Australia news March 26, 2013

Optimist Arthur hopeful of Australia's Ashes prospects

49

Death by dust in India will make the the green fields of England seem heavenly for Australia's Test team, which remains on course to be the best outfit in the world within the next two years. No-one could ever accuse Mickey Arthur of being a pessimist, but with the aforementioned statements the national team coach redefined the boundaries of wild optimism while accounting publicly for a deplorable performance on the subcontinent.

On the day national selector, John Inverarity declined to guarantee Shane Watson's place as the vice-captain or even as an Ashes team member, and the seriousness of Michael Clarke's back and hamstring problems were confirmed, Arthur struck an almost alarmingly upbeat note. Yes, he had fussed a great deal over taking a young team to India and all its attendant dangers, but Arthur had no such qualms about England.

"I was always really worried about the conditions in India, especially with a group of young players," Arthur said in Perth. "Because you can sit and tell players what it's like to play there, but until you've actually experienced it, you don't comprehend it. The Ashes conditions are a lot closer to what we're comfortable with, our pace bowlers will be a real factor in England.

"Our batters will be more accustomed to those conditions, so I'm confident everything's still on track. It is disappointing when you have a tour of the subcontinent just before a tour as big as the Ashes, because it does have the ability to pull you off track, but we're firmly on track for the Ashes and conditions will favour us."

As for the team's chances of rising from the mid-table ICC ranking they have occupied since 2010 - alternating between 5th, 3rd and the present 4th - Arthur reiterated his argument that the disciplinary action taken against those players who failed to follow instructions would be the start of the climb back to world No. 1.

"I think we moved forward, moved in the right direction and, hopefully, if we have our time again, this will be the foundation of something really good for the Australian cricket side," Arthur said. "We've said it numerous times now; we could have carried on and been third in the world comfortably, but we don't accept that, we want be No. 1 in the world.

"We've put some stuff in place that we believe can get this team there in the next 24 months."

In India, many of Australia's players did not only look initially unready for the conditions they faced, but were unable to find the technical and mental wherewithal to learn and adapt with each innings. Irrespective of how the team's discipline broke down off the field before four players were suspended from the Mohali Test, those indiscretions were arguably less serious than dismissals indicative of plans being ignored, if there were any in the first place.

The sweeps played by David Warner and Phillip Hughes in Hyderabad, plus a few other inattentive strokes by Watson at various stages, laid bare a lack of thought and application next to the mental toughness and intelligence shown by India's young batsmen. This is a problem that will require cure rather than prevention if, as Arthur suggested, there would be only minimal changes to the 17-man squad for the trip to England.

"It'll be similar, I can't see too many changes," Arthur said. "We felt we took the best players possible to India, barring one or two guys who were struggling with injuries. And we took a couple of guys who were pertinent to subcontinent conditions. But we feel we had our best young batsmen there; to see them grow through the tour was fairly encouraging, we know they've got experience into them now and are going to be better for it."

Arthur added that players knew exactly what they needed to do going forward into the Champions Trophy and the Ashes, but stressed that the side's batting would have to improve. "It's disappointing to have only two hundreds over the last couple of months," he said. "We had a couple of 90s, but we need to start converting and scoring big in that top six. We'll have a real good quartet of bowlers available to us and we just need to get enough runs to be really competitive in the Ashes."

Between three Australia A matches and two tour warm-up fixtures preceding the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, Arthur and the Australian selectors will have a far better spread of games from which to pick their best side for England. However, Arthur would not accept the suggestion that more might have been done to get the team in the right space to be more competitive in India.

"Everything we did, we've done with a lot of reason behind it that's not always apparent to people who don't know what's going on in the inner sanctum," Arthur said. "We feel we have the best players, they'll be better for the experience. I think the selections have been good, I think we took the best possible squad out there to perform."

Arthur also said that while the selectors and management did everything they could in the run-up to the India series. "I'm confident, as selectors and management, we've done everything in our power to make the guys as good as they can be," he said. "We had spin camps, prepared the guys endlessly, and ultimately you can't replicate those conditions under that pressure."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • goldeneraaus on March 26, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    I agree with Arthur the backroom staff did what they could its not their fault batsman couldnt adapt, but I cannot accept that the selections were good. Picking ODI players (unspectacular ones at that!) and obsessing over an allrounder when without Watson we just do not have a genuine one were inexcusable selections which put Australia on the back foot from day one. The way we batted it wouldn't have mattered anyway but we should never have deviated from 1 spinner and 3 quicks (since we don't have a good second spinner), and should have picked our top 6 plus wade. Based on the conditions that would have been Usman and Smith (who was an inspired choice against spin, will be less so against pace during the ashes) ahead of Henriques n Hughes. Yes I have the benefit of hindsight but its always been common sense to pick specialists in test cricket unless you are blessed with a RARE all rounder (there have been about 10-15 genuine ones in the history of cricket).. or so I thought.

  • Beertjie on March 27, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    If Australia were not in such dire cricketing straits, I'd say sack the lot of them from their leadership posts including Clarke. OK so he stays on as skipper, but at least rid the team of that sanguine idiot Arthur even if Rixon is the interim coach. At least there's a chance of better tour selections. If only Invers, Marsh and Bichel had some insight into why certain types of players will likely fail in given conditions, while others will likely succeed. The only reason for Maxwell, Doherty, Henriqs etc being picked was because they possessed 'potential'. With the season over and the India tour history, cool reason is needed. Top available bat: Rogers. Top spinner: O'Keefe. Best keeper with decent recent batting: Paine. Promising all rounder: Faulkner. All these statistically determined on FC performances. Surely then the team picks itself: Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Warner, Paine, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Harris, Bird. Squad: Siddle, Starc, Wade, Faulkner, Doolan, Ahmed/Lyon.

