Young Australia Where Are You?

“The thing about Australian cricket is that they always blood their new players young!”  “If this English cricketer was an Australian, he’d already be in the side.”  These are the kind of statements that we on this side of the globe have had to listen to for decades.  

“The Australians put people in young.  If they falter they go back into the pond and if they learn they come back stronger, much stronger.”

That has always been the story, perhaps even the reality. So the really interesting thing about recent Australian selections is that the contenders for example for the spin spot are their ages as well as their meagre exposure to State cricket. 

Doherty: aged 28 played 37 first class matches and taken 87 wickets.   O’Keefe (Third Man’s tip for Perth before the start at Brisbane) aged 26 played 10 first class matches and taken 37 wickets and now Beer aged 26 and a half played 5 first class matches and taken 16 wickets.

Australia is bringing in raw recruits but young they are not.  28 and 26 isn’t young – in India if you hadn’t made it by then, would you ever?

Jrod, Toots, Nesta , anybodycan you help explain this?  Over the last decade was there just no room for good 21 year olds to get in, get dropped, fight back and enter now as the complete article?

And where are today’s 21 year olds?  What is stopping them getting into state sides.  Are they not good enough or blocked?  And by what?

If England has too many professional cricketers, do Australia have too few?

Answers by Thursday morning, please.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Young Australia Where Are You?

  1. backwatersman

    I don’t know whether this is quite an answer to your question, but I have read recently (I think in the Wisden C.) that, in the days when when most Australian cricketers were semi-professional, they tended to pack it in if they hadn’t get into the Test side by the time they were in their mid-twenties (because they could make more money outisde the game), so there was a constant stream of new talent flowing in to replace them, some of whom would have been of test standard.

    So, perhaps the answer is a return to amateurism (or semi-professionalism, at least)?

  2. Wasn’t Adam Gilchrist 27 when he made his Test debut? This notion of Australia’s canny ability to slot players in to the Test scene at exactly the right time was a case of confusing correlation with causation. They were going in to a team where Warne and McGrath were murdering the opposition, and new players had time to bask in their aura. Now they are gone, and so has that breathing space.

  3. If there is no good spinner,then don’t select any of them. Why on this earth,should some 26-27 year old player,with just 5-10 First-Class appearances must be selected into the National team,just because,he claims to ‘turn’ the ball?
    The West Indies team,dominated the World cricket for a decade and a half,without using a spinner on most occasions.
    Let them select the best from what’s available.If there are only good fast bowlers in the Shield circuit,try selecting only them.
    Reminds me of many mediocre players entering into the Indian team,just because they had ‘keeping’ skills.At-least,Wicketkeeper is a must,not a spinner.

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