The Ashes 2013-14 December 30, 2013

Alex Doolan added to Sydney Test squad

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Tasmania batsman Alex Doolan could make his Test debut in Sydney after being added to Australia's squad. Injury concerns surrounding the No.3 Shane Watson and fast bowler Ryan Harris may lead to a significant shake-up of the side, with allrounder James Faulkner also in contention and fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile a chance to debut having been named in a 14-man squad for the Test.

Doug Bollinger, who was with the group in Perth and Melbourne as a standby player along with Coulter-Nile, has been released from the squad. Depending on the fitness of Watson, who hurt his groin on Boxing Day and appeared unable to run at full pace in the field at times, and Harris, who has ongoing issues with his knee and various other parts of his body, as many as three changes could be made to the side for Sydney.

The coach Darren Lehmann indicated after the Melbourne win that Watson's place in the side would need to be considered if he was unable to bowl, which could encourage the selectors to choose Faulkner ahead of him to provide a fifth bowling option. That scenario would likely require Doolan to come in to replace Watson at No.3, while George Bailey could also make way for Brad Haddin to move up to No.6 with Faulkner at No.7. Coulter-Nile for Harris could be a straight swap.

"With some players still being assessed by our medical team after four demanding Tests, we have decided to add Alex to ensure we have sufficient cover in our batting line-up should it be required," the national selector John Inverarity said.

"Alex is a talented player who came under strong consideration for selection ahead of the Ashes series after a string of solid performances in four day cricket for Tasmania at the start of this season, but also after an excellent finish to last season and we feel those performances warrant his inclusion in the squad of 14 for Sydney."

Doolan, 28, emerged as a Test contender last summer with 715 Sheffield Shield runs at 42.05, as well as an unbeaten 161 for Australia A against the touring South Africans at the SCG. This season, Doolan has made 391 Shield runs at 39.10, his only century having come against New South Wales at Blacktown Oval in November, when his 132 set up a successful chase.

An elegant No.3, Doolan honed his craft last summer by learning from Ricky Ponting in the Tasmania setup, especially during a pair of century partnerships. Bailey, the Tasmania captain who is under pressure to hold his Test place, said last season that during one of those century stands Doolan and Ponting "were just on another level" to the other batsmen in the match.

Australia squad Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Steven Smith, George Bailey, Alex Doolan, Brad Haddin (wk), James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Barnesy4444 on December 31, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    Rob Quiney averages 35 in FC cricket and Doolan only 39. If Watson can't play a better option would be to open with Rogers and Hughes and have Warner come in at 3. They are the 3 best top order batsmen in the country, Doolan will be a dead weight.

  • milepost on December 31, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Bailey is a good player who came into the side in good form, I see no reason to drop him. Watson isn't a number 3 though he has been among the runs in the part 5 matches. If Watson isn't fit Doolan should play and bring in Faulkner for Harris. At the SCG we should expect a few overs from Clarke, Smith and Warner too.

  • zenboomerang on December 31, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    kensohatter - "Haddin is in form and like Gilly should bat 6"

    You are joking aren't you or are you new to cricket?... Gilly played as a no.7 for nearly all his Test career - only time I can remember him at no.6 was in a Bangalesh Test series when we had 2 spinners & 3 seamers around 2006 from memory & Dizzy made a 201* in one game...

    As for Bailey, well give him the chance that Steve Waugh (bat average @12.5 after 5 Tests) & others were given, also he's only 31 so could conceivably play for another 5-6 years. He is also a good captain & really knows how to look after team mates as did the previous Tas captain Marsh & Tassies record under both of them has been great considering how small their population is. Finally Haddin & Rogers wont see out the next 2 years, while Clarke & Watto are older than Bailey & both injury prone with maybe only another 2-3 years left in them - time will tell on all...

  • cricketsubh on December 31, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    Dolan selection is surprising be coz he score just 390 runs avg at 39 I think selector can give a chance to younger player like burns,Maddison,lyne rather then 28 year Dolan

  • HowdyRowdy on December 31, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    To the Phil Hughes cheer squad who ask what he to do to get the nod from the selectors... To the Phil Hughes cheer squad who ask what he to do to get the nod from the selectors...

    Quite simple really, all he has to do is to reappear in a parallel universe where his Test average is way better than the low thirties after twenty six matches (32.65 to be precise) and several opportunities. It would also be handy if his inability to cope with moving/spinning/steeply bouncing deliveries is overlooked in this parallel universe.

    Finally, he should also be better than an honest trier in the field when he reappears.

    So, pretty simple really!

  • Chris_P on December 31, 2013, 0:59 GMT

    What worries me, & I'll be watching this season, is that just about all players who were in red hot FC form going into the BBL last season returned 7 weeks later to struggle after losing momentum. I really hope it's a one-off & not a dangerous trend. We all have differing opinions although collectively we all want a strong national side. I try to watch as many Shield games as possible when I can to get an idea of how the players perform. I see nearly all of NSW's so have a better idea on them than other sides, but Doolan has always shown a solid technique & let's not forget, he has batted half his games on seaming tracks of past Hobart strips. I feel for Hughes, he has the talent, just hope he keeps it going. Still think, though, it will be an unchanged XI.

  • VivGilchrist on December 30, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    Let me get this straight..... A player who is averaging 41 in the Test series is at risk of being dropped because he can't bowl and replaced by a guy who is averaging 39 in the Shield who doesn't bowl?

    ....I don't get it.

  • Cricmaths123 on December 30, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    I have seen that there are lots of promising, young cricketers in the country and all of them can be in the test team. So Australia can organize a tour of Zimbabwe or Bangladesh and then they can test their bench strength players like Hughes, Doolan, Lynn, Maddinson, Bird, Sayers, Cutting etc.

  • ScottStevo on December 30, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    @kensohatter, here are my solutions! If both fit - both play. If Watson is fit and Harris not, then we bring in anyone other than NCN, who isn't anywhere near a test match bowler. I'd take Bird if he's fit; then any other contender other than NCN - who without being selected already had a shocker on this tour as he could've taken Pietersen out completely had he not made a hash of that catch he carried over for 6. If neither Watson nor Harris is fit then we bring in Hughes at 3 and another bowler (see above) or we see SOK if Sydney is a turner. If Watson isn't fit and Harris is, we play Harris then select Hughes @3. However, in this scenario, I think we'll look to cover Harris with a 5th and Bailey might lose out to Faulkner, but I'd rather see SS/MC/DW as relief and keep our top 7 bats. If Watson can bat but can't bowl and Harris is fit, Watson at 3 with relief from part time spinners.

