Picture the scene. Australian players streaming out of their dressing room at The Oval, wild with jubilation. English fielders hanging their heads in shame and dismay, knowing that they have just given away an almost unassailable lead. The Barmy Army silenced, the visiting Australian fans already planning the mother of all piss ups in celebration. And in the middle of it all, one man stands with bat raised. David Warner has returned.
Its hard to imagine, I know, because it won’t happen. Oh, sure, Warner may find himself back in the Ashes side after he slammed 193 runs in a day for Australia A. But it won’t do any good. Australia need runs, yes, and they quite possibly need a change in personnel to do that. Warner, however, has not done remotely enough to be considered as the best option to do that though.
The first thing to consider is the nature of Australia’s frailty. There is no shortage of people in the lineup who can bash some quick runs, but there is a serious shortage of batsmen with grit and the nerve to go for long periods without scoring. Australia’s batting is, in short, jumpy and panicky. The solution to this is not to send for someone who is so lacking in self control that they punch an opposition player in the pub. Personally I would go back to Cowan to solve this problem, but luckily for me I’m not burdened with the poisoned chalice of selecting the current Australian cricket team.
And the other thing to consider is the nature of the runs scored by Warner against South Africa A. Anyone who is anyone in South African cricket is currently playing for, well, South Africa. In fact, that isn’t even quite true, as the main South African squad is already weakened by the exclusion of Steyn and Philander. Warner making one big score against what would probably be an adequate Sheffield Shield attack is weak grounds for selection, especially when, wait for it, Glenn Maxwell is currently not out on 103 against the same bowlers.