The Ashes team of openers

Inspired by this team of bowlers put together for the upcoming Ashes series

http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/bowling-them-over-20130423-2icdx.html

(and still grappling with the concept someone was paid to do this including come up with a fantasy scorecard of a fantasy test – woah! Nerd alert! But why stop at one test? Why not do the whole back to back Ashes series of 10 tests?!) I have decided to produce an Ashes team of openers.

 

Fortunately most of the work had been done for me as most of the Australian top 6 batsmen are openers so here it is:

 

1.Chris Rogers

An opener with over 19,000 first class runs who played his sole test to date as an opener alongside Matthew Hayden.

2. Ed Cowan

An opener who has only ever opened for Australia and is currently grinding out the runs like Mark Taylor…. 1997 Ashes tour not 1989.

3. Phil Hughes

An opener through and through who played his first 13 tests as an opener before being shoehorned into No3 for his last 7 tests. Opened in the last Ashes in England.

 

4. Shane Watson

A bloke who coverts opening so much he publicly destabilised the team to get his preferred position at the top of the order back. Opening is where he’s made both his test centuries but he’s made the No 4 spot his own now with a few trade mark half centuries and well crafted 20’s.

 

5. Simon Katich (C)

I discovered yesterday that Katich is still play first class cricket. He may have retired from first class cricket in Australia but he’s still churning out the runs in England – yesterday he knocked up a century for Lancashire. Katich played his best cricket for Australia opening but made his Test debut in the middle order as injury cover for Steve Waugh in 2001. Pup Clarke isn’t in the team so there should be no issues with Katich playing and taking the captaincy.

 

6. Dave Warner

An opener in all three forms of the game who has batted at 6 for NSW Futures League team when he’d already played for Australia in T20 but couldn’t force his way into the NSW shield line up. Looks likely to bat 6 in this Ashes series too.

 

7. Brad Haddin

A regular one day opener for Australia there for a while and formed a handy opening partnership with Watson. Made a lot of thirties and then played a reckless shot to get out.

 

8. Glenn Maxwell

Opened the batting and bowling for Australia in the 4th test in India. He had never previously done this at any level of cricket so probably shouldn’t have been given a first run at it in a test match – the highest level of cricket.

 

9. Steve O’Keeffe

Should have been the second spinner on the India tour and regularly opens the batting in T20 for the Sydney Sixers. Perhaps if he focused more on his bowling than batting he would have played in India.

 

10. Mitchell Johnson

My favourite cricket article of all time

REJUVENATED Mitchell Johnson has vowed to open the batting and bowling for Australia – a stunning insight into his bold ambition of becoming an international allrounder

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/cricket/i-want-to-open-batting-mitchell-johnson/story-e6frey50-1225790231927

If only his ambition had been matched by a temperament to bowl line and length at least occasionally.

 

11. David Saker

Aficionados of the state game will remember current England bowling coach and former Victorian & Tasmanian fast bowler David Saker had a stint opening the batting for Victoria in the Mercantile Mutual Cup in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. He gets a gig as playing coach as any team with Mitchell Johnson in it needs someone to tell him where to bowl before each delivery.

 

 

The batsmen were easy but the bowlers were harder – are there any bowlers/quasi opening batsmen I have missed?

The ultimate fast bowler/quasi test opener, Irfan Pathan, was not considered as he’s not Australian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ross Slater

Blogging about the important things - AFL and cricket

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