Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 4th day December 12, 2011

Hughes has to find runs - Clarke

115

Michael Clarke has conceded that Phillip Hughes may need to go back to state cricket to regain his form after another failure in the second innings of Australia's loss to New Zealand in Hobart. However, Clarke said it was unfortunate that there was no Sheffield Shield cricket scheduled until after the Test series against India ends in February, meaning Hughes will have nothing but Twenty20 in which to regain his touch.

Hughes walked off the field a defeated man, his weakness outside off stump having almost certainly ended this phase of his Test career, with Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson expected to return to the side on Boxing Day against India. Hughes was caught by Martin Guptill in the cordon off the bowling of Chris Martin for the fourth time in the series. Clarke said the lack of runs for Hughes - he has scored 9, 9, 88, 11, 10, 7, 4 and 20 in his past eight Test innings - was a concern.

"He's obviously really disappointed like all the batters are, the way we played today," Clarke said. "But Hughesy is probably the most disappointed. He's been getting out the same way. I know he's been working hard in the nets trying to improve that deficiency in his technique and he'll continue to work on that. But he needs to find some runs, it's as simple as that. If he's not making them for Australia he's going to have to go back and score some for New South Wales."

Besides the Big Bash League and club cricket, the only other opportunity for Hughes to score runs before the end of the Test summer will be in next week's Cricket Australia Chairman's XI match against the touring Indians in Canberra. In that three-day encounter, Hughes will be competing with other top-order men such as Marsh and Usman Khawaja, who are also in the side. David Warner is also set to play at Manuka Oval, but he has already pencilled in his name for the Boxing Day Test by carrying his bat for 123 not out in Hobart, almost conjuring victory for Australia from a dire position.

"There is no four-day cricket now for New South Wales, unfortunately," Clarke said. We go back and play Twenty20 cricket so, yeah, if that's the case for somebody, people who get dropped from this team, they're going to have to go back to Twenty20 and score some runs. I'm not sure how it's going to work but you're going to have to be picked back into the Australian team from the Big Bash. We'll wait and see what happens."

The lack of first-class cricket in Australia from early December to the start of February - covering the majority of the Australian summer - was deemed necessary by Cricket Australia to allow the new eight-team BBL to flourish. When asked if he would have preferred Shield cricket during the period, Clarke was careful not to directly criticise the scheduling, but his discontent was evident.

"Well, we've got what we've got," he said. "At the end of the day let's deal with it. My opinion is not going to change anything. It's about scoring runs in any form of the game you play. If it's Twenty20, score runs. If it's one-dayers, score runs and just continue to get your name, push your name up in front of the selectors' eyes to get selected for any form of the game. It's what we've got."

Australia play four Tests against India, beginning on December 26 at the MCG, and finishing in Adelaide on January 28. The Shield season has a major hiatus from December 9 until February 2.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on December 14, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    @Ashwin Sharma - ahh no, Dhoni likes to blame umpires or the pitch! == == == Money where my mouth is 1st Test v India - should be 1. Warner, 2. Rogers, 3. Khawaja, 4. Ponting/Hussey, 5. Clarke, 6. Watson (assuming he bowls, if he can't he doesn't play & Christian gets a gig), 7. Wade, 8. Faulkner (in for Starc), 9. Siddle, 10. Pattinson, 11. Lyon 12th Starc - I'd have Starc in the nets with Craig Mac as it seemed to work a treat for Cummins & Pattinson. I'd consider Copeland for Siddle. Rogers gets the gig ahead of Cowan purely on the basis of experience. There has been a trend in Oz for spicy pitches over the last 2 seasons - I ssupect the SCG will be, unsure about The G, the WACA may be back to its bouncy best. I would select a special side for Adelaide - I'd look to bring O'Keefe into #7 & Wade to #6, & drop Punter/Hussey & move Watto to #4. This would be a once off for the assumption of a drier Adelaide Oval.

  • Meety on December 14, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    @Adrian Meredith - "Hughes should never have been brought back to the test side after his technical flaws were exposed so badly back in 2009" - he should never have been dropped in the first place. It wasn't until some well meaning persons (Langar/Nielsen) started tinkering with him did he develop a problem. The problem for Hughes is that he does not posess a Copy Book technique. This is only a problem when tinkering occurs. When things are going well - all the nuances balance out & he has more than enough temprement/technique to pile on a mountain of runs. However, what happenned (can't say for sure - just deducing), is that one flaw getting corrected, openned up another deficiancy. Second flaw gets tinkered with - creates another one. Personally if I was Hughes I would tell everyone bar D'Costa to shove their advice up their preverbial & go back to the beginning. Nobody with any knowledge of the game would say Chanderpaul has a good technique - but is EFFECTIVE, his test ave - 48+!

  • zenboomerang on December 13, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    If you listened to Clarke @CA (where Coverdale got his info) Clarke said that all the batters have to start to find runs - not just Hughes... He included himself... ... @ the selectors... seems like Warner, Watson, Khawaja, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin are the batters... But for me it would be Warner, Watson, Cowan, Khawaja, Clarke, Christian, Wade/Neville... With the possibility of India batting for long periods, we will need a 5th bowler & Clarke, Warner, Hussey do not stack up as long over bowlers...

  • zenboomerang on December 13, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Dashgar... Not sure about the logic of your Chairmans players... & there are 2 games as well... With Cowan in the mix & Warner captain (significant) it will put a lot of pressure on both Hughes & Khawaja to perform, but it also will give all these batsmen time in the middle against Indias bowlers before the first Test!... Marsh is out of the 1st Test due to continuing problems... None of the bowlers being used will likely play Test cricket this summer - unlike the ABField game for NZ... With Watson returning it looks like Cowan/Hughes/Khawaja are playing for 1 spot @no.3... Khawaja is the shoe-in atm... Ponting & Hussey are on life support while Haddin needs a brain replacement...

  • on December 13, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    Aus should retain Hughes, he will help india... In fact Pointing, Haddin and Hussey's current form is good signs too.

  • RandyOZ on December 13, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    You can put this batting failure down to Arthur and Langer. Both completely hopeless as coaches and bring nothing to the team.

  • tomhedley on December 13, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    @khiladisher, England got beaten 5-0 in a Mickey Mouse one day series so I don't see your point there. As for the whole "rank green wicket" thing the English batsmen and Rahul Dravid seemed to do ok. I'll predict a very tight series, the Aussies certainly have issues but their bowling does look better now and I wouldn't have thought they're quaking in their boots at the prospect of facing Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar!

  • satish619chandar on December 13, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Enough said of Hughes.. He should go as he doesnt even make a bowler strive for his wkt.. The contest is between Punter and Ussie.. Both Punter and Ussie failed.. But Australia should take a decision whether Failing and learning of Ussie is better than Failing and retiring of Punter!!! Ussie has everything to gain but Punter has nothing to gain.. Even if he scores 4 100's i this series, what purpose is it going to serve his team? If Ussie gets even 1 100, it ll be of more value..

  • VivGilchrist on December 13, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    I love J.Langer, but what exactly does he do? Our batsmen look worse than ever, and we continually collapse.

  • redneck on December 13, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    @the bloke on facebook talking up hughes stats when compared to haydens. matt hayden failed early in his career against the west indies attack featuring ambrose and walsh and a south african attack featuring white lightning and de villers. high quality bowlers. phil hughes went to sri lanka and faced kulasekara and randiv & faced chris martin at home!!! your comparison isnt worth a pinch of salt once you look at it in more depth!

