Test XI Selection Thread

courtjester

Member
I'm going to go the big guns and call for some big changes. I think will probably play our Indian team for the Ashes, but post Ashes the changes must begin. By late 2011, this it what I'd like to see for the batting/allrounders:

Phil Hughes- Must be given an extended run (2-3 series) in the opening spot.
Simon Katich- Stays in the team as long as he gets us off to consistent starts.
Shane Watson- Must always open or bat at 3. Loves the hard new ball.
Michael Clarke- Needs to stand up at 4 and take control of our innings.
Ricky Ponting- Drops down to 5, and like Katich, stays as long as he remains consistent.
Usman Khawaja- It's time to get this guy in to the team now. Future number 3.
Steven O'Keefe- Give him a go at the expense of Hauritz. If it works he is in the side for 10 plus years.
Brad Haddin- Deserves to keep his spot as long as his keeping is tidy. Will win us games with the fast scoring bat.

Hussey and North retired.

Pace bowlers from- Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, younger bowlers.

Next cabs off the rank in batting are Callum Ferguson, Cam White or Steve Smith. One of the three will take Ponting's spot. When Katich retires I'd like the see Khawaja given a shot opening with Hughes.

In two years our team should be settled for the next era as-

Hughes
Khawaja
Watson
Clarke (C)
White (VC)
Ferguson
O'Keefe
Paine
 

Ljp86

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You said Khawaja is a future number three, why would you want him to open? Khawaja has done all of his best work in the middle order, he'd be a lot better there and more suited there rather than opening. On current form, Watson will still be in the side in two years so he could open with Hughes and have Khawaja either at three or still playing his trade at five or six.
 

courtjester

Member
Yeh, future number three or maybe opener, similar to Langer. Khawaja has the nice style that suits opening or three. Would like to see Watson drop down to three, not sure an all-rounder should have to open the batting.
 
It's hard to make a case for any changes at the minute simply because there hasn't been enough Shield Cricket played to get a formline of those players with genuine claims of getting selection.

North got a 94* against Victoria, fielding a damn good attack, a few days ago.

We really need to have a few rounds of the shield to get a look at the formline of these guys.

If the selectors go with 4 seamers at the Gabba, and by all accounts, they are tempted to. Then North will hold his spot becuase he is a decent part-time off-spinner. Indeed, he has taken over 100 wickets at first class level @ 40.

I also think North, when on form, can really take it to an attack. When his scored his centuries, he has played some brutal shots - almost in the vein of Matthew Hayden. That facet of his game I appreciate, and I think it's important to have a player with that capability coming in at 6 and 7.

It is also why I rate Haddin ahead of Paine. Paine is a slow scoring batsmen, and can get bogged down against spin. Haddin is an aggresive player, and a quality player of spin bowling. Haddin easily wins out over Paine in my book.

Now, trying to read between the lines I get the sense from Greg Chappell that they are looking at a player to shore up the middle order. Chappell said they have enough 'flair' players in Ponting and Watson and even Clarke.Just judging from his comments, I think Hussey is under pressure. I reckon the selectors want to get a player in there that is a bit more tight technically.

From what I have seen, that player is at this point in time, Kwajawa (sp). His not super aggresive, but he has a reputation as someone with a solid technique. Alternatively, drop Hussey, and drop Katich down to 5 and bring in Hughes to partner Watson in a double barrelled assault on the English attack.

I think those are the only 2 possible alteratives to the top 7 as we see it.
 
Th
I'm going to go the big guns and call for some big changes. I think will probably play our Indian team for the Ashes, but post Ashes the changes must begin. By late 2011, this it what I'd like to see for the batting/allrounders:

Phil Hughes- Must be given an extended run (2-3 series) in the opening spot.
Simon Katich- Stays in the team as long as he gets us off to consistent starts.
Shane Watson- Must always open or bat at 3. Loves the hard new ball.
Michael Clarke- Needs to stand up at 4 and take control of our innings.
Ricky Ponting- Drops down to 5, and like Katich, stays as long as he remains consistent.
Usman Khawaja- It's time to get this guy in to the team now. Future number 3.
Steven O'Keefe- Give him a go at the expense of Hauritz. If it works he is in the side for 10 plus years.
Brad Haddin- Deserves to keep his spot as long as his keeping is tidy. Will win us games with the fast scoring bat.

Hussey and North retired.

Pace bowlers from- Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, younger bowlers.

Next cabs off the rank in batting are Callum Ferguson, Cam White or Steve Smith. One of the three will take Ponting's spot. When Katich retires I'd like the see Khawaja given a shot opening with Hughes.

