England Lions v Australians, Tour Match, 2nd day August 17, 2013

Hughes shades low quality face off with Khawaja

62

Australians 227 for 6 (Watson 45, Stokes 2-27) drew with England Lions 269 for 7 dec (Ballance 104)
Scorecard

On the eve of this match, Australia's coach Darren Lehmann was asked whether any restrictions would be placed on how long a batsman could play, given the two-day contest was limited to 100 overs per side. "I don't think we're at that stage where we can do that," Lehmann said. "If someone can bat 100 overs, they bat 100 overs." It turns out even surviving for 100 balls was too tall an order for any of the Australians.

Matthew Wade and James Faulkner might have got there, well established as they were when bad light ended play just after 5pm, consigning the one-innings match to a draw with Australia on 227 for 6 in their chase of 270. But the very fact that only one of Australia's top six - Phillip Hughes - lasted longer at the crease than the No.7 and 8 batsmen suggested the day had been a bust for the Australians, who needed to gain some batting confidence.

When play was abandoned, Wade was on 38 from 69 deliveries and Faulkner had 29 from 75 balls, but it was the efforts of Hughes and Usman Khawaja that were under greater scrutiny given the likely battle for the No.3 spot at The Oval. Neither man made the big score he wanted but Hughes won on crease occupation against a solid all-round England Lions attack, albeit on a pitch that didn't offer much in the way of sideways movement.

It was telling that Khawaja, the incumbent first-drop in the Test team, was demoted to No.6. His only scoring stroke was a crisp on-drive off his pads for four but he was caught behind when he prodded outside off and edged Ben Stokes for 4. By comparison, Hughes looked uncomfortable at times, including when he fell over while playing a hook off James Harris and when he copped a few shortish deliveries on the body, but at least he found a way to survive.

Hughes played some classy strokes as well, a couple of cover-drives in particular, before playing back when Keith Barker dropped the ball short of a length and playing on for 30 from 92 deliveries. It was a start wasted, but Hughes was not alone in that regard. Shane Watson and David Warner both struck the ball well but failed to reach half-centuries, and Ed Cowan and Steven Smith made starts but no more. None showed the selectors what they wanted to see.

Smith looked in terrific touch when using his feet against the spin of Simon Kerrigan, but less so against pace and he was yorked by Stokes on 18. Watson had also hinted at fine form and crunched three boundaries from one Kerrigan over, forcing him down the ground with cross-batted swipes and a loft over mid-off, and he also slog-swept him for a cleanly-struck six. But on 45, Watson picked out fine leg with a hook off Harris and it was another case of looking good but getting out.

Warner had also played some encouraging drives before he came down the pitch and was stumped for 35 when Kerrigan squirted the ball wider. His opening partner, Cowan, was more circumspect and scored his only boundary with a cut through point when Kerrigan dropped short and his innings ended on 17 when he edged behind off Liam Plunkett, who came around the wicket and got a delivery to straighten down the line.

Stokes was the most impressive of the England Lions bowlers, collecting 2 for 27 and having a catch put down that should have been his third - Wade was on 3 when his cut to gully was spilled by Plunkett. Stokes bowled with sharp pace and was always at the batsmen, although by the end of the day Wade and Faulkner were looking comfortable during their unbeaten 67-run stand.

Earlier, England Lions had declared on their overnight score of 269 for 7 after morning drizzle reduced the first session to 75 minutes. Bad light prevented a result but an Australian win would have done little to hide their ongoing batting issues ahead of The Oval Test.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 19, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    I find it hugely amusing that Oz make 2 or 3 changes per Test match!! It makes the team look a total shambles. And it is a total shambles. Reminds me of England in the 90s!!

  • cricket_ahan on August 19, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    @duralsumo: I think you're being a little harsh on the itinerary - 5 test matches in themselves take a long time, and on top of that you're suggesting a 4-day match between each one! That's close to 40 days days of cricket not even accounting for the one dayers! Players are breaking down as it is, and the tour itself can't go on forever! The current schedule is sufficient - if anything the mid-series game could be longer than 2 days. The fact is Australia just haven't performed, pure and simple. Each tour game has contained similar trends to the four tests already played - Aussie batsmen have got starts but not made big scores, and lapses in the field have resulted in scoreboard punishment by England batsmen.

  • on August 19, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    The Aussie side is not quite as bad as many are saying but they have not performed to their potential and made some very strange selections in the bowling department particularly. IMO their best team by a country mile is:

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

    I predict that if that team takes the field at the Oval it won't lose.

