Healy joins selector critics
IAN Healy has joined the chorus blaming the national selectors for having the wrong team in the crucial last Ashes test that Australia lost by 197 runs and saw England regain the most famous urn in sport.
The Biloela-raised former Australian wicketkeeper said he called for spinner Nathan Hauritz to be picked last week, and the spin-friendly wicket that resembled an Indian dust bowl proved the call correct.
“They should have picked Australia's number one spinner on that wicket,” the former test great who wore the baggy green 119 times, said.
Healy, who donned gloves and the green and gold for more than a decade (1988-99), said the selectors got the balance of the team wrong.
“Mainly the selectors (must wear the blame) but (captain Ricky) Ponting as well, as he got the team he wanted.
“We need to find a spinning balance that retains the confidence of everybody,” Healy said in a clear indication that he thought the team hierarchy did not have the full confidence that Wondai-born Haurtiz could perform at a Test level, despite a strong showing in early Ashes tests.
He said he would be interested to see what happened with the selection panel.
“They are highly responsible for the confidence of our cricketers and in the last 12 months they have let some down.
“Whether some resign or are sacked or not, they need to change their policies and philosophy of how they select or drop players.”
The respected former cricketer said credit should go to England for bouncing back so well from the Fourth Test flogging.
“Andrew Strauss's leadership was unreal to lead an understrength English side to victory.”
The Channel Nine commentator said it would be a challenge for the side to get up again, after slipping to number four in the Test ranking.
“They'd be feeling like the number four side right now,” he said.
The champion gloveman said the Aussies did not play to potential, but England did play closer to theirs.
“We lost some crucial big moments.
“Our bowler discipline was woeful at times and average at best,” he said.
Healy said the poor first innings at the Oval Test was compounded by poor bowling in the second innings to give the Poms an insurmountable lead.
The legendary keeper said along with the “Wondai Wonder” (Hauritz) the futures of other players' such as Brett Lee and Stuart Clark were up in the air and they did not know where they stood.
Healy backed Shane Watson to keep his place at the top of the order.
He called for the team to put in some hard work in domestic cricket before taking on the West Indies and Pakistan next summer.