Worcestershire v Australians, New Road, 3rd day July 4, 2013

Clarke makes timely intervention

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Worcestershire 284 (Compton 79, Mitchell 65, Bird 4-48) and 64 for 1 need 393 to beat Australians 396 for 4 dec and 341 for 5 dec (Clarke 124, Hughes 86)
Scorecard

For most of his first five weeks in England, Michael Clarke has been defined less by what he was than what he wasn't.

To begin with, Clarke wasn't fit. He wasn't in Birmingham for the Walkabout fiasco, then he wasn't taking part in any of the Champions Trophy. When Mickey Arthur was sacked, Clarke wasn't a decision-maker nor, it emerged, anymore a member of the selection panel. Throughout Darren Lehmann's assured first 10 days as coach, Clarke wasn't even the primary spokesman for the team.

On the third day in Worcester, in his final innings before the first Test at Trent Bridge, Clarke was back. Taking advantage of a docile pitch and an amiable attack, he bounded to a century in 90 balls, confirming the return of batting touch and confidence at precisely the right moment before the serious stuff begins.

Most importantly of all, Clarke played without any hint of the back trouble that had flared on his arrival, and can now travel to Nottingham with confidence about his ability to play the sorts of innings Australia so desperately need from him.

Phillip Hughes was similarly arresting as he helped Clarke set Worcestershire a target of 457 to win, which by the close they had reduced to 393 for the loss of Nick Compton's wicket. The day after asserting that he had not been given "fair crack of the whip" by England's selectors, Compton was lured down the pitch by the young spinner Ashton Agar and neatly stumped by Brad Haddin. Agar's teasing spell in the final session was another sign of promise for the tourists, who have rather less to worry about now than a week ago.

That is not to say they are in completely fine fettle. Ed Cowan fell for another of his maddeningly mediocre scores, having been dropped without scoring, though he was unhappy to be given out lbw for 34. In four innings on tour so far his top score is 58, not substantial enough tallies should he occupy the No. 3 berth at Trent Bridge as now appears likely.

Ryan Harris and Jackson Bird also failed to harvest any wickets with the new ball. They did better in the morning when Worcestershire were rolled up for 284. Bird claimed the standout innings figures with 4 for 48, while Harris showed decent rhythm and speed.

Harris was left very much in Bird's wake on the second day, but regathered some ground on the third morning. Gareth Andrew snicked behind to Haddin before Jack Shantry was beaten for pace and angle from round the wicket to have his stumps splayed.

Bird beat the bat numerous times in his early spell but was relieved by James Faulkner, who bowled the last man Chris Russell. It was Cowan who joined Rogers in sprinting off to open the batting, Watson again being held back in the order following his first innings performance just as he had been against Somerset at Taunton.

Cowan was handed an instant reprieve, dropped in the slips by Moeen Ali before he had scored. Rogers was also helped by a few fortunate edges before more full-blooded strokes ensued. The Australians appeared likely to reach lunch without interruption, but a few minutes before the interval Rogers was pinned lbw by Ali's off break from around the wicket.

The order then maintained its elastic and preparatory nature, Hughes moving from No. 6 up to 3 and making a fluent start in sunshine that grew brighter by the minute. Cowan played soundly enough into the 30s, before trying to swish Shantry to leg and being given lbw. He looked pointedly at his bat on the way off the ground, but after the dropped catch on nought there was less reason for sympathy.

Entering at No. 4 for the fourth innings in succession, Clarke promptly set about Worcestershire's bowling with freedom of shots as well as movement, his back appearing to be less restrictive than at any stage of the tour so far. He encouraged a more aggressive posture from Hughes, and the pair entertained another plentiful crowd by cavaliering to a stand of 132 in 123 balls.

Hughes forged ahead of his captain, clattering three sixes with a backswing that gained noticeably in extravagance. He was on course for a century in the session when he miscalculated a Russell delivery and was bowled, but had shown pleasing freedom and confidence in his final innings before the first Test.

Clarke took over the main aggressor's role upon Hughes' exit, driving immaculately at some times and swinging more agriculturally at others. Either way, his eye was sharp, and there can now be little concern that he will walk out to bat in Nottingham without sufficient time in the middle.

He delayed his declaration for an hour after tea, partly to allow Steve Smith another hit and partly to ensure his own bowlers did not have too many overs required of them in the fourth innings.

With the pitch dry and the clouds sparse, Bird and Harris found little early movement on offer, and it took Agar to confound Compton with the kind of delectable delivery that has hastened his rise to the fringes of Australia's Test match thinking at the age of 19. A few more wickets on the final afternoon and Agar may be bidding to join Clarke at Trent Bridge.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dangertroy on July 5, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    Clarke's century is a good sign, hopefully his back is sorted so he can last out this series, then relax until the home ashes. Hughes seems to have cemented a spot, so thats Watson, Rogers, Clarke, Hughes, leaving two more.

    Smith has done his chances no harm, and his upgrade for the rest of the tour certainly means they are considering him. I think he is likely to play the first test.

    Warner is a bit of a risk, it's hard to get a read on what his form is like, given his lack of practice and poor CT showing. And I guess Wade isn't in the running.

    Cowan made 88 runs in the match, giving him 615 @ 41 across the warm-ups and the county season. Is that enough to get dropped? Has Khawaja done enough to get picked? Both seem to have similar weaknesses (don't convert starts, running between the wickets).

    I think it will come down to:

    Rogers, Watson, Cowan/Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith/ Warner.

    I hate being this close to a series and not knowing who the top 6 will be...

