Australia in West Indies, 2012 March 14, 2012

Forrest's rise continues, Beer returns

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Peter Forrest's rise as an Australian batsman of the future has been maintained and Michael Beer's sturdy domestic summer rewarded with their selection in the squad for three Test matches against the West Indies.

In a sign of the stability now developing around the team led by Michael Clarke, the squad was bereft of surprising or left-field choices, as the national selection panel elected to build carefully on the gains made during a 4-0 home summer drubbing of India.

As previously indicated by the national selector John Inverarity, Shaun Marsh was left out following his horrid returns against India, while Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes have lost their places as touring batsmen after struggling for runs and amid a poor season for New South Wales.

Instead, Forrest has been elevated to the Test squad, as always seemed likely after he responded to an ODI call-up with a series of clear-headed batting displays in the triangular series. Inverarity is presently en route to the West Indies, leaving the selector Rod Marsh to speak about Forrest and the team on his behalf.

"He [Forrest] looks to all of us more of a Test match player than he does a one-day player and yet he was very successful in the one-day game," Marsh said in Adelaide. "We're very very happy with what he has done this year and we just hope he progresses."

Shane Watson has returned to Test calculations for the first time since the South Africa tour in November 2011, and Inverarity indicated that he was likely to fill Marsh's vacated No. 3 batting spot.

"If Michael [Clarke] wants him to bat at number three, he'll be batting at number three," Marsh said. "We're happy for Michael to set the batting order. If I was a betting man - which I used to be - I'd probably say Shane would bat at number three.

"As a selection panel, we're of the opinion that the best batsmen can bat anywhere and Watson is a fine player, he can bat anywhere in the order."

Beer, meanwhile, kept his place as the understudy to Nathan Lyon, following a Sheffield Shield season in which he reaped 26 wickets at 26.42 from eight matches, including one haul of 7-46 against NSW. His was the best return by a domestic spinner for the summer.

"He hasn't done anything wrong, Michael," Marsh said. "He has bowled well all season. Playing as a finger spinner in Australia, there is not a hell of a lot of help for you."

Inverarity pointed to the naming of a 16-man squad, including Brad Haddin and Matthew Wade as two wicketkeepers, as a nod to the distance between Australia and the West Indies.

"The NSP believes the inclusion of five fast bowlers, two spinners and two wicket-keepers will provide important flexibility and cover for any injuries that may occur in a country that is not easily accessible by replacement or standby players," Inverarity said. "It is anticipated Michael Clarke will be fully recovered and take his place as Captain for the first Test match in Barbados beginning on Saturday 7 April.

"Shane Watson will come back into the Test XI and he could replace Shaun Marsh in the vitally important number three position while James Pattinson's availability will be welcomed after his excellent performances during the first four Test matches of his career during the Australian summer.

"Patrick Cummins was not considered for selection as his fitness is not well enough progressed."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AKS286 on March 16, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    jaques, watson, katich, ponting, clarke, voges, wade, pattinson, coulter nile, siddle, beer

  • 5wombats on March 16, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    @zenboomerang on (March 15 2012, 11:25 AM GMT) - you're having a laugh right? You are busy blowing your horn when all Australia have done lately is beat india. Why don't you tell us what happened when you played New Zealand? You talk about England getting turned over for 51 in West Indies 3 years ago - why don't you Go one better - why don't you list for us all the times Australia have been rolled over for sub-100 scores in the last 18 months? It's a long list.

  • on March 15, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    No Surprises here. Always at least one Ponting hater even when he scored more than enough runs. He was back to his best against India and should not be questioned now. He should be kept in the team simply because of his affect on the team. Hauratz never took wickets, even when the pitch was turning, which is why he is not there. But really there are no surprises in this team at all.

  • zenboomerang on March 15, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    @Jared Hansen... Hi mate :) ... Haury has had a number of personal (private) issues that have affected his "on field" performances - as have a few other players from NSW & interstate... He needs to get over his ego problems & become a team player or accept that he isn't a Test player... Would have said the same about Clarke 12 mths ago - seems he now stays for the "team" song after winning rather than race off to be with the latest girlfriend...

  • Eunuchhorn on March 15, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    I agree Jared. Hauritz is a better option than Beer as second spinner. I also reckon the fact Hussey, Ponting and Clarke came to the fore during the test summer is not only due to experience but also temperament. Patience in a crisis rather than trying to blast their way out. Of all the young batsmen blooded in the last year or two only Khawaja has shown that discipline. He was unlucky with a couple of dismissals including a run out and showed courage at a time when the team was down, and never got a chance when they were on top and the going much easier. He will be back. Warner is an incredible talent but yet to show the consistency needed to be a genuine test opener. Watson is a classic all rounder and should only ever bat at 6, especially if Warner opens - there's simply not enough grit at the top otherwise. Cowan has grit but not sure if he has enough class. Khawaja has both... And also interesting this whole discussion seems to be about batsmen (me included).

  • on March 15, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    I'm disappointed that Beer has leapfrogged Hauritz at some stage. Haurie was one of our most consistent performers whilst the team was in its worst shape.

