The Ashes 2010-11

CA contributed to 'panic' before Ashes - Watson

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 24, 2011

Comments: 53 | Text size: A | A

Shane Watson poses with a replica Ashes urn, Coolum, May 25, 2009
Shane Watson has criticised Cricket Australia in his new book © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Shane Watson
Series/Tournaments: England tour of Australia
Teams: Australia

Shane Watson, the Australia vice-captain, has criticised Cricket Australia and the selectors for contributing to a "growing sense of panic" among the players in the lead-up to the Ashes series in 2010-11. Australia were comprehensively beaten 3-1 in the Ashes, their first series defeat to England at home since 1986-87, prompting the Argus review and the subsequent changes adopted by board.

Watson lashed out at the decision to announce a provisional squad of 17, 10 days before the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. ''I felt there was a growing sense of panic all over the place which, to be honest, wasn't helped by Cricket Australia announcing a bigger than usual Ashes squad," Watson wrote in his book Watto, as quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald. "I don't know why the squad was named that early; there was still one more round of first-class games as well as the Australia A game against England to be completed … there was a sense of panic … and that spread throughout the team.''

The chopping and changing of bowlers during the Test series meant "they were absolutely sh*****g themselves every time they went out to bowl, because bowlers are the first ones to get dropped when things go wrong.

"Our batters … were failing throughout and nothing happened."

Since the Ashes defeat, Australian cricket has undergone significant changes, with coach Tim Nielsen and chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch stepping down.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by hyclass on (September 27, 2011, 2:04 GMT)

@HatsForBats...I understand your point,but Micheal Clarke played 48 1st class games and 34 ODI before he was selected for a Test.In the 2 years immediately preceding his Test debut,he had 8 -1st class centuries and an 800+ run Shield season. Lyon had played 5 1st class games and had 14 wickets.Peter Taylor would have been a better example,given his selection after 6 1st class matches.His NSW tour of Zimbabwe was excellent at just the right time and he debuted in Sydney with 6/78,which he never again came close to.His selection was in the pre-professional era,following the Rebel SA tour defections and the loss of Chappell,Lillee and Marsh,before CA had developed the succession plans,that they have now had for 20 years,to avoid this scenario.Many people would love to have seen Katich bowl more,including Katich,but he had shoulder and back problems that prevented it.It questions what the strength and conditioning coaches are paid for.Id also love to see McDonald and O'Keefe in the mix.

Posted by hyclass on (September 27, 2011, 1:47 GMT)

@katandthat3...Ive read support for North,Voges,Duffey,Coulter Nile and Ronchi.They seem to have the core of a very good side in WA.If they can be more consistent with their batting,id expect a far better Shield season from them.They certainly have the coach they need.With regard to Voges@Meety is correct in that those 40 wickets occurred over 100 games,but the average and S/R are good enough,that a well organised CA,might have encouraged far better results from him.I also hold North in high regard,despite his inconsistency and would like to see how he performs under a new coaching and selection philosophy.Casson was a shooting star & would certainly be a useful and rare,wrist spinning addition to bowling stocks.Lets hope his chronic fatigue passes and he can give a good account of himself.Age is less of a barrier to wrist spinners.Talent in Australia has never been an issue in any discipline,despite inferences to the contrary.Its always been its application & management in question.

Posted by straight_drive4 on (September 27, 2011, 1:12 GMT)

@ meety - i probably should have explained myself better. im really referring to a spinner who is half decent and can take a few wickets but not exactly a game changer. the reason i say a spinner as opposed to a line and length medium pacer is because you are bound to have some wickets that turn and then on the occasion you will have a real turner like the first test in sri lanka. so you definately need a spinner in my opinion. all im suggesting is that we accept the fact that we dont have a "world class spinner" in oz so we play a spinner like hauritz who will do his job without being a game breaker and then we focus our game plan on our pace attack. THEN when we do play on a raging tuner, hauritz can come into his own and he is a half decent spinner as it is and has the skills... i used to be mad about krejza but he has been in poor form in shield cricket for a while and i suppose when you attack as much as him, you cant afford to be in bad form or you will leak runs big time...

