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

Australia's senior men upstaged again

Australia's loss to New Zealand was a new low. And most worryingly for Michael Clarke, it was the senior men who let the side down - again
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Last month, Australia were bowled out for 47 in Cape Town. The only way from there, it appeared, was up. Appearances can be deceiving. Less than five weeks later, Michael Clarke's men have hit an even lower point. They have lost a Test at home to New Zealand.

If that sounds disrespectful to Ross Taylor's side it is not intended to be, for they played magnificently over four days at the Bellerive Oval. Their fast bowlers hit impeccable lines and moved the ball both in the air and off the seam. Their fielding was first-rate. Their batting, while flawed, was better than that of the hosts - at the moment, that's not hard to achieve.

But regardless of how well New Zealand played, the fact remains that Australia lost to the eighth-ranked Test side in the world, a team that sits ahead only of Bangladesh. Before this game, only once had New Zealand beaten Australia without Richard Hadlee in the team. This time, they didn't even have their best player, Daniel Vettori.

A fortnight ago, Clarke said New Zealand were a tough outfit to defeat "but if we're at our best, with this squad, we'll beat them". It is now clear to Clarke that his squad is not at its best, nor anywhere near it. And as they approach a four-Test series against India, that is a major concern. Even more worrying for Clarke and the team management, it is the senior players who are letting the side down.

Consider the list of Australia's best performers in the New Zealand series: James Pattinson (14 wickets), Nathan Lyon (10 wickets), David Warner (153 runs). In South Africa, 18-year-old Pat Cummins won Australia the Johannesburg Test. None had played Test cricket six months ago. The ups and downs are not the fault of a young team.

Warner was so impressive that he nearly dug Australia out of their Hobart hole with the help of Lyon. He must play on Boxing Day, regardless of whether both Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh return from injury. Of the senior men, only Clarke can hold his head up following his century in Brisbane. But in Hobart, he struggled.

Phillip Hughes cannot avoid edging seamers and cannot retain his place against India. His problems are technical, mental and terminal. Ishant Sharma would have watched Chris Martin's plans unfold perfectly, and could replicate them if Hughes plays.

Ricky Ponting no longer strikes fear into opposition attacks. At the Gabba he showed, as he did at the Wanderers last month, that there could still be Test runs in him. But there are far more failures now than ever before in his career. His back-foot drive that lobbed off the toe of the bat to cover in the second innings in Hobart was ugly. He will find life no easier against India.

Warner was so impressive that he nearly dug Australia out of their Hobart hole with the help of Lyon. He must play on Boxing Day, regardless of whether both Watson and Shaun Marsh return from injury.

Michael Hussey was Man of the Match in all three Tests against Sri Lanka. Now he cannot buy a run. Hussey made 23 against New Zealand at an average of 7.66. His past two series - against South Africa and New Zealand - have been the two worst of his Test career. Sri Lanka and his productive Ashes bought him credit, but he needs runs against India.

Brad Haddin continues to frustrate. Half-centuries in Brisbane and Johannesburg were key to Australia's victories. But in Cape Town he was irresponsible and, again, in Hobart he let the team down in important situations. On the fourth day, when resilience was required, he was dropped at slip and then edged another catch to the cordon next ball. That chance was not missed by Taylor.

Again, too much was left to the tail. They had already done their job with the ball. Pattinson, Lyon, Peter Siddle and, to a lesser extent, Mitchell Starc are a promising combination. If Ryan Harris can regain his fitness, they will be even more of a threat. But their work is irrelevant if the batsmen keep failing.

"I am worried about every one of us," Clarke said after the loss. "I can't be worried about the top order when the middle order didn't go very well either. In the first innings our tail played a big part of getting us to [around] 130, but as batters it is our job to make runs and we have got to do that more often.

"We were on the winning side in South Africa [in the Johannesburg Test] and unfortunately we lost today. It probably sums up where we're at as a team at the moment. We're seeing some really good patches of individual excellence and as a team we're playing really well in patches. But then we're seeing the other side as well, where we're letting ourselves down by very poor performances. We can't seem to find that middle road at the moment."

That Australia alternate between very good performances and poor ones is reflected in their place in the Test rankings: No. 4. And unless their batsmen find runs consistently, they'll stay there. They might even fall further. For, as they discovered in Hobart, the gap between No.4 and No.8 is not as wide as they thought.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Flat_Pitch_Bully on December 15, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Well said @Krisha_cricketfan, I believe that the present Aussie side would be well matched to the Indian one touring them. It would be Aussies resurgent bowling against some strong Indian batting line-up - which in Aussie conditions should favor the home side. And then the flimsy Indian bowling against a low on confidence (and form) Aussie batting - now there is lies the battle! Me thinks Aussies would come out tops!

  • rockee1980 on December 14, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    @ian_ghose

    well , mate you guys were walloped 5-0 recently..good joke , son

  • hmmmmm... on December 14, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    landl47 - bit harsh on lyon - he was bowling on pitches not generally conducive to finger spin...his job was to keep things tight when needed and to clean up the tail, both of which he did very well! Also, many seem to be calling for Hussey's end, remember these have been 2 x 2 test series - ie. 4 tests! The top order can't rely on him to come to the rescue every innings after a ridiculous collapse. He, unlike Ponting, has looked sharp and focused over the last 12 months and has a technique and work ethic most of the other batsmen can only dream of. The openers and Ponting have been the biggest weakness...and that includes Watson. He is very useful when he bowls, but as an opener hasn't really delivered. For Boxing day my preffered XI would be: Warner, Katich (I'm with Bob Simpson, eat humble pie CA and bring him back!), Marsh (if fit/if not, then Kahwaja), Watson, Clarke, Hussey, Wade, Pattinson, Copeland, Siddle, Lyon.

  • Puffin on December 13, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    Theres been some horrible Aussie collapses in the last 18 months, and the "oldies" have been part of them. You just can't expect to bat like this and win very much, unless you have a top class bowling attack to help level things. There's some uncomfortable decisions to be made sometime soon.