  • duralsumo on August 18, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    This game was a waste of time as a two day at this level does not assist anyone.Cricket Australia must share some of the blame by agreeing to the itinerary that has been given for this tour. Look at how England prepared for the last Ashes and the next Ashes tour of Australia. Three four day matches and one between the second and third test. I would take it further a four day match between each test match. If players need to be rested use the same formula that was adopted between Lords and Old Trafford. Call me old school however this would allow fringe players game time and out of form players an opportunity to regain form. I recognise there are outside forces these days however if we are going to be successful lets adopt a professional aproach.

  • hhillbumper on August 18, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    Stokes is getting more impressive each time I see him.Suprised he was not blooded for the Oval test but have a feeling we will see more of him in future times.

  • SDHM on August 18, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Interesting to read the comments from a lot of frustrated Aussie fans. Might not help much but just know that we English know your pain! For mine, I don't see why Warner and Cowan were ever split up; they seemed a decent partnership, Cowan was one of the better performers in India, and Warner looks a different player against spin if he's got his eye in against the seamers first (and if he has someone he can trust to hold up an end batting with him). He times the ball unusually sweetly too, for someone not associated with elegance. My batting line-up would be: Cowan, Warner, Rogers (played a lot of his domestic cricket at 3 I believe), Clarke, Smith, Watson, Haddin. In an ideal world one of Hughes or Khawaja would learn their trade down at 6, but the fact that both of them are beaten before they even start against spin means you can't take the risk of them coming in against it too often. Robson would be a bonus, but I genuinely think he'll be in Oz in an England shirt this winter.

  • HatsforBats on August 18, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    @Hyclass, your comments continue to highlight the inadequacies of our national system. The downfall (& loss) of Hughes has been one of the saddest sporting stories I've witnessed. How the power structure of CA has managed to escape censure I will never know. While Australia are comfortably the third best test side in world cricket and I fail to give in to the doom & gloom predictions, its hard to swallow the years of inadequacy when so many better players were ignored or discarded. Not only is our current performance embarrassing, by not putting our best foot forward it is a disservice to competitive sport.

  • yorkshire-86 on August 18, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Why on earth would Clarke bat 3? He is a number 5 really forced up to 4 by lack of class. Look some of the best batsmen over the last 10 years. Chanderpaul bats 5. Tendulkar 4. Pietersen is another 5 forced up to 4 (and he hasnt beenthe same batsmen since moving to 4). Kallis bats 5. Jayawardene 4. Bell 5. Hussey 5. Samaraweera 5. Yousuf 5. In fact the only three players in the top 25 runscorers who bat number three are Ponting, Amla and Sangakaara. (For the record - the other players are openers. Smith, Cook, Sehway, Strauss, Hussey bieng the top ones)

  • Barnesy4444 on August 18, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    Jono Makin, Ideally I too would like to see Hughes open. He is tailor made for that position but Australia is short of a number 3 and Hughes is good enough to fill it. Warner and Hughes opened for NSW several times. I remember watching Warner in awe of Hughes when he smashed Tassie for 138 and 95 (only 5 runs short of a century in each innings) in a shield final in Hobart a couple of years ago.

    I think Rogers has to stay opening but maybe Warner at 3? I agree about having young players at 5-6. That was the first mistake the selectors made a few years ago when shuffling new bats straight into number 3 with Hussey down at 6. They should have moved Hussey to 3 (he used to open and bat 4) and gently allow young players to find their feet lower down the order. This is the way it's always been done. Ponting, Clarke, Boon, Chappell brothers, M.Waugh, Martyn etc etc all began down around 6, none of them were moved up the order until they were ready.

  • on August 18, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Khawaja and Hughes are really waste. If Aussies really want to win, then should make an urgent replacement in No:3. They can give a chance to some responsible players like Adam Voges or George Bailey.

  • on August 19, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    I find it hugely amusing that Oz make 2 or 3 changes per Test match!! It makes the team look a total shambles. And it is a total shambles. Reminds me of England in the 90s!!

  • cricket_ahan on August 19, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    @duralsumo: I think you're being a little harsh on the itinerary - 5 test matches in themselves take a long time, and on top of that you're suggesting a 4-day match between each one! That's close to 40 days days of cricket not even accounting for the one dayers! Players are breaking down as it is, and the tour itself can't go on forever! The current schedule is sufficient - if anything the mid-series game could be longer than 2 days. The fact is Australia just haven't performed, pure and simple. Each tour game has contained similar trends to the four tests already played - Aussie batsmen have got starts but not made big scores, and lapses in the field have resulted in scoreboard punishment by England batsmen.

