The Investec Ashes 2013 June 12, 2013

Inverarity rules out Ponting Ashes comeback

ESPNcricinfo staff
42

Australia would not turn to retired batsmen such as Ricky Ponting or Simon Katich even if captain Michael Clarke's back problem continues to plague him during this year's Investec Ashes, according to national selector John Inverarity. Clarke has been out of action since arriving in England and could miss the whole of the Champions Trophy, while his readiness for the Ashes is also looming as a potential concern.

Meanwhile, Ponting has made a strong start to his county stint with Surrey, scoring 192, 52 and 38 not out in his three first-class innings so far. Before his first match, Ponting said in an interview that if the Australians came calling during the Ashes he would consider coming out of retirement, although the next day he backtracked and said there was no possibility of him being part of the Ashes campaign.

Katich has also enjoyed a solid start to the county season and although he is yet to make a century for Lancashire, he has posted three 80-plus scores and has 406 runs at 50.75. Katich played his last Test during the previous Ashes series, in Adelaide in December 2010, and departed from international cricket on sour terms with the selection panel, then headed by Andrew Hilditch, after he was dumped from the contract list in 2011.

"I think they've both retired from international cricket," Inverarity told AAP when asked about the possibility of Ponting or Katich featuring in the Ashes. "... The answer is no."

Australia's selectors have already put together a list of standby players should injuries arise during the Ashes and it is likely to include Steven Smith, who performed well in India in March and is vice-captain of the Australia A squad currently touring the British Isles. George Bailey, the stand-in Champions Trophy captain in Clarke's absence, could be another option, although his Sheffield Shield form last summer was disappointing.

However, the main focus for the Australian camp in the lead-up to the Ashes is not on potential back-up batsmen, but on ensuring Clarke is fit for action for the first Test starting on July 10. Clarke has battled the back problem since he was a teenager and while he has only missed one Test due to the injury, the concern for Australia is that it was their last Test, in Delhi.

"I'm confident he'll be right for the Ashes," Inverarity said. "I'm confident but one never knows. Nobody works harder than Michael. His preparation is extraordinary."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 12, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    In my opinion none of the so called promising players have stood up to their promise in the recent past. Cowan is not worthy of being called a top class batsman, both Warner and hughes have brought in more disappointment than applause, Watson keeps injuring himself so often that when he comes back, the team falls into a huge dilemma as to where to fit him. On the other hand the top 4 of England are settled and are more or less their prime strength. Cook, Compton, Trott, and Pietersen are all very solid players. Also their middle order comprising of Bell and Morgan are very competent as well. Australia really needs to settle their batting to win, and that could also mean calling back the likes of Ponting, Katich and Hussey. Their high handedness cost the careers of many a good playes like Symonds, Martyn, Bracken and others in the past. Its time they realize this mistake and give proper opportunities to players who know how to win rather than those who are in the squad on mere promise !

  • tover on June 15, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    Wouldn't want to put the best team on the field would you Inverarity, time for you to go and time to pick the best team. Need to get some experience back in the team!!!

    Best team to win the ashes back below.....no doubt IMO

    1. Rogers - How he hasn't been in the side for the past 4 years is beyond me. 2. Watson 3. Katich 4. Warner/Hughes or even Sam Robson 5. Clarke 6. Ponting - Why did he never get to go down the order like all other aging bats? 7. Haddin 8. Faulkner - Need his passion 9. Siddle/Bird/Harris - who ever performs better in lead up games 10.Pattinson 11.Fawad - Just put him in, he cant possibly be worse the Lyon.

    Hussey in at 4 if he wants to play.

  • JM_RSA on June 14, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    It would be nice for Aus to have katich. But I dont think he will come back. I think the recent problems with Aus players (homework saga, warner, etc) have to do with the current leadership. I dont think Mickey Arthur and Michael Clark are the right peole to lead but then who else? The selection is also a bit puzzling. Whay was David Hussey dropped from the ODI team?

