Warne blames selectors for Hauritz selection error
The legendary leg spinner calls decision by Australian selectors to replace Hauritz with Stuart Clark ‘staggering’
The first signs of unrest in the Australian camp after they surrendered the Ashes at the Oval at the weekend began to emerge yesterday after the chief executive of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland, admitted that the exclusion of spinner Nathan Hauritz from the team contributed to the 197-run defeat that gave England a 2-1 series win.
However Sutherland defended the selectors who made the choice to field a four-man pace attack on the wicket that spinner Graeme Swann managed to get eight wickets on for the home side. "I think everyone will be looking for people to blame. I don't think that in anyway we can hold the selectors accountable for us losing the Ashes," he said. "At the end of the day, the players go out and do the business on the field."
The selectors, led by Andrew Hilditch, have conceded that the decision to replace Hauritz with Stuart Clark, who took one wicket for 84 runs in both innings, was based on a flawed appreciation of the surface at the Oval. "The reality is we misread the wicket," Hilditch admitted.
"We read it as a wicket that was basically looking like a road... that was the assessment of everybody as well. We thought it was a wicket that would suit the four fast bowlers that we played at Headingley. We lost the Test match because we got 160 in the first innings."
Commentators such as Shane Warne have mercilessly ripped into the Australian set-up for their decision. The legendary leg spinner declared himself "staggered by the decision" to leave out Hauritz. "I would always want to have a spinner in the side for variety’s sake, but I think this time Australia simply misread the pitch."
Sutherland also resisted calls for Australian captain Ricky Ponting to pay for the series defeat with his job. ""Ricky's had a very, very good series," Sutherland told reporters. "He's been under incredible pressure. I thought the dignity and poise that he showed in defeat was something that all Australians should be very proud of." ·
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