Brad Hodge averaged over 55 in his six Tests for Australia, which included a double hundred     Getty Images
Brad Hodge averaged over 55 in his six Tests for Australia, which included a double hundred Getty Images

Former Australia batsman Brad Hodge says that he did not agree with the selectors decision to drop him after he had played just six Tests across three years, out of which he once struck a double century at Perth against South Africa in December 2015. Australia will take on South Africa in the first Test at the same venue, beginning on Thursday. Hodge feels that he regrets the fact that he did not play any more Tests for Australia despite averaging over 55 in his limited Test career. Hodge however went on to play 15 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 25 T20Is for Australia, last of which came in 2014. Full Cricket Scorecard; Australia vs South Africa 1st Test at Perth

It [the double ton] was exactly what I thought the Australian cricket team needed at the time, but unfortunately it didn t last much longer, he said. Of those six Tests, I only made under 25 twice. They re the things you really look back and struggle to understand. That s the really hard call from the selectors that they made, and I disagree with it, 100 per cent for sure, as a lot of people would. Lucky enough for me, I ve been able to forge a pretty good T20 career and I ve been able to achieve other things around the world and in this country as well, that have had a huge effect on my life and also other people s cricketing lives.

Recalling that double hundred, Hodge said it was a nervy sleep the previous night as he was batting on 91, approaching his maiden Test century. You just sort of run through your mind whether you should just try to grind it out for nine singles, or you just go oh well, I ll have two shots here and get it done , he said. But you just stick to what you know, pretty much the basics, if you trust yourself and your abilities, then it should work. I remember my wife [Megan] flew home on the plane overnight. She had no idea [of his score] and the pilot actually was giving indications about the scores over the PA. READ: Siddle returns to Australia XI for 1st Test against SA

Hodge believes Mitchell Marsh will hold the key against South Africa. I think [chairman of selectors] Rod Marsh is spot on with Mitchell Marsh, he said. He just needs to fire up a little bit, he s got the potential and it ll come, but I think if you re going to hold down the No. 6, he needs to start making some centuries. It s a pretty important position and if he can fire up, I think everything else will fall into place, Hodge added.