In two years our team should be settled for the next era as-

Hughes
Khawaja
Watson
Clarke (C)
White (VC)
Ferguson
O'Keefe
Paine
The idea of Ponting coming in at 5 is silly. Ponting is our best batsmen by a considerable distance, having him at 5 is a waste of his ability. Either that, or all of a sudden, Ponting cares about his average and wants to boost it by a few points before he retires. I seriously doubt Ponting would want that.

I remember laughing at the Poms batting KP at 5. I couldn't understand it then, and I still can't now. The only thing I can think of is that KP called the shots about where he would bat. Batting at 5 shows for the first few years of his career proves, above all else, that KP is a selfish player.

Ponting is at 3, or he doesn't play. It's really that simple. There is no point batting Ponting at 5 whatsoever.

His the perfect number 3 and that is where he stays until he faces his last ball.
 
Would you consider him at No.4 perhaps? Best batsmen often come in then, and an increaing worry with him even after clubbing an early bounday or two is his tendency to get out very early - often to the full ball angling in at his pads.
 
What is wrong with him coming in at 3? Truly great batsmen come in at 3, or at least they used to.

Our top 4 is already solid. Watson, Katich, Ponting, Clarke.

I don't think we need to start dropping Ponting down the order.

Additionally, Peter Siddle looks to have hit some good form in the Shield. Taken 3 for 20 odd off 24 overs. Very economical.

Bollinger and Harris area also building and both should be playing cricket in the near future.

Australian cricket will start to rise soon, our future is looking bright.
 

BabyBlues

Member
For the Gabba:

Watson
Katich
Ponting
Clarke
Hughes
Khawaja
Haddin (he's first choice, but Paine will be applying pressure, and rightly so)
Hauritz/O'Keefe (could go with Smith, or even Smith at 6 and an extra seamer, but I'd rather see him spend another season playing FC cricket and honing his bowling skills there)
Johnson
Hilfenhaus
Bollinger

I like the idea of Hughes moving to the middle-order. I don't see it happening, but if I was selector I'd roll the dice on him there (he's not going to break into the current opening partnership). Khawaja is the in-form batsman of the competition, and would be a solid addition at 6. Ferguson and White are the other options, but neither of them have performed consistently at FC level. Khawaja and Hughes are safer options IMO.

O'Keefe is the best spinner in the 4-day game in Australia at the moment, but Hauritz is a known quantity, and has done a decent job for Australia (he has copped it unfairly IMO). Smith could also do a job, but as I said, I want to see him develop his bowling at FC level.
 
First things first, the fact Merv Hughes has been kicked out as a selector is a good thing. Never rated his attitude to the job. He apparently didn't own pay tv to watch domestic cricket and international tours. I also don't think it's viable being a tour guide and a selector. Having Greg Chappell as the full-time selector is a plus.

Ferguson has put his name up for selection with a splendid hundred, as has Kwawaja. Im not sure about O'keefe, but he will have a chance to impress for NSW and possibly for Aus A against England in Hobart later on.

Out of Khawaga and Ferguson, I'd at this stage be leaning towards Ferguson because he is a slightly more attacking player and a right hander.

Still, more domestic cricket to be played before we can seriously have a stab at selecting the team for the first test.

Good to see the Aussie papers already getting into the poms.

Keep it coming.
 
For the Gabba:

Watson
Katich
Ponting
Clarke
Hughes
Khawaja
Haddin (he's first choice, but Paine will be applying pressure, and rightly so)
Hauritz/O'Keefe (could go with Smith, or even Smith at 6 and an extra seamer, but I'd rather see him spend another season playing FC cricket and honing his bowling skills there)
Johnson
Hilfenhaus
Bollinger

I like the idea of Hughes moving to the middle-order. I don't see it happening, but if I was selector I'd roll the dice on him there (he's not going to break into the current opening partnership). Khawaja is the in-form batsman of the competition, and would be a solid addition at 6. Ferguson and White are the other options, but neither of them have performed consistently at FC level. Khawaja and Hughes are safer options IMO.

O'Keefe is the best spinner in the 4-day game in Australia at the moment, but Hauritz is a known quantity, and has done a decent job for Australia (he has copped it unfairly IMO). Smith could also do a job, but as I said, I want to see him develop his bowling at FC level.
Not from Sydney by any chance, are you BB?
 

