Sussex v Australians, Tour match, Hove, 3rd day July 28, 2013

Taylor runs more valuable than Cowan's

64

Australians 152 for 2 dec (Cowan 77*, Hatchett 2-28) and 366 for 5 dec (Smith 102*, Hughes 84, Cowan 66, Panesar 3-70) drew with Sussex 368 for 7 (Taylor 121*, Hamilton-Brown 73)
Scorecard

Ed Cowan and James Taylor both enjoyed plenty of time in the middle on the final day in Hove, but only one of them has any real chance of playing in the third Test at Old Trafford next week. Taylor's unbeaten 121, scratchy though it was through its early stages, will give him some confidence as he travels to Manchester, where his fate will rest on the fitness of Kevin Pietersen. Cowan's 77 not out, compiled with the help of some buffet bowling late in the afternoon, will boost his tour tally but won't earn him a Test recall.

As Australia's three-day game against Sussex petered out to its inevitable draw, Cowan and Matthew Wade (30 not out) put on an unbeaten 61-run partnership before the players shook hands and play was called off at 5.20pm, the earliest possible stumps time. Cowan might have wanted to push on in pursuit of his first century in a first-class match since November but this game wasn't about personal milestones so much as preparing players for Test battle.

In that regard, it was Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes who most wanted a decent hit during Australia's second innings, although Hughes had already made 84 on the first day. Alas, Khawaja edged to slip for 1 having been promoted to open and Hughes struck 38 during an innings that included a blow to the back of the helmet from Chris Jordan before it ended with a shuffle across the stumps to be lbw to Lewis Hatchett.

Cowan brought up his second half-century of the match from his 73rd delivery with a cut for four off Monty Panesar and both he and Wade cleared the short boundary late in the afternoon as Rory Hamilton-Brown served up some full tosses. Cowan struck two sixes, as many has he has during his Test career, but it was the first-innings centurion Steven Smith who gained the most with the bat from this match for the Australians.

Earlier, Sussex ended their innings at 368 for 7 after completing 100 overs, the maximum allowed for each team's first innings under the agreed conditions of this game. Taylor had gone to lunch on 112 and added nine to his total after the break, as Australia's ring-in player and first-class debutant Ashton Turner leaked a few boundaries during his maiden spell at this level.

Taylor might not yet play in the Old Trafford Test but his innings was a timely way to celebrate his England call-up. Taylor brought up his hundred shortly before lunch with a cover-driven boundary off Nathan Lyon from his 233rd delivery, and it capped off a solid morning for his temporary team, as Sussex added 123 to their overnight total in the first session for the loss of two wickets.

After the second day's play, Jackson Bird described Taylor's innings in underwhelming terms, declaring that although he had batted "quite well" he was "a bit scratchy at times" and had edged a number of deliveries through or wide of the cordon. That was a fair assessment at the time but Taylor looked more comfortable on the third day, especially when driving against the spin of Lyon and Ashton Agar.

He also cut Lyon for an attractive boundary but was fortunate to reach his hundred after he lofted Lyon high over his head and was put down by Agar, who was running back with the flight of the ball from mid-on. It was one of two chances put down by the Australians on the third day - Smith's difficult time in the slips continued when he missed an edge from Callum Jackson off the bowling of Agar.

Jackson provided support for Taylor during a 55-run partnership but after he lofted Lyon over long-on for six, he fell next delivery when he played back and was lbw for 26. Lyon finished with 1 for 99 from 26 overs and while his bowling was not poor - he got some dip and turn at times - nor was it often threatening enough to worry the batsmen. He was far from alone on the third day, though, as none of Australia's attack looked consistently dangerous.

Mitchell Starc picked up the other wicket of the morning when he came around the wicket to Jordan (47) and knocked his leg stump out of the ground with a fullish delivery. However, Starc and James Faulkner both had trouble finding consistent lines, as they had on the second day. Bird beat the bat a few times and drew an edge from Jordan that narrowly evaded Khawaja at gully, but was unable to add to the two wickets he claimed on Saturday.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • EnglishCricket on July 28, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Every Englishman like myself should be happy for James Taylor for scoring a magnificent century today not only for a County he doesn't play for but knowing the amount of pressure he has to not disappoint in this game. The guy is only 23 years of age with a load of talent and only just a year older than Joe Root and no doubt is the long term prospect for England in the foreseeable future. No disrespect to KP a great exciting player but age is not really on his side now and it would be great to see Taylor replacing him soon. Credit should also be given to England's batting legend Graham Gooch for spotting and giving chances to young batsman like Root and Taylor. He certainly knows what he is doing.

  • Shaggy076 on July 30, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    I really don't understand the push for Hughes to be dropped by some people, he is young and the only batsman in the two test that has performed a credible knock although in one innings out of 4. But no other batsman has produced a satisfactory innings.

  • mamboman on July 29, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Khawaja again proves he is not good enough. Surely it is time for Australia's hopeless dalliance with this under-achiever to end?

