Oct 292013
 

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AUSTRALIA A captain Moises Henriques says he has no plans to stymie England’s Ashes preparations, with his main goal to push the cases of Australia’s Test hopefuls.

Henriques says there are several positions up for grabs in Michael Clarke’s team for the Gabba Test, starting November 21, and he intends to give his squad the best chance possible of securing them.

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Alongside the all-rounder are vice-captain Glenn Maxwell, batsmen Usman Khawaja, Alex Doolan, Shaun Marsh and Michael Klinger and bowling all-rounder Ben Cutting, all pushing for spots.

They will play England at Bellerive Oval in a four-day match starting November 6.

And while England will be using the match purely to tune up their squad ahead of the five-Test series, Henriques said he would play fair.

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He takes the responsibility seriously and ruled out instructing his team to bat out the contest to deny England’s batsman valuable time in the middle to acclimatise to Australian conditions.

“I think they’re going to want to bowl on the wickets as well,” Henriques said.

“I think they’ll want to get some workloads into all of their bowlers.

“The best games of cricket are always evenly matched – each team spending a similar amount of time in the field.

“You want to be playing games when you’re fighting for a result on that last day (with) that competitive edge.

“That’s something we’ll be pushing for, hopefully trying to get a result on that last day and bringing the competitive juices out.”

Henriques, who was told of his appointment as captain by selector Andy Bichel early on Australia’s one-day tour of India, said he was humbled by the honour and outlined his simple goals for leading the talent-laden squad.

For the one-off clash the 26-year-old is less concerned with tactics and strategy and more interested in giving everyone the best chance to showcase their talents.

“There’s lots of spots up for grabs for the upcoming Test tour with a couple of injuries to the bowlers as well,” he said.

“I’m sure Ben Cutting and Trent Copeland will want to be making their mark as well.

“From a leadership point of view I’ll be trying to give as much onus to the individual to come with their own plans and what they want to get out of the game.

“What I can do is just try and support them as much as I can.

“If a bowler wants his fields, I’ll give him his fields.

“That’s the main thing that I’m there to try and help.

“I want every individual to achieve their goal as much as I’m trying to achieve mine as well.”

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Oct 282013
 
Henriques to captain Aus A

The Cricket Australia (CA) National Selection Panel (NSP) has today announced the Australia A XI to face England at Blundstone Arena from 6 – 9 November.

The Australia A XI to face England is:

Moises Henriques (Captain) NSW
Glenn Maxwell
(Vice-Captain) VIC
Trent Copeland
NSW
Ben Cutting
QLD
Alex Doolan
TAS
Callum Ferguson
SA
Jon Holland
VIC
Usman Khawaja
QLD
Michael Klinger
SA
Shaun Marsh
WA
Tim Paine
TAS

Commenting on the squad, National Selector John Inverarity said: “Between 6-9 November there will be seven Australian first-class teams in action.

“These 77 cricketers will be competing hard and performances in all matches will be closely monitored. It shapes as an exciting couple of weeks in Australian domestic cricket as we lead into the first Commonwealth Bank Ashes Test in Brisbane.

“We have struck a balance in what we think is the appropriate Australia A team to face England, while ensuring individuals have a solid preparation and chance to impress.

“There were clearly a number of players under consideration to play for Australia A in this match, however we have long been aware that 77 cricketers would be playing across these four days and due to various circumstances we have balanced our interests with what we feel is in the best interests for each player, their preparation and chance to push for higher honours.

“While these next couple of rounds of Shield cricket are important, the NSP is well advanced in its planning around the squad for the first Test.

“Players returning from one-day duties in India and not named for Australia A may play in the Bupa Sheffield Shield fixtures played concurrently with the Australia A fixture if it is considered that it is in their interests and the interest of their States’ to be included.

“Commenting on the Australia A team leadership, Inverarity said: “Moises Henriques will have a significant leadership opportunity by captaining this team against England while Glenn Maxwell gets a chance to support Moises as the team’s vice-captain and will play an important role as the spin bowling all-rounder in the side.

“All of the top six batsmen have shown good form of late and will be looking to impress against a quality opposition as they strive for higher honours.”

The team will be coached by Ali De Winter with Graeme Hick as his assistant

First Posted 29 October, 2013 10:24AM AEST

Apr 242013
 
Chris Rogers – one Test wonder?

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.

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Mar 152013
 
3rd Test: Australia stumble post tea

NEW DELHI: After losing Brad Haddin (21) and Moises Henriques (0) in the same over to Ishant Sharma, Australia lost their seventh batsman in the form of Peter Siddle who became third victim of Ravindra Jadeja.ScorecardSiddle was trapped leg before wick…

Mar 142013
 
Maxwell dropped to strengthen bowling
Glenn Maxwell in his bowling stride, India v Australia, 2nd Test, Hyderabad, 2nd day, March 3, 2013

Glenn Maxwell was dropped in favour of Moises Henriques as the selectors favoured a three-man pace attack for the third Test © BCCI
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Players/Officials: Moises Henriques | Glenn Maxwell
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India

Glenn Maxwell had to sit out of the Mohali Test because Australia needed all of their available specialist bowlers in order to have any chance of staying alive in the series, according to coach Mickey Arthur. Due to the standing down of four players for disciplinary reasons and an injury to Matthew Wade, Australia had only 12 men available for the Test and, on Thursday morning, Maxwell was confirmed as the man who would miss out.

