It's hard to know just where New South Wales cricket is at the moment. Over in Perth, the first day of the First Test has lived up to all the expectations I had for a thrilling series. The story was a familiar one this summer - Australia's batting rescued by Katich and/or Clarke. Fellow Blues player Brad Haddin continued his form, the only news being Queenslander Symonds finally putting some runs together. (All in all the runs were scored at a cracking pace - I suspect the Saffers could benefit from a more cautious approach today.)
With Brett Lee taking wickets, the only problems for NSW at the top level are Phil Jaque's and Stuart Clark's injuries. But what's left of the state team? Last year, when Haddin and Katich were still regularly available, the non-Test players did well enough to make the "Shield" final, where a full strength team put Victoria away (despite a solid performance by Siddle). Now, they're struggling to win a match in any form of the game, and the selectors are making big changes.
Captain Dominic Thornely was upset that fives changes were made to the team for the next Shield game (SMH). The selectors seem to have come in line with their national counterparts on the question of Nathan Hauritz. Henriques, who looked so good against New Zealand, is out.
It's pretty normal to have 5 changes for NSW whenever the national team becomes (un)available for state matches, but should the young guys left holding the fort get more of a chance when that isn't going on? Obviously the best team should be chosen, but I'm not sure constant chopping and changing helps anyone. What do you think?
But that's the Test players of the future. For now, I'll just sit back and watch the Australian bowlers hopefully make a good match of it in Perth.