Cricket on resumption post the Covid-19 break will hold a new look. Not only will some of the rules be modified and biosecurity is focused upon, but the cricket calendar will also need to be revamped to fit in the fixtures that were deferred. Various boards across the globe including Australia and England have suffered some serious financial losses and will desperately want to make it up once cricket resumes.
A potential solution to the tight schedule is to play different formats simultaneously. This means a particular team can be playing Tests and ODI/T20I on the same day. While there are still question marks if this will actually happen, but this puts an interesting perspective on how teams might be built in the near future. Barring West Indies, there are hardly any teams who have a T20I squad which is exclusive of the Test side.
Here we look at the best possible Test and T20I sides for Australia, if they have to play on the same day:
There are certain players who can walk into both sides as the first choice players. David Warner, Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are a few examples. The likes of Travis Head and Mathew Wade can also be slotted in any of the sides.
However, given the experience needed on the Test side, we would want David Warner to open with Joe Burns. Marnus Labuschagne is an automatic pick given his tremendous rise in the past year or so. Steve Smith will also be in our Test side as he is currently one of the best in the format.
The number five and six slots will be taken by Head and Wade respectively. Both of them have shown steady improvement in the longest format and have been in good form off late. Tim Paine is the wicket-keeper and the captain. Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja serve as the backup batsmen.
The selection of Nathan Lyon is a no-brainer in the Test squad. Among the pacers, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood will be partnered by James Pattinson, with Jhye Richardson and Brendan Dogget as backups
Playing XI – David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mathew Wade, Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson
Bench – Jhye Richardson, Brendan Dogget, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja
Australia have a problem of plenty as far as opening in T20Is is concerned. Even in the absence of David Warner, the opening looks quite solid. D’Arcy Short and skipper Aaron Finch form a devastating pair. Chris Lynn at three is a tempting choice given his potential with the bat. He is yet to deliver consistently at the international level though.
Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh; a formidable yet menacing middle order line up that for T20Is. Maxwell has been one of the best middle order batsmen in the world since the last T20 World Cup. Marsh too has been in great form and comes in as the fifth bowling option. Stoinis has been in great form in BBL and can also be used to open with Short coming in at 3. Alex Carey dons the gloves.
Moises Henriques and Daniel Sams serve as the backups for the all-rounder options. Henriques in place of Lynn can also be a very wise choice. Henrique’s good form in the recently concluded BBL should make him a good option for Australia.
With three bowling options to cover the quota for the fifth bowler, the four specialist bowlers include Mitchell Starc, Jason Behredorff, Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar. Starc’s inclusion in T20Is ahead of Tests is because of the fact that the T20 bowling lineup sans Statc lacks enough experience at the international level. Zampa and Agar have been terrific in limited overs. Behredorff’s impressive show in the limited chances he has got makes him an automatic choice.
For more variety in the lineup or to strengthen the bowling, one of Kane Richardson or Billy Stanlake can be brought into the XI at the expense of Stoinis or Lynn.
Playing XI – D’Arcy Short, Aaron Finch (c), Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Jason Behredorff
Bench – Billy Stanlake, Kane Richardson, Moises Henriques, Daniel Sams