Blewwy preferred batting down the order in Tests because he could play his shots, like he'd been doing for SA as an attacking opener. It was when he was picked again as the defensive guy to bat around Slater that I reckon he lost his mojo. Blocking it out just wasn't his bag and he wasn't all that good at the role. Was such a glorious stroke-player, just didn't seem right watching him prod around his front pad looking for the singles.
Guess what I'm saying is that if a bloke is in form and doesn't play too far outside his natural game, he'll do well. Phil Hughes would go well no matter where he bats, I reckon.
I've been in the "anti-Hughes" camp for a while but there comes a time when he's done enough. I certainly don't think he had when people started calling for him but as much as I'd love to point out that Newcastle holds claim to the flattest pitch in history, he's played enough games for it to be a decent sample size now and he's been absolutely immense. If I was picking the team, I'd probably still leave him out if it, but I have no problems at all with him being picked if he is.
But yeah, there's no way he should be picked to bat in the middle order. That'd be ridiculous beyond all comprehension. If you really want to squeeze both Jaques and Hughes into the lineup, I think Katich has to bat 4 with Hussey and Clarke moving down one spot each.
Well the question I have is this:
What more does Rogers have to do to get a call up? He's batted at least as well as Hughes this season and has many awesome seasons behind him.
Why pick a less experienced guy who is doing exactly the same as a more experienced one?
Honestly, I don't know where this perception has come from that Katich is a bloke who you can move around at will but a bloke like Hughes just HAS to be picked in his preferred spot. As blokes like Katich, Hussey, Langer, etc. have proven, everyone has to be adaptable at some stage if you want to survive but if you're doing the job, I reckon you deserve to own the spot until you're not. Katich, I'm sure anyone would agree, owns the opener spot right now.
Last edited by Top_Cat; 03-02-2009 at 11:04 PM.
I don't think Katich is significantly less likely to score runs at 4 than he is opening, really, whereas I think Hughes is decidedly less likely to score runs at 6 than he is opening.
The reality of the matter is, though, that there's no way I'd pick both Jaques and Hughes in the team, as it'd be an unncessary disruption to the rest of the lineup. I'd just pick one of them to open with Katich and then pick a middle order batsman to bat in the middle order. I don't actually think moving Katich is a particularly good idea and I'm not in favour of it; I'm just slightly more in favour of it than debuting a 20 year old opener at #6.
Who's to say that Hughes, unencumbered by expectation, wouldn't do well? He's a decent player with a decent technique, he really should be able to bat anywhere. Again, all of the other players in the line-up have had to do so at different stages of their careers.
Ideally, he'd open purely because that's what he's been doing for NSW. But if a bloke is red-hot over and above the other contenders, you have to fit him in somewhere even if out of position. It's case-by-case for me, don't believe at all that positions should be set in stone.
Personally, I'd have Hughes in ahead of Jaques right now (assuming Rogers has been black-listed for being a Vic). I know Jaques has the incumbency but that only should extend so far. Hughes is match-fit, has runs and is confident. Jaques has had very little cricket for a while now, has a few issues with fitness anyway (let alone after a long lay-off) and just isn't match fit at all. Needs plenty of runs to force his way back in rather than slotting back in, I reckon.
Last edited by Top_Cat; 03-02-2009 at 11:14 PM.
Noone has yet answered why they think that Hughes would be a better pick than Rogers, other than the fact that he's a few years younger.
Rogers is in ridiculous form, it's stupid not to pick him now.
Look at Ferguson, is he really the best option available? The selectors have shown signs they are looking to the future, so I think they'll do the same and pick the brilliant Phil Hughes.
Are you for real?
Let's just start on the 'form' issue:
Hughes has had an extra 2 innings - but having said that, he's made 4 centuries and one 82* in 15 digs. Has 3 other 50s.
Rogers has 3 centuries in 13 digs and 3 other 50s.
So the 'form' doesn't really lean either way - if anything you could argue that Hughes is the better century maker?
The advantage leans towards him slightly.
Now to the argument that "Rogers has been in form longer": this is false.
Rogers certainly made more runs over the previous 2-3 season - but that's because Hughes had only just started and was playing his first games as an 18-19 year old.
Having said that, Hughes entered this season with a career average over 50 (now 60), Rogers with a career average below 50 (now 49).
Now to the 'age discrepancy'.
Rogers is more than 11 years older than Hughes.
He had a shot last summer, he didn't look great, and why should we pick a guy who will give Australia one good season before people start talking about his age.
Hughes has an OUTSTANDING first class record already at just 20 years of age. Far superior to that of Ponting or Clarke when they made their debuts at a young age (neither averaged over 50 at the time). But look at their imposing test records now? It doesn't guarantee Hughes will do the same - but just because they did well doesn't mean he WON'T do well. The evidence points towards an extremely healthy test career for Hughes.
Put Hughes in now, and in 2 years Test cricket will be his oyster - and he'll still have another 15 years before he reaches the age Matty Hayden retired at.
This is a guy who has the talent to be a permanent fixture at the top of the order for a long time. We're not the top team in the world right now - why on earth would we pick an ageing batsman with a worse record over the boom youngster who has the world of cricket at his feet?
If Rogers was 5 years younger, he might have an argument. He's not, so he doesn't.
Hughes is in ridiculous form, it's stupid not to pick him now.
That works both ways though. If you continue to pick/debut older players, the younger ones who're batting down the house can take the money path, and that would be a whole lot more disasterous for Australian cricket than, dare i say it, losing a couple of 30 y/o's who're probably close to being past their best.
You Stephen, asked the question: Why they think that Hughes would be a better pick than Rogers?
I've told you why and if they are performing at the same level why not pick a young guy when the rest of your top 6 is getting on in age already.
Like if we were Bangladesh and it was Shakib Hughes and Rakib Rogers to chose from, you might go for Rakib since we'd need a more experienced guy in the lineup,but with Katich, Ponting, Hussey [3 out of the 4 certainties] at least 33 years old you have to start picking a few younger guys.
FTR Bangladesh would chose both players but you get my point.
The selectors are not going to pick a Hodge or Rogers just on the off chance that they will play in a big tournament overseas except for when they represent Vic in the next Champions Trophy.
When in doubt and all other things being more or less equal, pick the younger bloke.
Rest In Peace Craigos
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