Bloody Darren Lehmann: no respect for the traditions of the game. Everyone knows the proper response to a defeat like that suffered at Lord’s is to panic like it’s going out of style. Nobody would have batted an eyelid if he had turned up at the post-match conference with his underpants on his head and two pencils stuffed up his nose. He probably would have received a round of applause for his eerily accurate impersonation of Ted Dexter. But no, Boof refused to panic and insisted no players would be brought in from outside of the original touring squad. No doubt a cunning ploy on his behalf so that he can claim at series end he did the best he could with the rubbish (minus Devereux) that Inverarity and Arthur dumped on him.
But let’s imagine for a bit that Boof had decided to take leave of his senses and really go to town. England called up 29 players over the length of that 1989 Ashes series, and if Boof really put his mind to it, Australia could probably overhaul that target this time around. And so, since talking about the actual cricket is boring and only of interest to the sort of sadists who have Kevin Pietersen posters on their bedroom walls (and coincidentally never pay up on their bets), lets investigate the sort of players that Boof could draw upon if he was so inclined.
He put his hand up in the aftermath of the second Test to point out he never officially retired from Test cricket (a cultural misunderstanding apparently, lobbing Molotov cocktails at the selection committee must have been just a light-hearted prank). That he has scored seventy billion runs in the County Championship this year, is not the sort to throw his wicket away, and would mean Shane Watson could be dropped, means Katich is at the top of this list. With a bullet.
The only problem is that he has probably already carved Michael Clarke’s name onto that bullet.
Ideally the headlines at the moment ought to be reflecting on how the seamless transition between the Hussey brothers in the Australian Test team was the greatest piece of selection wizardry seen since Ricky Ponting made Bryce McGain disappear. Instead, Hussey represents the saddest story in Australian cricket. He did everything right for a decade, patiently waiting for his chance to come. And when it did, he went to utter, utter, shit.
Probably still a better option than Phil Hughes though.
Another sad case. Ought to have made the step up years ago, but injury thwarted his ambitions. Voges is one of those rare beasts in modern Australian cricket, the player who is capable of performing better in international cricket than he does on the domestic scene. An ODI average of 51.30 stands testament to that.
Realistically though he is nothing more than Marcus North version 2.0, but Boof would kill for those sort of credentials right now.
The next big thing, the savior of Australian cricket, Boof’s best mate in his all-conquering Queensland outfit. Burns currently averages 30.57 after eight innings in the second division of the County Championship.
Ah shit, God, no, please. Averages over 50 in County cricket this season, but seriously no, fuck, stop it.
Put your bottom dollar on this happening sometime soon. The ultimate Boof Lehmann player. Averaged 39.20 opening for Tasmania last Shield season, and on their rubbish pitch that’s no mean feat. Probably won’t feature very heavily in much of Cricket Australia’s advertising though. Get it? Very heavily? Ah forget it.
Scored a few runs against the touring South Africans not so long ago. Sports a rather spiffy beard these days. Consistently fails to convert starts. Nailed on for an appearance sometime soon.
The man who started the rot really. He was pencilled in as Australia’s new number three from a long way out. Started brilliantly with a century on debut, then got injured, hit the piss, and somehow managed to make the Indian pace attack look good. Currently in South Africa with the A team. Apparently.
His Test average of 27 is suddenly not looking too bad after all.
The original Ashton Agar of the Australian Test team. Scored heaps of runs on his debut, then progressively less over the next few Tests, which rather highlighted the awfulness of his bowling. Which is what he had been largely picked for in the first place. Last seen smashing a Zimbabwean select everywhere. And probably bowling like rubbish.
Made lots of people excited after smashing first Ireland, then Gloucestershire, all over the place. That excitement was dampened when people realized he is just another David Warner clone. About as much use in a crisis as Samit Patel when there is an all you can eat buffet within eye sight.
And we are done.