Australia v SL, Champions Trophy, Group A, The Oval June 17, 2013

The remake that has gone bust

Long gone are the days when any group of Australian cricketers were world-beaters. Now the best they've got just doesn't look good enough
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Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment was not as good as the original, but carried a few of the cast, some decent jokes, and had the recruits out on the streets fighting with Bobcat Goldthwait. Police Academy 7: Mission To Moscow had pretty much nothing at all. It seems that just putting words Police Academy into the title couldn't recreate any of the magic from the earlier films.

There was a feeling for a while that no matter which XI cricketers you put in the Australian team, it wouldn't matter. Just having XI players playing for Australia would lift them to a devastating standard of cricket. They'd fight until the end, they'd come together, and they'd do their country proud. It was a myth. Propaganda. Australian hearts aren't bigger than normal hearts. They don't pump supernatural sporting blood.

This current team has mortal blood in them. That could not have been highlighted more than when Australia were one wicket down against Sri Lanka, and needed a match-winning partnership and their batsmen were Phillip Hughes and Glenn Maxwell.

Trumper and Hill. Ponsford and Bradman. Simpson and Chappell. Taylor and Boon. Hayden and Ponting. Australia have had some pretty special top orders. Hughes and Maxwell won't be added to that list.

It is unfair to even mention them near that list. This is just an ODI. And an odd ODI where Australia had to chase the total in 29.1 overs to make the next stage of the tournament. It's not the normal batting order, and unlike most of the combinations above, it's not a Test match.

But if you wanted to see how far Australia had fallen, Maxwell running down the wicket like a madman and Hughes batting as though the inside edge was the middle of his bat were a pretty good example.

Hughes averages 44 in first-class cricket, and Maxwell 37. Both respectable for a young opener and a batting allrounder. But they're not as impressive off paper.

Maxwell clearly has an amazing eye, and some confidence. Maxwell is a man who can flat-bat Lasith Malinga through mid-off for four. Contrary to popular thinking, and even if they were wrong, there is a reason he was a million dollar man in the IPL. But he does swing madly across the line in a way that makes you think he's perhaps not a batsman, but a bowler with a good eye. The answer to any question in Australian cricket at the moment is Glenn Maxwell, and that is a concern.

The problem is that while Maxwell can make a good 30-odd in quick time, he doesn't really think his way through innings. He had Sri Lanka hopping, he had them worrying, he'd already scored a boundary in the over against Malinga, he didn't need to back away and expose his stumps to the one man in cricket who was most likely to hit them.

Hughes' technique has been repaired more times than Shane Watson. Yet, every time it is repaired it comes back with a new fault. Even with that, it seems his biggest problem is his confidence. No amount of tweaking, coaching or manipulation of his technique can ever bring back the confidence he had when he was a young batsman. I doubt there is a bowler in world cricket who wouldn't fancy himself with Hughes at the other end.

Hughes is a man who made back-to-back hundreds against Steyn, Ntini and Morkel. And yet faced with a fairly innocuous ball outside off stump he played a shot that could have only resulted in a caught behind, play and miss or, at best, a single to third man.

You could argue that Hughes is a weird pick for the ODI side, but his List A average is 48. You could argue that Maxwell is not an ODI No. 3, but the boy can pinch hit. There are reasons they are there. They're not blokes Australia found on the street. They're the best they can find.

The chase of 254 in 29.1 overs was never going to be easy, or even, all that possible.

But it's not just that they didn't make it, it's just that they stopped four wickets down. Their fifth wicket was 11 runs off 27 balls as Mitchell Marsh scratched and Adam Voges consolidated. Only Matthew Wade from that point on made any attempt at the total they needed to make the semis.

Maybe it's romantic and unrealistic, but it is likely previous Australian sides would have just kept running into the fire. Swinging away wildly. Chasing until there was no hope left. This team either didn't have that in them, or couldn't do it.

The main bit of fight they showed was a last wicket partnership that made Sri Lankan fans nervous for a while.

This has been a dodgy start for Australia's summer in the UK. Their opening batsman is currently suspended. Their one superstar is still injured. They lost two and shared one in this tournament. Their team environment is not great. The only bright spot today was when Ricky Ponting was in their dressing room.

Unfortunately for Australia, Ponting was not coming back, he was just performing a walk on. The old cast aren't getting back together. The old magic will not be regained. They are stuck with what they have.

The Australia one-day team is currently very close to Police Academy 7. There are a couple of faces you sort of know, and none are the quality of the originals. And just like Police Academy, as the series got worse, the more you saw of George "GW" Bailey, the legendary character actor.

It's not the players' fault. Unlike a film series, you can't simply stop playing sport just because your team isn't as good as it used to be.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 18, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    "Australianism," wrote Arlott, "means single-minded determination to win - to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the 'impossible' is within the realm of what the human body can do, there are Australians who believe that they can do it - and who have succeeded often enough to make us wonder if anything is impossible to them. It means they have never lost a match - particularly a Test match - until the last run is scored or their last wicket down."

