Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Brisbane

Australia run out of focus

Peter English

November 6, 2010

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

Shane Watson writhes in pain after Michael Clarke's shy at the stumps hit him on the leg, Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Sydney, November 5, 2010
Friendly fire: Shane Watson grimaces after being struck by Michael Clarke's throw in Sydney © AFP

No moment highlighted Australia's fall from world beaters to stragglers more than when Shane Watson's right knee stopped a certain run-out on Friday night. Watson's leg wasn't the only thing being blamed and the slapstick incident had its owner smiling, in frustration and humour, after arriving in Brisbane today.

For the past two decades Australia have been so well drilled in the field, but when Upul Tharanga ended up at Kumar Sangakkara's end the locals fell apart. And it was not the fresh faces who lapsed, but three seriously senior men.

When Brad Haddin collected the ball all he needed was a vaguely accurate lob to the bowler's end, but he overshot wildly. Michael Clarke backed up well and then made the mistake of aiming at the stumps instead of sending the ball to Watson, or running up to remove the bails himself. While the throw was on target, Watson was too slow to move and was struck an embarrassing, but not painful, blow on the leg. As the ball rolled away from the stumps, Tharanga finally regained his ground and went on to an unbeaten 86.

"I thought I was involved in a game of brandy with a cricket ball," Watson said. "Next time I need to get out of the way." Clarke hasn't offered Watson a free shot as payback, but the blow hasn't changed Watson's belief that Clarke is the best man to lead the team in Ricky Ponting's absence on Sunday.

Australia have lost seven games in a row in the game's three forms but the missed-run-out episode, played over only a couple of seconds, was a snapshot of how deep the problems have become. In the past the team's batting has stumbled and the bowling has been loose, which are often forgivable offences. Results in the field have always been non-negotiable.

Even before Mike Young, the former baseball coach, joined the squad to refine techniques, the work of the fielders was expected to be perfect. The area was used as the team's performance barometer, but as the side's Test ranking has slipped and its one-day reputation has eroded, the pressure they now place on the opposition is seriously low.

Watson insists Australia aren't far off clicking and, like most of the players in the squad, believes their efforts have been close to the standard required. But if they can't win on Sunday it will be the first time the national outfit has been defeated in eight matches in a row.

"It's not an ideal situation for the games we've lost over the last little while, but it is a new era of Australian cricket," he said. "Let's hope we can come together and make sure it is a successful period. It hasn't been for the last little while, but we know we're not far away from getting it right. So we hope people stick by us."

Watson will open at the Gabba - he still calls it his home ground despite moving to New South Wales last year - and will be particularly wary of the Sri Lanka seamers in the bowler-friendly conditions. The visiting fast men have gained significant movement in the opening two matches to hold Australia to 210 on Friday and 8 for 239 on Wednesday.

"The Sri Lankans have bowled very well, especially Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga with the new ball," he said. "It's been hard to get them away. Let's hope they get carried away tomorrow night [in the conditions]." Only recently have Australian teams had to start hoping for opposition mistakes.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by leave_it_to_the_umps on (November 11, 2010, 17:13 GMT)

@ rezmata hmmm I dont recally me making excuses for the individual performances... just pointing out that whilst a loss is a loss their is a difference between getting easily beaten by the a rubbish side and only just getting beaten by a good side or a side playing in conditions perfect for them.

Dont worry now that they have snapped their losing streak I am looking forward to australia bouncing back and beating england and making everyone forget all about the last couple of months.

Posted by   on (November 9, 2010, 9:13 GMT)

@alphatruth .SL will play in WC Semi Final or even in the Final.But not IND. WIN,SA & ENG is not subcontinent where IND is out of the WC first round itself (but where SL came to Finals in T20 & ODI in those places).Don't forget IND too have few chuckers Harbajan & Praveen.But not with SL. SL will play good cricket whether it is in Subcontinent or not, but not IND.

Posted by Meety on (November 9, 2010, 1:51 GMT)

@landl47 -Ponting not playing is proof of the low standing the SL series had in the mind of the selectors. Punter needs time in the middle in 1st Class conditions, as opposed to ODI. @Neal Odonnell - the decision to drop Doherty reminds me of the first time Slater played an ODI. He demolished Sth Africa on the way to about 90 off 85 balls. He was dropped for the next game, and never really performed well in ODIs after that. @rahul888 - dream on buddy. Playing Shield is a far better preparation then playing ODIs, my biggest dissappointment is that the scheduling has IMHO been disrespectful to the SL. I think Oz should of gone back to the future & played a couple of 5-Day Possible v Probable matches @ the Gabba instead of playing SL & India. This would of had the boys primed for the Poms. I am liking the preparation the Pommies have had at the moment.

