By MITCH RODD
MERRY Boxing Day Test Eve to everyone for this coming Monday.
And we have already been spoiled by the jolly fat man. Not Santa and the elves…Darren Lehmann and the Aussies.
The best gift we could have asked for is already back in our possession, The Ashes. Although there are similarities to receiving coal, this is so much better. Mostly because that annoying English kid that lives across the road doesn’t have one.
All hail Steve Smith – the man who brings a bigger smile to the face of Australians than watching the beer delivery driver pull into the parking lot.
His record is incredible. He already has 22 Test centuries in just 59 Test matches and 108 innings. To put that into perspective only the messiah, Don Bradman, and Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar, have done so in fewer innings.
Also on behalf of the country, I think I need to send an apology to the Marsh family.
Like many, I scoffed when both Shaun and Mitchell gained selection once again. I could have sworn they kept getting in because they held some scandalous photos of the selectors.
The only thing I’m scoffing on now is fresh baked humble pie.
Shaun has been fantastic across all three Tests and looks self-assured at the crease.
While Mitchell is clearly still recovering from shoulder surgery and his bowling is still a work in progress, his brutal knock of 181 at the WACA showed what he can bring to the line up.
This four-pronged bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon are like a pride of lions circling a gazelle in the African wilderness. Basically, if one doesn’t get you, the other will.
Starc created more movement from a flat WACA deck than River-dancers performing on hot coals.
Lyon is easily the G.O.A.T. I don’t think there is a single person in cricket, or spectator for that matter, that dislikes him. You know confidence is up when even ‘Gaz’ is chirping away in the media pre-series!
The big question is now, where does this see the team stand in the world rankings? While we have been impressive at home, long haul flights are still a cause for concern. Are we as good as the teams coming out of India and South Africa? It’s debatable.
One thing is for sure, everything feels right in the world again. Even more so if I manage to scalp a ticket to the Boxing Day Test alongside ‘The Ritchies’.
Yes (cue terrible exaggerated Richie Benaud impersonation)…marvellous effort that.