The Ashes 2013 April 26, 2013

Faulkner prepared for extra batting responsibility

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First and foremost, James Faulkner is a bowler: 111 Sheffield Shield wickets in the past three summers attest to that. But depending on the balance Australia's selectors want from the side during the Ashes, and contingent also on the form of the senior allrounder Shane Watson, Faulkner could find himself shouldering extra batting responsibility in his first Test series. There is even the possibility that at some point during the tour he could be used as a fifth bowler batting as high as No.7.

That might seem a stretch, but based on his first-class batting for Tasmania in the past summer it is not an absurd scenario. As well as collecting 39 Shield wickets at 20.33 on his way to a third consecutive Ricky Ponting Medal as his state's best player, Faulkner also finished the Shield season 15th on the competition run tally, having scored 444 runs at 34.15, including 89 in the final against Queensland.

Consider the list of batsmen who could have been vying for Test selection, yet scored fewer runs at a lower average: George Bailey (256 at 18.28), Rob Quiney (295 at 26.81), Michael Klinger (330 at 19.41), David Hussey (358 at 23.86), Adam Voges (388 at 25.86) and Peter Forrest (395 at 19.75). That might say more about the parlous state of batting in Australia's domestic competition than about Faulkner, who it must be said is yet to score a first-class hundred, but all the same his was a fine summer with bat and ball.

"I'd definitely be comfortable to bat at No.7," Faulkner said. "Whenever you can slot into an Australian team I think you're pretty happy to play wherever you can. It was a reasonably successful year last year with the bat for Tasmania. Hopefully I can make a few big scores, that's what I'm aiming to do at the moment."

Wickets, though, are Faulkner's stock in trade. He has been consistent enough over the past three seasons to collect Shield wicket tallies of 36, 36 and 39, and although he might not have the express pace of some Australian fast bowlers, his movement of the ball and accuracy have made him a dangerous prospect, and not just at Bellerive Oval - his average is below 22 at five different first-class venues around Australia.

"All the wickets around Australia are quite different," Faulkner said. "I'm based at Bellerive and people say you're bowling at Bellerive and there's a bit more grass there and so you'll take more wickets. But in fact if you look at all of our bowlers back home, I think all of us have been averaging the same at Bellerive as away from Bellerive.

"I just sum up the conditions as they are and just be consistent. I have a lot more confidence in my body. I'm [nearly] 23 now and I have more confidence in my body and can get through longer spells."

The Australian selectors like not only Faulkner's figures, but his attitude. The national selector John Inverarity this week referred to Faulkner as "a very competitive cricketer who gets things done". Over the past few months that included not only giving Chris Gayle a send-off during an ODI in Canberra, which cost him 10% of his match fee, but also steering Tasmania to the Shield title with a Man of the Match performance.

"I like to think I'm a pretty strong competitor on the field and off the field I'm a pretty relaxed sort of character," Faulkner said. "Definitely when the game is on the line or the game is in full flight I like to think I'm pretty aggressive in the way I play and get on the front foot instead of being dictated to."

Although the Ashes tour will be Faulkner's first trip to England, he has already gained some overseas experience thanks to his IPL duties for three different teams. A talented limited-overs player who has played T20 and one-day cricket for his country, Faulkner sold for $400,000 to the Rajasthan Royals this year but has not let the shortest format seduce him at the expense of first-class cricket.

"I've always tried to be as consistent as I can in Twenty20, one-day cricket and four-day cricket and not specifically have a focus on any of the three," he said. "I look at [the IPL] as a bit of an opportunity to progress my cricket on different grounds, different wickets, and in India it doesn't get any harder. There's lots of positives you can take away from playing in different countries. You gain experience pretty fast."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chris_P on April 26, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    I got to admit, every season I see him, he plays better & better, definitely batting a few levels up on what he was 3 seasons ago. The innings he played in the Shield final was responsible & almost perfectly executed with his shot placements. He built this innings, and let's not forget this was against Ryan Harris who was performing a herculean task for the banana benders. It is an option, for sure, but I really doubt he will be in the test side unless there are injuries, he is probably #5 or #6 in the squad, but he can certainly push his claims with solid pre Ashes form. I am all for an aggressive attitude, but he does tend to push the envelope a little too far, hopefully he can harness this.

  • on April 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Faulkner's performance over the years has definitely improved, not only can he stop the run flow but has a knack of taking crucial wickets. His batting in the Sheffield Shield was pretty impressive. Seems to be a no-nonsense cricketer who will take the cricket world by storm in the upcoming years, Cricket Australia mustn't let such a great prospect fade out.

  • MoreTestsNoT20 on May 1, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    There is no way faulkner deserves a spot in the test team. He is not in our top 6 batsman and no way he is a better bowling option than either Siddle, Pattison, Harris, Starc or Bird. I am sick of selections like this and Maxwell in India. A test side the 6 best batsman, best keeper, best spinner and 3 best pace bowler.

  • ScottStevo on April 30, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    @meety, if you look at his recent innings, I think you'll find he was looking pretty good - across all formats too. Nonetheless, the same could be said for just about every batsman vieing for selection in this Oz side. They all need to prove they can score runs in shield...I didn't see too many names averaging 50+ after a decent spell (not those who only played a few matches). In years gone by we had one or two blokes from each state knocking around that mark. Which is why we need to dismiss stats for a minute and look for a bloke that can do a job for us - but not just for one/two series.

