As speculation mounts about Australia’s starting XI for next week’s opening Test of the Ashes series, a local cricketer has scoured the list of Test players over the last decade and named his most mediocre XI. Ben Williams spent most of last night on his iPad looking over the possible inclusions before finalising his side early this morning after a restless night’s sleep. Without further ado, here is his team:

Alex Doolan

Marcus North

Callum Ferguson

Steve Smith 1.0 (C)

Nick Maddinson

Andrew McDonald

Graham Manou

Beau Casson

Trent Copeland

Peter George

Doug Bollinger

12th Man: Ben Williams (uncapped)

Coach: Scott Muller

Venue: Cazaly’s Stadium, Cairns

As a mediocre cricketer himself, Williams admitted that it was a bit like naming the ugliest supermodels of all time, but he had fun selecting the team nonetheless. While the credentials of most team members speak for themselves, the selection of Steve Smith is likely to prompt debate. But, as Williams explained, “Now that Smith is one of our greatest batsman of all time, we forget about that snot-nosed kid with peroxide hair that used to bowl rubbish leg spin. So Steve Smith 1.0 is the perfect example of mediocrity in the last decade. He’s the obvious choice for captain of the side.”

When asked about selecting himself as 12th Man, Williams said, “not too many Test cricketers would volunteer to carry the bags for these chumps, so I thought I’d put my hand up. And as a top order batsmen for the Watsonia Wombats Third XI with a career average of 17.3 I’d be in good company. I am the poster boy of local cricket mediocrity.”

Williams also said that picking the spinner was the most difficult part of the selection process. He said, “In the dearth of spinner talent since Shane Warne’s departure, a long line of tweakers queued up for baggy greens before we eventually settled on Nathan Lyon, a bloke in his 20s who looks about 40 and seems to have no athletic ability. Casson’s pretty lucky to make the side really. He beat off Krejza, McGain, Holland, O’Keefe, Beer, Doherty, and Cullen missed the decade by one year. If the game was being played in Chennai you could probably pick an XI of spinners.”