The Black Caps will take a full-strength squad to Australia for the three-Test series after Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme passed fitness tests.
It was a magnificent day the Australian cricket public shouldn’t undervalue.
The Shield clash between New South Wales and Tasmania saw two young talents make an opposition bowling collective appear mediocre.
Australian cricket prodigies Jack Edwards and Jason Sangha were valiant with bat in hand. The Australian Under-19 representatives brought up elegant tons, which bolstered New South Wales’ batting efforts to finish up on a declared total of 9-442.
Edwards, 18, brought up his maiden first-class hundred, while teammate Sangha, 19, soared to his second first-class ton, his first coming a year ago in an Ashes tour game against England.
The pair put on a 180-run sixth wicket partnership, before the hard-hitting Edwards found Alex Doolan at deep mid wicket, finishing up on 101 off just 149 balls.
Desperate times called for desperate measures, whereby Sangha’s mature innings of 117 off 223 deliveries was claimed by the surprise bowling inclusion, Matthew Wade.
Edwards and Sangha’s boundary tallies of (10 fours, 2 sixes) and (10 fours, one six) respectively exposes both the fledgling New South Welshmen’s ability to consolidate, but also attack and accumulate runs freely.
Test spots, particularly for batsmen, have just become more competitive. Will Pucovski’s knock of 243 put him into national calculations, however a cruel setback of mental illness has landed the young Victorian on the sidelines indefinitely.
Queenslanders Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne and Matt Renshaw are contesting for a baggy green opportunity, however the emergence of these youthful talents may narrow and shut down the chances of these fringe players aforementioned.
Players knocking on Trevor Hohns’ door, the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Moises Henriques – again spots are increasingly getting harder to come by.
Some cricket enthusiasts may wish for Jack Edwards to secure the everlasting debated number 6 spot. The selection panel may throw Edwards in the deep end, despite a lack of first-class experience. High-risk, high-reward some would say.
Trevor Hohns, Justin Langer and Greg Chappell – please continue to keep a close eye on the nursery of young talent. There is light at the end of the tunnel for Australian cricket.