Worcestershire v Australians, New Road, 4th day July 5, 2013

Clarke encourages Warner return

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Australia's captain Michael Clarke has given a decidedly strong indication he wants David Warner in his first Test team, despite the left-hander's lack of match preparation. It will now be a matter of whether or not the selectors agree with reinstating Warner immediately after his suspension for punching Joe Root, or demure for reasons of Test match readiness.

Speaking for the first time since the day of Mickey Arthur's replacement as the national team coach by Darren Lehmann and his resignation as a selector, Clarke expressed the staunch view that Warner has now served his punishment for events at the Walkabout in Birmingham during the Champions Trophy, and that the left-hander is not the kind of player to need matches behind him in order to feel confident.

Should Warner be chosen it will be in a middle order role, after Lehmann confirmed Shane Watson and Chris Rogers had been inked in as opening batsmen for the series. The concept of a powerful counter-puncher at No. 6 has grown on the tourists, though his selection would not only run contrary to Warner's lack of preparation but his form before that. Scores of 0, 0 and 9 in his three innings so far in Britain followed on from an indifferent IPL and a poor Test series against India.

"He's certainly served his punishment," Clarke said, echoing Lehmann's words about Warner having a "clean slate" under the new regime. "His punishment was no cricket up until the first Test match and now it's about working out what our best team is. I don't believe David won't be selected because of punishment. I think that's been dealt with. It'll be about working out our best team.

"Certainly the selectors are going to take into consideration that he hasn't played much cricket over the past couple of weeks but on the other side of that the type of player Davey is it's more about his mind being clear and playing with that intent. I don't think Dave is the type of player that needs two four day games to make some runs to feel confident.

"If he's in the right place batting well in the nets I'm confident if the selectors do decide to pick him he can walk straight out onto the first Test to make a hundred."

Apart from their fitness and persistence, Clarke and the selectors gained little in the way of relevant knowledge about their bowlers on the final day at New Road. It was a fitting name for the ground given the way the pitch behaved, steadfastly refusing to break up or offer anything but the most minimal assistance. There has been some speculation about Peter Siddle's place given a lack of wickets, but Clarke spoke generously of the most experienced fast bowler at his disposal.

"Form certainly helps but Sidds has been a strike weapon for us over the last couple of years," Clarke said. "The selectors will pick the best attack, you don't necessarily have to be one of the best bowlers, it will be a complementary attack that helps us have success in the conditions we're about to face. I think it's one of his strengths. But they will need to pick an attack, not an individual bowler."

While admittedly close to Arthur, Clarke said the team had settled quickly following Lehmann's appointment, and spoke happily of the displays put on against Somerset and Worcestershire, which suggested a team growing in confidence, unity and belief in their skills. For this he joined the rest of the squad in praising Lehmann, recalling their earlier time in the Test team together.

"We're talking more about old times, that's for sure," Clarke said. "I was lucky enough to play a fair bit of cricket with Darren so it's nice to be back talking cricket with him. He's got an amazing amount of knowledge about the game. I guess we've got a lot of similarities in the way we want to play. I had a great relationship with Mickey and I still do. The people who know Darren and know me know we were very close when we were playing as well.

"There's no doubt the boys have handled what's happened over the past month as well as they possibly could I think our momentum is slowly building. I think our performance in both four-dayers, there are a lot of positives to take out of both games. We're just about ready to play this first Test."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • OzBlack on July 8, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    I thought Clarke had resigned as a selector! His very biased comments are insulting to others in the squad. Warner should have been sent home after the bar incident Instead it is now being made to look like all he had to do was wait for the tests to begin to walk into the team! Looks like preparation and match practice is not needed for this a"genius", even when he has hardly made a run in the last few months in any form of cricket. Maybe Clarke should get the "Arthur" treatment and be suspended for the next test. He was instrumental in getting rid of Simon Katich, who was rewarded for 3 consequetive years of being the highest scoring Australian batsman by being dropped and not given a contract. He also tried to "break down" Watson ( which he did after bowling 43 overs in the Hobart test against Sri Lanka) and now looks like he is trying to choose only those in his clicque. Australian cricket is in a mess and Clarke is doing his best to make matters worse

  • H_Z_O on July 8, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    @Meety As for Swann, there's no way he's in the class of Warne and he'd be the first to admit that. Warne, however, has himself made the comparison in one respect; how much of a rip Swann gives it. Finger spinners conventionally don't, Swann does and I've heard Warne himself comment on how that reminds him of how he bowled. Obviously Swann's not got the variation or skill of Warne. While Murali may have taken more wickets, I've always rated Warne as a better bowler.

    He and Anderson do perform a similar *role* for England as Warne and McGrath, but that's as far as I'd take the comparison. Warne and McGrath were legendary, Anderson and Swann aren't.

  • H_Z_O on July 8, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    @Meety think the issue with Anderson is that his career figures don't stack up but they're slightly skewed by a pretty awful start to his career. He's taken 307 wickets at 30 and a s/r of 58 but the last 151 of those have come at 25.3 and a strike rate of 56.5. Not McGrath calibre, obviously, but for all the people saying Siddle's stats are better, his 150 wickets have come at 28.84 and a strike rate of 57.6.

    Jimmy's early start (Test debut at 20) definitely harmed his stats but has probably been a big learning experience and contributed to the bowler he is today. And yes, I know Pattinson started at 21, but he's a phenomenal talent, and apart from FFL, few English fans have denied that.

    I agree about Siddle v Anderson. I rate Siddle very highly, he may not be as exciting as Pattinson, but I'd say right now he's just as important to your attack. He doesn't let up, keeps coming at the batsman, and gets wickets through sheer force of will. There's something so very "Aussie" about him.

  • Meety on July 7, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (July 7, 2013, 9:00 GMT) - Anderson (IMO) is a puzzling player. I have thought for a long time that he has poor body language when playing. In 10/11, he always looked like he was about 10 minutes from dehydration & I felt that if we could save wickets, we'd beat him. Like a mad fool, I kept thinking that right up to & including the Sydney & Melbourne tests - LOL! His surrender never happenned! I think this will be the series that will define who he is as a player. Stat-wise - Anderson would barely make the top 20 English bowlers since WWII, but his worth to England for durability & consistancy is pretty high. I think most Ozzys don't rate him too high because he & Swann were compared to (sort of considered the equal of) McGrath & Warne. I know that annoyed the cud out of me. I am looking forward to Anderson v Siddle, it will probably go a long way to deciding the series.