  • on June 14, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    1. Katich 2. Rogers 3. Ponting 4. Clarke 5. Hussey 6. Watson 7. Haddin 8. Siddle 9. Pattinson 10. Bird 11. O'Keefe

  • on June 13, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    Why do we need to be so desperate to have Ponting back? This gives a very negative message even before the Ashes starts and only the opposition would benefit from this. Can not imaging Brad Haddin vice captaining Australia considering his recent form. Where's Tim Paine?

  • dunger.bob on June 13, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    It would be a mistake to recall the retiree's. Going back is not the way forward. .. We're stuck with this lot for better or worse. .. Anyway, I'm feeling a bit more positive than most about our chances in the Ashes. I reckon this could be a break out tour for one or two batsmen who will put together enough runs to give us a fighting chance. Here's an example of what I mean. .. Phil Hughes will finally get the hang of working the ball round the corner on the leg side. He will be able to rotate the strike more fluently and won't feel compelled to CUT everything that comes his way. He's a compulsive cutter because sometimes it's the only way he can get off strike. I've seen him get tied up by a RH bowler pitching outside leg and ending up about middle-off. Most left handers would lap that up as a single at least. Not Phil, he was struggling to even hit them! Well, that won't be a problem this time because Phil's gunna fix it. I'm sure of it !!

  • on June 13, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    inverarity should resign from his post. he is now considered as one of the worse coach australia have. australia is no more threat to the world cricket. whats going on ?

  • brusselslion on June 13, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Did the system produce great players such as Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, etc. or were they simply hughly talented, highly motivated, dedicated cricketers who just happened to be around at the same time? If the former then the system is broke and some bright spark needs to fix it. If the latter, Australian cricket fans will just have to get use to suffering for a few years: As an England supporter who clearly remembes the '90s, I can offer counselling.

    In my next post, I will be addressing another great philosophical issue (raised by Little Jackie): "What came first? The Chicken Nugget or the Egg McMuffin?"

  • _Australian_ on June 13, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Inverarity should just have answered they have retired but anything is possible. No need to say 'the answer is no' like he is some sort of overlord of Australian cricket. I would love to see Ponting get some back to back to back massive scores and then make intention that he wants to return to test cricket. I know Inverarity would stick to his guns and say no. With Australian public outcry perhaps he might be given the boot which is what we really need.

  • Wefinishthis on June 13, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Shaggy076 - I'm so glad you asked. Here are the stats you requested. Siddle's average vs England is 32.7 (30.8 away, 34.6 home). "Hilfy's" is 43.4 (27.45 away, 59.3). That is an absolute failure from both of these bowlers against England and one of the major reasons we lost both ashes series. Also, you may need to read again that I said the word 'overall' record against England. I was not referring to their in-England records. The point I made is that they've both had a fair go and both times the result was not in Australia's favour. On the positive side, I'm excited to see what Bird, Pattinson, Harris and Faulkner can do in England and with an improved Siddle and a Starc long overdue for a good match, there is a lot of hope on the bowling front. The only mistake the selectors made with the bowling was not sending O'Keefe over, but all shall be revealed soon enough!

  • on June 12, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    In my opinion none of the so called promising players have stood up to their promise in the recent past. Cowan is not worthy of being called a top class batsman, both Warner and hughes have brought in more disappointment than applause, Watson keeps injuring himself so often that when he comes back, the team falls into a huge dilemma as to where to fit him. On the other hand the top 4 of England are settled and are more or less their prime strength. Cook, Compton, Trott, and Pietersen are all very solid players. Also their middle order comprising of Bell and Morgan are very competent as well. Australia really needs to settle their batting to win, and that could also mean calling back the likes of Ponting, Katich and Hussey. Their high handedness cost the careers of many a good playes like Symonds, Martyn, Bracken and others in the past. Its time they realize this mistake and give proper opportunities to players who know how to win rather than those who are in the squad on mere promise !