Posted by alphatruth on (November 7, 2010, 3:33 GMT)

@wjkalana, You have high hopes on Srilanka to be in the Final. I doubt even it reach semi at the most. Only advantage Srilanka have is playing in sub continent slow pitches. Other than that with Sangakara's batting and two chuckers in Murali & Lasith, I doubt it cannot a WORLD CUP. Check the reality and come down to earth buddy !!!

Posted by rezmata on (November 7, 2010, 2:42 GMT)

@leave_it_to_the_umps would continue.. 8)Ponting "had" to play in the shield matches, so oz has no real batsman to reply on. 9)Selectors were pursuing Hussy & North, we should have played bleh blah blah.. 10)Hauritz didn't have bounce in the wicket. 10)No Ozzy umpire in the match. 11)International press putting too much pressure on players 12)Barmy army member streaking to the pitch. 13)Too many matches for oz to take in calendar. ...nope, still not worried.

Posted by mattyboy95 on (November 7, 2010, 2:02 GMT)

How is that small incident a reflection of fielding standards dropping? Only 6 months ago Australia didn't drop a catch or missed a runout through out the t20 world cup, and through last summer, plenty of great catches were taken and fielding standerds were very high. Australia haven't played the badly, they have been out played by brilliant teams such as SL, good batting by India (SRT) and a very very good bowling attack of Pakistan.

Posted by landl47 on (November 6, 2010, 23:45 GMT)

The decision for Ponting not to play in the third ODI amazes me. If ever a team needed its leader to try to bring them together as a unit, it's Australia now. Instead he lets them get on with it while he's getting 'practice'. This is why Australia is playing so badly- they aren't a team. As for the lamebrains who look at England's first couple of days' cricket in Australia and try to draw some conclusions from it- here are the stats. They've won 5 and tied one of their last 6 test series, won their last 5 ODI series and are T20 world champions. If that's overrated, then how would you rate an Australian side that's lost its last 7 internationals? World beaters? Forget how good the Aussies were a few years ago. That was then and this, unfortunately for Aussie supporters, is now. As for the guy that thinks Harris, Lee, Bollinger and Tait are their 4 main bowlers, have those 4 EVER played together in a single game?

Posted by DesiCricketfan on (November 6, 2010, 22:53 GMT)

Just want to say this, It is not only Ponting's Captaincy that have lead australia to victories. Ponting had one of the great bowlers, great batsmen and great fielders. He did not carry Australia on his own shoulders, He had excellent help. The whole team needs to step up if they need to avoid the Whitewash. It seems and feels like this will be a whitewash. Sri Lankans are looking good and they will do there best to get 3-0. Sri Lanka is a good team but this is not the case in this series, In this series Australia have there heads down and do not have confidence that they can win. The could have won the First test Match against India and First ODI against SL. Australia will be losing this series definitely 3-0.

Posted by leave_it_to_the_umps on (November 6, 2010, 21:14 GMT)

1) lose test to Pakistan in swing heaven and they have the best swingers in the world. Not many teams would have withstood that onslaught! 2) lose test to India (No 1 side) in India by 1 wicket thanks to amazing game saving innings by the sublime VVS. No shame there. 3) lose again to number1 because of one bad session on day 4 after tea. Disappointed but not devastated. 4) lose only ODI in India (rest rained off) with experimental teams played by both teams as they look to see what new players might be an option for the next WC. 5) lose hit and giggle to Sri Lanka. Anything can happen in t20 6) lose ODI to Sri Lanka thanks to amazing innings from Matthews and a once in a life time innings from Malinga. 7) lose ODI against Sri Lanka in rain interrupted game... played pretty poor which is upsetting but don't forget they are number 2 side

Bad run but not the end of the world...we would need to get beaten badly regularly by weaker teams before I get worried.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 21:12 GMT)

yes the dominance is over. It has been since the last time england toured here and we lost warne, mcgrath and langer. I think ponting is looking to the ashes and that is why he has chosen to play sheffield shield.