BabyBlues

Member
Not from Sydney by any chance, are you BB?
Yes I am, as it happens (though I currently live in Canberra), but I assure you, it hasn't biased my judgement. ;)

Seriously though, Hughes has a Test average in the 50s, hit an 80-odd n.o. in his last Test innings, and has a technique and temperament that would seem to be far more suited down the order, despite his success at the top. He is the best batsman not currently in the side. As for Khawaja, he has shown far more in FC cricket, in far less time, than either Ferguson or White.

When it comes to O'Keefe, I challenge anybody to mount any sort of argument that, based on performances, he shouldn't be next spinner in line.
 

eddiesmith

Active Member
How did Hughes go in his 1st innings in Sydney? Or even more recently the 1st innings at the GABBA? Doesnt seem to like the ball moving around at all, not the greatest sign for an opener

But maybe he would be better down the order then, of course trying that out when the oppositions best bowler is an off spinner, probably not a smart move, they should be looking for a couple of right handers down there for the Ashes otherwise Swann will tear them apart

Khawaja has shown more than White in a short time, but it has been a short time, plus White took a few years to concentrate more on batting which ruined his record a bit in the early years. Now he has become a better and more mature batsman, been limited for first class opportunities being away with Australia alot but his performances against International bowlers in the last 2 years deserve a shot at test cricket soon
 

BabyBlues

Member
How did Hughes go in his 1st innings in Sydney? Or even more recently the 1st innings at the GABBA? Doesnt seem to like the ball moving around at all, not the greatest sign for an opener

But maybe he would be better down the order then, of course trying that out when the oppositions best bowler is an off spinner, probably not a smart move, they should be looking for a couple of right handers down there for the Ashes otherwise Swann will tear them apart

Khawaja has shown more than White in a short time, but it has been a short time, plus White took a few years to concentrate more on batting which ruined his record a bit in the early years. Now he has become a better and more mature batsman, been limited for first class opportunities being away with Australia alot but his performances against International bowlers in the last 2 years deserve a shot at test cricket soon
The Gabba game is the first SS game Hughes has played this season, and yes, he failed. Even the best fail occasionally. Even when out of form, Hughes averages in the 50s at FC level. He's a freak, and the sooner he's in the Test team, the better.

Khawaja's FC record is better than the best of White's FC work, never mind his worst. Khawaja has the runs on the board (literally and figuratively) at FC level, he has done absolutely everything to earn his spot.

Personally, I think the whole "Swann against left-handers" thing is blown way out of proportion. If the next best two batsmen happen to be lefties, you select them. Swann is one bowler.
 

eddiesmith

Active Member
The Gabba game is the first SS game Hughes has played this season, and yes, he failed. Even the best fail occasionally. Even when out of form, Hughes averages in the 50s at FC level. He's a freak, and the sooner he's in the Test team, the better.

Khawaja's FC record is better than the best of White's FC work, never mind his worst. Khawaja has the runs on the board (literally and figuratively) at FC level, he has done absolutely everything to earn his spot.

Personally, I think the whole "Swann against left-handers" thing is blown way out of proportion. If the next best two batsmen happen to be lefties, you select them. Swann is one bowler.
Hughes has a couple of very big technical defficiences that cant be hidden just because he got lucky in 1 game against South Africa and then a year later made an unbeaten half century v NZ

He has had 7 tests and only 1 where he truly played well and even then with some luck, outside of that he has been very poor. When the ball moves he looks shocking, if the pitch is fast he gets bounced out, if its flat and slow like the SCG where he plays atleast half his games then he looks like a superstar.

Actually Khawajas record is not better than Whites best work, hell over the last 3 seasons, White has a better average in that period than Usman who really has had just 1 good season

Right now there are 7 players in the mix for 2 spots. White with the runs at international level, Khawaja with his 1 good season, Hughes vying for a spot down the order to hide his technical problems, Ferguson after a great year 2 backs and some great ODI performances, Smith as the all rounder or the incumbents who are both likely to be gone definately within 6 months

Will be interesting to see which way they go but despite some claims the young NSW trio are miles ahead of anyone else, it is a tight race with the incumbents leading the way atm
 

BabyBlues

Member
Hughes has a couple of very big technical defficiences that cant be hidden just because he got lucky in 1 game against South Africa and then a year later made an unbeaten half century v NZ

He has had 7 tests and only 1 where he truly played well and even then with some luck, outside of that he has been very poor. When the ball moves he looks shocking, if the pitch is fast he gets bounced out, if its flat and slow like the SCG where he plays atleast half his games then he looks like a superstar.

