2024 holds immense promise for cricket enthusiasts. While the absence of the Ashes battle might dampen spirits momentarily, it won’t bother the Aussies one bit. That’s because they will have their stronghold over the prestigious urn extended to a decade by the time the next series is underway in the winter of 2025. However, the Baggy Greens’ aspirations stretch far beyond victorious encounters with their arch-rivals, and they have the opportunity to become record-breakers later this year.
The Aussie Quest
Australia cemented their status as the undisputed World Test Champions, showcasing their absolute dominance on the global stage from 2021 to 2023. Their impeccable performance throughout the league stage earned them a showdown with India for all the marbles at The Oval. The high-stakes encounter unfolded as anticipated, with Pat Cummins’men triumphing with an astounding 209-run victory, largely attributed to Travis Head’s explosive 163. Even after this remarkable feat, their hunger for victory remained insatiable.
Last year, they emerged victorious once again over the Indians, who were playing on home turf, in the Cricket World Cup. Despite facing defeat from the host nation in the league stage, the Aussies secured their redemption in the Ahmedabad showpiece. They restricted India’s score to 240 and successfully chased down the required runs with plenty of gas left in the tank. As we move forward in the year, they are set to embark on their journey to potentially become the first-ever triple world champions as they contest the T20 World Cup, scheduled to kick off on June 1st in the West Indies and USA. Various UK gambling sites have recognised their chances and positioned them as 3/1 second favourites to reach sporting immortality.
But who is the one man that they couldn’t compete without? Let’s take a look at him as well as their newest rivals, India, the team they have defeated in back-to-back finals and who they may well have to beat once again this year if they are to become triple world champs.
Australian cricket has long been graced by a plethora of exceptional talents, with Steve Smith shining as one of the most dazzling gems in their illustrious history. Bursting onto the scene in 2010, this Sydney-born superstar swiftly established himself as the cornerstone of Australia’s formidable batting lineup. Renowned for his unconventional technique, Smith presents a daunting challenge for even the most skilful bowlers. Boasting a Test average surpassing 62, he has single-handedly orchestrated numerous triumphant victories for his nation.
When discussing Indian cricket, the name that immediately springs to mind is none other than Virat Kohli. With an unwavering passion for the game and an unmatched work ethic, he has risen to become one of the finest batsmen in the world. He has become the biggest star that sport in the subcontinent has ever seen, even being considered as one of the most famous sportsmen on the planet, competing with the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James.
The New Delhi-born star’s prowess is not limited solely to his run-scoring abilities; he also excels as a dynamic captain, guiding Indian cricket towards unprecedented heights. Maintaining an impressive average of over 50 in all formats of the game, Kohli’s aggressive playing style and unyielding attitude have made him an unstoppable force on the field.
What of England?
While Virat and Smith may well be considered the finest batsman on the planet at present, there can be no denying of England’s star duo. Joe Root may very well be the finest batsman his country has ever produced and he has been in blistering form throughout the last year. Then there is their captain, Ben Stokes, who may well be the most important player in the world. When he plays well, England does too. When he doesn’t, they are a shambles just as we saw in the recently concluded World Cup.