AUS vs WI Perth Cummins don’t want to miss out on Australia’s realistic chance of making the WTC final again.

When Australia won the T20 World Cup in 2021, it felt like they had finally secured a world trophy that had eluded them for so long. But the reality is that there is another trophy, albeit a newly minted one, that literally slipped through their fingers in 2021.

Australia failed to reach the final of the 2021 World Test Championship as they were awarded points due to a slow over-rate. Australia captain Pete Cummins admitted on the eve of the first home Test of the new summer – and the first of nine Tests leading up to the 2023 WTC final – that his team didn’t realize they were at the time. What was lost? .

“I think being new, it probably didn’t hit us until the game was actually played and you saw New Zealand do well there,” Cummins said in Perth on Tuesday. And you wish you were there.” “So it feels like the second time around it’s been a little bit more. It felt like a huge missed opportunity that the first one. So it definitely gives each series a little bit more context now. provides something bigger to play for.”

Although there is a general uneasiness about Australian cricket at the moment for various reasons, with concerns that the Perth public may not turn out in large numbers to watch the first Test played in the city since 2019. Gee, every Test match now means something to the Australian player. The team

“The big series, say the Ashes or the India series where you play four or five Tests are obviously big battles, whereas more normal series where you play two or three in a series gives them a bit more global perspective. Gets a little bit more. Extra to play with,” Cummins said.

The Australian public may not fully realize it, still yearning for a clash with the West Indies of yesteryear, but there is much more to this two-Test series. Australia currently top the World Test Championship table and are in pole position for a place in the finals in England next year.

For the first time, Cummins and some of his teammates have started talking about the importance of the next eight months of Test cricket for a group of players who are coming to the end of their Test careers.

David Warner, Steven Smith, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood are all in their 30s, with Warner, Khawaja and Lyon on the other side of 35, having been the backbone of the Australian Test team for the past 10 years. have . Alex Carey and Marcus Harris are also 30-plus in the squad, while Cummins will turn 30 in May next year.

Warner has already hinted that this could be his last 12 months in Test cricket, although he retracted those references in the Test in Perth, while Khawaja admitted the team was in a transition phase. In, Cummins hoped it would be later but confirmation was on the horizon.

“We’ll have 15 Test matches in the next six or seven months, hopefully there won’t be any turnover before that but of course it’s coming,” Cummins said.

“It’s the most stable team I’ve played in, to be honest. You could have probably picked the team 12 months ago. I think we’re in a good place.”

An eight-month stretch of Test cricket, with 15 Tests at home against the West Indies and South Africa, away to India and England, and the WTC final if they get there, is a golden opportunity for a group that has not collected such a large number. The Test trophies are perhaps a guarantee of their collective abilities, despite being ranked No. 1 in the world at the moment. There is a sense that those 15 Tests could cement a legacy as a great Australian team.

“I think it’s a very exciting opportunity for our group, where you’re going to play four major series in six or seven months as an Australian Test cricketer, that’s once a career,” Cummins said. There’s a chance.” “It’s all in front of us, it’s exciting. Obviously, with the World Test Championship, the home summer is always big, which is huge to play for. We’ve got some wins here, it’s our place in London. guarantees. We have everything. Come here fresh. We know this is a big block of cricket and we are excited for it.”

But they cannot afford any slip-ups like they did in 2021. They have already let slip moments in Test cricket this year that could have put them in a stronger position in the WTC table. He failed to finish the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney in January, as England survived nine down, and did the same in Karachi in March when he dropped a number of catches as Pakistan survived 171.4 overs in the fourth innings. He also lost an innings in Galle, scoring 204 for 2 on day one against Sri Lanka after winning the toss.

Anything short of winning all five Tests at home against the West Indies and South Africa this summer could put them at risk of missing out on the WTC final again, given that they have India to negotiate in February and March. had a difficult four-Test tour, winning only one. 14 Tests there since the 2004 series victory.

With the West Indies unbeaten in Test cricket in 2022, it will not be easy for any opponent at home, while South Africa are second in the WTC table despite losing their last two Tests in England.

Australia is well aware of the opportunity that presents itself. They must now take it with both hands.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo.

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