  • Thefakebook on March 27, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    If the same team goes to Eng then don't expect the results to change too much as well.

  • AKS286 on March 27, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    @HatsforBats on (March 27, 2013, 7:38 GMT) Mate you miss Captain's role on peace, responsibility & unity. Cook, Smith, Dhoni, Rahim, Sammy are good leaders and act as mentors as well as friend they respect seniors and encourage all the rookies. But for Clarke he axed seniors for respect and divided the whole team into seniors, ponting's players and Clarke's favourite. Clarke only encourages few players like lyon, wade, cowan, warner, starc.

  • AKS286 on March 27, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    The poblem is that now a days too much expectations from all- rounders. Earlier allrounders are support to batsmen or finishers & called golden arm bowler or support to complete 10 overs in odis or if any bowler is expensive then they complete their overs.examples are C.Cairns( my favourite), klusener, B.Macmillan, Harvey, Moody, Razzaq, A.mahmod, c.Harris, old Watto, symonds, Flintoff, Craig White, Ealham, n,Johnson, bravo, k.Atherton, etc.

  • HatsforBats on March 27, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    ...oops, Anderson (probably) would make the Aus side but I'm backing a combination of Pattinson, Harris, Bird, & Starc to be very effective with the duke. I think the biggest positives for England are their administration (sensible), team unity (the Aussies seem to be all over the place) and their coaching staff (Flower & Gooch is a great combination). The Australian set up is a shambles and the teams performance over the last two years has been in spite of CA's ineptitude.

  • HatsforBats on March 27, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, I wouldn't put much stock in the Australian performance in India. The batsmen were very poor because they simply do not have the skills for those conditions. Remember the scoreline for our last two series against SA is 1-2, Aus are much more comfortable against pace on true decks (the 47 all out notwithstanding). The Ashes squad wil also be quite different: no Maxwell, Doherty, Henriques, Wade batting @ 7. England were very poor against NZ, but they have a lot of grit and some special talent in their batting as they've just showed. The bowling is fairly even; Swann (definitely, if fit) & Anderson (probably

  • jmcilhinney on March 27, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    I think that both teams will be looking to the Ashes with some trepidation. For Australia, conditions will obviously be very different to what they encountered in India so their performance their is not a great yardstick, but they were so terrible in India that it's hard to see them being great for the Ashes. For England, they've done poorly in NZ against a lowly ranked, although seemingly improving, NZ outfit in conditions that should have suited them relatively well. How much of NZ's performance can be attributed to England not putting pressure on them and how much is them getting genuinely better remains to be seen but, for England, they'll want to put in a vastly better performance against NZ in England. If they do then, as an England fan, I'll feel more confident about the Ashes in England at least. With Hussey gone, Australia need to get more consistency from several key batsmen, Watson not least of them. As for the bowlers, Starc may be the biggest threat with a Duke ball.

  • fazald on March 27, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Arthur seems to be quite happy with Australian cricket teams recent performance in India and says that it needs only minimal changes to the team for the Ashes series which means that the writing is on the wall already for a 5-0 whitewash. You must be kidding. I reckon atleast half a dozen players that were selected for the Indian tour to say the least were even below test standard.The selectors were clueless about the prevailing spin bowling conditions in India selecting a strong fast bowling attack of five and a half baked spin bowling attack comprising of Lyon, Doherty(of T20 fame), Maxwell and Smith who hardly bowls these days. As such the outcome of the test series was no surprise. Why was Steve O'Keefe the leading spinner this season overlooked?Our batsmen lacked technique against both spin and swing bowling and we could expect more of the same in England. I reckon the biggest stumbling block to aussie cricket is the T20 "Big Bash" League which is proving to to be the deathnell.

  • Meety on March 27, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    @ tanstell87 on (March 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT) - "Tasmania have won the Shield & Queensland has been making final for consecutive 2 years...bring in players from these 2 teams in test side" - then you don't select any QLDERs, & select the LEAST performing FC batsmen that Tassie has (Bailey). QLDers worth considering Harris & Burns, Tassie - Doolan, Silk, Paine, Faulkner & Butterworth. @bumbles11 on (March 26, 2013, 17:31 GMT) "..They will need to get Cook, Trott, KP, Bell, Bairstow/Root, Prior all out before they get to bowl at Broad and Swann..." - big talk, but tell me, how is Compton/Bairstow or Root any better than ANY of the Ozzy batsmen???? Also, I would say our #8,9,10 & 11 have done a darn sight better than anything that your bottom 4 have done - by a long way!!! @Davo234 on (March 27, 2013, 3:40 GMT) - not arguing, just saying, I definately would NOT play Harris until the 2nd Test at Lords. (In fact I would take Harris specifically for that one Test)!!!!

