One Test Wonder XI

All pretty quiet at the moment on The Ashes front. England beat New Zealand in the first test of the English summer with the Mercurial Stuart Broad cleaning up with 7/44 in the Black Caps second innings. It reminds me of how he did jack in the 2009 series and then from nowhere ripped out the Aussie top order in an hour of madness with a  Michelle in the final test at The Oval. Anyway enough about blonde haired, baby faced assassins and down to more pressing matters.

There are no tour matches to report on. Back in the good old days Australia would have been 4 weeks into the tour and up to its 8th or 9th tour match. Instead the Aussies are either playing County cricket (Chris Rogers, Ed Cowan) or IPL (James “Wayne Newton” Faulkner is the leading wicket taker) or tweeting (Dave Warner is the club house leader) or pumping petrol (Michael Clarke for some reason)

The only news I have seen of note n the last little while that will be of interest to true cricket lovers is the finalising of the state cricket contracts. In case you missed it Jason Krejza was cut from Tasmania’s contract list.To my surprise Krejza played 2 tests for Australia – I thought he’d only played the one where he took 15/800 against India. I was wrong. But it did get me thinking , if Krejza had only played one test would he make it into a One Test Wonder XI (or at least a long break between test appearances)

One test for Krejza? No two if you don't mind.  Note: this appeal was unsuccessful.
One test for Krejza? No two if you don’t mind.
Note: this appeal was unsuccessful.

1. Wayne Phillips

WA’s Geoff Marsh was dropped for the 5th Test at the WACA of the Australia v India Test series in 1991/92.Victorian Wayne Phillips (not to be confused with a South Australian of the same name from the same era) stepped into the breach to open despite a modest first class record. In two innings he made Richie Benuad happy – 22 runs in total.

2. Chris Rogers

One test a career does not make. Hopefully Rogers will have an opportunity to rectify this situation in the coming months as he is in Australia’s Ashes squad.

3. Matthew Elliott

Seemingly not enough batsmen get burnt by the selectors after just one go in Australian cricket yet a scorched earth policy is still rampant amongst bowlers- particularly spinners. Rob Quiney was a candidate for “one test wonder” with his brilliant 9 that Ian Healy is still talking about until he buggered it up by playing the next Test and then probably buggered up his Test career by bagging a pair on an Adelaide belter.

Moving on to Elliott who, despite making a duck on debut and mangling his knee colliding with Mark Waugh when running between wickets in his second test, did manage 20 Tests from 1996-99 with a top score of 199 against England in 1997. His Test career appeared over until, in July 2004, 5 years after his previous Test, Elliott was called up as a replacement for a paternity call for Ricky Ponting and played against Sri Lanka at the historic and famous cricket venue of Darwin. It was part of Cricket Australia’s short lived “Top End Tours” with Tests against Bangladesh & Sri Lanka in Darwin & Cairns in July 2003 & 2004 respectively. Batting at 3, Elliott made 1 & 0 in Darwin and was never seen again on the international stage which probably isn’t comforting news for Rob Quiney. Elliott also played one ODI on the 1997 Ashes tour.

4. Stuart Law

Stuart Law & RickyPonting made their Test debuts in the same match in December 1995 against Sri Lanka at the WACA. This was so long ago it was BEFORE Mural got called for chucking. In Australia’s only innings Law made a composed 52* and Ponting was sawn off with a shoddy LBW call when on 96. Ponting’s test career ended at the WACA 17 years later Law’s also ended at the WACA but just 3 days after his first day of Test cricket. Steve Waugh returned from injury for the next Test and Law made way. Despite a respectable ODI career for Australia SG Law never got another Test call up.

5. Shaun Young

An injury to Jason Gillespie and a paternity call for Paul Reiffel meant Australia were bereft of pacemen for the 6th (yes 6th) Ashes Test at The Oval in 1997. Two allrounders were summed from around the traps to fill the empty bowling berth despite both being more batsmen than bowlers in my mind: Tasmania’s Shaun Young was summoned from county cricket at Gloucester while NSW’s Shane Lee was summoned from somewhere.(Yes Brett’s brother! Remember him from the band “Six & Out” with Richard Chee Quee?) for a bowl off in a tour match. Young won and his prize a baggy green.

