The Ashes 2013 April 24, 2013

'Not going to win this by ourselves' - Haddin

  shares 28

In the same moment Brad Haddin played down the importance of his elevation to the Australia Test vice-captaincy for the Ashes, he struck exactly the sort of team-oriented note the national selectors are hoping he maintains over three pressurised months at Michael Clarke's side in England.

After a period of confusion and exasperation about Australian cricket's direction, the announcement of the tour party for the Ashes brought a feeling of some relief. The squad appeared well balanced, various selection pratfalls had been avoided and, in Haddin and Chris Rogers, Clarke had two seasoned performers to fill the leadership void left by Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey.

Haddin's return to international cricket, following a year in which he has spent as much time as possible close to his ill daughter Mia after leaving in the midst of a West Indies tour to be with her, is a laudable story in itself, but Clarke and the selectors are not after human drama in England. They want a solid citizen and an able lieutenant and, to that end, Haddin made the right start.

"It's an honour and a privilege to have the VC next to your name, but your role doesn't change too much," Haddin told reporters in Sydney. "Michael controls what goes on in the team and our job is to come together as the group. We're not going to win this by ourselves. We need everyone going in the same direction and coming together as a team. That's as simple as it's going to get and the result in that is that we'll win the Ashes.

"I just had to trust that if I got back playing cricket, I could get back to this level. The only doubt that came across my mind was, 'Am I ever going to come back and play the game?' I've been allowed to do that through my family circumstances and I'm excited about today and can't wait to get involved in this Ashes campaign."

Apart from the leadership element, Haddin hopes also to provide sound glovework and brazen batting. Haddin's Test career that has at times been more muted than his best displays for New South Wales but in each of the past two Ashes series Haddin has been Australia's second-most accomplished performer, behind Clarke in 2009 and Hussey in 2010-11.

"I know if I'm playing to the best of my ability I'm the No. 1 choice in my position," he said. "From that point of view it's been an exciting day today. There's nothing more exciting in this game of cricket than being involved in an Ashes campaign. We've picked 16 guys now that are going to go over there and we've got one thing in mind and that's to come together as a team and win."

One other Ashes tourist happy to see Haddin return to his post behind the stumps is the spin bowler Nathan Lyon. While Matthew Wade's youth and exuberance has been a welcome commodity at times over the past year, Lyon has suffered from the younger gloveman's lapses. He said the balance achieved by the England squad was a welcome one.

"It's exciting to be named in the squad and a dream to be on an Ashes tour over to England," Lyon said. "It's going to be a massive challenge for the Australian cricket side but I think they've picked a really balanced squad for over there and I think we're heading in the right direction to bring home the Ashes.

"Chris Rogers is an unbelievable batsman, he's proven himself at first-class level all over the place, so it's exciting to have him in the squad, and to have Brad Haddin come back in, his experience and his leadership around the squad, especially with the younger fellas in the side, I know the young guys really love having Hadds around and he's going to be a vital player for us."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mary_786 on April 25, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    To be honest its not Haddin or Wade that will make a difference to the result as they both bat in the same way, though Haddin is a better keeper. Our bowling is our strength with Bird, Starc, Siddle, and Pattinson.The key areas will be the spinner and the batting.Our batting needs to stand up, Clarke will score and the likes of Khawaja, Hughes and Warner will need to support with my bets on Khawaja having a big series and Lyon needs to bowl well with possibly Agar supporting him.

  • landl47 on April 24, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Haddin has a number of things going for him. He's experienced, he's done well in previous Ashes series, he's right-handed so Swann won't be as big a problem for him, he's a better W/K than Wade. However, he's 35 years old, his test batting average is only 35 so he really isn't a top 6 bat and if he's in at #7 it means that only 4 bowlers can play- unless Watson has become an allrounder again.

    At least, though, if Clarke goes down there will be an experienced deputy on hand, assuming Haddin is in the side.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 26, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    @meety.. I offered the ICC rankings as a BALANCE to the bloke who said oz bowlers shd be ranked 2-5 in the world... it was either that or a straightjacket! I also hinted that with Tremlett ranked #35 there was possibly room for improvement in that system... and I have also sd I think it will be a close series and i will also say i rate starco as much as patto... the bookies had oz as favourites in 2010 and they were wrong, they have eng as firm favourites in 2013, and they may be wrong again... who knows eh?