  • RoJayao on March 15, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    I don't know, don't many of the posters here actually watch or follow the cricket, at all?! Just unbelievably uninformed! It is a good squad, not great but it's the best of the moment. Forrest HAS had a good season and IS in form. Ditto Cowan. Ditto Beer. Marsh, Khawaja and Ferguson have NOT had good seasons, and definitely do not deserve a spot. The previous Aussie selectors did the whole "picking guys on reputation or potential, forget form thing", how'd that go by the way? Oh that's right, those selectors got the sack! Now the same posters who bagged those selectors mercilessly, and rightly, are advocating the same selection policies!! Instead of being negative nellies, rejoice in the names that weren't picked that could be future Australian players. Cutting, Coulter-Nile, Holland, Cooper, Quiney, Cummins, Bird, Burns etc. If they can all follow one good season with another, just try and stop us SA, England et al!

  • zenboomerang on March 15, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    @landl47 :- "This side (Oz) is good enough for the WI, but SA and England are a different story"... Good to see you at to your sarcastic best or just another bad hair day :P ... England got bowled out for 51 in their last tour to WI's & lost the 5 Test series... lol... Oz drew their away tour to SA a few mths ago & also managed a series win against SL in SL - blow your horn when you have performed better than Oz did in both Tests & ODI's in the subcontinent recently...

  • RandyOZ on March 15, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    @landl - welcome back, we missed you during the Pakistan series.

  • on March 15, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Why isn't Steve Smith in the team I think he should be captain

    From Kieran (this is just my dads account)

  • AKS286 on March 16, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    jaques, watson, katich, ponting, clarke, voges, wade, pattinson, coulter nile, siddle, beer

  • 5wombats on March 16, 2012, 5:37 GMT

    @zenboomerang on (March 15 2012, 11:25 AM GMT) - you're having a laugh right? You are busy blowing your horn when all Australia have done lately is beat india. Why don't you tell us what happened when you played New Zealand? You talk about England getting turned over for 51 in West Indies 3 years ago - why don't you Go one better - why don't you list for us all the times Australia have been rolled over for sub-100 scores in the last 18 months? It's a long list.

  • on March 15, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    No Surprises here. Always at least one Ponting hater even when he scored more than enough runs. He was back to his best against India and should not be questioned now. He should be kept in the team simply because of his affect on the team. Hauratz never took wickets, even when the pitch was turning, which is why he is not there. But really there are no surprises in this team at all.

  • zenboomerang on March 15, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    @Jared Hansen... Hi mate :) ... Haury has had a number of personal (private) issues that have affected his "on field" performances - as have a few other players from NSW & interstate... He needs to get over his ego problems & become a team player or accept that he isn't a Test player... Would have said the same about Clarke 12 mths ago - seems he now stays for the "team" song after winning rather than race off to be with the latest girlfriend...

  • Eunuchhorn on March 15, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    I agree Jared. Hauritz is a better option than Beer as second spinner. I also reckon the fact Hussey, Ponting and Clarke came to the fore during the test summer is not only due to experience but also temperament. Patience in a crisis rather than trying to blast their way out. Of all the young batsmen blooded in the last year or two only Khawaja has shown that discipline. He was unlucky with a couple of dismissals including a run out and showed courage at a time when the team was down, and never got a chance when they were on top and the going much easier. He will be back. Warner is an incredible talent but yet to show the consistency needed to be a genuine test opener. Watson is a classic all rounder and should only ever bat at 6, especially if Warner opens - there's simply not enough grit at the top otherwise. Cowan has grit but not sure if he has enough class. Khawaja has both... And also interesting this whole discussion seems to be about batsmen (me included).

  • on March 15, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    I'm disappointed that Beer has leapfrogged Hauritz at some stage. Haurie was one of our most consistent performers whilst the team was in its worst shape.

  • RoJayao on March 15, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    I don't know, don't many of the posters here actually watch or follow the cricket, at all?! Just unbelievably uninformed! It is a good squad, not great but it's the best of the moment. Forrest HAS had a good season and IS in form. Ditto Cowan. Ditto Beer. Marsh, Khawaja and Ferguson have NOT had good seasons, and definitely do not deserve a spot. The previous Aussie selectors did the whole "picking guys on reputation or potential, forget form thing", how'd that go by the way? Oh that's right, those selectors got the sack! Now the same posters who bagged those selectors mercilessly, and rightly, are advocating the same selection policies!! Instead of being negative nellies, rejoice in the names that weren't picked that could be future Australian players. Cutting, Coulter-Nile, Holland, Cooper, Quiney, Cummins, Bird, Burns etc. If they can all follow one good season with another, just try and stop us SA, England et al!

  • zenboomerang on March 15, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    @landl47 :- "This side (Oz) is good enough for the WI, but SA and England are a different story"... Good to see you at to your sarcastic best or just another bad hair day :P ... England got bowled out for 51 in their last tour to WI's & lost the 5 Test series... lol... Oz drew their away tour to SA a few mths ago & also managed a series win against SL in SL - blow your horn when you have performed better than Oz did in both Tests & ODI's in the subcontinent recently...

  • RandyOZ on March 15, 2012, 11:03 GMT

    @landl - welcome back, we missed you during the Pakistan series.

  • on March 15, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Why isn't Steve Smith in the team I think he should be captain

    From Kieran (this is just my dads account)

  • on March 15, 2012, 2:23 GMT

    i'll be giving Ponting two tests if he scores runs keep him if not drop him regardless of runs scored against India.He always has to score runs now to warrant his place in the team.look what happened in the one dayers

  • Simoc on March 15, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    This squad is the best we have got at present. If Forrest continues to bat like he has so far he will slot in at number three, four in the test team. Those dropped this year have a long way to go, to get back. We definetly need classy consistent run getters and Callum Ferguson could be the one to step up after a bad few years. Certainly this team has much improvement to go but they have good leadership.

