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Queensland wicketkeeper Chris Hartley should be playing for Australia

Hancock02

Hancock02

CONSIDER this an open letter to the Australian cricket selectors. I'll make it simple guys, because you just don't seem to be getting it.
Ian Healy always reckoned a wicketkeeper was like the drummer in a rock band. They never got the headlines like the vocalist or lead guitarist, they just stayed in the background keeping the beat.
They didn't have to be flash, but if they boom-tished when they should have tish-boomed it wouldn't matter how good the singer was - the whole thing would fall apart.
That being the case, Queensland cricket has got Ringo Starr while you blokes keep picking Pete Best.
Now, as I'm sure you know, Pete Best was the original drummer for The Beatles, a fairly popular group when current chairman of selectors John Inverarity was in the under-16s.

Pete looked great in black leather, the girls loved him and he even had his own van to drive the guys to gigs. Trouble was, he couldn't beat time with a stick. John, Paul and George dumped Pete and got Ringo.


Not your classic rock-star looks, but he was solid, dependable and so good at laying down a backbeat he's now worth $300 million and married to a Bond girl.
Which gets us to Queensland's Chris Hartley. Chris isn't worth $300 million, and his wife is a real estate agent, but he's the best wicketkeeper in the country.
Fellas, really? What is Chris Hartley doing in Australia when he should be over in India adding skill, grit and experience to a Test side that is playing like Pete Best's mother?
Of course, not everyone would like to see Hartley heading overseas every couple of months. Take coach Darren Lehmann and Hartley's Queensland teammates, for instance.
In the past 12 months Hartley has been man of the match in the Bulls' Sheffield Shield win, captained Brisbane Heat to the Big Bash title, and on Wednesday pulled off a miraculous catch to help seal a backs-to-the-wall one-day final. On every level Hartley is a better keeper than Matthew Wade and his backup Tim Paine, who for reasons best known to yourselves, you keep choosing ahead of him.
What's that you said, Invers? Statistics don't lie? Sorry mate, in this case they do.



Yes, it's true that current Test custodian Wade and Hartley have comparable first-class stats - the ones you see anyway, like matches, runs, catches taken, byes allowed.
It's the statistics they don't record that have made Hartley such an asset for Queensland the past 10 years, and make him the ideal person to strengthen a wobbly Australian side right now. And I'm not talking about stats like dropped catches here, although I'd back Hartley against most keepers in the world on that one.
The Courier-Mail's Mr Cricket, Ben Dorries, reckons he has seen Hartley put just two down in more than 200 matches in all forms of the game. And I'm not talking about byes NOT allowed either, although he'd rate highly there too. In the 2008-09 Shield final, Victoria batted for 236 overs and scored 806 runs. Hartley didn't let a single bye get past him.
No, I'm talking about things like batting as if your wicket is more valuable that Ringo's first drum kit.
Things like the number of times he has saved Queensland with the bat. Things like being a solid, reassuring and intelligent presence behind the stumps; helping right the ship when things are in danger of unravelling.
Like, say, when Nathan Lyon was bowling straight on a flat deck in Chennai last week and getting smashed all over the park.
It was then that Lyon needed a bit of direction.

He needed someone with the confidence and nous to whisper in his ear, "Mate, there's a moon crater outside the off-stump, land it in there and it'll spin like a Beatles 45."
Hartley is that sort of person, but of course he wasn't in Chennai. He was in Brisbane.
Why? Because the Australian selectors are living in the past. Not back in the Swinging '60s, but back when Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie were creating 10 to 15 chances a match.
When it didn't matter if Adam Gilchrist put one or two down because there would be plenty more to come.
So, with their backing bands singing their praises in the corridors of power, Wade and Paine, the Milli Vanilli of Australian cricket, lip-sync their way around the world.
While Chris Hartley stays at home - churning out hit after hit.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/cricket/mike-colman-queensland-wicketkeeper-chris-hartley-should-be-playing-for-australia/story-fneb9kut-1226587948082 
SydneyRaider

SydneyRaider

Tim Paine and Ludeman both ahead of him imo. 
MrChook

MrChook

The just sounds like typical Qldr rubbish from a Qld paper trying to push a Qldr into the Test team. 
Dogga

Dogga

Yep it sure is that.

Pretty much as bad as all the NSW media pushing O'Keefe non-stop.

That being said he is actually the best keeper in Australia, but he isn't the best keeper batsman. 
MrChook

MrChook

Haven't read much about O'Keefe in the media so not sure if that is true.

Agree with you on your last sentence. Wade's possie is quite safe so long as he continues to make runs and keeps rescuing us from those mid order batting collapses. 
BringbackBRL

BringbackBRL

That's how we judge a keeper? Batting should be a bonus. Anyone who watches cricket knows that Hartley's the best keeper by a mile. 
BringbackBRL

BringbackBRL

Even though Colman's a cockroach. 
MrChook

MrChook

Not disputing that. Its just the way it is these days mate. They picked Wade as a keeper/batsman which is what the selectors seem to prefer over just keeping ability alone. As long as Wade keeps getting the odd big score he isn't going anywhere and Hartley will just have to wait for an opportunity.

Either that or Hartley gets in the nets in the offseason and improves his batting to an extent where the selectors can't ingnore him. 
MrChook

MrChook

...who wants to please the masses that read his articles. 
MrChook

MrChook

Yep, thats NSW media doing the same thing for sure. But no NSW cricket fan is posting that up on this site and starting threads about it because we know it for what it is....biased reporting. 
SydneyRaider

SydneyRaider

I must not be watching cricket. 
Powersbronco

Powersbronco

Lol Ludeman takes one great catch and averages 25 and someone talks him up. Healy's appraisal of Wade's glove work was pretty fair and to be honest he's not improving. Watching him in India with gloves and bat he looked out of his depth however I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for the first game. Just like Wade Seccombe was the best keeper of his era, Hartley is the same however he will never play for Australia. 
nodd

nodd

obviously! 
Hancock02

Hancock02

Paine has hardly played in two years and Ludeman he's that club cricketer that switches states to get a gig? 
Hancock02

Hancock02

He's not a Queenslander.

Why don't you raise some cricket points? 
Hancock02

Hancock02

He's the best performing spinner in the Shield this year, the debating of his inclusion is valid. 
Hancock02

Hancock02

This ignores the huge mistakes he made this summer at pivotal moments in Tests this summer- because he got 100. 
Hancock02

Hancock02

Averaging 32 this year in the Shield and 45 in one day cricket opening.

What figures would you like to see?

If you partner it with being a great keeper that pretty healthy. 
Hancock02

Hancock02

Doesn't stop him writing an article every three weeks about how the Bears should be in the NRL. Hardly Queensland bias writing. 
Hancock02

Hancock02

Chuck was great but he was not better than Healy or Gilchrist. 
Powersbronco

Powersbronco

I was referring to his glove work alone. I agree he wasn't better than Healy with the gloves however I rate him higher than Gilly. Gilly was probably the best batsmen/keeper to ever play the game. 
MrChook

MrChook

Its far from bad I'll agree with you on that but it doesn't look like its enough to oust Wade. 
BringbackBRL

BringbackBRL

Certainly not Shield cricket. 
Hancock02

Hancock02

For me the issue is that we reward anyone that walks past a ground with a Test spot, but a guy with an exceptional record over a decade isn't rewarded. When Gilchrist was keeping Harts out fair enough but on the day that Haydos just gave Maxwell his baggy green.....please.

It's an injustice of epic selection that guys with no Shield runs and no Shield wickets who haven't put in a single day of hard work are getting baggy greens while guys that have worked their arse off get nothing. 

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