Batting dynamo has the support of Test great and former selector Mark Waugh to pay India

Former selector Mark Waugh says form should be the one and only guide for picking the Test team in another strong push for batting dynamo Will Pucovski to open with David Warner against India in Adelaide.

Australian coach Justin Langer, also a selector, has suggested his preference is to stick with Joe Burns because of the partnership he formed with Warner at the top of the order last summer in series wins over Pakistan and New Zealand.

Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said Warner would be consulted because “it’s important (Warner) is comfortable as well”.

“We certainly do consult players on such issues,” he said.

But Waugh, who was a selector from 2014-18, serving with Hohns, said he couldn’t remember ever asking a player about selection beyond “a chat at the airport” and Warner should bat with whoever is picked.

“There has been a lot of push for Joe Burns to be picked because David Warner wants to bat with him, which is not on,” Waugh said.

“David Warner bats with whoever is selected.

“You pick the best player, the best two opening batsmen. Whoever it is they can work out how to bat with each other.

“As far as batting is concerned, I think the most important thing to focus on is obviously the position, a specialist position and whether you‘re in form or not.

“There’s a bit of credit for experience and runs beforehand. But it’s all about the form rather than who someone wants to bat with.”

Waugh said he would go with 22-year-old Pucovski, who scored two double-hundreds for Victoria to earn selection in the Test squad, ahead of Burns, who didn’t pass 30 in five innings for Queensland.

“If I was selecting I would go with Will Pucovski. I think he’s just in such great form and you strike while the iron is hot,” he told RSN.

“I know the Australia A game (against India next month) is going to have a bearing on selection. But at the moment I would pick him because he is the form player.

“When you are not making runs you open up discussions about your spot, and that’s been the case with Joe Burns.”

Earlier this week Warner said he didn’t think Burns “did anything wrong last summer” when the pair averaged 60 batting together.

The veteran opener said he would be “honest” if asked by selectors but would also bat with whoever was picked.

“It‘s on the selectors to pick the team and I’ve got to be happy with that and embrace it,” he said.

Source link

Rising Star selector explains why Isaac Quaynor was nominated over Lachie Sholl

Kevin Sheehan has explained why Collingwood’s Isaac Quaynor received the Round 17 Rising Star nomination over Adelaide’s Lachie Sholl.

Several Crows players were left stunned by Sholl’s snub after he amassed 24 disposals, eight score involvements, 627 metres gained and two goals in the win over Carlton.

Many expected the seven-game Crow to be nominated following his breakout performance, but Sheehan says it was Quaynor’s “body of work” that swayed the Rising Star panel.

The emerging Magpie had 17 disposals at 88.2 per cent efficiency along with seven marks and seven intercepts in the finals-clinching victory against Gold Coast.

“We’ve got a panel: Brad Scott, Brad Johnson, Chris Johnson and ultimately, I’m looking at every single game, Steve Hocking is a selector and we’ll go to him with a recommendation,” Sheehan told SEN’s Dwayne’s World.

“But late in the year – and that’s the point – in fact the last four or five rounds, the year to date, the body of work is weighted far greater than the performance just in the round.

“Because our ultimate aim this year is to get the most worthy 18 Rising Star nominations through to the panel of All-Australian selectors that then vote 5-4-3-2-1, and he (Quaynor) was second in our voting on a weekly basis to Noah Anderson back on Round 7.

“He then had some injuries and again on another occasion he was second or third, so he was right up there with his year to date, his body of work.

“And Lachie Sholl, it was a breakout game and a fantastic game, it was his seventh game at this point.

“He could have got it, it was close, but it wasn’t unanimous.

“In the finish, the body of work of Isaac Quaynor won the day. I appreciate all the passion people show for their own players.

“A tight vote, but that’s the way it went this week.”

Source link

Michael Cheika responds to World Cup ‘scam’ accusations from Wallabies selector

Former Australia coach Michael Cheika has hit back at accusations from ex-selector Michael O’Connor that the Wallabies’ 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign “was always going to end in tears”.

Dual-code international O’Connor claimed the tournament in Japan was doomed to fail due to confusion over Cheika’s game plan and poor training standards within the playing group.

Australia lost to Wales in the group stage before exiting the World Cup in the quarter-finals with a 40-16 thrashing by England, their equal worst finish at the tournament.

But, speaking to Rugby Australia’s official website, Cheika said O’Connor was rarely at training and that he was disappointed by his former colleague going public with his comments.

“Since the whole thing finished … I’ve not slagged anyone, not spoken poorly of any other person inside the organisation and I don’t want to,” Cheika said.

“At a certain point sometimes where the line is crossed on what the truth is you have to stand up and say, ‘This is not right and that person shouldn’t be talking like that’.”

O’Connor, who was recently released from his Rugby Australia contract due to financial constraints, was part of a selection panel foisted upon former coach Cheika last year following a 2018 season in which the Wallabies won only four of 13 Tests.

The former international told the Sydney Morning Herald a number of players were unconvinced by Cheika’s attacking game plan.

“When you look back on it, what was it?” O’Connor said.

“That new attacking style he was going to bring to the Wallabies, it was so secretive and he had to play players out of Super (Rugby) commitments and fly them to Brisbane and educate them.

“I don’t know. It was almost like a scam.”

O’Connor also criticised the players for failing to stand up to their coach and tell him their concerns.

“It was one of the failings from that campaign; players who clearly weren’t sold on the style of play either didn’t voice their concern or were afraid of ramifications,” he said.

“Disturbing” standards at training underlined the malaise, he added. “I’ve never ever seen as much dropped ball from a national team … If you’re going to drop it training, you’re going to drop it in a game,” O’Connor said. “It was always going to end in tears.”

Former Wallabies skills coach Mick Byrne disputed O’Connor’s claims the players weren’t strong enough to stand up to Cheika, telling the Sydney Morning Herald the selector was “not really qualified to make those comments”.

Byrne said he had arguments with Cheika “all the time about a number of things” but the team was committed to the plan in place for the World Cup, and criticised O’Connor for questioning the team’s skill level in Japan.

“If people read that article and think we were just putting up with dropped balls and training was a farce and a joke, well that’s not the way it was,” Byrne said.

“It’s a 15-man game. You can’t just have forwards hitting it up, those days are gone unfortunately for the old diehards. It’s not rugby league.

“I didn’t understand the reason for the article and saying that stuff. I don’t understand why he (O’Connor) wanted to say that.”

Source link