Time for Aussie test cricket renewal

Via News:

Aussie great Mark Waugh further muddied the debate by declaring a return to Smith is the only replacement option for Australia — should Paine lose the faith of selectors.

“If he’s not captain, who are the choices? That’s the issue,” Waugh said, according to The Daily Telegraph.

“If there was a standout candidate I think it might be time for him to step down as captain, but I don’t see it. I just don’t see it. Unless Steve Smith is going to do it there’s no one else I can see who could be captain.

“I think Paine has done a pretty good job and maybe he needs a bit more help on the field with the senior players, because it’s difficult to be a keeper and captain.


  • Give Tim Paine the tap on the shoulder with honours. Take Alex Cary on the South Africa tour as keeper-batsman.
  • Make Steve Smith captain.
  • Get over recruitment from the now irrelevant Sheffield Shield. Recruit from 20/20.
  • Cut Starc and play Jhye Richardson. Take Riley Meredith to SA as well. And Adam Zampa to pressure out of form Lyon.
  • Play either Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner or Glenn Maxwell for Matt Wade.
  • Stick with Warner and give Marcus Harris a run. He should figure the short ball out.


Houses and Holes
Latest posts by Houses and Holes (see all)


  1. Mmmmm, I’m not sure Smith brings much to the table as Captain that Paine doesn’t.
    Definitely I’d put Jhye in as he is a different sort of fast bowler to the other tall ones, but I’d keep Starc
    Stick with match winners like Warner.

  2. Make Cummins captain. And add a proviso that because he will be mainly fielding in the outfield, Steve Smith will be responsible for field changes and the DRS.

  3. Why is Alex Carey the automatic WK/Batsman selection? Josh Philippe and Ben McDermott should be in the conversation.

  4. The cheating stunt that Steve Smith pulled in this series tells me he will not be captain again for a very long time.

    I agree with some of your other suggestions. Starc and Lyon resting on their laurels. Khawaja looks in great form in an unsuited T20. Give him another shot.

  5. Agree that Paine needs to go. He batted well enough this summer but his main job is keeping (which cost us a match) and his second job is captaincy (which has generally been inept since he started). But the selectors have moved on from Carey I reckon (Wade was keeper in the T20Is FFS). Josh Philippe is the one they want but I reckon they’ll give Paine the Saf series before tapping him on the shoulder before the Ashes next summer.

    Starc needs a rest (and at nearly 32 his Test career could be over). Neser (who should have played at the Gabba after Starc’s tired performance in Sydney) and Pattinson are next cabs off the rank but I do like Richardson. Cummins and Hazelwood looked exhausted at the Gabba and must be a chance of getting injured over the course of 3 back to back Tests so bring all the quicks I reckon (except Abbott). Meredith is exciting but is further down the queue.

    Swepson (rather than Zampa) for Lyon if you are going to drop Lyon. It’s not out of the question that the series is moved to the UAE in which case you’d play 2 spinners and hope that Green can find some more variety.

    “Play either Ben McDermott, Ashton Turner or Glenn Maxwell for Matt Wade.” No, no and no. Head before any of them. McDermott in particular is probably a more stupid cricketer (in terms of game awareness) than Wade. Head is also the most likely to be made captain if he can keep his spot in the side so I reckon they’ll be keen to give him another shot.

    If Pucovksi is fit then he goes back in, otherwise Harris is probably as good as any at the moment (which is a worry).

  6. Paine was third in the batting averages. Dont see the need to dump him as a player even if dumping him as captain. Khawaja has to return. Bancroft must be considered I suppose. Maddinson, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, Ashton Turner are all names that come to mind. Ashton Agar should not be forgotten. But without a functioning Sheffield Shield that is played over the whole season, there is no way to tell who is in the frame to replace some of the current batting inadequates. A lot of people praised India but Australias preparation was not good. Playing Shield games in a compressed timeframe on suburban grounds in Adelaide was not an adequate preparation. So well done India but I am not judging Australia too harshly, the Sheffield Shield needs urgent repair and a bump up on the priority list.

  7. Agree with most of it. But a keeper sees so much being directly behind the stumps so much more than any other player.
    It doesnt hinder but helps a keeper/captain.
    Also the balling attack that commentators call the best in the world has trouble getting 20 wickets in a test match????
    Starc- out
    Lyon -out
    New Blood-In
    Captain ???

