Sydney: Cricket Australia’s (CA) decision to opt for young Mathew Wade over veteran Brad Haddin for the first Test match against South Africa at The Gabba, in Brisbane has given a clear indication to other young batsmen in the country that they would be given due attention if they too push for a spot in the national team, according to senior cricket journalist Greg Baum.
“The announcement of the Australian team for the first Test was straightforward. Once the selectors were agreed on Matthew Wade, it involved not much more than filling out a pro forma,” Baum wrote in his column for the Sydney Morning Herald.
“But if you held it up to the light, you could make out one important message in the subtext. Its thrust is that all things being equal, as they surely were between Wade and Brad Haddin, the selectors will look to the younger man,’ he added.
“This puts on notice a batting top six that features only one player, Dave Warner, younger than 30. More to the point, it signals to younger batsmen around the country there are places for the taking. But it also says they must earn those runs. Youthful promise will not be taken solely at its word,” he added.
Baum further wrote: “When Marsh was injured, Usman Khawaja half pressed a case. The balance consisted of Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey and Shane Watson. Look now. Clarke, Ponting, Hussey and Watson are still there, three through six in the order.”
“Sadly, Marsh has disappeared off the map. Hughes and Khawaja are trying changes of state team scenery in South Australia and Queensland respectively,” he wrote.