  • smudgeon on December 13, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    Just to keep the debate going (and given my formidable knowledge of the up-and-comers) my XI for the future would be: T. Smiff, I. Leftyright, JJ. von Beetlejuice (c), H. Fighty, F. Fighty, H. Mopoke, B. Grunties, M. Python (wk), B. Quor, GB. Blimey, AA. St Mizzlebury III. The Dapto Girls Under-7s are a force to be reckoned with, so mark my words - when Australia needs them to stand up to topple Ireland from the #1 spot in 2026, they'll be ready.

  • Peterincanada on December 13, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    @landl47 - I think yor criticism of Lyon is somewhat unfair. In 3 of the 4 NZ innings the seamers had them 5 and 6 down in a hurry, before he even got a bowl.

  • krishna_cricketfan on December 13, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    Those who want Hussey and Pointing to go, here is the fact. Aussies are about to face an Indian bowling unit which is hardly threatening. Even before the tour we have enough injuries and drop outs. So, why not have these 2 batsmen in the team and allow them to score if not feast? SA and NZ are having 4 fast bowlers always and so failure of Hussey and Pointing can be understood. If Zaheer drops out, then we will have a repeat of England 2011 experience. And Australian selectors are intelligent to know this fact.

  • ian_ghose on December 13, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    @rkannancrow - ahem! I bet you weren't surprised when India got walloped 4-0 by England either. You made me laugh old man!

  • on December 13, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    Hey Aussies out there...being an Indian I am all for Ponting and Hussey and Haddin for the Boxing Day Test ..all these 3 are classy players and are only 1 match away from a century so guys...relax they would be in form.....btw the talent pool of Australian Players coming out of Sheffield shield Cricket inarguably the best cricketing set up in the world is not producing the kind of batsman they used to they could previously drop the waugh brothers, gilespies, greg blewett out of the team if they were out of form enoughbut its difficult these days as theres no talent pool to choose from pathetic....for a nation which has a strong domestic system...THEREIN lies a problem. and a solution...are the aussies strong enough @ the grassroot level the under 16's under 19's under 21 etc....if u need pontings and waughs of the futire they need to take proper care of the younger blokes comin out of rhe aussi system...the quality of players is what makes and great team...time to get down to basics!!

  • jplterrors on December 13, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    @peterincanada lol chief u reckon aussie lost it yep they did due to the relentless pressure of a NZ side who is surely now on parity with them. Cant understand the call to drop veterans and build for the future in tests u play yr best XI as yr not building to anything theres no world cup of tests.

  • Flat_Pitch_Bully on December 15, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Well said @Krisha_cricketfan, I believe that the present Aussie side would be well matched to the Indian one touring them. It would be Aussies resurgent bowling against some strong Indian batting line-up - which in Aussie conditions should favor the home side. And then the flimsy Indian bowling against a low on confidence (and form) Aussie batting - now there is lies the battle! Me thinks Aussies would come out tops!

  • rockee1980 on December 14, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    @ian_ghose

    well , mate you guys were walloped 5-0 recently..good joke , son

  • hmmmmm... on December 14, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    landl47 - bit harsh on lyon - he was bowling on pitches not generally conducive to finger spin...his job was to keep things tight when needed and to clean up the tail, both of which he did very well! Also, many seem to be calling for Hussey's end, remember these have been 2 x 2 test series - ie. 4 tests! The top order can't rely on him to come to the rescue every innings after a ridiculous collapse. He, unlike Ponting, has looked sharp and focused over the last 12 months and has a technique and work ethic most of the other batsmen can only dream of. The openers and Ponting have been the biggest weakness...and that includes Watson. He is very useful when he bowls, but as an opener hasn't really delivered. For Boxing day my preffered XI would be: Warner, Katich (I'm with Bob Simpson, eat humble pie CA and bring him back!), Marsh (if fit/if not, then Kahwaja), Watson, Clarke, Hussey, Wade, Pattinson, Copeland, Siddle, Lyon.

  • Puffin on December 13, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    Theres been some horrible Aussie collapses in the last 18 months, and the "oldies" have been part of them. You just can't expect to bat like this and win very much, unless you have a top class bowling attack to help level things. There's some uncomfortable decisions to be made sometime soon.

  • smudgeon on December 13, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    Just to keep the debate going (and given my formidable knowledge of the up-and-comers) my XI for the future would be: T. Smiff, I. Leftyright, JJ. von Beetlejuice (c), H. Fighty, F. Fighty, H. Mopoke, B. Grunties, M. Python (wk), B. Quor, GB. Blimey, AA. St Mizzlebury III. The Dapto Girls Under-7s are a force to be reckoned with, so mark my words - when Australia needs them to stand up to topple Ireland from the #1 spot in 2026, they'll be ready.

  • Peterincanada on December 13, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    @landl47 - I think yor criticism of Lyon is somewhat unfair. In 3 of the 4 NZ innings the seamers had them 5 and 6 down in a hurry, before he even got a bowl.

  • krishna_cricketfan on December 13, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    Those who want Hussey and Pointing to go, here is the fact. Aussies are about to face an Indian bowling unit which is hardly threatening. Even before the tour we have enough injuries and drop outs. So, why not have these 2 batsmen in the team and allow them to score if not feast? SA and NZ are having 4 fast bowlers always and so failure of Hussey and Pointing can be understood. If Zaheer drops out, then we will have a repeat of England 2011 experience. And Australian selectors are intelligent to know this fact.

  • ian_ghose on December 13, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    @rkannancrow - ahem! I bet you weren't surprised when India got walloped 4-0 by England either. You made me laugh old man!

  • on December 13, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    Hey Aussies out there...being an Indian I am all for Ponting and Hussey and Haddin for the Boxing Day Test ..all these 3 are classy players and are only 1 match away from a century so guys...relax they would be in form.....btw the talent pool of Australian Players coming out of Sheffield shield Cricket inarguably the best cricketing set up in the world is not producing the kind of batsman they used to they could previously drop the waugh brothers, gilespies, greg blewett out of the team if they were out of form enoughbut its difficult these days as theres no talent pool to choose from pathetic....for a nation which has a strong domestic system...THEREIN lies a problem. and a solution...are the aussies strong enough @ the grassroot level the under 16's under 19's under 21 etc....if u need pontings and waughs of the futire they need to take proper care of the younger blokes comin out of rhe aussi system...the quality of players is what makes and great team...time to get down to basics!!