  • KARNAWAT33 on July 7, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    @Someguy: Mayte, I agree with your views completely, BUT, Mr.Nathan Lyon has proved himself, in India, where the ball turns a MILE, with novice batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay posting him into the stands in his opening spell.

    As far as the over rate is concerned, yes, that would be a problem, if Clarkey, Smith and Warner won't chip in with some overs. Let's face it, Australia do not have a Spinner, forget Quality Spinner. So why not invest in what we have, one of the finest pace attacks. Pattinson, Starc, Sido, Bird, Faulkner, Watto. That sounds intimidating on paper itself.

    The only problem here would be the just concluded Champions Trophy. BCCI and India made a joke out of it and the ECB let them, by providing SQUARE TURNERS to play in "England". So if they wickets are still RUINED, they will have to drop one of the pacemen and accommodate Mr.Lyon.

    I hope that after the disgraceful Champions Trophy, the trend is not followed and cricket is played on genuine tracks.

  • H_Z_O on July 7, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @Meety pretty much exactly as I see it. I'd say your quicks are better than ours as a whole, but I'd probably put Anderson above your seamers based on his track record (you may disagree but you're an Aussie and I'm an England fan so we're bound to!). Broad and Finn are hit and miss, much like your guys, but I feel like the upside with your boys is bigger. Pattinson's a demon and if he stays fit he does have the chance to take over Steyn's crown at the top of the tree. Starc just needs to find his length. Think it's tricky for him being a swing bowler but being 6'5", does he bowl back of a length or fuller? But when he finds it, he tends to take wickets in clusters.

    As for Compton, you're preaching to the choir. Then again, as I read on here earlier (I'd forgotten), Bairstow got 95 and 45 against Steyn and Morkel so he might do ok. Besides, if you're right about your lot being better with the older ball maybe it's a good idea to let Root face the new one ;). Looking forward to it now.

  • thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on July 7, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    Makes a mockery of warm up matches to put Warner straight into the starting eleven. The fact is Warner is a mediocre test player and, it seems, a pretty average human being. Should have been sent home for punching Root. Actually I hope he does get a game because the crowds are going to tear him to shreds. And Aussie fans - all this Cowan vs Warner vs Khawaja vs Smith debate is pointless. Face it - these guys are all walking wickets

  • BradmanBestEver on July 7, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    hyclass - agree with you mate - Bird is a wicket taker and he must play along with Pattinson and Starc. The obvious weak link is Lyon - unfortunately he is our best choice for the 1st test. But if he gets flogged in test 1, I would give him one more chance then replace him with the gelatinous substance.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 7, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Warner should be iin the top 6 because he is more likely to win us a game than is Cowan or Khawaja. Forget about defence - we have to be aggressive to win - otherwise it is all over red rover.

  • Meety on July 7, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    @ H_Z_O on (July 6, 2013, 10:15 GMT) - well I did think that Oz would beat India inIndia - so I am not sure how sensible I am - must of just got lucky - lol! Patto & Starc have amazing POTENTIAL, but that needs to be converted into ACTUAL results sustained over time - ala Steyn. Like most Ozzys - I think our pacers are better than England IF ( a big IF), they play near their POTENTIAL. I am not sue that I have seen enuff to suggest that they will deliver - although, I am quietly confident (hopeful?) that our seamers have an extra gear they haven't swiched into. I have been surprised that the vast majority of our wickets have come with an aging ball. That suggests that we will always be close to taking a wicket, but I would want more inroads made in the first 10 to 15 overs than what we are doing atm. I really do think England should of played Compton in the first 2 Tests as opener - too much too soon on Root!

  • OzBlack on July 8, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    I thought Clarke had resigned as a selector! His very biased comments are insulting to others in the squad. Warner should have been sent home after the bar incident Instead it is now being made to look like all he had to do was wait for the tests to begin to walk into the team! Looks like preparation and match practice is not needed for this a"genius", even when he has hardly made a run in the last few months in any form of cricket. Maybe Clarke should get the "Arthur" treatment and be suspended for the next test. He was instrumental in getting rid of Simon Katich, who was rewarded for 3 consequetive years of being the highest scoring Australian batsman by being dropped and not given a contract. He also tried to "break down" Watson ( which he did after bowling 43 overs in the Hobart test against Sri Lanka) and now looks like he is trying to choose only those in his clicque. Australian cricket is in a mess and Clarke is doing his best to make matters worse

  • H_Z_O on July 8, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    @Meety As for Swann, there's no way he's in the class of Warne and he'd be the first to admit that. Warne, however, has himself made the comparison in one respect; how much of a rip Swann gives it. Finger spinners conventionally don't, Swann does and I've heard Warne himself comment on how that reminds him of how he bowled. Obviously Swann's not got the variation or skill of Warne. While Murali may have taken more wickets, I've always rated Warne as a better bowler.

    He and Anderson do perform a similar *role* for England as Warne and McGrath, but that's as far as I'd take the comparison. Warne and McGrath were legendary, Anderson and Swann aren't.

  • H_Z_O on July 8, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    @Meety think the issue with Anderson is that his career figures don't stack up but they're slightly skewed by a pretty awful start to his career. He's taken 307 wickets at 30 and a s/r of 58 but the last 151 of those have come at 25.3 and a strike rate of 56.5. Not McGrath calibre, obviously, but for all the people saying Siddle's stats are better, his 150 wickets have come at 28.84 and a strike rate of 57.6.

    Jimmy's early start (Test debut at 20) definitely harmed his stats but has probably been a big learning experience and contributed to the bowler he is today. And yes, I know Pattinson started at 21, but he's a phenomenal talent, and apart from FFL, few English fans have denied that.

    I agree about Siddle v Anderson. I rate Siddle very highly, he may not be as exciting as Pattinson, but I'd say right now he's just as important to your attack. He doesn't let up, keeps coming at the batsman, and gets wickets through sheer force of will. There's something so very "Aussie" about him.

  • Meety on July 7, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    @H_Z_O on (July 7, 2013, 9:00 GMT) - Anderson (IMO) is a puzzling player. I have thought for a long time that he has poor body language when playing. In 10/11, he always looked like he was about 10 minutes from dehydration & I felt that if we could save wickets, we'd beat him. Like a mad fool, I kept thinking that right up to & including the Sydney & Melbourne tests - LOL! His surrender never happenned! I think this will be the series that will define who he is as a player. Stat-wise - Anderson would barely make the top 20 English bowlers since WWII, but his worth to England for durability & consistancy is pretty high. I think most Ozzys don't rate him too high because he & Swann were compared to (sort of considered the equal of) McGrath & Warne. I know that annoyed the cud out of me. I am looking forward to Anderson v Siddle, it will probably go a long way to deciding the series.

