The Investec Ashes 2013 June 30, 2013

Clean slate for Warner - Lehmann

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A "clean slate" under the Darren Lehmann regime and centre-wicket nets mean David Warner remains in serious contention for the first Investec Ashes Test. Peter Siddle, however, has more to do after Lehmann said he would not accept senior players coasting through tour matches.

Warner, who is currently suspended for throwing a punch at England's Joe Root, was a consistently early arrival at Taunton's County Ground for use of the practice pitches before play, meeting the training standards Lehmann said he will expect from here on. His poor disciplinary record under the former coach Mickey Arthur does not bother Lehmann, so long as Warner does not relapse.

"Very much so a clean slate," Lehmann said. "We can't control what's happened in the past. We've just got to worry about the future and make sure he gets enough nets and then comes into consideration like everyone else. That's all we can do.

"We were lucky enough the facilities that we've had centre wickets every day and he's been the first there and last to leave, so I've been pretty happy with his preparation and what he's trying to get out of what he can do without playing a game.

"I don't know what's happened in the past, so for me he's got to do that. And he's not the only one, everyone in the squad's got to train that way, we want to train as hard as we can and be the best we can be at training, and then transfer that into the games."

Lehmann's attitude to training and warm-up matches also applies to his fast bowlers. While James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc were close to their speedy, swinging best against Somerset, Siddle gave the overall impression of saving his top level for Trent Bridge.

In this, he reflected the bowling of Merv Hughes early on the 1993 tour, when he roared into life at Old Trafford having taken barely a wicket beforehand.

Lehmann said he expected more, particularly if it is decided to give Siddle more overs against Worcestershire. "We'll see whether he plays or doesn't play in Worcester, the main thing for him is making sure he's ready to go," Lehmann said.

"Bowlers are a different species at the best of times, mentally and physically, but for me it's a case of making sure they play the best they can each game. We want him to bowl well each and every time, whether it's a tour game or a Test match, and he knows that."

Australia's players were given a day off in Worcester on Sunday ahead of training Monday and their final pre-Ashes match on Tuesday. Michael Clarke will play again as he chases additional match conditioning. So too Shane Watson, who will bowl at New Road after the selection of four other pacemen kept him from rolling his arm over at Taunton.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bringbackhaydos on July 1, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    I hope warner gets picked to open in the first test. He has played less tests than cowan and has more hundreds and fifties than cowan. With watson opening it will allow warner to bat with less pressure on him. As cowan scores so slow it puts pressure on warner to score all the runs. Warner and watson in full flight will take the game away from england inside 2 sessions. I would have rogers at 3 so if one of the openers fail someone solid will come in and settle things down. Hughes and khawaja aren't mature or stable enough to bat in that position yet. Let them start at 5 and 6, like ponting did then they can develope into number 3 and 4 batsmen in the future. Let haddin support the batsmen from number 7 so he can concentrate on his wicket-keeping. wihile i like faulkner i think we need 6 batsmen and 4 bowlers in this series.

  • on July 1, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    The phrase "Ccean slate" has two aspects. One meaning is that his disciplinary infractions are ignored after his punishment; the other more interesting one is that Warner can not assume himself to be in the Test squad any more. Warner really needs to prove himself to get back into the side. For a supposed senior player he has had a miserable time with the bat over the past 6 months and it's blatantly predictable to see him get out by slashing wildly at a wide ball. Meanwhile, all batsmen made a start in the last tour match and others like Rogers and Smith are in much better form and are far more worthy of a place. It should be an uphill battle for him and under Lehmann he will have to earn the privilege to be a member of the squad once more.

  • ozwriter on July 3, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    by clean slate, he is back to square 1. his indiscretion won't harm him, but he also needs to prove himself. will be very difficult to pick warner for the 1st test

  • Chris_P on July 3, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    @H_Z_O. Re:Smith. You are talking to the converted as I get the opportunity of watching the Blues quite often & the way Smith has applied himself to improve his technique has been a credit to him. Also agree his bowling is still in development stage, he is not an allrounder, but he can roll his arm over with leg spin if required. if ever you see Watson bat for the Blues, he appears to not want to be there, uninterested, which of course is reflected in his fc performances for the past 3 years. When available, I would prefer he didn't play due to his lack of contributions & interest he shows, an attitude which was directly opposite to Ponting who loved the chance to play with younger developing players.

  • Shaggy076 on July 3, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    I think what Lehmann meant is that his off-field record will no longer considered it will be his onfield record. As such he wont be playing the first test was in poor form coming to England and without a chance to play any warm up games doesn't have a chance to push into the side. His test record is average at best and to play him with no meaningful cricket for sometime is a risk that we don't need to take considering so many batsman on tour are showing handy form.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 2, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    no such thing as a clean slate. mud sticks

  • H_Z_O on July 2, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    @Chris_P yeah, I agree, Watson's not applied his talent anywhere near as well as he should. There seemed to be an obsession with trying to turn him into the "Australian Flintoff" but that may have done him more harm than good. Flintoff was more of a bowling all-rounder, whereas Watson might have been better off looking at Kallis. Watson's bowling is good but his real talent lies in his batting.

    For a while it seemed like they were making the same mistake with Steve Smith but it looks like they've reversed trend on that. Smith's bowling should come on with experience but right now his batting is good enough for Test cricket and is only going to get better by playing. Calling him an all-rounder gives him license to take his wicket for granted, but if he's playing as a batsman, he's more likely to value it. In India he showed that when he values his wicket, the boy can bat.

