Australian Cricket Selectors Get It Wrong Once Again
Australia looked set for near certain defeat last night in their first Group A match at the ICC Champions trophy against New Zealand only to be saved by the English weather.
A combination of a completely out of balance side poorly picked by the Australian Cricket Selectors and a rusty bowling performance had Australia on the ropes before the rain set in.
Australia selected four fast bowlers in Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and John Hastings. They also selected three all rounders or batsmen who can roll the arm over in Moses Henriques, Glenn Maxwell and Travis head.
In a fifty over game each bowler can bowl 10 overs each so five bowlers are required minimum. So with four bowlers and three all rounders Australia was top heavy bowlers and lacking depth in the batting order.
The Australian fast bowlers other than Hazlewood were very rusty. They pitched the ball up hoping the white ball would swing in the overcast conditions but when the ball went straight as an arrow and was repeatedly driven to the boundary they failed to bring the ball back in length.
I was critical of the selection of Moses Henriques when the squad was selected and could not believe it when he was selected to bat at number four. Yes Moses has had very good Big Bash and Matador Cup form but prior to this innings he had played eight ODI inning for a total of 46 runs at an average of less than six with a top score of 12.
This inning of 18 was scratchy. It comprised of a couple of good pull shots and a couple of lucky edges to the boundary. He was dismissed just as the rain came down again and Australia were in trouble and in my opinion should be glad to come away with one point.
Where is George Bailey?
Australian Selector Mark Waugh is a big fan of fellow New South Welchman Henriques and I just do not know how many more opportunities he has to get when a player of the caliber of George Bailey who has scored more than 3000 ODI runs at an average of over 40 is not even in the squad.
Mark Waugh said on Fox Sports before the game that the side looked liked the strongest Australian ODI side in years. That is a big call considering Australia is the reigning world cup champions. What I saw was an out of balance side with too many bowlers and not enough batsmen with one batsman who only averages six with the bat batting at number four.
If the Australian Cricket selectors want to play three all rounders a bowler should be dropped to bring in Chris Lynn to sure up the batting order.
Unfortunately this team looks like a good 20/20 squad with good Big Bash form but if Australia lose quick early wickets there is no one other than Steve Smith who can build an innings. The side is full of 20/20 sloggers. This is where George Bailey would be perfect at number four if quick wickets fall he is the perfect batsman to resurrect the innings. Goodness knows how many times he has to do it for the Tasmanian Tiger in recent years.
With three early wickets down last night there was only two recognised big hitting slogger batsmen left to come in Maxwell and Head then Wade the keeper and the bowlers and it was only in the ninth over.
Thank goodness for the rain.