  • goldeneraaus on March 26, 2013, 11:06 GMT

    I agree with Arthur the backroom staff did what they could its not their fault batsman couldnt adapt, but I cannot accept that the selections were good. Picking ODI players (unspectacular ones at that!) and obsessing over an allrounder when without Watson we just do not have a genuine one were inexcusable selections which put Australia on the back foot from day one. The way we batted it wouldn't have mattered anyway but we should never have deviated from 1 spinner and 3 quicks (since we don't have a good second spinner), and should have picked our top 6 plus wade. Based on the conditions that would have been Usman and Smith (who was an inspired choice against spin, will be less so against pace during the ashes) ahead of Henriques n Hughes. Yes I have the benefit of hindsight but its always been common sense to pick specialists in test cricket unless you are blessed with a RARE all rounder (there have been about 10-15 genuine ones in the history of cricket).. or so I thought.

  • Beertjie on March 27, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    If Australia were not in such dire cricketing straits, I'd say sack the lot of them from their leadership posts including Clarke. OK so he stays on as skipper, but at least rid the team of that sanguine idiot Arthur even if Rixon is the interim coach. At least there's a chance of better tour selections. If only Invers, Marsh and Bichel had some insight into why certain types of players will likely fail in given conditions, while others will likely succeed. The only reason for Maxwell, Doherty, Henriqs etc being picked was because they possessed 'potential'. With the season over and the India tour history, cool reason is needed. Top available bat: Rogers. Top spinner: O'Keefe. Best keeper with decent recent batting: Paine. Promising all rounder: Faulkner. All these statistically determined on FC performances. Surely then the team picks itself: Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Watson, Warner, Paine, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Harris, Bird. Squad: Siddle, Starc, Wade, Faulkner, Doolan, Ahmed/Lyon.

  • Thefakebook on March 27, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    If the same team goes to Eng then don't expect the results to change too much as well.

  • AKS286 on March 27, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    @HatsforBats on (March 27, 2013, 7:38 GMT) Mate you miss Captain's role on peace, responsibility & unity. Cook, Smith, Dhoni, Rahim, Sammy are good leaders and act as mentors as well as friend they respect seniors and encourage all the rookies. But for Clarke he axed seniors for respect and divided the whole team into seniors, ponting's players and Clarke's favourite. Clarke only encourages few players like lyon, wade, cowan, warner, starc.

  • AKS286 on March 27, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    The poblem is that now a days too much expectations from all- rounders. Earlier allrounders are support to batsmen or finishers & called golden arm bowler or support to complete 10 overs in odis or if any bowler is expensive then they complete their overs.examples are C.Cairns( my favourite), klusener, B.Macmillan, Harvey, Moody, Razzaq, A.mahmod, c.Harris, old Watto, symonds, Flintoff, Craig White, Ealham, n,Johnson, bravo, k.Atherton, etc.

  • HatsforBats on March 27, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    ...oops, Anderson (probably) would make the Aus side but I'm backing a combination of Pattinson, Harris, Bird, & Starc to be very effective with the duke. I think the biggest positives for England are their administration (sensible), team unity (the Aussies seem to be all over the place) and their coaching staff (Flower & Gooch is a great combination). The Australian set up is a shambles and the teams performance over the last two years has been in spite of CA's ineptitude.

  • HatsforBats on March 27, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, I wouldn't put much stock in the Australian performance in India. The batsmen were very poor because they simply do not have the skills for those conditions. Remember the scoreline for our last two series against SA is 1-2, Aus are much more comfortable against pace on true decks (the 47 all out notwithstanding). The Ashes squad wil also be quite different: no Maxwell, Doherty, Henriques, Wade batting @ 7. England were very poor against NZ, but they have a lot of grit and some special talent in their batting as they've just showed. The bowling is fairly even; Swann (definitely, if fit) & Anderson (probably

  • jmcilhinney on March 27, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    I think that both teams will be looking to the Ashes with some trepidation. For Australia, conditions will obviously be very different to what they encountered in India so their performance their is not a great yardstick, but they were so terrible in India that it's hard to see them being great for the Ashes. For England, they've done poorly in NZ against a lowly ranked, although seemingly improving, NZ outfit in conditions that should have suited them relatively well. How much of NZ's performance can be attributed to England not putting pressure on them and how much is them getting genuinely better remains to be seen but, for England, they'll want to put in a vastly better performance against NZ in England. If they do then, as an England fan, I'll feel more confident about the Ashes in England at least. With Hussey gone, Australia need to get more consistency from several key batsmen, Watson not least of them. As for the bowlers, Starc may be the biggest threat with a Duke ball.

  • fazald on March 27, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Arthur seems to be quite happy with Australian cricket teams recent performance in India and says that it needs only minimal changes to the team for the Ashes series which means that the writing is on the wall already for a 5-0 whitewash. You must be kidding. I reckon atleast half a dozen players that were selected for the Indian tour to say the least were even below test standard.The selectors were clueless about the prevailing spin bowling conditions in India selecting a strong fast bowling attack of five and a half baked spin bowling attack comprising of Lyon, Doherty(of T20 fame), Maxwell and Smith who hardly bowls these days. As such the outcome of the test series was no surprise. Why was Steve O'Keefe the leading spinner this season overlooked?Our batsmen lacked technique against both spin and swing bowling and we could expect more of the same in England. I reckon the biggest stumbling block to aussie cricket is the T20 "Big Bash" League which is proving to to be the deathnell.