  • Meety on March 15, 2012, 0:17 GMT

    @Busie1979/somethingwitty - Cooper could play for Oz tommorrow, if he did, he would be unable to play for Netherlands until 4 yrs after his last game for Oz. The ICC shows leniancy to qualifications (Di Venuto playing for Italy). Cooper played at the last W/Cup for Netherlands. @Jon Makim - I'm happy enough for Starc as I think he improved thru out the summer, however I would of gone NCN & Cutting. As far as them going for runs - I couldn't care less as long as they kept their ridiculously brilliant S/Rates! @AKS286 - oh no! @landl47 - the sort of response I'd expect from you. We have a current situation where we have some incredibly talented bowlers makingh life fairly difficult for batsmen on a whole in the Shield. Anyone of a number of batsmen will find tests not much of a step up should they be selected. Writing off someone like Khawaja at his age is jumping the gun buddy.

  • JJDn on March 14, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    I never understood why David Hussey didn't get an opportunity in test level. His first class avg is really good. And can bowl. And is coming from a good summer.

  • Vista12 on March 14, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    Watson will gradually move down the order to 6 once Ponting retires. The line up will be Warner, Cowan, Forrest, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, Wade and then the bowlers - maybe even for the ashes? Strong lineup. Hopefully Marsh gets some form back and he can be the backup and most people agree he has the best technique for test cricket.

  • hhillbumper on March 14, 2012, 22:42 GMT

    Yep this is a team bursting with young talent.Jonesey 2 as ever telling us it is the strongest line up ever. hope the Windies show some fighting spirit and Aus show just how strong they really are.Also Beer as second spinner is hardly a classy line up. Good luck with it though.Haddin still being first keeper should keep it interesting.Couldn't catch a cold in the north pole so follows recent high class Aussie keepers.

  • Beertjie on March 14, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Consistency in selection may sometimes be a virtue, but there's something in making left-field choices. I agree with @jmcilhinney that "it's hard to see Australia getting back to the dominant ways of the past as some would have us believe based on these selections." Giving some of the guys on the outside a chance may have paid richer dividends when it comes to the next tours: India and England! Of course picking out of form guys is risky, but so what? My point is this was the time to take a punt and give MORE guys the opportunity to stake claims. Ponting and Hussey could have benefitted from the break, as could Hilfenhaus/Harris, while Starc is still to take his chances. Of course who would have been worthy of touring? Khawaja had a poor season, but together with Burns could have been taken to see just how he, Burns and Forrest cope (if they can't, they fall further back in the queue). Likewise, giving Cutting and NCN a go now would at the very least give them some touring experience.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 14, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    @ landl47 - agree with you somewhat , Australians have some fantastic fast bowlers coming through , but batting is a bit of concern , consistency is a big issue for their new guys , only time will tell though..and yes michael clarke is pure class , LOVE HIS BATTING

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 14, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    Shane watson at no.3 is at the best a temporary solution , he is definitely not a test class no.3 batsman , peter forrest or usman khawaja should are the real deal for Australia , an 'in form' shaun marsh is even better , but that looks like a very distant possibility right now..

  • AKS286 on March 14, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    FINALLY THE BEST WORLD CLASS Oz SPINNER GETS CHANCE. GO BEER GO. U R THE BEST. I LIKE TO SEE BEER IN THE ASIAN PITCH. ADAM VOGES IS BETTER THAN FORREST. THANK GOD THE OVER-RATED VERY ORDINARY BATSMAN KHAWAJA DID' SELECTED.

  • anilkp on March 14, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    The best that the selectors could come up with, but it is hard to see Forrest being in the playing eleven. He has to wait for an injury to someone, or for Punter to hang his boots. The order will surely be Warner, Cowan, Watson, Ponting, Clarcke, Hussey, Haddin, and four bowlers. I dont think they would slot Wade in for Haddin in Tests so soon; may be next season (or in the last Test of the series)!

  • on March 14, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    What does at least seem pretty clear to most is the first choice xi... Nearly all the teams selected through this thread are consistently the same xi which shows the current team, if you were to replace Haddin with Wade whom most favour are at least performing to standard. If four or five batsmen under the age of 30 would just starting consistently hitting centuries then we'd be in a rude state of health.

  • on March 14, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    A pretty good effort from the selectors really. The only problem I see Australia having is if they suffer heavily with injuries. If it ends in a situation where we see all of Forrest, Beer, Haddin and Starc playing then they may end up in trouble! Though the selectors can't be too heavily criticised for picking any of these players, particularly Beer and Forrest who have had solid domestic seasons. Starc is borderline, he hasn't bowled badly but nor has he seized his chances with match winning performances. For those calling for Coulter-Nile and Cutting I have some sympathy, they do however seem to go for runs at times, I feel both need to tighten up before they take on another level, neither of them take the new ball for their state sides and while they are taking wickets in the low twenties, we've seen Harris and Bird taking wickets this season in the middle teens. There is truly a dearth of young batsmen and i guess Forrest has been the lucky one to get plucked out!

  • zico123 on March 14, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    since Patrick Cummins is not picked, he should play IPL to get match fit

  • Something_Witty on March 14, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    @busie - no, you're able to go from playing for minor nations TO playing for major ones, just not the other way round. (playing for a major and going to a minor).

  • Mary_786 on March 14, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    Khawaja will return, he is too good of a batsman to stay out, i predict he will be the leading run scorer in next shield season, also watch out for Hughes and Marsh, they will bounce back strongly next season.