These one day games against sri lanka are useless preparation for the ashes. I would like to see the rest of the test players head back to shield to get their eye in for the most important series in world cricket.

I think Ponting is smart and realized that he would be getting nothing out of playing the remaining match. He now has 2 shield matches to get himself set on regaining the ashes.

as regard to shield competition being of inferior quality. I would point you towards the fact that many of our state sides are capable of beating certain other nations test sides. Certainly a full strength NSW side might be more of a competition for India and South Africa then the National side might be at the moment.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 21:10 GMT)

This is what happens when selectors are too close to the side. To many chances for Hussey and Hauritz in particular. I mean Doherty takes 4-46 on debut and gets dropped???

Heres hoping the NSW XI gets smashed and the blatant blind eye turned to poor form from anyone from NSW (ie most of the Aussie team) stops due to public pressure.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 19:30 GMT)

@Zapper22 You may not have noticed this but a full strength Aussie team lead by the "great" ponting, was beaten by Zimbabwe. T20 suits minnows more coz it suits their aggressive style. Also a 3rd class Indian team(Comprising Kholi, Vinay Kumar, Dhawan(debutant), Ashwin(played 3 or ODIs before that match),Sreesanth etc. , has recently crushed an Aussies team missing Watson, Ricky and Johnson. Talk about world class teams!

Posted by rahul888 on (November 6, 2010, 19:25 GMT)

Great article, Australia is shattered and there is no doubt about it. One can make it out from their front line players leaving international cricket for domestic cricket. They are a bunch of jokers who are extremely low on their confidence and are afraid of showing their face while loosing. They don't have the courage to face the reality..a big shame on Ponting whatever great player he is. I am eagerly waiting them to be humiliated by England very soon once Ashes begins...I will be celebrating that moment big way.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 19:22 GMT)

@zapper22 you said "half of the squad that featured against SL will not even be in the consideration set" for the 2011 world cup squad... well its all for obvious reasons isnt it? no wonder half of this squad will be dropped.... and of course sri lanka will not be changing anything for the world cup, you DONT change a winning combination

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 19:22 GMT)

@ zapper22:very well said... Best of luck to Oz for Ashes... but i hope Srilanka will clean sweap tomorrew ::)

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 18:27 GMT)

@Zapper22 : Ok u say half of the squad who featured in this series wont feature in the WC ? How nice ! If they're not there whom are Australia going to turn to deliver ? Just don't talk nonsense ! Admit the fact that it's time for the mighty Australian team of the 2000's to go bye bye. Ponting's captaincy worries is clearly shown when he couldn't handle the pressure without Warne,McGrath,Gilchrist and Hayden. 80 % of the squad will surely feature in the WC. JUST ADMIT THE FACT THAT YOU'VE BEEN HUMILIATED BY A FAR SUPERIOR OUTFIT ! lol

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 17:32 GMT)

ya its ,i was a great fond of aussies,buti think they are worst at present,i think they forgot to win lolz.....

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 17:25 GMT)

I can't understand all this talk about sri lanka bringing a good team. They have brought better teams than this. Ordinary performances by the aussies are making them look better than they are. I kinda like what the aussies are going through right now. I hope they come out stronger from this experience. I seriously hope the selectors re-consider their choice of future captain. His tactics in the first ODI were truly disturbing.I don't expect him to do any better in the 3rd ODI either. Looks like it is going to be a 3rd consecutive whitewash for the Aussies after the Test and ODI series in India.

Posted by wjkalana on (November 6, 2010, 16:30 GMT)

@ Zapper22- Let me tell your WC 15- Watson, Haddin, Ponting, M.Clarke, M.Hussy, S.Smith, C.Ferguson, S.Marsh, M.Jonson, D.Bolinger, S.Tait, N.Harutiz, R.Harrys,Doherthy, B.Lee. And do u see except 2 fast bowlers all other players are in the current squad. Learn your maths. And FYI WC is happening in Asia where u need good spinners not fast bowlers, In Asia faster you ball faster it disappears to the boundary, See What happened to S.Tait in IPL. Indian Domestic batsmen hit around the park. Look what happened to Jonson in this series, We took him in australian pitches. So learn when to praise a team, Current SL team is better than current aus team. Accept that and build a better team for the WC in next 2 months otherwise we will get bored with all asian teams coming to semis. By the way I like to see Aus vs SL WC final cos its the tradition not SL vs India final. I want to see a good WC final not a cake walk for SL with big headed indian team.

