Michael Clarke denies the David Warner issue was dealt with inconsistently (AFP : Torsten Blackwood)

Related coverage

That wasn’t just a loss. It was a flogging from the First Fleet era. As it unfurled, its Antipodean witnesses began a many-voiced wail of lamentation that continues today.

It would serve Australia’s cricketers well to ignore it.

Australians don’t lose well. Australian fans and journalists lose far worse than the players themselves. “But what are we going to do?” the onlookers cry with a tone of indignation, as though such a result were an affront against the natural order of the world itself.

At times like this, it seems that only the players understand that it isn’t.

Yes, it was a mighty hiding. Two Indian batsmen scored 371 runs between them in one innings, while 11 Australians managed 368 across a combined 22 trips to the crease.

That’s a bit embarrassing, and would make a few batsmen want to go and hang out in Nathan Lyon’s secret cubby house to hide for a while.

But honestly, did anyone expect this Australian team to go to India and win?

In the lead-up to every India tour, we’re reminded of Australia’s difficulties there, and how interim captain Adam Gilchrist in 2004-05 led the only winning tour since Bill Lawry in 1969-70.

Indian conditions are difficult for Australian players, while the home team is a fierce prospect on its own grounds. Far from yesterday’s collapse being an anomaly, it was the 18th time an Australian Test side has been bowled out or forced to declare for under 200 in India.

Australia at present has an inexperienced side lacking in top-line players. They’re trying to develop those players, and cover a few gaps where they can. If Steve Waugh’s side couldn’t win a series in India, why would we expect Michael Clarke’s to?

India has similar trouble when they visit us. While they’ve come close a couple of times, they’ve never won a series in Australia, and have won only five Tests since their first attempt in 1947/48. The summer before last, they were thoroughly pantsed by close to the same team they’re now pushing around.

Despite India’s batting arsenal in 2011/12, they rarely threatened. They were routinely confined to sub-par totals. But while supporters were disappointed, they didn’t freak out. They understood it was very hard for the away team to win in the home team’s conditions.

This is what a large chunk of the Australian fans seem to have lost track of. Australia’s match wasn’t all terrible. They did well to restrict India to 503 after the monster partnership between Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay.

Teams have conceded 500 and gone on to challenge, if they have the batting. Australia didn’t. They collapsed instead. Some days, this happens. Some tours, it happens. Just ask India a year ago.

But that doesn’t mean you have to throw out the whole set and start again. Virat Kohli’s Australian tour started with 11, 0, 23, 9, and 44 – surely enough to have Australian fans demanding a drop, were his passport a different shade.

Since he found touch with a second-innings 75 in Perth, he’s scored four centuries in nine Tests.

Following yesterday’s loss, Australian fans are demanding answers, demanding solutions. This isn’t the time. There are no quick fixes. This Australian team has to stay together, train together, play together, and inevitably sometimes lose together, in order to figure out how to win.

Dropping players is always the first idea of the armchair selector, but no domestic batsman is demanding to be signed up as a replacement. It would be nice to have Usman Khawaja strengthen that top six, but there’s a shortage of space unless the selectors give up on all-rounders.

Playing Lyon and Xavier Doherty at the same time could have seen Australia get by with four bowlers – Doherty bowled better and better as the match went on. But with Moises Henriques’ impressive debut, and a diamond duck yesterday, he probably deserves another shot.

Phil Hughes’ run has been horrid, but only a few international innings ago he was in great form, and India was never likely to suit him. Swapping him out for Khawaja might be a kindness, if it’s understood that it’s just for the remaining two Tests.

More than Hughes, who is seen as a prospect for the future, a non-bowling Shane Watson looks vulnerable. As the senior batsman behind Michael Clarke, his record is modest – two centuries and an average of 36 after eight years of Test cricket and 73 innings.

Ed Cowan, too, has had plenty of critics. But the adopted Tasmanian is important in this team, the lone pugilist in a line-up of swordsmen.

Like it or not, this is pretty much the batting line-up for the Ashes. In England the team will revert to traditional lines – the keeper at seven, Khawaja to round out the top six, and four bowlers to form the attack. Australia’s pace battery will have friendly pitches, with Lyon to offer support where required.

Those who collapsed yesterday are our most likely batting prospects, and most are still under development. That they will fail sometimes is inevitable; that they would fail in India was always a strong prospect.

