Somerset v Australians, Taunton, 4th day June 29, 2013

A good outing for Australia's batsmen

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Australians 321 for 5 decl and 263 for 4 (Khawaja 73, Haddin 52*, Hughes 50) beat Somerset 320 and 260 by six wickets
Scorecard

Usman Khawaja, Phillip Hughes and Ed Cowan were all useful if not quite compelling on a day of sunshine and blue skies at Taunton as they duelled for places in the Australian batting order for the first Ashes Test. Each played fluently until the moment of his dismissal, but none turned their start into the sort of tally captain Michael Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann so desired from their charges.

Still, a win is a win and as the first such result in a first-class match by an Australian team overseas since the third Test in Dominica in April 2012, it should not be sniffed at. Brad Haddin, the vice-captain, completed formalities with a second six in an innings that underlined how the tourists' goal of an outright result has never been in question.

Haddin's was in fact the most arresting batting of all the Australians. He walked out with a potentially tense 56 runs still to get and proceeded to clobber 52 of them himself. Following on from fluent runs for Australia A, Haddin looks more than capable of playing in the top six if required.

The Australians made one concession for preparatory needs by keeping Shane Watson from batting in the second innings, even though four wickets fell. He is completely certain of his place, but others less so. Khawaja and Hughes gained most from the final day's batting, on a surface that had finally begun to wear. Though he did not impress in the first innings, Khawaja was composed and unhurried while compiling 73 runs, including 10 boundaries. Hughes played his shots with increasing levels of self-assurance, benefiting from the gains of day two.

However Cowan trudged grimly from the wicket after falling short of a major score, despite looking untroubled until the moment of his dismissal, which for the second time in the match went the way of the tall seamer Gemaal Hussain. It remains to be seen whether he will get another chance to push for his retention in the Test team against Worcestershire next week.

Sun blazed over the County Ground as Cowan and Khawaja resumed play in the morning. Runs were soon being collected with efficiency and no great fuss, any edges snuck through the gap between slips and gully running along the ground. Cowan drove attractively through cover and also punched through point off the back foot, while Khawaja rotated the strike more effectively than he has done so at times in the past.

So comfortable did both batsmen look that the fall of a wicket was unexpected. Cowan, on 46, flailed at Hussain in search of the boundary to reach his half-century and managed only to edge behind. The dismissal continued a worrying pattern: not since the first Test of last summer against South Africa in Brisbane has Cowan made a first-class century, despite consistently making starts. Australia may be able to afford this kind of recurring issue with one of their openers, but having guaranteed a berth to the hundred-shy Watson they may be hesitant about including another.

Hughes walked out at No. 3 as the tourists sought to bolster his confidence further, and it was evident in a rollicking start to his innings including one big six heaved over midwicket from the bowling of George Dockrell. This was the sort of shot Hughes looked afraid to play in India, and he balanced his aggression with plenty of singles while at the other end Khawaja raised his fifty.

Lunch came and went, and just when Khawaja appeared to be cantering towards a century, the rough Dockrell had been floating his left-arm spin towards caused him to play for too much spin and snick a catch to slip. Hughes and Clarke prospered for a time, before the former slogged at Dockrell and was bowled. Clarke had played his second pleasing cameo of the match but authored a similarly inattentive stroke three runs later, dancing down the wicket and playing around a ball that did not turn.

But Haddin was in a joyful hurry, and he allowed the tour bus a chance to be revved up for Worcester well ahead of the scheduled close. It gathered valuable momentum at Taunton, even if Cowan, Hughes and Khawaja might have preferred more runs to take with them.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY hilditchmustgo on | June 30, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    Great to see everyone getting into the runs. Haddins talent with the bat was never in question but from what the report said everyone looked solid UNTIL they got out. The next step is to not find ways to get yourself out when set. Hopefully Boof can help with that. I'd still rather see more middle order players in the squad but at the end of the day nobody back home is making consistent runs. I'd like nothing more than Callum Ferguson and S Marsh to string together consistent high scoring Shield seasons come this summer and force their way in. They have amazing techniques and reek of talent. But with this Squad I'm thinking - Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith (or Warner), Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson. Harris, Lyon.

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | June 29, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    At last the Golden boys of Shield cricket are making decent stands. Good on you Khawaja and Hughes. About time you began to show us what you've got. Hope they carry this form in to the ashes, it won't be easy against Anderson, Broad, Swann, Finn but we have to fight and these signs are good. I have always felt these two have the potential to be Australia's future test team back bone. Hope boof can bring the best out of them, i am predicting he will.

  • POSTED BY brusselslion on | July 1, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    I don't see how these recent matches have changed things greatly?

    Australia have a very good seam attack (no matter who gets the nod), a very poor spinner (ditto), average WK/batsman, poor all-rounder(s), 1 excellent batsman, couple of decent batsman (Watson & Rogers) and a host of others likely to have 1 decent innings in 10.

    England have a good (not great) attack, but will struggle if either Anderson or Swann gets injured, an excellent WK/ batsman and a pretty good batting line-up (although the selectors seem to be trying hard to mess things up by moving Root up the order and replacing Compton with the less effective Bairstow).

    If Australia's batsman can give their bowlers something to bowl at, it will be close. Otherwise, injuries permitting, England should win by a couple of Tests.

  • POSTED BY Prazzo on | July 1, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Very happy with Khawaja. Finally coming out of his shell. Of all the players in the team, I think he was most hard done by Mickey Arthur and never got the chance to play many consecutive matches. Lehmann knows khawaja so irrespective of what he may say, this will definitely favour Khawaja's selection. its not just that - Lehmann knows how to bring the best of him and probably other players too...while Mickey seemed to bring out the worst in some!

