Sydney: Expressing his displeasure at the way the Australian team is picked, former leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has said that sending young paceman Peter George to India to make his Test debut is like “not giving him a chance”.
George received his baggy green cap in Bangalore on Saturday after Doug Bollinger’s withdrawal because of a muscle strain.
MacGill said George, who took 0-38 from 15 overs on Monday’s third day of the second Test, won’t gain any sort of confidence from toiling away on Indian pitches ahead of the Ashes series in Australia.
Former pacer Stuart Clark, who was dumped in April from Australia’s list of 25 contracted players, is a much better bet at Test level than 23-year-old George, The Sydney Morning Herald quoted MacGill, as saying.
Clarke is captaining NSW this summer, playing his first Shield game of the season in Adelaide against South Australia this week.
“Peter George has been selected to play his first Test match ... he looks a hell of a lot like Shaun Tait, Peter George,” MacGill said.
“When you’re that big bowling in the 120s with a slingy action on an Indian pitch you’re going to have a hard day. I am all about giving these young bowlers a chance. In my opinion picking Peter George in India on a pitch like that is not giving him a chance.
“He’s going to come back from Australia against England having played one Test and getting belted, which is not good for his confidence and it’s not giving him a chance,” McGill said.
“At the moment in Australia, we have Peter Siddle playing state cricket. He’s coming back from injury, not doing too well. We’ve got Stuart Clark playing. If Stuart Clark is not a better bowler that Peter George then I’m ... Martha,” he added.