  • Meety on December 14, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    @Ashwin Sharma - ahh no, Dhoni likes to blame umpires or the pitch! == == == Money where my mouth is 1st Test v India - should be 1. Warner, 2. Rogers, 3. Khawaja, 4. Ponting/Hussey, 5. Clarke, 6. Watson (assuming he bowls, if he can't he doesn't play & Christian gets a gig), 7. Wade, 8. Faulkner (in for Starc), 9. Siddle, 10. Pattinson, 11. Lyon 12th Starc - I'd have Starc in the nets with Craig Mac as it seemed to work a treat for Cummins & Pattinson. I'd consider Copeland for Siddle. Rogers gets the gig ahead of Cowan purely on the basis of experience. There has been a trend in Oz for spicy pitches over the last 2 seasons - I ssupect the SCG will be, unsure about The G, the WACA may be back to its bouncy best. I would select a special side for Adelaide - I'd look to bring O'Keefe into #7 & Wade to #6, & drop Punter/Hussey & move Watto to #4. This would be a once off for the assumption of a drier Adelaide Oval.

  • Meety on December 14, 2011, 0:52 GMT

    @Adrian Meredith - "Hughes should never have been brought back to the test side after his technical flaws were exposed so badly back in 2009" - he should never have been dropped in the first place. It wasn't until some well meaning persons (Langar/Nielsen) started tinkering with him did he develop a problem. The problem for Hughes is that he does not posess a Copy Book technique. This is only a problem when tinkering occurs. When things are going well - all the nuances balance out & he has more than enough temprement/technique to pile on a mountain of runs. However, what happenned (can't say for sure - just deducing), is that one flaw getting corrected, openned up another deficiancy. Second flaw gets tinkered with - creates another one. Personally if I was Hughes I would tell everyone bar D'Costa to shove their advice up their preverbial & go back to the beginning. Nobody with any knowledge of the game would say Chanderpaul has a good technique - but is EFFECTIVE, his test ave - 48+!

  • zenboomerang on December 13, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    If you listened to Clarke @CA (where Coverdale got his info) Clarke said that all the batters have to start to find runs - not just Hughes... He included himself... ... @ the selectors... seems like Warner, Watson, Khawaja, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin are the batters... But for me it would be Warner, Watson, Cowan, Khawaja, Clarke, Christian, Wade/Neville... With the possibility of India batting for long periods, we will need a 5th bowler & Clarke, Warner, Hussey do not stack up as long over bowlers...

  • zenboomerang on December 13, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Dashgar... Not sure about the logic of your Chairmans players... & there are 2 games as well... With Cowan in the mix & Warner captain (significant) it will put a lot of pressure on both Hughes & Khawaja to perform, but it also will give all these batsmen time in the middle against Indias bowlers before the first Test!... Marsh is out of the 1st Test due to continuing problems... None of the bowlers being used will likely play Test cricket this summer - unlike the ABField game for NZ... With Watson returning it looks like Cowan/Hughes/Khawaja are playing for 1 spot @no.3... Khawaja is the shoe-in atm... Ponting & Hussey are on life support while Haddin needs a brain replacement...

  • on December 13, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    Aus should retain Hughes, he will help india... In fact Pointing, Haddin and Hussey's current form is good signs too.

  • RandyOZ on December 13, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    You can put this batting failure down to Arthur and Langer. Both completely hopeless as coaches and bring nothing to the team.

  • tomhedley on December 13, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    @khiladisher, England got beaten 5-0 in a Mickey Mouse one day series so I don't see your point there. As for the whole "rank green wicket" thing the English batsmen and Rahul Dravid seemed to do ok. I'll predict a very tight series, the Aussies certainly have issues but their bowling does look better now and I wouldn't have thought they're quaking in their boots at the prospect of facing Ishant Sharma and Praveen Kumar!

  • satish619chandar on December 13, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    Enough said of Hughes.. He should go as he doesnt even make a bowler strive for his wkt.. The contest is between Punter and Ussie.. Both Punter and Ussie failed.. But Australia should take a decision whether Failing and learning of Ussie is better than Failing and retiring of Punter!!! Ussie has everything to gain but Punter has nothing to gain.. Even if he scores 4 100's i this series, what purpose is it going to serve his team? If Ussie gets even 1 100, it ll be of more value..

  • VivGilchrist on December 13, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    I love J.Langer, but what exactly does he do? Our batsmen look worse than ever, and we continually collapse.

  • redneck on December 13, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    @the bloke on facebook talking up hughes stats when compared to haydens. matt hayden failed early in his career against the west indies attack featuring ambrose and walsh and a south african attack featuring white lightning and de villers. high quality bowlers. phil hughes went to sri lanka and faced kulasekara and randiv & faced chris martin at home!!! your comparison isnt worth a pinch of salt once you look at it in more depth!

  • pikk0n on December 13, 2011, 1:29 GMT

    Just to point something out to the Ferguson and Christian supporters too. I am a fan of them myself but they have flaws as well. South Australian first class cricket is well known for batting collapses and unfortunately, Ferguson is a big culprit. Christian to a lesser extent but they are both a part of a team that traditionally fails in the first half of the season before coming good in the second half of the Australian summer. Having them in our middle order doesn't guarantee us a fix so expect more heartbreaks in Australian test cricket for the next few years.

  • MitchBD on December 13, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    Well said BJ Cook! Everyone forgets Hughes also scored two tests in one game over in South Africa. He had a few failures afterwards and he was dropped. If Australian cricket wanted to blood new players, I think its the wrong way to go about it. Surely it cant be good for a 21 year old kid's confidence? Australian cricket has to be patient. The pressure has eventually built up and even me being a fan of him, I agree he now has to be dropped. My 11 for the boxing day test providing all are fit would be Warner & Watson up top, Marsh, Khawaja & Ponting to fight out the spots for 3-4, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Siddle, Harris, Pattinson & Lyon.

  • pikk0n on December 13, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    With the batting as fragile as it is, the best we can expect from the test series is a draw There is no way we can beat India. Bear in mind that Tendulkar and Dravid have both proven themselves over the length of their career to be capable of handling the swinging balls. The English summer was an aberration no doubt but from memory, Australia did just as badly batting in England. We did collapse at Headingley against Pakistan. Our batting line-up is really fragile. Stop blaming Hughes because his scores have been better than Hussey's over the past 8 innings. Ponting is marginally better. Hughes needs to be dropped though but to blame him alone is absolutely ridiculous. Our middle order have failed on numerous to produce any significant scores. It doesn't matter who you have opening. Once our openers are dismissed, our opponents are basically bowling to our tail from 3 through to 11. Longest tail around. We don't have any outstanding replacements either.

  • brenno23 on December 13, 2011, 0:26 GMT

    @khiladisher, you seem to be forgetting that in 2008 if you take out the Sydney test, it would only have been 1-1, and you complain about england preparing "rank green wickets", well perhaps if your batsmen could play on something other than flat or turning decks, you mightn't have been beaten so convincingly in the UK. If you want to talk about wickets being prepared to suit the home side, can you please give me an example of a test wicket in india from the last decade that has had any life in it on the first morning of the test. It seems to me that you are always seeing a conspiracy somewhere which puts the Indian at a disadvantage, wether it be green wickets, poor umpiring, etc etc. Please, just get accept the fact that your team couldn't turn their time at the top of test cricket into a dynasty like the Australian did. Also, seriously looking forward to the first test, it promises to be a great series!

