Australia in England 2012

Arthur tempted by England traditions

Daniel Brettig

July 2, 2012

Comments: 83 | Text size: A | A

Mickey Arthur speaks to Michael Clarke, Perth, February 9, 2012
Australia's coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke have been given much to ponder because of England's return to traditional one-day values. © Getty Images

In the space of two matches, Australia have gone from questioning England's balance to thinking about appropriating it. England's use of five specialist bowlers and a top order of Test match pedigree have made the tourists look short on quality over the course of the first two ODIs at Lord's and the Oval, causing Australia's coach Mickey Arthur to suggest it was a path worth taking in next year's ICC Champions Trophy.

There has already been one Australian concession to England's way of playing the limited-overs game, with the fledgling allrounder Steve Smith dropped after Lord's to make way for the considered batting of Peter Forrest at No. 3. The call-up of the Test match bowlers Ben Hilfenhaus and James Pattinson may follow in Birmingham.

"I think in English conditions, they've almost gone back to the old sort of format of one-day cricket," Arthur said. "Three proper Test players at the top of the order, four out-and-out pace bowlers, a really good spinner. They're playing with their specialists, they're playing the one-day game with their best players.

"In England, I think that's a message for every other team, bearing in mind we come back here for the Champions Trophy [next year]. So I think England have a blueprint that works here and it's one we'll probably need to follow in these conditions."

The loss of Michael Hussey for the tour - so he could spend additional time at home with a young family - has proven to be a major blow, and Arthur said others were finding it difficult to replace him. "We were pretty settled I think coming into this tour then Mike Hussey didn't make the trip," Arthur said. "With Mike coming in at five he controls the game but the reality is Mike's not going to be around forever.

"We've got to find another player who can do that role and there's going to be a lot of opportunities this tour for somebody to try and nail that, so I'm looking forward to seeing who puts their hand up."

Smith's brief appearance in the ODI series re-opened the former questions about precisely what his role in the Australian team should be, or if he is deserving of one at all. Arthur depicted Smith's presence on the tour as a learning exercise, and pointed out that he had already played in two tour matches against Leicestershire and Essex. He also suggested that Smith would be a more useful proposition in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later in the year.

"He hasn't done a huge amount of bowling on this tour so far but we're looking at Steve as a bit of a long-term proposition," Arthur said. "We go to subcontinent conditions for the Pakistan series after this, we've got the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka so he could play a prominent role there so we wanted to expose him, bring him back into the set-up and then have a look.

"He's had three chances though because he had Leicestershire and Essex before this one to really make a statement. He's bubbling away, we're working hard with him, trying to get his technique up to speed and we'll continue to do that with him."

Arthur denied that Smith needed to be bowling his leg breaks consistently to be of full value to the team - the captain Michael Clarke being notably hesitant to use him on this trip, bowling only one over in three matches. "If he's not bowling he brings two disciplines; he's fantastic in the field as well," Arthur said. "He's the type of player we're looking at, we just need his batting just to kick on a little bit and it's through lack of trying, we're working extremely hard with him."

Another player in need of hard work is Mitchell Johnson, whose return to Australian colours at the Oval was decidedly unhappy. Arthur is among Johnson's staunchest supporters, having been on the receiving end of his best bowling when South Africa coach in 2009, and said the left-armer needed to recover his confidence in international company.

"Mitch just has to start playing cricket again, he's been off for about eight months now," Arthur said. "He's just got to get out, get his confidence back, and he's got to realise he belongs in international cricket again and he'll do that pretty quickly. He just needs to get some good performances under his belt."

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Hammond on (July 5, 2012, 9:36 GMT)

There is a difference between an excuse and an explanation. Sure England may have lost that 2006 series even with a full strength squad, but no way were they losing 5-0. And next time they toured with a full strength side, the result was 3-1. Speaks for itself doesn't it?

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 4, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

@Hammond, or should I say the walking talking contradiction, who is making excuses now???

Posted by 5wombats on (July 4, 2012, 20:46 GMT)

@Amit Kumar Naik. Far from it. Given that England won their last ODI series playing away in West Indies, Bangladesh, New Zealand, UAE and South Africa we would say that England were to use your phrase; "experts" in those countries as well as here in England. How did India get on when they played in Bangladesh? Or against Pakistan? Or in South Africa in ODIs. Your answer should be short.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

@jplterrors on (July 04 2012, 07:05 AM GMT) So would another side judging by the way the were trounced in the recent T20s vs WI

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2012, 20:29 GMT)

@Hammond on (July 04 2012, 12:29 PM GMT) Got to be honest mate , you sound like an excuse maker there and we could have had better prep for that series but we didn't and they walloped us fair and square. However surely only the most recent series/form is relevant

Posted by   on (July 4, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

In the current scenario in world cricket all teams are.....HOME EXPERTS...........