Posted by hyclass on (September 27, 2011, 0:10 GMT)

Anyone advocating Lyons initial selection,did so without consulting his 1st class record@HatsForBats.He didnt have one.He was chosen on youth & potential.There is a chasm between a gamble without statistical support & a well reasoned decision with supporting evidence.Lyons selection mirrors the descriminatory policy,Argus opposes & is not a successful selection principle,or Argus wouldnt have repudiated it.Micheal Clarke is a poor example.He had played 5 seasons in Australia & 1 in England when he was 1st selected for Tests.In 02/03,he scored 4 centuries in one season and over 800 runs.In England in 04,he scored 3 more centuries.By the time he made his Test debut,he had 11 1st class centuries,8 of them in the previous 2 years,had played 48 1st class matches and an accomplished 34 ODI.Hardly comparable to Lyon,who may develop into a fine player,but was rewarded for being young instead of excellent.Im not opposed to Lyon per se,only to unjust selection & retention,ignoring performance.

Posted by Meety on (September 26, 2011, 23:41 GMT)

@katandthat3 - I saw Voges bowl a bit in an ODI a while ago & thought he looked alright, but 40 FC wickets in 100 FC games is pretty unremarkable, North is a far better option. @Dinker Rkn - Steve Waugh wrote/(or had ghost written), plenty of books before he retired, ever heard of his Captain's tour diaries, a tradition that Punter carried on.

Posted by HatsforBats on (September 26, 2011, 22:20 GMT)

@Meety: spot on mate. I don't think people realise how important AB Mac was for the last SA tour, the way he strangled on end was vital with Johnson scaring the pants off everyone at the other end. Hopefully Copeland will be able to do that and get some helpful pitches and fingers crossed the stars align for MJ. I can't see us ever going in without a spinner; of course my vote goes to O'Keefe. Though I did hear about some crafty old wrist spinner called Katich, apparently he can score some runs too.

Posted by katandthat3 on (September 26, 2011, 13:06 GMT)

Voges is a good point Hyclass, I always thought he was handy with his left arm orthodox and more than handy stick, seemed to get married at the wrong time but still has time on his side, might fill the role of Dave Hussey in the ODI side still. I thought Lyon did a good job considering his experience but think O'Keefe would still handle things pretty well plus he's a good bat. Ranked I'd have Hauritz, O'Keefe then Lyon. Krezja was disappointing in the WC and Beer I don't really rate nice bloke that he is. I hope Casson can continue his return to strong health as he's a good cricketer as well. Our strength is our quicks. Pace, swing, seam, accuracy is all there in the squad just how they balance that is the tough one. Happy if Copeland could pick up 10km/h. Cummins would be a handful in those conditions swinging it both ways at just under 150km/h, Harris seaming it both ways. Like to see either Butterworth or McDonald get a spot and Johnson could do anything in SA. Doug & Siddle......

Posted by bumsonseats on (September 26, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

during the ashes, australia kept north in the team for the sydney test. its just he could not score the amount of runs up to the 5th test to warrent his selection. but i think they wanted to go into that test with 2 spinners. on his day he is not a bad bowler. just the lack runsas his down fal. dpkl

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 26, 2011, 12:27 GMT)

@Hyclass, you're right, the squad for SAf not announced yet, got ahead of myself, but I expect Lyon will be in the squad as Clarke, who as we know is now a selector, has said he'd expect him to be.

Posted by Meety on (September 26, 2011, 12:24 GMT)

@straight_drive4 - if it comes down to just holding up an end, we could get AB Mac to do that, combined with Copeland, you have a very economical line up, affording the luxaries of a random like MJ. To me the spinning position is about variety & the possibility of taking wickets. Its why I was never too down on Krezja for being a bit loose in Tests, as he has the ability to take wickets. Its too early to tell whether Lyon's promise will bear fruit, who knows with Hauritz, he is not a confident type of person to begin with! I would like to think some former contenders for a spot are still on the radar, Cullen Bailey has real promise & may bloom under Berry, & Beau Casson got back into Shield late last year. Those guys a wicket taking options under the right type of captaincy!

