Chris Rogers – one Test wonder?

Maybe not. One of first-class cricket’s finest batsmen may yet get an opportunity to play a second Test having been selected in Australia’s Ashes squad. It just goes to show, if you hang around long enough, the failings of the next generation will eventually earn you the recognition you sort of deserve.

15 years of experience

You wouldn’t say Rogers has been picked at his peak, but he’s still good enough in English conditions to have topped Middlesex’s batting averages last year (if you ignore Andrew Strauss because he only made 277 runs). Also, being as he’s here already, he’s got plenty of time to get his eye in.

What else?

He won’t be the only one with an opportunity to get his eye in. Modern Test tours are short, but there seems to be recognition that the players need more time to acclimatise as seven of the Test squad will arrive early with the Australia A team.

Who else?

There has been a cull. Batsmen picked for their bowling and bowlers picked for their batting are out. Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques and Steve Smith are all dropped, as is Xavier Doherty. Even if they hadn’t been replaced, the squad would be stronger. They were basically just diluting the previous Australia squad and distracting people. Brad Haddin’s gnarl-dog face has also been brought back, because it looks the part.

Conclusions

This may be the least terrifying Australia Ashes squad in years, but at least there’s some clarity about it. That wasn’t the case in India, where the selectors seemed to be hysterically hedging and hoping. It’s also a good move to have plenty of players over in the UK for a prolonged period before the first Test.

We tend to think there’s a tendency to fill in the unknowns rather generously when it comes to Australia’s younger bowlers, but that doesn’t mean we think they’re outright bad and they’ll have more impact in England than in India. As long as you have bowlers, you are always in with a shout.

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20 Appeals

  1. He’s not in! He’s not even in the A Squad! This is a sad, sad day for lovers of Australian medium-pace scattergun bowling, like me.

  2. My favourite quote – “We’ve selected 16 players and we state now that should the need arise we will add to the squad”

    Deciphered – “We know we are going to get a fuckload of injuries, especially as all our injury-prone seamers are doing an A-Tour now as well. We also aren’t too sure if the batsmen we have picked will score any runs, mostly because we picked 3 or 4 Mark Ealham clones in India and didnt really bother picking proper batsmen. Can everyone please make sure their phone is fully charged?”

  3. The squad actually looks half decent. Let’s get our excuses in early. They might just surprise us.

  4. Is Wade dropped now then, or is Haddin going to replace Watson as a batsman?

    • King Cricket

      April 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Wade’s dropped, albeit with the option of playing him as a batsman.

      They seem to have brought in James Faulkner to remind Watson that he has to do something. Don’t think they’ve any intention of playing Faulkner though.

    • At least when they pick Johnson again we can have a “Mitchell Johnson’s back!” post.

      Something to look forward to.

      *Sigh*

  5. The Aussie squad looks decent and sensible in the circumstances, which is more than could have been said for their India tour squad.

    On paper the England squad looks superior, but then it looked far superior to the Kiwi boys a few weeks ago and look what happened.

    I have a slight sense of foreboding, only because some pundits are already suggesting that England should win the series comfortably.

  6. I hope James Faulkner gets a match because that would mean that Twatface has finally ****ed up just one too many times with the bat.

  7. In other news, nice blog piece on the Cricinfo Cordon, sam:

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/631369.html

  8. Cheers, Ged. I didn’t want to blow my own proverbial but it’s always nice to get published for writing about cricket.

    • Surrey? I thought you were a Brummie?

    • Excellent piece, Sam. And thanks for bringing it to our attention, Ged.

    • Daneel, it’s even more boring and complicated than that. Grew up in Birmingham, worked as a journalist in Surrey for the last few years, recently moved to Devon.

      I bet you’re glad you asked.

  9. Given the recent history of Australian selection, the dropping of Smith, Henriques, etc., actually makes them look scarily competent before the Ashes. Perhaps that’s why they were selected in the first place.

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