  • ScottStevo on December 30, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    @kensohatter, for starters, there's no point blooding for the future and rotating from a winning side by bringing in players that 1. aren't test calibre (which is all 3 of those you mention) 2. most likely aren't our future. On top of which, why on Earth would we want to halt the momentum we have by resting/rotating players? That experiment has already failed - miserably too; and moreover, potentially ruining the careers of promising players like Hughes, Khawaja and Starc. Dropping players ruins confidence levels. If Harris and Watson are fit, then Harris and Watson should play and the XI are unchanged. Harris himself has stated that the stopping and starting has caused him more damage than just playing on. At his age, he should play every test match that he's fit to play. We owe him that much.

  • Barnesy4444 on December 31, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    Rob Quiney averages 35 in FC cricket and Doolan only 39. If Watson can't play a better option would be to open with Rogers and Hughes and have Warner come in at 3. They are the 3 best top order batsmen in the country, Doolan will be a dead weight.

  • milepost on December 31, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Bailey is a good player who came into the side in good form, I see no reason to drop him. Watson isn't a number 3 though he has been among the runs in the part 5 matches. If Watson isn't fit Doolan should play and bring in Faulkner for Harris. At the SCG we should expect a few overs from Clarke, Smith and Warner too.

  • zenboomerang on December 31, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    kensohatter - "Haddin is in form and like Gilly should bat 6"

    You are joking aren't you or are you new to cricket?... Gilly played as a no.7 for nearly all his Test career - only time I can remember him at no.6 was in a Bangalesh Test series when we had 2 spinners & 3 seamers around 2006 from memory & Dizzy made a 201* in one game...

    As for Bailey, well give him the chance that Steve Waugh (bat average @12.5 after 5 Tests) & others were given, also he's only 31 so could conceivably play for another 5-6 years. He is also a good captain & really knows how to look after team mates as did the previous Tas captain Marsh & Tassies record under both of them has been great considering how small their population is. Finally Haddin & Rogers wont see out the next 2 years, while Clarke & Watto are older than Bailey & both injury prone with maybe only another 2-3 years left in them - time will tell on all...

  • cricketsubh on December 31, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    Dolan selection is surprising be coz he score just 390 runs avg at 39 I think selector can give a chance to younger player like burns,Maddison,lyne rather then 28 year Dolan

  • HowdyRowdy on December 31, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    To the Phil Hughes cheer squad who ask what he to do to get the nod from the selectors... To the Phil Hughes cheer squad who ask what he to do to get the nod from the selectors...

    Quite simple really, all he has to do is to reappear in a parallel universe where his Test average is way better than the low thirties after twenty six matches (32.65 to be precise) and several opportunities. It would also be handy if his inability to cope with moving/spinning/steeply bouncing deliveries is overlooked in this parallel universe.

    Finally, he should also be better than an honest trier in the field when he reappears.

    So, pretty simple really!

  • Chris_P on December 31, 2013, 0:59 GMT

    What worries me, & I'll be watching this season, is that just about all players who were in red hot FC form going into the BBL last season returned 7 weeks later to struggle after losing momentum. I really hope it's a one-off & not a dangerous trend. We all have differing opinions although collectively we all want a strong national side. I try to watch as many Shield games as possible when I can to get an idea of how the players perform. I see nearly all of NSW's so have a better idea on them than other sides, but Doolan has always shown a solid technique & let's not forget, he has batted half his games on seaming tracks of past Hobart strips. I feel for Hughes, he has the talent, just hope he keeps it going. Still think, though, it will be an unchanged XI.

  • VivGilchrist on December 30, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    Let me get this straight..... A player who is averaging 41 in the Test series is at risk of being dropped because he can't bowl and replaced by a guy who is averaging 39 in the Shield who doesn't bowl?

    ....I don't get it.

  • Cricmaths123 on December 30, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    I have seen that there are lots of promising, young cricketers in the country and all of them can be in the test team. So Australia can organize a tour of Zimbabwe or Bangladesh and then they can test their bench strength players like Hughes, Doolan, Lynn, Maddinson, Bird, Sayers, Cutting etc.

  • ScottStevo on December 30, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    @kensohatter, here are my solutions! If both fit - both play. If Watson is fit and Harris not, then we bring in anyone other than NCN, who isn't anywhere near a test match bowler. I'd take Bird if he's fit; then any other contender other than NCN - who without being selected already had a shocker on this tour as he could've taken Pietersen out completely had he not made a hash of that catch he carried over for 6. If neither Watson nor Harris is fit then we bring in Hughes at 3 and another bowler (see above) or we see SOK if Sydney is a turner. If Watson isn't fit and Harris is, we play Harris then select Hughes @3. However, in this scenario, I think we'll look to cover Harris with a 5th and Bailey might lose out to Faulkner, but I'd rather see SS/MC/DW as relief and keep our top 7 bats. If Watson can bat but can't bowl and Harris is fit, Watson at 3 with relief from part time spinners.

  • ScottStevo on December 30, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    @kensohatter, for starters, there's no point blooding for the future and rotating from a winning side by bringing in players that 1. aren't test calibre (which is all 3 of those you mention) 2. most likely aren't our future. On top of which, why on Earth would we want to halt the momentum we have by resting/rotating players? That experiment has already failed - miserably too; and moreover, potentially ruining the careers of promising players like Hughes, Khawaja and Starc. Dropping players ruins confidence levels. If Harris and Watson are fit, then Harris and Watson should play and the XI are unchanged. Harris himself has stated that the stopping and starting has caused him more damage than just playing on. At his age, he should play every test match that he's fit to play. We owe him that much.

  • jonesy2 on December 30, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    honestly cant believe this selection. with all respect to doolan who is a suberb batsman and would do a great job at test level and could become a great number 3, but he is behind hughes, burns, lynn, maddinson and in my opinion young travis head for starters

  • Seers on December 30, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Good luck to Doolan, but this is another selection blunder and heart-wrenching for Phil Hughes, who is a mile ahead of any other Australian batsmen not in the test side (and some that are). This article sums up Hughes's situation well: http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/663625.html; but the problem is that he will play for Australia again one day and what better way to restart his career asap than in a dead rubber with Australia finally on top (rather than having to suffer through previous series where almost no batsman but Clarke was performing and pressure was huge). Back to Doolan..his first-class career says it all (as does that of Bailey and thus no surprise he is doing poorly). Bailey should be dropped immediately and pecking order should match first class (not one-day or T20) record and performance for anyone under 35 i.e. Hughes, Voges, North, Lynn, Maddinson and Burns (no to anyone with a FC avge less than 40!!).

