November 6, 2010

Ashes

Don't panic, England have problems too

Andrew McGlashan

The fallout from Australia's series loss against Sri Lanka is continuing in the local media with serious concerns about the home side ahead of the Ashes later this month. However, in the Sydney Morning Herald, Peter Roebuck says England have plenty of their own issues to confront before the Test matches begin and there's still plenty of hope for Australia.

The time has come to ditch the pessimism. Australians are no good at introspection. England are not exactly a pack of cards but they're not a fortress either. Breaches can be found. Strauss commands a middling team with a poor away record. These rivals are fourth and fifth in the rankings. Consider those further down the list. Zimbabwe are under the yoke of tyranny, Bangladesh are fighting poverty and inexperience, West Indies do not exist having endured a cricketing collapse, Pakistan are in disgrace and New Zealand think mostly about rugby. Anyone below that lot ought to take up rounders.

Meanwhile, in The Age, the former Victoria captain Darren Berry takes his look at the captaincy situation following reports that Michael Clarke has lost the dressing room.

The past few months must have set off the alarm bells in the halls of power as to whether Michael Clarke is still heir to the throne. His form has dipped in all formats with a slight reprieve recently in India in the one-day arena. His class as a player at Test level and his ability to get the job done in ODIs is not in question, but his role in the Twenty20 team has reached embarrassing proportions. Many good judges have known for some time he was not suited to this format, now blind Freddie knows it as well.

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Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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