Chasing the Crown: Lyon’s Pursuit, Warner’s Departure, and the Search for Successor

The Test season will get underway at Perth’s Optus Stadium on Thursday with Australia looking to reclaim the No.1 world ranking from India. Cricket Australia has packed in five Tests against Pakistan and the West Indies in December before heading to New Zealand for two more matches in January. Australia’s reliance on Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne has been a strength and a weakness. But with the rise of Travis Head to a world-class runmaker, Head is on course to become the most important batter in the line-up. Unless David Warner gets single-figure scores in Perth and Melbourne, he will be given the chance to do his SCG lap of honor in January. Matt Renshaw, being the youngest of the three, will get the opportunity as an opener but don’t expect to see any other new baggy green caps handed out this summer. Babar Azam, who previously didn’t get enough support from his teammates, is expected to score bulk runs. TV viewers will likely see more highlights from the West Indies’ glory days than the current team’s performance. Nathan Lyon is set to become the eighth player in Test history to reach 500 wickets. Cameron Green will likely replace Mitchell Marsh before the summer is out. Expect New Zealand to put up a strong fight against Australia.