What if, just like one-day and twenty20 cricket, pink-ball test cricket is something that requires a slightly different skill set? What if an increase number of day-night tests sees the evolution of pink-ball specialists? What if this is how Glenn Maxwell returns to the Australian Test side? After the complete capitulation of the Australian side…
Part 2 – All-rounder, keeper, and bowling attack.
Mitchell Johnson is a certain starter for Brisbane, but who shares the new ball, who stands behind the stumps, and who bats at six?
Part 1 – The batting core
What changes to the Australian XI might we see for the first Test at the Gabba? For starters, I would have Phil Hughes opening and Shane Watson at first drop – and I have the numbers to show why.
Rewind to six months ago, the Ashes were lost and English cricket thought it had a crisis. They were wrong.
Despite having gone unchanged through 5 consecutive Ashes Tests, Australia will obviously need to take more than 11 guys on the trip to South Africa next month. The first 11 should pick themselves, but beyond that who should they pick?
Following the conclusion of the Boxing Day test and another win for the Australian side – taking it to 4-nil for the series – the selectors made their first real change to the squad this summer (ignoring the mid-series “bowling cover” inclusions of Bollinger and Coulter-Nile). With Ryan Harris’ knees a potential worry and Shane Watson clearly not 100% in Melbourne, the selectors have added Tasmanian batsman Alex Doolan to the 13-man squad. So, will he play?
Quick wickets was Australia’s primary goal on the fourth morning, and while they perhaps didn’t wrap up the English tail quite as quick as they might have liked they didn’t let things get too out of hand. When their innings wrapped up England had set the Aussies 311 for victory and left them a little…
Day three was never going to match day two. 22 wickets fell across the first two days but the Aussies could only manage to pinch 4 on a day where England dug in. Pietersen and Cook resumed at 2/80 looking to build up a big lead. KP did most of the scoring early on, albeit…
What a day. Resuming at 4/78 Steve Smith picked up where he left off the day before and brought up his fifty soon after. 7 balls later he was out. Then Haddin was out. Then Siddle was out. Then Starc was out. Then Pattinson was out. All the while Phil Hughes stood at the other…
The selectors pulled a swift one throwing 19-year-old Ashton Agar a baggy green and a surprise test debut at the expense of Nathan Lyon. Steve Smith got the nod over Dave Warner. Shortly thereafter it was announced that Warner was being put on a plane and sent to Zimbabwe to meet up with Australia A…
We’re a week out from the first Test at Trent Bridge, and new coach Darren Lehmann didn’t mess around with making his mark felt. First he announced that Shane Watson would return to the top of the order for the first time since 2011 and then just prior to the final tour match he confirmed that Chris Rogers would be his opening partner.
Part two of two – Test match and T20 International cricket
In part one I discussed at length the (many) changes I’d make to the global structure of one-day cricket, but why stop there. What would I do to Twenty20 and Test matches? Well, more structure, more consistent scheduling, no IPL window, no Test Championship just for a start.
Chris Rogers is the shock selection that pretty much everyone expected. He’s the guy who most probably aren’t aware isn’t actually a test debutant in waiting having already played a solitary test 5 or so years ago against the Indians when Matthew Hayden was injured. He’s also the guy who has scored more first-class runs on Pommy soil than English captain, and resident gun batsman, Alistair Cook.
A tweet from Adam Spencer yesterday evening, referencing a comment made by former Aussie captain Mark Taylor, caught my attention. Taylor was being interviewed, I don’t know what sort of question preceded the comment, but Taylor suggested that 4 day tests should be ‘investigated’. Interesting.
He’s only just played his maiden first-class game in this country, yet people have already been talking him up as the next great Australian spin hope for months now. His recently concluded Shield debut ended with him collecting 7 wickets for the match including a 5-fa in the second innings – across both innings he bowled a hefty 58.3 overs, especially when compared to fellow debutant spinner Clive Rose’s 23.1 overs (which included just 6 over for the second innings – after picking up 3 wickets in the first – compared to Ahmed’s 32.3 overs).