  • Meety on April 26, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (April 26, 2013, 1:43 GMT) - I think there are two issues here, one - that Oz fans do tend to ASSUME that our bowlers will kick butt in England & two - that England fans ASSUME that because Cook & co ran amok in 10/11 - they will again this series. You are of course entitled to your opinion, but I just think using rankings are a bit flawed. Even the team rankings that have India so well placed - when how could any non-partisan fan say they are any better than Oz, SL or Pakistan? The same goes with the individual rankings - at one point 12 mths ago, Siddle was ranked the 6th best ALLROUNDER in Tests!!! A lot of English fans rate Onions as amongst the 3 best seamers England have & he is rated 61st.

  • on April 26, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    In fairness to Patto he was completely underdone going into the ODI series in England last year, anyone who'd seen him bowl at his best would realize that! Only McKay looked like he was prepared for that series and it showed.

  • HatsforBats on April 26, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    @ VillageBlacksmith, Siddle took more wickets at a better (or equal) average and better strike rate than any England bowler in that series. There's no fault in accepting a better performance. Flintoff took 8 @ 52, hardly going pretty well. England got outplayed in that series but managed to win a few key sessions and the series, one of the beauties (and agonies) of test cricket. Pattinson has yet to play a test in England, the format in which he averages ~23, a bit early to judge him don't you think?

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 26, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    @hats/frank/meety... just trying to offer a balanced view... I have not even mentioned the eng bowlers for this coming series... just offered some stats insight ref how top of the rankings (numbers 2-5!) people are saying the oz bowlers shd be ... if you were serious about knocking the rankings perhaps you shd have spotted Tremlett at #34 and then start making a case but it seems you only rate your own bowlers!

  • Meety on April 26, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (April 25, 2013, 7:32 GMT) - I would not be taking rankings too seriously. None of your bowlers looked any good against NZ - certainly none looked like they were top 10 quality. In fact, if you knew nothing about the respective bowlers in that series, you would say that NZ had the better RANKED pacers & spinners. Stat-wise Starc is not that great at Test level, but that sits right in the middle of Finn, Sanderson & Broads numbers with ZERO tests against Bangladesh. Harris hasn't played enuff recently to have a ranking, & Patto is NOT (or at least shouldn't be) in our top 6 or 7 ODI bowlers. You mentioned the 4-nil defeat to England in ODIs, but the reality is our best pacers in ODIs are Starc/Harris/McKay - only one of which played in that series. In terms of ODIs you might want to compare those 3 S/Rates & try & line them up with ANYTHING ENgland have ever produced!

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 25, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    @hatsforbats... Broad took 18 wkts and Flintoff was going pretty well until injured, just ask ponting, so I wd not say siddle outbowled the eng pace bowlers in a series eng won.... i also think it will be a close series, but i also think some posters need to keep in touch with reality, Patto has yet to take a wkt in Eng and Harriso is already back in the sick room... if the aussies have gone for rogers, I'm sure lee is waiting by the phone

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on April 25, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    @VillageBlackSmith Siddle is 3rd in PACE, Starc and Patto have only been in the team for a year + they"ve missed half of those games so it is impossible to expect them to rally up enough ranking points to get a place in the top 10. Pattinson has a 23 bowling average and can bowl +145kmh on slow pitches in India, as can starc. In this era holding a -30 bowling average throughout a career is a proud achievement. It is silly to predict how the Aussie bowling will peform based on last years results in an off season, stand alone 5 match ODI series. These 3 bowlers + our 2 others on this tour held off 4-5 young players who were averaging 17-22 in the shield season. They also held off experienced and well regarded bowlers in Hilfenhouse and M Johnson both who are in top 20. This surely must show how good these bowlers are. In 2005 England managed to win the ashes against some of the greatest players of all-time with no ashes winning experience. 2013 England is a quarter of the that AUS team.

  • Mary_786 on April 25, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    To be honest its not Haddin or Wade that will make a difference to the result as they both bat in the same way, though Haddin is a better keeper. Our bowling is our strength with Bird, Starc, Siddle, and Pattinson.The key areas will be the spinner and the batting.Our batting needs to stand up, Clarke will score and the likes of Khawaja, Hughes and Warner will need to support with my bets on Khawaja having a big series and Lyon needs to bowl well with possibly Agar supporting him.

  • landl47 on April 24, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Haddin has a number of things going for him. He's experienced, he's done well in previous Ashes series, he's right-handed so Swann won't be as big a problem for him, he's a better W/K than Wade. However, he's 35 years old, his test batting average is only 35 so he really isn't a top 6 bat and if he's in at #7 it means that only 4 bowlers can play- unless Watson has become an allrounder again.