  • Dashgar on December 13, 2011, 0:10 GMT

    As for the Chairman's XI, Cowan, Finch, Marsh, Ferguson, Forrest, Christian, Wade, Maxwell, Coulter-Nile, Boyce, Hazelwood

  • Dashgar on December 13, 2011, 0:05 GMT

    It'd be a mistake to play Khawaja, Warner and Hughes in the Chairman's game. The call on Hughes has to be made now. If those 3 were to play it would mean they would likely bat at 1, 2 and 3, pushing other test hopefuls like Cowan and Marsh down the order. The Chairman's XI is about giving players who aren't given opportunities in Test matches the chance to impress against Test cricketers. Not to give more opportunities to struggling players. What happens if Hughes, Warner and Khawaja all get ducks against India in Canberra. Do we drop them then and bring in untried players? If they aren't good enough now they should be dropped, if they are good enough they should skip this game and focus on the Test. My Test side, Cowan, Warner, Marsh, Watson, Clarke, Ferguson, Wade, Siddle, Harris, Pattinson, Lyon

  • on December 13, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    Well done Kiwis. A great game of cricket. Re Australia's woes, what exactly does Justin Langer do ?.

  • on December 12, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    Phil Hughes made a test ton in his 4th innings. One innings ahead of Matt Hayden & Mark Taylor (Aussie Icons). On Haydens 32nd innings, he had the same amount of hundreds a Hughes. So why are we talking about cutting a young player away when Hussey & Ponting will not be around for the next Ashes series. When the bowlers are making more runs than the batting Captain, I think all the batsmen & captain should take a good hard look at themselves!

  • me54321 on December 12, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    @Khiladisher It was just my opinion that aus will win, and I may be wrong as I am slightly biased by my hope to see Indian defeats. But this Australian team isn't that bad, especially with the genuinely good players to come back from injury. Whereas the "mighty" Indian batting line up looked anything but not so long ago. As for the Indian bowlers, they look weak, but it's a bit of an unknown because of the new faces. However if these new guys are genuinely good, where were they when India were being humiliated in England? Don't make excuses about the England defeat, your lot lost to a better team. It didn't even swing or seam that much in that series, apart from the opening couple of sessions in the first two tests, when guess what, India had use of the ball. I'll look for your comments as the series progresses.

  • CouchCommo93 on December 12, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    hahaha Tigg made the best comment of all time i reckon. "Bet you wish you had Katich now" but i find fault in your choice of 11. i wouldn't exactly bring Cowen in just to push Watson down the order. Let Watson/Warner open followed by marsh and Khawaja. Also I would rather bring in Mitchell Starc for Harris because either way he'll only last the one match cuz he has worse match fitness than Harbhajan on Warne's diet. I guess Johnson or Bollinger may also make decent substitutes but i think Johnson is just too inconsistent and Bollinger isn't taking his cricket very seriously. ALSO yes, sehwag's 200 was on a lifeless deck, but i didn't see anyone getting even remotely close to 200 that day did you Tigg? Laxman and Dravid hold up the team more often than not these days. but i think it'll be good to see Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Murali Vijay come into the middle order. Admittedly Kohli and Raina need to learn to play the short ball, but Vijay has been needlessly underselected.

  • on December 12, 2011, 23:23 GMT

    I think some of the top order did not show enough determination and grit. Apart from Ed Cowan for an openers slot and Watson and Marsh who are expected to come back into the side, we haven't got anyone knocking on the door to replace Hussey and Ponting. Sure there are the likes of Rob Quiney, David Hussey, Callum Ferguson and Peter Forrest who could potentially be good test players, but they are not putting their hands up and making too big a claims at the moment. A player has to earn a spot to get a place in the side. So Hussey and Ponting have to remain until others are worthy of replacing them.

    I think the fact that there is so much Twenty20 being played now is damaging our test prospects. Young cricketers are being so exposed to twenty20 now that they don't know how to adjust to test cricket. that is what worries me in the future, do we have enough batsmen in the future equpped to play test cricket?

    I hope that there are more David Warners out there.

  • Guthers007 on December 12, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    Clarke can talk about all other batsmen not scoring runs but not for the first time has he failed to score runs under pressure and when they are needed. i cant recall too many times that he has really fired when Australia needed him to.

  • on December 12, 2011, 22:17 GMT

    Clarke is not taking responsibility for the defeat.its not only that hughes alone failed. What about punter,yourselves and hussey?The middle order collapse lead to the defeat.But still once marsh,watson are back australia are still a very strong home side to be beaten. Good to see that bcci learnt from the England fiasco and send the test specialists early.Eagerly waiting for the boxing day test match.

  • hhillbumper on December 12, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    I do find the Indian fans harping on about their great batting line up.Forget what you did 4 years ago.What has happened in the last year abroad? Your team is aging badly and will struggle if the ball moves or bounces.If Aus pick the right team then you will get caned which happens quite a lot when you go abroad, especially outside of the Sub continent

  • on December 12, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    The Aussies batting line up now is a couple of old guys, a skipper batting too low and a bunch of T20 players. They need to remember Test cricket is about defending your wicket first and foremost and there's no short cut to developing that sort of class. Until they put money aside to learn that lesson, they will continue to be a collapse waiting to happen at best. This could be a perfect tour coming up for the young Indian quicks to grow. Show them some footage of the England attack.

  • on December 12, 2011, 21:37 GMT

    Hi Clarke please do not blame and dropped hughes for the lost to KIWI just a another loosing match for Aussie.you can keep him number eight.with three face attacked. always you/wotto/Hussey can throw few overs.what about others pick him only one person no good. India will come at you hard.i think everybody has to blame only loosing by 7 runs.WELL DONE KIWI AND ROSS TAILOR.or my god thank you for review system in place other wise you will be having champagne for wining. HUSSEY LBW he knows he was out from his face not like good old days WARNE only has to jump STEW BUCNER FROM WEST INDIAS FINGER UP LBW,also pick at least one queen slander for australia. like young CHRIS LYNE.just after AB he has capable to captain AUSTRALIA. I know like SRI Lanka when CHAMAR SILVA has been so much under pressure like hughes how can only he has to make score i watched chamara silva has so much protections like PHILE HUGHES good luck to them.

  • SK_Warne on December 12, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Clarke and his fellow selectors should make a few changes. I'd retain Warner obviously, but Hughes definitely needs to go. Chris Rogers should be considered. Yes, he's in his mid-thirties, but he's a proven runscorer with a first-class average of over 50. Rogers' inclusion will enable Watson to bat down the order. Peter Nevill should be Haddin's replacement. Ponting should get one last chance to finish his brilliant Test career. Cummins isn't available, which is unfortunate. But he has a bright future ahead of him. The bowling agaist New Zealand wasn't all that bad, but if your batsmen dont't get runs you won't win Test matches. I'd go for (1)Warner,(2)Rogers,(3)Marsh,(4)Ponting,(5)Watson,(6)Clarke(cpt),(7)Nevill,(8)Siddle,(9)Pattinson,(10)Starc,(11)Lyon.

  • Chris_P on December 12, 2011, 20:46 GMT

    Finally, Clarke has admitted something just about everyone else in the cricket world has known for some time. Yes Michael, you, the exulted leader of our cricket team was the person who was backing him, so please spare us with your profound thoughts. Your backing of Highes has ocme back to haunt you, so please spare tell us something we don't know! The Argus report was a giant step forward, the only glaring issue is the Captain's role as a selector. That was the big question asked by many and we see the results of it now. Take away the Captain's role as selector and we got a good set-up.

  • SpartaArmy on December 12, 2011, 20:29 GMT

    All those people who are making senseless comments on the players must understand one point. Australia is doing reasonably well in 5 day version, of late. They won in SL , drew in SA and AUS. Clarke has got 3 centuries in last 8 innings and his captaincy is also encouraging signs going forward. Look at waht happened to WI after 1980's , Australia are atleast in top 5. It will take some time for these players to settle at this level. So, if you have no direct experience in how things work in the game it is better you watch the game and appreciate the efforts of the real players who are playing out there.

