Sunday 29 November 2009

Brightness falls

On the radio commentary from Port Elizabeth today, Simon Mann was talking about England's batting for the Test series [well come on, the ODIs are like so over, aren't they?] and floated the idea that with KP coming back, Jonathan Trott might be persuaded to open to allow Ian Bell to continue in the side at the expense of Alistair Cook.

England and the English have long been susceptible to this kind of thinking, where square pegs are hammered firmly into round holes with a kind of tortured expediency. It's an England kind of thing. What it's not is an Australian kind of thing. Instead, it's the kind of thing Australians used to laugh at England for doing. 

But at the moment, Ricky Ponting seems to be the only man there who's seeing things clearly. He wants Shane Watson -an expedient, but defendable emergency selection in England - to join Australia's middle order where he so patently belongs [or at least, where he so patently deserves the chance to prove that he belongs]. Punter's aware that, to open in Test cricket, it's best to be an opener. Australia's order, after so many years of Langer and Hayden, has Katich, a converted number three, and Watson. Hussey, an opener, bats four. 

Hughes, an opener [and what's more the sort of opener, like Sehwag and Dilshan, who may redefine the job] was dropped because he kept getting out in the same fashion. Well now so does Watson. 

Australia's selectors were once consistent to a point that extended beyond ruthlessness. No more. An easy series against the West Indies will compound rather than eliminate the problem. They should think about starting again with Ricky Ponting and a blank sheet of paper.


Vim said...

Punter said in an interview on Aus TV that he thought he should be on the selection panel.

Hopefully the West Indies bowlers who seem FAR more interested in this test series than the batsmen bar Barath, will keep pitching it up to Watson and the wee Hughes will LOOM once again.

The problem for the Aussies is that Marcus North who was really just a fill-in has turned out very useful. He knows that he'll get dropped before Hussey, so keeps cranking out runs. Which means where is Watson if he doesn't open?

Cricket Betting Blog said...

Think Vim sums it up about Marcus North, as long as he keeps scoring runs they can't really drop him.

In order to accommodate Shane Watson in the middle order you would need to drop one of Hussey, Clarke or North, or maybe move Hussey.

The Aussie selectors are not going to drop Clarke for obvious reasons.

That only leaves Hussey who always seems to be the dead man walking at the moment, are the selectors just giving him a stay of execution? I don't know.

One thing with Hussey though is even though he is an opener by trade, in the sort of form he's been in over the last 12-18 months would you really want to promote him to the top of the order?

Think in the long run Watson will end up at 5 or 6 but at the moment the only vacancy seems to be as an opener.

The only other (short term) solution is if they decide to play Watson as a bowling all rounder but I can't see that myself. You might get away with it against West Indies but can't see that working against the better sides.

As for England, well, they never cease to amaze me. They will probably throw Trott straight into the problem No.3 position, instead of promoting our best batsman there and allowing Trott to settle lower down the order, heaven forbide Collingwood might be moved from his comfortable No.5 position as well.