Australia news March 17, 2013

Controversy may have given England advantage - Buchanan

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Former Australia coach John Buchanan believes the axing of four Australian players for failing to complete a task during the tour of India has handed England an advantage ahead of this year's Ashes. Buchanan was known for using unconventional methods during his time at the helm of a highly successful Australia team and he said the drastic action taken by the team management in India could prove a masterstroke, or it could lead to the end of coach Mickey Arthur's tenure.

Arthur, the captain Michael Clarke and team manager Gavin Dovey collectively decided to leave Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson out for the Mohali Test after they neglected to complete a task set by Arthur. Following the innings defeat in Hyderabad, Arthur asked all of Australia's players to think about their performance and come up with three ideas on how they and the team could improve.

Arthur and Clarke called the decision to ban the four players a "line-in-the-sand" moment and they said it was the result of a build-up of minor infractions from the wider playing group, including being late to meetings, giving backchat and wearing the wrong uniforms. Arthur and Clarke want to build a strong culture within the team but Buchanan said the problem was that, with only three months before the Test squad assembles in England, it would be hard for such changes to take effect by then.

"At this point it could be a masterstroke or it could be the reverse and I don't think it will be anywhere in between," Buchanan told the Telegraph. "There is a very clear message there. Whether that is the right message or whether it has been delivered or arrived at correctly will show in terms of whether it brings about a change in the way this Australian group gel together or signify an end to what has been going on before. It will continue to ferment and there is only one loser if it goes wrong and it will be the coach.

"I definitely think it has provided some advantage to England but time will tell. There is a lot going on aside from this one issue. You have a new coach, new selectors, people leaving and arriving and a range of players coming in and out of different teams. What happened [in India] is a product of all that.

"I don't think there will be sufficient time for them to bed down before they get to England but it could be a masterstroke. This is about more than 10 [Ashes] Tests. This is about establishing a new team culture and fabric, a new way of being part of an Australia team that will be there for as long as Clarke and those he hands over to last. The last culture was started by Stephen Waugh when he took over as captain and lasted until Ricky Ponting finished as captain."

Part of the problem, Buchanan believes, is that players are more apt to be selfish if they are afraid of being left out of the side. Between rotations, injuries, retirements and regulation axings Australia have used 22 players in nine Tests since the start of their home summer. Across all formats, they have fielded 36 men in the national teams since the start of the Australian season.

"You cannot develop a team culture with so many people coming and going all the time irrespective of the format," Buchanan said. "It must create a lot of uncertainty in the group and with uncertainty comes less trust, less honesty and less compliance. Players look after themselves more.

"My view is the quality of Australian players is there to still be at the top of the tree. It just may mean that when you haven't got greats in the side you might not crush teams as quickly as before. With the talent they have, they should still get results but to me there is stuff going on that is not quite right and they are all searching for what that is. In the meantime that is creating uncertainty around those who are playing and those not being selected."

However, Buchanan said he believed there was "real merit" in the task Arthur asked the players to complete, because it had the potential to prevent individual players straying from the team culture in future.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Meety on | March 20, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    @ScottStevo on (March 18, 2013, 13:54 GMT) - its interesting that Anderson gets all the applause for being McGrath-like in his brilliance (if you listen to some England fans & writers), yet Siddle is out performing Anderson on the last two key criteria, 1. Sth Africa @ home, & 2. India in India. On top of that, Siddle has the better career figures, yet a lot of Pommy fans don't even think Siddle could make the England team, on top of that when he was a lessor bowler, during the 09 Ashes, he was the 2nd best wicket taker on either side.

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | March 18, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Scottstevo, The wickets we played on were no different to the ones you are having your back sides handed to you on. Our batsmen just had the skill and patience to prosper on them and the bowlers enough skill to exploit any help on offer. What selections are Australia going to make? Bring back Hodge and Rogers! Your top 7 is woeful and it doesnt matter how good your quicks are if your top order cant put the runs on the board you're going to lose 9 times out of 10. Anderson also didnt have a good record against you guys before 2010/11 and then what happened? If any of the wickets turn in England then Swann will be in business.