Posted by Lion_of_Lanka on (November 6, 2010, 16:10 GMT)

Zapper22: Really? I'm pretty sure Watson, Clarke, Ponting, Johnsson, 2 Husseys, White, Marsh, Smith, Siddle will be in the WC squad. That's 10 players. The only additions will be Lee who is out of form and got whacked by Kapu (who is not even in the playing 11),Tait & Bollinger. You call that a second choice team? Then maybe the likes of McGrath, Warne, Bevan, Martyn, Hayden must be the 1st choice team and hence OZ WC squad. SL will obviously play Mendis (good luck Aussies) and maybe Vaas who is an experienced campaigner. Come the 2011 WC, Aussies are gonna get kicked all around Asia by SL, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (They'd beaten a better Aussie side in the past) Aussies lost to SL fair and square and if Ponting and Clarke says they were outperformed by SL then that's it. You are just reluctant to accept that OZ dominance is over.

Posted by zasohaib on (November 6, 2010, 16:08 GMT)

Aussies will bounce back....there are so many young players in the team and they are expected to carry the reputation that was built by players like warne, macgrath, gilchrist...its just pressure, inexperience and some bad luck....consider the series against india, in the first test aussies had almost got a victory,they just stumbled at the last moment,then in the 1st odi against sri lanka they again just couldnt finish the things the point is that its a totally fresh and young team.....and they are doing just fine with players having so little experience of international cricket.....if any other team in the world was playing with so many debutantes and inexperienced players,they would have performed far worse than as a unit that is young and is in an experimental phase,where different players are being tried out for different combination,aussies are doing very good,if not exceptionally well.once they find the best combination of players,they'll be on top again.

Posted by Bharat_number_1 on (November 6, 2010, 15:55 GMT)

@mahakaluwa read before commenting and research before advising. The Aussies had a baseball coach for fielding, not batting or bowling - which is actually pretty smart and other teams have followed suit as well.

Gilchrists century in the finals was with a Squash ball not golf. Do your homework 'dude'.

Posted by AB99 on (November 6, 2010, 14:45 GMT)

Australia XI. (1) - Watson - bits and pieces player - bowling is lost and batting is scratchy. (2) - Haddin - replaced Gilchrist and is no patch on the retired great (3) Ponting - on the decline and a very ordinary captain (4) Clarke - overrated and needs to be thrown out - only problem who would replace him (5) Hussey - save the best for the last ... but the last was in the T20 SF against Pak and he appears history (6) White - no great batsman more of a pinch hitter ... but the best for the role in Australia today not good enuf (7) Johnson - can Australia use him like Wasim Akram - erratic strike bowler but give him a free leash and ast take wickets (8) Nathan Hauritz- has declined in the last year instead of improving ... Mark Waugh was a better off spinner and (9) thru (11) ... I am as confused as the Australian selectors on who to use and therefore do not use Lee, Helfenhaus, Siddle, Shaun Marsh, Warner but some pretenders.

Posted by onebump on (November 6, 2010, 14:12 GMT)

SL still has problems with the middle order batting. As long as the top order and matthews is firing we are ok. We need one more batsmen in the lower order to who can finish matches. Not much time left to do that before the world cup.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 14:01 GMT)

Australian cricket management is one of the most biased in its history. Doherty did well in the previous match and they left him out. Fergusson is good but needs to wait for Hussey to hang his boots. Johnson is inaccurate but still finds place. Stark is good and should be considered. Dont brand young players as Test and ODI material. Give them a chance at International level and then start working out the plans. Too much thinking and no confidence in the new brigade is letting Australia down.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (November 6, 2010, 13:10 GMT)

Oh, and when Australia win, they justify not making changes by saying "Gotta stick to a winning formula". When they lose, they say "Gotta have faith in the players who've done it for us before in the past." I so hope Aussies keep losing, coz it's the only way the selectors are going to wake up. Token wins here and there just blind them to the serious, serious problems.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (November 6, 2010, 13:08 GMT)

How long before the selectors stop living in the past, stop relying on players who've "done it for us in the past"? There's too many players in the Australian team who we'r waiting to regain form. We need a squad, not a team. If a player loses form, you pull in a replacement from the squad. It's how footy teams do it. So no underperforming player's spot is safe, and everyone in the squad feels like they're part of the team. Unfortunately we have a "last-in, first-out" policy. Xavier Doherty rips thru Sri Lanka, is certainly got momentum, and gets dropped from playing at the spin friendly SCG. When they wanted a spot for Watson last year, Hughes was the one to cop it. If they weren't so keen to get Watson in, Hughes would still be there (form permitting). But no one else was gunna go. It's last in, first out sorry, Phil.

