Frankly, I am sick and tired of hearing how unlucky he is not to the be in the ODI squad. First he had a whinge about his exclusion from the CB final series, then he got omitted from the WC squad and I, quite expectedly, heard how much of a mistake the selectors had made with this decision from the Sydney media. But it's not just the Sydney media - I've read various articles claiming it was a poor decision, and selected commentators in NZ today acted as if it was the stupidest decision of all time and even called it a "disgrace."
Firstly, his own person whinge about his final series squad was dire. Even if he did deserve to be in the side, which he clearly didn't, the fact that he targeted Watson as the player he should replace was completely ridiculous. Sure, Watson's return from injury has been less than inspiring, but what Clark seems to have missed is the fact that Watson was picked to bat at 7, as an allrounder. He wasn't competing for Watson's spot unless he thinks the selectors severely under-rate his batting ability - if Clark thinks he should be batting #7 for Australia, he's even more delusional than I first thought.
Now, his WC omission was a close call. Between him and Tait, it was essentially 50/50. If people believe Clark should be there ahead of Tait, I don't have an issue with it. But the way the media has carried on, you'd think the selectors had just picked Hauritz over Warne.
While Clark's test efforts have been brilliant, he simply isn't a very good one day bowler. His record - averaging 31.82 with an economy rate of a whopping 5.48 is a perfect example of such. His average is only very marginally better than Mr.Scapegoat himself, Shane Watson, and he has a far inferior economy rate. Add in the fact that Watson is picked as an allrounder to bat in the middle order, and there is no way in the world that Clark could consider himself unlucky to play because Watson is there. Turn to Tait, and yes, it's a much closer call, but Stuart Clark isn't the most unlucky man in the world as many people make out.
People may just think that he has been unlucky thus far in ODIs and that there is no reason why his form can't cross over into the shorter format. Well, even ignoring his record, that just isn't true. One may think that his consistency in line and length would make him the ideal one day bowler, but there are other factors. See, despite what people may think, Clark actually isn't that accurate. He is perfectly accurate with ONE ball - the ball he bowls over and over, on a nagging length, just outside off stump, moving away slightly. He isn't accurate in the way that he can bowl all his variations where he wants, or even bowl wherever he wants consistently - he is simply superb at bowling that one ball. When he tries to bowl yorkers, or fuller, or shorter, or closer to the stumps, he sprays it everywhere. When he tries to bowl a slower ball, it nearly always ends up full on the leg stump. Now, this will, IMO, actually effect him in tests as well as opposition batsmen treat him with more respect and coaches focus on him more with McGrath and Warne gone. But most importantly for this topic, it greatly effects his one day bowling as he is simply either too predictable, or too wayward when he tries to do something different. When the batsmen attack him in ODIs by coming down at him, or backing away, or whatever they actually wish to do, he has little answer. The flatter pitches aid this greatly as well.
The fact that he took 10 wickets against Western Australia means absolutely nothing, too. No-one ever doubted his ability to bowl in the longer form - taking 20 wickets for no runs in the match would have proven similarly nothing. The fact that he's clearly in good bowling form and he still can't keep his RPO down or take cheaper wickets in ODIs speaks volumes. He's not a completely horrible bowler, but Johnson is by far a better option at this stage and the fact that Tait has been preferred to him as well is hardly the injustice that has been made out.
So Martin Crowe, any Sydney journalist, any other overseas commentator and all of the Sydney media should just give it up and look at the facts. While he is clearly a good albeit untested test bowler, he is not a particularly good one day bowler and his selection would a classic James Franklin case. Well done to the Australian selectors for trusting their convictions and not worrying about what the ridiculous reaction would clearly be - and a further well done for recognising the difference between tests and ODIs.