There is plenty of action in the cricketing world right now. With the Test series between the Australians and the visiting New Zealanders about to wrap up, while a Test series with the Windies is about to kick off.
Not to mention the Big Bash returns in mid-December, and the mountain of cricket going on around the world.
Below are 20 random cricket thoughts focused on the Aussie cricket scene and beyond. We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions.
1. The toss should not dictate the result in a Test match. Obviously one team is going to benefit from winning the coin toss, however, in the recent Ashes series especially, it seemed like, win the toss, win the game. Curators have to give bowlers more earlier on, or prepare a pitch that doesn’t deteriorate on the last day and hope fans are ok with plenty of draws. Scores of 550 and 600 in the first innings are good for batsmen's stats, but not for spectators.
2. I am more excited about the Big Bash (which for non-fans is the local T20 competition in Australia) more than any international T20 games.
3. Any comparisons to Don Bradman are laughable. Until a batsman starts scoring 100s for fun and start averaging 99, there is no comparison. That is not even taking into account the fact that Bradman scored his runs against the best Test nations in the world, without boundary ropes and tree trunk bats.
4. I may be totally bias here, but Glenn McGrath is the best fast bowler I have ever seen. Take your pick of the legendary West Indian attack as second choice.
5. The idea of professional athletes being set ‘homework’ on an international tour is as ridiculous as it sounds. What happened to good old team meetings?
6. Mitch Johnson retired at the perfect time. He went out on top after an incredible career. He will certainly be missed, except by batsmen.
7. Kumar Sangakarra, Brendan McCallum and Jaques Kallis are three of the biggest names of the generation and are all playing in this year’s Big Bash. The tournament has improved year on year, and 2015/16 is sure to be no exception.
8. I fully understand the reasoning behind day/night Tests, but until they get the ball and conditions right I don’t really see the rush. Leave the day/night stuff to the white ball game until they get it right.
9. Ming Li, after signing for the Sydney Sixers, is the first Chinese player to ply his trade in the Big Bash, but he certainly will not be the last. The game is growing in the area and young players will see Li as a hero if he performs well.
10. The women’s Big Bash is a great initiative and I hope fans, both live and on television, get behind it. There are some amazing female cricketers in Australia, now is a chance for them to strut their stuff.
11. Criticisms of Steve Smith’s captaincy are premature. He is 26-years-old and in the very early stages of his career as a captain. He has eight plus years to refine his captaincy and has shown great signs.
12. James Pattinson and Pat Cummins are amazing young talents, but the focus should be making sure they are 100% healthy before allowing them to return to long form cricket. If both players can find full fitness, they, Hazelwood and Starc could form the best pace attack in many years.
13. As good as watching a batsman splay the ball around the park is, there is nothing like watching a fired up fast bowler produce a special spell of bowling. Mitch Johnson’s spells in the last Australian based Ashes series should be replayed over and over.
14. The condensed one day Matador Cup is a brilliant move. The ratings have been great and the quality of the cricket even better. I don’t know what the answer is but the ACB needs to find a way to make the four day game more appealing to fans.
15. The future of cricket may be defined by all-rounders. The quality of those who are capable with both bat and ball in hand are becoming more important with every passing year, especially in the shorter form of the game.
16. As prestigious as the one day and T20 world cups are, the Ashes are still the pinnacle of the game for anyone born in Australia or England.
17. Michael Clarke dishing the dirt on former team mates and team officials will do nothing except sell books. That being said, if it’s the truth, he has every right to print it.
18. A day at the cricket (Test matches) is too expensive. School kids should be granted free access to non-Ashes fixtures. They are the future fans and players of the game.
19. If the Matador Cup or Big Bash are to expand, we need to see a Canberra side included. Given the way the Cricket Australia XI was belted in the recent Matador Cup series, it may not be time yet.
20. ANY LBW decision referred to the third umpire that shows the ball hitting ANY part of the stumps should be given out. If the pad wasn’t in the way, the batsman would be out bowled, which is the whole idea behind the rule. Whilst on DRS, it should be mandatory for all, or scrapped.