Their best chance to succeed, and to eventually make Australian cricket fans happy, is to stop their ears, avert their eyes, and block out all the sounds of those same fans currently being miserable.

Geoff Lemon
Geoff Lemon

Geoff Lemon is a writer, editor and broadcaster covering sport for The Roar, The Guardian and ABC, as well as writing on politics, literature and history for a range of outlets.

He tweets from @GeoffLemonSport.

Have Your Say

If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

The Crowd Says (176)

  • March 6th 2013 @ 3:44am
    Homer said | March 6th 2013 @ 3:44am | ! Report

    How much is Australia missing Mike Hussey?

    • March 6th 2013 @ 2:24pm
      anfalicious said | March 6th 2013 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

      Not as much as we’ll appreciate Cowan, Hughes and Khuwaja getting Indian experience next time we go to India.

      • March 6th 2013 @ 3:02pm
        Homer said | March 6th 2013 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

        like Krejza, Hauritz, Robertson and Funky Miller? The next time Oz come to India is in the summer of 2017. How many of the three named will be around at that time?

        My point is that Hussey is a) brilliant on the sub continent and b) lends balance to the batting line up at 5. His absence has contributed greatly to an unbalanced side, what with 4 peners occupying the top 4 spots and bits and pieces all rounders making up atleast 2 member of the squad.

        • March 6th 2013 @ 4:53pm
          anfalicious said | March 6th 2013 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

          Cowan’s 30, Khawaja 26 and Hughes is 24, the only reason they wouldn’t be around in four years is because they were dropped or their bodies fell apart. The latter two will just be reaching prime cricketing age by then. Hussey is 37, and more importantly, retired. He averaged 24 in four innings on the last tour to India.

          In my armchair opinion this is why we have the team we have now, because we held on to the glory days playing people who only had a year or two left in them when we could have been blooding youngsters. Now the old men are all broken and we have nearly an entire team with less than 20 tests to their name.

          • March 7th 2013 @ 5:38am
            Anil said | March 7th 2013 @ 5:38am | ! Report

            Hughes is struggling big time against R Ashwin but Australia should allow him to play next two matches. Cowan is looking solid and will be tough for India to get him out in next two matches. If Watson couldn’t bowl I would never have him in my team whether its test, odi or t20. He is an assest if he can deliver with both bat and bowl. Lyon and Doherty should definitely play. In India you need two good spinners who can bowl in tandem.

            But still Australia could lose the next match by an inning

    • March 6th 2013 @ 2:27pm
      Rhys said | March 6th 2013 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

      How much is Mike Hussey missing a couple of days baking in the gully while the cream of Australia’s bowling gets carted to all sides?

      • March 6th 2013 @ 3:04pm
        Homer said | March 6th 2013 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

        Well, the cream of Australia’s bowling would have had atleast one 400+ total to defend has he been around. Two tosses, both won, and not a single 400+ score is criminal in India.

  • March 6th 2013 @ 3:57am
    Johnno said | March 6th 2013 @ 3:57am | ! Report

    Geoff that is Galllipoli inspiring stuff. But also simply just roll your sleeves up and get dirty. They do have to live in the now, maybe they can, but I think this tour could be soul destroying for the ASHES campaign,.

    If we lose both series, it could put Australian cricket back 10 years. These are dark times, Alan Border’s men escaped the darkness with a historic ODI 1987 Reliance world cup win, I don’t see any chances at redemption, from avery unforgiving public, and God help Australia if we lose the ASHES at home as well, in 2013/14 only 7 months away. 3 big series Losses will well and truly knock cricket for 6 in Australia, Like putting Australian cricket back 10 years.

    So much too lose, there could be a Eureka stokade of cricket Australia, and the whole crew could be sacked for a new board.

    This slump in OZ cricket is the biggest news story in cricket since world series cricket, but the opposite is like oppostie’s attract.

    World series cricket so positive, this so negative for cricket.

    • March 6th 2013 @ 11:52am
      King Of Swing said | March 6th 2013 @ 11:52am | ! Report

      Johnno, you say if Australia lose these next two Ashes series then it will put Australian cricket back 10 years? If that’s the case I say let them lose.

      10 years ago we were absolutely unstoppable and could not be beaten so if we can get back to that level it can only be a good thing, right?