Posted by   on (September 26, 2011, 12:10 GMT)

Earlier books were writen by greats of the game after retirement and their biographies/writings provided valuable insights for aspiring players and readers alike.(eg:Steve Waugh,AB)Now a days why is it that players start 'writing' when they have another primary highly competitive thing to do.Not that players SHOULD NOT write anything..why should there be a book about a series which is not even a year old(although it was an IMPORTANT series in many ways..)After Ind Aus test last time in Sydney also, a few books came out ....most notably from Andew Symonds..well we dint see much of him after that...Watto is a player I like and would hate to remember him based on his 'writing'

Posted by straight_drive4 on (September 26, 2011, 11:48 GMT)

I wonder how Nathan hauritz will go with his confidence after returning from that horrendous shoulder dislocation? I reckon it's probably dented his confidence a bit and he will need another season back at first class level to get back to his best - that being a spinner who can hold up and end while the pace bowlers do most of the damage. I guess that's all Australia can really hope for atm - someone to take a couple wickets here and there and sustain pressure at one end while the pace bowlers at the other end attack. Our pace stocks are plentiful in Australia atm so it makes sense to me for our game plan to revolve around that and then IF one day we develop a match winning spinner then we can reasses our game plans and change them accordingly. Until then - play to your strengths which is pace. Thoughts anyone?

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 26, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

@HatsforBats, because they've picked Lyon with the development of the Australian cricket team in mind. He's young and they obviously see potential in him. I totally agree with the point that sometimes potential should be chosen over experience in order to continue to develop the team for the future, although there needs to be a balance, which is the eternal dilemma for selectors. It's no guarantee that Lyon will be the long term spinner but if he does improve he might be. They have to make decisions like that and try new players. North would be a backward step, although I'm not sure if it was a serious suggestion anyway. No.8 is not picked to score centuries. That's what numbers 1-6 are picked for.

Posted by hyclass on (September 26, 2011, 11:31 GMT)

I was unaware that Lyon,or anyone else had been chosen for the SA tour@RightArmEverything.On the SL tour,Beer was the incumbent bowler and that made no difference to his fortunes.If 2 spinners were to be selected tomorrow for the SA tour,on form alone,Hauritz and O'Keefe would go.It beggars the question,will they select on form?The mention of North was speculative on @HatsForBats and my part,given his 6/55 and reasonable average.Id class him ahead of White,simply because he has performed at the highest level,albeit,inconsistently.White stopped bowling himself seriously,at least a year before he was selected to play Tests for Australia and his powers were clearly on the wane,in a medium in wrist spin,that requires more practice,not less.Your position on part-timers as a 1st selection,is fully understandable.Its disappointing that Voges didnt make more of his left arm orthodox spin.His 40 wickets came at 34 and a S/R of 63.A better CA administration may have encouraged a better outcome.

Posted by HatsforBats on (September 26, 2011, 10:58 GMT)

@RightArmEverything: the point about North is that as long as we are picking mediocre offspinners, why not pick a bloke who will score a century every 6 innings?

Posted by HatsforBats on (September 26, 2011, 10:55 GMT)

@Hyclass: I have not suggested nor do I believe that youth should be rewarded over experience with disregard to FC results. My point is exemplified in Michael Clarke; at the time of his selection he was not in the top 6 batsmen in the country, he was picked on talent, potential, and a promising start to his career, at the expense of more mature batsmen with weightier FC records. These types of selections have always occured, and they will continue regardless of what the Argus Review achieves.

Posted by Meety on (September 26, 2011, 9:06 GMT)

@ Woody111 - nothing you said is completely wrong, although a lot of people were saying that Lyon would get hammered by the Sri Lankans in SL. He didn't. They played him pretty respectfully. I agree that our spinning stocks don't look to flash, but Hauritz is at international standard, assuming fit & competent selectors, he will do okay in Oz, O'Keefe has hardly put a foot wrong & has a world class FC average, he'd be worth a crack. I'm optimistic (maybe too much), but Casson & Bailey MAY come into the equation in the not too distant future. I am more confident of Lyon doing better against the Saffas than SL. @RightArmEverything - I agree re: Lyon.

Posted by Woody111 on (September 26, 2011, 8:09 GMT)

@hyclass - have to disagree on your point about potential as a reason for selection being discriminatory. O'Keefe may be unlucky (but he's not exactly knocked the door down) but players have been selected in all sorts of sports on a hunch or 'potential' seen by a coach or recruitment person. Marsh doesn't have figures in shield cricket to write home as opposed to Hodge and others but someone must have thought he'd go ok. It appears CA is scoping Aus for who the next long term spinner is so Beer, O'Keefe etc will get their chance to shine. I still have a problem with the chop-change approach they take but once you've made your bed....

