Every series there has been some excuse for why changes cant be made e.g. playing India, the Ashes, Rooty Hill RSL next so we cant do that
How about we try a novel approach and actually pick a combination that represents arguably the best player for each position
If that means punting some "established"but consistently underperforming players then so be it
Subject to fitness, I'd pick
Ponting - (c) for the very last time
Smith - 12th man
Here's the problem with dropping Clarke though and then bringing him back when Ponting retires. Ghappel has said in no uncertain terms that Clarke will be the next captain. If you drop him, then bring him back and make him captain, what kind of message will that send to the team?
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Without Katich's injury there has been only one change to the batting in this series. Smith for North.
And now we are likely to be 2-1 down
Was there any warning signs that the batting was weak ?
Not really. Ponting as stated had a very good series in India, and Clarke, whilst failing in India, looked in supreme touch just before the injury. So that's taken everyone by surprise.
1 S Watson 2 P Hughes 3 R Ponting 4 U Khawaja 5 M Clarke 6 M Hussey 7 B Haddin 8 M Johnson 9 P Siddle 10 M Beer 11 D Bollinger.
Beer has to be given a chance, but even if he does well I'm not sure what it will prove.. I've kept Hughes if Katich isn't back yet,
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There were warning signs about the batting, but not so much about Ponting and Clarke. Sure you could say that Ponting hadn't had a big series in a while and that Clarke was poor in a two-match series against India, but I don't think there were any real indications that they'd average under 10 over four Ashes Tests.
There were massive, massive warning signs about Hussey, though, funnily enough. Hussey's performances should be a reminder of why not to drop Clarke. I'd much sooner drop Ponting because I think he's genuinely declined; Clarke has just had a bad patch. A little longer than a routine bad patch and at a terrible time, but I don't think it's a genuine decline.
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