Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson (vice-captain), Michael Beer, Trent Copeland, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phillip Hughes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle.
This week, Cricket Australia announced the Australian Test squad to tour Sri Lanka. The team basically symbolises the current CA mentality – one droopy eye looking at the past, one glazed pupil looking to the future and one finger slowly fishing around inside its left nostril.
The inclusion of Trent "Nickname Pending" Copeland and Jimmy "Robert" Pattinson is a good thing – nothing will prepare young fast bowlers for Test Match Cricket better than the flat dust-bowls of Lanka, and this will really test their mettle. They will also have the experience of Peter “Remember my hat-trick?” Siddle, Ryan “I’m injured!” Harris and Mitchell "I play cricket!" Johnson to rely on if the young kids start copping some stick from the wristy Sri Lankan batsmen. They're pretty used to being flogged, so they'll be able to remind the new guys that they still get paid, regardless of how shit they are.
For the slow bowling options, CA have opted to stick with their theory of “pick the bloke with the same name as the other bloke we didn’t like,” and have stamped Nathan "Paddle Pop" Lyon’s passport and ceremoniously given him Nathan Hauritz’s baggy white shirt. I have never heard of Lyon before now, but I’ll forgive myself for that (thank you, MEB), as he has only played four first-class games prior to this tour. Here’s hoping that Lyonsie is ready to go for plenty of runs and bowl sporadic spells that will stretch to a maximum of two over stints, as is Michael Clarke’s captaincy plan. Pup Clarke – determined to end bowlers’ careers 6 balls at a time. I'm not entirely convinced that Lyon is the right man for the job, or that continually picking people who have no experience is the way to go, but what would I know? It means that I might get the call up soon.
And then there’s Michael Beer, who some (not everyone) will remember as the bloke who was plucked from obscurity last year to play against the Poms in the final Ashes test. He took 1 wicket and went for plenty of runs, which meant that he fit in quite nicely with the rest of the team. As a result of this average showing (he is an average player who will probably be the first to admit that [second after I announce it, though]), he did not receive a contract from Cricket Australia to perform national duties this year, so everyone naturally assumed they’d seen the last of the left-arm “spin” bowler. But no. He’s back in the team and on tour.
Cricket Australia is treating the Australian team as if it was a reality TV show that was successful and popular when it first came out, until some fucktard genius at the network decided to “spice things up” a bit to boost ratings, and introduced mind-numbing weekly challenges, celebrity appearances, shithouse new rules, planned controversy and events that would “change the game… forever.”
When the Australian team was announced and the headline read “Uncontracted player called up for Sri Lanka tour,” Simon Katich must have pissed his pants in anticipation, dusted off his baggy green and walked sideways to the fridge for a celebratory ale. After reading the full story, he just went back to sitting in a darkened room, hating the shit out of Cricket Australia.