  • TeamRocker on July 5, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    Great to see Clarke play like this again. I was a bit worried that his back would restrict his scoring, but he seems to have silenced any such concerns in the best possible manner. Hughes and Smith were impressive once more, and Cowan looks like he's just ahead of Khawaja at the moment. If he can keep making 45+ scores at an average strike rate, the runs are handy and some shine is taken off the ball. He looks a gritty batsmen (that was proved in India) and I consider him a more than handy no.3. Bird will be fighting for the last bowlers spot with Siddle, and I would consider giving Agar a go instead of Lyon. My team for the first test:

    Rogers, Watson, Cowan, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Agar, Starc, Pattinson, Bird

  • Chris_P on July 4, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Good effort by Clarke, he needed some time in the middle for fine tuning. He will be the big wicket England will be after. Smith appeared to have done some damage in the second innings to go with his tour success to date, but am unsure if he was in the squad as cover or is actually available. On form, he deserves a start. Agree with Mitty re: Cowan. He may not be setting the world on fire, but the facts are he has contributed far more in tests than Watson yet he is is everyone's team. I am a big fan of Khawaja but he hasn't knocked the door down demanding selection, or are we all happy to select someone not showing the form required for selection? Hughes appears to have discovered his confidence again so hopefully he can keep it going at test level. The 3rd pace bowler is still to be decided, Lyon will play, Agar's time is not here, yet. If Smith is selected (with Hughes) that will leave Khawaja/Cowan/Warner for the last spot.

  • ZCFOutkast on July 4, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    Nice to see Clarke imposing himself on the bowlers. That will also inspire confidence in the batsmen considering that Watson has been brilliant and Rogers' stability brings them more calm. Well done to Hughes. It very much looks like, more often than not, he will get to come in when the shine has been taken of the ball and the seamers have been forced to work a bit. First drop will be less challenging for him so he's definitely the leading candidate for that spot. Bit surprised Haddin wasn't sent in once Clarke fell to bat out the rest of the day with support from James and the tail.

    Unless Bird can repeat his heroics to start ahead of Siddle, the side looks set now. I doubt the fact that Cowan & Khawaja played will be enough to discourage the selectors from gambling with Warner down the order. The damage he can do from 5 tempting. There is after all a 2nd new ball to worry about.

    Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Warner, Smith, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon.

  • Dangertroy on July 5, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Ok @hyclass et al. I'll agree to disagree. Khawaja is a fine cricketer, he did play that very excellent knock in tasmania six months ago. He played well in a few shield matches last season and almost averaged 40. He is a completely steady batsman, who can play well on tricky surfaces. But he hasn't done enough to displace Cowan.

    Perhaps I am being defensive of Cowan as I live in tasmania. I'm surely Queensland supporters are keen to see khawaja get a go. Perhaps Queensland supporters are still a bit upset about the shield final.

    In any case, there's still the chance that both will play. Or neither. I think smith has done enough to get a game over either or them, and perhaps the 'potential' of Warner will mean that this is entirely academic.

  • on July 5, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    Calm down people .I was at Worcester yesterday and the Worcestershire attack??? was one of the worst bowling performance I have seen for years .Let see how Clarke and co get on against Anderson!!!

  • Jagger on July 5, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    This change of coach has done wonders. It would've been nice to see O'Keefe in the squad but from the squad they've got, the side will be:

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

    Darren Lehmann won't give Cowan and Khawaja the free ride they were given under Arthur, and he is to be congratulated for it. Batsmen must earn their spot by making runs and winning matches. Cowan and Khawaja do not.

    The Australian coach once stated he prefers a left hander in "the gate" (2nd drop) but the quick-scoring Smith, Warner, Haddin combination in the middle order together with an in-form top order, will put immense pressure on the bowling side. Harris and Bird MUST play.

  • popcorn on July 5, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    This is great news! Michael Clarke with his free -flowing strokes!The Master at his best!Now I am getting more and more convinced that we will regain the Ashes! Go Aussies,go!

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 5, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Amith fantastic summary and yes your facts do add up, i have followed Ussie's progress with the bulls and he did get man of the match in all those games when all other batsman failed, i don't know about you but we can do with more batsman who can score in tough conditions and are not flat track bullies.The bowling attack is difficult to pin down, which is a good problem in a way (would be better if Siddle was in cracking form and Harris had another month of play under his belt).

  • Paul_Rampley on July 5, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    Khawaja should be our number 3 and Hughes 5, show faith in these 2 and they will form the backbone of our batting lineup for years to come. I think boof knows this well.

  • Dangertroy on July 5, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    Clarke's century is a good sign, hopefully his back is sorted so he can last out this series, then relax until the home ashes. Hughes seems to have cemented a spot, so thats Watson, Rogers, Clarke, Hughes, leaving two more.

    Smith has done his chances no harm, and his upgrade for the rest of the tour certainly means they are considering him. I think he is likely to play the first test.

    Warner is a bit of a risk, it's hard to get a read on what his form is like, given his lack of practice and poor CT showing. And I guess Wade isn't in the running.

    Cowan made 88 runs in the match, giving him 615 @ 41 across the warm-ups and the county season. Is that enough to get dropped? Has Khawaja done enough to get picked? Both seem to have similar weaknesses (don't convert starts, running between the wickets).

    I think it will come down to:

    Rogers, Watson, Cowan/Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith/ Warner.

    I hate being this close to a series and not knowing who the top 6 will be...

  • TeamRocker on July 5, 2013, 2:14 GMT

    Great to see Clarke play like this again. I was a bit worried that his back would restrict his scoring, but he seems to have silenced any such concerns in the best possible manner. Hughes and Smith were impressive once more, and Cowan looks like he's just ahead of Khawaja at the moment. If he can keep making 45+ scores at an average strike rate, the runs are handy and some shine is taken off the ball. He looks a gritty batsmen (that was proved in India) and I consider him a more than handy no.3. Bird will be fighting for the last bowlers spot with Siddle, and I would consider giving Agar a go instead of Lyon. My team for the first test:

    Rogers, Watson, Cowan, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Agar, Starc, Pattinson, Bird

  • Chris_P on July 4, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Good effort by Clarke, he needed some time in the middle for fine tuning. He will be the big wicket England will be after. Smith appeared to have done some damage in the second innings to go with his tour success to date, but am unsure if he was in the squad as cover or is actually available. On form, he deserves a start. Agree with Mitty re: Cowan. He may not be setting the world on fire, but the facts are he has contributed far more in tests than Watson yet he is is everyone's team. I am a big fan of Khawaja but he hasn't knocked the door down demanding selection, or are we all happy to select someone not showing the form required for selection? Hughes appears to have discovered his confidence again so hopefully he can keep it going at test level. The 3rd pace bowler is still to be decided, Lyon will play, Agar's time is not here, yet. If Smith is selected (with Hughes) that will leave Khawaja/Cowan/Warner for the last spot.