  • AKS286 on April 30, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Every team has to face bad peiod and this is the bad phase of Aus cricket but After the retirement of Clarke Australia will build their fortress again and fight for become No.1 again.- Hope so.

  • Meety on April 29, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    @ ScottStevo on (April 29, 2013, 12:33 GMT) - if you drew a line after Marsh was injured in SA, his form with the BAT is way less than the ones I mentioned. I wouldn't select Krezja & co, but I would BEFORE Marsh. SMarsh needs to put a case forward as to why he should get another Test since he was dropped. There is no way any case can be put forward, based on his last 15 months or so. In that time, Copeland has hit a Shield ton, & I think is currently averaging 97 in County cricket with the bat (two innings from #11). I honestly would feel more secure (right now), if he was in the top 6 than Marsh. S Marsh needs to go back & score tons in the Shield & be in the top 5 run-getters. Cosgrove deserves more of a shot.

  • Nicely_Time.Man on April 29, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    If we compare Faulkner's comments about IPL Vs M.Taylor's word about IPL-- I think Faulkner is more matured than Taylor.

  • Nicely_Time.Man on April 29, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    @AKS286 Yes I agree to you M.Taylor & Nasir Hussain are the example of poor selection. Domestic records are not consistent. In every new season flop becomes hit and hit becomes flop, Very few are having consistent performance. @ Amith_S on (April 29, 2013, 8:51 GMT) & Mary_786 on (April 29, 2013, 11:19 GMT) You all said that Aus need solid 6 batsmen then why analyzing Siddle, Starc batting? Aus need wickets from bowler not runs even ducks are heartily accepted but not applied for wickets. Warner, Hughes, Marsh/Finch, Clarke,Voges, Watson, Haddin, Hilfy, Siddle, Pattinson, S'oK.

  • ScottStevo on April 29, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    @meety, Then you and I have different criteria for selecting a batsman on their technique and class, my friend! One of the players you mentioned in your first 2 sentences has both of these things, the rest don't. Krezja has a half decent season with the bat and all of the sudden you'd select him as a bat... Seriously?? (I'm sure you wouldn't!) This is the exact problem with our selection policies at the moment. We're not selecting guys based on their skills and their potential abilities to play test match cricket, we're bringing in flash in the pan types who have had one half decent season, or done well in a T20 match or two. Stats don't tell the whole picture. Granted they're a decent indicator, but we shouldn't make selections completely governed by them.

  • Mary_786 on April 29, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Amith i like your top 8 in Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Faulkner, it works for me too, however I would also be ok to have a Siddle at 8 or Starc at 8 as they are useful batsman.

  • Chris_P on April 26, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    I got to admit, every season I see him, he plays better & better, definitely batting a few levels up on what he was 3 seasons ago. The innings he played in the Shield final was responsible & almost perfectly executed with his shot placements. He built this innings, and let's not forget this was against Ryan Harris who was performing a herculean task for the banana benders. It is an option, for sure, but I really doubt he will be in the test side unless there are injuries, he is probably #5 or #6 in the squad, but he can certainly push his claims with solid pre Ashes form. I am all for an aggressive attitude, but he does tend to push the envelope a little too far, hopefully he can harness this.

  • on April 26, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Faulkner's performance over the years has definitely improved, not only can he stop the run flow but has a knack of taking crucial wickets. His batting in the Sheffield Shield was pretty impressive. Seems to be a no-nonsense cricketer who will take the cricket world by storm in the upcoming years, Cricket Australia mustn't let such a great prospect fade out.

  • MoreTestsNoT20 on May 1, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    There is no way faulkner deserves a spot in the test team. He is not in our top 6 batsman and no way he is a better bowling option than either Siddle, Pattison, Harris, Starc or Bird. I am sick of selections like this and Maxwell in India. A test side the 6 best batsman, best keeper, best spinner and 3 best pace bowler.

  • ScottStevo on April 30, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    @meety, if you look at his recent innings, I think you'll find he was looking pretty good - across all formats too. Nonetheless, the same could be said for just about every batsman vieing for selection in this Oz side. They all need to prove they can score runs in shield...I didn't see too many names averaging 50+ after a decent spell (not those who only played a few matches). In years gone by we had one or two blokes from each state knocking around that mark. Which is why we need to dismiss stats for a minute and look for a bloke that can do a job for us - but not just for one/two series.

  • AKS286 on April 30, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Every team has to face bad peiod and this is the bad phase of Aus cricket but After the retirement of Clarke Australia will build their fortress again and fight for become No.1 again.- Hope so.

  • Meety on April 29, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    @ ScottStevo on (April 29, 2013, 12:33 GMT) - if you drew a line after Marsh was injured in SA, his form with the BAT is way less than the ones I mentioned. I wouldn't select Krezja & co, but I would BEFORE Marsh. SMarsh needs to put a case forward as to why he should get another Test since he was dropped. There is no way any case can be put forward, based on his last 15 months or so. In that time, Copeland has hit a Shield ton, & I think is currently averaging 97 in County cricket with the bat (two innings from #11). I honestly would feel more secure (right now), if he was in the top 6 than Marsh. S Marsh needs to go back & score tons in the Shield & be in the top 5 run-getters. Cosgrove deserves more of a shot.