  • on August 19, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    The Aussie side is not quite as bad as many are saying but they have not performed to their potential and made some very strange selections in the bowling department particularly. IMO their best team by a country mile is:

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

    I predict that if that team takes the field at the Oval it won't lose.

  • duralsumo on August 18, 2013, 22:54 GMT

    This game was a waste of time as a two day at this level does not assist anyone.Cricket Australia must share some of the blame by agreeing to the itinerary that has been given for this tour. Look at how England prepared for the last Ashes and the next Ashes tour of Australia. Three four day matches and one between the second and third test. I would take it further a four day match between each test match. If players need to be rested use the same formula that was adopted between Lords and Old Trafford. Call me old school however this would allow fringe players game time and out of form players an opportunity to regain form. I recognise there are outside forces these days however if we are going to be successful lets adopt a professional aproach.

  • hhillbumper on August 18, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    Stokes is getting more impressive each time I see him.Suprised he was not blooded for the Oval test but have a feeling we will see more of him in future times.

  • SDHM on August 18, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    Interesting to read the comments from a lot of frustrated Aussie fans. Might not help much but just know that we English know your pain! For mine, I don't see why Warner and Cowan were ever split up; they seemed a decent partnership, Cowan was one of the better performers in India, and Warner looks a different player against spin if he's got his eye in against the seamers first (and if he has someone he can trust to hold up an end batting with him). He times the ball unusually sweetly too, for someone not associated with elegance. My batting line-up would be: Cowan, Warner, Rogers (played a lot of his domestic cricket at 3 I believe), Clarke, Smith, Watson, Haddin. In an ideal world one of Hughes or Khawaja would learn their trade down at 6, but the fact that both of them are beaten before they even start against spin means you can't take the risk of them coming in against it too often. Robson would be a bonus, but I genuinely think he'll be in Oz in an England shirt this winter.

  • HatsforBats on August 18, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    @Hyclass, your comments continue to highlight the inadequacies of our national system. The downfall (& loss) of Hughes has been one of the saddest sporting stories I've witnessed. How the power structure of CA has managed to escape censure I will never know. While Australia are comfortably the third best test side in world cricket and I fail to give in to the doom & gloom predictions, its hard to swallow the years of inadequacy when so many better players were ignored or discarded. Not only is our current performance embarrassing, by not putting our best foot forward it is a disservice to competitive sport.

  • yorkshire-86 on August 18, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Why on earth would Clarke bat 3? He is a number 5 really forced up to 4 by lack of class. Look some of the best batsmen over the last 10 years. Chanderpaul bats 5. Tendulkar 4. Pietersen is another 5 forced up to 4 (and he hasnt beenthe same batsmen since moving to 4). Kallis bats 5. Jayawardene 4. Bell 5. Hussey 5. Samaraweera 5. Yousuf 5. In fact the only three players in the top 25 runscorers who bat number three are Ponting, Amla and Sangakaara. (For the record - the other players are openers. Smith, Cook, Sehway, Strauss, Hussey bieng the top ones)

  • Barnesy4444 on August 18, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    Jono Makin, Ideally I too would like to see Hughes open. He is tailor made for that position but Australia is short of a number 3 and Hughes is good enough to fill it. Warner and Hughes opened for NSW several times. I remember watching Warner in awe of Hughes when he smashed Tassie for 138 and 95 (only 5 runs short of a century in each innings) in a shield final in Hobart a couple of years ago.

    I think Rogers has to stay opening but maybe Warner at 3? I agree about having young players at 5-6. That was the first mistake the selectors made a few years ago when shuffling new bats straight into number 3 with Hussey down at 6. They should have moved Hussey to 3 (he used to open and bat 4) and gently allow young players to find their feet lower down the order. This is the way it's always been done. Ponting, Clarke, Boon, Chappell brothers, M.Waugh, Martyn etc etc all began down around 6, none of them were moved up the order until they were ready.

  • on August 18, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Khawaja and Hughes are really waste. If Aussies really want to win, then should make an urgent replacement in No:3. They can give a chance to some responsible players like Adam Voges or George Bailey.

  • on August 18, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    So, this isn't a full strength England team. It isn't even England A, as they are busy in another part of the world right now. So this, at best, is a third string team, and we (Australia) struggled against them. Enough said.