    Fading Australianism.. #OnTheHuntForAustralianism!

  • ZachAd on June 17, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    My active memories of following cricket start from the 1999 World Cup where I clearly recall Australia trouncing the living daylights of a very strong Pakistan team. For the next decade or so, that was what Australia was about - they were invincible. I hated the fact that they had truckloads of attitude, didn't give a damn about being liked and just kept on winning. That team was so fiercely competitive, so intimidating and were so proud.As I look back now, I realize that its difficult not to have a grudging admiration for that team cause the fact is - they were something really special.Today as I watched Australia being eliminated from CT without single win, a realization hit hard that an era has truly passed. . The way things are looking now, I will probably talk about that great Australian team to my future generation the same way my old man talks about the famous West Indies team of the 1970's. Funnily enough,this thought has left an empty feeling in the heart

  • Simoc on June 17, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    That is a good summary of where the Oz ODI team is at. But like the test line up the bowling is competitive and the batsman are not. In the past year most often it has been left to the bowlers to score the majority of runs as well. It is a pity that we don't have anything better to offer.I would think Callum Ferguson is way better than Hughes in the one day format.

  • on June 19, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    just say sri lanka bowled well that day......... it was mathews mistake not to bring in dilly early on speacially when doherty was batting

  • on June 18, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    yes, the aussie side has weakened considerably. not because they got knocked out of the tournament but because i've never seen aussie sides rolled over for 65 runs on a pitch where the other side got to 300...

    in the actual league matches the aussies were plain unlucky.... and to all those people defending the nrr.... don't tell me that new zealand had any right to get that huge net run rate advantage..... which in fact, eventually helped sri lanka more than it did the kiwis since had the aussies not been so far behind on nrr they would have probably made it... the aussie wickets fell because they were trying to score @ 8 an over...

    and on top of that the aussies were deprived of a win in tht game against the kiwis....

  • coldcoffee123 on June 18, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Throw in Ponting, Katich and Hussey, and Australia will be good to score 500+ in every Ashes Test innings.

  • on June 18, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    I don't criticize for Australia's present performance in ICC Champions Trophy 2013. All their legendary cricketers have retired at a time and it will take time for them to find good players. What I am not loving about Australian cricket is that selectors are not patient enough with some set of players. They have forcefully made players like Simon Katich and Michael Hussey retire from National duties. Ponting was not at all good in form, so asking him to retire is fine. Look at the way Hussey played in IPL. One more problem Aussies is facing is the spinners problem, selectors have to seriously groom some set of spinners or bring a spinner coach like the England team. Mustaq Ahmed is doing wonders with Swann and Panesar. Captaincy must be given to Bailey in T20 and ODI's. In tests Shane Watson or Clarke. Australia is doing well in their home conditions but not doing well when they are away which the past Australian team haven't done. So, only time will tell until then have to wait.

  • heathrf1974 on June 18, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    @bobmartin they lost the match because they had to get the runs in 29 overs. That is relevant in effecting the result.

  • on June 18, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    What felt like teething issues seem more like festering ones now and ACB will need to take some bold steps to restore the Aussies to their former glory. An Aussie team has always had grit. This was personified through its captains and key players through the last few decades, be it Border, Boon, Lillee, Gilchrist, Ponting McGrath or Warne. It seems that the fight has gone out of their system of late. Hope that there is silver lining to this cloud hanging around Aussie cricket, of which Hughes is only a personification. They need a serious soul searching not summary executions.

  • AussieSam on June 18, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    As much as I did enjoy the hyperbole of calling this team Police Academy 7, and implying that the great past Aussie teams were Gods amongst men whose flawless techniques never failed them and this team is an uncompetitive minnow, its unfair to judge a team on whether or not they could chase 250 in 29 overs, with 3 of their best players missing. Even all of those great past batsmen that the article mentions scored ducks and were dismissed playing shots they would have preferred to wipe from memory. (Lets not forget that even the almighty Thunder God, Hayden, was once dropped) Although the article hints at the fact that mental strength is likely a bigger factor than technique here, I don't think this is fully appreciated. Even the great WI team which burst onto the scene by demolishing India then England were at the time coming off a humiliating loss in Aus and former players now claim that defeat was the catalyst for their greatness.

  • on June 18, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    "Australianism," wrote Arlott, "means single-minded determination to win - to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the 'impossible' is within the realm of what the human body can do, there are Australians who believe that they can do it - and who have succeeded often enough to make us wonder if anything is impossible to them. It means they have never lost a match - particularly a Test match - until the last run is scored or their last wicket down."

    Fading Australianism.. #OnTheHuntForAustralianism!