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    @H_Z_O...Yes wise to be wary as an English Fan. Of course, the England side have the batting credentials but that alone never wins matches. Their warm-up innings against Essex showed a lot of rustiness and perhaps even complacency. Their series against NZ would of been the perfect leadup were it to be played just before the Ashes however it has been followed by a major one-day tournament where the bowlers have focused on containment rather than wickets and the batters have tried to up the run rate rather than bat time. Australia's red ball prep to date on the other hand has been faultless with almost all members of the squad finding some kind of form in the A games and against Somerset. Also; watch out if Starc finds some consistent new ball form starting against W/shire. With both Starc and Pattinson firing with the new ball England could really struggle despite their superior batting av'ges. Oz have the hunger of an up and coming side and that alone makes them very dangerous.

  • POSTED BY Yes.Valkyries on | June 30, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    @AKS286 As you mentioned who will be the third seamer from Aus ? Most of the people here are thinkig same. Siddle, Pattinson are confirmed then Harris is the man if he fit and plays whole Ashes. But I'm also agree to you FELLA that Bird is ahead of Starc, Faulkner but below to Harris.

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | June 30, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    @Lyndon McPaul having been inserted in excellent batting conditions, no less. And that's why, as an England fan, I'm wary of making the sort of ridiculous claims that FFL, Cyril and co have been making. I wouldn't read too much into either warm-up, but as poor as this Australia side might be (comparatively speaking; it's still a very young side and the bar has been set pretty high by what's gone before) it's not like we haven't been beaten by worse. Recent Aussie sides seem to have lost that gritty tenacity that turned even their least talented sides into formidable opponents. And it sounds like Lehmann's first step as coach has been to try and get that back.

    If it weren't for England's greater experience and the fact it's in our conditions, I'm not even sure we'd be considered favourites. Australia's batting might need to rely on Clarke more than we do on Cook or Trott, but their attack relies less heavily on Pattinson than ours does on Anderson, and wickets win you Test matches.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | June 30, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    SMITH is the future captain or say just after Ashes loss Clarke will be axed and Smith will become captain. Smith shows valuable contributions in middle order and also his innings are not mediocre but comes in crucial time. @YES.Valkyries I'm totally agree with you fella. Shaun Marsh is the another Hodge or Rogers. After Langer & Katich Clarke hurt the opening standard of Australia. I really remember those days when Maher, Love, Blewett, Elliot, Hodge, Campbell scoring huge runs but not even considered but when I look current Cowan, Hughes, khawaja, Wade, Warner then i don't understand why these guys are in the squad? Now about Pace battery Siddle, Pattinson, Third ? IMO Bird is ahead of Starc. Harris will not perform under Clarke's captaincy. Maddinson really proved himself that he is better than Hughes & khawaja. I really miss Marsh in the recent tour matches.

  • POSTED BY on | June 30, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    @Cyrilknight...I guess then that it is ironic that the superior technique of the English top order batsmen have reaped much more modest returns in their warm up game against Essex than the Australians against Somerset. Imagine what may happen against quality, high pace seam and swing of Pattinson, Starc and Harris.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | June 30, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Well, I did say "not a very flattering performance for a full strength Test side"... but the Pommie batsmen are doing even worse against Essex! It gives us hope if we're batting better against county sides than they are. :D

  • POSTED BY hilditchmustgo on | June 30, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    Great to see everyone getting into the runs. Haddins talent with the bat was never in question but from what the report said everyone looked solid UNTIL they got out. The next step is to not find ways to get yourself out when set. Hopefully Boof can help with that. I'd still rather see more middle order players in the squad but at the end of the day nobody back home is making consistent runs. I'd like nothing more than Callum Ferguson and S Marsh to string together consistent high scoring Shield seasons come this summer and force their way in. They have amazing techniques and reek of talent. But with this Squad I'm thinking - Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith (or Warner), Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson. Harris, Lyon.

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | June 29, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    At last the Golden boys of Shield cricket are making decent stands. Good on you Khawaja and Hughes. About time you began to show us what you've got. Hope they carry this form in to the ashes, it won't be easy against Anderson, Broad, Swann, Finn but we have to fight and these signs are good. I have always felt these two have the potential to be Australia's future test team back bone. Hope boof can bring the best out of them, i am predicting he will.

  • POSTED BY brusselslion on | July 1, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    I don't see how these recent matches have changed things greatly?

    Australia have a very good seam attack (no matter who gets the nod), a very poor spinner (ditto), average WK/batsman, poor all-rounder(s), 1 excellent batsman, couple of decent batsman (Watson & Rogers) and a host of others likely to have 1 decent innings in 10.

    England have a good (not great) attack, but will struggle if either Anderson or Swann gets injured, an excellent WK/ batsman and a pretty good batting line-up (although the selectors seem to be trying hard to mess things up by moving Root up the order and replacing Compton with the less effective Bairstow).

    If Australia's batsman can give their bowlers something to bowl at, it will be close. Otherwise, injuries permitting, England should win by a couple of Tests.

  • POSTED BY Prazzo on | July 1, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Very happy with Khawaja. Finally coming out of his shell. Of all the players in the team, I think he was most hard done by Mickey Arthur and never got the chance to play many consecutive matches. Lehmann knows khawaja so irrespective of what he may say, this will definitely favour Khawaja's selection. its not just that - Lehmann knows how to bring the best of him and probably other players too...while Mickey seemed to bring out the worst in some!

