Back To Beginnings: Australian Cricket Announces New Selections

Louis ElleryContributor IJanuary 20, 2009

At the same time "the late" Matthew Hayden was busy sweeping the Indians around  dust bowls in 2003, these boys were sweeping the floors at their local supermarket. 

The same time Shane Warne sent balls turning at 90 degrees, these boys were doing 360's on their skateboards. 

And now "these boys" have been entrusted with the future of Australian cricket.

On looking through the team that played the South Africans at the MCG, only Ricky Ponting has played more than 100 ODI's (303).  Mike Hussey, who is seen as a relatively new player in the team, is the next closest with 95.  After Nathan Bracken (94), the numbers seem to disappear. 

There were two debutants on the team on Friday—Ryan Harris and David Warner—with Warner boasting an average of 0 in first class cricket, due mainly to the fact that this was his first first class match.

Alongside these two fresh faces were those of Shaun Marsh, Ben Hilfenhaus and James Hopes, also relatively new players in the mould.

The rest of the team consisted of veterans of the state format, such as David Hussey, Brad Haddin and Cameron White. 

It can be clearly seen that the selectors have one eye on the 2011 World Cup, especially when looking at the players who missed out on selection.  Brad Hodge, who has consistently performed for Victoria in both forms of the game over the past five years, somehow missed out ahead of a 19-year old who has yet to prove himself in the 50 over format. 

In the past, the selectors have had the luxury of being able to bring new, unproven faces into the team, with players like Hayden, Warne, Langer, Gilchrist, Mcgrath and Martyn to back them up.  But now, more than ever, Australia needs a foundation.

No longer can they afford to rest their best players, knowing that someone will step up and reduce the opposition to a smouldering ruin.  They need to pick the best team every time, or their number one ranking will quickly slide.

In fairness to the Aussies, the injury toll has meant changes are necessary.  Lee, Clarke, Symonds, Siddle, Clark—players of this standard missing from the fray have been a huge blow to their prospects of a one day series win. 

But somehow, they will do it.  Not two years ago, Australia were sledged by the English media as "Dad's Army," and they responded with a 5-0 series whitewash of the Poms. 

Ponting's babies need to show that same intent, so that the amazing run of Australian dominance can continue well into the future.