  • mattboosa on December 30, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    I honestly don't understand what Phil Hughes has to do. For starters he was not given a fair run in England before being dropped. If he had been given a full run of 5 tests (like Bailey has) then we would have seen his class. The 80 odd not out that he scored in the first test batting at 6 is evidence of that. Good luck to Doolan but, as commented below, this season has not been his best. And what is this fascination with NCN? IMO he should be about the 10th paceman in contention. Bring Bird back for a straight rest swap with Harris. What has NCN done to warrant a selection like this? When I saw him 12th man, my first thought was I hope our three bowlers make it through the series. But good luck to him.

  • VivGilchrist on December 30, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Why NCN? On what basis? I don't get it. Looks like if you play for SA you are no chance. Surely Sayers is a better pick than NCN?

  • Dr.Scott on December 30, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    None of the candidates for the position Doolan has taken have brilliant records. Hughes is the only one to have an average above 45, or above Steve Smith's average of 43.67. Joe Burns seems promising but must make more runs. Travis Head is young but seems to be getting a foothold in first class cricket but needs to score a century not get out in the 90s. Dave Hussey has a great record but he does not seem to be the player he once was, unlucky not to play test cricket. So I would have picked Marcus North, 5 test centuries and in top form so far this season.

  • chapati on December 30, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    @Dale Shelton - nor has anyone else. Why waste time and effort bringing back past failures for another short lived flirtation with test cricket? Better to take a punt on someone with a possible future if a one test opening is on the cards.

  • VivGilchrist on December 30, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    @xtrafalg...., mate, Yes OKeefe as the second spinner in tandem with Lyon. I'm not sure if you know but the SCG is a turning track and spin bowling is suited there.

  • kensohatter on December 30, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    @scottstevo... Bailey is 1. not test match calibre and 2. not a long term prospect. My XI is a plan for the future squad. Id rather give experience to Doolan and Faulkner in a dead rubber than expose them against a strong SA side. We need 5 bowlers to combat SA strong batting unit... Watson must be replaced Faulkner is a good allround option when you couple him with the strong tail of johnson, siddle and harris. Haddin is in form and like Gilly should bat 6. Also I tend not to listen to people who criticise then refuse to post solutions.

  • on December 30, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    Although I'm an ardent Australian fan; I'm starting to think that the best possible scenario is for Australia to get spanked by England in the last game on the back of 2 0'fer bowler centruries from Coulter-Nile and consecutive ducks for Alex Doolan so the selectors are roused to their senses and start to pick players on Performance. If I had my way; I would have the best performed Shield bowler; Doug bollinger to replace Harris...switch Watson with Hughes at 3 and the best performed young batsmen in the country this season (no not Nic Maddinson) Ryan Carters to come in at 6.For all those who dont know; he has made 2 centuries opening the innings and one half century and averaging 61 so far in the shield and has also made runs in a warm up V England. At 23 he is looking a hot prospect. This is Australia's best chance of getting in young players who could also contribute to a solid top 6 in the long term. Also,At 25 years there is nothing lost in giving Hughes one more shot at glory.

  • on December 30, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    This selection makes no sense to me. Phil Hughes has been the form young batsmen at shield level this year and he has also performed really well in SA. At 25, he has more years' cricket than Dooley (28) and already much more experience. I'd like the selectors to explain why Dooley ahead of others who have done far better at the longer forms of the game. Unless they just want to take a look at him at thus level, I'm not sure what you find out about a player in one test match.

  • ScottStevo on December 30, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Feel for C Ferguson. What more does this guy have to do to warrant selection?! He did very well last season, is on fire at the moment, has proven worth as an international cricketer in ODIs - which means he can handle the pressure and can play against int'l quality bowlers and prosper.

    @kensohatter, that's potentially the worst side I've seen posted here. Haddin at 6 and Faulkner 7 - you're killing me...Even the great Gilly didn't bat at 6, mate - and it's not like our batting line up is so strong we can't take a specialist bat out for a part-timer like Faulkner, who I might add, IS NOT anywhere near as good as Bailey with the bat.

    @Bradmanbestever,

    Wrong and Wrong-er!!! Then absolutely spot on, although that number could go out to more like 148, or something...

  • Shaggy076 on December 30, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    Pitch_curator; Just one more thing, I would have thought spinners could do it on all surfaces and Ashwin is your best right? He was comfortably outbowled by Lyon on your last tour here. So I think your spin bowlers are only better on tracks tailored to serve them and dont have the talent to adapt otherwise.

  • Shaggy076 on December 30, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    pitch curator, Nice to see your batting going well. First innings scores of 280 and 334, and look like going for around 200 in the current innings. Yeah they are huge scores. I've heard your batsman are so much more technically correct than ours, I would have thought they would be looking at 400+? Your right they are the benchmark, we haven't lost a series in SOuth Africa since the early 70's.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on December 30, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @ pitch_curator on (December 30, 2013, 9:15 GMT) It is good that youse have the largest Talent pool of spin bowlers in the world. pick 11 of them, who cares we will worry about a couple of tests in India every couple of years later, I cannot speak for anyone, but I love a test match with a little bit for all bowlers and rewards good batting, we like to compete with teams that encourage all forms of talent. but thanks for dragging yourself away from the thriller in South Africa

  • on December 30, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    @chapati, None of those 20-24's have really stared yet and have not made consistant runs.

  • pitch_curator on December 30, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    What is the point in having Bollinger as a back up for Perth and then playing Coulter Nile in Sydney. Has NCN picked a bag of wickets in domestic cricket in the meantime?

  • Shaggy076 on December 30, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Chapati; I think you missed the point, whoever it is if they get a game will replace an injured player and likely be straight out of the side for the first test in South Africa.

  • DylanBrah on December 30, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Not sure what the selectors see in Coulter-Nile. From what I've seen of him he's pretty average. Real shame Pattinson/Bird are not fit enough for Tests yet.

  • pitch_curator on December 30, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    @ rickyvoncanterbury - I think the Indian batsmen are already doing a decent job against the SAF. And in any case SAF is the benchmark in test cricket as they have been no 1 for a long time now - not Australia. I am also comforted to know that our Ranji level spin bowling will be any day better than Aus/SAF international spin bowling.