    At least, though, if Clarke goes down there will be an experienced deputy on hand, assuming Haddin is in the side.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 26, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    @meety.. I offered the ICC rankings as a BALANCE to the bloke who said oz bowlers shd be ranked 2-5 in the world... it was either that or a straightjacket! I also hinted that with Tremlett ranked #35 there was possibly room for improvement in that system... and I have also sd I think it will be a close series and i will also say i rate starco as much as patto... the bookies had oz as favourites in 2010 and they were wrong, they have eng as firm favourites in 2013, and they may be wrong again... who knows eh?

  • Meety on April 26, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (April 26, 2013, 1:43 GMT) - I think there are two issues here, one - that Oz fans do tend to ASSUME that our bowlers will kick butt in England & two - that England fans ASSUME that because Cook & co ran amok in 10/11 - they will again this series. You are of course entitled to your opinion, but I just think using rankings are a bit flawed. Even the team rankings that have India so well placed - when how could any non-partisan fan say they are any better than Oz, SL or Pakistan? The same goes with the individual rankings - at one point 12 mths ago, Siddle was ranked the 6th best ALLROUNDER in Tests!!! A lot of English fans rate Onions as amongst the 3 best seamers England have & he is rated 61st.

  • on April 26, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    In fairness to Patto he was completely underdone going into the ODI series in England last year, anyone who'd seen him bowl at his best would realize that! Only McKay looked like he was prepared for that series and it showed.

  • HatsforBats on April 26, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    @ VillageBlacksmith, Siddle took more wickets at a better (or equal) average and better strike rate than any England bowler in that series. There's no fault in accepting a better performance. Flintoff took 8 @ 52, hardly going pretty well. England got outplayed in that series but managed to win a few key sessions and the series, one of the beauties (and agonies) of test cricket. Pattinson has yet to play a test in England, the format in which he averages ~23, a bit early to judge him don't you think?

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 26, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    @hats/frank/meety... just trying to offer a balanced view... I have not even mentioned the eng bowlers for this coming series... just offered some stats insight ref how top of the rankings (numbers 2-5!) people are saying the oz bowlers shd be ... if you were serious about knocking the rankings perhaps you shd have spotted Tremlett at #34 and then start making a case but it seems you only rate your own bowlers!

  • Meety on April 26, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith on (April 25, 2013, 7:32 GMT) - I would not be taking rankings too seriously. None of your bowlers looked any good against NZ - certainly none looked like they were top 10 quality. In fact, if you knew nothing about the respective bowlers in that series, you would say that NZ had the better RANKED pacers & spinners. Stat-wise Starc is not that great at Test level, but that sits right in the middle of Finn, Sanderson & Broads numbers with ZERO tests against Bangladesh. Harris hasn't played enuff recently to have a ranking, & Patto is NOT (or at least shouldn't be) in our top 6 or 7 ODI bowlers. You mentioned the 4-nil defeat to England in ODIs, but the reality is our best pacers in ODIs are Starc/Harris/McKay - only one of which played in that series. In terms of ODIs you might want to compare those 3 S/Rates & try & line them up with ANYTHING ENgland have ever produced!

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 25, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    @hatsforbats... Broad took 18 wkts and Flintoff was going pretty well until injured, just ask ponting, so I wd not say siddle outbowled the eng pace bowlers in a series eng won.... i also think it will be a close series, but i also think some posters need to keep in touch with reality, Patto has yet to take a wkt in Eng and Harriso is already back in the sick room... if the aussies have gone for rogers, I'm sure lee is waiting by the phone

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on April 25, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    @VillageBlackSmith Siddle is 3rd in PACE, Starc and Patto have only been in the team for a year + they"ve missed half of those games so it is impossible to expect them to rally up enough ranking points to get a place in the top 10. Pattinson has a 23 bowling average and can bowl +145kmh on slow pitches in India, as can starc. In this era holding a -30 bowling average throughout a career is a proud achievement. It is silly to predict how the Aussie bowling will peform based on last years results in an off season, stand alone 5 match ODI series. These 3 bowlers + our 2 others on this tour held off 4-5 young players who were averaging 17-22 in the shield season. They also held off experienced and well regarded bowlers in Hilfenhouse and M Johnson both who are in top 20. This surely must show how good these bowlers are. In 2005 England managed to win the ashes against some of the greatest players of all-time with no ashes winning experience. 2013 England is a quarter of the that AUS team.