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 26, 2011, 7:50 GMT)

North at no.8? I don't think so. Picking a batsman who bowls part-time spin as the team's frontline spinner was tried before with Cameron White in India. It seems a bit of a short-term and defensive approach to me. Anyway, it's not going to happen. Everyone was surprised by Lyon's selection, no doubt it was gamble and I can understand people questioning it. Was it Greg Chappell's influence that got him selected? The fact is he's on there and on the next tour and I'll reserve judgement on him until he's played a bit more.

Posted by hyclass on (September 26, 2011, 7:02 GMT)

On what basis do you suggest,'Youth be rewarded over experience' and how do you define,'Young talent',when not using a 1st class record,which,by your reckoning,is inadmissable as a selection criterion@HatsForBats?Name a point at which it would be acceptable to draw conclusions from his results.Im sure you have excellent intentions and i agree with several of your points,including North as a dark horse at 8.Whether you believe it or not,your principles for his inclusion,based soley on youth & a disregard for results,are the essence of those which Argus repudiates.His results,not just in the Tests,but in his short 1st class career,other than the 1st innings pitch,so heavily criticised by the ICC,that gave him 5/34,have been a sub standard.In 2.5 Tests,he took 3 wickets at 87.His career in 7.5 1st class games,is 17 wickets at 52.88.He may develop in the future,but rewarding potential rather than results is discriminatory and little more than a needless gamble,with O'Keefe already proven

Posted by Woody111 on (September 26, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

I couldn't care less for what Watson has to say. He's lucky to be the VC and should not be opening the batting. Too few starts are converted. hyclass makes some very good points here but the spin dilemma is almost unresolvable. I'm not sure I've even heard a reason for Hauritz being dropped. The revolving door continued and currently we have Lyon as the latest to be thrown to the wolves. 5 for on debut helped but then with less helpful conditions he went for loads of runs for little return. Amla, Kallis and De Villiers might make a mockery of his selection and we can all imagine what Sachin, Dravid and Laxman will do this summer. There simply isn't an international spinner in this country. No amount of state bias or ill-placed parochialism can prove otherwise. But it doesn't help to pull the rug out from a bloke like Hauritz or Krejza either. CA looks like it is trying to find a pseudo Warne and it never will. So, accept that your spinner won't bowl you to victory or don' pick one.

Posted by HatsforBats on (September 26, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

@Hyclass: I do see the irony, but you would know that I have not once advocated the current selection policies of CA, and that I have been in support of the selection of O'Keefe as he has the best FC record of the current spinners. Having watched the offspinners given a cap of late (Beer, Doherty, & Lyon), and considering that Hauritz has been discarded and is injured, and the selectors are not playing Smith or O'Keefe, then I have no qualms with Lyon getting a chance. And to consider him a statistical failure after 3 tests is still ridiculous. Despite the findings of the Argus Review there will always be a time (as there always has been) when young talent is rewarded at the expense of older players with more worthy FC records. For the record if an offspinner is to be picked I would take North and bat him at 8.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 26, 2011, 4:29 GMT)

@tbobbo, no I'd say they're guaranteed a place in the team as long as they keep performing. Sure the SL attack was weak, that's been mentioned a number of times in posts on this site and I don't disagree. Still have to get the runs though. Seems silly to me to criticise someone for getting big scores just because the bowling attack is weak. That's exactly what they're meant to do. Worth noting that Hussey was also Australia's standout batsman in the Ashes. I think of the other three guys you mentioned Haddin and Johnson need to contribute more and I think it would be fair enough if the selectors told them their spots are under pressure unless they perform well in the two tests in Sth Africa. Ponting got some handy scores on the SL tour without going onto a big one but I wouldn't drop him yet.

