Updated February 13th, 2024 at 13:42 IST
'Set of great players to retire': Michael Vaughan's MAJOR CONCERN with 'Dad's Army' of world cricket
Australian cricket team has been going through one of their best phases in cricket. However, there is a big concern that might hamper their performance.
The Australian cricket team has been going through one of their best phases in cricket recently. The side under the leadership of Pat Cummins won the World Test Championship and the ODI World Cup against India in the final. They also won the Under-19 Cricket World Cup again in the final against India. It seems like nothing is going wrong in Australian cricket at the moment.
However, there is a big concern that might hamper their performance in the coming years and it has been expressed by former England captain Michael Vaughan.
Vaughan thinks that Australia looked jaded in the recent home Test series against the West Indies and said England stand a great chance in next year's Ashes if a "Dad's Army" is fielded by their arch-rivals. Australia drew the recent two-Test series against the West Indies, who have a poor record Down Under. Playing in only his second Test, Shamar Joseph single-handedly guided West Indies to a narrow eight-run win at Brisbane, returning with stunning figures of 7/68 in the second innings.
Vaughan said most of the players in the current Australian Test side are ageing and the need of the hour is to infuse fresh talent in order to continue dominating world cricket.
"There was not much optimism in Australia that it would be a great Test summer because the two touring teams, Pakistan and West Indies, had poor recent records Down Under. But it was actually very competitive, as proved by the Windies pulling off that stunning win at the Gabba," Vaughan wrote in a column for 'The Telegraph'.
"I could see Australia being quite a jaded team by then. David Warner has become the first of that set of great players to retire, and the rest are in their thirties now, so the age profile is a concern for them.
"Time passes and minds start to turn to what comes next in life. This group of players has won everything going, so what motivates them? I know well from experience after 2005 how quickly things can unravel when a Dad's Army team plays in the Ashes. You can look over the hill very quickly," he added.
Vaughan said the unexpected loss in Brisbane at the hands of the West Indies has raised England's hopes in the Ashes next year.
"Australia remain a very good side. Pat Cummins is an outstanding leader, and when they need a big session to turn a game, they usually find it. That was why I was staggered when they lost in Brisbane, and that game was a sign for me that England have a great opportunity in the Ashes in 2025/26," he wrote.
Vaughan feels apart from inducting fresh faces, Australia also need to rotate their bowling line-up.
"They need to start rotating their great bowling line-up to bring in some fresh faces and a fresh mentality to the group. They have no replacement for Nathan Lyon, who will be 38 by that series and is already suffering muscle injuries.
"There's no one waiting in the wings to do anything like the job Lyon does in Australian conditions. Todd Murphy is a promising bowler who can do it in India when it's ragging. In Australia, if Lyon got an injury, they would be worried." Warner's retirement from Test cricket has robbed Australia of a "mongrel" in the Australia side ahead of 2025 Ashes Down Under.
Warner retired from Test cricket at the age of 37 after the three-match series against Pakistan this summer.
"Another factor with Warner's departure is that Australia just seem a really nice team to play against. There's no mongrel, no Aussie larrikin in the team. There used to be about eight of them, then it went down to one in Warner. I'm not sure any of them are like that now," Vaughan wrote.
(with PTI inputs)
Published February 13th, 2024 at 13:42 IST