Queensland is an interesting state. Where else, after all, would you end up blaming the cows for allegedly being responsible for the state not accepting the summer time? Apparently he altered his body clocks to such an extent that, dairy farms complained that it affected his milk supply. There was also the question of how some housewives complained that their curtains had faded due to the extra hour of sunlight, but that we will leave for another day.
Brisbane is an even more interesting city. It is one of the few in Australia that seems to have more real estate than open land when viewed from the flight window. And it is real estate and property issues that dominate the headlines in newspapers and debates in the city. It is, after all, the fastest developing city in the country with good reason.
The development and progress is what the Australian cricket is at the top too, or therefore, the interested ones will wait. For, I had already reached that point of “there is only one way left, which is up” earlier this summer. Losing the series of tests to India was only a part of it. It was the unfortunate nature of their submission, often without a fight, except for some parts of Adelaide and the victory of Perth, which stood out as a sign of how low they had sunk.
So Brisbane was a good place to start your transformation. And not only because it is also the home of man, Allan Border, who changed it the last time his cricket seemed to be in a quagmire with no return.
There were also many real estate properties at stake when the Australian XI entered the Sri Lankan series. The selectors, like those in charge of changing the face of Brisbane’s landscape, had already decided to bet on some new ideas instead of just restoring what was tried and tested. In the end, his bold changes clicked, and very well. The young Australians whom they had thrown to the deep end, at least, swam to shore without any problem, even if they still had a long way to go before claiming that they had come of age. That can wait though.
It must be said that the opposition was not the biggest, especially in the most Australian of the world’s releases, and against a pink ball in motion. Sri Lanka is a decent test team, but they were always going to be very successful against a quality bowling attack in such extreme conditions as they can be for their young hitters. That they surrendered completely without fighting in two and a half days was both the result of their incompetence and the pressure that the Australians managed to discharge on them. And he was one of the debutants who played an integral role in doing it in the first innings.
With only a couple of spells in the test cricket, Jhye Richardson had challenged the hierarchy of Australia’s well-established bowling attack. He entered at the expense of the injured Josh Hazlewood, but not only remained in place, but also outperformed his colleagues, Mitchell Starc in particular, on opening day and provided the impetus and basis for Australia’s dominance in the match . Speaking of the places at stake, Richardson, with his equally incisive spell in the second innings, had ensured that the selectors had a difficult job leaving him out.
In spite of all the exploits of Richardson, it was just that Pat Cummins ended up having the last word in the contest, and that he did it in an impressive way with a tour of six terrains, after looking good at one point to take all ten. It was he who, after all, had been the main difference between resistance and complete annihilation against the Indian cargo in early summer.
He was the only man who had given everything with the bat, the ball and in the field against the Indians. If the men of Virat Kohli were relentless during the course of the four Tests, Cummins was relentless. He was the one who ran ball after ball, how his life depended on it. He was the one who faced ball after ball, how his life depended on it. There was not a single point in four Tests, even when many of the others could not help succumbing to the fatality of their circumstances in the field, where Cummins did not seem eager to face the opposition, either while he was at the top of the mark with the ball in his hand or in his fold with the bat in his hand.