Under siege: could Australia lose four Test series in a row?

Hard-wicket home ground bullies. Is that a fair label for Australia?

 

  • Three wins from the last 20 Test Matches played in England
  • One win from the last 17 Test Matches played in Asia

The public’s memory is shaped by strong performances either side of Christmas. Mid-year series losses on the sub-continent are obscured by the winter football codes.

 

The fifteen years without an Ashes win in England is papered over by the two 5-0 thrashings of England in Australia (the notable exception being Australia’s 3-1 loss at home 2010-11).

 

This summer promises something different. Australia is on the back foot.

 

It faces strident opposition with three Test Matches against South Africa beginning on Thursday in Perth and ending with a pink ball day-night fixture in Adelaide.

 

Then three Tests against Pakistan around Christmas.

 

Australia will find it tough to prevent a summer of losses. With India, away, looming in March 2017, could Australia lose four Test Series in a row?

 

Both sides touring Australia this summer look more stable than the hosts. Pakistan have form and a formidable line up.

 

The Proteas will miss the injured AB de Villiers but the batting looks solid. Their attack is capable of shredding the collapsible Australians and the Saffers won two series in Australia in the last decade.

 

Meanwhile Australia doesn’t know who its best eleven is.

 

Shaun Marsh is back again, this time to open. Marsh scored a ton in Sri Lanka when he replaced Joe Burns, so his place is vindicated but we may see Burns again before 2017.

 

Adam Voges is the middle order glue.

 

Peter Nevill needs runs. Usman Khawaja was dropped for a lack of them in Sri Lanka but is back again. If Warner and Smith fail, who will go big?

 

Mitchell Marsh is a concern.

 

We all have big hopes he can become our Ben Stokes, a thriving all-rounder capable of winning matches with centuries (Stokes has 3 from 27 Tests, Mitchell has none from 18) and bowling tight spells when the strikers need rest.

 

Marsh averages 36 with the ball, which is OK. But Marsh’s batting worries most. He averages 24, a paltry return for a number 6.

 

You need 20 wickets to win a Test and if Mitchell Starc fails to blast away touring batsmen, Australia’s bowling suddenly looks mild.

 

Crowd favourite Peter Siddle returns ahead of 12th man Joe Mennie.

 

Hazlewood is accurate, shapely even but was virtually impotent in Sri Lanka. Nathan Lyon also failed to make a dent on spin-friendly decks. If Lyon has a lean summer, is his time up?

 

Success at home is common but Australia’s record away is poor. For some this is tolerable, as long as the legendary Aussie summer is punctuated by tumbling opposition wickets and big runs.

 

But this summer will offer intrigue and high drama because the Aussies will be under siege.

 

The hard-wicket home ground bully tag may become irrelevant should the tourists dispatch the locals over the fence.

 

How would the public respond?

 

 

(This article was adapted from an article that originally appeared on https://cricketfroth.wordpress.com/ on 1/11/2016)

About Pat White

I love Test cricket and struggle to embrace T20. One is like reading a great novel with a twisting plot and intriguing characters and the other is a cheap and trashy magazine. But the popular trashy mag is here to stay. So let's help cricket's new audience discover the romance and frantic drama of cricket's greatest format; Test Match. Join me for some non-establishment cricket analysis and get involved by posting a comment.

Comments

  1. Pat when did we last lose four consecutive series ?

    If we count the World XI tour of 1971-72 as test standard we played four consecutive series without a win. South Africa 1969-70 we lost 4-0, Ashes 1970-71, 2-0, World XI 1971-72 we lost 2-1, then drew the Ashes series in 1972 before returning home to beat Pakistan 3-0.

    (863-84 we lost 3-0 in the Windies who came out the following summer beating us 3-1. The 1985 Ashes tour was a 3-1 defeat, the Kiwis beat us in Australia 2-1. We then drew 0-0 with India before going down 1-0 across the ditch with the Kiwis, Next up we went to Indiai for a 3 test series. A tie in the first test, followed by a pair of draws meant a drawn series. At home we lost 2-1 in an Ashes series before finally beating the Kiwis 1-0 on Australian soil in 1987-88. Now that was a long , bad , run !

    Glen!

  2. Thanks for those stats Glen. There’s a bit there before my time so it’s great to hear about some of those leaner periods.

    I reckon this summer will be really tough. Obviously the Aussies were dominant on day 1 in Perth but as stated in the article they are susceptible to a batting collapse. There are a few players in the side who have not scored big runs when Australia have had their back to the wall either. So there’s plenty of questions marks.

    I see they just lose 4/23 before lunch. The Test Match and the summer is alive!

Leave a Comment

*