Rain delayed the start of play and at lunch most of the ground was still under cover but the Australians named their XI anyway, with the offspinner Nathan Lyon recalled after being dropped for the second Test in Hyderabad. Lyon and Xavier Doherty will form a dual spin attack, with Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc as the frontline fast bowlers, who will be supported by the pace-bowling allrounder Moises Henriques.

Maxwell took 4 for 127 on debut in Hyderabad, although he struggled to contain Cheteshwar Pujara and M Vijay on his first day of Test bowling when the Indians ran away with the match. Arthur said Maxwell was competing with Henriques for a place in the Mohali Test and the selectors decided that a three-man pace attack with two specialist spinners provided the best chance of the victory Australia needed to make the series 2-1.

“He did have a good debut,” Arthur said of Maxwell. “We went with our two quicks and Moises, and we went with what we perceive to be our two specialist spinners. Nathan Lyon and Xavier Doherty were both brought here as specialist spinners. Maxi was brought here as the allrounder-type guy. I guess, in a way, he competes with Moises for one position and we’ve decided we’re going with our specialist attack. We need to take 20 wickets to win this Test match so we wanted our specialists out on the park.”

The Australians also have the option of some overs of legspin from Steven Smith, who will play his first Test since the 2010-11 Ashes series. However, Smith has not bowled extensively in the Sheffield Shield this summer and he was brought on the tour specifically as a backup batsman. The selectors were keen on his work against spin and they believed his batting had improved significantly since he was last part of the Test setup.

Brad Haddin was also named for his first Test since January last year. Haddin flew to India on Monday as cover for Wade, who sprained his ankle while playing basketball on Saturday. Wade struggled in wicketkeeping, fielding and running drills at training on Wednesday and was visibly uncomfortable on his right ankle.

Haddin said he was excited about the chance to return to Test level, having lost his place to Wade when he flew home from last year’s West Indies tour to be with his ill daughter. His Sheffield Shield form this summer has been strong, and he has scored 468 runs at the average of 52, including two centuries.

“I’m excited by it. It’s a big Test match here, if the rain stops,” Haddin said on the morning of the game. “From where we are in the series, there’s no second chance here. We’ve got to get a result to draw the series. It’s an exciting time to come in and I’m looking forward to the opportunity.

“I have enjoyed my season so far at home but the beauty of Test cricket, and this is where you want to test yourself, is playing in foreign countries. It’s good to be back on this stage again and testing yourself out in the middle, which has been on some challenging wickets. I’m looking forward to it.”

Haddin said his New South Wales commitments had meant he had been unable to watch all of the first two Tests but he was familiar with the Indian conditions, having played four Tests in the country in 2008.

“We’ve been pretty busy at home with games,” Haddin said. “I haven’t watched too much but I’ve watched bits and pieces. I’ve played over here before so I know exactly what to expect and I’m excited about the chance.”

When play eventually begins, the Australians will face the challenge of ensuring they are not distracted by the off-field issues of the past few days, when Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson were told they would not be considered for this Test due to their failure to complete a task set by Arthur. Although Arthur said he would have preferred it if the matters could have been handled behind closed doors, he said it was important the team management made a stand.

“It has to ultimately become public when it involves so many players,” Arthur said. “I don’t like it being public. That’s not my style but we had given the guys a year really to set culture and do what they wanted to do. We just felt we needed to right now put it all together. It’s not ideal out in the open but if this is the catalyst to get us to No.1 in the world then so be it. It’s all about the cricket now.”

Feb 252013
 
MS Dhoni does much of the job himself

If we had to sum up the opinions aired regarding Dhoni’s captaincy yesterday, it basically boils down to something like: “Yes, he could do a bit more to support and encourage his bowlers, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much because they’d still be pretty middling even then – plus he’s good in other ways.”

Like scoring 224 with fine style in order to make the opposition bowling attack look even more limited than your own. This isn’t technically captaincy, but people still label it ‘leading by example,’ which basically just involves doing anything good while you happen to be captain.

For Australia, Moises Henriques has again scored runs – which is just as well, because nobody else did. Allied to the one wicket that he took, he increasingly looks like a Test number seven who might take the odd wicket – a slot that Australia have been desperate to fill for some time, along with all the others.

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Feb 132013
 
Henriques, Rayudu Impress In Drawn Tour Game
Henriques, Rayudu Impress In Drawn Tour Game

Henriques, Rayudu Impress In Drawn Tour Game

Moises Henriques (centre, arm raised) took four wickets as Australia drew their tour game in Chennai

©REUTERS / Action Images

Australians 241 & 15-0 drew with
President’s XI 230 (Henriques 4-12)
Tour game, Chennai

Moises Henriques returned figures of four for 12 in 9.3 overs as the touring Australians dismissed an Indian Board President’s XI for 230 before their match in Chennai was drawn.

Australia, who were bowled out for 241 on the opening day, made it to 15 without loss before the game was declared a draw.

Ambati Rayudu hit 87 to top score for the home side and off-spinner Nathan Lyon also took three wickets for the touring team.

On the opening day, Ed Cowan top scored with 58 before they collapsed as off-spinner Parvez Rassol, who celebrates his 24th birthday today, took seven for 45.

Ahead of Australia’s first Test against India in Chennai which begins on 22nd February, they will also play a three-day game against India ‘A’ from 16th February.

© Cricket World 2013

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