Mickey Arthur’s recent rant has polarised Australian sports opinion but the ex-coach was completely within his rights to shed light on why the Australian cricket team has been so below-par in recent times.
There have been many theories thrown around to try to explain the phenomenon that is a beatable Australian XI but, in my opinion, Mickey has hit the nail on the head.
The team consists mainly of Gen-Y students of the Big Bash School of cricket. Wind the clock back 10 years and name a player who was given more than one chance without first establishing themselves in first class cricket.
Now bring yourself back to the present day and look at the two best batsmen in the current team: Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers.
Michael Clarke has scored 17 first class tons and 18 50s; Chris Rogers has scored 60 first class tons and 91 first class 50s.
To put that in perspective, the top five – excluding the aforementioned Clarke and Rogers – has scored 31 first class tons.
I know Chris Rogers has plied his trade for umpteen years and is only now getting the chance to prove himself as an elite cricketer but those stats alarm me.
Phil Hughes’ T20 average is higher than his Test average.
Shane Watson’s ODI average is higher than his Test average – the latter format in which he’s only converted twice in 20 scores higher than fifty.
Arthur slammed the current line-up over their over inflated egos and exaggerated contracts. I totally agree and am of the belief that hard yakka in Sheffield Shield will alleviate the problem.
Picking players on their flashy highlights and plucked-from-nowhere captain in waiting qualities is no way to build and maintain a successful Test cricket team.