  • on December 12, 2011, 20:01 GMT

    @ khiladisher u are the same guy who predicted 3-0 india before the test series against england. And now u r making excuses about green pitches and injuries i hope u have ur excuses ready when india lose the series against australian.

  • on December 12, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    Ponting Hussy & Haddin all failed as well didnt they? why is there no mention of them?

    the best side Australia can put forward on Boxing Day would not include at least two of these. personally i would bring in Katich , Marsh Watson & a new keeper for Haddin ,Ponting, Khawaja & Hughes

    open with Warner & Katich , Marsh @3 then Watson Clarke, Hussey keeper then Siddle Pattinson Starc & Lyon

    Or they could prepare another pitch like the 1 @ Hobart & drop Lyon for Ponting & stick with 3 pacers + Watson

  • on December 12, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    @khiladisher- Amazing how England posted scores of 710-7 dec, 591-6 dec and 544 on "rank green tracks"

  • sulugulu on December 12, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    Hahahah the Australian batting line up is a farce, the chances of them even drawing one test against the mighty Indian side will be somewhat of a miracle. Clarke should not be pointing the finger at someone else, when in the end it was his captaincy that led Australia to its first loss to New Zealand in a test match on home soil in over 25 years. The likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Gambhir, Dhoni, Kohli, Sehwag make up the Indian top order, all of which average over 45 respectively compared to a dismal Australian top and middle order who are struggling to average 30 against a relatively weak test nation. If I were an Australian selector, I would put an experienced team up against the Indians as it has been clearly shown from their cricket over the last 2 months that inexperience in their top order has not paid off.

  • on December 12, 2011, 18:25 GMT

    Find runs? He obviously has a deficiency in technique. If he found runs in state with those flawed methods of his, he will in most likelihood find runs again. And back to the Australian team? And fail again, back to state? Come on boys.... Go talk to someone like Dravid, or Lnger or Sachin or kallis or whom ever he thinks can help him out.... fix it...... fix the flaw..... if the sun fearing cat closes his eye in state cricket, it has to open its eye in international level to find... surprise.... daylight! oops.... meow.... i don't like it! :(

  • Tigg on December 12, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    @khiladisher 20 wickets is the least of the Aussies problems. They have a cracking young attack, which will only get stronger when Harris and Watson come back in. Lyon as well has been a heck of a find and while Indians aren't bothered by spinners he's shown a lot of character. The Indian batsmen aren't at their best either. Sehwags 200, while excellent, was on a lifeless deck and hardly disguises his inability to buy a run the rest of the time. His partner Ghambir has also struggled. Laxman at best seems to get 50 then get out. Sachin has looked uninspired against mediocre bowling attacks and India still dont have a reliable no.6. Dravid has been fantastic but can't be expected to carry the Indians as he has since England.

    'India only lost iN Egland because of unfit players and rank green wickets'.

    No. They were green tinged because English wickets always are (it rains a lot here). It was swing and poor technique that scuppered you. That and one of the weakest bowling attacks.

  • Tigg on December 12, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    Hughes has consistently failed, Khawaja is hailed as a massive talent despite no score to prove it, Ponting has failed regularly and is struggling with fiftys, let alone hundreds. Hussey has lost the touch he showed during the ashes and sri lanka series. Haddin mixes flashes of class with a healthy dose of terrible shots and poor glovework.

    Bet you wish you had Katich now...

    That aside, I would suggest an XI (assuming all fit) of Warner, Cowen, Marsh, Ponting (last chance), Clarke, Watson, Wade, Harris, Cummins, Pattinson, Lyon.

  • zico123 on December 12, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    come boxing day test match against India, even if Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson return and Warner retains his place, youngstar Usman Khawaja has to be there in the playing 11, no point in persisting with Old Ponting and Hussey at expense of a rising youngstar, these youngstars like Usman Khawaja, Warner, Hughes, more they play, more they learn, but Australia have nothing to gain from old Ponting, he got to go.

  • swervin on December 12, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    some thoughts Schedule: i guess there's more money in 20/20 games for cricket australia than in shield games!

    Hughes: is a bit strange that Clarke's quotes focus so much on Hughes - am no Clarke fan but he may be taken a little out of context here. In any case, Australia has to worry a lot more about its batting than its bowling

    Warner: great knock and could be a great player - little surprised though he didn't try to farm the strike a bit more with the tail - i guess it doesn't matter so much but anyway...

  • on December 12, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    Clarke himself is a terrible batsman when it comes to playing the moving ball. Really sorry to see Australian cricket in this state. Back in the days of Steve Waugh, defeats like this wouldn't have happened. Waugh would have made sure he took the team to victory even if he had to guard the tail in the process. So, Mr Clarke, point all the fingers that you like. But fix your own game first. In the last 30 years of Aussie cricket, since the days of the great Alan Border, you are the worst captain ever. Border, Taylor, Waugh, Ponting -- those are some big shoes to fill. And you are more interested in team politics than playing cricket. Katich >>>> Hughes. And you deserve your loss just for backing a flawed batsman over a more prominent opener.

  • on December 12, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Cricket Australia obviously has no interest in test match cricket with their scheduling. At the moment the australians have the 90s english rotating door policy in effect but who can come in to test cricket after BBL? I would even worry about one day cricketers playing the elite form let alone the hit and giggle of T20. I guess CA installed Clarke as their stooge. The Kat would have told everyone what he thinks of this schedule! Bring back The Kat!!

  • satanswish on December 12, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Clarke should assess his flop show first then point to his players. Hughes, Khawaja, Ponting, Hussey, Haddin all failed miserably in this test match. Bowlers were not that bad as seen from the match result. I am afraid Aussie team have gone from 'Invincible' to 'Average' team.

  • r1m2 on December 12, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    Clarkey, just want to point out Hughes scored more runs nearly double at a higher average than Hussey, despite Hughes' glaring weakness.

    It is really surprising to me, having seen the treatment that was dished out to Steve and Mark Waugh, Martyn of the GREAT Aussie team, currently they are MORE than willingly to carry worthless baggages. Hussey has been a non-performer for a long long time. Ponting too has been a non-performer, but on account of his obvious greatness it makes sense if he gets the honourable exit on his own terms. Still, I would argue Ponting should be made the proposition to retire after the India series. Hussey should be dumped this instant.

    I am surprised that Aussies are creating an artificial pressure situation for their young talented batsmen, for the sake of carrying non-performing players...

    BTW Hussey's average will go below 50, with another duck, lovely isn't it?

  • khiladisher on December 12, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    @ME54321- I THINK THAT TEAM THAT HAS NOT WON A SINGLE TEST MATCH AGAINST INDIANS FOR LAST 9 TEST MATCHES-WILL STRUGGLE TO EVEN DRAW A SINGLE MATCH-THE MIGHTY INDIAN BATTING MAY BE AREAL HANDFUL FOR THIS INEXPERIENCED AUSSIE BOWLING ATTACK-AND LESS SAID BETTER FOR THE AUSSIE BATTING{ WHICH IS ON PAR WITH PAKISTAN AND SRI LANKAN BATTING}.I PREDICT AT LEAST 4-0 FOR INDIA.DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT AUSTRALIA CAN GET 20 WICKETS IN A MATCH AGAINST THIS BATTING LINE-UP. WE LOST IN ENGLAND ONLY BECAUSE OF INJURIES AND UN FIT PLAYERS{AND ENGLAND PREPARING RANK GREEN WICKETS},ENGLAND WHEN IT TRAVELED TO INDIA LAST MONTH GOT THRASHED 5-0.

