South Australian Redback's cricket team train at Buderim. Travis Head.
South Australian Redback's cricket team train at Buderim. Travis Head. John McCutcheon

Time for the selectors to back the team they pick

OPINION: Do you smell that?

It's the fresh cut grass and the smells of spring that suggests the summer of cricket is about to start.

In fact it started on Tuesday with the selectors announcing a 15-man squad for the upcoming series against Pakistan that will be held in the United Arab Emirates in October.

Queensland dominates selection with five players named named including Usman Khawaja and Matt Renshaw and first time players Michael Neser, Brendan Doggett and Marnus Labuschange.

They could be handed test debuts alongside Aaron Finch and Travis Head with experience duo Peter Siddle and Jon Holland selected to join those that played in South Africa.

But there was no room, surprisingly, for Joe Burns, Glenn Maxwell or Peter Handscomb who have played in the past 12 months.

And here in lies the problem with Australian cricket - the merry-go-round of selection.

For Australia that was meant to be over when the side lost to South Africa in Hobart in 2016 and made five changes for the next test in Adelaide, which they won.

It was the dawning of a new era with those expected to be players of the next decade.

Instead, since then, every spot except one has been changed either through tactics or players losing their spots.

Since that Hobart test there have been 26 players selected for Australia with 11 playing four tests or less.

This includes Maxwell, Burns, Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers with Nathan Lyon the only player to play all 20 tests during that time.

I'm all for dropping players who haven't been in form.

They deserve to go.

But those that hardly get a chance like Sayers, Burns and Maxwell have had no chance to mix with the team or show their worth.

You can't do that in test cricket and the switch around has effectively ended careers.

The same could happen to the next batch about to be handed test caps.

Of course some won't survive when David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft return from suspension.

But for some a decade of representing Australia might be on the horizon.

Now, more than ever, stability is needed.

The team has taken a battering and if experts are right more is going to come when India come to the country.

But chopping and changing players isn't going to solve that.

Former test captain Shane Watson said he hoped some players including Khawaja were given a long spell in the team to show their worth.

Not one or two matches.

The time is right for new coach Justin Langer and the selectors to do it. Back the talent and give them matches to play.



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