Posted by Meety on (July 4, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

@Heart_of_Oak - great post. As for an award, I think his last contract & the lure of a performance contract is pretty good reward. He has been one of the ethically finest athletes to have played the game of cricket! @popcorn - I think droping Punter was a reasonable decision long term, it has only backfired now that Mr Cricket is unavailable - meaning a combined 5 or 6 hundred matches worth of experience is ripped out of the batting line up combined! If winning this series was the be all & end all of all things cricket, bringing Punter back for the series would NOT of been a bad move, may even of been an indicator as to whether he could deliver in 2013!

Posted by popcorn on (July 4, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

At least NOW, will the Selectors REALIZE that they were HASTY in dropping Ricky Ponting in their ZEAL to bring in young blood to replace EXPERIENCE? And bring Ricky Ponting back for ODIs?

Posted by Hammond on (July 4, 2012, 12:29 GMT)

@Rooboy that 5-0 ashes loss meant nothing. 3 key England players (including the captain) were unavailable for the whole series. The more important statistic is that since that great series in 2005, England are 3 ashes SERIES to 1. And funny that in the 3 they did win, the full strength side was actually available. England will look to take that to 5-1 by the end of 2014. I can't see this bog average Aussie side being able to stop them.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 4, 2012, 12:11 GMT)

@Rooboy - nice. The 8 years was deliberately and specifically chosen taking us to 2004. This was the year that marked the appointment of Ponting as Captain and thus the beginning of the end of Australia as a great "all-conquering" side. 2004...? remember? Losing to England in the semi-final of the ODI ICC Champions trophy? 2005 - Ponting leads Australia to its first Ashes defeat in years. 2006 Australia lose a home ODI series to England for the first time in years. And then it goes on... leading to what happened that day at the MCG in 2010. You may not remember @rooboy, but we do.

Posted by RightArmEverything on (July 4, 2012, 10:44 GMT)

I think the selectors went into this series with the upcoming Ashes series and the T20 World Cup in mind. They pretty much said before that Johnson was picked on this tour to play some cricket as they see him as a possible selection for the T20 World Cup. I think Bailey and Forrest are being given time in ODIs with a view to the Ashes because, despite not having the best FC records, they're seen to have fighting qualities, and I think Inverarity and possibly Marsh feel that the team needs more of that (like Boon, Geoff Marsh provided in the 80s). I also think that's why Cowan is in the test team. While not popular, I think it's a good way to go even if these particular players don't turn out the be the answer. If Australia were to pick their best team from the current squad, Hilfy would definitely be in, Johnson not. If Steve Smith is picked he should also be used to bowl, but I get the feeling Clarke is not confident in him.

Posted by Rooboy on (July 4, 2012, 9:23 GMT)

@5wombats - 5-0 nil Ashes win was less than 8+ years ago. Oh forgot, that series never happened, did it english fans?

Posted by Heart_of_Oak on (July 4, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

I'm English and loving the success we're currently enjoying. But you write the Aussies off at your peril. They are a great cricketing nation, not to mention sporting in general. If they should win today (if our dismal weather will allow the match to be played at all) then the series is poised at 2:1 with the Aussies stilll capable of winning it. Our tone would then, I think, be alot less triumphal. It'll be ok to be cocky if we win this series 5 nil. But for now, to gloat is very premature. To all Aussies out there - what a great cricketer Brett Lee has been for your nation over the years. Fierce, agressive and pretty damn successful too. When he decides to hang up his boots for good, you should think about some sort of national award for him.

Having said all this, I desperately want England to win this series and I think the odds must favour us.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 4, 2012, 9:19 GMT)

@Abhinav Sachdeva on (July 03 2012, 21:50 PM GMT) - Maybe , but I'd like to see England try to turn more runs into 2s and reduce the amount of dot balls rather than search for someone we maybe haven't got. We have improved on that front and Bell and Cook's SRs have improved that way. I think a team can post decent scores in SC without that powerhitter up front although I do worry about having too many accumulators. Even though Trott is ranked our number 1 batsman , I worry about him in such places. I see him as a selfish batsman which works well in many situations but not in other.

