Glenn Maxwell’s Aussie career is in limbo.
Glenn Maxwell’s Aussie career is in limbo.

Superman, the all-rounder and a Big Show

MISSION accomplished, the Ashes have been regained and now Australia must turn its attention to another packed year of cricket which is highlighted by test series against the two highest ranked test teams, India and South Africa.

I have chosen three players that I think will be superstars in 2018.

(Steve Smith was not eligible because he might become the only player to get a statue erected outside the SCG while he is still playing!)

MITCH MARSH

The younger Marsh brother has been lauded as a super star in the making since he captained Australia to victory in the U/19 World Cup back in 2010 and he is now finally poised to live up to that potential.

After 20 test matches and a batting average of only 20 many fans were starting to question whether Mitch Marsh had what it took to compete at the highest level but this Ashes has been a turning point for him.

Mitch Marsh celebrates his century in Sydney.
Mitch Marsh celebrates his century in Sydney.

Scoring his maiden test century at the WACA, another at the SCG test and sandwiched in between was a battling 160 ball innings at the MCG to secure a draw all show that Mitch Marsh version 2.0 has arrived.

2018 will be the breakout year for the talented all rounder. He is the perfect counter attacking number 6 batsman and he has always shown himself to be a capable medium pace bowler.

Once he has fully recovered from Shoulder surgery he will be a crucial player in all three formats of the game.

 

PAT CUMMINS

If superman were to take up cricket then I think it would look something like Pat Cummins. He bowls super fast, hits the ball a long way and is incredibly charming to go with it.

He is also one of the most inspiring stories in the Australian team as he spent five years between his famous Test debut in South Africa in 2011 and his 2nd test in India last year dealing with injuries and rehabilitation.

Throughout that period Cummins also had to carry the burden of high expectations but he hasn't disappointed since his return to the test side.

He was Australia's leading wicket taker in the Ashes with 23 wickets and capped off the series with a man of the match performance at his home ground in the 5th Ashes test at the SCG.

Aussie coach Darren Lehmann said after the test that Cummins "bowls a heavy ball and he hits the bat harder than you think and bowls wicket taking deliveries".

Pat Cummins is on the cusp of superstardom.
Pat Cummins is on the cusp of superstardom.

He has now has played 10 tests and will return to the scene of his test debut in the 4th test of the upcoming series in South Africa.

Don't be surprised if Cummins is the stand out performer in a series featuring the best fast bowlers in the world including Rabada, Steyn, Morkel and Starc.

His big hitting and mobility in the field also makes him an ideal white ball player so get used to watching Cummins star in all formats of the game in 2018.

GLENN MAXWELL

Finally, things are coming to head between Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell.

When Smith was asked after Maxwell's axing from the 50 over team what he needed to do to get back into the Australian team Smith said he needed to 'train smarter'.

Glenn Maxwell’s Aussie career is in limbo.
Glenn Maxwell’s Aussie career is in limbo.

Maxwell said in response "I'll listen to him and do my best to get on his right side and do everything I can to play for Australia."

Let's hope he does get on Smith's good side because Maxwell has shown in the last year that he is finally taming is own enormous talent and, perhaps, his large ego.

In the recent test series in India he made a brilliant maiden test ton and followed it up by being the leading Sheffield Shield run scorer so far punctuated by a massive 278 against NSW.

As Australia looks to put together a squad for our World Cup defence in the UK next year Maxwell is the superstar we need.

In the 2015 World Cup, in Australia, Maxwell was unstoppable on the biggest stage scoring 324 runs at the whopping strike rate of almost 2 runs a ball!

No other Australian player can change the momentum of a game like Maxwell. It is only a matter of time until Maxwell is back in Australia's white ball teams.

This year will be the one Maxwell captivates and excites Australian fans rather than frustrates and annoys.

Someone just has to convince Steve Smith.



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