I’m back in the blogosphere (full-time work really gets in the way of casual writing) as I am completely bemused by the Australian cricket team selections, particularly the rotation policy that has suddenly become the norm with the Australian pace attack.
With the exception of the Perth Test match Peter Siddle (who picked up a very handy hamstring injury that the cynic in me would say was a bit odd) has been the rock that has kept the Aussie quicks afloat this summer.
The reformed vegetarian has been the workhorse of the attack bowling more than 50 overs in the Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart Tests including a mammoth 63.5 in Adelaide after James Pattinson broke down. He has also picked up 21 wickets including 5/54 in the first innings in Tasmania.
Its hardly a coincidence that the only match we lost this summer was when he didn’t play.
The other bowlers have all been rotated in the squad, some through injury, some it seems at the whim of the selectors and seemingly the most powerful people in the Cricket Australia set-up, the physiotherapists.
Ben Hilfenhaus (three Tests), Pattinson (two Tests), debutant John Hastings (one Test) have all been injured throughout the summer while Mitchell Johnson (two Tests) and Mitchell Starc (two Tests) have both been in and out of the fold.
The injuries to Hilfenhaus, Pattinson and Hastings were hardly overuse injuries. Pattinson only lasted three innings, Hastings one and Hilfenhaus has had an almost constant battle with various injuries in the past few years.
The most publicised rotation has been Starc who took a match winning 5-63 in Hobart and eight wickets against South Africa in Perth before being rested for the biggest match of the year, the Boxing Day Test because he might get injured.
I consider Starc unlucky not to have played in each of the five Tests this summer after bringing great unlimited overs form back for the sub-continent and South Africa.
He has showed he belongs at the next level but selectors seem hell bent on stifling his opportunities. His girlfriend, Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy summed in up best in her tweet.
silliness. They are taking away a boys childhood dream of playing a Boxing Day test because he ”might” get injured!
My favourite part of the rotation debate is how hard Michael Clarke has been pushed to prove his fitness about picking up a hamstring injury in Hobart.
Clearly still not at 100 per cent Clarke, who is also a selector, was still able to cement his place in the line-up injured when the uninjured Starc couldn’t.
I just doesn’t make sense to me.
We don’t want to see our young quicks get injured but I thought physios where there to help prevent injuries occurring rather than prevent players from playing in case they get injured.
Perhaps times have changed but I couldn’t see Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Dennis Lillee or Graham McKenzie missing a Test because they might get injured.
And who is to say that Starc will get straight back in the side? Johnson fired at the MCG taking five wickets alongside the reliable Siddle, and debutant Jackson Bird performed well against an impatient Sri Lankan innings. They are all hardly deserving of being rotated.
Bowling is all about rhythm and I don’t see how any of our bowlers can keep there’s with a tossing and turning line-up especially when the Ashes rolls around again.
Ohh and did I mention James Anderson played in 14 of the Pom’s 15 Tests this year. They hardly seem to be getting things wrong lately.