  • March 6th 2013 @ 4:20am
    Parisien said | March 6th 2013 @ 4:20am | ! Report

    Thanks for a calm and balanced article! I agree there is too mush hysteria over losing. India has a good team, they are playing at home, and the Australians can’t expect to always win, and certainly not in India. However it is fair to raise various questions – why was the squad so unbalanced to begin with, containing so many allrounders, no reserve wicket keeper, no SOK as second spinner, and short on specialist batsmen? Why did Watson go at all, given he is returning for his child’s birth, was coming back from injury and had no recent longer format form? Why didn’t Clarke move to 4 earlier? Why didn’t they back Lyons and simply bring in Doherty instead of two novice allrounders? Given the squad they did take, why didn’t they pick a better balanced team for the pitch and conditions each time?

    Warner, Watson, Hughes have all failed.

    I do however agree with you that while Cowan may never score more than his average of thirty or so, at least he is consistently doing that, showing fight, and sticking around, which is a lot more than most of the others.

    So now hopefully sanity will prevail, they’ll pick Khawaja, Lyons and Doherty, and Clarke will bat at four. I can’t see Australia winning a game, but hopefully on a positive side, they’ll all learn from the experience, and Khawaja will finally get a bat ahead of the Ashes. And finally, it might put an end to taking a bits and pieces improvised approach to selection and strategy!

    • March 6th 2013 @ 8:20am
      Train Without A Station said | March 6th 2013 @ 8:20am | ! Report

      I like the way Cowan plays, but it’s frustrating his inability to turn those mid 30s into mids 40s-50s and get the naysayers off his back.

      • March 6th 2013 @ 8:29am
        Red Kev said | March 6th 2013 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        In this team I’ll take Cowan’s 32 off 100 balls every innings and be thankful for it!

        • March 6th 2013 @ 9:38am
          James said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:38am | ! Report

          Cowan faced 150 balls in the second innings.
          Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Wade and Henriques combined faced 163 balls in the second innings.

          • March 6th 2013 @ 10:45am
            Simba said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:45am | ! Report

            He was lucky not be out after only 12 balls (or so).

            Got to take the good luck with the bad. I understand that. But he is far from convincing.

            • March 6th 2013 @ 10:50am
              Sanjay said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

              I am not convinced at all wit him, i think this will be his last series

            • March 6th 2013 @ 3:17pm
              James said | March 6th 2013 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

              And he was unlucky to be given out in the first innings

    • March 6th 2013 @ 9:00am
      Ken Hambling said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

      Yes about time Khawaja got a bat before the ashes as he needs to be there for the ashes.As for the India serie post mortems will only be valuable to determine who comes into the team and who leaves. Lyon must play.Khawaja must also be given a serious opportunity,meaning at least 3-4 Tests.Hughes looks like he doesn’t want to be there and for the good of his own future should be sent home and back into Shield cricket so that he can boost his confidence again prior to being considered for England down the track as we will need him then

      • March 6th 2013 @ 10:51am
        Sanjay said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        Interesting reading Vaughan’s comments on our issues. Vaughan was being modest when he ridiculed our cricketers and gloated over their chances in the upcoming Ashes . If I were a pom I would fancy a 5-0 whitewash. We may perform a little better on seaming conditions than we are doing against the spinners. But the Indian pacemen bowling at a speed of 120 had our batsmen in tangles so what can we expect against the poms? Our batting is in tatters(and lets not forget what Kulasakra did to us as well with the swinging balls). Watson would now have to reconsider not being an all rounder as his batting would not justify a place in the team. If Wade is going to be our No: 6 batsman then we surely do have a very thin batting line up, it would now be thin and fragile. What has Khawaja done not to get a look in, surely its his time now as he is one of our better test batsman with the right technique and temperament. I reckon Hughes ought to have been “protected” against the Indain spinners as he was against the South Africans. Cowan needs to convert his starts. Our infatuation with bits and pieces players like Maxwell is deplorable indeed and probably it shows how bare our cup board is.I am behind our boys but we need to get back to basics(6 batsman, 1 keeper, 4 bowlers) and get our best players in to have a chance. We are lucky we have a good skipper.

