Aus has 4 world-class bowlers - McGrath, Gillespie, Warne and MacGill.
Gillespie was the world's no. 1 paceman 12 months ago, has over 250 test wickets, and needs rehab on his action not the retirement home.
Lee and Tait need to learn the value of consistency but can only do so by bowling at the highest level. As such, it is difficult to see how they can play together.
As for the batsmen: -
1. Hayden played the best innings of the Ashes series and eight of the worst. I find it hard to believe that the selectors will drop him immediately following that knock but neither will I be convinced that "he's back" until he plays with the same discipline repeatedly.
2. Im not convinced about Hussey as a long-term replacement at the top of the order. I suspect that he has a weakness outside the off-stump with the newer ball and would prefer he played lower down. However, he is a brilliant fieldsman, apparently has a very good cricket brain, and is a useful bowler.
3. I have not seen enough of Jacques to make a comment but should he continue to be successful in Pakistan, there must be an argument to blood him immediately rather than after he's lost form.
4. Langer and Ponting pick themselves but Ricky need to have some of the pressure lifted off his shoulders.
5. Martyn was woeful in England and his last 2 knocks under pressure were 2 of the worst Ive seen him play for years. He also varies between brilliant and ordinary in the field. However, he was amongst the best batsmen in world cricket during the preceding 12-18 months.
6. Selectors have too much invested in Clarke to replace him despite lingering questions over his shot selection and fitness.
7. Katich needs a hundred and soon. A half-century every 3 innings is not good enough unless he starts coverting a few into centuries. Im also not convinced about him at no. 6 - he doesnt seem to have a top-gear that he can shift into when quicker runs are required.
8. Gilchrist is a genius and will come good again soon.
9. Watson, as Ive said 248,789,423 times is essential to Aus. He is a top-class batsman and fielder, and is improving as a bowler following a long stint on the sidelines with injury.
What does all that mean?
If I was picking a test team today, it would be:
8. Warne (c)
However, should Hayden and Martyn fail in the super-test, I would replace them immediately with Jacques and Hussey respectively.
Finally, in a perfect world, I would also change our ODI side by not picking Lee or Hayden.
Both need to focus on the longer form of the game exclusively.
Last edited by social; 15-09-2005 at 12:07 AM.