I’m calling ‘Stumps’ on this summer of discontent

The Adelaide Test was outstanding, and several elements from it should be applied to Test cricket more broadly. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Adelaide Test was outstanding, and several elements from it should be applied to Test cricket more broadly. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: A different kind of Eden Park thumping is enough for me to put the summer of cricket behind me for 2015/2016. Yes, there is still a bit of cricket to go between now and the end of April, but the Kookaburra must give way to the Gilbert.

And what an interesting summer it’s been..

Four things the West Indies will learn from their Australian tour

Opening bat Kraigg Brathwaite is certainly a player of the future for the West Indies. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: The Third and final Test of the West Indies tour to Australia ended in its predictable draw late on Thursday, and with it, the Frank Worrell Trophy remains in Australia for now and the foreseeable future.

And maybe it’s the optimist in me, but I kind of like that the final result wasn’t 3-0. I certainly get the argument that they weren’t really good enough to finish with anything other than a complete series sweep, but the West Indies should be allowed to take confidence out of the way they improved over the course of their month-long tour of Australia.

That all said, I’ve noted a few lessons I hope they might heed going forward…

 

Cricket Australia’s biggest takeaway from 2015

“Test Cricket needs to be the best value for money of the summer. Significantly more than double the price of attending a BBL game to watch a lowly-ranked team like the West Indies is not even remotely good value for money,” as witnessed by the paltry crowds for the two Tests so far this series. Image: ABC Grandstand

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

A Cricket World Cup title, the Women’s Ashes, and the overwhelming success of the pink ball Test Cricket trial will all undoubtedly rank toward the top of Cricket Australia’s list of achievements in 2015, and with immense satisfaction derived from all three significant events.

But when the glow of the summer wears off there will be one glaring item requiring action and that, in hindsight, perhaps might have been identified well ahead of time.

Simply put, CA have massively buggered up with their ticket pricing for the West Indies Test Series, and it will and has already cost them a large percentage of last season’s Test crowds. In this, the first column for The Roar in 2016, I’ve highlighted why I think this has been the standout issue of the summer for Cricket Australia..

Darren Bravo’s resilience provides West Indies blueprint

West Indian no.3 Darren Bravo batted for more than six hours for 81 in the first innings in Melbourne, and that kind of application will be needed again in the second innings. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: He’s at it again in the second innings, and it’s a welcome sight in an otherwise disappointing series.

In all likelihood, Darren Bravo’s 81 in the West Indies’ first innings score of 271 in Melbourne will be absorbed into the annals of history as just another handy score in just another Test innings scorecard.

But in the immediate term, it should be viewed on repeat by every young batsman in the Caribbean and set as a standard. ‘If you want to be a Test batsman, and if you want to be a part of the West Indies resurrection, this is what you’ll need to show us you’re capable of’ should be the accompanying message..

Update: Further to my point about Darren Bravo’s application, it was pointed out to me today that he has the best record away from the Caribbean of all West Indies batsmen! It’s an extraordinary record when viewed alongside the names listed below..

West Indian batsmen, in Tests away from home (Source: CricInfo StatsGuru)

West Indian batsmen, in Tests away from home (Source: CricInfo StatsGuru)