Posted by hyclass on (September 26, 2011, 3:14 GMT)

@HatsForBats...surely YOU can see the irony.If by YOUR admission, 8-1st class games,is TOO SMALL a sample to judge whether Lyon has succeeded,HOW are 3 or 4 games enough to determine whether he belonged in the side in the first place? At least,ive bothered with factual evidence.The practices you are describing,to have and keep him selected,were slammed by the Argus Review.It is highlighted by that Review as a principle cause for Australias demise.Ive heard others,using Warnes ascension into the Test team as a comparable arguement.It isnt.Warne had a bowlers record when he was selected.At the end of his 1st full season,including v India,among his 32 wickets at 36,he had taken 11 wickets against a Zimbabwe Test squad for Australia B,with 7/49 and gone onto 3/14 and 4/44 for an Australian XI vs a Lara led WI team.His Test debut followed against a powerful Indian lineup,Tendulkar at 6 and Dev at 8.Reid broke down after 4 overs,reducing the attack to 3 frontline bowlers,including Warne.

Posted by tdobbo on (September 26, 2011, 2:12 GMT)

@RightArmEverything, thanks for the reminder, you're absolutely correct re: Hussey and Hughes, I expect they are now guaranteed another 2 years in the test team on the back of their performances against the strong SL attack... glad you at least agree with me on the other three stooges though... hehe

Posted by RightArmEverything on (September 26, 2011, 0:44 GMT)

tbobbo, Hussey was just player of the series scoring 2 centuries and almost a couple more, and Hughes just got a century too. How that makes them deadwood I don't know.

Posted by HatsforBats on (September 26, 2011, 0:09 GMT)

@Hyclass: to use a statistical sample size of 8 to come to any conclusion in any capacity, is ridiculous. To claim that 8 game sample size as a "factual review" with any relevance is also ridiculous.

Posted by AidanFX on (September 25, 2011, 13:14 GMT)

@ hyclass Aus selectors continue their pursuit to find 'the spinner' and Lyon is the next one being trialled. Hopefully the days of jumping between existing spinners and selecting new ones every series will come to an end soon. Lyon's initial stats may look poor but he may be worth working with. Like Beer he has come from left field out of relative obscurity. Both have minimal 1st class stats and those stats aren't that flattering. Apparently Lyon landed a curator job or something with a view to getting recognized. And he did so his plan worked. Lyon is a more sensible option than Beer given both have a similar amount of 1st Class experience and his is the younger of the two. The guy probably lacks elite level strength and a good cardio-tank, but that can improve with training. I also think he is a more impressive prospect than Krejza who can't control his bowling. Lyon has shown a bit, remember SW 1/150 debut, not suggesting he will be a Warne just he has some promise.

Posted by tdobbo on (September 25, 2011, 12:52 GMT)

I agree 100% with Hyclass and 5wombats. Very funny to read the continual excuses Aussies keep making, their team likewise, they will continue to languish until they face up to reality that their cricket is average at best and continuing to slide. Not for me to say, I honestly hope they continue on the same path, but really they need to clean out the deadwood, Ponting, Hussey, Johnson, Haddin, Hughes have been tried many times and failed.

Posted by _Australian_ on (September 25, 2011, 12:40 GMT)

@VivGilchrist makes a very good point. 5wombats has had a lot to say since his team started winning. Never heard much from him before that though! Watson is a good player in all forms and I for one will buy the book and I am also very interested in his opinion.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (September 25, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

5wombats, what makes your opinion worth anything? At least Watto is a class player.

Posted by hyclass on (September 25, 2011, 10:16 GMT)

Many Australians are relieved that one of the great business minds,Don Argus,was asked to review the operation of CA.His background leading BHP,was characterised by well documented principles of excellence,intelligence & ruthless determination,basing progress only on strict performance & accountability criterion.It was Argus that put performance back on the agenda.For years,the coaches,selectors and administrators,chose to ignore it,using theories on age & potential to discriminate.It was a complete failure of these practices,that saw Australia plummett internationally.Argus resulted in an unprecedented cleanout of CA personnel.At some point,the selection process will catch up & I will celebrate the return of ethics & the end of mediocrity.Outside Galles reviled & ICC sanctioned 1st innings pitch,Lyon has 3/261 in Tests at 87 and 17/899 in 1st class matches at 52.88,a failure by any bowling measure.'Ridiculous',describes his premature selection,NOT a factual review of his results.

