Sydney, Dec. 12 (ANI): Visiting teams no longer live in dread or awe of Australian cricketers, so whatever team is chosen by the selectors, is going to have to work harder for its wickets and wins, feels noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck.
"The supply of outstanding cricketers, particularly bowlers, has run out. Australia might overcome, but are not going to intimidate. Bagging selectors is a pleasant pastime. And, it goes with the territory. Naming replacement players is not as easy. Debate can rage about openers, spinners and balance but the side chosen by Andrew Hilditch and company is not far off the mark," Roebuck says in a syndicated Sydney Morning Herald column about the squad selected for the third and final Test against the West Indies.
"Australia is good, but not great. Rather than panning the (selection) panel, it's more constructive to name a shadow side and follow the fortunes of its members. The emphasis will be in youth. Plainly the selectors have decided to forget about players over 30," he adds.
Brad Hodge (34), Ashley Noffke (32), Stuart Clark (34), David Hussey (32), Chris Rogers (32) and even Phil Jaques (30) are fine cricketers, but arguably, their best days are behind them, Roebuck says.
He further goes on to say that Australia's cricketing future lies in the hands of players like Phil Hughes, Shaun Marsh, Callum Ferguson, George Bailey, Cameron White, Steve Smith, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper), Peter Nevill, Jason Krejza, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc and Scott Walter.
He also says that it is a bit early to summon fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, but adds that Andrew McDonald beats Moises Henriques for the 12th man position
"Youngsters need to be challenged or they will coast. Mediocrity is more damaging than incompetence because it lasts longer," he concludes. (ANI)