  • sando31 on July 29, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Rogers deserves to stay, his first class record is too good to ignore and he's had his fair share of bad luck lately! Warner must play, along with Khawaja, Smith, Cowan Jackson Bird and Lyon. A lot of people here say that Starc should be selected due to his ability to find swing late in the innings, and that compliments his high economy rate. Yet, why not strangle the English Batting with accurate swing bowling from Harris, Siddle and Bird. Give them absolutely nothing and make them come at you!!!!! The English batting line-up have been beaten easily by the Aus bowlers except for Bell and at times Bairstow and Broad(with some luck!!!!). Now it's time for the batsmen to step up, and everyone please remember how young they are. Remember how poor the current English Batsmen were when they were this age(2005 and 2006/7 ashes)

    Aus 3rd test: Rogers,Cowan Khawaja, Clarke, Warner, Smith(leggies will turn in opposite direction to Lyons offies), Haddin, Bird, Siddle, Lyon, Harris

  • on July 29, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    I'd play an extra batsman and ask SPD Smith to bowl lot of overs. They just need lot of runs on the board, Siddle and co. can actually get 10 wickets some how.

  • dmat on July 29, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    I can't believe Watson continues to escape real scrutiny. Personally, I would play Cowan ahead of Watson - sednd him a message that h has let the side down and needs to either get hi technique right or stick to the shorter form of the game. Cowan is more of a grinder and probably shouldn't have played in the first test because he was sick.

  • on July 29, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    I am really confused about what Khawaja has done to earn all the praise he has, Hughes has at least contributed this series with that last wicket stand (although Agar stole the show) that being said, selection policy is beyond me. Don't know why Lyon was dropped, who gets good bite on the ball, despite not spinning the ball a long way, and don't know what Matthew Wade has done to completely drop out of contention. Just seems odd.

  • markofcaloundra on July 29, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    Sure, its not looking good going into the 3rd Test. But, it ony takes winning a good toss,and batting, bowling fielding well. Sure this is not yet a strong Aussie side, but the talent is there. A matter of time before they play up to their ability.... ie Watson, Khawaja, Hughes, Smith, Warner, Clarke, and Haddin. These are our best..so we need to stick with them and wait for a few breakout performances, perferrably they all make big runs as a unit rather than one at a time..and turn 50's into hundreds. This is the core of the side looking ahead so ...am tipping with my heart (not head) that we will see a big turnaround over the next three tests..not so long ago that Cook, Bell and co were performing like our boys are now.Poms have,mature, proven test players now.In two seasons or so Hughes, Smith et al will be similarly good test players. Remember Haydos, S Waugh, D Martyn and a few others were very average for their early tests before blossoming.Go Boof's boys. We back you all.

  • funkybluesman on July 29, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    Warner certainly isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but his record rightly shows him as the second best batsman in tests for Australia (currently active) behind Clarke. He has some mental issues to deal with, but while many lump him as a T20 specialist who can bully weak attacks on flat pitches, remember that his 2nd (I think) test century came on a green, seaming wicket where he carried his bat through the innings as the rest of the team fell around him.

    He actually has the technique to bat in all conditions against all bowling. And really needs to be in the team.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 29, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    @Flemingits hard to argue against your logic although I feel that Starc will get the nod for OT for his supposed ability to reverse swing. Bird deserves his chance and if he misses out then he will probably play in the fourth test.Still shocked that Agar was selected and while its technically failed his performance at trent bridge was a panacea for long suffering ex-pats about to suffer 3 consecutive ashes losses in old blighty. I am inclined to go with Lyon. Harris to attack and Bird and Watson to keep it tight and take a few wickets between them. For the batting Smith will be important against spin and i am predicting Khawaja will continue his form from lords as he is a big match player. Boof will get the selections right, he understands the game well.

  • EnglishCricket on July 28, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Every Englishman like myself should be happy for James Taylor for scoring a magnificent century today not only for a County he doesn't play for but knowing the amount of pressure he has to not disappoint in this game. The guy is only 23 years of age with a load of talent and only just a year older than Joe Root and no doubt is the long term prospect for England in the foreseeable future. No disrespect to KP a great exciting player but age is not really on his side now and it would be great to see Taylor replacing him soon. Credit should also be given to England's batting legend Graham Gooch for spotting and giving chances to young batsman like Root and Taylor. He certainly knows what he is doing.

  • Shaggy076 on July 30, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    I really don't understand the push for Hughes to be dropped by some people, he is young and the only batsman in the two test that has performed a credible knock although in one innings out of 4. But no other batsman has produced a satisfactory innings.

  • mamboman on July 29, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Khawaja again proves he is not good enough. Surely it is time for Australia's hopeless dalliance with this under-achiever to end?

  • sando31 on July 29, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Rogers deserves to stay, his first class record is too good to ignore and he's had his fair share of bad luck lately! Warner must play, along with Khawaja, Smith, Cowan Jackson Bird and Lyon. A lot of people here say that Starc should be selected due to his ability to find swing late in the innings, and that compliments his high economy rate. Yet, why not strangle the English Batting with accurate swing bowling from Harris, Siddle and Bird. Give them absolutely nothing and make them come at you!!!!! The English batting line-up have been beaten easily by the Aus bowlers except for Bell and at times Bairstow and Broad(with some luck!!!!). Now it's time for the batsmen to step up, and everyone please remember how young they are. Remember how poor the current English Batsmen were when they were this age(2005 and 2006/7 ashes)

    Aus 3rd test: Rogers,Cowan Khawaja, Clarke, Warner, Smith(leggies will turn in opposite direction to Lyons offies), Haddin, Bird, Siddle, Lyon, Harris

  • on July 29, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    I'd play an extra batsman and ask SPD Smith to bowl lot of overs. They just need lot of runs on the board, Siddle and co. can actually get 10 wickets some how.

