Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns and Australian cricket coach Justin Langer are two very strong-willed men.
With Hohns’ track record over 15 years of ending careers well-documented, and Langer’s track record of strongly supporting anything Western Australian, there’s bound to be conflict over selections.
And it may well need the calming influence of Greg Chappell, as the third selector, to keep some sort of peace.
Don’t be surprised if Hohns wants the Marsh brothers to miss out on the second Test against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi after they managed only 19 runs between them batting three and four at Dubai, and facing 80 deliveries in the process during four visits to the crease.
Shaun and Mitchell contributed nothing in the most honourable of draws when realistically the Australians were dead in the water.
Langer wouldn’t hear of dropping the brothers, no Western Australian can do any wrong.
It’s been that loyalty Langer’s shown over five years that has been repaid by the players in winning two Sheffield Shield titles, the Scorchers winning three BBLs, and the Warriors two one-day titles – a phenomenal record.
Justin Langer, coach of Australia (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Just ask Michael Slater, Dean Jones and Mark Waugh about Hohns’ get-on-your-bike selections.
Even though Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor evaded his clutches to retire in their time, Hohns tried his hardest to punt them earlier.
That’s why he’s known as ‘Hatchet Hohns’.
So right now the Marsh brothers are vulnerable, as Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch were in the lead-up to Dubai.
In Hohns’ book, Khawaja could only average 14 on the sub-continent. Even though Finch was one of the most devastating one-day batsmen in the world, he wasn’t a Test player.
That they combined as openers to trouble the scoreboard with 142 and 87 opening partnerships, blew Hohns out of the water.
But Abu Dhabi is a green top, so Hohns will rate the brothers as liable.
Obviously Matt Renshaw has recovered from the major whack he copped on the head while fielding, so he’s a big chance of batting three, Shaun’s spot, even though Renshaw was selected as an opener.
Travis Head could bat four after his Dubai heroics, so Hohns might relent on Mitchell to take Marnus Labuschagne’s place, who showed more talent as a leggie than he did with the bat.
How Hohns and Langer must be regretting leaving Glenn Maxwell at home.
Australian selector Trevor Hohns (AAP Image/Gillian Ballard)
Ashton Agar must come into calculations, as I rate him a better batsman than an orthodox left-arm spinner.
So the second Test team could look like this.
It all depends on what happens at the selection table, and whether Greg Chappell will be on the phone back home assisting.
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