  • Meety on March 27, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    @ tanstell87 on (March 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT) - "Tasmania have won the Shield & Queensland has been making final for consecutive 2 years...bring in players from these 2 teams in test side" - then you don't select any QLDERs, & select the LEAST performing FC batsmen that Tassie has (Bailey). QLDers worth considering Harris & Burns, Tassie - Doolan, Silk, Paine, Faulkner & Butterworth. @bumbles11 on (March 26, 2013, 17:31 GMT) "..They will need to get Cook, Trott, KP, Bell, Bairstow/Root, Prior all out before they get to bowl at Broad and Swann..." - big talk, but tell me, how is Compton/Bairstow or Root any better than ANY of the Ozzy batsmen???? Also, I would say our #8,9,10 & 11 have done a darn sight better than anything that your bottom 4 have done - by a long way!!! @Davo234 on (March 27, 2013, 3:40 GMT) - not arguing, just saying, I definately would NOT play Harris until the 2nd Test at Lords. (In fact I would take Harris specifically for that one Test)!!!!

  • chicko1983 on March 27, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Well, Doherty wont play as we only need one spinner in England and Australia.

    Aus XI: Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Henriques, Wade, Starc, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon

    Eng XI: Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bell, Root, Prior, Broad, Finn, Anderson, Panesar (Swan being injured).

    Aussies will win this 10 match series.

  • bobagorof on March 27, 2013, 3:43 GMT

    I respectfully disagree with Arthur that the best possible squad was taken. One of the spin bowlers was picked on the form of one ODI match. Another of the squad was a bits-and-pieces player better known for limited overs. One of the better batsmen against spin on tour didn't play a Test. Another wouldn't have except for 'homework-gate'. And the best performed spinner in the country isn't even on the selectors' radar.

    One hopes that the players will be better for the experience of batting in unfavourable conditions, despite only one showing any sort of improvement on tour (and that mainly because he set the bar so low in the first 2 Tests). One hopes that they will be better for it, because if they aren't then the tour was a waste and Australia's batting will be shot for the next 5 years.

    I do agree that the reason for decisions are not always apparent to those outside the 'inner sanctum'. I would suggest that this also includes some of the players.

  • Davo234 on March 27, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    For the first test I'd go with: Cowan warner hughes watson clarke khawaja wade starc pattinson harris lyon. Cowan's got to perform early - and his technique should suit these conditions. Khawaja for Smith on similar grounds and should bat at #6 until he finds his feet. Watson needs to bowl to book his place, but when he does is an auto pick (quality bowler, experienced bat). I'd prefer him opener or #6, except for the aforementioned. Agree with some others here that Harris is our best bowler when fit. Sidds is unlucky to miss out - I just feel patto & starc have greater strike potential in helpful conditions. I'd bring Burns and Smith as batting cover. Sidds, Johnson, Cummins to round put the bowling. Too early in my mind for faulkner, and he has to prove he's better than M Marsh for the long term allrounder slot. Maybe Agar as developmental?

  • HatsforBats on March 27, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    @bumbles11, Swann may not recover well from his surgery. Broad is as injury prone as any Australian quick, and his batting form is hardly glowing. I'm pretty sure every Australian bowler you've mentioned (except Bird?) has played in England either in county cricket, ODI's, or on A tours. Our batting is definitely not as strong but if they post anything over 300 (fingers crossed) it won't be easy for England against our quicks.

  • pkvedas on March 27, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    My Team for Ashes: Team Australia: Warner, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Paine, Faulkner,Starc, Siddle, Pattinson, Fawed Ahmed

    Team England: Cook, Compton, Trott, Pieterson, Bell, Root, Prior, Swann, Broad, Finn, Anderson

  • Insult_2_Injury on March 27, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    Arthur would be well advised to get footage of the Eng v NZ test just finished. Not for any Pommy form guide, but to understand what a Test contest is all about. Batting for your countrys' honour produces innings like Prior's, not the last Indian Test where Australia batting like carefree millionaires lost 15 of 20 wkts bowled, lbw or stumped. While he's at it, it wouldn't hurt to have a word with Inverarity about the character building and experience gained by individual players by actually playing games like that NZ Test, rather than being rotated to the sidelines.

  • LachG03 on March 27, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    Team: Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Warner, Wade, Maxwell, Starc, Pattinson, Siddle, Lyon. Squad: Doolan, Johnson, Smith, Bird, Faulkner, O'Keefe, Khawaja, Paine and Cummins (if fit).

    I think there needs to be a development squad that goes over there and trains with the ashes squad and possibly plays in some tour matches. That squad would be Burns, Silk, Handscomb, Head, Richardson, Zampa, Agar and Boyce.

  • on March 26, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    austrlia need to make few changes to the team to win ashes series. 1.open the batting with warner and hughes (cowan's record opening is not good enough. hughes is the best opener in australian domestic cricket). 2.usman khawaja should be given extended run in the team at no 3. 3.clarke should move up to no 4 and burns should be given chance at 5. 4. australia should only pick watson at no 6 if he can bowl too. 5 .wade should be first choice but haddin is pushing him. 6. pattinson, harris and siddle should be first choice seamers but starc and bird should rotate them too. 7. lyon is the first choice spinner and his deputy should be agar. 8 .i will pick james faulkner as the allrounder and ed cowan and smith as reserve batsman.

  • Barnesy4444 on March 26, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    The biggest issue is a lack of batting depth in domestic ranks. Even the experienced shield batsman didn't do much this year.

    I'm sure the persistence they are showing with Hughes will eventually pay off and they can build a test top order around him.

    I'm surpirsed Khawaja wasn't given a game, he has discipline issues but he was the second best young batsman behind Hughes this year so give him a go.

