Once upon a time, naming an Australian squad for an upcoming series was an uneventful exercise with everyone knowing who would be selected but wanting to breath life into the announcement, named a 17 man squad including someone from every state, so no one feels left out.
You have the usual suspects in the squad, with Ponting, Katich, Watson, Clarke et al all being picked despite not scoring many runs over the last few weeks in a forlorn hope in some cases, they may recover the form they have shown in the last few years. I’m hoping to see that but recent history is against them.
Biggest surprise besides Marcus North, continually being selected despite being rocks and diamonds, is the inclusion of Tasmanian spinner Xavier Doherty, who recently debuted for the ODI team. The huge thing is though, he averages 48.80 in first class cricket, while Stephen O’Keefe is left out with an average under 30.
The inclusion of the two best batsmen which aren’t playing for Victoria, in Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson is probably a token exercise unless they can score big in the A game vs England starting Wednesday. Otherwise selectors will err on the side of caution especially with Ryan Harris having problems with his knee after last weeks shield game.
I think though Phil Hughes can feel pretty aggreived, he burst onto the scene with his hundred in South Africa and was in the last Ashes squad in England but now he’s been tossed aside, with no reserve opener named in the 17 man squad.
Sadly even though, they’ve named 17 players, it’ll likely be the usual suspects fronting up for the GABBA test and changes will only be made if we lose, but here’s to the eternal hope that they surprise us and pick some new talent but not Doherty please.
Australian squad: Simon Katich, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Marcus North, Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin (wk), Steven Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Xavier Doherty, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger.