Hilton Cartwright bowls for Western Australia against Tasmania at the WACA in November.
Hilton Cartwright bowls for Western Australia against Tasmania at the WACA in November. Paul Kane

Hardly the Cartwright man for the job?

CRICKET: Australia's desperation to fill the void left by Shane Watson and find a bona fide all-rounder for the Test side has led selectors to young Western Australian Hilton Cartwright.

But Cartwright's bowling prowess has already come into question.

Trevor Hohns' panel called upon the 24-year-old for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan because there are concerns Australia's bowlers may need some extra help at the MCG after getting through a mountain of work in their eventful first-up win in Brisbane.

However, he's taken just four wickets in five first-class games this season at an average of 74.75. His overall first-class record is 15 wickets in 16 games at an average of 41.93 - not exactly the numbers of a Test-class bowling option.

Former Victorian wicketkeeper Darren Berry says while Cartwright is a promising prospect, the Aussie team won't gain much from his bowling.

"He is a good young cricketer ... but he bowls just handy, gentle medium pace. Nothing flash,” Berry said on SEN radio.

Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird bowled 113 overs between them in Pakistan's marathon second innings at the Gabba as the tourists almost chased down a record 490 runs.

But Berry isn't certain an extra bowling option is needed given the amount of time between the Brisbane Test, which finished on Monday, and the second Test starting seven days later.

"The Aussies have got a week to get over this - not a day, not three days; a week. Please, we are fit, elite athletes,” he said.

Mitch Marsh was initially thought to be the man to replace Watson - who played his last Test during the 2015 Ashes and retired from international cricket in March this year - but his woeful form with the bat led to his axing after a loss to South African in Perth.

Now Cartwright has been called into a 13-man Test squad, beating fellow all-rounders Moises Henriques and James Faulkner for the spot.

He was picked in the ODI squad to take on New Zealand in the recent Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series, but was later released when selectors decided he wouldn't be required.

If Cartwright was to get a Baggy Green, he would almost certainly slot in at No.6 in place of Nic Maddinson, who has underwhelmed with scores of none, one and four in his three Test digs.

The Zimbabwean-born Cartwright averages more than 44 in first-class cricket, with two centuries, and has scored 330 runs at 36.66 this season.

Forty-six Test veteran Geoff Lawson said Australian selectors were best sticking with four frontline bowlers and avoiding playing Cartwright on Boxing Day.

"If that's their theory and they want another all-rounder, I'm not sure if Hilton is the man who is ready for Test cricket,” he said.



Moises Henriques (NSW) - 4 matches, 242 runs at 40.33, 1 wicket at 126

Joe Wildermuth (Qld) - 4 matches, 285 runs at 37.14, 7 wickets at 37.14

Travis Head (SA) - 4 matches, 362 runs at 60.33, 7 wickets at 35

James Faulkner (Tas) - 3 matches, 228 runs at 57, 6 wickets at 33

Dan Christian (Vic) - 4 matches, 245 runs at 61.25, 10 wickets at 24

Glenn Maxwell (Vic) - 3 matches, 129 runs at 25.80, 1 wicket at 86

Marcus Stoinis (Vic) - 4 matches, 87 runs at 14.5, 5 wickets at 46.4

Ashton Agar (WA) - 4 matches 115 runs at 19.16, 16 wickets at 27.81

Mitchell Marsh (WA) - 2 matches, 26 runs at 6.5, 8 wickets at 27.75

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