  • fazald on April 25, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    In an earlier article in cricinfo regarding Watson three days ago I chose the same team as the one announced by the selectors. The only omission being O'Keefe who is the leading spinner in Australia missing out due to some mysterious reason. I think O'Keefe would have made a big difference with his spin bowling as well as with both bat and his brilliant fielding. I wonder how long are we going to black list players when we don't even have a good spin attack which could be the difference between winning and losing the ashes? We would need a quality spinner to complement our fast bowlers which is our main weapon. It's really shocking that he is not even included in the Australia A team that was announced simultaneously. Hope his career too wouldn't end up like Nathan Hauritz who has suffered immensely under the aussie selectors . I reckon that trying to boost the image of a mediocre spin bowler like Lyon is not going to help us win back the ashes. Yet another blunder by our selectors.

  • Barnesy4444 on April 25, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    Haddin has to bat at 7. We need 6 specialist batsmen, not 5 plus a part- time all rounder, but 6 batsmen. 4 bowlers should be enough. I don't see what's wrong with 4 quick bowlers if that's your strength it worked well for the Windies for years.

  • fazald on April 25, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Haddin is the right choice for the role of vice captain and wicket keeper. We need to select our best team to play in the ashes rather than ponder about the age. The selectors and the media have already learnt their lesson by putting too much pressure on Ponting and Hussey to retire and are now crying over spilt milk. We are the only one's who keep counting about the ages of our players whereas other countries don't bother so much as long as they deliver the goods Tendulkar is a typical example.If Ponting and Hussey were representing some other country especially in the subcontinent they would be still playing test cricket and treated like gods.If I am right Colin Cowdrey captained England at the age of 43 and Bobby Simpson came from retirement to captain Australia for a test series against the West Indies at the age of 41. Unlike their counterparts nowadays cricketers have all the facilities to prolong their career beyond their thirties. So lets not be fooled in the future.

  • Moppa on April 25, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    @VillageBlacksmith, wouldn't read too much into that, its a small sample size. I'm more worried about this stat: Haddin averaged 41 under Ponting and 23 since Clarke took over. In any case, I agree it is a risky option moving Haddin or Wade to 6 but I'm just saying it is more likely than Faulkner playing ahead of three of Pattinson, Siddle, Harris, Bird and Starc.

  • TeamRocker on April 25, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    If Watson wants to stay in the team, he needs to start bowling again, or Faulkner can come in for him. Haddin is definitely a better choice than Wade because of his experience, his record against Englands and his style of batting (RIGHT HANDED). With good selection and if the players can step up to the challenge, we have a great series ahead.

  • PrasPunter on April 25, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    @RandyOZ, wish your words come true - but we have got a long way to go to achieve that - Hope all our silent prayers are answered with Ashes I and II. Its all upto the selected ones to put everything they have and regain and then retain the Ashes.

  • HatsforBats on April 25, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    @ VillageBlacksmith, do you really have any faith in those rankings? I'm struggling to think of half a dozen fast bowlers better than Pattinson, let alone 21, and one of those is Harris. If you can come up with 52 better bowlers than Starc you must be some kind of wizard. Siddle is also a better bowler than he was last time he toured England, and he outbowled the English quicks then. The Aus bowling attack might just be better than you think, and the last Ashes series was a long time ago and was played by two quite different teams, it might be a closer contest than you think.

  • on April 25, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    I think @Mitty2 is correct on Faulkners role. If he plays it will be as the third seamer in place of Starc, or maybe even in front of him. Looking at the squad I think either he or Starc will play at 8 in every match to bolster the batting as bowling allrounders. I think we'll continue to see Siddle and Pattinson as first choice with either Starc or Faulkner at no.8 plus Lyon and Watson. I wold love to see Harris playing every match but I think he'll be held back and used judiciously to replace whoever is not performing.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 25, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    @ChrisP/Moppa... Haddin aves 40 @ #7 which is impressive but that drops significantly to 18ave @ #6 (8 inns) and 8ave @ #5 (1 inns)... #7 seems to be his slot

  • RandyOZ on April 25, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    This squad is probably our best, with the exception of Cowan and the omission of SOK. We will crush the United XI.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 25, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    @Frankwoods.... don't want to burst yr bubble mate but it seems Starc has never played vs Eng, the much hyped Patto has (broke down as usual @ 16-0-80) as he went wicketless in a cpl of very unimpressive Odi performances last year (4-0 to Eng) and Siddle has 20 wkts @ 30.... You rate them as the 2nd 3rd and 4th best pace bowlers in the world... Well in fact Siddle is rated 5th, ''wicketless in Eng'' Patto is rated 22nd which is below Broad and Finn and Starco is ranked 53rd below almost everyone.... The last ashes series Eng won by 3 inns and a shedload, and in India you just got hammered 4-0, suggesting that perhaps the aussie bowlers are not in the top 5 list of worldbeaters you are telling us... How many aussies in their current ashes squad are actually familiar with winning an ashes series?

