It’s simple. Some very good batsmen won’t go to India

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..

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…

Khawaja fitness and return no certainty, evidently

Usman Khawaja is helped from the field in Perth, during the Second Test against New Zealand last month. He’s battling to be fit for Boxing Day. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: Thought you’d solved the Australian batting order mystery for Boxing Day? You’d have done well, with all the quotes and updates and selection statements made in the aftermath of Australia’s big First Test win over the West Indies in Hobart over the weekend.

All seemed to be heading towards a ‘Burns v Marsh’ showdown for the last spot in the order, with the confirmation that Usman Khawaja had been recalled to the Australian side for the Melbourne Test.

But developments over the last day or two make me wonder just how fit Khawaja actually is, and whether if a medical overrule is how the selectors will avoid what would undoubtedly be a tough decision..

 

Cheap Seats Episode 87: The #AskTheCheapSeats Special. And a bombshell…

Ryan O’Connell and I are toying with unlucky numbers in Episode 87 of the Cheap Seats podcast.

Do events in Canberra last night put Mike Hussey's PMs XI Captaincy in question? Will Brad Haddin mount a challenge to the leadership?

Do events in Canberra last night put Mike Hussey’s PMs XI Captaincy in question? Will Brad Haddin mount a challenge to the leadership?

With such a milestone episode upon us, the boys have again opened up the show to the listeners, answering #AskTheCheapSeats questions that came in thick and fast over the last ten days.

Topic were wide and ranging, and included – among others – Leadership spills, Wallabies playmaking, Sightseeing on the tour of Bangladesh, NFL, Roger Federer, Usman Khawaja, Elysse Perry, injury-prone bowlers, the Roosters whinging, generational change in the Australian cricket team, kids eating cat food, day/night Test cricket, NRC and ITM Cup teams playing each other, Sam Burgess, Aussies killing it in the US, the NBL and the NBA, and Robbie Farah.

And there’s a bombshell about the podcast itself, which we won’t spoil, but will just say thanks.

As always, you can get us on Twitter at @CheapSeatsPod, on Soundcloud, iTunes, and the TuneIn radio app. And stay cheap!

Roar Live Radio: Same old, same old..

Steve Smith once again batted with a steady head in the middle session, while those around him lost theirs. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Fourth and final India-Australia Test is under way at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi, and it’s a case of fourth verse, same as the first.

Stand-in Captain Shane Watson won the toss and batted, Australia did reasonably well in the first session, but as has become the Australian way on this tour, fell in a heap in the middle session.

In the Tea break, I spoke with the The Roar Live Radio guys at length about the dismissals, and the ongoing exclusion of Usman Khawaja.