  • tover on June 15, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    Wouldn't want to put the best team on the field would you Inverarity, time for you to go and time to pick the best team. Need to get some experience back in the team!!!

    Best team to win the ashes back below.....no doubt IMO

    1. Rogers - How he hasn't been in the side for the past 4 years is beyond me. 2. Watson 3. Katich 4. Warner/Hughes or even Sam Robson 5. Clarke 6. Ponting - Why did he never get to go down the order like all other aging bats? 7. Haddin 8. Faulkner - Need his passion 9. Siddle/Bird/Harris - who ever performs better in lead up games 10.Pattinson 11.Fawad - Just put him in, he cant possibly be worse the Lyon.

    Hussey in at 4 if he wants to play.

  • JM_RSA on June 14, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    It would be nice for Aus to have katich. But I dont think he will come back. I think the recent problems with Aus players (homework saga, warner, etc) have to do with the current leadership. I dont think Mickey Arthur and Michael Clark are the right peole to lead but then who else? The selection is also a bit puzzling. Whay was David Hussey dropped from the ODI team?

  • on June 14, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    1. Katich 2. Rogers 3. Ponting 4. Clarke 5. Hussey 6. Watson 7. Haddin 8. Siddle 9. Pattinson 10. Bird 11. O'Keefe

  • on June 13, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    Why do we need to be so desperate to have Ponting back? This gives a very negative message even before the Ashes starts and only the opposition would benefit from this. Can not imaging Brad Haddin vice captaining Australia considering his recent form. Where's Tim Paine?

  • dunger.bob on June 13, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    It would be a mistake to recall the retiree's. Going back is not the way forward. .. We're stuck with this lot for better or worse. .. Anyway, I'm feeling a bit more positive than most about our chances in the Ashes. I reckon this could be a break out tour for one or two batsmen who will put together enough runs to give us a fighting chance. Here's an example of what I mean. .. Phil Hughes will finally get the hang of working the ball round the corner on the leg side. He will be able to rotate the strike more fluently and won't feel compelled to CUT everything that comes his way. He's a compulsive cutter because sometimes it's the only way he can get off strike. I've seen him get tied up by a RH bowler pitching outside leg and ending up about middle-off. Most left handers would lap that up as a single at least. Not Phil, he was struggling to even hit them! Well, that won't be a problem this time because Phil's gunna fix it. I'm sure of it !!

  • on June 13, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    inverarity should resign from his post. he is now considered as one of the worse coach australia have. australia is no more threat to the world cricket. whats going on ?

  • brusselslion on June 13, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    Did the system produce great players such as Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, etc. or were they simply hughly talented, highly motivated, dedicated cricketers who just happened to be around at the same time? If the former then the system is broke and some bright spark needs to fix it. If the latter, Australian cricket fans will just have to get use to suffering for a few years: As an England supporter who clearly remembes the '90s, I can offer counselling.

    In my next post, I will be addressing another great philosophical issue (raised by Little Jackie): "What came first? The Chicken Nugget or the Egg McMuffin?"

  • _Australian_ on June 13, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Inverarity should just have answered they have retired but anything is possible. No need to say 'the answer is no' like he is some sort of overlord of Australian cricket. I would love to see Ponting get some back to back to back massive scores and then make intention that he wants to return to test cricket. I know Inverarity would stick to his guns and say no. With Australian public outcry perhaps he might be given the boot which is what we really need.

  • Wefinishthis on June 13, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Shaggy076 - I'm so glad you asked. Here are the stats you requested. Siddle's average vs England is 32.7 (30.8 away, 34.6 home). "Hilfy's" is 43.4 (27.45 away, 59.3). That is an absolute failure from both of these bowlers against England and one of the major reasons we lost both ashes series. Also, you may need to read again that I said the word 'overall' record against England. I was not referring to their in-England records. The point I made is that they've both had a fair go and both times the result was not in Australia's favour. On the positive side, I'm excited to see what Bird, Pattinson, Harris and Faulkner can do in England and with an improved Siddle and a Starc long overdue for a good match, there is a lot of hope on the bowling front. The only mistake the selectors made with the bowling was not sending O'Keefe over, but all shall be revealed soon enough!