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    @H_Z_O...Yes wise to be wary as an English Fan. Of course, the England side have the batting credentials but that alone never wins matches. Their warm-up innings against Essex showed a lot of rustiness and perhaps even complacency. Their series against NZ would of been the perfect leadup were it to be played just before the Ashes however it has been followed by a major one-day tournament where the bowlers have focused on containment rather than wickets and the batters have tried to up the run rate rather than bat time. Australia's red ball prep to date on the other hand has been faultless with almost all members of the squad finding some kind of form in the A games and against Somerset. Also; watch out if Starc finds some consistent new ball form starting against W/shire. With both Starc and Pattinson firing with the new ball England could really struggle despite their superior batting av'ges. Oz have the hunger of an up and coming side and that alone makes them very dangerous.

  • POSTED BY Yes.Valkyries on | June 30, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    @AKS286 As you mentioned who will be the third seamer from Aus ? Most of the people here are thinkig same. Siddle, Pattinson are confirmed then Harris is the man if he fit and plays whole Ashes. But I'm also agree to you FELLA that Bird is ahead of Starc, Faulkner but below to Harris.

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | June 30, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    @Lyndon McPaul having been inserted in excellent batting conditions, no less. And that's why, as an England fan, I'm wary of making the sort of ridiculous claims that FFL, Cyril and co have been making. I wouldn't read too much into either warm-up, but as poor as this Australia side might be (comparatively speaking; it's still a very young side and the bar has been set pretty high by what's gone before) it's not like we haven't been beaten by worse. Recent Aussie sides seem to have lost that gritty tenacity that turned even their least talented sides into formidable opponents. And it sounds like Lehmann's first step as coach has been to try and get that back.

    If it weren't for England's greater experience and the fact it's in our conditions, I'm not even sure we'd be considered favourites. Australia's batting might need to rely on Clarke more than we do on Cook or Trott, but their attack relies less heavily on Pattinson than ours does on Anderson, and wickets win you Test matches.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | June 30, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    SMITH is the future captain or say just after Ashes loss Clarke will be axed and Smith will become captain. Smith shows valuable contributions in middle order and also his innings are not mediocre but comes in crucial time. @YES.Valkyries I'm totally agree with you fella. Shaun Marsh is the another Hodge or Rogers. After Langer & Katich Clarke hurt the opening standard of Australia. I really remember those days when Maher, Love, Blewett, Elliot, Hodge, Campbell scoring huge runs but not even considered but when I look current Cowan, Hughes, khawaja, Wade, Warner then i don't understand why these guys are in the squad? Now about Pace battery Siddle, Pattinson, Third ? IMO Bird is ahead of Starc. Harris will not perform under Clarke's captaincy. Maddinson really proved himself that he is better than Hughes & khawaja. I really miss Marsh in the recent tour matches.

  • POSTED BY on | June 30, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    @Cyrilknight...I guess then that it is ironic that the superior technique of the English top order batsmen have reaped much more modest returns in their warm up game against Essex than the Australians against Somerset. Imagine what may happen against quality, high pace seam and swing of Pattinson, Starc and Harris.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | June 30, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    Well, I did say "not a very flattering performance for a full strength Test side"... but the Pommie batsmen are doing even worse against Essex! It gives us hope if we're batting better against county sides than they are. :D

  • POSTED BY Cyril_Knight on | June 30, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    The new found confidence in batsmen of such poor technique is wonderful for the English. Khawaja, Hughes, someone even mentioned Smith! The inclusion of so many openers shows how worried the Aussies are about loose technique against the moving ball. To even think of selecting Cowan and now Rogers is most heartening.

    England may have been ticking along against New Zealand, but the bowlers will be up for humiliating the Australian batsmen. Australia will be beaten by an innings in a least one match and bowled out for under 100 too.

  • POSTED BY on | June 30, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Hughes can be locked away for the first test and leave his warm up spot for someone else to prove themselves. Although it would be ruthless; Cowan should make way for Rogers in the Worcestershire match and only be considered were Rogers to fail in both innings. Watson; although a cetainty in the openers spot for the season still needs the gametime ahead of the first test. Steve Smith needs the opportunity to prove himself as a lower order candidate for Dave Warners spot. Warner doesnt deserve automatic inclusion and another good showing by Smith should be enough to squeeze Warner out in the short term.Clarke is miles away from his best form and needs the gametime also.Lyon though safe should make way for a quick in the w/up.Lock Patto away and make sure he is fresh whilst putting the onus on Starc to be the spearhead (w/up only).Team against W/shire as follows: Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, Starc, Harris, Siddle, Bird.

  • POSTED BY RednWhiteArmy on | June 30, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Cowan & Siddle need to play the 1st test

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | June 30, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    @calcu I'm an England fan and I've not written off Australia. While few would deny that this Aussie side isn't as strong as the class of 2006/07 (that still hurts, btw), it might actually be a stronger side than the one that last toured here, at least when it comes to the bowling. And statistically Australia were stronger than us that time round, we just seized some big moments (Freddie breaking that big Haddin-Clarke partnership at Lord's, Broad ripping out Watson, Ponting, Hussey and Clarke at the Oval) where Australia didn't (Cardiff). Australia also botched their selection at the Oval, although we did the same at Headingley (for those suggesting Haddin should bat at 6, look what happened when England had the same idea with Prior. Bowled out for 102 in the first innings and Prior top-scored with 37. Never recovered and lost by an innings).

    If the young batsmen like Khawaja and Hughes play to their potential, they've got every chance of bloodying England. It definitely won't be 5-0.