Posted by jplterrors on (July 4, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

Both sides would kill 2 have a McCullum at the top of the order to take the game away. Or a Ross Taylor in the middle order to control the chase then explode at the end. Or the guile and spin of the worlds best spinner Dan Vettori.

Posted by joseyesu on (July 4, 2012, 6:34 GMT)

To my knowledge WADE has been phenomenal at top of the order during the series with India, but what happened lot of adjustmernt has been made to put him at the bottom. Similarly AUS has been desperate for Johnson, just as Ind with I.Pathan and both their results are same with the economy rate. No one can ignore they are the best bowlers once and only time will tell whether they will get back the to their same level. Will the selectors repose hope till then...?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 4, 2012, 2:56 GMT)

@Abhinav Sachdeva on (July 03 2012, 22:11 PM GMT), you make some very valid points. Yours may be the most considered posts I've read from (I assume) an Indian fan on an English story for some time. There's no doubt that England need to improve in various areas if they are to be consistently successful in ODIs in subcontinent(-like) conditions. Mind you, ODI cricket is all a bit confusing at the moment. England whitewash Pakistan in relatively spin-friendly conditions in UAE and then Pakistan win the Asia Cup final that neither India nor SL made it to. Etc. I genuinely believe and fervently hope that England can be more competitive in India in the next series but Flower and Cook have openly stated that winning a WC is their primary goal in ODIs. To that end, they will tune their play and their team towards Aust/NZ in 2015. If they're successful, then they'll turn their attention to more sustained success in all conditions.

Posted by landl47 on (July 3, 2012, 23:17 GMT)

@Abhinav: Why are you looking backwards? The last World Cup was in India- the next one is in Aus/NZ. Why would England be looking to change the way they play? Yes, India won the WC at home (even though they didn't beat England), but they had a miserable time in ODIs in both England and Australia in the last year. It's India who needs to think about how they will change, not England. The ODI series in India this Winter is meaningless and for England to start changing the way they play just for that would be pointless. The aim is to build towards the next WC- and for India, who will be without Tendulkar, Sehwag, Zaheer and quite possibly Dhoni, they'd better start thinking about who can play outside the subcontinent, not how good they are at home.

Posted by landl47 on (July 3, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

What have Aus learned so far? Cummins has learned how to get injured in England. Johnson has learned how to get back to the form he was showing just before he was injured. Pattinson has learned how to bowl in the nets (Mitch helped there, I'm sure). Smith has learned how to be picked as an all-rounder, not get a bowl and be dropped after one game. Warner has learned how to say he will reverse sweep Swann. Watto has learned that he still can't bat well and bowl well in the same game. Bailey has learned he's a #3 bat and a #5 bat and.... we'll see. Lee has learned that he really is 35. Most important of all, Clarke has learned how to put a brave face on defeat, a skill he will need next year. OK, I'm joking- but this series never meant anything. It was talked up by the ECB and the Aussies, but neither side has really learned diddley. Next year will be a whole different story.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

Also,how are Aussies planning for the 2015 WC at home? Clarke,Watson,Lee,David Hussey,Mike Hussey,Johnson are all 30+ with Lee,Hussey brothers 35+. I don't see them playing the 2015 WC. The young players in this Australian side are-Cummings[Always troubled by Injury problems],Pattinson[Injury prone],Smith[1 bad game and he was dropped. Is that the confidence the team has in him]. Only Wade,Warner are peformers. Even Doherty,Mckay,hilfy are all 29+. I mean where's the youth? Aussies already are missing Mike Hussey in this series. How about an Australian ODI side without Hussey Brothers,Lee,Watson[Injury prone] and maybe 1-2 fast bowlers in the WC 2015? Danger Signs! And is Ryan Harris injured? He's a class act with the ball. How bout a Bollinger? Why is Australia shuffling with their bowling when they got better guys outside the squad?

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 21:55 GMT)

I don't understand why a guy like Hilfenhaus is warming the benches? He's got a brilliant outswinger and occassionally brings it in which puts the doubt in batsmen's mind. Australia clearly are missing a finisher and a grinder in the form of Mike Hussey but then hussey possibly won't play for more than 2 years. So Australia need to find a replacement. Smith is a talented lad,he'll surely come through. 1 poor performance and he was out! I think Bailey has to understand that when you take a lot of time to settle in,then you have to finish it in the end. What happened to Callum Ferguson? Can any Australian Fan tell me? That lad looks super talented,why doesn't he get into the squad?