  • ZachAd on June 17, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    My active memories of following cricket start from the 1999 World Cup where I clearly recall Australia trouncing the living daylights of a very strong Pakistan team. For the next decade or so, that was what Australia was about - they were invincible. I hated the fact that they had truckloads of attitude, didn't give a damn about being liked and just kept on winning. That team was so fiercely competitive, so intimidating and were so proud.As I look back now, I realize that its difficult not to have a grudging admiration for that team cause the fact is - they were something really special.Today as I watched Australia being eliminated from CT without single win, a realization hit hard that an era has truly passed. . The way things are looking now, I will probably talk about that great Australian team to my future generation the same way my old man talks about the famous West Indies team of the 1970's. Funnily enough,this thought has left an empty feeling in the heart

  • Simoc on June 17, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    That is a good summary of where the Oz ODI team is at. But like the test line up the bowling is competitive and the batsman are not. In the past year most often it has been left to the bowlers to score the majority of runs as well. It is a pity that we don't have anything better to offer.I would think Callum Ferguson is way better than Hughes in the one day format.

  • on June 19, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    just say sri lanka bowled well that day......... it was mathews mistake not to bring in dilly early on speacially when doherty was batting

  • on June 18, 2013, 18:12 GMT

    yes, the aussie side has weakened considerably. not because they got knocked out of the tournament but because i've never seen aussie sides rolled over for 65 runs on a pitch where the other side got to 300...

    in the actual league matches the aussies were plain unlucky.... and to all those people defending the nrr.... don't tell me that new zealand had any right to get that huge net run rate advantage..... which in fact, eventually helped sri lanka more than it did the kiwis since had the aussies not been so far behind on nrr they would have probably made it... the aussie wickets fell because they were trying to score @ 8 an over...

    and on top of that the aussies were deprived of a win in tht game against the kiwis....

  • coldcoffee123 on June 18, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Throw in Ponting, Katich and Hussey, and Australia will be good to score 500+ in every Ashes Test innings.

  • on June 18, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    I don't criticize for Australia's present performance in ICC Champions Trophy 2013. All their legendary cricketers have retired at a time and it will take time for them to find good players. What I am not loving about Australian cricket is that selectors are not patient enough with some set of players. They have forcefully made players like Simon Katich and Michael Hussey retire from National duties. Ponting was not at all good in form, so asking him to retire is fine. Look at the way Hussey played in IPL. One more problem Aussies is facing is the spinners problem, selectors have to seriously groom some set of spinners or bring a spinner coach like the England team. Mustaq Ahmed is doing wonders with Swann and Panesar. Captaincy must be given to Bailey in T20 and ODI's. In tests Shane Watson or Clarke. Australia is doing well in their home conditions but not doing well when they are away which the past Australian team haven't done. So, only time will tell until then have to wait.

  • heathrf1974 on June 18, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    @bobmartin they lost the match because they had to get the runs in 29 overs. That is relevant in effecting the result.

  • on June 18, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    What felt like teething issues seem more like festering ones now and ACB will need to take some bold steps to restore the Aussies to their former glory. An Aussie team has always had grit. This was personified through its captains and key players through the last few decades, be it Border, Boon, Lillee, Gilchrist, Ponting McGrath or Warne. It seems that the fight has gone out of their system of late. Hope that there is silver lining to this cloud hanging around Aussie cricket, of which Hughes is only a personification. They need a serious soul searching not summary executions.

  • AussieSam on June 18, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    As much as I did enjoy the hyperbole of calling this team Police Academy 7, and implying that the great past Aussie teams were Gods amongst men whose flawless techniques never failed them and this team is an uncompetitive minnow, its unfair to judge a team on whether or not they could chase 250 in 29 overs, with 3 of their best players missing. Even all of those great past batsmen that the article mentions scored ducks and were dismissed playing shots they would have preferred to wipe from memory. (Lets not forget that even the almighty Thunder God, Hayden, was once dropped) Although the article hints at the fact that mental strength is likely a bigger factor than technique here, I don't think this is fully appreciated. Even the great WI team which burst onto the scene by demolishing India then England were at the time coming off a humiliating loss in Aus and former players now claim that defeat was the catalyst for their greatness.

  • BlueJoy on June 18, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Its saddening to see the Mighty Aussies fall like this. I am an Indian, for the previous 17 years I have revered the way Aussies play.

    This is a cycle of Change similar to what happened to the strongest teams ever.

    It happened to the West Indies, after winning the world cups and by the 1990s they had started their descent. Even we Indians had a transition the lose of Sachin ( ODIs),Ganguly,Kumble , Dravid , VVS. But for every slope there is a hike.

    Lets all hope the Aussies can comeback to atleast a shadow of what they were.

  • on June 18, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Good read. Yes,the mighty has fallen.From being invincibles to dangerous to formidable to just another team to. another average team, their odi has been conspicuously falling.Teams dont write off Australia as it's unwise to take any team lightly in modern odi .Also no one who has seen them in d past decade wud take Aussies lightly (in d mind).But no expert is going to predict this team which is in transition phase now wud start to rise again soon.Had this been in India the media wud summon d bcci to bring bacj all d old stalwarts or atleast M.Hussey wud hv got a million requests from media and d fans. :-).

