Australia’s selection policy

Just what do they think they’re doing? There was a sign that the wheels had come off when Ricky Ponting said: “We’ve really got to pick horses for courses with our selections,” when the Australians were in India.

Selection is one of the Aussies’ greatest strengths. Historically, they’ve actually planned their selections. They’ll identify a player who they think will make the grade, they’ll ease them in and they’ll stick with them.

They don’t identify eight players – like England do – and chop and change them until there’s a new plan. They identify one player. They look at their side, they work out when they’ll need certain players and they try and work out who’ll best fit the role in advance. They don’t wait for a vacancy to arise. They plan ahead.

At least they did do. Earlier this year, they were still trying to do this. They were going to get two years out of Bryce McGain and then Beau Casson was hopefully going to be ready. Bryce McGain got injured and at this point they moved to Plan B: They tore up the team sheet and TOTALLY FREAKED OUT.

In and out like a…

Casson was out, Jason Krejza was in. But then they had second thoughts about Krejza, so Cameron White was in. Then White was out and Krejza was in. Then Krejza was injured and White and Casson were both still out and Nathan Hauritz was in. Then when Krejza was back, Hauritz went back to being 12th man for New South Wales.

Now Krejza’s out and Hauritz is back in. You still with us?

Parallel to this, Stuart Clark and Peter Siddle have been swapping places on virtually a match-by-match basis, on the basis of conditions and fitness and Shane Watson’s been in and out depending on the make-up of the side and whether Andrew Symonds was a villain or a saviour at the time.

Do these players know what they’re doing wrong when they’re dropped? Do they believe that they’re doing anything right when they get picked again or do they just think that the other guy’s even worse than they are?

We were English for the entire duration of the Nineties. We know what we’re talking about in this regard. Australia’s reactionary selection policy smacks of panic, short-termism and lack of planning.

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11 Appeals

  1. they have crap players, is what it boils down to. like I said in the comments to the other post, their domestic system obviously isn’t the hotbed of excellence everyone thought it was. they had a bunch of great(/really good) players to make up a once-in-a-blue-moon team, and now that most of them are gone they suck.

  2. Selection has gone downhill big time since AB was kicked out for having ties to the wrong beer company. And we’ve just renewed Tim Nielsen till 2011 as coach, yay.

  3. It’ll be interesting to see the Ashes as a bit of a donkey derby, but I have a feeling that, come summer 2009, most people who know their stuff will consider India and South Africa to be the best two teams in the world just now.

    Still makes the Ashes interesting.

    And England’s consistent selection merely lumbers us with Tinker and Monty – hardly a great advert for that sort of consistency either.

    As usual though, KC, your piece made me think.

  4. King Cricket

    December 23, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    That is not an activity we try to encourage here at King Cricket, Ged.

  5. I certainly don’t do much of it. Can I have some food or something?

  6. King Cricket

    December 23, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Have a Jaffa Cake.

  7. Can you mail one to me? I dunno what the postal regulations pertaining to fat percentage are though.

  8. Apologies for the breach of protocol, KC.

    I’ll try barely even reading the thing and then spouting any old rubbish that comes into my head next time – honest.

  9. Ged, a popular tactic among visitors arriving from search engines is to just read the title and then make base your reaction upon that.

  10. ‘e normous’ says it boils down to Australia having ‘crap players’ in the domestic comp.

    ‘e normous’ is obviously assuming that the players coming and going from the Australian team recently actually have a pedigree in the domestic competition. This assumption is nearly entirely erroneous.

    The truth is that Australia actually has crap selectors. They seem to have forgotten we have a first-class domestic league at all. Jason Krezja and Peter Siddle were not domestic stars; they had not played much first-class cricket before being selected to play test-match cricket against India and South Africa. Nathan Hauritz is not even the number one spinner in his own state team.

  11. oh alright then. however AFAIK guys like siddle, casson, those two spinners with similar names (…?), uh… cosgrove, and… I dunno. those guys are all near the top at the domestic level, aren’t they? they don’t seem particularly great to me.

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