Ireland’s Paul Stirling and captain Andy Balbirnie struck superb centuries as the tourists chased down a daunting target of 329 to stun world champions England with a seven-wicket win in the third and final ODI at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.
From the moment that Punter and Huss stepped out of the national setup, the most significant issue the Australian team is battling with is the lack of depth of batting talent.
This point has been stressed upon by friends and foes of the team, the selectors , fans and almost everyone associated with Australian cricket.
It is bound to happen I guess when you are used to watching the likes of Haydos, Langer, Gilly, Ricky, Huss, Symmo, Martyn etc dominate the bowling attacks around the world.
While this lack of batting talent might be seen as a problem as of now, I think we have some really good talent coming up for the next few years.
The following list points out a few young batsmen with enormous potential:
Destined to play Test cricket sooner rather than later. A strong first-class record and the talent and technique to back it up. Expect him to break into the test side this year or at most the next.
Think he has the talent and temperament to succeed at the highest level, as was shown by his ton against South Africa. Someone who is endorsed by Punter himself has to be good.
If he can have a good couple of upcoming A-tours and a strong start to the Sheffield Shield season, he will be knocking on the door.
A huge talent, again destined for highest honours. He too has shown that he is not far behind to anybody in talent and temperament. What will earn him a Test spot is consistency over a couple of Shield seasons. Too good to not be considered.
Big bang start to the Shield career has already seen him picked in the A team. He has shown that he has the tools to handle the big situations like Shield final.
I hope he does not fall to the second-season syndrome and continues on his merry way without thinking about that Australian Test spot.
I think Lynn was hard done by not getting even a single Shield game last season, where he should have been persisted ahead of Forrest.
But he has already shown us what he can do with the bat, albeit inconsistently.
I expect him to challenge for Australian honours, under the guidance of the Boof, particularly if he gets consistent chances in the shield
I recently read a Roarer calling him ‘the next big thing’ in Australian cricket. I don’t disagree too much.
If he can start getting consistent, we have a long-long-term solution for the opener slot sorted out.
A century in his debut Shield game and then no shield game at all for him. Not seen much of KP but going by his batting in his Shield debut and the U-19 World Cup, he seems to be a very bright prospect.
Good technique, plays all the shots in the book. Played some crucial knocks in the U-19 world cup, and has started producing some good digs in the shield for South Australia.
He is only 19 years old and can be around the Test team for long time.
Good steady batsman who can also keep if required. Victoria will do well to make this guy their permanent number three.
Definitely possesses the technique to cut it at Test level.
Apart from this, I would also keep a close eye on the batsmen who performed well in the U-19 tour of New Zealand earlier this year – Kelvin Smith, Matt Short, Sean Willis, Damien Mortimer and Ben McDermott.
These guys are potential Test stars of the future, but need to be coached, nurtured and encouraged well at this stage of their careers.
All this and I haven’t even mentioned Mitch Marsh and Usman Khawaja, since now they are very close to the Australian setup, much more than the above mentioned guy.
Over to you Roarers, what do you make of the above list?