  • popcorn on June 13, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    I see no reason for ego to come in the way of asking Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Simon Katich to join the Aussie Squad.We've got to win The Ashes.

  • D.V.C. on June 13, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    Katich has retired from 1st class cricket in Australia, but he never retired from International cricket: http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/story/568110.html As he is still playing 1st class cricket in England there is noting in CA selection policy to disqualify his possible selection. Invararity should check on this!

  • Partyman on June 13, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    Maybe Cricket Australia need to appoint a team to go scouting for "refugees" in Pakistan. Pick them up, given them Aussie passports overnight and get them into the team........Aussies are a joke! After giving us so much stick for selecting SA born players, they change their immigration laws overnight to get a foreigner into the team!! RandyOz what have you got to say for that?

  • JaKrish on June 12, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    I dont think Inverarity is a doctor to say that he is confident the Clarke will be fit for Ashes. The Problem with Clarke is his back problem keeps recurring. Inverarity has no plan B, when he can turn back and select a few discarded players, what is wrong and holding back him back to select Ponting/Hussey. It is personal ego that is coming in he way. This is one big problem with most of the selectors for all over the world, they let their ego take over, instead of nation coming first, their ego comes first, that s the most unfortunate thing happening.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on June 12, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    @jono makim - good observation there , Ponting seems to have lost that extra half second all quality international players have with them. possibly the best player of fast bowling in the modern era but age has caught up with him and he understood it , which is why he stepped down. In fact Sachin tendulkar here in India is also in the same category but he still believes he has one last stretch left , but it doesn't look like he has it now

  • on June 12, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    I'm not entirely convinced Punter would do that well if brought back anyway. He was in terrific shield form either side of the South African series but did very little in those tests. I think he's lost that half a second needed to deal with test quality attacks and it was some time back too. Mike Hussey would be a great boost but thats not going to happen. Hodge, Katich, Dhussey I can't see making any difference at all. We just don't have the batsmen right now, we need to persist with what we have until they find their feet or better talent emerges. Rogers and Haddin are both terrific selections I reckon, and they are both old enough to not let whats gone before intimidate them.

  • AKS286 on June 12, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    S.Marsh will also remember after 5 years.

  • DERBYSHIRE33 on June 12, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    Get the legend DiVenuto opening!

  • on June 12, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Please Include Brad Hodge, Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith in ODI side or Test matches and please drop Phil Hughes as not in good form and got many chances too

  • Ozcricketwriter on June 12, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    The best way to encourage good players to become great is to pick players on their merits. Say to them that when they are good enough then they will be picked. That is the way to do it. Ponting was in bad form and deserved to be dumped but now is in good form and deserves to return. Simple as that. Katich didn't deserve to be dumped and it is high time he return. Hodge should have returned 5 years ago. David Hussey should have came in the year after his older brother Michael Hussey did. All of those players are much better bets than the tried and failed Phil Hughes.

  • peeeeet on June 12, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Bailey should be in the test squad for mine. As we can see, he has scored well when the others have failed and has stood up as captain. Kinda reminds me of Paul Collingwood in that he has a middling/decent first class record but is a fighter. I think he's got just the right attitude for this middle order. His age means he could play for 4-5 years (form permitting) allowing young players to develop, and the fact he has done well in ODIs is some indication that he can handle international cricket.

  • Bongz77 on June 12, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    Man, it just goes to show how much luck plays in becoming a great player. Brad Hodge, Darren Lehman, Mark Di venueto*, Brad Hogg, Stuart Clarke, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Mcgill and others whom i forgot to mention would have been fantastic internationals had they been born 10-15 years later. I know they would have all walked into this current Aussie line up. Born in the wrong era to be fair.

