Today, the first of three T20 internationals between Australia and India will be played at the Gabba, Sports Talk’s Terry Pascoe looks at the Australian cricket 15 days before the first ball of the test match in Adelaide.
Australia has come back from the UAE with its tail between its legs after what can only be said as a “rebuilding phase” of Australian cricket.
Now, off the bat I want to make one thing clear, I am an eternal optimist when it comes to most things.
I can still believe my horse can win, 200 metres from the post, and five lengths off the leader.
Is Australian Cricket really in dire straights? Are the general public revolting after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa?
I don’t believe the Aussies are in that bad of a state compared to what some of the comments being passed around.
Yes, we do not have the world’s best batsman in the side and there really isn’t anyone who can leap into Steve Smith’s shoes.
What we have unearthed is a unique combination between Justin Langer and Tim Paine.
I always felt Paine should have slipped straight into the Australian side after Brad Haddin retired but it wasn’t to be after his horrific thumb injury.
My personal opinion about Paine was a reserved one until I heard his interview with Mark Howard on The Howie Games. Now I am sold!
There was no question Paine is Australia’s best wicketkeeper and now we will see his experience and tenacity as the captain of Australia, in Australia.
I admit, the form of the Aussies in the recent One-Day Internationals wasn’t great but they didn’t have their full strength team playing either.
It is one of the true victims of this unusual schedule was cricket itself and probably the reason why no one was watching the game, either at the ground or on Fox Cricket.
Of course, the Australian’s were never going to put a full strength side together for a handful on One-Dayers and T20s. Why would you?
It has become clear the Australian selectors have told a few Test hopefuls, this is your time to shine.
One surprising resurgence has been Matthew Wade.
Scoring four half-centuries and one century, Wade has had a remarkable 2018/19 Sheffield Shield season so far.
You would assume Wade’s wicket-keeping days are over for the International stage but could he be selected as a specialist batsman?
Let us not forget though, Wade has copped two contrary conduct charges in recent times.
How does that go down with the new team culture?
On the horizon, you also have the Marsh brothers, who have both been scoring runs recently in lesser forms of the game. Should they be included?
Yes, the Aussies batting attack does need work and, more importantly, confidence but what is in their favour is the world class bowling attack.
Former Australian Captain Steve Waugh said recently if Australia can score 350 runs in their first innings, they are in with a chance of beating India.
Starting from 10 am on the 6th of December, Langer and Paine will be selling their brand of cricket to the Australian audience.
I can’t wait to see this new era, especially with it being tested by arguably one of International crickets toughest competitors, Virat Kohli.
BRING IT ON!