  • Nicely_Time.Man on April 29, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    If we compare Faulkner's comments about IPL Vs M.Taylor's word about IPL-- I think Faulkner is more matured than Taylor.

  • Nicely_Time.Man on April 29, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    @AKS286 Yes I agree to you M.Taylor & Nasir Hussain are the example of poor selection. Domestic records are not consistent. In every new season flop becomes hit and hit becomes flop, Very few are having consistent performance. @ Amith_S on (April 29, 2013, 8:51 GMT) & Mary_786 on (April 29, 2013, 11:19 GMT) You all said that Aus need solid 6 batsmen then why analyzing Siddle, Starc batting? Aus need wickets from bowler not runs even ducks are heartily accepted but not applied for wickets. Warner, Hughes, Marsh/Finch, Clarke,Voges, Watson, Haddin, Hilfy, Siddle, Pattinson, S'oK.

  • ScottStevo on April 29, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    @meety, Then you and I have different criteria for selecting a batsman on their technique and class, my friend! One of the players you mentioned in your first 2 sentences has both of these things, the rest don't. Krezja has a half decent season with the bat and all of the sudden you'd select him as a bat... Seriously?? (I'm sure you wouldn't!) This is the exact problem with our selection policies at the moment. We're not selecting guys based on their skills and their potential abilities to play test match cricket, we're bringing in flash in the pan types who have had one half decent season, or done well in a T20 match or two. Stats don't tell the whole picture. Granted they're a decent indicator, but we shouldn't make selections completely governed by them.

  • Mary_786 on April 29, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Amith i like your top 8 in Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Faulkner, it works for me too, however I would also be ok to have a Siddle at 8 or Starc at 8 as they are useful batsman.

  • Amith_S on April 29, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Faulkner is good enough to play for Australia but he will need to bat at 8, we can't weaken our batting lineup by having the keeper at 6. With Watson bowling he will slot as an allrounder in the top 6(i.e Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Haddin, Faulkner) could work as Faulkner is a good bowler.

  • AKS286 on April 29, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Klinger, Hughes, Marsh, Clarke, Forrest/Ferguson, Watto, Haddin, MJ, Siddle,Pattin/ Bird, Boyce. Everyone is talking about domestic records but why remember Hayden. Mark. Ramprakash,Prince domestic records vs international records. Form is temporary but class is permanent. Many players are having poor records in domestic cricket but awesome records in international cricket. Selecting a test team priorty is technique & temperament.If domestic records are important then why Aus select in tests lyon, wade, cowan, Faulkner, maxwell, etc. Remember LOve, Maher, Blewett, Elliot, Law, etc. Some fans kindly stop this "Start from khwaja & ends up with khawaja". Don't overrate ordinary below avg batsman- it binds your expectations.

  • Meety on April 29, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    @ScottStevo on (April 28, 2013, 23:09 GMT) - honestly, I would select Faulkner in the top 6 of a test side before I'd pick S Marsh. In fact, I would Krezja, SO'K, Copeland & Cutting in the top 6 as specialist batsmen before I'd select him. ODIs are a different matter, whilst I wouldn't select him in the Champ Trophy - I could understand if the selectors gave him a go, but I would of taken, Ferguson, Bailey & Voges before him too, & even considered White.

  • Shaggy076 on April 29, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Cant believe this is news. Im sure if Faulkner was asked the question could you open for Australia he would have said Yes. Im sure if he got a game he wouldnt care where he batted. My opionion is we dont need to pick a bowler at 7 we need all the bats we can get.

  • Wefinishthis on April 29, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    James Faulkner is NOT an all-rounder! He's an outstanding bowler who deserves his place in the ashes squad based on his bowling, but is handy with a bat sometimes. He's never even scored a century in any form of the game, so how can he be batting above no.8? Starc should have been replaced by O'Keefe in the squad since Faulkner is the best left-arm bowler in the country and there's no replacement for Lyon if he fails. Wade/Nevill/Paine should bat at no.7, not at no.6 as none of them are good enough to bat any higher. Watson, however IS an all-rounder, just not a very good one. He's not worth persisting with as a batsman or a bowler.

  • ScottStevo on April 28, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    @DylanBrah, apart from being laughing stock for selecting a 35 year old rookie - and if he fails, it will be a lot worse than that. Also, I think S Marsh is a very good batsman and I think he couldn't do any worse than anyone (apart from Clarke) in our top 6. There are some players who thrive on the added intensity of representing their country and personally, I think C Ferguson looks that type of player. There are others, well known, who are the complete opposite and score plenty of FC runs and don't cut it internationally. I'd much rather take a chance on C Ferguson than on Rogers and have a player we can cement into the middle order for longer than 2 ashes series... If we play Rogers I hope he does well and scores plenty of runs, or we (and especially those of you lauding his selection) are going to look completely ridiculous.

  • hycIass on April 28, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Our squad is not bad at all. Surely the bowling unit is better than 09 - I feel good about our bowling. Johnson was going at 5 an over. Pattinson, Harris and Bird much scarier prospect than 09.

    Batting wise I think we can do ok but we obviously need our top order to significantly improve.

