was given the spot made available for this game and although he was economical he didn't take any wickets. Surely Rankin of Finn will get the nod for the last warm-up and the test?

    Australia didn't learn much either. Khawaja failed, Doolan made a brisk but unconvincing 30 and none of the bowlers had good figures (sorry, but 2-75 for Cutting doesn't cut it). A useless exercise all round.

  • inefekt on November 10, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    @babycricketer - Ahmed is the next Shane Warne? That is absolutely hilarious, how long have you been watching cricket for? Lynn should be given serious consideration for a spot at some point during the series, as should Cosgrove. Who cares if he's carrying a few extra kilo's, it didn't stop the likes of Boon and even Warne himself from having excellent test careers! He's got the best first class record of any batsman aged under 30 in the country.

  • Moppa on November 10, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    @Lyndon McPaul, I wasn't suggesting that bowlers should sacrifice accuracy for pace. I was just making an observation in response to @Mitty2's post (November 9, 2013, 20:19 GMT) that Cutting was around 140 km/h in ODIs and 130-35 in the Australia A game.

  • on November 10, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    @Moppa...The 135-140 range is enough for any bowler to be dangerous if they get the right lines and lengths and are able to move it off the straight regularly enough through seam or swing and maintain that pace all day.Someone who bowls that speed in the right channels shouldnt sacrifice an inch of accuracy for an extra 5km's of pace. I would much rather a bowler beating the bat at 135 or getting nicks than getting whipped of the batsmens pads or cut through the offside at 145km's.

  • Moppa on November 10, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    @Mitty2, most bowlers are 5+ km/hr faster with the white ball than the red. I think it's to do with the lacquer they put on the white ball - which perhaps makes it a touch heavier, and certainly 'slipperier' through the air. For example, I've never seen Mitch Johnson approach 150 in Tests but he often gets up there in ODIs. Brett Lee hit 160 in an ODI, as did Tait - but I don't recall either of them consistently breaking 150 in Tests (OK, so Tait didn't get many chances).

  • Mitty2 on November 10, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    @dunger.bob, same happened to Shane Watson twice on roads against Shami. And look how well Watson's done in his test career. Obviously means nothing ;) Yes I agree with you and although I didn't watch that game it's believable considering he does drive away from his body. But he is class and should be in the test squad regardless. He's the next in if Bailey fails

  • millsy24 on November 10, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    @babycricketer. Khawaja won't be anywhere near it unfortunately for all of his supporters. Why does Bailey deserve it? He was pretty ordinary against Harris in the 1st innings and all the talk about making him captain? His tactics were ordinary in this shield game. TAS could have walked that one in but he turned it all defensive. QLD were 1 bat and 1 bowler down and then another bat got injured and had to retire as well. Just ridiculous. Haddin will be VC again anyhow I would think. Siddle will be there. If bad Mitchell is on that day, which is a distinct possibility especially given how he bowled in the shield game, and Harris has a niggle, who else is going to bowl over after over. Lyon will be the spinner. Ahmed was woeful against NSW in this game and gives way too many runs away. If Watson is fit to play, the 6 should go to Cosgrove, Doolan or Lynn. All depends on Watson really.

  • popcorn on November 10, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    England batsmen can't even play Ben Cutting! I predict this Ashes Series will be a repeat of 2006 -07. 5 nil to Australia.

  • on November 10, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    One more time Khawaja doesn't make the most of his opportunities. He has a decent FC record but always fails to make the transition to the higher grade. This guy desperately needs to be put on the backburner for a Shield season or two to see if he can make a ton of runs and push his case for selection again.

  • Chris_P on November 9, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    Mitty2. Still can't work out if England is holding back a little or not. Doolan did look good on the attack, but he batted differently to the way he did against NSW, so that one has me baffled a little. Cutting did look the part, & agree with you taking him ahead of MJ.

  • dunger.bob on November 9, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    An observation about Alex Doolan. I'm pretty sure he was towelled up by Siddle in the Ryobi in a similar fashion to what Anderson did to him in this match.

    Sidds comprehensively rock & rolled him with a very full one starting just outside off and ducking in late. I'm wondering if it might be a hole in his technique. They were both beautiful deliveries but still, done twice in a week by similar nuts may not be just bad luck. There could be some bad technique involved there as well. .. Just a thought.