  • Barnesy4444 on March 26, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    6 specialist batsmen, the best gloveman in the country at 7 regardless of batting average, and 4 bowlers. Is that so difficult? Would we prefer Healy at the stumps averaging 25 with the bat, or Wade averaging 35? Pick the best gloveman, please. Wade has a lot of improving to do, simple balls off quicks get past his gloves and go for byes, not to mention the missed stumpings............

  • Shaggy076 on March 26, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    My Ashes team would be Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja, Wade, Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Lyon Reserve batsman Rogers and Fergusson, back up keeper Paine, Back-up bowlers Harris, johnson, Bird and O Keefe. Its a very large squad because I dont know who how best 3 quicks are. Hilfenhaus could go to and all 7 would do an excellent job. As for England they have trouble with a couple of batting spots, the Ashes tormentors of Tremlett, Bresnan and Swann are all injured. There attack looks pretty benign and the Broad, Finn and Panesar offer an excellent opportunity for our batsman to score runs. I think this is a much more evenly matched series and that we are in a great show of winning.

  • Ravendark on March 26, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    The fact that Arthur considers he took the best team to India (which he didn't, Doherty over O'Keeffe? Please.) and that English conditions will 'favour' Australia (they might be more similar to Aus conditions, but they will favour England more surely) says to me he is a wee bit out of touch. Or papering over cracks as quickly as he can.

    To me, the inherent problem is this pervading desire to play bits and pieces all rounders rather than specialists.

  • on March 26, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    1. Rogers 2. Hughes 3. Clarke 4. Hodge 5. Khawaja 6. Warner 7. Haddin 8. Siddle 9. O'Keefe 10. Pattinson 11. Hilfenhaus

    Okay, Brad Hodge isn't really coming back, I'd pick Alex Doolan, but it'd be great to have more hungry veterans in the side like Rogers and Haddin and Hodge.

    Oh and did Mickey Mouse really just say that the Indian tour wasn't a "big" tour? Well both teams are above us Mickey I would have thought beating India was just as important as beating England no?

    Sack this guy.

  • Wefinishthis on March 26, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    So your squad just get annihilated 4-0 in one of our WORST ever performances and he wants to keep the same squad? They think that ODI performance > Shield performance? This is an outrage. What can we do to remove this incompetence? I offer an alternative 17 man squad: Warner, Rogers, Burns, Cosgrove, Clarke, D.Hussey, Wade, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Harris, Bird, RES: Khawaja, Silk, Nevill, Faulkner, Siddle, Lyon. We need accountability from our NSP. I can't believe so many people have Starc in their teams and have forgotton about Harris who games aside is statistically comparable to Dale Steyn and he is the ONLY experienced fast bowler to not disgrace himself against this England lineup (Pattinson/Bird aside since they haven't played yet). The four bowlers have to be O'Keefe, Pattinson, Harris, Bird. I still haven't heard a single good argument otherwise. If I wasn't making such good money off the NSP's incompetence, I'm almost ready to stop watching Australia until we get a proper NSP in.

  • on March 26, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    The only way Australia is likely to draw a game in England will be because of inclement weather. I have this gnawing feeling in my gut that Australia could lose 14-in-a-row. The first four have already been lost and now they play England in back-to-back Ashes. Not looking good for the Aussies

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on March 26, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    He doesnt see many changes ? ha ha ha. More Maxwell, Doherty, Henriques Johnson etc etc then. Strap yourselves in for a 0-5 if thats the case. Bird, Starc , Pattinson, Harris, Lyon & OKeefe need to go as bowlers with someone like Faulkner as an allrounder. Wade might hang on but CANT bat 6 and needs Haddin along who may even end up playing as a batsman such is the lack of options. Personally I'd take Chris Rogers and either Doolan or Burns for experience. The top 6 is a car-crash to be honest.

  • bumbles11 on March 26, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    This current aussie squad won't win a Test in England unless Anderson, Swann, and Broad breakdown over the summer. My bet is Eng 4-0 with 1 draw at Lords. They will need to get Cook, Trott, KP, Bell, Bairstow/Root, Prior all out before they get to bowl at Broad and Swann and the bowlers. Aussie attack has been talked up but they seem to get injured all the time and it will be the first time most have played in England.

    I have to say there good players who are not being picked? Rogers is a good player who has been unlucky, Jacques included. Voges and D.Hussey are better than Steve Smith and most of the other current squad players. Harris is a dangerman but is always injured.

    Swinging Dukes ball will be dangerous but the Aussie batsmen can't play spin, don't rule out ECB asking for bunsun's and playing Swann and Monty.

    Tremlett, Finn, Bresnan, Woakes and Onions are the England back up attack and that's not bad? Some are injured and out of form at the moment though.

  • on March 26, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    My team: Rogers, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Haddin, Warner, Watson (if bowling)/Faulkner, Pattinson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon

    Squad: Bird, O'Keefe, Khawaja, Wade, Starc, S Marsh

  • handyandy on March 26, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    Cowans (VC), Rogers, Kwahaja, Clarke(C), Smith, Paine, Faulkner, O'Keefe, Pattinson, Siddle, Harris as my first eleven.

    Butterworth, Starc, Warner, Silk, Wade, Lyon to round out my squad.

    Hard leaving out Haddin but I figure that Paine is the best keeper and Wade is the incumbent. Faulkner, Butterworth and O'Keefe are proper allrounders ... not bits and pieces players. They could all hold down a spot in the team for their bowling alone.

    Rogers should have been bought into the team when Justine Langer retired. It is a travesty that a player of his caliber isn't in the team. Still scoring piles of runs and plenty of experience under English conditions.

