Perhaps this visitor from the screenshot, who arrived on the blog in order to read my Usman Khawaja post, because he thinks of Uzzy as a piece of meat with a birth certificate, is more right than it might look. Usman should play for Pakistan, and the rest of the team, barring Steven Smith, who is too young to die, should just dig themselves into the ground for good. I don't know where to start, my mind remembers this series more (Hughes, Clarke, Johnson) or less (Hussey) as a string of sub-par performances. The bowlers providing the batting might perhaps be a nice theme for a charity match, but in an Ashes series it will inevitably lead to humiliation.
The selection panel has played its inglorious role in all this, blundering their way through the series, and with the exception of chucking Mitch back into the ring for Perth -lucky guess or not- about 90% of all Australians tore their hair out with every new decision made, the other 10%, which include PM Gillard, probably don't give a damn about cricket. I am not familiar with the structures within CA and their appointment processes, but I'm sure there is a way to make heads roll. A thorough new beginning, an approach of pragmatism and practicability, is the only possible foundation on which CA can build a team capable of mastering the challenges of the future.
Punter may feel fortunate to have missed the last Test, not having to account for the third innings defeat within a single home series might delay his decision to resign from the P-Office, which includes batting for Australia, captaining several national sides and selecting the players he likes. But let's be honest, can anybody see him rise like Phoenix from the ashes (no pun intended) in the World Cup? I've even read somewhere that he was going to continue playing Tests in August. There goes the rumour that people get more stubborn with age, Punter turning 37 supports my gut feeling in this concern. Perhaps he has also arrived at his midlife crisis already. We need to be prepared for him turning up in bike leather on the next occasion.
Well the Ashes have been over for a fair while now but I can't detect any signs of major changes. Michael Clarke has retired from T20, a decision made out of plain reason, and Tim Paine will captain the President's XI, but I'm not sure if this counts as the sort of big bang people are expecting from CA now. It certainly poses a way for Cameron White to get a foot in the door in terms of Australian captaincy matters. I hope we are going to receive bigger news in the next weeks, at least after the World Cup. The current Shield season could have some impact.
Whatever happens... select Cosgrove.
|(c) Ian Janes / The Steel Daffodil|