  • March 6th 2013 @ 4:51am
    FTR said | March 6th 2013 @ 4:51am | ! Report

    What makes people assume the pitches in England will be friendly to Australia’s bowlers? I doubt it has escaped the attention of the English cricketing brains trust that Australia’s batsmen are about as useful against spin as a blind man is dodging trucks on an expressway. We can surely expect the Ashes tracks to be made up of raging turners a la the Oval 2009.

    I wonder what the odds are on Swanny and Monty bowling England to a 5-0 series win in a few months time…

    • Roar Rookie

      March 6th 2013 @ 9:11am
      josh said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      The odds will be pretty good.

      The English conditions are worse than India. Swing bowling is Australia’s true nemesis.

      • March 6th 2013 @ 7:38pm
        Bob said | March 6th 2013 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

        Kulasekera would agree with that!

    • March 6th 2013 @ 12:16pm
      JohnB said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

      Swann’s injury may throw a bit of a spanner in there. What the weather is like in England probably also comes into it. No reason an Australian team can’t compete in this series regardless. Drop the so-called all-rounders, boot Hughes, put Watson on a last warning, have Doolan and Burns in or ready to come in, get 3 out of Siddle, Pattinson, Bird and Harris on the field, with Starc and Johnson on stand by and add in Lyon or one of O’Keefe/Holland/Beer. Wade probably has to stay, although I’d prefer Hartley. That’s a decent side.

      • March 6th 2013 @ 6:07pm
        James said | March 6th 2013 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

        monty is still better spinner than any aussie one at the moment including the pakistani we are trying to draft in. but the real thing in england isnt spin its the swing bowling, i reckon australia is more scared of that then of spin and worse at playing it. swing bowling requires good simple technique and outside of clarke i dont think any australian batsmen at the moment has a clue what to do against it.

  • March 6th 2013 @ 6:10am
    Red Kev said | March 6th 2013 @ 6:10am | ! Report

    It is Australian cricket selectors who need to be lynched, not the players. Inverarity and Arthur clearly live in cuckoo land rather than reality – it was bleedingly obvious that subcontinent specialists would be required in India and instead they picked a heap of bits and pieces cricketers and a lineup of batsmen who are passable against pace but all at sea to the slow bowlers. The NSP is lacking in common sense and it is hurting the team.
    Dropping Lyon was ridiculous.
    The Argus review specifically mentioned the weakness against spin, is there a reason the NSP is ignoring that?
    What is their obsession with allrounders? Hasn’t anyone sat them down and shown them the cricket farces of Australia post-Miller and England post-Botham?
    Are they just completely ignorant?
    I can handle the Australian team losing, I cannot handle the people in charge not giving them the best chance to win.

    • March 6th 2013 @ 7:39am
      Parisien said | March 6th 2013 @ 7:39am | ! Report

      Doesn’t Clarke have a big say as captain and selector? What is his responsibility in this?

      • March 6th 2013 @ 8:05am
        Red Kev said | March 6th 2013 @ 8:05am | ! Report

        Clarke has a say, but his job is to score runs and captain the team well. He’s doing both.
        The captain and the coach should not be selectors – it breeds a culture of ‘mates’ and incumbency that is hard to break. The reason for independent selectors is that they watch the Australian cricket team play, they watch the state players play and they can make a reasonable judgement on if someone should be replaced by a better performing state player. The captain and coach of the national side never see the shield.
        I have zero faith in these selectors, nor in Arthur who talks up Ponting’s net form and Maxwell’s net form and all sorts of other drivel.

        • March 6th 2013 @ 8:40am
          Parisien said | March 6th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

          I agree with you RK that captain and coach should not be selectors, and you’re right, the selectors have made some poor decisions. However, Cowan and Warner were always going to open. Would Watson have been better as opener? No, despite what everyone seems to claim. He virtually opened anyway. Hughes was set to play 3. In hindsight, perhaps someone else should have been picked. Or perhaps not, if Hughes is considered a long term prospect worth persevering with. The only obvious mistakes were not picking six specialist batsmen, and not retaining Lyons as spinner, with Doherty (or SOK) as back-up.

          In other words, I agree with Geoff that while there have been some obvious mistakes, perhaps there is simply not enough talent and experience around at the moment, and that this tour will be more about sticking it out, and learning from it. Perhaps the hardship will forge a new team with some steel to it.

          • March 6th 2013 @ 11:28am
            Renegade said | March 6th 2013 @ 11:28am | ! Report

            ^ This.

            Very well put Parisien.