  • KARNAWAT33 on July 7, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    @Someguy: Mayte, I agree with your views completely, BUT, Mr.Nathan Lyon has proved himself, in India, where the ball turns a MILE, with novice batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay posting him into the stands in his opening spell.

    As far as the over rate is concerned, yes, that would be a problem, if Clarkey, Smith and Warner won't chip in with some overs. Let's face it, Australia do not have a Spinner, forget Quality Spinner. So why not invest in what we have, one of the finest pace attacks. Pattinson, Starc, Sido, Bird, Faulkner, Watto. That sounds intimidating on paper itself.

    The only problem here would be the just concluded Champions Trophy. BCCI and India made a joke out of it and the ECB let them, by providing SQUARE TURNERS to play in "England". So if they wickets are still RUINED, they will have to drop one of the pacemen and accommodate Mr.Lyon.

    I hope that after the disgraceful Champions Trophy, the trend is not followed and cricket is played on genuine tracks.

  • H_Z_O on July 7, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @Meety pretty much exactly as I see it. I'd say your quicks are better than ours as a whole, but I'd probably put Anderson above your seamers based on his track record (you may disagree but you're an Aussie and I'm an England fan so we're bound to!). Broad and Finn are hit and miss, much like your guys, but I feel like the upside with your boys is bigger. Pattinson's a demon and if he stays fit he does have the chance to take over Steyn's crown at the top of the tree. Starc just needs to find his length. Think it's tricky for him being a swing bowler but being 6'5", does he bowl back of a length or fuller? But when he finds it, he tends to take wickets in clusters.

    As for Compton, you're preaching to the choir. Then again, as I read on here earlier (I'd forgotten), Bairstow got 95 and 45 against Steyn and Morkel so he might do ok. Besides, if you're right about your lot being better with the older ball maybe it's a good idea to let Root face the new one ;). Looking forward to it now.

  • thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on July 7, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    Makes a mockery of warm up matches to put Warner straight into the starting eleven. The fact is Warner is a mediocre test player and, it seems, a pretty average human being. Should have been sent home for punching Root. Actually I hope he does get a game because the crowds are going to tear him to shreds. And Aussie fans - all this Cowan vs Warner vs Khawaja vs Smith debate is pointless. Face it - these guys are all walking wickets

  • BradmanBestEver on July 7, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    hyclass - agree with you mate - Bird is a wicket taker and he must play along with Pattinson and Starc. The obvious weak link is Lyon - unfortunately he is our best choice for the 1st test. But if he gets flogged in test 1, I would give him one more chance then replace him with the gelatinous substance.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 7, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Warner should be iin the top 6 because he is more likely to win us a game than is Cowan or Khawaja. Forget about defence - we have to be aggressive to win - otherwise it is all over red rover.

  • Meety on July 7, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    @ H_Z_O on (July 6, 2013, 10:15 GMT) - well I did think that Oz would beat India inIndia - so I am not sure how sensible I am - must of just got lucky - lol! Patto & Starc have amazing POTENTIAL, but that needs to be converted into ACTUAL results sustained over time - ala Steyn. Like most Ozzys - I think our pacers are better than England IF ( a big IF), they play near their POTENTIAL. I am not sue that I have seen enuff to suggest that they will deliver - although, I am quietly confident (hopeful?) that our seamers have an extra gear they haven't swiched into. I have been surprised that the vast majority of our wickets have come with an aging ball. That suggests that we will always be close to taking a wicket, but I would want more inroads made in the first 10 to 15 overs than what we are doing atm. I really do think England should of played Compton in the first 2 Tests as opener - too much too soon on Root!

  • Someguy on July 7, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    @KARNAWAT33 - Lyon has been bowling well, has an average of a little over 33 and has had countless wickets missed by Wade. With a competent gloveman in Haddin, he should do well, but even if you left him out, expecting Clarke and Smith to do the spin duties is crazy.

    Clarke is very good and economical, but with his ongoing back problems, why would you risk the teams best batsman using him for long spells of bowling?

    Smith is no longer playing as an allrounder. He doesn't practice his bowling as much anymore, and his once promising leggies have become a bit wayward at times. He can still bowl good balls, as Sachin found out in India, but is too inconsistent and will relieve pressure if relied to bowl long spells, which he will have to if there is no specialist spinner, otherwise the over rate will be shot to hell.

    It's a very rare pitch that it is worth leaving out a specialist spinner.

  • Chinmayan on July 7, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    I have been following Australian cricket ever since Allan Border took over. Australia had the luxury of great cricket captains in the names of Border, Taylor, Waugh & Ponting. But now Clark is doing a substantial damage by his attitude. He engineered a per mature career end for Simon Katich, disturbed Watto's career & now in disagreement to Lehman! Dear Clark, you can make or break this team. Please join hands with Lehman for the good!

  • righthandbat on July 7, 2013, 1:05 GMT

    Agree with what many have said here in that Warner should not be selected for the first test. He should instead be practicing all day in the nets preparing for the rest of the series, where he will undoubtably be taking part.

  • Shaggy076 on July 7, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    Looking at what the selectors have been doing think you can lock in 5 batsman Watson, rogers, Clarke, Hughes and smith. The other position #3 seems to be between Cowan and warner. also reckon Pattinson. siddl, starc and Lyon are locked in. So there is only one more decision to make.

  • popcorn on July 6, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    The RIGHT Selection of the Aussie Team considering (a) The Engine Room (b) The Solid Middle Order and (c) The Bowling Attack capable of taking twenty wickets is:(a) Rogers, Watson, Khawaja (b) Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, (c) Pattinson, Starc, Bird/Siddle, Lyon.

  • GeoffreysMother on July 6, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    The real sub text here is not what team the Australian's pick - but who is picking it. The gulf between Lehmann's statements and Clarke's is noticeable. Is Clarke being sidelined? Is there a power battle? Who has picked the opening pair? The older, influential retired Aussies seem to be solidly lining up behind Boof and seem to uniformly condemn Warner. Boof has replaced both Aussie openers ( Clarke's choices?) and done so publicly. Can Clarke's ego, which is at odds with traditional Australian team spirit cope? If the Aussies win the first test all this is of course irrelevant, lose it and what divisions emerge?

    What are the odds on Clarke retiring after this Ashes series and Hussey coming out of retirement to lead the team in December ( no replies from IPL owners please)?