    Or do the Aussie fans think T20 cricket and incompetent board members would have disrupted their development too had they been in this generation?

  • on June 12, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    i feel sory for bradg hoge, siman kitch,they were both 100 time better then many of then in team now

  • Moppa on June 12, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    A lot of ridiculous comments about 'planning' for the retirement of players by dropping them! I'm not sure how dropping Hussey to make room for his replacement would have helped - it would have just brought our problem forward! And, as @milepost says, you can't plan to replace players like McGrath and Warne. Take for example the case of Hughes. Picked to replace Hayden as a 20 year old in 2009 with a FC avg close to 60, makes 2 centuries in his second match, and has been steady decline ever since. The selectors, if anything, picked him too early - yet we're criticising them for not 'bringing on the youth'. Bottom line is, if you don't have the young talent, picking them early won't do any good. India have Kohli, Dhawan and Pujara coming through - our kids are nowhere near that quality, and no amount of Test experience will change that. The selectors have made some mistakes, e.g. Quiney and Maxwell, but they've been dealt a dud hand batting wise.

  • Shaggy076 on June 12, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    To everyone - Katich and HOdge are long retired. Hodge hasnt played shield cricket for the last two seasons. Katich didnt play last year. Katich was left out because they didnt want Hussey, Ponting and Katich retiring at the same time. move on they have had there day and the Aussies need to look to the future. Wefinishthis; I suggest you look at the bowling averages from the last Ashes series played in England if you call that a failure then Jimmy Anderson has been an incredible failure in every Ashes series he has played. Siddle was also a lot better than Anderson in England as well.

  • stickboy on June 12, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    @ muzika_tchaikovskog: Fair call, Gilly is past his use by date now and happily retired, I was just using him as an example, probably should have substituted his name with Katich. But I don't think that they should necessarily disregard someone like ponting in this particular scenario, especially if he kept on hitting the runs in county.

    @ bobagorof: I think the Rogers and Haddin selections were great, but the selectors shouldn't be overly praised for this as any logical selection would have them in the squad. Bringing in players with limited first class experience does not seam to work too well, so perhaps some more experienced interim players are a better answer?? e.g. Michael Kilnger, whilst the others play county and state cricket and develop a real hunger to play for Australia ala Michael Hussey, Matthew Hayden etc.

  • Santosh_G_Vashista on June 12, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    Sure, Australia going towards West Indies way, but WI picked up things nicely now. But never expected the same is happening for Ausses... Bad luck for mis-management.

  • milepost on June 12, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    This whole notion of building for the future and transitional phases nonsense. Pick the bast team to win the ashes. I agree with the sentiment that Clarke should not be a selector nor should Ahrthur still be coach. These players available to Australia aren't as bad as people believe. Not picking Katich is just plain stupid. We keep picking these all rounders that aren't good at much at all. P.ick the best 6 batsmen, the best keeper and the best 4 bowlers. How is that complicated??? Hughes and Warner never looked like test batsmen. At least Cowan values his wicket which Watson doesn't seem to. The idea of future planning is to ensure that grassroots development for test cricket is made high priority. You can't pan to replace players like Warne and McGrath

  • smudgeon on June 12, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Again, i am somewhat reminded of the Ripping Yarns episode "Golden Gordon". Seriously though, the squad for the Ashes isn't so hot looking, but you could exchange any number of non-retired-from-international-cricket players for most of the current lot and end up with a team that still doesn't tick all the required boxes. For whatever reason, Australian cricket is going through a bit of a trough as far as domestic stocks go, but there are some good performers, and aside from a few consistent omissions (O'Keefe & Cosgrove come to mind), the selectors are doing the best they can with a bunch of solid - not spectactular - domestic cricketers. The worm turns, and in another 10-15 years, Australia may indeed be the best team in the world, and England may be somewhere near where Australia is sitting now. Swings and roundabouts. Right now, Aussie fans are going to have to settle for what the selectors have given us. They might yet surprise us all...