  • Gaswell on November 9, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    Onions won`t work in Australia in the same way that Hoggard didm`t. This is not England nor is it NewZealand. Tremlett may be busted but he is still a more likely option than Onions. Finn if he can keep it fuller will do particularly well here if given a go. He has the speed and hostility to trouble the Aussie bats and England must be careful not to repeat past mistakes by fielding an attack that is too samey. Khawaja failed yet again and people are still going on about his class. He is struggling to cut it in 1st class cricket and is simply not test standard.

  • babycricketer on November 9, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    My Aussie Team for the first test will be; Warner, Rogers, Watson, Clarke (c), Smith, Bailey, Haddin (w/k), Johnson, Cutting, Harris, Ahmed and 12th man is Khawaja. If watson isn't fit, Khawaja can replace him. Steve Smith should play at number 5. He is an excellent and crafty batsman who can bowl. Smith is the all-rounder in the team along with Watson. Bailey deserves to be in the team and I think number 6 is going to best suit him and the Aussie team. If Clarke's injury pops up he could take over. He will be an excellent vice captain. Siddle shouldn't be in the team. He is too defensive. Siddle and Harris are similar so you can't keep both. I think Harris is better because he has swing, pace and will do anything for his country. Siddle's replacement can be Cutting. Siddle can come in if Harris is injured. Fawad Ahmed should get a chance and should be the spinner in the team. He is an excellent spinner who is crafty and can spin the ball miles. He is the next Shane Warne.

  • njr1330 on November 9, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    Paul Rone-Clarke... who are the Lancashire 90 mph plus bowlers .... I watched them all season, and didn't see one!

  • Bonehead_maz on November 9, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    Nice spell by Cutting ! Suspect he'll be playing in Adelaide. None of the Australian hopeful batsmen have done enough in this game. I know Bailey is all the rage for No.6, but a bit surprised how few are mentioning Cameron White ? (who looks in great touch). I am not sure what the English fans think, but if I were them I'd want a 5th Bowling option. (I expect this series will be played on roads). I wonder what you think of Bairstow keeping at 6 with Stokes at 7 ? Or will Root/Trott/Pietersen be enough bowling coverage.

  • wellrounded87 on November 9, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    After this round of Sheffield shield and this warm up match, If Watson recovers in time for the gabbe my XI would be.

    1. Rogers 2. Warner 3. Watson 4. Smith 5. Clarke 6. Silk/Cosgrove 7. Hartley 8. Cutting 9. Siddle 10. Harris 11. Lyon 12th man Chris Lynn

    If Watson isn't fit i'd play Bailey at 3 and probably have Henriques or White at 6

  • wellrounded87 on November 9, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    @danger.bob Ben Cutting isn't coming out of the woodwork, he's been amongst the top wicket takers in shield for the past 3 years. He's also had a very handy average with the bat. He's well and truly out of the woodwork and has been thoroughly ignored by the selectors probably because he hasn't played for and isn't from NSW or Victoria.

    In regards to this article, i'm not so sure Australia sorely need Watson in the batting lineup. The results from the round of shield matches were very promising. Warner Smith and Rogers all got 100's and Rogers and Warner also had a 50 in the other innings. Jordan Silk smashes a century and a 50odd. Chris Lynn continued his rich run of form with an 80 something and 72* following up his 100 and 60 odd not out against England for the WA chairmans XI.

    That's three of our set top 6 batsmen hitting form and 2 potential test caps beating down the door for selection.

  • VivGilchrist on November 9, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    OKeefe and Sayers deserve serious consideration but won't as "performance" hasn't been a selection criteria for a while now.

  • on November 9, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    England may have issues, but a team whose second string can't get a wicket in 3 days shouldn't gloat.

  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    @hatsforbats, yes he has. In the ODI's he played he was bowling around 140 but here he was bowling around 130-135. In a few spells he was getting it at 140 on the first day but struggled for rhythm and here because he was moving it so much and bowling an 8 hour spell he was probably holding back because he didn't need to bowl fast. I also think the sluggish pitch and wet ball did him any favours with pace - Anderson and Broad were bowling at the same speed although Broad was more consistently at 135

  • JG2704 on November 9, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    @Cyril_Knight /Mittty - It's a strange one with Tremlett. My guess is that he still has the injury worry constantly on the back of his mind. I don't think it's an effort thing , unless he has been promised the Ashes trip for some time and that seems a strange thing to do. Have the selectors seen something which none of the CC spectators have seen?