  • Greatest_Game on July 2, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Warner has a pretty big slate to clean. He'll need a pressure washer so big he may need the local fire department to send an engine out!

  • Greatest_Game on July 2, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    @ bringbackhaydos - you wrote "(Warner) has played less tests than cowan and has more hundreds and fifties." NOT TRUE! At LEAST check the records:

    Warner: Matches 19, inngs 34. 100s - 3. 50s - 7. Balls faced 1808 Cowan: Matches 17, Inngs 30. 100s -1. 50s - 6. Balls faced 2381

    Cowan played 4 less inngs & FACED 573 MORE BALLS. He does an opener's job - take the shine off the ball, tire the attack, & protect the middle. Warner has 3 big knocks. Without them, his ave is 28. Cowan has one big knock. Without it his ave is 29.3. Warner is out under 25 runs in 50% of knocks, & out under 10 in 30%. You wrote "cowan scores so slow it puts pressure on warner ." WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. 30% of inngs Warner is dismissed within 15 balls faced. On ave faces just 53 balls! He's gone BEFORE any scoreboard pressure builds. Warner's stats are saved by 3 big, knocks. The other 31 innings have been simply miserable. The stats don't lie. Do the work & check them before you needlessly slander Cowan!

  • Barnesy4444 on July 2, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    Bringbackhaydos is right, 6 batsmen, 'keeper at 7 and 4 bowlers. Khawaja and Smith should be fighting it out for vacant middle order spots, pick both of them against Worcs. I don't have a problem with Warner batting at 5-6 in the first test. I can see him staying there long-term and being a modern Douggie Walters. If Cowan isn't opening in the first test then he shouldn't be taking up a spot in the tour game.

  • bringbackhaydos on July 1, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    I hope warner gets picked to open in the first test. He has played less tests than cowan and has more hundreds and fifties than cowan. With watson opening it will allow warner to bat with less pressure on him. As cowan scores so slow it puts pressure on warner to score all the runs. Warner and watson in full flight will take the game away from england inside 2 sessions. I would have rogers at 3 so if one of the openers fail someone solid will come in and settle things down. Hughes and khawaja aren't mature or stable enough to bat in that position yet. Let them start at 5 and 6, like ponting did then they can develope into number 3 and 4 batsmen in the future. Let haddin support the batsmen from number 7 so he can concentrate on his wicket-keeping. wihile i like faulkner i think we need 6 batsmen and 4 bowlers in this series.

  • on July 1, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    The phrase "Ccean slate" has two aspects. One meaning is that his disciplinary infractions are ignored after his punishment; the other more interesting one is that Warner can not assume himself to be in the Test squad any more. Warner really needs to prove himself to get back into the side. For a supposed senior player he has had a miserable time with the bat over the past 6 months and it's blatantly predictable to see him get out by slashing wildly at a wide ball. Meanwhile, all batsmen made a start in the last tour match and others like Rogers and Smith are in much better form and are far more worthy of a place. It should be an uphill battle for him and under Lehmann he will have to earn the privilege to be a member of the squad once more.

  • ozwriter on July 3, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    by clean slate, he is back to square 1. his indiscretion won't harm him, but he also needs to prove himself. will be very difficult to pick warner for the 1st test

  • Chris_P on July 3, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    @H_Z_O. Re:Smith. You are talking to the converted as I get the opportunity of watching the Blues quite often & the way Smith has applied himself to improve his technique has been a credit to him. Also agree his bowling is still in development stage, he is not an allrounder, but he can roll his arm over with leg spin if required. if ever you see Watson bat for the Blues, he appears to not want to be there, uninterested, which of course is reflected in his fc performances for the past 3 years. When available, I would prefer he didn't play due to his lack of contributions & interest he shows, an attitude which was directly opposite to Ponting who loved the chance to play with younger developing players.

  • Shaggy076 on July 3, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    I think what Lehmann meant is that his off-field record will no longer considered it will be his onfield record. As such he wont be playing the first test was in poor form coming to England and without a chance to play any warm up games doesn't have a chance to push into the side. His test record is average at best and to play him with no meaningful cricket for sometime is a risk that we don't need to take considering so many batsman on tour are showing handy form.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 2, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    no such thing as a clean slate. mud sticks

  • H_Z_O on July 2, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    @Chris_P yeah, I agree, Watson's not applied his talent anywhere near as well as he should. There seemed to be an obsession with trying to turn him into the "Australian Flintoff" but that may have done him more harm than good. Flintoff was more of a bowling all-rounder, whereas Watson might have been better off looking at Kallis. Watson's bowling is good but his real talent lies in his batting.

    For a while it seemed like they were making the same mistake with Steve Smith but it looks like they've reversed trend on that. Smith's bowling should come on with experience but right now his batting is good enough for Test cricket and is only going to get better by playing. Calling him an all-rounder gives him license to take his wicket for granted, but if he's playing as a batsman, he's more likely to value it. In India he showed that when he values his wicket, the boy can bat.

  • Greatest_Game on July 2, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Warner has a pretty big slate to clean. He'll need a pressure washer so big he may need the local fire department to send an engine out!

