Argus review recommendations August 23, 2011

Australia had to change - Holding

ESPNcricinfo staff
27

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

  • 5wombats 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:-)

  • RandyOZ 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 :)

  • 5wombats 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.

  • sawifan 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.

  • Drew2 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.

  • Natx 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.

  • hyclass 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.

  • bobagorof 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.

  • 5wombats 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:-)

  • RandyOZ 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 :)

  • 5wombats 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.

  • sawifan 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.

  • Drew2 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.

  • Natx 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.

  • hyclass 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.

  • bobagorof 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.

  • Rickaby on August 23, 2011, 22:17 GMT

    One player who will always remain immune to impact of technology is Mitchell Johnson. Not even he knows where the next ball is going. It would be like using a computer to predict the lotto numbers.

  • Buggsy on August 23, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    @5wombats - what are you even talking about? 'get over themselves'? At what point in this article (or any where else recently) are Australia whinging or whining about anything? They know they're in a rut, mistakes have been made over the years and they're fixing it. Oh and 'one last hurrah'? That is one of the most absurd comments ever - are you seriously suggesting that teams not field their best XI in a major series just to ensure a smooth transition for the future? No-one in their right mind would do such a thing, and I can assure you the English would have done the same thing as well.

  • testcricketisdying on August 23, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    I think Holding is being deliberately modest. I don't care how much you study your opponents, how do you deal with Roberts, Holding, Garner and Croft bowling fast and acurate at 95 mph day in and day out? Batsmen who played against those guys admit today that most batsmen found the strain of having to react so fast to such fast, accurate deliveries too much to handle. In fact, cricinfo statisticians recently listed batsmen who made more than 1000 runs against West Indies in the 1980s - not one of them averaged above 45. The reason you won't see that kind of dominance any more is because it was a freak of nature and sheer co-incidence that one team possessed so many great fast bowlers and pulverised the opposition. The quality of fast bowling has gone so far down now that a batsman with no technique against pace or swing can average 55 in test cricket these days. Until a team unearths great bowlers like that, you wont see that kind of dominance.

  • gottalovetheraindance on August 23, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    @ WTEH the fact is Holding cares about test cricket as a whole. He & many other former great players have tried to help out West Indies cricket but the fact is with all the myopics, incompetents & egomaniacs involved in WICB & WIPA our cricket is almost beyond help. Anyone would find it hard to work with these bunch of managers.

    I know its a bitter pill to swallow but the Aussies just have to accept the fact that almost their whole setup sucks @ the moment. Some of us have still not swallowed that pill & West Indies have sucked for well over 10 years now! Any good advise or support that you guys can get from knowledgeable persons like Holding should be accepted & appreciated. The time to be cocky & abrasive has passed for Australia. You guys are not the top dogs anymore.

  • Sarthak1305 on August 23, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    @Chris Sun: I dont know if I completly agree with Micheal Holding on this cause real talent is hard to counter on pitch specially bowlers, I mean take the example of Mcgrath, Wasim, Warne, Murali, Kumble their actions and release were thoroughly studied by time still they are amongst the highest wicket taker of all time. I highly doubt in the middle one remembers stuff learned in the dressing room against bowlers on how to play them, its their class against the bowlers. Against batsmen one most definetly have plans and set fields.

  • 5wombats on August 23, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    Mikey is right. Australia needed to get over themselves. They missed a trick back in 2005 - should've had plans in place for when Warne, McGrath, Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, Ponting, Lee retired. But they didn't. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, oughta, but didn't - oh no - they just had to go for one last hurrah in 2006-7 didn't they? Aussies had a lot of fun during that 5-0. But who's got the smile on the face now?

  • kensohatter on August 23, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    Spot on. India will not only not be in the top 5 ranked teams in two years but i reckon because of the importance they put on IPL they may never reproduce a tendualker or dravid ever again. You can see them destroying themselves through a lack of planning, preperation and inhouse squabbling which results in no thoughts for their future. Look at Australia - yes they are no.5 but they have already had a review, got rid of selectors, started to make required changes to an ageing line up (sacking katich). England was in the same spot 3 years ago and now look at them.

