After being under a rough patch in Test cricket for quite some now (losing 3 consecutive Test series, most recently against India), the Australian team is looking to get back on their feet as the hosts demolished the Sri Lankan batting line-up after some terrific showings with the ball by pacers. Sri Lankan team was restricted to 144 in the 1st innings of the ongoing match between these two sides at The Gabba, Brisbane.
Mitchell Starc completed 200 wickets in his Test career by scalping 2 wickets. Test debutant Jhye Richardson shined on the occasion by dismissing 3 batsmen and Pat Cummins delighted the Australian fans by picking up 4 wickets. Niroshan Dickwella scored crucial 64 runs for the visitors.
At the end of the first day's play, Australia are 2 down for 72 with opener Marcus Harris holding the fort at unbeaten 40 along with the nightwatchman Nathan Lyon. Joe Burns was recalled in the Test squad after 10 months after shining with the bat in the JLT Sheffield Shield summer tournament though he could only manage 15 runs before edging out to second slip.
In a recent interview with Cricket Australia, former Australia opener and the legendary cricketer Matthew Hayden pitched in with his two cents regarding Australian batting concerns. He mentioned that the lack of first-class centuries showed the slump in Australia’s batting standards and revisited the quality set by the Australian batsmen of the previous generations.
The veteran cited the example of Cheteshwar Pujara, who showed tremendous class with the blade in the recently concluded Test series against Australia where in 4 matches, Pujara registered 3 magnificent tons and earned his name in the record books by facing 1258 deliveries to amass 571 runs at an exceptional average of 74.42.
Hayden said, “I loved the way (Pujara) went about his cricket. That sort of tenacious batting almost died with the Allan Border era in this country, and that’s no disrespect to that era – they based their game on defence. Our era was kind of born out of that, and people forget that. Most of the players in our generation, whilst considered to be very attacking players, actually had outstanding defensive games."
"I think the current Australian cricket batting community has to look at that and say, 'Look, our first line of attack is defence'. That's Test cricket, and that's what Pujara actually showed us so well", he added.