    Harris when fit is probably the best bowler in the country.

    Cowan is VC simply because I couldn't think of anyone else. Smith is there because he took his chance when it was offered to him.

  • blink182alex on March 26, 2013, 14:30 GMT

    great, basically Arthur is saying that that they selected the right squad except Holland and Beer were injured so Doherty went.

    He says there won't be many changes which is rubbish, stop selecting young inexperienced players that have shown a bit of potential in T20 cricket and start selecting the best first class players regardless of age.

    How can young inexperienced players be a better pick than consistent proven first class players?

    The Ashes is in 4 months, not 3 years, just pick the best possible cricket side for NOW!. It's the batting that has been rubbish, if we can post scores of 350 regularly in England we will be close as our bowling is good.So select guys who know how to score in England.

    1. Warner 2. Watson 3. Rogers 4. Clarke 5. Voges 6. D.Hussey 7. Haddin 8. Pattinson 9. Siddle 10. Harris 11. Lyon. Not a long term team, but a team capable of winning the Ashes.

  • on March 26, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    arthur u need to drop certain useless players like doherty, maxwell, johnson and henriques. add some fresh young blood who have been performing well in shield cricket. joe burns, james faulkner, ashton agar and ryan harris should be the other players in the ashes squad. my team for ashes series: 1.warner 2.hughes 3.khawaja 4.clarke 5.burns 6.watson 7.wade 8.siddle 9.pattinson 10.harris 11.lyon 12.cowan 13.smith 14.haddin 15.bird 16.starc 17.faulkner

  • TeamRocker on March 26, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    My fifteen man ashes squad: Cowan, Warner, Khawaja, Hughes, Clarke, Watto, Smith, Ferguson, Wade, Siddle, Patto, Starc, Lyon, Bird, Faulkner. Team for first match: Cowan, Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith, Starc, Siddle, Patto, Faulkner

  • Ducky610 on March 26, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    I miss Jaques too... he is only 33 any chance of them calling him out of retirement to play for Australia?

  • AKS286 on March 26, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    I really miss PHIL JAQUES. wrong time he got injured and now retired.

  • hycIass on March 26, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    With the series over we now need to pick a team for the ashes. Which Australian batsman can handle the swinging ball? Clarke a is great and Warner is useful but aside from him Khawaja is next best in handling swing so get him in. Aside from these three you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the current batting line up who can handle swing bowling confidently. We are equally as incapable as handling swing bowling as we are of spin bowling due to an extreme lack of discipline. I think you'll find that we have already forgotten about India once we get to the ashes as that's what matters hence why they got summarily belted. India, and its spinning stocks needed to be taken seriously because in England, Australia will be presented with those challenges. People forget two things:1. That 5th day pitches in England favour spin bowlers. My money is on England if they are bowling in the 5th day.2. Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann are good spinners. But that doesn't mean we can't beat them.

  • Clyde on March 26, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    Why, if Arthur cannot say what 'reason' prevails in the 'inner sanctum', does he mention it at all? I thought the inner sanctum was a room where outstanding performances were recorded in gold letters. If winning is about taking 20 wickets, England would be licking their lips at the prospect of the Australians. There is some heart (Siddle) in the Australian bowling, but half the time they don't know which stump they are bowling at.

  • AKS286 on March 26, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Test- Klinger, Watson(C), Marsh(VC), Clarke, Ferguson/Forrest, Haddin/Paine, Smith, MJ, Pattinson, Siddle, Beer/Boyce. Odi- Watson, Finch, Marsh, Clarke, Smith(C), handscomb, Christian, MJ, Starc, Mckay, Beer. T20- Warner(C), White, Finch, Marsh, Watson, Quiney, hartley,Faulkner, Starc, Cutting, Beer.

  • on March 26, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    Arther needs to go, someone like Steve Waugh or Darron Lehmann is needed as the head... I'd replace him and give watson the boot as well...

    Smith looked impressive which cannot be said about the other aussie batsman; hughes needs to relieve as much support as possible. He is the best batsman in Shield cricket. Since we missed a generation of cricketers in the middle a combination of youth and experience is needed...

    My squad: Clarke (c) Siddle (vc) Cowan, Hughes, Warner, Hussey. D, Smith, Cosgrove, Burns, Silk (developement), Khawaja, Starc, Faulkner, Bird, Pattinson, Lyon, O'keefe, Haddin, Wade

    Cosgrove, Faulkner, O'Keefe, Silk and Burns have been going to well to be ignored, given Haddin's ashes record I'd likely elivate him over wade for the time being. Hussey came back in the last couple of shield matches and is prolific in county cricket

  • Flemo_Gilly on March 26, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    Am I right in saying that the only player in the squad that has increased in value as a result of this series is Siddle And Pattinson maybe? And Khawaja by not playing?Well done Siddle and Pattinson. Honorable mention to Cowan until he decided he has talent and tried a sweep shot. Honorable mention to Hughes. He looked the goods today but still uncomfortable aganst spin and good bouncers. Bad luck Matt Wade.And then there was Warner, Watson, Maxwell. There is nothing much to say that hasn't been said. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. By that measure Maxwell needs help. And Mitchell Johnson has a promising career as a comedian ahead of him. Khawaja may need to change his hairstyle or get a catchy name such as the Big show or Big Koala to get in the team, it seems to do the trick for Maxwell, but we do need Khawaja for the ashes and encouraging to read Inevarity's positive comments on Khawaja today for the ashes.