  • CrICkeeet on June 18, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Sad bt true Australia bcoms.. once upon a tym their was an australia in cricket. Hope so dey can come back

  • on June 18, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    this is the worst team Australia has in last one decade.They have star cricketers but either they dont perform(watson) or they play punch shot outside the ground(warner).Glen maxwell is just like another yusuf pathan and hughes,a batsman who lacks confidence.I think they needed ponting and mike hussey for more two years till their team developed fully just like indian team which still needs tendulkar in test cricket.

  • njr1330 on June 18, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Australia have problems with their top order batting. Watching Lancashire the other day, I saw a sublime hundred oozing class from a bloke called Simon Katich...worth a phone call surely?!!

  • on June 18, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    Funny and sad article on the current state of Australian team. For the first time I dont see any exciting players who will go on to have good careers in that team. That in itself is very sad. Ashes will be terribly one sided if they continue like this.

  • latecut_04 on June 18, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    More than the loss its the manner of defeat which should be worrying.There was a term named "Australianism" in cricket circles,which stood for fighting till the last ball is bowled/last run is scored.This team and many many recent Aus performances have been a far cry from this.It is just not the retirement of greats which is affecting Aus cricket right now.Aus won from a highly improabable situation in an ODI played in 2010 in India when Sachin scored a sublime 175 and added to the notion he doesn'tcontribute to Indian victories.This was after the mighty Aus era.THAT spirit and attitude seem to have vanished.And there lies the actual Aus problem.

  • AnoopMukundan on June 18, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Aussies used to be known for their on-field aggression. Warner changed all that. Anyway I am still hopeful of a revival from them.

    - Change the coach. No offense to Mickey but bring in someone from the golden era (can be anybody from Steve Waugh to Punter). It'll be a great morale booster.

    - Change the captain. Sorry but I think pup is too cute to be an aggressive Australian captain (not based on CT). I donno who exactly should replace him but I'm sure they can find another Ricky from the Australian camps.

    - And finally focus on bowling from now on. It will be their main strength in the future at least until new talents pop up.

    Ashes might be a good starting point for a second life.

  • venkatesh018 on June 18, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    This is the first real ICC tournament with Australia being a complete laughing stock. I suspect it won't be the last. For some years at least. Jarrod, I agree. Aussies have picked Maxwell and Hughes because they simply haven't found anyone better. That is the more frightening aspect for Aussie cricket and World cricket. With regards to George Bailey, I think he has done the best he could.

  • on June 18, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    I'm really amazed at how so many journalists seem to like writing off George Bailey. He's the third highest runscorer in ODIs this year. That's just a fact. He was the best Australian batsman in this tournament. That's my opinion.

    He shows calm and poise despite being thrown into the Lion's Den for this tournament. It's not his fault that the team are in disarray. He's done everything he can to fix it. But still no respect

    And yet he gets "And just like Police Academy, as the series got worse, the more you saw of George "GW" Bailey, the legendary character actor. "

    I wonder how Mr Kimber would perform in the same position.

  • Hammond on June 18, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    Glad to see that finally the one eyed Aussie supporters have opened up the other eye and can really see facts now. England, India and South Africa are all superior cricket teams than Australia. What is CA going to do about it? Or is the sport in terminal decline in Australia?

  • ramz30380 on June 18, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    It is sad to see the state of Aus cricket. I have always been a huge fan of their never-say-die attitude which is why they have always been an inspiration to the other cricket teams in the near past. Sure some drastic changes need to be made. Clarke is the best batsman in the team but surely the next best doesnt even come close to his class. It can never be a one man show - I say this bcoz the early nineties saw India struggling thru a similar phase with Sachin being the lone fighter in the team.... it never helps....

    Indian cricket has come a long way now thanks to the domestic set-up. Quality cricketers have emerged over the years and new talents emerge once too often. India too are in the process of restructuring and looks that they have done well for themselves.

    @Showbags88 You cant give credit/blame the population for the performance of any team.... if thats the case we need to salute the New Zealanders every time they take the field!

  • AncientAstronaut on June 18, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    I spent my entire childhood in the 90s and early 2000s seeing the entire world getting thrashed by Australia. So it feels strange to see Australia play like this. Sure, no team can dominate forever, but Australia has gone from world dominators to a team as bad as Bangladesh in no time. Not one batsman looked like he could score even a 50 in the Champions Trophy. If I was an Australian, it would've hurt.

