Sydney: A former Australian cricketer has sarcastically said that the selectors should have named all 66 Sheffield Shield players in the Ashes squad after they announced a bulging preliminary squad of 17 for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, however, the selectors Andrew Hilditch, Greg Chappell, David Boon and Jamie Cox have avoided the difficult decisions for another week.
The paper describes as ridiculous to choose the Ashes squad before the coming Shield games.
The SMH quoted Hilditch as saying: "They`re a chance to come in if we make a decision we need to change the side. But you don`t change the side unless you can make it better."
Nathan Hauritz faces the greatest challenge to retain his spot after Tasmania`s Xavier Doherty was called into the Test squad for the first time.
Clearly, Steve Smith is no longer the second-choice spin option.
Hilditch said: "I think he`s going to try and nail his spot as a batter who bowls leg spin for us. I think that`s where he would like to be and I think that`s probably where we would like him to be too."
Australian captain Ricky Ponting said: "There`s no doubt there`s a bit of competition around for a few spots in our side as well, which I think is always healthy. It`s important for all of us to lift, that`s what we have to do. If we want to achieve results as a team we need good solid contributions from all of our players."