Cricket Australia restarted the music in their post-Warne game of musical spinners when confirming their 13-man squad for next Thursday’s Gabba Test. Unfortunately for Nathan Hauritz, he missed out on nabbing one of the two metaphorical seats, leaving Steven Smith and Tasmania’s Xavier Doherty to prance around the potential seat amongst the Australian side which will take the field next week.
Despite his 38 wickets @ 29.65 in 9 home Tests, Hauritz had a fairly rough time out in India and hasn’t exactly set the world alight upon return to Sheffield Shield games for New South Wales, whereas Australia may at least take some comfort in Kevin Pietersen’s fear of left-arm spinners with their selection of Xavier Doherty.
The dury’s still out on Steven Smith though. Following the England – Australia A game it leads me to believe that he’s got a long way to go before he’s considered something other than a batsman who can turn his arm over a bit. I’ve chosen to ignore the likes of Ricky Ponting’s comments a while back about him bowling well in the Tests he played. They were against a Pakistan side with a batting lineup more fragile than the glass that stuntmen dive through in films, and allowed Shane Watson and Marcus North to take five-wicket hauls.
Really, it’s almost like one offbreak bowler, one left-arm medium bowler were selected for the Ashes.
Srsly, I decided not to post this until I’d seen Panesar bowl for the first time since the Cardiff Test last year. All I knew about Monty from the time between then and the final warm up game against Australia A in Hobart, was that he’d scored a half century playing club cricket this summer. Had something about his bowling changed that warranted his selection?
Well that case can remain open for the time being, as he bowled 20 overs unchanged on a fairly green track, keeping things tight until the wagging Aus A tail took to giving him a bit of an occasional tonk. And he still bowls deliveries which top 4,000,000 mph on the TV speed gun.
As for Graeme Swann, well, what could I say about him that hasn’t already been said?
His record of taking a wicket in the first over of his spell is so good, that batsmen begin to brick it when they see he’s loosening up, and cack handed batsmen cower in fear of his LBW success rate against them. He can also bat a bit. Furthermore, look at that chin!
My only real gripe with Swann, is that when his cat got stuck under the floorboards, he had to drive to Asda to get some. Who doesn’t keep screwdrivers in their house?