Cricket Australia held one of their 1000 press conferences on Tuesday, rather demurely after the fiasco that was the 17 an Ashes squad but it wasn’t short of talking points after Ricky Ponting and Andrew Hilditch rattled off the 15 players who’ll be going to the world cup.
Australia have kept belief in the mantra that pace will be enough to destory batting line-ups like it has at the last few World Cups, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Mitchell Johnson and Doug Bollinger make up the pace battery with only Lee having enough pace variations which works on sub continent pitches.
There is the customary bolter, who was selected so others won’t be put under the spotlight, this guy John Hastings, Penrith boy who unfortunately moved to Victoria because he couldn’t break into the NSW team and has helped Victoria in their recent domination of the domestic game. Though with his selection, Dan Christian, the $900,000 man can feel unlucky because his lusty hitting and medium pacers could have been useful in an otherwise speed based bowling attack.
In the spin ranks, the selectors are obviously not fans of the movie X-Men because the X-man Doherty was dropped after a lacklustre opening ODI performance, with Australia looking towards garage sale veteran Nathan Hauritz, Piggy Smith and the other Hussey, yes there is two (he even takes wickets) for spin. Sadly I think the spin department is the weakest part of Australia’s squad and might be chasing copious amounts of leather in the sub continent.
That leaves us with the batting, Shane Watson is obviously the stand-out batsmen currently for Australia and he has a fondness for sub continent pitches plus he rolls the arm over sometimes but besides him there is the injured Michael Hussey (with Shaun Marsh on standby), Cam White who has become a weapon in ODI cricket. After that though there is out of form Ponting and Clarke, the two wicketkeepers Brad Haddin and Tim Paine where if the latter isn’t picked he can play as a specialised batsmen.
David Hussey and Steve Smith seem to be in the all rounder role for Australia, neither of them doing the job properly lately, leaving Shane Watson the only competent all rounder but they have the chance to change my opinion in the rest of this ODI series.
Lastly, on Australia taking the two wicketkeepers, where most nations have opted for one specialist keeper and someone who could do it a pinch, Tim Paine is a good batsmen so even if doesn’t get a start for his glovework, he can play as a batsmen at the expense of someone who isn’t performing but that’s enough analysis for now, there will be an in depth Australian preview coming on Clear Cricket but go the Aussies.
Australia squad Shane Watson, Brad Haddin (wk), Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Cameron White, Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith, John Hastings, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Brett Lee, Shaun Tait, Doug Bollinger