Melbourne, May 20 (ANI): Former Australia skipper Allan Border today said that the 16-man touring party named by Cricket Australia for the Ashes series on Wednesday is a winning one.
In an exclusive interview with Fox Sports, Border said he felt no player was unlucky to miss out – and that Andrew Symonds did not deserve a place in the squad.
“I wasn’t surprised by any of the selections in Australia’s Ashes squad. I think the squad has the makings of a good side and I’m quietly confident these players can get the job done and win the Ashes,” Border said.
“There will always be players who feel unfairly treated because they were left out, but I don’t think anyone should be there who isn’t. Selectors have stuck by the guys who have got the job done over the past couple of years, and more recently in South Africa, and I agree this is the way to go,” he added.
“I didn’t expect Symonds to be in the squad. He’s done well for Australia in the past, but he has struggled at first-class level since his return to cricket,” Border said.
“I know he’s been doing OK in Twenty20 cricket lately, but we are talking about an Ashes tour. I don’t think what he’s done lately gave selectors enough ammunition to warrant his selection. I don’t think his omission has anything to do with his problems off the field. He and Cricket Australia seem to have put that behind them,” Border added.
“I’m satisfied with McDonald and Watson in the squad. McDonald has done a good job in Test cricket from limited opportunities. He seems to know how to get the job done and was part of a successful line-up in South Africa,” Border said.
“Watson is a very good cricketer and can be a key player for Australia when he’s fully fit. It’s been a huge issue for him over the past few years, but he’s capable of bringing a fair bit to the team.”
Border described Australia’s batting as “settled”, saying the selection of Watson added depth, but said the attack was more open to change given the inclusion of veterans Brett Lee and Stuart Clark.
“I do feel a bit sorry for Doug Bollinger, but you can’t take them all and I’ve got no complaints with the bowlers they’ve chosen.”
As expected, Australia named Nathan Hauritz as their sole specialist spinner. When announcing the squad, chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch conceded “our key weapons are our pace attack. We think he’ll (Hauritz) play a good role given the opportunity”.
“Hauritz is a quality bowler and deserves to continue his career at Test level,” Border said.
Border reckons Australia have what it takes to retain the Ashes and win a 10th series out of the past 11 against England.
“This squad is definitely good enough to win the Ashes. I’m quietly confident they can do it,” Border said. (ANI)