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Test call-ups no comparison to past era

AAP logoAAP 22/11/2016 Scott Bailey

Poor old Michael Bevan must be shaking his head in disbelief - statistically speaking, the current crop of Test call-ups would have struggled to make the Australian A side in his era.

Regarded as one of the world's finest one-day international players, Bevan played just 18 Tests and never regained his place in the national side after being dropped in 1997-98 at a time when Australia dominated the world.

He played another eight years of Sheffield Shield cricket, amassing 10,629 runs at an average of 60.69.

At least he got to wear a Baggy Green though.

Jamie Siddons wasn't so lucky. Not even after he hit 10,643 Shield runs at an average of 44.71.

In comparison, Nic Maddinson struck 3002 runs at 34.5 before being selected in Australia's 14-man squad this week.

The Sheffield Shield was once the backbone of Australia's cricketing dominance.

The likes of Bevan, Darren Lehmann, Matt Elliott and Brad Hodge often sat on the sidelines while the Aussies went 15 summers without losing a series at home.

Combined with Greg Blewett, Stuart Law and Martin Love, they were also regulars of the Australia A squad which once beat England's main side into the final of an international series.

Stuart Law was statistically the lowest-performing of Australia's second-stringers from the era. He scored 9034 runs at 43.85 during 16 summers for Queensland.

Statistically speaking, the best of the latest call-ups is Matt Renshaw. He's scored 902 runs at 42.95 in Shield cricket.

The selectors would also love to have the same luxuries as their 1990s counterparts when it comes to finding an allrounder.

Tom Moody was considered not good enough to play another Test after 1992, but finished his Shield career with an average of 42.97 and 28.62 with the bat and ball respectively.

In comparison, Mitch Marsh has yielded 25.54 and 27.98 in Australian domestic four-day matches.

They can however be thankful when it comes to the bowling stocks.

Queenslanders Andrew Bichel (430 at 23.24), Michael Kaspowicz (441 at 24.56) and Adam Dale (184 at 22.09) were long considered unlucky not to play more Test cricket behind Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne.

However their averages are relatively similar to Jackson Bird (157 at 20.41) and Chadd Sayers (259 at 23.91), who were both called up the Test team this week.

HOW THE SHEFFIELD SHIELD STATS STACK UP:

BATTING:

THEN:

Michael Bevan - 10,621 runs at 60.69

Darren Lehmann - 13635 runs at 54.97

Matt Elliott - 10,263 runs at 47.29

Brad Hodge - 10,474 runs at 45.34

Martin Love - 10,132 runs at 45.23

Jamie Siddons - 10,643 runs at 44.71

Stuart Law - 9034 runs at 43.85

NOW:

Matt Renshaw - 902 runs at 42.95

Callum Ferguson - 6173 runs at 40.34

Peter Hanscomb - 3054 runs at 40.18

Nic Maddinson - 3002 runs at 34.5

Joe Burns - 3294 runs at 40.17

BOWLING:

THEN:

Adam Dale - 184 wickets at 22.09

Andrew Bichel - 430 wickets at 23.24

Scott Muller - 76 wickets at 23.48

Michael Kaspowicz - 441 wickets 24.56

Jo Angel - 419 wickets at 24.86

NOW:

Jackson Bird - 157 wickets at 20.41

Chadd Sayers - 159 wickets at 23.91

Joe Mennie - 149 wickets at 28.06

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