  • on August 18, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    @Barnesy4444, I agree, but i'd open with him. Let him get in and get set before the spinners come on. He enjoys the open spaces that come with the new ball and he has played all his cricket as an opener, until recently at least. I think he and Warner would make a very dynamic opening p'ship. Rogers and Clarke at 3 and 4, our best and most experienced batsmen, to carry on with the job and a couple of young blokes at 5 and 6 learning the trade. I am pretty adamant that that is our best option right now.

    The problem with carrying on blindly with a bloke for ten tests is that they might get so shot up that they never come back. If you go out and make 50 runs in five tests you are not likely to make 500 in the next five, thus sealing your place. Someone mentioned Trott in the same breath as Khawaja, the difference being Trott made a debut century and had an average of 60 odd after 10 tests. Ussie has a top score barely surpassing that number.

  • hyclass on August 18, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    I recall Steve Small well @Rowayton, when he was playing for NSW. It is ironic that he's a coach, but underscores what coaches are actually there for-to man manage and to unite them in an attacking purpose. Players games are mostly sorted by 16. How ridiculous that players are having changes forced on them at Test level. Pick them as they are, on form, or dont pick them, but leave them alone. Imagine my horror when Arthur, whose appointment I opposed, had players suspended for not doing,'homework' on tour. A tour of India is a siege and the team needs to be totally united or fail. Im still astonished that the media fell for it. It came as no surprise to hear Arthur saying that he wasnt concerned by the 4-0 loss in India. It fitted with everything else I knew of him. I dont care about age or long term plans. Thats what the development squads are for. If Katich is in the best 11, and how cant he be at this point, play him. It's time the BS stopped and the best team was chosen, period!

  • hyclass on August 18, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    @Barnsey4444...it will require those who developed the 20/20 plan to be removed & vestiges of their destructive reign,erased permanently.People will need to forget the age myth, technique myth, Shield weakness myth, curators & pitches myth & Test Cricket/youth audience myth.The institutions will need to be returned to the status & usage they enjoyed 6 years ago.The interference in an internationally emulated process has been at fault. It wasnt possible for players to know by what measure they could be selected, when this madness was being deliberately pursued.It began 5-6 years ago & has left our national side a smoking ruin.The period of great players remaining unselected while minnows were plucked, without accountability,shredded confidence in the process. Hughes was a victim.He was & is too afraid to play his own game for fear of not being selected.CA had people damning him for virtually everything,none true.It's no accident it began when he joined the '09 squad-a prodigy ruined.

  • Rowayton on August 18, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    Interesting comments on technique Hyclass. Another case was former Tas and Nsw opening bat Steve Small. He looked half the time like he'd accidentally wandered in from a baseball game, yet he was a reasonably good batsman over a number of years; and because of the fact that he scored runs without looking 'right' he used to annoy the hell out of bowlers - especially Craig McDermott I seem to recall. Small's signature shot was a cross batted straight drive to a short ball outside off. Poor old bowler would drop one short and wide and next thing the ball was coming back at their head at the speed of light. The strange thing about it was he became a coach.

  • milepost on August 18, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    I was of the 'pick Khawaja and stick with him school' but there's something about his confidence and body language that suggests he might not have what it takes. Hughes looks more likely to play an explosive innings now and again, even if not consistently. I don't think there's much to read into a 2 day game though, no news here, just the press putting a boot in again. Reality is the boot will keep kicking until Australia get a win, despite some good performances by some players, that's all that really matters.

  • Gurudumu on August 18, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    It is time to cut Khawaja loose! His problem seems more mental than technical and it would do him a world of good to back Sheffield Shield. There isn't much time left before the return Ashes series Down Inder. Time for Robson, Maddison, Finch et al to be given a run - they are the future and a worth investing in. Khawaja & Hughes must now be dropped permanently.

  • HansonKoch on August 18, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    @Jeremy303 For crying out loud: how many more times do we need to see Khawaja struggle? He failed against second string County sides. He's hardly going to be a revelation in the Baggy Green. We should be promoting the A team's performers. That would start with Nic Maddinson and Glen Maxwell.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 18, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    Hyclass I agree again. For years I have been waiting in anticipation at Hughes flourishing the way he is capable of. But the selectors' constant stuffing around with him trying to turn him into a "dependable" accumulator is ruining him.

    This is the first innings this entire tour that Hughes has struggled in. It's no coincidence it comes after being dropped without good reason, again.

    On the positive side he was not quite 100% today but still stuck around and fought hard, which he did most innings anyway. I wish they would just pick him at 3 and leave him there.

    Rogers has 2 years left at most, Clarke probably has 3. Our batting will be back in this exact same predicament in a couple of years time. Hughes is by far the best young batsman in Australia at the moment. We need blokes such as him to shine LONG-TERM so please just leave him alone and let him play, stop stuffing him around.