  • Busie1979 on March 14, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    I just noticed that Tom Cooper is playing for the Netherlands in the T20 qualifiers. Does this mean he won't be eligible for Australia?

  • Busie1979 on March 14, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    @jonesy2 - Forrest has played 37 first class games and you're saying the rest of his career outside of this season doesn't count? That's a very convenient argument now, isn't it? Short-term thinking is the problem with selection policy. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Forrest over his career is short of runs. If he replicated his shield form in the test side he'd be dropped very quickly. I will admit that he has had a good first class year - FINALLY. Let's see if it continues next year and then he should be considered. Same applies for Cowan who doesn't deserve his guernsey. I agree with other comments that D.Hussey is worth a try. He should be a stop gap to get us through the Ashes. Selecting guys like Forrest, Marsh and Cowan must be a slap in the face for this guy - he averages 55 for goodness sake!

  • Busie1979 on March 14, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Why not import some South Africans to play in the team? Surely we'd be better off doing that than picking Pete Forrest. It worked for England.

  • landl47 on March 14, 2012, 12:41 GMT

    It's hard to be too critical of the Aus selectors when they don't have a lot to work with. Khawaja's first-class average has dropped 8 points in the last year and his best score in his last 4 first-class matches is 33. Hughes and Marsh have made being caught in the slips into an art form. Watson's a useful all-rounder, not a #3 (test average of 38 with 2 centuries in 32 tests), but who else is there? Ponting and Hussey will both be 38 by the next Ashes series- if they're still in the side, Aus will be in as much trouble as India, but there's no-one pushing them. I'm not sure why they keep selecting Harris, who hasn't finished a series, test or one-day, without being injured in two years. Cummins is injured and both he and Pattinson are going to find that test batsmen will work them out and they'll have to learn to bowl, just as Steyn and Broad did. This side is good enough for the WI, but SA and England are a different story. Best of luck to Michael Clarke, who's a real class act.

  • Itchy on March 14, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    @oldblighty: agreed that Oz beat an old and creaky Indian side, but England lost 3-0 to a young and relatively inexperienced Pak side. A result which does befit the no. 1 ranked side!

  • BustIPL on March 14, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Every team who did experimentation has prospered other than India. All rotation policies and bench strength tests have been marginally successful. Age has not been a problem for any team other than India. Good sign that aussies are regaining the ground.

  • WilliamFranklin on March 14, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    Well that is a team that will make the world quake. Watson at 3? and Beer? Oh dear.

  • on March 14, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    Well overall a good squad. i dont like starc, would have preferred, Cutting, Mcdermott, Bird, Faulkner, NCN over starc anyday. other then that i dont think i would change a thing. Yes D hussey will probably be the best player to never play test cricket. I see Joe Burns being a super talent in the future, although i thought chris lynn had the same thing but he had a really tough season. the most improved cricketer has been young McDermott. wow he has really impressed and Bird has come from nowhere. Fast bowling in Aus is terrific, Allrounders are pretty good with watson, Mitch Marsh, Dan Christian etc. batting is a concern but there are signs of talent there and spin is an issue also. My team for the first test would be Warner, Cowen, Watson, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Hilfy, Lyon.

  • Something_Witty on March 14, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    @Jonesy, I've followed the comments on this site for a long time and I have to say (as a fellow Australian), that you're one of the least lucid posters on here. I'm not sure why but you seem to have eyes for nobody but Australians, I have never seen you give credit to opposition players and you hype up our players way too much. S Marsh one of the best batsmen in the world??? He averaged 3 against an Indian side that conceded 4/659, 369 on a greentop and 7/604 in Adelaide. Now as good as Marsh looked when making runs in SL and SA, you simply have to accept the fact that he was probably never up to test standard. Maybe his injury was responsible for his form slump, but his mediocre FC record (over a 10+ year career nonetheless) would suggest otherwise. Sticking with has-beens and never-weres is the main reason Australia are having to fight for their place at the top now. The time has well and truly come to groom REAL youngsters (not 30 year olds) for the future. Marsh is done.

  • krovvidy on March 14, 2012, 10:52 GMT

    Oz side looks strong and well balanced. Best 11 could be:- Warner, Cowan, Watson, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Hilfenhaus & Lyon

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 14, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    Did I fall asleep and Forrest's form came back again? Because the last time I saw Forrest he was dropped from the ODI form after 3 appalling games, and batting at a strike rate far lower than what is required in one day cricket. Forrest averages 35 in first class cricket and he hasn't even had a good season! ABSURD selection! If they are picking players on form, they could have picked Davis or Quiney. I don't understand why Haddin is in the squad either - as cover for Wade? Surely Haddin won't play. Surely. I also don't understand why David Hussey isn't playing. Even George Bailey would have been a better pick than the out of form and poor quality Forrest. It seems like they always insist on having one hopeless new player in the team.

  • jasif on March 14, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    again bad treatment given to khawaja....who looked most promising of the new talent.......yet the unfair treatment given to him is too harsh.....he batted with mature attitude on most difficult of pitches....yet he doesnt finds a place in touring party....atleast give him a long run and if the doesnt justifies then thrash him

  • on March 14, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    'Cream' starts with the letter C.' Class' ditto.Khawaja has both in bucket loads.

    It's a shame they didn't stay with him for the India contests because without doubt he also would've taken advantage of the easier pickings over the 5 Tests. Thus he would've now been established and there for the long haul. His baptism to date has embraced batting very early on a number of occasions after early wicket losses where he has often displayed the very necessary grit and tenacity requisite in the First Class Test arena. He's not there to knock every 2nd ball over the fence but dig in and set up the scene. That's Test cricket.