  • dmat on July 29, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    I can't believe Watson continues to escape real scrutiny. Personally, I would play Cowan ahead of Watson - sednd him a message that h has let the side down and needs to either get hi technique right or stick to the shorter form of the game. Cowan is more of a grinder and probably shouldn't have played in the first test because he was sick.

  • on July 29, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    I am really confused about what Khawaja has done to earn all the praise he has, Hughes has at least contributed this series with that last wicket stand (although Agar stole the show) that being said, selection policy is beyond me. Don't know why Lyon was dropped, who gets good bite on the ball, despite not spinning the ball a long way, and don't know what Matthew Wade has done to completely drop out of contention. Just seems odd.

  • markofcaloundra on July 29, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    Sure, its not looking good going into the 3rd Test. But, it ony takes winning a good toss,and batting, bowling fielding well. Sure this is not yet a strong Aussie side, but the talent is there. A matter of time before they play up to their ability.... ie Watson, Khawaja, Hughes, Smith, Warner, Clarke, and Haddin. These are our best..so we need to stick with them and wait for a few breakout performances, perferrably they all make big runs as a unit rather than one at a time..and turn 50's into hundreds. This is the core of the side looking ahead so ...am tipping with my heart (not head) that we will see a big turnaround over the next three tests..not so long ago that Cook, Bell and co were performing like our boys are now.Poms have,mature, proven test players now.In two seasons or so Hughes, Smith et al will be similarly good test players. Remember Haydos, S Waugh, D Martyn and a few others were very average for their early tests before blossoming.Go Boof's boys. We back you all.

  • funkybluesman on July 29, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    Warner certainly isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but his record rightly shows him as the second best batsman in tests for Australia (currently active) behind Clarke. He has some mental issues to deal with, but while many lump him as a T20 specialist who can bully weak attacks on flat pitches, remember that his 2nd (I think) test century came on a green, seaming wicket where he carried his bat through the innings as the rest of the team fell around him.

    He actually has the technique to bat in all conditions against all bowling. And really needs to be in the team.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 29, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    @Flemingits hard to argue against your logic although I feel that Starc will get the nod for OT for his supposed ability to reverse swing. Bird deserves his chance and if he misses out then he will probably play in the fourth test.Still shocked that Agar was selected and while its technically failed his performance at trent bridge was a panacea for long suffering ex-pats about to suffer 3 consecutive ashes losses in old blighty. I am inclined to go with Lyon. Harris to attack and Bird and Watson to keep it tight and take a few wickets between them. For the batting Smith will be important against spin and i am predicting Khawaja will continue his form from lords as he is a big match player. Boof will get the selections right, he understands the game well.

  • on July 29, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    Why are none of you stating the glaring obvious, Watson is the one that should be dropped. Two plus years of mediocre scores and is more of an lbw bunny than ever. Warner is a match winner. You should play him in every game.

  • Kallman on July 29, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    The predicament that is the Australian batting order is going to result in a gamble either way by the selectors. They have 5 batsman who have a chance at 3 spots (lock Watson, Clarke and Smith in). Khawaja is still pretty raw and it remains to be seen whether he can reproduce his best form. The 50 he made in the 2nd test was gutsy but the fact he underachieved in Hove could hurt his chances. Hughes is hot and cold. He has a tour average of 62 and played a great innings of 81 not out in the first test but Graeme Swann has really found him out. Warner made 193 on a pitch when 3 other massive scores were posted on the other side of the world. Is it enough to dislodge another batsman? Cowan was great in Hove and would be in line for a recall under different circumstances. I think his chances are low. That leaves Rogers. Will what the selectors have seen in the first two tests be enough? My team: Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Warner, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Siddle, Harris, Bird, Lyon.

  • Paul_Rampley on July 29, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Siddle, Harris, Starc and Lyon for me for Manchester.

  • MinusZero on July 29, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    Is Warner's 193 actually selection worthy. Remember in the same game, Elgar scored big too. Is it indicative of a small ground, poor bowling, or good batting. Bringing in Warner straight away seems like a knee jerk reaction

  • wellrounded87 on July 29, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    Not sure why everyone is calling for Hughes' head. He has the highest score by any of our recognised batsmen in the series. He also has the highest average for the series. His three low scores are troublesome but his 81 no in support of Agar was easily the best innings by one of our 'batsmen' in this series.

    If anyone is to be dropped for Warner it should be Smith with 73 runs @ 18.25

  • on July 28, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    Australia should give opportunities to new players if rogers, Watson, cowan and hughes cant perform in the next three test matches. I hope few younger guys perform consistently in domestic cricket next season. maddinson, doolan, silk and burns should perform consistently next season. tim paine should also replace wade who is just a terrible wicketkeeper. cummins and sayers will also be in running as fast bowlers. Nathan lyon, ashton agar, fawad ahmed and adam zampa are our best spinners in Australia.