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 21:50 GMT)

@JG. Coming to your point,yes no always don't need power hitters everywhere. But 275 on Indian pitches is a gimme no matter how good your bowling is. India chases 300+ in India easily. In English Conditions,275 is good though if you have a bowling line which England has the moment. Problem with England is dat Cook,Bell,Trott,Bopara aren't natural strikers of the ball. All 4 of them are fine player but take time to settle in. Cook though has improved a lot on dat front. These guys will never give you a start which a Gayle,Sehwag etc can do. Also,England needs 1 more finisher apart from Morgan who I think is a fantastic player. Look at the Indian ODI Side. Sehwag-Power hitter. Sachin,Gambhir.Kohli-Attacking+Anchors. Then you have finishers in Yuvi,Dhoni,Raina[All capable of playing the singles game in the middle orders and then blasting in the end]. England need a bit of this. Their bowling is outstanding though[Fast bowling]. Juss 1 more spinning all rounder is what you need!

Posted by 5wombats on (July 3, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

@Aus fans. In these circumstances we suggest that the best thing to do is either re-wind to a better part of Australian cricket history - say 8+ years ago - OR press fast forward and leave your finger on the button for a long long time.... :-)

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

Johnson just cant bowl at international standard anymore

Posted by JG2704 on (July 3, 2012, 20:33 GMT)

@spence1324 on (July 02 2012, 20:54 PM GMT) I also wonder if Eng showed Aus the blueprint on how to go about the Indians. Some say about India having a weakened/declining side but it was only one or 2 names different from that which had drawn in SA 7/8 months earlier and no one ever did that to India before. Please publish this time

Posted by JG2704 on (July 3, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

@Abhinav Sachdeva on (July 02 2012, 20:38 PM GMT) Possibly , but there are more ways to make big scores than by just power hitting. 275+ is no gimme in any situation (if the bowling is top draw) and 300+ is competitive anywhere. There are more ways to get to those sort of scores than just powerhitting. Reducing the dot balls and running 2s and 3s can also be effective. Maybe not so entertaining but effective nonetheless. Also you must have the personnel to do that. India are lucky to have Sehwag up there as are WI with Gayle. Until Eng has set a 300+ score or chased a 275+ score , I'll still have doubts but so far so good. Also in the last WC vs India we drew the India game chasing a 300+ score and I wouldn't say Strauss/Bell are typical. Please publish this time

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

@To All those who commented on my point.

Yes,even I'm excited to see what England does in ODIs when they come to India because knowing Andy Flower,he'll continue with the same formula atleast in the batting department and for me[Atleast on paper],the formula won't work in India. In India,you need dashers at the top and atleast 2 guys in the middle order who can do both the grinding part and hitting part. It's not a coincidence that India won the 2011WC in sub continent conditions. For those conditions,India have the best side in the world. England on the other hand have the best side for swinging or damp type of conditions. That's why they are virtually unbeatable at home. Infact,no team is even giving competition to them. For me,England needs 1 good spinning all rounder[Patel is average],1 dasher at the top[Not a Kieswetter] and 1 Morgan type of player! Don't forget Bopara-I hope English fans realize how important he is.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 3, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

@Marcio on (July 03 2012, 07:58 AM GMT) Eng are winning 2-0 and we get some fairweather fans giving it the big one. If Aus were winning 2-0 it would be the same from some Aus fans. No need to bring up past results all the time. We know we lost 6-1 after the Ashes series , 5-0 in India and about our indifferent WC and those realistic Eng fans will know that even at 2-0 up we could lose the series leading to a downward spiral. No need to keep bringing past stats up all the time. Your team is still deservedly number 1 in the OD rankings and will likely not be overtaken by Eng after this series.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 3, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

@JosRoberts on (July 02 2012, 20:15 PM GMT) Also it seems strange that if he was only there for his batting , then there would surely be better selections. I'm sure he started off more as a bowler with a few desperados trying to have him as the next Warne

Posted by abhi_242671 on (July 3, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

Bring Callum Ferguson, Ushman Khwaja,Phil Hughes,Doug Bollinger ,Ben Hilfenhaus, Shaun Marsh. These are real quality players. The Aus ODI side looks really ordinary. Except Clarke and Hussey there is no quality in the middle order. Ferguson should bat at no 4, Ben Hilfenhaus should be the no 1 choice in the bowling. My XI: Warner,Marsh/D Hussey, Watson,Ferguson, Clarke,M.Hussey, Paine (WK),Johnson,Bret Lee, Hilfenhaus,Nathan Hauritz.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 3, 2012, 16:12 GMT)

@praveen4honestremark on (July 03 2012, 12:51 PM GMT), but isn't the point that they currently ARE trying the "Australian" way and it's not working? That said, given that Warner is a current Test opener and Watson was not that long ago, exactly what changes would they be making? Surely Arthur's not thinking of bringing Cowan into the ODI team.