  • ZCFOutkast on July 4, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    Nice to see Clarke imposing himself on the bowlers. That will also inspire confidence in the batsmen considering that Watson has been brilliant and Rogers' stability brings them more calm. Well done to Hughes. It very much looks like, more often than not, he will get to come in when the shine has been taken of the ball and the seamers have been forced to work a bit. First drop will be less challenging for him so he's definitely the leading candidate for that spot. Bit surprised Haddin wasn't sent in once Clarke fell to bat out the rest of the day with support from James and the tail.

    Unless Bird can repeat his heroics to start ahead of Siddle, the side looks set now. I doubt the fact that Cowan & Khawaja played will be enough to discourage the selectors from gambling with Warner down the order. The damage he can do from 5 tempting. There is after all a 2nd new ball to worry about.

    Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Warner, Smith, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon.

  • Dangertroy on July 5, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Ok @hyclass et al. I'll agree to disagree. Khawaja is a fine cricketer, he did play that very excellent knock in tasmania six months ago. He played well in a few shield matches last season and almost averaged 40. He is a completely steady batsman, who can play well on tricky surfaces. But he hasn't done enough to displace Cowan.

    Perhaps I am being defensive of Cowan as I live in tasmania. I'm surely Queensland supporters are keen to see khawaja get a go. Perhaps Queensland supporters are still a bit upset about the shield final.

    In any case, there's still the chance that both will play. Or neither. I think smith has done enough to get a game over either or them, and perhaps the 'potential' of Warner will mean that this is entirely academic.

  • on July 5, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    Calm down people .I was at Worcester yesterday and the Worcestershire attack??? was one of the worst bowling performance I have seen for years .Let see how Clarke and co get on against Anderson!!!

  • Jagger on July 5, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    This change of coach has done wonders. It would've been nice to see O'Keefe in the squad but from the squad they've got, the side will be:

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

    Darren Lehmann won't give Cowan and Khawaja the free ride they were given under Arthur, and he is to be congratulated for it. Batsmen must earn their spot by making runs and winning matches. Cowan and Khawaja do not.

    The Australian coach once stated he prefers a left hander in "the gate" (2nd drop) but the quick-scoring Smith, Warner, Haddin combination in the middle order together with an in-form top order, will put immense pressure on the bowling side. Harris and Bird MUST play.

  • popcorn on July 5, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    This is great news! Michael Clarke with his free -flowing strokes!The Master at his best!Now I am getting more and more convinced that we will regain the Ashes! Go Aussies,go!

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 5, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Amith fantastic summary and yes your facts do add up, i have followed Ussie's progress with the bulls and he did get man of the match in all those games when all other batsman failed, i don't know about you but we can do with more batsman who can score in tough conditions and are not flat track bullies.The bowling attack is difficult to pin down, which is a good problem in a way (would be better if Siddle was in cracking form and Harris had another month of play under his belt).

  • Paul_Rampley on July 5, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    Khawaja should be our number 3 and Hughes 5, show faith in these 2 and they will form the backbone of our batting lineup for years to come. I think boof knows this well.

  • hycIass on July 5, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    @Dangertroy i have to go with Amith and if you look at the stats provided they add up. And i was one of this kid's biggest critics but he won me over with his work with the Bulls here in Brisbane. No doubt that Khawaja was second on the shield table behind Hughes when he was picked at the christmas break, no doubt that keeping him 12th man for so long was not acceptable and don't even get me started on the homework saga, double standards when you suspend 4 players for not doing their homework but not someone who punches an opponent in the bar. Cowan simply hasn't done enough after 20 straight games, Khawaja can only dream of getting 5 straight games. Khawaja was splended for the Bulls this season and agree with you that he should have played after christmas but he was not allowed to by Arthur nor selected for Aus duties. I expect us to go with him for the 3 or 5 spot and rightly so, Cowan was lucky not to get 0 yesterday after getting dropped at slips. He simply hasn't done enough in t

  • Dangertroy on July 5, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    @Amith_S - ignoring your hyperbolic statistics, My contention is that Cowan hasn't done enough wrong to be dropped, and Khawaja hasn't done enough right to get picked. Khawaja simply isn't breaking the door down. He has done ok in his test chances, but not outstandingly. Yes, he was in and out of the side, but you have to grab your chances when your a fringe player.

    That Khawaja has been deprived of 1st class cricket as a reserve is a crying shame, I would have left him to finish out the season with QLD rather than benchwarming, but there was always a chance he could get a game. In fact he would have got a game, if he had done his homework. This is the point that was raised when dropped, he requires a bit more aptitude.

    Cowan conversely isn't setting the world on fire, but he's doing fairly well. In the absence of a better candidate, he should continue.

    And yes, his innings at Belrieve was excellent. But it was 6 months ago. And if he gets picked, then I wish him the best of luck.

  • Mary_786 on July 5, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    @AmithS thats fantastic analysis, hard to argue with that one, also love the nickname of Koala, it might catch out.

  • KhanMitch on July 5, 2013, 6:30 GMT

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

    Cowan has been dissapointing from the word go, time we moved on from that experiment and I've gone with the fast bowlers who have the proven test records, Siddle will lift his game for the first test. Bird is my next in-line replacement for any of them with Starc the last resort.

  • Amith_S on July 5, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    @Dangertroy your analysis is flawed and this is why. Cowan has had more then 20 games for Australia in a row whereas Khawaja has been waiting for 6 months under Arthur as 12th man. Cowan averages 30 after those games and got 30 yesterday which is not good enough. Khawaja last played his shield game in November at which time he was second on the shield table with 450 odd runs and had 3 man of the match performances in 5 of the games he had played all innings played on green tracks where other batsman failed(i.e 138 against Hobart, 88 agianst SA and against NSW). So the guy can play in swinging conditions and when its tough which is what we need in this series. As for Cowan's flaws of not converting and running these are not true for Khawaja, these were used as reasons to keep him out but you look at his career and you will see that he hardly gets run out and he converts alot more then Cowan. So bottomline who would i want at 3, answer is obvious, its koala Khawaja.