  • on December 30, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Since when was an average of 42 & 39 considered acceptable averages for a number 3, Doolan no doubt has talent as a batsmen a career average of 37 is simply not good enough to play for Australia. Based on form and experience Marcus North has to slot in at 3 he has been playing outstanding this season. And as for Harris I would bring in O'Keefe as Nathan Lyon struggles on true spinning wickets, Coulter Niles 11W@32 doesn't warrant selection in my opinion. Warner,Rogers,North,Clarke,Smith,Haddin, Faulkner,Johnson,O'Keefe,Siddle,Lyon. I think Watson and Harris need to be rested to recover from niggling injuries and even though I like G.Bailey as a player and captain I think the shorter forms suit him more he simply looks a little out of depth playing test cricket.

  • chapati on December 30, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Alex Doolan is worth a try - but so too are quite a few 20 - 24 yo hopefuls starting to make their presence felt in Shield matches. Most states have one or two. Would be totally wrong to turn back to any of the recently tried and tested alternatives...but whoever gets the nod should get a fair crack - not shuffled in and out of the team and around the order.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on December 30, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    @pitch curator, I for one know our batting can be heartbreaking sometimes but .... I am comforted to know our batsman will never be as poor as India's fast bowlers, and I think the next time the teams meet it is in Australia isn't it, they will be able to show the world their new technique against fast bowling.

  • on December 30, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    South Australian players always get the raw end of the deal when it comes to test selection. What about chad Sayers? Leading pace bowler in Sheffield shield for the last two seasons. And doesn't get mentioned by selectors. And Phil Hughes must be one of the most unluckiest players around to not be in that team. What about callum ferguson? He should be mentioned alongside burns, maddinson and doolan as a possible inclusion. Ferguson is probably one of the classiest state cricketers going around.

  • Dr.Scott on December 30, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    O'Keefe could have come into the squad as a second spin bowling option. Surely he is going to be taken to South Africa as the second spinner. Certainly deserves it.

  • simonspringfieldangus on December 30, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Hughes is a brilliant player and will play again for Australia, but as an opener when Rogers has had his day.

  • Shaggy076 on December 30, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    ccrider; Clearly looking at the overs bowled between Lyon and O Keefe in there joint games for NSW the NSW captain also believes Lyon is a better bowler.

  • Shaggy076 on December 30, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Alex Bicknell; You mention 2 years of form Lynn was dropped from Qld last season and has been very good at the start of this year and Burns was dropped at the start of this season and has bounced back well. But both certainly dont have 2 seasons of form.

  • Shaggy076 on December 30, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Dinesh Kanwar; I was only using words from your paragraph and didnt introduce anything myself. I know our batting is not the greatest but there is not a batting team in world cricket at the moment that is complete ie South Africa wiht A Peterson, Duminy and need to replace Kallis. India Vijay, Dhawan, R Sharma and Rahane still have question marks. I did mention that I dont think Doolan should be picked but our batting isnt too far behind these teams but our bowling is superb.

  • cccrider on December 30, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    xtrafalgarx says @Vivgilchrist: O'keefe again? Lyon just passed 100 test wickets and took a fifer the other day. What must he do to show that he is the country's best spinner!?

    --------------

    Outbowling O'Keefe in a shield game would be a start. And having a better shield average or strike rate than O'Keefe would be handy. Can we just agree that the selectors have something against O'Keefe? Its the only answer that makes sense.

  • Dr.Scott on December 30, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    To those suggesting Phil Hughes to play number 3 repeat slowly 10 times, Phil Hughes is an opener. Hughes must never play for Australia any where else but as an opener. There is a set opening pair for Australia now so Hughes should not be in the team.

  • pitch_curator on December 30, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    @ Jim bond - I don't think so. I think the key to success for an international player is how well he is able to hide/tide over his weaknesses. For most Indian batsmen since they are not exposed to high quality fast bowling their weakness would be facing quick bowlers on fast tracks. For Aus/SAF batsmen, it is the other way around. Badrinath was found out by quality fast bowlers. Similarly, Hughes who is making a ton on runs will be found out very easily against average spinners in India. Same with Warner. If they are able to somehow overcome this weakness or at least survive then they can have a good international record. Pujara worked on his game against fast bowlers and now if I am not wrong, his international average is more than his FC average. Same with Kohli. After getting out to short bowling early in his career he has worked on it and now he should be able to score runs all over the world. Waiting for Aussie batsmen to make those changes before the next series against India.

  • on December 30, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    @Shaggy076, in fact, I thought about it very hard. And I did mentioned that fast bowlers are C grade, but bowling overall in domestic cricket is not that bad and spinners many times more caliber than Lyon are there in domestic cricket. Also, we sure do not have 150+ bowlers in class of Johnson, but there are many who bowls good 140+, its just that they are never proper cared for. Munaf, RP Singh, Srisanth, Nehra, Ishant and many more who used to bowl 140+ but faded over time and these batsmen faced them when they were in their prime in domestic cricket. Problem is Aus supporters just like their selectors do not want to identify the problem. We in India, atleast supporters, admit that fast bowling is complete farce. But you like many others may deny, but other than Rogers & Clark there is no quality in your batting lineup. Would have been better if Hughes would have been given his dues.

  • on December 30, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    Like most of the comments, have no idea how this is either based on performance OR planning for the future.

    Performance: Plenty of other Aussie batsmen have had better shield seasons, such as Hughes, Lynn, Carters, Burns (again) and some other youngsters. I admit, Dools made a good century earlier in the season, but has scored some poor scores for the rest of the season.

    Age: The guy is 28. It's not bad. But in the 2015 Ashes he'll be early 30s and doesnt leave much more beyond that. Lynn, Carters, Burns and Hughes all play top-mid order and are all in the nice 23-24 bracket age to build around. Still astounded Burns or Lynn havent been given a run, considering their form over the last TWO seasons.

  • on December 30, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    Nic Maddinson is a better option than Alex Doolan, Maddinson having the potential to play in test matches as well as in one day cricket. I remember in India, Phil Hughes was playing as a opener why.? You have better one day players.

  • AlSmug on December 30, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    @AidnFX, Hughes has messed him self about he is not tight enough in the mind for test cricket history shows this, cricket is a numbers game ,Hughes had more chances than warne has had with his wife, fairdinkum another local bating bully , Hughes should have red ink run throw his name forever at the elite level , he was even piggy backe into the squad so often been blooded against weak teams and as soon as he faced quality opposition it was check ya later

  • cccrider on December 30, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Hughes has had enough chances. He is wonderful at shield level, but can't cut it beyond. Seeing he is in SA - a sort of Jamie Siddons - even Lehmann or Hookes.

