Can't say I disagree with this at all. I was asking the question when Bracken was first picked and considering their respective records, his selection over Inness is even less justified.
Why isn't Mat in?
By Michael Horan
October 15, 2003
VICTORIAN cricket's senior men are fuming that left-arm fast bowler Mathew Inness has again been ignored by the national selectors.
NSW counterpart Nathan Bracken, who statistically is no match for the Victorian, was called into the Australian squad on Monday to bolster its stocks for the second Test against Zimbabwe this week.
Leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has torn a calf muscle to join NSW teammate Glenn McGrath on the injured list.
Bracken's recall prompted a less than subtle swipe from Victorian coach David Hookes and a despondent reaction from captain Darren Berry.
Inness and Bracken are both 25-year-old left-arm fast bowlers, but it is the Victorian, who cannot get a look in with Australia A, who has the far superior first-class record for his state.
Inness has collected 178 wickets for Victoria at an average of just 24.72, compared to Bracken's 80 at 30.45 for the Blues.
"As I've said many times, when they give out the baggy blue cap in NSW, they give you a baggy green in a brown paper bag as well to save making two presentations," Hookes said.
"I think Matty got very harshly treated when he was overlooked for the Australia A side last year, and I think he'd be a pretty disappointed bloke today."
Berry, Inness's Pura Cup captain, had no intention of buying into selection issues, but stated the obvious on his teammate's behalf.
"He's a great bloke and he works harder than any player I know," Berry said.
"I can't comment on selection and won't - I don't have to. The stats speak for themselves."
The 183cm, 92kg Inness has a personal best of 7-19 and has taken six five-wicket and two 10-wicket hauls in his 50-game career for Victoria. Bracken has taken five wickets in an innings just once in 28 games for NSW.
There is a palpable feeling within Victorian ranks that without a representative on the national selection panel, the influence of Australian captain Steve Waugh and the Queensland-NSW representation on the selection panel works harshly against Victoria.
The selectors are chairman Trevor Hohns (Qld), Allan Border (Qld), Andrew Hilditch (NSW) and David Boon (Tasmania).
Bracken, who was also selected in the Australian squad for the 2001 Ashes tour, was included in the 14-man Australian squad for the second Test against Zimbabwe, starting at the SCG on Friday.
The general consensus among the Victorian players - especially the batsmen - is that Inness is a better bowler, one who swings the ball more, but also one who runs in all day and can get wickets with the old ball.