  • POSTED BY on | June 30, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    It's a shame Warner is suspended and so will not be able to prove his worth in the Worcs game. Pattinson, Lyon have earned their spots and may or may not thus be rested, pending on how they have pulled up. Hughes and Khawaja have also done enough for mine but may still play. Rogers last county game returned scores of 27 and 0 so he needs a run, simply for practice, although should already have secured his place for the 1st test. Siddle and Cowan are on the outer and should thus play in the next-game for an opportunity to prove themselves. Clarke has nothing to prove to the selectors and providing his back has pulled up alright may be rested, although may want another run to play himself back into form. Team for the Worcs warm-up game: 1.Watson 2.Cowan 3.Rogers 4.Khawaja/Smith 5.Hughes 6.Haddin 7.Faulkner 8.Siddle 9.Starc 10.Harris 11.Bird.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | June 30, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    The Somerset game has played nicely into England's hands, with short-format specialists like Hughes showing glimpses of form and now suddenly Aus. fans think he's a shoe-in at 3 again. Maybe against Worcs, they'll let Cowan get some runs so that Aus. are convinced he's good enough for tests again too?

  • POSTED BY Big-Dog on | June 30, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    Hughes & Khawaja scoring runs is just what England wanted to see. We are doomed.

  • POSTED BY calcu on | June 30, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    I think that Australia should not be underestimated for ashes. No doubt that this aus side is far worse than the previous sides but they could give eng a good fight. Eng fans have written this side off and are saying that they will win 5-0 but I think that they are wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | June 30, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    @Batmanian and BringBackHaydos. I have to disagree on Haddin. He was very very good in the last Ashes series. After that he faded away dramatically but i'm seeing that far more as an off field issue, he looks to be back to playing very good cricket right now and I think he'll do very well in this series.

  • POSTED BY Gilliana on | June 30, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Everybody seems to have given up on the Aussies. Be surprised when our boys will give the Poms a thrashing to remember. Playing the Poms is war and when it comes to the crunch, we will defeat them. Aussie, Aussie, Oi Oi.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | June 30, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    Wouldn't get too excited yet. It was against an average attack that contained no Test bowlers. Further, our own bowlers only took one wicket across two innings with the first new balls. In the first innings the second wicket came in the 49th over, and in the second innings it took us 16 overs to get the first wicket.

    Overall, when you take off the rose colours glasses, not a very flattering performance for a full Test strength side.

  • POSTED BY Paul_Rampley on | June 30, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Marvellous to see Khawaja get among the runs and top score in the second innings, good signs for him for the first test. Similar good signs for Watson. My lineup would be Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Warner, Haddin in that order. I would like to see Clarke have more time in the middle hopefully in the next warm up match as we need our best batsman firing.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | June 30, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    Thanks Sunil, i think its wonderful for the younger batsman to have a coach showing faith in them and and i really think that this series can be the making for not only Khawaja, but also Watson and possibly Hughes as well if he can learn to play Swan. Boof will have alot to do with the development of these guys and his expericne as a left handed batsman will be so valuable, just look at how much Khawaja's game improved under him this season with the Bulls.

  • POSTED BY Yes.Valkyries on | June 30, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    I don't understand that why Smith is not in Somerset squad? The two Ashes contenders were in Scotland, Ireland,Glouc'shire & Somerset (Smith not),I think Khawaja must be out from Ashes. He got enough chances in international & in practice matches. Nothing he proved yet. Australia is a very competitive place where a players is waiting for a single chance to prove himself but Khawaha got more than enough chance. Even Maddinson proved himself. Others are waiting for a just singlw chance to prove themselves.

  • POSTED BY bringbackhaydos on | June 30, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    Well said dutchy and batmanian. Haddin has never got the his runs when his team needs them. Theres no way he should be given the number 6. Though he does have talent and is in good form at the moment. But number 7 is where he should bat where he can contribrute, but not be relied on to score australia's runs. If he doesn't perform in the first two tests. Wade should be brought back.

  • POSTED BY Batmanian on | June 30, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    Haddin's problem has never been turning the screws... it's his performances with the bat when needed that have let his country down too many times. Let's hope he appreciates that. These two practice matches are all about managing the psyches of the likes of Hughes, Khawaja, and Watson - and the bodies of Pattinson, Starc and Bird, as well as Watson (and Clarke). Australia has the talent - heaps of it - getting in the right headspace is the challenge. It's shaping up to be an exciting first Test after all.

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | June 30, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Very well said Mary, yes boof is already showing faith in the boys and we can seee they are responding, Khawaja is being shown faith and he top scored yesterday, similar to Watto in the first innings ad the bowlers are responding well to him as well. Both are my picks as guys to watch this series from a batting point of view. All in all good signs leading into the ashes but we have a mountain to climb.

  • POSTED BY anupkeni on | June 30, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013/engine/current/match/566928.html

    Close of play Wed, 26 Jun - day 1 - Australians 1st innings 2/0 (SR Watson 0*, EJM Cowan 1*, 1 ov) Thu, 27 Jun - day 2 - Australians 1st innings 266/4 (PJ Hughes 44*, BJ Haddin 38*, 62 ov) Fri, 28 Jun - day 3 - Australians 2nd innings 36/0 (EJM Cowan 14*, UT Khawaja 18*, 8 ov) Sat, 29 Jun - day 4- Australians 2nd innings 263/5 (63.5 ov)- end of match

  • POSTED BY bringbackhaydos on | June 30, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    First test team Watson, Warner, Rogers, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Starc, Pattinson, Harris, Lyon. Its time to stop picking bits and pieces players and pick six batsmen and four bowlers. I like Bird also but he will get a chance in later tests. Don't play haddin at six as Gilly couldn't do it, so no way can haddin.

  • POSTED BY Dangertroy on | June 30, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    Surpprise Watson didn't bat in the second innings. I realise that he's a certain starter now (after one decent innings) and the others needed to complete for places, but surely giving him more time in the middle to develop some form is useful too. my top 6 would be Watson, Cowan, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, although the order may shuffle a bit, with Khawaja swapping with Hughes or Rogers. I can't agree with anyone suggesting Warner or Faulkner should be in the Top 6, and Smith is purely as cover, although he should be given the opportunity in the warm up match to make the selectors task more difficult. And Cowan stays, he has decent (although not outstanding) county form, and showed real application in India, seemed to learn with each innings and was our second highest run scorer. In a team with so many question marks, I think he should be given the opportunity to play.

