Horses for courses policy is ridiculous
Michael Slater
08:00 AEST Wed Nov 26 2008

In bat with Slats
Michael Slater is a former opening batsman for Australia and now well respected member of the Wide World of Sports cricket commentary team.
Michael Slater
  Have your say on selection policies.

The idea that bowlers can be picked based on previous performances at particular venues is dangerous thinking, and can only lead to uncertainty and instability in a side.

If you start dropping bowlers for not previously taking wickets at a particular ground, do you then start looking at a batsman’s average at each ground?

I just can’t see it working in a fair and consistent manner. If Brett Lee and Stuart Clark are your new ball bowlers, then they should only be dropped if their form warrants it, not because last year they didn’t take wickets at that particular venue.

A player could also be dropped for consistently poor form off the field. Andrew Symonds has hit the headlines again, unfortunately for something that has happened off the field. Symonds has said he was not at fault, but in reality he probably shouldn’t have put himself in a position where trouble could find him, particularly so soon after saying he was back on track and everything was going to be alright.

I believe that you should be able to go out and socialise and enjoy a few drinks with your mates no matter what your profession, but unfortunately the world has changed enough that I suggest Symonds should have known better than to be in that situation. People soon get tired of hearing a constant stream of “I’m innocent, it wasn’t me” when such incidents occur repeatedly. They start to ask why someone like Michael Hussey or Adam Gilchrist can go out year after year without any such trouble.

I’m sure Cricket Australia will investigate thoroughly and get to the bottom of the incident, but at his age Symonds is very vulnerable to a career ending decision. It may soon reach the point where they decide that someone like Shane Watson, who has given up the drink in order to be the best cricketer he can be, is more worthy of Symonds’ spot in the side.

If Symonds really wants to turn things around, he has to make the hard calls. He doesn’t seem to be sacrificing as much as he needs to sacrifice to ensure his future in the Australia Test side. Clearly a rowdy drinking venue is not the right place for him to be at the moment.

Matthew Hayden is at an age where a bit of a form slump or performance dip has everyone saying he must be too old. If he was scoring runs, people would be saying he could play on until he was 45. I don’t think age is the issue here; it’s just a matter of him finding form.

Hayden has to avoid trying too hard, changing his natural style too much and over-analysing everything. Most importantly he needs to relax and trust his instincts. Adelaide is a ground Hayden loves playing on and he always performs well there. I believe he will find form again, in Adelaide, and you can put him down for a ton in either the first or second innings.

Brad Haddin is in a similar situation with his batting. He really needs to relax and realise that he has put years of hard work and dedication into the game to get this well deserved opportunity. I know from experience that being an aggressive batsman is a difficult label to carry through a career. People expect it from you all the time and if you actually try to be aggressive, you'll fail. It has to be completely instinctive and Haddin has that instinctively aggressive game, he just has to relax and trust his own ability.

Can bowlers be dropped based on previous efforts at each venue?
Will Matthew Hayden and Brad Haddin find form in Adelaide?
Has Andrew Symonds been given enough chances?

