Originally Posted by Death
Awesome Test XI
Ricky Ponting (c)
AB de Villiers
Brad Haddin (k)
McDonald was a very useful component of that attack indeed IMO. But he's not as useful as Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle or Stuart Clark, and that's why I don't think (nor have I ever thought) that he should play at Cardiff if those four are fit.
Fair enough, I agree with Matt79 though that Clark seems a tad under done and may struggle to make the journey so early in his come back, particularly on what is tipped to be a docile deck.
"England's batting still has a middle-order fragility to it and the prospect of Matt Prior, a fine No7 but suspect at six, may be a risk too far. If this is the case then the second innings from Ian Bell for the Lions, who will be added to the squad, can be instructive."
I'd have said it was unlikely, especially after a scratchy 20, but did see Mike cosying up to Dusty, Ash & Whittaker yesterday, so maybe he has to direct line to the selectors.
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Even if he's not fully fit, and from what I've seen his fitness is a tad questionable, he's never going to go for runs. He'll still bowl very accurately but a little bit slower- much like McDonald does normally, in fact. What he doesn't bring is lower-order batting and he may struggle to bowl long spells.
On the other hand, if he does find his fitness, he could take ten wickets in cloudy Cardiff and win you the match. I doubt McDonald can do that. Personally, i think it's a risk worth taking.
The other issue is, you kinda need another half-bowler of some sort on top of a four-man attack IMO. If only Samit wasn't fat . He'd be perfect.
Would put my avatar on McDonald not playing the first test if any of his advocates are game. Can't see a bloke who wasn't given a trundle in either of the tour games being catapulted into the test XI.
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I think it's in cases like his where the one-size fits all approach to fitness comes unstuck a bit. One the one hand, yes it is a bit of a disgrace a professional sportsman can't get his fitness up to the required standard but on the other he wouldn't be the first lardo to play test cricket either. Excluding him and saying "get fit, fatty" doesn't seem to be working, so I'd say it'd be better to get him back into "Team England" where our experts (such as they are) can keep an eye on him.
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