Inebriated By Beer: The Selection Merry-Go-Round Continues

10 12 2010

The Australian squad has been announced for the third test at the WACA. Not normally a haven for spin bowlers, Australia have taken the unusual step of naming two in their squad. One of these is the brilliantly named but ridiculously lucky Michael Beer of whom we wrote two days ago.

Having done our ridiculing of this, at the time only potential, selection we will not continue in this vein much further save to observe that it appears Australia are giving out baggy greens (or saggy greens as one Aussie paper had it) for free these days. Apparently all you need is a handful of first class games, a very few wickets and not a great deal else.  The two main reasons given by the selectors – his apparent local knowledge and his performance against England in their warm up game – also hold little water (or perhaps beer…) as he has played only 3 first class matches at the WACA and, against England, took 5 wickets but at a cost of over forty each and went for five an over. Great stuff all round.

Beer though is still likely to miss out as with North dropped and Steve Smith likely to bat at seven with Haddin at six, the team could have a highly unusual aspect for a Perth pitch if two spinners are played. It is true that Monty Panesar took five wickets in the first innings here back in 2006, yet despite the slowing of what was once a fast and hard track, two spinners would still be a surprise.

In a further classic move by the selectors Johnson and Hilfenhaus have been recalled. Absence, as the say, makes the heart grow fonder and this has never been truer than in the case of these two but particularly Johnson. Hilfenhaus should probably never have been dropped, his steadiness and consistency would have been a boon for the Aussies at Adelaide, yet Johnson – a man who has played no cricket in the interim – is suddenly being hailed as the saviour and attack leader once more. Something that is quite frankly ridiculous.

Of course it is entirely possible that Johnson could take five wickets at Perth as that is the sort of scattergun bowler he is – yet we believe it far more likely that he will simply go at five and over and not particularly trouble England.

With the game against Victoria under way this morning and 22 year old Michael Hill having scored a hundred don’t be surprised if his name pops up in the squad for the MCG. At the rate the Aussies are going there won’t be many players not to have been chosen by the end of the Summer.

Strauss and company must be rubbing their hands in delight.

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