A talking point that often comes up regarding the state of cricket is the balance between bat and ball.
For the last four to five years, Australia has seen a heap of fast bowlers crop up. Even if someone is injured, like Ryan Harris at the moment, there are so many able replacements to choose from.
This is really heartening to see as Tests are won by taking 20 wickets, so a good supply line is always needed.
Now, for the next four or five years I expect a similar thing to happen on the batting side. There was a time when no replacements were visible for Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and even Simon Katich for that matter.
In the next few years we will also lose Chris Rogers, Shane Watson and, after a while, Pup too. Able batsmen will be needed to come in then. Fortunately Aussie cricket is shaping up to be in a better place this time around.
At the moment, seeing the selections of various teams like Test, Australia A team and NPS sides, one gets a feeling that there are different compartments that the selectors have slotted the future batsmen into. They are split into three levels.
Level 1 – Can come in to the Test side this season if needed
Currently Phil Hughes, Peter Forrest, Shaun Marsh and Tom Cooper seem to be in this category. Any of them, barring Marsh now, can be a backup batsman for the UAE tour. I’d like to think that Callum Ferguson is also being looked at but he is viewed as a ODI player basically.
Level 2 – The Gen Next
At this level, we have young guns like Chris Lynn, Nic Maddinson, Travis Head and Jordan Silk. Although not selected for the A series, Joe Burns and Ryan Carters are also in the same boat more or less. I think the selectors will give all these players another one or two seasons of Shield cricket, which is not a bad thing since it will harden them up and get them prepared for the big time.
Level 3 – The ultra-young
Batsmen classified here are the ones selected for NPS like – Matthew Short, Kelvin Smith, Sean Willis and Cam Bancroft. You would also think that selectors will also keep an eye on likes of Jake Doran, Jaron Morgan, Kurtis Patterson, Damien Mortimer and Will Bosisto
I’m not even mentioning Sam Whiteman and Mitch Marsh here, as well as few ones like Marcus Harris and Peter Handscomb (at Level 2 in my list). With the number of names mentioned here, what do you think Roarers? Do you share my opinion that a slew of talented and dominant batsmen are coming up through the ranks capable of taking Oz to the top of cricket?