  • POSTED BY gibboj on | June 30, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    1. Watson/ Rogers 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Khawaja 5. Clark 6. Warner/ Watson 7.Haddin 8.Siddle 9.Pattinson 10. Bird 11. Lyon

  • POSTED BY dutchy on | June 30, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    Daniel, why do you say things like "Haddin looks more than capable of playing in the top six if required"? Do you want Australia to lose? Playing the keeper at six was disastrous in India - we lost four nil. It's almost always disastrous. Even Gilchrist hardly ever batted in the top six. We have the weakest batting order in recent memory and you want to add to that by playing Haddin at six? It would be insane.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | June 29, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    Well, that's a nice start for the Boof-heads. It might only be a lowly rated county side, but a win is a win and we'll take it, thank you very much. .. I think one of the most important things to come out of this was the manner of the win. They were positive all the way through and that's exactly what they need to be if they are to give England a scare or two. .. Good work boys but keep your heads clear and keep building from here.

    I was very interested in @ H_Z_O 's comment about Cook and lefties. I hadn't noticed that before and if it's true then we should play Starc. ... the best way to kill a snake is to cut of it's head. It's also super-convenient if the head happens to be one of the best openers I've seen in many a year. ... It's no sure thing that Starc will have any effect at all on Cook, but I think we have to try. .. the benefits of keeping Cook under control cannot be be over-stated. . he is the rock upon which England builds its innings. Take him out early and you're off.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | June 29, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    I'm more pleased with the bowling than the batting from this match, particularly Pattinson and to a lesser degree Starc. The pitch looks to have been a belter, and the attack modest, so it's hard to read much into the batting, other than that all the players got a nice hit out. Still concerned about the conversion rate, because 50s will be harder to get against a Test attack, so on the rarer occasions you do get to 50, you have to push on. Despite my concerns about conversion, I think Cowan should get a chance against Worcs. I don't think one innings makes Khawaja a lock and I'm not as convinced as many that Starc is rock solid. For Worcs: Cowan, Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Harris, Bird, Lyon. For Trent Bridge (contingent on last match): Cowan, Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja/Warner, Pattinson, Lyon, Bird/Siddle, Starc/Harris.

  • POSTED BY chicko1983 on | June 29, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    My first test did remains unchanged from before this match, kawaja runs are too little too late. Watson, Cowan, Hughes, clarke, Rogers, Faulkner, had din, starc, pattinson, saddle, Lyon. Cowan gets the nod ahead of kawaja due to his experience.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | June 29, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    Cowan and Siddle should not be picked. They may be good blokes, but they simply are not performing. If they get picked I will loose all faith.

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | June 29, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    Surely now, with another mid 40s failure, we have seen the end of the journeyman Cowan

  • POSTED BY BlueyCollar on | June 29, 2013, 21:51 GMT

    Cowen should play because he bats time and without him the top 6 is too prone to collapse. Siddle should play because when required he delivers. Clarke is the best bat, Haddin the best keeper, Lyon the best spinner, Watson is in as all rounder leaving Faulkner unlucky. That leaves 2 spots for bowlers to be between Starc and Pattinson who probably deserve their spots and Harris and Bird both terrific bowlers but Harris is a risk, (Injury), but I rate Bird for his accuracy and variety, could provide good balance to the attack. Filling the remaining 3 batting spots worries me. Hughes technique is flawed and against a quality England attack would be exposed, Warner is hit and miss, he may win 1 test off his own bat but Aust need to win 3, Kawahja has the technique for ashes cricket but I'm not sure about the concentration and I can't see Rogers making enough of a contribution. Bringing back Ponting is the solution thus allowing 2 of Kawahja, Hughes, Rogers, Warner to be the 5th and 6th bat

  • POSTED BY Meety on | June 29, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    Probably the most complete performance from an Oz side (any format), since the home summer. I suppose that may not be saying too much, but they were from late Day 1 in complete control of this match - only loing 9 wickets for the game & taking 20. For a our game, in 4 days, that is about all you can ask for. Positive signs for Oz.

  • POSTED BY class9ryan on | June 29, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    The Australian batsmen have to convert 50s into big 100s if they want to win this Ashes. We saw in that disastrous tour of India, so many batsmen getting starts but they could never score big - one hundred in whole series. While the likes of Trott, Pietersen, Cook they all are capable to score hundreds at will. Feel Australia should be in a spot of bother.

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | June 29, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    Lehmann will see this as a good 4 days work. All of the batsmen got a decent hit and some runs (if not a century for anyone) while they took 20 wickets and got enough overs. The main negatives were the poor bowling opening to both innings and a pretty ordinary performance from Siddle. I'm guessing for the Worcs game he will want to put out his Test top 7 (including Rogers) and give Bird & Harris a game. Harris wont play back to back Tests so I am thinking the First Test team could be Watson Cowan Rogers Clarke Khawaja Hughes Haddin Starc Pattinson Harris (Bird in for Lords) Lyon.

