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Sun sets on Australian batting - Chappell

Daniel Brettig

March 27, 2013

Comments: 210 | Text size: A | A

Australia may never again produce Test match batting talent on the level of Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Michael Clarke if numerous gaping "holes in the production line" are not addressed by Cricket Australia, the former captain Ian Chappell has said. The poverty of batting performance on a disastrous tour of India underlined problems in Australian batting that Chappell feels have been festering now for some years, exacerbated by the commercial evolution of the game.

Arguing that coaching appointments and the shuffling of players by selectors will not address the issue, Chappell has called for CA to look more closely at how batsmen are being developed, addressing matters such as the amount of short-form cricket being played by juniors, the array of pitches on offer in the Sheffield Shield and the impact of a muddled schedule tossing players from Twenty20 to Tests and back again.

"We are not addressing the fact that there are holes in the production line," Chappell told ESPNcricinfo. "For instance, I have seen the next lot of batsmen at the Under-19 level World Cup and I have not seen any change in what's happening. So I've got to ask the question, if our methods of producing batsmen don't seem to be working, and in my opinion they are not, why aren't we trying to do some other things?

"I don't hear these things being talked about and it's just a matter of will we change the coach, will we bring in a new high-performance [manager], those things are not going to make one bit of a difference. Fix up the core problem and then we might start to get somewhere. The problem with that being, if we fix up the core problem tomorrow, you are talking about another generation before you really start to reap the benefits. So there are some major problems that I see in Australian cricket and I don't think they are being addressed."

Citing the composure, stroke range and adaptability demonstrated by Clarke, Hussey and Ponting that was painfully absent from many of their batting descendants in India, Chappell said that Australian cricket may never see their like again.

"If you think about it, Ponting, Hussey and Clarke, you would have to say are the last of that sort of generation who learnt how to survive those tough periods," he said. "You know as a batsman when at times you have to get through half an hour, or it might be an hour, against a really good attack.

"The classic examples are - Clarke at Lord's in 2009. It was a magnificent innings against brilliant bowling from Jimmy Anderson and Andrew Flintoff. In my opinion, that's the best innings I have ever seen from Clarke. And Ponting's innings at Old Trafford in 2005 to save the Test match - 156 I think he got. Magnificent innings, back to the wall save the Test match type innings. That should be standard fare for other Australian Test batsmen. But at the moment you would say, when Michael Clarke retires, that may be the end of that style of batsman."

Team management on the India tour were critical of the players' discipline, not only off the field as publicised by the suspension of four squad members in Mohali, but also on it as team plans for how to tackle India's spin bowlers on turning pitches were not followed. Chappell said such issues were created by batsmen not growing into an adequate knowledge of their own techniques in all conditions, prompting panic when circumstances did not suit their games.

"It's easy to be patient when you know that you've got the technique and the wherewithal to cope with spin bowling under those conditions," Chappell said. "Because you know that eventually you can hang around long enough to start to pick up the runs and get things going and then the boundaries come. Then you've got a chance of making a big score.

"But if you don't have faith in your technique and your ability to survive, that's when the panic sets in. So it's got nothing to do with being impatient, it's much more to do with your technique and your non-belief in that technique that brings on the panic."

Chappell's words echoed those of Ponting himself when asked in 2011 about how Australian batsmen were losing touch with the art of concentration. "That's the big worry I've had about Twenty20 cricket, and even other shorter forms of the game being played at really developmental times in kids' careers," Ponting said. "Cricket for me, when I was growing up, if I was batting, it meant I was batting until someone got me out, and if that took them a week then that's how long it took them.

"The guys who played in my era that's what it was all about - not going out there and facing two overs and then being told that you had to go and stand in the field; that's not what cricket is. And that's the worry I have about a lot of the developmental phases. Even Under-17s and Under-19s now, they're playing T20 games in national championships, and at the detriment of two-day games.

"Good state players these days are averaging 35. If you were averaging 35 when I was playing, your dad would go and buy you a basketball or a footy and tell you to play that. So there's areas of concern there. I don't know how you change them."

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

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Posted by ygkd on (March 29, 2013, 22:17 GMT)

Steve Waugh's introduction to Test cricket was during a sustained period of losses and draws largely because of the quality of the opposition. Today's team would not have done any better, and probably worse. Today's bats do not have the same sorts of technique, yet they debut at much earlier ages. Hughes is the same age as Taylor was on debut, yet he's already played a fair career's worth of Tests. Smith has played less, but at a much younger age than Mark Waugh started, another batsman who bowled. The experienced batsmen like Katich, Hodge and Rodgers have largely been sidelined. It is this that demonstrates that there is too much inexperience in the current team. Too many selections have been premature. Steve Waugh's debut was premature, but he wasn't the mainstay of the batting. That he went so long without a ton is irrelevant to the current state of affairs. He was only one player, playing as an all-rounder. And he was Steve Waugh. He was a large part of their world-beating future.

Posted by ygkd on (March 29, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

The point about the experienced blokes is that they've been sitting on the sidelines. Why did Hodge only play about half a dozen Tests? Why did Katich get dumped? Will Rogers go to England after all? There are many such questions. It is fine to pick young blokes on promise, but Mark Waugh and Mark Taylor were both made to wait in the late '80s. Smith & Hughes do not have those sorts of techniques. Hughes is almost exactly the same age to the day as Taylor was on debut and Hughes has already played 24 Tests. Smith is still about a year and a half younger than M. Waugh was on debut. The Border years saw a team building towards a successful period. The current one is winning more games but is not going anywhere just yet. The difference in the winning ratios is easily attributable to the quality of the opposition. In the mid-late '80s, cricket was generally stronger than now. Border's team may have been on a losing streak, but that doesn't mean that they weren't ultimately in better shape.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2013, 11:28 GMT)

ygkd- well on it's own it's irrelevant if the other experienced guys were alright. But Steve played in 13 test matches before winning one so they were doing so much worse during that period than now. So we need to stick with the guys we've earmarked as future world beaters. We can all wish for more experienced guys in the side but Ponting and Hussey have gone and they axed Katich to "bed down" a solid opening pair for the upcoming Ashes. What a mistake that appears to be now. He was one of our best.

Posted by ygkd on (March 29, 2013, 5:51 GMT)

That Steve Waugh took so long to score a Test ton is largely irrelevant to the current state of affairs, for one important reason and that is his position in the team. Waugh's bowling was a large part of what he brought to his Test game, batting at 6 as a 20 year old and he was only one of three young players (with McDermott older by months & Reid by a couple of years) in an otherwise more experienced team. His twin, Mark, had to wait a further 5 years for his Test debut and that was at Steve's expense, so there definitely was no policy of just picking a young team and letting them mature together. Taylor too waited till 24. Then, as now, one young all-rounder with batting potential at 6 and a couple of young pace bowlers is enough youth for one team. Even then, Reid & McDermott probably suffered shortened careers because of their early debuts. Today we seek to protect the young pacemen but let the learner-plated batting hang out to dry in a manner of which Border's team never did.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

Front-Foot-Lunge- Australia is 6th or 7th best in the world right now? Who are above us? S.A., England and maybe India, then who are the other 2 or 3 better teams? We thrashed India in Australia, beat every other team of late except Sth Africa who were lucky to win the series after we had them on the ropes in Bris and Adelaide. One poor series in India with a young team inexperienced in their very trying conditions and according to some the whole world has fallen in! Get real. A lot of commentators/reporters were calling for Ponting's head for years and now lament his retirement! Everyone needs to settle down a bit, have some patience in the rebuilding team and wait for them to learn the ropes. As Waugh said it took him 26 tests to score a ton. At this rate we drop our batsmen after a couple of tests for not scoring one. Crikey!

Posted by ygkd on (March 28, 2013, 22:50 GMT)

The core late 20s to 30ish batting group at FC level does not have the results we need. Ferguson was not reselected for ODIs after being omitted through injury, despite a good record. Paine has received similar treatment. Voges, too, didn't get the right opportunities when he probably needed them. Thus, their careers to some extent have perhaps been stymied. Quiney had to do it the hard way - no pathway red carpet rolled out for him. Shaun Marsh, however, seems to have too much made of him, one can only rely on natural talent and a famous name for so long. Finch is a short-form specialist. Cosgrove hasn't fitted the selector's requirements for athleticism. Khawaja just can't get a game. So who has been honoured with continual selection? The answer is Cowan and that's about it. This list shows that the reasons for the lack of depth in that crucial age group are varied, but one point stands out and that's player management.

Posted by The_Red_Cherry on (March 28, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

I don't see why Aussies seem so despondent... Australia had a good 9-10 years at the top...... At some stage other teams had to catch up with them. The problem is that they desperately want to get back to the top and quick. England is reaping the rewards of the process started by Nasser Hussain and Vaughan. Hardly have we seen similar foresight from Oz selectors. Also it didn't help that the seniors retired abruptly instead of gradually phasing them out. Australia already has a highly competitive domestic league which will ensure that the quality will come through. All they need to do is identify and groom youngsters who have a natural disposition for Test cricket. This policy of trying to fit limited overs specialists like Henriques, Smith, Maxwell in Tests will not pay dividends in the long run.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (March 28, 2013, 20:43 GMT)

In short: young Aussie batsmen need to be taught to put a high price on their wickets. Runs will come - even batsmen with limited strokeplay (like Ed Cowan) can maintain a S/R of 40. Batsmen need to think about surviving morning sessions and work on strengthening their defense - the bowlers will get tried and then they can punish the bad ball.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 28, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

Mr Chappell is stating the obvious, Australia have a top six that certainly wouldn't walk into the English, Indian or South African sides, and Australia clearly just aren't good enough. Australia are the 6th or 7th best side in the world at the moment, and are light years behind teams like England and South Africa who outclass them in fitness, skill, discipline and team ethic. The transition phase needs to begin now, it hasn't even started yet.

Posted by Siddharth194 on (March 28, 2013, 17:40 GMT)

I think there is enough talent in Aus.Ferguson,Cooper,Forrest,Pomersbach,Maddinson,Jordan Silk...all can do great at international level..there are a lot of other people too.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

I think Aussies should open with Watson and Warner .. give them a long rope. Dont forget Warner changed the complexion of a test match in a day. Followed by Khwaja and Clarke with Wade, Starc, Maxwell/Smith, Henriques ( he is good temperamentally as well.. his knock of 81* in his debut test proves it), Siddle is no mug with the bat , neither are Pattinson and Lyon. They may not score much but have the common sense and the grit to stick it out. Add Wade /Tim Payne in the lineup and you have something really strong. The thing is you have to persist with them. Give them the assurance their places are safe. That they are not being hunted, and their best will come up. Especially Henriques , Maxwell and Smith. They are the future, and will be established by the time Clarke hangs up his boots.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 28, 2013, 14:27 GMT)

The selectors & Clarke are responsible for non-performance. No doubt the Oz class becomes useless mass. forrest looks solid with his technique & temperament in Odis, in which ideal for tests but gone.Copeland debuted injured bye bye not getting S.Waugh prize and 2 matches sandhu takes it all. after the retirement of Legendary Punter it was told that Doolan is the replacement but Do learn in SS. Paine & Handscomb are ahead of M.Waste. Aus will come on track after the retirement of Clarke.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

@venkatesh..yes we opened the academy..and now you good bowlers like umesh yadav and zaheer khan constantly out of the squad due to injuries and are left with an (always) out of form ishant sharma, rookie bhuvanesh kumar, the bowler with zero variations ashok dinda, awful parvinder awana and an invisible varun aaron... coming to the issue...the other day vvs laxman spoke abt organising India A tours to countries like saf, eng and aus...that is one way u can get the batsmen used to alien conditions...i think the likes of cowan, steve smith (why was he out in the 1st 2 tests?), khwaja (abt time he gets a chance) should be part of aus a tour to asian countries..that is the trend and should be the trend that all boards should adapt.. the rookie bowlers and batsmen get the experience...

Posted by Robert1612 on (March 28, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

Have said all along Watto should not have been given the captaincy for the Delhi test. Would have Haddin as keeper and as a once off, the captain, played Khawaja at no.4. IF Watson is bowling come the ashes he needs to be managed re: 2-3 spells per innings of 4-5 overs. As well as that bat him at 6 as the allronder should. Would be leaning though to developing Smith who at 23 looks a good long term prospect. Needs Warnie to do some one on one coaching to bring his leggies up to test match standard. Assuming england watched the Indian series, pretty sure there will be dry pitches on offer in England. Lyon and Smith bowling on the fourth and fifth days IF and it is a BIG IF Australia can find some batsmen to put some big runs on the board. Cowan and Hughes should do well in English conditions and if Clarke can continue his golden run, who knows? Will have to see what squad the NSP in their infinite wisdom can come up with!!

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

We have seen too much domination of AUS. As we know everything has a life cycle. Now its another turn. But it is sure enough that no one be like AUS.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 28, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

cont from my prev. SS was the suprise package in Ind & should be given a run in the side. Fans Favorite UK can probably consider himself quite lucky really. I doubt he would have done much better than his team mates but because he didn't play cannot be held responsible for the teams poor batting effort so you feel he will get his opportunity in Eng. Another big decison needs to be made regarding the keeper, although Wade has made 2 test 100s he was all over the place in Ind & even the 62 he made in the 2nd test was pretty scratchy & his keeping as at best worst than ave, do they stick with him & hope his glovework improves go back to BH or bring in TP who would be a popular choice with fans. We only find out the answer to these questions nearer the time but for what it's worth I would probably go with the following top 7, Warner,Cowan,Clarke,Khawlja,Watson(providing he can bowl a bit),Smith,Paine.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

When India was facing the shortage of Pace Bowlers , we took the problem seriously , we've taken the counter-measures like establishment of 'MRF Pace Foundation' and importing Pace Bowling Coaches like Denise Lilee and groomed our youngsters . Y can't the Aussies do the same thing ? Y can't they open a Spin Foundation and start grooming their youngsters in the art of spin bowling . May be they can import Spinning Greats from India for coaching . Or , they've their own spin wizard , Shane Warne at home . They can prepare a few pitches , tailor made for spinners and start coaching their young Bowlers as well as young batsman to cope up with Genuine Spinners , teach the Batsmen about the use of excellent Foot-work to counter spin bowling , etc ?