    1st 11 for Trent Bridge for me should be - Warner Cowan Hughes(if he fails then Rogers comes in) Khawaja Clarke (c) Watson (only if bowling) Haddin (wk) Pattinson Harris Bird Lyon

    Hughes is out if he fails as Rogers will do a better job. Watson would be chosen before Faulkner as the allrounder but if he fails then Faulkner comes in. Having Khawaja at 4 means if Warner gets out cheaply we have two blokes who value their wicket highly and will grind it out. I am predicting a big series for Khawaja.Unfortunately unless we go with four quicks Lionheart has to sit out. Love his big heart but if fit Harris, Pattinson and Bird together are a better chance of skittling the Poms.

  • DylanBrah on April 28, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    All you S. Marsh bashers are the same ones who are calling for Ferguson to get in the side. Both average mid 30's. THATS NOT TEST QUALITY. You are better off picking Rogers short term in this instance because we only need him for 1 or 2 years to contest the Ashes.

  • Meety on April 28, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    @ScottStevo on (April 27, 2013, 10:33 GMT) - big fan of Ferguson, but honestly he has dissappointed at Shield level, put coloured clothing on & he turns into Superman!

  • on April 27, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    He will be a good asset for Australian team he can be new shane watson.

  • tfjones1978 on April 27, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    With Faulkners abilities he should be a guaranteed member of the squad, as should rogers. My starting line up would be: (1) Ed Cowan (b) (2) Chris Rogers (b) (3) David Warner (b) (4) Shane Watson (b/B) (5) Michael Clarke (b) (6) Brad Haddin (b/w) (7) James Faulkner (b/B) (8) Mitchell Starc (B) (9) Peter Siddle (B) (10) James Pattison (B) (11) Nathan Lyon (B). This would give a balanced side with four pace bowlers, one medium pace, one specialist spinner and three part-time spinners in Cowan, Rogers, Warner and Clarke whom can fill in 5 to 10 overs each day when the main six need a rest.

  • ScottStevo on April 27, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    @SDR_ - Exactly! Ferguson should be on the plane as a definite starter. He's played international cricket (albeit ODIs, but that's exactly where we initiate young guys) and done well with an average of 40, got injured and is completely off the radar. Seems completely ludicrous not to have a guy who is a middle order batsman with international experience, has a solid technique and looks class. At 28, we could get a really good middle order batsman in the side for 7-8 years. Instead, we bring in a 35 year old rookie. Poor selections once again. It's almost comical some of the names listed as considered batsmen, other than D Hussey and Bailey. If we don't get guys like Ferguson in the squad now, they'll end up just like D Huss and Rogers - and we'll wonder why our batting stocks are so depleted because we haven't got a 19 year old banging down doors...

  • ozwriter on April 27, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    keep it simple. 6 specialist batsmen, wicketkeeper (haddin), 4 specialist bowlers. if faukner can make it as a specialist bowler, then good luck with him. if i was faukner, i would do less talk and worrying about my batting credentials and focus on why he was picked, his bowling. generation z, too self-possessed.

  • Deepakrio278 on April 27, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Looking at it Aus probably should look to drop Watson as he is not the only all rounder around.Stats clearly show his batting has been horrible although bowling has been reasonably well.Since the emergence of Starc as a potential all rounder,and with the rise of Faulkner,the places of Watson and Henriques are also up for grabs.Although Henriques has already been dropped,i would prefer Watson be dropped and one of these younger guys replace him rather than him taking up that spot based only on the fact that he has experience which he has clearly not used while batting in the past.All Dale steyn needs is a few balls to sort him out.Needless to say what Anderson and co are capable of.So i say breed new young blood.Give Faulkner a go and from the looks of the 30+ hr played with Bailey in the odi where Bailey scored his maiden 100,Faulkner looks good and mature as a batter.

  • on April 27, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Faulkner's one of those terrific cricketers who might be the odd one out at Test level. With everyone fit and firing, are you going to choose Faulkner ahead of Pattinson, Siddle, Bird, Harris, Starc, Cummins, et al? If you pick the best bats available there's no room for him at No 7 either - but that's banking on common sense which the selectors have yet to demonstrate.

    I'd love to see Faulkner get his chance, but I think ultimately he might suffer like Nathan Bracken and Adam Dale and many other excellent seamers who were perceived as lacking the frontline pace for Test cricket.

  • Alexk400 on April 27, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Faulkner can change australia's chances if they use him in TEST. Pattinson and Faulkner can wreak havoc but aslo disappear same time. Anyway all good because they are young. Need to mix and match up skill position.

  • Batmanian on April 27, 2013, 4:24 GMT

    Those definitely aren't good averages by any stretch. But remember, Shield is an inherently aggressive format, and context is everything when it comes to innings; it is much more likely that a good batsman is obliged to try to build up a quick lead on a tricky deck than in Tests. Poor Klinger definitely blew it last summer; he would definitely get a gig if his form hadn't plunged.

  • Showbags88 on April 27, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    He is a very handy number 8 but nowhere near good enough to bat in the top 7. He is in the Johnson, Starc, Pattinson type of mould. Handy tailender but not a genuine allrounder.