    We need a 3-4 year plan to develop batsmen, not a 3-4 test plan.

  • Ms.Cricket on August 18, 2013, 5:40 GMT

    The question is why does Michael Clarke not bat at no 3 in this team??????????

  • RajeshNaik on August 18, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    I fail to understand why this Khawaja is in the Australia team. He is a very average player. All at sea against even average spin bowling and good pace bowling. Why Aussies selectors are in a hurry to give baggy greens to these undeserving cricketers is beyond me. Fawad Ahmed is another one put on to fast track and is merrily on his way to get the baggy green despite poor performances. What a shame to Australian cricket.

  • on August 18, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Pretty much a waste of time for Australia with only 3 players , facing more than 50 balls on half a day of a pointless 2 day game... I guess Lyon and Wade were the main pluses... If Watson isn't fit to bowl I dont see how he's the better option to Wade. Wade has a better temperament, converts his scores more effectively and at least passed 50 in India...

  • jmcilhinney on August 18, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    It had the potential to do so but I don't see that this game has done anything for Australia in the end. Hughes and Khawaja both have the potential to be good batsman and need to be given an extended run but I don't think that Australia can afford to carry both of them at the moment. I think that they need to pick one, stick with them for at least a couple of series and, if they still haven't come good, replace them with the other. Chopping and changing every few games isn't helping anyone.

    As for England, Stokes performance has to be encouraging, given that their most significant weakness is the lack of an all-rounder. Would England think to take he or perhaps Woakes on the next tour to Australia? It will be interesting to see whether either or both get a run in the upcoming limited-overs series. Woakes' previous performances won't have helped his case.

  • hyclass on August 18, 2013, 2:28 GMT

    Batting requires only an attacking plan, a defensive plan, a still head and the courage,stamina and physical ability to execute it. A batsman must be looking to score 4,3,2 or 1, then defend and as a last resort, let the delivery pass. When they come to the crease, the need to be more circumspect in developing a sense of the pace of the wicket, the placement of the field and the light. Each innings will have these components. What will not matter, is technique. The worst technique I ever saw was opening batsman, Paul Nobes of Vic and SthAus who batted virtually front on and had few front foot shots. He averaged almost 42 at 1st Class level, which is ahead of many of these guys. The entire team and public have been deluded into believing that this is a cyclical issue or one associated with Shield or the quality of the batsmen. I predicted this entire farce back in '08. It has been a deliberate strategy of CA to undermine traditional cricket, by policy for the benefit of promoting 20/20.

  • hyclass on August 18, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    Hughes key advantage when he arrived on the scene, was his focus on run scoring and his peerless ability to accomplish that by having a unique style and game plan. His offside dominance was a homage to the majority of deliveries to a left hand opener, travelling across towards slips, necessitating a mastery of that area. His creating room was an allowance for balls on a tighter line. The flat bat pull shots down the ground were an excellent answer to shorter balls. The slight movement to leg of his back foot, was a way of enhancing his side on position, improving the arc of his bat against swing and allowing for late adjustment. There was no difficulty with short pitched bowling, swing, spin or pace. Since he was instructed, on joining the '09 Ashes squad to play a different and technique based game, his results have plummeted to the point where I have no interest in following him further. Maniacal pursuit of technical legitimacy and onside play has ruined a prodigy. I see no recovery.

  • DylanBrah on August 18, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    Khawaja's scores this tour: 51, 8, 0, 29*, 6, 27, 73, 14, 54, 40, 1, 0, 21, 4. That's 328 runs @25. There is not one guy in the squad more undeserving of a Test cap than this guy. Appalling selections by the panel. Time for Khawaja and his fans to face the facts, and realise, that at the age of 27, he isn't of the quality to be Australia's long term no.3 batsmen.

  • disco_bob on August 18, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clark, Rogers, Smith, Haddin, Starc, Bird, Harris, Lyon. Of course it will never happen but we've got to show some positive intent in the next generation.

  • Jeremy303 on August 18, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    Khawaja batting at 6 in this tour match is indicative of where the team sees him at this time. Logically, we hope that he will be given the Oval test as a last chance to prove himself. If he fails in this last chance, it will mean that he will have a full season of Shield this summer. Personally, I hope they give him the Oval test.

    It's obvious that the team currently doesn't have much confidence in Hughes and Khawaja at 3. That's fair enough. Both of them should get a full season of Shield as both have been given opportunities and failed to deliver.