  • Barnesy4444 on July 28, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    If this tour game is chance for players to fight for selection then Khawaja is out. 41 runs, 2 innings, that's about what he's been doing all tour. I would actually leave Smith out and pick Warner at 6, straight swap. Not that Smith has done anything wrong, I was one of the few here saying he should have been in the initial squad.

    It's Watson who needs to lift his game. He starts the rot.

  • Prazzo on July 28, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    A lukewarm performance from Australia. While Smith's hundred was certainly the highlight, and Cowan and Bird had a few inspired sessions, it was a poor result for Khawaja, and it was disappointing that others top order batsmen did not take advantage of the average bowling from Sussex. On the other hand, England has found another young rising star in Taylor popping out from the woodwork (where are the Aussie equivalents???) so perhaps more trouble in store in the third test!

  • max1174 on July 28, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    Khwaja's knock at lords was gritty and he did very well. I would give him a go. Cowan, Hughes and Warner have a bit to live up to for me and have failed too much of late , as much as I would like one to succeed. Watson please find a way to play off the back foot a bit more and not stick that pad out. If he rectifies it he would be doing so well. Clarke seemed to be coming good after only a few tests back from injury so hopefully he does even better at Manchester. Not sure why he played at the ball down leg side last innings. Hughes has to go for me. Was all over the shop at lords. The left handers really struggled with Swan.

  • Chris_P on July 28, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    @JG2704. This sort of selection policy has been going on a long time. Geoff Lawson, in the 1985 series, had his first chance to Captain a side against a county team when he was neither Captain nor Vice Captain & went on to be one of NSW's most outstanding captains, even more surprising in that he was in the unusual case of being an opening bowler. Cowan, to me anyway, seems to thrive on leading & has always struck me as being thoughtful & insightful. After Clarke & Haddin, he seems (IMHO) the next leader of the group. This game needed to be looked as a hit-out for our batsmen, & it proved just that, even with a reduced batting line-up of batsmen so I guess it helped with whatever they figured would work.

  • max1174 on July 28, 2013, 23:15 GMT

    I would focus on our bowling a bit more as the batting in the tests has been pretty appauling from the top order. What about Bird coming in to the side but also finding a place for starc. Bird, Harris and someone like Mckay would have been our strongest line and length and swing bowlers yet the selectors continue to ignore english pitches and conditions. There is a reason mcgrath and alderman got so many lbws and caught behinds on english pitches. Re the batting Hughes has to go for me and haddins keeping has been so so and cost us. Agar's spin is ineffective but Lyon hasnt exactly flourished. Its another weakness. I say play four seamers at manchester - bird, starc, harris and siddle and perhaps go for lyon. We were well beaten at lords and you cant ignore it. I am not sure the game at sussex or sth africa a is much of a form guide except I would give smith a few more goes. Maddinson is an interesting one. McKay and Bailey should not have been sent home. I think its pretty simple.

  • on July 28, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Why were Hughes and Khawaja shuffled again? Can they not pick a batting order? Hughes made 84 in the first innings and khawaja 40 why would you move them?

    Also everyone is talking about Hughes being dropped, Hughes ironically has the highest average and score of all aussie 'batsman' that played in both tests... Watson is the only one not to make a 50 and has made a fool of himself when his team needed him, his place should be on the line for Warner not hughes'

  • 2MikeGattings on July 28, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    2010/11 was a historic beating for Australia. 2013 is shaping up the same way but we're only 2 games in. If Australia will win the toss on a crumbly wicket it could get interesting, but only if they have Lyon in the side. They are just not giving themselves a chance.

    Bird? We keep hearing that he is a world beater with a top class average. But the Aussie selectors clearly don't believe he figures among their top 4 seamers. England did not have too much trouble seeing off Pattinson who is clearly rated more highly. Not to say he won't succeed on his own merits, but the puff pieces are not going to blow any houses down. Bring him on.

  • dunger.bob on July 28, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    I don't know about anyone else, but I would love to see Aaron Finch in the Test side. .. not because he's a good bat though. He's no better than the rest of our mob, I just want to see this in the score book. " Swann, caught Finch, Bowled Bird".

    Hey, gimme a break. I'm an Aussie and we have to get our fun where ever the hell we can these days.

  • ozwriter on July 28, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    with regards to dropping any of the incumbent players, it has to be based on persistent failure after numerous innings in test (not practice) matches i.e. the criteria on which cowan was dropped. based on this criteria, only hughes and watson are candidates to be dropped. given what lehmann said before, watson is likely to stay. he is also more valuable to the team (batting, bowling, experience etc) than hughes. rogers and smith have had 2 tests, khawaja 1 where he top scored, clarke is captain, haddin vice-captain....so none of these players meet any criteria to be dropped. thus warner in for hughes. or the same batting line up.

