Unless COVID-19 happens to ruin everything for us again, we have a bumper schedule of international men’s cricket ahead this summer, along with a revamped BBL.
Here are the four burning questions cricket fans can’t wait to be answered over this coming season.
Will we see Australia’s next superstar emerge?
The push for young gun Will Pucovski to make his test debut is simply deafening. Yet the chorus may be silenced by those that matter most – Justin Langer, Tim Paine and veteran opener David Warner.
Stopping short of guaranteeing his selection, Langer and Warner have both publicly backed Burns despite an horrendous start to the Sheffield Shield season.
That’s in stark contrast to Pucovski who’s back-to-back double centuries have Australian fans chomping at the bit to see this young man take the world by storm.
Surely we don’t have to wait much longer.
Do we have a legitimate star all-rounder of the future?
It seems like forever since the country had someone capable of being a top six test batsman, whilst also being able to chip in with some handy wickets.
I don’t think I’ve seen a player’s value rise so much in retirement than Shane Watson. He was so often criticised during his long career, yet now, with no established all-rounder over recent years, many fans regard him as our version of Jacques Kallis, Sir Garfield Sobers or Ian Botham.
No we can’t bring ‘Watto’ back, but we do have someone else. Even younger than Pucovski, Cameron Green is the other rising star called up to the test squad.
He’s compiled an extraordinary recorded over 19 first class matches – averaging nearly 50 with the bat and less than 23 with the ball.
But is it enough to take number six spot from Matthew Wade? We may see Green even earlier given he’s also a part of the ODI set-up.
Will the BBL sustain its entertainment?
Unless you’re a true traditionalist most fans around the country thoroughly look forward to the BBL each season. Heck, even non-cricket fans enjoy it for the social aspect it can provide.
But in recent seasons, cricket’s newest format has got old pretty quickly. Its novelty and chaos seem to wear off after a few weeks, leaving many fans to complain that the season is simply way too long.
With a larger quantity of international players allowed, I fully expect the higher quality to engage fans for longer, even if it comes at the detriment of developing the country’s younger players.
As for the new ridiculous substitute rules? Yeah no thanks.
Do we see a change in leadership?
We probably won’t see an answer for this until towards the end of the summer. Tim Paine has been fantastic for Australian cricket since he took charge following the ball-tampering saga nearly three years ago.
But the reality is that Paine’s 35, and his value as a batsman has always been questioned.
There is the distinct possibility this is Paine’s last summer in charge of the national team, however there’s still no obvious replacement.
Although Pat Cummins is the sole vice-captain currently, it’s rare to see a front-line bowler be given the top job.
Despite being just 26, Travis Head has displayed immense leadership credentials within the national team as well as South Australia. However a couple of poor early scores could see his position in Australia’s XI in jeopardy.
Then of course, there’s Steve Smith. Whilst many may have reconciled and accepted the idea, just as many may still reject the notion that he could ever take charge of our national cricket team again. I suspect he’s still first in line at present though.
With all these and more questions to be answered, bring on the cricket!
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