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Moises Henriques struggled to understand Test snub but grateful for George Bailey's honesty

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Published in Cricket
Monday, 29 November 2021 00:36

Moises Henriques was left confused by his omission from the entire Ashes build-up having been part of Australia's previous Test squad, but holds no ill-will towards the national selector George Bailey as he retains hope of adding to his four caps.

Henriques, who is preparing to lead Sydney Sixers' bid for a hat-trick of BBL titles, had been named in the squad for the South Africa tour earlier this year which was postponed due to Covid-19 but could not even find a place among the Australia A players who are now in Brisbane. He is the only player from that South Africa group who was available but not part of the original selection - Will Pucovski (concussion) and James Pattinson (retirement) were also absent.

His start to the domestic season with New South Wales had been further delayed following the IPL as he waited to return without having to quarantine meaning he did not play a game before the squad was named.

"I have a different view to what the selectors do," he said. "To be picked on one Test tour and be told that I was there or thereabouts to be playing on that tour and then the next Test tour rolls around and you're not in the best 25 players. It's a huge fall, considering I hadn't played any other four-day games or Shield games in that break.

"So I didn't really understand the logic but it's not my job to understand the logic either. It's just my job to go out and keep playing as well as I can. I'm comfortable with it. I didn't agree with the process of it all and that's completely fine as well. That happens to a lot of people in a lot of different industries.

"I've been a beneficiary of it in the past when I've also been like, oh, geez, I wasn't expecting to get picked for this trip. So I've had the good and the bad."

The last of Henriques' four Tests came in 2016 and he has now been overtaken by Nic Maddinson and Matt Renshaw in the current Australia A set-up, while the No. 5 spot in the Test side will be a contest between Travis Head and Usman Khawaja - the latter was not in the South Africa squad - with last season's average of 70.33 having seemingly lost its weight. He has spoken extensively with Bailey with the pair having a close relationship from playing with and against each other.

"I get on with George quite well which adds another layer of complexity into that relationship," he said. "I think that's a good sign of a good working relationship with when you can both air what you think, and you don't necessarily agree, but you both understand that it's okay, and you've got to move forward.

"Any conversation I have with him is always a positive one. Even when he's delivering bad news. I still walk away going, okay at least he's been honest and told me his point of view. So it's disappointing, but it's not the end of the world and there's still other opportunities there for me."

He still believes it is in his hands to get another crack at Test cricket. His next opportunity for first-class cricket will be in February when the Sheffield Shield returns while Australia are scheduled to tour Pakistan and Sri Lanka during 2022.

"If I do well enough, I'll get another opportunity," he said. "Even though I am 34, I still believe if I score enough runs, if I keep banging the door down, and I keep doing what I know I can do you know that I'll still play another Test match for Australia, hopefully."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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