  • Sunil_Batra on July 5, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Cowan's numbers are average. For the life of me I have no idea why folks are still saying he is good to go when he failed yesterday and failed in the first warm up not to mention having 20 games in a row averaging 30, surely Smith has done enough to get the numer 6 spot from him. . He has an average first class record. His recent form is sub-average. He has been given numerous chances and he's never stepped up. If he'd scored a ton or two in all the warm ups I'd change my mind but he didn't. What the bloke does have is great PR! I can't believe we're still hearing he's a lock in. Hughes or Khawaja wil get the 3 spot as you can interchagne these guys between 3 and 5. Khawaja top scored last game and is ready and handles swing bowling so well and unlike Cowan goes on with his scores, Hughes is also similar. I would go for Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Starc, Pattinson, Agar, Harris

  • Chris_P on July 5, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    @hotcric01. Cowan a total failure? Yes he is averaging over 40 in English fc cricket this season. Interesting take. Smith doesn't look good & is half a batsman? Remind us all, what game you are watching? So you think every #6 should score 50-70 on a consistent basis? When one finally comes along in cricket, I'll remember your post.

  • TeamRocker on July 5, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    A few facts which might settle the Cowan-Khawaja debate for now: In his last 7 first class matches in England (County + Warm Ups), Cowan has made 533 runs at an average of 44 and a highest score of 81.

    Khawaja, in his last 4 first class matches in England (Aus A + Warm Up), has made 194 runs at an average of 32 and a highest score of 73.

    Cowan looks more than just a tad better based on these statistics, and also has an air of determination and grit that Khawaja lacks at times. This is why I expect that the selectors will give Cowan a chance ahead of Khawaja at Trent Bridge.

  • hotcric01 on July 5, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    Cowan is a total failure.He has had enough chances.He is too much tentative at the crease. Khawaja is far better than him.Smith also doesn't look so good.He is still a half batsman.If he needs to play at No.06 he should score around 50-70 on a consistent basis.I think Faulkner is a better choice than him.(Haddin at No.06 and Faulkner at No.07).It increases team's wicket taking chances on swing friendly conditions.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 5, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Watson, Rogers, Warner, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Starc, Pattinson, Agar, Bird.

    Agar is a big risk, but we know how good Lyon is just like we know how good Cowan is and therefore we know they will not win us games or even contribute significantly to win us games.

  • on July 5, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    Lets Hope Agar bags a five.

  • Mary_786 on July 5, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    Cowan gone for 34 in the second innings and against pretty average bowling and was dropped on 0 to an easy slip catch from Ali. That's averaging 35 for the four innings for the two trials. Nothing much changes does it. Khawaja's only trial of two innings averaged 50 and Smith averaging even higher from his only game. I think its best to lock in Khawaja at 3 and Smith at 6 with Hughes at 5 and that gives us Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, that looks good to me.

  • JimmyNeutron84 on July 5, 2013, 2:45 GMT

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

  • landl47 on July 5, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    Unless there's an injury or Lehmann is playing a game of bluff, I can't see Khawaja playing in the first test. I think the 6 batsmen here will be in the test side, with Haddin at #7 and Siddle, Starc, Pattinson and Lyon as bowlers. None of the bowlers in this game did enough to displace the guys who were rested prior to the test.

    The only question is whether Lehmann gets brave and includes Warner, who has had no recent match practice, a miserable time in India and 0,0,9 in the 3 innings he has played in England. I'm inclined to think not.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 5, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    I can see Warner making 5 or 6 his spot long-term. His footwork and shot selection is simply too loose to open in tests. He could do some serious damage down the order in the mould of Douggie Walters and Gilchrist, no shame there.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 5, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    Was there ever any doubt that Hughes would bat at 3 in the first test? He has just too much talent and a knack for scoring centuries not to succeed. Even Arthur could see he will occupy that spot long-term.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 5, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    They gave Cowan every opportunity. Low scores, runs out his captain, runs out himself, gets dropped on 0, every other top order bat is scoring freely and he's scratchy. He's done a good job for Australia the last 12 months but his test career is gone. Hughes has made 280 runs at 70 in these warm up matches. Add that to two good, aggressive innings in the last 2 test against India and he will bat at 3. The first 2 tests against India were terrible but hardly surprising given his lack of preparation.

  • AidanFX on July 5, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    Hughes is starting to look link the player I always knew he was meant to be as a 20 yr old. He was totally mishandled by CA and coaches. I realise these are just tour games but seriously signs are good.

  • Benkl on July 5, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    This is a tour match against a 2nd division mid table team on a perfect pitch - dont read too much into it. Think about last time in England Hughes did great on the tour matches but on any non perfect wicket he was a liability .. In India Hughes was so bad he would have got dropped if not for the homework affair.

    So really the established line up from India and with Watson opening is Watson / Cowan / Hughes /Clarke / Warner / Smith /Haddin / Siddle/ PattinSon /Starc / Lyon . You may get some minor changes from that , I think SIddle would be playing if he was going to get selected. And it depends on the pitch if its a typical green swinging Trent Bridge pitch ( which is why the english picked it and gave us flat tops for practice ) you probably want to take Bird for Siddle and Rogers for Smith. Next batsman to be replaced is probably Warner . It is also possible we take 4 fast bowlers in for Trent Bridge as it is never spin friendly

  • Julian_Vella on July 5, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    @ Earl John Mate dont think you can plan every bowling change throughout an entire innings in a test match maybe an ODI or T20 but even then you dont allow for adjustments depending on how the pitch is playing or any any other changing factors plus your putting part time bowlers like Smith and Warner there as well no point bringing them on if England are 3 -20 or 7-120 when they're on the ropes .... I think the selectors will go with Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Clarke, Hughes, Warner, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson & Lyon I would like to see Harris in BUT Siddle deserves 1st shot GO AUSSIE GO

