I stopped posting regularly a couple of years back for a couple of reasons. First, my work and life commitments increased. Second, the Argus review filled me with hope that the dark days of inept selections were behind us.
But then this happened. Rejoice, bit-players!
More to come on this squad later, but my first thoughts when I read it are that the selectors have no plan. Off the top of my head, the first choice team right now is probably along the lines of:
- Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon.
- Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Henriques, Wade, Siddle, Doherty, Pattinson, Lyon; or
- Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Maxwell, Wade, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon.
The really difficult selection to fathom here is Steve F. Smith.* Looking at the three possible line-ups listed above, it is difficult to see what role SFS would play. As much as I am a fan of Ed Cowan (Ed has his own article coming next week), I understand the need to have a reserve batsman on tour, to either cover for poor form from Cowan or Khawaja - or, I don't know, an INJURY. At the moment, your reserve batsman is Steve Smith. If one of the top five batsmen get injured, get ready for a middle order of Smith & Maxwell at five and six**. That's what this squad sets up. My first choice for the 17th member of the squad would have been Brad Haddin, for his ability to act as an adequate cover for the top six batsmen, and I don't know push/cover Matthew Wade. Otherwise, take your pick of Bailey, Ferguson, Doolan, D. Hussey or whoever else you want, really.
* Steve Fucking Smith
** Hey, maybe Smith gets lucky and then he's your starting number six in the Ashes. You brought this on yourselves, Australia.