  • on July 6, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    my XI - Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Khawaja, Clarke, Warner, Haddin, Starc, Harris (if fit) /Siddle, pattinson, Bird / lyon (pitch decides)

  • KARNAWAT33 on July 6, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    David Warner, is a class act on the field. The past few months may have suggested otherwise, but this is one determined bloke, who, if gets going, can instill doubt an fear into any bowling line up anywhere in the world. But cricket, does not work on reputation, it works on results, which, Ed Cowan, Philip Hughes have failed to provide, Usman Khwaja has shown a bit of flare, but when talking about 'flare', who else but the Pocket Dynamo Davey Warner. It is great to see Clarke supporting Warner for his game, he has been very well balanced and professional in his spproach, since he has taken the responsibility of leading the BAGGY GREEN's.

    My XI for the First Test would be (In batting order):

    Shane Watson (vc), David Warner, Chris Rogers, Michael Clarke (c), Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), James Faulkner, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle and Jackson Bird.

    Ashton Agar and Nathan Lyon have just not proved themselves enough to make it to the XI, Clarke n Steve can bowl.

  • 64blip on July 6, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    I think the story in the box is more interesting - Clarke and Lehmann's public turf war. Can't quite work out why any selectors would pick a team and then leave the order up to the captain. I would assume they have a clear idea of the position in the order they are picking each player for - maybe not bowlers, but certainly the top 7.

  • hycIass on July 6, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    Warner should be considered, no doubt about it. My two s decisions would be to leave out Cowan, Siddle from the team. I think we need to take risks in this series to beat England and just sticking with the tried and tested formula will not work anyway. I would stick with Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Warner in that order with Bird as our 3rd seamer. That attack would give us the best chacne of giving England a fight.

  • on July 6, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    I feel that Australian Bowling and Captaincy are the week link. Clarke picks his playing XI on emotions, on preconceived notions. He will pick the same XI if given the choice because they are his buddies/cronies. They are his comfort zone. He lacks the leadership in team selection. the 2nd weakness in Australian bowling is lack of variety. Bird, Siddle, Harris, Pattson bowl in a very similar way and Starc as a left hand bowler has a similar approach. You get adjusted to one Australian fast bowler, you can handle every one of them. Yes, they have pace, but they do not have guile, variety.

  • Amith_S on July 6, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    For me Warner should be considered but it will be tough without match practice to pick him. We do have young talent in shield who will come in soon. Burns is one of the batsman I think will be a test regular in a few years. The comparison with Maddison and Silk is that they have the talent that should see them as test players. But Maddison and Silk more so, have only just started out and are only 21 and performing admirably. Burns is 24 and more established.For this series Khawaja and Hughes are they guys to keep an eye on as boof will bring the best out of both of them, Khawaja in particular will finally be shown some confidence and given some games which Arthur denied him for far too long. Hughes needs to continue his warm up form.

  • Dazako on July 6, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Sorry Warner I think you need to sit this one out, Smith has played too well of late to not get a game. Cowan should still make the side due to past performance (india) same with Siddle but should be informed that he is playing for his spot. Hughes has scored enough runs so he is in, leaving Khawaja and Warner to sit on the bench. Both of those 2 need to be readdy to play at the drop of a hat. @ZCF_Outkast I agree that our bowlers will have the goods to knock off Bell, Bairstow, Root (Especially if opening)fairly cheaply I hope you are right with Stac taking care of Cook as he is the key to restricing their score. Bowl about 1 foot wide of off stump to Trott and he cant score as he only knows how to play on the leg side.

  • Flemo_Gilly on July 6, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    For me Boof is making all the right decisions, suddenly our batters such as Hughes, Khawaja and Watson who looked low on confidence look good now. I am predciting big series for Khawaja and Watson if he can get going as well. Siddle's selection is a tough one, yep he's been a bit slow to warm up but surely has the runs on the board to say "I'll stand up come the time of the first test"Bird is a great bowler, and he will play many test for AUS, but I'd take a tough wise head into the first test for this series, it's massive, and before you say Harris, well what if he breaks down though when fit Rhino is unplayable.

    Then who do you turn to to bowl the long spells? Starc? Patto? Tough decisions.

  • H_Z_O on July 6, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    @dalboy12 we're not as good as *some* people (ok, a lot of people) think we are. We're miles behind the Saffers but then who isn't? Australia nearly beat them, but South Africa were playing with 10 men in both of the Tests that were close. And as New Zealand found out when they outplayed England at Auckland, "nearly" doesn't cut it. You should have won that series, but didn't, then probably should have won at Lords (chasing just the 239 in a day and a half) but fell apart. Similar story at Headingley where you had us 67-3, with both Cook and Trott getting set and then getting out, but Root and Bairstow fought back. Then your batsmen collapsed again. Those fine margins decide Test series and in 2009 Australia were arguably the better side but lost the series by not seizing those moments. So I expect a close series, but Australia will have to capitalise on their opportunities, throttle England when they have the chance, to win it. Otherwise, if they let England off, they'll punish them.

  • Mary_786 on July 6, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    The real burning question is our bowling lineup. Siddle would be there if his form was up to his usual standard, but he's been very quiet of late. Harris is improving but not up to standard yet. Bird disappointed in the second innings in Worcester, but was effective in the first innings. My gut feeling is go for Bird. He has some outstanding first class figures and I suspect his bowling will compliment Pattinson and Starc better than the others because of his McGrath like accuracy. With Lyon as spin bowler (I think the monkey is now off his back for a while), it seems a pretty decent bowling attack Pattinson, Starc, Bird and Lyon. For the batting it has to be Khawaja's turn now and i would also bring in Warner even though his behavior wasn't good off the field. Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hughes, Warner for the batting lineup.

  • Sunil_Batra on July 6, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Warner deserves another chance, that's the bottom line. Marcus and Sunil you guys are right about Cowan, his failure to covert after 19 odd tests means he has run out of chances, he had a great chance when he was dropped for 0 in the last innigns but again failed. Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Smith should be our top 6, i really think the likes of Khawaja, Watson and Clarke will have big series. Siddle would be there if his form was up to his usual standard, but he's been very quiet of late. I would go for Harris.