Posted by bumsonseats on (September 25, 2011, 9:57 GMT)

iv no problem with watson although he is not an opener more a 6/7 and is quite a lucky bowler and can get wickets. the new regime must be better than the last. the great aussie team were let to age similar to the indian big 3. in the last ashes all they did was perm any 3 from 4. and as they only had 1 good 1. who in the end broke down. the guys under those 4 who played in the australian A side, previous to the 1st test. were shown to be cannon fodder to the english batters. so u have alot to get past the #4 position so thats about your true position maybe though as india are on the decline and i expect u to beat india 2 - 0 during your summer as even with the bowlers u have will be far to good for india. dpk

Posted by HatsforBats on (September 25, 2011, 7:25 GMT)

@Hyclass: to judge Lyon as a statistical failure after 8 1st class matches is ridiculous.

Posted by HatsforBats on (September 25, 2011, 7:19 GMT)

@Hyclass: Excellence & intelligence, as indefinable as they are, are as equally fleeting as they are timeless. Of the 3 players you have named only D.Hussey perhaps could be considered to be a failure of CA selection policies. His outstanding record easily eclipses that of his peers (for the position in which he would have been picked). Rogers as an opener is just unlucky; those players picked ahead of him (Jacques, Hughes, Katich) were very successful, he failed in his (albeit brief) opportunity in the test side. As for Hodge, I believe his exclusion is best summed up by the adage about "a team of champions, or a champion team". He may have had the record to deserve continued selection, but accounts indicate he was not liked within the team. Having played team sports for over 30 years I understand the impact of the bad apple on team unity & performance, it can't be underestimated.

Posted by AidanFX on (September 25, 2011, 6:36 GMT)

Well can't help bemoan the way the selectors treated Hauritz who was bowling well. Not to mention he was becoming a sound batsman also. The whole spinning selection insanity has continued. Did ok in SA and was quite good in England. Was crucified for not winning the 1st Test match Shane Warne like but he was the one who enabled the Aussies to almost win that match in the first place. He has been our most consistent spin bowler (non-retired) since Shane Warne. Will he be reconsidered post Argus? I do think Lyon is worth working with and developing but I am still of the opinion Hauritz is the best spin bowler in the nation at present. I hope the selectors get this area right it is messing up the organization of the squad as a whole.

Posted by hyclass on (September 25, 2011, 1:26 GMT)

Its disappointing to see the Ashes 3-1 result used as the metier for Argus.Australia didnt fall from number 1 to number 5 because of 1 series.That isnt how the ICC rankings work.Australia were in decline for years.Many,used the retirement of players with great records,as an excuse,but many of those were in average or poor form for a couple of years prior to retirement.The professional system was created in the late 80s to mitigate such events.If that was indeed,any kind of rationale,why were senior players of the ilk of Hodge,Hussey and Rogers,to name just a few,ignored?The last 2 have 41 1st class centuries between them in the last 4 years alone,while players with 10% of this number and averages 40% poorer are included on flimsy pretexts.Lyon is a statistical failure,as were Doherty and Krezja before him.I urge those pushing his cause to read about Headley Verity and Bill Bowes and see the level of endeavour they might anticipate at this level.Excellence and intelligence are timeless.

Posted by RJHB on (September 25, 2011, 1:24 GMT)

Nothing shocking here, just confirming what every Australian and English cricket follower could already see and sense before the Ashes. There's no doubt the Australian team was headed downwards in terms of its pre-eminence in world standings, but what the administrators did was to hasten and worsen the decline and not have any real plan, or clue, to address the fall. Those people have so much to answer for but other than a few notable heads rolling, where is the accountability? Its very early days but here's hoping Australian is atlast pointed in the right direction.

Posted by hyclass on (September 25, 2011, 1:06 GMT)

Watson highlighted a point ive made for some time.In seeking to steal the initiative,an opposing captain sets fields,like two men back and a short leg and continues to bowl outswing instead of short deliveries,to prevent a batsmen lunging onto the front foot.He removes the fielder at mid off,trying to get him to drive straight against outswing or leaves a gap at square leg against leg spin.He tries to instil DOUBT,because doubt is a destructive weapon.For years,the malleable policies of CA have done the doubt creating work,PRIOR to the players taking the field.Even those players selected on form,have quickly lost their way under its stewardship.Many more have been chosen without supporting records,while those with superb careers are overlooked.Though many were dropped and returned,players of Australias great era had wonderful 1st class records,indicating they were worth perservering with.Many now,DO NOT.No wonder players are scared.Only resolute principles will resurrect Aus fortunes.