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 28, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

It will be interesting to see what Aus change about their batting line up for the ashes. The batsman collectivley failed in Ind & it wouldn't seem right for the same group of batsman to remain in place for such a pivitol series. There are so many questions left unanwered from Ind, can the opening pair continue?, After an impressive start to his career DW really struggled in Ind but you feel he has to play in the ashes without him MC would be the only batsman ave over 40. EC did better in Ind but still didn't manage a big score & his ave of 32 in 17 test is alarmingly low for an opening bat. PH showed a bit more towards the end but given his overall performance in the series & his ashes record (ave 17 in 5 tests) is probably the likleiest to carry the can. a decison will also need to be made about where MC bats and wot happens regarding SW? If he can bowl in Eng then I guess he plays as the allrounder, there must be major doubts if he can continue as a specilist bat given his record.

Posted by Tumbarumbar on (March 28, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

There are few men whose opinions I respect more than Chappelli's, in fact out of the stable of Ch 9 commentators he is one of the few worth listening to when he gives his thoughts on the game. Which, I might point out is in stark contrast to the recent English language TV commentary from India which was without doubt the best I have ever heard. However that is getting slightly of topic. Throughout his comments on CricInfo over the last 18 months Ian has constantly derided Cowan while pushing Shane Watson as a must for the Australian team even lauding his selection as Captain before the fourth test. Many of we arm chair experts couldn't work out what Ian was basing his articles on given Watson's returns and Cowans' relative consistency. Surely following India Ian must drop his support for Watson (along with 90% of other Oz journos) and show some support for Cowan. Or is that asking too much?

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

Well said sir , superb analysis...but for me a country like Australia will keep on producing big talents, there are a lot of talented players and just need some monitoring...

I can not believe Warner opens in test matches , they need some solid players , Hodge was wasted by Australia and get in some players like Marsh , White , Faulenker , Bailey , Fergusen and Hughes ( yes even after India tour )they all need to be in the test team.

For me big worry is batting talents are thin at present , barring retired Ponting ( avgs 75 odd ) , next best avg is of Cosgrove who himself is no way a test player and he averages in mid just barely 40

Plus top 3 all are not at all in test frame due to various reasons...Watson must be clear that he can not be in XI as a batsman alone as he has failed over and over again , he is stagnant as a batsman , an opening batsman or no3 must be some one who can score 200s , he can not do that on good basis , so as an allrounder at no7 he is good and thats all

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

why cant we have a neutral pitch suitable for every1

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (March 28, 2013, 10:46 GMT)

All those who criticise Phil Hughes' technique: watch the highlights of the 45 he made in the 4th Indian test. There were 7-8 cover and square drives that were perfect. Footwork, balance, weight transfer, straight bat with full face, and the ball raced to the boundary each time. PERFECT.

Compare those shots to Warner's terrible shot in the second over (and the previous test too). No footwork, leaning towards mid wicket, swirling and poking his bat in the general area of the ball. TERRIBLE.

But Hughes's technique is terrible, and Warner just plays that way. Hey?

Posted by BBrianBlair on (March 28, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

@ likeintcricket

Pakistan does have a better record against India but you can also not ignore the fact that a lot of matches between them in previous century were played under extremely tense situation and several off field factors also played role in the games outcome. Since 2004, India-Pak games are 50-50 affair with each side winning 3 tests against each other. In ODIs Ind has slightly better record as they have won 20 matches and lost 18 since 2003. In T20s India has only lost one game against Pak.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

Totally true. The only averages over 50 in First Class Cricket in Australia this summer gone belonged to two guys who are over 35, one guy who is already struggling in the test team, and a 20 year old that played three games. The rest of the top averages where floating around the low 40's

It's not good enough. Top players should be slaying first class attacks and accumulating big runs to put pressure on those above. There's no Darren Lehmanns racking up thousands of runs a year to put pressure on.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 28, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

@Valvolux, I'm assuming you are not Aus or Eng, if you were you would know that an ashes series is more important than winning the ODI WC, CT or T20 WC.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (March 28, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

Australia needs to look at rotating the batsmen and not just the bowlers ... and I dont mean like how Haddin was rotated out. Australia plays England in 10 tests, Australia should have at least EIGHT batsmen, THREE alrounders, TWO WICKYS and SIX bowlers that we use over these 10 tests. This means on average each player plays around six matches (three tests per series). Each player should be given opportunities with the understanding that they are in the XI for a number of matches. This means that if you are in the squad of 19 or 20, you know roughly how many matches you will be playing and can prepare for it. Australia should ensure that each player is a part-time player, ie: doesnt play every match, but is assured of x number of games each year. "position-sharing" like "job-sharing" is an excellent idea and should be done for all members of the XI, with no player playing more then 80% of matches (being clarke).

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

look at what other countries including india doing where are aussie young up coming players .CA should curb t20 games instead promote one day, test players with good technique. big fan but no spinners, no reverse swing FAST BOWLERS what has australia come to these days even batting is awful now.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (March 28, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

We cant keep naming hit and miss players, sure on their day they can have a big impact on a match but they haven't been. if you look at that team where are the consistent players coming from? the worst thing about players like these is they win sessions not matches. a team like this can lose a game in 3 days we need some players even on bad days would still grind out a 30 and keep pushing on and a better mix of attack and defence in our bowling. Cowan, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Burns, Faulkner, Paine, Pattinson, Starc, Agar, Bird. a good team for england and one that can really grow. Cowan and warner are our best option to open and are a good mix just need to start working together more. Khawaja ia natural number 3 and is our best bet for england so get the talented leftie in.. Faulkner is an underrated batter and will show a lot more soon and a good wicket taker, AUS best allrounder right now.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (March 28, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects from this particular debate. Australia need to find a new top six, captain, spinner and keeper, because the current lot have more that proved they simply cannot compete with the top 6 teams in the world.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

whatever starts comes to an end...Nothing lasts forever...In this current scenario no cricket team will dominate for long like the way Australia did in the past...

Posted by msagar on (March 28, 2013, 5:16 GMT)

I don't know how Hussey could be mentioned in the same breath as a Ponting. Clarke is still a product in making and could become a great batsman. Hussey scored 19 Test centuries and 14 of them were at home - an overwhelming 74%. He used to get his fifties by knocking the ball around for ones and two without playing big or forceful innings to change a game - although some of his 50s have been in good causes. But let's not let facts come in the way of good stories.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

@Rajan Nagarajan - your post is also well written but I have to differ with your opinion. Stats aren't everything, but they do tell a story when accumulated over a significant period and they definitely tell a compelling tale about the list you've compiled. If you were to judge based purely on first class averages you would be comparing Hussey (52), Ponting (55), Clarke (48) with the likes of Shaun Marsh (35!), Voges (40), Cowan (39)... sorry, but they're not test cricketers. Even in this article Punter clearly states he would have been made to quit as a junior if he averaged 35. The same as Shaun Marsh! I think the most telling stat is that fringe players in the 90s were averaging higher than first choice players now e.g. Lehmann (56+), Law (50), Moody (46). So, the figures don't lie - this is a weak era for Australian batting and Chappell's reasoning is flawless in my mind. I think you're right to use the term 'not bad'. As in 'not good' either!

Posted by abhay94 on (March 28, 2013, 4:31 GMT)

dont worry aussieee, never under estimate young blood, once ponting, huss and all those giants were like this, they improved to be like this, so the new guys will blossom

Posted by KhanMitch on (March 28, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

John_Verdal agree wtih you mate that Khawaja is key for the ashes for the simple reason he handles swing bowling very well and in my opinion is the best young batsman we have coming through. And we really need Watson doing both arts. Fact is we do have a test quality all rounder with Watson. He's a good enough FC bat to bat at 6 in the test team and offer good value as 5th bowler. He's accurate, moves it a bit, and picks up wickets.Problems with him though are twofold:1. his body keeps breaking down, turning him (for now) into a specialist test batsman, and not a very good one; and2. he seems to see himself as batting superstar. If he can get on the field for a long duration and do both it will help us alot.We have another who can fulfil a similar role in Ronnie McDonald. He's shown signs in the last 203 years of being very good, scoring big, keeping runs down, and taking wickets. Unfortunately for him, and us, he;'s had a horror run with injuries.

Posted by Mary_786 on (March 28, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

Interesting to see Julian and Waugh's team. Waugh had Hughes out and Julian had Cowan out. I would personally leave Cowan out even though i admit Hughe has issues with the swining ball. I would have Watson and Warner opening, Khawaja at 3 who really will be key against the moving ball as he plays this really well, have Clarke at 4 and Cossie at 5. What cracks me up is that people talk about Flintoff as if he was intragal to England becoming the best Team in the World. Sure Flintoff was good and was involved with a very good England line-up, but England has really only cemented their place above Australia from 2009 onwards and Flintoff retired in 2009… In other words for the last four (4) years England has been dominant without an all-rounder! Shock horror!There is a simple rule about all-rounders - they should only be selected if they are good enough to be selected for one discipline alone.

Posted by anton111 on (March 28, 2013, 3:03 GMT)

No good thing lsts forever. Its a cyclical thing. One day you're up the next day you're down. First it was the all conquering West Indies, now it is the turn of the Aussies. South Africa take note!!!!

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 2:58 GMT)

Time for a partially tongue-in-cheek comment. The solution is clear. We need to take a leaf out of another country's playbook and recruit from other nations. Into the Aussie team for the Ashes: McCullum, Rutherford, Taylor.

Posted by landl47 on (March 28, 2013, 2:47 GMT)

@Meety: Most good test teams have a core group of players in the 28-32 age range. There are one or two veterans and a couple of younger players to give experience and enthusiasm respectively. Eng has a core group of Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Prior, Bresnan and Anderson. Swann's a bit older at 33; Broad, Finn and Root are younger at 26, 23 and 22, so England's a relatively young test side.

Where Aus is lacking is that core group. The Aus players in that group in the last year have included Cowan, Watson, Shaun Marsh, Clarke, Quiney, Johnson and Siddle. Because the 28-32 year olds aren't good enough, players like Warner, Hughes, Smith, Wade, Maxwell, Henriques, Starc, Lyon etc have been drafted in, many before they are ready, while players like Cowan and Watson have kept their places despite not being of test standard. The veterans Hussey and Ponting have retired, so experience is lacking.

It's a temporary shortage of quality, not the IPL, that's to blame.

Posted by tests_the_best on (March 28, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

Agree with Baxter_P that such things tend to be cyclical. The article/Chappell's views are a little too pessimistic. As long as a cricketing nation doesn't face a systemic decline/transformation like West Indies cricket which suffered a lot due to youngsters favoring basketball/baseball over cricket, one can expect new talent to keep coming in although there could be periods of rebuilding and so on. One must keep in mind that Ponting is considered Australia's best batsman since Bradman and there was a half-century gap between the 2 players' times. I agree with Ponting's concern though about the influence of 20/20 cricket which could make Test cricket lose out on its priority but then that's a concern for the entire cricketing world, not just Aus.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 2:22 GMT)

I agree with what Chappel is saying but then, India were able to bat for long periods in the recent series despite being the foremost T20 cricketers.....

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 28, 2013, 1:53 GMT)

It is kinda T20 effect. People are showing off their new skill , a batting stroke. Every one wants to be sehwag and gayle with t20. Sehwag has natural skill , Gayle has power. The people who like to immitate them do not have either power or skill. One of the thing is you need to play within your strength. I believe every player wants to be noticed for their stroke making so they get selected for IPL for million dollar bonanza for 4 week Sloggathon. I can't blame them. I think Test players should earn same amount. Problem is this if you pay that much and they do not play well then its worthless. It will be like indian fast bowlers , once they get selected they become in exponential free fall. They achieved life long goal after that just free fall. Just look baby brain ishant sharma. There needs to be balance between t20 ,IPL and TEST. How do we get best players to TEST level?. I am literally shocked by aussies performance in india. I blame aussie selectors. May be micky arthur.

Posted by   on (March 28, 2013, 1:45 GMT)

australia have some exciting young batsmen coming through but i think they are still one or two shield seasons away from being international material. joe burns, alex doolan, jordan silk and nic maddinson are the players who i think are the next inline. i would be extremely happy if joe burns gets selected in the ashes series once he scores plenty for leicstershire this season. usman khawaja deserves to be playing for australia in the ashes series too. australia also have better spin options than in india. okeefe, ahmed and agar are the spinners in line for the ashes along with lyon.

Posted by OttawaRocks on (March 28, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

Excellent article. In fact, the problems with achieving test calibre batting and bowling reside with all test cricket nations in this era. SA and England appear to be better off but generally speaking test calibre batting and bowling is rapidly becoming a scarce commodity. This doesn't necessarily mean that T20 and ODI players have nothing of value to provide the modern day game. In fact, some of the abilities/temperament of the modern day players are of value. For example, the speed with which batsmen score nowadays was unseen in days past. However that notwithstanding the skill set to survive in test cricket is quickly disappearing. Final thought: the customer (the cricket watching public) will ultimately determine whether test cricket can be revived or if is laid to bed permanently.

