Friday, December 03, 2010

Aussie selectors role models no more

Over the years I had come to associate Australia selectors with two qualities: ruthlessness in getting rid of deadwood as well as the ability to spot talent and then stick with it. It saddens me to say then, as many others have, that the current crew has comprehensively lost the plot. Truth be told, I knew they (not the same crew but Australian selectors) had lost it back in 2005, when Matthew Hayden was persisted with for the fifth and fatal test at the Oval. Hayden should have been dropped after the third test. Instead, he was persisted with, and in the fifth, when Australia needed to get a move on, he plodded and poked himself back into form. Of course, Freddie Flintoff's incredible bowling ensured Australia wouldn't get a great lead either, but Australia had lost too much time by then.

Now, finally, the selectors have dropped Mitchell Johnson, but the axe deserves to have fallen on Michael Clarke and Marcus North as well. Both are out of sorts, and North's century in India did little to get rid of the feeling in my mind that he is out of his depth (as is Clarke, in current form). Instead, the selectors have painted themselves into a corner; Clarke as FAC has to be persisted with, and North has been given too many chances. Then, of course, there is the business of Shane Watson, who has been pressed into duty as an opener, and is holding on to his place with consistent scoring but who simply does not have the technique or the nous to ever make a big opener-like score.

The only silver lining in the current situation for the Australians is that they have settled on what should have been their first-choice quick bowling attack: Harris, Siddle and Bollinger. Sadly, little sense is being shown on the spinner-selection front, where rather than showing faith in Steve Smith, they have opted for yet another experiment in Doherty.

Perhaps it will take the loss of yet another Ashes series to shake the selectors out of their dogmatic slumbers but I'm not optimistic. Perhaps things need to get much, much worse before they get better.

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Blogger Golandaaz said...

Australia's selection strategy is still tuned as if it is still a dominant team.

Take the case of identifying a future captain. It is fine when you have a young dominant team. Sticking with this strategy while they are in transition locks up 2 spots; the captain's spot and the FAC spot

Watson needs to play in North's spot. And they need a specialist opener. Both I and Vidooshak have talked the same things in our recent blogs

Australia seem more mortal now but they have a good record against England even when they have scored 250 or less in the first innings

24 won - 22 lost - 5 draws

12:22 PM  
Anonymous dominic said...

well, things are getting worse now, so perhaps your prayers will be answered.

9:45 PM  

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