Mr. Henriques, do you deserve to be back in the squad? There are few things in this.
Firstly I feel like it’s selections like this that give the whole ‘NSW bias’ thing currency. While I live in the west, I am from NSW and have been on record saying that I think that the weight of numbers that NSW contribute to the national system would naturally give us more representatives at test level. But selections like this one do not help my cause.
I certainly raised my eyebrows when he debuted with two half centuries in India a few years back. But my they quickly returned to their normal position when he didn’t pass ten in his next four innings. It’s a tough initiation to test cricket in the sub-continent, especially for bowlers. His two wickets didn’t worry me too much initially, but I think he lacks a bit of penetration with the ball in most circumstances.
On the flip side, who else is banging the door down? No one comes to my mind straight away. I know Queenslanders are asking about Cutting. There’s no doubt he can hit the ball a mile, but his four-day record is hit and miss. Travis Head probably fills the role in the Redbacks, but a spinning all-rounder is a different argument. Jimmy Faulkner deserves a look in, but again his four-day form isn’t red hot at the moment. Which probably brings us to Marcus Stoinus, who has a lovely batting average close to 40 in first class. But his bowling is lacking a touch and is averaging upwards of 50.
In summary, all-rounder stocks are genuinely thin in Australia. Henriques has been a project for selectors since he captained the Australian U/19s to a World Cup victory in 2006, and they have a need to keep the pressure on Mitch Marsh. I can see an argument for the other all-rounders, but none are standing out, even Henriques.
The other thing for me is that the average fan should pump the brakes with their criticisms of Marsh, but we will get to him in a bit.
Prediction: I’m not sure how he would work with the team unless it’s a straight swap for Marsh. I can’t see Marsh getting dropped unless he doesn’t score a run in the first four innings. So, Henriques to carry drinks this tour.
Check out our full ‘Under the Microscope’ series profiles covering other Aussie and Sri Lankan players.
Statistics Source: ESPNCricinfo