Third Test Australia team selection dissection

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The first morning of an Ashes Test has become a time when we all look forward to finding out who the hell Australia have picked and what sequence they’ve been arbitrarily put into.

  • David Warner replaces Phil Hughes
  • Nathan Lyon replaces Ashton Agar
  • Mitchell Starc replaces James Pattinson

It’s probably the most sensible team selection yet, although Lyon would probably be feeling chirpier if he hadn’t recently been dropped in favour of someone who’d barely played first-class cricket.

David Warner makes more sense than Phil Hughes. Then again, picking 10 players instead of 11 makes roughly the same amount of sense as Phil Hughes.


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  1. Just to add a little bit of illogicality to things, Phil Hughes is the current series top scorer for the Aussies. The reasons for dropping him remain strong, but they were even stronger two matches ago.

    1. In other news, Australia has dropped BOTH of its two highest single-innings run scorers!


    1. It’s rubbish when a decision is wrong after its been used, but we take it for granted when a terrible decision is overturned.

    2. I agree that it has the potential to occasionally overturn a howler. I just feel that its costs, in terms of the aesthetics of the game, its inability to get difficult calls right, and its actual financial costs, far outweigh its benefits.

      Put two ostensibly neutral and competent umpires in place and let the howlers be. I almost feel sorry for them, what with this witch hunt against them.

    3. One review per team per innings.

      Tell the third umpire: “Decide whether it’s out or not out.”

    4. You know what, Sam is nearly right. The problem with DRS is the ICC doesn’t want to undermine the umpires. Therefore the 3rd umpire can only overturn a decision if evidence exists to the contrary.
      Just let the 3rd umpire make the best decision that the technology allows. If you need to replay it more than 4-5 times it’s probably not out.

    5. The obsession with preserving the authority of the on-field umpires is what ruins the system. Firstly, the correct answer is all that should matter. Secondly, how does keeping a decision shown to be WRONG help with maintaining the on-field umpires’ authority?

    6. We’ll quote our favourite ever phone-in contributor again.

      Said dismissively, entirely unimpressed with another caller’s entirely logical argument:

      “You can prove anything with facts.”

    7. Bert, preserving the on field umpires authority ensures that cricket remains a test of character.

  2. As an Australian I am at a disadvantage in understanding the modern game. I can understand including Bresnan because he has a similar x-factor to Freddy, but can anyone explain to me why Broad is still in the team when you could select a proper giant in the team?

  3. The appeal about players careers being on the line is hilarious. Oooh, these poor well paid professionals who get to play a sport they love for a living. Oooh, the injustice of them getting bad decisions once in a while.

    If anyone needs accountable decision making, its the non-contracted chaps knocking about in the hopes of selection for first class cricket. No one seems to give a toss about them.

    I pondered using exclamation marks in the first paragraph, but decided against it lest I got it wrong, knowing of the propensity of this type of thing to unduly excite his excellency.

  4. Some people on Twitter are saying the series has turned. The series has not turned. Australia had a good day. They’ve had them before. England are still the better side and will still win the series comfortably.

    How’s that for optimism?

    1. Indeed, the Aussies are entitled to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as that is indeed light that they can see.

      Unfortunately for them, soon after that light bit is another long tunnel.

    2. Clarke was due some runs. Let’s hope he gets them all in this innings and has none left for the remaining seven Tests.

    3. I don’t know Sam. A 2-1 scoreline reads much differently than 3-0 or 2-0 going into the fourth test. The dynamics changes. Australia would hit the ground running. They’d have the M-word.

    4. DC – I accept that the series will have turned if Australia win this Test. But they’re a long way away from that. Nothing’s changed just yet.

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