Mark Taylor says six Australia spots up for grabs ahead of South Africa Test series

AFP, Oct, 14 2016

Sydney: Former Australia captain Mark Taylor says six spots are contestable in the national team ahead of the first Test against South Africa next month.

File photo of former Australian captain Mark Taylor. Reuters

File photo of former Australian captain Mark Taylor. Reuters

Taylor claimed only five members of the current Test side, which went down 0-3 in Sri Lanka in September, were assured of their places against the Proteas in Perth from 3-7 November.

"The people who pick themselves at the moment are David Warner, Steve Smith, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and I think everyone else at this stage will be talked about," he told Cricket Australia's website late on Thursday.

"I don’t think there’s anyone else who's absolutely penned in at the moment.

"If you look at our last Test match (in Colombo), all of a sudden Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja are out in Sri Lanka after having pretty good summers. I’m sure they’ll come back into calculation."

His assessment leaves incumbent batsmen Shaun Marsh and Adam Voges, allrounders Mitchell Marsh and Moises Henriques, and spinners Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland needing to prove their form ahead of the first Test.

Of those, only all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has been on international duty with the one-day squad in South Africa that became the first Australia team to lose 0-5 in a bilateral 50-over series.

Voges (Test average of 72.75) and Shaun Marsh (who scored 130 in his last Test) have a strong chance of retaining their spot in the starting XI, as does veteran spinner Lyon (211 Test wickets).

Burns and Khawaja are likely to come into contention for Perth after scoring six centuries between them last international southern summer, but according to Taylor, they need to put some solid performances on the board.

"They’ve got to prove their selection, that’s the way I would be looking at it if I was a selector," Taylor said.

Published Date: Oct 14, 2016 | Updated Date: Oct 14, 2016



Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4717 115
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115