*News: Cricket writer and commentator Peter Roebuck committed suicide. I enjoyed some his work a few years back and listened to a bit of his commentary, seems quite a heavy incident. You can read the article surrounding this incident at Cricinfo.
Due to the injury our quickly settled Baggy Greener, Shaun Marsh, picked up during the 1st Test, David Warner has been named the replacement.
It is one of the final calls from the FNSP (Former-National Selection Panel) to make and a good one.
David has been in sensational form with the longer form of the game for New South Wales, not to forget the tour to Zimbabwe where he represented Australia A dominantly.
Even though it is highly unlikely he will play with Usman Khawaja coming in for Shaun, the thought of the Warner/Watto duo doesn't seem as appealing for tests as it is in limited overs.
There has been a bigger call now than ever for Watto to slip down the order.
In many ways I agree with this. I know Watto works bloody hard at his game for both batting and bowling and recently made mention of his shift in mindset for the two roles.
My concern though rests more with the threat he puts his body under with his soon to increase work-load, as opposed to just moving him down based on his run returns as an opening batsman.
There was the JL and Haydos partnership, the Tubby Taylor and Slats partnership, not to forget the well merged and recently disbanded Watto/Katto partnership.
What seemed to work was the aggressive player feeding off the cautious, more conservative batsman.
The talk of Watto moving down is good. We have Shaun Marsh (injury pending) who slotted in brilliantly at number three and the shift up isn't all that out of the ordinary for a number 3 to open. It can be the same role in many quick wicket circumstances.
Usman Khawaja has been hitting the nets hard and posting good individual scores each season. The man is a traditionalist.
While both Usman and Shaun have the ability to play conservatively, seeing out the good deliveries and then dispatching the rubbish to get their runs, I like the idea of say David Warner one day earning his Baggy Green to open alongside one of them with Punter having moved down to occupy a middle order position.
A stats inclusion:
Justin Langer and Matty Hayden produced 6081 runs, from 122 innings, at a 51.53 average. They had a telepathic connection which went well beyond the playing field. Their impact scarred many tight bowling units.
The Mark Taylor and Michael Slater partnership managed 3887 runs, from 78 innings, at an average of 51.14.
Watto and Simon Katich managed 1529 runs, from 29 innings, at an average of 52.72.
Phillip Hughes briefly partnered Simon Katich.
It was a partnership which flourished in certain matches with an overall return of 604 runs, from 11 innings at an average of 60.40.
By contrast the aggressive/aggressive match of Hughes and Watto has produced 472 runs in 15 innings at an average of 31.46.
Quite a few months back he (Warner) made a statement of his eagerness to earn the cap despite all the hype over his Twenty20 game. That statement made me want to see him get there because he has his eye set on the pinnacle of the game, a hunger to be the best cricketer he can at the elite level.
He's certainly showing a change in temperament and with a tight technique and the performances he's putting in, I see no harm in the move. It is positive in my eyes.
Phillip Hughes is a young guy I feel quite upset for. I think he was built up way too much by the media following his maiden series but then Freddie Flintoff decided to change things, immediately adding huge pressure onto him as a young, newly recruited top level cricketer.
It doesn't change the obvious fact that Phillip will need a good Test match and is certainly feeling the heat of the pressure to perform at the elite level. He always backs himself but you get the feeling that this is his final chance for the summer.
Fortunately he's a young man so time is well on his side.
It is hard for a young man to cop the criticism he has and the concern from the supporters seem to be that quality bowlers figure him out.
I know that he spent two hours in the nets at Newland's alongside our maestro Ricky Ponting, working with Justin Langer, which also continued on what would have been Day 5 of the Test.
It was an optional training session on the Saturday and these guys got straight to work sparing little time for a breather.
Most people don't see this and I respect that work the boys put in.
I hope it pays off for them come the 2nd Test where the deck will be better suited to their games and they need our support even if it seems some changes are going to be needed or inevitably made.
I think come the flight back to Australia the boys may cop a fair bit from the media despite what the result in the 2nd Test may be because the 1st Test will forever be in the record books and it hurt.
As I've mentioned though, it's a game of cricket and life moves on and what we need to do is give these blokes the support they deserve.
It's far better than jumping aboard with the Hate Club, which will just sink your integrity.
Supporters have a right to voice their frustration with what we invest in the game and some feel more hard done by than others after that Test and the frequency of batting collapses.
Yes, we are the ones who keep the game alive, however these guys are the professionals, they are the ones who get given a hard time and they are the ones to turn it around and we can help them in doing so!
What do we do when we're down? We get back up and look ahead.
The 2nd Test will bring about some potential final changes, with Usman set to make his return, while the hype is out there about Patty Cummins getting his Baggy Green cap handed down to him, which will mark him as cap #423.
Very excited for him.
Change awaits for the summer and the new selection panel will be right into the action for the Chappell-Hadlee series with the Border-Gavaskar to follow.
Come on Baggy Greens, throw us back on track for the next Test!
Welcome to The Baggy Green Blog! Thanks for reading this article written by Ian.
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