Australia’s chief cricket selector Andrew Hilditch is not only planning for next summer”s Ashes revenge but also for regaining the Ashes on English soil in 2013.
Hilditch says that he and the other three selectors — Jamie Cox, David Boon and Merv Hughes – maybe busy with their work away from cricket, but all four are overtly committed to keeping Australian cricket at the top of the pile internationally, and in this context, are very focussed on zeroing in on and developing existing and available talent.
“Any selections have had an eye to getting the best side on the paddock, but also an eye to the next Ashes. We”re pleased with the progress. Shane Watson emerging as such a class all-rounder and Mitchell Johnson improving all the time; the same with Nathan Hauritz. They are three real positives. The negative is we have a fair few injuries with our bowling stocks, but we”ve been able to replace them and people like [Doug] Bollinger and [Ryan] Harris have taken opportunities,” Hilditch told The Age in an interview.
“We”ll be looking to get our full bowling stocks ready to select from for the Ashes, so getting them fit is a priority,” he added.
“There will be plenty of opportunities for them (all bowlers) to push for Ashes selection whatever happens because we know they are good enough and the lead-up provides plenty of time to get ready,” he said.
“All we”re doing is trying to rebuild for the next Ashes and it”s good that we”re winning, but the real Test will come next summer,” Hilditch said.
“Our planning goes several years past [next summer] to the 2013 Ashes, and I don”t think I have seen the young talent coming through healthier. There are three or four batters who aren”t in the team at the moment who will definitely have an impact<” Hilditch said.
He said that the selectors were pleased with the progress being made by Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Callum Ferguson, Peter Forrest and David Hussey.
He also said that Brett Lee had to get back to bowling at his best to be in with a chance for the 2011 World Cup.
Hilditch described himself as an ordinary cricketer (played 18 Tests for Australia), who was thrilled to be part of Australian cricket.
“Being a selector never leaves your mind, that”s the most difficult thing. It”s not just picking the next Test team; as I said, 2013 is already very much on our agenda. My passion is to do it, so I do it,” he said. (ANI)