Posted by Simoc on (March 28, 2013, 1:22 GMT)

The two batsmen who impress me the most in test batsmanship are Amla and Kaillis. Both look they've set up camp for the long haul as soon as they arrive at the wicket. This is the impression given to the bowler. You have to get them out because they're not about to give it away. They look like there is a high value on their wicket. Clarke is a classy batsman and Cowan is the lone batsman for Oz who wants to eke out the runs.

Posted by zenboomerang on (March 28, 2013, 0:40 GMT)

In reality, CA haven't developed the game at a FC level & allowed the States to control their golden goose until people got sick of the same old stuff to the point where SS is almost a dead sport... There should be 2 Shield teams in Qld, NSW & Vic with a team in Canberra - I'd go a step further & ask NZ to put up 2 teams as well, giving us a 12 team comp... At present many deserving young guys never get the chance to try for higher honors or move interstate when they may be too old to truely benefit from such a change... Our football codes have improved with extra teams so why not cricket?... I'd also like to see the different formats better organised into seperate comps - SS played to mid Dec, BBL Dec-Jan, Ryobi late Jan-Feb-Mar...

Posted by 5wombats on (March 28, 2013, 0:19 GMT)

Australia are in a down phase currently. I played and watched a lot of cricket in Australia over the years - particularly in the early/mid 1990's and there were some mighty fine batsmen in Grade cricket! Players with really solid all round skills and good technique & temprament. Kids grew up with it. It seemed as if they were born to it. So, it was a REAL shock, genuinely a shock to see Australian batsmen just fail to cope with England bowlers during the 2010/11 Ashes. I'd more or less assumed that Australian sides just had good batsmen, especially on their own surfaces. A fixed and given. Chappell is playing doom-monger here bemoaning what he sees as the failure of the status quo. He is on the outside and so his comments can be seen as political barbs. Aussies tend to be a bit like this if they feel themselves to be outside of the "sphere of influence" - they stand up and have a go. Their media also loves it, something to do with the battler culture.

Posted by saltydonut on (March 28, 2013, 0:19 GMT)

Baxter_P great to hear someone talking sense. You can change the coach and have as many reviews as you like, but the bottom line is that we just don't have the players at the moment to be on top. I think they have been doing a great job with the team we have but you can't be on top forever, sometimes you have lean periods.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 27, 2013, 23:18 GMT)

@Meety. You said it another way to my post, but totally agree. Take Glen Maxwell as an example, probably one of the first players I would pick for T20 or even ODI, but 10 years or so ago, he would have struggled to make a Shield team, let alone play tests. His T20 type slog in the first innings of the last test probably best sums it all up. Steve Smith has definitely worked on his technique from that crude T20 style of a few years ago, but too little of other players are doing such. We all know the issue, but the money involved in T20 competitions far outweighs much serious thought processes on which way to go, unfortunately.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 23:06 GMT)

Interesting that England and South Africa also have excessively long T20 seasons but in recent months players from those countries such as Faf Du Plessis (in Adelaide) and Matt Prior and Ian Bell (in Auckland) have played long innings to save matches on the final day. I'm still staggered by the shot Shane Watson played to get bowled in the 2nd Innings in Delhi. Teams don't have a prayer of winning or saving matches when so-called leading players give their wickets away like that.

Posted by dariuscorny on (March 27, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

@Raheel Akhtar ,Chappell wont worry Aus playing Pak ,as Aus bowlers wud be bowling against fourth class batting line up of Pakistan,still Aus hv batsmen who are miles ahead of best Pak batsman

Posted by Nutcutlet on (March 27, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

So that's it, then? Oz has run out of genuine Test batsmen. If they want to turn in a couple of solid Ashes' campaigns, may I suggest two players who know English conditions like the backs of their batting gloves & would not let their country down? David Hussey & Chris Rogers. Both aged 35 & very good at homework, they are better than everyone else on offer, besides Clarke, of course. You don't muck about with the Ashes. There was plenty of mucking about in India anyway. Frankly, it would be perverse not to take DH & CR. Ashes' players' selection aside, Oz would do well to down-size the BBL & stick it out of the way of Test prep & proceed on the basis that t20 boys are, in general, not the men who are asked to wear the baggy green. As an Englishman, I want Oz to turn up & compete quite as much as I want a hot dry summer! (No, on reflection I want a proper summer more as we haven't seen the sun for two years!)

Posted by dalboy12 on (March 27, 2013, 21:20 GMT)

I fail to understand anyone who says that Australia will not keep producing very very good cricketers. They have awesome conditions and huge numbers playing the game over there. Sure there will slim times, but in general, even I have to admit (and I'm no fan of the Aussie cricket team) that the Aussie team will always be strong and a team to beat. If anything the danger to Aussie batsman and batsman around the world -- is that they make their money not playing backs to walls, guts it out, match saving test innings anymore. They make their money having a good old slog for 10-15 overs. The new challenge for players is that if they want to play all formats they need to be able to adapt - some have De Villers, Prior, Amla and some are still struggling Warner, McCullum, Raina etc. Just a thought.

Posted by Munkeymomo on (March 27, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

Don't doubt the Aussie's will be back strong soon. There's no way they would allow their cricket to die before England's.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

I'm an Eng fan 1000% but I really hope Aus can get through this trough soon. I'm hoping for a nail-biting Ashes like 2005/9, although a part of me still wants a 5-0 whitewash natch ! I remember Eng's nadir in 1990s and from that, the only way is up. And Aus will come on strong again too although Chappell is right IMO, the system needs a good kicking. Just like our Eng system had a total revamp: central contracts, power shift from counties to ECB, reshape of junior cricket ... And look at the results since 2004 (auto mental block on 2005-06...). Oz can do the same if the will is there, and it'll be for the good of the game.

Whatever the country, the powers that be need to think about long-term futures, not only short-term MONEY.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

I don't understand what is wrong with Aussies and its selectors these days, first they axe Punter and Chapel brothers were first to chuck him out of the team, and now they are moaning we don' have punter come on Mr. Chapel sir. I am not great fan of Punter, I thought he was always an defiant guy, However you have good days and bad days they should have certainly retained him until India series. You rather have someone who knows condition well enough, someone who has scored tons of runs over the years then to go with absolute new players and don't have clue what they about to face. Apart from Steven Smith no one looked well prepared and confident to me for this series ( specially against spin).

Posted by Meety on (March 27, 2013, 20:19 GMT)

@Wefinishthis on (March 27, 2013, 7:06 GMT) - great theory, although the Monsoon may make that hard to accomodate, maybe if they started play @ 7am, for a 3pm finish? @landl47 - I believe some countries are more exposed than others. Some of this has to do with the development stage of teams when the IPL started. Most of the "English" batsmen that are currently succesful, have started their careers (@ County level at least), BEFORE the IPL started. The same goes with Sth Africa (Currie Cup). With Oz, there are very few players who's career started BEFORE the IPL. India are in a similar boat to Oz.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 27, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

Chappelli is spot on. In the competition I play in, the format is 2 days, 80 overs per day, i.e. maximum 80 overs in the 1st innings. Being brought up in the old school, I try to bat out the whole 80 overs, start slowly, grind the bowlers & invariably pick up the runs later. Mostly I score a lot of runs (this season was not a great one) but the thing I have found the past few years is the amount of sledging I get from young players coming into grade. Sledging I don't mind, but they are all upset on how slow I bat! Of course, the end of year stats all show them below me in runs scored & almost invariably not being involved in the final series. The formats for junior competitions have changed to more 25 over games with the emphasis on fast scoring. How does this base prepare them for senior cricket? Discipline & application is almost a non event. I find the young bowlers are still high quality, albeit mollycoddled somewhat, but the batting future worries me.

Posted by likeintcricket on (March 27, 2013, 20:02 GMT)

@BBrianBlair, One bad comment should not be answered by another bad comments. Pakistan still has a better Test record against India but they never played struggling Australian side like Indians did. England is a good side but they beat Indians in India and lost to pakistan 3-0. Except Clarke no one can play spin in this Aussie side and against Ajmal and Co they surely struggle on spinning tracks. But I agree the best way to find out is a long Test series b/w these two countries anywhere but on bowlers helpful track ( either fast or spin). Pak has already beaten India at their home in other formats this year.

Posted by DeckChairand6pack on (March 27, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

Difficult to feel sorry for the Aussies (not that Chappelli is looking for sympathy). They've handed out many sound thrashings over the years. For now, it is time for them to suck it up!

Posted by vxttemp on (March 27, 2013, 18:59 GMT)

So, we are not talking about flat tracks and flat track bullies stuff. Good that at least someone recognizes it is not all easy to bat on alien conditions and it is not all about spin/bouncy tracks.

Posted by zaviar ahmad on (March 27, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

b brain blare dude wen ever we lost against any team its cox ov our own mistakes where we let our oppents win by our fielding n recently india being hammaerd by english team dn aussies dn again by nz in india n dn by eng the team won against aus was better dn aussies as dy dun have players who can play wel in dose conditions dere fault though n 4 dat crdt shud go to india bt please dun 4gt dat same Paki team u r takng abt has hammerd ur team in india n told u who is better n jux by wining few matches they strt recieving life threats and protrsts outside the stadium otherwise a sure short white wash was there 4 yew n dats not da way to play it must b a joke n dat cud b da reason y aussies let u win so dy can flew home alive as we did :D

Posted by jb633 on (March 27, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

Australia have simply managed the transitional phase in the worst possible fashion if you ask me. There is still talent in the country and I am not so cocksure as some about our ashes hopes against them but they have been naive in their process. Look at three batsmen in particular, Katich, Hodge and David Hussey. These three guys should have been a mainstay of the team post Hayden/Langer etc but they have been dealt with moronically. All three of these guys have playing experience around the world and will not panic when faced with a green seamer or a rank turner. It is immensley difficult for Aus to compete when their batting line up is consistent with performers who have average first class stats and no expereince play FC cricket overseas ( I mean 4 day not T20). Instead of keeping on with Katich for a few years they panicked and have gone for the slogger Warner. Instead of a solid base and a good example for the youngsters they are being shown Warner. Poor man management.

Posted by ozziespirit on (March 27, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

There's no easy way to say this but Mr Chappell is right, Australia don't have a test standard batting order right now. Teams like South Africa, England and India are full of quality batsmen. Aus have none, bar Clarke but he relies on batting at 5 or 6 which is no good. Warner is aggressive and can be deadly, but just look at his average on flat pitches in India. Look at all of Australia's averages for that tour. Then compare England's averages- who played the same team just before us. It's not a pretty sight.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (March 27, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

Look...India stuffed Australia and the Aussies looked dreadful but you know what? India is a hard place to play and it has happened to many a team playing over there. Where Aussie batters and many others around the world lack, is a bit of patience; how often do you see players playing shocking shots because they have been tied down for more than 4 or 5 overs? Temperament is key is Test cricket. History is replete with cricketers with a limited array of shots but amazing temperaments. People like Boycott & S.Waugh spring to mind. It just pains me when cricketers like most of the English during their 167 in the 1st Test or Watson/Hughes etc just swish away with no regard for their wicket. T20 unfortunaely has killed off the gutsy batsman...

Posted by saravanan.s on (March 27, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

It is sad that the Core people on the Division could not find this issue what chappell found it. I hope they take his opinion and read his article and correct this ASAP. Don't look at the Shorst terms solutions, I read in another article Chielf selectior of Aus saying Steve Smith was used in IND as he knows better how to play SPIN bowling, but when it comes to Eng Ashes Series Khwaja will be considered, which is a wrong way of developing a Team. In my opinion Watson must to be play Test Cricket as an All Rounder else he should not be Picked for Test team, look at either March (or) Ferguson as a test Batsman. Allow Watson to play ODI as All Rounder, If he can not bowl in ODI that is fine Develop Maxwell as All Rounder, I feel he could be next Symonds. So Aus is not in that bad spot as how others are looking at it. Mark my words Soon they are going to have a very strong bowling unit very soon; likes of Starc, Siddle, Pattinson, Cumins, Lyon, Ben, Mckay etc.... Good Luck for Aus Team.

Posted by vpk23 on (March 27, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

To be damn straight the poorest Aussie team ever...at least to tour India...4-0 was an apt result and a almight kick up the selector's backsides.. Given a year though the would be back on track Ian. Not to worry..Any other country Yes...But I don't think Aus will ever roll over n play dead... Blasphmey!!!! Sooner rather than later...They are boys who if given a look will be ready to put their hands up..That's Aussie for You..

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

Relax Ian, after we lost 4-0 even i thought we wont be able to replace, SRT, VVSL and RSD but in came cheteshwar pujara and dravid himself says their approaches are the same. We never thought we cud replace viru and in comes Shikar Dhawan. So just relax, u will definitely see another RTP, MEKH and MC

Posted by Peterincanada on (March 27, 2013, 17:19 GMT)

Too much gloom and doom. It is a difficult thing to play spin bowling on turning pitches. It is also difficult to play in swinging conditions. It takes practice and since there are no warm up matches players do not get sufficient time to learn. It can't be done in the nets because the bowlers and conditions are not the same. That is why most players today are flat track bullies and stuggle in bowler friendly conditions.

