another below par performance last night, the Australian one day team is
starting to look every bit as unsettled as the selectors are trying to make it.
the selectors said the current one day series was a testing ground for the
final squad for next year’s World Cup, it sounded like a good idea, but it’s hard
to avoid the feeling that they aren’t affording the tournament, their
opponents, and the spectators who are attending the games the sort of respect
take note. It’s clear now that the hierarchy are prepared to suffer some short
term pain for longer term gain, even if that means fielding a team that is not
the strongest available. What does that say about their commitment to putting
on a “great show” for the fans every time the Aussies take to the field?
of the main talking points last night was the omission Phil Jaques. After
making a steady, self-assured 94 in his debut match, Jaques was ditched for
Katich. The Channel Nine commentary team certainly let their feelings on the decision
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doubt Jaques was disappointed by the decision too. He won’t have been made to
feel any better by this morning’s papers, with Ponting admitting that he and
the selectors have more or less settled on the opening pair
for the World Cup – Gilchrist and Katich. On current form, question marks hang
over both players, but if Ricky Ponting’s views are accurate, current form is
no guide to who will be going to the West Indies.
Brett Dorey and James Hopes will hope that
is true. Neither has yet delivered a performance that shows they can cut it at
this level, unlike Jaques. Dorey was last night dragged from the field after
only four overs and replaced by the more experienced and more economical Brad
Hogg, who should have been a shoe-in on a turning Sydney pitch. Is this a case
of the selectors using the super-sub rule to compile data for next year’s
When the rotation policy was in vogue, it
was unpopular with players, with claims it destabilised the team, but how does the
current strategy differ? And what sort of outcry will there be if it costs Australia
a spot in the one day finals, while unearthing no real contenders for the few
genuine spots still up for grabs in the World Cup team?