  • H_Z_O on July 6, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    @Meety Getaway! A sensible Aussie fan making well-reasoned points that actually make sense and don't hype up the Australian team to crazy heights (Pattinson is a very talented young bowler, but those saying he'll soon take over Steyn's mantle as the best quick around need to seek professional help. One day, maybe, but Steyn's strength has been his longevity; 330 wickets at 22 already puts him up there with Lillee and he's not done yet). The Aussie batting is still a work in progress, as the coach himself acknowledges, and runs in the Tour matches don't mean it's fixed. But it does mean those guys are better prepared than Warner. Smith deserves a chance, he's earned it (runs in India, runs in the warmup). While I don't think the left-hander thing is as crucial as people make out, Smith is not only right-handed but also one of your better players of spin. Clarke, Smith and Haddin should make it tough for Swann, putting more pressure on the seamers to deliver.

  • ZCFOutkast on July 6, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    It would be silly to leave Warner out and select Cowan/Khawaja instead. Slot him into the middle order at 5. Australia's players are feeling confident and refreshed after the Lehman's appointment, so we know they won't have any issues with self belief or aggression. What's required are players who can dominate. Watto will do it upfront, and with a platform laid, Hughes is not the type to hold back either. No need to state what Clarke can do, but add Warner, Smith and Haddin, and in my opinion Australia suddenly look like favourites who can really bully Cook's men.

    The only issue will be the 3rd seamer considering Siddle, Harris & Bird have been underwhelming, plus Starc's unpredictability. But I feel if Aus have a plan for KP&Prior - Eng's reliable brisk scorers, they won't have much trouble taking care of young Bairstow&Root. Starc's already got Cook covered, and if I'm Clarke, I'd be more than happy to let the English collapse around a severely constricted Trott.

  • Westmorlandia on July 6, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    @ electric_loco_WAP4 - I think you misunderstand the English attack. When the ball is moving, they are exceptionally good and will get teams out quickly. When there is no movement off the pitch or in the air, the seamers do struggle to make an impact - which is what happened with the "Fulton Affair". They missed Swann in New Zealand for that reason, but they'll have him back for the Ashes and English pitches seem to be taking spin this season.

    The Aussie attack has some great young bowlers too. None of them have Anderson's control with the swinging ball, and I would take Anderson over any of them. But they might get more life out of any flat pitches that are encountered.

  • cccrider on July 6, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Warner got off very easily. Healy lost VC position for throwing a bat in the dressing room on tour. Clarke continues to show rampant favouritism, to detriment of the team.

  • Big-Dog on July 6, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Many people will be questioning Clarkes judgement after that comment. Warner's form has been non existant leading up to this series & his suspension won't have helped. In my view, Warner is a liability.

  • Gordo85 on July 6, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Typical Clarke. He tends to back him his New South Wales team mates and try to get them into the Test team whenever he can.

  • on July 6, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    @Disco_Bob, because 3 months ago we were touring India... besides that, now Wade has been ousted perhaps Lyon will take some wickets!

    I won't be the least bit surprised to see Dave Warner out in the middle at Trent Bridge. I can't entirely agree that he has been without cricket lately, he has been playing almost non-stop cricket since the start of the Indian tour, then onto the IPL and CT. As for the 'fact' about him being non consistent, well, check his stats, out of all the batsmen in the tour party he makes the most 50+ score per innings played, after Clarke. He is a potential match winner with the bat and will probably win back 20 runs in the field per match when compared to Ed or Ussie. The punishment handed out to him for the walkabout fiasco has been served, whether you agree with it or not, its now over and that must be accepted. Thats the case for D.Warner and its not the worst one in the world!

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on July 6, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    I would think that the majority of England players and fans would want Warner to play at Trent Bridge. There's the panto villain aspect, the punching of Root. He's the new Mitchell Johnson fans favourite, which combined with a poor technique, lack of footwork, no temperament, poor average, ripe for being sledged from Trent Bridge to the Oval, another leftie for Swann .... He has to play, surely.

  • wnwn on July 6, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    David Warner certainly has the ability to become a destructive test match number 6 taking advantage of the older ball. But if he plays in that position, Australia are likely to have 4 left handers in the top 6 (Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Warner) and we all know how good Graeme Swann is against left handers. This is why i feel Steve Smith could get the nod for that position.

  • dessertfox on July 6, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Warner is not a test quality batsman. End of story. The cupboard is rather bare, as Inverarity said, but it's not so bare that we need someone who thinks throwing the bat at anything outside off stump without moving his feet is the way to go.

  • disco_bob on July 6, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Can someone please explain to me why it is that before the India series and even before that, there seemed to be an almost limitless supply of posters calling for O'Keefe as the obvious choice for the spinner, indeed so obvious was it that he was the best that Australia had to offer that the entire Australian section process must have been infected with a mysterious space disease that renders the most obvious decisions, completely opaque. And now barely a few months later, it's like O'Keefe who?

  • disco_bob on July 6, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    @Ravan Dyson on (July 6, 2013, 2:29 GMT) "I agree with disco..." Well it's always nice to be agreed with, but er... you have misunderstood my post. I wasn't implying what you think I was. I think the statement is all about team solidarity and hosing down distractions. Both wise moves.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on July 6, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    As @SamRoy rightly pointed out the English bowling is as skill less and toothless and as bland as any in int. cricket a.t.m and well short international 'class'.Compared with the supremely talented young tearaways that Aus possess and the greatest young pace talent to emerge in the world in last 5 years,will soon to take over as no.1 paceman from Steyn in Pattinson , no wonder Aus has the best pace attack in the world. Eng's '80 mph' medium pace bowling doesn't compare at all with their Ashes foes .@ John Gomez - You can't have any optimism on Eng's threadbare bowling seeing how a pathetic N Zealand sent them chasing leather in the 2 recent series in NZ and Eng . Remember P Fulton ??

  • Thefakebook on July 6, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    Well I been saying all along Dave will play well at no.6 cause then he can play freely all his wild shot right handed or left.At no.6 no one will say you din't gave us a good start and quick 30s and 40s will help make 250 to 300!

  • disco_bob on July 6, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    @ Chris_Howard I think you miss the point of Clarke not being a selector. Of course the captain's opinion of who should be in the team never has no influence on the team ultimately selected. But when someone is formally 'named' as a selector there is a subtle but real extra pressure because then the captain becomes directly responsible for any selectorial fiascos that generate such fierce public debate. It's a pressure he can well do without.

    I think publicly naming him as a selector was more to show that after the Ashes debacle that the Argus report was not being ignored.

  • disco_bob on July 6, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney, yes, that is precisely what I meant. This is going to be a long gruelling campaign and it's certain that Warner will be playing at some stage.