  • zico123 on December 12, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    why putting unnecessary pressure on the youngstar Hughes, he has still everything to gain, he will definitely improve with more Test matches he play. what value is old Ponting or Hussey adding to the team, Australia have nothing to gain from them. Ponting is on 2 year run draught, wonder how much more time he can buy using his big name, he got to go

  • Technical-1 on December 12, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Clark should go back too.. These morons always pointing fingers hell you the captain win the match for your team.

  • couchpundit on December 12, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Clarke you better worry about PONTING, Hughes was anyways going to be replaced by watson and marsh.

    If Ponting doesnt score against this pathetic Indian attack, its time he goes home or else you please show him the door.

    Also None of the Australian players played well, including you Mr.Captain man up and own up the responsibility. This is what happens when players like you(who puts girl friend before TEAM) are made captain.

  • lugujaga on December 12, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    CLARKE AND THE REST OF THE AUSSIES SHOULD FACE THE FACT THAT THEY ARE A MUCH WEAKER SIDE NOW AND OTHER TEAMS ARE NOT SCARED OF THEM. THEY ARE STILL SUFFERING FROM SHOOTING THEMSELVES IN THE FOOT BY GETTING RID OF A SOLID AND PRODUCTIVE OPENER LIKE SIMON KATTICH. YOU AUSSIES SHOULD GET USED TO LOSING BECAUSE THE IS A FAT CHANCE, THAT YOU'LL BE DOING A LOT OF THAT, FROM NOW ON.I USED TO LIKE THE WAY THE AUSSIES PLAYED HARD CRICKET, BUT IT LOOK LIKE THAT HAS BEEN BEATEN OUT OF THEM LATELY.GET READY FOR MORE BAD NEWS ESPECIALLY WHEN TENDULKAR MAKE HIS 100TH HUNDRED ON THIS LACK LUSTER AUSSIE STRAGLERS YOU CALL A TEAM.OH YEAH!!! IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO TAKE YOUR FOOT OUT YOUR BIG MOUTH AND BRING BACK SIMON KATTICH,TO GIVE YOU A STABLE FOUNDATION.MAY GOD HELP YOU IN YOUR TIME OF NEED, BECAUSE IT ONLY GOES TO SHOW THAT NO MATTER HOW MIGHTY YOU ARE, ITS NOT GONNA BE FOREVER.

  • Romenevans on December 12, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    LOL what about Punter and Himself?

  • CheeseOnAStick on December 12, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    "But he needs to find some runs, it's as simple as that." - Clarke. No, he needs to fix his technique and then the runs may come. Making runs with a terrible technique is what got him here in the first place. Australia's batting is in a much bigger hole than this team seems to realise. When anyone posts a score it is full of chances and they are praised. When those chances get taken the top 7 are shown up for the pretenders they are.

  • landl47 on December 12, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    Hughes was actually out for 0 in the second innings, but NZ didn't call for a review. Still, at least he wasn't caught in the slips. Khawaja seems to have gone backwards- one test 50 in 11 innings isn't a great start to his career. Warner played well, but he's going to be a batsman who needs the ball to fly over slips or fall into spaces; he doesn't have the defence to grind. Ponting's brief burst of form (2 test 50s) is over and he's back to playing some horrible shots. Hussey is going to have more lean spells as he gets older. Watson's test average is down to 38 and when he bowls he can't bat, as he admits. Marsh is perennially injured. Clarke plays some good innings, but is too inconsistent. There is, as inefekt rightly points out, no-one coming up- the two most often mentioned, Cowan and Christian, are career journeymen, 29 and 28 respectively, with career averages under 40 (in Christian's case, barely over 30). I would never write the Aussies off, but it looks pretty grim.

  • khiladisher on December 12, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    AUSTRALIA ARE SURE TO BE BEATEN AT LEAST 2-0 BY THE INDIAN TEAM UNLESS LUCK HELPS THEM AS BEEN THE CASE IN 2003 AND 2008-HOWEVER SINCE THE SYDNEY FIASCO OF 2008 AUSTRALIA ARE YET TO BEAT INDIA IN 9 TEST MATCHES-ITS UP TO INDIA TO MAKE IT 13 IN A ROW IN THESE 4 TESTS. INDIA RULZ-GO INDIA GO-SACHIN-DRAVID -LAXMAN-SEHWAG-GAMBHIR-KOHLI-ROHIT AND DHONI MIGHT BE TOO MUCH FOR THE INEXPERIENCED AUSSIE BOWLERS-GOLDEN CHANCE FOR INDIA TO WIN MAIDEN TEST SERIES IN AUSTRALIA-A CHANCE THEY HAD MISSED IN 1981-86-2003-2008{WHEN INSTEAD OF BEING THE BETTER TEAM THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO WIN}

  • ihaq1 on December 12, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    i think that cummins and pattinson must be in teh first team with harris and u should think of playing a fourth aggressive fast bowler against teh indians rather than lyons..i think cosgrove and cowans have done enough to get a tryout...wade too could be given a chance...i'd play cosgrove/cowans, watson, warner, shaun marsh, clarke and probably a steady batsman at 6...ponting, hughes and hussey should move on although they might relish playing teh indian quicks...four fast men and lyons...copeland might be a bit too easy for teh indians...i'd go with cummins, pattinson, harris and siddle...if u play wade at six than u can pick five bowlers which would be essential since australia dont bat that well these days..however with say watson, cowans, warner,marsh and khawaja at number 6 u could reasonably expect a 300 plus score...

  • Wefinishthis on December 12, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    inefekt, there are more. Peter Nevill averages almost 50 after 28 innings, is only 26yo and is a wicket-keeper batsman. Chris Lynn average 42 after 27 innings and is only 21! For the selectors to get it right, it has to look something like: Warner, Cowan, Marsh, Clarke, Watson, Nevill, Wade, O'Keefe, Harris, Pattinson, Copeland Res: Lynn, Faulkner, Lyon (Cummins to come in when fit). Like they pitted Healy and Gilchrist off when our batting was grim, why not pit Nevill and Wade off against each other? The selectors need to give up with Brad Haddin AND Tim Paine who can keep, but can't bat which is not good enough for the modern game. Wade and Nevill look fantastic and should be the two keepers.

  • Barnesy4444 on December 12, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    It's a shame the former selection panel were so poor. Hughes was treated appallingly by them beginning 2009. They dropped him when he was scoring a huge number of runs and forced him to change his technique. They then picked him in 2010 when he was out of form! I'm not sure exactly what the selectors want from him but they need to tell him precisely what that is. Hughes then needs to change whatever part of his technique the selectors aren't happy with and dominate shield cricket. He will be back, when he does come back it will be for good.

  • muski on December 12, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    That Clarke is not a great leader was never in doubt. He has confirmed that now. Why would he like to exert unnecessary pressure on the young man. Does he have the guts to tell this to Punter who is also sailing in the same boat?. Clarke is speaking as though his place in the side is certain. He is a magnified version of Darren Sammy. Ideally the captaincy should go to a more dedicated pro like Watson. Feel really sorry for Aussie cricket. They once had a A or a B team which could have humbled any national team. Now they are struggling to find 11 men who can play a decent test match. They are coming back to earth faster than the mighty West Indians have come after their glorious reign at the top.

  • on December 12, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    From what we have seen in the IPL: Warner is superb as an opener. Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh can play well in any position -- from No1 to No 6. These three are excellent replacements, if and when you retire some of your great golden oldies.

