Young Aussies’ courage pays dividends

2009-03-03 00:00

AUSTRALIA reacted to a rare series reversal by blooding a trio of talents previously not seen in Test cricket.

Young Philip Hughes, the hardened Marcus North and the promising Ben Hilfenhaus all made their mark on their debut Test, much to the delight of skipper Ricky Ponting.

“It was a brave call and a rare thing for us to go in with three debutants, but I think the selectors need to be commended for that,” Ponting said in the aftermath of yesterday’s Test triumph at Wanderers.

The rebuilding of Test cricket’s most formidable unit is only beginning, but the tourists have been heartened by the newcomers’ promising starts at one of the most daunting venues in world cricket.

Hughes was lauded by Australian coach Tim Nielsen this week, who said he has the potential to play a role similar to that of Graeme Smith.

North’s century revealed that the first-class circuit Down Under still produces quality players, as he played a measured innings that belied his nerves on debut.

The addition of Hilfenhaus to the attack has also been a success, with his outswing a potent addition to the pace of Johnson and Peter Siddle.

South Africa will know, if they ever doubted it, that Australia have no soft centre within their squad.

Stung by a first home series loss in over 15 years, this latest Australian squad to tour South Africa is intent on setting the record straight.

The continued failures of Michael Hussey have almost gone unnoticed, and that will be concern for a South African team who now have to do all the running in order to square the series, never mind winning it, to take over as the world’s best side.

The Aussies are truly back in town.

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