Australia is facing its biggest talent turnover in 18 years as a large number of aging stars are likely to retire ahead of the next Ashes series. This is why Pat Cummins isn’t worried.
- David Warner and Steve Smith top list of aging stars
- Bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc also won’t tour again
- Cummins is excited about the new generation of Australian talent
Pat Cummins insists that Australia is well prepared for its biggest transition period in 18 years, with just four players from this Ashes series likely to return for the 2027 Ashes tour.
This week’s Oval Test marks the end of an era for several Australian cricketers, with talk of retirement dominating the run-up to the match.
David Warner has already planned his departure for January, while few would expect 36-year-old Usman Khawaja to return to England four years from now.
Steve Smith is unlikely to be in Edgbaston in 2027, the likely opening location for the Ashes series, given that he just celebrated his 38th birthday.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland and Mitch Marsh are likely also gone from those who have played on this tour.
Nathan Lyon will be 39, but hasn’t ruled out another Ashes series abroad, while Alex Carey (who will be 35) and Cummins (34) would be questionable.
That would leave Cameron Green, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head and Todd Murphy, all currently in their 20s, as the most likely survivors of those who played this series.
It is highly unlikely that Usman Khawaja, David Warner and Steve Smith (pictured left to right) will tour England again for an Ashes series.
Bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are also much closer to the end of their careers than the beginning.
Australian skipper Pat Cummins is confident that the next generation of Australian talent can fill the gap left by the departing stars.
Such a changing of the guard will mark Australia’s most significant among the Ashes tours since the period from 2005 to 2009, when only three players kept their place for the final tour and the team fell out of form.
However, Cummins is not convinced that the announced massive changes will take place.
“I certainly don’t want to rush anybody out the door,” Cummins said.
“This is the fourth Ashes series where (England bowler) Jimmy Anderson has said it will be the last. You never know. He is only one age.
‘Some of these guys could be here in four years, and still be at the top level.’
However, if there are changes across the board, Australia’s recent stability could come back to bite them.
While Australia gave 17 players their debut between the 2005 and 2009 Ashes series, and 26 between 2009 and 2013, only eight have played their maiden test in the past four years.
Matt Renshaw would be one of the leading candidates to open in 2027, while Henry Hunt, Tim Ward and highly regarded Western Australian all-rounder Aaron Hardie have featured on recent Australia A tours.
Jhye Richardson has played every format for Australia, and Lance Morris, Josh Inglis and Renshaw have all had consistent time in the national team over the past year.
“We’re lucky to have white-ball cricket where it can have a ‘soft start’ for a lot of the lads, give them exposure to international cricket,” Cummins said.
‘During the IPL this year we had an Aussie A team go to New Zealand, that was a very young team. Last year we took an Australian A side to Sri Lanka.
They are really important tours.
POSSIBLE AUSTRALIAN ASH SIDE IN 2027
Other options: Will Pucovski, Teague Wyllie, Tim Ward, Will Sutherland, Spencer Johnson and Tanveer Sangha.
* Players aged 35 and over not counted