Former Australian captain concerned about future of the red ball game
Former Test captain Kim Hughes is disappointed in the lack of fight shown by touring sides throughout a one-sided summer. A rain-affected draw in Sydney was the only blotch on Australia’s record, with neither the West Indies nor South Africa ever seriously threatening during a pair of comfortable 2-0 series wins.
Hughes, said the sustainability of the red ball game needed to be protected.
“It was disappointing,” he told Sports Breakfast.
“You just worry about the future of Test cricket with the West Indies and South Africa.
“We don’t just want Australia, England, India, and New Zealand always competitive, and the rest just don’t exist. That’s just not good for world cricket.”
Pat Cummins’ side are set to face a much sterner examination next month in the form of a Test tour of India, with the hosts having lost just one of their past thirty games at home.
“Our batting looks strong with Labuschagne and Smith, and I was tremendously impressed with Carey, I didn’t think he could bat that well, and Head, he had a blinder,” Hughes said.
“They’ve got Ashwin, who’s been around for a long while, but it’s their quicks now, headed off by [Bumrah], they’ll have a good all-round attack.
“It should be absolutely a fantastic series, and four Tests there, five in England, and that’s when we’re going to find out who can really bat and who can really bowl.”
Hughes said the placid pitch in Sydney showed the importance of West Australian all-rounder Cameron Green, who missed the game with a broken finger.
“Give him another couple of years, he bowls quick enough, he could almost take the new ball in Test cricket, he could certainly be first change, and he could easily bat at four, albeit with all-rounding duties, he’ll bat at number five or six,” he said.
“He is just priceless, they don’t come along too often, but I’ve said it many times, that he will be, providing he stays healthy, the world’s best all-rounder.”
“You just can’t replace him, and it leaves your side then a bit unbalanced when you’ve got to pick someone who can’t really bat or can’t really bowl in that top order.”
The national team was due to face the Proteas in a one day series this week but the tourists chose to forfeit the games in order to ensure their stars were available for their new franchise T20 competition, the SA20, which kicks off today.
The cancellation has allowed Australia’s big guns, including David Warner, Steve Smith, and Marnus Labuschagne, to be released to their Big Bash sides for the back-end of the competition, before the India series kicks off in Maharashtra on February 9th.