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | March 18, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    Scottstevo, The wickets we played on were no different to the ones you are having your back sides handed to you on. Our batsmen just had the skill and patience to prosper on them and the bowlers enough skill to exploit any help on offer. What selections are Australia going to make? Bring back Hodge and Rogers! Your top 7 is woeful and it doesnt matter how good your quicks are if your top order cant put the runs on the board you're going to lose 9 times out of 10. Anderson also didnt have a good record against you guys before 2010/11 and then what happened? If any of the wickets turn in England then Swann will be in business.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    I think people forget that with our "Golden Age" team we never did well in India, apart from 2004 and that was almost 10 years ago. We do not have a decent spinner, so it is hardly unexpected. Our bowling line-up is probably 2nd best to SA, it is clearly our batting that is the worry. I agree that Hughes needs more time in Domestic cricket and we cannot continue to play alrounders such as Moises/Watson/Smith in the top 5. Cowan looks decent and almost like a B version of Katich., Warner will have his days and Clarke is in his prime. We won't beat England but we may draw the series. In Australia we might come closer to winning.

  • POSTED BY brusselslion on | March 18, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    I think that both Ashes series could be close. Australia have greater strength in depth amongst the 'quicks' and, arguably, the better 1st choice attack. If England lose Anderson or Finn to injury then we look 'light' in the seam bowling department: Your lack of a decent spinner shouldn't matter too much in England, unless we have a long hot summer (which would be welcome but a bloody big surprise!). Having said all that, Australia's batting line-up is pretty ropey, so whether you can give your attack something to bowl at is another matter.

    Can any Australian posters please answer the following question for me: Why do you persist in playing Hughes, Lyon and Doherty? They are so obviously not Test class; there must be better alternatives, surely?

  • POSTED BY 30-30-150 on | March 18, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Cowan, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Henriques (?), Haddin, Starc, Hilfenhaus/Johnson, Pattinson, Lyon/O'Keefe. This team stands a good chance of beating England in The Ashes.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | March 18, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    @mikey76, don't kid yourself, mate. England definitely have a better batting line up, though if Aus make decent selections, we could have a good line up. Our bowling will be our key and if our players manage to adjust to the conditions and ball quickly, I think we will rock Englands line up on more than one occassion. Aus were never going to do well here in India, we haven't even when we had the best team ever...An upward trend - is that what you call winning one series in India??? Your spinners did well there and Anderson profited greatly from the fact England have 2 decent spinners as they didn't prepare the same dustbowls we've seen against Aus....remember that. Also, Swann has hardly got a decent record against us, so he's not really a concern of ours, unless, of course, you guys try creating a few dust bowls of your own - but then you'd just looked scared!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | March 18, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Firstly - Buchannan is on the NZ payroll now so I wouldl take what he has to say with a grain of salt, 2ndly - I would imagine players who were insecure would actually be more likely to show more compliance. If I was (say) a batsmen with 3 or 4 other direct competitors for my position, I would be filling in every form, arriving early for training & jumping thru hoops to prove I wanted my position. So I think the whole premise of Buchanans arguement is flawed.

  • POSTED BY Showbags88 on | March 18, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    England are certainly the better side than us atm and I think we won't see the Ashes for a number of years yet (I will be pleasantly surprised if we get within 2 tests of England in England). It should be closer in Australia but I still don't expect us to win back the Ashes. Our next best chance will probably come in 4-5 years time when England's team starts to age/retire and Australia's youngsters are starting to come into their prime.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Why wasn' the line in the sand drawn months before the team left Australia? Did someone forget? Or did not do their homework? Forget about England at the moment, let everyone concentrate on beating India in at least one Test.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | March 20, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    @ScottStevo on (March 18, 2013, 13:54 GMT) - its interesting that Anderson gets all the applause for being McGrath-like in his brilliance (if you listen to some England fans & writers), yet Siddle is out performing Anderson on the last two key criteria, 1. Sth Africa @ home, & 2. India in India. On top of that, Siddle has the better career figures, yet a lot of Pommy fans don't even think Siddle could make the England team, on top of that when he was a lessor bowler, during the 09 Ashes, he was the 2nd best wicket taker on either side.