    Admittedly his Shield form dropped off a bit this summer but let's face it - there was much upheaval on and off the field with general unidentified selection policies and Twenty/20 intervention in a forgettable summer.

    Give Usman 10 Tests and he'll be there for 10 years. Whack this blog on a spike file near your desk and read it again in 18 months. Inver take note.

  • jonesy2 on March 14, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    i agree that joe burns should have been chosen

  • jonesy2 on March 14, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    Something_Witty -- i am so sick of people ignorantly mentioning first class averages!!! forrest averages huge numbers this season in what is effectively his first season of SS cricket. his time at NSW should not be counted as he barely played! and what do you mean havent they learnt from the shaun marsh debacle? what debacle? hes one of the best batsmen in the world

  • StewEdrich on March 14, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    I think that come next Tuesday, after the Sheffield Shield final is complete, the selectors will rue not having taken Jackson Bird. This kid has taken 48 wickets iin very few games and with a nice juicy Gabba greentop awaiting, I bet he's licking his lips.

  • on March 14, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    Wonder where the next OZ batting champ is going to come from??When the world is full of Kohli, Raina, Azhar Ali, Chandimal, Bravo, Du Plessis and Williamson, Aus can't find a single decent enuf batsman who ll b able 2 turn heads...Forrest is not the answer, the selectors should have tried D Hussey instead..Quiney mayb and Khawaja deserves to be persisted with

  • Chris_P on March 14, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    The NSP is following the guideline set out in the report so can't really complain about this squad. Form players were selected, very simple. As much as I want Khawaja to be there, he didn't take his chances in the Shield. Not sure why the angst against Starc or Forrest, they have performed when selected, they couldn't have done any more to cement their places. @oldblighty. They also beat SL away (something India haven't done since 1996) and drew with the strong Saffers over there with a more inexperienced squad. The Kiwis are on the rise and certainly will cause problems to all countries. The Indians were as poor touring team as we have had on our shores in recent memory, but you can only perform against what is put up against you. There is no dount Australia is on the rise, just where they can get to is in their hands.

  • chicko1983 on March 14, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    @oldblighty - we beat Sri Lanka away and drew with SA away as well. Clarkey hasnt lost a series out of the last four. England's grip on no.1 is almost gone. SA will take it soon and then Aussies will have it by beating SA next summer in Australia.

    What have England done in the last couple of series? beat and "old and creaking India" (by less than what Australia did) and then got whitewashed by Pakistan - haha!

    You had one summer against the weakest Aussie team in the last 22 years. Does not a number 1 team make...

  • RandyOZ on March 14, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Very very poor squad selections. Forrest really isn't that good, he is Marsh mark II. His shield average of 36 is eerily close to Marshes. Usman Khawaja, with far better technique and average, should DEFINITELY be in the squad and playing at 4 or 5. Beer is equally as poor a selection. We all know how good Lyon is, but there are far better spinners than Beer in Australia. How Haddin is a.) in the squad and b.) vice captain, is the biggest scandal in Australian cricket since Warney was banned. What an absolute joke.

  • ozwriter on March 14, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    echoing what a lot of others are saying. forrest's selection is nothing short of crazy. how can someone with an FC average of <35 get opportunities in both the national ODI and test teams? look at the man, he could not even make it into the NSW state team and had to move to queensland to get local state competition game time. looking at the current australian crop, there is only one person that sticks out and should be given a chance. thats USMAN KHAWAJA - he avarages 40+ in both forms of the game and hasn't had the opportunity to have even a few tests back to back. he is yet to make his ODI debut. why more does khawaja need to do? whats going on???

  • Foxswoop on March 14, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    I think it it is a very good squad. The selectors have shown a lot of clear thinking for the future as well as what is happening currently. I really don't understand the critisism of the selection of Starc. A tall left armer with a high action (unlike Mitchell Johnson) who can swing the ball just gives the Aussies extra ammunition. Khawaja might feel hard done by but he just doesn't convert starts into big scores. He does have time on his side and will play again for Australia in the future.

  • on March 14, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    This is so ridiculous! D. Hussey has been ignored, once again in Tests. RIDICULOUS! The man averages about 55 in first-class cricket, with a strike rate of 70. How good do you have to be to play for Australia?! Obviously not very, when you look at Peter Forrest's first-class average of only 36, with a strike rate of 45. All you need to be is young and from New South Wales. And here's a New South Welshman even admitting it! Pick up your game, Cricket Australia. Or at least tell your players you're selecting to. Michael Beer averages 40 bowling in first-class cricket, with only one innings giving him more than 3 scalps to his name. He needs to be around first-class cricket for a lot longer to show consistency. As does Peter Forrest. Sorry, but it's the truth.

  • class9ryan on March 14, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Only one member is missing from d list - Pat Cummins... Hope he gets well soon and joins d squad as quickly as possible... Evey1 knows wat a rising bud is he ???

  • popcorn on March 14, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    This is well balanced side. Excellent selection by the NSP. Great to have you on board, Jon Inverarity and Rod Marsh. GOOD Performance WILL BE rewareded - and you're showing that transparently.

    Australia are CLEARLY on the Road to become Number One in Tests - beat the West Indies AWAY, beat South Africa AT HOME this summer, an beat the Poms in their backyard in the Ashes 2013. Go Aussies,go!

