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I don’t know where to start with this bloke. What a great addition to the side since making his debut against India at the Gabba in sweltering heat. It doesn’t get better than five-fa on debut, and it almost feels like he hasn’t stopped since.
Plenty would say that he hasn’t missed a beat and his record would back that up. Personally, I think the selectors inability to see that he wasn’t doing his job in England ended up being the difference. He has had a blinding to start to his Test career with his line and length bowling and he needed to be on song in the UK. At the time, there was plenty said about bringing in Siddle for the fourth test, and for me, the decision not to, cost us the series.
Some former players were saying that it isn’t good for his confidence to be dropped at that stage, but you know what, it wasn’t good for our ashes campaign to keep him. It goes back to what I was saying in Smudges profile; Test cricket is no place for coaches awards and babying people. He’s a big kid; he would have been fine.
In all fairness, this is the only time he hasn’t performed. He has killed it. Three five-wicket hauls and two four-wicket hauls in his first 17 tests will compare to most. It looks like his uncomplicated action and smooth stride through the crease will keep him as the staple in the team. And, it will probably see him work his way up the wicket takers ladder pretty quickly.
Prediction: Steady as she goes. 12 wickets.
Statistics Source: ESPNCricinfo