'Quite a big series for struggling Australia batters' - Michael Vaughan ahead of 1st Test against New Zealand

Updated - 28 Feb 2024, 06:06 PM

Michael Vaughan, Pat Cummins, Australia, Tim Southee, New Zealand
Michael Vaughan, Pat Cummins, Australia, Tim Southee, New Zealand [PC:X/Twitter]

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has warned Australia’s batters ahead of the first Test against New Zealand. The two-match Test series between the Trans-Tasman rivals is scheduled to get underway on Thursday (February 29) in Wellington.

The former cricketer believes Australia’s batters will have a hard time in New Zealand after failing to impress during the home season. While Australia managed to win four of the five Tests in the home season, their batters did fail to make a big impact. According to a report in Fox Sports, it was statistically Australia’s worst summer of batting in 45 years.

Only Mitchell Marsh (380 runs at 54.28), Steve Smith (314 runs at 44.85) and now-retired David Warner (299 runs at 49.83) managed to have an average of more than 40 in the five home Tests. Marnus Labuschagne managed 226 runs at 28.25, while Travis Head could only score 200 runs at 25. Alex Carey averaged 30.14 as he scored 211 runs.

Big tour for Australia: Michael Vaughan

Ahead of the first Test, Michael Vaughan has said the series is a big one for Australia’s batters as it will give them an opportunity to reassess their quality after a subpar display in the home summer.

“It is quite a big tour for the Australian players just to reaffirm themselves as a high-quality batting unit that can get consistently big scores, because in the summer, they certainly didn’t do that,” Michael Vaughan told foxsports.com.au.

Speaking further, Michael Vaughan stated that fatigue could have been one of the reasons behind the Australian batters’ struggle to score big. While he was not sure of the exact reason behind the struggle, he did say that “there were certainly cracks in that batting line-up”.

“I was trying to work out whether it was because the series wasn’t massively high profile? Or whether we just saw Australia just switch off slightly with the bat in hand? Or were they just tired? I’m not too sure,” he said.

“But there were certainly cracks in that batting line-up. I thought it was a poor summer for the Australian batters. So I think it’s quite a big series for a few of the Australian batters to try and find a bit of form and rhythm.

“Marnus (Labuschagne), for example (struggled and) Travis Head as well. Alright, he got that 100 in Adelaide but other than that, he struggled, pretty much.

“Mitch (Marsh) was fantastic, pretty much through the summer. Smith played well in the last game but he need to go on and carry on with that same rhythm he showed in the second innings in Brisbane,” he concluded.

 

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