Sport

Michael Slater joins chorus of pressure on Australian selector Rod Marsh

Former Australian opener Michael Slater has all but called for the head of chief selector Rod Marsh over the way he's handled Usman Khawaja.

Khawaja will carry the drinks in Wednesday's series-opening one-day international against New Zealand, despite scoring 863 runs at 123.29 in all forms of cricket since the start of November.

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"It's a joke, it's a joke and the pressure that should be mounting on Rod Marsh," Slater told the Big Sports Breakfast on Sky Sports Radio.

"There's no great planning when it comes to some selections and there is no great logic when they leave someone out like Khawaja. So Rod Marsh should be in the sights."

Khawaja was originally left out of Australia's squad for the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, with Marsh reasoning no batsman from the recent home series against India deserved to be dropped.

All seven batsmen originally selected for the New Zealand tour averaged over 40 in the series, but Slater says it shouldn't have come down to the hamstring injury to Aaron Finch to allow Khawaja to tour.

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"I don't care who you leave out, it's a tough decision and they've made tough decisions over the years," he said.

"The selectors need, when you've got a guy in this sort of form, and he's better than the guys in there, to make a tough decision."

Slater also pointed to Australia's failed 2015 Ashes series, where Mitch Marsh was replaced by his brother Shaun in the fourth Test and Peter Siddle played only one match as a reason for his concern.

Slater's views were further backed by former Australian quick Geoff Lawson, who also couldn't believe Khawaja's continued omission.

"It's a nonsense all round, and I guess from that point of view the selectors have been consistent from that point of view with Usman, and we know what to expect from them," he said.

"That used to be the mantra of Australian cricket, you just picked people who were in form, no matter who they were. The currency was making runs or taking wickets and you played."

They are not the first former players to attack Marsh this week, after Brad Haddin questioned how the former wicketkeeper could select Cameron Bancroft behind the stumps for Australia's third Twenty20 against India.

Marsh has been chairman of the Australian selectors since May 2014, when he took over from John Inverarity, who he had served under since 2011.

AAP

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