Rogers problem is he takes a while to get into his groove, he took until the 4th test in the England ashes series as well. Dale Steyn has the same problem but he will only take 1 test to get his act together, not 4. As I said, hopefully he's got a formula now so he can hit the ground running in South Africa. To be a smart smeg, Johnson (188.4) actually bowled more overs than Siddle (156.4), Harris (166.2), or even Lyon (176.2) only Anderson (190.3) bowled more overs than Johnson . Johnson was definitely used the right way though, his aim was to either bowl full in the corridor or bowl throat balls, he often did both in the same over with great menace and accuracy which did for England's batsmen. This also helped out Harris, Lyon and Siddle, thinking if they survived Johnson then they'd be a piece of pie, which they aren't!
That's an amazing stat about Johnson bowling the most overs. I guess he did bowl a few longer spells towards the end of the innings when he was terrorising the tail. I still think Johnson bowled a fair bit of loose stuff as always has, it just wasn't anywhere near as costly as it has been in the past. It helps when some of the English top order hit the long hops straight down fine leg's throat I suppose
I'm sorry but Hughes has had his chances and each time the opposition have knocked him over with ease, time to move on. Every time he gets runs in first class and comes back to test cricket he gets found out a different way. Lets use Faulkner and Doolan. It'll be interesting to see if they keep Bailey for South Africa or give him the kick for Doolan or Faulkner. Technically he was pathetic and South Africa will toy with him no doubt if he does stay. Watson deserves to go too but his Gilly like innings at Perth and Melbourne has saved his smeg for now.
Well I for one don't think Hughes *has* been given enough chances. Well, he's been given plenty of chances, just none of them long enough for him to find his feet. There were, and still are, technical problems with his game and limitations. But he's never been allowed 2 bad games in a row. It was ridiculous the way he was shielded from the South Africans last season, but he made runs against Sri Lanka. He's not a good player of spin and was inadequately prepared for India last year - hardly Robinson C there - and he got 2 tests in England, the first he made important runs but he had the one bad game (batting out of position - again) and was dropped. It's a similar story with the other times he was dropped: someone finds a way to get him out, and he's dropped before he gets the chance to fix it - or show that's he's fixed it.
I think Hughes has suffered from too greater expectations. He's clearly a talent, but he's unorthodox and people will find ways to exploit that. For mine, I think he's needed the opportunity to develop into a test cricketer at the top of the order - the way Warner (eventually) has, or Smith (still a work in progress, but getting there) has recently. He's already too good for state cricket - even with his "known" problems.
Marcus North is the finished article. He's made hundreds at test level, is still churning out big runs at state level and would slot into the side nicely. He'd probably be a reliable if not outstanding performer, but if our objective is to tighten up the batting then I think he's a reasonable choice.
As for Alex Doolan, 6 FC hundreds from 50 games at 37 are not stats demanding Test inclusion. Plus he's 28 - already older than Hughes. He is not a candidate to be a development player in the side. But he is well on the way to being the Mike Hussey style 30yo rookie. But for that he needs more FC runs behind him, pref with lots of hundreds, for that.
As for Rogers being "slow to get going": Alan Border took 3 tests to get his first test century. Most players do. Rogers now has 3 hundreds from 10 tests, which is good going by anyone's standards. I think his low backlift, late playing technique makes him more suited to grinding out tough runs in difficult conditions. This has had more to do with where he has made his runs than the scheduling.
The problem we have with our batting is largely a result of the rotation policy with selections. No-one really gets the chance to establish themselves, so the line up is full of development players waiting for the next Bradman to emerge. It doesn't work like that, at least not for most players. Smith has almost established himself in the side, but he's only been back in for a year and at some stage he's going to have a poor - or less than stellar - series. In this team he is the development player, and probably needs to be for a bit longer yet.
So for South Africa I think #6 should be either George Bailey (probably if he makes runs in the ODIs) or Marcus North. While Bailey hasn't shown much this series, I think conditions in Sth Africa will suit him, but Marcus North being a WACA would probably be suited more. I think Bailey's game makes him probably well suited to be the #6 against India later this year (certainly more than Hughes). For the sake of maintaining consistency of selection I'd be taking Bailey for #6 with North as the reserve batter.