As Australia was beating England by nine wickets in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba, the next generation of Aussie batting was putting on a show just down the road.
An Australia A team took on England Lions at Ian Healy Oval in Brisbane, which the hosts won by 112 runs.
The main attraction was veteran batter Usman Khawaja, who narrowly missed out on the No.5 spot in the Test team to Travis Head. Head ended up scoring an incredible Ashes century in the main event, likely cementing his position in the team for the rest of the summer.
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Khawaja, on the other hand, fell for scores of 11 and 5 against England’s third-string bowling attack. The performance will do nothing to aid his case for a Test recall.
But it was a young Australia A teammate who announced himself as a genuine Test prospect for the future, if not for this summer.
Bryce Street, 23, top scored for the match with an unbeaten 119 in the second innings.
He faced 254 deliveries in the knock. In his first dig he was out for 26 off 91 balls.
Street has also scored a 143 and an 87 for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield this season. He averages 37.62 from 21 first-class matches.
There could be an opening spot available in the Aussie Test team unless Marcus Harris finds some runs in the next match in Adelaide.
Harris hits winning runs as Aussies triumph at the Gabba
The left-hander was lucky to be picked by selectors for the opening Test, then was out for 3 in the first innings. He scored the winning runs in the second but only had to score 9 to do it, and looked far from convincing.
Harris’ first-class average of 39.62 is only slightly better than Street’s, and he’s largely failed at Test level in his 11 games for Australia.
Also for Australia A, fast bowler Michael Neser took seven wickets for the match.
Neser, 31, has been around the Test squad previously but never been handed a baggy green. But there could be no better time than his home Test in Adelaide starting Thursday, where the right-armer would relish the opportunity to swing the pink ball under lights.
It’s highly unlikely, however, that Australia changes its bowling attack, given the star pink-ball star power of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood.