Roll back to the Hobart Test of November 2016 between hosts Australia and South Africa, and all you could see were clouds of gloom and sheer uncertainty surrounding the Australian camp. The defeat at Hobart was a bitter pill to swallow, as the South Africans had marauded Australia in their own backyard and comprehensively. For Australia, there was nowhere else to go and skipper Steven Smith had his task cut short ahead of him.
From that moment onwards, the selectors took a few extremely bold calls and handed call-ups to relatively untested individuals, such as Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb. The results were right in front of everyone, as Australia won the very next Test at Adelaide and later went onto whitewash Pakistan 3-0 at home.
The biggest positive though, came in the form of a tough fought series against India, away from home. Though Australia lost that series, the character displayed by the Aussies stood out and was appreciation worthy.
Ahead of the series against Bangladesh, coach Darren Lehmann was profusely positive about the outfit’s chances and backed the team to achieve greatness, in the near future.
“We’ve got a young group and we need Steven and David Warner to lead from the front. That’s important for those guys, to make big runs and show the way, very much like the olden days if you like. We’re a young side and they’re trying to create their own dynasty as such.” Smith is very proactive in the way we want to play. You’ll see an entertaining brand (of cricket), but a really hard brand as well,” said Lehmann.
Lehmann added, that teams from two eras shouldn’t be compared.
“I don’t like to compare eras at all because the game’s changed. Players can do so much more now with the bat and ball, so many more variations, they can hit the ball further, all those sorts of things. Our generation, we had a once-in-a-generation star in Shane Warne, who was a pretty good bowler, and Glenn McGrath wasn’t too bad, and all those sorts of guys.”
“You’ve got Hayden, Ponting, Waugh, Waugh, you could just name the lot. That’s the challenge for this group, creating their own dynasty. In 10 years’ time hopefully, they’re talking about them in the same breath. That’s what this group is trying to achieve, some really good cricket and to entertain people.”