  • Sunil_Batra on July 5, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    @Dylan and Steve Guys i can see both sides of the story here but really this match was about Smith vs Cowan for the one spot as Khawaja top scored last match and is a known quantity to boof. What i didn't like was that Cowan talking about his selection chances in yesterday's papers. He said that even before the change in coach the number 3 spot was going to be given to him, that's really saying my prevoius manager promised me a promotion so my new manager should give it to me, for all folks who work in any industry will know that's not how things work. Now i like Hughes answer yesterday, he said all he can do is get runs and the rest is up to the coahc and selectors. That's the right attitude, not what Cowan did in trying to state the thinking of the selectors, let the coach or captain talk about selections. For what its worth Cowan failed yesterday after getting dropped in slips on 0 and got out cheaply. Khawaja should get a start and we could have Wat, Rog, Khawaja, Clarke, Hug, Smi

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on July 5, 2013, 0:57 GMT

    @mitty2 Completely agree with you about khawaja, doesn't Merritt a place in the XI. However there are 8 batsmen in the squad, so 2 bats have to miss out, it has to khawaja and Cowan. Despite 9 FC matches in English conditions he has been unable to find any sort of form. Your point about him being the 2nd highest run scorer in India is mute, not only was that completely different conditions, he was one of only 4 bats who played all 4 tests, and everyone else failed so he only got that position by default still averaging mid 30's. People seem to forget that Warner put some very good in innings against SL, SA and even a few against India, that weren't just bashathons. Hughes is the incumbent 3 and should get that position as he is the one suited to it most, Warner will make a good 6, with smith at 5.

  • on July 5, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    Australia are looking good! I'm for Ahston Agar as well. Pick him.

  • Keatsyindahouse on July 5, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    Earl John- I'm tipping you haven't played too much cricket. As there is no way you can plan who's coming on in the 57th over before a ball has been sent down. Teams biggest issue is no. 3. When Australia was strong it went to the best bat (Ricky Ponting). However langer did it for years averaging around 37. I like how Cowan goes about it, but poor running between wickets and poor conversion means if he plays its at no. 6. Watson is in a similar position, but he has the ability to attack, and bowls. My team would be: Roger,"s, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Pattinson, Harris, Lyon, Bird. Warner cost himself a spot at 3. Bowling wise Harris is the best in Australia. Speed, aggression, control, seam & swing. Injuries are the concern. Pattinson is a close second. Bird is perfect for the conditions. Stuart Clark like. Lyon deserves his spot, while agar is a good back up. Lets not rush him. Playing starc & Siddle would be a mistake. Siddle consistently bowls middle and leg.

  • TheMightyPirates on July 5, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    @Samdahn, England will not produce those types of pitches. They have one world class spinner in Swann who will spin the ball and bowl well no matter what the conditions. Additionally is England attempt this, Australia have Clarke, Haddin and Smith in the order, all of whom are good players of spin. Watson is now opening and Wade isn't playing thus Australia's response to spin isn't so fragile. More importantly Australia has time and again shown a weakness against the swinging ball and considering they possess the most accurate swing bowler in the world (only a touch beyond Steyn in overall class and effectiveness) and a host of tall quick men at their call; Broad, Finn, Tremlett, it would be mad if typical English pitches weren't produced. England is at its greatest strength when the quicks are firing and swann contributes by tying up left handers, cleaning up the tail and playing a major role in the fourth innings which can happen on any good seaming wicket on the final two days.

  • RJHB on July 5, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    I just can't see how Cowan should be kept in the test team to bat 3. It would mean that two of the top three batsmen that have failed us so badly the last two years are still there. Not that I trust Hughes any more either but at least he has shown before he can make runs against high quality bowlers, Cowan has done it in just one innings really. He is just not test class. I and I'm sure many other people are asking, for the 551st time, what's happened to Khawaja??? Does this guy have terrible breath or something?

  • TheMightyPirates on July 5, 2013, 0:00 GMT

    Picking Agar, which seems to be a popular move, would be a mistake. He is far to inexeperienced and to pick him for the first test of the ashes series would be a rash move that the selectors won't take. Despite all the claims that Pietersen struggles against left arm, the reality is that he will take Agar apart with relish if he gets the chance. Pieterson is Englands x-factor and both he and Prior can seize the initiative in a session and playing Agar as well as two relatively inexperienced fast bowlers, one of whom (Starc) will inevitably bowl some expensive spells as well as the magic ones, would leave Aus too vulnerable. Additionally, for all the bagging of lyon, he will contain their better players well and has the untold value of experience. This is a man who has bowled to the likes of Sangakkara, De Villiers, Kallis etc. and had some successes too, much more promising that a 19 yr old playing Shield Cricket where barely anyone averages over 40. Agar promising, but too soon ATM.

  • TheMightyPirates on July 4, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    - @ Earl John, this isn't club cricket. It doesn't matter if England don't get time to settle against one bowler, the fact of the matter is that Smith and Warner will both bowl two rubbish balls an over and players like Pietersen, Bell and Cook won't need a look before taking advantage off it. And no captain is going to stick to a rigid and folly plan like that, what if one bowlers gets smacked or another is bowling the spell of his life?. Also, three fast bowlers are required, especially in swinging English conditions and Watson is not a frontline seamer. Everyone needs to realise that Starc and Pattinson whilst being our most aggressive and talented bowlers are still extremely inexperienced and it is necessary to have Siddle in the team as a leader both of the bowling group and the general set up underneath clarke. His experience is invaluable and he is made for pressure situations and to tie of aggressive batsmen. Siddle has to be in the team as first change/

  • dunger.bob on July 4, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    Another pretty good day at work for the Boofheads. .. I could get used to this. ... One thing that worries me is the apparent lack of penetration at the start of an innings by our bowlers. It seems to me that our guys are having a bit of trouble with the brand new Duke and don't start bowling properly until the shines been knocked off it. .. in the first tour match, weren't the opposition 320/2 or thereabouts b4 they lost 8 for nothing. .. The first dig by Worc. was similar enough to make my radar twitch. .. I think there's a problem there, and they've only got 5 days to sort it out.

    Re the Ed Cowan dilemma. .. Ed's a great bloke and all and his record isn't atrocious, but he's only got a 2 speed gearbox. Slow and Really Slow. .. I've always thought that one of the things that separates the top players from the rest is their ability to change the pace of their batting to suit the game situation. Ed really struggles to do that and is a bit of a handbrake on the innings too often.

