Domain Tests v Sri Lanka

Hohns explains Australia’s Test squad

The key messages from Australia’s selection chairman about the Test squad to play Sri Lanka as well as how selectors communicate with players

Cricket Network

9 January 2019, 05:28 PM AEST

Hohns speaks on SL Test selections

On Shaun Marsh …

“Shaun hasn’t, certainly, done what we’d like him to have done over the last period and I am sure he would say the same thing. As far as the Ashes go, that’s a long way off. He now has the opportunity in one-day cricket to get some form back and we’ll worry about that when the time comes. But the door is certainly not closed.”

On Matthew Wade …

“It’s fantastic to see him scoring a lot of runs. It wasn’t long ago that he was in our Test squad, he struggled, and we dropped him. He was wicketkeeper at that stage, he’s playing as a wicketkeeper-batsman for Tasmania and it just so happens we have a wicketkeeper-batsman in our Test side who is the captain. If Matthew wants to be considered as a straight-out batsman, it would be nice to see him batting a little higher up for Tasmania. And that conversation has been had.”

On Glenn Maxwell …

“This is nothing to do with (his character) at all. Sure, when we look at teams now we obviously take into account players’ characters, but I can assure you there is not issue whatsoever. Glenn hasn’t played Test cricket for us for a while and I guess right here and now we are wanting him to focus on white-ball cricket with the World Cup coming up. Obviously when there is a position available in the batting line-up, it depends where that position is and the type of player we require. We’ve had several conversations with Glenn about all this and right now he is just content to focus on one-day cricket and white-ball cricket. However, he makes it very clear he would like to play Test cricket, there is no doubt about that.”

On Will Pucovski …

“He’s a very exciting young player, of course. He has been on the radar ever since the U19 pathways, he excelled there, his performances in Sheffield Shield cricket when he has played have been outstanding. We obviously check on our players these days, we get reports - whether it’s Will or anybody else - medical reports and all reports are that he is fine and available to play.”

On the lack of an allrounder …

“There's always talk about having an allrounder in your side, particularly in different conditions of course. My only answer to that is; if the allrounder isn't performing and you don't have a good allrounder, maybe we shouldn't have one and go back to the stock-standard six batsmen and four bowlers. But if you have a match-winning allrounder, they're like gold. If we can unearth one, that'd be fantastic.”

On Mitch Marsh being named joint vice-captain …

“Yeah we’ll need to address that, there’s no doubt. And by nominating the two vice-captains, by no means were we anointing who the next captain of Australia will be. So that will be an ongoing thing, we’ll review that in due course.”

On Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw …

“Joe Burns has a great record in Test cricket. He’s scored hundreds and has been in good form leading up to when the Big Bash started. Matt Renshaw, on the other hand, is very, very highly regarded young player. He’s scored a lot of runs in England when he went over there and played county cricket. With the Ashes in mind, it’s probably time now to get him back and around the group.”

On communication with players …

“I won't get into individual cases, of course. But the procedure is when we select a side, players are notified by myself - this is what I do - notified whether they're in. And those who have been left out of the previous team or squad get notified.  They are given a reason, it may well be 2-3 lines or what have you. Because I'm upfront and say the truth.

“From there, if there's any further clarity required, we encourage them to call me back or ask for another meeting, so we can go through it again.  We also encourage all the state coaches to encourage their players to give me a call if they want some feedback.

“There's an open line of communication. It's their careers so if they're unclear about anything, we'd like to think they can get some clarity if they want and take some ownership of their careers.

Pucovski bolts into Test squad to play SL

“People are always told why they've been left out so there can be no misunderstanding whatsoever.

“We do speak to them on a regular basis.

“There are no WhatsApp messages. It’s direct by phone or if I’m present at the time and the players are there, it’s always face-to-face. And I would prefer to do it face-to-face anyway. But unfortunately circumstances sometimes don’t allow face-to-face conversation so it’s done over the phone.”

Domain Test Series v Sri Lanka

Australia: Tim Paine (c/wk), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha

CA XI: Joe Burns (c), Kurtis Patterson (vc), Scott Boland, Jake Doran (wk), Jon Holland, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Will Pucovski, Jason Sangha, Matt Renshaw, Chris Tremain

Jan 17-19: Tour match, CA XI v SL, Hobart (D/N)

Jan 24-28: First Test, Gabba (D/N)

Feb 1-5: Second Test, Canberra