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Analysis Of Australia's Test Squad for Sri Lanka

Tim Holt
661   //    26 Jul 2011, 01:35 IST

Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Trent Copeland, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon, Michael Beer

This Australian Squad might be the last one in Andrew Hilditch’s tenure as Chief as Selectors. If sense prevails and he is relieved of his position in the wake of the upcoming Argus Review.
Also it’s the first Squad that will be under the Captaincy of Michael Clarke
The key inclusions are Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes in the batting department with two of them vying for the vacant openers role and more than likely number three position. If as expected Ricky Ponting moves to a mentoring role at 5 in the line up.
As for the bowling, Trent Copeland and James Pattinson have been given a chance to impress and push for a place in the pace line up. Though it would have made more sense to include the Tasmanian bowling all rounder in Luke Butterworth. For he’d not only assume a position of padding a weak batting line up, but crucially would have provided a bowler that is more than capable of getting wickets. As well as crucially being one that can bowl long spells of defensive line and length to support more attack minded bowlers.
The spin department you can’t be overly critical for there are few quality spinners in Australia at present. The naming of Nathan Lyon after a few outings in A Team Odi games defies belief and would only serve to stifle his development by forcing him to bowl again very fine players of spin. In the Sri Lankan’s in their home conditions. Also Michael Beer is a rather uninspiring selection too and only serves to underline the desperate need Australia has for a spinner of any quality. It would have made more sense to select Nathan Hauritz and insert him in the line up in the knowledge that he is average, but wont get destroyed like others would. Until a more quality spinner is discovered.
The only change I would have made aside for include Butterworth for either Copeland or Pattinson is only selecting one spinner. Then choosing Tim Paine in a specialist batsmen role (most likelt opening with Watson) with also an eye to be the Captain elect in the future
All in all it’s not a bad squad. Thankfully for my blood pressure, the ‘can’t bat, cant bowl and cant field’ Steve Smith has been overlooked and hopefully will never be seen again.
Tim Holt
Cricket through the eyes of an Irishman. Do check out more on my blog <a href="">atouchofirishintheglobalvillage</a>
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