  • KhanMitch on July 4, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    @Dylan Khawaja got 138 against Tasmania and they got 90 on the same pitch. After that match he was picked for the Aussie side and kept as 12th man, hasn't played a single game since then so not sure how he can replicate that innings if he is not playing. The games here in UK were his first after that 6 month of bench time and plus he top scored last game. Cowan in comparison has been wasting start after start(did it again today after being dropped on 0) so fair to say its UTK's time to shine. And I think you need either Harris OR Siddle in the attack otherwise you are lacking a little in experience and may need that ticker when the chips are down.So for me its Patterson-Lyon-Starc-Siddle OR Patterson-Lyon-Harris-Bird. I do agree that Bird/Starc is a mouthwatering preposition though!

  • Shaggy076 on July 4, 2013, 23:18 GMT

    EarlJohn; I sincerely hope you have never captained a cricket side as I would pitty the blokes that played under you. Its 90 overs in a day don't need to regiment in overs for bit part bowlers. Secondly our strength is pace bowling why would you go away and send out a spin attack including 2 very moderate part timers bowling with still quite a new ball who perhaps can bowl an over here and there.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 4, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Good side. Only issue is that Cowan who has supposedly being doing "well" since has been in the UK actually averages in the 30s despite playing all those games against various county attacks at a time when all the international bowlers were off at the Champions Trophy. And today he fails again and dropped on 0. Surely its time to let Hughes or Khawaja bat at 3. I would go with Rogers, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Smith for the first test. Both Hughes and Khawaja are our future players and will fire if given a chance in this series. Khawaja in particular has been on the bench as 12th man for 6 months so time to give the kid a real crack, half of that given to Cowan will be great. In the future, people will look back on the India tour and wonder how Australia got it so wrong, selections likeCowan will not be a ringing endorsement of the current selection panel. An average in 30s after 20 straight games is not good enough. Just watch out well Hughes did it yesterday.

  • Shaggy076 on July 4, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    Whats going on with people commenting here, firstly Agar took one wicket of the bloke Lyon got out twice in the last game (3 times by the reporters description of an LBW) and he is in the test side. Lyon has been the stand out spinner in warm up games and would be a certainty to play. Secondly, Do you think if the selectors had earmarked Khawaja to play in the first test that he would be sitting on the sidelines in this warm up game. His form is as average as Cowan's so obviously the selectors have Cowan in front of him. Now as Cowan hasn't cemented his spot they must decide between him and Warner. From looking at what the selectors have been doing I believe this is the first test team that they have earmarked Watson, Rogers, Cowan (maybe Warner), Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc and Lyon.

  • Amith_S on July 4, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Cowan can learn from Hughes, you let your bat do the talking not talk yourself up and then fail again as Cowan did for 32 and dropped on 0. Surely this is the end for Cowan and we go with Rogers, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Smith for the first test.

  • righthandbat on July 4, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Australia actually look pretty good playing against these county sides. One feels though, against Anderson in particular - that the batting will start to show its flaws. If Watson is going to play without bowling he must open and he's made the most of it so. I feel like Australia should give Khawaja a go at opening with Watson; as much as I would like to try the Watson-Warner combination it might be best not to. I'd have Warner as 12th man. Rogers is a good option for number 3 if Clarke refuses it - put Hughes at 5 where he is more protected. The worst thing to do would be to shatter Hughes' confidence with a couple of early dismissals at 3. Smith/Haddin are fine at 6/7. Bowlers: I'm a fan of Bird - I like his line-and-length and I would go with Starc and Pattinson as the other two - they are genuine wicket-takers and Siddle doesn't fit that mould as much. Lyon is the 11th player.

    Watson, Khawaja, Rogers, Clarke, Hughes, Smith, Haddin, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon, Bird. 12th man - Warner.

  • Batmanian on July 4, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    I wonder how serious they are about Clarke batting at four? With Smith probably snaffling six, Clarke at four would mean instead of a choice at three or four between Cowan and Warner (with no Khawaja), there is a choice between Warner and Khawaja at five (with no Cowan). I suspect they will go with Cowan, still, it pains me to say, followed by Hughes at four, Clarke, Smith, Haddin.

  • Green_and_Gold on July 4, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    interesting that a lot of people are putting Warnerin the side when hehasn't playedawarmup match yet

  • Moppa on July 4, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    A strange one from overnight - why wasn't Haddin given a bat in the second innings? Didn't pick up his bat in the first either, and a shoo-in for Trent Bridge, yet Agar is given a hit ahead of him. Don't understand that. Maybe Lehmann concluded that the Worcestershire bowling was so innocuous that facing it was possibly counterproductive, in inducing a false sense of confidence, and didn't bother sending him out.

  • Thefakebook on July 4, 2013, 20:31 GMT

    I think Agar should play in 1st test.Now i'm not a N.Lyon hater like most commentators here,but if I had to pick one I would pick Agar over Lyon any day.He is just that missing link in Oz test line up.All he needs to do is pick up 3 wkts an innings which is what Lyon does per match.No way is Edward batting at no.3 go with Smith or Phillip instead.I think it's a risk but Harris should play the 1st two test if his body holds up.

  • on July 4, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    From outside the box: Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Warner, Smith, Haddin, Agar, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon Bowlers might not be in batting order, but use the combination of Watson/Warner/Smith as the fifth bowler. Open bowling at one end with Pattinson. At first change (after 5 overs) bowl Watson for 2 overs then IMMEDIATELY switch to Smith for 3 overs and then to Warner for 3 following in a rotation Pattinson(4) Starc(4) Watson(2) Smith(3) Warner(3) except the 75th through 79th overs all bowled by Smith.

    Meanwhile at the other end open with Starc for 7 overs then bowl Lyon and Agar in spells of 8 alternating until the 80th over and start again.

    This allows a quick rotation of bowlers (the batsmen not getting used to a part -timer before he is taken from the attack) and gives ALL bowlers a rest before their next spell. (also if you are intending to use 4 main & 3 part-time bowlers, if one of the main gets injured, the remainder can share the extra load easier.