  • on December 12, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    Clarke may be great batsman, but a lousy human being. Same was the case with Ponting too. But Clarke may outdo Ponting in lack of a balanced perspective about teammates as well as about opposition. Pup has to grow into a dog -- a top dog, for the sake of Austarlian Cricket, and by inference and thru Australia's influence in world Cricket, to world Cricket as well.

  • on December 12, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Australia need to re jig their batting line up. Here is my top 7 batting line up which should play against India.

    Warner Marsh Ponting Hussey Clarke Watson Haddin (Wkt)

  • PiyushD on December 12, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Don't worry everyone out of form comes back to form when they play Indian bowlers, so just take it easy Clarkie.

  • Erebus26 on December 12, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    I feel sorry for Hughes - it was quite amusing as a Pom to see his failures during the last Ashes series but it's sad to see a young player's technique being exposed time and time again. I think Hughes is trying hard to rectify his failures but I just think he needs some time out and go back to state cricket and get lots of runs. For me thinking back over the last twenty years he's not the first Aussie batsman to fail initially at test cricket and then to come back stronger - look at Hayden, Langer and Martyn. I think the problem is that Australia are going through a transitional phase and the team is under pressure. Still I find it sad when Hughes seems to be more under the cosh from his own media than that of the opposition. There also seemed to be a lack of protection from his captain. Normally Aussie players stick up for their 'mates' but when certain NZ players were having a pop at Hughes there wasn't many people sticking up for him.

  • on December 12, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Someone in the Australian batting line-up needs to stand up and take responsibility.... Senior players like Punter, Clarke and Hussey have to take the responsibility for achieving this target but all 3 of them have not been doing that

    David Warner played a excellent innings today but lacked support at the other end in todays play, still players like Hussey and Clarke play well against Indian Bowling so lets hope they can get back in form for the series vs India and give us an engaging contest

  • on December 12, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    aus. loss this test goooooooooooooooooood

  • here2rock on December 12, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    20 days of test cricket in 33 days, crazy stuff! Expect a lot of injuries to players from both sides.

  • Beertjie on December 12, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    @Bigskyrocket, you make many excellent points except the one about Christian. IMO he's there as cover for Watson if they need someone to be a fourth pacer. I think it will be hard to know whether to give people "last chances" or not. I would not - it's only postponing further days of reckoning, like today. Best give notice to certain newbies (Khawaja) to perform or... Starc is not mature enough, so he too should go and (if Harris is not match fit) be replaced by Bollinger or George (depending on how they go in Canberra). Copeland could make a comeback, but I'd prefer a more attacking option (although, if selected, it would be interesting how he goes against Sehwag!). My team: Warner, Khawaja (Cowan to replace him if he doesn't pitch), Marsh, Ponting (force him to retire, if he doesn't fire - replace him with Khawaja, thereby making room for a genuine opner in Cowan), Clarke, Watson, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Bollinger/George (Harris if fit), Lyon. Add Cutting to the mix when he's fit.

  • Srini_Indian on December 12, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    Hughes, Ponting, Hussey, Haddin should play against Indian series. Zak and co would get them in a flash with even eyes closed:)

  • Joby_George on December 12, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    Micheal Clark is not at all a quality leader. I still believe, Rickey Ponting can still be the best captain. he should have captained as long as he is in the team. None of the batsmen seems to be in touch. Indias situation is also same, boxing day test wont have heavy punches as we expect for sure

  • on December 12, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    It wd be interesting to see a one-on-one between Phil Hughes and Chris Martin. Martin might end up scoring more than Hughes in a 5-match series! Australia shd send him to some other country playing its first class cricket in Dec-Feb to try and get his technique in order. Cricket academies will not be enough.

  • dms1972 on December 12, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    If Gupta.Ankur disrespects a legend of the game (Ricky Ponting) one more time, he should be banned from making comments on Cricinfo!

  • on December 12, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    VVS is going to have a field day.

  • on December 12, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    Hey Clarke thats what the differnce between you and the other captains like Dohni or Smith or even Ross Taylor. They take the blame and responsibility and than they extract best from a player. you are blaming your player and demorlizing them. what about yourself? why u did not lead from the front and win for Aus. Shame on you! why the what about Ponting and Hussey????? They do not need 4 days game or they are fine palying T20 and than stright way boxing day test. Gud luk clarke and Aus team!!!

  • on December 12, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    The XI for Boxing Day: Shane Watson. David Warner. Shaun Marsh. Ricky Ponting. Michael Clarke (c). Michael Hussey. Brad Haddin. Ryan Harris. Peter Siddle. James Pattinson. Nathan Lyon. 12th Man: Trent Copeland.

    Phillip Hughes dropped because of continued technical deficiency outside off stump. Peter Siddle selected because Patrick Cummins is unavailable due to injury. Shaun Marsh in for Usman Khawaja- possibly Ponting but neither have done much of late and Ponting is the more experienced player, and contributes more to the side overall than Khawaja does.

  • on December 12, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    Personally i am hoping that this is the end of the road for Philip Hughes as a test match player.. he was horrible.

  • on December 12, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    It is interesting to note that people are blaming opener Hughes whereas the whole blame should be on famed middle orderof Ponting, Clarke. Hussey and Haddin who failed to get runs. Atleast the openers laid a platform for the middle order to take advantage. Granted that Hughes did himself no favour but getting out in same fashion but Haddin also did the same thing, When you need only singles with plenty of time what is the necessity for expansive shots that too after just getting dropped, In my view Hughes, Haddin and one of Ponting/Hussey needs to go. The players to replace them are Marsh, Watson and Wade. It would take lot of courage to call back Katich, but he would make a better captain/player than Clarke.

  • jonesy2 on December 12, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    yes he does need to and he will have no choice with watson and marsh coming back

  • on December 12, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Those of you saying "Why is Clarke singling out Hughes?" and criticising him for it, you seriously need to learn how journalism works. There would have been a press conference and he would have been asked questions about a number of subjects, including Hughes. Then the answers about Hughes would have been collected for this article and a nice little eye catching headline created from a soundbite.

    It's completely reasonable that Clarke would say such things, much more so than when Sehwag said that every batsman bar him and one other were to blame for the defeat against West Indies, as an example how a captain *shouldn't* criticise his team.

  • kriking on December 12, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    Clarke is not captain material nor is a complete batsman, this time he has used hughes to hide himself, shame on him!

  • inefekt on December 12, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    Firstly, putting the Shield on hold to play a meaningless T20 series is absolutely diabolical. T20 is ruining cricket and it couldn't be more plain to see. But then money does tend to take priority in this messed up world. As for the Australian cricket team, more specifically their under performing batting lineup, we can all call for these players to be dropped but who is waiting in line to replace them? There are four batsmen with question marks over their places in the side. We've got two coming back from injury but that leaves two liabilities still within the team. Who is out there demanding a spot in the team? Ed Cowan is in prolific form but don't let that detract from the fact he still averages under 40 in FC cricket. Are there any players under 30 averaging over 40 who are not in the test squad? There are only three - White, Cosgrove and Wade. That's shocking. And there are only 5 who are over 30. Australian cricket is in dire straits and the future is very bleak.

  • riprock on December 12, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    This should be the playing XI for the Boxing day test and the series..

    Watson, Warner, Marsh, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, Copeland, Harris, Siddle, Lyon. sub: Khwaja, Pattinson

  • chaksiipm on December 12, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    i dont know why clarke blaming hughes, even somewhere i think clarke is struggling to get start, hussey totaly out of shape, i think its total team is responsible for this collapse against NZ , clarke its a shame for you,being a leader u cant demotivate anybody, you are not a perfect leader, Australia lacking leader in his side.