@Baxter_P You are right but Boon and Waugh were pretty poor players at the start but were persevered with and came good.

Posted by Romenevans on (March 27, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

Where is Ian Harvey? I heard his making a come back in ashes with his long hair and slower ones!

Posted by BBrianBlair on (March 27, 2013, 16:53 GMT)

@ Raheel Akhtar

Third class bowling attack ? Dude, two bowlers of the same attack ( Ashwin, Ojha ) are currently in ICC test top 10 rankings, one bowler (Ishant)was bowlng at 150 km per hour speed when fit and bowling out Ponting and another one (Bhuvneshwar) destroyed Pakistani batting order in his debut series few months ago.

Btw, Aus has struggled in India on many occasions but not against Pak and SL in recent history, so I think they can manage to beat those teams even with current form.

Posted by gmoturu on (March 27, 2013, 16:46 GMT)

Don't worry Mr. Chappell. Ups and Downs are common. Australia will be back. Just like it did when Border & Waugh took over.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

How are people on this board still claiming that Phil Hughes is an up and comer? He got found it inside 1 Test match in England in 2009 (4 YEARS AGO). Get rid of him, his technique is awful.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 15:51 GMT)

the moment Oz landed without experienced Hilfenhaus , they surely were minus a swinger who could meet Indian conditions. Minus Ponting minus Hussey minus...........everything. I could really see a sense of desperation in Aussie camp after 'HOMEWORK' gate. Khwaja should nave been playing all 4 four tests.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

No wonder Chappell is worried and disappointed after showing such bad batting performance against third-class bowling attack of India. What will they do if they have to face Pakistan in Pakistan and Srilanka in Srilanka.

They need to find and groom batsmen and make them play spin more.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

i agree with lots of people here khawaja deserves to be playing for australia. he has the best technique of all the australian batsmen coming through. i think australia made a big blunder by not picking him in india. i also expect joe burns to get some opportunities in the ashes series too. i think a lot will depend on how he performs for leicstershire in county cricket. for the future i will say jordan silk if he continues to perform the way he has been it wont be too long before he plays for australia.

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (March 27, 2013, 15:27 GMT)

"Cricket for me, when I was growing up, if I was batting, it meant I was batting until someone got me out, and if that took them a week then that's how long it took them. " - Ricky ponting

golden words , summarizes the essence of test batting so beautifully and coming from one of the best , should ingrained into every young batsman learning his craft

Posted by vivkr on (March 27, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

True, but isn't that the common problem all teams have? I mean, all the same things could have been said (and were said) when India toured Australia last time and got solidly walloped, and I fear will have to be said when India soon commence on their tour of SA.

Let me quote Gavaskar's criticism of India on their last tour of Oz. He complained (correctly) that there were not enough tour matches planned prior to the Tests and too many ODIs and T20s thrown in the tour, and the team arrived in Oz, just after IPL and with too little lead time to acclimatize to Aussie conditions, without Test match practice and unsurprisingly started on the wrong foot.

We need more tour games to get players in, and to get them to make runs, learn about conditions and prepare. That holds true for every team. And players need to apply themselves. If it were easy, it would be called "Easy" cricket to quote Steve Finn.

Posted by tony122 on (March 27, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

Chappell may be right but I think he is exaggerating the situation somewhat. Every country has it's ups and downs. English cricket in the 90's was a mess and then suddenly out of nowhere they started performing. Maybe Sheffield Cricket averages are a reflection of the lack of talent of individuals in Australian domestic cricket right now. And you may think Test Cricket is the highest form of cricket,me included, but it is about commercial interest at the end of day. How many people like to watch Test Cricket these days. Very few outside Australia and England. Even there if I am not wrong there is more viewership in T20 leagues. So future of cricket has to come with a balance of all three forms of the game. Or maybe we can fuse elements of the three to make a new form. Such it will be a money minter as well please the old timers.

Posted by Sano27 on (March 27, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

Sad but true.....i think aussies should have to pick the players for the specific positions....right now they are having almost 5 openers (warner, watson, khwaja, cowen, hughes) + clarke + steven smith....i dont think this is the right approach...also wade batting at no.6 looks the team so fragile.....what Oz need a formidable line up & for that they need good middle order players like joe burns, george bailey, callum ferguson....give this guys a run in test cricket & see whats the result....i felt there is no lack of talent in australia....its about finding the correct players for correct positions & grooming the talented young cricketers rather than going for allrounders who didnt have any talent to play test cricket....their bowling department is so safe....its the batting they need to be worried about....lets hope they will get the right combination in the next two years !

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 14:38 GMT)

Whoops I meant Rob Quiney.

Posted by Night-Watchman on (March 27, 2013, 14:37 GMT)

All countries must listen to the wise man's words, they are worth their weight in GOLD. If you play slam bang 10 overs in a T20 match, your technique is not tested. Play the whole day, you will be probed quite thoroughly by top quality bowlers on all aspects of your batting. Batsman who come thru the various age categories must be tempered by their ability to play the long form. Having T20 tournies in the lower age categories will be the death-knell to cricket batting technique as we know it. It will be a shame if it happens in the country that gave the world "The Art of Cricket".

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

This was in the making a long time ago ! why make it a big issue now ? Cricket Australia have long abandoned the system of developing quality Test Cricketers with the appointments of unqalified management, personnel and political intervention. They may as well adopt the saying" patience is NOT virture." Instead they have developed into the "now" system. There are quality players in Australia right now, but were dropped or were only given limited exposure and as such,destroyed the talent and confidence they may have possessed. For instance, if Clarke had played in the last Test in India, Hugues would have been dropped ! Turned out, he did make some runs and shows that he have what it takes to develop into a solid batsman. With full concentration on the game itself without juvenile distractions,he and Watson, will show some fight in the upcoming ashes, but it will take some time for Australia to get back on top.

Posted by Batmanian on (March 27, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

The Big Bash League in the middle of the Shield summer is an awful scar. Play it at the start; play it at the end. Play it indoors at Docklands in May in a system a bit like American pro conferences and merge the top teams into the IPL quarters. Just get it out of the way of the real cricket.

Posted by skip1968 on (March 27, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

Rajan Nagarajan

Are you on planet earth? Voges is a player who can be groomed? Adam Voges is 34 years old and couldn't hit the ball off the square in the run home to the shield final. Truth be told if he made a 50 or two WA could have made the final instead of leaving it to their tailenders to try and get them over the line.

Love him or loathe him Chappell has an uncanny ability to analyze the game correctly. Australia was cutting edge when the old cricket academy commenced in the late 80's - we need something more innovative than dropping blokes on tour for not penning reviews.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

Not so long ago, the Aussie system was so highly talked about as the model to create a solid bench strength. What has happened in the last few years? It obviously not the model to follow. Quite apart from these ill-formed notions of great system etc, its just that every nation has its ups and downs. Only two nations were lucky enough to have strong teams hold on to the No. One position for a good number of years continuously. The West Indies and the Aussies. Unfortunately, South Africa was isolated during the apartheid days otherwise the like of the Pollock brothers, Ali Backer, Barry Richards etc collectively were the most formidable guys to have played the game and they could have been there in the international seen giving the West Indian a lesson or two then. The Aussies have always had a major weakness for spin having themselves produced one of finest and most flamboyant leggie in the world in the name of Shane Warne. Lets see which nation now emerges the best.

Posted by playitstraight on (March 27, 2013, 13:54 GMT)

Interesting article. If you saw the averages of the XI who played in the fourth Test against India in Delhi, none of them averaged 40. Siddle top-scored in both innings. Fielding was hopeless, with many overthrows. That shows how low Australian cricket has fallen.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

Chappell's comments about young batsmen averaging around 35 as the norm for potential internationals are valid, and this probably does apply most to his country, but he forgets this also applies to us too. Alex Hales and Joe Root average in the high 30s in first-class, like Ed Cowan. Jonathan Bairstow has a high average but not many centuries. James Taylor has the best all-round record I think but has seemingly been put on the back burner, and other well-known county batsmen are around the 35-37 mark as well to the best of my knowledge (similar to Rob Bailey or Shaun Marsh for example). Some batsmen, like Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick, and Paul Collingwood, succeeded in Test cricket despite previously averaging around these figures for their counties. Therefore, batsmen are capable of lifting their game for the highest level, and that is why I think Australia do need to persist with Ed Cowan at the top - he has a good technique, watchful eye and showed in India he has obduracy.

Posted by likeintcricket on (March 27, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

Currently, Only England and SA have batsmen to carry them in the future. I don't see any other nation has the same quality of players. Since the fans have started admirring the likes of Afridis, Watsons, Warners etc the quality of Test class batsman has disappeared. Recently, Afridi played one good inning in an ODI and threw his wickets in other 4 ODI. But that inning was enough for the fans to suggest him as captain. Misbah who is a "classical" type of player but the Fans nicknamed him "TUK TUK" which means a batsman who just play and can't score. T20 is just a killer for Test cricket. The deteoration of bowler's quality has the same reason behind it. The bowlers has become more defensive in their approach to keep the batsman scoring runs. The current Indian and Australian sides are very good examples. The quality of both sides are very low as compared to their predecessors. If this trend continues than only England and SA will remain 1 and 2 in the future.

Posted by wnwn on (March 27, 2013, 13:40 GMT)

There is an obvious lack of batting talent coming through in Australia. The last paragraph sums it up perfectly. There are too many players averaging in the mid 30s in the Sheffield Shield and not enough in the mid 40s or 50s which was the norm a decade ago.

If you look at the top 10 run scorers in the Sheffield Shield this year, only 4 are averaging in the 40s or more and they include Ricky Ponting who has just retired, Chris Rogers who is 35 and considered too old and Phil Hughes who is in the test team but not consistent enough. Maybe it's time to call up Chris Rogers for the ashes.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

I can't believe people are actually positing the likes of Shaun Marsh as replacements for Hussey. Shaun Marsh is 30 years old and averages 35 in first class cricket. That is nowhere near the desired test average for an opening batsman. Ponting, Clarke, Hussey - these guys had a first-class average of 50+, which they maintained in the international format.

None of the guys in the Australian line-up right now have an average of even more than 45 in either international or first class games (save Clarke). How are these people supposed to compete with Tendulkar, Smith, de Villiers, Amla and Cook, all of whom average almost 50 in both first class and international matches?

Ian is right. There is no talent. You can keep on giving them opportunities, but if they coulnd't do it in domestic matches, there's scant chance of them doing it in international games.

Posted by Ibrarhunzai on (March 27, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

Ian Chappel is dead right. Same goes for Pakistan too.

Posted by Kirk-at-Lords on (March 27, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

Chappell brings up some of the same old issues, but that is because they simply will not go away. Granted sporting cycles of peaks and troughs, there are deeper concerns that have long been roiling the waters of the cricket. T20 clearly lies at or near the heart of the matter. India, the capital of T20 due to the success of IPL, has had the best opportunity to adapt to the variable demands of the long and short versions of the game in unique home conditions. Yet even there recent home Test results against NZ, Aus & England suggest an overall decline in Test playing capacity and consistency. India are even more likely than usual to do badly in their upcoming long overseas Test run. England did very well in India for a change, but collapsed in UAE and faltered badly in NZ in successive northern wintertime tours. S.Afr. seem dominant, but have some major retirements ahead. Such variability adds to the excitement, but what is really needed is a true Test Championship + proper finance.

Posted by T-800 on (March 27, 2013, 13:03 GMT)

Short form cricket most definitely has had an impact, but as other commenters have pointed out, every major cricketing nation faces the challenge of having to cope with the task of molding youngsters with test cricket oriented skill sets in this era of short form cricket. I think the main problem lies with the Australian batsmen's inability to cope with spin as well as the lack of high quality spinners. I am betting and predicting that these same batsmen who failed in subcontinent conditions such as Warner, Watson, Cowan, Henriques etc will perform very well in the coming Ashes series if they are still around in the team by then. This would of course negate the argument about their inability to play test cricket, play long innings etc and bring the debate where it should be and this Australia's acute problem with spin

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (March 27, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

Interesting analysis which concerns a wider field than just Australia. Unfortunately money drives cricket too much even though we see every other test match how inferior the likes of t20 are to the real thing. In the end batsmanship is always founded on a good technique,playing straight and recognising a good delivery when it comes along. Perhaps players under a certain age should not play t20 till they have enough of the longer game behind them. All that glitters is not gold.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

Having such great players as Australia once did means that at the end of their long careers replacements haven't had the chance to step up to test level at the right stage in their development. Add that to the effect on concentration of not just short form cricket but things like computer games and other modern amusements and you end up with what has for some time looked like an indsiciplined rabble. Development programmes should not involve T20 until kids have a good sound basic technique which can be loosened more readily than slogging can be tightened. It is good for the rest of the world to see them in such a mess.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 13:01 GMT)

It is all in the mind. The Australian team is still a very, very good one. Some top players quit, others lost form... and then they started to doubt. When there was absolute belief in their game, in being the greatest team on the planet, the Australian team was unstoppable. New players were assimilated seamlessly and performed no matter how talented they really were. That winning culture was reflected in Australian cricket across all formats and over all age groups. Then, as soon as doubt crept in the illusion vanished and with that their performances. In rugby the Springboks reigned supreme for a century, not because Springbok teams were always the best but because they were convinced that they were.. Everyone gets a reality check sooner or later.