  • jplterrors on December 13, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    @peterincanada lol chief u reckon aussie lost it yep they did due to the relentless pressure of a NZ side who is surely now on parity with them. Cant understand the call to drop veterans and build for the future in tests u play yr best XI as yr not building to anything theres no world cup of tests.

  • psswain on December 13, 2011, 14:24 GMT

    At dis stage india wl happy to hv punter in aus team.another two weak links in top 6 of australia also boost india's chances. No prize for d guess !

  • Something_Witty on December 13, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    @landl, sorry but I have to correct you on that. Jesse Ryder and Kane Williamson both perished to Lyon's bowling in Brisbane. Are you saying one of them is a #9/10/11 batsman? Please, make sure what you're saying is correct before you write it. I seem to remember seeing you banging on about how the Kiwis scored 400+ twice on "the same pitch they were about to play on", not knowing that Brisbane has more than one ground. If there's one thing I can't abide, it's uninformed and ignorant comments. As for the article, yes the seniors let the side down again and by and large they have been for a long time. Ponting looks a shadow of the man he once was. I'd give him the Boxing Day test and if he didn't make runs there, bring in someone else. Hussey's time must surely be coming to an end as well. He was great in SL but that was probably his last good series. Haddin - I don't think it needs to be said that he simply has to go. Wade and Paine are both more than ready and more responsible batsmen

  • JG2704 on December 13, 2011, 13:02 GMT

    @Jared Hansen on (December 13 2011, 00:53 AM GMT) - Although I'm English , I always liked Siddle. I thought he was a 100% commited player who plays the game in the right way. I also like Ben H when he played against us , but not following the Shield games have no idea how he's done in Oz. I suppose Cummings absence was a miss but (and even Randy Oz has something of a point here) in that it has been the batsmen that have let the team down , even if he exaggerates the bowlers qualities

  • rkannancrown on December 13, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    The real big problem for Australia is Ponting. Ponting's troubles started with the advent of UDRS which prevented him from getting favourable LBW decisions at the start of his innings. With the bowlers now getting a fairer deal, Ponting's confidence has gone. The Indians will also be targetting the famous Clarkewho proved his greatest skill lies as an actor in the 2008 Sydney Test. I would not be surprised if India wallops Australia 4-0.

  • RandyOZ on December 13, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    @VivGilchrist - spot on, I am sick to death of Haddin. But it doesn't help when commentators like Brydon Coverdale give him 6.5/10. 6.5? are you KIDDING me? We have the best attack in world cricket atm, but one of the worst batting lineups. If I was a bowler I'd be having a serious go at the batters. Siddle has somewhat impressed me, considering how poor he has been before this series. Somehow he has turned him form around. Lyon, Pattinson and Cummins are heads and shoulders above anything England or India could throw at us.

  • ganymede on December 13, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    Things are bound to improve in the long run, but they might get worse before they do so. A first ever home series loss to India is no longer out of the question.

  • ganymede on December 13, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Australia seem to be putting together a good bowling line up.Pattinson,Cummins & Lyon are hugely promising,Siddle& Harris provide the experience.Combined with the all round skills of Watson,this has the makings of a formidable attack. It is the batting which is a cause for worry.Ponting & Hussey are fading fast while the likes of Hughes & Khawaja are yet to find their feet at Test level.Clarke while seemingly in good form,has failed to deliver when it counts.Haddin trying to be positive ala Gilchrist ends up being reckless. While Warner has proved he can be a test batsman,it would be preferable to wait a while before proclaiming him the next big thing.(After all Hughes was more successful after 2 Tests). Hope the Aus selectors dont panic and make wholesale changes because one gets the sneaky feeling that Ponting & Hussey will score plenty against India.Whatever happens it is clear that the Aus Test side for the 2012 boxing day test wil bear scant resemblance to this side.(contd..)

  • on December 13, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    In the short term, Ponting needs to stay in the Aussie lineup because he's still a lot more experienced to deal with the Indian bowlers. However, if he doesn't make a significant score in the first two test, then and only then, he should consider retirement. Personally, I think he's a class player and a hundred from his bat can change things for Australia. Why drop Ponting now when the Indian team has Tendulkar and Dravid (both 38) playing this series? The Indians missed a trick in developing young players like Rahane, Pujara and Sharma for the recently concluded test series against the West Indies and they might pay dearly in the long run for that in light of the imminent retirements of Tendulkar, Dravid and perhaps Laxman.

  • on December 13, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    against india most of the australian players will get into the form because of indian bowling

  • landl47 on December 13, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    Clarke has captained Australia in the last 8 tests. His record as captain is: won 3, lost 3, drawn 2. That's the record of a mediocre side, which Australia is right now. Beating Sri Lanka was no big deal; SL haven't had a win in their last 14 tests and the defeat against Aus was sandwiched between defeats by England and Pakistan. The drawn series against SA was creditable; the failure to win the series against NZ at home was dire. England beat Aus by an innings in his first game as skipper. Pattinson looks a good find; Cummins may be but his injury record at this age is worrying. Warner has played one good innings, but also failed twice so the jury's still out. Khawaja seems to have lost his fluency and one fifty in 11 test innings isn't good enough. Lyon got 10 wickets against NZ, but only one of them was a top 7 batsman. The other nine were #9 and 10 three times each, #11 twice and #8 once. Marsh, Harris and Watson are injured- again. Tough times ahead for Clarke and Aus.

  • rumyfala on December 13, 2011, 2:26 GMT

    I am die hard australian fan for almost 50 years. The aussies have found cummins,pattinson and lyon who should be regulars in the coming series with india. dont even think about jhonson. and then we have either bollinger or siddle for the 3rd pacie's spot. hadding should go. from the batting line up hughes should go and punter should say bye byes. my team for bxing day would be marsh,warner,hussey,clark,kawaja,watson,paine,siddle,pattinson,cummins and lyon. oh BTW all those indian fans who are commenting here good luck to you guys. Inshan Sharma cannot win matches alone.