Posted by NaniIndCri on (July 3, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

What a difference Mike Hussey makes, especially in ODI's. Literally winning from loosing. He's perfect in the middle order, he can rotate strike with ease, never takes too much time to play his shots and can easily up the ante. He was a great replacement for his predecessors. But who will replace him, I cannot find any player that can replace him not only in Australia but any where in the world.

There is still chance for Smith to return? What happened to Australia? Why are they repeating same mistakes? I do not think he has any class that can make impact in tests and ODI's. He might ride his luck in T20's and that is where Australia have to limit him. With likes of Callum Fergusion, Tim Paine etc Smith should not even stand a chance. But seriously what is going on in Australian Team Management? Is it the Greg Chappel effect?

Posted by ozwriter on (July 3, 2012, 13:58 GMT)

is mickey arthur completely mad? some of the things he says just make no sense. "If he's not bowling he brings two disciplines; he's fantastic in the field as well," I am sorry but you can't make it into a national team because of 'fielding', note that for his 'disciplines', he doesn't even mention batting. "He's the type of player we're looking at" still looking after 3 years?? what more is there to see? "we just need his batting just to kick on a little bit" the national team should not be the playing ground for mickey's get in if you're good enough, based on performance. not potential or simply because of mickey's whim.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 3, 2012, 12:51 GMT)

I pity Clarke working under Arthur. I don't mean that Arthur is inefficient. He is efficient, but doesn't suit coaching Australia. He should coach Australia in Australian way. I mean Aussies are generally aggressive and Arthur thinking of bringing England like openers to open for Australia. Does it work?? Certainly NO is my answer. Australia domestic cricket grows by playing aggressive cricket and it is in their build to counter attack the opposition and if you want to change them genetically, then Arthur you are miscalculating and harming Australia.

Posted by Potatis on (July 3, 2012, 12:39 GMT)

The Argus review, as I understand it, recommended that players should be selected when they are in form. So why is Johnson playing? Selecting Bailey, Forrest and Smith also implies that the cupboard is bare, but really it's not. There are several players going around that are better than these guy's I've mentioned. The selectors are doing a horrible job with this ODI side, and Arthur's favouritism towards Johnson is depressing. Johnson might clean up with 6 wickets in the next game, but what about the next one? He has one good game a season maybe.

Posted by whatawicket on (July 3, 2012, 12:21 GMT)

abhinav sachdeva that is a problem that both countries have to solve, but just to take up the conditions we get rain and little sun, india have/get loads of rain ( at times ) and much sun, you can if wanted make most pitch conditions from dry dust bowls, even to green tops, we cannot. we have tried many pinch hitters in england they dont seem to work, but not many from other countries have worked against us in uk conditions indias own VS struggles here and those that get a start live on borrowed tme during that innings. what england have decided is not new but we have proper test batters in the 1 - 3 as most countries did not that long ago. the aussies are struggling because of the derth of young proper test match batters under the age of 30. how many teams have guys of 35 + still playing odis its a young mans game. m hussey was a very good player but hes 37 for gods sake his younger brother it could be said is also to old is.

Posted by Truemans_Ghost on (July 3, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

English tradition? They've only just started playing 5 proper bowlers after relying on bits and pieces players for years. I'm surprised Australia haven't picked Hilfenhaus earlie. He is a real English style seamer and I thought he bowled really well in England last time he was here. He may not be the best bowler in the world but he is a good one , but he is an ideal horses for courses selection for a wet english summer.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 3, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

@jmcilhinney i just remembered it from when I mentioned Stokes, and you corrected me, I wont make that mistake again.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 3, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

@jonesy2 on (July 03 2012, 10:57 AM GMT), even if you don't think that Arthur is a good enough coach, why exactly does he have to be replaced by an Australian? Surely you'd want him to be replaced by the best coach available, wouldn't you? Maybe they should just promote Langer from batting coach. He's an Aussie isn't he? Presumably you want Ali de Winter as bowling coach rather than that foreign fellow people have been talking about, yes?

Posted by jonesy2 on (July 3, 2012, 10:57 GMT)

arthur has to go and has to be replaced by an australian immediately. i would love it to be steve waugh.