Posted by 5wombats on (September 24, 2011, 19:18 GMT)

Just noticed this page. All very amusing. First point - what makes Watson think his opinion is worth anything? As well as that - he didn't exactly cover himself in glory did he? Now - a book from Langer or Brett Lee - I'd read that, because these are some good players. But Watson....? Nah.

Posted by bumsonseats on (September 24, 2011, 14:09 GMT)

it don't matter who you pick as batters England can pick 3 out of 8 or 9 bowlers makes no difference. but i hope pretty boy broad get selected. i expect him to have a big series in the next ashes having only got thru 1.1/2 tests during the last series whooping. dpk

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 13:14 GMT)

Spence 1324 Get it right mate, by the time Australia win it, Mr Watson will have retired!!

Posted by RandyOZ on (September 24, 2011, 11:42 GMT)

Hardly a surprise article. Glad to see that the pressure on the bowlers at least showed bollinger up.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 10:16 GMT)

@farkin : Buck passing? Doubt it mate

Posted by AidanFX on (September 24, 2011, 10:10 GMT)

Well heat needs to go on Ponting; one of our best ever but hasn't been performing well with bat for a few yrs. It's not all bad Khwaja still on sidelines, Ferguson is another option who surprises me he had been shunned lately. Australia need to settle down with spinner though. I like the fact O'Keeffe is an allrounder, and seems to be one of the more successful spinners going around. Still Lyon is worth working with because he is young. I agree with Chapple though - we need to look at leg spinners (36 yr old debutants don't count). Australia have plenty of talent as far as pace bowlers go (contrary to spinning department) so there talent is there. There is thus no reason why a good administration and improvement in the coaching department can improve Australia - but will take time.

Posted by sifter132 on (September 24, 2011, 9:39 GMT)

Or not... if anything he's saying batsmen should have been dropped instead of bowlers - Watson is a batsman mainly. For what it's worth, I agree with his sentiments. The selection was inconsistent, vague and yes the bowlers ended up bowling for themselves and their spots rather than bowling as a pair/group/team.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2011, 9:31 GMT)

Now everybody knows Hilditch went as did Nielson and Chappell. You can't have those sorts of people around who can't create a winning team.

Posted by Gupta.Ankur on (September 24, 2011, 9:21 GMT)

Well, most importantly Ponting and Clarke continue to be rewarded a place in test side without performing to usual high standards......which in my opinion is even bigger sign of "panic".....

Posted by AidanFX on (September 24, 2011, 9:05 GMT)

At which point does the Aus administration go about implementing Argus review in any case? All is the Argus review an abstract document that people keep talking about for the next few yrs whilst everyone goes about their business as usual?

Posted by Ben1989 on (September 24, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

hmm maybe trying to put the blame elsewhere, but I still believe this would affect your team relationship & spirit, but funny thing is he's a batter & saying our batters failed & nothing happened, so doesn't seem like he is making any excuses, just talking about the team in general?

Posted by spence1324 on (September 24, 2011, 8:16 GMT)

ENJOY holding that ashes urn mr watson,thats as close as you are getting to it for the next decade at lest!

Posted by Dashgar on (September 24, 2011, 8:09 GMT)

"Our batters were failing thoughout and nothing happened." This has been problem for Australia for years and years. The bowlers get chopped and changed constantly but the batsmen hold their spots no matter what.

Posted by farkin on (September 24, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

i smell a sense of buck passing

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Australia A v India A at Darwin - Jul 31
Australia A 155/3 (33.4/50 ov)
NPS v Sth Africa A at Darwin
Jul 31, 2014 (10:00 local | 00:30 GMT | 20:30 EDT | 19:30 CDT | 17:30 PDT)
1st unofficial Test: Australia A v Sth Africa A at Townsville
Aug 7-10, 2014 (09:30 local | 23:30 GMT | 19:30 EDT | 18:30 CDT | 16:30 PDT)
2nd unofficial Test: Australia A v Sth Africa A at Townsville
Aug 14-17, 2014 (09:30 local | 23:30 GMT | 19:30 EDT | 18:30 CDT | 16:30 PDT)
1st ODI: Aus Women v Pak Women at Brisbane
Aug 21, 2014 (09:30 local | 23:30 GMT | 19:30 EDT | 18:30 CDT | 16:30 PDT)
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