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Test cricket as we know it is dead

David Warner will be a tad rusty when the Ashes starts. (AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS)
Roar Pro
6th August, 2015
49
2037 Reads

As the wickets tumbled during the first few overs of the morning session, the expletives coming out of my mouth were coming thick and fast – mainly out of shock. By the time Adam Voges was gone and it was 5/21, it was more disgust than shock.

When the entire team was 9/50 I was ready to throw my television out my window.

Australia’s performance at Trent Bridge, as well as the previous test at Edgbaston, have been downright disgraceful. Sure, the pitch was green, but that was the least of the Australia’s problems. Where do I begin?

Shocking technique from numerous players. Lack of care and attention to detail. An inability to play anything on a good length. Ineptitude at its finest.

Dare I say it, a lack of heart.

Yes England bowled well. They put the ball in the right spots. But there was a complete lack of desire to hang around and survive the onslaught. It became so ridiculous that the crowd began to cheer and give applause to front-foot defensive shots.

It appears that the Ashes are gone. But the discussion is bigger than this one match, or even one series. Test Cricket is a dying art and the blame falls at the feet of the over-reliance on T20 cricket.

T20 cricket has fundamentally changed the way pitches are prepared and the way players are moulded. Has the game really been reduced to an entertainment product that is meant to be over in two or three hours?

I might be looking at things with rose-coloured glasses, but the players of my childhood would not be letting us fall into this perilous position time after time.

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I remember grit, determination, and patience all being important elements of an Australian cricketer.

It saddens me to contemplate people wearing the baggy green not holding these traits. For crying out loud, our two most watchful batsman in this innings were our number 10 and number 11. What a joke.

The brittleness of our top order is nothing new. In our recent 5-0 whitewash in Australia, every first innings was characterised by Brad Haddin and Mitch Johnson (or another bowler) saving Australia at around 5-100. On the back of amazing bowling and fielding, and a weak England side, we quickly gained a false sense of arrogance.

Fast forward to now. If – as it appears – the Ashes are gone, thanks to one horrific hour of cricket, we must look ahead. Where to from here?

Batting
Chris Rogers is retiring. Voges hasn’t looked good enough yet, but possibly deserves another shot. David Warner and Steve Smith are there for a while, but need some major technical improvements – and fast. One has to question how Smith was ever rated, seriously, as the best batsman in the world.

Who else is out there? Joe Burns? Shaun Marsh? I’d love to here your suggestions? Do I dare say, bring back Shane Watson?

Wicketkeeping
While Brad Haddin was certainly close to retirement and Peter Nevill didn’t disgrace with the gloves, the decision to not recall Haddin, one of the heartbeats of the team, will be the end of Darren Lehmann. If it isn’t, it should be.

Bowling
Nathan Lyon is our saving grace. Probably the only consistent bowler. Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Mitch Johnson all looked good, but far too inconsistently. Suddenly, with no Ryan Harris, we look very brittle. Surely, Pat Cummins is worth a shot now.

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That leaves us with captain Michael Clarke. The calls for retirement will be growing louder and louder. This might be unfair, but he’s not been the same players since the emotional summer following the death of Phillip Hughes. Understandable too.

He’ll retire as one of Australia’s greats. Should he go now? In my view no. Now is the time we need him and his leadership the most. Steve Smith is not ready for the full-time job.

After less than one session, flabbergasted is an understatement. Disgusted is more accurate.