Argus review recommendations August 23, 2011

Australia had to change - Holding

ESPNcricinfo staff

Michael Holding, the former West Indies fast bowler, has said that the changes Australia has made in the wake of the sweeping Argus review were necessary. "If you think that something is working for you and you don't need to change, while everything around you is changing, you will get left behind. So Australia had to change," Holding told AAP.

"When things work a particular way for a long time, people tend to think 'it has been working, don't change it - if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

"It might work for a long time. But all the wealthy people will tell you, if you don't change when things are changing around you, people will go past you and you are no longer a millionaire. You lose all the fortune you have got - the same thing with sport.

Holding, who was part of the all-conquering West Indies team of the 1980s, said that it was not surprising that teams slip after dominating for an extended period of time and expects India to struggle as well in the future. "You see Australia going through that right now," he said. "And I can tell you India, two years from now, won't be in the top five either. I think you get complacent when you are winning and, if you don't follow a plan, it (a fall) will happen."

He also felt that the kind of dominance established by West Indies and Australia would not be repeated again because of how much easier technology has made it to study opponents. "Those days are over. You could never dominate for 15 years. It is impossible for any team to dominate for that period of time - when I say dominate, I mean win everything.

"You can be the top-ranked team for a decade as Australia was but, even in that decade, Australia lost some series. Because the technology available to people now, where you can study the opposition, where you can plan and use all the graphics and all the technology ... you can't dominate like that again."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Martin on August 26, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    @RandyOZ; accusations of trolling don't work on me. You're new here so I'll go easy on you this time. The only thing I'm "worried" about with this England team is injuries - 20 or 30 injuries and we'll be in trouble - but I wouldn't say I was "extremely" worried:-)

  • Randolph on August 26, 2011, 4:55 GMT

    Holding, buddy, not even Einstein could decipher Warne's spin. He was pure genius and no technology could help you against him. I mean look at Bell, Warne retires and suddenly he comes good, and he had all the cameras and bowling machines on Earth at his disposal. @5wombats, your comments are just absurd but again it's great to see yuo trolling our articles trying to hide the fact that you are extremely worried about us coming #1 in tests again and knocking you back down the rankings where English cricket belongs. Also I don't know if you noticed but you got smashed 5-0 in 06/07 - regardless of how old our team was!!! Just stick to your soccer mate, not that you guys are any good at that either! @Rickaby - top call! @Drew2 - so true, teams only dominate when Australian cricket is down in the dumps - fact.

  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2011, 0:16 GMT

    Stop thinking of Aus and India; first plan how WI can come into top 6. I haven`t seen them in a decade. Ind and Aus were in top3 for most of last decade.

  • Dummy4 on August 24, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    "And I can tell you India, two years from now, won't be in the top five either" - THE WORLD SAW THAT NOW IN ENGLAND AND CELEBRATED IT EVERY BIT :) Over-rated and won the World Cup by fluke, but cant hold out longer. ANOTHER 4-0 THRASHING AWAITS THE IND TEAM IN AUS THIS SUMMER :)

  • Martin on August 24, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    @expat123; - Oh! Please! - mate, you very obviously weren't following cricinfo conversations during the 2010/2011 series. There were a hell of a lot of Aus fans whinging like mad, all in denial, all crowing on about what Australia were going to do to England, How England couldn't handle the conditions, how the pitch changed when England were bowling on it, how England were lucky to win the toss, lucky with the weather, etc,etc. England were just better. End of. Mate - the mistakes were made in or around 2005. There was a tremendous arrogance in Aus cricket - understandable given the long run of success. This arrogance disregarded the fact of Australias 2005 Ashes defeat as some kind of "Accident". Thus no view was taken of players who were going to be developed or introduced to the team for 2006/7 or beyond. And Ponting was right in the mix too. It's all in the report. All teams need a mix of youth & experience - the 2006/7 Aussie didn't.

  • Ben on August 24, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    @ Natx What are you talking about? Holding is not disrespecting the Indian team. He is making a valid prediction about the future, based on past observations and current happenings! It's people who think like you that will cause India's slide to become more rapid. By ignoring the constant need for change winning teams from the past were overtaken, and this has already happened to India, and will continue to happen. Don't take his prediction so personally. After all, i'm sure he knows much more about cricket than me or you.

  • Andrew on August 24, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    Nice bit of subtlety there Michael. Australia dominated for quite a bit more than one decade. Can't have anyone challenge your team can we! West Indies were a great side in the 80s, but that coincided with possibly the weakest Australian side in history.

  • Nat on August 24, 2011, 2:12 GMT

    This guy can't take India being in top 5. He forgot the fact that Indians still respect the type of cricket WIndies played and still wish WI to come back strong into the top 5 or even 3. Ask any genuine Indian - he will always support WIndies and will say Brian Lara as his favorite cricketer next to Sachin. The great Viv Richards once offered his help to train the Indian batsman on how to play short pitch bowling. I would expect that kind of positive thoughts from Mikey. Pity! Seems like his paychecks are coming from London. Expecting more rubbish and negative comments from him in the coming months.

  • Christopher on August 24, 2011, 0:40 GMT

    I dont agree with Holdings analogies or his conclusions.I doubt that Australia was following the pathways laid down by the previous administration,when it came to office in 2006/7.An integrity of process existed then that is manifestly absent and has required this Review to rectify. I know of no-one who would conclude that there was any discernable pattern or intelligence applied to selection. I know of few players who improved their games in the national side during that period and many whose games fell far. I doubt that anyone playing Shield cricket can understand the terms of advancement to the national side. If guys who are performing,such as O'Keefe,Copeland,Hauritz,Hodge,David Hussey,Katich,McDonald,Hopes and Cosgrove,couldnt get games,then that only encouraged players to concentrate on 20/20 and IPL and have less regard for 1st class cricket.The weighting of contracts enhanced this opinion.The curators being blamed for the weathers effect on pitch preparation summed it up.

  • Michael on August 24, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    I think Holding's point is that with the improved study of opposition these days, teams will be able to develop more complete plans for tackling even great players. Teams may still dominate for 3-5 years but should be challenged after that. The flaw in his argument, I think, is when you get freaks like Warne, McGrath, Roberts, and Holding himself and manage to get several into a single side - all early in their careers. Then you will have an extended period of dominance that the best laid plans can't overcome. Look at England in 2005 - they won the series, but Australia kept dominating for another 2 years. @5wombats: you play your best team. But you also use your first-class/domestic structure to develop replacement players. This idea of developing players at the international level is ridiculous. Steve Smith, for example, should always have only been given a taste and then told to go away and get up to standard.

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