  • POSTED BY whoster on | June 29, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    Pattinson and Starc have probably cemented their places for the First Test. With his pace and bounce, Pattinson should be the bowler England worry most about, though if Starc can get the ball to swing at Nottingham, he should ask questions. Siddle struggled in this game, so it'll probably be a straight bowl-off between him, Harris and Bird for the third seamer's spot. The Aussie batsmen looked fairly solid, but on a flat pitch against a modest attack, that should be expected. The biggest plus for the Aussies was Watson doing well at the top of the order, and Clarke looking in good touch after such a long lay-off. They'll need 3-4 batsmen to score consistant runs in The Ashes if they're to have any chance, together with their bowlers living-up to the hype from some quarters. It's a big ask for so many inexperienced players to compete against a strong England side, but with Lehmann in charge, they could put up a good fight.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Australia has plenty of batting worries, in my opinion Cowen, Hughes and Khawaja are very vulnerable. While selecting playing X1, Australia should selected technically most competent and let them build their confidence. My choice would Khawaja and Cowen in the playing X1.

  • POSTED BY Bloody_Hell on | June 29, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    Nothing happened today to change my 1st Test team from yesterday.

    @OzMongrel

    I agree with the pretext of your comment, and would go further to say the batsmen need time together, while the best bowling lineup is still unknown. With that in mind I'd expect the batting lineup for Worcs to be the same as the first test, with Smith being given a shot (in Warners spot) and Rogers pairing with Watto at the top.

    I think Pattinson, Starc and Lyon have done enough, so expect Harris, Siddle and Bird to get a run, with either Agar getting a go for experience sake or Lyon rolling the arm over again for touch.

    Vs Worcs Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Harris, Siddle, Bird, Agar/Lyon

  • POSTED BY OzMongrel on | June 29, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    There are two objectives in tour games, often at loggerheads. Firstly, players who are well along the way to being picked need to be given the opportunity to play themselves into form, or continue already good form; secondly, players who are there-or-abouts must be trialled to see how they are handling the conditions. Watson picked himself, as did Hughes, Pattinson and Haddin, with Khawaja, Lyon and Starc looking pretty strong. Siddle and Cowan are in strife, and considering their stoic efforts over the last 18 months that may be a shame, but the fact remains that El Boof will be looking for the best XI everytime (yes, friends and neighbours, logic has broken through on selection) and if they don't get a run in the second tour game they will be a long way back. Jackson Bird only has to put in a good performance in Worcester to be in for the first Test. And bring on Ryan Harris - if he stays fit Australia will be a handful on any wicket.

  • POSTED BY H_Z_O on | June 29, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    @Mitty2 Yeah, I reckon you're right about that batting lineup. Still think Starc will get a go, though. I think Lehmann will be well aware of the fact Trent Boult gave England a torrid time home and away, with a respectable 11 wickets at 29 in New Zealand and a very impressive 8 wickets at 20 in England. Wagner didn't do badly either, but didn't get the wickets to show for it.

    Cook's had his issues against left armers. Boult got him out four times in five Tests, Wagner twice. Zaheer Khan has troubled him, as have Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir. Starc also did fairly well at Yorkshire, by all accounts.

    Pattinson and Lyon are a certainty, one of Siddle or Bird has to play (I suspect Bird will get a game at Worcs), and I think he'll hold back Harris as his trump card and play Starc ahead of him. If it goes horribly he still has the ever-dependable Harris to fall back on. I don't think you'll use a five man attack (with Faulkner) unless you have to. Still, nice option to have. I'm worried.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    DylanBrah: You've made me rethink my team. Warner down the bottom could be effective. (as Ponting would've been if he sucked it up & batted 6.) With Cowan making way for Warner, Rogers & Watson opening gives us a solid platform and an experienced top 4. Maybe play Faulkner over Lyon if the pitch welcomes. Here's my team because i'm super Ashes excited & need to get it out! Thanks Brah 1.Watson 2.Rogers 3.Hughes 4.Clarke 5.Usman 6.Warner/Faulkner 7.Haddin 8.Starc 9.Pattinson 10.Harris 11.Lyon/Faulkner/Bird 12.Smith/Johnson

  • POSTED BY shrastogi on | June 29, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    One would like to see a competitive ashes where England start as firm favourites. It doesnt take a rocket science to figure out what aussies need to do to catch up with England. Engalnd's weakness - they have young batters in the side and their much vaunted bowling did struggle aginst proteas in home conditions.So aussie bowlers would need to deliver and they are capable but the batsmen would need to give them something to work on. This win against Somerset is a good beginning though too much shouldnt be read into it. Aussies batsmen would need to ease pressure on Clarke and they would be hoping that spin wouldnt be decisive factor though nowadays Swann takes 11 at Headingley also.

  • POSTED BY batman_gothamcity on | June 29, 2013, 16:53 GMT

    Australia's sucess on this tour will very much depend on how Clarke authorizes his absolute command on his team and demonstrates that he is the person in charge . With this there will be marked improvement in performance and a good tight series could be in store . Australia have the bowlers to upset England , but they need to stand upto a very good English bowling side .Clarke , Hughes , Watson and Cowan would be the key man along with the mercurial David Warner .

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | June 29, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    I would like to see Watson open with Rogers, Hughes at 3. Cowan will probably open though and if he does I hope they will play Rogers at 5 behind Clarke, he is experienced enough to fit in anywhere.

