Ok, I know I was skeptical in my last post about Australia’s chances in the World Cup, and happy to wait it out, but there’s some things that don’t wait no matter what – and for me that’s the Ashes!
Being a past Pom I look upon this regular chance to go back to the mother country and turn the screws a bit tighter with glee. The opportunity to combine some great cricket with a ready-made holiday is too hard to resist, but sometimes needs planning. I’ve done this pilgrimage twice now, once as part of a tour. and once with friends. This time I’ll be doing it just with the missus, well we go in the plane together, then split up for the important things, for her shopping, me a chance to catch up with some mates and watch what will hopefully be a few tough matches.
The great thing about a tour is everything sorted for you, tickets (which are not easy to come by in England for Ashes) hotels transfers, and you hopefully get to meet some of your heroes. But, it does restrict your movements when your going somewhere you know well. So for next year we’re sorting out a loan through Ferratum now so we can get all our tickets organised, all i can hope for is that the Australian team have themselves equally sorted by then.
The World Cup is apparently only 135 days away, and I for one can wait. Despite being on the back of successive test victories, Australia still do not look like a team bedded in. Despite most positions already being picked, the upcoming domestic season is crucial if Australia are going to field a stable team into the World Cup.
With a few positions up for grabs there are some important games ahead to make for an exciting summer. Peter Siddle has had a strong return to form in the English summer, and will be asking questions of the selectors. NSW captain Moises Henriques will be looking for a solid start to showcase his claims. But, to be honest, what I´m most hoping for is for the young talent to come through and shout for attention. With the likes of Steven Smith now looking mainstream, we need to see fresh new talent that succeeds, over the last few years there have been some amazing starts by players like Ashton Agar, that have not been able to be turned into consistent play. Australia has for the last few years struggled to turn over new players, let’s hope this season can see better.
The English domestic season has drawn to a close with Yorkshire taking out top honours, and no real standouts from Australia to lead into the summer. Chris Rogers managed to save Middlesex from relegation with a superb double ton, in an otherwise weak season by them. Aaron Finch turned in some mixed performances and was ultimately unable to lead Yorkshire to glory in the Twenty20 competition.
With a gruelling all year schedule and the pull of the IPL, the English domestic season is not the lure it once was for premium Australian players. However Peter Siddle has shown that the County Competition can still be a valuable playing ground, he managed to put in some superb spells to return to form and pose questions about a call up, and Nottingham were unlucky in the end to settle with a middle order ranking.
While it may not have the money of the IPL, the English competitions are still a hard won battlefield, any Australian player lucky enough to get the call to prove themselves here rightfully deserves to gain the attention of the Australian selectors. And strong performances by Doug Bollinger and a now fit Michael Klinger, will bring strength into the Australian domestic season to help stir up the local lads.