Moose - MAXI-MUM ADVANTAGE: We need to pick a batsman at six

WITH the Ashes only around the corner, it has become apparent the Baggy Green has lost its six appeal.

From the days when Ricky Ponting was teeing off against weak spinners and Mike Hussey was saving the Aussies after another destructive batting collapse - the number six position is just not what it used to be.

The Australians have fallen into a trap in recent seasons where we feel like the number six needs to have something else he can offer the team.

He doesn't open, and obviously isn't good enough for four and five - so he better at least bowl us 10 overs of mediums.

It is this trap that we need to avoid if we are to ever reclaim our status as the best Test nation.

This summer provides the best opportunity to avoid it. In terms of front line bowling attack we are in our best position since Warne and McGrath hung up the spikes.

We have three of the world's best seamers along with a reinvented Nathan Lyon who can control the innings from one end.

We don't need an extra seamer and thus can make sure the number six is a dedicated runs machine.

Since Hussey retired only twice has an Australian number six notched a ton - Steve Smith in 2013 and Glenn Maxwell earlier this year.

I think the incumbent has done enough already this season to earn the spot and with some time I think he can reinvent the role and Test cricket.

Timbo - WEAKSPOT: Aussie number six flimsy ahead of the Ashes

THERE is an answer to the catastrophic batting collapses that have plagued Aussie cricket, basically since the retirement of Mike Hussey: find a traditional number six batsman.

A quick look at Aussie teams since the 1970s will show we have most success when the guy in pivot position between the top five and the tail is firing.

Players like Doug Walters, Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Hussey are legends in the game, who made an art form of resurrecting innings after disastrous starts.

Compare them to the parade of pretenders who have filed through the six position in the past few seasons.

Mitchell Marsh: fine striker of the ball, with a weakness against the straight one on off stump.

Glenn Maxwell: devastating batsman yet to work out the difference between 20/20 and Test cricket.

Nic Maddinson: talented young player, bizarrely picked for the Test team in a form slump.

Callum Ferguson: Unluckily injured a few seasons ago when one-day form looked good. Victim of the all-out 85 disaster in Hobart last year when given a shot.

Selectors need to identify a player with the right skill set, then stick with him.

If he can roll his arm over and break the odd partnership, that's a bonus.



PURSUIT: CCTV shows moment chase comes to crashing end

premium_icon PURSUIT: CCTV shows moment chase comes to crashing end

VIDEO: Neighbours heard huge bang as car crashed through brick fence

Clarence SES units face closure

premium_icon Clarence SES units face closure

Three units face an uncertain future in the region following the retirement of a...

Casino girl missing, investigations under way

Casino girl missing, investigations under way

Police are appealing for public assistance to help find teen