Now is a challenging time for Australian selectors. Now is a defining period for Australian cricket when the talent available could see that a down-cycle in performance need not happen.
Unfortunately some decisions of late do not instil confidence in the average cricket fan that selectors are up to this challenge!
Apparent mistakes like the continued selection of Cameron White, the dropping of Beau Casson, the selection of Nathan Hauritz over Krejza and the mismanagement of Andrew Symonds do not raise hopes. Australian selectors have had a proud tradition of astute decision making in the past and need to get back to the policies that made Australia so strong.
The formula should remain the same as that which took us to the top.
- A select group of talent must be identified, given experience and backed through consistent selection.
- The mental toughness which was built into Aussie cricket through the Chappell-Border-Waugh period needs to be a prerequisite in any player picked for Australia.
- Long apprenticeships must take place under strong mentoring.
With tried and true methods a settled but flexible team of top-class performers can be established.
The talent base is plentiful despite what some may say. Too often pundits out there compare each emerging player with a Warne, McGrath or Gilchrist. This 'replacement' mentality is not the way to move on. We have greats in their own right in the making.
The experience Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Stuart Clark, Brett Lee and Simon Katich have to pass onto talent such as Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson, Jason Krejza, Beau Casson, Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges, Marcus North, David Hussey, Shaun Tait, David Warner, Andrew Symonds, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Chris Rogers, Phil Jacques, Phil Hughes, Luke Ronchi, Doug Bollinger, Xavier Doherty and many others ensures Australian cricket has a bright and exciting future.
Some will enjoy seeing Australia lose it's standing as the number one Test playing nation. The extremely high standard set by the Australians over the past fifteen years has provided a strong blueprint. World cricket is exciting right now because opposing countries have lifted their performance. It is great to see!
To maintain a high standing Australia doesn't need to replace its former greats. It needs to embrace new strong talent and encourage these players to greatness alongside current champions.
Andrew Hilditch and his fellow selectors have a grave responsibility in guiding Australian cricket through an important period.
I hope Australia have the right men making the decisions.
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