User comments
Replying to the comment that Roy's averages are not good enough to be in the Test team. The statistics beg to differ! His batting average is 41.9. More importantly his strike rate is 66, second only to Gilchrist. His fielding also saves many runs, he is recognised as being one of the best fielders in the world - ever.
Here is the question is the man good enough to be in the test team. The answer is No. He probably wouldnt be our 3rd best team over the last 15 years. His batting average is not good enough to be number 7 in any era and his bowling is flat out a 6th choice (behind clarke) in the current team Either pick a batsman or a bowler not one who is average at both
The media will report on anything that will sell papers or magazines, the juicier they make them the better. commentaters are told what to comment on, by their bosses,my oppinion,If wrong I appologise, Slats does have a point on dropping players on field stats and getting other ones that do better there does give uncertainy to the team.Another thing, how do the N.Z. public react to their team lossing an away test? They had a few more supporters here than we did in India, support your team win or lose, don't crucify for 1 test loss with new members trying to adjust.
Honestly people need to realise tht every1 is entitled to go out with mates. Having a beer is something ALL Aussies are allowed to do. Y should any1 punish a person, regardless of social status, for hanging out with their mates and trying to relax have some fun. This goes out to all u ******* tht think Australian "Sporting Celebs" arnt allowed to go out, Get over it! How is it right tht some1, be they famous or not, get media bashed for something they may or may not have done. Leave Roy alone, and mind ur own business!
Brad Hadden is a good wicket keeper but someone need to remind him of the basics 1. don't get up too quick 2. make sure you are the correct distance back from the stumps (he is taking too many ball around his ankles)as this affects the slips position. 3. do not grab at the ball let it come to you. if he watches the fourth day of the Adelaide test second innings he will see these things.
It is my opinion that the media is too involved in the private life of our sportmen. They make a big deal of a little incident to sale their torchons, I call that the newspaper as it is what I feel they are... Any men is in tittle of privaty... Roy may have certain bad sides but he is who he is...Don't try to change him...By battering him for any thing...Putting pressure on him will make him loose his abalities as a top cricketer... Ohters sporstmen have done a lot more that what he do and did and they are working for TV channels etc... I think that these persons whom criticise our sporstmen in their private life are just jealous and *** stirrers. I am going fishing with Roy anyday...I just considere him like a man with a gift to play cricket and it is the way that Media must see him and not try to destroy him...May be he is noty lucky to have the scolarship that these idiots have but he is a man and let him be himself and no be something that he dont want to be...Hail Roy
That hotel where the incident occurred is always filled with di*kheads who can't handle their alcohol. The *** who had a go at Roy was going to get into a fight that night no matter what. He just picked Symonds so he could look like a big man in front of his friends. We should all lay off famous sports people if we see them out on the booze, they deserve a drink in peace as much as the next guy. Surely we don't want them to have "minders" everytime they go to the pub, tab or coles. That's for Hollywood drug addict actors, not Aussie sport legends.
When are people going to stop picking on Roy for doing what the other cricketers do all the time. Surely he was entitled to go out for a drink with the Rugby guys after their disappointing loss, and it is not his fault if someone taunted him. He did the right thing and tried to avoid the situation, but once again the media are giving him a tough time. Give him a go. He's too good to lose. Shane Warne got up to worse antics that Roy has - much worse - but all was forgiven as soon as they found that he was too valuable to leave out of the game. Also, why do you keep saying that the broadcast is in High Definition when, here in Tasmania, and it appears over the whole WIN network, we are only getting it in standard definition. Surely if you say it is available, everyone who gets feed from Channel 9 should get high definition feed. The main reason we were looking forward to having it was so that we could watch the cricket in HD. Why is this happening, please? Christine
Let him play. The best in the world (now Gilchrists gone) to watch batting & fielding. Give the mugs who give him a hard time a total pub ban & let him enjoy a quiet beer.
Roy largely did what was required with this incident and it was largely a media beat up. He was with his mates from the Australian Rugby League team having a quiet ale with them. It was reported that Roy was drinking light beer and the fan in question created the scene and fuss. Elite sportpeople do need some time to themselves to relax and unwind.However the media seems that it is their role and duty to monitior every activity they do. If Roy was drunk that would have been a totally different matter as per Birmingham 2005 when he was visting family and had too many that night. Maybe Roy should have had some quiet light one's back in 2005. In regards to Matty Hayden the sooner he retires from Cricket the better.He has been a great player for Australia at all levels but at 37 the walking stick element must be coming into considration.
Slats is right on the money with what he has to say about Andrew Symonds. It is about time that he grew up and started acting like the senior player he "thinks" he is. For too long Symonds has put himself before the team time and time again and enough is enough. Symonds should put aside his massive unwarrented ego and listen to the likes of Steve Waugh and Michael Slater. These guys have been there and done that. Cricket is a team game and all it takes is one player to have a bad attitude to upset the balance of the team. Grow up Symonds or give it away. No one player is bigger than the game.
