Australian cricket legend Shane Warne has questioned the decision by Cricket Australia to name the team for the second Test against South Africa during the middle of the ongoing first Test at the WACA, describing the decision as ''weird’’.
Speaking on Channel Nine prior to the start of proceedings on day four, Warne wondered what the selectors' thoughts were in choosing to retain the same squad despite the recent woes of players like Mitchell Marsh and Adam Voges.
''What’s the rush?’’ Warne said on-air. ''Cricket is a performance-based game, you need to perform. If you don’t perform over a period of time, then you start to look at other players. ''Let the Australian players concentrate on this game, and you can worry about that later. Weird timing for me.’’
Former Test captain Michael Clarke was also left confounded by the decision. ''I’m surprised they’ve already picked the second Test match team, or squad before this Test match is over.
The second Test between Australia and South Africa starts on Saturday in Hobart.
South Africa bowling coach Charl Langeveldt heaped praised on "quick learner" Kagiso Rabada for taking over the mantle after Dale Steyn was injured in the first Test against Australia. "I told him that you will be tested here because Australia play their cricket hard," Langeveldt said. "I told him that your first season is your easiest season but that the second season people will work you out. He is the type of bowler who wants to improve.
"He is a quick learner and asks a lot of questions and is very knowledgeable about the game," he said. "(To bowl) 145km as a 21-year-old is always exciting. Dale Steyn is a massive loss to South Africa but Rabada has done it before (in Steyn's absence) and today he has stepped up again," he added.
Opener Stephen Cook bowled medium pace in the final session and the former SA pacer admitted he spoke to the part-timers about how to bowl. "Talked (to them) about reversing, keep the seam up...the more the seam up is pronounced," he said.
Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell claimed on Sunday that he was shocked by the decision of Victoria cricket team to drop him for its opening clash in the Sheffield Shield. Maxwell was named 12th man for Victoria's opening-round win over Tasmania last week. However, the big-hitter was re-called to the team in their clash against Queensland where he went on to make 81.
Expressing his views on the bitter experience, Maxwell said, " "I was pretty shocked but they had their reasons and we'll move on."
"They gave me reasons that I wasn't playing. They'll stay between us," he was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia website.
Cricket Australia and coach Darren Lehmann confirmed on Sunday that the Australian squad for the second Test of the ongoing Test series against the South Africans will feature the same set of players no matter what the outcome of the first Test is.
The second Test will be played in Hobart from the 12th of November. While a number of players have been performing well in the domestic circuit, the players in the national squad will be looking to make a mark in the second Test in order to cement their place in the team.
The squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, John Hazelwood, Nathan Lyon, Joe Mennie