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Quiney’s Test debut looms after battle with Proteas

Good nick ... Rob Quiney on his way to 85 during Australia A’s first innings on Friday. The Victorian also impressed selectors in the second innings by fending off a rampant Dale Steyn.

Good nick ... Rob Quiney on his way to 85 during Australia A’s first innings on Friday. The Victorian also impressed selectors in the second innings by fending off a rampant Dale Steyn. Photo: Getty Images

VICTORIA’S Rob Quiney is set for a  Test debut against South Africa on Friday after being called into the Australia squad as cover for the injured Shane Watson.

The 30-year-old made an impressive 85 for Australia A against South Africa at the SCG and is  on the verge of an international breakthrough, with Watson considered highly unlikely to fully recover from a calf strain for the first Test. Quiney, a widely respected and popular opening batsman at the Bushrangers, sealed the deal by successfully resisting a fiery onslaught of fast bowling from the Proteas’ top-rated speedster Dale Steyn on Sunday.

‘‘It’s a massive opportunity to join the squad heading into such an important series,’’ Quiney said on Sunday. ‘‘Hopefully Shane can get up and be right because he’s such an important player for the team but I’ll obviously be training and preparing to be ready to go if he doesn’t get up.

International breakthrough ... Victoria's Rob Quiney.

International breakthrough ... Victoria's Rob Quiney. Photo: AFP

‘‘It was really good to bat against them [South Africa’s fast bowlers]. To see Steyn crank it up today, it’s good to have a little taste of it. I think I’ve been fairly consistent in the last 18-24 months – not such a great start in the Shield stuff for me this year, but it’s an opportunity and it comes through timing. If it does eventuate I’m hoping to soak it up.’’

Quiney will become Australia’s 429th Test player if Watson is ruled out, a well-deserved climax for a player who was not even rated good enough to make the Australia A tour of England in the winter but who has clearly impressed selectors. While he opens for Victoria, he would likely slot in at No.3 as a direct replacement for Watson, who on Sunday was  all but resigned to sitting out the Test.

The five-man selection panel opted for a specialist batsman to slot in for the all-rounder, a reflection of their admiration for Quiney but a move that  leaves Michael Clarke’s team  limited for  bowling options.

Should they choose three fast bowlers in their final XI, and give a start to spinner Nathan Lyon, the absence of Watson will leave them more exposed given the all-rounder’s ability to value-add to the bowling line-up.

Selectors resisted the opportunity to recall Phillip Hughes to the national set-up as back-up for Watson, while other candidates such as Tasmania’s Alex Doolan, who made a superb hundred against South Africa, and state captain George Bailey, were also overlooked.

National selector John Inverarity said a final decision on Watson would be made ‘‘earlier rather than later’’, indicating  the vice-captain could be scratched from the first Test as early as Monday, when scan results will become available.

‘‘Rob Quiney has impressed the NSP [national selection panel] with his performances in all formats in recent years. He was particularly impressive in the Australia A game that concluded at the SCG today,’’ Inverarity said on Sunday night.  ‘‘His 85 from 113 balls against the strong South African attack demonstrated a good range of shots and a sound technique. He is in good shape at the moment and he is ready to grasp his opportunity should he get the nod for Friday.

‘‘Rob is a mature player with an equable temperament who has been on the verge of higher honours for some time and I note his achievements for Victoria were recognised last year when he was named state player of the year at the Allan Border Medal evening.’’

Quiney  has made a statement in recent seasons with  consistent displays in all formats of the game. A late bloomer, the left-hander averages 37.7 in a first-class career which  began only in 2007.  

42 comments so far

  • Watson should reduce the amount of bowling that he is doing and go back to opening the batting. The amount of injuries he gets is becoming ridiculous. Warner is not an opening batsman and will fail in England if not before. He is an excellent middle order player though who deserves his spot. Congratulations to Quiney and its good a Victorian will get a go after overlooking the outstanding Hodge for so long.

