The Roar
The Roar


'Long-term options': Abbott predicts new breed can follow in big dogs' footsteps for ageing Australian side

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4th February, 2024

Sean Abbott believes Australia’s one-day International series victory against West Indies has unearthed long-term stars of the future.

Only four players who played in last year’s victorious World Cup final were available for both of Australia’s two matches since, leading four debutants to earn selection across the pair of wins.

Quicks Xavier Bartlett and Lance Morris each earned their first caps in the eight-wicket defeat of West Indies at the MCG on Friday, with Bartlett earning player of the match honours.

Swashbuckling batter Jake Fraser-McGurk and all-rounder Will Sutherland were selected for their own debuts on Sunday, when the hosts closed out the series with an 83-run victory at the SCG.

Only three members of Australia’s champion World Cup squad are under 30, emphasising the need for the side to begin assessing its options for the coming years with Matt Short and Aaron Hardie also getting a chance to showcase their wares.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 04: Sean Abbott of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Kjorn Ottley of the West Indies during game two of the Men's One Day International series between Australia and West Indies at Sydney Cricket Ground on February 04, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Sean Abbott celebrates taking the wicket of Kjorn Ottley. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Bowling allrounder Abbott, player of the match in the SCG win, is confident that process is going swimmingly.

“We’ve seen four debutants already who have gone about it in different ways,” said Abbott, who scored 69 and took 3-40. “But I think they’ve jumped on the front foot early and they look ready to keep playing.


“I think there are some long-term options that we’ve seen there already.”

Fraser-McGurk played a fierce and fleeting innings on debut, smacking Alzarri Joseph down the ground for four and over deep square leg for six before being caught behind on 10 runs.

A shining light for Melbourne Renegades in this summer’s BBL, Fraser-McGurk attempted a slog on the very first ball of the innings.

“I’m not going to quote what he said but we knew he was going to go out and take it on,” Abbott said.

The 21-year-old’s furious efforts reminded Abbott of two international teammates.

“We’ve seen Travis (Head) build a game around that, Mitch Marsh is sort of not as aggressive as that but they all take the positive option and that’s the way we’ve played for a long time now. That’s going to complement the other batters around him in the powerplay if (Fraser-McGurk) continues to get opportunities, which I’m sure he will.”


Sutherland posted figures of 2-28 with the ball and took a leaping catch to dismiss Justin Greaves (8) as Australia restricted the tourists to 175 in their pursuit of 259 for victory.

The Victorian captain also impressed Abbott with his maturity during the pair’s 57-run partnership for the eighth wicket of Australia’s innings at the crease. “We were obviously under a bit of pressure,” Abbott said.

“As soon as we started talking I knew he was ready for it. The game plan was pretty simple, just get together and rotate the strike and hopefully be there around the 45th over.

“He went about it beautifully and then he did the same with the ball.”