Posted by inswing on (March 27, 2013, 12:57 GMT)

This type of "this is the end" sentiment is natural after a bad performance. But Australia is a great cricketing powerhouse and will always produce great batsmen and bowlers. There is nothing wrong with "the system". It is the same system that produced Ponting and Clarke and Waugh. There will be mediocre periods, as no one can assume permanent excellence. As they say, keep calm and carry on.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

if the sun is setting on Aussie test batting then it is not good news.Australia is one of the few countries where test cricket is taken seriously.Last 40 years I have seen awesome batsmen come and go from don under.Just naming a few chappell brothers,Walters,Simpson,Hughes,Border,Dean Jones,G.Marsh,Boon,Waugh brothers,Hayden,Slater,Langer,D.Martin,Gilly and Clark.But the greatest of them all was Punter.Hope this only a sun set and the sun will rise agian and shine for a long time to come on the Australian batting with aggressive and match winning kangaroos.

Posted by Lara213 on (March 27, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

When was the last time if ever Australia suffered a test series whitewash? Australia are facing a 'lost decade' in test cricket much like England in the 90s. Whitewashes and humiliations punctuated by the occasional false dawn only to be dashed by the next batting collapse, while the selectors throw youngsters in at the deep end before throwing them to the wolves when they don't deliver.

England have their best chance to inflict a 4-0/4-1 in the coming Ashes series' and they shouldn't spare the old enemy no more than they did us. In the long run it's better for the Ashes to have the Aussies coming back hard after some serial humiliations.

Posted by cloudmess on (March 27, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

A decade ago, up and coming Australian batsmen would aim to be talented and successful at test level. Now the starting point is T20. If you take Clarke out of the picture, Australia's most talented player is arguably David Warner, but he has essentially honed his talent through T20. This is why he will sometimes produce brilliant innings at test level, usually on flatter pitches, but will struggle against good bowling attacks on helpful tracks. Cowan and Hughes would have got nowhere near the Australian side 10 years ago. Where has that brilliant Aussie 2nd XI gone? What they would give now for a batting order including the likes of Jamie Cox, Michael Love, David Hussey, Darren Lehmann and Stuart Law.

Posted by whofriggincares on (March 27, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

So are we talking ability here or application? Good coaching will set players for whatever form of the game they are playing( and good selectors will pick the right team for each format) . We can moan and whinge about the less important forms of the game but they are here to stay. Get the selection process right and coach to suit each form simple. The same arguments were being had when 50 over cricket came about. Quite simply some players can adapt and excel at all forms and some cant. PICK THE RIGHT SIDES AND COACH THEM ACCORDINGLY. Thats what the coaching panel is paid handsomely for. Do your job or move on for christs sake. The talent is there regardless of what FFL and Tommytuckersaffer (one and the same) have to say.

Posted by Mervo on (March 27, 2013, 12:33 GMT)

Barnesy 4444. Hughes has a good eye. Many batsmen do. However he has no technique for either pace or spin of quality and will always be a B Grade player. His performances in every series have been terrible. Other players with good techniques like Usman and Joe Burns are worth grooming. And we should bring back Haddin as keep as Wade is awful in that role.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

The article puts forth his genuine fears for the future of Australian batting talent, but we shouldn't forget that the group(most of) of batters that have failed in the recent series in India didn't have a first hand experience in Indian playing conditions. That being said I thought Steven smith and moises henriques have displayed great resolute and should be encouraged. It may be hard thing to digest(white wash) but india did suffer a white wash even when players like sachin, sourav,dravid and laxman were in the touring side. I guess they need to apply themselves more in the test cricket in future and hope everything turns out well for Aussie Cricket. Your fears are well justified considering that it has happened only four times in the history of Australian Cricket. Players like Warner, Cowan have a lot to offer. Hopefully they do in futute!

Posted by Baysider on (March 27, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

In my opinion the issue is overcoaching. Anyone with promise is put under the wings of a coach at a young age and moulded - perceived "flaws" in technique are addressed, everything that made that young batsman what he is and got him noticed is changed ! Let them develop their own technique, don't hamper them with somebody else's ideal of a technique. That's the differentiator with the greats, they all have/had their own technique. Bradman was never coached, would he have achieved what he did with a coach constantly adjusting his technique? The new shining lights among the world's batsmen come from countries where they reach their 20's before a coach gets near them. Back off and let those with the ability make their way out of the crowd.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

The comments by Ian are certainly valid. However there are still certain players for the test format who have the potential to emulate. Shaun Marsh and Callum Ferguson are the players forgotten by CA and need good chances and should be given confidence to settle in the side . Again Haddin is a better prospect than Wade, the selectors are sometimes behaving like the Indian selectors ignoring the potential players claim and make wrong choices. Still all is not lost imagine How Allan border and Bob Simpson worked from the scratch and produced amazing results.

Posted by bhanuma_nagadeep on (March 27, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

For once, Ian Chappell makes a meaningful statement.... Its not about appointing a coach or changing the manager... Its about the methodologies that needs to change... If First Class averages are ranging around 35, CA has some work to do at the first class level on how these cricketers are being groomed.

But For once, I am disappointed with the heading of the cricinfo's article!! Chappell's views are more focussed on issues...Cricinfo's heading makes something else!! This is something that I am seeing most often of Cricinfo now-a-days!! You dont need to wrong titles for promotion like other media... we, cricket followers will read every article that comes in our way!!

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 12:21 GMT)

Very correct Mr Chappelli,this apparently because our state cricket coaches have been too lazy to attend matches at grade level and therefore select straight from u/19 squads.One played grade cricket in WA in the 70s & 80s as a captain & was astonished when players who looked so good were selected on their potential,not their ability.I saw one young potential superstar hit in the head by a short one & thought this kid can't play,I was proved right after a few years.We need to bring the selection criteria of runs scored over time into it,performance based incentives of promotions to say here ya go,see how ya go at this level. It's always happened with the bowlers...

Posted by Chris_Howard on (March 27, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

@Baxter_P I'd just like to extend your analogy with the mid-80s. That was also a time that had seen a rise in a new short form called One Dayers.

I suspect in hindsight, part of our problem then is the same as now - players developing short form skills to the detriment of the long-form.

It wasn't until Australia found guys who wanted to succeed in Test cricket, those guys you mentioned - Waugh, Boon, March etc -that the recovery began.

CA needs to first give Shield and Tests priority so guys will want to play the long form, and then identify the players who genuinely do want to play Tests. Those will be the guys putting Shield and Test opportunities before T20.

Posted by landl47 on (March 27, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

What's missing from this analysis is that all the other countries are facing exactly the same issue. Therefore, if Chappell is right, everyone else should be in the same boat and relative performance will not suffer. We might have some arguments about 'the good old days', but Australia will be just as competitive as they ever were. So, if Aus is not as competitive at the moment, Chappell's wrong and the problem lies elsewhere.

The fact is that Australia, after so many years of producing top quality players, has hit a period where there aren't many good batsmen coming through. Add to that a more common problem in Aus (apart from the Warne/MacGill years), that the spin bowling isn't great, and it's going to be a problem for Aus to win on the subcontinent. It's just a dip; soon new stars will emerge as good as the players of the past.

Everyone goes through it. England in the 1990s, WI in the 2000s, India in the 2010s, Aus itself in the 1980s. This too shall pass.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

Good to know Australia and India has the same problem. Funnily the mind-numbing 4 day tournaments most Juniors play in India at College, University and state level seems to be benifitting them. Would it be a good idea for CA and BCCI to start an exchange program where our brightest lights and theirs come to each other countries and play domestic U 19 tournaments and vice-versa?

Posted by AKS286 on (March 27, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

The main problem for Aus is not the batting the real problem is Captaincy. S.Marsh & Ferguson are best batsman for spin bowling. Different horses for different course instead of hughes & warner Marsh, Ferguson, Voges to considered.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

Future of Australian Cricket team appears very dismal as none of the Aussie batsmen (mentioned above) appears has the technique/capacity to perform against accurate bowling. They do not know how to use feet against spin bowling. As far as memory goes I think, since mid 80s this is probably the most ordinary bowling attack Australia has ever had. Hard work and more training may improve the technique/capacity but the team lacks smart and talented players.

Holes in the player's production lined might be filled in by exposing future players more in difficult/different pitches for longer version games in overseas..

Posted by hyclass on (March 27, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

The Rick McKosker article highlighted the incredible understanding of team dynamics that made Ian Chappell one of the most highly regarded Captains of his country. Chappell is echoing in a polite fashion,what Ive been saying for at least five years.The use of the internationally emulated institutes, systems, methods of selection and even who could play 2nd XI cricket were all reversed. If it was just one, I would deem it an accident. When it's all of them, as highlighted by Argus, its clearly an attempt to influence and reverse their effectiveness. And its worked. The 'non-investment in traditional cricket',statement by Hayden while a CA Board member highlighted their exact mentality. It meant they were invested somewhere else. Given BBL being rushed into being ahead of schedule & debate, its clear what it was.The Test and Shield malaise of the last 5 years has been a well orchestrated CA attempt to diminish the Test cricket brand in order to validate the commercial 20/20 alternative.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 27, 2013, 11:35 GMT)

How much people are optimistic about khawaja since ashes some fans tried to convince that khawaja is the replacement of punter and now Hussey. Khawaja is a very ordinary below average batsman far far behind Marsh, Ferguson, cosgrove, Quiney, Forrest, Doolan, Burns, Silk, klinger, Pomersbach, Voges etc. Khawaja got too many chances but as usual he fails all the time. I think its time to think for S.marsh because after few years fans shout bring marsh he is only 33 yrs old. Marsh deserve permanent place, already Oz lost Rogers, Klinger, Jaques, Hodge. IMO marsh is the another hodge.

Posted by PACERONE on (March 27, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

If you watch batsmen all over the world there are few with very good techniques.Witness how many get bowled off the inside edge from balls that are outside the off stump.The bowler is then considered a good bowler when in fact the batsman has played a bad stroke.Batsmen are now more interested in hitting sixes instead of hitting the ball on the ground.

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (March 27, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

I don't share that much cynicism. I use Phil Hughes as an example; as a 20 year old he smashed 5-6 Shield centuries, forced his way into the test team at the expense of Hayden, smashed Steyn and co in SA, made 500 runs in 3 Country games, but after only 2 low scores in England one of which wasn't out, he was dropped and told to change his technique!!

Doubt in the 20 year old's technique grew and it showed in his infamous NZ dismissals. We became so used to batsmen entering the team at 26 in their prime we forgot that young player's games still need to fully develop!!

BUT, he abandonded t20 to work on his test game and in the last 12 months is starting to reap rewards for the hard work. Hughes wants to be a test batsman for the next decade and he has the talent to do it.

No doubt some other players will come up who want the same thing, but junior cricket does need to be revamped though especially at representative level. There's too much t20 nonsense.

Posted by sitaram58 on (March 27, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

The assumption we all make is that test match cricket will still be around 10 years from now. Unless the problem of making money while playing test match cricket is solved it's goodbye test matches and therefore we may not require the likes of Ponting, Hussey and Clarke in the future. This is the sad but inevitable truth!!!!!

Posted by hycIass on (March 27, 2013, 11:25 GMT)

@Mary some very good comments. Do keep it mind that it takes time to develop spinners. The deliveries are inherently more difficult to control yet the margin for error for line and particularly length is much narrower. There is no substitute for hour after hour of net practice, bowling your stock ball, heavily spun, at a small target until you can hit it reliably. Benaud said this process usually takes four years. The same goes for batsman as well and they don't develop overnight. Warner, Khawaja and Hughes are the 3 guys to watch out for me. Khawaja needs his chance because out of the young lot he is probably best build for test cricket, very calm, great technique and as Mark Waugh mentined the best batsman against swing bowling. Warner was dissapointing in India but he will come good for us in the ashes. He has to.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (March 27, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Fair points by Chappell. However the fact is that things will get better for the current crop as they gain experience. This is a very inexperienced team. Players like Warner, Lyon, and Maxwell weren't even playing first class cricket three years ago. It also pays to keep in mind that we have an incredible crop of fast bowlers on tap. They are inexperienced too, but in 2-3 years they will be terrorising opponents. Imagine Pattinson, Starc, Cummins and Hazelwood (may be the best of all of them the way he bowled recently) in the one team and with a few tests under their belts. Can't wait to see the Inexperienced Indian batsmen trying to swat away bouncers ( that bounced hip high from Starc in India) on a standard, non-doctored track.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

(cont.) Then we have the future planning issues. Old players selected on the Lions Tour!!! How short sighted are these selectors?? Was someone afraid that a young 22yo would step up and smash a couple of centuries??

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

Couldn't be further from the truth!!!

As others have pointed out .... do you not remember how Clarke commenced his career?? And what about Mat Hayden?? And what about IAN CHAPPELL .... his average was shocking at the start of his career, and his average was below 30 for his first 4-years of Test Cricket.

Australia has had a terrible series, just like the 4-0 loss to SA in 1970. I wonder if Chappell remembers his average on that tour ... 11.5 including 3-ducks. What followed was an Ashes Test and in the last match Australia was set 223 to win and draw the series only to collapse .... all out for 160.

It happens!!!

But what we do have is a bunch of worthless selectors and leadership group who refuse to drop batsmen and select players who are not from NSW,something that I have been saying for the last 6-months. The same people also do not recognise that not all players are suited to a particular environment (eg GM,XD,MW)

The talent is there ... the selectors just have to use it!!!

