New Era of Australian Cricket. The recent ball-tampering row in South Africa stunned the world of cricket. How top Australian players conspired a deliberate act of ball tampering marked a grey area in the timeline of international cricket. Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner resorted to ball-tampering to save a test match but ended up jeopardizing the future of Australian cricket.
The reputation of Cricket Australia and specific and international cricket, in general, took a great bashing after this shameful incident. This was a conspiracy not just against the opposite team but the very spirit of the game. A lot of heads hung in shame and the culprits were handed over bans. Now there looms a big question mark on the future of the Australian team.
THE BIG CHALLENGES AHEAD
It is not easy for a team to revive from the trauma of such an embarrassment. What adds to the woes of the Aussies is the fact that their premier batsmen are facing bans. Captain Steve Smith and Vice Captain David Warner have been banned by Cricket Australia for a year. Cameron Bancroft too has been awarded a ban for 9 months.
Now the Australian team stands amid a crisis having lost its top leadership and the most premier batsmen. Without David Warner and Steve Smith, the Aussies have their challenges immensely intensified. The team would now have to revive from all that happened in order to stage a new beginning.
Steve Smith has been an exceptional batsman for the Aussies, especially in test cricket. The team has often looked to build the innings around his innings. Now with their premier test batsman out, they would have a great challenge of finding his replacement.
The replacement would surely be not as consistent as Smith for Smith has been an exception. He has proved himself as the best test batsman of the era and then the ban left him red-faced. On the other hand, David Warner has been an explosive batsman for them and has assured them flying starts more often than not. Even to find an opening batsman of his class seems like an uphill task.
WHO WOULD REPLACE STEVE SMITH?
The first question which the Aussies need to answer is that of their leadership. The big question that arises now is, who would captain Australia in limited overs cricket. After the suspension of Steve Smith, Tim Paine was announced as the captain of the test team. The Aussies are however still searching for a skipper to helm the side in limited overs fixture.
With the 2019 World Cup just around the corner, the new captain will have big shoes to fill. Going into any major tournament the Aussies have always looked flamboyant. But the 2019 World Cup will see a nervous side which would be under all sorts of pressure. Can the new captain remould the morale and fortunes of the team?
Finch in Line:
Aaron Finch looks like the top contender to take up the top post. He is the most likely candidate to be Australia’s captain but he lacks consistency, unlike Steve Smith. Can he lead from the front? A lot of speculations are being made about Australia’s new captain and only time will tell who the new skipper is.
Even if they find a skipper who can motivate the team to rise from all odds, the team would always feel the need to have Steve Smith and David Warner as batsmen in the side. Will the ball-tampering saga cost the team its future and legacy? There are so many questions to be asked and only time has the answers.
The new era has to be such so that the pain and embarrassment of the past become a forgotten history.