Second Test: Atrocious

The Australian cricket team are one of the most highly valued sides in world cricket, best known for their fast pace attack and champion batsmen and wicket keepers, so the last thing you’d expect is a whitewash.

Getting annihilated by India when you had beaten them the series before last? SHOCKING!

I mean, the side is very different: No Mike Hussey or Ricky Ponting to be the soldier boy; batsmen out of form and struggling to make runs; spinners not doing their job when Indian spinners are. What’s going on?

Getting rid of two champions has made the squad  weak and rather defenceless. It’s simply unbelievable to leave Mike Hussey out of the ODI squad.

If you ask me, the Aussies are going in the direction of Coles’ so called cheap prices: DOWN DOWN AUSSIES ARE GOING DOWN.

What can we do? Does anybody have any suggestions?


  1. 1977 – 1983 a time of turmoil in Australian Cricket with World Series Cricket, Greg Chappell/Kim Hughes rotating captaincy and then the retirement all at once of Chappell, Marsh and Lillee. In 1977-78 we basically had a brand new Test team. By the start of 1978-79 we basically had another new test team and being vice-captain didn’t guarantee that you would be selected in the next match. Ask Craig Serjeant, John Maclean and others. During this period 38 players made their debut for Australia.

    What about the following period 1984 – 1990 with the South Africa rebel tour, a reluctant Captain Grumpy and a rebuilding phase. During this period 26 players received their first baggy green. Future stalwarts of the team such as Jones, Boon, Marsh G, Waugh S, Hughes, McDermott were blooded during this period. These players received an extended stint in the team and developed into excellent Test cricketers.

    Compare that with the period from 1999 – 2006 when only 17 new players found their way into the Test team. And fair enough too; filled with champions and with long consecutive runs of victories there was rarely a need to change a winning side. The old adage of it being easier to get into the team than out rang true

    How about now? From 2007 – now we have had 36 new players frock up for Australia’s test team. With 10 or 11 more Test matches this year we are on target to have one of the most unsettled periods in Australian Test cricket. We are blooding more cricketers than during the WSC period! More than half of these newcomers appear to have been discarded with less than 10 Tests to their name and 15 have 1 or 2 Tests only. No one is denying that the team needs rebuilding after the retirements of Warne, Langer, McGrath, Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting, Hussey over the last few years. However the continual revolving door and looking for a quick fix does not appear to be working. We should only be selecting people hammering down the door with a multitude of runs or wickets to the point that they can no longer be ignored. Remember Richie Robinson scoring 5 shield centuries in a row to end up being picked as a batsmen, Yallop; Langer, Hayden twice, Slater. We should not be selecting people like Doherty who has barely taken a Shield wicket this season. If he can’t perform at that level how will he step up to Test level? My recommendation is for the selectors to pick a team of 12 and advise that, barring injury they will not change the team for the next six Test Matches. If necessary give them some KPIs – batsmen: at least 1 50 and 1 100 is expected; wicketkeeper: no more than one dropped catch/missed stumping per innings; bowlers: at least 1 5 for and consistent 2s or 3s for. You will not be dropped for the next 6 tests. If you do not meet the KPIs you may not play tests for Australia for a long time/ever after that; but you have a big opportunity make the most of it.

    Noel’s test team for next 6 tests

    Cowan What happened to Phil Jacques? Did he retire?
    Clarke – the world’s best batsmen must step up and take over the mantle.
    Probably better to be coming in at 1/20 than 3/45 anyway.
    (Why was Rob Quiney thrown to the wolves at number 3? Why was he in the top six batsmen in Australia against the second best team and now Ponting and Hussey have retired he is not in the best 8?)
    Khawaja – doesn’t really impress but give him the 6 tests and see what happens
    Watson – final chance as a Test player
    Wade Why would we try to bat him at 6 when we never contemplated batting the best 7 ever at 6?

    (Phil Hughes to be told to return to Shield and try to break Darren Lehmann’s Sheffield Shield record but barring huge run of injuries unlikely to be selected again; now in the Michael Bevan category; flaws in technique to consistently succeed at Test level. You will continue to be selected in ODIs but not Tests.)