Right on the money Slats. What is really amazing is they talk of dropping Stuey Clark and forget that the Binga didn't cover himself in glory up north on a wicket that had a bit in it! What's he going to do in Adelaide? And let's not forget the batting - lower order keeps filling in the hole usually left by 2 of the top 3. My view - the team will settle, and needs time to settle, over the next few weeks. Then we'll really see how good we are when the Steyn machine swings into town!
Leave the poor guy alone. He is one of the best we have had and as a fielder he would leave Jonty ( South African) for dead and he backs that up as a solid batter and a great change bowler. So all in the media don't presume he is guilty by being there. Slater I do not believe you were the most innocent of all to play for Australia either. Roy go get those KIWI's and crack another century.Tall poppies go away
I for one think that sportsmen should just play their sport and then blend back into private life till the next game, but Roy is always in the headlines and he seems to love it.One day telling the world he is going to change then about 24 hours later hes on the front page again....not for doing good but on the booze again what agreat example that is for all the kids that look up to him.
Are we seriously going to persicute Roy for having a drink with some mates. We all demand the ability to be able to do that, after all this is Australia. The media has a lot to answer for in creating role models or destroying them in any sport. If a nonsense story like this never gets reported there is no issue and roy plays the second test without scrutiny. But I guess it is more about selling sensationalised papers and making money. As far as Roys treatment last summer, I don't blame him for having some time off. He was hung out to dry by the ACB. If the ACB And ICC would rather play politics than make a stand against taunts thhat were clearly offensive to him then it is a sad day for cricket and some of the blame for roys mental state lies squarly on there shoulders
My advice to Roy is stay home and have a drink is the safest place to be, and you do whatever you want or like without been seen or heard. That is the only way to escape from publicity, but if you want to be seen you have to deal with it, fame has its price.
Leave him alone. The media *** everything out of proportion (d***heads). The Australian Cricket team need someone of Roy's ability to be able to *** a game wide open. He's exciting and awesome to watch. Kick *** in Adelaide Roy
People say Roy is entitled to a private life like everyone else - I'm sorry but he's not like everyone else. He's a sport's 'celebrity' and we all know that. If you saw him at the pub, you would ask for his autograph or try to have a chat or at least tell all your friends that you saw him. He certainly wouldn't ask me for my autograph etc, would he? Yes, Roy, it's a blessing and a curse. It's a privilege and a responsibility. If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen, son!
Aussie aussie aussie Roy Roy Roy bloody legend
this country has turned into a pack of bleeding heart whingers.....whats the big deal ..GEEEE a fight ...who freakin cares... your all a bunch of sharon's and nancy's dancin round yer handbags...grow some friggin balls...
I think there has to be a line drawn, where punishment needs to be meted out, but it should be drawn by Cricket Australia, not by average joe on the street. Cricketers shouldnt be dropped from the team because of previous performance at a venue, or how else can they prove that they can change and adapt? Isn't that part of sport, part of humanity in general? Evolving, learning to counter a certain weakness? Even the grounds themselves change, so a player who does well one game may do terribly the next. Honestly, look at their recent form, not something that happend last season.
I think it is a media beat up again, by all accounts he did nothing wrong other than talking to some mates, he was not drunk and in no fights. It sounds like the other guy deserved a punch in the nose. The guy is great for the game when on song and even if he is not scoring runs he is taking wickets, saving runs and taking great catches that turn the game. Who has the right to tell a grown man he can not go out, the ordasity when the 17 year old idiots run riot for leavers and everyone supports it. GO ROY.
if its not the media its cricket aust. leave the man alone.
i was at the normanby that night i said hi to the boys and it was good to see them out but its not his fuilt some drunk person was giving him a hard time
Roy - agree with Slater. He should have had enough sense to keep away from pubs for a while. Whether it's his fault or not, he's going to be a target for idiots. Hayden - the guy got 3 atrocious decisions in his first 4 innings in the India tests, but still ended up averaging in the thirties. When I was in my teens and early twenties, 30+ was deemed a good average for an opener who has to face the new ball and bowlers at their freshest. Only 2 Australian batsmen got anything like a score in the Test. SHould we sack all the rest? Don't think so. They all suffered from adjusting back to Australian pitches. Hayden will rule - again!
Leave the man alone,everyone no matter what status is entitled to have a drink with his mates.Unfortunately there are idiots out there who have no respect for anyones privacy.Shame on you Slats.
Yes. We were told he isnt going to be a saint by the psychologist. He wasnt drunk. And from all accounts it is the media beating him up over being there, rather than any offence actually done. It is Australian sporting culture to celebrate with having a drink. Until u change that culture through at least 2 generations, it is still going to be seen as the 'norm'. I for one support him having a drink, as its been a long road back for Roy.
What did Symonds do wrong. He was with friends having a drink when he was pestered by someone looking for cheap publicity. Is Roy supposed to live like a hermit without grubby journalists reporting on his every move. He is entitled to his privacy the same as everone else. Give the guy a break.
Leave him alone...It seems to me to be the tall poppy syndrome we have in Australia. When you are on top ....knock them down. He plays great cricket and is entitled to socialise without being harassed.
Come on give Roy a break! Do you remember when Ricky Ponting was night clubbing and Steve Waugh his captain came to his rescue? Well Ricky where is your support now for your team mate? Get off his case and let Roy get on with what he does best..entertaining us with his cricket.

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