  • reddawn1975 on July 6, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    My god i have no idea what the obession is with Steve Smith ive never known a guy to get such a massive run if you add up his scores for as many games as he's played he is useless send him home for example there is Shawn Marsh Mitchel Marsh Aaron Finch Doolan Joe Burns just to name a few that are first class players get real Australian selectors.............And while your at it Get Mitch Johnson back in this side he was in great form all through the Aussie summer and tours dont stuff his confidence again.

  • on July 6, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    @samroy "England is a dangerous bowling unit only when it it swinging conventionally or reverse or it is spinning. If it is not swinging or spinning their bowling looks below international class. With Siddle, Pattinson and Faulkner even if there is no swing, those 3 can look dangerous."

    You're joking right? Australia couldn't take 6 wickets in 90 overs against SA on the 5th day of the test and were useless in India. Australia couldn't do anything on pitches that were doing everything and you say England look below international class. Swann, Anderson and Broad are all in the top 10 of the test ranking. You have inflated optimism because of one good series against a pathetic Sri Lanka.

  • McCricket_ on July 6, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    It's always a danger reading someone's comments without the context of the question the journalist asked. None of his comments say that he thinks Warner should be picked. Re-read his Warner comments, and he's not doing much else than answering a reporter's questions about whether Warner will be make the 1st Test team, and if so, whether he'll be ready. Clarke's reasonably pointed out that if the selectors don't pick Warner, it wont be a punishment, and if they do, that Clarke thinks he'll be ready. I don't think Clarke is doing anything amiss by reminding everyone that the XI hasn't been settled yet, and that even when it is, that he will have a casting vote on the actual batting order. I'm fine with that.

  • SamRoy on July 6, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    When it is sunny and the ball is not swinging (or reversing) and not spinning big, I suspect Hughes and especially Warner have it in them to murder England bowling. I mean 150-200 run partnership in about 2-3 hours. England is a dangerous bowling unit only when it it swinging conventionally or reverse or it is spinning. If it is not swinging or spinning their bowling looks below international class. With Siddle, Pattinson and Faulkner even if there is no swing, those 3 can look dangerous.

  • enou80 on July 6, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    Didn't Pup bail out from the selection duties? All of a sudden he is creating a new stir that a player who should have been sent home, who hasnt played any warm up matches deserve a fair go, while others working hard, playing tour matches should sit out?

    Warner is an opener not a middle order batsman. I believe Watson and Rogers have been declared as opening combination. If you can just shift players up and down according somebody's hot flushes, then you might as well promote Pattinson to open the batting, and Watson to open the bowling?

    Unfortunately Pup is demonstrating once again that Australian team is shambles, and as an Aussie fan I could NOT be hurting more!

  • Haiphong on July 6, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    I guess it's obvious now that Mickey Arthur was only part of the problem...it is depressing to fully realize that Clarke still is. His 'blind' support for Warner and Hughes despite repeated opportunities AND failures is as UN-Australian as it could be. I always believed performance is what mattered. Perhaps it does - except for in the case of these two NON-performing players. Give Australia a chance - Keep Warner and Hughes on the bench!

  • mixters on July 6, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    If he is in he will bat at six. The openers have been announced and set (unless they are playing mind games) cowan or uzzie to bat at three clarke at four hughes at 5 and warner or smith to bat six.

  • landl47 on July 6, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    Well, Clarke's certainly right about one thing; Warner's technique doesn't require 4-day warm-up games, because he doesn't have much to start with. He sees the ball and tries to hit it without bothering with fancy stuff like footwork. On the days when he gets lucky he gets runs. That could just as easily happen in this test as after he'd played 6 games in a row. Of course, he also gets out for a lot of low scores and that could also happen.

    The 6 batsmen in the second warm-up game all made runs. I'm not sure why one of them would be dropped for Warner, who has made none recently. However, it's Lehmann's call. I suspect Warner will be carrying the drinks.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 6, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    I can see Warner filling a middle order spot long-term. He could play a Douggie Walters or Gilchrist type of role, very damaging. For example, Warner comes in at tea at 4/200 and by stumps we're 4/350. His footwork and shot selection is simply too loose to be a test opener, he will be much more valuable at 5-6 where he can cut loose.

  • Ms.Cricket on July 6, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Thank God Clarke is no longer a selector! These were mistakes he commonly made! Clarke proves that being a good batsman does not mean you are a good captain or a good selector!

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 6, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    If Warner plays, then my XI would be:

    Watson, Rogers, Warner, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, Pattinson, Starc, Harris/Siddle, Bird/Lyon

  • Someguy on July 6, 2013, 3:21 GMT

    Cowan and Khawaja have not really done a lot to warrant selection and Warner's form before getting himself in trouble was ordinary also, but if Warner is to be included, I'd be tempted to go Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Warner as the top 6. Haddin at 7, then Pattinson, Starc, Lyon and Bird as the bowlers. Maybe Harris instead of Bird.

  • Potatis on July 6, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    @jmcilhinney wrote exactly what I wanted to write, and really the selectors would have to see it the same way too. I agree particulary that it would be a slap in the face for the rest of the batsmen, and I think morale would drop as suddenly as it recently lifted. Warner does not deserve to play the first test, because without the match practice, he is more of an unknown than the other batsmen, and there's nothing great about his recent form to see him picked above others.

  • bobagorof on July 6, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    @jmcilhinney: I wholeheartedly agree. If having no form and no match practice is not reason enough to be dropped in favour of someone who has been scoring runs in the warm-up matches, then what is? Smith or even Khawaja have better claims to a spot than Warner at the moment. If there's an injury or a couple of failures then he might be in consideration but if Clarke is really suggesting that he wants Warner in the side for the first Test then it's a good thing he's no longer a selector.

    I have said it before, but if Warner plays in the first Test, having had no form and no match pracitice, then I will not be watching. If such a selection were made, all fringe players and most other First Class cricketers may as well retire.

  • on July 6, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    I agree with disco, seems Clarke trying to sound like control freak selector .... Cant wait til he's gone for good.

  • Meety on July 6, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    Of course Clarke would WANT Warner in the team now he is available - actually selecting him is another matter. I really believe that Brettig has got his wires crossed when he says "...given a decidedly strong indication he wants David Warner in his first Test team, despite the left-hander's lack of match preparation..." - Clarke has been quoted as saying that Warner doesn't need tour games to be CONFIDENT. That is different to being ready - it is more an indicator that Warner is a confident person. I like Warner & if there was no Root-gate garbage, I would have him in the Test side - however I couldn't select him before the next tour game. If this was Oz with Hayden, Langar, Ponting, Martyn & Clarke - looking for Warner to slot in - that is fair enuff, but it isn't. I also would NOT consider Warner for a #6 spot - it would be dumb. Smith is FAR more suited to that role - whereas atm, Warner shouldn't be considered for a spot BELOW #3 in the batting order.