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | March 18, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Scottstevo, The wickets we played on were no different to the ones you are having your back sides handed to you on. Our batsmen just had the skill and patience to prosper on them and the bowlers enough skill to exploit any help on offer. What selections are Australia going to make? Bring back Hodge and Rogers! Your top 7 is woeful and it doesnt matter how good your quicks are if your top order cant put the runs on the board you're going to lose 9 times out of 10. Anderson also didnt have a good record against you guys before 2010/11 and then what happened? If any of the wickets turn in England then Swann will be in business.

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | March 18, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    Scottstevo, The wickets we played on were no different to the ones you are having your back sides handed to you on. Our batsmen just had the skill and patience to prosper on them and the bowlers enough skill to exploit any help on offer. What selections are Australia going to make? Bring back Hodge and Rogers! Your top 7 is woeful and it doesnt matter how good your quicks are if your top order cant put the runs on the board you're going to lose 9 times out of 10. Anderson also didnt have a good record against you guys before 2010/11 and then what happened? If any of the wickets turn in England then Swann will be in business.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    I think people forget that with our "Golden Age" team we never did well in India, apart from 2004 and that was almost 10 years ago. We do not have a decent spinner, so it is hardly unexpected. Our bowling line-up is probably 2nd best to SA, it is clearly our batting that is the worry. I agree that Hughes needs more time in Domestic cricket and we cannot continue to play alrounders such as Moises/Watson/Smith in the top 5. Cowan looks decent and almost like a B version of Katich., Warner will have his days and Clarke is in his prime. We won't beat England but we may draw the series. In Australia we might come closer to winning.

  • POSTED BY brusselslion on | March 18, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    I think that both Ashes series could be close. Australia have greater strength in depth amongst the 'quicks' and, arguably, the better 1st choice attack. If England lose Anderson or Finn to injury then we look 'light' in the seam bowling department: Your lack of a decent spinner shouldn't matter too much in England, unless we have a long hot summer (which would be welcome but a bloody big surprise!). Having said all that, Australia's batting line-up is pretty ropey, so whether you can give your attack something to bowl at is another matter.

    Can any Australian posters please answer the following question for me: Why do you persist in playing Hughes, Lyon and Doherty? They are so obviously not Test class; there must be better alternatives, surely?

  • POSTED BY 30-30-150 on | March 18, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Cowan, Warner, Khawaja, Clarke, Watson, Henriques (?), Haddin, Starc, Hilfenhaus/Johnson, Pattinson, Lyon/O'Keefe. This team stands a good chance of beating England in The Ashes.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | March 18, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    @mikey76, don't kid yourself, mate. England definitely have a better batting line up, though if Aus make decent selections, we could have a good line up. Our bowling will be our key and if our players manage to adjust to the conditions and ball quickly, I think we will rock Englands line up on more than one occassion. Aus were never going to do well here in India, we haven't even when we had the best team ever...An upward trend - is that what you call winning one series in India??? Your spinners did well there and Anderson profited greatly from the fact England have 2 decent spinners as they didn't prepare the same dustbowls we've seen against Aus....remember that. Also, Swann has hardly got a decent record against us, so he's not really a concern of ours, unless, of course, you guys try creating a few dust bowls of your own - but then you'd just looked scared!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | March 18, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    Firstly - Buchannan is on the NZ payroll now so I wouldl take what he has to say with a grain of salt, 2ndly - I would imagine players who were insecure would actually be more likely to show more compliance. If I was (say) a batsmen with 3 or 4 other direct competitors for my position, I would be filling in every form, arriving early for training & jumping thru hoops to prove I wanted my position. So I think the whole premise of Buchanans arguement is flawed.

  • POSTED BY Showbags88 on | March 18, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    England are certainly the better side than us atm and I think we won't see the Ashes for a number of years yet (I will be pleasantly surprised if we get within 2 tests of England in England). It should be closer in Australia but I still don't expect us to win back the Ashes. Our next best chance will probably come in 4-5 years time when England's team starts to age/retire and Australia's youngsters are starting to come into their prime.

  • POSTED BY on | March 18, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    Why wasn' the line in the sand drawn months before the team left Australia? Did someone forget? Or did not do their homework? Forget about England at the moment, let everyone concentrate on beating India in at least one Test.

