Terrible news after not only receiving Player of the match in the 1st Test, but just recently I launched Hilfy407.net, a supporters fansite/website for Ben Hilfenhaus.
His knee has been giving him issues so it was advised that rather than taking the risk to play in the Adelaide Test, take a rest and see how he feels for the Perth Test.
So hopefully he recovers soon enough and that no more of our players will be missing out on the rest of the series. That injury list during the Indian series was quite unbelievable.
Clint McKay will step into the Squad. Not a bad call, but I was expecting Stuart Clark to get just one more chance. But the NSP are clearly moving forward with the bowlers in a younger age segment. At ODI level I understand and support this motive, but in Test cricket I have always been in favor in balancing experience and youth. But maybe it is the best call to make for the time being?
I assume with the news of McKay stepping in, this will be a 12th man position for him and Doug Bollinger will take part in the starting XI. Doug had a cracking game for NSW against the Western Warriors last week, so I'd be surprised if McKay gets a foot in the door ahead of him. So, Doug has the opportunity to add another match to his Test career, which was his debut at the SCG against the Proteas.
Good for Clint as he has been in good State form, and the Indian ODI series gave him a taste of International cricket. The last few weeks have looked good for him.
Chris Gayle's Captaincy has fallen under question with the media in the last 24-48 hours. After Chris' statements made sometime back when he publicly declared he wouldn't be too upset if Test cricket faded out, it probably hasn't helped his current situation too much. Even I find it difficult to see a team that was spectacular two decades ago, all of a sudden be in total tatters with on and off the field problems ,especially with their Test cricket.
After seeing young Adrian Barath score that century at the Gabba, it was a sign of hope for the future that the Windies will improve their cricket, but they still have two Tests with which to rectify the problems they are dealing with now.
If anything Chris Gayle seems a little too laid back for my liking. I wouldn't even say he is complacent, but he just seems somewhat uninspired and his body language is not at all animated or reflecting enthusiasm. Perhaps calling for that second referral to a plumb LBW decision was a sign of emotion that maybe, just maybe the lights came on for him to realise how important he is to the team.
While I may be way off on this one, I just feel that is a major issue with his leadership, and if he could just inject some enthusiasm and ambition within his own mind and articulate that on the field in his Captaincy duties, it will be a start for him to dismiss the media calling for his place.
The good thing working for the Windies is that while their core group were off sorting out contractual isues, their second string side opened some doors up and suddenly the Windies have a decent pool of players to select and move towards to the future. Maybe their selectors will see this opportunity, maybe the Windies cricket Board will wake up and try rectify their cricket to not only have a more harmonious element to being a West Indian cricketer, but also spark some passion again in the team for their supporters all over the globe.
The game of cricket must be respected and come first. If the simple element of pride and passion for the game is addressed (especially from a supporter's perspective) it will be a starting point.
Chris Gayle just needs to step it up. They now have fewer reasons and excuses not too.