When Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja were selected for the first test against New Zealand and duly delivered centuries, hopes were high that the Australian test selectors were finally on the right track.
After years of continual picking of under-performing players based on reputation (Shane Watson I am looking at you), the selection of these players at the top of the order signaled a potential shift in philosophy to younger players that are in form.
An untimely injury to Khawaja and the retirement of Mitchell Johnson opened up two spots for the third test.
This new selection philosophy should see either youngsters Cameron Bancroft and Peter Handscomb or the in-form Michael Klinger picked to make their test debut in the historic day-night test match in Adelaide.
But I guess this new selection philosophy was a fallacy.
Instead we get the oft-tried Shaun Marsh. The same Shaun Marsh that has had multiple chances and has failed every time. The same Shaun Marsh who was feebly dismissed twice in his most recent test match during the recent Ashes series and is hardly setting the world on fire this summer for Western Australia.
Why? Is it that he is the son of a former vice-captain and coach? Does he have something on the selectors?
This selection has me and most Australian cricket fans perplexed, and many questioning why they should spend their hard earned cash to go and watch this team. The summer of test cricket needs something and the opportunity to see some new players could have been just that.
The other changes to the squad make sense to a degree. James Pattinson comes in for Johnson and while doubts linger on his fitness he is the right choice going forward.
And Steven O’Keefe offers a spinning alternative that will take the ball the other way from Nathan Lyon. Fawad Ahmed will consider himself unlucky but O’Keefe had a good Australia A tour of India and is a better batsman.
It’s also highly likely that neither Pattinson or O’Keefe will play as Peter Siddle is still there and the selectors will more than likely go in with with just the one spinner, Nathan Lyon.
O’Keefe’s biggest chance is if the selectors go for two spinners, with Mitch Marsh to fill the third seam bowling spot. Bowling is pretty much all the junior Marsh gives the side right now.
Like his brother, why is he getting a game?
Siddle bowled well in his last test match, has been unlucky to miss out in Brisbane and Perth and has been in the squad all along. He deserves his chance regardless of Pattinson being there.
For mine, Starc, Siddle and Pattinson is the best attack, with Josh Hazlewood to miss out. He is not a test quality bowler yet, too inconsistent with the line and length he bowls to be considered for the Glenn McGrath role.
This attack has great balance, aggression and consistency, with each bowler offering something different.
Getting back to the original topic, someone needs to provide the real reason Shaun Marsh has been picked again. The reasons given so far are inconsistent and make no sense.
Let’s just hope when he fails again, the next time he is dropped is for good.
And it’s as soon as Boxing Day when Khawaja returns from injury. He deserves to come straight back in.