What do the new players in Australia squad present? Of course, a newness, and fresh rigour.
But what’s more? Let’s appraise a reinvigorated squad.
The Australian squad for the UAE tour was announced recently. Two difficult challenges are coming up, one against Pakistan and the other one against India at home. Australia are now ready to breathe life without David Warner and Steve Smith. There can be an endless argument regarding how harsh the punishments were, but no point. The Australian team has moved on for the time being, and the fact that five debutants made the squad is a sublime proof of the same.
The highest run scorer in the squad is a certain Usman Khawaja whose aggregate is 2226. Shaun Marsh is the senior-most member in the dressing room. However, it’s the journey of Tim Paine that intrigues me the most. For someone who hadn’t been a part of the national side for ten years to go on to become the captain of the Baggy Greens within four months. It has been a roller coaster ride for the wicketkeeper-batsman. The upcoming two series would be a hard test of Paine’s character as a captain. How he appeals to the youngsters in the side with his style of captaincy would be interesting to watch.
The five new coming players also include Aaron Finch who has awaited his test debut more than GOT fans waited for the Stark sisters to unite. Travis Head’s inclusion can be attributed a lot towards his splendid performance in the Australian A tour to India. The same also counts for the returns of left-arm orthodox Jon Holland. His Sheffield Shield performances for Victoria also inspire a lot of confidence on his abilities. As Punter suggested, it’s quite likely that he will be Nathan Lyon’s spin partner.
These developments promise something exciting, probably one can’t go astray from. There’s reason to believe the new players in Australia may be up against challenges, going against
The squad is clearly based on the parameter of their performances in Sheffield Shield. Matt Renshaw led the batting charts in Australia’s premier domestic competition. Queensland who won the title this year has three of its counterparts other than Renshaw in the squad. Players were rewarded for their excellence in the domestic season. It is an exciting time for Australian cricket. A lot of opportunities have been floating and the young guns would be willing to grab it.
Michael Neser who recently made his ODI debut will now look forward to playing the traditional format. He was also a part of the Sheffield Shield team of the year announced by CA. Representing Queensland, the right arm pacer picked 39 wickets at 21.84 and ended up being the second highest wicket-taker. He also scored a couple of half-centuries. Australia are quite likely to go ahead with experienced campaigner Mitchell Marsh as the third choice pacer above him. Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle will be expected to lead the pace attack.
Marnus Labuschagne is another new name in the Australian rooster. The second highest run scorer with 795 runs, Marnus went on to register hundreds in a couple of occasions. The 24-year-old South African born is also a fantastic fielder. He can occasionally bowl leg spin too, making him an apt choice for subcontinent pitches. He and Head are likely to fight for a spot in the playing XI as a middle order batsman.
Brendan Doggett’s inclusion sure surprised many. The right arm pacer was decent enough during the Sheffield Shield. He also picked two five-wicket hauls too. His inclusion in the Australian A tour to India proved that he was in the radar of the selectors. Might be right to say, the fact that Hazlewood and Cummins sustained injuries made way for him in the squad- did it not?
While it’s unlikely he will feature in a game owing to the conditions, the 24-year-old will have a good experience sharing the dressing room with someone like Starc.
On paper, the inexperience may not speak much volume of the team. However, this is quite more than just a capable side. The absence of stalwarts is likely to hurt their prospects of winning a series here. However, at the same time, it is also going to serve the youngsters a huge opportunity to make significant contributions. The faster they embrace the conditions, the much better for them. This is certainly not a team that can be taken lightly. The Aussies being tough fighters is well known. Since they’ll be starting the series as underdogs, there isn’t much to lose here.