  • ste13 on December 12, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    perhaps this is Australia rather than India who want test cricket to die??? or it is not that bad looking at Warner, who seemed to enjoy that also, India was heavily criticised for selecting international players based on the past and connections rather than on merit; after WI series I believe this is no longer the case, but perhaps Aus has taken over

  • me54321 on December 12, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    Still think Australia will beat the Indians without too many alarms. Once Hughes, Khawaja, and Starc are replaced by the injured players, the team doesn't look that bad. I am also assuming the big three in the middle order stop getting sub twenty scores in most innings. I don't think Aus are going to be challenging for the title of best test team for a while, but I also don't think they're are as bad as one result suggests.

  • WhoCaresAboutIPL on December 12, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    I feel sorry for Mr Hughes - his homespun technique proved extremely successful in early days. I wonder how many of your readers appreciate he played county cricket for Middlesex in early 2009 (pre-Ashes) and scored a lot of runs - I think he averaged over 80.

    There was great noise in the UK press about allowing the new Bradman a chance to adapt to English conditions. However it worked quite the other way, bowlers (and Andrew Strauss a Middlesex player himself, albeit with few recent appearances) were able to study him, and when it came to the Tests.... Arguably he has never been the same player since.

    These days analysts are ruthless at finding out even slightly shaky techniques - and playing for another side to get into form does not always work out.

  • anver777 on December 12, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    I think Hughes along with Warner gave a solid foundation for relatively easy chase... but there after except for Warner all remaining batters were big failures......hard to believe Aus's collapse after being healthy 159/3 at one stage..... I would say NZ didn't win the game, rather Aus lost the game !!!!!!

  • Clyde on December 12, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    What does 'Big Bash' mean?

  • on December 12, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    The short sighted folly of the current domestic schedule is there for all to see. What's the point of scheduling Shield matches to resume after the Test Match summer is over? What could be more half baked than that?

  • VKPune on December 12, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    Its really strange the way Clarke is handling this, why just hughes? Everyone played badly. I mean what about Ponting , Clarke himself and Hussey , they are the most experienced pros. And why would you critisize some ones technique in public, International cricket is very competitive and how is poor hughes supposed to deal with the so called weakness, he will be bullied by every team now, his captain himself points out his weakness. I am not really sure about Clarke's commonsense and maturity as a strong leader.

  • ali00 on December 12, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    The Australian selector should get rid of Hughes and he doesnt make a big score and Khawaja and Warner should be in the opening and Shaun Marsh at his No.3

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 12, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    Clarke must admit that he is not good at test level and he must find another player for future....

  • on December 12, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Seriously why would he single him out.. the team lost not the guy.

  • Guduji71 on December 12, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    I am sure Australia will perform much better against India. Shane Watson & S Marsh should come in for Huges & Hussey. Ryan Haris or Bolinger should come in the side. I still think Hurtz is still the best spinner in Aust

  • Pablo123 on December 12, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    @ Chris Howard - that is a very reasonable idea. Joining a 1st class team in South Africa or in New Zealand would help him a lot to get his confidence back.

  • Bigskyrocket on December 12, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    firstly congratulations to the black caps. great bounce back from the gabba, very similar to the aussies rebound in south africa. Ponting, Hussey and Hughes would not be picked on current form in any previous era of australian test cricket. This is the selectors under Hilditch's and the boy's club of Clarke and ponting's making. This team has a long way to go to regain any sort of domineering status it once demanded. another 8 runs today would only produced another false dawn, this loss must surely be what this team needs if it is to improve. a chance to clear the rot. now it must face the might of india and it consequences. Bring back watson and marsh and elevate Christian. and haddin will consider himself lucky that others are for the chop before him.

  • SuperStar_XI on December 12, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    I m sure Hughes and Kawaja too wud be dropped facing Indians ..once Marsh and Watson wud be back ... bt I a bit surprise to see the way Mr Clarke is handling the after defeat press conferences ..why wud some one jst pick out jst one player for not scoring runs ..ths was a team defeat .. at least Hughes stick to the crease to give a handy start ...wat abt the rest of the middle order and lower order players .. i guess if he wants his team to improve ..he shud spk to the players personally ..rather than addressing it in the public...

  • Chris_Howard on December 12, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    I wonder if Hughes could get go join a first class team in South Africa or New Zealand for a couple of months.

  • on December 12, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    I find it totally rdicilous of the Australian fixture organizers that there is no 1st class cricket over hte peak period of the summer for batsmen to fine tune their long game format considering there is a 3 test series vs a good Indian side over that period. David Warner thoroughly impressed me with his 2nd innings knock and showed all the signs of an "intelligent" opener which Australia has lacked recently. Watson should drop to 6, Hussey should be dropped altogether. Clarke & Ponting stay where they are. Marsh comes into No3 and Khawaja pushed up to open with Warner, totally agree that Hughes need to go back to state cricket to find himself again.

  • on December 12, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    When the "Man of the match' is chosen by viewers it will be a biased one which we saw today. Warner played very well and congrats, choosing him player of the match was a stupid one. Warner himself knows Bracewell deserves it.

  • tfjones1978 on December 12, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    "The Shield season has a major hiatus from December 9 until February 2." I think this should be the heading of the article. The most damaging thing for Australia in the up coming series against India is that Australia has no practice matches for 8 weeks. I wonder how big the dollar signs in the eyes of Cricket Australia's scheduling department when they planned this. Domestic cricket is designed to provide support to the international team, not to rake in extra $$$. How is a T20 domestic league over 8 weeks improving Australia's chances in the test and ODI matches? A better Idea would have been to finish off shield cricket over Dec/early Jan and have mid Jan to mid-March being Shield cricket. Come on cricket Australia ... Test matches need Shield matches!

  • Matt. on December 12, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    We all know Hughes can score runs at state level, he just can't translate to test level. Perhaps this says something about Shield. Anyway we better not see his face in a baggy green again!

  • RandyOZ on December 12, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    @sifter132 - hahaha, top comment :) I must admit I totally agree with Clarke, the lack of shield cricket is inadequate. I for one am a Redbacks supporters but I will not be going to one Strikers match. Hopefully the BBL dies in the rear this season.

  • Kiwi-Jake on December 12, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    It's hilarious how Clarke's in denial about his team actually losing a test match to New Zealand. He hasn't mentioned NZ once!

  • on December 12, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    Who was the person who said Hughes was the new Don Bradman, that person would have to eat his words.

  • cricketmaniagola on December 12, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    Australia should start rebuilding before its too late....Boxing Day XII should be like this..... Ed Cowan, David Warner, Simon Katich, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Trent Copeland, James Pattinson, Josh Hazelwood, Peter George.......No Johnson (ODI specialist), No Siddle, No Starc, No Harris...Sorry for Cutting and Cummins as both r injured.....

  • satish619chandar on December 12, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    @sifter132 : Same was said a couple of weeks back.. Now, this is happening.. I think Indians will be happy if they see Hughes in squad.. You only need to practice a single ball and bowl it continuously at him.. No need to try hard or setup for any stock ball.. Can get him anytime :-)

  • LuvThyGame on December 12, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    i still think with watson and marsh back.. aussies would be favs to beat india.. indian trouble is clearly their sub-standard bowling as was seen in england.. with PK out and assuming no Zaheer .. the attack will be too easy for the aussie batting line-up and i can expect all of them coming back to form..

  • Samdanh on December 12, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    I will suggest that all Aus batsmen who played in Tests against NZ, should be included in teams that play Indian team in the tour games. That will provide them an opportunity to get good match practice and also get into form

  • Vindaliew on December 12, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    Clarke is speaking as if Hughes was the only Australian batsman who struggled to score runs. Perhaps New Zealand just bowled well?

