Alarmed at Australian cricket’s shallow batting stocks, Rod Marsh says he’ll lead a back-to-basics revolution in his reign as chairman of selectors.
Marsh says a lack of technically proficient young batsmen is Australia’s glaring weakness.
“I don’t think our batting is as good as it should be for a nation of our strength,” Marsh told reporters in Adelaide on Friday.
“Technically, I don’t think it’s good enough.”
Marsh has replaced John Inverarity as chairman on a new-look national selection panel, with coach Darren Lehmann joined by former selector Trevor Hohns and newcomer Mark Waugh.
Andy Bichel and Inverarity, who offered to continue, have been replaced.
Marsh is bullish about Australia’s future, citing a group of promising fast bowlers and spinners, and a batch of classy wicketkeepers – but the batting worries him.
To solve the problem, Marsh will order all coaches around the country to go back to basics.
“There has been a period of time where technique hasn’t been taught as well as it could have been,” he said.
“We have got to get back to the basics. All all of our coaching throughout the whole of Australia has got to get right back to the simple basics of the game.
“It’s the only way forward, as far as I’m concerned, because if you ever have a problem with your game, the answer will always lie in the basics – always.”
Marsh, who admitted he was an accidental selector as he never coveted the job, hinted Alex Doolan would get a lengthy run at the troublesome No.3 batting slot in the Test team, with Shane Watson to remain at six.
“If you’re looking forward, you’re looking at young batsmen – that is what we need,” he said.
“We were desperately looking for young spinners and we seem to have got a few of them working very well at the moment.
“We have got young fast bowlers and plenty of ‘keepers. All six (state) ‘keepers are all worthy Test match ‘keepers in my opinion.
“But we want young batsmen.”
But Marsh said that edict didn’t spell the end for 36-year-old opener Chris Rogers.
“I don’t think you can read too much into a bloke’s age these days because the game has just changed so dramatically from 20 or 30 years ago,” he said.
“It has just become a profession … a 35-year-old today is not like a 35-year-old of 20 years ago.”
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has anointed former Rio Tinto managing director David Peever as its next chairman, to replace incumbent Wally Edwards in October next year.