  • T-run on June 18, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    C.Gull, every team has a culture that is linked to the way of the people of the country and strong successful teams emanate that culture in their style of play. As an Indian viewer, I couldn't help but notice there seemed to be 'the aussie way' about the way your team always played - tough, self reliant, uncomplaining strong individuals that may have had differences, but never in doubt of the collective being single minded in their will to win, to fight no matter what the odds. Perhaps I am wrong, but why does that attitude feel diluted now?? Do the prospects of being T20 mercenaries distract from young impressionable player's ideas towards national and cultural identities? Or is it just down to poor selections? The bowling attack is full of talent and can develop into a potent force. The batting..guys like Whatson and Warner, from great starts to their careers seem distracted, disinterested. To an uninformed outsider like myself, something doesn't feel right..

  • Harlequin. on June 18, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    @Mihil Ranathunga - you are quite right there, it doesn't seem to be anything to do with a lack of talent in Australia - if you the players you mentioned were firing, as well as forgotten/discarded talents like Katich and Rogers (don't give me that rubbish about their age, look at Misbah) then Australia would have a fairly formidable team. But Warner, Watson and Hughes are shadows of their talent and as Redneck pointed out, these are not the best players Australia have to offer.

  • Gozunder on June 18, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Disappointing to see some of the Aussie domestic talent that once played in the ODI side not being here 5 years later. The likes of Callum Ferguson, Mark Cosgrove, Tim Paine, Shaun Marsh and fringe players like Steven Smith, Moises Henriques not getting a go ahead of Hughes or Mitch Marsh is simply baffling. The Aussies need a change of coaching staff, Mickey Arthur doesn't make the cut I reckon. Someone like Darren Lehmann and Damien Martyn as batting coach need to take over right away. It's hard to see guys like DiVenuto as the batting coach, and De Winter as the bowling coach hold their jobs after Ashes 2013.

  • sachin_vvsfan on June 18, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha "The biggest winning margin in this group was 49 runs, yet AUS were told they had to win by 130-odd" You are conviniently forgetting the fact that there is one other team which chased the target under 40 overs. It is not NZ fault if SL bundled out for 130 odd. Shouldn't their bowlers performance be rewarded?. Aus couldn't do that against same opposition they couldn't chase down the target against Eng. At least they could have come close to the target against Eng (thats what SA did) so that things would have become lesser difficult in the end.

    The fact is with this kind of lineup Aus did not deserve to progress to SF. May be this is blessing in disguise. Questions need to be asked over the selections of bits and pieces cricketers like M marsh.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on June 18, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    @T-run -You may be right that current Aus players can be having a huge burden of 'living up' or 'reclaiming' the legendary aura and domination of their illustrious past team which is impossible and unlikely feat to emulate ever .Good thing is international game is filled with teams with varying levels of mediocrity and weak areas except SA in tests maybe - though not 'great' by any standards let alone the 2 teams in your post- and lets them be competitive . By that account this Aus are 'better' than Eng and stand a huge chance to win Ashes -away and home- by large margins .Aus have arguably the best pace battery in world , 2nd best spinner after Ajmal and 1 of top 3 bats in M Clarke ,way ahead of End in above aspects. Yes , rest of batting is below par but this Eng bowling is weak to take adv. of it .

  • gmsjgmsj on June 18, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    More than comparing the current Aussie team with the earlier era or wishing they would step right into the shoes of the legends, it would be pragmatic to dwell on what created the gap between Steve Waugh's team and Clarke's team. Am excluding Ponting's team because the retirement of some of the best cricketers happened just before or during his tenure. If you look at the reasons - 1) Younger lot were asked to perform at a level they have never been accustomed to. 2) Clear roles were never given to them to help in the longer formats. That is why you see Watson and Maxell doing consistently well in T20 but not in ODI/Tests. 3) It is sacrilege to expect T20 form to repeat in ODI/Tests. 4) The current team was not built to accommodate the changes that have been taking place in Tests. 5) Dearth of good medium-slow medium pacers to complement the genuinely quicks. Where are the Waughs, Flemings, Reifflels? God, am not even talking of Warne / McGill !

  • C.Gull on June 18, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    @T-run, I see your point, but to be frank I think Australian cricket watchers have moved beyond comparing this team to the legendary teams of the 90s/00s and now just want a national team that behaves itself, applies itself and plays to a respectable level.

    Right now the Aust team is looking like a fractured bunch containing rather too many bits-and-pieces athletes (the hedged bets are not coming off) and players selected on the basis of future promise (ignoring poor current technique) often selected thanks to short bursts of T20 form.

    I do agree with @prashnottz that India is now achieving good results with its regeneration, which was avoided for too long and only begun once the old selectors were cleared out. Not sure if there are lessons for Aust there but it needs to be looked at.

  • Showbags88 on June 18, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    India is the only team that has rebuilt it's team quite quickly after losing some of their older brigade (they have 1.2 billion people which is almost 1 billion more than the rest of the Cricketing world combined so it's really unsurprising that they have some good batsmen coming through). India has never had strong pace bowlers though which makes me think they will never be a long term number 1 team.