  • ozwriter on July 28, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    cowan has been dropped so he really needs to prove himself to be back in the team. that may mean consistency across 5 or 6 games. he can't just score 2 fifties and be siphened back into the team. further someone in his position needs to be dropped, i don't see watson nor rogers being dropped. watson is a valuable allrounder and rogers has only had 2 tests.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 28, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    This Ashes series has clearly proved that England's long rein of Ashes dominance continues with enormous strength. Their quality on sub-continent pitches assured, their win ratio at home well respected, they are a multi skilled side up against an Australian team that England are making look like an U16 3rd XI. For years, Australia issues with spin have been one of their biggest problems. Now, in the complete absence of any Oz spinners, that's rated one of their lesser issues, superseded by a top 6 that England bowl out just for fun, a captain who can't lead, a one-dimensional seam attack, and a recent legacy of awful keepers who fail regularly with the bat. The Ashes of 2010/11 was bad enough viewing for Oz fans, with Cook amassing his famous 766 runs and Anderson and Tremlett running through the 'best' of Australian cricket. This time has a much more ominous feel to it for Aus, and that's without even looking at the scorebook to see that they're two to nothing down in the series.

  • JG2704 on July 28, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    I genuinely wonder at Australia's selection policies.

    Cowan was totally dropped for the last test and now he's captaining the side for this game. I was always under the impression that the vice captain should be an ever present in the side

  • Beertjie on July 28, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    @salazar555 on (July 28, 2013, 16:25 GMT), on that criterion Hughes must have something on the selectors to keep getting picked. I'm no fan but he needs all his opportunities now before getting the chop again (maybe for good!). Given Watson's lbw failing which can't be addressed within a week's nets, I'd have him at #4. Hughes and Rogers to open. Warner to replace Rogers or Watson if they can't make good. That score in SA only shows he's back in the reckoning, not that he must play now. Lyon is in a similar position. Give him 3 tests and re-evaluate for Ashes II.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 28, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Let's have no talk about building for the future, consistency of selection, and all that guff. OT is the last chance saloon for Australia, win or bust, so the axe has to fall. England's bowlers will be very happy to see Warner bringing out the drinks.

  • Sunil_Batra on July 28, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    Amin there is absolutely no point in comparing our spinner's effectiveness against Swann - he is superior to anything we've got! Anybody who thinks that Agar bowled as well as Swann in either test must be on some fairly strong medication.I still can't believe that Agar was picked for the 1st test ahead of Lyon. What is surprising is that they continually expect to unearth the nest Warne by pursuing an agenda that is totally reactive and reeks of desperation. Batmanian you are kidding yoursel if you think we will drop a batsman when he was our best in a pressure 2nd innings at Lords. Ussie has been 12th man for 7 months and had at best 1-2 games previously whereas the likes of Cowan had 19 games in a row, how do you go about dropping one of our best young shield batsman because he didn't score today, its about time you gave Khawaja a real chance mate as he can be a seriously good test batsman for us. And same goes for those folks calling Rogers to be dropped, he has had 2 tests.

  • Mary_786 on July 28, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    Amith and Edward i would love to see the selectors reaction when most of us start jumping to conclusions based on a simple hit out. You are correct there were 2 positions up for grabs, Warner vs Hughes and Bird vs Starc. I think Bird won the battle but i am not sure who won the Warner vs Hughes spot. Rogers, Khawaja and Smith have done more then enough in this series to keep their spots and rightly so. I am predicting Smith and Khawaja to be our best young batsman in this series. And though Ahmed has taken some wickets in SA I think Lyon needs to be our spin bowler at this stage. Remember Lyon is not yet 26, still a young bloke learning his craft, and he has a fairly good test average around 33…nothing special but he's doing the job. The only other question is who joins Siddle and Harris in the fast bowling group, Bird or Starc, i am leaing towards Bird. I'm pleased I'm not a selector to decide that one because both have very good credentials and offer very different advantages.

  • hycIass on July 28, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    I would be careful reading too much into the Australia A performances of Warner remembering the overall performances against a weak Zimbabwe side a week before. Sure South Africa A have some pretty decent bowlers on show but so does Australia. Yet S.A. opener Elgar got 200,, Ongong scored 60 and the SA side is likely to get close to the Oz first innings. Elgar is like Australia's present young guns aged 26 with a clutch of test appearances and one century but no other score over 27 and an average of 32. That's not to say Warner shouldn't be considered but its not England and its not Anderson and Swann.I wouldnt touch the batting line up for now, other than consider Warner in place of Hughes, but not necessarily as an opener however happy for no change. Rogers will start to feel the pressure but hopefully does the job next game. Khawaja was wonderful last game and i predict he will be our long term number 3 for us. For the bowling Lyon and Bird must slot in for Pattinson and Agar.

  • Amith_S on July 28, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    Thanks Paul, folks forget that these are practice matches and real results are the ones in the test matches. One position was up for grabs in this match and that was Hughes vs Warner. Warner will get in for Hughes as he has done exactly what Coach wanted and that was to get runs and spend some time out in the middle. Lehman considered Warner a clean slate after he did the punishment for his misdemeanors. Smith will stay because of his 100. Khawaja is solid as he was our best batsman in the last innings and that too in tough conditions, for me he needs a real go this time and not just 1-2 games as has been the case previously. Rogers will feel the pressure from Cowan's knock today but i hope he starts to come through for us. Watson has hopefully sorted through his chinks against the ball that comes in to him.