  • Meety on March 14, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    @kempy21 - I am a big SO'K fan, but he only took 9 wickets in 7 games @ 52. Beer was the leading spin wicket taker. I wouldn't of selected Beer though. @jmcilhinney - I agree with you regarding Beer, however, Lyon has not had a bad test (allowing for the fact that the Hobart test was a seamers paradise he did ok in the limited chances he had). I rate Swanny & Monty highly, but I think Lyon is good test level already & has plenty of upside still. As for Forrest, I don't know that he will definately play, in the meantime, there are a couple of players that would be pushing him with better stats. @Pukya - are you for real - Cowan @#7 & Wade @8??? @oldblighty - you forgot that we beat SL in SL & drew with ARGUABLY the best team in the world - the Saffas! Funny that!!!! @Something_Witty - haven't seen you on here in ages. I originally thought it would be Lynn being the next QLD test batsmen. Unfortunately injuries have slowed his development up a bit, Burns is lookking very good atm!

  • AJ_Tiger86 on March 14, 2012, 7:48 GMT

    Ha ha! Beer?? What a joke! I still remember how the mighty England DESTROYED him at the SCG last year.

  • Something_Witty on March 14, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    I only have a few objections to this squad. Firstly, Forrest's selection is nothing short of absurd. Have the selectors not learned from the Shaun Marsh debacle? He averages 35 at FC level for a reason. Because he's not that good. Has serious vulnerabilities against the short ball and plays from the crease way too often to be a legitimate test batsman. Beer's inclusion is iffy but not without merit as he has had an excellent season for WA. In my opinion Khawaja should most certainly have been sent to WI instead of Forrest. Regardless of his indifferent form this Shield season, he's got a vastly superior record to Forrest and looked comfortable in most of his innings even on extremely difficult surfaces. Glad to see Meety mentioning Joe Burns, someone I've been watching since last season. I'm hugely impressed with him and I hope he's well and truly in the selectors' plans. Young, good technique with no major flaws, FC average of 50 and scores runs in tough conditions. Great prospect.

  • Jasper78 on March 14, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    I agree Jon Holland should have gone not Beer, by the way Holland is left arm spinner and not a leg soinner. Poor dave Hussey one of the best batsmen never to play a test. In hindsight, Hughes, Khawaja and S Marsh have all been dud selections, and thats cost D Hussey also by wasting more time to find that out. Hope Forrest does well, but he was pretty ordinary for NSW and only averages mid 30 in shield (same as marsh and ferguson)

    Bowling choices are good, batting will be a major problem when pont and huss go.

  • maddy20 on March 14, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    The headline sounds just too hilarious. Sounds like some fairytale. Forest rises and beer returns ROFL :D

  • Dashgar on March 14, 2012, 6:53 GMT

    Good looking squad. No surprises at all really. Everyone there on merit. Some people will always criticise but every selection here is completely justified. Very Invararity.

  • jonesy2 on March 14, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    its so crazy how the ridiculous depth has meant khawaja has missed out and guys like bird, cutting, coulter-nile who should be touring have no place. im not sure how hauritz hasnt been warranted selection but beer has had a very good season. okeefe still must be wondering what he has to do haha. thats what happens when there is too much depth, nice problem to have though. watson at 3 is a no brainer ive been saying that for ages. obviously cowan and warner are a brilliant opening pair.

  • s.sreekant on March 14, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    they should have gone nile or cutting or even faulkner, dont see starc as a good choice and in batting they should have gone with davis instead of forrest

  • Aussasinator on March 14, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    adrianct 1971 said: - Has the Aussie selectors gone nuts! - Watson should be batting as an opener and why push him to No 3 position when the most dependable No 3 Batsman in the world is in the squad - or have they mistakenly included Ponting into the squad?

    My reply is - Yes they have.

  • oldblighty on March 14, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    Oz still have to prove themselves tremendously....Yes they have made some progress but....Drew with a fairly average kiwi side....beat a demoralised. old and creaking India....come on...a long way to go yet....Harris, siddle and hilfy were despatched to all boundaries by a strong England team..no reason to suggest thet these guys are any better..flattered by poor recent opposition...Haddin as keeper, dubious..Ponting getting too old as is M hussey....one summer against weak opposition does not a number 1 team make.....

  • CSpiers on March 14, 2012, 6:26 GMT

    1st test line-up will probably be 1. Cowan 2. Warner 3. Watson 4. Clarke 5. Ponting 6. Hussey 7. Wade 8. Siddle 9. Pattinson 10. Hilfenhaus 11. Lyon

  • ravi_hari on March 14, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Just selection by NSP. They rewarded performers of the summer both at domestic and international levels. Watson was an automatic choice and Wade is definitely pushing Haddin to the edge. There is nothing wrong in rewarding Beer for his good showing. He will hardly get a chance to play with Lyon the first choice. I am surprised at the criticism around Starc. He has done a great job against India and with a little bit more control will be very hard to play against. He is definitely keeping Johnson out of thinking with his good showing. This definitely looks like a team settling down quickly into a long term combination. I feel they should go in with Harris, Hilfy, Patty and Starc for the first test which is at Barbados. With Warner, Cowan, Watson, Ricky, Clarke, Hussey the batting looks very strong. If Haddin fails Wade can step in by the 2nd or 3rd test. They are creating another Ponting with Watson at No. 3, the future captain of Australia. Good move which will augur well for the team.

  • MrArmchairCricket on March 14, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    Ishrat - Michael Beer is a touch under 3 years older than Jon Holland, so he's hardly an "old guy".