  • POSTED BY DylanBrah on | June 29, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Sorry Siddle, mate, but 4 wickets @58.5 in 3 tour matches doesn't cut it. I'd be resting Pattinson for the 2nd warm up, dropping Siddle, and giving Bird and Harris another match. The better performer replaces Siddle in the Test XI. My 1st Test XI: 1. Watson 2. Rogers 3. Khawaja 4. Clarke 5. Hughes 6. Warner 7. Haddin 8. Starc 9. Pattinson 10. Harris/Bird 11. Lyon - The selectors hinted at the possibly of Warner batting down the order, and I agree. The top 4/5 I've chosen is as solid as it's going to get for us, and I feel as though Warner and Haddin can be a deadly combination down the order.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | June 29, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    @Hyclass very well said, we all hope he will

  • POSTED BY android_user on | June 29, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    played positive cricked like NSW

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | June 29, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    For me the lineup is shapping up to be:

    Watson Rogers Khawaja Clarke Hughes Smith/Warner Haddin Starc Pattinson Harris Lyon

    I like Watson at opener, Khawaja is our best player at 3 as he has piled most of his shield runs at that position and could be our long term player there and Hughes is showing good signs at 5 shielded away from the moving ball. Clarke is up to 4 which is crucial.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | June 29, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    On the batters, usman will most definitely get selected with boof being coach of QLD previously and because of this under pressure (both because of the match situation and because his lack of FC form) knock. He still has the propensity to get out when set - much like Watson - but stability is stability. Hughes will get a gig as well, we need him more than anyone other than Clarke, those two are the only ones who can score big, and we need them. It would be brilliant for Hughes to prove the critics wrong at the place where his criticisms were formulated, (not to mention his torrid tour of india/being sheltered from SA) but does he have it in him? We better hope so.

    Rogers and Watson will obviously play, and because of cowan's relative FC form (around 40-45 in the county, he should get a gig as well - not to mention that he was our second best batter in India and was very unlucky. So what's left is the positions... Mine would be: Cowan Watson Rogers Hughes Clarke khawaja haddin

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | June 29, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    Well for the sake of it, our most balanced attack is: bird, patto, siddle, Lyon with my hated Watson not needing to fill in overs. But, we need bowling performances and BIG bowling performances - we all know the quality of our batsmen (although there are some bright spots) - so because of siddle's struggles in the A games and this warm up games, I'd bring in Harris (preferably I'd love a Sayers or a cutting - but he's injured) in place of him. And despite what some might have you believe, Harris is perfectly fine at bowling long spells at the same speed - check him in the shield final on a very sluggish pitch - his injuries are barely obtained mid-game. Also, I didn't mention starc for a reason, I initially had hope for him with the cleaning out of the 'bone spurs', but he's bowling at the same pace and still just floating it up expecting the ball and the conditions to do it for him. Cook and trott would hammer him, he's just not ready - I envision a repeat of MJ in the '10/11 ashes.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | June 29, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    @Jono Makim on (June 29, 2013, 14:55 GMT), good point. I'd forgotten the fact that this is not Pattinson's first game on tour so he has done enough bowling to get him in the groove. A bit of R&R before the first Test certainly wouldn't hurt and it's likely that at least one more bowler will be required at some point so giving them a good run out certainly wouldn't hurt either. That is, unless it's Harris and he injures himself again. ;-)

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | June 29, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    Warner should be in the team.He should open or bat at no 3. true he had a bad series against India where he averaged 24.37 but he did well against Sri lanka and against mighty proteas. He is pretty good at hunting mediocre pace bowlers like Broad. My XI for 1st test-

    1. Watson 2. Cowan 3. Warner 4. Hughes 5. Clarke 6. Khwaja 7. Haddin 8. Siddle 9. Pattinson 10. Harris 11.Lyon

    I just hope Aussies don't left out a batsman to include Faulkner in the team(i agree this is really tempting).If pitch favors quick then bring Faulkner at no 8 and drop Lyon.

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | June 29, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Haddin scores winning runs with a 6 and reaches 52 not out. Hughes out for 50, Clarke for 26. Faulkner scored only 4 at very slow rate. Khawaja fantastic with his 72 and looking good to cement the number 3 spot. That for me means that Watson and Rogers should open followed by Khawaja, Clarke and Hughes and not sure about who is at 6. Watson didnt bat in second innings. Australia only lost 9 wickets in entire match.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | June 29, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    Not bad Tarun, I'd have Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Rogers, Haddin, Pattinson, Starc, Siddle, Lyon.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | June 29, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    Khawaja and Hughes showing that they are in form going into the first test, well done to both of them. I would be worried if i was Cowan, runs needed in the second warm up.

  • POSTED BY Amith_S on | June 29, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    Fantastic to see our batsman find some form, Khawaja top scores with 70 odd in the second innings won't hurt his chances of being our number 3 for the first test as i think he is our best batsman for that position. Good to see Hughes get runs too, dissapointed with Cowan wasting a start again, that will be a worry and i wouldn't be surprised if we go for Watson and Rogers opening in the first test.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    @JMcilhinney, I'd be surprised if Patto plays in the next warm up, I think we'll see Harris/Bird, Siddle, Starc and Lyon play. Starc, Bird and Harris are all coming back from injury and need the time on the park but I think they'll give Patto time now to freshen up. I hope they play the first choice top 6 against Worcester, I think all of our batsmen would like that opportunity. Rogers too should play, it doesn't matter how many runs he's made in the last six months, we should be looking to keep his eye in if he is going to play.