  • Greatest_Game on July 2, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    @ bringbackhaydos - you wrote "(Warner) has played less tests than cowan and has more hundreds and fifties." NOT TRUE! At LEAST check the records:

    Warner: Matches 19, inngs 34. 100s - 3. 50s - 7. Balls faced 1808 Cowan: Matches 17, Inngs 30. 100s -1. 50s - 6. Balls faced 2381

    Cowan played 4 less inngs & FACED 573 MORE BALLS. He does an opener's job - take the shine off the ball, tire the attack, & protect the middle. Warner has 3 big knocks. Without them, his ave is 28. Cowan has one big knock. Without it his ave is 29.3. Warner is out under 25 runs in 50% of knocks, & out under 10 in 30%. You wrote "cowan scores so slow it puts pressure on warner ." WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. 30% of inngs Warner is dismissed within 15 balls faced. On ave faces just 53 balls! He's gone BEFORE any scoreboard pressure builds. Warner's stats are saved by 3 big, knocks. The other 31 innings have been simply miserable. The stats don't lie. Do the work & check them before you needlessly slander Cowan!

  • Barnesy4444 on July 2, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    Bringbackhaydos is right, 6 batsmen, 'keeper at 7 and 4 bowlers. Khawaja and Smith should be fighting it out for vacant middle order spots, pick both of them against Worcs. I don't have a problem with Warner batting at 5-6 in the first test. I can see him staying there long-term and being a modern Douggie Walters. If Cowan isn't opening in the first test then he shouldn't be taking up a spot in the tour game.

  • Chris_P on July 2, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    @Mitty2. Totally agree with you re: Watson. I was a big fan when he was younger hoping he would step up, he did for a while, but the past 3 years have been a total lost cause. Averaging less than 27 with the bat in tests & over 40 with the ball, yet everyone wants him to be the first selected? @H_Z_O Agree with your post re: Watson's talent, but if he ever applied himself anywhere near how Cowan has done, he would have rivalled Kallis in performances. As it is, his application & patience suits T20. I wouldn't have had him in the squad, but he is there, as is Warner (who should have been booted home).

  • H_Z_O on July 1, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    @Mitty2 Likewise you for an Aussie ;). For one thing you've not said that that your (admittedly very talented) bowling attack will bowl England out for under 150. The fact the Saffers' best effort had England all out for 240 seems to get overlooked.

    I actually rate Watson as an opener but not a dominant type. He has a fairly solid defensive technique and can punish the loose ball. He's basically a less disciplined but more talented version of Ed Cowan.

    Warner's a tricky one. He's undoubtedly talented and capable of dominating an attack at will. But I think he has a propensity to try too hard too early. He might want to look at Matty Hayden (I've always thought his stroke-making was more reminiscent of Hayden than Gilly). Warner's S/R is better than Hayden's but his average is nowhere near as good. There's no reason, IMHO, why Warner can't learn to bottle that aggression a bit and be willing to go at a "mere" 60 runs every 100 balls but get the average up to 45-50. That wins matches.

  • TestOfTime on July 1, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    I was actually dreading 2 back to back test series since Australia seemed to be in shambles. Two 1 sided series would be an overkill and would discourage more people from test cricket. Seems like Boof has boosted the aussies....not because he is a superior coach but because his appointment gives everyone a chance to start fresh. W.r.t selection I cant wait to watch Rogers and Watson opening, i think it may end up being special. As a neutral (Indian test fan) I am finally excited about this year's ashes.

  • Mitty2 on July 1, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    @H_Z_O, get away. We're not used to your kind - you make too much sense to be an England fan ;)

    Anyone who thinks Watson and Warner would be a good opening partnership is kidding themselves - Ian Chappell especially. The featured comment says that they would take away a game in two sessions, hah! Watson has two centuries and has never dominated a test attack in his life time, he even has a test strike rate UNDER 50, but oh no he can dominate an attack can he! Warner can however, but with him opening with Watson it would be madness, chaos more like it. Cowan mediated him, brought him calm and sense, and it is that reason that they were the best opening partnership in test cricket until now. I can imagine it, if in the unlikely chance that there wasn't a run out in the first five overs, Warner would get out to a flash and Watson to an LBW because he tried an ODI shot and couldn't read a length to save himself.

    Warner to come in if someone fails. Has to reinvent himself at 3 or 6.

  • SpizenFire on July 1, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    Boofs taking over as the coach has increased a bit of my interest in ashes, which was fast eroding looking at the aussie approach to the games in the last few months. With Boof in the camp, Warner will be a deadly batsmen to have up the order. Warner with Ed Cowan, make a reasonably solid opening pair. Followed by Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Haddin ...good top six. England look a good unit with their top 6, with perhaps root/bell a bit undercooked for this series. So all in all, a evenly matched batting line-up. Bowling wise, though its home advantage for England, Aussie pace bowlers look a bit more crafty and bring variation compared to the English. Spin option wise Swann is leagues ahead of any Aussie spiiner. Would like to see Agar play.

  • H_Z_O on July 1, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    As an England fan let me say I do not consider Clarke batting at 5 to be "hiding".

    It's his best position, it's where he's scored most of his runs, and he's the rock on which the Australian batting rests. Hughes and Khawaja would both prefer to bat above him (and I think people are reading too much into Hughes batting at 5 at Taunton; it's possible Khawaja might bat below Clarke if they decide to pick Rogers at three and Cowan opening but I expect Hughes to bat at 4).

    @Paul_Rampley agree about Starc. Cook's struggled against left armers and on his day Starc is up there with the best of them.

    @Clan_McLachlan yeah, I don't get it either. He's a consistent bowler, never lets the pressure ease and is the perfect foil for your young strike bowlers like Starc and Pattinson. The only person I could see doing the same job is Bird and it may be a big ask in only his second Test series (and first overseas). Harris is another strike bowler, albeit a more consistent one. Wait, why am I arguing?