          • March 6th 2013 @ 11:49am
            Matt F said | March 6th 2013 @ 11:49am | ! Report

            When we’ve got a guy like Chris Rogers scoring runs for fun in the Shield, and has done so over his whole career, the belief that we don’t have anyone else available doesn’t really hold up. I know he’s 35 but he’s clearly still capable of scoring runs and we only need him to get through the next 12 months. We can focus on building for the future once we get through the next two Ashes series

            • March 6th 2013 @ 12:27pm
              Bearfax said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

              Matt you have a good point and I even suggested he should be there instead of Cowan. But I guess despite Clarke’s pronouncement that age wont count, it in fact does, because he’s got better averages than all the present lot except Clarke. What other reason to ignore his claim.

            • March 6th 2013 @ 1:07pm
              Matt F said | March 6th 2013 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

              Agreed Bearfax. Age clearly counts. To be honest I could understand it if we had a relatively easy 12-24 months coming up. If we had series against the likes of NZ, WI, Bangladesh etc then I could understand them wanting to build a team for the big series down the track. The problem is that the big series are being played now. If a player 5 or so years younger had Rogers’ record he would be in the team right now

          • March 6th 2013 @ 4:46pm
            Josh said | March 6th 2013 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

            Is Hughes any worse the Mark Waugh was in India and no one regrets him playing more test cricket

        • March 6th 2013 @ 1:02pm
          Julian said | March 6th 2013 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

          Top run getters in Shield cricket this season – Hughes, Ponting, Rogers, Doolan, Cosgrove, Ferguson, Khawaja, Haddin.
          Ponting- retired. Hughes and Khawaja – in the squad. Rogers and Haddin – too old/out of favour. In terms of “best performing” state players, who does that leave?
          Our best performing state players are in and around the team anyway and even then, they’re only scoring 1 or 2 hundreds in state cricket. No one is really setting the world on fire, no is screaming “pick me”.
          As it stands, the selection mentality is, “they’re showing a bit of promise, let’s pick them and hope they fire”, for lack of serious alternatives.

          • March 6th 2013 @ 11:21pm
            Ken Hambling said | March 6th 2013 @ 11:21pm | ! Report

            All i know is that Khawaja should come in. Khawaja has been mistreated in the past, he got at best 1-2 games at any one time. He got 70 in a record chase against SA in their homeground against Steyn, Morkel, and Philander and got run out on 40 next game and then was dropped a game after that. He was the shield batsman of the year in 2010 and was in the shield team of the year in 2009, 10 and 11. In 2012 he played half a season and was unfairly dropped so of course you can’t expect him to perform. He went back this season under Lehman and was 2nd on shield scoring and 3rd in Ryobi by the christmas break after which he hasn’t played a shield game. He has earned his opportunity and any other readers suggesting otherwise will not be prepared to give him a fair go regardless of what he scores. Cowan has ha 15 games in a row so how about we give this guy perhaps a third of those games, not asking much.I predict he will do great in this series if he is given an opportunity.@Ken Mccaron not only has Khawaja scored more then Smith this sesason he has got those runs in tough conditions(i.e Hobart where he outscored the Tasmanians on his own in both innings which included Doolan, Paine, Cossie and Bailey)

    • March 6th 2013 @ 8:26am
      James said | March 6th 2013 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      It is the seriously dumb decisions that I have a problem with.

      I can accept the repicking of Hughes as he is doing well in the shield and has (apparently) reworked his technique. I think it is going to be a complete disaster but I understand.
      I understand why Doherty was picked for the tour of India (his record in the 3 shield seasons before this one are all very good with an average of under 30). I’d probably have picked O’Keefe instead (or as well)

      What I (and many others hate) are the really illogical decisions
      – the picking of the two Mitchells in Perth – it was always going to be a disaster
      – playing 1 spinner in the first test in India
      – the dropping of Lyon in the 2nd test and the playing of Maxwell
      – picking Quiney for South Africa to “protect” Hughes

      What also frustrates me is the focus on performances which didn’t matter like
      – Starc’s wickets in Perth – by the time he took any wickets the game was over
      – Maxwell’s 50 in the 1-day match – when you are chasing 70 there isn’t much pressure. If he’d scored 50 in the next match when the team was struggling, then I would care