  • AKS286 on March 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    If ACB drops Arthur then we all are optimistic about Ashes. and you blame Indian conditions- Thats very funny Australia is not playing intercontinental matches. Aus is the full time member of ICC test team it means you have to travel all over the World. Eng won on same pitches & SA drew series. Starc, Siddle, Pattin shows that if you have better temperament & technique you can Bat and score runs. Indian spinners are not special ashwin & ojha are normal spinners not compared to Kumble & old Harbhajan. Jadeja is an all- rounder not a specialist bowler. Kumar picked wickets with new ball with a speed of 123-128 KMph. and sharma bowls reverse swing. Oz were FAILED in all department batting, bowling, fielding, coaching, WK & leadership.

  • goldeneraaus on March 26, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    Also if i see another person select bailey in their hypothetical 11 i may literally tear my hair out.. average of 40 over a long period of time tells us he can't maintain good run of scores and more to the point he averaged in the teens this summer..

  • Dashgar on March 26, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    I think Arthur needs to be sacked. He seems to be derailing a lot of good work done by other people in Cricket Australia right now and his results in India were just horrendous. I'd pick Darren Lehman as the new coach with the following Ashes squad. Clarke (c), Cowan (vc), Warner, Hughes, Bailey, Ferguson, Wade, Paine, Faulkner, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon, Starc, Bird, Harris

  • on March 26, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    quote =It is disappointing when you have a tour of the subcontinent just before a tour as big as the Ashes, = Unquote

    Well well mickey you lost a small tour 0-4 .....

    Being in Present is a winning formula for any sports ...looks like you were thinking of Ashes during India tour ...I hope you dont think of ashes in Aus while in England...

    No one is taking blame for the selection fiasco ...first test with one spinner ...second test with 2 spinners minus the front line spinner last test 1 spinner ....you didnt know how to read the pitch ....had wrong players at wrong slots ...and wrong roles ...

    i hope you will sort the above in time

    Andrew

  • on March 26, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    Clarke and Arthur are a dangerous, poisonous combination for Australia. I seriously don't know if Australia can do too much better than what they have, I think England will only prove to be even stronger than India, which is a frightening prospect. Australia is in a total shambles at the moment, and I dont believe they have a shred of confidence with either captain nor coach, and I havent seen this sort of thing ever, not in 40 years. Probably the Yallop days compare but I think what's happening now is even worse. That homework thing, and the schoolyard, gang-mentality Clarke employs only serves to instigate fear into the team, and preppy prefect-like responses a la Cowan to the big honchos - which might suit Clarke's huge ego just fine but does nothing for the outlook of Australian cricket, at least not in the short to mid term. With no changes at the top I dont see this team going anywhere, certainly not an Ashes win for starters.

  • Mitty2 on March 26, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Boston_pride: see australia A's tour to england. Cowan has a phenomanel series as a batter, and his captaincy looked decent as well. His leaving ability will be very good agaisnt the swinging ball, and he has scored a ton against SA who have a much better attack than england's. I can honestly say that with khawaja's maltreatment, i can't imagine him recovering well and so cowan is my prediction to score the most runs under clarke for aus. He adapted well in india, and was lucky with two wrong decisions, but he batted out time and looked the most assured.

    If the public were select the australian squad, we would be in much better shape. A captain, let alone the coach should NOT be selectors. Maxwell, henriques, smith (horses for courses in india), doherty are all not good enough to warrant a selection as batter or bowler. Same goes for watson.

    11: cowan warner khawaja hughes clarke wade faulkner patto harris lyon bird

    Rest of squad: Burns/silk, paine, siddle, o'keefe and starc.

  • Arrow011 on March 26, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I think if Mike Hussey is recalled Australia can at best avoid a 5-0 or else they look heading for another clean sweep what with Mickey & Pup on the helm. India has really broken the back of Australian cricket now if England continues where India left off it will be surely the real Ashes for Australian cricket.

  • peeeeet on March 26, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    I feel England will win the Ashes for two reasons. Number one, the Australian bowling. There is obviously some very good young talent in the likes of Pattinson, Starc, Bird etc, however the nature with young bowlers is that they will invariably have a few off days throughout a test series as they learn the skills of performing consistently at international level over a long period of time. Case in point, the series against SA where we hung in gamely until ultimately the bad day happened and we got blown away in the third test. Point number two, England batsmen handle swinging conditions better than Australian batsmen. We have seen numerous collapses from Australia in the past few seasons, and I feel that there will be a moment or two during the series where the ball will be moving and our batsmen struggle. I think the series will be competitive and the Aussies may even win one, but I predict a 3-1 win to England, with the return series in Australia to be even closer.

  • tanstell87 on March 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Indian fan here...Tasmania have won the Shield & Queensland has been making final for consecutive 2 years...bring in players from these 2 teams in test side & see the difference.

    My XI : Warner-Watson-Hughes-Clarke-Bailey-Ferguson-Wade-Siddle-Pattinson-Bird-Starc

  • boston_pride on March 26, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    My Team for Ashes: 1)Warner 2) Watson 3)Hughes 4)Khawaja 5)Clarke 6) Smith 7)Wade 8)Starc 9)Siddle 10)Pattinson 11) Lyon... If Cummins is fit, he'd swap in for Starc... Rseves would be Voges, Doolan, Cummins, Harris, Paine,Cowan... I'd surely drop Cowan cos as good as attritional cricket may have been in Ind, he simply doesnt do anything in influencing the game result...

