My Ideal Australian XI- A Cricket Geeklist
Jason Matthew
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The Australian cricket team has lost 3 test matches in a row for the first time since 1988. In 2008 they were ranked number one on the ICC test rankings. They have now slipped to fifth place with India, South Africa, England, and Sri Lanka all ranked above them.

There has been a lot of talk of late about the selection of the Aussie XI so I thought I'd throw in my ideal XI to take on England at home for the 2010/2011 Ashes Series.
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1. Board Game: Game of Current Events of World War II [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Jason Matthew
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The Current Australian Test XI looks like this:

Shane Watson
Simon Katich
Ricky Ponting- captain
Michael Clarke
Michael Hussey
Marcus North
Brad Haddin / Tim Paine - wicketkeeper
Mitchell Johnson
Nathan Hauritz
Doug Bollinger
Ben Hilfenhaus
 
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2. Board Game: Open Fire [Average Rating:5.45 Overall Rank:14456]
Jason Matthew
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First up is my choice of two opening batsmen. While Shane Watson has done remarkably well as a makeshift opener, he has never been a specialist and is better suited to strokemaking down the order. Simon Katich, on the other hand, has been one of Australia's most consistent batsmen for the last 2 years and should stay up the top of the order.

Phillip Hughes, while young, is a great talent and needs to be blooded at some point. What better opportunity than a home Ashes series?

My pick for openers would be:

Simon Katich
Phillip Hughes
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3. Board Game: Drops & Co. [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:11227]
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The choice for the first drop batsman is one of the easiest in the list. Ricky Ponting has a record that speaks for itself. He is a world class batsman and even though his best is behind him he still has the potential to make huge scores consistently. Although his tactics when under pressure are questionable there is no doubt he is the most qualified to lead the Australian side.

Ricky Ponting keeps his place at number 3.
 
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4. Board Game: Middle Kingdom [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:5908]
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The middle order is almost as easy. Along with Katich, Michael Clarke has been Australia's most consistent batsmen for the last two years. He keeps his spot. Michael Hussey is a class act and also keeps his spot. The easy decision is this:

Get rid of Marcus North. There is no place for a feast or famine batsmen at number 6 for Australia. Shane Watson takes the place of North as a well suited number 6 batsman and a handy all-rounder with his medium pacers.

So the middle order is:

Michael Clarke
Michael Hussey
Shane Watson
 
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5. Board Game: Wickets Cricket Card Game [Average Rating:4.83 Unranked]
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The choice for wicketkeeper is an interesting one. Brad Haddin is an explosive batsman, but Tim Paine has shown to be more consistent with the gloves and has batted long innings with the tail. He has shown the grit necessary to make it as an Australian keeper-batsman. Haddin probably feels he deserves his place for his batting alone, however I disagree.

Tim Paine takes the gloves.
 
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6. Board Game: Crazy Eights [Average Rating:4.38 Overall Rank:16234]
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Mitchell Johnson is a genuine quick bowler who can also play real cricket shots with the bat and attack the tiring bowlers of the opposition. He is an easy choice for number eight.

Mitchell Johnson stays at number eight.
 
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7. Board Game: Spinball [Average Rating:6.89 Overall Rank:4771]
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Nathan Hauritz is pedestrian at best. He completely failed in India (yes I know Warne didn't do well there either, but he didn't do anywhere near as badly as Hauritz.) I want a spinner who attacks and can take wickets from the outset of an innings. I don't want a spinner who sends in quick darts every ball to tie up an end. This is partly the fault of captains for how spin bowlers are used generally. Hauritz should have never been selected for national duties, in my opinion.

Jason Krejza fufills my requirements of an attacking spinner who causes genuine discomfort in batsmen. Why he was dropped after taking 12 wickets on debut and one poor test in Perth, I'll never know.

Jason Krejza takes on the spinner's role.
 
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8. Board Game: The Fastest Gun [Average Rating:5.67 Overall Rank:12894]
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Now for the quick bowlers to round out the team. I think the current quicks are doing a great job. Ben Hilfenhaus is very dangerous when the ball is swinging and can hold his own when it is not, and Bollinger causes trouble for most batsmen. Peter Siddle misses out in my XI which is unlucky. He got injured and Bollinger took his place. Them's the breaks, I'm afraid. I guess you could swap Bollinger and Siddle around depending on if you wanted a left or right hander, but I still prefer Bollinger for the left hander's angle.

Doug Bollinger
Ben Hilfenhaus


keep their places as the fast bowlers in the team.
 
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9. Board Game: Select 11 [Average Rating:2.08 Unranked]
Jason Matthew
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The final XI looks like this:

Simon Katich
Phillip Hughes
Ricky Ponting - captain
Michael Clarke
Michael Hussey
Shane Watson
Tim Paine - wicketkeeper
Mitchell Johnson
Jason Krejza
Doug Bollinger
Ben Hilfenhaus


Peter Siddle is twelfth man.

Feel free to add your opinions and to give your own Australian test XI.
 
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