Posted by kotakade on (November 6, 2010, 12:53 GMT)

Remember, not too long ago Australia were complaining about playing teams like Bangladesh? How a few easy wins would help Australia right about now!

Sri Lanka in my opinion have come Down Under with better teams and lost. Australia is definitely in a period of decline. It's hard to find McGraths, Warnes and Bevans day in and day out. It's not like quality Cricketers fall out when you shake a coconut tree.

Posted by mahakaluwa on (November 6, 2010, 12:25 GMT)

Baseball coaches for cricket. That's funny. You saw the difference in SL and Aus batting in the only T20 of the tournament. Cricket is a different game. To win cricket first of all you have to try and play real cricket. Ausies have done lot of innovations for development of cricket (not Gilchrist's golf ball in the glove during the world cup finals). But bringing baseball into cricket! Simply not going to work dudes.

Posted by zapper22 on (November 6, 2010, 11:56 GMT)

@DINESHCC--- Well Australia won the CT in 2009, without Mcgrath, Gilichrist,Warne etal, while India missing Zaheer khan crashed out in the first round in a group which contained an under par WI. In the 2010 T20 WC, they were the runners up while India lost in the super 8 stage without winning a game and getting creamed by Australia. So, if i were an indian fan i would worry about how the indian team will fare without tendulkar, laxman and dravid in tests.In ODIs and T20, the results are there to see-failure. And you guys cant even beat a crap NZ team, which lost 0-4 to Bangaldesh. So a loss in an ODI series to SL, largerly due to below par performance by a second choice aus team is nothing to gloat about. Sooner, they will be back with a bang. Just wait for the final 15 who will play the 2011 WC, half of the squad that featured against SL will not even be in the consideration set, while SL will play the same squad that toured Aus.

Posted by popcorn on (November 6, 2010, 11:44 GMT)

I wouldn't read much into this "seventh straight loss" prophet of doom statement that you and others are making. Let me ask you, "What do you read into England's 7 for 117 against Western Australia"?

Posted by 45runs on (November 6, 2010, 11:35 GMT)

"Hope this settles debate". What debate? India are Number 1 and Australia are clearly no longer the best in any form of the game. But here's the thing. The retirements of Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag and Harbajan are near. Dhoni and Zaheer won't be long after. Enjoy it while it lasts boys because India's fall from the top will inevitably happen.

Posted by Razor88 on (November 6, 2010, 11:21 GMT)

I totally understand the Point..."Only recently have Australian teams had to start hoping for opposition mistakes".They are Out of luck with Injuries... I am Not coming to any Judgment before the worldcup.. Maybe things are Looking Dark for the once "WORLD BEATERS" but lets jus put it this way... they have been Playing against some Amazing performers lately.. Don't take anything from SL.. Lets say the better team won,In No way are the Aus out of it yet.. This is just a wake up call,they have to regroup in due time before the 2 big Tournaments they are abt to face later this year and early next year.If they don't they are Going to Step into a Room where the Windies are already there... And Looks like the windies are much Comfortable in that room... All the Best Punter!!

Posted by Arsalan_RC on (November 6, 2010, 10:04 GMT)

****Only recently have Australian teams had to start hoping for opposition mistakes.****

The statement says it all. They don't think they can beat Sri Lanka. They are hoping Srilankans under perform. Let Australia taste what the westindies tasted in the after world Domination. Its only the beginning folks!

Posted by shameerpvt on (November 6, 2010, 9:28 GMT)

lol........... what australia..... "only recently have Australian teams had to start hoping for opposition mistakes."......

