It was a shame when Michael Neser, Matt Renshaw & Brendan Doggett forced to head home early this week.
Although, Ashton Agar stayed on for a while ahead of Australia’s three-match T20I meetings v Pakistan next week.
With no match time on the field, what will they have to do in earning their squad back for Australia this summer?
Well, Matt Renshaw still has talent with the bat.
It’s widely thought that Head Coach Justin Langer was going to pair Renshaw & Finch in both tests.
But since Renshaw got hit in the head while fielding, he had to rest.
Though, that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t play against India on December 6.
He will do everything he can to put runs on the board over the next few weeks:
- QLD Grade Competition
- Sheffield Shield for Queensland
If Renshaw can justify what the board is hoping for then, he should play for the Baggy Green again.
Not only that, Renshaw and Finch will form a dangerous Opening stand.
That way, the Indian bowlers may have a hard ride against them.
It’s some area where Australia dearly missed his qualities over the past week.
He would’ve played in the Second Test last week if Peter Siddle failed to deliver with the ball.
But, that didn’t happen.
It’s because Siddle did well picking up three wickets in the 1st Test.
Though, Siddle failed to make a scalp this week.
When Australia drew at the time, Justin Langer wanted to keep an unchanged squad that isn’t a losing side.
Neser would’ve leapfrogged Siddle if Australia wanted to add extra steel on their batting.
And whenever the tail needed a hand, Neser could’ve been that man to save Australia from further humiliation.
But, again, they stuck with this unchanged side which didn’t work out well.
What he can do back home is keep meeting the expectations that Trevor Hohns wanted to do.
Keep making wickets plus score some handy runs.
Don’t know if he would be comfortable batting at No.7 or 8.
Though, Neser will do the best he can to perform well for Queensland right now.
It’s always exciting to have a young quickie on the books in the UAE.
But he never had game-time throughout the last fortnight.
Doggett should’ve played earlier this week in Abu Dhabi.
If so, he can reduce the workload from Mitchell Starc & has plenty of speed to frustrate the Pakistani batsmen.
Seeing that Doggett’s very tall like Billy Stanlake, he can get the job done easily such as executing:
- in & reverse swingers
Peter Siddle didn’t have the kind of pace unlike Doggett’s considering he’s 36.
Fair enough for Siddle to return to Test Cricket which would add experience to the Australian Team.
But Siddle would better be off playing T20s.
Though, a bit surprised to see Siddle stay in the UAE for the three-match T20I Series over the next week for Australia.
I approve that where he belongs there.
For now, Doggett should keep firing up scalps as much as he can.
And whenever Starc, Hazlewood or Cummins get injured, Selectors would be mad not to give Doggett another chance.
With Jon Holland performing well in the 1st Test with three wickets in hand, he stayed on for the 2nd Test.
If you remove Holland out of the scene, Agar would’ve been useful in adding:
- A bit more pace with the left-arm spin
- Handy lower-order batsmen
Agar’s still a young player who regularly established himself with Western Australia & Perth Scorchers.
Don’t forget the Australian 50-Over & T20 Teams.
It’s harsh for him not to pick up any game time. If so, Agar would’ve made decent wickets plus form partnerships with the tail.
Again, Agar and Neser could’ve made the tail batting order much stronger as the top & middle guys in the middle.
If Agar can perform very well in the T20I Series next week, then there shouldn’t be a reason why he shouldn’t play Tests.
Once he returns in Perth, Agar will do everything possible to keep giving the selectors a headache.
If he can justify that with both bat & ball, then Agar could be a useful second spinner at the Sydney Test in January v India.
We’ll wait and see how these four will perform over the next few weeks.
Some of them will keep the selectors through justifying their cases via merit.
That will be the key to help win back their spots in the Baggy Green.
It’s not late right now considering their careers at Test Match level isn’t over yet at this stage.
Though, it’ll be a tough ask going into late November.
With a couple of players back from injury, it’ll be hard to assemble a squad that will be good enough to shut India down.
However, Cricket Australia management should listen to one message clear and sound.
Bring plenty of young talent into the squad.
Then develop from there that will match the qualities that Steve Smith & David Warner left for a long time.
Everyone cannot stress that enough.
It’s that simple.