  • boston_pride on March 26, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    My Team for Ashes: 1)Warner 2) Watson 3)Hughes 4)Khawaja 5)Clarke 6) Smith 7)Wade 8)Starc 9)Siddle 10)Pattinson 11) Lyon... If Cummins is fit, he'd swap in for Starc... Rseves would be Voges, Doolan, Cummins, Harris, Paine,Cowan... I'd surely drop Cowan cos as good as attritional cricket may have been in Ind, he simply doesnt do anything in influencing the game result...

  • tanstell87 on March 26, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Indian fan here...Tasmania have won the Shield & Queensland has been making final for consecutive 2 years...bring in players from these 2 teams in test side & see the difference.

    My XI : Warner-Watson-Hughes-Clarke-Bailey-Ferguson-Wade-Siddle-Pattinson-Bird-Starc

  • peeeeet on March 26, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    I feel England will win the Ashes for two reasons. Number one, the Australian bowling. There is obviously some very good young talent in the likes of Pattinson, Starc, Bird etc, however the nature with young bowlers is that they will invariably have a few off days throughout a test series as they learn the skills of performing consistently at international level over a long period of time. Case in point, the series against SA where we hung in gamely until ultimately the bad day happened and we got blown away in the third test. Point number two, England batsmen handle swinging conditions better than Australian batsmen. We have seen numerous collapses from Australia in the past few seasons, and I feel that there will be a moment or two during the series where the ball will be moving and our batsmen struggle. I think the series will be competitive and the Aussies may even win one, but I predict a 3-1 win to England, with the return series in Australia to be even closer.

  • Arrow011 on March 26, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I think if Mike Hussey is recalled Australia can at best avoid a 5-0 or else they look heading for another clean sweep what with Mickey & Pup on the helm. India has really broken the back of Australian cricket now if England continues where India left off it will be surely the real Ashes for Australian cricket.

  • Mitty2 on March 26, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Boston_pride: see australia A's tour to england. Cowan has a phenomanel series as a batter, and his captaincy looked decent as well. His leaving ability will be very good agaisnt the swinging ball, and he has scored a ton against SA who have a much better attack than england's. I can honestly say that with khawaja's maltreatment, i can't imagine him recovering well and so cowan is my prediction to score the most runs under clarke for aus. He adapted well in india, and was lucky with two wrong decisions, but he batted out time and looked the most assured.

    If the public were select the australian squad, we would be in much better shape. A captain, let alone the coach should NOT be selectors. Maxwell, henriques, smith (horses for courses in india), doherty are all not good enough to warrant a selection as batter or bowler. Same goes for watson.

    11: cowan warner khawaja hughes clarke wade faulkner patto harris lyon bird

    Rest of squad: Burns/silk, paine, siddle, o'keefe and starc.

  • on March 26, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    Clarke and Arthur are a dangerous, poisonous combination for Australia. I seriously don't know if Australia can do too much better than what they have, I think England will only prove to be even stronger than India, which is a frightening prospect. Australia is in a total shambles at the moment, and I dont believe they have a shred of confidence with either captain nor coach, and I havent seen this sort of thing ever, not in 40 years. Probably the Yallop days compare but I think what's happening now is even worse. That homework thing, and the schoolyard, gang-mentality Clarke employs only serves to instigate fear into the team, and preppy prefect-like responses a la Cowan to the big honchos - which might suit Clarke's huge ego just fine but does nothing for the outlook of Australian cricket, at least not in the short to mid term. With no changes at the top I dont see this team going anywhere, certainly not an Ashes win for starters.

  • on March 26, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    quote =It is disappointing when you have a tour of the subcontinent just before a tour as big as the Ashes, = Unquote

    Well well mickey you lost a small tour 0-4 .....

    Being in Present is a winning formula for any sports ...looks like you were thinking of Ashes during India tour ...I hope you dont think of ashes in Aus while in England...

    No one is taking blame for the selection fiasco ...first test with one spinner ...second test with 2 spinners minus the front line spinner last test 1 spinner ....you didnt know how to read the pitch ....had wrong players at wrong slots ...and wrong roles ...

    i hope you will sort the above in time

    Andrew

  • Dashgar on March 26, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    I think Arthur needs to be sacked. He seems to be derailing a lot of good work done by other people in Cricket Australia right now and his results in India were just horrendous. I'd pick Darren Lehman as the new coach with the following Ashes squad. Clarke (c), Cowan (vc), Warner, Hughes, Bailey, Ferguson, Wade, Paine, Faulkner, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon, Starc, Bird, Harris

  • goldeneraaus on March 26, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    Also if i see another person select bailey in their hypothetical 11 i may literally tear my hair out.. average of 40 over a long period of time tells us he can't maintain good run of scores and more to the point he averaged in the teens this summer..

  • AKS286 on March 26, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    If ACB drops Arthur then we all are optimistic about Ashes. and you blame Indian conditions- Thats very funny Australia is not playing intercontinental matches. Aus is the full time member of ICC test team it means you have to travel all over the World. Eng won on same pitches & SA drew series. Starc, Siddle, Pattin shows that if you have better temperament & technique you can Bat and score runs. Indian spinners are not special ashwin & ojha are normal spinners not compared to Kumble & old Harbhajan. Jadeja is an all- rounder not a specialist bowler. Kumar picked wickets with new ball with a speed of 123-128 KMph. and sharma bowls reverse swing. Oz were FAILED in all department batting, bowling, fielding, coaching, WK & leadership.