  • Sigismund on July 1, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Every player has to be the first to arrive at training and the last to leave. Oo-er; a bad sign, that. Is 110% just around the corner?

  • bringbackhaydos on July 1, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Why the push for haddin to bat at 6. Its our batting line up that needs to be lengthened not our bowling line up. We already have a part time bowler in watson. This obsession with allrounders and wicket-keepers batting at 6 has gone on for to long. You pick 6 batsmen and tell them there job is to get 400+ runs. Then you pick 4 bowlers and tell them their job is to get 20 wickets. You pick a keeper whose primary job is to keep wickets and hopefully get runs when the team really needs them. Putting pressure and focus on haddingetting runs will affect his wicket-keeping. Our bolwers will get plenty of edges in this series and a below par wicket-keeping performance will take any chance australia has of winning away.

  • Mary_786 on July 1, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    Sunil you make a good point, folks think that just because Khawaja has been 12th man since the boxing day test in December he has had chances, he hasn't played a game since then but just stayed 12th man, its his time now to get a chance and hopefully he fires for us given he top scored in the last innings. But i am not sure if i agree with you on having haddin bat at 6, Cowan deserves one more chance in the warm ups to get a big score.

  • Sunil_Batra on July 1, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    From the bowlers, I can see only Patto resting from this game. With the batsmen, maybe Khawaj and Hughes will rest as they got runs but i would play them for match practice, maybe Clarke too to rest his back (to be safe). Warner is unavailable, Smith and Rogers must play, Cowan needs to earn his spot. Haddin may rest, job safe. Team for tour game might be like this. Don't really care about a keeper at 6 if we need to give bowlers more game time.

    1. Watson 2. Rogers 3. Khawaja 4. Clarke 5. Hughes 6. Haddin 7. Starc 8. Siddle 9. Harris 10. Bird 11. Lyon

    I am predicting that Khawaja, Rogers and Clarke will be our best batsman in the ashes. And for those folks pairing Khawaja and Hughes in terms of chances, Hughes has played 3 times more games then Khawaja, under Arthur Khawaja hardly got a chance so the kid deserves his hit just like how Cowan and Hughes have had and he can be a solid test prospect.Starc, Siddle, Harris and Bird in a bowl-off for 2 spots.

  • Clan_McLachlan on July 1, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    Goodness. Siddle would be the first name on my Aussie team sheet. He's got a proven track record, never tweets in anger, always bowls his heart out and is currently the highest ranked Aussie bowler in the world (5th), higher than both Anderson and Swann. What's the bloke done wrong?

  • on July 1, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Please, for the sake of the sanity of all Australians who have had to witnes the painful attempts of Nathan Lyon to imitate a test bowler, discard him immediately and bring in the tyro Ashtin Agar. Agar has already demonstrated bolwing superiority and, even as a 19 yo, looks like a top 6 batsman. PLEASE GET HIM INTO THE FIRST TEST TEAM....please!!!!

  • on July 1, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    if warner plays its best for team and for him to open,he and watson can do great in start of innings give good solid and aggressive start,with rogers at 3,clarke at 4,hughes at 5,khawaja at 6,haddin 7,8 siddle/harris/bird ,9 starc,10pattinson,11lyon. khawaja should only be selected if he make runs in 2nd practice match else play smith or faulkner as in both can play spin better than khawaja or hughes and can stay on wkt against swann. swann could ruin middle order if hughes and khawaja doesnt play spin well. clarke cnt do all of it and save this line up all time. smith could do the job at 6.

  • bringbackhaydos on July 1, 2013, 10:18 GMT

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

  • siddhartha87 on July 1, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    @Insult_2_Injury Cheers mate.Thanks for reminding about Steve Waugh

    I do think Warner should be in the playing for 1st test. He had only bad series(averaged 24 against India) .Before that he had really good series against South Africa and SriLanka. He can be a nightmare for mediocre bowlers like Broad and Finn.

  • on July 1, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Sorry, i meant to say Hughes and not Rogers when talking about poor running between the wickets.

    @Liam Flynn, I don't really agree that Warner has had such a poor time of it in recent test cricket. His last couple of matches were not great, i'll grant you that, but up until then he'd been pretty good, averaging 40+ the entire time. If the likes of Hughes, Cowan and Khawaja had done equally as well our batting stocks wouldn't look half as poor as they do now.

  • on July 1, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Against Worcs;

    Watto and Cowan (if they are to be the opening pair) to open, they need to form a working p'ship, it astounds me how poor our top order batsmen are running between the wickets. Watto, Cowan and Rogers are all prone to complete brain fades, they need to improve this dramatically and it can only come through match practice.

    Rogers at 3. May have a ton of runs under his belt the last six months but we need to keep him in touch.

    Hughes/Khawaja Again, we need to keep giving these two in particular opportunity to find top form. One of them will have to play and they should have some good runs under their belts.

    Clarke at 5, as good as he is he needs another hit out.

    Khawaja/Hughes at 6

    Haddin at 7, again, more time in the middle won't hurt.

    Starc at 8. A probable starter at trent bridge and he improves drastically with time in the middle

    Siddle at 9. Needs more time

    Lyon at 10, gives him another go at Compton, building confidence.

    Harris or Bird, decision time

  • Mary_786 on July 1, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Well said PaulRampley, agree 100%

  • JimmyDee on July 1, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    I wouldn't mind seeing Rogers in a Hussey role at #6, with Hughes at 5 and Clarke 4. A shame George Bailey isn't available, i like his temperament. Warner should be back in Oz doing everything he can to to get his head together ready for the return series in Australia. He's too much of a negative distraction for an already fragile team. Let them settle for the first few Tests at least!

