Aussies will lose all five ODIs to English
What a disappointing couple of displays the Australian cricket team has produced these past few days in London. In fact they were worse than disappointing.
They were passionless, rudderless and frighteningly inept.
The message these two losses have given to not only the English cricket team but to the general sporting public in the UK is that Australia are most likely to lose this one day series 0-5.
But that is the good news. The bad news is that it has consolidated a growing confidence in the UK that next year’s Ashes will be an embarrassing miss match of cricketing talent and nous.
From the inept batting to the overhyped fast bowling, the current Australian cricket team is so far off being competitive against its most nostalgic rival I would doubt that one Australian would be selected in the opposition first eleven.
Who would of thought that possible five years ago?
David Warner, the big hitting opening batsman that every Aussie fan seems to think the world of, is now a selection certainty for the Australia one-day and Test side.
Yet a sincere question mark must be placed over his ‘batsmanship’ and his suitability for a Test series against the English seam attack. Warner’s appalling opening batting today was almost too painful to watch and set the tone for a disastrous batting display.
Not one Australian batsman looked like they should be playing international cricket, let alone be representing the number one ranked one day side in the world. Actually perhaps Brett Lee can yet again hold his head up high with the bat at least.
Both Watson and Bailey scored into the sixties but both of them failed to score rapidly when their eyes were in, giving the game over to the English before Cook and Bell were even asked to pad up.
Watson was good, but Bailey in particular struggled to play attacking strokes of any significance in the important 20 to 35 over period. The poultry 40 runs the Australians scored in this period was lacklustre and irresponsible in terms of setting up for a win.
Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, at a combined age of somewhere near 152, still seem to be the only players that Australia could rely on in twelve months’ time to contribute alongside Clarke and Watson.
Forrest, Bailey, Wade and ‘the other Hussey’ might be able to nut out some runs here and there but if these are the best alternatives to any of the before four mentioned, than Australia are in dire straits.
But back to where it all started. Warner’s decent scores from time to time, including his fifty in the first match, does not hide the fact that Steve Finn looks like he could take his scalp every other ball. And this folks, is on flat one-day pitches.
This Ashes tell tale of a mismatch does not bode well for the stocky left-hander when next year’s Test match wickets will offer more for the bowlers. Added to this, Warner and co will be up against a test bowling line-up where Finn is currently viewed as surplus to requirement.
If Finn, a 6ft 7in, accurate 90+mph bowler, can not make the English test line-up, than how could Bill Lawry have dared to make the now infamous statement that ‘Australia has the best seem attack in the world’ earlier this year. It clearly does not.
The English have taller, more accurate bowlers in Finn and Broad. In Finn’s case he is as fast and at times faster than all our test match candidates.
The English have arguably the world’s best swing bowler in Jimmy Anderson, who in the past few seasons in English conditions has been unplayable at times.
They have arguably the world’s finest fast bowling all rounder in Bresnan and they have the much improved Chris Tremlett and Graham Onions to call on as well.
Australia’s fast bowling stocks are very healthy compared to a few years ago that much is certain. However, it would be a stretch to suggest that even one of our bowlers would be preferred to the current crop of English bowlers, if indeed they all owned a red passport instead of a blue one.
Brett Lee is on the cusp of breaking Glenn McGraths’ Australian one day wicket taking record. But he looks like a player that is going through the motions hoping to get the wicket rather than striving to get it. One gets the feeling that he will bow out once he has taken that record and I do hope he gest there soon and steps aside.
Mitchell Johnson’s comeback was yet another humiliating experience for a player that is now a laughing stock in this part of the world. He did not spray the ball down the leg side, this time though. No, he has found another way to appear amateurish.
He has found a way to no ball more often than a young Pakistani bowler, who’s name should never be whispered in cricket circles again.
But there is hope isn’t there? Is there? Our next generation of quicks, the much heralded Pattinson and Cummins, seem to be more injury prone than Samuel L Jackson did when he played the sinister, brittle-boned weirdo known as ‘Mr Glass’ in the movie Unbreakable.
Our class of ’09, Hilfenhaus and Siddle have indeed improved but the psychological scars of previous Ashes campaigns may be too much of an advantage to the English batsman who must be thinking in terms of Oliver Twist; ‘Please sir may I have some more?’
I fear that even if Cummins and Pattinson are fit this time next year they will be no quicker, no taller and no more penetrative than what the English batsman are used to facing in their nets and in their domestic championships.
Perhaps we need to think of the tall left-armer that can hold the seam properly and swing the ball to offer a variation to what they are used to. No, not Johnson. The other left arm Mitchell, Mitchell Starc. Perhaps.
Or perhaps Nathan Lyon will have developed into a more consistent off spinner by this time next year and be capable of taking 40 odd test wickets in a series.
I sincerely hope that something amazing happens to Australian cricket in the next 12 months starting in a couple of days. Because at the moment there is only one conclusion to this week’s one day series and next year’s Ashes.
Five nil England.