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 10:42 GMT)

Another typically negative piece here. Michael Clarke has only really flourished in the last 2-3 years. He's always had talent, but many questioned his place in the side and elevation to captaincy. It's very premature to write off a whole generation of players. I agree that there's not the same volume of test-quality batsmen coming through, but these guys are having to play with a lot more pressure and responsibility than someone like Clarke needed to at the same stage. The previous generation were so good that we aren't left with many guys that got a good apprenticeship to first-class cricket. Those guys aged 28-33 should be the back-bone of the state sides and allowing the 18-24yr olds time to develop properly. Instead, they're getting thrown into the deep end. You see this sort of cycle play out in most sports. In an ideal world, someone like Ed Cowan would've been given a some exposure two or three years earlier to help with that balance.

Posted by Blakey on (March 27, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

Well said Ian, but what about your hero before the series and man dealt so badly with during the series; Shane Watson? Are you saying he isn't any good now? About time you recognised his shortcomings. Most of the issues would disappear if the media reduced some of the scrutiny the up-and-coming players are under. Obviously the unexpected loss of Michael Hussey had a huge effect on the performance of the team. I have been a huge Hussey fan but bfeel that he has been just a bit too selfish in this instance "He didn't want to say anything in case he lost his position". Well, d'uh, that's what team is about. letting everyone know so that reasonable contingencies can be drawn up. The selectors have no choice now than to stick with the young guys in place and wait for the next crop to develop.

Posted by tappee74 on (March 27, 2013, 10:24 GMT)

Mr Chappell is a gentleman who knows this game like the best.All he has said are hard facts that need to address.Australia batting in recent past was like a fire wall. The names of greatness are too much to mention.What has gone wrong now has gone too deep.This concluded series against India has exposed weaknesses to the point of humiliation.Test cricket is all about application,skill and patience.I remember a triumphant WI side led by the then CH LLoyd.Their magnificence enshrined for about a decade or so,today that once feared team has fallen almost to the bottom. But even today,young cricketers can look at the batting application of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and emulate his patience.At the age of 39,he still bats like a professional, and that batting has saved the WI many a times from humiliation.

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 27, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

I am big believe in youth. I think aussies are more transparent in their selection than india. Chop and Change may be bad But i feel you need to give each 3 test matches and 5 ODI if they do not score century in that time , they have to be move to A team for more experience. I believe aussies has players , you have to give them more chances. One of the things i keep proposing to india is also apply to australia. Which is scouting agents. In that way you skip all filters and go directly to the source which is talented skilled batsman right off production line. How baseball scouting or NFL scouting which analyse players ...40 yard dash speed. I think if you give proper positive gradual exposure , younglings will do great. For cricket my criteria for a batsman is TALL well built with great stamina and concentration. What aussies lack is concentration. Dean jones used to have no talent but he had incredible concentration. Technical skills are secondary but it has to be taught at 15.

Posted by Anubhav-the-Experience on (March 27, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

No T20 games until you age 20 is a solution.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

I totally disagree to Sir Ian Chappell. I would like to through some light on it to justify my statement. -- Oz's squad for this series is awesome. But the final XI picked is poor. -- Aus won the toss on all the four occasions, but they never choose to bowl first. Even after failing to put a good score on board on first, second & third tests, why did they choose to bat again in the forth? This means they don't trust thr bowlers. -- Lets talk about the openers and number 3 batsman. Do we have a good combination thr? Warner and Watson should be the openers at number 3 it should be Clarke. (1,2,3 positions should be ur best pick, to win a series abroad) -- Warner, I really wonder why he didn't play his natural game. If we was striking the ball hard, India would never had fielders close in. -- Watson, Abilities with bat r phenomenal. But needs to improve his fitness to bowl too soon. Else, after 15-20 years, people will forget when Australia last won thr last ASHES !!!

Posted by Haleemk on (March 27, 2013, 9:46 GMT)

I agree with Chappel...It shows his frustration as a true patriotic,he is hurt.Australia missed a trick...very very open.....They could have played Usman Khwaja who was from India subcontinent origin (Actually from Pakistan).He could have been best bet on Indian conditions and Spinners.How Mickey missed south African Lesson...Hashim Amla example...Hashim was great success in India last couple of season back having Indian roots.Not saying Usman could have been as good as Amla but suddenly better on playing in Indian conditions than some of his colleagues.

Posted by ygkd on (March 27, 2013, 9:38 GMT)

The other thing that needs to be said is that CA is not like an AFL or NRL club. Therefore, in this context, team-building is an over-rated term. There is no salary cap imposed from outside, there is no artificial maximum number of players to choose from and no need to dump players at the end of the season and add new ones from a draft. Teams may be tweaked in infinite variety as necessary. CA can pick a team of 30-plus year olds if it so desires. Or a younger team. Or, more sensibly, a workable mixture of Test specialists. But in order to do so, it must have a strong back-up competition for Test-player production and that is the Sheffield Shield. It is not the ODD or T20 franchise stuff. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the shorter forms as add-ons, as long as the Shield is the top priority. If that is strong, then so is the national team. If the Shield is caught in no-man's-land, then likely so is the national team. And isn't that exactly what has happened recently?

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 9:36 GMT)

I dont know if there is really any such thing as a "bits and pieces" player. Ravindra Jadeja was considered one such player recently, and when given a proper opportunity he established one of the front line spinners in the side. And he is your quintessential T20 player, and one who benefited most from IPL. India is the birth place of IPL and the country is still producing players like Pujara. I think it really boils down to the player's temperament and will to succeed at the highest level, regardless of which generation he grew up in.

Posted by borninthetimeofSRT on (March 27, 2013, 9:26 GMT)

Let's face it. The entire Aussie camp had its focus on the Ashes while playing India.Except Michael Clarke, everyone was talking of India tour as a preparation for the Ashes. Too bad they lost, good for India - the whitewash came as soon as we could have wanted. Facing spin bowling isn't rocket science that it is being made out to be. If Martyn, Ponting, Hussey, Clarke, Gichrist or even Symonds can play spin, it means the current batsmen are not being trained to carry this skill forward. But these batsmen honed their skills during the time of Warne and McGill. It is surprising that the baton has not passed from Warne, at the best time that it could have. There are no quality spinners to bowl, so there are no batsmen to face quality spin.I wonder how Aussies prepare.

Posted by Thefakebook on (March 27, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

Are you kidding me? Rick Ponting has the average of a tail ender in India. Hussey and Clarke have poor avg in india as well.No OZ batsman will ever master the doctored pitches of india. None have ever!You may have a real good series where you may score 300 runs in it but that will happen once every 6 or 7 series.

Posted by IndianInnerEdge on (March 27, 2013, 9:21 GMT)

Agree with some of Chappelli's insightful comments, but basically feel this is a knee-jerk reaction - Face it - a tour of india was always going to be difficult even with experienced players. It requires a slightly diffeent mindset.I am sure the shield setup, and the lower level cricket that Aus has will produce such batsmen. The problem with Chappelli is he always picks an issue and has a strong opinion about it, either a strong yes or a strong no, never in between. Aus shield cricket is still the strongest going around, definately better and more structured than India's domestic, still we have thrown up Chet Pujara, Vijay, Dhawan, kohli who for a change are products of the system, not despite the system-as it always was with indian cricket. The point i am making is if indian cricket can do this, the rest of the world can. The good point about Aus cricket and for that extension-English/Nz is the priority they place on tests being the pinnacle, something i wish India would emulate :)

Posted by ygkd on (March 27, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

I agree with the article. The amount of short-form cricket being played by juniors, the array of pitches on offer in the Sheffield Shield and the impact of a muddled schedule are all things that have been obviously, blatantly wrong for some time. I remarked just yesterday about how the position of opener had lost its specialism in this era of short-form-dominated higher-rep late-junior cricket. 2-day games must be prioritised. The available FC pitches must be augmented, especially with spinning tracks. A team in the ACT is long overdue. Canberra is growing and the Sheffield Shield is shrinking in importance. Give the ACT a go and add the NT, out of Alice, if you can, extending the number of games. Play games in Nth Qld. Play games in the bush. But don't let the Sheffield Shield run as poor relation to the BBL or the ODD. Otherwise, there's little point in keeping it and without it, Australian cricket is lost. That's not scaremongering. We're already heading down that path right now.

Posted by valvolux on (March 27, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

@ Meety - sure they have made a heap of runs in county cricket - who and where are we playing next exactly? Hodge and Rogers have excellent Shield careers, D Hussey maybe not so. Hodge is too old, but Rogers and D Hussey are young enough to get a crack for a couple of years. I personally dont have an issue with the likes of Hughes or Khawaja because I believe they are the best youngish players in the country. But bringing in Maxwell, Smith, Marsh, Quiney, Cowan, Henriques etc. who all have crap first class records, just because their age means they can play until 2020 - is just wrong. They werent the best going in shield at the time, far from it. I know Hodgey and co. had too much competition to play a lot of tests in their prime, but if they are still our best active players, pick them. Dont look to the future in a year where we play South Africa, India and England back to back. Its like an ODI world cup year and we are planning for the next ODI world cup before its started.

Posted by ravi_hari on (March 27, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

Ian Chappel is the pained Aussie who cannot accept meek surrender. Apart from the technique and ability what was lacking in the team in India was the fighting spirit. But for Siddle they would have lost by an Innings and huge margin at Delhi. What has suddenly gone wrong with them? If you look at the past, Aussies would never pick rookies for tests. They would allow them to be groomed at the Shield level and after proven performances only they would be considered for selection. Today anybody with One decent performance can get into the team. The value of the Baggy Green has gone down drastically. That is why they are not performing. Ask Steve Waugh the importance of Baggy Green cap. He did not change it until retirement! Tha passion and love for the country and the game is missing. No matter what technique or skill you have, if you dont have the passion you will never succeed. In sharp contrast the Indian youngsters valued their places highly and performed to their best. Learn Aussies.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

Chappell is way off base. His call of Clarke as the last test batsman... does no-one remember how Clarke started? Wildly talented but very loose technique, he was out hitting to fieldsmen so often they dropped him. Going back to domestic cricket and working on his game meant in time he became a great batsman.

Chappell is just repeating the same nonsense we always see in cricket commentary - pick out whatever is lacking right now and claim it's a long term problem they have been talking about for years. Does anyone remember Chappell and friends bemoaning the state of fast bowling in this country just a few years ago? They complained that was because short form cricket ruined fast bowlers, didn't teach them how to work a batsman over like you had to in Tests. All of a sudden Cummins, Starc and Pattinson come along and they stopped saying that.

Wait for the next generation of talent to come through, but don't wait for Chappell & co to admit they were wrong.

Posted by LillianThomson on (March 27, 2013, 8:51 GMT)

There are a number of things which could be done.

1. Make the Big Bash League restricted to players from overseas and Aussies aged over 30.

2. Continue to play Sheffield Shield through December and January and introduce 3 foreign players per side so that 20-something Aussies have to play against proper spinners and superior batsmen.

3. Ensure that every overseas tour starts with a minimum of six 3-day matches followed by a Test series, as was the case until 20 years ago.

(England won in India because their batsmen and bowlers had already played 5 Tests in Asia in 2012. Australia had no such luck, but why couldn't they have played 6 3-day games before the First Test so that the youngsters could learn to master Asian conditions?)

Posted by AKS286 on (March 27, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

I heard news that China will play T20 when it comes to Olympic. Kung Fu Batsmen & bowlers. Bonzai T20. I LOVE test cricket.

Posted by Sanjiyan on (March 27, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

I agree with what Ian is talking about, but its not just that. We the fans are a major part of this problem. We dont want to sit all day watching a match, waiting for some excitement. We want it fast food style. From start to finish the game must be enthralling and entertaining else we are not interested. If i look at how the grounds all over the world are built, theres not many grassy banks left where one can enjoy a bbq and a beer in the sun enjoying a nice day out. Its a shame really because for me test cricket is the only way to find out if you really are as good as you think you are.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

As usual Chappelli has delivered a well considered review of Australian cricket. Some would say that old chap is even mellowing somewhat and a few years ago he would be raging fire and brimstone at the sight the weak-kneed surrender of Australian cricket in India this year. Mickey Arthur has to go and soon. Darren Lehmann will bring a breath of fresh air in the stale room of Aussie cricket.

Or is Oliver Brown (Telegraph, London) right that Aussies have learnt to live with failure? There has been no hue and cry over Australia's performance in India other than lots of jokes and laughter about cricketers' homework and the "Gang of Four." Australia failed only managed a draw against once lowly Oman in a crucial World Cup qualifyer and we seem to have accepted the lot without a whimper. Where is the fire in the belly? Where is the shame, sack cloth and ashes after a defeat? Where did we pawn that "defeat is unacceptable" principle? Have forever surrendered our dominant position in sport?

Posted by AKS286 on (March 27, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

@ Busie1979 on (March 27, 2013, 8:01 GMT) I'm fully agree to you fella blaming T20 is an excuse. but some examples are there who retired to test cricket just for T20 tournament like Malinga, Tait, A.Mahmood(becomes a UK citizen for participating in IPL). we know some issues of KP, Gayle. but for a large country like Aus & their domestic structure is soo good they are unable to pick 11 son of soil players.I know big rewards & awards are earned in just 90 minutes but it is not as much difficult to choose only 11 from thousands.

Posted by kharidra on (March 27, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

The concerns raised at the end of the recent series are not new. These concerns have been visible from the elder statesman of world cricket for quite sometime. Not quite sure how the changes in cricket like the one in late 70s did not bring about curtains to the batting production line. Perhaps the younger generation of those years were coached in the traditional methods prevailing at that time and therefore did not see the after effects of the break from the convention. Notwithstanding the T20 impact there are batsman who have continued to model on the test match line but also introduced novelty to their approach to remain as competent as the player in the exclusive T20 mould. After the recent test series we have the winning captain indicating strategy and deep thought into reading a players intention and inclination rather than the match situation to set fields which was very much unlike the convention hitherto. The game evolved and complacency of top team needs to be jettisoned.

