In the warm-up fixture against Somerset in Taunton last week, the Australians walked away with a comfortable 6-wicket win. Young batsmen like Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja stood up and made decent contributions.
This match seemed to give some fans who were speculative, some hope.
People have spent the days after this match giving their opinions on what they think went right in the warm-up game for Australia.
The one thing that impressed me the most was the all-round performance as a team. This will be a big key in Australia’s Ashes campaign. Everyone needs to contribute. If everyone contributes in the batting order, it opens up the space for someone to stand out and make a big score. If everyone contributes, then even if no one plays a big innings, the team ends up reaching mid-200s rather than skittling out for a below-100 total.
In the series against South Africa, the team was carried on the shoulders of mainly Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey. Hussey is no longer playing cricket and you can’t expect Clarke to make a double century in every Test.
If the batting line-up can get in the habit of everyone contributing, they will be better off overall.
For this transformation to happen in Australian cricket, changes need to be made. The main change is to get rid of batsmen who are inconsistent, with big scores coming for them in far too large intervals. These players may be good, but you only want one or two explosive and unpredictable batsmen in the batting line-up.
Players like Warner and Watson have no place at the top of the order. These players’ style of play is too “make or break” to open the batting.
The opening pair should be Cowan and Rogers. Cowan is not liked a lot on this website, but he is someone who will contribute consistently.
Rogers is solid and someone who has a heap of experience in English conditions.
Khawaja has to bat at number 3, as he is the best the Aussies have got.
The two players who sit at number 4 and 6 have to be Watson and Smith. Smith is more consistent than Hughes and is more competent against spin.
Signs are looking up, and the Australian team deserves to be kept faith in.