It's Time To Sandpaper Over Old Wounds And Back Our Boys In Baggy Greens
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi oi oi!
It's the first REAL day of summer. Anticipation is in the air, the wicket is freshly rolled, the sun is beaming and the toss is imminent. Note: Tails never fails.
The First Test will play out at the Adelaide Oval, moving away from the traditional opener in Brisbane at the GABBA. (Hell, I’d watch a game of marbles at that magnificent stadium in Adelaide.)
But the starkest contrast when the Aussies take the field will be the absence of former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, with the pair still serving bans for their respective roles in the ball tampering disgrace in South Africa in March. Cameron Bancroft, also sidelined through suspension, will not get the opportunity to open the batting on home soil for a second straight summer.
So, without three starters from the corresponding Test of last summer’s Ashes series there are already wholesale changes to the XI.
And a new leader.
Less than 18 months ago, with his Test hopes fading, Tasmanian Tim Paine contemplated a move to Melbourne to play Grade Cricket and take up a great job at Kookaburra. Still regarded by most as the best gloveman in the country, there was an opportunity for the 33-year-old to work his way up into selection contention at domestic level for Victoria.
History tells us not only did he win a spectacular recall to the national team but just months later he would be wearing the Baggy Green as Australia’s 46th Test captain, replacing disgraced Smith.
It would be unVictorian of me not to pump up the two Victorians who will form the newest opening batting combination for Australia, Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris. #VicsDoItBetter
Finch received his Baggy Green, number 453 to be precise, in October as part of the tour of Pakistan, while left-hander Harris, who has developed into a run machine since leaving WA for Melbourne, makes a well-earned debut after several years of amassing runs in the Sheffield Shield competition.
Travis Head will fulfil a dream when he strides to the crease on his home wicket and Victorian captain Peter Handscomb wins a recall to the middle order.
Oh, and we still have the best bowling attack in the world. Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Lyon would make anyone sleep with the lights on. Hmmm, maybe just not Virat…
It’s been a nightmare year for Aussie cricket and fans have had every right to lose interest and passion, feel embarrassed, disgraced and betrayed. But with a new campaign brings new hope and with crisis brings opportunity.
This is now Paine’s team and he deserves our full support. So, let’s go into bat for the Aussie skipper and his 10 team mates as they take on the ICC #1 ranked Test side.
Can I get an oi, oi, oi?
Can't get near a telly at work? Don't care what the ex-captains in the commentary box think? Want cricket coverage with a little good-natured sledging thrown in?
Check out 10 daily's live cricket coverage good areas from 10 am Thursday. It's cricket with a tweak.