  • T-run on June 18, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Seems to me that the current Aussie players have an inferiority complex. Not generated by their opposition, but the legendary team that preceded them and won everything and was celebrated as the greatest of all time. The same seemed to had happened to the West Indies too, the only other team that was similarly all conquering once. For two decades, WI fans lamented the demise of their greats. Now India may have lost their legends - sachin, Laxman, Dravid, Shewag, but India never was all conquering, no where near, that the players that followed them felt inferior. The aussie public needs to quickly stop comparing the current lot or the future to the past. 'Rebuilding' is a vague term and form counts for a lot and is based on the foundation of self belief.

  • on June 18, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    I too don't think this failure means anything. Aussies have to sort out their off field shebang and concentrate on cricket. If their was clarke and warner in the team and in full form, the complexion might have changed drastically. Watson too would have helped if not for those same unnecessary homework. Still australia have a world class bowling line-up just their batting is of concern...

  • prashnottz on June 18, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    @Showbags88, Look at India. The team retains just 4 out of the original 15 which won the World Cup just two years back. They have just 2 players over 30, and avg age of squad is 27. They lost in the last two years Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Zaheer, Harbhajan etc and despite that is dominating the tournament aplomb.

  • redneck on June 18, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    i dont accept this is the best australia have to offer!!! the selectors are simply ignoring half the domestic comp, dont know why??? what does klinger have to do to get a shot, same with cosgrove? furg never did anything but lift his game when give a chance in national colours yet they wont give him another go!!! o'keefes another that springs to mind. we seem hell bent on playing bits and pieces players like maxwell but yet ignore o'keefe who is actually a genuine spinner that can also bat!!! also the priority is the ashes if it were the champions trophy we would have pattinson in the team and not over in ireland playing with duke balls for the A team, likewise harris would be there too! put the spot light on the selectors not on the honest triers in the team that perhaps are playing above their depth. they say ponting is in the past yet all it will take is one phone call to change that. and its not like warne in the past, punters still playing first class cricket!!!

  • on June 18, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha, I agree entirely! The only really poor piece of cricket I saw yesterday was the run out of Bailey, that really was a brain fade! The rest of it can be put down to trying to hit 8+ an over for 29 overs, no mean feat when you have Malinga able to bowl up to ten of them.

    I thought Maxwell was pretty darned good yesterday, I don't know where this hitting across the line comment from the author comes from, some of his hits down the ground were nothing short of magnificent, he also bowled and fielded very well too, he makes the inner circle on the off side a very small area when his on his toes, simply put there's others contributing far less. He is also one of the guys NOT lacking any confidence!

  • C.Gull on June 18, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    @Dangertroy, that is exactly what I thought when I looked at this scorecard.

    Inverarity & Co were a breath of fresh air at the start, but I won't be convinced they've regained the plot until Watson, Maxwell, Hughes and Warner are sidelined and O'Keefe is finally called up.

    It's a bad day for Oz when I'm forced to agree with FFL.

  • bobmartin on June 18, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    @ heathrf1974 "See how Sri Lanka would have went if the circumstances were reversed. They wouldn't have gotten close." Totally irrelevant. It was Oz who needed to win by a mile.... and they failed. All SL needed was to win.. which they did.. End of.

  • Showbags88 on June 18, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    Makes me laugh all the huge chips on shoulders I see from non Aussies on here. They obviously still hold huge grudges from when Australia dominated the world for 20 years.

    Yes Australia isn't at it's best now but I challenge any country in the world to lose the amount of experience and talent we have lost since 2008 and still be competitive (and yes we have still been reasonably competitive for the most part). If you take the 3 best batsmen out of any team within a 6 month period they are going to struggle to score runs (we have lost Ponting and Hussey and Clarke is also out atm as well, which is just under 30, 000 test runs).

    If you take Kallis, Smith and Amla from South Africa they would struggle. Sangakarra, Jayawardene and Dilshan from Sri Lanka they would struggle. Pietersen, Cook, Trott from England they would struggle and so on.

    Australia will get back up there eventually (I think the younger talent is there). We just need patience with the younger brigade.

  • 9ST9 on June 18, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha - And in the one 'Real' Game they played (according to you) they were dismal and scrapped around and made 260+ by England look like 350. If you watched the full Australia Innings against England you would get an idea what Jarrod is saying. They just don't look right as a team, mate face it.

  • croak on June 18, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    Sad indeed. The Australian situation is somewhat similar to India's during the last CB series, and after leaking runs to Srilanka, India did win that match that gave them a small chance of making it to the final. Same opposition, same Malinga....who was taken apart by Kohli. The current Australians lack the swagger of cricketers like Kohli, Dhoni etc. It is not as much as the talent. In international competitive sports, pretty much everyone's talent is almost the same, and the variance is very little actually for a majority of them. It is that will to win and the confidence in oneself under any situation that separates individuals.

