Guidelines Derived from Watching the Australian Cricket Team get Pummelled in Tasmania by South Africa in 2016
Should have put this out earlier; it’s already dated. On the other hand, I think some of it has turned out more or less correct. Some.
Based on listening closely to what has been coming out of the Australian ‘camp’ during their recent run of failures, I have arrived at four rules for selecting and running an Australian cricket team.
Rule 1: Choose players who at least look like they care. It’s not enough to pull a sad face or look angry when something goes wrong. Maybe if they pretend hard enough it will become true!
Rule 2: Forget supposed talent and look at results. Talent is as talent does not as it looks like it ought to be capable of. Australian selectors have a history of being seduced by players who look the part but perform marginally, and not playing those who are ‘unfashionable’ despite being better performing. How did Mark Waugh get to play over 100 tests?
Rule 3: ‘Stick with my natural game’ is code for ‘I don’t want to have to think very hard’ or possibly ‘I don’t really give a shit’. They are professionals who need to adapt to the conditions and match situation. If they cannot do that they are not good enough to be out there. Judge players on how they perform when things are tough, not when they are easy.
Rule 4: Any system with Greg Chappell (currently Cricket Australia’s National Talent Manager, whatever that means) involved fails. (This is not so much based on recent results as on watching the trail of destruction Chappell leaves whenever he is tasked with ‘managing’ anything. The words ‘piss-up’ and ‘brewery’ come to mind.)