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Selectors will sack Australia’s impatient batsmen following another collapse against India, with specific instructions to return to Big Bash cricket to learn to “bat time”.
The widespread changes have been mooted after the home side’s cluster-barney performance against India on Day 3, with the top six crumbling for a measly 151 in a stunning return to form.
A review of their dismissals left no other option but a stint in the Big Bash League, with coaching staff agreeing the technical frailties exposed could only be rectified with a heap of wide yorkers on a concrete strip, and because there is nowhere else to go.
As a result, those axed will be instructed to return to their respective franchises to “patiently occupy the crease”, preferably at “around 11.5 per over.”
While the discards are said to be struggling with the news, selectors have urged them to do what “every axed Aussie Test batsmen has done before them” and “earn a recall smashing journeymen for Alinta maximums”.
This flush-out of rejects back to the Big Bash – the first since the last flush-out almost a year ago – will finally see a raft of internationals return to Australia’s famous Test breeding ground.
The League has established itself as the nation’s premier Test shop window in recent summers, where simple skills like a cultish floss or “danger value” can earn the attention of selectors.
Additionally, it has operated successfully as a workshop for discards to patiently tinker with their game, mainly as it allows the luxury of facing 20-odd balls coming in at four, usually from a bloke from Campbelltown with “wheels”.
With Australia currently in fifth in the Test rankings and relying on an anonymous batting line-up which they are currently considering dumping to a T20 league to regain form, it’s obvious the Big Bash League has had a significant influence on the baggy green.
Just look at Peter Handscomb, whose blistering 70 for the Melbourne Stars on Thursday night proved the domestic competition is providing the adequate depth the Test squad craves, especially when it comes to bowlers.
The Victorian was axed from the Test team following its win in Perth, partly due to a string of low scores but mostly because his technique is ugly and Shane Warne didn’t like it.
Critics rightfully compared his methods to witchcraft, with many pleading with coaches to save his career with an overhaul or by simply burning him at the stake in the town centre. Either way, he was dead to Australian selectors.
But now Handscomb has overcome the disappointment to be back in red ball contention, putting him on the cusp of returning to the game’s challenging places like India and the front foot, and all it took was one T20 knock and a batting epidemic.
There is no doubt having Test cricket underpinned by the Big Bash will continue to reap immediate results for Australia, probably within three days.