  • Barnesy4444 on December 30, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Doolan's last 5 FC games has reaped 225 runs at an average of 25.

    Performance? Where?

  • kensohatter on December 30, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Great selection. Time to plan for the future. Id select all three. Doolan is Australias future and as well as Rogers and to a lesser extent Bailey have done its time to move on and plan for an Ashes assault on the poms on their home turf. Watsons injury is a blesing in disguise. He is toxic for this side and Faulkner is a great talent. On the bowling front Harris is not done yet and required for SA but there is no point risking him in Sydney when we can blood Coulter-Nile. Plus it would be fun to beat the poms batting first 3x, bowling first, with 3 debutants, just every possible way to really disintegrate this team before they go home and self destruct... Are they serious about dropping Cook? Hes in the top 3 bats in the world!?! Poor series but still. My team for Sydney.... 1. Warner, 2. Rogers, 3. Doolan, 4. Clarke, 5. SMith, 6.Haddin, 7. Faulkner, 8. Johnson, 9. Siddle, 10. Coulter-Nile, 11. Lyon

  • zenboomerang on December 30, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    An unusual squad selection - we've had Faulkner the 12th man for the 4 Tests, so if his injury is still a problem why be in the squad? If he's OK then he's primarily a bowler so must be considered next in line in Harris is down - or why be 12th man? As for Doolan, well good luck but others have better records, which brings me back to the Argus report - last seen on a toilet paper roll at CA - read once, wipe then flush...

  • Barnesy4444 on December 30, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    Hughes to open with Rogers, Warner at 3. Seems simple to me.

  • zenboomerang on December 30, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    @Mervo - think Adam is still recovering from a BBL injury & should have played for Oz 5 years ago alongside Rogers, then we wouldn't have had this messed up top order disarray that continues to haunt us... There's only one thing dumber than a selector - that's 2 selectors! Woops sorry - there are more than 2 aren't there?...

  • xtrafalgarx on December 30, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    @Vivgilchrist: O'keefe again? Lyon just passed 100 test wickets and took a fifer the other day. What must he do to show that he is the country's best spinner!?

  • Barnesy4444 on December 30, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    I thought Boof was selecting on performance? If so then why is Hughes not in the squad?

    What has Hughes done wrong? Seriously? He topped the FC averages in England, made a near match winning innings in the first test, gets stuffed around time after time after time.

    He finally gets some simple instructions: score lots of runs which he does. 3 centuries averaging over 60, and a bloke averaging only 39 with 1 century gets selected ahead of him!! What a joke!!

    Hughes just has to keep scoring piles of runs, it's all he can do. 24 FC centuries (including 3 test) and only 25 years old, he has what it takes at the highest level.

  • pat_one_back on December 30, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Completely agree @Jarred Hansen, I smiled when Doug was brought into the Perth squad, he's definitely our best fit replacement for Ryno. Bollinger has clearly worked wonders on his fitness, and must be raring for another Test, at home in Syd of all venues! Very disappointed they've gone for NCN, simply hasn't done enough in his FC cricket to warrant promotion over a more experienced hand in strong FC form. Confidence in Harris backing up must be pretty high, though with Doolan coming in, Doug's release could be a call out that Faulkner is getting a run at 7, in which case I'd agree two left arm quicks is enough and NCN would be the right arm fast in line.

  • AidanFX on December 30, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    Hughes has been messed around so much. He was prematurely dropped in England back in 09' and was forced to change his technique under Nelson - which took him a while to adjust to, but he did but he was welcomed back to the Aussie team in 2010 whilst out of form. Now he has worked out his technique is in form and is not selected after being a part of the team early this year (just as he was starting to show his worth again).

  • AlSmug on December 30, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    4-0d, a pick whomever you like the urn has returned a total dead rubber, rest all players from the 4-0 11 that have a niggle and pen them in for sa test 1. They have earnt it , experiment like ch9 have done so wit the rouge commentators they went with , warne alias brick tamland talks dancing fashion plastic surgery lame bogon 80s music as does slater time to focus on cricket at ch9 , sth africa in sth africa will be a tough tour

  • runout49 on December 30, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Tough on Bailey if they do drop him. He got a very dubious decision in the first innings when most of the batsmen also failed. Other than that he has done all that's been asked of him.

  • jimbond on December 30, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    @Dinesh Kanwar: Players of the same quality may end up having a difference of ten to fifteen in India and Australia. An Indian FC average of 60 equals about 45 in Australia. That said, Doolan's performance till now has been pretty average. But then, there are no other shining stars apart from Katich and Mike Hussey out there. Silk is very similar to Doolan. Possibly Maddison is slightly better in comparison, but not much. I would be tempted to give Bailey another chance.

  • on December 30, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    I would have preferred they blooded Nic Maddinson as he is young and highly talented and just needs to work on his shot selection and patience. I would have had Fauklner in for Bailey and Ben Cutting in if Ryan cannot play. Or better yet Steve O'Keefe on his home turf....

  • Shaggy076 on December 30, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Dinesh Fatwas; Did you stop to think maybe your first class batsman average 60 cos you have c grade bowlers. It would suggest Doolan could av 60 against them. We have plenty of blokes above 50 this year unfortunately they didn't get picked.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on December 30, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Just when you think the bad old days are behind us ..... but it is what it is... so good luck Alex wear the baggy with pride. On Phil Hughes, by the time he gets back into the team he will have as many FC runs as Hussey.

  • ShutTheGate on December 30, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    Why so much love for Phil Hughes? He's been in the test side twice and failed. Same with Khwaja, they both haven't cut it at test level and the Australian team has lost games as a result.

    And to those stating that form should be picked on recent form in the shield. Well there hasn't been a shield game for a month!! The last time that Doolan played at the SCG in the shield he batted 56 and 132 give him a crack. We know what Hughes can do and it's got a lot to do with scoring just about all of his rums on the off side and dabbling his bat to get edged at first or second slip. His technique gets found out at test level.

  • on December 30, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    You'd have thought it would be Hughes, that's for sure. I'm with others here looking curiously at a career record with such a poor rate of century making. Lets not go back to guys who only make centuries once every dozen knocks or so once again, please. Lots of 50's and 60's are handy but its centuries that win matches.