  8. You cannot have a name like Jhye in a team which includes names like Donald, Keith, Ian, William, etc.

    Just wrong.

    Where’s Spunky

    You better get a name change son
    You better get a real good one

    Tex Perkins surprise show at The Eltham Pub with none other than Australian legend Jack Thompson on the mouth organ. How bout that!

  9. Shades of MessinaMEMBER

    Maxwell – yeesh.

    How many times does he have to fail at Test level ?.

    Nearly 33, time to look at the other end of the spectrum.

  10. Without 2 openers and a 5 and 6 that can actually bat like TEST players the pressure will always be on the captain and bowling unit. Would Smith want the job again after he was hung out to dry particularly with Warner still in the side? I wouldn’t.

  11. Some good stats from abc


    Check out the highest wicket taker in the shield. Not the Mitchmas we want, but the Mitchmas we need. Goat looked cooked.

    I worry about Will P and his concussions but he’s the leading run scorer.

    Here’s JPhilippe record, not bad first class, is killing it in BBL


    Here’s Alex Carey


    Do we have any batsmen with a really good defence?

    • Thanks Harry, good stats. Hard to look past Carey’s leadership pedigree. He and Philippe both in the side for Paine (when he goes) and Wade. Philippe looks special, but do these guys have the defence for the 5 day game? Warner did it via T20 and that could be a new breeding ground for test players as the longer form selection landscape seems to be thinning as years go by.

      • Alternatively, T20 is ruining the techniques of classic red ball players who might have had strong test careers – Jordan Silk, Matt Renshaw to name two batsmen. And that’s before we start talking about wrist spinners.

  12. If we focus on runs and wickets we miss what mattered “catches win matches”. Whoever is picked needs to have better fielding practice. If Australia took the catches in both the Sydney and Brisbane test, the matches could have gone the other way.

    • It was Melbourne and Sydney where the dropped catches cost us. If Marnus catches Gill late on Day 1, India are 2/5 with 36 still fresh in their minds and 10 overs left in the day.

  13. The Traveling Wilbur

    This conversation wouldn’t have been necessary if both Mitches had been given their dues.

  14. I do not think Australia played badly. Tim Paine has done a decent job as a captain and a player. The matches were so close that they could have gone either way. It was probably the best summer of cricket as far as I can remember and provided great entertainment for all genuine cricket fans. What more do you want from a game?

  15. I think the whole sport needs a shake up. Switch back to auto-wickie, tippy-go, and one-hand-one-bounce.

  16. DLS … sounds like the same logic as sacking an equities manager because they had a bad year.
    I would keep Paine as captain, he has done fairly well in the last 2 years, despite having a bad couple of days in this series.
    Hard to blame the captain when 5 of the top 6 were very average and only 2 of 4 bowlers on song.
    I would not have Smith as captain, he is not suited to it, he needs to up his batting contribution and just do that.
    Starc looks injured to me and needs a rest.
    Cummins and Hazlewood need to tour but rotated with a couple of fresh bowlers.
    Bowling … Lyon struggled against good players of spin but the Saffers are not noted for that.
    Zampa should be in the party for leg spin, although for test cricket he needs to bowl tight to build pressure.

  17. My main takeaway from that series is that from here on it’s India first and daylight to everyone else. An Indian 2nd XI just beat us at home, with a full strength side, one of our strongest bowling lineups and an batting lineup that included Smith, Warner and Labuschagne. We didn’t lose, they beat us.

    And they did it with guys that stepped off the bench with a handful of tests and smacked us around. If the injury situation had been reversed, we would have been poleaxed. Apart from that one innings where we bundled them out for 36, they largely had the wood on us.

    I think we’re finally seeing the effects of 1.5 billion cricket mad people in one country. Fast forward 50-100 years and we won’t be playing India in tests, we’ll be playing Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and still finding it tough.

  18. As an ardent test match fan who has been following cricket from the late seventies I find the trend very worrying.The quality of test match market is on a steady declining graph.In order for test cricket to be interesting we need a few strong sides like the West Indies,England,Australia,India ,Pakistan like back in the 80s.If India goes too far ahead of the pack matches will become one-sided and cricket will die in the remaining handful of countries.It is only a matter of time before England,Australia,South Africa etc become like current West Indies team.