    In my mind there are two batsmen I would consider for the home tests against England: Mark Cosgrove and Sam Robson. Mark Cosgrove isn't a real youngster and has played plenty of 1st Class cricket. His average of 41 isn't particularly brilliant, but neither are the others. Besides, Tasmania is well known as a green top and he's managed that average on that pitch. Now they've made the Robson rule - pick him whilst he's in form!

  • on August 18, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    I can't understand that there are people who still think that Khawaja deserves retention. He has proven that he is not a Test player. The only stroke that he plays with any degree of confidence is the the pull shot. In addition to poor basic technique, he looks lost and bewildered at the wicket - he doesn't have the temperament either. No matter how many chances he gets, he will remain a liability for Australia. Buck Rogers and Warner to open, Cowan at three, Clarke at four, Hughes at five and Smith at six is the only lineup that makes any sense at the moment.

  • Shaggy076 on August 18, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    Time to cut our losses Khaeaja hasn't made a run since December besides numerous opportunities in test cricketand warm up games. He has been given an opportunity and failed. Go back to shield cricket, score decent runs and enter the team in form then we can see if he may cut it. To me he seems to be fragile and not cut out for test cricket.

  • on August 18, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    bring in hughes to bat 3 khwaja does not seem to be interested at least hughes values his wicket and will give every innings his all. hughes has the record in first class cricket give him a long stint he will achieve. we've done it for watson and still waiting some results so...

  • Nerk on August 17, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    The problem with Australia's batting - lots of starts, no big scores. Usman is a man who looks like his confidence is shot. Those poor umpiring decisions in the test matches have cost him mentally, and now he is getting himself out to save the umpires the trouble. I would like the selectors to stick with him, hopefully a bit of loyalty from them would give him the confidence to play to his potential, but twin failures at the Oval could absolutely destroy him.

  • Madwino on August 17, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    Another pathetic effort by our batsman. I really hoped Khawaja would make it but I don't think he will. He doesn't need luck, he need to stop faffing around and grab his spot with both hands. I just don't think he has the temperament for test cricket. A shame as he definitely has the technique and the talent.

  • on August 17, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Hughes should of never been dislodged from number 3... inspite of a terrible series in India he still averaged 37 in the position... Thats something to build on... And he did average 40 in his last three tests before his pair of 1's at number 4, a slot he just can't play...

  • on August 17, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    Come on fellas can't any of you get some runs? Khawaja might have done just poorly enough to warrant replacing him. Hughes can come back in and stay at #3 for a while. I'd still love to see Cowan and Rogers at the top of the order.

    Rogers Cowan Hughes Clarke Smith Warner Haddin

  • Dangertroy on August 17, 2013, 23:41 GMT

    Warner and Cowan posted another 50 run opening run partnership. Warner and Cowan, for all their individual flaws, they were the most successful opening combo in world cricket for a while. The issue has never been with the openers, the issue was when one wicket fell, we would lose three. Rogers should be batting at three. If Khawaja is the future, he needs to be left to develop at number six.

    That being said, I agree with hyclass, I'd leave the current top six in place for the oval. I would also play khawaja a hugged and smith in the odi's and then send them home to prep for the shield. I'd keep Warner and Watson out of limited overs cricket until the shield starts too.

  • DragonCricketer on August 17, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    @Jono Makin - I agree. Khawaja needs to go and score some shield runs. More than last year. There are better batsman them here. @Thefakebook - I agree. Faulkner will eventually replace Watson. He is always in the game. He could be a permanent fixture if he takes his chance when it comes. Ponting said in 2010 that Hughes would play 100 tests. I wonder how many times he will be dropped. His next test will be his 4th return. Persistent.

  • Mervo on August 17, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    Hughes is now a bunny for bowlers all over the world. He must wonder why he is there at times. Never ever a Test batsman, as for Smith who never shows consistency. They are just so "average". To be so humbled by a second string attack is embarrassing. Watson is the only one of Test class there, and he is barely so.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 17, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    Yet more bad news for the Aussies, this was a pretty weak Lions team and yet their 3 days have proved to be totally regressive. So many Khawaja's, Hughes's, Watson's (etc) have been given 'last chances' for ages, just because the cupboard is long empty and there is no one else. Higher standards need to be set among the selection panel as well as the team.

  • Malx on August 17, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    Australia will not change it's batting line up for the 5th Test because we are stupid. This 2 day game is a complete waste of time, it means nothing. Australia will get beaten in the 5th Test because we are not good enough. Khawaja is not a No3 batsman nor is Hughes. Rogers is. There are too many openers is this low grade Aussie side. Haddin must be the selectors love child !! Let's get some decent selectors who know something!!