  • on December 30, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    an average of 40 odd in domestic and good to play for Aus? Really? Should we send S. Badrinath, age 33 but average 60 (flat decks ah, Pujara average 60 in domestic not doing badly in so called fast wickets in SA). So take Badri, guy just doesn't get to play for India and in turn send us one C level fast bowler, guess will better than what our A level fast (oops) bowlers are doing in SA.

  • Mitty2 on December 30, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    @myself, whoops, was saying that Neville's the wicketkeeper not Burns.

    @shaggy076, is Ferguson really averaging 72? Wow! His fans can actually push for his selection in this instance. I think Voges missed the opening two rounds if i'm not mistaken, but yes all of Burns, Carters, Lynn and Cooper have had good, better-than-Doolan, selectable seasons.

  • cricketsubh on December 30, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    i think selector should go for youth like madison or burns or silk .dollen is not young player his avg in shild cricket is just 39 i think madison will be the batter potion then doolen he is young and he can play for 12 to 15 years .

  • Mitty2 on December 30, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    @pat_one_back, 100%. Great comment, although I'm not sure shifting Warner in his form opening is necessary, all I know is that Hughes is a pure opener and can't start against spin and I know that Rogers has played at 3 plenty of times in his FC career. So it could be a top 3 of Hughes, Warner and Rogers, although I'm not really fussed who goes where (this all assuming Watson's unfit - for all that I've criticised about him I think the last number 3 we had who scored a century for us was Punter...)

    Also need to add Cosgrove to the list of Maddinson, Burns, Silk, White and North to those who are better than Doolan. What's in common? All have higher Shield averages. Please don't undermine the Shield again by selecting Doolan selectors.

  • Mervo on December 30, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Watson will be sorely missed after his strong contributions. He needs to bet edited for SA however. Doolan is pretty average but experienced. Voges would be better with Silk part of a bright future. Hughes never will be a test batsman as he has too many technical flaws. Bollinger is not up to it. Why not Hazlewood or Cutting? Both are excelkent.

  • Mitty2 on December 30, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    @wellrounded87, pace and pace only. Boof has some addiction to it - just look at his recent comments. But yes, NCN is definitely behind Sayers, Bird particularly, Putland and even the out of form Cutting (unfortunately, was hoping big things from Ben) and I'd even prefer Feldman who's been consistent in the shield thus far and has talent.

    Here's some batsmen that Doolan's behind who aren't in the squad: Maddinson, Lynn, Neville, Silk, Burns (even as a wk a better batter), obviously Hughes, and of course the older White and North. I also don't reckon dropping Bailey is fair, we all know what he adds to the team leadership wise and unity wise, and for a bloke who hasn't played in a losing or drawing test he shouldn't be dropped.

  • Cricmaths123 on December 30, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    It is important that Shane Watson and Ryan Harris are fit for SA tour as they are valuable players. If Doolan plays then he would bat at no. 3 and Faulkner could come in for Bailey. Haddin would bat at no. 6 and Faulkner at no. 7. For Harris there are very good fast bowlers like chadd Sayers, Jackson Bird, Nathan coulter Nile etc.

  • Mitty2 on December 30, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Look there's no doubt Doolan's very talented and great to watch, but just watch his A game against England - quick fire 30 odd that looks good only to be undone with a flashy drive with a huge gap between bat and pad (much like Watto this series to compensate for his front pad problem). Doolan can only have such a relatively mediocre FC career to date because he has either a technical or temperamental problem. Hughes has done far more in the Shield, not just this year but over the last five years, and it's really poor they selected Doolan over Hughes just because Hughes hasn't peaked at test level. I like watching Doolan bat and wish him well enough sure, but there's no reason he should be selected over our most talented young batsman (by far) who not coincidentally is in better form.

  • on December 30, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    And what must Phil Hughes think of all this? Mountains of runs in Shield and one day cricket this season, experience at Test level, and the ability to open or bat at three? Have the selectors lost faith in him permanently?

  • Jeeves_ on December 30, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    Doolan is a terrible selection. An average of 42.05 last season and 39.10 is not good enough to merit test selection.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 30, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    Doolan at 3 is better than Watto at 3

    Faulkner at 6 is better than Bailey at 6

    NCN at 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 or 11 is not better than any of the present incumbents

  • picket23 on December 30, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    Should be Phil Hughes... crazy

  • wix99 on December 30, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    I hope that Alex Doolan gets a chance. The selectors need to have a chance to look at how some of the next contenders for top order batting slots perform in Test cricket. Phil Hughes has made lots of runs this year, but he is already a known quantity at Test level. Far better to let someone else make their debut with the Ashes already won.

  • pat_one_back on December 30, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    I think Phil Hughes has been hardly done by with this selection, he has Syd, Melb, Adelaide 1st innings hundreds including a double to his name this year, at 28 with a FC average below 40 Doolan just isn't in the same class as the 25 yo Philly ave 45, 3 test 100's about the same as Watto I think! C'mon Boof, he was overly messed with under Mickey, let the experienced and equally unconventional Bucky take him under his wing, give the kid a shot in a supportive team culture, he debuted into one and thrived early on! down to 6 you have to go Watto, Warner will make an absolute cracking Aust No 3!!!!

  • wellrounded87 on December 30, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    I fail to see what NCN really has to offer over the likes of Bird, Cutting, Sayers and Putland. All of these bowlers hold better averages at first class level than NCN and look much better bowlers IMO. Cutting is out of form and Bird still has a question of fitness but Putland and Sayers should be shoo ins over NCN. Hughes has to feel hard done by being left out.

  • nthuq on December 30, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    If it's the number three spot open, why Doolan? Considering the mass of runs Hughes has already scored this season, I would've gone for him. My theory though is that Doolan's in as pressure on Bailey, and could well take his spot.

  • on December 30, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Wait.. why on earth has Bollinger been released from the squad? Coulter-Nile has only three international wickets, whereas Bollinger has 114. If experience trumps potential in this squad he's the only guy to fill in for Harris.

  • cccrider on December 30, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    OK, but Chris Lynn is knocking the door down.

  • cccrider on December 30, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    OK, but Chris Lynn is knocking the door down.

  • on December 30, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    Dropping Bailey is not right. Since Australia already won the Series, it is better to give another chance to Bailey because he is a very valuable player and could take over the captaincy from Clarke at some point of time. Faulkner or Coulter-Nile could come in place of Harris and Doolan can make a debut if Watson is unfit. I don't this Michael Clarke will tinker the team combination so much since he wants 5-0.

