Originally Posted by howardj
Can not understand, if someone watched the last Ashes series, why they would want Australia to play five bowlers this coming summer. In effect, people are saying that they want an already-fading Adam Gilchrist (have a look at his form in South Africa) to bat at number six, against an attack which totally exposed him last time, and which even reduced the great Ricky Ponting to an average of 37. Yet people still want to shorten the batting line-up?
Regarding Australia's bowling, our problem was not the number of overs we took to knock England over last time (I doubt they batted more than 100 overs on two occasions). Rather, it was the number of runs that we conceded in those overs. That is no basis for picking five bowlers - which Australia should only ever do in the most barren of conditions (West Indies 2003 etc) - rather, it demands a better line and length from the four bowlers that are picked, than the fare served up last time by the likes of Kasprowicz and Gillespie.
I'll repeat what I said on another thread that Australia's search for a fifth bowling option only ever came about when one or two of our four bowlers was bowling rubbish in England. Four bowlers, bowling well, more than sustained Australia through our golden period. That at least one of our attack was bowling rubbish, in one series, is no basis for shortening an already struggling batting line-up, and picking five bowlers, and exposing the likes of Warne and Lee at number seven. Nor is it a basis for picking an inadequate batsman like Symonds in the top six.
Regarding Gillespie...I still think Clark is definitely ahead. Against Australia's last quality opposition, Clark excelled and won man of the series. By contrast, Gillespie struggled against England, New Zealand and Pakistan. Gillespie's omission from the team in 2005 was as a result of a gradual decline, not an isolated bad patch of form. Moreover, I think the selectors will find it hard to pick Gillespie, first up at the Gabba, when they haven't seen him bowl to quality Test opponents since he got dropped. And against the very same batting line-up that exposed him last time. Granted, he would be next in line if an injury were to occur.