Chief selector Inverarity admits Australian batting stocks at a worrying low

We are very much in a transition stage in Australian cricket and are looking to some young players to come through, says selection committee boss.

Updated: April 04, 2013 00:04 IST
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New Delhi: Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Phil Hughes, David Warner, Ed Cowan and George Bailey were the only specialist batsmen to feature in a 20-man list of contracted national players in a worrying sign for Australian cricket.

Questions have already been raised regarding Australia's top order after the 4-0 drubbing against India. Chairman of selectors John Inverarity admits that post the retirements of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey the batting crisis needs to be looked at properly.

"That is a concern of Australian cricket," he said on Tuesday as he announced Cricket Australia's contract list for 2013-14.

"We do not have the batting depth now that we enjoyed seven or eight or 15 years ago. We just don't. That is something that cricket in Australia needs to address. We need more batsmen making runs more prolifically.

"We are looking for prolific run-scorers in all forms of cricket. There has been an absence of those in domestic cricket and that needs to be a focus of coaching and development in Australia.

"Our pace bowling is good, but the stability of the batting ... we need greater certainty in the top six," said Inverarity.

Tasmanian all-rounder James Faulkner was awarded a contract which suggests that the 22-year-old could be in the line for an Ashes call-up. From the India tour, Moises Henriques and Usman Khawaja missed out as did Steve Smith and Jackson Bird.

However Inverarity maintained that these players were still in contention for the July tour to England.

"Khawaja worked very hard in India," he said. "He will be well prepared and strongly in contention for the Ashes.

"Steve Smith is one player in the Ashes mix. He played spin bowling well in India and he is a young player with a future.

"The Ashes squad, we are very well advanced in our considerations there. We took our best players to India and the Ashes squad is likely to be similar, but there may be a few changes."

David Hussey was a notable omission, but Inverarity said the panel had not closed the door on the Victorian.

"You never say never about anybody but it is an indication that we are looking to groom young players," he said. "We are very much in a transition stage in Australian cricket. We are looking to some young players to come through."

Contract list: George Bailey, Michael Clarke, Ed Cowan, Patrick Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.

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