Joe Burns gets onto a pull shot.
Joe Burns gets onto a pull shot.

Waugh picks Ashes bolter to burn Poms

AS Australia's batsmen battle through what appears to be an all-time stitch up from ground curators in Southampton, selectors have some big choices to make.

And those choices will not be easy, according to former Australia star Mark Waugh.

With the Aussies coming off a failed bid to retain the World Cup, several players are looking for form but the intra-team practice match has seen zero batsmen stake their claims as the bowlers held sway.

Waugh was not impressed by what was going down in Southampton, claiming the Aussies may have made a mistake.

"We're trying to get all our batsmen out of form," Waugh said with tongue in cheek.

"This is a Pat Howard idea, it's a good idea - the trouble is the wicket did a lot and all the batsmen got out for nothing."

Waugh then turned on the ground staff for playing games and giving the Aussies a minefield.

"They have served up a pitch that had a lot of grass on it, the pitch we were playing on is the only thing we didn't control," he said.

Usman Khawaja's injury opens up a slot.
Usman Khawaja's injury opens up a slot.

Waugh felt that only two or three places were up for grabs in Australia's Ashes squad and backed one fringe Test batsman to definitely get the nod as cover for the injured Usman Khawaja, while another controversial player likely won't get a return yet.

"They're all trying to get into the 16-man squad but there are probably only two or three spots up for grabs," he said.

"If Khawaja is injured Joe Burns might come in for him.

"Cameron Bancroft - I don't know about him, they might wait a bit longer I can't see how he fits into that squad."

News Corp Australia

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