Actually Khawajas record is not better than Whites best work, hell over the last 3 seasons, White has a better average in that period than Usman who really has had just 1 good season

Right now there are 7 players in the mix for 2 spots. White with the runs at international level, Khawaja with his 1 good season, Hughes vying for a spot down the order to hide his technical problems, Ferguson after a great year 2 backs and some great ODI performances, Smith as the all rounder or the incumbents who are both likely to be gone definately within 6 months

Will be interesting to see which way they go but despite some claims the young NSW trio are miles ahead of anyone else, it is a tight race with the incumbents leading the way atm
You wouldn't happen to be Victorian, would you Eddie? ;)

Too much is made of Hughes' technical problem. You're making him sound like a one-trick pony, but he can score runs wherever he plays. He's a freakish talent, which should be nurtured. He was axed far too quickly in the Ashes, but he went back to FC cricket, and believe it or not, actually modified his technique. His form was shit for a while as he was trying to adjust, but towards the end of the season he got comfortable and started churning the runs out.

Khawaja has had only 1 good season? Seriously? He was solid when he first arrived, very, very good in 08-09, and a superstar in 09-10, form which he has seemingly carried over into this season (starting with a 214 and a 60, the latter coming on a Gabba pitch that NSW got bowled out for 262 on, and QLD are currently 8/68 on).

White with the runs at international level, but a very iffy FC record; Khawaja with his one fantastic season, one very good season, from a total of 3 (that's a pretty good strike rate, don't you think?); Hughes vying for a spot down the order because that's the only place with openings; Ferguson who has shown very little in FC cricket; Smith as the allrounder (who I personally want to see playing more FC cricket first); or the incumbents.
 

eddiesmith

Active Member
You wouldn't happen to be Victorian, would you Eddie? ;)

Too much is made of Hughes' technical problem. You're making him sound like a one-trick pony, but he can score runs wherever he plays. He's a freakish talent, which should be nurtured. He was axed far too quickly in the Ashes, but he went back to FC cricket, and believe it or not, actually modified his technique. His form was shit for a while as he was trying to adjust, but towards the end of the season he got comfortable and started churning the runs out.

Khawaja has had only 1 good season? Seriously? He was solid when he first arrived, very, very good in 08-09, and a superstar in 09-10, form which he has seemingly carried over into this season (starting with a 214 and a 60, the latter coming on a Gabba pitch that NSW got bowled out for 262 on, and QLD are currently 8/68 on).

White with the runs at international level, but a very iffy FC record; Khawaja with his one fantastic season, one very good season, from a total of 3 (that's a pretty good strike rate, don't you think?); Hughes vying for a spot down the order because that's the only place with openings; Ferguson who has shown very little in FC cricket; Smith as the allrounder (who I personally want to see playing more FC cricket first); or the incumbents.
A very iffy first class record that over the last 3 years has seen him score more runs at a better average than Usman. If you can describe the last 3 years as such for Khawaja then White has had 2 very good seasons and 1 fantastic season and he hasnt played more than half the games in any of them, he also has a couple of ODI centuries and many half centuries in that period against International quality attacks.

But yeah I can imagine Hughes started churning the runs out towards the end, that is always when pitches and grounds are at their best for batting whilst early season its alot more difficult
 

BabyBlues

Member
A very iffy first class record that over the last 3 years has seen him score more runs at a better average than Usman. If you can describe the last 3 years as such for Khawaja then White has had 2 very good seasons and 1 fantastic season and he hasnt played more than half the games in any of them, he also has a couple of ODI centuries and many half centuries in that period against International quality attacks.
Usman has more runs, more centuries and a better average since the 07/08 season in Australian FC cricket than White does.

But yeah I can imagine Hughes started churning the runs out towards the end, that is always when pitches and grounds are at their best for batting whilst early season its alot more difficult
Yes, that's definitely it. It wasn't because he made a major change to his batting technique that took some getting used to. It's definitely the pitch, because he's been shit at the start of every seaso... oh, wait, nevermind.
 

Boris

Active Member
Despite all the talk around player changes and everything I think we have to be a little more reasonable.

This is the side that will be fielded come the first ball of the Ashes:
1. Watson
2. Katich
3. Ponting
4. Clarke
5. Hussey
6. North
7. Haddin
8. Johnson
9. Hauritz
10. Hilfenhaus
11. Bollinger

The only exception will be either Hauritz, Hilfenhaus or Bollinger moving aside if they wish to play Siddle, which may or may not be likely dependant on how he performs up until then, and indeed how the others currently in the team perform as well.
 
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