6. Phil Emery

Ian Healy only missed one Test during his illustrious 100+ cap career. It was the 3rd test on the 1994 tour of Pakistan and NSW stalwart Phil “Fatty” Emery, the back up gloveman on tour, ably filled the breach recording 6 dismissals (5 cathces and 1 stumping) plus a solid 8* with the bat. “Slink” also made his sole ODI appearance on this tour.

7. Beau Casson

Casson made it on to the 2008 West Indies tour as back up to Stuart MacGill. What was probably envisaged of a tour of net bowling and pena coladas turned into a Test debut after Stuart MacGill variously missed the team bus, bowled rank long hops and full tosses, retired mid series stating carpel tunnel syndrome in his wrist had stuffed his bowling hand. Casson played the final test and grabbed his first wicket thanks to a catch at short leg by another nearly man of Australian cricket, Phil Jacques (in what turned out to be his last Test too) Casson’s form then deserted him and he was playing in Darwin over winter to shore up a Shield spot for NSW. A heart condition forced Casson to retire from cricket in 2011 at age 28.

8. Matthew Nicholson

Australia didn’t lose a lot of Ashes Tests in the 1990’s but MJ Nicholson’s only test for Australia was a loss to the old enemy at the MCG, Boxing Day 1998. Originally from NSW, fast medium bowler Nicholson moved to WA to further his opportunities (a rare move in Australian cricket some may say) and made it into the Australian team through what I can only imagine must have been a spate of fast bowler injuries the likes of which have never been seen before or since – well at least not since Scott Muller got his call up. No performance was going to spare Nicholson the chop as Warnie returned from a long term injury for the next test at the SCG.

9. Dan Cullen

Before Australian Cricket went into meltdown  post Warnies retirement trying to find the next spinner they went into meltdown during Warnies career trying to find the next spinner. In a game possibly, perhaps even probably better known for Jason Gillespie making 201*. Dan Cullen made his Test debut as the 3rd spinner alongside Warne and MacGill against Bangladesh in April 2006. Cullen wasn’t some sort of quasi all rounder Steve Smith/Cameron White/Glen Maxwell type he was a genuine spinner but with Warne and MacGill in the line up he only bowled 7 overs in each innings. DC was a model of consistency taking 1-25 in the first innings and 0-29 in the second and made his one day debut in the subsequent 3 game ODI leg of the tour where he played alongside another debutant in the canary yellow – Mark Cosgrove. These remain the only 3 games Cosgrove has played for Australia but he does continue to make plenty of runs on the domestic scene. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for Dan Cullen whose most recent first class game was in 2009 – he is currently 29 years old – what might have been.

10. Bryce McGain

It was a day of Test Cricket that should have warmed the heart of any proud Victoran. Three Vics representing Australia in a test match – Peter Siddle, Andrew McDonald, and on debut leg spinner Bryce McGain, who was just 6 days short of his 37th birthday.Unfortunately there was no early birthday present for McGain as was mercilessly smashed to all corners of the picturesque Newlands ground in Cape Town by AB deVilliers. The backdrop for watching the ball sail into the stands may have been pretty but McGain’s bowling figures were not:18 overs 0-149 –  that’s 8.27 runs per over. Ah McGain, never again.

11. Peter George/ John Hastings

George played one Test in India n 2010 and has been battling to get a game for South Australia of late. He made a cameo appearance in their last Shield game of the season.

Hastings was one of the replacements when Hilfenhaus & Siddle were infamously “rested”: for the 3rd Test against South Africa in Perth last year. Seen more as a one day bowler who can bat a bit it Hastings was jettisoned from the Test team ASAP and then didn’t get a look in in the subsequent one dayers and hasn’t made an Aussie squad in any format since. Odd.


12th man: Pat Cummins

No one does injury recovery better than Pat Cummins (except maybe Ryan Harris). In his only Test he was Man of the Match against South Africa in November 2011. May yet get another chance at Test cricket being only 20 years old – if he can recover from those damn injuries.


Coach:Brad Hogg.

Everyone knows Damien Martyn had to wait 7 years for a test recall after an injudicious shot against South Africa in 1993 but did you know Brad Hogg had a 7 year wait for his second test. After making his debut in a one off test against India n October 1996 as injury replacement for Shane Warne. Hogg’s next test wasn’t until April 2003 against the Windies when Warne was on a 12 month “drug sabbatical” Hoggy finished with, you guessed it 7 test caps, in a career spanning 12.5 years between first and last test.


Right let the games begin so I have something better to do…..


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Ross Slater

Blogging about the important things - AFL and cricket

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