The National Selection Panel has named the following squad for the upcoming one day international series against England:
David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey (vice-capt), Brad Haddin (wk), Glenn Maxwell, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty
David Warner and Shaun Marsh return to the team that went to India before the home Ashes series as to does captain Michael Clarke. James Pattinson has been included in his ongoing return from injury.
There are some desperately unlucky players who have missed out on this team from that Indian tour: none more so that Philip Hughes and Adam Voges.
Statistics do not lie and both men had excellent 2013s years in the ODI side. Voges was 5th on the run scoring list for Australia in 2013 with 478 runs at 47.80. The decision to axe Hughes is even more unwarranted, in my opinion, given that he dominated the last series of ODIs at home with two centuries in five games and was Australia’s 3rd highest scorer with 660 runs at 36.66.
It must also be said that Ryobi Cup competition has again been ignored by the selectors as a selection tool. Queensland, the winners of the tournament, have not one player in the Australia squad. That is despite fielding the second highest run scorer of the competition in Usman Khawaja and 3 of the top 10 wicket takers in same with Ben Cutting looking particularly harshly done by given his additional work with the willow.
It is difficult to concede but seems to be true that the NSP is sending a message with this selection to the likes of Hughes, Khawaja, Voges and Cutting that they are not in the frame for the 2015 World Cup which is only 14 months away. It also must be said that the second message the NSP is giving is that the Ryobi Cup does not matter (unless you are David Warner) at the selection table. If it was otherwise than a player like C McKay, who had a shocking tour of India with 4 wickets at an average of 76.33 and an economy rate of 7.15, would have been dropped and any one of the following players selected:
- S Abbott (16 wickets at 20.93)
- J Hazlewood (12 wickets at 30.83
- G Sandhu (11 wickets at 27.81)
As the Chairman of Selectors points out, we are only 14 months away from the World Cup and this series presented an opportunity to test players who might figure in that tournament. By returning to the “old faithful” in the likes of Marsh and McKay the NSP has missed an opportunity to both select players in better form and players of the future.
Is anyone really surprised?