Time for Cricket Aus­tralia to be bold Par­al­lels with the past point to need for a clean break for the Baggy Greens

Arab News - - SPORTS -

In his next four in­nings, the cava­lier bats­man made 0, 2, 0 and 0. He never played for Aus­tralia again. The fol­low­ing win­ter, he led a side to apartheid South Africa, taking with him the likes of Rod­ney Hogg, Terry Al­der­man and Carl Rack­e­mann. Aus­tralia lost the Ashes se­ries home and away, and the dark­ness lifted only once Al­lan Bor­der — who re­placed Hughes as cap­tain — re­built with the help of new faces such as David Boon, Ge­off Marsh, Dean Jones and Steve Waugh. A decade af­ter hit­ting rock bot­tom, Aus­tralia won in the Caribbean to set ex­o­dus of spon­sors that Cricket Aus­tralia will have to deal with.

Smith has been barred from lead­ing Aus­tralia for two years. Warner will never cap­tain the na­tional side again. Shorn of 138 Test caps of ex­pe­ri­ence, where do Aus­tralia look for a leader, some­one who can do the sal­vage job Bor­der took on so ad­mirably in the 1980s? Tim Paine, who led from the front with a fight­ing 64 at The Wan­der­ers de­spite hav­ing bro­ken his thumb ear­lier in the game, is 33 and play­ing just his 13th Test. Af­ter seven oper­a­tions on his index fin­ger over the years, he nearly walked away from the game last year.

For­mer opener Simon Katich talked up Mitchell Marsh’s longterm chances af­ter his hero­ics in the first Test in Dur­ban. That was be­fore Smith and Warner ex­ited the stage. Now, as the se­lec­tors con­sider Marsh’s suit­abil­ity for the role, they should also look to break the mold.

The last bowler to lead those in baggy green was the great Richie Be­naud, who won 12 and lost only four of 28 matches. It would not be the worst idea to take a punt on Pat Cum­mins, whose su­perb pace bowl­ing in all con­di­tions is al­lied to sound bat­ting tech­nique and im­pres­sive poise. Af­ter the re­cent dark days, Cum­mins’ box-office ap­peal could bring forth the pos­i­tive vibes Cricket Aus­tralia is so des­per­ate for.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saudi Arabia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.