Test cricket wait well worth it for Voges

Adam Voges (Getty)
Adam Voges (Getty)

Melbourne - Having waited until 35 years of age to win his first test cap, Adam Voges has wasted no time cementing his place in Australia's batting line-up by scoring a mountain of runs.

With nearly 12 000 runs in first class cricket, Voges long appeared destined to end up on his nation's roll-call of outstanding cricketers whose careers wind down with test dreams unfulfilled.

That was until he completed a prolific Sheffield Shield season in 2014/15 for Western Australia and was plucked from obscurity by selectors for the tour of the Caribbean in June.

Voges grabbed his chance with both hands and became the oldest player to score a test century on debut with an unbeaten 130 in Roseau.

On home soil against the same opponents on Sunday, he celebrated his fourth ton, another unbeaten knock of 106 which helped set up Australia's mammoth first innings declaration of 551-3.

He and captain Steve Smith's unbroken 223-run stand all but ended the West Indies' hopes of staving off a calamitous series defeat and the tourists' batsmen promptly crumbled to 91-6 at stumps, still 261 runs short of making their opponents bat again.

In the process, Voges charged past the 1 000-run mark in just his 18th innings, joining former Australia captain Mark Taylor (1989) and England skipper Alastair Cook (2006) as the only players to reach the milestone in their debut year.

Voges now boasts an astonishing average of 85.66 from his 12 tests, second only to Don Bradman's time-honoured mark of 99.94 out of players with at least 10 matches to their name.

With three unbeaten tons against West Indies, including the 269 which set up Australia's series-opening win in Hobart, Voges now has an absurd average of over 500 against the Caribbeans.

Ironically, he has already suffered and overcome a crisis of confidence in his six months at the highest level when form deserted him during Australia's Ashes defeat.

He managed only a top score of 31 in his first six innings in England and his form returned only when the series was lost.

"Have I made it (in test cricket)? I don't know. I'm enjoying test cricket, that's for sure," the mild-mannered 36-year-old told reporters.

"I'm enjoying test cricket, that's for sure.

"The way things are going at the moment and being able to score runs, I probably go back to what happened during the Ashes and thinking about the tough times that I encountered then.

"And I guess that drives me a little bit as well to be ruthless when I'm out there batting at the moment."

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