  • Samdanh on July 4, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Eng will try to nullify Aus fast bowling strength by laying out placid wickets that will take turn from day 2 instead of day 1 like India did when Aus toured India. Eng batsmen have improved against spin while Aus are not as strong as Eng batting order which is more disciplined, and patient to grind when situation demands

    It could be a more tight series. But I expect Eng to win it - it could be 2-1 or 3-1 with one of the matches getting drawn due to rain-like it is usual in England summer

  • on July 4, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    Just about done and dusted now... Agar once again reasonably impressive, while his figures are just okay, Haddin missed a howler of a stumping last night apparently and then another tough chance right at the end of play this evening. I hope he won't let Lyon and Agar down the way Wade has. Looks to be an incredibly promising young bowling allrounder.

    Compton doesn't seem to be the best against spin does he? Out twice to Lyon at Somerset and Agar has bagged him here, something to file away.

  • on July 4, 2013, 17:58 GMT

    I do think clarke and Lehmann is thinking of picking up agar over Lyon with lot of right handers in england side. So the final 11 pick should be Watson and C rogers opening,phil hughes at 3(because if an openers goes early he could stabilize the innings), M clarke at 4,5th for Cowan or khawaja(i think cowan would be selected as looking at the chances he is getting),6for smith(n i would love to see him bowl for 7-8 overs in between he could take wickets if have the control),7th for haddin,8th for starc,9th for siddle/Bird(i would prefer bird over siddle due to his performances and basically he is an line length bowler who could bowl tight around aggression of starc and pattinson),10for pattinson,11th for agar/lyon(haven't seen agar bowl bt if this man isn't afraid to flight he should be the one to pick as he can take pieterson,bell,trott, and jonny bairstow) with good lines and flight.Clarke and smith can provide a useful support to agar with watson to pacers.

  • on July 4, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    If England are thinking they are going to win 5-0, then they need to slow down a bit and think coherently. Australia are revitalised by their new coach Lehmann and will give England a run for their money in the Ashes. Excellent innings from Pup. It's good to see Australia attack and dominate the opposition. I honestly think England and Australia are evenly matched. Maybe a year or two ago, I would have said England are stronger, but not now. Two evenly matched teams going at it. What more can we ask for ?

  • DylanBrah on July 4, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    Great post by Mitty2, I agree with everything you said mate. All those calling for Khawaja to be included are the same people who bag the selectors for not picking on merit. What exactly has Khawaja done to deserve a spot in the Test team, besides that fluke innings in Hobart? (yes I can call it a fluke because he hasn't done anything similar since) - He has failed to impress even on flat wickets here in England/Ireland.

  • ajmaldomintesswann on July 4, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    I really dont know why people here are picking team just on the basis of practice games.On any day,Harris is way better then siddle.Siddle is workhorse i agree but he wont be able to trouble strong batting line of england.Australia should pick only those who have wicket taking abilities.Ideal combination is Patto,Rhino(as wicket taking options) and bird to contain runs just like clark of 2007 ashes.Added with watson and lyon, this will be ideal combination.

  • Matt. on July 4, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    Watson, Roger, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Warner, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon.

    Cowan, Khawaja and Faulkner haven't shown enough. No need to mention Wade. Warner is obviously a risk, i'm banking on him pulling his thumb out after he was nearly put on plane. Also banking on Siddle, hopefully he was just warming up, anyway we need his fitness and dependability. I was hoping Harris would be the guy, very disappointing performance though. Good to have him and Bird in reserve in any case.

  • on July 4, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    @Hansonkoch, well, he is one of the few with potential. Silk and maddinson are not ready. Smith was chosen to go to india after averaging 37 that FC season, look how he went. I want to see Khawaja given a go at test level to see if he can do what smith did.

    @Mitty2, Make up your mind. Sometimes your bagging Cowan and praising Khawaja, then vice verca the next.

    On a side not Harris is not looking good at the moment.

  • Matt. on July 4, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    With Watson and Rogers opening, Clarke likely at no.4, there doesn't seem to be a good choice for first drop anywhere in the squad. If Cowan can't capitalise on a flat wicket against a mediocre attack, he won't do anything of worth in the ashes (and i have been a Cowan supporter up until these warm-ups). I like the idea of Hughes/Smith/Warner lower down the order. Khawaja is in the same boat as Cowan in my opinion, even if you put him above Cowan he is too green for first drop. So I guess it probably has to be Hughes or Warner, but that doesn't fill me with a lot confidence!!

  • TheCricketEmpireStrikesBack on July 4, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    A combined Aus total of 740 runs at a RR of about 5 per over is a good reminder of how Aus play the game and an excellent warm-up for the Ashes. Cannot help but compare this with the plodding, dour, talentless effort of England (vs Essex).

  • JMassive on July 4, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    I like Cowan, he seems like a nice guy and he's a very determined batsmen, but I would play Hughes, Warner, Khawaja and Clarke ahead of him at 3. Mainly because of his complete inability to score 100s. This is his 10th FC game of the summer and he hasn't scored a single one.

  • Mitty2 on July 4, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    Oh and another thing, people have the audacity to criticize Cowan when reasoning as to why khawaja should be in his place purely because of running between the wickets! Hah! I may be wrong here, wait no I'm not, khawaja was the one who was sent to work to the shield to work on his running, can't remember Cowan doing that guys! You're doing what the selectors do, and hypocritically enough you criticize these selectors for not 'picking on performance' and yet you want khawaja in who's nothing but unfulfilled potential! There is not one viable reason for khawaja coming in, I'm sorry guys, but usman only to come in when/if someone fails.

    Good to see Clarke score a dominant hundred, and good to see Hughes dominate as well. Interesting enough that Watson and haddin are coming in after agar and Faulkner, but their spots are sealed so it doesn't matter. Too little too late from Harris - outperformed by bird and, barring a haul the next innings, the last spot is between bird and siddle.

