Tuesday, 12 February 2013

India vs. Australia 2013 : Australia Squad Analysis

Yesterday we gave you a full breakdown of the Indian squad for the first 2 tests of the upcoming Australia series. So in the spirit of balance, here are the 18 Australians they will face;


Michael Clarke (c) : We touched on the quality of Clarke in our IPL auction article. Something we didn't do was give you some of his test match statistics. So here goes.
Since the Australia/New Zealand series (Dec 2011);

Matches: 15, Innings: 25, Runs: 1867, Average: 84.86


David Warner : The rockstar of Australian cricket. Sure to open the innings in his own dynamic style. May just take a liking to Indian wickets.

Phillip Hughes : One of the weaker batsmen in the side. A career average of 36.25 tells a story. May have to fight for his place against...

Ed Cowan : Australia's answer to Murali Vijay. 30 years old with a career average of 32.81. Has one century in 13 tests.

Usman Khawaja : Another underwhelming batsman - possibly batting at 3. Pakistan-born Khawaja has just 6 tests and 3 ODIs to his name with a highest score of 65.

Shane Watson : After recently deciding to temporarily give up bowling to help his recovery from a calf injury, there has been speculation as to where Watson will bat. He has expressed his preference to return to the top of the order whilst showing a willingness to lend his skills to the middle order. Australia coach Micky Arthur has stated his belief that Watson is most effective at 4 - and that's where we expect to see him.

Matthew Wade (wk) : One of the best wicket-keeper/batsmen in the game. As talented behind the stumps as he is with the bat. At the age of just 25, Wade has 2 centuries in his 9 tests and his ever-increasing average currently sits at 42.50.


Glenn Maxwell : The $1million man is going to be looked at under a different light since the IPL auction, and will be expected to thrive with the bat as well as the ball on turning tracks. He is yet to play a test match for Australia.

Steven Smith : Everyone loves a leg-spinner. Smith was once tipped for greatness but hasn't yet delivered. His 5 tests have yielded a bowling average of 73.33. The 23 year old will look to start delivering on some of that potential on India's spin-friendly wickets.

Moises Henriques : Another for the 'unfulfilled-potential' file. Henriques has just 5 ODIs to his name and doesn't look like getting his baggy green here.

Ashton Agar : I know nothing about Ash other than the following; He is a 6ft 4in, 19 year old left arm orthodox bowler who averages 32.66 with the bat and 30.12 with the ball in his 2 first class games. He is of Sri Lankan heritage and has been compared to a "young Vettori" by Justin Langer. High praise.



Peter Siddle : In the absence of Ben Hilfenhaus, Siddle finds himself the leader of the Australian pace attack. Since the New Zealand series in December '11, he has racked up 59 wickets at an incredible 22.86. He was recently quoted as saying; "The way we've won Test matches for years now has been with our pace and I think that is going to play a big role."

Nathan Lyon : The pride of Australia's spin department, Lyon will play a huge role on turning wickets. Asked about lessons learned watching England in India last year, Lyon said; "I did watch Swann very very closely and I hope to take in a few things and put the same method in practice against India." Lyon went on to state his wish that Australia start the first test with two spinners.

Mitchell Starc : The left-armer has cemented his place as one of Australia's key strike bowlers. Standing at 6ft 6in, Starc will waste no time offering up some sweet chin music to the Indian batsmen.

James Pattinson : Finally fit after a run of injuries and niggles, Pattinson will have to earn his place in the starting XI. Aged just 22, the Victorian boasts an average of 22.09 in his 7 tests.

Mitchell Johnson : Johnson is among the best in the world on his day, and he has spoken recently on his affection for bowling in Indian conditions; "I love bowling with the SG ball. It's a nice feel in the hands, it's a bit thin at the seam but it stands up taller."

Xavier Doherty : Aged 30 with a test bowling average of 102.00, the slow-left-arm bowler gives us an insight into the thinking of the Australian selectors.

Jackson Bird : We didn't have much to say about Jackson Bird. His stats (98 first class wickets at 19.32, 11 test wickets at 16.18) suggest he can play. Something about him is just underwhelming. We even tweeted him @Jackson_bird for advice;

No reply as of yet.

Possible Starting XI

A few players in this squad pick themselves; Clarke, Warner, Watson, Wade, Siddle, Starc & Lyon. The rest of the team is very much in limbo. Khawaja's lack of match practice may see him left on the sidelines. Maxwell and Smith may have a straight spin-off to decide the number 7 spot. Australia's depth in seam bowling leaves questions over who will get the nod...

All things considered, we expect Austrllia to line up on 22nd February in Chennai like this;

David Warner
Ed Cowan/Phillip Hughes
Phillip Hughes/Usman Khawaja
Shane Watson
Michael Clarke (c)
Matthew Wade (wk)
Steven Smith/Glenn Maxwell
Mitchell Johnson/James Pattinson/Jackson Bird
Peter Siddle
Mitchell Starc
Nathan Lyon

It will be intriguing to see if the Australians stick to their strength and load up on seamers, or pick according to conditions. I think I know which India would prefer.  (No pace please)

Is this Australia side good enough to overcome India? Leave a comment below. Make sure to check back regularly as we continue the build up to India/Australia.

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