Nothing to lose for Maddinson and Wade

Matthew Wade (centre) and Nic Maddinson (right) with fellow Test call-up Peter Handscomb, reflect on their selection after last week's Shield game. (Image via ABC's Shannon Byrne on Twitter)

Matthew Wade (centre) and Nic Maddinson (right) with fellow Test call-up Peter Handscomb, reflect on their selection after last week’s Shield game. (Image via ABC’s Shannon Byrne on Twitter)

The Roar: I know I wasn’t alone this week in expressing surprise at the selection of NSW bat Nic Maddinson and Victorian ‘keeper Matthew Wade for the Third Test against South Africa starting today in Adelaide.

I know this because Twitter blew up when the announcement was made on Sunday afternoon, and there have been countless articles written about it since.

But they have been picked, and there’s no point debating their selection any further. They’re both in the side now, they’ll both play in Adelaide, and given the upheaval the selectors have now brought upon the team, they will be in the Test team now for the rest of the summer. At least.

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Love it or hate it, Cheika is doing exactly what he said he’d do

Brumbies scrumhalf Joe Powell (below) was one of 10 uncapped players in Michael Cheika's first Wallabies squad of 2016. But why couldn't the announcement have waited? Image v Wallabies Facebook

Michael Cheika knows what he’s doing – he told us two years ago…

The Roar: Something occurred to me during the Wallabies’ good-enough-is-far-enough win over France on Sunday morning.

Even though Wallabies coach Michael Cheika’s consistent chopping and changing of the side is something that has got my goat during 2016, he is simply running from the same song sheet he held since taking on the job.

At times this year, I’ve bemoaned the number of changes he’s made week-to-week, and the silly delays in naming a side, followed by a massively inflated bench one week, and no bench at all the next. Just once, I’ve had the thought, it would’ve been nice to read the words, “…has named an unchanged squad” on a press release.

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All eyes on Shield cricket again

Under the pump: Joe Burns, Adam Voges, Callum Ferguson, Peter Nevill, and Nathan Lyon all need to impress in this Shield game they suddenly find themselves playing...

Under the pump: Joe Burns, Adam Voges, Callum Ferguson, Peter Nevill, and Nathan Lyon all need to impress in this Shield game they suddenly find themselves playing…

The Roar: For the first time in recent memory, the current round of Sheffield Shield matches starting around the country today will have genuine interest among cricket fans, and with actual media coverage almost guaranteed.

There’s a long and very worthy discussion to be had that this should be the case for every Shield games, but alas, the professional game has changed the cricket landscape and this isn’t the time to have that discussion.

Simultaneously, this is both the best and worst time to be a highly-talented state batsmen.

Make some runs today or in this game, and there will be an Australian selector watching. You might’ve wondered if the selectors knew who you were a week ago, but be assured today that they’re watching.

But, fail today or in this game, and there will be an Australian selector watching!

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Short term gain for a hundred bucks and change

“Get some juice into the wickets…”

Published today on The Roar

What’s the quickest and cheapest solution that WILL aid Australian cricket?

Six hoses.

I’m serious! The simple addition of moisture to the first class decks around the country will very quickly establish which talented young state batsmen are prepared to add some graft and resilience to their game.

And it’ll hardly cost anything; the Bunnings website says you can get a decent hose for $17.94, so let’s just get six and ship them around the country. Heck, Bunnings is a CA “Commercial Partner”, right up there with Milo and Weet-bix, so they might even be able to get mates’ rates.

Clearly, a generation of flat decks hasn’t helped anything, so get some juice into the wickets and throw the batsmen into the deep end. They’ll either adapt and find patience, or they won’t have to worry about needing their passport.

And it’ll aid the young bowlers, too, who will quickly learn the right lengths to bowl in seaming conditions, and hey, we might even remember how to make the ball to move in the air.

All for $107.64. Simples.

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