Critics chipping away at new-look Test side
CRICKET: Australia's Test win over South Africa in Adelaide has thrown up more questions than answers, giving selectors plenty of headaches ahead of next month's three-match series with Pakistan.
Having made six changes for the pink ball Test following five defeats in a row in Sri Lanka and at home, Australian cricket chiefs could make more ahead of the next day/night clash in Brisbane against the Pakistanis starting December 15.
Just how much the selectors can take from a win in a dead rubber is one of the questions that has to be answered, while the next Test team selection is also one for conjecture, if you listen to former players.
The Test team will not be back together until after a three-match One-Day International series against New Zealand starting Sunday, so there will be plenty to ponder ahead of the Gabba clash.
One selection battle high on the list will be that between Queensland rookie Matt Renshaw and the experienced Shaun Marsh, who was the incumbent opener alongside David Warner before breaking his finger in the second Test against the Proteas in Hobart.
Former Test player Brendon Julian said, if fit, Marsh should be a lock-in for the Gabba Test, replacing Renshaw at the top of the order.
Fellow international Chris Rogers also believed Marsh should return but at the expense of Nic Maddinson in the middle order, with Renshaw keeping his place alongside Warner.
Ex-Victorian wicketkeeper Darren Berry also agreed that Maddinson should make way and went into bat for Renshaw after criticism of his long stay at the crease in the second innings in Adelaide.
"Coming into this Test we, us, the public watchers we're 'saying oh our batsmen, no one wants to dig in and be patient',” Berry said on SEN radio yesterday.
"So we get someone in who digs in and is patient, now they're saying he's no good, he's boring, he can't score. You can never make everyone happy.
"I love the way he went about it, he's happy to play and miss at the ball.
"It looks ugly, he's like a crab, a bigger version of Simon Katich, and he's got (Matthew) Hayden's physique.”
In the middle order Peter Handscomb seems likely to keep his place after his 50 in the first innings in Adelaide.
There are question marks over Maddinson, however, after failing to score in his only innings agianst the Proteas in Adelaide.
Fellow New South Welshman and ex-Australian Test star Brad Haddin feels his former teammate would be unlucky to get the chop.
"Nic Maddinson's got that potential. He's got that potential to be a match winner,” he told Fox Sports.
"He's in no way the finished product but he has that x-factor that can win you a cricket game.
"If we can harness that with the good coaches we've got around the Australian team he could be a very, very dangerous player because every team needs matchwinners.”