    Nadeed1976 - I agree with your opinion that Coulter-Nile should be on this tour, but Jackson Bird has only played 1 season, which was admittedly brilliant, and Ben Cutting can't stay fit.

  • on March 14, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    Starc, bleh. Would've rather they'd have given someone else a run.

  • AhaanSM on March 14, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    I think that the Australian playing XI should be as follows- 1 David Warner 2.Shane Watson 3.Ricky Ponting 4.Peter Forrest 5.Michael Clarke 6.Michael Hussey 7.Ed Cowan 8. Matthew Wade 9.Peter Siddle 10.Mitchell Starc 11.Ben Hilfenhaus

    They shoulld use no.2,5,6,9,10 and 11

  • on March 14, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    I still cant believe , on one hand selector says they want to build a team for future and then they are picking the old guy like BEER..they would have given a chance to HOLLAND he is very good leg spinner.,the team likes of WI have given him good confidence to perform on international level.

  • Nadeem1976 on March 14, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    Australia on the rise. Let's see how long it takes australia to get the number 1 spot back. I believe if australia keep on wining by 2013 ashes they will be number 1 again for long time. if they win Ashes then.

  • simonviller on March 14, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    Wow ! Some serious heavy hitters here . I hope WE can handle these big boys .All the best to you West Indies !!!!

  • azzaman333 on March 14, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    Shame Starc's still there, who needs to drastically improve his control before he's even close to being considered a regular. Would've loved to have seen Bird, Cutting or Coulter-Nile get the back up bowler spot instead, give them a bit of touring experience.

  • adrianct1971 on March 14, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    Has the Aussie selectors gone nuts! - Watson should be batting as an opener and why push him to No 3 position when the most dependable No 3 Batsman in the world is in the squad - or have they mistakenly included Ponting into the squad?

    Watson, Warner/Cowen, Ponting, Clark, Forrest, Hussey, Haddin/Wade + 4 Bowlers

  • jmcilhinney on March 14, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    I think that it's a good move to put Watson in at #3. If he succeeds then that will make it doubly hard for Marsh to get back into the team. RandyOZ loves telling us England fans about the dearth of talent in England and the wealth of talent in Australia, and here Australia go bringing Michael Beer back into the Test squad as second spinner. I can't see how Lyon and Beer are a better combination than Swann and Panesar. Also, Forrest gets a Test callup with a 36 average in first class cricket and some decent ODI performances. Sounds a lot like Eoin Morgan. I'm not saying that any of these players will necessarily fail, but it's hard to see Australia getting back to the dominant ways of the past as some would have us believe based on these selections.

  • OkyaBokya on March 14, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    So much thought clarity by Aus NSP. When K.Srikanth & Co and BCCI will do this? Everything is well explained, selection-drop-injury-rest.. everything. GooD JoB!

  • kempy21 on March 14, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    The only surprise is Beer. I can't fault the logic of 2 specialist spinners (rather than relying on Clarke to provide slow relief) but 2 points: 1) It's refreshing to see that the NSP doesn't feel the "need" to have a wrist spinner in the squad, regardless of experience or form, unlike more recent times in Australian cricket; and 2) Beer is very very lucky to have made the squad on the past Sheffield Shield season - I would have thought that Holland (Vic) and O'Keefe (NSW) have had better seasons than Beer (just in terms of left arm orthodox let alone finger spinners generally) It shouldn't make too much difference though, failing injury Lyon will play all 3 Tests. I feel that Lyon will take bags of wickets this tour.

  • PointFielder on March 14, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    It's a good squad. Michael has lead the test squad well with example by knocking massive runs in series against India. good that he took rest during latter part of Commonwealth ODI.

    Peter has got a call in tests due to his ODI performances. having said that he was prolific in long format played in Aussie domestic cricket. IMO he might debut in the first test.

    Wade or Haddin will be a dilemma for the selectors for test series as there is not much difference between the keeping of both. batting wise, off course Haddin has vast experience of playing in different conditions in this format.

    Aussies have good bench strength in every department. West Indies will really have to put up a determined effort to win a test.

  • Busie1979 on March 14, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    Forrest is an inappropriate selection - mediocre first class record despite a breakthrough season of sorts. He predictably fell away in ODIs (although I still don't think ODIs is a good guage of test credentials). He wouldn't have made state cricket 10 years ago but is lucky that the current crop of batsman presents a weak field. Khawaja has been poorly treated - being made to bat at No. 3 while the experienced guys were resting their feet at 4, 5 and 6 not taking any responsibility for easing the younger group in. I can't remember a more inexperienced top 3. I do not agree with Brettig that he has been struggling for runs. Starc needs to do more to convince me he is better than the gaziillion other fast bowling prospects out there - NCN, Cummins, Bird, McDermott, Cutting etc

  • Meety on March 14, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    @Daniel Brettig - yep no major surprises & you got the Watson to #3 right too! == == == The only thing about the squad I don't like is Beer. He has improved such that he now has a sub 40 bowling average (yay @ 39.5 roughly), but I'd rather someone like Boyce or Holland. I was on the SO'K bandwagon pre-Ashes, but his form this year has not been that good although his career ave is still below 29 & bats well. Interesting that Haddin is still Vice Captain, so Wade will have to do very well in the ODIs to get the jump on him me thinks. All in all a good safe squad, dissappointing that the squad was named BEFORE the Shield final even started. I wonder whether Ali Mac or J Bird were discussed & whether Burns for that matter got a mention?