Posted by ramli on (March 27, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

Ponting was miserable when he first toured India ... but when he returned later .. he was the best ... so .. it takes time even for potential batsmen with class to show up in unfavourable conditions ... it is very premature to judge players based 1 or 2 series ... you need guts to succeed ... aussies have guts ... it remains to be seen whether they succeed

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 27, 2013, 8:19 GMT)

Chappell who i have massive respect for, has finally vindicated what I and others like FFL have being saying for years - the Australian cupboard is completely bare.

I think Punto makes a great point, why are are under 17 and under 19 at school level kids only playing 20/20 cricket??? They are not getting the much needed exposure to endurance batting that you need at Test level. How much real skills are you going to develop if you have to bat for 2 overs and then go field/bowl. Crazy.

Posted by Busie1979 on (March 27, 2013, 8:01 GMT)

These are valid points. I am not sure that short form cricket is to blame, per se. The Indian cricketers play a lot of short form cricket and have produced a lot of quality test batsmen.

I think the pitches and scheduling are the biggest culprits. T20 should be at the end of the traditional Australian summer, and not in the middle of a test series. It has had a big impact on the team's preparation and basically prevented aspiring test batsmen from staking a claim for a test spot.

Seaming pitches have inflated fast bowlers figures, made it difficult to distinguish between them, and have made it difficult for batsmen to bat for long periods. I don't think it is a matter of getting through tough periods - on shield pitches the tough periods don't settle down, meaning batsmen are constantly in survival mode, making it very hard to learn to capitalise on their starts. The other problem is the lack of spin friendly pitches do Aussie batsmen (and spinners) no favours.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 27, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

The class is fallen from 90 degree. Khawaja is the best back bench. so now we can assume that how bad is the talent pool of Aus. remember Love, Maher, Blewett, Elliot, Law, Hodge back bench era. Lehmann the worst middle order batsman after N.Hussain in the World was the permanent member of the team.Better options are available than Lehmann on that time, from Warne, Macgill to lyon, from healy, gilchrist, campbell to M.waste. hayden, langer , waugh to Cowan, warner. Oz is now following WI path. fast bowlers are selected from T20 performance.

Posted by Crickyboy on (March 27, 2013, 7:34 GMT)

Chappell is right to a greater extent. Although how much exciting T20 is and how much important all 3 formats are for the survival and sustainability of cricket as a game, we must accept the fact that T20 is hindering the development of cricketers suited for Test cricket. The players tend to be flamboyant nowadays (which is good) but not all can successfully do it, like Sanath, Sehwag, Gilly, etc did. Each one has their role in a team and each must be groomed accordingly. Sadly T20 takes away the ability of application, mental strength, confidence, etc of players to play the longer format.

Posted by ronman2 on (March 27, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

Its true, none of the current lot of Aussie players have the temperament and technique to the likes of Ponting, Hussey or Clarke. I saw a bit of in Steven Smith but Phil Hughes was a complete disappointment. As som1 said, I donno if Steven Smith will get another chance. Seeing Phil in Aussie soil and in India looked like 2 different players. It could b all the spot light on him. I kept tellin myself Watson is going to click in the next innings after each innings but never saw it happen. D Hussey is not a test player. He is limited in his range of shots and I guess the selectors know that and you cant reinvent yourself at this age. India lost against England because of a Quality Spin Attack and a very patient and stubborn set of English batsman who just refused to get out. I didn't see that quality in any of Aussie players who toured to India barring Moises in one innings, M Wade and Ed Cowan but these players are also limited in shots. All this Discipline BS is not helping.

Posted by Aussasinator on (March 27, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

Australia will get plenty of Pontings but not the Clarkes and Husseys or Haydens in the foreseeable future. T20 has done it to all, starting with the West Indies, followed by India and Australia. India will manage better because of the sheer numbers generated and lack of space for all. For the future, the Oz could do well to groom the likes of Clarkes and Husseys who are match winners, by offering a premium to Test playing approaches as an HR strategy. i suppose India should do that too. The West Indies dont seem to be bothered . They are happy with their star players being overwhelming T20 match winners and that would do for a while.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

If you look back to the 90's and early 00's Australia had a huge depth of test match ready batsmen battling for spots. These guys (hayden, Langer, Lehmann, Law, Rogers, Jacques, Love, Hussey etc) all playedd first class cricket year round in Shield then County Cricket during Winter. These guys were all playiing 20-30 4-day games a year and were exposed to different pitches, conditions & bowlers. Mid 2000's Kolpak came in in England and counties looked more to recruit people with British ancestry, hence all the SA background players in England. Now there are very few Aussie youngsters plying their trade in County Cricket. Their only avenue to play off season (plus financial benefits) is to get signed for T20.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

Sir is not early to decide the depth of aus batting ? Aus players failed against top quality spinners in India , there have been consistent history that even top quality batting failed against the Indian spinners, so it is early opinion about how aus batting learnt and will shape in near future to overcome the weakness and start scoring reliably.

Posted by partha19 on (March 27, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

I know Chappell is passionate about Aussie cricket but let him not think Sunset on Aussie batting. As I think Aussie has Talented players in the form of Warner, Cowans ,Doolan ,Watson ,Marsh brothers .. What they lack is a good Aussie Coach like Greg Chappell a task Master .. they need kick in their backside to perform. The home work concept is not enough what they need is real net practice & mental toughness. siddle is the strongest lad in the current team. we need the same Mental attitude to beat tough opponents. Common Aussie you can do it...

Posted by Wefinishthis on (March 27, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

Something that is not often talked about is how having the best bowlers in the world in your side is helpful to the batsmen. What this means is that the batsmen will be facing quality bowling in the nets, better in fact than what they'll be facing out in the middle. It's much easier to face the hard stuff in the nets and face the easy stuff in the middle than the other way around. You'll notice that the team with the best bowlers in the world often have batsmen that magically improve. What I think Australia should do is add a NT team based on all of NSW's 2nd XI (because most of them are better than the first XI and aren't getting a fair go. Bird, Hughes, Khawaja, Cowan and now Silk come to mind). Being in Darwin, we can recreate the dusty, clay minefields that we expect to experience in India. With Perth producing bouncy wickets, Adelaide and Brisbane batting wickets, Hobart green tops, Sydney and MCG balanced, we're missing adequate preparation for the subcontinent.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

i am totally surprised why players like bailey, voges copper are left out generally they select players like them previously

Posted by LordKratos on (March 27, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

Chappell needs to relax. Australia can't win all games. New Zealand just got white washed in SA and so did Pak, Indian got white washed twice consecutively by england and Australia, England got white washed by Pakistan just recently in the UAE so what on this earth makes Chappell think that Indian Should not have been able to whitewash Australia? Can somebody answer me please?

Posted by vj_gooner on (March 27, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

@ GN Srinivasan - Hughes played well? The only fifty he got on the tour was filled with edges and lucky shots. I have nothing against Hughes, it is just that he simply can't play in the subcontinent

Posted by Lenniesahayi on (March 27, 2013, 6:43 GMT)

Chappell is correct,exposure to T20 is a detriment,not to forget though that there are brilliant youngsters coming up in the ranks.Silk,Doolan promise to be answers to some questions in the near future.And personally I am a huge fan of Phil Hughes,he is going to deliver soon.

Posted by Clyde on (March 27, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

We are bombarded with batting averages but there needs to be a parallel table showing which of the world's/nation's batsmen have stayed at the wicket longer. After all, if these guys cannot be got out, their team is never going to lose a game. If they score a reasonable number of runs as well, they have a chance of winning a game. Warner and Maxwell (with his feeble cross-bat swipe) were simply not playing Test cricket.

Posted by MrKricket on (March 27, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

We heard all this from England for many years of Australia's domination. The Sheffield Shield was held up as an example of how to grow good Test players. Somehow England managed to get ahead of Australia even though cricket is hardly played outside the 'public' (private) schools. So what has happened? It can't all be South Africans. England has players who can perform in India - batsman that can play spin and even prosper. Spinners who can outspin the Indians. What went wrong in Australia? Is it all T20?

Having the Big Bash in the middle of the season is a debacle for first class cricket. Some players don't play for six weeks apart from grade cricket. The BBL is not the IPL. They should cut it back and play it in two rounds with first class in between.

More Australians should play overseas too. Why not play in India? We should welcome Indian players in the Shield. All can learn. Remember England is the real enemy!

Posted by mukesh_LOVE.cricket on (March 27, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

Mr chappell , SPOT ON article in my opinion , the root cause of problems in Australian cricket is not selection or coach or discipline , there is simply not enough world class batting talent coming through , khawaja and phil hughes looks promising but still one level below the clarke/ponting/hussey, what happened to the domestic system that used to produce talents like ponting/clarke/hussey/hayden/martyn/gilly ?? now all i see are very average players being given a test spot based on some unseen potential ! only real solution to me is to STOP youngsters from playing T20 until they are at least 24 years old

Posted by DINESHCC on (March 27, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

It is a standard phrase being said / written whenever legends retire. But all the legends are being replaced time and again. When Hayden, Langer, Mgrath, Warne, Gillepsie retired everyone predicted the downfall of aussies. Whereas in 7 years time they had only two bad series of Ashes and the recent Border Gavaskar Trophy. In between they won 2007 ODI world cup, ICC championship, reached T20 final etc. The only team in which the legends are not replaced is West Indies.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 27, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

@Naren I like both those selections. Smith should get a go in the Ashes as he showed some form and should just focus on batting. I would like to see Marsh there as he has the talent and just needs the exposure.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (March 27, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

My main issue is the wickets in Sheffield shield. They are too pace friendly, so results are achieved in four days matches. Wickets should be made to test standard, which will not only help our batsman but also spin bowlers.

Posted by adityakrish7 on (March 27, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

Even ponting and hussey have struggled in india..so its useless to blame these current players..every foreign team struggles in the subcontinent.its a well known fact over the years that they are prone to struggle against quality spin. Its just like when india, srilanka or pakistan goes abroad and struggles against quality seam bowlers. At the moment, every nation is strong in their backyard and struggles while touring abroad. The exception in this case is only england,who recently won the test series in india. But that happened only after 25 long years of struggle.So its not that easy at all. Also india has lost just 2 test series at home in the last 25 years or so.That was against australia in 2004 and recently against england.

Posted by PFEL on (March 27, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

These opinions by Ian Chappell are complete and utter rubbish. After one bad series, so much doom and gloom. And the fact that there are so many commentors jumping on the bandwagon is embarrassing and makes me dissapointed to be an Australian. Australia have been one of the best performed test teams recently. Every team goes through ebbs and flows. Do you think Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Michael Clarke, Matt Hayden, Justin Langer, Damien Martyn never went through bad patches like Hughes etc are now?

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

Steve Smith at least looked like he had some idea of how to play spin bowling, but don't suppose he will get another chance in the test team. Once again they are going to be under prepared for the Ashes, should be in England early and get some serious practice games against county cricketers. Once we use to say our Sheffield Shield games were much better quality than the county games in England, how times change.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

The fact that 20/20 specialists like Glenn Maxwell play test cricket is all you need to know about what's wrong with Australian cricket.

There's plenty (god how many times do I say this?) of great batsmen in Australia, and selectors continually bombard us with mediocre "all rounders" and 20/20 players.

At least Warners kept his average up, but he's our choice as opener? A Gilchrist like uber slogger who's guaranteed to be consistently inconsistent but at least hits enough big scores to keep his average up?

Chris Rogers and Brad Hodge want to play test cricket. You've got Phil Jacques who's 33 and over in England. Phil Hughes is an outstanding prospect who apparently the Australian public hate and want to see fail. You've got Silk coming up in Tasmania, Gosgrove and Doolan in their late 20's been consistent for years. And then there's Khawaja who also shows a lot of promise. Let's see the right guys get given the right opportunities.

Posted by vswami on (March 27, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

I am not sure T20 is all to blame for lack of temperament. Vijay for example, showed a genuine desire and determination to adapt to the needs of test cricket by playing long innings for big hundreds. All the young Indian batsmen, bar Pujara, play IPL. In fact a batsman who has an orthodox technique and who is exposed to T20 is more dangerous in test matches, as he can step up the scoring pace whenever the situation demands and scatter the field. Coaches need to help batsmen adapt to the mindset of the format he is playing and bring the appropriate balance of aggression and defence. Its the inability to think on one's feet, which is the problem of failing young batsmen.

Posted by m0se on (March 27, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

Absolute nonsense. When India lost 8-0 to Aus and England, we had similar kinds of articles about India. Now, when Aus gets beaten 4-0, we have similar articles about Aus.

Posted by gsingh7 on (March 27, 2013, 5:37 GMT)

australia should import some sa batsmen like what england is doing for few years now. kp prior have saved few tests for them recently.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 5:28 GMT)

Well sir,not really we still have some talent left I can name a handful.Chris Rogers,Khwaja,Hughes,D Hussey(quite an xperienced guy),A Doolan,B Haddin n not to forget Steven Smith.I think Joe Burns is a gifted talent should be drafted into the team someday or the other.