  • Flemo_Gilly on July 28, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    @Salararz555 fair points mate but seriously if you think selections are made based on a county game against a second string attack you are gravely mistaken. Khawaja's knock in Lords was applauded by Gilly, AB and many others becaues it gave the batsman confidence that we can fight their bowling attack, it was fantastic to see him and Clarke go about things. This game was about practice and its a shame Hugehs and Khawaja didn't get much today but i wouldn't worry. I am confident we will go with Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith and either Warner or Hughes for the batting and Bird will come into the bowling. Also It's only fair when rating Warner to note that he has been Australia's second most prolific batsman after Clarke since making his debut. But stats don't tell the whole story and Warner has been more guilty than most of throwing his innings away at inopportune times when if he had just shelved his aggression for half an hour it would have greatly benefited his side.

  • Optic on July 28, 2013, 17:57 GMT

    EnglishCricket KP's only just turned 33 and could quite easily churn runs out for another 4 years. In fact Trott is less than a year younger than KP. It's great Taylor got runs but I still have huge reservations about him at international level, more so than Bairstow, who tbh Taylor is in competition with in real terms for the last batting spot over the next few years.. As a England fan, I don't think we should be wanting rid of KP till he's absolutely ready, for me he's earned that. Apart from that It would make watching England top 6, quite hard going with them all being very similar. KP is the player I want to watch batting when I pay my money and he's the person I stop working to watch. I can guarantee right now that when KP does retire, we will spend another 20 years trying to find the next one.

  • Iddo555 on July 28, 2013, 17:57 GMT

    @sunil

    Khawaja has hardly nailed his place down. Getting one score of 50 is not enough and should not be enough for a player to sit back and think he is in the team. In the practice match he had a chance to bat long on a flat track where he didn't have to face Swann and he has come up with a score of 1 and 40. This again is not good enough.

    He's not a kid, he's nearly 27 yrs old, that's pretty near Cook's age. He needs to be averaging better than 30.09 in tests which is what he currently does. Top six batsmen need to be in the 40's atleast, even England's wicket keeper averages over 40 in test matches

  • Batmanian on July 28, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    Prima facie, Khawaja hasn't done enough on tour (scrappy Lord's 'top score' included) to stay in the side if Warner is considered. But then, what is the point of having given Khawaja his third chance? If he is dropped, it has to be for good this time to give other fringe talent a time around the team - so I'd go to extraordinary lengths to get him another chance, which means either holding Warner back for another match or 'resting' Watson. Hughes and Smith should be safe.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 28, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    @Fleming Well of course Khawaja has been hailed as the future of Australian batting over and over again, and has played 7 tests in 5 different series. I suppose the selectorial logic is that if they keep dropping him he will keep on being the next big thing.

  • Sunil_Batra on July 28, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    Salarz555 you don't drop a guy when he top scores in the real test match for you, Khawaja top scored in Lords for us in conditions the great Steve Waugh would have found tough. Hughes will be the man who is nervous with Warner and Cowan breating down his neck. Can someone tell me why this game wasn't 4 days long, we had the time between the games to do it and 3 days just doesn't allow both sides time to bat twice, bad schedulling as far as i can tell.

  • hycIass on July 28, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    My 3rd test team would be: Watson Rogers Khawaja Hughes Clarke Warner Wade Siddle Harris Lyon Bird

    I think Warner must play, and must show the grit and determination he showed early on in his Test career. We need match winners, not match savers. I also think Wade needs to be back as well, he needs a lot of time put into his keeping to spin but I think his batting and keeping have gone past Haddin.Khawaja is our best number 3 and won me over with his Lords knock, would have like to see him get more today but you don't pick test batsman on basis of 1 warm up match. Bird and Lyon must come in, they will make a difference to our bowling attack. Dissapointed with all the dropped catches this game in particlar Agar's drop off Lyon's bowling..

  • Flemo_Gilly on July 28, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    @salarz555 i suggest you watch Khawaja's knock in the second dig at Lords, it was a fantastic gritty innings when it mattered. I wouldn't worry too much about a warm up match as he will be our number 3 hopefully for a long time to come. You don't drop a guy when he top scores for you, that sort of short term selection is done by arm chair selectors such as us not by the real ones. Rogers will be nervous because if Cowan does come back it will be for him but like Amith i am inclined to show faith in our current top 6. Hughes may not have done enough and Warner may slot in for him but that's the only change i can see. Edward i didn't know Cowan was dropped but good on him for using the life to go on.

  • Paul_Rampley on July 28, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Amit makes a very good point. Keep in mind that these matches are called warm up matches, they are not used to make drastic changes to our batting lineup. I think 5 of the batsman in Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke and Smith are locked in. Smith got a 100, Khawaja was very good in the Lords second innings and we are not about to change our opening partnership so soon. The only spot was between Hughes and Warner and i am not sure which way we will go there. I agree with Sunil's team and i think it will be something close to that for Manchester.

  • Iddo555 on July 28, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    Khawaja is probably the big disappointment in this run out. 40 in the first innings and 1 in the second. That's not good considering eveyone else who is fighting for the batting spots has got good numbers. He's failed in the number one rule, don't give the selectors a reason to drop you.