  • TheBigBoodha on June 18, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Well you can write whatever you like, but the fact is Australia only played one effective game, with one washout when they were doing well, and then the farce of trying to win in 29 overs vs SL. Realistically, that was a 50-1 shot, even for a great team. All things being equal they would have won the SL comfortably in 50 overs, and also the NZ game but not for rain. 250 just wasn't enough for a 50 over game on that surface, but it was plenty when one team is playing 50 overs, and the other 29. I think the run rate calculations really need to be looked at. You can't grant a team a massive credit just because they scrape a shaky 1 wicket win batting second in a low scoring game (NZ). The biggest winning margin in this group was 49 runs, yet AUS were told they had to win by 130-odd. Monty Pythonesque.

  • on June 18, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    Very well written article. Sums up the state of Australian cricket at the moment. As Jarrod mentioned, "They're not blokes Australia found on the street." and they are supposedly the best they've got. A team which is forced to play players like Hughes, Maxwell, Wade, Doherty etc in their XI is not going to be taken seriously. Aussies could actually pick ten random people "from the street" and put them in a team with Clarke and they wouldn't possibly do any worse!

  • hvijay.1985 on June 18, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    "The answer to any question in Australian cricket at the moment is Glenn Maxwell, and that is a concern."

    "And just like Police Academy, as the series got worse, the more you saw of George "GW" Bailey, the legendary character actor."

    Classic! Had me literally rofl-ing.

  • landl47 on June 18, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    This side is looking very fragile. This was the second game where they basically gave up. A last-wicket stand of 41 only masks the real problem- the 192-9 that preceded it.

    Whatever your views on Mickey Arthur as a coach, it's plain that at the moment he has lost the room. The players aren't responding to him. CA is going to have to make changes. From everything I hear, Boof has turned into a very good coach. Maybe he can change the attitude. Someone has to.

  • Dangertroy on June 17, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    Looking at the scorecard, you have to wonder about the balance. The team has four all rounders. Four. Sure, Watson can hold a spot as a batsman and maybe Faulkner can as a bowler, but to then have Maxwell and Marsh in the same side? And then to have risky players like Johnson and Hughes, both of whom can win a match on a good day, but are dead weight on their bad days... It all adds up yo a team that is a big gamble. If everyone fires, they will blow teams away, then the selection will look inspired. But otherwise you are leaving it to the handful of reliable specialists, bailey, votes, McKay, to try and see you through.

  • on June 17, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    So sad, but so very very true. Even at his tender age, Hughes needs to be put out to pasture and Maxwell is more of a no show than a big show. Add Watson's horrible form into the mix and Marsh not being up to this level just yet and it was only ever going to be a quick exit from this tournament for Australia.

  • gramedgar on June 17, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    Grim reading for Aussies, I can't believe that there aren't better options out there. Not so much in ODIs but generally Katich was sawn off by the new regime, his experience could have helped the flow. Also I think the Hussey brothers got alienated by Clarke. Hughes and Kawaja have floundered and both are serious talents. Something is awry and the possibility that Clarke off the field is no leader means it would take a hell of a lot of bottle or a pasting against England for the administrators to face facts. All this and I am and England fan, I can't believe how messy the Aussies are. It's like they can't cope with being second rate. Or facing the truth.

  • on June 17, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    Save the breast beating for the Ashes. Australia would probably have won today if they hadn't had to chase the target in 29.1 overs. They can count themselves unlucky that the rain came when they were on top against the Kiwis and then they had to score at over eight an over from the first ball in this game. This isn't the world cup, it's pretty much one mistake and you're out. So Australia shouldn't beat up on themselves too much. It might be a blessing in disguise for them. They've now got more time to prepare for the Ashes, whereas England have at least one more game in this competition, and then a pointless T20 series against the Kiwis (again!!!) before they can turn their attention to the real business of the summer.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 17, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    Australia were never good enough to reach the last stages anyway, England completely outclassed them in this tournament much like they have done in the last 5+ years of test matches. Australia lack the skill in all departments, they lack leadership and they lack the players. Maxwell's embarrassing little, and little it was, cameo as opener ended as we all thought it would. Just sheer humiliation for Australia and back to the drawing board it is yet again.

  • wrenx on June 17, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    I like the description of Hughes' dismissal. I cannot stand that shot. You see it all the time, dangling the bat out for a controlled edge, "guiding" it down to 3rd man to collective approval from the on-air commentators about how "cleverly", "delicately" or otherwise "skilfully" played it was. That shot only ever gets you one run. And it gets you out about as often as well. I'm not an Australian supporter, but even I winced when I saw Hughes try to play it. A slap round the head for the coaches, they should ban that shot. Trust me, I've been following Pakistani batsmen for long enough to know a thing or two about god-awful batting techniques. I'd rather they let that go for a dot then trying to play that shot, or else work on expanding their driving technique

  • on June 17, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    Michael Clarke is the problem. Nobody wants to play under him. There is now will, no motivation, no cohesion. If you played under Taylor, Border, Waugh, Ponting, you WANTED to play; your captain would stick by you and it was the team that always mattered. With Clarke it is Clarke himself that matters most, and then his mates within the team. He divides, he treats the Australian team as 'his gang' and the teams under him will not progress any further. Absolutely nobody wants to do well under his leadership, and this is shown by the disillusion shown by Watson, Warner, Hughes - virtually everyone. They are protesting with poor performances, it is blindingly obvious what is happening.

