With the exception of New South Wales, consistency appears to have gone out the window as all teams have lost at least one game from the opening exchanges. The Cricket Australia XI’s victory over Tasmania sums up the competitions unpredictability, as they bounced back from humiliating defeats to NSW and Victoria to beat a strong Tasmania side in their third match. Remarkable moments including Travis Head’s double ton, missed full tosses and nail-biting run chases have kept Matador Cup fans on their toes as they try to second guess what’s going to happen next.
Starc is a cut above
If there’s been any predictability in the Matador Cup this year, it’s been the constant threat from Mitchell Starc. The world’s ICC #2 ODI bowler has been on scintillating form so far claiming 14 wickets from the first 3 games. After decimating the inexperienced Cricket Australia XI with figures of 6-25, his performances against WA and SA are perhaps more pertinent to his current form, as the left hander successfully dismissed the in-form Redback’s duo Travis Head and Callum Ferguson, as well as international colleagues Bancroft, Voges and Mitchell Marsh.
CA XI are no pushovers
After consecutive defeats by record breaking margins it would have been easy for the Cricket Australia XI to just curl up into a ball and take their punishment. What we saw in the Tasmania game was the opposite of that as Marcus Harris and Will Bosisto scored 86 and 64 respectively to set up the eventual winning total of 241. With the struggling Western Australia coming up for them next, the CA XI will be no pushovers, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw one another upset before the end of the competition.
Perfect shop window for Test selection
With the tour of Bangladesh postponed, all eyes have been firmly fixed on the Matador Cup action. This offers the perfect opportunity for certain players to catch selector’s attention with a view to either braking into the side or nailing down a Test or Australia A spot. Where Cameron Bancroft has excelled, Joe Burns has struggled. This could have a major bearing on who lines up in that first Test against New Zealand on November 5th. Another name to have sprung onto the selectors radar is Callum Ferguson, the South Australian has managed to continue his pre-tournament form with strong performances against Western Australia and Queensland.
There’s going to be runs
There was an incredible 7 centuries scored on the opening day of the competition, as Head, Ferguson, Dunk, Maddinson, Smith, Bancroft and Shaun Marsh all notched up triple figures. This magnitude of runs was always going to be difficult to sustain, but with short boundaries, quick outfields and a wealth of talent on offer, the rest of the competition promises to be a high scoring affair.