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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Weakened Australia take on New Zealand:


There's been a lot of talk, much of it loose, about the changes, both actual and projected, which Australia will make to its Test team  in the next few weeks. The new 5 man selection panel committee has  been forced by injuries to Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Shane Watson, to selecte several fresh faces for the First Test (of two) v New Zealand which begins tomorrow  in Brisbane.

Unless the committee has a brain snap, a bowler will be omitted from the selected twelve. Just who  is anybody's guess, . Neither Ben Cutting, James Pattinson nor Mitchell Starc has played a Test,, so Peter Siddle, who has experience (if not much current form) seems a certainty. Only a few (mostly wicket-taking) balls of the  high scoring drawn   Australia A v NZ match were shown on TV or, as far as I can ascertain, the internet, so I have no idea of their respective merits.

Even so, it's hard to see New Zealand pulling off a win. They have some very  good players eg  Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori with Tim Southee IMO not far behind) but others  who are eiither little known, known for the wrong reasons (eg Chris Martin for his inept batting ) or moderate performers, or a combination thereof.  Australia's weakness, which I hope hasn't been exacerbated by selectorial committee muddkle headedness (eg Trent Copeland cold shouldered despite reasonable if not particularly productive tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa) will be a test of its reserve strength and team resilience.

I'm not writing the Black Caps off, but it's hard to deny that they, in matches against half-decent opposition, have rarely been able to press home any advantage they may have gained.
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