  • POSTED BY Cricket_theBestGame on | March 18, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    in short term it brought a more 100% effort from the players. but in long run as buchanan said, it could build a more selfish approach from the players.

    what we don't know if the team was cautioned on those said "misdemeanours" and the eventual consequence? if not then i still think it was way too harsh penalty for something the coach himself should've done. i.e proivde 3 points to each player to improve on. he is getting the big bucks for it isn't he??

    i don't think eng will gain anything from this. watson will be back for ashes if not rest of ind tests, and they will need his bowling and batting in eng. the only difference will be is these players will be watching their backs from now on from clarke! players tend to clique up and when they feel threatend.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 21:50 GMT

    australia have a much better chance of beating england than india in india. english conditions will suit our batting and our seam bowling is good enough to trouble english batsmen. pattinson, siddle, starc, harris and bird are quality fast bowlers. i just hope that our batsmen can perform consistently in england. warner and clarke are australia's best batsmen according to their batting average. i just hope cowan, hughes, watson and wade can perform more consistently. i also want other younger guys like khawaja, burns and doolan to get more opportunites. my prefered lineup for the ashes series will be: 1.warner 2.hughes 3.khawaja 4.clarke 5.burns 6.watson 7.wade 8.agar 9.harris 10.pattinson 11.bird/siddle

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 20:37 GMT

    Aussies in India were bound to loose, but England will not be India. Aussie fast bowling attack would be handful in England, it is their batting line up that looks frail. Yes, they will have to encounter Graeme Swann, Jimmy Anderson and Finn and Broad and this is where the challenge lies. I don't like to write people off completely, but Phil Hughes will struggle in England, he may well go on to become a good cricketer, but for now he needs to go to back to domestic cricket and work on his game for a couple of years, Usman Khawaja has shown promise but not more then that, I looked at Peter Forrest and think he has real potential, also what wrong has Callum Ferguson done to not merit a place in the test squad? They would do well to keep Shane Marsh around because I believe that he has the potential of replacing someone like Mike Hussey in the batting line up.

  • POSTED BY moshec on | March 17, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    jonesy2 - stop deluding yourself.

    england are a much better outfit than australia at the moment & have a few more than 2 decent cricketers to rub together.

    Compare the top 7 of the 2 sides & england win hands down. Bottom line this is probably the worst aus team in 20 years.

    Before worrying about white washing england maybe worry about getting white washed by india first.

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | March 17, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    The ashes won't even be close. All of England's top 7 barring Root average between 44-50 while we have a bowling attack with a combined haul of some 750 test wickets. Only Michael Clarke and perhaps Pattinson would get into the England side. Australia have shown their lack of pedigree in India, while England are back on an upward trend with players like Trott and Broad returning to form and the emergence of Compton at the top of the order. If Swann makes a full recovery then it will even harder for Aus to compete. Roll on Trent Bridge, Jimmy's happy hunting ground.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    The current Australian is very weak when compared to the current England side. The Ashes to be played in England and it is England's home turf which will make it more difficult for Australia to overcome. The Australian Players could keep their personal issues aside and should play as a team. This is applicable not only for the players, the captain, coach and the manager should also keep their personal differences aside and play for the team. The front line fast bowlers Paddington, Siddle, Starc, Mitchell Johnson all should play in the eleven. The best wicket keeper whether it is Haddin or Wade, one of them should be selected based on their keeping abilities instead of batting capability. I prefer right left combination for the opening slot instead of two lefties. If this is the case, Watson and Warner could go as openers followed by Clarke, Cowan, Khawaja, Haddin or Wade, Mitchell Johnson, Starc, Nathan Lyon, Siddle and Paddington should be my XL for the first test. Smith be 12th man.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    There is just one issue that Buchanan hasn't discussed. Waugh - Ponting era didn't see the birth of IPL(Ponting had seen 2 or 3 IPL); I am not saying IPL is the root cause of problem for the 4 players because everyone don't have contracts. However, money brings problem and today's team management, cricket boards and administrators have to find a way to face this reality with a new approach. Old system of school won't work here.

  • POSTED BY ozziespirit on | March 17, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    England are without doubt better than Australia and have been for many a year now, but with bowlers like Pattison we can cause an upset. We need a decent top 6 though, at the moment the England top is head and shoulders above the Australian one. Let's hope they don't prepare turning pitches too, we don't have a spinner and England have Swann..

