Friday, December 10, 2010

Australia grabs a Beer.

Three weeks ago, the only beer anyone would have expected to see in Australia's dressing rooms was the cases of bitter provided by the sponsors on the final day. Yet this time it’s Michael Beer who has snuck into the Test side. It smells of desperation, or maybe they have listen to Warne too much. As it was he who though up the option of maybe taking a local spinner from WA, one that knows the conditions.

Michael Beer is sadly not that player. For starters he is from Melbourne, playing for Warne’s old club side St Kilda CC and has played a total of 5 first class matches with WA, with only 3 of those being at the WACA where the wind can play havoc with a drifting ball to keep it in the pocket. Maybe the selectors have seen something special from Beer, like when Peter Taylor was plucked from obscurity 24 years ago and bowled Australia to victory in an Ashes Test at the SCG. But is this the same "something special" they have seen in Beau Casson, Cameron White, Jason Krejza, Doherty and others over the past three years?

With this selection also follows Hughes in for the free opening spot, despite scoring 4 & 0 in a recent shield match, this selection makes sense, yes he doesn’t like the short ball, but it is a calculated risk to select the future of the test squad rather than a miracle. Phillip Hughes state team mate Steve Smith has also made the 12 man squad, a choice I personally think should have happened at the start of the series rather than now, replacing the up and down North.

Having had the pleasure of meeting and viewing Smith on his test debut at Lord’s earlier this year I was impressed with his professionalism and his application to wanting to lay test cricket, rather than a flash in the pan youngest who is chasing T20 money [something that is not uncommon these days] For all Smith's flaws as a bowler, it makes no sense to play both him and Beer at the WACA. Ben Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson, who can slide back in as a fourth fast man used in short, sharp spells, is the way to go.
Mitchell Johnsons return was a no brainer. He may not be in career-best form, but nor are any of the other openers in state cricket. Choosing anyone but Johnson would have sent another message of desperation, and one such whiff was enough in this squad.