    Commenter
    BeyondThe Pale
    Location
    North Ryde, Sydney
    Date and time
    November 04, 2012, 9:26PM
    • surely Clarke will get Moises in the team

      Commenter
      Gaz
      Location
      Yarrawonga
      Date and time
      November 05, 2012, 9:06AM
    • Watson is not a test batsman, he cant play the long innings and is picked only because he can provide an extra bowling option. As a specialist batsman he's no where near selection and Warner has the same number of 100's in Nine matches as Watson has in 35.

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      November 05, 2012, 9:27AM
    • To Mick. Watson is a test batsman. Just that he's a no.6 or 7, not the opener or no.3 that he thinks he is. He had a good 12 month spell that has tricked everyone into thinking it's still 2008. lol

      Commenter
      azzos
      Date and time
      November 05, 2012, 10:38AM
    • Moises should never be in a test SQUAD let alone a test team.

      Commenter
      Stevo
      Date and time
      November 05, 2012, 10:58AM
    • I can't agree entirely Mick. I think Watson is a Test batsman, but on at opener or first drop. I agree with you there. He's a good, dependable number 6 capable of making big scores from that position. He has neither the temperament nor the technique to bat at the top of the order. In general, I think he will suffer from the Andrew Symonds Syndrome - an uneasy disquiet that he is over-rated.

      Commenter
      The Redman
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      November 05, 2012, 11:32AM
    • What people forget about Hodge is he wasn't that impressive in the Tests he played. He scored a double ton, but did it so cautiously as to bat his team to a draw. Brilliant in the shorter formats, but if you look back at his first class span, try finding an obvious place for him in the Australian team. He could have done better with more Tests, but the spot wasn't screamingly available.

      Glad the selectors didn't overdo the patience with Khawaja... a lot of almost patronising praise for his unconverted starts, and very orthodox, but he needs to knock up a lot of Shield and/or county runs before he can be considered again. Hughes - even if he does perform abundantly at sub-Test level, you're always going to wondering whether he can make it against Test bowlers and comprehensive video analysis.

      I think Victorians are over the underrepresentation chip on our shoulders. When it was just Warnie and six or seven New South Taffies, it actually was something close to the best team available. A much higher proportion of Victorians are non-playing cricket fans than in NSW and Qld, so the depth of understanding is a bit more dilute, hence the susceptibility to parochialism in pushing some pretty marginal cases over the years (Andrew McDonald? He knows he was lucky to get any look in at all. White was worthy project player, but only to a certain point, which he well and truly reached). Quiney's got a case to be thereabouts, like several Australian bats have in the past few years (often taking their early chances before discombobulating); hope he can convert it if he gets the cap. But not because he's a Victorian.

      Commenter
      Mark
      Location
      Carlton
      Date and time
      November 05, 2012, 2:06PM
    • Sorry Mick will have to disagree with you there, you're looking at the wrong stats. Being able to notch the big hundreds is a good quality to have as a test player but consistency at the top of the order is just as valuable so that the openers can deal with the new ball. When Watson was opening he generally played to his average and at an assertive strike rate which sets a platform for the remaining batsment to build on. His value to the Australian team is his consistency in a batting line up that is far from consistent rather than the ball, plenty of part timers or alternative all-rounders coming through the system if we really need a fifth genuine bowler.

      I don't understand why he was shifted to number 3 though, the teams most complete batsman has to play at number 3. I thought with Ponting to shift down the order, Michael Clarke's 300 and other scores from the last Australian series had announced that he is finally ready for the number 3 spot, it would also allow either Khawaja or Marsh to come in at number 4 where they can build their game. It seems because we have plenty of openering batsman knocking at the door we're content to settle for an opener at number 3 that can't produce big scores.

      Commenter
      El Seano
      Date and time
      November 05, 2012, 2:41PM
  • Go you good thing Rob Quiney, it's about time the Vics got a batsman in the team, hopefully he can take over from Hussey or Ponting when they finally get asked to retire. l think it will be Hussey and probably this series.

    Commenter
    Dave Dawson
    Location
    Highett, Melbourne
    Date and time
    November 04, 2012, 9:59PM
    • Quiney is quoted as saying "hopefully Shane can get up and be right becuase he's such an important part of the team......................................."

      Translation: "Please please please god please don't let his calf muscle come good in the next few days."

      Commenter
      Balanced
      Date and time
      November 04, 2012, 10:00PM

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