  • venkatesh018 on July 1, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    Siddle needs to be Test match ready on July 10. He is a vital cog in the Aussie bowling line up. Even if he doesn't take wickets he needs to tie one end up and help Patto and others to strike.

  • on July 1, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    its really tough for the Aussie selectors ...Clarke is constantly troubled by his injury n it won't be surprising to see him miss a match due to it...the onus lies on Watson rogers n haddin to give it their best and stay fit!

  • MeijiMura on July 1, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    It is beyond belief that they would be even contemplating bowling Watson in the tour match starting tomorrow yet alone actually carrying through with it. Watson has a long history of breaking down when bowling has proven to be too much on top of his responsibilities with the bat, the strain will be that much worse given that he has been given the role to open throughout the ashes. Bowl him in addition to open with him in this tour game and you can guarantee he will break down and be out for most if not all of the ashes. It's a disaster waiting to happen and the Australian hierarchy just don't seem to get it. Either Watson plays as an opener and doesn't bowl or he occupies the position of the all-rounder low in the order coming in behind Haddin with a license to hit-out with the tail. One or the other not both! The same can be said for Michael Clarke who is too fragile to bowl for any length of time in addition to his duties as a batsman. Clarke must not bowl if he is to last the series

  • Paul_Rampley on July 1, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    Starc should play in this match. He has only played one first class game since India. Need to see if he can back up the good form from Somerset match and i think he will be key against Cook. Pattinson to be rested but need to have a look at starc siddle again Harris and bird. Maybe Lyon should be rested. Has bowled a lot already and been bowling well enough. Haddin should be rested and he is in great form. Warner should be in contention but it will be tough for him without match practice but he is a match winner. I really hope the likes of Watson, Khawaja an Rogers continue their run making as i can see 3 of these guys being key as our top 3 batsman in the ashes with Watosn and Rogers opening and Khawaja at 3.

  • Rabbito on July 1, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    @Insult_2_Injury - good point, another example is a guy who retired just last summer...hussey. He batted at 5 or 6 for most of his career - (a lot of the last part of it anyway) and i believe he is as good if not better than clarke. and he is one of the most liked and respected cricketers worldwide, no matter what nationalities you talk to. The people that don't like him at five are the people that don't like him personally or poms that are scared of him batting there cause thats where his incredible form last year came from...

  • _Australian_ on July 1, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    @ScottStevo agreed. This carry on of hiding by English supporters is baseless. @Cyril_Knight you do not seem to understand that it does not matter where you bat, as it is ashes test cricket, there is nowhere to hide! Clarke could come in to bat with the game at any position, at any score and at an unknown time to know the condition of the ball he will be getting. I would like to see Clarke come in wherever he thinks he would score the most runs for our team. His stats say around 5. We also have a squad of mostly higher order batsman so why would we want to put him up in that mix and play even more batsmen out of favoured positions. You would never get me giving an opinion to the make up of the opposition. English supporters should do the same.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 1, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    It is always easier for a team to plan when they have a good idea of what their opposition's lineup will be. By making this statement, Boof is ensuring that England have to form strategies for 8 different batsman (plus Haddin). I still don't think he will play but he will be in contention but we will most likely go for Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes and a number 6 batsman, and that forms a good batting lineup with Watson opening, Khawaja at 3 and Clark at 4 with Hughes at 5. I love that Watson is finally opening, Khawaja is our best 3, and Clarke moves up to 4 and Hughes can start at 5. Boof is making all the right changes.

  • Insult_2_Injury on July 1, 2013, 4:12 GMT

    'The best player cannot hide at 5'; that's a funny comment Cyril. There was a bloke who had a fairly handy career - one that absolutely created nightmares for England. 168 Tests, Captaincy winning percentage miles above any English captain, 32/100's, 50/50's, average 51.06, 10900 runs and 92 wkts, record number of consecutive Test wins, World Cups as player and captain and too many other accolades to remember. Batted at 5/6 for Australia for 15 odd years. You can't tell me you've forgotten Steve Waugh already? He wasn't much chop in his first 20+ Tests, but the playing experience eventually vindicated the faith in him and number 5 was the position that suited him best. The same can be said for Clarke, while he may not be in the same class as Waugh. Warner has 19 Tests to his name, albeit 3 more 100's than Waugh at the same time. Also strange ' but a player of his type can only come in with a healthy score'. What's that mean? The guy has opened for his whole international career!

  • Insult_2_Injury on July 1, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    Gotta love Boof! A return to the '10,000 hours' method is the only way for the young and inexperienced to grasp what they're capable of and how far 'they' can push themselves in games. The sooner the nannies training quotas are gone the better, because as Warner's instincts show him, the more training he does the better he'll get AND the more positive an attitude he presents to selectors. None of those things can in any way be replicated by homework or rest day rotations. Similarly Siddle will learn more by pushing himself past the limit. It has to be said though that Siddle has come from time off at home, rather than the IPL, so he is early in his match fitness. Looking forward to players being given every opportunity on every type of surface, in all types of conditions to gain experience, then judgements of ability, etc will at least be made on actual facts, not some computer modelled excuse for lack of performance.

  • HatsforBats on July 1, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    @Cyril_Knight, batsmen should play in their best position, not one that arbitrarily goes to the 'best' batsman. Clarke performs best at 5, so he should stay there. Border, Tendulkar, KP, Kallis, Waugh didn't play their best cricket at three. The Aus side is full of top order batsmen who would be more suited to facing the new ball @ 3, and there are no middle order options better than Clarke.

