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September 6, 2005
Bob Simpson, the coach who took Australia to the top of the world, believes the selectors' attitude must change to ensure a successful future. He said a couple of players' "careers might be in the balance" as they discovered the "down slope can be as quick as the up".
"They have been very loyal to this team over a long time and it has been the right way to go," Simpson said in the Sydney Morning Herald. "Now they have to be very objective about what they need." Matthew Hayden and Jason Gillespie have been the chief concerns during the Ashes series, while Michael Kasprowicz, Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist have also struggled.
Simpson, who was in charge when Australia beat West Indies in 1995, said the side has had a swing bowling problem for the past three years and the fielding has also slipped. "It's not just reverse-swing, but swing in general," he told the paper. "I think it's a problem of world batsmen at the moment. There are not many of them at all out there who are good at playing it. That problem has been there for a while and it's really been shown up in Australia by England."
With the fifth Test starting on Thursday, Simpson said Australia's batsmen had to start finding some consistency. "A lot of them, and I suppose Matthew Hayden is one of the main culprits here, have been getting starts and not going on with it," he said. "Australia need to get enough runs to give their bowlers something to defend."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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