In part four of our Ashes draft, Dave Siddall of World Cricket Watch and I continue to choose players to form a side to play for what's really important: bragging rights.
Matt - Now it’s onto the two reserves, as Haddin is reserved for the ceremonial last pick. Who to go for? Agar has as much chance of playing as Ian Chappell’s first wife Kay, while I’d rather pick Phil Hughes’ nose rather than him to bat to win a competition for me. That leaves Jackson Bird, a fast man who should be suited to English conditions but will be lucky to play in the first couple of Tests. But, that said - what an injury reserve!
Dave - Recent noises from the Australia camp suggest that media darling Ed Cowan will start but it might more likely be at number three. Whilst Cowan wouldn’t come close to a composite XI, he is the most solid of the remaining batsmen who will start at Trent Bridge.
Matt - Now we’re really into the dregs. Steve Smith, because he’s got the most runs of any of the “heir apparent” batsmen going into the series. It’s unfortunate though that he’s also got the most holes in his game.
Dave - Despite the fast-tracking of Fawad Ahmed’s Australian citizenship, Nathan Lyon remains their number one spinner. While Swann is head and shoulders a better spinner, Lyon’s average of 33 and wicket haul of 76 in 22 matches is not to be sniffed at.
Matt - Brad Haddin. It was always going to happen, and Haddin could even contribute - after all, he had a good Shield season and Darren Lehmann is very much a “player’s coach”. I’m not too broken-hearted about the pick but weight of his many, many head-scratching past performances leave him pick 25 of 26.
Dave - If you are gonna flash, flash hard! I’m not sure Phil Hughes knows how to play any other way but if he gets a few sneaky boundaries in early then maybe he’ll get a score. I’m kind of torn between him and Steve Smith, but it’s possible a ceremonial last pick anyway.