Many questions to be answered this summer
On the morning of the start of another Australian summer of cricket, I believe this could be one of the most fascinating of recent times. This is despite of the wide held perceptions of the low quality of the two touring sides.
The reason for my excitement is that there are a number of questions that need to be answered.
1. Will Michael Hussey last the summer?
My view is that if he scores anything less than 300 runs in the West Indies series, he should be dropped for the Pakistan series. It’s that simple.
2. Will Shane Watson transform himself as an opener?
The Australian selectors obviously feel that Shane Watson is an opener, but does he? If he is to continue as an opener he must convert his starts into big hundreds. If not, his place in the side may be dependent on the answer to the question above.
3. Was extending Andrew Hilditch’s tenure a mistake?
This has all the hallmarks of the decision St George Illawarra made to extend Nathan Brown’s contract prior to sacking him for Wayne Bennett. For the sake of Australian Cricket, I hope I am proven wrong.
4. How many spinners will Australia play this summer?
Logic dictates that Hauritz and Krejza should be the two that play Test cricket this summer, but then again, Hilditch did get his contract extended. So your guess is as good as mine.
5. Is this the right bowling attack to consistently take twenty wickets?
That sound you hear is me dragging my soapbox out again to bleat about the fact that the bowling attack needs to be able to take twenty wickets on a consistent basis. The current attack (bar Stuart Clark) have been given a shot at redemption. Let’s hope that they take it.
6. Are the tourists as bad as everyone thinks?
I won’t be putting my hard-earned on them to win the series but expect some brilliance from the likes of Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Mohammed Yousuf and Shahid Afridi. I still hope Younis Khan boards the flight to Melbourne.
7. Is it the end for Brett Lee and Stuart Clark?
Unless the incumbents are injured, it pains me to say that both Lee and Clark have played their last Test matches for Australia. Lee will join Andrew Flintoff as a short form specialist. The fact the NSW will benefit in having Clark available for the majority of the season is the only positive of his sacking.
8. Is Michael Clarke really planning a Captaincy coup?
During his period of convalescence, Michael Clarke has been seen at the Melbourne Cup and spending time with Tiger. If you believe the papers over the last few weeks, he also went to Fiji for a leadership course.
9. Will the 20/20 Big Bash be the highlight of the summer?
NSW’s win in the Champions Trophy and the inclusion of overseas players should make the Big Bash one of the highlights of the summer. There will be many that hope that this expectation extends to the speed dating in the stands as well.
10. Will Cricket Australia (CA) try innovative things to bring the crowds in this summer?
Well, reduce the prices for a start. $73 for a concourse seat for the Test and $85 for the ODI at the SCG is just taking the proverbial. At this rate, you will need to take a second mortgage out for next year’s Ashes series!
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