      • March 6th 2013 @ 8:39am
        Praveen said | March 6th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        Good article and yes we need kHawaja at 6 to strengthen the order. I also think that Lyon should be given the final 2 games as his last glance to prove himself, I am not concede on Cowan because he doesn’t kick on after 30 but that’s just my view, I am not sure who out of Hughes or Cowan I would drop

        • March 6th 2013 @ 9:02am
          Ken Hambling said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:02am | ! Report

          Praveen i have said all along that we need 6 specialist batsman and the last few games again showed that. You could have Khawaja at 6 or slot him earlier at 3 and have another specialist batsman at 6. Also You know a the substance of person’s charactor when their backs are against the wall and I love what Michael Clarke said in defeat – no excuses, no shirking responsibilty.

          • March 6th 2013 @ 10:52am
            Sanjay said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            I echo your words Ken.

          • March 6th 2013 @ 11:32am
            barry said | March 6th 2013 @ 11:32am | ! Report

            If we picked 6 specialist batsmen how do we bowl india out? We can’t play spin. Picking more batsmen won’t help! Our only chance is bowling india out and hoping 1 or 2 batsmen can score decently (clarkes basically guarenteed to score runs anyway). 1.cowan 2.warner 3.watson 4.clarke 5.henriques 6.wade 7.maxwell 8.okeefe 9.starc/johnson 10.pattinson 11lyon. 3 seamers, 3 spinners and okeefe batting at 8 is an all round side and will at least compete. I don’t think khawaga will do any more then hughes to be honest, he’s just as bad against spin (because i realise henriques at 5 looks like an ordinary batting side). Its either henriques or khawaga at 5 and i honestly think henriques is more likely to score runs, plus he bowls. I think lyon starc pattinson and okeefe plus support of maxy clarke and henrques can actually take 20 wickets and if someone can bat with clarke for a couple of sesssions (like henriques did in chennai and wade in hydrabad,both 170 odd run p’ships) we’re a chance of at least 300 (even if the other 9 only make 130 between them) and if one or two others can get a 40 odd we may get 400. i really don’t think we’re that far off. We got bowled out for 237 and 131 and they lost 9/116 and would of only made 350 in chennai if it wasn’t for dhoni’s 200. If we can just stop that one massive patnership an innings ruining the other good work we’d done and get one of those massive patnerships ourselves we win easy. I really don’t think we’re that far away its just that one partnership killing us, and the fact we cant seem to score one ourselves.

            • March 6th 2013 @ 8:17pm
              The Gospel of Luke said | March 6th 2013 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

              Sorry mate but that is the worst side ive ever seen Henriques at 5?

              U say our only chance is bowling them out but how is picking more bits and pieces allrounders going to help?

              Our best chance is scoring as many as we can and putting runs on the board by picking 6 specialist batsmen.

    • March 6th 2013 @ 8:36am
      Milksteak said | March 6th 2013 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      I just cant blame the selectors/coach. They’ve tried with the cattle they have… but theres just not the quality that we had in the late 90’s/2000’s. I feel as if alot of the current players (Hughes, Cowan, Henriques, Maxwell, possibly Warner) would have struggled to make the qld bulls teams of the late 90’s rather than play 50+ tests with a baggy green.

      It goes in cycles unfortunately, I just hope we’ve hit rock bottom before 10 consecutive ashes tests!

    • March 6th 2013 @ 11:19am
      Lroy said | March 6th 2013 @ 11:19am | ! Report

      How many tests did our coaches Invarerity and Arthurs play again?? Oh thats right.. NONE!!.. given that I reckon I should get the gig!!

      We face the prospect of consequtive Ashes floggings at the moment. Hughes isnt scoring, but he isnt a number 3 or 4 batsman, from my own eperience, opening is a specialist position, get him either at the top of the order or out of the side. Cowan… does someone owe him money? Warner… is the novelty of having to block a few balls wearing of for this guy? Watson, averages 30 with the ball and bat… sorry champ, time to go.

      Usman deserves a chance, Clark may as well stay at 5… he comes in early enough to be a 4 as it is.. lol…

      As for the bowlers, as soon as they take a few wickets, drop them, rotate them, slow roast and baste them, … then bring in a couple of all rounders who cant bat or bowl and just throw up as much slop as you can and hope the Indians get tired of hitting the ball into the car park… the only way we dismiss the Indians is by introducing the old “six and out ” rule from backyard cricket…

      The good news is, we are witnessing something historic, this is the most inept Australian side in the history of cricket…. they have about as much chance of winning the Ashes as the ALP have of getting up in the Federal Election… OUCH!!!

