Reflecting on the international season in Australia I was impressed with our performances against Pakistan which was a complete improvement after the diabolical series against South Africa. Now thoughts turn to India where all the players will be challenged in what is always a very tough series in extremely difficult and unique playing conditions.
Historically speaking, the toughest part for the Aussies while in the sub-continent is our batting against spin bowling. We tend to see off the quicks well, but the spinners always cause the issues for our batsmen. That is why the English failed over there recently, along with their inability to put the foot down and play aggressive cricket. This is what the Aussie boys need to do – we must try sweeping the spinners and not always play with a straight bat, and we must use our feet to the likes of Ashwin and Jadeja.
As for our own Usman Khawaja, I would be extremely disappointed if he were to lose his spot to Shaun Marsh. Usman has definitely earned his spot, and has shown a lot more consistency than Marsh. I would be surprised and disheartened if he were to lose his spot.
The T20 Series against Sri Lanka has been very interesting-our opponents have played very well. We probably did not need to be playing this series or the ODI Series against New Zealand right before such a crucial Test series against India. It has however given an opportunity to young guys such as Stanlake, who didn’t quite perform but is a much better bowler than what he showed – it was clearly a very daunting experience for him.
It was also very nice to see Michael ‘Maxy’ Klinger finally get a game for Australia, as he has been a very good player in all three forms for a really long time. He fully deserved his chance. So there are a couple of positives from the series. Sri Lanka are certainly a beatable side; Malinga hasn’t been at his best but he will return to true form no doubt.
I was also very pleased to see our own young gun, Jason Sangha, in the PM’s XI. I played for this side and it is a very big deal, and I’m sure Jason loved the experience to play with some really good cricketers and meet the Prime Minister. Sure he would have liked some runs but the experience would have been great, and as a club we are very proud of his achievement. Will certainly be seeing more of him at this level in the future.
Randwick Rugby Club and Randwick Petersham Cricket Club (formerly just Randwick) have always had a close connection, and have always supported one another in regards to functions and sponsorships. The rugby club are a synonymous club across the world, and on Sunday, 5th March we will play them in a cricket match at Coogee Oval – the inaugural Whitney/Poidevin T20 Cup, which is raising funds for #StopSarcoma and The Ricky Ponting Foundation. This is a match I will be umpiring with my good mate and a superstar of rugby union, Simon Poidevin. It’s sure to be a great celebration of two historic clubs and I encourage everyone to get down and watch.
Finally, the performances of the club this season have been pretty good. We would always love to be atop the Club Championship and win every game, but that is a near impossible task in such a hard competition. We really need to drive hard for the semis (1st, 4th, 5th and Metro Gold are right in the hunt for finals positions) A couple of Greenwashes would be awesome!!! I reckon if we work hard for our mates in these last two rounds, we will be a great chance of bringing home a few premierships this season.