  • prosanto on July 6, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    my team selection 1. Watson 2. Rogers 3. Khawaja 4. Clarke 5. Smith 6. Haddin 7. Faulkner 8. Starc 9. Pattinson 10. Lyon 11. Bird (12 Hughes)

  • dalboy12 on July 6, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    As a neutral observer, I don't buy into this rubbish that England are going to win this series 5-0. As a Kiwi, I watched England play the Black Caps home and away and I still don't think they are as good as everyone thinks they are. But this article does show that they are a lot more settled. All the talk about selections is coming from the Aussie side with England only really having to decide about what to do with Compton and Root, and whether to play Finn or Bresean. I reckon Warner could be a dangerous #6 - his opening experience means he should be able to handle the new ball, and he would be dangerous hitting out with the tail. I still reckon the Aussies need to select either Harris or Bird --- they are the constant, nippy seam/swing bowlers that I think will be dangerous in English conditions think Philander and Southee. An attack of Starc, Pattinson and Siddle could be great on their day - but what if its not their day? Can't wait for the series - I'm predicting a real close one

  • runout49 on July 6, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    Is Clarke kidding ? "He's served his punishment" ! Warner should not even be in the country let alone in contention for the first test.! He represents his country and he punched a bloke in a pub ! I wonder if this happened with any other Australian sporting team the player would be so leniently dealt with.Poor Dawn Fraser got sent home from the Olympics for knocking off a flag ! But of course Warner is from NSW.

  • on July 6, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    If batsmen are picked on form alone, Warner hasn't any lately. Sure, he has the ability and the idea of him coming in at 6 is very appealing.

  • jmcilhinney on July 5, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Could this be the first signs of a rift between Clarke and Lehman? ;-) Seriously though, while a captain obviously has the prerogative to change the batting order as he sees fit, if an XI are selected then generally the selectors have a fairly clear role in mind for each player. Generally speaking, two batsmen are going to be selected specifically to open the innings and the captain will allow them to do that. That said, Australia probably has more flexibility than any other team when it comes to who could open the batting on the day. Mind you, if Watson and Rogers are selected as openers and Warner and Cowan get selected as middle-order batsmen but Clarke opens with Warner and Cowan, then we really might see the beginnings of a rift between captain and coach.

  • Moppa on July 5, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    @Arpit Rastogi, you are right, Mitchell Johnson will be missed... by England and the English fans!

  • slow.mo on July 5, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    Very poor bowling in the last inning against Worc. I would be worried about that. The pitch might have been batting friendly but it doesn't hide the fact that the bowlers in contention of an Ashes test could not get a lower ranked county team all out. Why they didn't play Siddle in the last match is not understandable to me. Its a worrying sign that going into the first test the playing XI is still not certain due to lack of performances.

  • Chris_Howard on July 5, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    Cowan, Hughes, Khawaja, Smith, Rogers, Watto all make runs in the warm up game, but one of them may still get dumped for Warner (who Clarke the non-selector wants). Hardly seems fair.

    So, Clarke is no longer a selector but still has a big say anyway. Just like it's always been with captains. So all this talk of players not being able to be open with the captain when he's a selector is a load of crap, since it's really no different. After all, do you think Katich would still be playing Tests if Clarke hadn't been a selector? Nup.

  • cccrider on July 5, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    The overhype of Warner continues. Picking him stands against the lessons of 100s of years of reality. Even the Don needed a hitup before a test. Clarke shows why he is a poor leader.

  • Chris_P on July 5, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    @jmcilhinney I agree totally. Warner should have been booted right out of the team (IMHO) as his effort was nothing short of a disgrace. But why consider players in warm-ups if they are going to select him. That said, I see the last spot between Cowan, Khawaja & Warner, all not deserving of a call-up.

  • Batmanian on July 5, 2013, 22:53 GMT

    First drop is the unresolved problem. Cowan could do it uninspiringly, with Hughes at 4, Clarke at 5 and Smith at 6. Or Hughes could do it, with Clarke at 4, followed by a choice between Warner and Khawaja, then Smith. I think Cowan has done just mediocrely enough not to make it. Although he disappoints me, I am inclined to give Khawaja a go - Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Smith. The lack is, of course, leadership. Khawaja's confidence is paramount if he is to perform, and Warner's indiscretion is a good excuse to optimise the endorsement of Khawaja's potential by picking him at the start. Someone will fail, and Warner is a drop-in player.

  • Tyrion_1645 on July 5, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    It has to be "Demur" instead of "Demure". not trying to be too didactic but just saying..

  • on July 5, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon. Bat down to ten and variation in attack. Top six in form. Warner not in form before his suspension and no room for Cowan. Now more than ever before is the time to persist with young guys like Smith and Faulkner, as long as their form holds up. Haddin's selection is great, but he won't be around for much longer and now is the time to groom Smith for succession to the captaincy.

  • on July 5, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    Read: I want my mates in the team.

  • AhmedEsat on July 5, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    This confirms what we always knew-Clarke favours his mates .....this is the reason that Khawaja and Watson keep getting a raw deal! This is the last unsavoury aspect of Australian cricket that needs rectification if we are to grow into a power again!

  • portman on July 5, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    I don't see Warner as the saviour of Australian cricket at all. Three test hundreds from 19 test matches isn't record breaking, only one of those 100's led to a victory. Averages just below 40, again nothing interesting about that. What's the big deal? The only thing keeping him there is that the Australian batting line up really only has Clarke as a genuine threat at the moment.

  • jbminthehouse on July 5, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    Regarding the warm up games as a mockery, people aren't reading Clarke's comments correctly. Warm up games are important for MOST but it's just Warner that Clarke feels doesn't need the preparation. I agree with him. Warner is the type to just come back in and score runs. The break would have done him good and made him hungrier as well. I would pick Warner at No. 6

  • jmcilhinney on July 5, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    @disco_bob on (July 5, 2013, 18:57 GMT), good point. I guess Clarke's statements could be construed as a less blunt way of saying "when you don't see David Warner play the first Test it is not because we are punishing him further but because he was not one of our current best XI".

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 5, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    Just like he showed in the 2012 whitewash, Warner is a walking wicket to the likes of Anderson as his technique is weak. He's a good T20 player but lacks the skill for this level of the game. He'll fit right back in to the Australian top six!

