What was Ricky Ponting on about in his ABC Grandstand interview after winning the first test?
For those that didn't hear it, when asked about the make-up of the team for the 2nd test in Adelaide, he (Ponting) said something like this (not verbatim) "...I'll have to get together with Hilditch [chairman of selectors] and see... we could do a few things, maybe look at the inclusion of Siddle as another quick." The Grandstand team were... miffed; for want of a better term.
The line of inquiry was more about how we get a spinner into the side, and at whose expense; the general attitude [of anyone in the cricketing world I'd imagine!] was, which of the all-rounders was going to be rested: Watson or Symonds? When pressed Ponting stated that he felt Roy was more of a number 6 batsman now than an all-rounder. whilst there are no rules about having an all-rounders, or if you do batting at number 6, surely if Symonds is at number 6 and he is called up to bowl either style, he is still an all-rounder.
Admittedly he didn't bowl much this test, he certainly wasn't belted about on a track that only the best spinners in the world get much from (see Vettori in the 2nd innings). It is hard to imagine that if Symonds stays in for Adelaide, he won't get more of the ball there.
So what is Ponting banging on about when talking about an extra quick? If it is a diversionary mind game thing it is just embarrassing, for him. It is one thing to say he wants an extra fast bowler, except he is asking for it one test late, [a bit like Krejza being picked 2 tests late!] it would have made sense to have Siddle play this first test at the Gabba, but at whose expense? Watsons batting was much the same as most of the team, rank; but he bowled well enough. Symonds didn't bowl much, but without him in the side we would have been short 46 runs, [the third highest aggregate in the team for the match], so he would feel a bit stiffed to be stood down for a spinner, let alone another quick.
It is plain to all [except maybe Punter!] that Krejza will be back for Adelaide, most likely at the expense of Watson. When Lee is clearly in the ascension with his confidence and technique improving, Johnson has over 40 (45, 2 behind Lee)wickets for the calender year, Clark's fitness is back and he continues to hit the spot for cheap wickets, it looks like this core of the Australian bowling side is sound... none of them will (should) go anywhere.
P.S *** JUST ANNOUNCED***
Watson has been dropped and the side is:
Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke (vc), Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Jason Krejza, Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Andrew Symonds.
So, if as Ponting has said, that Symonds is a number 6, it looks like Siddle will be 12th man.
stoph verismo downthewicket