  • Ozcricketwriter on April 27, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    James Faulkner and Jackson Bird are the two swing bowlers in the team and will be competing for times when Australia want a swing bowler rather than the myriad of out and out fast bowlers on offer. If they want two then both could play together. While Faulkner does bat a bit, I sincerely hope that they don't play him instead of one of the 6 batsmen, as his record doesn't suggest he is good enough. He could bat at 8, not shouldn't bat 7 let alone 6.

  • Ozcricketwriter on April 27, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    Faulkner shouldn't be relied on as a batsman as his batting record is barely better than the likes of Starc and Johnson. Instead, they should treat him as a bowler who can bat a bit. As a bowler, he will be competing with Jackson Bird for the 4th fast bowling spot, and will only get a run if either they go in with 4 fast bowlers or else someone else gets injured or is out of form. Jackson Bird has a better FC record than Faulkner and also has bowled better in tests. Whether Faulkner's batting (which is better than Bird's) is enough to get him in the side will be up to the selectors. I expect Faulkner to be given a shot at some point but probably not in the first test. I sincerely hope that he isn't being considered to play as a batsman, top 6, or even number 7, as his record suggests that his batting isn't strong enough. He should bat at number 8.

  • scottyg on April 27, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    please don't put another guy who can bat a bit in at 7 and put too much pressure on him!!! just choose your 6 best bats, a keeper and your 4 best bowlers for the conditions!! I don't think faulkner is in our 4 best bowlers, i wouldn't have him featuring in the first test. 1st test team-1. Cowan 2. Rogers 3. Khawaja 4. Clarke 5. Watson 6. Warner 7. Haddin 8. Siddle 9. Harris 10. Pattinson 11. Lyon The 4 lower order bats are better than England's, we aren't losing anything with our lower order

  • on April 26, 2013, 22:59 GMT

    My test team for England would be Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Warner, Haddin, Faulkner, Pattinson, Lyon, Bird. Im still not a fan of Starc or Siddle. Perhaps the batting lineup open with Warner and Watson and everyone slides down 1 place. Ive been a big fan of Faulkner, i think he is a terrific cricketer. just want to see the young batsman like Silk, Burns, Mitch Marsh start performing

  • SDR_ on April 26, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Callum Ferguson. Over 600 runs at a fraction under 40. Is anyone worth noting in the cricket world ever going to mention his name again?

  • siddhartha87 on April 26, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Please no.Not again an allrounder in top 7 again.We have seen how disastrous it can be on India tour.I am okay with Faulkner batting at 8 as the 3rd seamer.

  • cricketfanwrites on April 26, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    @ScottStev - I agree with you completely. My team for the first test would be Watson, Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Starc, Siddle, Pattinson & Lyon.

    Anyone who fails outside of Clarke in the first test will/should be replaced in the second test.

    I've said it numerous time here, CA should NEVER be in rebuilding mode. Not with so much at their disposal.

    CA could have afforded to give Hughes the India test series off and play Smith...

  • Romenevans on April 26, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    He is one hell of a talented player in the making, just like watto re-discovered himself in the IPL. Good luck faulkner. A proud RR, Watto and faulkner fan.

  • CricketFan1980 on April 26, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    @oscoli67 - Have to disagree - the number of overs bowled during those days will give you the idea of how much time is wasted these days. I have not researched into the number of overs bowled but it is safe to say that 100 overs per day is a norm those days where WI had four fast bowlers. Such stamina and relentlessness is not seen in fast bowlers these days. Great effort is needed these days to make sure a fast bowler is fit enough to last 5 days and they still have difficulty to bowl with an over rate of 15.

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on April 26, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    @Barnsey4444, The big difference between the Windies successes and now is that in those days no one got banned for slow over rates. Four quick bowlers will almost certainly mean falling foul of the match referee for failing to bowl the required overs in the allotted time. Clarke & Arthur will not risk the captain being banned for a game, so even if you go in with 4 quicks & no Lyon, Clarke or Warner will bowl some overs to speed up the rate. If Trott bats any length of time, with his deliberately slow, methodical bowler baiting, you'll need to speed up even more. With the potential for bowlers to pick up injuries I can't see Australia not playing Lyon. I think the days of all out pace attacks are done.

  • on April 26, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    I think Faulkner has the talent and more importantly the determination to become a truly world class bowling all rounder. He is a Tasmanian in the mould of the greatest Tasmanian. Faulkner and R T Ponting share an ability to change a game through force of will. If Faulkner gets his deserved chance in the Ashes I think he could be the real surprise package. I am a scot, living in Tasmania supporting England. Not in rugby though.

  • palla.avinash on April 26, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    My playing 11 for first test 1.cowan 2 Rogers 3.Hughes/watson 4.clarke 5 khawaja 6.Haddin 7.faulkner 8.starc 9 siddle 10 lyon.11 pattinson.

  • ScottStevo on April 26, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Mark my words, if Watson doesn't bowl, Faulkner will have a place in the team as "all-rounder". For some insane reason there's a massive push from CA to have a useful 5th bowler in the line up, regardless of consequence to the make up of the batting line up. Whilst Watson was scoring runs (only when opening the innings) and bowling decently, the team had the balance CA were looking for, hence the all rounder debacle for the selections for India...If he bats at 7 with Haddin at 6, we will struggle severely. As many have noted, it's not out bowling that's struggled (although in India we did - but that's due to our lack of spin options), it's been our batting letting us down. We need 6 specialist batsmen in the side or this series will turn out disasterously. There's a part of me that hopes that's the case as it's rather clear to see that a change in management is definitely required if CA is to regain former glories...