    I like Lehmann's sentiment here and good on Warner for putting in the hard yards, but I can't see him getting selected (& nor should he).

  • thilina88 on July 1, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    I have a feeling lehmann will do a good job taking aussies to a better position in cricket again...Great decision getting rid of aurther!!!!

  • BradmanBestEver on July 1, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    Cyril_Knight: if the Aussie selectors were expecting early wickets with Clarke at 5 then they would move him up the order so they then would not expect early wickets - right?

    Thefakebook: I agree with you mate with one change: out Peter and in Bird and yes I wanted to say out Lyon and in Agar also. Lyon is Australia A standard at best and Doherty is even worse and O'Keefe and Hauritz are not much better. Unfortunately they are all we have at the moment.

  • Buggsy on July 1, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    Siddle has to be on his last legs. I can't remember the last time, if ever, he made a valuable contribution towards a win. Sure he's had the odd decent day, but he's only lasted this long because of injuries to (much) better bowlers.

  • usernames on July 1, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    Good attitude. There's a lot of potential in this Australian team, but they are still some way from being the best (of course). Cowan, Watson, Hughes, Warner, Clarke, Haddin, Starc, Bird, Pattinson, Lyon is a very, very good team, and more than capable of defeating the English.

  • Chris_P on July 1, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    @Cyril_Knight Hide at #5? Wow, just never ever thought Allan Border & Steve Waugh were hiding at #5 before. Or Clive Lloyd for that matter. Now if you ever played any serious form of cricket, you might just get an inkling how a player performs at some positions better than others. Seriously, I can't recall Clarke ever running out of partners @ #5 & his contributions from #5 has been awesome. The issue is not whether Clarke should move up but to fill in the higher position with someone who is naturally adept & the has form to do it. As witnessed in India, why weaken another link on the chain in the vain hope of fixing one that isn't working?

  • disco_bob on July 1, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    It would be a surprise if Australia opened the Ashes with Watson and Warner, but that did look like it was going to be the case two years ago. If something clicks and it all miraculously falls into place, it could be devastating. The potential has always been there.

  • MenFromMarts on July 1, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Clarke can't hide - he is the best in the team. Only poor performers can hide behind good ones. So 1. Watson 2. Rogers 3. Clarke 4. Warner . 5 Hughes 6. Khawaja / Smith 7. Haddin 8. Harris 9. Starc . 10 Pattinson 11. Lyon

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 1, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    My XI for 1st test:

    Rogers, Watson, Cowan, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, Pattinson, Starc, Harris, Lyon/Bird (depending on if we want a spinner)

    For 2nd test: Warner in for one of Watson, Cowan or Smith, depending on who performs and who doesn't. Siddle should come in if any of the fast bowlers fail.

    Khawaja is horribly out of form and can't be in consideration. Hughes shouldn't be anywhere near making the test team and, if possible, should be replaced in the squad by Bailey.

  • Mary_786 on July 1, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    i think all the folks who went to the bar at 2:30am(Warner, Hughes, Wade, Maxwel) got off easy as you shouldn't be getting drunk that late after a loss to England. Saying that under Arthur double standards were being applied for punishment depending on how close you were to him so lets put that behind us and boof needs to start off with a clean slate. Make no mistake that if someone breaks the standards under boof then it doesn't matter who you are or how close you are to him the punishment will be consistent and you will know. I don't think Warner will be picked for the first test but the battle for the number 6 spot will come down to between him and Smith with a lineup of Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes and a number 6 batsman looking likely.

  • on July 1, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    What super successful Australian test batsmen does Warner most closely resemble? In terms of temperament, clean striking ability... Adam Gilchrist. Where did Gilly bat? #7. To say that Warner couldn't bat in the lower order is ridiculous. To say that he 'can only come in with a healthy score' is bizarre. If you're opening the batting, you have ZERO runs on the board when you come out to bat. The pressure is ALWAYS on.

    What would I love to see now that Warner is a chance of playing? Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Warner, Haddin, Harris, Pattinson, Lyon, Bird/Starc.

    While Starc is an absolute gun, he's a bit inconsistent and Bird is tailor made for English conditions. Either of them at their best though would be a massive problem for England to handle. Siddle is a workhorse but doesn't have the game for England. You want bowlers who can move the ball and take wickets. And Matthew Wade doesn't get a run in my side. Haddin all the way.

  • on July 1, 2013, 0:36 GMT

    I'm hoping Steve Smith will impress Lehmann's socks off to steal Warner's spot as I think that at the moment he is the more reliable batsmen. From purely a moral perspective however; I think that Warner has been let off too lightly and shoudnt even be in contention. No one should attempt to assault another player and expect to play the next scheduled match! That being said though, Warner has the potential to be a very destructive lower order batsmen with more consistency than when he was opener. With an opening test average of 39; the sky is the limit as to what he could potentially average at 6 though Steve Smith will always be the more level headed. Warner's actions though were dispicable. Although I'm glad for Joe's sake that he missed; it is utterly disgraceful and un Australian to 1. Swing at someone much smaller than oneself with no provocation 2. To then miss a stationery target. This is why I'd struggle to feel good about him getting a hundred in the first test if selected.

  • Jagger on July 1, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    Siddle is massively overrated. Where are all the other "big hearts"?

    Rogers, Finch, Clarke, Hughes, Watson, Warner, O'Keefe, Hartley, Harris, Pattinson, Bird.

