17 guys, that's quite a truck load of players! The NSP's nightmare is revealed. On the positive side, the actual side looks more than competent to get back the Urn, assuming consistency is existent and players selected on performance do make the cut.
It's a big challenge for some, a career definer for others but all in all, despite the criticism, the favouritism and optimism, all of these players will hopefully be doing one thing for all of us...playing their hearts out to try regain that Urn and give us something to cheer about. If they just give it their best and show us that they're giving it all or nothing that will be enough for me to cheer loudly and proudly for each and every guy who goes out in that starting XI for the Baggy Green.
The Squad selections were very close to what Dan and I had selected in the Baggy Green contributors Ashes XI Squads:
Without further to do, here's the Squad.
For a change I won't be diving into an indepth analysis, but rather layout my ideal pick to go out onto the playing track come the 25th, even if it's somewhat unlikely.
The other contributors may chip in with a rant or two, but we want to hear YOUR say as well.
I would say, I'd have rather seen Andrew McDonald there over Steven Smith, so contradicting myself given my Squad selection, but his recent performances and our potential need for an all-rounder of his calibre may have been more desirable.
AUSTRALIAN 2010/11 ASHES SQUAD:
Simon Katich (NSW)
Shane Watson (NSW)
Ricky Ponting (Captain) (TAS)
Michael Clarke (NSW)
Michael Hussey (WA)
Marcus North (WA)
Usman Khawaja (NSW)
Callum Ferguson (SA)
Brad Haddin (wk) (NSW)
Steven Smith (NSW)
Mitchell Johnson (WA)
Nathan Hauritz (NSW)
Xavier Doherty (TAS)
Ryan Harris (QLD)
Peter Siddle (VIC)
Ben Hilfenhaus (TAS)
Doug Bollinger (NSW)
NSW: 8, WA: 3, TAS: 3, SA: 1, VIC: 1, QLD: 1
IAN'S IDEAL STARTING XI:
Likely his last series, his form has earned him his spot.
Watto been epic for the Baggy Green, hope it continues this series. It was against England his opening career began. Long may it continue.
Ricky Ponting (Captain):
Massive series for Punter as Skipper & batsman. Bring on the runs Skipper!
The number four promo has been bleak but if his back holds up, Pup is going to be a huge key player for us.
I forget in which innings you can expect him to make a big score, but I'd be giving Marcus a go. Good fielder, useful part-timer and some confidence may see him get the job done. It will be a once off chance for him. Capable!
Many have been unsure about Fergal, but just because you don't have 20 centuries to your name or an average of 50+ doesn't mean you can't debut. He's shown the maturity in limited overs and as a bloke I wanted to be a part of the Baggy Green family for a long time, I will root for him 100%!
Brad Haddin (wk):
Hads has experience and is the best man for the job. Tim Paine was damn good, he did the job and gained invaluable experience but it's no surprise Hads got the job.
In all honesty, I'm inclined to go with Douggie over Mitch, but purely given Mitchell's X factor to get a freakish amount of wickets, often in a single spell, has driven me to go for him. The Gabba is his old home ground, so I'd give him the nod.
His stats at the Gabba aren't great but he has been a fair performer. Doherty will definitely put pressure on him, but Ritz has to be given a chance especially the decent effort he put in for NSW recently.
Ryano did a bloody good job for the Bulls recently with 9 wickets in the game. He has returned from injury and I hope he's strong and ready for 5 days of gruelling test cricket. He's a fighter and I dig him. He's a resident to the Gabba, get him out there!
I had a dream that Hilfenhaus and Harris opened the bowling at the Gabba. England crapped off big time. Two genuine swing bowlers, with similar pace and decent credibility as well. Hilfy was our leading wicket-taker in the 2009 Ashes and one of our most consistent bowlers. He's a bit shy in the wicket taking column, but some healthy competition (and team work) alongside Ryano could make this duo effective.
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