Oz Sport Mad wrote:
I'm not quite as scathing but the bloke does frustrate me by not cementing his spot.
I didn't like him at first but I think over the next year or two Maxwell will force his way back into the Test side and potentially as the all-rounder, if Marsh continues to promise but not deliver.
Maxwell isn't and never will be a test standard bowler, and picking him as an all-rounder will never increase the teams likelihood of taking 20 wickets in a test match if our best four cant get the job done, therefore, he should only be in the test side if his batting is good enough to warrant selection in the top 6. Same goes for Mitch Marsh, he isn't a good enough 6 and never will be at test level, his batting will never be as good as Watson could have been at test level, so picking him at the expense of any number of far superior batsmen, including his brother WILL cost the team runs on the board, so is it worth forgoing those runs and will forgoing those runs see us with enough runs on the board that will allow our bowlers to defend them and take the requisite 20 wickets, and will Marsh's inclusion mean we are more likely to take 20 wickets? I don't think so.
This fascination with All-Rounders has simply gone too far for mine and never has it been more glaringly obvious than the last few months. When you start picking a person basically, and only really as cover in case someone else in the team can't fulfil their duties, then you have serious selection issues. In tests, pick your best 6 batsmen, to maximise you chances of scoring more runs (if one can bowl a bit, then so be it), and pick you best 4 bowlers for the condition to maximise your chances of 20 wickets and pick your best keeper/batsman.
In one dayers, ok we creamed India 4-1, but still, I don't think we need Marsh, Faulkner and Maxwell all in the team IF we have our best bowling attack, which we didn't have this series. How do you leave out Ussie though? Rod Marsh said it was because that wanted him to warm up via shield on the Adelaide wicket and questioned who they would leave out???? Really, Shield cricket in Adelaide is better preparation for NZ Tests/Conditions than One Dayers in NZ?? Sorry, I can't agree given the nature of the modern game. And who do you leave out, well, that is easy, its not about finding space for the most inform batsman on the planet, you simply put him on the team sheet first and fill in the blanks based on who you should pick next, after 5, maybe 6 names, you find out who misses out. It might be a little harsh for that guy, but whats harsher/dumber, is leaving out a guy in the scintillating touch Usman is in.
Seriously, back to All-Rounders, if you can't justify a place for them on either their batting or bowling alone, then pick someone else. Almost all the top shelf all-rounders in recent and past memory can justify their selection that way, hell even Watson could at one stage given the lack of depth we had. But I don't think Maxwell or Marsh can at test level. And I prefer Maxwell and Faulkner in the ODI's but I don't think we can fit all 3 in.