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on April 25, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge England have only won the last 2 ashes series, one which went down to the last day or 2 of the last test. We are a better side than in 2010-11 and our pace bowling is 2nd only to SA. Australia had a terrible series in India as England had against Pakistan, NZ, SA & SL. India was unfortunate as the squad was selected terribly and our batsmen didnt adjust quick enough to conditions some of them have never seen and we have limited spin options.

    In England though our batsmen will be in conditions much less foreign and spin will have very little impact. Pattinson, Starc and Siddle are probably the 2nd, 3rd, 4th best pace bowlers in the world + our 8th best pace bowler is about at the same level as Broad and Finn.

    Our bowlers can easily topple England out for less than 275 on numerous occasions. In which our average batting unit can easily get, + we are led by the best batsmen and captain in test cricket at the moment.

  • Moppa on April 24, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    @Mitty2, Faulkner would struggle to get picked in a four man bowling attack, unless there are lots of injuries (not out of the question!). I agree that he is a bowler first and foremost, with his batting (no FC centuries) a handy bonus only - however, if Watson fails with the bat and the selectors remain paranoid about Pattinson and Harris' ability to last out a match, it is an option to play the keeper at 6 and Faulkner at 7 to give us five bowling options. Given the fragility of our batting, I think this option is risky, but it is an option and Faulkner's main chance of getting a game. It is also an option as Starc, Pattinson, Siddle and Harris are all decent batsmen. Re Wade, I agree he's a good batsman, but better against pace than spin and I think he'd be very vulnerable to Swann.

  • Chris_P on April 24, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    @landl47, Again, valid points. If we had some experienced players, then perhaps I would have preferred Paine, but India showed us what a lack of experienced players does. Watson has had an extended run in the team, & unjustified as well, but perhaps he may reveal those rarely shown talents & him coming at #6 is the perfect spot for him. Maybe, if Haddin repeats his previous 2 Ashes batting form, the selectors may consider bringing in Faulkner as the 5th bowler in the #7 spot (his fc batting efforts for the past 3 years are far superior to Watson's) & with Starc, Siddle & Pattinson providing solid support this may be an option. It will be tough for us over there, no doubt.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 24, 2013, 20:37 GMT

    Sorry Brad, you're not going to win this at all. It's been five years now that England have dominated over you guys in the test arena. The head-to-head comparison of the two teams that was granted by both teams' recent tours to India told us all we knew long already about England and Oz. Not only are England light years better on paper, they've shown players like yourself Brad time and again, year upon year, that they are the superior cricketing force. You'll probably be wishing you had retired sooner after these B2B Ashes are over, it's going to be one heck of a shellacking!

  • Mitty2 on April 24, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    @landl47 has a point, but Faulkner could easily fit in as the third seamer - people seem to forget that - as his FC bowling average more than warrants selection. With the quality of the seemers, an adept selector would know that all rounders are not needed in the side anyway - especially considering how fragile the batting is.

    Wade, once he gets in, is a very good batsman, and funnily enough he has the same amount of centuries to watson. But haddin is a better keeper and that's all that matters. How relived must Lyon be! The amount of chances wade fluffed up of Lyons bowling is unbelievable. Of all the keeper, I'd still prefer Hartley, but haddins experience is invaluable, so happy with the choice.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on April 24, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    I think Haddin and Prior have both played 9 or 10 Ashes Tests. One averages mid 40's and the other under 40. Haddin is the mid 40's if you are wondering

  • nzcricket174 on April 24, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Haddin was a gun in both 09 and 10/11 Ashes. Little in between, but in those two series it looked as if he was going to score runs every time he batted.

  • nzcricket174 on April 24, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Haddin was a gun in both 09 and 10/11 Ashes. Little in between, but in those two series it looked as if he was going to score runs every time he batted.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on April 24, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    I think Haddin and Prior have both played 9 or 10 Ashes Tests. One averages mid 40's and the other under 40. Haddin is the mid 40's if you are wondering

  • Mitty2 on April 24, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    @landl47 has a point, but Faulkner could easily fit in as the third seamer - people seem to forget that - as his FC bowling average more than warrants selection. With the quality of the seemers, an adept selector would know that all rounders are not needed in the side anyway - especially considering how fragile the batting is.