  • Amith_S on July 28, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    @Jeremy Khawaja is fine, he top scored in the Lords match on a pitch which was turning square so he is fine. His position was always safe, the real question is whether Hughes has done enough or if Warner or to a lesser extend Cowan may take his position. My view stick with the same batting lineup as only confidence will help build our batting attack. Selectors don't pick batting lineups based on meaningless warm up matches, its all about who can score in the real matches and the likes of Clarke, Khawaja, Smith and Rogers have all done so this series. THese warm up matches is just to give our batsman a hit, we make too much out of the scores coming out of them.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 28, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    Shame Hughes didn't convert his score and his position might be taken by Warner or Cowan. Cowan was dropped between second and third slip early in his innings but used that chance well to progress on. Khawaja looked the goods in Lords so not so worried about him and hopefully ROgers and Watson have ironed out their issues in the nets though i would have played them in this match. Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith, Warner for me as our top 6 for Old Trafford.

  • landl47 on July 28, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    @Lyndon McPaul: so did the spinners gain any confidence, since that was the object of the exercise? 1-99 and 1-66 and economy rates of 3.8 and 4.7. If that made them more confident then they must have been feeling really insecure before.

    It's lucky that you pointed out how much better Australia's bowling is than England's and that all the England batsmen are out of form, because otherwise I might have been fooled into thinking that winning by 347 runs meant that England played better than Aus.

    Happily we don't have to rely on your opinion. We'll see in the next test how well the sides match up.

  • Jeremy303 on July 28, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    Looks like Khawaja will be facing the chop....again.

  • VVSR92 on July 28, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    going in to test with ton behind him gives him enormous amount of confidence . He should play even if kp is fit in the place of bairstow .

  • Sunil_Batra on July 28, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    After Hughes failure today folks will call him to be replaced by Warner but i still think we need to show faith in our top 6 from the lords test. Leave Hughes at 4 and keep Rogers in as well despite his lean showing as he may come through. Would have been good to see Khawaja stay there longer today but he top scored in Lords on a tough deck where all other Aus batsman barring Clarke failed so he is our man at 3 and Smith and Clarke will hold our middle order. For the bowlers Bird has done enough for me to take Patto's spot. Rogers, Watson, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Siddle, Bird, Harris, Lyon for me.

  • GeoffreysMother on July 28, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    Lyndon - Root wasn't dropped: your lads forgot to go for the catch. Taylor was dropped, but that is because even when your lads go for a catch, they often drop it. I believe they also think it is unlucky when you take a wicket with a no ball, or you are out LBW when the ball is going on to hit the wickets.. Still that's they Aussie way!

  • H_Z_O on July 28, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    @TestsareBest think if you look at what Bird said in full, he wasn't being dismissive at all, and there was something of a veiled comment towards Australia's batsmen.

    The full quote was:

    "He was a bit scratchy at times but he dug in there and he dug in there quite well," Bird said. "He nicked a few balls through the slips and got dropped once but he is still at the crease. He tries to make you come to him and he puts the bad balls away and I thought he batted quite well."

    If you look at it in full, it sounds like there's a subtle hint there that the Australian batsmen could do a better job doing the same sort of thing, digging in, making the bowlers come at you and waiting for the bad balls to put them away for runs. He's actually quite complimentary, considering he's being asked to talk about an Ashes opponent who he may face in the next Test.

    McGrath wasn't fond of giving much credit to the opposition batsmen either and it worked out well for him. They're opponents, after all.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 28, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    @bradman Constant crowing when Aussie A beat England A this winter could be said to indicate the same thing, in reverse.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 28, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    @lyndon You're having a laugh... Root will be pretty happy with the state of his batting. The only England batsman in a genuine slump is Prior. I don't think I have ever seen him in such a prolonged run of bad form. Trott is in superb touch, if you think he has been struggling for runs you have been watching a different series than I have. Cook has been perhaps distracted by captaincy hoopla much as Strauss was in 2009, but with 6 test tons in the last 12 months it's not hard to back him to succeed. As for KP, he is a big game player. Squishing a weak Aussie side like gnats on a windscreen doesn't motivate him.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 28, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    The constant negativity toward the Aussies by some indicates that these individuals took it very hard over all those years when the Aussies were beating the English. I never realized they took cricket that seriously.

  • on July 28, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Bird is right, a hundred at Hove is pretty meaningless. I see nothing in Taylor's game to suggest a potential test career. He looked completely out of his depth last year when given an opportunity.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on July 28, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    So much depth to England. No team has the depth in all departments that England so. Top quality back ups in batting, keeping, spin and fast bowling. South Africa have no back ups, Australia only have fast bowling back ups and India only have batting back ups. Sri Lanka only have spin bowling and keeping back ups. England have all of them!

