Spin is in.

By Casey O'Connor

Here we are back again – 2022 well it is certainly beginning to feel like we are simply rewinding 2019 and 2021.

I hope our readers enjoyed a great Christmas and let’s hope 2022 turns the corner to something a little brighter very soon.

Of course, if you are a cricket fan the end of 2021 and the start of 2022 heralded something pretty special.

After the Aussie’s lost one of their main men, Hazelwood to that nasty little beast COVID a new face, Scott Boland emerged from the depths of Shield Cricket.

Where has this 32-year-old bowler been hiding everyone (especially the Poms) was asking after he decimated the English batting line up in a spell of 24 deliveries from which a legend was born and had the Poms on their knees.

If we fans thought it was surreal, imagine how Boland felt. Days before he had been preparing to have Christmas with his wife, kids and family only to receive a stunning call up from selectors.

Tossed the ball by Captain Pat there would not have been a person who could have imagined what was to follow.

Four overs.

One maiden.

Six wickets and Seven runs later it was just left for Cameron Green to mop up the final English wicket and the Ashes were done.

Six wickets for seven runs off four overs (insane numbers).

Simply remarkable and the stuff of fairytales.

Seriously you would be proud of those figures in a back yard match on Christmas Day – this was the MCG against the POMS and an Ashes series.

There was never a doubt who was going to be named man of the match and receive the Johnny Mullagh Medal struck to honour Australia’s first ever international touring team in 1867, an all-Indigenous side.

To add to the fairytale, Boland is just the second male Indigenous player to play Test Cricket for Australia. Jason Gillespie the only other.

It is only recently that Boland discovered his heritage and says he understand what it means to have an Indigenous cricketer starring on the international stage.

Boland was part an Indigenous team that toured England in 2018, celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the first tour.

After receiving the commemorative medal crafted from an original belt buckle from the 1868 tour, the latest Aussie hero humbly said, “It’s something I’m very proud of now.”

Boland gave selectors little choice other than to pick him for Sydney where the fairytale continued. At one point he had figures of 2/0 from four overs and finished the game with 4/36.

In Sydney it was the turn of elegant batsman Usman Khawaja to have a moment in the spotlight with a century in each innings, joining the elite company of Ricky Ponting and Doug Walter as the only batsmen to have scored back-to-back centuries in tests at the SCG. A great effort after a long abscence from the test team.

The SCG Pink Test may have finished in a draw, but it was an enthralling contest and those who think Test cricket is dead and boring obviously didn’t watch cricket over the holiday break.

There is never such a thing as a dead rubber and the final Test which will be played at Blundstone Arena in Hobart will be far from it, if the fight that the Poms showed in Sydney is any indication.

Unfortunately, Scott Boland’s fairy godmother may have some work to do to get him on the park as he reportedly carried an injury though the final day’s play at the SCG and may not be fit for the final Test.

Bring on Day One, Ball One on Friday. There’s nothing like an Ashes series.