In case you missed it last night:
- Peter Siddle was selected to play in the final Ashes test at the Oval ahead of Pat Cummins; and
- Shane Warne went on full rant in commentary about the selectors’ decision.
I am sorry to all Shane Warne fans out there but, frankly, he is just straight out wrong and here are five reasons why:
- Pat Cummins has not played a full first class (Sheffield Shield) season in his career and, indeed, has only played in eight first class games.
- The last two first class games Cummins has played have been games on this tour that have been against, really, glorified first class teams over two and three days respectively.
- In both of those two first class games Cummins only bowled in one innings and was not required to back up on a day’s rest (or less) to start bowling again. It is very likely that he would have needed to do so in this test match and yet he has not done so at first class level in at least two years. This is a recipe for another injury for Cummins whose road to the Ashes squad has been littered with injuries.
- Pat Cummins is 22 years old. His time will come soon enough whilst this is likely the last time Peter Siddle will have an opportunity to play wearing the baggy green cap. Siddle has been a strong servant of the game and his country over a number years and he deserves the opportunity to finish up with Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers in this game.
- Australia has struggled in recent test matches to contain the run scoring of the English. Starc and Johnson are not bowlers who restrict run rates and pushing Pat Cummins into a containment roll makes no sense. Siddle, as more of a stock bowler, has played this role consistently so the balance of the team is improved by Siddle’s inclusion.
The selectors, who have been correctly much maligned for their missteps this tour, have gotten this selection, for the reasons above, absolutely correct. Sorry Shane Warne: you have gotten it spectacularly wrong!