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on June 12, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    I may be mistaken but as far as I knew Katich was dropped and hasnt officially retired. Ponting and Hussey have made that decision and it should be respected. The state of the Australian team is down to complacency and the thought that the new Hayden, Langer, Ponting , Waugh's , Gilchrist etc would just 'turn up'. The Sheffield Shield has been in decline for years due to poor scheduling and neglect and now has been sidelined for the ridiculous Big Bash. You reap what you sow and what you reap is cricketers like Glenn Maxwell and buffoons like David Warner (in trouble AGAIN i see). The concentration has to be on developing Test batsmen ..... India seem to be showing the way after the retirement of their Gods. The talent is there I am sure , the development isnt. I would look at the available younger batsmen and make an assessment of character and talent and give them a chance. Burns , Doolan & Maddinson maybe to start AND be stuck with. As happened with S Waugh, Boon, Jones etc in 1987

  • kensohatter on June 12, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    I dont agree with the sentiment from a few in this thread (@minuszero, boba) that Australia did not plan for the retirement of Mcgrath, warne etc and blend in youngsters. As far as I can tell Australia is by far the most ruthless when it comes to selections and moving players on when it is time. Ian Healy was infamously dropped one test before a home send off. Can you imagine the riots if India did that to Dravid or Tendualker etc. The truth is Australia did try and blend youngsters during the glory days of McGrath, Warne etc. Kasperwisz, Bichel, McGill were all somewhat overlooked for younger options of Lee, Hauritz and S.Clark during this period but the fact of the matter is that Warne and McGrath are irreplaceable. Batting was a bit of a different story as we went for options like Marcus North but there was nobody bashing down the selectors door. I agree with stickboy.... its an ashes pick the best side because nothing is more imprtant than that series and build in between.

  • on June 12, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    @jeauxx spot on, why cant the selectors see it this way, they are hopeless. If you performed like this in any other job you would be fired, we need a better bunch of selectors and get rid of Clarke from the panel because he keeps choosing his mates and leaving out his foes like katich. The way AC is now is almost enough to stop watching it all together.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on June 12, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    Stickboy: Agree with you mate: success can create the positive vibes around the team that's essential bring the side together in the long term. That's why I'm in agreement with the inclusion of Rogers and Haddin, but the other examples you quoted are way off the mark. Gilly was already in decline by the time he retired and Ponting in his last 2-3 seasons was a shadow of the great batsman he once was. Its one thing to punish state/ county level attacks, quite another to overcome an international attack

  • Wefinishthis on June 12, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    If Steve O'Keefe was in the side we wouldn't have any captaincy problems. He'd be the perfect VC and the perfect backup option for Clarke. Furthermore, we'd have the best Australian red-ball spinner in the team and a very handy batsman and fielder to boot. kensohatter - 'Hilfy' and Siddle have been tried and failed. Both have awful overall records against England. Starc has hardly done anything in the test side so far but deserves at least this ashes series to prove he's capable of performing with a red ball at the highest level. Pattinson aside, the bowling lineup you picked has been pretty-much proven not to work. Harris and Pattinson are easily our two best bowlers whilst Siddle is a good support bowler, this we already know, but I'm excited to finally see some potential in Bird and Faulkner over there. Starc is due for a big game whilst Bird and Faulkner I have high hopes for. Just a shame O'Keefe isn't in the squad, otherwise the selectors would have got the bowlers 100% correct.

  • on June 12, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Brad Hodge is the best & in form back up available....

  • on June 12, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    you must let the things pass, teams cannot depend on already retired players. Also on the other hand, selectors must not pass the things. I mean why are u ignoring katich. The selectors arrogance proved costly. Katich was good player and it was unnecessary to treat him that way. I feel Aus Cricket needs Katich more than katich needs(as he probably would have got used to). High time u call him back.

