Recently I watched the film Spotlight, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning reportage from the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team of crack investigative journalists. Their reports uncovered the nauseating depth of paedophilia in the Catholic Church in Boston.
If for some reason (zombie apocalypse, cronyism) I ended up on that team, I wouldn’t begrudge one of my teammates for looking at me and saying: “You don’t belong here; you’re just not good enough.”
Although the words would hurt, I’d like to think I’d get over it because it would be the truth.
If I were Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc or Pat Cummins (hell, if I were even 12th man Peter Siddle), I’d look at Australia’s top order, with the exception of Usman Khawaja, and feel like saying: “You don’t belong in this dressing room; you’re just not good enough.
“You know who belongs here? Me and my fellow bowlers, that’s who.
“I’m not blaming you. Your country came calling and you answered. You’re doing your best. We all know that.
“But the fact remains: you’re not good enough, and I doubt you ever will be.
“Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, that’s the calibre of batsman who should be sitting next to me – not you.
“Now, Finchy. I know Nathan told the media during the third Test that you’re world class, but everyone knows you’re not.
“And I know Nathan said you and your top-order teammates are working hard, and success will come. But really, no one is that confident, including, let’s be honest, yourselves.
“You know who is world class? Me and the rest of our attack. The baggy green cap on our heads does not devalue it, like you wearing it does. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.
“Marcus, mate, your first-class average is 35. So is yours Finchy. Travis, yours is 37. Shaun, mate, you’ve played 37 Tests and you’re averaging under 35. Don’t get me started on you, Mitch.
“If Brad Hodge, Stuart Law, Michael Di Venuto, Martin Love, Michael Bevan and Jamie Cox were dead, they’d be rolling in their graves.
“Again, I know you being in this position, having the Australian public mock you, isn’t your fault: the selectors knocked on your door.
“But perhaps you shouldn’t have opened it.”
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