The fight we wanted

Aussies de­serve the plau­dits

NewsMail - - SPORT - SHANE JONES shane.jones@news-mail.com.au

OPIN­ION: Al­most two decades ago I, like many Aus­tralians, watched a spe­cial mo­ment hap­pen at Ho­bart against Pak­istan in a test.

The Aus­tralian cricket team, af­ter be­ing in all sorts of trou­ble early, made one of the largest run chases ever in the fi­nal in­nings as Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist guided the team to vic­tory.

The win set up the team to be one of the most dom­i­nant in any era of cricket be­fore­hand as the side claimed 16 straight wins.

Thurs­day night’s tough fought draw against the same na­tion 19 years later brought sim­i­lar mem­o­ries.

Yes it wasn’t a win and the draw came about af­ter a dark day with the bat in the first in­nings.

But we saw in the 11 that played the fight, spirit and hunger that has been lack­ing for years.

The ball tam­per­ing is­sue dis­ap­peared, for a mo­ment, the three sus­pended player were for­got­ten and no men­tion was made of them to come back and that pride of the na­tion came back.

Of course, one Test doesn’t make a sum­mer.

Aus­tralia face plenty of chal­lenges ahead, in­clud­ing a sec­ond Test in the same con­di­tions against Pak­istan and the In­di­ans who are in­tent on show­ing the world why they be­long as the num­ber one na­tion.

But the signs look good. Us­man Khawaja looks to be promis­ing and tal­ented player that Aus­tralia has needed him to be­come in years.

Aaron Finch looks ready made for test cricket and you can have him in the mid­dle order when the big stars re­turn.

The same can be said of Travis Head who made South Aus­tralia’s first 50 in a baggy green for six years.

This bodes well for when the three, Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Ban­croft re­turn. Aus­tralia has al­ways prided it­self on depth and maybe hav­ing play­ers out has given oth­ers the chance to shine.

Who knows in 12 months time the hor­rors of what has tran­spired could have un­cov­ered play­ers that will get Aus­tralia back to the top.

COME­BACK: Aus­tralian cap­tain Tim Paine was one of the play­ers that showed fight dur­ing the first test against Pak­istan that ended in a draw.

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