  • jonesy2 on August 23, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    australia should never had had to "rebuild" they need to get the right team on the park and start winning, they have the talent and the players to do it. lets stop the talking and start the winning. anything less than winning is a failure.

  • on August 23, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    So, chris sun, armed with all this computer knowledge and backup you're going out to take them on?

  • CRam on August 23, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Technology cannot unravel talent - if it unravelled Mendis, could it do the same to a Warne or Murali or McGrath?

  • on August 23, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    England would appear to be dominating right now... If the talent is there of course you can dominate. All the technology in the world can not alter the outcome when there's a vast divide in abilities. On top of that you can also include motivation and belief, multipliers that come with success as you can see with the current English side.

  • Vernacular_Press on August 23, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    dont understand why he comments on india.

  • on August 23, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    Proof how Mendis was very good early in his career, now batsmen are finding out how to play him. People thought he would succeed Murali, he's not even good enough for the test team and his average is worse that Murali.

  • on August 23, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Holding is spot on. When WI played in the 1980s there no computers availble to study the player's strengths and weaknesses. They played according to their own instincts. Things such as ultra slow motion television cameras can tell where the bowlers have bowled to the batsmen, how batsmen played to score off the bowler, where the bowlers should bowl to restrict run scoring or get the batsman out. They never had this sort of slow motion television footage before. So everybody was clueless agains the WI. Now if they study the slowmo footage carefully, they can work out where to bowl to the batsmen or where to play to score off the bowler. A players wekness would eventually be found out and that's why many great players need to reinvent themselves. If Bradman was playing today he would be unlikely to average 99.

  • on August 23, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    this guy is always against India and its dominance. He cannot sleep if India is winning. He love his country WI and England where he makes his loving now. Otherwise he will also go against England.

  • WTEH on August 23, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Come on Holding, quit worrying about Aussies, look after your side. The way we see it, don't think Windies have any plan what so ever to improve.

  • here2rock on August 23, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    I don't agree with Holding that you can't dominate like the old days, imagine we have Garner, Holdings, Andy Robers, Colin Craft, Viv Richards, Haynes and the co. They will dominate any time even in the computer age.

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  • here2rock on August 23, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    I don't agree with Holding that you can't dominate like the old days, imagine we have Garner, Holdings, Andy Robers, Colin Craft, Viv Richards, Haynes and the co. They will dominate any time even in the computer age.

  • WTEH on August 23, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Come on Holding, quit worrying about Aussies, look after your side. The way we see it, don't think Windies have any plan what so ever to improve.

  • on August 23, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    this guy is always against India and its dominance. He cannot sleep if India is winning. He love his country WI and England where he makes his loving now. Otherwise he will also go against England.

  • on August 23, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Holding is spot on. When WI played in the 1980s there no computers availble to study the player's strengths and weaknesses. They played according to their own instincts. Things such as ultra slow motion television cameras can tell where the bowlers have bowled to the batsmen, how batsmen played to score off the bowler, where the bowlers should bowl to restrict run scoring or get the batsman out. They never had this sort of slow motion television footage before. So everybody was clueless agains the WI. Now if they study the slowmo footage carefully, they can work out where to bowl to the batsmen or where to play to score off the bowler. A players wekness would eventually be found out and that's why many great players need to reinvent themselves. If Bradman was playing today he would be unlikely to average 99.

  • on August 23, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    Proof how Mendis was very good early in his career, now batsmen are finding out how to play him. People thought he would succeed Murali, he's not even good enough for the test team and his average is worse that Murali.

  • Vernacular_Press on August 23, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    dont understand why he comments on india.

  • on August 23, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    England would appear to be dominating right now... If the talent is there of course you can dominate. All the technology in the world can not alter the outcome when there's a vast divide in abilities. On top of that you can also include motivation and belief, multipliers that come with success as you can see with the current English side.

  • CRam on August 23, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Technology cannot unravel talent - if it unravelled Mendis, could it do the same to a Warne or Murali or McGrath?

  • on August 23, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    So, chris sun, armed with all this computer knowledge and backup you're going out to take them on?

  • jonesy2 on August 23, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    australia should never had had to "rebuild" they need to get the right team on the park and start winning, they have the talent and the players to do it. lets stop the talking and start the winning. anything less than winning is a failure.