Going back to 2009, Muhammad Amir had arrived on the Australian shores, where he took on a much different side and made an outstanding impression on both his team mates and the crowd.

However, a year later, that was 2010, Amir was among three Pakistani players convicted of spot fixing in the series as he deliberately bowled no-balls to specific points in the match.

This thus led to a suspension being placed on him by the ICC to last for five years. He was also sent to jail by the English Judges having been found guilty of indulging in corrupt practices.

It is 2016, and a different Amir, with his suspension period over. However, his pace and determination still remains as much as it was or might have even improved.

In a tour match played against the Cricket Australia XI this week in Cairns, Amir made sure to send a subtle curt warning to the Australian batsmen as he ensured he made good use of a brutal spell of fast bowling to destroy the CA XI batsmen, and finish with 3/15 from his 10 overs, one which has been acclaimed to be economical.

Reverse Sweep Dismissals Brings lots of criticism

Even though this is an era where reverse sweep has almost become a text book shot, a dismissal on a reverse sweep attempt still invites criticism.

It’s simply because while a reverse sweep can give you a guaranteed four if you get it right, you, at the same time, are also putting your wicket on the line while making that attempt.

The old man in the Australian batting line up Adam Voges, who is a disciplined batter, was being really gritty on Day 2 at Galle, keeping the on song Dilruwan Perera at bay. But, something happened to the Western Australian suddenly. He lost trust in his straight bat shots and opted for a reverse sweep and lost his leg stump in the process.

The criticism happened, rightly so, but, Voges refused to learn a lesson and when he returned for his second knock in the game, he was stubborn and had come with the mission to prove that he had the reverse sweep in his armoury, that he could play that shot and that his first innings attempt was not a brain fade. He, in fact, began his innings with a reverse sweep, nailing it this time, sending it past the third man fence, but, in spite of that boundary, the Aussie legend Allan Border was taken aback.

Australian team rolled down to No.8 ranking

For the first time in many, many years, an Australian team is at no. 8 in the World rankings while walking into a World tournament.

Yes, can you believe it? The men in yellow at this point of time are the 8th ranked team in the world in twenty 20 format.

Well, their fans might say they don’t often appear in the international twenty 20 games and instead play more of the other formats of the game and that’s actually right.

But, what’s also right is that whenever Australia plays the twenty 20 games at the international level, they don’t manage to dominate.

It’s only recently that they were cleaned up by India in their own backyard in a series of 3 games.

They don’t even have a settled leader as far as their Twenty 20 team is concerned.

Steven Smith has showered praise on his retiring teammate

Steven Smith, the captain of the Australian test and One Day International team, has showered praise on his retiring teammate and one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Mitchell Johnson, saying that when the Queenslander was at his best, it was nightmarish for any batsman in the world to handle him.

Johnson would no longer be featuring in Australian jersey as he has made the sudden decision to walk away from the international scenes after a period of 12 months or so where he has been largely out of form.

Johnson had been at his peak during the 2013 Season when he had managed to absolutely torment the touring English side and had helped Australia clinch a 5-0 Ashes series win against all odds.

Johnson continued his rhythm on the tour of South Africa as well which followed right after that 2013 Ashes and played a big role in Australia emerging victorious there, but, he suffered a dip thereafter and the 5-wicket hauls somehow just dried up.

He kept putting on good performances here and there, like the one which came against India in the World Cup semi final and also, the one against England in Lord’s earlier this year. But, the intimidating factor was missing and ahead of this Australian summer, some of the experts of Australian Cricket had even predicted that considering his lack of form and increasing age, the southpaw might look to retire at some point of time during the home season and that’s what he did.

However, the announcement to come in the middle of a series was not something that people would have expected.

Steve Smith would not be batting one down in the upcoming test

Steve Smith would not be batting one down in the upcoming test series against the arch rivals New Zealand.

He would demote himself to no. 4 to ensure the middle order contains some experience in the absence of Michael Clarke and Shane Watson both of whom bid adieu to red ball Cricket post the Ashes defeat earlier this year.

Not too many former players are convinced with this decision of Smith. They reckon there’s no point for the Aussie skipper to make any shuffling as far as his batting position is concerned. The most technically equipped player in the line up should be at 3.

But, Smith reckons if the opposition manages to have a couple of early breakthroughs with the new ball, then being at 4, he would hopefully be able to stem the flow a little bit.

That’s surely a negative mindset to have and the captains that Australia has had in the past haven’t quite seen things from that perspective.

Somebody like Ricky Ponting was always up for batting at the top without being bothered about the composition of his middle order or if there is enough experience there or not because he believed he’s the best player in the team and thus, he should hold the most important position which is 3.

CM Gautam reckons spending a bit of time with Michael Hussey during his stint at Mumbai Indians last year helped

CM Gautam reckons spending a bit of time with Michael Hussey during his stint at Mumbai Indians last year helped him improve his batting especially in the shortest form of the game.

Hussey played for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League for just a solitary season i.e. in 2014 before being released.

He did not feature in Mumbai’s  playing XI that much during that season, but, he was always up for mentoring the young players during the practice sessions, imparting his knowledge to them and according to Gautam, quite a few guys including him got benefitted from that.

In an interview, the Karnataka Wicketkeeper said, “That’s the beauty of the Indian Premier League you know. You, as youngsters, get the opportunity to see how the big guys go about their business, how they think ahead of the matches, how they assess the conditions, how they set small targets for themselves while batting, you learn a lot from that. I, personally, have been a big beneficiary of that tournament and I am sure many other young players in this country will tell you the same thing.”

“To be in the same side with somebody like Michael Hussey was a great honour for me. Picking his brains on certain things was just magnificent. He is such a humble guy, is always ready to help you. He has so much to tell you about batting. He is blessed with immense Cricketing knowledge.”