Former Australia batsman Dean Jones believes national selectors should call up veteran Brad Hodge for their Test tour in India to replace retired Michael Hussey in the middle-order, as he doesn’t think any other batsman in country’s domestic cricket is good enough to do the job during a daunting tour to the subcontinent.
“The retirement of Hussey, following Ricky Ponting, has made Michael Clarke and his new middle-order companions look more vulnerable than ever. Australia has lost nearly 250 Test matches in experience in one month,” Jones wrote in his column for the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I notice Brad Hodge (pictured above), at the age of 38, has given notice to Australian selectors that he would come out of retirement to fill the hole. Many people scoffed. Years ago in India, Hodge was demoted as Australia went for a young batsman,” he added. “Now I look at our pools of talent and I don''t see anyone who could compare themselves to Hodge, even now. That is the point. I noticed this week that the director of cricket for the Bushrangers, Shaun Graf, seemed less than enthusiastic at the possibility of a Hodge comeback,” he further wrote.
Jones added in his column: “That left me thinking Hodge might have left some things in the closet with Victoria when he retired, or they don''t rate Hodge. But Hodge is still in good form. He has made 17,000 first-class runs at an average of nearly 50 (including a Test average of 55.88).”
“We should at least look at the option of picking Hodge. We know we have a hardened first-class cricketer who would die for an opportunity to play one more time for his country and suddenly, our middle order looks a lot better with Hodge in it,” he wrote.