March 25, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011

Fighting exit can't mask Australia's flawed campaign

Siddhartha Talya

The writing was on the wall for Australia even before the team's defeat in a determined performance against India in the quarter-final in Ahmedabad, writes Peter Roebuck in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Ponting's admirable innings concealed as much as it revealed. Along the way, his team beat only one capable opponent, New Zealand, and spluttered even against the weakest sides. Nor can Australians complain about meeting India in the quarter-finals. It was the product not of chance but ordinary cricket.

Australia's cricketing woes begin with domestic cricket and they ought to be solved there, says Stuart Clark in the same newspaper.

Shane Warne in The Telegraph writes that while Australia's formidable run in World Cups has ended, it is premature to call for Ricky Ponting's head.

There are only three options: for him to remain as captain, to resign and continue only as a player, or no more Ricky Ponting. One thing is certain, Ricky deserves to go out in the manner of his own choosing and I would wait a while for the dust to settle before anyone makes a big decision.

Dileep Premachandran in the Guardian writes that while Ponting's captaincy could yet survive this loss, the glory days are now well and truly over. Despite repeated setbacks in the Test arena, starting with defeat in India in 2008, the one-day stage was still an Australian preserve, as they proved by winning the Champions Trophy after the Ashes loss of 2009.

Richard Hinds, in the Sydney Morning Herald, presents an imaginary picture of Ricky Ponting's retirement announcement. Something many journalists were expecting for real in the build-up to and the immediate aftermath of the quarter-final in Ahmedabad.

Who are some of the players Australia can look towards for reviving their fortunes? George Bailey, the Tasmania captain who led his state to victory in the Sheffield Shield, is one of them, writes Martin Flanagan in the same newspaper.

In the New Zealand Herald David Leggat writes that it is rebuilding time for the Australians, almost certainly under Michael Clarke. But, he asks, should Ponting, if he vacates the officer's quarters, remain as one of the troops?

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Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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