The Test: A New Era For Australia’s Team, directed by Adrian Brown, is an eight-part Amazon Prime documentary that follows the players and staff of the Australian cricket team from the sandpaper incident in Cape Town all the way up to Australia’s recent ODI World Cup and Ashes campaign in the UK.
Within this eight-episode series, the cameras got up close and personal with the entire Australian cricket team. Whether it be a coaches meeting regarding vital upcoming selection or just a Mitch Marsh coffee run, the cameras were there.
The focus of this series was to capture how the Australian cricket team got back on their feet after South Africa and how they went about aiming to win two of the biggest competitions in world cricket with a new team, new coach, new captain and a new mindset.
Although many different tours and matches were featured in this documentary series, there was definitely an emphasis put on the Test and ODI series against India, the World Cup and the Ashes. Other series – Test and ODI – that played roles within the documentary were against the likes of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England, South Africa and many more.
This series highlights Justin Langer’s unique coaching style and technique as well his ongoing theme of respect. On top of that, it also shows the relationship and bond that Langer and captain Tim Paine formed throughout the summer. Rarely in Australian Test cricket history would the team get a new captain and a new head coach almost simultaneously, making this era of Australian cricket even more interesting.
The only form of criticism I have for this documentary is that there was no footage of and nor mention of the Australia A tour of the UK, other than Matthew Wade in one interview. I’m assuming this is because the priority at the time was on the World Cup, but the Australia A tour did play a crucial part in selecting the Australian Ashes squad. This is why I believe that it shouldn’t be disregarded completely.
As a whole, this series is extremely eye-opening and a definite must-watch for all cricket fans as it gives an inside look on the lives of international cricketers and what goes through the minds of the players and the coaches when decisions – both on a small and large scale – are made.
Also, it is extremely well directed and produced. Even though I remember the Ashes like it was yesterday, there’s still a little bit of me that still hopes Nathan Lyon won’t miss the run out or possibly Marcus Harris will take the catch. Altogether, this is a great watch.
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5