  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    @dunger.bob, two things: it's Sean Abott ;) and when I went to the Shield game at the G he bowled at a good pace - was more threatening than Bollinger and their other seamers. And Cutting's an average white ball bowler - averages 32 with the white ball and 24 with the red. Don't know why Invers said he's a limited overs player... He's clearly better in the red ball form

  • on November 9, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    What is Tremlett doing in this team? His pace was in the LOW 70's. Let's put that into context. That's a Mike Gatting or Graham Gooch circa 1988 sort of pace - A chubby, middle aged part time bowlers pace. I know height is important, but he looked "fit to quit" before he'd finished his first over - like a boiler just a couple of bars before a blow out. Why is he there? Surely England can't even be considering playing him and must know by now that he's a busted flush. Given how many really good quick bowlers are coming through in England, this is a wasted opportunity for one of the 5 or 6 90MPH+ bowlers to be getting some proper experience Mills being the obvious choice, in the past year I've seen Worcestershie, Lancashire, Durham and Hampshire all with England qualified 90mph bowlers. Pace isn't everything I know. But averaging 74-75mph as a test seam bowler? That's not even close!

  • SirViv1973 on November 9, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    @Maximum6, I totally agree re Onions. I think he was very very unlucky not to play in the 4th test at Chester Le Street but I don't think he's a natural fit for Aus surfaces.

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 9, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Many people are calling for Onions to be flown out or complaqining about his omiision.I agree with remarks about how good a bowler he is-on English surfaces. He is the master of greentops and seaming wickets, but Australia conditions are so different and Adelaide under a baking sun usually finds out 'English' style bowlers.I also wonder how successful he might have been playing at the Oval regularly.Vice versa I ewonder what Tremlett's tally would have been if he had been playing at Chester-le -Street regularly, bearing in mind he took 8 wickets in the first innings there this summer. I would of course contend that Oval and Guildford are fit only to be dug up! I can see where the selectors' thinking was.. Unlike South Africa Australia provide little moisture in the air for swing either. Hence the giants in the attack. I think Tremlett still has time to prove he is the right bowler for the job, Failing that I would give Rankin a go over Finn. By Melbourne Bresnan may be back.

  • blink182alex on November 9, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    Cutting has done his case no harm, Harris, Siddle & Johnson will be the first bowling attack picked but Harris & MJ won't play 5 tests. Would of been interesting to see how Faulkner would of fared with the ball. Eng don't need to worry about KP or Swann. KP always fails in warm up matches where he's not really into it. Disappointed how Khawaja got out yet again, he has a lot of class but isn't taking his opportunities.

  • CodandChips on November 9, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Waiting for the Onions and Davies SOS. But the selectors would never admit to their mistakes.

    For next warm up, I'd go: Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Stokes, Broad, Swann, Finn, Rankin. Jimmy has to have a rest. Carberry's had two innings so can be rested to allow another look at Stokes or Balance. I'd go with Stokes to cover for Finn and Broad if they misfire.

    Ideally I would have liked Root opening and Balance 6 in Brisbane, but now Carberry has scored the runs, he has to play. Balance has disappointed, but would still be next in line.

    Would love Finn to discover his form. I am a fan of him but unfortunately he appears to have lost his radar.

    Tremlett is bowling just as every cricket fan in England predicted, and is justifying the cries of despair from every fan upon realising Onions wasn't picked. Even Jamie Overton or Tymal Mills would have been better picks- at least they'd have a chance of causing Aussie batsmen problems.

  • HatsforBats on November 9, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    @ Mitty2, just to cover some of your bases, Anderson looked pure quality (a bit of dross but the Doolan delivery was an absolute peach and accentuated one of his flaws of driving away from his pad). The difference between Khawaja in the field (ironically) and Khawaja at bat is stark. Is it just me or has Cutting lost about 5kph? Root looked better than every other England batsman, easily so, but he still looks a good candidate for Rhino & Sids and I'd be happy for him to open for England. I thought Tremlett looked good. Pace isn't an issue for me (that height can cause problems at any speed), I wager England aren;t any closer to deciding their 3rd seamer.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on November 9, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    Cutting would be in there for me with the first injury, failure or loss of form from Johnson, Harris and Siddle

  • Cyril_Knight on November 9, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Tremlett's pace, or lack of, was fascinating. After watching him all summer I was convinced that he was bowling around 81mph average, with the odd quicker one. It was alarming to see how slow he really was bowling (77-78 average with many down at 72) and how quickly he puffed out. After just four balls he looked like he'd finished a marathon. I thought he just wasn't trying for Surrey and would come charging in with the motivation of playing for a Test place. I will apologise to Tremlett now, he has been trying, it's just that he's rubbish now.

