Pakistan offers a point to prove
WHILE Australia and England do battle in the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG, two Hornets youngsters will be putting their best foot forward across the other side of town hoping to one day make their own mark in the Ashes arena.
Batting all-rounder Harry Wood and spinner Harry Macoun will represent the Australia Under-19s in a three-match series against Pakistan, after impressing at the recent National U19 Championships in Hobart.
The duo missed on selection in the Australian U19 squad for the 2018 World Cup in New Zealand, but Wood hopes a strong showing at Melbourne's The Albert Ground will put selectors on notice.
"This is another awesome opportunity, to play three one-day games against Pakistan in Melbourne,” the Laidley product said.
"Again it will be a different experience - it will be my first time playing against an international team, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they bring.
"It will be a good chance to prove a point (to selectors). Injuries always happen, so I can't rule out (getting an opportunity).”
Cricket Australia pathways manager Graham Manou confirmed the door would be left ajar for those players willing to make the most of their opportunity.
"We've been able to give fourteen players the chance to represent their country at U19 level against Pakistan,” Manou said.
"All of these players impressed at U19 level over the past two years, and we're keen to see what they can do against an international side.”
Wood felt Queensland underperformed at the National Championships; a big win over eventual winners NSW Metro overshadowed by disappointing defeats to Northern Territory and Cricket Australia XI.
"We had a great time in Hobart, but we were disappointed to not go as well as we hoped,” Wood said.
"I'm probably a little disappointed personally, I would have liked to go a little better than I did - I certainly played better last year, but that's cricket.
"But I'm more-so upset about our team result. We certainly had a team to give the championships a real shake, but we didn't get there.
"I would say the highlight was beating NSW. They had a really good side, and we played our best cricket for the carnival and absolutely gave it to them.”
Macoun led Queensland with 10 wickets, and finished in the top 10 for the carnival on a pitch that favoured pace over turn.
"The wickets weren't really turning, there wasn't much there for the spinners but (Macoun) bowled really well and made the most out it,” Wood said of his teammate.
Wood and Macoun will spend Christmas at home, before flying to Melbourne on Boxing Day ahead of the first one-day match on December 27.