Selectors admit they should have stuck with youth
SELECTORS admit they’ve been too hasty to kick young talent to the kerb and have vowed to change their policy with a new-look Australian side to be unveiled for the next Test tour of Bangladesh.
Victorian Glenn Maxwell and Queensland’s Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns head a list of young batsmen to fill the void left by Michael Clarke.
But with veterans Chris Rogers, Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh all with little hope of going on too much longer either, Australia need to find a host of young batsmen.
Bushrangers Marcus Stoinis and Peter Handscomb and Western Australia’s Cameron Bancroft are others in the mix.
Coach Darren Lehmann denied he was concerned about the lack of options, but admits selectors need to find patience that was sadly lacking during the Ashes – specifically when they dumped young allrounder Mitchell Marsh for the fourth Test.
“We’ve got some good depth, we’ve just got to stick with them,” he said.
“We’ve got to pick and stick a little bit now and make sure we’ve got the right formula for different tournaments and different formats and making sure we’re not just discarding players really quickly.
“If we pick young guys we just have to stick with them a bit and ride that wave.”
Lehmann said selectors were yet to sit down and discuss the futures of ageing stars Rogers and Voges.
Opener Rogers, who has been Australia’s best batsman this tour, is 37 and has indicated he will walk away after the Ashes. Voges is 35 and coming so late onto the Test scene, it’s unlikely he would retire.
But he pointed to a cleanout, with an admission Australia were back to square one.
“For us it’s about moving forward and working out what our best line-up is in different conditions and making sure we can adapt between spinning wickets and seaming and make sure they can cover both formats really well,” he said.
“We’ve got a bit of thinking to do and reviewing what went wrong.
“It’s about getting batsmen who can bat long periods of time and bowlers who can put pressure on day in and day out.”
Lehmann ruled out a young batsman being called up for the dead-rubber fifth Test.
He said he and national selector Rod Marsh had failed in their duties as selectors, and a decision by head of team performance Pat Howard to pick a joint West Indies and Ashes squad early April was flawed.
Australia invested too heavily and too far down the track on ageing players, and now as many as nine of the current squad may never play Test cricket again.
He said a review would be conducted into every element of the team’s campaign.