Former Australian cricketer Rodney Hogg has accused Steve Smith of nepotism in team selection and asked for a serious selection shake-up, starting with the captain’s role in picking sides. Hogg also slammed the team management for selecting Nic Maddinson ahead of another pacer Jon Holland.
After losing the first three of the five-match ODI series, Australia’s winless streak had stretched to eight games and the dream of winning an ODI series in India for the first time since 2009 had been nipped in the bud. To make the matters worse, in all three games, the Australians were in a strong position, but they every time, they failed to capitalise and find themselves 3-0 down with two games to play.
The reasons for the dismal performances can be attributed to the faulty team selection and change in the batting order of the batsmen. After making his debut in Chennai, Hilton Cartwright was pushed to open the innings alongside David Warner, but Travis Head, who averages 57.33 from three innings at the top of the order, including a big century against Pakistan next to his name, was sent in at No.5. Rodney Hogg has been deeply frustrated by Australia's travails and slammed a number of controversial selections while stating that Smith shouldn't have any say in picking the side.
“They’re picking their mates. Smith shouldn’t be a selector,” Hogg told SEN’s The Run Home.
“(Ashton) Agar’s been pushed through and Cartwright’s still there. We saw (Nic) Maddinson get selected (he’s) a mate, he’s one of Steve Smith’s mates. You can’t pick bloody mates!
“We’ve got to get fair dinkum. We’re really off the ball a bit here ... I think the captain’s getting his own way. Holland has proven he can bowl people out — left-arm orthodox is a really hard gig. He’s proven it and we aren’t seeing him.”
The former fast bowler also stated that a serious review of Australia’s selection panel and their decision-making process was needed if the Aussies want to get out of the recent slump.
“All the way down, there’s got to be question marks. All the way across Cricket Australia.”
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