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | March 17, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    If there are issues because of a "range of players coming in and out of different teams", surely there should be less mixing and matching of players and more focus upon specific players for the different formats. Despite Bailey and Clarke being skippers in different formats, Arthur remains the coach. If Bailey has a style for 20/20 and Clarke has a different one for tests, keep individual players who are still finding their feet separate. What is Maxwell doing in the test team? Why is Khawaja in the ODI team and not in the test team? So Buch is right - Arthur is clueless and permits players to play here and there without firm guidance. Then they draw lines. I'd gave the coach/capts/selectors do the homework tasks like staying on afterwards and drawing lines wherever, but ensure there is proper buy in BEFORE you go on tour. If CA is on a different page with sponsorship commitments, etc tough luck. Tell the suits this BEFORE you begin to ruin careers, including your own.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | March 17, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    considering england dont have 2 decent cricketers to rub together i dont see how articles like this are relevant. the east fremantle under 13s could be sent over and they would successfully win the ashes. if england avoid the whitewash that will be a major moral victory for them

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Mind games... Persuade England that Australia is in a shambles and hang on to any lead in the Ashes series gained as a result. It's Australia's only chance this summer unless England's batsmen collectively lose form and all of Anderson, Finn, Broad and Swann are out injured.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | March 17, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    If John Buchanan's statement that that the disciplinary action on the 4 Aussie cricketers is to serve as a red herring to England and make them complacent, I will say Buchs is brilliant. My view is it is a Masterstroke by Mickey Arthur, waking up players and selectors and armchair cricketers (read this phrase to mean "former cricketers"). see how in the absence of star players, despite Michael Clarke's nought, the Team has crossed 400! And after a bashing by the Indian openers on Day 3, how the Aussie bowlers bounced back to take 5 wickets on either side of lunch! THAT with a second string bowling attack, you call it? I feel this action has brought the Team closer together, proud of their Baggy Greens, made them a fierce fighting unit,EACH One will fight for his place. No way Steve Smith or Mitchell Starc or Ed Cowan are going to give their places away.The bad apples like Phil Hughes and Shane Watson will be removed.The Argus Review says give way to performers.Usman Khawaja is in.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | March 17, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    I kind of agree with him on the different players being used in the different formats proving detrimental to developing a team culture and familiarity within eachother, but not entirely. The emphasis is clearly placed on test cricket and it is clearly prioritized. The likes of Anderson, swann, steyn, peterson, along with our Cowan and siddle, either don't play odi's, or are, for the large part, rested from a large amount of odi's. The test team have very long tours to be familiarized with eachother and would spend a lot of time with eachother, but it's not really great to not have a completely settled line up that SA and England have.

    Many of the people I know completely agree with arthur's decision, and with much convincing, they've finally got me on the bandwagon. With no ponting and hussey, it is a completely new era, and a culture has to be implemented now if ever if we want to have more success. The talent is obviously there, but we need to galvanize it by having a team culture.

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  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | March 17, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    I kind of agree with him on the different players being used in the different formats proving detrimental to developing a team culture and familiarity within eachother, but not entirely. The emphasis is clearly placed on test cricket and it is clearly prioritized. The likes of Anderson, swann, steyn, peterson, along with our Cowan and siddle, either don't play odi's, or are, for the large part, rested from a large amount of odi's. The test team have very long tours to be familiarized with eachother and would spend a lot of time with eachother, but it's not really great to not have a completely settled line up that SA and England have.