  • RTPbetterthanSRT on December 30, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    This is a surprising selection, Doolan is averaging only 39.00 in the Shield this year and only has 6 first class centuries in 94 first class innings. That being said I'm assuming he's played most of cricket on the green top at Hobart. But still there must be some very disgruntled batsmen in Australia as I'm sure they will agree with most that Doolan hasn't really done anything special to warrant this. It's just a simple case of the selectors once again rewarding mediocrity. The only reason I can think of why he's been added to squad was because of the 150 odd he made last season against the South Africans. Why not the prodigal son, Phil Hughes? He's averaging over 50 this season and it takes something special for such a young cricketer (25 y/o) to already have 24 first class centuries and over 8000 runs. He is worth persisting with, just let him play his natural game just like with Warner. An extended run is what he needs, not getting dropped every second game. He will be a great.

  • SRK666 on December 30, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    The interesting thing here is that the selectors picked Doolan ahead of Hughes, even though Hughes has made 3 centuries (including one double century) to Doolan's 1; Hughes has made 549 runs in 9 innings at 61.00 compared to Doolan's 391 runs in 10 innings at 39.10 (neither have any not outs).

    Maybe the selectors are thinking that Hughes will get his chance soon enough when Rogers retires/loses form, and it's more important to blood some more middle order players (especially given Clarke's back injury and Haddin's age).

    Anyway, good luck to him if he plays. Has a touch of class about him, reminds quite a lot of Damien Martyn with his minimal footwork and smooth off-side play.

  • ShutTheGate on December 30, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    Finally the Aussie selectors are picking Watson as an all rounder and not as a specialist batsman. Even if he's fit he should play at number 6, so we can blood Doolan ahead of the South African tour and Bailey will carry the drinks.

    Doolan has a chance to become a genuine number 3, that is, the kind that is hard to get out, who can set up an innings under pressure and is consistent and reliable. Watson has strengths but they aren't those possessed by Ricky Ponting, David Boon or other previous number 3's.

  • Sir_Francis on December 30, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Not including test players he is 20th in the averages this year! Even 3-4 Tassie players are ahead of him.

    He is averaging 39, Hughes 61 (& North 98)

    Hope he doesn't play because he he hasn't earned it. Even D. Hussey is ahead of him in averages and his record is better than Rogers (and he's younger)

    Who cares how he went last year. This year is what matters.

  • on December 30, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    I would be going with Phil Hughes at 3. Although Doolan deserves a chance, perhaps hughes is rogers replacement in the near future once he retires.

  • on December 30, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    It's fifth test. Not fourth.

  • Dangertroy on December 30, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    NC-N ahead of Bollinger on his home ground? Wouldn't have anything to do with his middle name being Mitchell would it?

  • markofcaloundra on December 30, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    If there's no Harris, Watson, and we play Doolan, Coulter_Nile..forget 5-0... but medicos will prob get both up to scratch. Playing Faulkner instead of Bailey would do no harm whatsoever to our batting strength and he can bowl as a a change/stock bowler.But if the Melb test XI are all fit to play, no objection to giving Bailey another go... always thought players should get at least 8-10 tests to find their feet. We tend to forget how big the step up is,,,, look at S Waugh 25 plus tests before he got a ton or M Hayden's first 10 tests... though Bailey will never be a Waugh or a Hayden..he might become a Rogers.And I would also pick P Hughes for squad to SA

  • andrew-schulz on December 30, 2013, 1:38 GMT

    Doolan has been ordinary this summer. Sometimes it is a good idea to change a winning side and bring in some freshness. This is not one of those times. If Harris and Watsom are close to full fitness, break a record and keep the same side in for the whole series. It's not really back to back Tests-it's a full five-day break for the bowlers. A 5-0 win would be a massive boost in preparation for a real challenge, and regardless of what the abominable official rankings say, would leave Australia the true number 2 in the world. (India's current inflated position is due to having played 12 Tests in a row at home). So it's an important Test, and vital to play Watson and Harris if anywhere near close to fitness. And even from this point, it may still be 5 days before they have to bowl.

  • ZanzibarOz on December 30, 2013, 1:34 GMT

    Alex Doolan has an average of less than 38 after 53 first class matches. This season his average is 39, so it's not like it's a purple patch of form crying for his selection. Can someone enlighten me as to the wisdom of this move?

  • geoffw on December 30, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    Well done to Doolan - what about Hughes ?

  • on December 30, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    I don't see why Watson has to be dropped if he can't bowl. If we need a fourth seamer in the team, drop bailey for Faulkner, but keep Watson at 3. Doolan while a great batsmen, averages under 40, and Watto has both experience and is in some pretty good form atm. If his injury is hampering his batting, then obviously he should be rested, but if it's just a matter of him being unavailable to bowl, then i see no reason to drop him.

  • on December 30, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    Phillip Hughes has a 1st class average of 45 over 106 matches ...Test experience ar average 32 including 3 centuries and has current 1st class Centuries this season.... all indicating "currently In Form" .... Doolan has way less experience and a Ist class average only in the 30's .( and Yes is currently 'in form too ") Where does "selection of the best on merit " fit in here?

  • Showbags88 on December 30, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    Another sub 40 averaging player that won't pass muster when put under the blowtorch of Test Cricket. Why not reward Sheffield Shield form? The best batsmen in the Shield are clearly Hughes and North. If you don't want to go back to them then try to blood someone younger like Silk or Maddinson. Doolan has been a long time underperformer in Shield and is highly overrated.

  • Hero747 on December 30, 2013, 1:23 GMT

    Why are the Australian selectors so reluctant to give Nic Maddinson a go at Test Cricket?! He's by far the best young batsman in the country!

  • sifter132 on December 30, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Averaging 42 last season, and 38 this season...not overly impressed by Doolan's run scoring of late. He looks good at the crease, and strangely enough there is a lot of Shane Watson about his batting. Shame he also seems to have Watto's penchant for underperforming. I'd have thought Phil Hughes would be a better shout, especially since England won't have an offspinner and that has been his downfall recently (Ashwin and Swann). SA won't have an offspinner either, and looking ahead at that tour, Hughes must be a good chance.

    Anyway, I can't believe they would get rid of Watson. He just made 80-odd and had to run a lot of 2s and 3s in that innings. 5 days rest will only make him more likely to play. It's Bailey who is under the pump, and if Watson can't bowl, then I guess Faulkner is an option, especially given Haddin and Johnson are batting pretty well.

