Apr 242013
 

Maybe not. One of first-class cricket’s finest batsmen may yet get an opportunity to play a second Test having been selected in Australia’s Ashes squad. It just goes to show, if you hang around long enough, the failings of the next generation will eventually earn you the recognition you sort of deserve.

15 years of experience

You wouldn’t say Rogers has been picked at his peak, but he’s still good enough in English conditions to have topped Middlesex’s batting averages last year (if you ignore Andrew Strauss because he only made 277 runs). Also, being as he’s here already, he’s got plenty of time to get his eye in.

What else?

He won’t be the only one with an opportunity to get his eye in. Modern Test tours are short, but there seems to be recognition that the players need more time to acclimatise as seven of the Test squad will arrive early with the Australia A team.

Who else?

There has been a cull. Batsmen picked for their bowling and bowlers picked for their batting are out. Glenn Maxwell, Moises Henriques and Steve Smith are all dropped, as is Xavier Doherty. Even if they hadn’t been replaced, the squad would be stronger. They were basically just diluting the previous Australia squad and distracting people. Brad Haddin’s gnarl-dog face has also been brought back, because it looks the part.

Conclusions

This may be the least terrifying Australia Ashes squad in years, but at least there’s some clarity about it. That wasn’t the case in India, where the selectors seemed to be hysterically hedging and hoping. It’s also a good move to have plenty of players over in the UK for a prolonged period before the first Test.

We tend to think there’s a tendency to fill in the unknowns rather generously when it comes to Australia’s younger bowlers, but that doesn’t mean we think they’re outright bad and they’ll have more impact in England than in India. As long as you have bowlers, you are always in with a shout.

You should almost certainly splash out on On Warne by Gideon Haigh

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