Sydney: Shock call-up Michael Beer is simply unqualified to play for Australia in the third Ashes Test this week, according to former Test spinner Stuart MacGill.
Despite having played just five first class matches, left-arm spinner Beer was included in the 12-strong squad for the Perth Test as Australia overhauled their squad in the wake of an innings and 71-run defeat to England in Adelaide.
“I am gobsmacked, shocked, I honestly cannot believe it,” MacGill told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. “The team will have to change again after the next Test,” he added.
“Good on Michael Beer, good bloke and good player, but look at this as a job interview and show me his qualifications to get this job.
“He doesn’t have any. He is not qualified for the job they have given him. Sending him out there next week, what are they trying to do?”
MacGill’s opportunities to play Test cricket were severely limited by playing at the same time as Shane Warne but he did manage 208 wickets in 44 Tests from 1998 to 2008.
The leg spinner said the selectors were reeling from one bad decision to another having replaced Nathan Hauritz, who has 63 wickets from 17 Tests, with ineffective debutant Xavier Doherty for the first two Tests.
“Xavier Doherty was out there, too, to be honest,” MacGill said.
“They are clearly telling Nathan Hauritz, ‘you are never playing Test cricket again’. I don’t understand that. Xavier Doherty should never have played the first two Tests. Michael Beer shouldn’t be playing this one.”
The fact Beer has taken only 16 first class wickets at an average of just under 40 since he moved from Victoria to Western Australia indicated that chief selector Andrew Hilditch was out of touch, MacGill said.
“To be honest, from Andrew Hilditch’s comments, he doesn’t even really know who Michael Beer is. He said he’ll bowl well in Perth because it’s his home ground.
“I’m not sure Andrew thought those comments through before he made them.
“Look, Andrew Hilditch is a lovely bloke but someone needs to tell him Michael Beer has not spent his career playing at the WACA.
“Three games there and nothing better than a three-for. Honestly, there is no big picture here.”
The third Test begins at the WACA on Thursday.