    Wade, once he gets in, is a very good batsman, and funnily enough he has the same amount of centuries to watson. But haddin is a better keeper and that's all that matters. How relived must Lyon be! The amount of chances wade fluffed up of Lyons bowling is unbelievable. Of all the keeper, I'd still prefer Hartley, but haddins experience is invaluable, so happy with the choice.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 24, 2013, 20:37 GMT

    Sorry Brad, you're not going to win this at all. It's been five years now that England have dominated over you guys in the test arena. The head-to-head comparison of the two teams that was granted by both teams' recent tours to India told us all we knew long already about England and Oz. Not only are England light years better on paper, they've shown players like yourself Brad time and again, year upon year, that they are the superior cricketing force. You'll probably be wishing you had retired sooner after these B2B Ashes are over, it's going to be one heck of a shellacking!

  • Chris_P on April 24, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    @landl47, Again, valid points. If we had some experienced players, then perhaps I would have preferred Paine, but India showed us what a lack of experienced players does. Watson has had an extended run in the team, & unjustified as well, but perhaps he may reveal those rarely shown talents & him coming at #6 is the perfect spot for him. Maybe, if Haddin repeats his previous 2 Ashes batting form, the selectors may consider bringing in Faulkner as the 5th bowler in the #7 spot (his fc batting efforts for the past 3 years are far superior to Watson's) & with Starc, Siddle & Pattinson providing solid support this may be an option. It will be tough for us over there, no doubt.

  • Moppa on April 24, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    @Mitty2, Faulkner would struggle to get picked in a four man bowling attack, unless there are lots of injuries (not out of the question!). I agree that he is a bowler first and foremost, with his batting (no FC centuries) a handy bonus only - however, if Watson fails with the bat and the selectors remain paranoid about Pattinson and Harris' ability to last out a match, it is an option to play the keeper at 6 and Faulkner at 7 to give us five bowling options. Given the fragility of our batting, I think this option is risky, but it is an option and Faulkner's main chance of getting a game. It is also an option as Starc, Pattinson, Siddle and Harris are all decent batsmen. Re Wade, I agree he's a good batsman, but better against pace than spin and I think he'd be very vulnerable to Swann.

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on April 25, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge England have only won the last 2 ashes series, one which went down to the last day or 2 of the last test. We are a better side than in 2010-11 and our pace bowling is 2nd only to SA. Australia had a terrible series in India as England had against Pakistan, NZ, SA & SL. India was unfortunate as the squad was selected terribly and our batsmen didnt adjust quick enough to conditions some of them have never seen and we have limited spin options.

    In England though our batsmen will be in conditions much less foreign and spin will have very little impact. Pattinson, Starc and Siddle are probably the 2nd, 3rd, 4th best pace bowlers in the world + our 8th best pace bowler is about at the same level as Broad and Finn.

    Our bowlers can easily topple England out for less than 275 on numerous occasions. In which our average batting unit can easily get, + we are led by the best batsmen and captain in test cricket at the moment.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 25, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    @Frankwoods.... don't want to burst yr bubble mate but it seems Starc has never played vs Eng, the much hyped Patto has (broke down as usual @ 16-0-80) as he went wicketless in a cpl of very unimpressive Odi performances last year (4-0 to Eng) and Siddle has 20 wkts @ 30.... You rate them as the 2nd 3rd and 4th best pace bowlers in the world... Well in fact Siddle is rated 5th, ''wicketless in Eng'' Patto is rated 22nd which is below Broad and Finn and Starco is ranked 53rd below almost everyone.... The last ashes series Eng won by 3 inns and a shedload, and in India you just got hammered 4-0, suggesting that perhaps the aussie bowlers are not in the top 5 list of worldbeaters you are telling us... How many aussies in their current ashes squad are actually familiar with winning an ashes series?

  • RandyOZ on April 25, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    This squad is probably our best, with the exception of Cowan and the omission of SOK. We will crush the United XI.

  • VillageBlacksmith on April 25, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    @ChrisP/Moppa... Haddin aves 40 @ #7 which is impressive but that drops significantly to 18ave @ #6 (8 inns) and 8ave @ #5 (1 inns)... #7 seems to be his slot