As Matt Renshaw leaves and Marcus Stoinis comes in, we look at the two leftovers in this Australian Team.
Yes, one is a promising batsman as well as one who is an experienced bowler.
But how does the presence of these two players benefit this squad towards the long haul?
Let’s find out.
Siddle did very well last season when he played for Essex in the County Championship.
This kind of form unlocked his return in the Australian Test squad v Pakistan in the UAE a few months ago.
Although, his performances there looked somewhat a mix of good and bad during that time.
Since then, Australia needed Siddle by their side to carry the drinks and field occasionally throughout this home summer.
Yes, he may not be the first draft pick as the Australian bowlers have enough options in their attack.
But the only reason why he’s still in and around the squad is to help him prepare for this year’s Ashes Tour in England.
Even though Siddle doesn’t play, the main frontline bowlers still need his help.
That’s in case if one of their star bowlers get injured, then Siddle would be perfect to make the Duke ball click and frustrate the England batsmen.
Siddle can still swing the ball and attack with any pace available to make the batsman play.
It’s how Australia view him as their own Jimmy Anderson & Dale Steyn.
Without Siddle’s expertise, Australia would look clueless without the necessary preparations available to win the Urn.
It’s something they haven’t done since 2001 which was the last time Australia won the Ashes in England.
And it’s crucial that Siddle has to be present with the Australian Test Team at this moment.
For now, Siddle will carry the drinks as well as sub-field in this Test.
Yes, he’s a young 20-year old promising batsman who knows how to build a foundation without any need to rush.
Pucovski’s straightforward approach to batting made him block 100s of good balls as well as whacking off via the open bat face.
The basics he employed in the crease for long periods helped Pucovski score a big double hundred during the early stages of this Sheffield Shield Season.
And that’s how Australia shockingly picked him to join their team in this series.
Although, they see him as one of the next generation batsmen to shine & follow the footsteps like Ricky Ponting.
However, the form of Kurtis Patterson during the warm-up Tour v Sri Lanka locked him out.
If Patterson didn’t make a late impact beforehand, then Australia would so excited to see Pucovski bat.
Instead, Pucovski had to sub-field as well as carry the drinks which aren’t what he expected to do.
Expect Pucovski repeat this process during the Canberra Test Match.
You can see a mostly unchanged squad, as well as a possible All-Rounder, replacing Patterson at No.6 in Marcus Stoinis.
Does a stint in England quickly aide Pucovski’s development?
However, Australia should still keep Pucovski in the side ahead of this Ashes Tour in England.
It doesn’t matter if he’s playing or not, Pucovski can learn from the best players & tutor around him.
At the same time, before the Ashes start, a County team can sign up him as an overseas player and get experience.
How good would it be if Pucovski learns the England conditions firsthand?
That way Pucoski can score runs during his short stint as an Overseas Player.
Once he does that, then rejoin the national setup with loads of knowledge played both home and overseas.
That way Pucovski can then make a lifelong impact for Australia in many years to come.
Australia has learned a lot from a long way during this tough 2018 season.
Now they came into the new year as promising and positive looking to connect the dots.
Will Pucovski is ready-made having made a name for himself at Shield level in Age 20.
But there’s no need to rush at this stage as Australia can keep him around this Test & Ashes Series as the drinks man.
Once the new Australian Home Test season comes up towards 2019-20, Pucovski can make a significant impact and retain his place for the next 15-20 years.
As long as he keeps his Shield form positive, then Australia wouldn’t need to feel negative with the excitement of Pucovski batting in the middle in front of millions of fans.
On the other hand, Siddle is still an essential figure in the Australian Test Team.
He may not be in the starting XI right now.
But he can still teach the frontline bowlers to prepare using the Duke ball for this Ashes Tour in England.
Once this fast bowling cartel found a way to expose the opposition, then Australia should credit Siddle.
They need his character badly, so Australia doesn’t lose to England again on their home turf.
Without Siddle, Australia couldn’t find someone anywhere else that matches his expertise.
So Australia now knows the drill to keep a few things in mind to win:
- This Test & Series v Sri Lanka
- The limited-overs Series in India
- Five One-Day Internationals v Pakistan in UAE
- 50-Over World Cup
- Ashes in England
It’s a big task between now and September. However, Australia will focus on one tourney a time, so they don’t go a foot wrong.