  • on December 13, 2011, 2:11 GMT

    Backing Ponting now looks like a mistake, but it's an understandable one (benefit of the doubt should always go to a guy who's scored 12,000 runs). Hussey's poor form come out of the blue (three MotM performances against SL just a few months ago). There's always a couple of players out of form, but that is now made disastrous because the selectors because the last injection of new talent was the disappointing Khawaja and the farcical Hughes, with each carried long after it was obvious they lacked techniques good enough for Test cricket. Now Australia has left itself with four batsmen with records suggesting they need to be dropped. You simply can't drop four of your top six... but if you limit yourself to leaving out two guys, it's near impossible to decide who should join Hughes on the sidelines. Marsh replaces Hughes in the top three, it then becomes a question of where Watson bats - does he open and we see Khawaja dropped, or does he bat at six and replace Ponting/Hussey?

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

    Warner has to and will stay..he wont be dropped after that great effort..the big question is who to partner with him?Do you go for two punchy openers (Watson&Warner), or a punchy and a solid worker of the ball (Marsh/Khawaja&Warner).The 3rd option the selectors will ponder is whether to bring up an ageing/out of form senior player (Hussey/Ponting) to partner Warner as a measure of "team balance" (Arthur's favourite words).I would not be surprised to see them opt for the 3rd option against India..especially if team balance is the ultimate goal! I think it might read 1) Warner 2) Hussey (he has opened before and is old/out of form and needs a change to pro long his career into 2012/2013), 3) Marsh 4) Watson 5) Clarke 6) Ponting 7)Haddin (is only keeping the seat warm for Paine when he gets over his injuries) 8) 9) 10) Pattinson 11) Lyon.Whoever puts there hand up will get a bowling spot at 8) and 9).Maybe out of Copeland, Hogan, Starc, and Siddle? Cummins/CoulterNile/Cutting in future!

  • on December 13, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    @JG2704 Well no, that's why there's so much discussion about the 11 - it isn't really clear who the best 11 in Australia are at the moment as there was a lack of new people being selected for a while. To account for my decisions - I like Siddle because he works hard on a flat track and at the moment is incredibly our one reliable bowler with test experience. In an ideal world where everyone was fit Bollinger would take his place but sadly, despite being the best bowler in the country, it doesn't look like Doug Bollinger is a test prospect. As for Khawaja, I would retain him because he's done as well as Ponting and unlike Ricky will only get better. Also, he puts a price on his wicket which can't be underestimated.

  • couchpundit on December 13, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    I was wondering if Kiwi Lower Order batsmen need to open and cover their Real Batsmen form new and swinging ball.

    LOL and they managed to Beat Australian's...I guess now Australians need to the same as well to bring some respectability to their scoring and to shiled Ponting from Fresh bowlers.

    Have you ever seen a man walking for LBW appeal? That too Ponting? man he should retire.

  • Dashgar on December 12, 2011, 23:43 GMT

    @Okakaboka. I actually referred to the calling of Haddin quality as rubbish. I think at the time of Gillys retirement that Haddin was the right man but his time should have ended when Paine came onto the scene and should be well and truly over. He was never one of our greats and the fact he is being treated the same way as Ponting and Hussey is an insult to those 2 players. My team for Melbourne. Cowan, Warner, Marsh, Watson, Clarke, Ferguson, Wade, Siddle, Harris, Pattinson, Lyon

  • on December 12, 2011, 21:40 GMT

    Should Australia and Australians be despondent? No! Out of the last four test have come some great positives. A host of new, young bowlers have proven that given time and opportunity, Australia will have a very capable attack for years to come. Two batsmen have proven their test pedigree and in many respects, Warners knock in Hobart was a better effort than that of his captain in Cape Town. The problem is that there are plenty who can emulate what Ponting, Haddin, Hughes and, discounting the Sri Lanka tests, Hussey have done of late - intersperse a long string of failures with the odd decent score - so why not give four consistent performers in the Sheffield Shield the chance to show their mettle against India in their place! The past is the past, look to the future!

  • on December 12, 2011, 21:40 GMT

    Too John Inverarity,Rod Marsh an Andy Bichal please drop M Clarke from the selectors table this way you can drop him as well (remember Bill Lawry).Even Clarke said ALL batsmen are on notice so keep scoring runs have no friends as team mates thats all thats keeping Ponting , Hussey an Haddin in the side

  • Wozza-CY on December 12, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    In this test match, the oz top 3 (most important bats) had a combined total of 25 test matches between them. The next 3 had over 300! In a club side, would you ever bat three newbies against the new ball and let the older more experienced players linger in the middle order?? Absolutely not. Warner was able to handle it, such is his nature. Hughes hasn't & will be a casualty. There's enough in Khawaja to keep him in the squad, bat him at 6. Hussey used to open so either let him open or bat at 3. If not, bye bye. Punter needs to score runs in his next two test matches or some of the shine will come off his glittering career. Look at the bowling. They have replaced inconsistent bowlers who release pressure & it looks like a totally different unit (Starc too raw for now though). The disapointing thing about Haddin is in Brisbane he played a solid innings at the start & reaped the rewards. This test his ego has let him slip back to his old ways.

  • BHARATLIFE on December 12, 2011, 20:41 GMT

    When NZ played in India.... they were dumbstruck too.Kiwis would have almost pulled up a test match. If it not for the defiant Harbhajan. 6/65 and that too on Indian Wickets. It is a green top.... and throughout the test, it was swinging. Okay Punter is not his best, But 65, 78, they are not too bad of return.. all in winning cause....I think he is good for India.. but if he repeats the same with 4 fifties vs India.. i think he will stay on.....

  • Rahulbose on December 12, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    As an Indian fan I hope they start a full scale witch hunt. Drop Ponting and Hussey for the India series.

  • hhillbumper on December 12, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    can we have on article without this constant talk of India and overseas. I thought this was about the Aussie lineup and their issues with the moving ball.Good innings by Warner and take my hat off as thought he was just a thrasher.So full credit to him and his innings.Glad Kiwis won as it makes them more interesting and gives them more confidence.

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    Where are the fairweather fans aka RandyOz and Jonesy2 on these Australia related threads ?They have plenty of time to post rubbish on the England threads. A shame they have nothing constructive to say on their own forums. No doubt they'll return when Australia get back to winning ways.

