Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, George Bailey, and Usman Khawaja: I think they’re battling for the last two spots in the Australian WT20 squad. Three will be very unlucky..
The Roar: If cricket is the national sport at this time of year, then selecting the Australian cricket team must run a very close second. As sure as day follows night, any discussion or debate on selection options will at some point include a new team being named.
The National Selection Panel on Monday naming the one-day squad for the three matches in New Zealand kicked off the latest round. Nathan Lyon’s white ball development is again on hold, in favour of the very promising Adam Zampa, while Usman Khawaja has again been unable to force his way into the squad, which averaged more than 53 runs per wicket across the five games against India.
And this got me thinking about just how tough it’s going to be to make the Australian squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in India, to be held in March and April. Simply put, there’s going to be some very unlucky Australian batsmen, when the squad is named…
Christmas BBL crisis solved, the Thunder rumble on, a selfish Chris Lynn, and a redemptive Shaun Marsh: plenty to look forward to over the next week of the BBL…
The Roar: Two weeks into the Big Bash League, and we’re already starting to get an idea of which teams are and aren’t in contention for the playoffs in the second-last week of January.
With the Perth Scorchers winning very well under the open roof in Melbourne last night, they join the logjam of teams with two wins and four points, and it’s this group of teams that will probably battle it out to claim the remaining spots in the top four.
It’s quite likely that the coming week will be massive for a number of sides for a number of reasons, and there is plenty to look forward over the next week, including Shaun Marsh building his case, the Sydney Thunder confirming their maiden semis berth, and whether my Tip of the Week run can continue..
Shaun Marsh (left) and Adam Voges took Australia from a nervous position just after Lunch, to a completely dominant position by Stumps. Image: ABC Grandstand
The Roar: The West Indies had their moments in Hobart yesterday, the first day of the First Test, but ultimately those moments proved to be fleeting as Adam Voges (174*) and Shaun Marsh (139*) piled on a mammoth unbeaten 317-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Voges is in supreme form at the moment, and in raising his century in even time, effectively batted away what little hope the West Indies had in this match. Australia would’ve been a touch nervous walking back out after lunch at 3-121, but within half an hour Voges had reset, and was starting to get away. He only really slowed after drinks in the last session, to ensure Marsh reached his own piece of history.
It’s been a criticism of Marsh that he hadn’t posted a Test century in Australia – he was out for 99 in Melbourne last summer – and it was something he spoke of in the lead-up to this game. He’s now got that monkey off his back, and as I pondered earlier this week, his unbeaten 139 now makes for an interesting discussion when the selectors gather before Boxing Day..
Shaun Marsh hooks the pink ball in Adelaide. Are we ready for him to hold his spot? Image: ABC Grandstand
The Roar: Two summers ago, I wrote what turned out to be a rather prescient column wondering whether anyone was prepared for the horribly out-of-form Mitchell Johnson to bowl well in the 2013/2014 Ashes series.
Like Johnson then, current expectations around Shaun Marsh’s ability to produce consistent Test-quality innings aren’t high. His stats are there for all to see, but only paint the picture of past performance; they’re not an ironclad crystal ball into the future.
But just of the Johnson possibility two summers ago, Marsh is also just as likely to bat well in Hobart as he is to bat as poorly as many expect. But how many of us are ready, or willing, for Marsh to hold his spot going forward?