    What today did confirm though was that he has no stamina. England cannot go into a Test match in Australia with a bowler who can only bowl five over spells, it will place too much strain on Anderson. Time for England to bowl him into the ground so he gets injured and get Onions over there.

  • njr1330 on November 9, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    'Is there anything Root can't do?' ....get out of the way of a right hook, it would seem!

  • dunger.bob on November 9, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    I see that Swann didn't take too long to get a wicket. That's not good for us. From the cricinfo commentary it sounded like one of his bog standard lbw's.

    @ Mitty2: During the Ryobi (which I enjoyed heaps) I was taken by Cuttings batting but I thought his bowling looked a bit ragged under the pump at times. I thought his length started to get a wobbly when he was hit. Then again, it was a NSO road so no bowler was looking too good. .. Ben is starting to make himself a case and it's great to know there ARE blokes like him starting to come out of the wood work. .. Chris Abbott from NSW is another one to watch in the couple of years. He's more a pure bowler but can bat as well. .. good times.

  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @JG2074, interesting point about holding back and if he'll go all out in the stuff that matters, but he hasn't done it in the County nor here. I obviously can't tell if he's holding back but if he's been assured a test spot he probably is...

  • SirViv1973 on November 9, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    After Ballance's failure & Root's half century it would appear that the top 6 has been sorted with Carberry to open & Root back to 6(IMO he should never have pushed up the order). Judging by Flower's comments Prior shld be ok, but Bairstow will surely now keep wicket in Sydney & be on standby for the Gabba. However the 3rd seamer slot is still to be sorted. Tremlett would have liked a few more overs but judging by what we have seen so far he looks unlikely to get the nod, so it looks like a straightshootout in Sydney between Rankin & Finn

  • JG2704 on November 9, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    @Michael Flynn on (November 9, 2013, 9:12 GMT) re"As Shane Warne predicts"

    I'm sure there are interviews he's done where he contradicts what he predicts - he does it all the time

    @Mitty2 on (November 9, 2013, 8:03 GMT) Re Tremlett - during the summary Charles Colville seemed to indicate that Tremlett was in the box seat after today's play. It was obviously a fairly tight spell but aren't the lankies there to add menace to the side? I still think they should have played Irish lanky instead of Jimmy in this game so that they could compare. It'll be interesting to see who they play in the next game as it will (bar injuries) likely be the side who plays the 1st test. CT took 1-123 in the 1st game and if 8 overs in this game is enough then it's worrying and if he's holding back at this stage then when does he unleash?

  • on November 9, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Yes Onions should have been in the squad. England selectors seem obsessed with height. They won't pick any seamer that wasn't born in a grow bag. None of the giants they've picked are particularly quick and the Aussie pitches are not as fast as they seem to think. Perth for example is nowhere near the lightening pace it used to be.

  • yorkshire-86 on November 9, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Opening batsmen, T20 opening bowler, and now wicketkeeper. Is there anything Root cant do?

  • on November 9, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    England's major players will be grossly underprepared for the first Test. The tactics of going in with 6ft6 giants will backfire as Shane Warne predicts. It is too predictable and Australia will score big totals throughout because far too much of the burden falls on Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann.

  • xtrafalgarx on November 9, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    What an average trundler Tremlett has become. I had nightmares of this man after he ravaged our batting lineup in 2010/11 but today as bowling loopy deliveries at around 125kph!

  • Beertjie on November 9, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Great news about Cutting. Thanks @Mitty.

  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    And just for Eng fans, Tremlett was bowling under 80m/h and was as innocuous as he was against Western Aus. I see him having no impact whatsoever in the Ashes at such pace and inconsistency in line, and Onions would be spewing. Of all the talls, Rankin's by far the best bet.