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    @crikey on (December 12 2011, 10:53 AM GMT) - You're right in that Warner's inns was superb but I suppose the grudge is that he did it in one inns - the other inns he scored only 15 - whereas DB performed with the ball in both inns

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    @ rahulcricket007 on (December 12 2011, 11:37 AM GMT) - 4 months ago is surely more relevant than 4 and 9 years ago when you're going by the significance of past results. India may well go on to prove that this last summer was a very bad period but they are over that but it's no good keeping on quoting history from yesteryear as relevant to the forthcoming series. Both teams have points to prove. It should be an interesting series. I for one will be keeping a keen eye on how great Zaheer is on seaming pitches , considering how many Indians blamed his injury for the defeats in the English summer

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    @ Jared Hansen on (December 12 2011, 12:26 PM GMT) - re your side , it's interesting that you keep Siddle in when in recent weeks many Australian fans (and I'm not saying you) wanted Siddle out. I see another postee wanted Khawaja out. It seems that no one can really agree on what the best Australian side is.

  • JG2704 on December 12, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    Re those who are citing a bad pitch. NZ second inns collapsed from 139-3 and 171-4 to 226 all out and Aus 2nd inns collapsed from 72-0 or 122-1 or 159-2 to 233 all out

  • OhhhMattyMatty on December 12, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    David Warner is never a Test player. England will eat him alive in 2013. Imagine him trying to play Anderson and Bresnan swinging it this way and that! Tremlett, Broad and Finn bumping his brain out! Swanny spinning it past his outside edge and then nailing him LBW! He would be even more hopeless than Khawaja and Hughes were against us! 2013 could well see the first 10-0 Ashes whitewash!

  • FairGameFan on December 12, 2011, 18:36 GMT

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, Indian will lose in Australia and at home to England. Playing England at ODI and test cricket are not one and the same. There is no dominant team in world cricket at the moment. Being dominant at home is supposed to be a given in international sport. So winning at home is not a test of how good you are, but doing it abroad. The 2-0 win against WI hides the fact that India did not out play WI. Yes India won but that series is an indication of where the team is heading, down not up.

  • mensan on December 12, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    I know Ponting will come into form and destroy India. No chance for india in coming series.

  • montys_muse on December 12, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    I think they shud bring in a genuine opener to partner Warner and push Watson down to no.6 to play him as an all rounder. At the moment his bowling seems to b doing much better than his batting. They should do away with Hussey and bring in some good middle order bat like Ferguson. Retain Punter for the first two tests and then replace him too if he does badly. Khawaja doesnt seem like enjoying his batting and almost always looks like he is under pressure to get runs.

  • Skylight28 on December 12, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    (1) As an Indian fan, I am left with mixed emotions after Australia's loss. On one hand, I am happy to see them lose as it might make them short of confidence ahead of the India series. On the other hand, I wonder if this loss will be the proverbial kick in the b*** that the Aussies needed to start performing again. (2) Much as I dislike Punter, I still want him to stay on until the India series. He is a quality performer and I feel Australia will benefit from his experience against India. I expect (fear, even) a stellar comeback from him with his back against the wall. He should, though, retire swiftly after the India series - the calls for him to move on are loud, voluminous, and frankly, justified. (3) Despite Australia's lack of form, I feel the Aus-Ind series is too close to call. India has hardly been in sharp form since the World Cup - losing spectacularly to Eng and winning un-spectacularly at home against a sub-par WI side. That said, if India's batting fires, India will win.

  • cheguramana on December 12, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    The pitch was a tough one, no doubt. Its not just the Aussies who struggled. Same in the SA/AUS series. Both the teams there struggled in bowler-friendly conditions. And pray to God that we get more such pitches for Test matches-thats what brings back spectator interest in Test cricket !!

    A final point - Indian batsmen are routinely castigated for being 'flat-track bullies'. Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are three countries where pitches are most conducive to pace bowling -bounce, seam, swing etc. So how come those born and brought up on such pitches failed so regularly ?? My dear fellow cricket fans, its not just Indians who find bounce and swing difficult to handle. Its difficult for any batsman to handle- regardless of which Nationality he belongs to !!!

  • zico123 on December 12, 2011, 17:38 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.

  • RNikh on December 12, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    The way Warner played was unbelievably magnificent on a wicket that had everything that a fast bowler would dream of and even a little more. Harsha bhogle was talking about being good in t20's and so entering the test side, but this little powerhouse can become one of the all time greats... No matter what he does in the warm up game he is a certainty for at least 2 out of four tests. And I think he should be in the eleven for all four, a mighty fine test player he can become this one time 't20 only superstar'. Mark my words he is a future great.

  • Peterincanada on December 12, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    I think the article is not tough enough. I have been hearing a lot of rubbish about the pitch. One man, formerly known as a slogger faced 170 deliveries with not much in the way of alarm. Warner and extras counted 144 runs. Surely 97 is not too much to ask from 10 men on a pitch, that while giving some assistance was surely not a minefield because nobody scores 123 not out and faces 170 dekiveries on a really bad wicket. The problem is that over the years Oz has produced a team of flat track bullies. Warne, McGrath and Gillespie and others could bowl sides out on flat pitches so the batting was thought to be better than it really was. Every time we come across a pitch that helps the bowlers our heroes are exposed. I mean the NZ attack was accurate but not a one are world beaters. We beat ourselves through rank bad batting.

  • r1m2 on December 12, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    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...

    It's funny how Chappell is so sure of himself and suggests to drop Hughes and Khawaja, and he's perfectly okay with Hussey and Ponting not performing.

  • on December 12, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    People here r discarding India on the basis that they are at best medicore in boowler-friendly conditions..but my simple point is that aussies also play medicore cricket in those conditions as Headinglay-88 all out,ashes-98 all out,capetown-47 all out and hobart-136 all out shows it clearly...even today they lost 10 wkts for 160-odd runs. So it is goin 2 b tough 4 aussies to choose between spicy and flatter pitches for taking on India as they also don't know how to play in bowler-friendly conditions.