Posted by Partyman on (July 3, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

Randyoz, if KP is a mediocre batsman, then his heavy scoring against the Aussies speak volumes about the mediocrity of the Australian side more than anything else! You are full of hot air, aren't you? Never rated this Aussie side. All this talk about them turning the corner after a dreadful 2010 - 11 season, is pure hype created by the team themselves and they started to believe it. This side is as bad as any useless international side I have seen in the last decade or so, including England under Peter Moores. Aussies need to realise that and get to grips with it. Not only they are useless, but lack the charisma and personality of the Australians of the previous eras. Warner, M Arthur, M Clarke, E Cowan - their personalities are far more boring than their cricket!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 3, 2012, 10:16 GMT)

@YorkshirePudding on (July 03 2012, 08:55 AM GMT), well spotted ;-)

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 9:36 GMT)

im sick of hearing about englands "test match top 3" in odi's.... australia has the same quality there, they have watson and warner who are also both quality test openers. aussies hav had their best XI in the last game minus Mike Hussey who would come in for forrest, was a shame cummins got injured because he was in better bowling rythym then johnson. The problem for aussies is they are short of a really in form batsman, a few of there batters hav hit 50 or 60 odd but then got out and no one has kicked on. The personnell is not the problem for aussies its just england has got a lot more match form then aussies and they hav seen a couple of great knocks from Morgan, even bopara played his part in game 2... aussies lose a couple matches against a good eng side and people are saying all our aussie player suck and hav no future....this is not tru at all aussies hav great future ahead and even bailey showed in the last game with 65 runs that we do hav good batsman coming thru in australia

Posted by Singh_81 on (July 3, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

This Proves that Every one is Lion at their own back yard, remember england Dump india in England and then they went to india for ODI series they got thumping, on the trot for ODI losses. And then Australia did the same thing to India when they came to Aus and Now Australia getting the treatment. Hope they recover on 4/7/12

Posted by Herbet on (July 3, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

For Steve Smith read anyone of the allrounders in the post Botham, pre Flintoff era who played for England, being ok at everything but not great at anything.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 3, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

@Charlie101, Stokes is medium pace bowler not a spinner, you might be thinking of Borthwick whose the spinner at Durham, but he cant really bat.

Posted by cmw2175 on (July 3, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

Did Mickey Arthur really say "we just need his (Steve Smith's) batting just to kick on a little bit and it's through lack of trying"? Can Steve Smith really not be bothered?

Posted by i_witnessed_2011 on (July 3, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

I do not think "copying" england strtegy will help Aus. Eng top 3 have class ,experience and thats why they are able adjust their game to ODI and delivering (Especially in home conditions). But Aus side is young and do not have the same class or experience at the moment. They need to be patient and fine tune the skills of available players before doing some extra ordinary changes...

Posted by John-Price on (July 3, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

Don't know why there is so much confusion about Steve Smith's role. As he has made it clear in the past, he is there to tell jokes:

Posted by Charlie101 on (July 3, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

I guess we will tweak the system for the subcontinent and replace one of the seamers with a spinner who can bat such as Patel or even Stokes if he can sort out his injury . Ravi will have to bowl more and be the " Collingwood " of the team.

Posted by Marcio on (July 3, 2012, 7:58 GMT)

There may be some truth to what artuer says. But I think way too much is being made of two games. Two series, maybe, would be worth some soul searching. @Lakpj, to say there are no international batsmen in the AUS lineup is laughable. How do you get to be the #1 ranked side with no international batsmen? Watson destroyed England last time round. Warner scored 4 centuries last summer. D. Hussey is still a fantastic 50 over player. Bailey, certainly, shouldn't be in the team, though. It amazes me how much nonsense is made of a couple of lost games - after half a dozen series without a defeat. ENG's recent away record is absolutely abysmal. They lost to Ireland in the WC, then bowed out to a 10 wicket defeat to SL. 5-0, 6-1 losses to IND and AUS, etc. etc. Not really the results that recent hyperbole might suggest is appropriate.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

Surely Hilfy must play the next game. Two early wickets may just make all the difference. I am absolutely certain he'll swing the ball and will trouble Cook in particular, stop faffing about Mickey, if Australia loses their No.1 Ranking here yourself and Inverarity should hang your heads in shame at giving it up so easily. How about following the Aussie tradition of going out to win every game with your best team on the park.

