Cricket Australia desperately needs some heroes and the Australians need to win both the one-dayers and Test series in South Africa to be prepared to take on the touring Indian side when it lands in Australia in December, feels former Australian cricketer Dean Jones.
"Good old Australian aggression is what I want to see. Then bring on the Indians in December. And let me tell you, the Indians are so tired, they will be cherry ripe for a mauling," says Jones in a syndicated column for The Age.
According to Jones, the current top five Australian sporting heroes are Cadel Evans, Sam Stosur, Sally Pearson, Gary Ablett, Chris Judd, Billy Slater, and none of them play cricket.
"Sadly for Cricket Australia, there are no cricket heroes who come to peoples' minds now. Australia is struggling. Australia is in developing mode, trying new players and structures that will be competitive in the next Ashes series and World Cup. We all know this takes time, but the fans hate seeing us lose and they have no real heroes to follow," says Jones.
"This Australian team is going through change but lacks some real quality game-changers. Guys who can finish off the opposition. There is hope, as we have a new captain and a new coach and new selectors and performance managers are on the way. But the team's performance in Sri Lanka hasn't really grabbed the imagination of the fans or the media," Jones adds.
He believes that the Australian cricket team's tour of South Africa and their performances there "will make or break our upcoming summer."
"If we get smashed in South Africa, it will put us back a long way and could mean we don't have enough time to be right for the New Zealand and India Tests in December," Jones writes.
The South Africa tour will be a big one for all, he concludes.