  • zico123 on December 12, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    Australian team for future - David Warner, Philip Hughes, Usman Khwaja, Shaun marsh, Michael Clark (c), Shane Watson (wc), Tim Paine (wk), Pat Cummns, Nethan Lyon, James Pattinson, Michael Starc/ Peter Siddle, sooner these youngstars get experience the better, which means they have to play more Test matches, which means oldies Ponting, Hussey has to GO pretty soon.

  • zico123 on December 12, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    any other Australian with 2 year run drought would have got dropped and forgotten long long back, it is just because of Ponting's massive career stats he got 2 year long rope already, how much more time does he need? Australia just can't wait on him forever!! he got to go now

  • zico123 on December 12, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    Ponting has been saying big score is not far away for last 2 years and by saying these earning himself Test matches everytime, i wonder how long selectors will persist with him at his age of 37, all we will get from him now is couple of fifties once in 4-5 test matches at the most, should rather invest that time on a youngstar

  • zico123 on December 12, 2011, 15:45 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

  • InnocentGuy on December 12, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Holy cow! How did NZ manage to win this one? I mean, how did Aus manage to lose this one? I came in to work today and checked cricinfo, sad that Aus might have won again. Well guess what?! I was stoked! Congratulations NZ. Way to demoralize the Aussies, esp before the India tour. Thank you!

  • ToTellUTheTruth on December 12, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    Only pray that Indian bowlers and batsmen were paying attention. What ever the out come, the Ind/Aus series will see the end of a great generation of batsmen on both sides.

  • FairGameFan on December 12, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    If Ambrose and/or McGrath were to bowl to any batting lineup past or present on this pitch, the result would have been sub 50 totals. Bradman, Viv, Gavasker would not have made a difference against any of the great bowlers of the past. Congrats to Warner. He has proven me wrong. Thought he was just a flat track T20 bully. There are so many around these days.

  • ihaq1 on December 12, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    I think the australia A performance against new zealand reflected how age old batsmen cannot be compared to new younger better performing ones...Cowans should have been picked for the tests against new zealand...australia's new bowlers worked much better than teh older ones did...that should help inverarity decide whom to play against india....hussey, ponting and hughes should go and probably haddin who has had his triumphs...when the older batsmen fail repetitiously than it is best to pick younger batsmen who are performing...the team has to change anyway...so change it and than develop them into a better side..

  • on December 12, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 since 2000 india have won 21 matches playing abroad and if you separate Ban and Zim from this than it leaves only 14....so my dear dont say that only one bad series and dont just put two three innings scores...indian batsman cant play on live pitches they can only play at slow indian pitches....Aus inform bowlers will ride over indian batsman like English bowlers

  • SamRoy on December 12, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    I support @Okakaboka in this regard. Players I hate: Haddin and Yusuf Pathan. One is no wicket keeper and the other is a slogger, he gets more publicity than his brother even though his brother is a million times better cricketer.

  • Chris_Howard on December 12, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    @crikey NZ played on same pitch and still won. You can't blame the pitch.

  • on December 12, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    @RandyOz. Don't feel bad. You have a lot of top notch youngsters coming up. All the fringe players in the pace bowling dept are fresh and very young, and enough in number and variety to fill your needs for years to come. In India we don't get much of a chance to watch your domestic games. From those who play in IPL,we find players like Shane Watson, David Warner, Shaun Marsh,and even the raw and inexperienced Mitchel Marsh, are excellent. Shane and Mitchel were good all-rounders too.Paine behind the stumps was good, but needs to be given more chance to gain international experience, so is the case with Paine's batting. And, I am sure that there would be very many more excellent prospects in all areas except perhaps in the spin dept. For the good of world cricket, Austarlian cricket should not be allowed to decline. Hope to have a tough series for India. Then alone our administrators would know whom to retire, and who among the youngsters can be banked upon for the future.

  • Srini_Indian on December 12, 2011, 13:36 GMT

    @Srinivasan: Dude, add to that i would love England to drop to no.7 so that over-rated Ashes become a who cares series like Pakistan and Bangladesh.

  • on December 12, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Drop PONTING and HADDIN...they are total let down...

  • on December 12, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    please remove ponting, haddin and hughes from the team. those players all useless. find some young player for india vs aus series.

  • on December 12, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    How did Khawaja escape mention? An average of 29 and a total of 263 in 11 innings is not exactly a great start to his career.

  • spinkingKK on December 12, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    What a self assessment by the Australian captain! He said it. This shows that the Australian capains always think it properly. At the moment, the team is very inconsistent. But, when the captains see it very early like Clarke did, the consistency will come soon. I am an Indian team supporter. The problem with the teams like India are, they never see where their teams are at. They search for answers when they lose and pour praises at their team when they win. Australian team is going in the right direction. I hope they don't drop Hussey and Ponting for the Indian series. That will give some advantage to India in an even contest. Unfortunately, that even contest between these two teams will be at a far lower level than what we saw in recent times.

  • jplterrors on December 12, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    We out played them and won get over it. Were well and truly due. Why the heck wasnt Bracewell motm, that decision was a joke.

  • on December 12, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    If I was a selector it'd be culling time. My Boxing Day XI is Shane Watson, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke, Dan Christian, Matthew Wade, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Trent Copeland and Nathan Lyon. (Though Cowan and a return of Katich should be looked at) It's clear that Ponting and Haddin are the Bernie Madoffs of good faith - give them as much as you want, you're not going to get any return.

  • satish619chandar on December 12, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    @sajjad.kernel : Indian batsmen have performed well in Australia ever since Ganguly took reign and performing well in SA too.. Won in Eng 2007.. One bad series this year.. You can't again go back to the same tune.. Well.. I still shouldn't commit India will win because Cricket is a game which very much depends on the guys playing on that day.. But at the same time, i wouldn't rule out India too.. If their batsmen click, we have seen the results all over the world.. They can be very much competitive.. Usually Indian batsmen provide the energy to the bowlers.. Big scores are usually backed by the bowlers.. Lets wait and watch!! Good luck to both the teams..

  • Vijayendra on December 12, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    We must all come to realize that Australia will continue to lose test matches more often than not, especially now, when the team has some old hands who continue to hog positions and fail to contribute anything. India, hopefully, will be a challenge that see Australia raise their game.