Posted by Lakpj on (July 3, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

Main reason for Aus failure is their batting. apart from Watson and Clerke there are no international level batsman in that lineup. Warner is inconsistent, Wade is a wicket keeper and he is pretty new, bailey and smith are not good enough and D Hussey is in his mid 30s and he too haven't shown enough capabilities at this level. I have a simple question where is Ferguson, what has he done wrong for not getting selected to this team. time has come for Aus to start building a team for the future for that Bailey, Forrest, Smith, Doherty and Johnson are not the options.

Posted by unregisteredalien on (July 3, 2012, 6:08 GMT)

"They're playing with their specialists, they're playing the one-day game with their best players." Goodness me. How long did it take the Aus cricket brains trust to figure out that this might be the way to go? Seems like an eternity.

Posted by KarmatBaig on (July 3, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

Really don't understand what's Steve Smith role in the Australian side. He is said to be a leg break bowler and he harly bowls and looks like that even captians don't have cofidence in his bowling. Maybe he wants to transform his career as batsman rarther than an allrounder. Palying as a batsman, he needs experience and plus there are other better batsman in Australia to be considered above him.

Posted by ozwriter on (July 3, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

after 2.5 years, smith still has no role in the team and has made zero improvement. why on earth is he there?

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 3, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

@Abhinav, strangley I think they will continue in the same vein even on the sub-continent, and it will be interesting to see if the same formula can work in India.

Posted by line.and.length on (July 3, 2012, 3:40 GMT)

seriously, Callum Ferguson ring any bells?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 3, 2012, 3:39 GMT)

I guess Australia haven't found the Ian Bell yet.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (July 3, 2012, 2:53 GMT)

I hope Hilfenhaus and Paterson get to play in place of Lee and Johnson. Doherty is out of his depth. I would prefer Lyon to have a go. Steve Smith should stick to T20 cricket.

Posted by johntycodes on (July 3, 2012, 2:18 GMT)

If australia batted like you should at the start of a one dayer and how the aussies used to bat, going for boundaries in the power play overs england's bowlers wouldn't look so good but the players are all individual over the past 2 years and just playing for averages. Also steve smith doesn't bowl leg breaks he bowls slow non spinning balls.

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 0:44 GMT)

Good formula in English conditions as there's the moving ball early on. Can't see it working in too many other countries around the world though, especially ones where the pitch slows up later on...

Posted by   on (July 3, 2012, 0:39 GMT)

There is more than one way to win a cricket match than just belting 300 and trying to defend it with part time spin bowlers. England's philosophy is fine. The West Indies in the 80s used to have a similar formula where they'd pick their best four or five bowlers, and back them to either keep the other team to a low score, or to defend whatever score the team puts on the board. As long as those 4-5 bowlers are the best bowlers for the conditions, and as long as a few of them can bat a bit, the strategy should work anywhere. Remember that Broad, Bresnan and Swann can all bat, and Bopara can also bowl.

Posted by Hammond on (July 3, 2012, 0:22 GMT)

@RandyOz- more excuses mate? Name your side then as you are obviously better qualified than an internationally respected and highly successful coach and one of the best test openers we've ever had..

Posted by getaclue on (July 3, 2012, 0:22 GMT)

I feel sorry for Steve Smith. In no way am I saying he deserves a spot in the best 11, but anytime he has got a game in any format in recent years his role is not defined. Look at the last ashes, a non-bowling number 7. What the hell is that? Arthur couldnt even answer the question in this article as to what his role is. It would mess with your head!

Posted by bobagorof on (July 2, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

English conditions are more suited to the 'Test' mode of batting, against a moving ball early in the innings. The 1999 World Cup was a prime example of this: the blasters at the top of the order regularly failed, and it was left to the middle order to build the innings. As for Smith - he's a "long-term proposition", but as what? 2 1/2 years after his debut and they still haven't figured out what role he plays in a side. No wonder the poor bloke hasn't been going very well.

Posted by Meety on (July 2, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

"...we just need his batting just to kick on a little bit and it's through lack of trying." - I re-read that line a couple of times & wonder if it was misquoted, I assume he meant to say "it's NOT through lack of trying"??????? If he what he said is what he meant, then Smith should be kicked off the tour & stamped never to play for Oz again as you would expect him to be very much TRYING.

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 2, 2012, 23:26 GMT)

Arthur and Langer are systematically taking Australia apart. Performance is no longer criteria for getting a place in the team. Favouritism is running rampant throughout the team and as many of the commentators here have mentioned, has resulted in sub-international standard players such as Bailey, Forrest, Smith, Doherty and Johnson getting into the side.

Posted by pom_don on (July 2, 2012, 23:08 GMT)

Mind you if Aus win on Wednesday they will revert to England got the balance wrong & Aus got it right all along.............