  • bobagorof on June 12, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    stickboy: One could argue that Haddin and Rogers are actually short-term selections intended to get the best result for the Ashes, as both are 35 and are unlikely to be in the team for more than a year or so (three at the most). So, in a way, the selectors have already taken the view you suggest.

    The issue is that the younger players do not have the experience or skill required to fill the shoes of the players who came before them. I believe this to be in part because the older players (Ponting, Hussey, etc) were retained for too long and there was no smooth transition to blend the young players in while experienced heads were still there to guide them. Or, if there was, it was not effective. It was obvious that Ponting was past his best, and had been for years, yet none of the under-30 batsmen were ready to step up when he retired. Katich was dropped 2 1/2 years ago to make room, since then Khawaja, Marsh, Warner, Cowan, Quiney, Hughes and Watson all with unsatisfactory results.

  • MinusZero on June 12, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    It would be a backwards step to go to Ponting/Hussey etc. Transition phases mean losses, Australia needs to accept that their own poor future planning means that they will lose games until the next generation is up to it. There was no planning for the Warne/McGrath retirements and same with Ponting and Hussey.

  • kensohatter on June 12, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    If somebody offered me 2 wins from the 10 ashes tests upfront id take it. We undoubtedly have the weakest side for an ashes series in two decades and the poms have put forward their best one. If punter and katich are in form they should be selected. My dream team of semi realistic options for this ashes would be... 1. Rogers, 2. Katich, 3. Ponting, 4. Clarke, 5 M.Hussey, 6. Watson, 7. Haddin, 8. Pattinson, 9. Siddle, 10. Hilfy, 11. Starc/Lyon. What an ashes it would be with that side picked!

  • stickboy on June 12, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Why? Desperate times call for desperate measures. And we (Australia) are clearly desperate right now. The point is to win, not to just look for the future, what future anyway?? There will always be the future and there is nothing more important than The Ashes or the World Cup for Aust, so pick any team possible that will get the best result for those series, even if you take back some older players and drop some "promising" players.

    How about we get Hodge, Gilchrist, Ponting or any other old player who is still better than some of the current players? If they are willing of course...I know Hodge is, I'd prefer him than Ed Cowan or Khawaja at the moment, I'm guessing most Australian supporters would.

    Australian selectors and coaches seem to be way too fixed minded and conservative most of the time, always saying that they are looking to the future...I don't think that this is ALWAYS the best choice.

  • on June 12, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Katich needs to come back. He is way better than all the current team bar Clarke and Rogers.

  • jeauxx on June 12, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    If Clarke ends up being ruled out of the Ashes, I'd be begging for a Ricky Ponting comeback special. Punter's retired, and that should be respected, but if our full-time captain is ruled out, then there's two issues:

    1. A giant hole in the middle order 2. Next to no captaincy options

    Haddin is the VC (and rightly so) but I think I speak for most Australians when I say I don't want to be led into a crucial Ashes series by Brad. Calling Ricky back into the middle order would be a like-for-like swap for Clarke (hopefully), and it would be a more than ideal solution for interim captaincy.

  • jeauxx on June 12, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    If Clarke ends up being ruled out of the Ashes, I'd be begging for a Ricky Ponting comeback special. Punter's retired, and that should be respected, but if our full-time captain is ruled out, then there's two issues:

    1. A giant hole in the middle order 2. Next to no captaincy options

    Haddin is the VC (and rightly so) but I think I speak for most Australians when I say I don't want to be led into a crucial Ashes series by Brad. Calling Ricky back into the middle order would be a like-for-like swap for Clarke (hopefully), and it would be a more than ideal solution for interim captaincy.

  • on June 12, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Katich needs to come back. He is way better than all the current team bar Clarke and Rogers.

  • stickboy on June 12, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Why? Desperate times call for desperate measures. And we (Australia) are clearly desperate right now. The point is to win, not to just look for the future, what future anyway?? There will always be the future and there is nothing more important than The Ashes or the World Cup for Aust, so pick any team possible that will get the best result for those series, even if you take back some older players and drop some "promising" players.

    How about we get Hodge, Gilchrist, Ponting or any other old player who is still better than some of the current players? If they are willing of course...I know Hodge is, I'd prefer him than Ed Cowan or Khawaja at the moment, I'm guessing most Australian supporters would.

    Australian selectors and coaches seem to be way too fixed minded and conservative most of the time, always saying that they are looking to the future...I don't think that this is ALWAYS the best choice.

  • kensohatter on June 12, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    If somebody offered me 2 wins from the 10 ashes tests upfront id take it. We undoubtedly have the weakest side for an ashes series in two decades and the poms have put forward their best one. If punter and katich are in form they should be selected. My dream team of semi realistic options for this ashes would be... 1. Rogers, 2. Katich, 3. Ponting, 4. Clarke, 5 M.Hussey, 6. Watson, 7. Haddin, 8. Pattinson, 9. Siddle, 10. Hilfy, 11. Starc/Lyon. What an ashes it would be with that side picked!

  • MinusZero on June 12, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    It would be a backwards step to go to Ponting/Hussey etc. Transition phases mean losses, Australia needs to accept that their own poor future planning means that they will lose games until the next generation is up to it. There was no planning for the Warne/McGrath retirements and same with Ponting and Hussey.

  • bobagorof on June 12, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    stickboy: One could argue that Haddin and Rogers are actually short-term selections intended to get the best result for the Ashes, as both are 35 and are unlikely to be in the team for more than a year or so (three at the most). So, in a way, the selectors have already taken the view you suggest.

    The issue is that the younger players do not have the experience or skill required to fill the shoes of the players who came before them. I believe this to be in part because the older players (Ponting, Hussey, etc) were retained for too long and there was no smooth transition to blend the young players in while experienced heads were still there to guide them. Or, if there was, it was not effective. It was obvious that Ponting was past his best, and had been for years, yet none of the under-30 batsmen were ready to step up when he retired. Katich was dropped 2 1/2 years ago to make room, since then Khawaja, Marsh, Warner, Cowan, Quiney, Hughes and Watson all with unsatisfactory results.

  • on June 12, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    you must let the things pass, teams cannot depend on already retired players. Also on the other hand, selectors must not pass the things. I mean why are u ignoring katich. The selectors arrogance proved costly. Katich was good player and it was unnecessary to treat him that way. I feel Aus Cricket needs Katich more than katich needs(as he probably would have got used to). High time u call him back.

  • on June 12, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Brad Hodge is the best & in form back up available....

  • Wefinishthis on June 12, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    If Steve O'Keefe was in the side we wouldn't have any captaincy problems. He'd be the perfect VC and the perfect backup option for Clarke. Furthermore, we'd have the best Australian red-ball spinner in the team and a very handy batsman and fielder to boot. kensohatter - 'Hilfy' and Siddle have been tried and failed. Both have awful overall records against England. Starc has hardly done anything in the test side so far but deserves at least this ashes series to prove he's capable of performing with a red ball at the highest level. Pattinson aside, the bowling lineup you picked has been pretty-much proven not to work. Harris and Pattinson are easily our two best bowlers whilst Siddle is a good support bowler, this we already know, but I'm excited to finally see some potential in Bird and Faulkner over there. Starc is due for a big game whilst Bird and Faulkner I have high hopes for. Just a shame O'Keefe isn't in the squad, otherwise the selectors would have got the bowlers 100% correct.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on June 12, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    Stickboy: Agree with you mate: success can create the positive vibes around the team that's essential bring the side together in the long term. That's why I'm in agreement with the inclusion of Rogers and Haddin, but the other examples you quoted are way off the mark. Gilly was already in decline by the time he retired and Ponting in his last 2-3 seasons was a shadow of the great batsman he once was. Its one thing to punish state/ county level attacks, quite another to overcome an international attack