The Aussie summer is here!

If this was anywhere else but Brisbane, New Zealand would have been favourites. I still think they’re the better team, on current playing form.

David Warner has a nice natural batting technique. I don’t mind him playing test cricket before he reached a thousand first class runs. But Phil Hughes is the big surprise. He doesn’t seem to have the necessary tool kit for a test opener at all. I was listening to Sir Geoffrey on ESPNCricinfo and he didn’t waste any time in calling Hughes’ technique as ‘poor’. Hughes has survived with a 126 in the second innings at Colombo and an 88 at Jo’burg.

You have to feel for people like Simon Katich and Chris Rogers.

Now look at the visiting dressing room. Two experienced batsmen, both very good with the short ball, and both have enough ability to make excellent starts on a pitch like the Gabba. A couple of years back, New Zealand had Taylor, McCullum and Vettori scoring the bulk of the runs. McIntosh is gone. There is no place for Flynn or How or the Marshalls. So consider Ryder, Taylor and Williamson behind Guptill and McCullum. This could be the time when the Kiwis can actually start performing big in the test arena.

I wish Grant Elliot made that No. 6 spot ahead of Brownlie.

In this test, I guess it will come down to how well both middle orders handle the short stuff. There is no doubt Southee and Martin will have a go at Ponting and Clarke. Khawaja and Hussey will look to be more disciplined. They’ll have to counter the steady seam bowling of Doug Bracewell. Ross Taylor has said yesterday that Bracewell has the ability to become a ‘great world class all rounder’.  And that was surprising. He was a little better than ‘steady’ at Bulawayo but these are big words!! Will have to see how he goes tomorrow!

It seems Cutting has been bowling extremely well at the pre match training. He’s the home boy as well, so I’ll surely have him play. And let me tell you Nathan Lyon has never visited the Gabba before this week! So it’s a no brainer now. I’ll play four fast bowlers. Moreover, this Kiwi line up, apart from Brownlie and Young, is quite strong against spin. And there’s rain forecast for days 1, 4 and 5. Why would you play Nathan Lyon??

The key for the Aussie attack will be patience. Guptill, Ryder and Williamson are all tough nuts to crack. Mike Hussey has revealed that these young quicks are totally new to this environment and that the players are just getting to know each other! And that’s where Australia stand at the start of this summer. Not too long ago, McGrath would say ‘whitewash’ and look what kind of statements come on the eve of this year’s opening test.

Very disappointing to see Cummins miss out on the Gabba test. He could have absolutely ripped apart the Kiwis here.

My weight is behind the Kiwis pulling off a massive performance and taking the Gabba away from Australia.

Lawry and Taylor are hours away! Can’t wait!

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