  • landl47 on April 26, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Ah, the confidence of youth! 23 years old (on Monday), FC average under 30, never made a hundred, never played a test, but he'd be "comfortable" at #7 in a test team!

    I think he's going to be a very good player, but he should play a few tests against good international attacks before deciding how comfortable he is. Besides, as others have said, if he's at 7, the W/K is in the top 6 and if Watson is selected Aus is down to 4 specialist batsmen. It's not going to happen.

    Siddle is in the side, going into a test with no spinner to eat up the overs is too big a risk, so that leaves two places for Pattinson, Bird, Starc and Faulkner (don't even think about Harris). Pattinson, if fit, gets one spot and I'd take both Bird and Starc over Faulkner, especially in England.

    I think he's going to have to find out how comfortable he is carrying the drinks.

  • Ducky610 on April 26, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    We've already seen that btting an 'allrounder'at 7 doesnt work. This isnt a knock on Faulkner he is a first class bowler who happens to be able to bat. 6 batsman with Faulkner, Starc and Siddle suddenly looks like making a decent score. Why not play 4 fast bowlers? If 3 spinners works for India why won't 4 paceman work for Aus? play to your strengths.

    1. Cowan 2. Rogers 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Warner 6. Watson/Khawaja 7. Haddin 8. Faukner 9. Starc 10. Siddle 11. Pattinson

  • ssparmar on April 26, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    It'll be great learnig curve 4 jimmy. Whether he finds place in team or not, the tour will help him to acclimatise himself to greatest rivalry between this two cricketing nations....!

  • Amith_S on April 26, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    I agree with Mary and Sunil, have Faulkner batting at 8 with 6 specialist batsman, mangam I would also have Khawaja higher then 6, 4 preferably for me

  • Barnesy4444 on April 26, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    6 specialist batsmen, 'keeper at 7 and 4 bowlers. Is this so difficult? Batting is our weakness so we need the full 6 specialists. Fast bowling is our strength so what's wrong with playing 4 quicks, why do we need to play a spinner at all? It worked for the Windies for years.

  • Moppa on April 26, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    @Meety, normally I agree with you but I'm with @Mitty2 on this one - Faulkner's FC batting average is all of 13 runs better than Siddle's, which is no fluke. And I don't think any of Faulkner, Siddle or Starc have FC tons...? (noting Starc's 99 vs India). Incidentally, Starc IS a bit of a slogger and will do best if left well down the order, maybe 9, so he can bat with freedom. Also, Pattinson should not be under-rated as a batsman and is a pretty handy number 10 - he will make a FC century one day.

  • Beertjie on April 26, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    I think this will be a learning series for Faulkner unless there are injuries. Agree with you @ Mary_786 on (April 26, 2013, 7:33 GMT) we need 6 full time batsman but I'm not sure Watson deserves a place in the starting XI. That was why he's not v-c. If Harris plays any tests I'd have Watson in as well (for cover). Otherwise he needs to prove himself by scoring runs. Like you I don't rate Hughes but he needs to show if he can cut it in England, so he deserves a shot initially. Doubtful if he's playing at series end, @goldeneraaus on (April 26, 2013, 7:47 GMT). Thinking in terms of categories like a 5th bowler/all-rounder only becomes necessary if Harris plays. As you write @Jono Knighton (April 26, 2013, 8:21 GMT), Bird will need to remain fit to do a lot of the bowling - ditto Siddle. Starc and Pattinson to be used in shorter sharper bursts when picked. Somewhere in that mix there may be chance for Faulkner - at #8, not #7, so agree @ Heisenburg on (April 26, 2013, 7:35 GMT).

  • VivGilchrist on April 26, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    No. We are not doing this again. No more Keepers at 6, all-rounder at 7. It doesn't work with our meek top 6. Put this idea away until our batsmen learn to bat. Thank you and Goodnight.

  • hyclass on April 26, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Its a sign of the times. A novice with a modest batting record publicly pushing his claims. Once upon a time, I couldn't have imagined someone with such a limited record daring to speak publicly. At every turn over the last five years, it has backfired. I suggest modesty is a better policy. His record as a bowler at state level has demanded investigation of his talents at a higher level. I suggest that he establishes himself as a bowler. Anything beyond that is a bonus. 1st class form is no guarantee at the highest level, but there are no other gauges. Much of the guessing and hunch-work that the selectors perform is entirely unacceptable in a fully professional set-up. The only game to select for is the one about to be played. The only person to determine what action to take every ball is the batsman or bowler themselves. The only one to control the team is the captain. Coaches have far too much control. Players have far too much to say. Only performance matters. Hype changes nothing.

  • Meety on April 26, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    @Mitty2 on (April 26, 2013, 7:57 GMT) - still think there is more value in playing Siddle up the order, & it is too much to expect a bloke who hasn't got a FC ton to his name to bat @ #7 in the Ashes. I would back Starc & Siddle, to perform better with the bat in the short term & I never said he was a slogger!

