Allan Border urges Australian selectors to inject fresh faces in the team
The Australian team have been going through a miserable phase lately, especially in the Tests, losing their last five matches. While the national board and the players have been feeling the heat from the media and fans, former Australian captain Allan Border has come up with a solution to help the selectors in getting their combination right for the future Tests.
The legendary skipper also mentioned that it was unfair to target Steven Smith for the team's recent slump.
During an interview with a local radio station in Australia on Wednesday, Border said that he felt sorry for Smith and understood what he was going through. "I'm feeling Steve Smith's pain. It's not good when you're the captain of the ship that is just sinking all the time and it's not a pleasant place to be," he said.
Border stated that it was high time before the national selectors started to pick players based on their gut-feeling rather than just depending on the statistics. He went on to say that since there is a scarcity of batsmen with averages in the mid-to-high 40s in the Sheffield Shield, the board should look at the option of selecting players by their instincts and trusting their gut-feeling.
“The selection process now, we need to start injecting some young faces into the side and it's got to be a gut-feel type selection rather than on just pure stats. And hopefully that produces some good ones,” he said.
He recalled an instance when Steve Waugh was picked for the national side in 1985 under his captaincy. Steve Waugh was called into the Test side as a 20-year-old with just 11 first-class matches to his name. He managed to hold his spot in the team for the following three-and-a-half years. Waugh played 26 Test matches in that duration and maintained a modest average of 30.52 with a high score of 91.
Cricket Australia website quoted Border as saying, "It's the sort of thing that's happened back in my time – selectors took a punt on guys like Steve Waugh, who probably wasn't ready for international cricket when he was picked, but what a player he turned out to be."
"So maybe we've just got to do the gut-feel type selection and get some youngsters in there that you think can turn things around for us," he said.
With Allan Border making a bold statement and that too at a time when the Australian team is at a low, the selectors might be forced to look at the next generation cricketers to get the national team back to where it belongs.