What a summer it has been as the 2022/23 Australian cricket season has just came to a close last night where the Perth Scorchers have once again became the champions of the Big Bash League following their win by five wickets in the Final with only four balls to spare v Brisbane Heat.
We start off with an unbeaten home Test Cricket campaign for the Aussies against West Indies and South Africa, even though they arrived here as weaker opponents.
Having collected all four wins out of five (two each v WI & SA) plus just the one draw (v SA), it will be interesting to see what they have on offer when Australia will fly overseas for a four-test series against India shortly starting this Thursday that will go right through to early March. Then they begin their Ashes defence on English soil v England later this year from mid-June to August 1 & after that, they will be back here again for three Tests v Pakistan throughout this December before facing West Indies once more for two Tests in early January 2024.
Usman Khawaja is superb as always as an opener who still has some energy left in the tank at 36; For Dave Warner though, the jury is still out following his rough patch of form lately apart from the double ton he scored during the Boxing Day Test.
The other top & middle-order plus the keeper spots (Marnus Labuschagne at 3, Steve Smith at 4, Travis Head at 5 & Alex Carey WK at 7) are covered except the No.6 position in which we’ll come back a bit later. Although their bowling line-up may depend on injuries, as well as these flat tracks that favours the spinners more in the sub-continent . I could see Pat Cummins & Scott Boland leading the attack (with Mitchell Starc possibly coming back from injury for the 2nd Test) alongside Nathan Lyon & Mitchell Swepson or Todd Murphy (two main spinners).
We could also see Cam Green coming back from his finger injury depending on the recovery as a specialist batter without needing to bowl a bit. If not, we could see more of Matt Renshaw or even the returning Peter Handscomb, who has been in great form as always at state level & can play the spinners well, but the jury is out if he can be consistent again alongside his stance at Test level.
We’ll wait and see if they can finally take home the series on Indian soil for the first time since November 2004, as well as fend off an resurgent Brendon McCullum led-England Test side with another Ashes trophy to savour also on their home turf.