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 9:01 GMT)

Yes, its now come to this, hoping for mistakes from the opposition. I wonder why people say that India has to win a series in Australia to prove they're the undisputed no. 1!!! South Africa, yes that's understood, but Australia?? Hope this settles the debate

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 8:35 GMT)

what a pointless article........ like this comment is plain n pointless

Posted by darkmon.SL on (November 6, 2010, 8:28 GMT)

Damn I lol everytime I see that picture in article and remembering the face of Clark after that incident

Posted by blackjesuz on (November 6, 2010, 7:59 GMT)

this incessant nit picking by all cricket writers (particular Peter English who seems to love australian misery) is getting ridiculous. "only recently have australian teams started hoping for opposition mistakes"- are u suggsting because of that comment, australia sit in the hotels praying lanka bowls bad?! its an off-handed compliment and clearly sarcastic. people love to see australia struggle and begin looking at problems that dont exist. australia have fielded fine except for that mix up so what is the hubbub about? Australia's focus has been off and their injury to 4 main bowlers has hurt them most.. if other teams missed players of the calibre of harris bollinger lee and tait, wouldnt they struggle? lets stay calm people mckay hastings are 3rd string! the batting is the only concern but at melbourne theyposted a par total, and yesterday where hindered badly by the conditions. not to take away credit from lanka who have deserved to win, but gees, lets try not to be so sadistic

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 7:58 GMT)

CA & ECB "you guys don't do anything good for cricket - Ashes ok but 7 ODis? ... play Ashes 3 ODIs & 3 T20s ... and all those big tours must play with 3 tests 1-3 ODI's & 1-3 T20s ... thats is ... not those 5-7 ODIs ... or you guys going to make cricket boring and don't take same team more then 2 times/year .... make chart to play every team against all top 10 ODi squad in the world within 2 years of time

Posted by   on (November 6, 2010, 7:57 GMT)

that's a funny incident !!! i'm sure AUS bounce back with last ODI ... don't have words for ponting ... like you did to india few years ago greg chappell sir you are doing great job for "for world cricket" ..... and to the CA & ECB "you guys don't do anything good for cricket - Ashes ok but 7 ODis? ... play Ashes 3 ODIs & 3 T20s ... and all those big tours must play with 3 tests 1-3 ODI's & 1-3 T20s ... thats is ... not those 5-7 ODIs ... or you guys going to make cricket boring and don't take same team more then 2 times/year .... make chart to play every team against all top 10 ODi squad in the world within 2 years of time

Posted by DINESHCC on (November 6, 2010, 7:43 GMT)

Downfall already started for aus. Another West Indies is in the offing. The era is over. Ashes will open up further downfall. If another Mcgrath, Warne, Hayden is not found out immediatel, even 10 Pontings cannot save the Australians.

Posted by Youth_India on (November 6, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

Its not 7 in a row..its 10 in a row...3 in Test..3 in ODI's..4 in T20

Posted by Maestro_of_Cricket on (November 6, 2010, 7:20 GMT)

I remember someone (possibly Mike Hussey) saying that Clarke has a very good cricketing brain and that is the reason behind him being groomed as the future captain. Well, what happened to that cricketing brain yesterday? Did it malfunction? Or did Clarke forget it in the dressing room? Anyways, this shows that Aussies are a little bit frustrated at the moment. But they can take heart from WA, who are doing well against the immensely overrated Poms...

Posted by boris6491 on (November 6, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

Ponting may have dismissed claims that the side is distracted by the Ashes but nothing could be further from the truth. Australia have become so obsessed with winning the Ashes that they place zero importance on everything else. Contrary to what Watson thinks, I dont think they are anywhere near the standard expected of them, particularly in conditions where they should be comfortable. Perhaps they don't realise what a big loss they have just incurred to lose against a better focused, more determined Sri Lankan side at home. No longer can Australia be termed the national team's fortress as India is for their national team. The decision to omit Ponting in my view for the next game is foolish. Perhaps it is so that Ponting does not want to be in charge if Australia hit the record. The chance he gets to bat against a quality bowling line up is invaluable. Sheffield Shield won't provide the same challenge. They are looking like the England of 2002-03. Lets hope the result is different.

Posted by Sam_Singh on (November 6, 2010, 7:12 GMT)

Go Sri Lanka Go !!! Grind the Aussies into the ground. We've had enough of Aussie arrogance and lack of sportsmanship on the pitch. Do them in!

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Australia v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Nov 7, 2010
Australia won by 8 wickets (with 170 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Nov 5, 2010
Sri Lanka won by 29 runs (D/L method)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Melbourne - Nov 3, 2010
Sri Lanka won by 1 wicket (with 34 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Perth - Oct 31, 2010
Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets (with 21 balls remaining)
NSW v Sri Lankans at Sydney - Oct 27, 2010
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