Shaun Marsh’s back

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Shaun Marsh (public domain by Dave Morton)

We’re so glad we went with Shaun Marsh is back last time around because now that he’s suffering a back complaint we can use a totally new headline.

Totally new.

Marsh may or may not be fit for the first Test, but the development still has the potential to muddy Australia’s crystal clear selection policy.

Early in the season, the selectors were looking to youth. This led to last season’s New South Wales top-scorer Ed Cowan being omitted from the state side in favour of some young lad no-one’s heard of. The decision was made on the grounds that Cowan is 35 and his replacement has milk teeth and so Non-Cowan Boy therefore had a better chance of playing for the Test team.

Fast forward five minutes or so and Australia implemented a brand new selection policy that favoured ‘experience’. 32-year-old Tim Paine came back, thanks to his 2006 batting form, and 34-year-old Marsh was also given another chance.

All well and good. But if these old boys are going to start complaining of back ailments, dizzy spells, rheumatoid arthritis and general confusion, maybe the selectors will feel they have revert to championing youth as they did so convincingly for one part of one squad announcement about a year ago.

The best policy would probably be to alternate between favouring youth or experience for each individual selection they make. That way every state player can be equally perplexed about what the hell is going on and the selectors themselves can put forward justification for their choices even if they didn’t in reality employ any kind of reasoning that would stand up to scrutiny.



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    1. Not sure. Probably. Depends whether anything happens this afternoon and we feel inspired to write again. (Doubtful.)

  1. It’s always a joy to see material and ideas almost (but not quite) recycled around here.

    In that spirit, King Cricket readers might enjoy the following real tennis match report which, in the style of a King Cricket match report, studiously refuses to report on the tennis itself:

    Astute King Cricket readers might notice, in a few months (or perhaps even years) time that the photo included in the above report is an extract from one that was originally taken for a forthcoming King Cricket piece.

  2. If I were a selector I would claim to be be aiming for “the optimum blend of youth and experience”. That way I could justify not picking Cowan because he is too old, and/or non-Cowan because he is too callow. “The balance of the side!” I would sigh, whenever anyone said anything.

  3. Bancroft

    Isn’t that a bit light on bowlers (4) and a bit heavy on wicket-keepers (2)? You have to say it has something of the curate’s egg about it. Warner, Smith, Cummins, Lyon and Starc are serious test players, but the next five players are only not scraping the barrel because that position is occupied by the sixth.

    In summary, we’re going to get annihilated.

    1. Bancroft and Handscomb are both occasional wicketkeepers. As is Paine, for that matter.

      So yeah, probably the equivalent of about two wicketkeepers.

      1. I didn’t know about Handscombe. Paine has done some bowling as well, so maybe the plan is for him to ditch the gloves and have a bowl. Then one of Bancroft and Handscombe could keep, and the other could cook an omelette while juggling mice.

      2. That shtick will get tired pretty quickly, especially when the eggs congeal. That yolk isn’t runny anymore, they will say.

        Apropos of there having been no Smiths jokes here in a while (Steve Smith’s bowling action notwithstanding).

      3. Smiths lyrics: “What do we get for our trouble and Tim Paine? Just a rented room in Whalley Range.”

        Funnily enough we did once rent a room in Whalley Range (several rooms, in fact). There were storage heaters (two), high ceilings and a very large window. It wasn’t the warmest.

        Not sure what you’ll do with that information but was enjoying this particular thread and wanted to join in again.

      4. Presumably the omelette will be made with curate’s eggs.

        Anyway I’d say Hazlewood is a serious Test player, but also the one most likely to actually be a constituent of said barrel.

      5. “We’ve sort of got three wicket-keepers but one of them can bowl a bit and we don’t have anyone better to get into the team as a batsman…”

        …this sounds like a selection conversation for one of our scratch charity teams.

        Still, it’s going to be a tough gig for England.

        Gird up your loins, KC folk, gird up your loins.

  4. Overton out!

    Life is hard.

    I suppose he‘s only got himself to blame for being out by getting out.

    But I’m put out.

  5. I am delighted to report that all Australian wine in the household has now either been consumed or banished to the far reaches of the wine cupboard for the duration of the Ashes.

    1. He looks a bit clueless again Lyon though. And Paine should have got him. If only they had a full time wicket keeper.

  6. Root looked rubbish before he got out. Time for bed, I think. Malan doesn’t look terribly comfortable either.

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