  • YorkshirePudding on August 17, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    For a scratch team it was nice to see Ballance get some runs, but it was good timing for Stokes so be in the wickets, especially with Bresnan being sidelined. I wonder if the Selectors will be brave and select him.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 17, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    What a pathetic, pointless exercise. Never seen the point in a measly 2 day game, and then generally the whole idea of these warm-ups is to give players practice in the positions they usually play and/or trial new/fringe players in positions they'd be comfortable at. Australia's confidence is dented further.

  • DirkWobbles on August 17, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    Surely this has to be the final straw for Khawaja. He's done nothing on this tour to warrant further consideration least selection. And as for those who insist he'll come good with persistence, where are you getting this confidence? His Shield results were middling as well.

    Enough with Khawaja, Cowan and Watson. Time to elevate some youth.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 17, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    This constant shuffling of players throughout the batting order must be so annoying for the players. I know Aus. fans are going to point out I'm constantly having a dig at the likes of Warner and Hughes in tests anyway - but seriously, I must admit I'm concerned if their position in the teams is not even known. I mean Cowan opening, Watson at 4, and Khawaja away down at 6? Does that seem like a sensible test line-up to ANYONE? What a pointless exercise.

  • AKS286 on August 17, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    Klinger, Rogers, Marsh, Clarke, Smith, Watto, Haddin, Siddle, Harris, Johnson, Beer

  • AKS286 on August 17, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Coulter are better than khawaja,

  • 2.14istherunrate on August 17, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    Why would a cricket board arrange a 2day match? It makes it a silly waste of space from the start. It's not as though the cricketers are old men trying to preserve their energy and on any normal wicket there are only going to be 1 innings/side so there is no hope of a result and any game where there is no chance of a result is just a rather silly affair. i hope we are not playing one of these in the winter. Totally absurdity.

  • on August 17, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Well, that was pretty much a waste of time for the Aussies. No doubt Ballance and Stokes can take something away from it but its another disappointing couple of days for us. Incredible that both Cowan and Hughes came in before Khawaja. Time to go back and make some shield runs, Ussie.

  • Thefakebook on August 17, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    I think Usman should be backed here England before they found Trott had I think 8 or 9 trials at no.3.Eventually Trott got the job permanently for now!Usie got all the tools just needs some luck.He's had 6 innings so far with only ones being out on a poor shot so it's just he getting over analysed which good cause the poms know in order to win this guy must be kept down!If he scores in the Oval test(and I feel a big ton coming)OZ will win surely.I would also like James Faulkner to be given a go in place of Harris (no point risking the big guy now).I think Faulkner will eventually replace Watto!

  • Edwards_Anderson on August 17, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Well said hyclass, Khawaja deserves a fair crack at oval as does Smith and i am also confident they will smash it at the oval. its important the likes of Khawaja are given at least a full series as we have given to thre younger players such as Hughes and Cowan as he is a geniune number 3 who can really develop in that position, we will only build world class batsman if we give these young guys a real run.

  • Paul_Rampley on August 17, 2013, 16:54 GMT

    All the batsman failed except for Watson, the best thing about boof is that he gives the young batsman a real chance before dropping them and in that regards Smith, Khawaja and Warner will play the oval test and hopefully all 3 fire, in particular hoping Khawaja does well as we need him in the home ashes. Warner, Rogers, Khawaja, Watson, Clarke, Smith for me for Oval.

  • Flemo_Gilly on August 17, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    This game didn't change selection decisions, Hughes didn't go on and struggled against some short pitch bowling which England will attack him on. Sunil agree 100% on Khawaja, we need to stick with him as he is our long term number 3, Hughes is a good player and got 2 series in a row, how about we give Khawaja a full series before jumping up and down. And those calling on Smith to be dropped need to reaslise that faith in the likes of Smith and Khawaja is key if we are to succeed. If we can win at the oval then we will set us ourselves for the home ashes where conditions will suit us and not Swann.

  • hycIass on August 17, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Warner, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith, Watson for the oval test, I think we have been close in all 3 of the 4 games and its important to show faith in our younger batsman. I think Khawaja will come through for us, he has had 3 tests on his return compared to Cowan who had 19 in a row and i think Khawaja will fire for us in the home ashes. Also like what i see from Smith and Warner and its important to show faith in these guys if we are to win the ashes back.

