Our Sports Program Development Manager and official cricketing guru Jeff Vaughan takes us through his thoughts on the first test between Australia and New Zealand at the Gabba.
Stay tuned for more updates throughout the season.
1. The Gabba test was David Warner’s coming of age. He was once considered to be reckless, he has developed immensely to now be seen as ruthless. Warner joined Sunil Gavaskar and Ricky Ponting as the only men to score two centuries in a Test three times. This is very good company to be in and statistics show Warner now has a place among the legends of the game. Australia’s new vice captain batted with a sense of responsibility we had not seen before in his very exciting career to date. I am certainly looking forward to the new chapter in Australian crickets leadership panel of Smith and Warner.
2. The “Gabbattoir” has bitten another contender! Australia has a remarkable history of ruining opposing teams tours in the first match of the summer by bullying them on day one of the first Test of the summer. This occurred AGAIN when David Warner and Joe Burns weathered the early storm against the new ball early on the first day. This helped set their team up to be 2/390 at stumps and to be firmly planted in the driver’s seat of the match. It will be interesting to see if the WACA fares any better for the Black Caps. I am unsure whether they can turn it around in such a short period of time.
3. Is the “Captain grumpy” tag inevitable? Did anyone else see the change in body language of our new leader Steven Smith? He was certainly more animated standing in the slips region than when he was just a “Player”. This shows the great pride and expectation that he carries when representing our wonderful country in the second most important job in Australia, behind the Prime Minister.
4. Unheralded Peter Nevill. Unfortunately Nevill didn’t get an opportunity to ply his trade with the bat. However he did a very unassuming and excellent role with the gloves behind the stumps. It is often noted that when you don’t notice or see the wicket keeper that generally means he has done a good job. It is only when we see dropped catches or missed stumping’s that we notice him! Well done Peter!
5. While the Gabba test showed we are blessed with plenty of depth in the fast bowler department around the country at the moment, there is still some concern of who will become our next specialist batsman. There are the obvious names of Sean Marsh, Nick Maddinson, the younger Cam Bancroft, the even younger Jake Doran or even Travis Dean who made two centuries on debut for Victoria last week. Then there is Queenslander Sam Heazlett who made a century and 78 on debut against Tasmania. Also, remember the name Travis Head, the newly appointed captain of the Redbacks. The 21 year old notched up his maiden First Class century guiding his team to the maximum points against WA during the Shield match this week. It was Travis’ sixth venture into the 90’s at First Class level but the first time he was able to convert into the three figures. Blessed with power, an ability to score through most parts of the oval, a fearless approach to run scoring and a mental toughness that few possess, Trav is bound to be on the selection table very soon and a player who we may be talking about for a long period of time.
Jeff Vaughan is Gold Training’s Sports Development Program Manager and is a former professional cricket player, playing first-class cricket for South Australia from 1996 – 2003. Jeff has held roles within the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) in the sports administration, game development and coaching structures.