  • ScottStevo on July 5, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, I agree with you that it's good the captain is supportive, although I disagree regarding the warm up games. They're glorified net sessions minus the netting! From what I've heard, Warner has been having similar training sessions without nets; not competitive (not that these matches really have been), but a similar experience. For me, there's no importance to these warm up matches other than to give all the players a good run out. Sides shouldn't be selected on the basis of 2 meaningless practice matches. Though I also agree that Warner shouldn't be selected but for me it's a combination of God awful recent form and his misconduct. With his recent form, after that punch I thought a plane flight home would've given him time to reflect. On the flip side, hearing Lehmann state that he's working harder than anyone was encouraging - possibly this experience can have a positive effect in the long run.

  • jmcilhinney on July 5, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    I agree that Warner has served his suspension and shouldn't be kept out of the first Test on disciplinary grounds but, if he is selected, it makes a bit of a mockery of the whole process of playing warmup games before the series. If he'd been in form beforehand then that might be something in his favour but to select someone with minimal form and minimal preparation would be a slap in the face to the rest of the batsmen for sure. Clarke says that Warner is the type who could come in and make an impact regardless but I bet he would have said that before the CT as well. I guess it's good that the captain is supporting his player but, based on what I've seen, there's just no way Warner should be selected. Maybe he's been blinding in the nets while others have been struggling. If not, there's no real justification for his inclusion in the first Test.

  • sonicattack on July 5, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Michael Clarke's comments add to the confusion (and not just with Australia) regarding preparation for five day tests...so Warner does not need a couple of four day games, does anyone? When players under-perform in tests it is often said that they are under-prepared ie that there has been little real cricket for them. For me, brought up on touring teams playing at least six or seven real county games before the first test, I do find the attitude today to be rather odd. Was England's rather chaotic game against Essex worthwhile?....and Michael Vaughn has also come out against the current scheduling. All very confusing!

  • on July 5, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Chris Rogers deserves a chance with Shane Watson to open the batting. Ed Cowan will be lucky if finds a place in the team at Trent Bridge. Bowling a real concern. Pacers need to click at the right team else they might not be able to bowl Poms out. I think Mitch Johnson will be missed.

  • CricketChat on July 5, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Warner should open the batting for Aus in all tests. Too valuable to be left on bench. His fielding will be a bonus as well. He along with Clarke (if fit) and Watson will have to lead Aus batting.

  • disco_bob on July 5, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    I think the press is reading Clarke's comment incorrectly. In my view Warner will not play the first Test because neither he nor Lehmann thinks he would make a best 11. The point of this statement is to pre empt any press speculation that Clarke has lost control of his team to Lehmann and to bolster Warner's self esteam and put the CT episode to bed for the remainder of the Ashes

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  • disco_bob on July 5, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    I think the press is reading Clarke's comment incorrectly. In my view Warner will not play the first Test because neither he nor Lehmann thinks he would make a best 11. The point of this statement is to pre empt any press speculation that Clarke has lost control of his team to Lehmann and to bolster Warner's self esteam and put the CT episode to bed for the remainder of the Ashes

  • CricketChat on July 5, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Warner should open the batting for Aus in all tests. Too valuable to be left on bench. His fielding will be a bonus as well. He along with Clarke (if fit) and Watson will have to lead Aus batting.

  • on July 5, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Chris Rogers deserves a chance with Shane Watson to open the batting. Ed Cowan will be lucky if finds a place in the team at Trent Bridge. Bowling a real concern. Pacers need to click at the right team else they might not be able to bowl Poms out. I think Mitch Johnson will be missed.

  • sonicattack on July 5, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    Michael Clarke's comments add to the confusion (and not just with Australia) regarding preparation for five day tests...so Warner does not need a couple of four day games, does anyone? When players under-perform in tests it is often said that they are under-prepared ie that there has been little real cricket for them. For me, brought up on touring teams playing at least six or seven real county games before the first test, I do find the attitude today to be rather odd. Was England's rather chaotic game against Essex worthwhile?....and Michael Vaughn has also come out against the current scheduling. All very confusing!

  • jmcilhinney on July 5, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    I agree that Warner has served his suspension and shouldn't be kept out of the first Test on disciplinary grounds but, if he is selected, it makes a bit of a mockery of the whole process of playing warmup games before the series. If he'd been in form beforehand then that might be something in his favour but to select someone with minimal form and minimal preparation would be a slap in the face to the rest of the batsmen for sure. Clarke says that Warner is the type who could come in and make an impact regardless but I bet he would have said that before the CT as well. I guess it's good that the captain is supporting his player but, based on what I've seen, there's just no way Warner should be selected. Maybe he's been blinding in the nets while others have been struggling. If not, there's no real justification for his inclusion in the first Test.

  • ScottStevo on July 5, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, I agree with you that it's good the captain is supportive, although I disagree regarding the warm up games. They're glorified net sessions minus the netting! From what I've heard, Warner has been having similar training sessions without nets; not competitive (not that these matches really have been), but a similar experience. For me, there's no importance to these warm up matches other than to give all the players a good run out. Sides shouldn't be selected on the basis of 2 meaningless practice matches. Though I also agree that Warner shouldn't be selected but for me it's a combination of God awful recent form and his misconduct. With his recent form, after that punch I thought a plane flight home would've given him time to reflect. On the flip side, hearing Lehmann state that he's working harder than anyone was encouraging - possibly this experience can have a positive effect in the long run.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 5, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    Just like he showed in the 2012 whitewash, Warner is a walking wicket to the likes of Anderson as his technique is weak. He's a good T20 player but lacks the skill for this level of the game. He'll fit right back in to the Australian top six!

  • jmcilhinney on July 5, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    @disco_bob on (July 5, 2013, 18:57 GMT), good point. I guess Clarke's statements could be construed as a less blunt way of saying "when you don't see David Warner play the first Test it is not because we are punishing him further but because he was not one of our current best XI".

  • jbminthehouse on July 5, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    Regarding the warm up games as a mockery, people aren't reading Clarke's comments correctly. Warm up games are important for MOST but it's just Warner that Clarke feels doesn't need the preparation. I agree with him. Warner is the type to just come back in and score runs. The break would have done him good and made him hungrier as well. I would pick Warner at No. 6

  • portman on July 5, 2013, 21:38 GMT

    I don't see Warner as the saviour of Australian cricket at all. Three test hundreds from 19 test matches isn't record breaking, only one of those 100's led to a victory. Averages just below 40, again nothing interesting about that. What's the big deal? The only thing keeping him there is that the Australian batting line up really only has Clarke as a genuine threat at the moment.