      • March 6th 2013 @ 12:38pm
        JohnB said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

        Inverarity played tests and was a top level and highly respected Shield player and captain for years. You don’t need to have been able to be the very best at doing things yourself in order to be able to select a team.

        Arthur had a long first class career in SA, about half of it in apartheid times. Whether he would have been anywhere close to a Sth African team in that time, had they been playing tests, I don’t know (although I suspect not). On the numbers he was a decent batsman but probably not quite pushing for test selection. Does that disqualify him from being a coach? Of course not.

        • March 6th 2013 @ 3:49pm
          Lroy said | March 6th 2013 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

          Mate, he was the Mike Brearly of his day.. but he did apparently play 6 tests… Micky Arthurs… yep, he played Currie cup or something… “does this disqualify them from coaching, of course not”

          I tell you what does disqualify them from coaching “their current performance” BOOM-DIYADA!!!!

        • March 6th 2013 @ 7:17pm
          Sanjay said | March 6th 2013 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

          We should go with this line up – 1.Cowan 2. Warner 3. Watson 4. Clarke 5. Khwaja 6. Wade 7. Smith 8. Hendreqe 9. Siddle 10. Pattinson 11. Lyon

      • March 6th 2013 @ 12:44pm
        matt h said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

        Umm Inverarity did play tests. not many, but he did. At the time he was WA captain and considered the best captain in the country.

  • March 6th 2013 @ 8:09am
    Bayman said | March 6th 2013 @ 8:09am | ! Report


    I’ve always enjoyed your articles for the common sense as much as the humour. This is no exception. However, this Australian team is crap – and that’s all there is to it. I accept the Kohli reference – and the implication – but Kohli was always a good player out of luck. Which of the Australian top six, Clarke aside, do you think will get four hundeds in his next nine Tests?

    I also accept that India has been a graveyard for Australian batsmen over the years and I’m sure your numbers are correct. Even Benaud’s team, which won in 1959/60, did so on the back of relatively low scores as often as not. But they won.

    The trouble is, Geoff, it isn’t the what that concerns me – it’s the how. Sporting contests, by their nature, are essentially designed to produce a winner and a loser (oddly, cricket might be some sort of exception) so losing, to me, is always a very real possibility. I can live with the loss – provided the team has fought it out to the end. And I’m not sure that’s the case here. Or, to be more precise, I am sure that it’s not.

    Indeed, it has always struck me as odd that the more professional the game, the less pride players seem to take in their performance. These days when a side gets on top in AFL, RL or RU – it’s soon a blowout more often than not. Our cricketers seem, also, to take the view that if they are going to lose it may as well be as fast as possible. After all, there’s another game next week.

    So I think you are one hundred percent correct when you say the public and the press feel these losses much more than the players. It’s just that I wish it wasn’t so.

    • Roar Guru

      March 6th 2013 @ 9:12am
      sheek said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:12am | ! Report

      Well said Bayman,

      With the contrast between ‘what’ & ‘how.’

      The problems of this Australian cricket team run deeper than simply changing a few personnel here & there.

    • Columnist

      March 6th 2013 @ 1:05pm
      Geoff Lemon said | March 6th 2013 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

      Thanks for the comments Bayman, nice to hear your considered opinion, as ever. The only divergence I would have on the Kohli question is that at the time, there were serious questions about whether he could be a Test batsmen. He had started his career poorly against the West Indies, finally managed a couple of half centuries, then had that dire run against Australia. Many were suggesting he was a one-day specialist who wouldn’t be able to make the transition. So it wasn’t as simple as him being a good player out of form, because his form in Tests was yet to be proven. Looking back it’s easy to see that his class was going to carry him through eventually, but it didn’t seem inevitable at the time. That last-Test hundred in Adelaide was the making of him as a Test batsman.

      It’s an interesting point you make on professionalism and emotional investment. Perhaps it is easier for professional players to detach. I feel like our cricketers feel the losses keenly, and dread the backlash, but I also feel that they are philosophical about events on the field. Sometimes it’s another team’s match, and nothing you do works.

, , , , , , , , , , ,