Limited overs form won’t be ignored when the National Selection Panel pick their Ashes squad for the first Test in Brisbane.
Australia’s top order has fired on all cylinders on the current ODI tour of India, with batsmen like George Bailey and Aaron Finch compiling a compelling case should they be considered for selection.
General Manager of Team Performance Pat Howard says performances in India are not going unnoticed.
“International competition is well respected by the selectors,” says Howard.
“The ODI form of all players is being watched closely.
“I think it’s important to remember that the number one batsman in the world is number one in both ODIs and Tests.
“There has to be some sort of correlation.”
QUICK SINGLE: Bailey keeping pace with ODI greats
Both Bailey and Finch have recorded consecutive half-centuries in the seven match ODI series; Bailey in particular impressive with scores of 75 and 92 not out from only 50 balls.
Australia’s leading run-scorer in ODI cricket for 2013, Bailey has become a rock in the country’s limited overs middle order, averaging over 61 with one century and seven fifties, along with captaining the national T20 team.
However, Test cricket is played with a red ball, something Bailey and Finch have struggled to contend with.
The pair averaged less than 20 over the 2012-13 Bupa Sheffield Shield season, balancing out their case for a Brisbane birth.
The India tour limits batsmen trying to stake a claim for the Gabba Test, ruling out a round of Sheffield Shield matches before the players return home.
This scheduling conflict was planned for according to Howard, believing players have enough time to impress selectors and adjust to first-class cricket.
“The National Selectors spoke to every player at the player contract meeting who were going to the ODI tour
“Round two of Shield and Australia A was purposefully put on at the same time and that does a couple of things.
“A whole round of Shield will be playing at the same time but that obviously gives other people the opportunity to stand up as well.
“There are two rounds of opportunities and that’s exactly the same as two major games before going into a Test match like most series.
“It was important the selectors had those couple of games to review much like they did in the UK but at the same stage also giving the selectors plenty of time to name their team and bring them together and make sure they’re ready and set before a big, big series.”
It’s not unheard of that players earn Test selection through solid ODI form.
Mike Hussey and Damien Martyn paved their way to Test cricket through consistent ODI form; Martyn reigniting his career in the 50-over game.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann followed Martyn’s footsteps, piling up the runs against the white ball before cementing a spot in 2003.
Whether Bailey or Finch make it to the Gabba on November 21 will be up to the selectors, but all they can do at the moment is continue to score runs in the coloured clothes and then the coloured ball when they return.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia.
First Posted 17 October, 2013 3:46PM AEST