Adam Voges ahead of the second day's play at Basin Reserve © Getty Images
Adam Voges ahead of the second day’s play at Basin Reserve © Getty Images

On that gloomy day at Trent Bridge when Australia were shot out for a mortifying 60 by a rampaging Stuart Broad, another member of the tourists’ ‘Dad’s Army’, Adam Voges, stood among the rubble. England kept bowling at Voges in areas where he struggled on all counts in the Ashes 2015, and like a well-programmed computer software, Voges kept following the commands as if they were written to make him go hard at every single delivery. England had not only exposed Australia’s veteran batsman — whose selection became a burning question with every failure — but belittled him at an age in his career when most either do not get chances or, even if they do, they diminish without making any mark. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: New Zealand vs Australia, 1st Test at Wellington 

Back then, if someone had told a tale that Voges will go on to smash batting record set by Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar in about six months’ time, he would have either been jettisoned from the debate, or worse, would have been labelled a lunatic. ALSO READ: Adam Voges surpasses Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar during Day 2 of New Zealand vs Australia, 1st Test at Wellington

Yes, Voges looked that bad. Australia’s batting looked horrendous.

But that was then. Voges fought well in fourth Test to help him and Australia save some face in the second innings, but could not prevent England from sauntering to Ashes win. He and Australia returned home with morbid faces, unclear of what the future holds. Bangladesh tour beckoned after a short break, but it never materialised due to security concerns. Following the cancellation, Australians began preparing to host New Zealand and West Indies.

Voges garnered 285 runs in 3 Tests against New Zealand at 71.25 in a series that was dominated by batsmen, and against his favourite opponents West Indies, he was even better. He got 375 runs in 3 Tests of the Frank-Worrell Trophy 2015-16, with a career best score of 269. Voges was named ahead of the Cameron Bancroft when it was felt Australia should give chance to the young, but he proved that there were runs in him and that too in large quantities.

Still, Voges is not Australia’s best batsman. His captain, Steven Smith is world No. 1. There is David Warner, who’s hunger for runs and especially big scores is increasing. Then there is Usman Khawaja, the man with four first innings centuries. They all are young, dynamic, and the future of Australia’s batting.

The tour of New Zealand is a stern test for Australia. Not because they are taking on a rampant New Zealand side but because they are almost invincible at home. On Day One, Voges was lucky for a Richard Illingworth howler going in his favour, and only the smart men know the value of converting second chances into success. He got into the side ahead of Bancroft post the cancellation of Bangladesh tour and he has taken giant strides. And when he landed in New Zealand, Voges smashed yet another century on the second day of the Wellington Test, and surpassed Bradman and Tendulkar to become one of the best, even if it is for a while.

It takes unrelenting discipline, application and many other qualities for batsmen to make runs on a consistent basis, and Voges has shown more than what Australian selectors, coach Darren Lehmann and his captain saw in him. Voges has shown the character and hunger that Australian batsmen need to show today, and he has done that in style.

Voges knows he will be gone from the scene in sometime, the age is definitely not on his side and the flow of runs will stop somewhere. But till then, Australia and Voges can cherish all that is coming their way, and can only rue that this did not happen six months ago in England, when they needed it desperately.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)