    Watson and Marsh have to come back at the expense of Hughes and Khawja, Ponting, like his predecessor, must end with a Waugh-like test saving innings and walk away from the game with his head held high. The worst part for Australia is tougher days are up ahead.

  • whitesXI on December 12, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    @Crikey - there's absolutely nothing wrong with the article, Brydon is spot on. You can't blame the pitch for the failures of senior experienced batsmen over two innings, Ponting Hussey Clarke Haddin should all be at a level where they can bat on bowling friendly pitches, but all cracked under the pressure. Really disapointed in Haddin, it should be obvious with the tail Aus has that the moment Haddin falls Aus is in big trouble, but he still threw his wicket away. You can't expect the bowlers to bat us out of trouble twice in a row, as it is, Lyon almost got us clear despite all the pressure. Kudos to Warner superb knock, really glad he hasn't been pidgeon-holed as a T20 specialist, he deserved his chance and took it with both hands

  • Okakaboka on December 12, 2011, 11:52 GMT

    @Dashgar....Haddin is not and never has been a quality player. HE NEVER should have represented Australia. He simply was not up to standard as a wicket keeper...EVER! He must be dropped now......ARE YOU LISTENING INVERARITY!!!!

  • JimDavis on December 12, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    Consistently inconsistent is probably the best way to describe things at the moment. Best summed up by the fact that no one is THAT shocked by it. About the only thing I have learned in the last 2 months is that 2 test Test series are rubbish and should be banned as they short change everyone. Cheer up Brydon, it's heathy that on a given day the gap between 4 and 8 is about the same as the gap between 2 and 4!

  • on December 12, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    Man I would love to see Aus goto no 8

  • Dashgar on December 12, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    @Crikey. Did Brydon take into account the difficult conditions when he wrote this article? Who knows. Did Australias senior batsmen take into account the difficult conditions when they constantly flashed at wide balls and tried to hit across the line? Certainly not. The pitch isn't the issue. Warner did fine and Nathan Lyon didn't do too bad either. In the first innings Siddle and Pattinson did a better job than these so called senior men.

  • rahulcricket007 on December 12, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    @SAJJAD KERNEL . DIDN'T THE SAME INDIIAN BATSMEN MADE 300+ IN BOTH INNINGS IN PERTH AT LAST TOUR . AND MAKE 450 IN NOTTINGHAM 2007 , 362 IN FIRST INNINGS IN CAPETOWN 2011 , 500+ IN HEADINLGLY 2002 . ONE BAD SERIES AND YOU ARE MAKING FUN OF BATTING LINE UP WHICH CONSISTS DRAVID , SACHIN , LAXMAN ,SEHWAG . YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT ALL THESE FOUR BATSMEN HAVE 50+ AVERAGE IN TESTS IN AUSTRALIA.

  • JasonG_123 on December 12, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    I think this loss, much like the loss of Vettori for New Zealand on a seamer friendly pitch, will do Australia alot of good. It's hard to watch Ponting and Hussey given how good they've been for us, but I think this has made it clear that they need to go, as do Hughes and Khawaja. I'm sure they'll be back in a couple years but for now it's time to go. My XI would be: Cowan, Warner, Marsh, Watson, Clarke, Katich (we need some stability here and he is likely to provide it), Wade/Paine/Neville (anyone but Haddin), Harris, Pattinson, Cummins, Lyon, with Siddle and Cutting the next in line in terms of bowling, and Khawaja in terms of batting. Unfortunately for the next test, only Hughes and Khawaja will be dropped and nothing will change, the same problems will remain.

  • sajjad.kernel on December 12, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    @Sdheer Deoli Australian bowlers are not failing, and as we all know india is a mediocre team when playing away coupled with the live pitches of Australia, indian batsman will fail again like in England and eject from series for injury reasons.

  • on December 12, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Ponting / hughes / haddin all three have to leave from the indian series . have to induct marsh / watson / wade in place of those 3

  • crikey on December 12, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Terrible article, Brydon. You and most people have not taken into account the difficult pitch conditions for batting in this test match. This makes David Warners innings all the more remarkable. Lets see how bowlers and batsmen go under normal aussie conditions { if we get them with all this rain about}. I predict many runs for both Ponting and Hussey if this happens.

  • Y2SJ on December 12, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Hope Australia and India both bring their best form to the Boxing Day test. It would be nice to see these two sides play each other in top form. At present both the teams are not near their top form

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 12, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    The problem with the seniors are that they many of them flourished when there were "real" match-winners like warne,mcgrath in the team....

    Now, when they are gone......Australia isn't winning matches by default and many people's true worth is getting exposed...

  • Winsome on December 12, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Punter and Hughes should go. But I'm sure Punter won't, not of his own accord and the selectors won't have the balls to drop him.

  • Dashgar on December 12, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Hope to see some of the old guard given their marching orders after this debacle. I get a sneaking suspicion however that it will be the young brigade or Hughes, Khawaja and Starc that will be blamed, while Ponting, Haddin and Hussey will escape on the grounds that they are 'quality players' and that 'runs will come' and all that rubbish we've been hearing for years. Players should be in the team based on recent performances. Those 3 young guys may need to go, but the old guys need to go too, and in some ways, need to go first.

  • smudgeon on December 12, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    It's a poor result for Australia, but there's some things to at least look forward to over the summer: a Warner-Watson opening combo (please, Mr Inverarity), and a bowling line-up featuring Pattinson, Lyon and (if fit) Harris & Cummins. I'm not sure they'll have the goods over India's batting line-up, but I'm intrigued to see how they approach their task, and the little victories will be important for Australia's future. Interesting contest coming up. The batting is a real worry at the moment, but I think the return of Marsh will help balance out those poor performances a bit. The biggest worries to me are Ponting, Hussey and Haddin. You can argue there might be better form players in domestic, but where's the experience to guide those newer players if those three are unable to deal with swinging, seaming conditions and pass on their experience and knowledge? Zaheer (if fully fit) is going to prove a handful...