  2. Ben Footner says

    Agree with the 6 test theory noel. They should even publicise it.

  3. The Wrap says

    The performance of the Australian Test Team tends to mirror the way the county’s run. Fix one and you are on the way to fixing the other.

    The question is, which mess do you tackle first.

  4. Steve Fahey says

    Click here to look at the Shield batting averages this season ( see;type=tournament if it didn’t come out as a link).

    I’m not sure anyone is hammering down the door. If there is, it’s Haddin (and there’s a fellow called Ponting averaging over 100). Doolan was very good early but no more than solid since then.

    Difficult issue, but I agree that we want blokes to EARN their spots and not be awarded them on potential (e.g Maxwell).

    Doherty’s selection for the tour was a disgrace, but so was picking him as the number one spinner in this Test – play him as support to Lyon so that they MAY be able to build some pressure together. The Victorian/Pakistani leggie Ahmed is a chance, but not the Messiah. I had a look at him briefly in the Shield game and he was impressive, but Australians currently play spin worse than any of the other leading nations, [partly due to lack of opportunity to face quality spin domesticallly, partly because of technique and shot selection, the latter a huge issue in the current series).

    I am not ready to write off Hughes….yet. But he needs to be dropped and see how he goes back against quality quicks, which the Poms will readily provide. He did well in the winter in England last year, but is very good at making huge piles of runs average attacks. Too early to permanently discard him is what i reckon.

  5. Brad Carr says

    Steve, I am ready to write off Hughes. In fact I was a couple of years ago, and again a couple of months ago.

    He doesn’t move his feet (still). He has 2 shots: the cut and the pull. So much for how he had gone away and worked on his technique at Shield level.

    He had a dream run against Sri Lanka, who bowled half-trackers to him (played to his strength, didn’t expose the non-existent footwork or the lack of a straight-bat shot in his repertoire).

    The poms, however, will have a plan for him, a plan that will probably involve pitching it up, angling it across him, and bowling a line closer to the body.

    As such, the poms might be the ones most unhappy with turn of events in Chennai and Hyderabad. They’d have been counting on Hughes for a cheap top-order wichet in each innings. Now he might not be there.

  6. Noel, Phil Jacques has retired from Australian cricket.

    Wasn’t it great they put Quiney in to shield Hughes from the Proteas. If you want a man to make runs against Sri Lanka at Bellereive than Hughes is your man. Otherwise play someone else, his playing of India’s spinners is just embarrasing.

    Glad to see Clarke is going to bat higher in the next Test. 3 years too late.

    I have no idea what our selectors will do next. And it scares me.

  7. Peter Flynn says

    Phil Jacques plays with Yorkshire and is a UK resident I think.

    Agree with most comments above.

    Shield cricket is crap. BBL has too much prominence.

    We need to pick 6 specialist bats (including 3 right-handers), a specialist keeper and 4 specialist bowlers.

    No more Doherty, Maxwell, Smith and Watson please.

  8. For the Ashes tour let’s include Bailey. He has experience, and presents with good cricketing nous. Who else do you include amongst the batsmen ? Hughes, and Watson don’t merit their places in the side, but who in Shield ranks is scoring lots of runs to be selected ? The days of a Law, Lehmann, Love, making big score after scores seems to be in a hiatus. To try Burns, Doolan, Ferguson, Voges, won’t hurt, but do you pick and discard, or do you give them a long period, even if they don’t deliver? Not an easy one for the selectors.

    Paine back for Wade? The all rounder experiment. Do we persist with looking for a top notch all rounder, or focus on picking our best side, and if it contains an all rounder so be it ?

    We have a plethora of pacemen. All we need to do is keep them on the park
    regularly, and let them deliver.

    Spinners. To have a once in a life time bowler like Warne, coinciding with a top class bolwer like Mc Gil is somewhat of a tragedy with its timing. Tim May also was prominent in this time. Now we have a huge void. Ahmed might be our answer, for sure let’s pick him, but he’s still an unknown.

    All in all this is a rebuilding phase, like the post I Chappel era from 1976, and most of the 1980’s. The say patience is a virtue, but it’s no fun.


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