Rodney Hogg accuses Steven Smith of favouritism in squad selection

Rodney Hogg accuses Steven Smith of favouritism in squad selection

What's the story?

Former Australian fast bowler Rodney Hogg came down hard on current skipper Steven Smith for his role in team selection, accusing the 28-year-old of picking his close mates ahead of more deserving candidates in the national squad.

Hogg singled out the selection of the likes of Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, and Nic Maddison in the ODI squad for the ongoing series against India as examples of Smith being unfair in terms of selection.

“They’re picking their mates,” Hogg said. “(Ashton) Agar’s been pushed through and Cartwright’s still there. We saw (Nic) Maddinson get selected (he’s) a mate, he’s one of Steve Smith’s mates. You can’t pick bloody mates!

“We’ve got to get fair dinkum. We’re really off the ball a bit here. I think the captain’s getting his own way," Hogg added.

“Holland has proven he can bowl people out — left-arm orthodox is a really hard gig,” Hogg said. “He’s proven it and we aren’t seeing him.”

In case you didn't know...

Australia has been thoroughly outplayed in the ongoing 5-match ODI series against India and has already seen the series slip following losses in the first three ODIs.

While India's win may not come as a surprise considering their recent run of form and record in home conditions, the manner in which the visitors have been outplayed has seen plenty of criticism come their way from fans and former players alike.

Extra Cover: Dean Jones, Brad Hogg vent fury after Australia's series loss against India

The details

Hogg is of the opinion that Cricket Australia should do a thorough recheck of their selection process starting with the role of the skipper in such meetings.

Rather than being someone whose opinions are taken into consideration, Hogg feels that Smith's having a lot more say than what is warranted.

Hogg has been left baffled by a number of selections in recent Australian squads and sees no other reason than favouritism playing a role.

The 66-year-old felt the duo of Travis Head and Jon Holland could have been a big asset for Australia in Asian conditions, both in India and in the preceding Test series against Bangladesh which saw the hosts pull off a stunning win against their much-fancied opponents. 

What's next?

Steven Smith could find himself in more hot water if Australia doesn't manage to overturn their dismal run of recent results.

The two ODIs to be played at Bangalore and Nagpur will be followed by a three-match T20 series.

Extra Cover: India surge to number one position in ICC ODI rankings

Author's take

While the frustration stemming from Australia's poor results is understandable, Hogg has levelled some serious allegations against Steven Smith.

It may not come as a surprise to see Cricket Australia make some drastic changes following the series against India and it will be interesting to see what they make of the captain's role in the future.

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