Australia has seen many ups and downs since the 2007 Ashes series when the greats Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Damien
Martyn all retired. Spinners have been tried, tested, then subsequently “trashed”, batsman have come and gone, and the team has slid slightly in international rankings.
It isn’t all doom and gloom, however. We’re now seeing the next bunch of future stars grace the biggest stage of cricket. And they’re making an enormous impact.
Two massive talents to have been unearthed recently have been the likes of right-arm quick Pat Cummins, only 19 years old, and left-armer Mitchell Starc, who resembles Glenn McGrath in his build (he is 196cm). Both hail from New South Wales.
They both burst onto the international scene last year and immediately both made impacts. Cummins made his debut against South Africa in 2011 during the Australian tour, and proceeded to grab three wickets in first ODI (including those of Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy) then ripped through the test side to claim 6-79 in a fiery and spirited bowling spell. His ability to fling the ball at 140+ kph is frightening for batsman facing someone so young.
Starc is able to generate awkward bounce thanks to his height. While he can reach the 140kph mark, Starc’s ability to generate swing that goes across the batsman is his greatest asset. During the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, Starc picked up nine wickets with a fantastic economy rate of 6.60. Batsman proved that he was difficult to play, either swinging and missing or being soundly beaten by his deliveries.
The selectors have seemingly found some magic with this new Australian bowling line-up, and Cummins and Starc are a core part of bringing Australia up to world dominance once again. And while some critics have slammed the decision to pick Cummins after just a smattering of first-class games, the decision seems to have paid off, and Cummins has years ahead of him to fully develop his body for pace bowling.
So where to from here? The biggest factor is time. If Cricket Australia are looking for long-term prospects to lead a strong bowling attack, they must keep all of their bowlers fit and give them regular rotation, or the risk of burnout is high. For the likes of Starc and Cummins, who have proven to be exceptional bowlers over the last 12 months, expect to see more of their fiery pace and swing in the years to come.
(Image source: cricket.com.au)