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Australia v India

Warne slams Australia’s ‘ridiculous selections’

Ben Gardner by Ben Gardner 5 minute read

Australia have announced their ODI squad for their upcoming series against India, with the selections once again causing confusion among Australian pundits.

The squad includes 34-year-old seamer Peter Siddle, who last played an ODI in 2010, and any List A game in October 2017. He did earn the Player of the Match award for the Adelaide Strikers in their New Year’s Eve clash with Sydney Thunder, but that was one of just two BBL games he has played all season.

The other main point of contention is the exclusion of white-ball specialists Chris Lynn and D’Arcy Short. While the former hasn’t yet set the world alight in international cricket, he is established as the best batsman in the history of the Big Bash League. His most recent innings was a 55-ball 84 and he also averaged 75.33 with a strike rate of 117.70 in October’s JLT One-Day Cup, Australia’s premier 50-over competition.

Short is another who found fame through the BBL, and was one of two to average more than Lynn during the JLT One-Day Cup. He has also impressed more than Lynn in international cricket, striking four half-centuries in his 18 T20I knocks thus far.

Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne said he was “absolutely staggered” that the pair had been left out.

The selectors have also been criticised for seemingly ignoring domestic form during the ongoing Test series against India, which Australia look set to lose. Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell are two players who may feel particularly aggrieved. Burns has three Test tons and has averaged 52 over the last two Australian first-class seasons, while Maxwell averages 41 in first-class cricket altogether, 49 over the last two seasons, and made a Test hundred in India in his fourth-most recent cap.

Any sense of exasperation might be exacerbated by the recent performances of those who currently occupy places in the side in their stead. Marnus Labuschagne, set to bat at No.3 in the ongoing Test against India, has never averaged more than 40 in a first-class season, and averages just 28 in the current Sheffield Shield campaign, and Aaron Finch, whose first-class average for his state side Victoria is 31, are two who might feel lucky to win favour.

The situation has reached the point where those players not selected are openly mocking the decisions on social media, with Maxwell poking fun at the fact that he is perceived as ‘reckless’, and Lynn opting to respond to his dropping via the medium of a Simpsons gif.

With the World Cup rapidly approaching, Australia appear no closer to figuring out their best XI. In fact, some would argue they are further now than they have been at any point since their World Cup title win in 2015.

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