Stuart Broad: the smuggest of smug Poms. (Photo: Michael Klein)
Stuart Broad: the smuggest of smug Poms. (Photo: Michael Klein)

Every selection move makes Poms more smug

THERE is nothing more annoying than a smug Pom.

Sure, a smug Kiwi comes a very, very close second (especially around Bledisloe Cup time) but an uppity Englishman is still top of the punishing pops.

And right now, Pommy cricket types must be laughing so hard they are cracking ribs when they see the state of Australian cricket ahead of this year's Ashes series.

It could be a bloodbath in the UK.

It doesn't matter what happens at the Gabba in the first Test against Sri Lanka. It really doesn't. It will be a cakewalk compared to the furnace that awaits in the Old Dart.

 

The national selectors do not appear to have a clue as to who will be the XI for the first Test against England.

There appears to be not many clues in general.

The decision not to play 20-year-old Will Pucovski in Brisbane after drafting him into the squad shows the panel has lost some of its nerve.

They had a chance to be bold but blew it. What better chance to blood the kid and see what he's got at the top level by sliding him into the set-up against Sri Lanka? There isn't one. They blew it.

The decision to keep Will Pucovski out of the Gabba Test is evidence the selectors have dropped the ball.
The decision to keep Will Pucovski out of the Gabba Test is evidence the selectors have dropped the ball.

Pucovski's selection in the wider squad was cause for optimism, excitement and enthusiasm - emotions sadly lacking around this side in recent times. But they dropped the ball.

The decision to appoint another set of co-vice-captains in six-Test "veteran" Travis Head and superstar Pat Cummins, replacing Josh Hazlewood and Mitch Marsh, also shows how Aussie cricket is clutching at straws.

Marsh should never have been handed the role given his spot was already very tenuous and Hazlewood is injured but surely Usman Khawaja or Nathan Lyon - two absolute certainties in the side at the moment - would have been better options at the start of the summer.

But the selectors just love going to the Marsh brothers default position. That's worked well, hasn't it?

So we are a broken finger or a rolled ankle away from Head leading the Test side this series. He is no sure thing to go to England but hey, very few players are locked in for the trip to the UK so why not give him a crack. Everybody seems to get their turn.

Travis Head is one Tim Paine broken finger away from being the Australian skipper.
Travis Head is one Tim Paine broken finger away from being the Australian skipper.

It's like the under 11s when everyone gets a chance to toss the coin.

Nine men have now been in leadership positions for Australia across all forms of the game in the past 12 months - Steve Smith, David Warner, Tim Paine, Aaron Finch, Alex Carey, Head, Cummins, Hazlewood and Marsh.

The men in charge don't know who to put in charge. Just super.

So there is confusion about the leadership, our batting line-up can't make a Test hundred and our bowlers can't swing the ball or get an LBW.

And the pressure on the returning duo of Smith and Warner - on both sides of the fence in England - will be relentlessly suffocating.

We've got the Poms right where we want them. At least they won't rub it in …

AUSTRALIA: Marcus Harris, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon.

News Corp Australia


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