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Selectors are the biggest problem in Australian cricket

Why do they go against the opinions of all close to Aaron Finch – who all advised they need to bat him in the middle order – and then select him as an opener?

How do Mitchell Marsh and Travis Head get selected this summer as vice-captains when they haven’t even established themselves in the team.

A more suitable vice-captain? Nathan Lyon.

A more suitable vice-captain? Nathan Lyon.Credit:AAP

Surely senior members of the team such as Usman Khawaja (who is captain of Queensland), Nathan Lyon and Mitch Starc would have been more appropriate choices?

Selectors have also squandered a great opportunity to take an early look at one of our brightest prospects with their bizarre treatment of Will Pucovski.

Earlier this month, they named the Cricket Australia XI to play Sri Lanka in Hobart and the squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka at the Gabba.

Pucovski was put out before the media and the fans, with many welcoming someone they see as a potential future star for Australian cricket. The selection of the 20-year-old was a positive in what has been a train-wreck of a summer.

Missed opportunity: Will Pucovski.

Missed opportunity: Will Pucovski.Credit:AAP

Now if I were a selector, I would want batsmen who are selected for the Gabba Test to bat high in the order in the CA XI game to put them under a little pressure against the Sri Lankan attack. All the pressure and media attention was on Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Pucovski.

What do I see? I see Kurtis Patterson batting above Pucovski and he maximises this great opportunity and goes on to make two delightful centuries. Awesome for Kurt. My criticism is that I feel Pucovski should have batted above Patterson as he was the one in the Test squad.

Patterson played beautifully in Hobart and I hope he goes on to have a great international career. But there was no pressure on him. He could go out there and free-wheel it and he did so with distinction.

Had Pucovski batted higher than Patterson in the second innings, he might have had more time to make a good score. Had he scored 70 or more in the second dig, he would probably be playing in this Test match at the Gabba.

Maybe the selectors didn’t want to play three Test debutants in the same match? Who knows?

Pucovski will not get a better chance for a while as selectors are likely to pick the same team for Canberra. So in reality it’s an opportunity missed. Will the next one be in England when Australia are struggling against a quality England attack?

Now let’s talk about how Chris Tremain and Peter Siddle have been treated. Both have performed well to get selected in the Test squad, with Tremain the star bowler for the past three seasons in the Sheffield Shield.

They have been waiting patiently for their opportunity, so when Josh Hazlewood pulls out with hot spots in his back, selectors bypass both and pick young Western Australian quick Richardson.

Richardson is off to a great start to his Test career, but who’s to say it couldn’t have been the same story for Tremain, who had the performances on the board at Shield level?

Bypassed: Chris Tremain.

Bypassed: Chris Tremain.Credit:AAP

Sure, Richardson bowled well in the recent one-day internationals and bowls with good heat. But now the selectors are telling us that ODI form is more important than consistency in Shield cricket?

Maybe if the selectors had such a high opinion of Richardson he should have been in the initial Test squad against the Indians instead of Tremain.

There seems to be so many knee-jerk reactions in recent selections. Every player I speak to tells me of their confusion over mixed messages between what selectors say and what they do.

Players just want selection policies to be clear and above all fair.

Australian cricket has two priorities this year. No. 1 priority is to win the World Cup.

It’s the hardest trophy in the cricket world to win. Resting Starc and Pat Cummins from the ODI series against India was a huge mistake. Beating the world’s top ODI team would have provided invaluable confidence heading into a World Cup.

The No. 2 priority is winning the Ashes. Maybe the likes of Starc and Cummins could have been rotated during this Test series against Sri Lanka. Tremain, as well as Richardson, could have been given a chance to show if he was ready at this level.

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In April every year, selectors sit down in front of the CA board to present their vision, philosophies and policies for the upcoming year. I think it’s time for the newly appointed CEO Kevin Roberts to bring this meeting forward to next week.

Roberts, who has a fine first-class background, should be asking selectors what the hell is going on.  Not just in Test cricket, but ODIs and Twenty20s.

Playing Chris Lynn, a potential match-winner at the start of the innings, at six in a Twenty20 versus India was the last straw for me.

Once Roberts has heard each selectors’ point of view, he should thank them for their service to Australian cricket. Then his next job should be to start the search for two-three new selectors.

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