  • on July 28, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    @lland47...Australia didnt even take the new ball and continued to bowl their spinners so they could gain confidence. Bird basically sealed his postion in the team with his newball spell and beyond that they really only bowled the spinners and Faulkner. Cook, Trott, KP and Root (prior to being dropped on 8 2nd innings at Lords) Havent all had a batting malaise for no reason. I would prefer Siddle and Harris anyday over any of Broad, Bresnan or Finn and his stats bear that out. Bird's a no nonsense professional who knows exactly what his game is and delivers. His stats in this game, in the 2 tests he has played so far and his first class career show this. The newball combo of Bird and Harris should be enough to keep the English top order in Shackles IMO.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 28, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Lyon finishes with 1 for 99. Flakey. #boom

  • 2MikeGattings on July 28, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    I wonder what Taylor would say about Bird's bowling. "Not express but he put it there or thereabouts and got the odd ball to move away from the bat. He was less effective when the shine went off the ball but overall I thought he bowled quite well."

  • jmcilhinney on July 28, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Taylor did have a stroke of luck early on but many a good innings has been played in similar circumstances. It's hard to see how he wouldn't be the one to replace KP for the third Test if KP isn't fit in time. It's tough for Taylor to know that he'll only get that one game no matter how well he does but it's better to get one than none. Many would probably say that he should keep his spot if he out-performs Bairstow but I think that England are committed to Bairstow for the time-being and I say fair enough. Taylor may just have booked himself a trip to Australia though.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 28, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    Great innings from Taylor, he certainly has taken well to Bird, Starc and the predicable Lyon, and crafted an excellent century. It just doesn't get any easier for Australia, now they're being beaten by a county side.

  • landl47 on July 28, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Sussex are batting on after lunch to give Australia's bowlers a chance to find some form. None of these guys look like world beaters, especially when the fielders aren't backing them up.

    With South Africa A scoring 614-7, it doesn't appear that Australia's new wave of seam bowlers are quite ready yet. The old warhorses Siddle and Harris still look the pick of the Aussie attack.

    The young guys will get there, I'm sure, but it's going to take a while.

  • TestsareBest on July 28, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    You have to laugh at Jackson Bird's comments on Taylor's innings. I wonder what he has made of his Aussie batsmen team-mates? It will be fun to hear what he's got to say after two days of being flayed to all parts at Old Trafford. Say what you like about how bad these Aussies are as cricketers. But they are very funny.

  • TestsareBest on July 28, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    You have to laugh at Jackson Bird's comments on Taylor's innings. I wonder what he has made of his Aussie batsmen team-mates? It will be fun to hear what he's got to say after two days of being flayed to all parts at Old Trafford. Say what you like about how bad these Aussies are as cricketers. But they are very funny.

  • landl47 on July 28, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Sussex are batting on after lunch to give Australia's bowlers a chance to find some form. None of these guys look like world beaters, especially when the fielders aren't backing them up.

    With South Africa A scoring 614-7, it doesn't appear that Australia's new wave of seam bowlers are quite ready yet. The old warhorses Siddle and Harris still look the pick of the Aussie attack.

    The young guys will get there, I'm sure, but it's going to take a while.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 28, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    Great innings from Taylor, he certainly has taken well to Bird, Starc and the predicable Lyon, and crafted an excellent century. It just doesn't get any easier for Australia, now they're being beaten by a county side.

  • jmcilhinney on July 28, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Taylor did have a stroke of luck early on but many a good innings has been played in similar circumstances. It's hard to see how he wouldn't be the one to replace KP for the third Test if KP isn't fit in time. It's tough for Taylor to know that he'll only get that one game no matter how well he does but it's better to get one than none. Many would probably say that he should keep his spot if he out-performs Bairstow but I think that England are committed to Bairstow for the time-being and I say fair enough. Taylor may just have booked himself a trip to Australia though.

  • 2MikeGattings on July 28, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    I wonder what Taylor would say about Bird's bowling. "Not express but he put it there or thereabouts and got the odd ball to move away from the bat. He was less effective when the shine went off the ball but overall I thought he bowled quite well."

  • 2MikeGattings on July 28, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    Lyon finishes with 1 for 99. Flakey. #boom

  • on July 28, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    @lland47...Australia didnt even take the new ball and continued to bowl their spinners so they could gain confidence. Bird basically sealed his postion in the team with his newball spell and beyond that they really only bowled the spinners and Faulkner. Cook, Trott, KP and Root (prior to being dropped on 8 2nd innings at Lords) Havent all had a batting malaise for no reason. I would prefer Siddle and Harris anyday over any of Broad, Bresnan or Finn and his stats bear that out. Bird's a no nonsense professional who knows exactly what his game is and delivers. His stats in this game, in the 2 tests he has played so far and his first class career show this. The newball combo of Bird and Harris should be enough to keep the English top order in Shackles IMO.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on July 28, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    So much depth to England. No team has the depth in all departments that England so. Top quality back ups in batting, keeping, spin and fast bowling. South Africa have no back ups, Australia only have fast bowling back ups and India only have batting back ups. Sri Lanka only have spin bowling and keeping back ups. England have all of them!

  • on July 28, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Bird is right, a hundred at Hove is pretty meaningless. I see nothing in Taylor's game to suggest a potential test career. He looked completely out of his depth last year when given an opportunity.

  • BradmanBestEver on July 28, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    The constant negativity toward the Aussies by some indicates that these individuals took it very hard over all those years when the Aussies were beating the English. I never realized they took cricket that seriously.