Forrest, the leading run scorer in the Sheffield Shield competition with 581 runs at 58.10, has been given his chance following a prosperous off season move to Queensland. Like others before him, Forrest found his way to the NSW first XI blocked by current and former Australian players, Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja, David Warner and Simon Katich. But the move north has seen Forrest develop his game under the tutelage of former Test batsmen, Darren Lehmann and the rewards have followed.
Meanwhile, Callum Ferguson, the second leading run scorer in the domestic one day competition was controversially left out along with Alister McDermott, the leading wicket taker. In a mixed day for the Marsh family, out of form Test batsmen Shaun Marsh was dumped with instructions to regain his touch in Shield cricket. His pain may be eased slightly by the selection of his younger brother Mitchell, who excelled in the recent Big Bash League hitting a whopping 19 sixes at an average of 51.50 for the Perth Scorchers.
Brad Haddin's much publicised omission means that Matthew Wade gets his chance to prove himself at international level and stake his claim for a spot on the plane to the West Indies. Wade has expressed his desire to take this opportunity with both hands and become a permanent fixture of the Australian set-up.
Surely, with one eye on the Ashes and one on their ageing batting line-up, the selectors have taken a punt on players they hope will use this series as a launching pad for a long and successful career in all 3 forms of the game for Australia. For the sake of Australian cricket and the selectors, let's hope so.
Adam Schonemaker is a high school chaplain in the northern suburbs of Brisbane for three days each work and serves two days a week in his local church.
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