Looking for redemption and respectability
Australia’s stock is at a low ebb after the sandpaper episode in South Africa. Can the team turn things around against India?
Undoubtedly, this is the lowest ebb for Australian cricket. Ever since Cameron Bancroft attempted to hide sandpaper down his pants, the sport Down Under has been in disarray leading to much uncertainty for the looming blockbuster summer.
Bancroft was suspended for nine months, while Steve Smith and David Warner, the team’s leaders and best batsmen, received 12 months. More heads have rolled with coach Darren Lehmann resigning during the ugly tour of South Africa, while chief executive James Sutherland and high performance boss Pat Howard are also part of the exodus.
There has been no respite with a scathing 145page independent review outlining toxicity within an “arrogant” Cricket Australia leading to underfire chairman David Peever falling on his sword. There has been unrelenting media scrutiny with damaging headlines almost totally focused on the offfield fiasco, but the international summer has finally begun much to the relief of everyone — especially the underpressure CA.
Right now, there is a big question mark next to the Australian team, who are in the early stages of a cultural shift under the new leadership duo of captain Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer.
Australia’s home stand is highlighted by a mouthwatering fourtest series against No. 1 India in what looms as a severe chal
Stepping up: Australia captain Tim Paine (left) and his deputy Josh Hazlewood.