  • Thefakebook on April 26, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    Australia have got their own Freddie Flintoff now and I ain't talking about SR Watson.This young all rounder will be one best to ever play for Australia no wonder he hails from Tasmania,best players are produced here!

  • derpherp on April 26, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Yes, this is exactly what we want, a "batsmen" who hasn't even scored a first class century batting at 7th during the Ashes.....

  • mangom on April 26, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Usman at 6 i think is too low, its not t20 but in my opinion he could be all of 20 not out by the end of the innings (even with the tail firing).

    Also, we should play to our strengths. Why try to squeeze in an average batsman when we can put in an excellent bowler, and really go hard at the poms.

  • AKS286 on April 26, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    First learn how to Bowl in international level.

  • AKS286 on April 26, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Cowan, Warner, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke @ khawaja advocate since last ashes.

  • Ozcricketwriter on April 26, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    It remains to be seen how well he bats at test level. If he can handle number 7, or even top 6, then good on him. But he'd want to bat well.

  • AKS286 on April 26, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Where is that commentator who starts his comments from khawaja and end up with khawaja. Faulker selection is on T20 basis. M.Taylor will comment again if he fails in ashes. Watson & Hadin is going to retire by clarke after ashes. Faulkner is the new replacement of Watto.

  • on April 26, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    @Mitty2 Harris will be bwoling in 3-4 weeks and will play the A tour Watson if bowling would be a far better option in the side than hughes as he is a better player than hughes. If all are fit would love to see Cowan, Warner, ROgers, as top 3. watso and clarke will bat 4-5 but in what order is yet to be determined the Usman at 6, haddin 7, Pattinson, Harris, Bird and Lyon All of the quicks are built for england. Bird will be the trump as he can bowl all day nagging away and i think he will be the thorn for Alistair Cook. look how he bowle to Sangakara here in Aus and over there on decks with bit more in them will be lethal and must be picked. Harris is the same with his bustleing pace and moving the ball. His opening spell in the 2nd innings of the shield final was the best seen for a while on any stage

  • Narbavi on April 26, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    @Tal_Botvinnik : Poor selection? You got no idea about what you are saying!! The guy's domestic stats are too good to ignore, he is consistent with his line and length unlike Johnson who can sometimes spray it around everywhere!!

  • Edwards_Anderson on April 26, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @Heisenburg sums it up for me, 6 batsman a keeper and 4 bowlers, in the 6 batsman we have Watson who can bowl, keep it simple.

  • Mitty2 on April 26, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    @mary_786, faulkner's record more than warrants a test selection as just a bowler - with the added bonus of his batting. His bowling is accurate, at a decent kilck of 135km/h and his average is bird-like. And watson is far from test standard as a batsman, so what difference would it make if faulkner was put in as an allrounder? But do agree with the sentiment on having six batsman, it's our weakness, we don't want to exasperate it. My XI would still be: warner cowan rogers hughes clarke khawaja haddin siddle patto bird lyon. Harris use to be there but not so sure because of his injury.

    @meety siddle and starc both haven't scored FC tons? And if you watched the shield final, faulkner's defence was more than adept, another myth: his strike rate is 50, he;s not a slogger!

    @tal, where else to test your best youngsters players than the biggest stage of all? Easing them in is not beneficial imo.

    The selectors put him in as an allrounder, but he is one of the best quicks in the country.

  • goldeneraaus on April 26, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    god those batting averages are horrendous! I hope this article stops people lampooning for Bailey and Hussey! Atleast david hussey has monumental numbers behind him in the past, Bailey, Forrest etc have proven over a long period they are not consistent in 4 day cricket, to think last year Forrest was being touted as an Ashes contender after a couple of good FC games. Regarding Faulkner I think he is best left as a front line seamer for the moment and given Australia's frailties with the bat would be a great man to come in at number 8, as we saw in India the lower order needs to chip in big time. Shouldn't be higher unless Hughes, Usman etc start living up to their potential as big scorers, which hopefully becomes the case by Ashes end!

  • Mitty2 on April 26, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Thank you so much Byron for your input and opening sentence in this article. The amount of people I've heard discounting him as a 'limited over specialist' and categorizing him as an allrounder with no particular speciality has been unbelievable. His record is simply phenomenal, an to think that the selectors are rewarding performance! The NSP has outdone themselves with this squad - I was expecting the worst with the likes of hilfenhaus, johnson, marsh and smith to be in the squad, but no, they've picked a squad with the perfect balance.

    In my crusade if anti-Shane Watson, i can only possibly try to compare. Watson has never played with heart in his life - he takes his talent for granted and is a terrible leader (not submitting a simple task as vice captain in a struggling team), whereas Faulkner has been a devoted cricketer of all formats and plays with real heart and grit (his aggression to gayle was brilliant). More importantly, Faulkner actually warrants a spot as a specialist.

  • Tal_Botvinnik on April 26, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    Poor from the Australian Board. Throwing a promising player into the biggest test of his life. Mitchell Johnson with his swing and pace back could have been a better option.

  • Sunil_Batra on April 26, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    I have to go with Mary, we need 6 solid batsman, not our keeper at 6, its a must our batting fires otherwise we won't win. And still prefer Watson as our allrounder as his bowling(swing) will be very useful in England.

