From what I understand, India is slated to play Australia once every year as that agreement is mutually beneficial for both the boards as well as the players of the two countries. I assume the fans like it as well. So in keeping with that the Australian team will be heading to India for a series of 7 matches and a T20 prior to the one day games. In my last article I had reviewed the Indian team and today it is the turn of the Aussies to be under the scanner. So, before any further comments let us take a look at the Australia team.
The batting department will be led by the skipper George Bailey, who will be filling in for the injured Michael Clarke, and he will have a lot of support from people like Callum Ferguson, recalled to the side after a lengthy period, Aaron Finch, Philip Hughes and Nic Maddinson, who has been selected for only the T20 match. Brad Haddin will also play an important role with his immense experience as well as overall nous and capability. This may not be the star studded ensemble of the yore but obviously if you are playing for the Aussies you got to have something in you. The return of Ferguson, especially, bodes well for the team as he has been performing well in domestic cricket since he was dropped a couple of years back. Bailey is a solid performer and Finch will have the responsibility of providing the impetus at the top. I do not have much expectation from Hughes considering he will be playing Clarke’s position. I think they could have considered Cameron White, David Hussey, or Marcus North for this spot. Also one wonders what happened to players like Quiney and Forrest.
The backbone of the Aussie side, over the years, has been its allrounders and the present team is no different as well considering that there are many of them. People like Shane Watson, Moises Henriques and Glenn Maxwell will have the duty of lending batting and bowling support during crunch moments in the India matches. Watson is a proven performer and right now one of the finest all-rounders going around, capable of changing a match with both bat and ball. Henriques, once considered the next big all-rounder of Aussie cricket, has not gone ahead to fulfill the potential that he had showed in youth cricket but he still remains a handy performer, who has become something of an India specialist given that he has played a lot of his matches over here. Maxwell is also highly regarded but has till now delivered little in terms of performance and it was surprising to see him get the nod ahead of Steven Smith who I think is an infinitely better player. However the Aussie selectors know better!
In the bowling line up the main responsibility will be on the capable shoulders of Mitchell Johnson, who has been in good form of late and rediscovered his nip. He will be ably supported by Clint McKay who always bowls with a fantastic line and length as well as effective change of pace. James Faulkner, the third cog in the wheel, is similar to McKay. All these three gentlemen are pretty capable with the bat as well with Faulkner being the best of the lot in this regard. The youngster Nathan Coulter-Nile is the fourth fast bowler in the team and bowls with good pace. He can hit a long ball as well and has a decent average in first class cricket that suggests that he can bat too! I personally think that Ben Cutting could have been chosen in the team as well. Xavier Doherty is a good selection as his record in one dayers is decent enough. It would have been better, in my opinion, if Aussies had chosen Nathan Hauritz as well. That would have given them some cover in the spin bowling department.
Overall, the team looks good enough but I am not sure if it will win the series. However, we will talk about it later.