It’s just over 20 days since Australia last played Test cricket and if we try to compare their recent performance against Sri Lanka with their performances against India not so long ago, it clearly highlights how much uncertainties are associated with cricket, or for that matter with any other sport.
If Australia's efforts against the Indians looked depreciating and toothless, their all-round display against the Lankans has certainly looked clinical.
A team that took field against India especially at the MCG and SCG appeared as if it didn’t have a spine at all, forget about having a dent or bent in a spine. And against the men from Emerald island, in their first day-night Test, Australia ran away with the game within 3 days and by a margin of innings & 40 runs.
The way they performed against the Lankans was so flawless and so dominating that it made us ponder whether is this the same Australian team that had all the doubts in the world in just their last Test, barely 3 weeks back?
Even though this Australian team, not even in their dreams, would sniff anywhere near the legacy of the Australian teams of the past, the scores on paper and the numbers in the record books for sure remind us of Australia of the old, under the likes of Waugh and Ponting, dismantling the oppositions for fun.
Yes they made three changes in their playing XI as Joe Burns, Kurtis Patterson and Jhye Richardson grabbed the spots on offer in a bid to add more balance and stability to the team.
As of now against a weak Lankan team on their home ground, they looked clinical as the man of the match Pat Cummins continued his rich vein of form with the ball, continuing from where he left and the Australian batting which appeared to be in a total disarray looked decent to say the least.
However, Australia’s batting woes remain far from addressed as the main question Australia should be eyeing now is to confirm the batsmen that can fit in the remainder of four spots once Warner and Smith take guard once again in an all-important Ashes series later this year. Either of Marcus Harris or Joe Burns can accompany Warner at the top while Khawaja and Smith certainly would take up the number 3 & number 4 spots respectively.
With just the two spots left, one can sense a tough competition between Travis Head, Kurtis Patterson, Marnus Labuschagne and even Joe Burns who has played in the middle order in the past as each one of those look forward to make a strong case for themselves.
And with the last Test of the summer to be played at Manuka Oval in Canberra, which also happens to be last Test assignment for the Aussies before the Ashes, the top six need to play as if everything is on the line as a solid performance here would just book their spot in the first Test against the arch-rivals England.
Personally, I still wonder why Glen Maxwell has not featured in any of the Tests in this summer and are Aussies just missing the trick by ignoring a largely improved batsman who has done so well over the years in Sheffield too?
Apparently, he can be a X-factor that Aussies seem to be missing and who knows with his aggressive brand of batting and more than handy variations of bowling, can just turn out to be a difference between two sides at the Ashes!Published 28 Jan 2019, 02:14 IST