  • on December 12, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    there is something seriously wrong with Australian cricket. They definitely do have the potential to win games, but when they lose, they lose real badly! I think the problem lies in the batting. australia's bowling is quite good at the moment, but the batting is a real worry. ponting must go after the boxing day test, and phil hughes is useless. khawaja needs to be given an extended run, he has potential. and watson and marsh need to come back into the side

  • SanjivSanjiv on December 12, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Australia's new crop of bowlers have come up good. Likewise, they need two to three new batsmen. David Warner is a successful experiment. Now try some middle orders. There is no better time to try some on the home soil. The novice would settle down in the team by the time The Ashes would be upon the Aussies.

  • satish619chandar on December 12, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    Indeed.. Any team can be steady only when their batsmen contribute good enough runs for the bowlers to defend.. It lacked for them.. Good thing is, Return to form in bowling by Siddle, Pattinson and Lyon striking when given ball.. Not sure why Starc is picked.. Do they want a compulsory left arm sprayer in every 11? He is just the right replacement for Johnson.. They MUST pick Copeland.. Lesser said about batsmen but the replacements are not that worthy.. My 11 for boxing day would still be, Warner, Marsh, Punter, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, Haddin, Siddle, Copeland, Pattinson and Lyon.. If need any change in batting, Wade replace Haddin, Ferguson replace Punter..

  • VivGilchrist on December 12, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    It really doesn't matter talking about it unless we get rid the gold pass mentality to selection. Why was Hughes kept on for this Test. Everybody could see he was shot mentally after the Gabba Test. Christian has been the form batsman in the Shield and Australia would not have lost anything in playing him. Sure, passed performances count, but so does form. We have too many out of form in the top 6. Now, is the time too for Wade. Forget about the golden child Tim Paine - he's injured. Haddin puts too little value on his wicket. Yes, he has scored a couple of 50s recently, but the way he gets out just terrible and irresponsible for a senior player.

  • on December 12, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    After the defeat at Hobart, i guess Steve Waugh might change his predictions for Australia India test series. There are sudden patches of brilliance for Australia. But Cricket experts need to understand that a prediction can't be made as par those patches. Johannesburg and Brisbane were shining moments while Capetown and Hobart are low key affairs. I think for the first time in history India is going to win a series in Australia with Dravid being the top scorer.

  • on December 12, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Great article, Brydon. Some decisions now need to be made rather than talked about.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on December 12, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Great article, Brydon. Some decisions now need to be made rather than talked about.

  • on December 12, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    After the defeat at Hobart, i guess Steve Waugh might change his predictions for Australia India test series. There are sudden patches of brilliance for Australia. But Cricket experts need to understand that a prediction can't be made as par those patches. Johannesburg and Brisbane were shining moments while Capetown and Hobart are low key affairs. I think for the first time in history India is going to win a series in Australia with Dravid being the top scorer.

  • VivGilchrist on December 12, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    It really doesn't matter talking about it unless we get rid the gold pass mentality to selection. Why was Hughes kept on for this Test. Everybody could see he was shot mentally after the Gabba Test. Christian has been the form batsman in the Shield and Australia would not have lost anything in playing him. Sure, passed performances count, but so does form. We have too many out of form in the top 6. Now, is the time too for Wade. Forget about the golden child Tim Paine - he's injured. Haddin puts too little value on his wicket. Yes, he has scored a couple of 50s recently, but the way he gets out just terrible and irresponsible for a senior player.

  • satish619chandar on December 12, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    Indeed.. Any team can be steady only when their batsmen contribute good enough runs for the bowlers to defend.. It lacked for them.. Good thing is, Return to form in bowling by Siddle, Pattinson and Lyon striking when given ball.. Not sure why Starc is picked.. Do they want a compulsory left arm sprayer in every 11? He is just the right replacement for Johnson.. They MUST pick Copeland.. Lesser said about batsmen but the replacements are not that worthy.. My 11 for boxing day would still be, Warner, Marsh, Punter, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, Haddin, Siddle, Copeland, Pattinson and Lyon.. If need any change in batting, Wade replace Haddin, Ferguson replace Punter..

  • SanjivSanjiv on December 12, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Australia's new crop of bowlers have come up good. Likewise, they need two to three new batsmen. David Warner is a successful experiment. Now try some middle orders. There is no better time to try some on the home soil. The novice would settle down in the team by the time The Ashes would be upon the Aussies.

  • on December 12, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    there is something seriously wrong with Australian cricket. They definitely do have the potential to win games, but when they lose, they lose real badly! I think the problem lies in the batting. australia's bowling is quite good at the moment, but the batting is a real worry. ponting must go after the boxing day test, and phil hughes is useless. khawaja needs to be given an extended run, he has potential. and watson and marsh need to come back into the side

  • smudgeon on December 12, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    It's a poor result for Australia, but there's some things to at least look forward to over the summer: a Warner-Watson opening combo (please, Mr Inverarity), and a bowling line-up featuring Pattinson, Lyon and (if fit) Harris & Cummins. I'm not sure they'll have the goods over India's batting line-up, but I'm intrigued to see how they approach their task, and the little victories will be important for Australia's future. Interesting contest coming up. The batting is a real worry at the moment, but I think the return of Marsh will help balance out those poor performances a bit. The biggest worries to me are Ponting, Hussey and Haddin. You can argue there might be better form players in domestic, but where's the experience to guide those newer players if those three are unable to deal with swinging, seaming conditions and pass on their experience and knowledge? Zaheer (if fully fit) is going to prove a handful...

  • Dashgar on December 12, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Hope to see some of the old guard given their marching orders after this debacle. I get a sneaking suspicion however that it will be the young brigade or Hughes, Khawaja and Starc that will be blamed, while Ponting, Haddin and Hussey will escape on the grounds that they are 'quality players' and that 'runs will come' and all that rubbish we've been hearing for years. Players should be in the team based on recent performances. Those 3 young guys may need to go, but the old guys need to go too, and in some ways, need to go first.

  • Winsome on December 12, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Punter and Hughes should go. But I'm sure Punter won't, not of his own accord and the selectors won't have the balls to drop him.

  • Gupta.Ankur on December 12, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    The problem with the seniors are that they many of them flourished when there were "real" match-winners like warne,mcgrath in the team....

    Now, when they are gone......Australia isn't winning matches by default and many people's true worth is getting exposed...