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Cricket Australia scouts say Warner, Cummins among five key players

December 17, 2011 - Melbourne

Cricket Australia's talent scouts have marked out David Warner, Pat Cummins, James Pattinson, Shaun and Mitchell Marsh as the key men responsible for returning the country to top of the world rankings in all three forms of the game.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the five were unanimously picked by an elite nine-man panel, which was asked to nominate its squads for the upcoming major events in each format - next year's Twenty20 world championship, the 2013 Ashes and the 2015 World Cup to be staged in Australia.

The Herald can also reveal how Cricket Australia employed a new formula called a "player rating tool" to help make its selections.

The brainchild of CA's new team performance manager, Pat Howard, the selection exercise involved the national talent manager, Greg Chappell, the six state talent managers and senior Centre of Excellence pair Troy Cooley and Brian McFadyen.

The squads were selected last week before the Hobart Test and were designed to facilitate CA's succession planning, an area for which it has come under fire following the retirements of several greats in recent years.

The secret meeting was timed to allow the state talent managers to meet recently appointed chairman of selectors John Inverarity for the first time.

Warner's presence in all three squads further illustrates his rapid rise in importance to the national set-up.

Considered by many a year ago to be merely a Twenty20 specialist, Warner, 25, is young enough to be considered as a potential successor to Test and ODI captain Michael Clarke, along with Tim Paine, 27.

The left-hander's leadership credentials have already been recognised by his Big Bash franchise Sydney Thunder, who have installed him as their inaugural captain.

Warner was also named vice-captain for Australia A in last month's tour game against New Zealand and will lead the Chairman's XI in a three-day game against India starting Monday.

With Shaun Marsh and Cummins both injured, Warner is one of just three players likely to represent Australia in all three formats this summer, along with Shane Watson and Pattinson.

The presence of Pattinson and Cummins on the lists does not come as a surprise following their sensational introductions to Test cricket in recent months. They are likely to form the cornerstone of Australia's attack as they aim to regain the Ashes in England in 2013.

Mitchell Marsh, the younger brother of Shaun, has been identified as a long-term replacement for all-rounder Watson.

The 20-year-old Marsh made his Twenty20 and ODI debut, against South Africa, in October and is likely to gain further international exposure this summer in the limited overs game following the Tests against India.

Marsh's greatest threat for the all-rounder's mantle is likely to come from Tasmanian 21-year-old James Faulkner, who has been identified as a future prospect after claiming 36 Shield wickets at 18 last summer and averaging 30 with the bat.

The battle to succeed Brad Haddin behind the stumps remains a race in two between Tasmania's Tim Paine and Victoria's Matthew Wade.


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