Norm Smith Medallist
- Feb 6, 2013
- AFL Club
Thought Haigh's article deserved a full thread devoted to it, since it asseverates what most of the board thinks about the selection woes of Australian cricket.
One inference that can be drawn from Langer’s remarks is that the door has a secret knock which you need to know. For the problem appears to be not that nobody is making runs, but that it’s not the people the selectors want.
Wade is 31, Maxwell is 30, Burns is 29. They’ve been tried; they’ve, apparently, been found wanting. There’s already a specialist batsman in the Australian team, Shaun Marsh, with an average less than his age. The selectors seem to dream of a wunderkind, who would not only alleviate the pressures on the Australian team but also vindicate the cricket system — a new Ponting, a tyro Gilchrist, a kid Clarke.
One suspects that these are the “batters knocking on the door” to which Langer refers. Unfortunately this generation are actually not averaging 30 this season; they’re averaging 20.
That’s your Hilton Cartwright, Jake Weatherald, Sam Heazlett, Josh Philippe, Ben McDermott, Jason Sangha, Jack Edwards et al, into whom years of coaching and managerial resources have been ploughed, and for whom enormous futures have been prophesied, almost mandated.
Cricket Australia’s high-performance empire has hardly had a better day than in early November when teenagers Sangha and Edwards put on 180 for the sixth NSW wicket against Tasmania. But that memorable occasion aside, the pair have 286 first-class runs at 17.9 to show for this season.
For his club Manly-Warringah, meanwhile, tall right-hander Edwards has actually never made a century, from fifths to firsts; at first-grade level he has just two fifties.
Strip these from his first-grade record, in fact, and it contracts to 121 runs at 8.64. Yet in some eyes, Edwards will be closer to Australian selection than Wade, Maxwell and Burns.
It’s unkind to single Edwards out: he’s hardly picked himself. He may yet succeed; one hopes he does. But so far he’s been offered opportunities well in advance of his performances. What door has he banged on? Or has he simply tapped politely on an open one?
Anecdotally, too, there’s quite a bit of this going on, since the advent of a pathways system that encourages subjective analysis and rather deprecates mere performance. If you’ve an idle few hours, drill down into MyCricket and check out some pathways cricket averages. Some kids sure seem to get a great run. Just sayin’ …