Cow Corner

A 20-year-old who’s never played first-class cricket: who on earth will Australia pick next?

Cow Corner

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The next Australian bowling attack? Everage, Bouncer and Greer.

Australia's desperation to try and turn things around after an appalling start to the Ashes series has seen them select a player who has never played a game of first-class cricket.

That's right: Ashton Turner's first ever proper game of cricket is for Australia. If you thought Ashton Agar was an unknown before his first Test debut, then this is a level further along still.

The off-spinner took to the field on Friday to play for his country in the tour match against Sussex at the stadium in Hove, which is Australia's last chance to get some decent match time in before the third Test starts next Thursday.

Turner's selection seems simply beyond belief. Cow Corner looked up his stats from his homeland and was initally impressed to see that he had an impressive average of 51 with the bat, and a wicket for every 32 runs given away with the ball.

Then we double-checked, and discovered that both these numbers came from a single one-day match between Western Australia and Perth in which he happened to score 51 runs and take a single wicket in his six overs while giving up 32 runs.

Why on earth have they picked him? It hasn't done much to dispel the air of desperation in the Aussie camp - they have now picked 13 spinners in Test cricket since Shane Warne's retirement. England at Lord's, meanwhile, demonstrated that a half-decent spin bowler is as indispensable to a cricket team as a bat is indispensable to batsman.

Turner also had the advantage of geography on his side: he was in England anyway, having won a spot on a scholarship programme with Cricket Australia which has seen him put up in Sussex and playing local club cricket for Chichester.

We checked his stats from that stint in the Sussex Premier League and discovered that he's averaged over 50 with the bat (he's even scored a century), but that he has laboured with the ball, conceding 40 runs for every wicket to his name.

Considering that it's his bowling that is needed, those numbers don't really seem reason to ask him to make the short trip down the A27 to Hove for the three-day match this weekend.

It's got us wondering, though. If things getting desperate enough to consider a player for a Test match who has never played a single unlimited-overs match at the top level, perhaps they should go the whole hog and REALLY cast the net wide. Here's a few of our suggestions for late call-ups to the team:

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Shane Warne: We think he finally retired from all cricket last week, although the various formats and the multiple retirements these days make it hard to be absolutely certain. Thanks to his efforts to keep Liz Hurley the retired Baggy Caps legend is fitter than he ever was in his playing days, so we'd expect him still to be able to perform. The major worry would be that he'd hold back from bowling his best deliveries for fear of tearing open his plastic face.

Germaine Greer: Perhaps the most famous feminist in recent history would be ideally placed to try and play on the England team's ingrained gentlemanly reticence to bowl quickly at a woman, while simultaneously making them feel terrible for failing to subject her to the same treatment as their team-mates.

Bouncer from Neighbours: Not much of a batsman, but with a name like that he's bound to have a bit of talent in fast bowling. And he'd be the ultimate lightning fast fielder.

Dame Edna: The Aussie comic is just seven months away from entering 'her' 80s so might not contribute much in terms of athleticism, but still has that famous savage wit which could be turned into some of the great sledging of all time. Stand her at first slip, where Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin can't decide which of them will be catching the ball anyway.

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