Australia’s Great Escape in Dubai and spirited follow-up in Abu Dhabi has given the injection the home summer needs.
Even the most-unforgiving Australian cricket follower is walking just a little more jauntily right now.
Cricket is back and don’t we love it.
David Warner, Steve Smith and co had damned cricket’s good name like never before. Suddenly the top-order seemed incredibly vulnerable with unsung replacements jettisoned in ahead of their time.
No matter what Melburnians all thought about the initial selections (no Maxwell, no Tremain), the 11 players who represented the country so gallantly in the Asian Tests deserve every plaudit.
In Dubai, a draw was as good as a win. Having been blasted out in the embarrassing first innings which lasted barely 80 overs, to bat five sessions on the final two days was an astonishing act of valor.
Usman Khawaja’s big 100 was heaven-sent, the innings of his life.
After initial heart flutters, Tim Paine simply refused to concede. It was a moment in time which silenced his doubters. And, barring injury, will see him lead this summer and onto England and the Ashes in 2019.
All of Hobart, Tim’s hometown, and all of Australia, rose as one around midnight on that mid-October Thursday when he calmly defended the final delivery, surrounded by fieldsmen, several so close they could have picked his back pocket.
The Australians had their good fortune, but maybe it was meant to be.
The game plunged into an abyss last autumn. Many despaired it may take the game years to recover.
Now, six months on, we can all see the light. Bring on the Indians…