It’s the Test team you choose when you are as mad as hell and you just can’t take it any more.
It’s Australia’s “we’ve had a gutful” Test squad chosen by a selection panel who had reached the end of their collective tether.
In troubled times Australia’s cricket selectors have always accepted there’s one quality they must deliver to a restless nation – hope.
Even if they have limited options they must offer something or someone for the common fan to cling to that suggests brighter days ahead.
To this end, Australia’s decision to include Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns has given Australia something to look forward to in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka and the Ashes series beyond it.
The selectors have said “enough’s enough” to several mis-performing batsmen and “how do you like this then?” to critics who say they are neither rewarding form or spotting potential.
You can almost hear the selectors saying: “You want form? How about Joe Burns in and goodbye to the Marsh boys and Peter Handscomb.
Did I hear you mention potential? Is 20-year-old Pucovski young enough for you?”
The only group of outraged critics not placated are those not happy with the pace attack but, to be fair, they have enough credit points to be permitted the stumble against India.
Of course, silencing critics is one thing, hitting the bullseye quite another.
It is the second time in two years years the selectors have blown up the building and started with a semi-blank canvas.
The last time came after a horrible loss in Hobart against South Africa when they made five changes and won the next Test.
The message from that episode was mass changes create an instant sugar shot before being dulled by the forces of reality.
Just over a year later all five players were out of the Test team.
Most mass changes have limited success but in a sense Australia has not got much to lose because it was starting from such a low base.
The selection meeting for the Sri Lankan series started with one obvious premise – the Australian squads which were flogged by India were not good enough to win the Ashes, even with Steve Smith and David Warner added to them.
There simply had to be changes. And gambles. Statistical guidelines could only mean so much.
The elevation of Pucovski may seem rushed after just eight first class games but he is seen as a once-in-a-generation player, albeit a complex one who has battled mental health issues.
It has been a difficult scenario for the Australian hierarchy to read because they are aware you cannot treat a mental issue like a physical problem.
It’s not like you can say “strained hamstring – three weeks.”
Pucovski has been rushed but he has been cleared to play and is a player of rare quality.
History tells us he will probably go in an out of the team just as Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke did before him.
The unfortunate part of Pucovski’s selection is he is being blooded into a team without an in-form senior batsman to act as a role model.
Can you imagine the nerves in the Gabba dressing room as the top six go out against Sri Lanka trying to nail down Ashes berths?
But to those who get through it great rewards beckon including the most obvious of all – a plane ticket to England.
Every Test, ODI, T20I, and BBL match live ad-break free during play. SIGN UP NOW!
Click here to Book Accommodation in Cradock, Graaf Reinett, Hofmeyer or surrounds.
Article source: https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/robert-craddock-australian-selectors-had-to-gamble/3618207/