It comes to something when an Australian crisis stops being funny. Now it is just sad.
Good on Simon Katich for speaking his mind. Cricket Australia have caught the same disease that plagued the ECB in the 90′s, namely making the right decisions in entirely the wrong way.
“Youth is the way forward”. An oft-repeated phrase that accompanies any chastening defeat, it can cover up a multitude of sins. Instead of actually looking at the system in-depth, real deficiencies can be brushed under the carpet by bringing in someone young, fresh and flashy.
The problems with this are twofold.
Youth is ALWAYS the way forward unless you find a way of making players immortal (which India seem to have admittedly managed). Why wasn’t youth the way forward three years ago? Just because the old guys are rubbish, it does not mean the younger ones are any better.
Second is who you drop, and Australia have just dropped their best batsman. Katich averages more than anyone in recent times. His Ashes series involved a 50 in the first dig at Brisbane, a low score in the pointless last innings, being run out for a duck by Shane Watson and making 43 despite the fact he could barely stand up at Adelaide.
His trench-warfare batting style is exactly what Australia need. Maybe he is past it, but no more so than Ponting. It is going to be tough for a little while for Australia, and an opening partnership of Watson and Katich would at least give them a strong start more often than not.
As it is, Phil Hughes will now be opening the batting. Who would you rather bowl at?