  • kensohatter on March 14, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    Solid squad. Hope the consistency of selection continues as Australia tries to rebuild to the no.1 position. Marsh had to go and Hughes and Khawaja didnt warrant selection. Bowling attack is looking better by the day especially when you think there is still Cummings to come back into the side. Would like to see Wade given first crack at keeper given Haddins poor form. My team for first test would be. 1. Cowan, 2. Warner, 3. Watson, 4. Ponting, 5. Clarke, 6. Hussey, 7. Wade, 8. Pattinson, 9, Hilfenhaus, 10. Siddle, 11. Lyon

  • on March 14, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    GOOD SELECTION .........

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on March 14, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    GOOD SELECTION .........

  • kensohatter on March 14, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    Solid squad. Hope the consistency of selection continues as Australia tries to rebuild to the no.1 position. Marsh had to go and Hughes and Khawaja didnt warrant selection. Bowling attack is looking better by the day especially when you think there is still Cummings to come back into the side. Would like to see Wade given first crack at keeper given Haddins poor form. My team for first test would be. 1. Cowan, 2. Warner, 3. Watson, 4. Ponting, 5. Clarke, 6. Hussey, 7. Wade, 8. Pattinson, 9, Hilfenhaus, 10. Siddle, 11. Lyon

  • Meety on March 14, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    @Daniel Brettig - yep no major surprises & you got the Watson to #3 right too! == == == The only thing about the squad I don't like is Beer. He has improved such that he now has a sub 40 bowling average (yay @ 39.5 roughly), but I'd rather someone like Boyce or Holland. I was on the SO'K bandwagon pre-Ashes, but his form this year has not been that good although his career ave is still below 29 & bats well. Interesting that Haddin is still Vice Captain, so Wade will have to do very well in the ODIs to get the jump on him me thinks. All in all a good safe squad, dissappointing that the squad was named BEFORE the Shield final even started. I wonder whether Ali Mac or J Bird were discussed & whether Burns for that matter got a mention?

  • Busie1979 on March 14, 2012, 3:39 GMT

    Forrest is an inappropriate selection - mediocre first class record despite a breakthrough season of sorts. He predictably fell away in ODIs (although I still don't think ODIs is a good guage of test credentials). He wouldn't have made state cricket 10 years ago but is lucky that the current crop of batsman presents a weak field. Khawaja has been poorly treated - being made to bat at No. 3 while the experienced guys were resting their feet at 4, 5 and 6 not taking any responsibility for easing the younger group in. I can't remember a more inexperienced top 3. I do not agree with Brettig that he has been struggling for runs. Starc needs to do more to convince me he is better than the gaziillion other fast bowling prospects out there - NCN, Cummins, Bird, McDermott, Cutting etc

  • PointFielder on March 14, 2012, 3:52 GMT

    It's a good squad. Michael has lead the test squad well with example by knocking massive runs in series against India. good that he took rest during latter part of Commonwealth ODI.

    Peter has got a call in tests due to his ODI performances. having said that he was prolific in long format played in Aussie domestic cricket. IMO he might debut in the first test.

    Wade or Haddin will be a dilemma for the selectors for test series as there is not much difference between the keeping of both. batting wise, off course Haddin has vast experience of playing in different conditions in this format.

    Aussies have good bench strength in every department. West Indies will really have to put up a determined effort to win a test.

  • kempy21 on March 14, 2012, 3:57 GMT

    The only surprise is Beer. I can't fault the logic of 2 specialist spinners (rather than relying on Clarke to provide slow relief) but 2 points: 1) It's refreshing to see that the NSP doesn't feel the "need" to have a wrist spinner in the squad, regardless of experience or form, unlike more recent times in Australian cricket; and 2) Beer is very very lucky to have made the squad on the past Sheffield Shield season - I would have thought that Holland (Vic) and O'Keefe (NSW) have had better seasons than Beer (just in terms of left arm orthodox let alone finger spinners generally) It shouldn't make too much difference though, failing injury Lyon will play all 3 Tests. I feel that Lyon will take bags of wickets this tour.

  • OkyaBokya on March 14, 2012, 4:18 GMT

    So much thought clarity by Aus NSP. When K.Srikanth & Co and BCCI will do this? Everything is well explained, selection-drop-injury-rest.. everything. GooD JoB!

  • jmcilhinney on March 14, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    I think that it's a good move to put Watson in at #3. If he succeeds then that will make it doubly hard for Marsh to get back into the team. RandyOZ loves telling us England fans about the dearth of talent in England and the wealth of talent in Australia, and here Australia go bringing Michael Beer back into the Test squad as second spinner. I can't see how Lyon and Beer are a better combination than Swann and Panesar. Also, Forrest gets a Test callup with a 36 average in first class cricket and some decent ODI performances. Sounds a lot like Eoin Morgan. I'm not saying that any of these players will necessarily fail, but it's hard to see Australia getting back to the dominant ways of the past as some would have us believe based on these selections.

  • adrianct1971 on March 14, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    Has the Aussie selectors gone nuts! - Watson should be batting as an opener and why push him to No 3 position when the most dependable No 3 Batsman in the world is in the squad - or have they mistakenly included Ponting into the squad?

    Watson, Warner/Cowen, Ponting, Clark, Forrest, Hussey, Haddin/Wade + 4 Bowlers

  • azzaman333 on March 14, 2012, 4:31 GMT

    Shame Starc's still there, who needs to drastically improve his control before he's even close to being considered a regular. Would've loved to have seen Bird, Cutting or Coulter-Nile get the back up bowler spot instead, give them a bit of touring experience.