Much has been made of the make up of the current Australian Test team. It’s batting has a penchant for being 5/150 over the past 12 months, and the bowling lineup has just gone through a period of mass rotation.
It seems that just about anybody can earn a baggy green these days. Glenn Maxwell and Moises Henriques debuted in India 2013 for no logical reason. Selecting net bowler Ashton Agar in England made about as much sense as a Stuart Broad LBW appeal. I have already written about Shaun Marsh here.
So it got me thinking. Who would make the Australian Unlucky XI?
Who are those players that played little or no Test cricket, but would be a walk up start in today’s side?
These are the guys who would be at home today, shaking their head at what is happening at the selection table with a sense of deja vu
Given you haven’t bothered to think about it, I have.
Here is the team
1) Jamie Cox
You think de Kock jokes are funny? Cox jokes were just as good. It’s hard to break into a Test side when you are competing against Taylor, Slater, Elliott, Hayden and Langer. The poor bloke played 161 Shield matches without being able to bust into the Test team.
2) Matthew Elliott
Came into the Test team via a mountain of runs for Victoria, only to blow out his knee in his second match after a collision with Mark Waugh. Although he was in and out of the team over the next 5 years, that knee injury effectively curtailed his run of form and his long term Test ambitions
3) Martin Love
Made two double centuries against the touring English side in 03/04 and still couldn’t push his way into the Test team, Over 10,000 first class runs and an ability to bat for hours. Managed to play 5 Tests with an average of 46.60. Scored 100* in his last Test innings, and was then dropped for Damien Martyn.
4) Brad Hodge
According to many, Hodge is unluckier than getting out to Imran Tahir. Played 6 tests with an average over 55, including a score of 203* against a rampant South Africa in Perth. Made a 50 in his last Test, but that couldn’t save him from being dropped.
5) Jamie Siddons
Another with over 10,000 1st class runs. Received a fractured cheekbone from Merv Hughes in the 91/92 Shield season that ended his chances of playing for Australia, right when he was at the top of his game.
6) Stuart Law
One Test. One innings. 54*. Owned County cricket, making over 1000 runs in every season from 1999-2003. A run machine who had to settle for playing ODI’s instead of Tests
7) Darren Berry
546 Shield dismissals with the gloves. Chuck is easily Australia’s greatest ever glovesman not to have played Test cricket. He was able to stand up to the stumps to Victoria’s and South Australia’s finest pace bowlers, mastering the leg side stumping off 140kph balls.
8) Stuart MacGill
A controversial selection in this team given he played 44 Tests and took over 200 Test wickets. In fact, in this interview, he claims he was the luckiest player of all time. The issue for MacGill was that he decided to play at a time when Shane Warne was in the team. In any other era or with any other country, MacGill could have challenged Warne as the greatest leg spinner of all time. However, he couldn’t get enough games. Note that MacGill had a better Test strike rate that Warne
9) Jo Angel
The 2nd highest wicket taker in the history of Shield with 419, big Jo was only given 4 Tests to prove his worth. He did once hit Desmond Haynes in the face to force him to retire hurt. Could have been a monster in Test cricket if given time
10) Chris Matthews
The new “Bruce Reid” played 3 Tests, but couldn’t make the magic happen. He lost his spot to Craig McDermott.
11) Joseph Dawes
It’s pretty tough for a fast bowler to be in a state team and push for national selection when Michael Kasprowicz, Andy Bichel and Adam Dale are all ahead of you. However, the big man kept going fighting until a knee injury killed him off in 2005.
So, did I get the team right? Who did I miss? Please leave a comment. Ridicule welcome