Australia in England 2012 July 7, 2012

Australia no longer a top-class ODI team

Like all Australians, my proudest day was back on October 5 in 2009. It was the day when Australia proudly sported their white jackets as the victors of the most important prize in cricket, the Champion's Trophy
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Like all Australians, my proudest day was back on October 5 in 2009. It was the day when Australia proudly sported their white jackets as the victors of the most important prize in cricket, the Champion's Trophy. That victory was enough to wipe clear any memories of getting smashed in India, losing at home for the first time since Dakota Fanning was born - beaten by South Africa - or handing back the Ashes to England.

In fact, no matter how poor Australia could be in Test Matches, they have managed to stay on top of the ICC ODI table. Not that it means much as MS Dhoni lifted the World Cup. But the point is, they were still pretty good.

Now, they're not.

The current Australian ODI team has no No.3. They struggle to score against spin bowling. And their batting depth is even concerning the chairman of selectors. In this series, England have highlighted all of these problems with Australia. England have often struggled in limited-overs cricket, but with a near Test team, two white balls and a team that can run through any non subcontinental walls, they have smashed Australia so far in this series.

Eoin Morgan brought out the hammer against the Australian bowlers at Lord's. Up until that point the Aussies had looked ok, not great ok, but ok ok, and they'd kept England down. Then Morgan hit the ball where he wanted and Australia had no answer.

In their chase, their lack of batting depth could not have been more evident by the fact that Steve Smith was batting at No.6, after not bowling. There were times when Australia found themselves in good positions, but with George Bailey chopping on to a limping James Anderson, David Hussey getting bounced out and Smith nicking behind lamely, they never quite got there.

At The Oval, Australia's No.3 was Peter Forrest after George Bailey batted there at Lord's. He made 12 off 30. Forrest doesn't look like a natural No.3 ODI player. He has the ability to make big innings, but he doesn't stamp himself on a match, and the fact that both he and Bailey have been there show that Australia are unsure as to who their No.3 is.

When Bailey did come in, he scored a half-century. But he, and several other Australian batsmen, just couldn't get Graeme Swann away. Australia lost all momentum, and the chance to put a winning total on the board, Swann went for 3.37 an over. It seemed like midwicket was an industrial vacuum. It wasn't just Bailey who struggled, and it isn't the first time Australian batsmen have struggled to get the ball to the sweepers.

Some of these problems are not new, some are systemic, others have been exaggerated against England, and none have been helped by retirements of missing members. But Australia's claim, however tenuous, on the No.1 ICC ranking, may disappear very shortly. Australia are clearly no longer a top class ODI team. And they will have to rebuild their ODI side much like they have with their Test team. Sadly for them, the next time the white jackets of the Champion's Trophy are handed out, Australia will probably not be wearing them.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • fanedlive on September 12, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    i think no one must hurry to say aussis are weak this is temporary set back aussis always playing aggressive cricket without aussis there is no cricket

  • fanedlive on July 26, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Aussies best ever.... new blood soon hard working and improvment... Ponting back...then team Australia still No.1 other wise No.3...

  • fanedlive on July 11, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    Australia are still a good team. Their test team is not bad either. I think this particular Australian team would do alright in hotter drier conditions. Unfortunately for Australia, this summer has proven to be a very wet summer with heavy clouds etc. This has made the cricket ball to move around far more. England are very good in their conditions. They know it well especially this team.They England bowlers used the conditions better than Australia and they batted more circumspect in this wet summer unlike Australia.Had this summer been a hot dry summer which can sometimes happen. The ball wouldn't have been moving around as much and Australia would have coped better. Which means the series would have been a lot closer.For a lot of the Aussies who brought up on Aussie summers where the ball doesn't seam and move around as much as in England.So I think their failure here is not because Oz is a bad team as Jarrod Kimber says.It would have been interesting if this series was played in Oz.

  • fanedlive on July 9, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    I am crippled with mirth over the comments of tahir. Get off of your anti-English soapbox for a minute and accept that if any team was shocking away from it's own dust bowl back yard, it was India!!! It even needed a South African coach to meld the sometime brilliant, sometime erratic individuals into the number one test team in the world. Without Gary Kirsten you'd never have made it. Too much squabbling, politics and contrived no balls in your camp!

  • fanedlive on July 9, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    What else can be said about a Team ( all 3 forms ) that barely scraped through a recently concluded series in the WI, by the skin of their teeth? Not to bother chappy, there will be much more to write about in the future! Hot teams now are Eng.SA,Ind.and SL.

  • fanedlive on July 9, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    What else can be said about a Team ( all 3 forms ) that barely scraped through a recently concluded series in the WI, by the skin of their teeth? Not to bother chappy, there will be much more to write about in the future! Hot teams now are Eng.SA,Ind.and SL.

  • fanedlive on July 9, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Look there is change in an era.. for most of the teams there experience players are rietering look at pakistan, Sri lanka even england has young players and india... so there is no point in looking back at what you have achieved and its time to call the younger players like cummins, north and wade and many more talented players up. This is the best way for Austrlia cricket and the advantage is that 2015 world cup is in australia so Austrlians could really take this cup but they have to start playing with younger players and its time to say good bye to Lee and Ponting they were great over the years but not anymore

  • fanedlive on July 9, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    Aussie batting and bowling combination for this particular series was not good at all. And why can't M. Wade bat at number 3 he is a very good batsmen. And they can also bring C. White,S. Marsh, M. Marsh, Dan Christain back in their squad. For god sake play R. Harris, M. Starc, C. McKay as first choice seamers in playing 11 in ODI. And don't play any spinner for matches played in England, Australia, South Africa as we can use another fast bowler may be P. Cummins as M. Clarke and D. Hussey are good spinners and Warner can bowl 1 or 2 overs per game. They can combiningly fulfill the spinner bowling quota if necessary with reasonable economy and strike rate. And M. Clarke is a genuine partnership breaker. With four fast bowlers, one fast bowling all rounder (either Watson, Christain or M. Marsh) we will be worthy number 1 ODI side. Remember M. Hussey will also be back.

  • fanedlive on July 9, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    I'm only writing this email because I'm bored listening to the cuckoo music on the HMRC help line bu I read your book on the recent home Ashes series and enjoyed it more than most cricket books. (God, she's said it all over again. I swear if she . . . Christ, I'm talking to a human being and a helpful one). OK, all that is over so well done with the book. I do he same work as you so I know the difficulties and all that and wish you well.

  • fanedlive on July 9, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    We have so many more better batsmen just staying idle in the domestic leagues. Players like Quiney, Finch, Shaun Marsh, Dan Harris, Michael Klinger all need a shot in the Aussie team. Even if we use all rounders like Dan Christian or Mitch Marsh we can still improve

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