Posted by Edassery on (March 27, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

Chappell needn't worry too much about it because that's pretty much the situation with almost all test teams across the world. With the current lot of test batsmen like Tendulkar, Kallis, Clarke, Chanderpaul, Younus Khan, Jayawardene, Sangakkara etc retiring, pretty much every test team will have ODI or T-20 type batsmen. This is expected and well-scripted with more and more T20s and ODIs being played for the sake of money and entertainment.

Today, there are very few players under 30 who give importance to test cricket - like Alistair Cook, Hashim Amla or Pujara. Well, if nobody wants test cricket in another five years, can we really help?

Posted by jimbond on (March 27, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Had the Aussie management lost patience with Ponting, he would never have developed as a batsman. Right now, they can put together a very good team which is good enough to take the Ashes. If it were possible to have this team- Rogers/Cowan, Hodge, Mike Hussey/Hughes, Shaun Marsh, Clarke, Mitch Marsh/Watson, Haddin, Cummins, Pattinson, Lyon, Siddle and 12th man Starc.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (March 27, 2013, 5:23 GMT)

Limiting the exposure of youngsters to T20 cricket is a message that should ring right across the cricketing world whether it is Sydney, Chennai, Kingston or Leeds. BCCI should make all efforts to allow players only above 22 to play in the IPL so that the techniques of batsmen and bowlers are not spoiled at an early stage of their careers and their foundations remain strong.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

Ponting is the best batsman of Shield this year. This shows how thin are the resources not only in the batting but also in bowling. Ponting could not perform for a couple of years at international stage but whenever he went back to domestic games he made big centuries. Japes hopes, is another example. Dropped from the national side but making big scores and getting a lot of wickets for QLD,

Posted by peter.suen on (March 27, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

@piertopub Well times have changed. What Chappelli said back then was justified. Basically anyone that filled the gap was capable of scoring or taking wickets against any other teams. (e.g. Hodge, MacGill, Love)

Also, I don't believe he was serious anyway. Just another way of saying how much talents were going around then. I agree though, now, that aussie cricketers can't bat those long innings to save test matches. When a guy like Maxwell is being picked in your test team, you have serious problems.

Eng/SA on the other hand, have players batting long innings to save matches on numerous occassions.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

I can't see any way in which Chappell can rationalise an argument that a team should be excellent forever. Perhaps there will never be another Bradman, but I'm certain that there will be another Ponting, another Clarke, another Hussey. On what possible basis can you make an argument that we will never see their likes again; aside from fortune telling? As far as I can tell, he's simply blaming the same old T20 scapegoat and attitude problem. I think its a matter of time before young batsman (such as Silk's 100 of 350 odd balls for Tasmania) start realising that patience and discipline is the way to play longer form cricket. This is a downturn, and it is churlish to suggest that it is a permanent one.

Posted by broken_chairs on (March 27, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

hughes is about the only player in the current squad who i see has ANY potential to step up and become a great batsman

Posted by Srinivasan.G.N on (March 27, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

With all due respects, Sir, i think it is premature to comment on the likes of Cowan & Phil Huges... I think they played well and were resolute as the series progressed. The greats like Punter & Gilly too failed miserably when toured to India but they learned quickly. It is unfortunate that we didn't play Jadeja against England & Ashwin wasn't adhering to off-break alone. I just can't wait to see the start of Ashes and Eng kicked by Aussies! They are gonna do well.

Posted by Naren on (March 27, 2013, 5:00 GMT)

Persist with Steve Smith. He has the potential to be a good player in all conditions. Shaun Marsh is very good if he can be fit on the park.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

Any analysis such as this would be incomplete without including a comparison with the competition. Football codes in Australia particularly AFL have many advantages over cricket. The AFL annual report in 2012 showed that 111 players earned over $400K with eight earning over $1M. The AFL has eighteen clubs fielding 22 players each week, so four hundred players getting a game each week. Cricket has up to twenty guys on this sort of money who are interested in Test cricket, which would you choose as a sixteen year old 20 or 400? The numbers of players also allow players to have long careers even if they have a serious deficiencies in their game, possibly earning big dollars for over a decade. Case in point is Duncan Kellaway, a much loved tiger player of the 1990s, he played 180 games over 12 seasons, he was a vice captain for several years and would have been on good money the whole time. Only thing was, Duncan couldn't kick, a valuable skill in FOOTball, he could defend even the best pl

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

i think australia have to stick with phil hughes for a while.. ponting struggled in india, but he is supposed to be the best after the don..

Posted by mk49_van on (March 27, 2013, 4:57 GMT)

Why not import some good South African players like the English did. Trott, Prior, KP - batting problems solved!

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (March 27, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

I think some of our younger batsman will be better for the India experience. Enough has been said on Khawaja coming but he really should get his crack in the ashes as he is a wonderful player of spin. Lyon showed that he is good enough to bowl at this level and i would also get another spinner to back him up.

Posted by Meety on (March 27, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

@MinusZero on (March 27, 2013, 4:00 GMT) - judging by the way Rahane tried to play the short ball on debut, I would say there is a LOT to do with the type of pitches. Please bear in mind that in the Shield every Shield side has about 6 pace bowlers who are at least par at Test level (meaning would have an ave below 35 in Test, indications most would ave less than 30). IMO - the quality of the bowling & the way most 4 day pitches have been prepared in Oz (far juicier than in any Tests), most Ozzy batsmen are in the rare position of likely exceeding their Shield average in Tests. The problem is, due to unseasonally wet weather in many parts of Oz, we don't get much in the way of dry pitches lately hence the Indian debacle.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 4:40 GMT)

I think the problem with Australian Test cricket is that you guys are following a youth policy for no reason. Look in your domestic cricket, there are people making runs -- David Hussey, Hodge, Rogers, etc. I can understand if you want a youth policy in ODI cricket, because you want to build a team for the World Cup. But in Test cricket, there is nothing wrong with picking players in their 30s. It's one thing if it's Indian cricket, because our bodies tend to age faster and we don't remain fit enough after 30 -- but Australia produces some of the fittest sportsmen in the world. It doesn't matter even if they're past 30 -- look at someone like Ponting, for example.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

What's with the impatience of fans and former players? Every failure that happens the people say that there are major structural flaws in the game but I just think that Australians have been so spoilt with success that they demand instant world beaters with out giving our team the time. Our team is very young and our bowlers are great we just need more solid batsmen. Another thing; those same indian players who look like world beaters at home would go to pieces on our wickets And that is something that hasnt changed. People who are genuinely talented will come a long in their own time just like in the past although and thanks to 20/20 the talent pool will be broadened. I am also confident in the viability of Test cricket well into the future as everyone knows it is the ultimate test of temperament and technique and hence will always be the pinnacle for young people.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

Absolutely on dot....it hurts to see the next level of test batsmen in the form of Warner, Cowan , Watson, Quiney, Smith etc. Honestly how many of these guys would have made to the A side 10 years later. Aus cricket needs to look at the rebuilding phase much more closely and not just hope and pray for the performance. Seriously disheartening to see them go the WI route

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

@Valvolux... Hughes first class record is just as good as Hussey, Hodge and Rogers... Take out his test record and his first class average jumps up to 49 with 18 centuries... Phenomenal compared to others his age... The problem is he hasn't been able to make the jump to test cricket... I do agree that David Hussey and Chris Rogers should be considered for the test side though

Posted by Meety on (March 27, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

@valvolux on (March 27, 2013, 3:52 GMT) "...look at Hughes / Smith / Cowan / Marsh etc. who all got a long stint in the side. Their FC record and test records are pathetic..." - well actually, those players have fair to good FC stats, with only Marsh in what I would say mediocre category. Hughes & Smith have FC batting averages above 40. The batsmen you talk about as being "phenomenal" is irrelevent as they were at their best when there was 1 or 2 other equally good batsmen struggling to make the Test team. If they were all born 10 yrs later - (or earlier), they would have 200 tests between them. Also - it is worth noting, that all 3 batsmen you noted have done better in County cricket than in the Shield, so they don't necessarily stand out in front of the selectors as much as you would think. Chris Rogers is currently unlucky as he has put in a relatively good Shield season & should be considered closely, in the past he has had injuries at inopportune times.

Posted by piertopub on (March 27, 2013, 4:28 GMT)

This is the same guy, yes, Ian Chappell, who said this few years ago! 1) Divide world cricket in 2 groups as Australia far superior to other test nations 2) Australia should lend state players who cannot break in to Australian Test side to other countries because their test players suck. And now beigest hope of Australian attack is refugee guy(well done Fawad Ahmed ) from Pakistan! LMFAO He is just trigger happy I think : )

Posted by bobagorof on (March 27, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

Just throwing this out there, but how about making Shield wickets conducive to bowling and the 50 over games conducive to batting? Then batsmen (and bowlers) will learn to play on both.

Posted by TATTUs on (March 27, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

Cricket for me, when I was growing up, if I was batting, it meant I was batting until someone got me out, and if that took them a week then that's how long it took them

. EPIC!

Should be posted on the wall of every kid who is trying to play cricket.

Posted by Chiller38 on (March 27, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

Dear Cricket Australia,

Please read this article, digest it, sleep on it and then read it again tomorrow. Chappelli is bang on. Test Cricket is what it is all about. You don't win Ashes battles making a quick 40. Test Cricket is too important to the fabric of the game and the country for that mater to not address this issue. I see Under 15s playing T20. I am fairly certain that batting to those conditions is not going to assist their techniques in playing the longer format and against qulaity bowling with well set fields. This mess we a currently faced with is entirley te doing of CA. To the board, believe it or not, the game is not all about money! Some us still care about the great game of Test Cricket. Why would be Chappell and Warne be so outspoken otherwise.

Posted by Clyde on (March 27, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

This is a very good article, the first I have seen to so carefully describe the problem. Reflect on the recent series in India. The batsmen looked like they were struggling just to stay in. Chappell is a journalist and pundit, so it is not his job to 'do something about it'. The followers of Test cricket need to demand the preiminence of Tests in the cricket year. Then farkin needs to make sure the kids in the neighbourhood aim to stay at the crease, petrol drum etc. for a week non-stop except for bites to eat and sleeps.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

Can twenty 20 be considered a separate sport .... Have a separate set of players who do not play test cricket... Or may be test cricket should be separated from the short forms of cricket.. Meaning limited over (fifty50 and twenty 20 ) techniques should be taken out of the coaching manual of test players... Breed players specially for test cricket.. Techniques and temperament should be cultivated in young players for test cricket

Posted by Ragav999 on (March 27, 2013, 4:16 GMT)

@valvolux: Very good points. The people who deserve to wear the baggy green should be given a chance even if it is for a single test.

Posted by shiro1019 on (March 27, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

Sorry to tell u lad, your era had long gone now and we can not see any big time emerging players like Ponting,Gilchrist, Warne, Martin, McGrath,Hussy and Clark in their junior ranks. You all have to start again from grass-root level again and teach your younger lads how to save a test match like we witnessed yesterday from Mathew Prior and his match saving century which efforts seems faraway in Australian Cricket.

Posted by eatpraycricket on (March 27, 2013, 4:07 GMT)

he makes fair points about the structure of cricket, modes (formats) influencing outcomes,and development paths being directly linked to output. However unless theres a significant decline in participation rates, its highly unlikely that we won't see more hussey's and pointings in the future.. sport is widely parcipated in and fiercely competed in australia , forging these greats, with the adequate skills sets, and its not about to change.. maybe the cycle will take longer due to a current generational change at state and international level but in time the structure at a grass roots level will sync more with the end product we are seeking and things will come back into harmony. Ian Chappel might want to do some research into the decade after he retired to see everything has not always been rosy with Australian Cricket.

Posted by Webba84 on (March 27, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

@Farkin All he can probably. How would you know?

Posted by rajpan on (March 27, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

You have flat track bullies and fast track bullies. Previously, the chances of Flat bullies adjusting to fast conditions and vice versa was in favor of fast track bullies. Off late the equation seems to be getting more favorable to flat bullies. But who knows? This could be only temporary.

Posted by MinusZero on (March 27, 2013, 4:00 GMT)

Totally agree. What is being classed as good in the shield is actually quite poor. Look at Indian first class players. Pujara and Rahane both average over 60. And before people start complaining about the type of pitch, lots of spin bowling etc...you still need to stop the ball hitting the stumps and not hit the ball to a fielder and be caught, it doesnt matter where you are.

Posted by ibbani on (March 27, 2013, 3:58 GMT)

So true, with T20, shot selection is too early and no temperament in this era batsmen. It is in blood, See Dravid,Kallis, and many more natural talents. Adjustment is the important factor. The way that Warner, Vijay got out in the last test in Delhi was devastating. Thats what I say, adjustment to the test levels.

Posted by valvolux on (March 27, 2013, 3:52 GMT)

The selectors need to understand that in Test Cricket, there is no point building a team. There is no world cup. Test cricket should be selecting the best players in the country, regardless of age, regardless of what's happening next year. Rotation and youth policies can only slightly be understood in the shorter formats where there is real silver wear up for grabs. Have a look at D Hussey / Rogers / Hodge 's first class records with the bat. They are all phenomenal. They played 7 test matches between them. Then look at Hughes / Smith / Cowan / Marsh etc. who all got a long stint in the side. Their FC record and test records are pathetic. They were only selected in the team because they were young - not because their first class records were knocking down the door. If the likes of Invarerity backed players in rather than publically give them ZERO support - we might still have Ponting and Hussey in the side (and Katich). We would have an old team, sure - but it would win.

Posted by farkin on (March 27, 2013, 3:38 GMT)

i see he has a good 1 to see what the problem is and knowing what the problem is but what is he doing about it other then sitting down and talking about it ?

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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