  • tfjones1978 on December 12, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    Hughes should be cut from the side and Hussey should be given one last chance. I know hughes got a hundred in Srilanka and an 88 in South Africa, but he hasnt dont much otherwise.

    To me, you are only as good as your last 10 test innings.

    Hughes in the past two years has scored only 600 runs with loss of 22 innings (av of 27). In the past 4 tests he has scored 158 runs at average of less then 20. The question has to be, does one hundred and one fifty in 19 completed innings warrant test selection?

    In the last six months, Hussey has scored 546 off 12 innings with an average of 45. However of that, he has only scored 73 off last 7 innings. Hussey should be told that if he doesnt pick up his form he will need to prove himself in Shield or county cricket.

    There are plenty of other players out there ... its time they were given a chance!

  • dwblurb on December 12, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Despite the loss today, Australian cricket has made some positive strides both on and off the field over the past few months. However, the national team will be forever handicapped so long as CA devotes six important weeks of the season to joke cricket. Imagine a replacement being picked for the third Test in Adelaide due to form or injury. He won't have played a meaningful match for 5 weeks. CA can bang on about how they value Test cricket as the ultimate form of the game, but I'm afraid the schedule says otherwise.

  • satish619chandar on December 12, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Mr.Clarke.. Will u pick him in your squad against India?

  • Gizza on December 12, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    The media interview for Clarke was terrible. He never congratulated the Kiwis or Bracewell. It sounded like he was in denial of what happened over the past four days. Not respecting the opposition is a sure sign of failure. It is what the Windies did during the late 90's. It is what England and India did when they were only concerned about their main rivals Australia and Pakistan respectively. In this case, Australia has one eye of the next Ashes and the second eye on the Indian series. They were blind to the very series they were playing in! It is therefore not very surprising to hear David Warner getting the MoM award instead of Bracewell. Kudos to the Kiwis btw!

  • disco_bob on December 12, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    Not really the best time to comment on Hughes, seeing as just 10 runs from Clarke, Hussey and Ponting who together made less than Hughes, in more benign conditions, would have won the series. Further with two days to bat at least Hughes was able to hang around under pressure which the 3 most experienced batsmen were not able to do. In fact counting both innings Hughes made more runs than either Ponting, Hussey, Clarke or Haddin did. Send em back to 20/20 to learn how to bat.

  • PrasPunter on December 12, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    As an Aussie, i must say i have put my heads down on shame !! i am really wondering as to how we are gonna match the mighty indians, if we can't beat NZ. They must be licking their lips on seeing this. Not just Hughes, how about Punter, Clarke , Huss and Haddin who have failed again when a couple of 25-run partnerships would have got us over the line. From my heart, I would root for Aus no matter what, but from my mind, it is gonna be india ( though i hate to say this ) all the way this summer !!!

  • sifter132 on December 12, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    "Hughes has to find runs" - Well perhaps the Indians can bring over some dodgy curries with them, that might help get him going.

  • on December 12, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Hughes should never have been brought back to the test side after his technical flaws were exposed so badly back in 2009. Why was he brought back? And then retained at the expense of the in-form Simon Katich! Insanity! Now Warner has shown that with a changed technique he can perform at the longer form of the game. Hughes should do the same thing. Steve Waugh changed his technique to cut out the hook shot and Hughes could do something similar. If he fails to, he may be like Graeme Hick, a master at domestic level but useless at test level.

  • satish619chandar on December 12, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    Isn't this bad scheduling from Australian perspective.. Not to have any 4 day match for some practice to their batsmen.. May be, they can get Hughes in the squads which face the touring Indian team and give him a chance if the selectors have any plans for him.. Otherwise, just drop him and give chances to the other prospects..

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  • satish619chandar on December 12, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    Isn't this bad scheduling from Australian perspective.. Not to have any 4 day match for some practice to their batsmen.. May be, they can get Hughes in the squads which face the touring Indian team and give him a chance if the selectors have any plans for him.. Otherwise, just drop him and give chances to the other prospects..

  • on December 12, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Hughes should never have been brought back to the test side after his technical flaws were exposed so badly back in 2009. Why was he brought back? And then retained at the expense of the in-form Simon Katich! Insanity! Now Warner has shown that with a changed technique he can perform at the longer form of the game. Hughes should do the same thing. Steve Waugh changed his technique to cut out the hook shot and Hughes could do something similar. If he fails to, he may be like Graeme Hick, a master at domestic level but useless at test level.

  • sifter132 on December 12, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    "Hughes has to find runs" - Well perhaps the Indians can bring over some dodgy curries with them, that might help get him going.

  • PrasPunter on December 12, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    As an Aussie, i must say i have put my heads down on shame !! i am really wondering as to how we are gonna match the mighty indians, if we can't beat NZ. They must be licking their lips on seeing this. Not just Hughes, how about Punter, Clarke , Huss and Haddin who have failed again when a couple of 25-run partnerships would have got us over the line. From my heart, I would root for Aus no matter what, but from my mind, it is gonna be india ( though i hate to say this ) all the way this summer !!!

  • disco_bob on December 12, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    Not really the best time to comment on Hughes, seeing as just 10 runs from Clarke, Hussey and Ponting who together made less than Hughes, in more benign conditions, would have won the series. Further with two days to bat at least Hughes was able to hang around under pressure which the 3 most experienced batsmen were not able to do. In fact counting both innings Hughes made more runs than either Ponting, Hussey, Clarke or Haddin did. Send em back to 20/20 to learn how to bat.

  • Gizza on December 12, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    The media interview for Clarke was terrible. He never congratulated the Kiwis or Bracewell. It sounded like he was in denial of what happened over the past four days. Not respecting the opposition is a sure sign of failure. It is what the Windies did during the late 90's. It is what England and India did when they were only concerned about their main rivals Australia and Pakistan respectively. In this case, Australia has one eye of the next Ashes and the second eye on the Indian series. They were blind to the very series they were playing in! It is therefore not very surprising to hear David Warner getting the MoM award instead of Bracewell. Kudos to the Kiwis btw!

  • satish619chandar on December 12, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Mr.Clarke.. Will u pick him in your squad against India?

  • dwblurb on December 12, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Despite the loss today, Australian cricket has made some positive strides both on and off the field over the past few months. However, the national team will be forever handicapped so long as CA devotes six important weeks of the season to joke cricket. Imagine a replacement being picked for the third Test in Adelaide due to form or injury. He won't have played a meaningful match for 5 weeks. CA can bang on about how they value Test cricket as the ultimate form of the game, but I'm afraid the schedule says otherwise.

  • tfjones1978 on December 12, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    Hughes should be cut from the side and Hussey should be given one last chance. I know hughes got a hundred in Srilanka and an 88 in South Africa, but he hasnt dont much otherwise.

    To me, you are only as good as your last 10 test innings.

    Hughes in the past two years has scored only 600 runs with loss of 22 innings (av of 27). In the past 4 tests he has scored 158 runs at average of less then 20. The question has to be, does one hundred and one fifty in 19 completed innings warrant test selection?

    In the last six months, Hussey has scored 546 off 12 innings with an average of 45. However of that, he has only scored 73 off last 7 innings. Hussey should be told that if he doesnt pick up his form he will need to prove himself in Shield or county cricket.

    There are plenty of other players out there ... its time they were given a chance!

  • Vindaliew on December 12, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    Clarke is speaking as if Hughes was the only Australian batsman who struggled to score runs. Perhaps New Zealand just bowled well?