  • heathrf1974 on June 17, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    See how Sri Lanka would have went if the circumstances were reversed. They wouldn't have gotten close.

  • heathrf1974 on June 17, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    See how Sri Lanka would have went if the circumstances were reversed. They wouldn't have gotten close.

  • on June 17, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    Michael Clarke is the problem. Nobody wants to play under him. There is now will, no motivation, no cohesion. If you played under Taylor, Border, Waugh, Ponting, you WANTED to play; your captain would stick by you and it was the team that always mattered. With Clarke it is Clarke himself that matters most, and then his mates within the team. He divides, he treats the Australian team as 'his gang' and the teams under him will not progress any further. Absolutely nobody wants to do well under his leadership, and this is shown by the disillusion shown by Watson, Warner, Hughes - virtually everyone. They are protesting with poor performances, it is blindingly obvious what is happening.

  • wrenx on June 17, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    I like the description of Hughes' dismissal. I cannot stand that shot. You see it all the time, dangling the bat out for a controlled edge, "guiding" it down to 3rd man to collective approval from the on-air commentators about how "cleverly", "delicately" or otherwise "skilfully" played it was. That shot only ever gets you one run. And it gets you out about as often as well. I'm not an Australian supporter, but even I winced when I saw Hughes try to play it. A slap round the head for the coaches, they should ban that shot. Trust me, I've been following Pakistani batsmen for long enough to know a thing or two about god-awful batting techniques. I'd rather they let that go for a dot then trying to play that shot, or else work on expanding their driving technique

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 17, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    Australia were never good enough to reach the last stages anyway, England completely outclassed them in this tournament much like they have done in the last 5+ years of test matches. Australia lack the skill in all departments, they lack leadership and they lack the players. Maxwell's embarrassing little, and little it was, cameo as opener ended as we all thought it would. Just sheer humiliation for Australia and back to the drawing board it is yet again.

  • on June 17, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    Save the breast beating for the Ashes. Australia would probably have won today if they hadn't had to chase the target in 29.1 overs. They can count themselves unlucky that the rain came when they were on top against the Kiwis and then they had to score at over eight an over from the first ball in this game. This isn't the world cup, it's pretty much one mistake and you're out. So Australia shouldn't beat up on themselves too much. It might be a blessing in disguise for them. They've now got more time to prepare for the Ashes, whereas England have at least one more game in this competition, and then a pointless T20 series against the Kiwis (again!!!) before they can turn their attention to the real business of the summer.

  • gramedgar on June 17, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    Grim reading for Aussies, I can't believe that there aren't better options out there. Not so much in ODIs but generally Katich was sawn off by the new regime, his experience could have helped the flow. Also I think the Hussey brothers got alienated by Clarke. Hughes and Kawaja have floundered and both are serious talents. Something is awry and the possibility that Clarke off the field is no leader means it would take a hell of a lot of bottle or a pasting against England for the administrators to face facts. All this and I am and England fan, I can't believe how messy the Aussies are. It's like they can't cope with being second rate. Or facing the truth.

  • on June 17, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    So sad, but so very very true. Even at his tender age, Hughes needs to be put out to pasture and Maxwell is more of a no show than a big show. Add Watson's horrible form into the mix and Marsh not being up to this level just yet and it was only ever going to be a quick exit from this tournament for Australia.

  • Dangertroy on June 17, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    Looking at the scorecard, you have to wonder about the balance. The team has four all rounders. Four. Sure, Watson can hold a spot as a batsman and maybe Faulkner can as a bowler, but to then have Maxwell and Marsh in the same side? And then to have risky players like Johnson and Hughes, both of whom can win a match on a good day, but are dead weight on their bad days... It all adds up yo a team that is a big gamble. If everyone fires, they will blow teams away, then the selection will look inspired. But otherwise you are leaving it to the handful of reliable specialists, bailey, votes, McKay, to try and see you through.

  • landl47 on June 18, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    This side is looking very fragile. This was the second game where they basically gave up. A last-wicket stand of 41 only masks the real problem- the 192-9 that preceded it.

    Whatever your views on Mickey Arthur as a coach, it's plain that at the moment he has lost the room. The players aren't responding to him. CA is going to have to make changes. From everything I hear, Boof has turned into a very good coach. Maybe he can change the attitude. Someone has to.

  • hvijay.1985 on June 18, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    "The answer to any question in Australian cricket at the moment is Glenn Maxwell, and that is a concern."

    "And just like Police Academy, as the series got worse, the more you saw of George "GW" Bailey, the legendary character actor."

    Classic! Had me literally rofl-ing.