    Many of the people I know completely agree with arthur's decision, and with much convincing, they've finally got me on the bandwagon. With no ponting and hussey, it is a completely new era, and a culture has to be implemented now if ever if we want to have more success. The talent is obviously there, but we need to galvanize it by having a team culture.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | March 17, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    If John Buchanan's statement that that the disciplinary action on the 4 Aussie cricketers is to serve as a red herring to England and make them complacent, I will say Buchs is brilliant. My view is it is a Masterstroke by Mickey Arthur, waking up players and selectors and armchair cricketers (read this phrase to mean "former cricketers"). see how in the absence of star players, despite Michael Clarke's nought, the Team has crossed 400! And after a bashing by the Indian openers on Day 3, how the Aussie bowlers bounced back to take 5 wickets on either side of lunch! THAT with a second string bowling attack, you call it? I feel this action has brought the Team closer together, proud of their Baggy Greens, made them a fierce fighting unit,EACH One will fight for his place. No way Steve Smith or Mitchell Starc or Ed Cowan are going to give their places away.The bad apples like Phil Hughes and Shane Watson will be removed.The Argus Review says give way to performers.Usman Khawaja is in.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    Mind games... Persuade England that Australia is in a shambles and hang on to any lead in the Ashes series gained as a result. It's Australia's only chance this summer unless England's batsmen collectively lose form and all of Anderson, Finn, Broad and Swann are out injured.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | March 17, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    considering england dont have 2 decent cricketers to rub together i dont see how articles like this are relevant. the east fremantle under 13s could be sent over and they would successfully win the ashes. if england avoid the whitewash that will be a major moral victory for them

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | March 17, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    If there are issues because of a "range of players coming in and out of different teams", surely there should be less mixing and matching of players and more focus upon specific players for the different formats. Despite Bailey and Clarke being skippers in different formats, Arthur remains the coach. If Bailey has a style for 20/20 and Clarke has a different one for tests, keep individual players who are still finding their feet separate. What is Maxwell doing in the test team? Why is Khawaja in the ODI team and not in the test team? So Buch is right - Arthur is clueless and permits players to play here and there without firm guidance. Then they draw lines. I'd gave the coach/capts/selectors do the homework tasks like staying on afterwards and drawing lines wherever, but ensure there is proper buy in BEFORE you go on tour. If CA is on a different page with sponsorship commitments, etc tough luck. Tell the suits this BEFORE you begin to ruin careers, including your own.

  • POSTED BY ozziespirit on | March 17, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    England are without doubt better than Australia and have been for many a year now, but with bowlers like Pattison we can cause an upset. We need a decent top 6 though, at the moment the England top is head and shoulders above the Australian one. Let's hope they don't prepare turning pitches too, we don't have a spinner and England have Swann..

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    There is just one issue that Buchanan hasn't discussed. Waugh - Ponting era didn't see the birth of IPL(Ponting had seen 2 or 3 IPL); I am not saying IPL is the root cause of problem for the 4 players because everyone don't have contracts. However, money brings problem and today's team management, cricket boards and administrators have to find a way to face this reality with a new approach. Old system of school won't work here.

  • POSTED BY on | March 17, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    The current Australian is very weak when compared to the current England side. The Ashes to be played in England and it is England's home turf which will make it more difficult for Australia to overcome. The Australian Players could keep their personal issues aside and should play as a team. This is applicable not only for the players, the captain, coach and the manager should also keep their personal differences aside and play for the team. The front line fast bowlers Paddington, Siddle, Starc, Mitchell Johnson all should play in the eleven. The best wicket keeper whether it is Haddin or Wade, one of them should be selected based on their keeping abilities instead of batting capability. I prefer right left combination for the opening slot instead of two lefties. If this is the case, Watson and Warner could go as openers followed by Clarke, Cowan, Khawaja, Haddin or Wade, Mitchell Johnson, Starc, Nathan Lyon, Siddle and Paddington should be my XL for the first test. Smith be 12th man.

  • POSTED BY mikey76 on | March 17, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    The ashes won't even be close. All of England's top 7 barring Root average between 44-50 while we have a bowling attack with a combined haul of some 750 test wickets. Only Michael Clarke and perhaps Pattinson would get into the England side. Australia have shown their lack of pedigree in India, while England are back on an upward trend with players like Trott and Broad returning to form and the emergence of Compton at the top of the order. If Swann makes a full recovery then it will even harder for Aus to compete. Roll on Trent Bridge, Jimmy's happy hunting ground.

  • POSTED BY moshec on | March 17, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    jonesy2 - stop deluding yourself.

    england are a much better outfit than australia at the moment & have a few more than 2 decent cricketers to rub together.

    Compare the top 7 of the 2 sides & england win hands down. Bottom line this is probably the worst aus team in 20 years.

    Before worrying about white washing england maybe worry about getting white washed by india first.