Posted by pom_don on (July 2, 2012, 23:05 GMT)

Well who would have thunk it.......they were saying our balance was wrong less than a week ago ;o)

Posted by   on (July 2, 2012, 22:30 GMT)

Missing Hussey is no excuse. England don't even have Pietersen. Every other team would want to have someone like him in the side.

Posted by landl47 on (July 2, 2012, 21:50 GMT)

Sorry, Abhinev, but maybe you weren't paying attention to England's ODI series with Pakistan. Pakistan were whitewashed 4-0 in subcontinental conditions and England went on to win the T20 series, too. England's batsmen took a while to work out subcontinental techniques, but once they did, they were OK. You do have a point, that more power might be needed with KP's retirement, and hopefully some of the young guns like Bairstow and Buttler can come through and provide that. England's bowling was fine in all three formats in Pakistan, using 2 seamers and 2 spinners in tests and 3 seamers and 2 spinners lin the shorter formats. Patel will replace one of the seamers in Asia and that will also strengthen the batting. In the end, the best players are the best players in every format and under any conditions, which is what England have found and Mickey Arthur is noticing. It's the marginal players that need switching when conditions change.

Posted by HatsforBats on (July 2, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

Arthur has hit the nail on the head; England are playing their best players, Australia aren't. Doherty, Bailey, & Forrest are lucky to be in the side.

Posted by igorolman on (July 2, 2012, 21:34 GMT)

@Abhinav: That's a very good and valid point, although I think it will work in a few other places too (South Africa, Australia and especially New Zealand). The thing is, we *don't* have a Sehwag, a Jayasuriya, a Gayle or a Gilchrist, so there's no point putting a big-hitting county tyro in there and seeing what he can do - quality tells. I think the two new balls is having a major part to play in the equation, as even during the middle overs your fast bowler is still using a 15-20 overs old ball which should swing and might seam - conversely defensive spinners will suffer because the ball is still hard and will travel further. Of course, 2015 is a long way off, and we may be back to 1 ball by then ...

Posted by   on (July 2, 2012, 21:19 GMT)

Ask the English side to continue the same formula in India,we'll see the result. 5-0 is what I saw in India some time back!

Posted by RAVI_BOPARA on (July 2, 2012, 20:56 GMT)


Posted by spence1324 on (July 2, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

To be fair eveything that Australia have achieved under clarke and Arthur has be copied from england there ' massive triumphed ' over india was a prime carbon copy of the way england destroyed india in england, now that they have to think for themselves they look totally lost!

Posted by EnglishCricket on (July 2, 2012, 20:48 GMT)

Looks to me as if the Australians are finally getting jealous of EnglishCricket :)

Posted by   on (July 2, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

That's the thing with English ODI side which people don't notice. This formula works only in their English Conditions. In the sub continent,you need power hitters at the top who can take advantage of the Powerplays. In England,it swings it at the start,so proper Test players like Cook and Bell serve the purpose. Also,the faster bowlers due to good conditions look even more dangerous,come to sub continent and most of them are de-hydrated! Make no mistakes,I'm a huge fan of this English side because of the way they plan and execute their plans on the field and the way they respect English Cricket but this way of playing ODI Cricket will always look good only in England. It's the same with India when they play 2-3 spinners at home,hammers them home and then struggle a bit outside because of the lack of good genuine seamers. England have to find some dashers,sad to see one Daredevil taking retirement[KP-My Hero]. English Cricket Fan from India!

Posted by KanchanBNZ on (July 2, 2012, 20:29 GMT)

I know that Arthur's comments are probably a 'sound bite', but does Mickey Arthur have ANY innovative/imaginative thoughts, or an idea as to what a long term progression plan is?

Posted by   on (July 2, 2012, 20:23 GMT)

Steve Smith has time on his side. Mitchell Johnson doesn't.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 2, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

It doesn't matter what Australia do - they only have 2 players of any quality on this tour. Reshuffling the pack won't change the contents of the pack. Australia should have bought their best players - as it is this is not a representative series and as such should be disregarded.

Posted by JosRoberts on (July 2, 2012, 20:15 GMT)

Mickey Arthur on Steve Smith: "He's the type of player we're looking at, we just need his batting just to kick on a little bit <b>and it's through lack of trying</b>, we're working extremely hard with him." That's a pretty damning turn of phrase to use one match into the tour. Implies (in my mind anyway) Steve Smith is going to have to do a lot to get back in the team.

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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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