  • PFEL on April 26, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    he's got a lot of heart and competitive edge. He's the anti-Shane Watson.

  • Heisenburg on April 26, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Please no, we need to play a normal XI - 6 batsmen a wk and 4 bowlers, for the love of god no more wk batting at 6 or a batting allrounder at 8 like we played in India. Faulkner is a BOWLING allrounder and should bat at 8

  • Meety on April 26, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    I am very happy for Faulkner, but IMO - should he play in the Ashes, & should it be a 5-man attack, I would NOT play him @ #7. I would bat Starc & Siddle ahead of Faulkner. Faulkner is a better bat than Siddle, but Siddle has a near perfect defensive technique (at least as good as it gets for a bug burly pacer), I would bat Faulkner lower. He is a talent with the bat & SHOULD one day score a FC ton, particularly as I think he is a better bat than Butterworth & he has a ton or two to his name.

  • Mary_786 on April 26, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Not a good idea, to win we need 6 full time batsman and with Watson bowling again he willl slot in the top 6 allowing us to have 6 batsman and Haddin at 7. Our batting is where we will win or lose the ashes and a lineup of Cowan, Warner, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson looks much better then 5 batsman.

  • on April 26, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Well thats good because all of our bowlers are going to need to show up with the bat if we are going to put up defendable totals. The best thing going for Faulkner is that if he can reproduce his shield figures with the ball at test level then he'll be there as a bowler alone with his batting a bonus.

  • Narbavi on April 26, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    This guy looks like a serious talent, many fans look at him as a limited overs specialist, but when you look at his recent domestic stats you can clearly see a bowling all rounder for the longer format too, good luck with the ashes!!

  • Narbavi on April 26, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    This guy looks like a serious talent, many fans look at him as a limited overs specialist, but when you look at his recent domestic stats you can clearly see a bowling all rounder for the longer format too, good luck with the ashes!!

  • on April 26, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Well thats good because all of our bowlers are going to need to show up with the bat if we are going to put up defendable totals. The best thing going for Faulkner is that if he can reproduce his shield figures with the ball at test level then he'll be there as a bowler alone with his batting a bonus.

  • Mary_786 on April 26, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Not a good idea, to win we need 6 full time batsman and with Watson bowling again he willl slot in the top 6 allowing us to have 6 batsman and Haddin at 7. Our batting is where we will win or lose the ashes and a lineup of Cowan, Warner, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson looks much better then 5 batsman.

  • Meety on April 26, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    I am very happy for Faulkner, but IMO - should he play in the Ashes, & should it be a 5-man attack, I would NOT play him @ #7. I would bat Starc & Siddle ahead of Faulkner. Faulkner is a better bat than Siddle, but Siddle has a near perfect defensive technique (at least as good as it gets for a bug burly pacer), I would bat Faulkner lower. He is a talent with the bat & SHOULD one day score a FC ton, particularly as I think he is a better bat than Butterworth & he has a ton or two to his name.

  • Heisenburg on April 26, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Please no, we need to play a normal XI - 6 batsmen a wk and 4 bowlers, for the love of god no more wk batting at 6 or a batting allrounder at 8 like we played in India. Faulkner is a BOWLING allrounder and should bat at 8

  • PFEL on April 26, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    he's got a lot of heart and competitive edge. He's the anti-Shane Watson.

  • Sunil_Batra on April 26, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    I have to go with Mary, we need 6 solid batsman, not our keeper at 6, its a must our batting fires otherwise we won't win. And still prefer Watson as our allrounder as his bowling(swing) will be very useful in England.

  • Tal_Botvinnik on April 26, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    Poor from the Australian Board. Throwing a promising player into the biggest test of his life. Mitchell Johnson with his swing and pace back could have been a better option.

  • Mitty2 on April 26, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Thank you so much Byron for your input and opening sentence in this article. The amount of people I've heard discounting him as a 'limited over specialist' and categorizing him as an allrounder with no particular speciality has been unbelievable. His record is simply phenomenal, an to think that the selectors are rewarding performance! The NSP has outdone themselves with this squad - I was expecting the worst with the likes of hilfenhaus, johnson, marsh and smith to be in the squad, but no, they've picked a squad with the perfect balance.

    In my crusade if anti-Shane Watson, i can only possibly try to compare. Watson has never played with heart in his life - he takes his talent for granted and is a terrible leader (not submitting a simple task as vice captain in a struggling team), whereas Faulkner has been a devoted cricketer of all formats and plays with real heart and grit (his aggression to gayle was brilliant). More importantly, Faulkner actually warrants a spot as a specialist.

  • goldeneraaus on April 26, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    god those batting averages are horrendous! I hope this article stops people lampooning for Bailey and Hussey! Atleast david hussey has monumental numbers behind him in the past, Bailey, Forrest etc have proven over a long period they are not consistent in 4 day cricket, to think last year Forrest was being touted as an Ashes contender after a couple of good FC games. Regarding Faulkner I think he is best left as a front line seamer for the moment and given Australia's frailties with the bat would be a great man to come in at number 8, as we saw in India the lower order needs to chip in big time. Shouldn't be higher unless Hughes, Usman etc start living up to their potential as big scorers, which hopefully becomes the case by Ashes end!