  • on July 1, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    Clarke averages 20 batting at 3-4 and 60+ batting at 5. As much as I'd like to see him bat higher, the results speak for themselves. He's not hiding at 5, its where he is best suited. He struggles against a new ball and is a big nicker early. Steve Waugh batted 5/6 for almost his entire career, but was never 'hiding'. Just because Ponting spent a large part of his career at 3, people think the best batsman bats 3. But Lara, Tendulkar, Kallis, Jayawardene etc never batted 3. Its purely about suitability.

  • Micgyver on July 1, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    I think Pattinson can sit out the Worcestershire game as he is the only guaranteed fast bowler for the 1st test. Siddle will probably play too so that leaves one spot for Harris Starc and Bird. A healthy conundrum though.

  • wellrounded87 on July 1, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Going on form in the tour matches and Aus A matches my XI for australia would be.

    1. Watson 2. Maddinson 3. Rogers 4. Khawaja/hughes 5. Clarke 6. Warner 7. Haddin 8. Patto 9. Starc 10. Sayers 11. Agar

    Also seriously how is batting at 5 hiding. He faces the second new ball all the time, in fact when he's getting his double and triple centuries he's facing 2-3 new balls. What is he hiding from? If anything he's there as insurance given our poor batting starts. I'd rather have our best player there to clean up if required than wasted up the top of the order.

    If he's averaging 100 at 5 in the past 18 months why on earth would you move him. Silly logic that can only come from people from other countries

  • Wealwayslosethecricket on June 30, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    @Randy- Are you suggesting that Australia drop the only fast bowler in the squad with much international experience at all? A bowling attack led by Pattinson and perhaps Watson would not stand a chance, especially considering that Ryan Harris could well be dropped for the first test. No, Australia needs Siddle in England. We're relying on our bowlers standing up in the Ashes, because our batting isn't strong enough, and bowlers like Starc, Pattinson and Lyon would be floundering without someone with the experience of Siddle or Harris (preferably both) in the side.

    As unlikely as the chance of this side being picked for the first test may be, I'd like to see: 1) Watson 2) Cowan 3) Khawaja 4) Hughes 5) Clarke 6) Rogers 7) Haddin 8) Starc 9) Pattinson 10) Siddle 11) Bird Faulkner can't be picked in my opinion because he isn't a specialist. Also, I know Rogers is an opener, but he's in the squad to replace Hussey, right? So why not bat him down the order for a bit of steadiness?

  • on June 30, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Warner, Haddin, Faulkner, Agar, Pattinson, Harris.

    Im not a starc, siddle or lyon fan. I think Harris would be more suited to English conditions then siddle, I will take Faulkner over Starc and adds depth to our problematic batting, England will destroy Lyon so im just going with Agar. Pattinson picks himself. Warner at 6. Khawaja gets a go but he too needs to make runs. I like rogers with the experience opening with Watson.

  • Amith_S on June 30, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    This is probably bad news for Cowan, because it means that Rogers and Watson are leading contendors to open, Khawaja to come in at 3, Clarke at 4, Hughes and Warner to wrap up the top 6. That looks like a good top 6 to me, players batting where their strengths are. Watson and Rogers at the top is exciting, Khawja is the best number 3 in the squad and Clarke moves up as our best batsman.

  • on June 30, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    @ScottStevo, see what Mudassar Nazar has to say about batting at 5/6 http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/456014.html

  • on June 30, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    Figures since 01 January 2012:

    Siddle, 13 Tests, 53 wickets at 25. Starc, 7 Tests, 26 wickets at 31. Pattinson, 7 Tests, 20 wickets at 31. Harris, 2 Tests, 6 wickets at 30.

    Australia are crazy if they are going to drop Siddle. The guy has been a consistent performer at a time when people have come in, got dumped out, been dropped, or injured. He's done his homework, he's even scored runs when others haven't. It beggars belief that a guy like Watson has consistently failed across the various formats and gets the vote of confidence yet a man who has been successful may be turfed out for an injury case like Harris or an unproven guy in Bird who got lucky to debut at home against a truly dreadful Sri Lankan side.

    I used to diss Peter Siddle. The last few years, I've eaten my words. Siddle and Pattinson should be opening.

  • ScottStevo on June 30, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    @Cyril, why is batting at 5 hiding? If you're a number 5 batsman, then you're a number 5 batsman. Does it mean something that Cook opens, or Dhoni who bats at 6/7? If Clarke maintains the form he's in at 5, why would anyone in their right mind change that - oh, because he's hiding...or maybe you're just hoping we will move him and he'll fail rather than continue in the world leading fashion he has been batting in. That said, I think Clarke can bat at 4, it's not much different in our side of late anyway, so I dont know where this junk of hiding comes from. Oh, that's because captain Cook opens....and when he gets a nothing score, like in the Ct trophy final, he hides in the shed and leaves the responsibility on his team mates whilst he can do nothing about it. Rather have my main man in the middle to be there to see it through, like a proper captain does. Dhoni is a prime example of that and he rarely bats higher than 5 unless deemed necessary...

  • Cyril_Knight on June 30, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    @Thefakebook Clarke must bat at four. The best player cannot hide at 5. If he is picked at 5 then it would suggest that Aussie selectors/coach are expecting early wickets.

    Warner at 6 is an interesting idea, but a player of his type can only come in with a healthy score. At 150-4 it would soon be 150-5. Australia are more likely to be 50-4 than 350-4 so it's probably not going to happen.

    The rest of your side is probable. The obvious weakness at 3/4 whoever is picked. Aussies haven't done themselves any favours with Rogers though. He was in great form at Middlesex, I now have no idea what his form is like.