  • SDHM on August 17, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Not a great showing from the Aussie batsmen against an attack with perhaps only one bowler - Kerrigan (ironically the one they played the best) - likely to be near a Test squad any time soon. Talking of Kerrigan, they definitely seemed to pick up the aggression against him; maybe trying to knock his confidence in case he's named in the Test squad tomorrow?

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on August 17, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    England 2nd XI?!! That's being generous! Only maybe Kerrigan and Stokes from this The likes of Onions, Finn, Tremlett, Rankin and Panesar would all be in and around a 2nd XI!

  • xtrafalgarx on August 17, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    Oh boy, long, long years of pain await from the looks of it. England's 2nd XI ripping through the batsmen. The thing is, only Clarke and Rogers are missing, so this is pretty much it. Uzzie is hopelessly out of form and confidence, I'm a huge wrap for his talent but he hasn't scored many runs in the past couple of seasons to be honest. I'm beginning to lose faith in Watto as well, is he ever going to come good? Smith's head's also on the chopping block until he becomes a consistent performer which he sometimes looks to be then crashes.

  • jlw74 on August 17, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Really poor effort today nobody has put up their hand.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 17, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    Number 3 is the hot seat, isn't it? I suppose Hughes wasn't a disaster at 3 against Sri Lanka at home. Khawaja is still not cutting it and always seems to have his neck on the block.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on August 17, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    England's 4th/5th string (No Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Swann, Finn, Onions, Tremlett, Panesar, Tredwell or Rankin!) reduce an Australian first choice top 6, minus Clarke, to 156/5! This is just embarrassing now!

  • Dr.murdoch on August 17, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    This e maybe a foreshadowing for the fifth test line up, choosing both Watson and smith to bat ahead of khawaja Is a pretty clear indication of the selectors mindset

  • Barnesy4444 on August 17, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    1 Rogers, 2 Warner, 3 Hughes, 4 Clarke, 5 Watson and 6 Smith, for the fifth test despite what happens in this tour game.

  • jlw74 on August 17, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Interesting to see Hughes at 3 and not Khawaja. I wonder if he can take the opportunity and put a score on the board.

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  • jlw74 on August 17, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Interesting to see Hughes at 3 and not Khawaja. I wonder if he can take the opportunity and put a score on the board.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 17, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    1 Rogers, 2 Warner, 3 Hughes, 4 Clarke, 5 Watson and 6 Smith, for the fifth test despite what happens in this tour game.

  • Dr.murdoch on August 17, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    This e maybe a foreshadowing for the fifth test line up, choosing both Watson and smith to bat ahead of khawaja Is a pretty clear indication of the selectors mindset

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on August 17, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    England's 4th/5th string (No Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Swann, Finn, Onions, Tremlett, Panesar, Tredwell or Rankin!) reduce an Australian first choice top 6, minus Clarke, to 156/5! This is just embarrassing now!

  • 2MikeGattings on August 17, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    Number 3 is the hot seat, isn't it? I suppose Hughes wasn't a disaster at 3 against Sri Lanka at home. Khawaja is still not cutting it and always seems to have his neck on the block.

  • jlw74 on August 17, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Really poor effort today nobody has put up their hand.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 17, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    Oh boy, long, long years of pain await from the looks of it. England's 2nd XI ripping through the batsmen. The thing is, only Clarke and Rogers are missing, so this is pretty much it. Uzzie is hopelessly out of form and confidence, I'm a huge wrap for his talent but he hasn't scored many runs in the past couple of seasons to be honest. I'm beginning to lose faith in Watto as well, is he ever going to come good? Smith's head's also on the chopping block until he becomes a consistent performer which he sometimes looks to be then crashes.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on August 17, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    England 2nd XI?!! That's being generous! Only maybe Kerrigan and Stokes from this The likes of Onions, Finn, Tremlett, Rankin and Panesar would all be in and around a 2nd XI!

  • SDHM on August 17, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Not a great showing from the Aussie batsmen against an attack with perhaps only one bowler - Kerrigan (ironically the one they played the best) - likely to be near a Test squad any time soon. Talking of Kerrigan, they definitely seemed to pick up the aggression against him; maybe trying to knock his confidence in case he's named in the Test squad tomorrow?

  • hycIass on August 17, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Warner, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith, Watson for the oval test, I think we have been close in all 3 of the 4 games and its important to show faith in our younger batsman. I think Khawaja will come through for us, he has had 3 tests on his return compared to Cowan who had 19 in a row and i think Khawaja will fire for us in the home ashes. Also like what i see from Smith and Warner and its important to show faith in these guys if we are to win the ashes back.