The starter has called Go! On the new edition of drunken darts that resembles modern-day Australian Cricket Selections.
Not wanting to let anybody - the players, media, or fans – to become complacent, they have adopted a Ziggy Stardust cloak of mystery for the Champions Trophy by keeping their provisional squad secret. This certainly has sent shockwaves through the world of cricket – Andy Flower has been furrowing his brow about whether to make plans for Xavier Doherty (ha, no really, he will… trust me) or Nathan Lyon.
If I were on the panel, I certainly would be taking the Champions Trophy seriously. This is probably the best chance Australia have of winning anything of significance for a little while, and could be a key confidence booster before being royally ratted in the proceeding Ashes series(s’).
Who gets picked though? I don’t even think the selectors know. A team that picked just about everybody that’s played first class cricket in the 50-over team in the past 18 months could almost seemingly pick anybody. I’ll seriously consider taking a kit bag to a couple of games and stand outside the dressing room trying to land a couple of tweakers. It worked for Ashton Agar.
The 30 man provisional squad, in the NSP’s defence, is a load of old codswallop in any case. What’s it’s use nowadays? It was introduced in the mid 90’s with the purpose of getting Programmes ready to print at a moments notice. Does anybody buy programmes anymore?
On to the The Ashes. It seems just about everybody has an opinion as to who to pick. Callum Fergurson has really benefited from not playing in India. Expect him to be picked, possibly as a number 4. Mitch Johnson is shot (has been since 2009). Ryan Harris is back in vogue. Who’s turn on the merry-go-round? Hilfenhaus? Nope. Step up Jackson Bird.
If I had to pick a starting 11 now, I’d make it look as such;
Watson, Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Fergurson, Khawaja/Hughes, Wade, Pattinson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon – with Starc, Faulkner, Bird, Haddin, Ahmed (if he’s Australian by then) or O’Keefe, and Smith.
So that’s actually 18 men, in a squad of 17. I cheated. So what. So will Australia if they’re to win The Ashes. Is underarm still illegal?