  • POSTED BY Wealwayslosethecricket on | June 29, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    I think the next tour match with the rest of the Australian squad (Rogers, Wade, etc.) will give us more of an indication of the current state of the Aussie side. Good signs for us with Hughes and Watson, although I'm concerned at Dockrell's quick successive wickets- If this is anything to go by, Swann and perhaps Panesar will be a huge problem for us.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | June 29, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    Good effort by the batsmen, always a pressure situation no matter who the opposition is. Seems like most got good time in the middle although I would have like Khawaja to have stuck it all the way through, although, not being there, not sure if a good ball got him or he gave it away. Faulkner needs to play the next game with Siddle. Rest Patto & Starc to play Bird & Rhino then look at the how they performed.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    My 11 Shane Watson,Edd Cowan,Philip Hughes,Michael Clarke,Steven Smith,Brad Haddin,Matthew Wade,Mitchell Starc,James Pattinson,Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    in next pratice match they shud play the 11 who gonna be playing for the 1st test, watson and rogers opening,3rd for warner/phil hughes,4th for clarke,5th for khawaja,6th for haddin,7th for smith/faulkner,i believe smith could play spin of swann well he does plays quick good but btr player of spin then khawaja,phil hughes and warner and if the pitch is gud for seam bowlers it would be nice to pick faulker at 7 and 8 th for starc 9th for siddle 10th for pattinson and 11th for lyon.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | June 29, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Cautiously pleased with what's going on at present, bearing in mind it's a pretty soft warm up game. Nothing much more to read into this at the moment.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | June 29, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    I think Australia will be fairly pleased with that match overall. They were pushed hard enough by Somerset to make it worthwhile but not so hard that they had to fret. All the batsman got some runs, all the bowlers got some wickets, everyone spent some time doing their job and the team came away with the win. You can't ask for much more than that. I guess the only major worry right now is Siddle. It will be very interesting to see whether they change up the team for the game against Worcs. I don't think that there's anyone in the team that played here who wouldn't benefit from more time on the park so a change would suggest there's a place up for grabs. Hughes has probably done enough to guarantee himself a place. Has Khawaja? Will we see Harris or Bird in the next game? Will we see Rogers?

  • POSTED BY Broken_F-ing_Arm on | June 29, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    first test as it stands Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, ?, Haddin 2nd Warm up line up - Cowan, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin. Whoever scores the most out of Cowan and Smith gets a test spot, if Cowan as an opener, Rogers @3 and Khawaja @6. If Smith @6.

    If both score under 30's, just settle with warner @6.

    Pattinson, Lyon and the 2 best performers Starc/Harris/Bird in bowling. No faulkner please @7, great young player but 4 quicks plus watson and lyon is overkill and will only negatively impact our weakness, the batting.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    my 11 watson,rogers,cowan,khawaja,clarke,hughes,haddin,pattinson,harris,siddle,lyon

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    my 11 watson,rogers,cowan,khawaja,clarke,hughes,haddin,pattinson,harris,siddle,lyon

  • POSTED BY Broken_F-ing_Arm on | June 29, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    first test as it stands Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, ?, Haddin 2nd Warm up line up - Cowan, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin. Whoever scores the most out of Cowan and Smith gets a test spot, if Cowan as an opener, Rogers @3 and Khawaja @6. If Smith @6.

    If both score under 30's, just settle with warner @6.

    Pattinson, Lyon and the 2 best performers Starc/Harris/Bird in bowling. No faulkner please @7, great young player but 4 quicks plus watson and lyon is overkill and will only negatively impact our weakness, the batting.

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | June 29, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    I think Australia will be fairly pleased with that match overall. They were pushed hard enough by Somerset to make it worthwhile but not so hard that they had to fret. All the batsman got some runs, all the bowlers got some wickets, everyone spent some time doing their job and the team came away with the win. You can't ask for much more than that. I guess the only major worry right now is Siddle. It will be very interesting to see whether they change up the team for the game against Worcs. I don't think that there's anyone in the team that played here who wouldn't benefit from more time on the park so a change would suggest there's a place up for grabs. Hughes has probably done enough to guarantee himself a place. Has Khawaja? Will we see Harris or Bird in the next game? Will we see Rogers?

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | June 29, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Cautiously pleased with what's going on at present, bearing in mind it's a pretty soft warm up game. Nothing much more to read into this at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 14:37 GMT

    in next pratice match they shud play the 11 who gonna be playing for the 1st test, watson and rogers opening,3rd for warner/phil hughes,4th for clarke,5th for khawaja,6th for haddin,7th for smith/faulkner,i believe smith could play spin of swann well he does plays quick good but btr player of spin then khawaja,phil hughes and warner and if the pitch is gud for seam bowlers it would be nice to pick faulker at 7 and 8 th for starc 9th for siddle 10th for pattinson and 11th for lyon.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    My 11 Shane Watson,Edd Cowan,Philip Hughes,Michael Clarke,Steven Smith,Brad Haddin,Matthew Wade,Mitchell Starc,James Pattinson,Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | June 29, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    Good effort by the batsmen, always a pressure situation no matter who the opposition is. Seems like most got good time in the middle although I would have like Khawaja to have stuck it all the way through, although, not being there, not sure if a good ball got him or he gave it away. Faulkner needs to play the next game with Siddle. Rest Patto & Starc to play Bird & Rhino then look at the how they performed.

  • POSTED BY Wealwayslosethecricket on | June 29, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    I think the next tour match with the rest of the Australian squad (Rogers, Wade, etc.) will give us more of an indication of the current state of the Aussie side. Good signs for us with Hughes and Watson, although I'm concerned at Dockrell's quick successive wickets- If this is anything to go by, Swann and perhaps Panesar will be a huge problem for us.

  • POSTED BY on | June 29, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    @JMcilhinney, I'd be surprised if Patto plays in the next warm up, I think we'll see Harris/Bird, Siddle, Starc and Lyon play. Starc, Bird and Harris are all coming back from injury and need the time on the park but I think they'll give Patto time now to freshen up. I hope they play the first choice top 6 against Worcester, I think all of our batsmen would like that opportunity. Rogers too should play, it doesn't matter how many runs he's made in the last six months, we should be looking to keep his eye in if he is going to play.

  • POSTED BY Amith_S on | June 29, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    Fantastic to see our batsman find some form, Khawaja top scores with 70 odd in the second innings won't hurt his chances of being our number 3 for the first test as i think he is our best batsman for that position. Good to see Hughes get runs too, dissapointed with Cowan wasting a start again, that will be a worry and i wouldn't be surprised if we go for Watson and Rogers opening in the first test.