  • Mitty2 on July 4, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    Oh how cute - Shane Watson like - for people to denigrate players in order to get what they want; in Watsons case for the openers position and in these comments to have khawaja in. If only khawaja deserved selection. By the fact that khawaja does not in any way deserve selection, should Cowan be replaced despite being our second best bat in India...? No. Anyone of the previous commentators (I'm convinced they're all the same person they're that repetitive) care to tell me what khawaja has done to deserve selection? A century in Hobart how long ago? Potential? - look how far 'potential' has gotten starc, Watson and Hughes and Warner to a lesser extent in their respective test careers. Cowan adds stability and inspires confidence that he will not lose his wicket quickly... What does khawaja inspire instead... Nothing, because he's almost 27 and still far from a matured batsman. The best part of bagging Cowan for not converting starts is that khawaja is as bad, if not worse at converting.

  • HansonKoch on July 4, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    @Tafara Jakopo I don't know why Khawaja's name keeps coming up. He averaged under 40 in the last Sheffield Shield season. There were 13 batsman who averaged more. He's hardly knocking the door down.

    If I were the selectors I'd send Cowan and Khawaja home and if necessary through injury consider blooding one of the youngsters like Nick Maddison or Jordan Silk.

  • on July 4, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    @Hansonkoch, no one suggested that Hughes be taken out, he is a great white hope for Australia in terms of the batsmen. Warner, Smith, Khawaja need to follow suit if Aus has a chance to be a competitive nation again.

  • HansonKoch on July 4, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    This innings is exactly why Hughes should be in the team and not Cowan or Khawaja.

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on July 4, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Actully becoming comical how all of cowans innings are almost identical. Hughes looks the goods again with 50 NO, amazingly from the 2 warm ups so far he has scored 199 @ 199 avg i Know he has had a couple of NO"s but still hope he can take this to a century. Clarke coming in @4 tells us Steve Smith has done enough. Looking like a Warner/khawaja standoff for 3.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 4, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    Hughes currently 35 n.o., that means in these warm up games he's scored nearly 250 runs at an average of over 80! He deserves to bat at 3 in the first test and maybe then Clarke won't need to declare when he's on his way to a century.

  • on July 4, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Cowan might get out between 20 and 60 every time he bats but that is still a hell of a lot better than any other number 3 Australia has had for the last few years.

  • Dangertroy on July 4, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    I'll wait until the innings is over before I cast judgement on Cowan's innings. He's currently the top scorer, and made more than runs than Rogers... Watson hasn't opened again... Is this a trend? he's going to Open the first innings and then sit out the rest of the match? I realise that the coaches probably want to see a bit more of Cowan, but then why didn't Watson come in at 3 or 4? Surely more time in the middle would be good for him, or is he that brittle these days?

  • HatsforBats on July 4, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I tend to agree with @ Big_Maxy_Walker, but it would be suprising if Khawaja or Warner get the nod with no form or match practice (surely they won't be playing at 6!). Cowan is frustrating in that he leaves well, and can cut, pull, & drive excellently when set but continues to fall short and play timidly (IMO). Hopefully if he continues to get picked Lehmann can work his magic on Cowan.

  • Mary_786 on July 4, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Cowan wastes his start again, out in the 30s and possibly out of the first test. I wish he can just go on with his starts. Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith looking likely now

  • RandyOZ on July 4, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    Cowan is definitely gone now, yet another mid 30's effort and not going on. Not good enough for Australia.

  • fatier on July 4, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    Cowan looked good till Rogers was there,although he din't score much but was confident,however as soon as Rogers departed Cowan slowed down and thus lost his place in the team.

  • RandyOZ on July 4, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Cowan is going at his usual painfully slow rate. No wonder Rogers got out, he was trying to up the scoring.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on July 4, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Ed created a hell of a platform. He has a bad habit of going even more into his shell{if that's possible) when he loses a batting partner, leaving the new man in under immense pressure to keep the score board ticking over. That mixed with his tendency to not go on with it, and his poor running between wickets rule him out of the tests as far as I am concerned.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on July 4, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Ed created a hell of a platform. He has a bad habit of going even more into his shell{if that's possible) when he loses a batting partner, leaving the new man in under immense pressure to keep the score board ticking over. That mixed with his tendency to not go on with it, and his poor running between wickets rule him out of the tests as far as I am concerned.

  • RandyOZ on July 4, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Cowan is going at his usual painfully slow rate. No wonder Rogers got out, he was trying to up the scoring.

  • fatier on July 4, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    Cowan looked good till Rogers was there,although he din't score much but was confident,however as soon as Rogers departed Cowan slowed down and thus lost his place in the team.

  • RandyOZ on July 4, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    Cowan is definitely gone now, yet another mid 30's effort and not going on. Not good enough for Australia.

  • Mary_786 on July 4, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Cowan wastes his start again, out in the 30s and possibly out of the first test. I wish he can just go on with his starts. Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Smith looking likely now

  • HatsforBats on July 4, 2013, 13:16 GMT

    I tend to agree with @ Big_Maxy_Walker, but it would be suprising if Khawaja or Warner get the nod with no form or match practice (surely they won't be playing at 6!). Cowan is frustrating in that he leaves well, and can cut, pull, & drive excellently when set but continues to fall short and play timidly (IMO). Hopefully if he continues to get picked Lehmann can work his magic on Cowan.

  • Dangertroy on July 4, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    I'll wait until the innings is over before I cast judgement on Cowan's innings. He's currently the top scorer, and made more than runs than Rogers... Watson hasn't opened again... Is this a trend? he's going to Open the first innings and then sit out the rest of the match? I realise that the coaches probably want to see a bit more of Cowan, but then why didn't Watson come in at 3 or 4? Surely more time in the middle would be good for him, or is he that brittle these days?

  • on July 4, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Cowan might get out between 20 and 60 every time he bats but that is still a hell of a lot better than any other number 3 Australia has had for the last few years.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 4, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    Hughes currently 35 n.o., that means in these warm up games he's scored nearly 250 runs at an average of over 80! He deserves to bat at 3 in the first test and maybe then Clarke won't need to declare when he's on his way to a century.

  • Broken_F-ing_Arm on July 4, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Actully becoming comical how all of cowans innings are almost identical. Hughes looks the goods again with 50 NO, amazingly from the 2 warm ups so far he has scored 199 @ 199 avg i Know he has had a couple of NO"s but still hope he can take this to a century. Clarke coming in @4 tells us Steve Smith has done enough. Looking like a Warner/khawaja standoff for 3.