Australia’s lopsided summer of cricket, beating South Africa and West Indies, unlikely to be an outlier

Home Sports Australia’s lopsided summer of cricket, beating South Africa and West Indies, unlikely to be an outlier
Australia’s lopsided summer of cricket, beating South Africa and West Indies, unlikely to be an outlier

You’ll be hard pushed to find anyone who will come away from the summer of cricket with much positivity.

Sure, Australia were excellent.

Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Cam Green and Alex Carey plundered runs to all corners of grounds across Australia.

Meanwhile, Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland and Green tenderised opposition batters with guile, pace and venom, while Nathan Lyon kept on doing Nathan Lyon things with the ball in hand.

Yet the whole while, there was a real sense of Australia just beating up on below-par opposition who were ill-equipped to handle such treatment so far from home.

Here’s the catch too — it won’t be getting any better soon.

Australia has played 34 Tests at home since South Africa inflicted defeat by an innings and 80 runs in the second Test of their 2016 tour in Hobart.

In that time, India have won four Tests, there have been five draws, and Australia has won the remaining 25. Twenty-four of them by more than six wickets or 120 runs.

Very few matches have been competitive, which says much about the strength of this Australian Test team, but arguably more about the lack of strength of the tourists.

Next summer, Australia welcomes Pakistan for three Tests and the West Indies again for two.

Perth Stadium looks empty as cricket is played
A total of 42,517 fans came through the gates in Perth across the entire five days of the Test, with three daily crowds of less then 10,000.(Getty Images: Cameron Spencer)

Pity the Cricket Australia marketing team for that one — they’re going to have to think of some very imaginative campaigns to convince people these will be worth watching.

The following summer, India come to these shores for five Tests and, the year after, England return for the Ashes.

Those series are not the problem, though.

There will then be a one-off Test against Afghanistan in July 2026, followed by a split summer later that year, when New Zealand and Bangladesh come for three and two Tests respectively, split by a January visit to India.

All up, Australia has 44 Tests locked in up until March 2027 as per the ICC Future Tours Programme.

Only England (45) plays more Tests in that time, with India playing 42 times.

In that same time frame, there is a whole lot less Test cricket for teams like South Africa, who arguably need all the match practice they can get.

The Proteas will play the same number of series as Australia will in that time, 14, but will only play 30 Tests.

In fact, the next time South Africa will play a three-Test series is against Australia at home in September 2026 — all their other series are just two-matches.

Of the 30 Tests that South Africa plays, 10 of them will be against one of the big three — India, England or Australia — and only one of those series will be away from home, travelling to India for two Tests in November 2025.

Australia will play 14 Tests against India alone in that same time frame.

“The disappointment that we aren’t playing more Tests this year sits with a lot of players,” Dean Elgar said before the third Test started in Sydney.

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