Australian cricket’s veterans silence the doubters
In the lead up to the Boxing Day Test many Australian cricket supporters were calling for the axing of Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting among others from the team. I’ll admit, I was one of those people.
I was all for bringing in new blood, and all for the removing these two men from the side, who despite being giants of the past, were well past their prime.
But, what have we seen in the test? We’ve seen both players bounce back into a little form.
Mike Hussey’s dismissal in the first innings wouldn’t have happened had the DRS been in use in the series. He had a few reprieves in the second innings, but played well throughout it regardless.
His lucky 89 in the second innings lifts his average this summer to 22.40, still a poor effort, but definitely an improvement on what it was sitting at after the series against New Zealand, which was under 20.
If the Australian selectors stick with him over the rest of the summer he may have the opportunity to continue on the comeback trail.
Before the beginning of the test, I felt that Ricky Ponting was, without doubt, lacking the mental capability to go in with the game much longer. While his two innings started off with a little uncertainty, I did start to see a bit of the old Ponting starting to shine through.
Two 60+ scores is more than the former captain has had to show in previous matches of late, and his average for the summer now sits at an acceptable average of 44.20.
He’s looking like he might just survive this summer, despite popular opinion a week or so ago that it might be his last here in Australian.
Maybe the two of them have had a few too many chances, but now that the two of them look to be heading back towards a good place score-wise, there’s no reason why the selectors shouldn’t stick with the pair for a little while longer.
With these developments, the New Year’s Test will be that much more an exciting event in this summer’s cricket.
Certainly Brad Haddin has, despite being in good form with the gloves, continued to disappoint with the bat, and maybe selectors should begin to look towards bringing Tim Paine or Peter Neville into the team.
But some of the popular opinion and criticism based around the Australian set up has, for the moment at least, been rebuffed.