“It’s absolutely clear that David is making more effort all the time with his teammates and really playing a strong role in the Australian men’s team,” CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said on SEN radio on Saturday.
“We’re all human aren’t we? Last time I checked, none of us are perfect. Dave is a street fighter. We get the best of that and, at times, we get the shadow side of that. I think he’s finding a really good balance. Hopefully there is a level of human respect for what he’s doing.”
Call me, maybe?
The old adage that you get a phone call if you’re in the team or if you’re out of it doesn’t sum up the contemporary demands for communication between selectors and players. Certainly, new Australian selector George Bailey is bringing a sophisticated view to the panel when it comes to the feedback modern players crave.
“Players, I think, have different expectations of the level of communication,” Bailey said. “They have different ways of communicating, they’re happy to have some chats over WhatsApp or social media as opposed to sometimes having the face-to-face.
“It’s easier for them to be a bit more honest that way. That’s what I’ve found as a captain at times. It’s not even unique to cricket; I just think it’s just the way of the world. The expectations of communication … people want feedback, they want to know where they stand.
“I’m as interested as anyone … how it all works, how often everyone gets spoken to. But I think we’re at a stage now where I don’t think it necessarily needs to be top secret picking the cricket team. Players who aren’t necessarily in the mix for your top 11 or 12 players … that doesn’t mean that they don’t have the right to know exactly where they stand if they want to know.”
Pakistan tour still on the cards
If Australia are to return to Pakistan, where they haven’t toured for more than 20 years, the chances are it will be for a single match, with the Punjab city of Rawalpindi a favoured destination. Roberts visited Pakistan in September with CA head of security Sean Carroll and has continued discussions about Australian teams returning there while Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive Wasim Khan has been here for the current Test series.
Roberts rates Rawalpindi, which is next to the capital Islamabad, as one of the safest locations for a future visit.
Long wait to celebrate
Marnus Labuschagne had few, if any, problems dealing with the Pakistani attack in making a second Test century but one issue arose when he thought he had confirmed his hundred with a six off leggie Yasir Shah over long off on the first night.
There was uncertainty where the ball landed, prompting a video review, thereby robbing Labuschagne of the immediate exhilaration of reaching three figures. The Queenslander then approached Warner and asked how he should celebrate if the ball was found to have carried over the boundary.
“Just do your double fist,” Warner replied.
It did not matter, for the review found the ball had landed inside the boundary, leaving Labuschagne two runs to reach his century. That came next ball when he clipped Yasir through mid wicket, and celebrated with a jubilant swing of the bat.
– with Jon Pierik
Chris Barrett is Sports Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.