  • RandyOZ on June 30, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Good attitude by Lehmann. Siddle has his last chance on Tuesday. If he doesn't take wickets, he doesn't play. It's as simple as that.

  • on June 30, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Warner Watson Wade Clarke Haddin Faulkner Smith Pat Siddle Bird Lyon

  • Thefakebook on June 30, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    I think Warner should bat @ no.6.I just don't see him in the top five.My top five Watto,Rodgers,Usman,Hughes(for the 1st 2 tests,then Cowan or Smith),MJ CLARKE;then Warner,Haddin,Starc,Patto,Peter and Lyon(yes I wanted to say Agar).

  • Thefakebook on June 30, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    I think Warner should bat @ no.6.I just don't see him in the top five.My top five Watto,Rodgers,Usman,Hughes(for the 1st 2 tests,then Cowan or Smith),MJ CLARKE;then Warner,Haddin,Starc,Patto,Peter and Lyon(yes I wanted to say Agar).

  • on June 30, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Warner Watson Wade Clarke Haddin Faulkner Smith Pat Siddle Bird Lyon

  • RandyOZ on June 30, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Good attitude by Lehmann. Siddle has his last chance on Tuesday. If he doesn't take wickets, he doesn't play. It's as simple as that.

  • Cyril_Knight on June 30, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    @Thefakebook Clarke must bat at four. The best player cannot hide at 5. If he is picked at 5 then it would suggest that Aussie selectors/coach are expecting early wickets.

    Warner at 6 is an interesting idea, but a player of his type can only come in with a healthy score. At 150-4 it would soon be 150-5. Australia are more likely to be 50-4 than 350-4 so it's probably not going to happen.

    The rest of your side is probable. The obvious weakness at 3/4 whoever is picked. Aussies haven't done themselves any favours with Rogers though. He was in great form at Middlesex, I now have no idea what his form is like.

  • ScottStevo on June 30, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    @Cyril, why is batting at 5 hiding? If you're a number 5 batsman, then you're a number 5 batsman. Does it mean something that Cook opens, or Dhoni who bats at 6/7? If Clarke maintains the form he's in at 5, why would anyone in their right mind change that - oh, because he's hiding...or maybe you're just hoping we will move him and he'll fail rather than continue in the world leading fashion he has been batting in. That said, I think Clarke can bat at 4, it's not much different in our side of late anyway, so I dont know where this junk of hiding comes from. Oh, that's because captain Cook opens....and when he gets a nothing score, like in the Ct trophy final, he hides in the shed and leaves the responsibility on his team mates whilst he can do nothing about it. Rather have my main man in the middle to be there to see it through, like a proper captain does. Dhoni is a prime example of that and he rarely bats higher than 5 unless deemed necessary...

  • on June 30, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    Figures since 01 January 2012:

    Siddle, 13 Tests, 53 wickets at 25. Starc, 7 Tests, 26 wickets at 31. Pattinson, 7 Tests, 20 wickets at 31. Harris, 2 Tests, 6 wickets at 30.

    Australia are crazy if they are going to drop Siddle. The guy has been a consistent performer at a time when people have come in, got dumped out, been dropped, or injured. He's done his homework, he's even scored runs when others haven't. It beggars belief that a guy like Watson has consistently failed across the various formats and gets the vote of confidence yet a man who has been successful may be turfed out for an injury case like Harris or an unproven guy in Bird who got lucky to debut at home against a truly dreadful Sri Lankan side.

    I used to diss Peter Siddle. The last few years, I've eaten my words. Siddle and Pattinson should be opening.

  • on June 30, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    @ScottStevo, see what Mudassar Nazar has to say about batting at 5/6 http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/456014.html

  • Amith_S on June 30, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    This is probably bad news for Cowan, because it means that Rogers and Watson are leading contendors to open, Khawaja to come in at 3, Clarke at 4, Hughes and Warner to wrap up the top 6. That looks like a good top 6 to me, players batting where their strengths are. Watson and Rogers at the top is exciting, Khawja is the best number 3 in the squad and Clarke moves up as our best batsman.

  • on June 30, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Warner, Haddin, Faulkner, Agar, Pattinson, Harris.

    Im not a starc, siddle or lyon fan. I think Harris would be more suited to English conditions then siddle, I will take Faulkner over Starc and adds depth to our problematic batting, England will destroy Lyon so im just going with Agar. Pattinson picks himself. Warner at 6. Khawaja gets a go but he too needs to make runs. I like rogers with the experience opening with Watson.

  • Wealwayslosethecricket on June 30, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    @Randy- Are you suggesting that Australia drop the only fast bowler in the squad with much international experience at all? A bowling attack led by Pattinson and perhaps Watson would not stand a chance, especially considering that Ryan Harris could well be dropped for the first test. No, Australia needs Siddle in England. We're relying on our bowlers standing up in the Ashes, because our batting isn't strong enough, and bowlers like Starc, Pattinson and Lyon would be floundering without someone with the experience of Siddle or Harris (preferably both) in the side.

    As unlikely as the chance of this side being picked for the first test may be, I'd like to see: 1) Watson 2) Cowan 3) Khawaja 4) Hughes 5) Clarke 6) Rogers 7) Haddin 8) Starc 9) Pattinson 10) Siddle 11) Bird Faulkner can't be picked in my opinion because he isn't a specialist. Also, I know Rogers is an opener, but he's in the squad to replace Hussey, right? So why not bat him down the order for a bit of steadiness?