  • redneck on December 30, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    doolan has made 300 odd runs at 39 in the shield, hughes has nearly 600 and avg over 50 this year in the shield. why is doolan being selected over hughes? adelaide oval counting against SA batsmen again!!! but yet when sayers sits on top of the wicket takers the fact he plays at adelaide and still takes wickets never gets factored in and they select coulter nile?? who does a great impersonation of mitch johnson on an off day but hasnt really had a good day yet!!!

  • AidanFX on December 30, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Happy Bollinger is off the list; I would have thought Hughes with international experience and runs in the first class season this year was the obvious choice.

    Watson does my head in a bit. He is a crucial player but a slight injury and he won't bowl - which is not ideal given how accurate a bowler he is. Not to mention his ability to cut and swing the ball too. He is a very talented batsmen - a couple of weaknesses but it is a myth he has a bad technique. But he is not overly consistent with the bat. All in all probably better to rest him for South Africa.

    There is no point risking Harris either. The only thing with this stance is, it sounds like rotation. Which I generally disdain in Test matches. I would like to think those days are gone; but given where the game is at these days and the series is won and SA is near, allowances should be made. But to be sure Sydney people understandably want to see a strong Aus. But I think any Aus team right now will perform well.

  • RandyOZ on December 30, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    Good inclusion but I would much rather see Phil Hughes there.

  • handyandy on December 30, 2013, 1:06 GMT

    Interesting that Doolan is ahead of Hughes ... good choice though.

    Australia can't afford to rest on its laurels with a tough tour of South Africa coming up. The current Australian team while successful is still aging ... it needs some fresh blood.

    Squeezing Doolan, Faulkner and Coulter-Nile into the side will pay benefits down the track.

  • on December 30, 2013, 1:03 GMT

    Australia should drop bailey. Watson should bat at 6 and doolan should play at no 3.

  • RJHB on December 30, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    Wish him all the best should he debut, but to be honest his numbers aren't huge are they?!

  • Ms.Cricket on December 30, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    Watson just scored 83 not out (and 103 in the previous Test) which is better than the highest scores in this series of ALL of the top 5 in the England squad (Cook, Carberry, Root, Peitersen and Bell) and the selectors are talking of dropping him? Somebody does not like Watson and it could be Clarke given that Clarke kept bowling Watson even though England mananged no more than 179 probably hoping for Watson to break down completely.

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    I guess they haven't heard of this player called Phill Hughes who is have an awesome summer at the moment and should have made the side. But now that he plays for South Australia he will never get a chance.

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    This is surely a joke? How many runs do Phil Hughes, Marcus North, Adam Voges and about half a dozen other batsmen have to make to get ahead of Alex Doolan.

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    get Faulkner and Nathan a game. siddle and harris out. doolan in for smith. give bailey another chance. also they should have given hughes more chances

  • VivGilchrist on December 30, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    No OKeefe?.... Disappointing.

  • heathrf1974 on December 30, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    That's a blow for Phil Hughes. Good to see Alex in the squad.

  • CricketChat on December 30, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    Watson should no longer be burdened with bowling pressure. He should be considered only as a specialist batsman from now on. Every time the team forced him to bowl, he got injured. Isn't he good enough as a batsman alone?

  • Shaggy076 on December 30, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    I juist checked Doolan aged 28, has 6 first class tons averaging 39 this year in shield cricket. In his last 4 shield matches he has 213 runs at 27.5 - surely this is not the form you want going into an Australian game. Hughes is averaging 60 this year, Ferguson and Voges 72, North 98, Burns, Carters, Lynn and Cooper all over 50

  • VivGilchrist on December 30, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    Don't like it. He's averaging 39 this season and scored the17th most runs this season (he's played one less than the maximum 6 games). He's not been chosen on form or overall career record. Looks like all the NSW jokes can now stop as average Tasmanians seems to be the flavour of the month.

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Well here the dopey selectors go again - fancy choosing Alex Doolan - in 6 1st class games this year he has only scored 422 runs, and almost half of them came in his first match. Since then, in the last 5 games, he has failed except for one score over 50. Seriously, they have got to be kidding. The baggy green obviously isn't worth much these days, because now anyone can get one. The selectors should look at the averages for the Shield season up until now. Heaps of players could have been considered before the average cricketer. They have already chosen an average cricketer in George Bailey. Why compound the problem?

  • HansonKoch on December 30, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    A first class average of just under 38 is good enough for you to make number 3 in the Australian team?

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  • HansonKoch on December 30, 2013, 0:12 GMT

    A first class average of just under 38 is good enough for you to make number 3 in the Australian team?

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Well here the dopey selectors go again - fancy choosing Alex Doolan - in 6 1st class games this year he has only scored 422 runs, and almost half of them came in his first match. Since then, in the last 5 games, he has failed except for one score over 50. Seriously, they have got to be kidding. The baggy green obviously isn't worth much these days, because now anyone can get one. The selectors should look at the averages for the Shield season up until now. Heaps of players could have been considered before the average cricketer. They have already chosen an average cricketer in George Bailey. Why compound the problem?

  • VivGilchrist on December 30, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    Don't like it. He's averaging 39 this season and scored the17th most runs this season (he's played one less than the maximum 6 games). He's not been chosen on form or overall career record. Looks like all the NSW jokes can now stop as average Tasmanians seems to be the flavour of the month.

  • Shaggy076 on December 30, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    I juist checked Doolan aged 28, has 6 first class tons averaging 39 this year in shield cricket. In his last 4 shield matches he has 213 runs at 27.5 - surely this is not the form you want going into an Australian game. Hughes is averaging 60 this year, Ferguson and Voges 72, North 98, Burns, Carters, Lynn and Cooper all over 50

  • CricketChat on December 30, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    Watson should no longer be burdened with bowling pressure. He should be considered only as a specialist batsman from now on. Every time the team forced him to bowl, he got injured. Isn't he good enough as a batsman alone?

  • heathrf1974 on December 30, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    That's a blow for Phil Hughes. Good to see Alex in the squad.

  • VivGilchrist on December 30, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    No OKeefe?.... Disappointing.

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    get Faulkner and Nathan a game. siddle and harris out. doolan in for smith. give bailey another chance. also they should have given hughes more chances

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    This is surely a joke? How many runs do Phil Hughes, Marcus North, Adam Voges and about half a dozen other batsmen have to make to get ahead of Alex Doolan.

  • on December 30, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    I guess they haven't heard of this player called Phill Hughes who is have an awesome summer at the moment and should have made the side. But now that he plays for South Australia he will never get a chance.