Looks like Martyn and Kasprowicz have just crawled out of the box
labelled "Past sell-by date, not to be used again".
This season was meant to be the one where "Generation Next" was
going to be ***ed and developed - with a view to winning back the
Ashes in 2006-07.
The result of this? The selectors, by recalling two players in their
mid-30s, are conceding that the new guys - except Mike Hussey -
are not going to be any better than a number of the players from last
winter who were found wanting under real pressure, and supposedly
had had their one-way tickets to obscurity (or the Nein commentary box)
I know Martyn suffered some dodgy umpiring decisions in the Ashes.
Looking at the DVD of the series, I also saw a number of soft
dismissals behind the wicket, which has continued during the
one-day matches this summer. It's interesting that he has been
preferred to Clarke and Jaques, supposed ***pins of Australia's
glorious post -Hayden/Gilchrist/Langer/ McGrath etc. etc. future. Been
poking the selector's daughter boys? :-)
Kasper's career Test bowling average is 32, and doesn't improve
much on home pitches. He might have averaged about 23 in Pura Cup
this season, but so has Mick Lewis! LikeGillespie, he strikes me as
a bowler who thrived under the pressure created by McGrath & Warne,
but cannot lead a bowling attack himself. The fact they are taking Tait
to S Africa, who has averaged 38 this season and can't yet throw from
the deep, suggests a bit of desperation. Perhaps they should schedule
every Ashes Test in Brisbane so they could pick Bracken. Oh hang on,
the other side has Jones.
I think the Oz selectors are now praying that:
The old guard, stung by losing the Ashes, are going to rouse themselves
for one final heroic effort, then retire in glory having redeemed
Ponting & Hussey BOTH have 500+ run series. Anybody else can join in,
A pair of 36/37-year-old bowlers (one lacking match fitness) can
maintain fitness and venom over 5 Tests played in 7 weeks, and that
the English bats all start believing the publicity about Brett Lee.
A couple of the English pace bowlers succumb to the hard Australian
pitches with stress fractures - especially Flintoff. Maybe some batsmen
Any one (or more) of Jaques, Cosgrove, Birt, Cullen, White, North,
Marsh, without any Test exposure over the bext 8 months, develop
into fully-fledged stars. Or that Hodge/Dorey/Bracken/Watson/
Johnson/Katich overcome limitations that have been exposed.
Perhaps in the crucible of County Cricket ? (heh heh)
If only a couple of these don't come off, it could be an "interesting"
Sorry for the long post - suddenly I realized I had a bit to get off my