  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    Good day's play from both teams. Anderson was extremely good and his ball to a very in-form Doolan was a beaut, Khawaja was as usual nervous, uncertain and out edging. I had to argue with a few who doubted Cutting's quality after day 1 but surely his spell today confirmed it. Root was beaten around 10 times to Cutting and was all at sea on the front foot, but to quote Brettig on Twitter, he looked a "genius" on the back foot. That will get some further peppering from Sids and Rhino, but Root has an enormous temperament and I was impressed with how he dealt/scrapped with Cutting even when he kept getting beaten. But he was plumb to Cutting.

    Brettig also said at the time that: "So far today the man who looks most like a Test player on either side is Ben Cutting. Strong, smart spell." and given how he bowled with the new ball on day 1 and how he bowled today, I reckon he's a far better option than MJ. MJ will release pressure and won't bowl to plans. Cutting adds variety (cont)

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  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    Good day's play from both teams. Anderson was extremely good and his ball to a very in-form Doolan was a beaut, Khawaja was as usual nervous, uncertain and out edging. I had to argue with a few who doubted Cutting's quality after day 1 but surely his spell today confirmed it. Root was beaten around 10 times to Cutting and was all at sea on the front foot, but to quote Brettig on Twitter, he looked a "genius" on the back foot. That will get some further peppering from Sids and Rhino, but Root has an enormous temperament and I was impressed with how he dealt/scrapped with Cutting even when he kept getting beaten. But he was plumb to Cutting.

    Brettig also said at the time that: "So far today the man who looks most like a Test player on either side is Ben Cutting. Strong, smart spell." and given how he bowled with the new ball on day 1 and how he bowled today, I reckon he's a far better option than MJ. MJ will release pressure and won't bowl to plans. Cutting adds variety (cont)

  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    And just for Eng fans, Tremlett was bowling under 80m/h and was as innocuous as he was against Western Aus. I see him having no impact whatsoever in the Ashes at such pace and inconsistency in line, and Onions would be spewing. Of all the talls, Rankin's by far the best bet.

  • Beertjie on November 9, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Great news about Cutting. Thanks @Mitty.

  • xtrafalgarx on November 9, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    What an average trundler Tremlett has become. I had nightmares of this man after he ravaged our batting lineup in 2010/11 but today as bowling loopy deliveries at around 125kph!

  • on November 9, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    England's major players will be grossly underprepared for the first Test. The tactics of going in with 6ft6 giants will backfire as Shane Warne predicts. It is too predictable and Australia will score big totals throughout because far too much of the burden falls on Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann.

  • yorkshire-86 on November 9, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Opening batsmen, T20 opening bowler, and now wicketkeeper. Is there anything Root cant do?

  • on November 9, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Yes Onions should have been in the squad. England selectors seem obsessed with height. They won't pick any seamer that wasn't born in a grow bag. None of the giants they've picked are particularly quick and the Aussie pitches are not as fast as they seem to think. Perth for example is nowhere near the lightening pace it used to be.

  • JG2704 on November 9, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    @Michael Flynn on (November 9, 2013, 9:12 GMT) re"As Shane Warne predicts"

    I'm sure there are interviews he's done where he contradicts what he predicts - he does it all the time

    @Mitty2 on (November 9, 2013, 8:03 GMT) Re Tremlett - during the summary Charles Colville seemed to indicate that Tremlett was in the box seat after today's play. It was obviously a fairly tight spell but aren't the lankies there to add menace to the side? I still think they should have played Irish lanky instead of Jimmy in this game so that they could compare. It'll be interesting to see who they play in the next game as it will (bar injuries) likely be the side who plays the 1st test. CT took 1-123 in the 1st game and if 8 overs in this game is enough then it's worrying and if he's holding back at this stage then when does he unleash?

  • SirViv1973 on November 9, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    After Ballance's failure & Root's half century it would appear that the top 6 has been sorted with Carberry to open & Root back to 6(IMO he should never have pushed up the order). Judging by Flower's comments Prior shld be ok, but Bairstow will surely now keep wicket in Sydney & be on standby for the Gabba. However the 3rd seamer slot is still to be sorted. Tremlett would have liked a few more overs but judging by what we have seen so far he looks unlikely to get the nod, so it looks like a straightshootout in Sydney between Rankin & Finn

  • Mitty2 on November 9, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @JG2074, interesting point about holding back and if he'll go all out in the stuff that matters, but he hasn't done it in the County nor here. I obviously can't tell if he's holding back but if he's been assured a test spot he probably is...