June 30, 2013

Replacing the coach is fine, but what about the batting?

Lehmann can tell his charges not to do England any more favours, but the players have to win games by themselves
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First as a player then as captain, I always felt that Australia would receive at least one "favour" from England during an Ashes series. That favour generally came in the form of a strange selection; either the inclusion of an England player who we were happy to play against, or the exclusion of one - John Snow in 1974-75, for instance - that delighted us.

However, in the lead up to this Ashes series, the boot is on the other foot. Australia have "helped" England by way of some poor lead-up results, player suspensions and misbehaviour, and eventually the sacking of coach Mickey Arthur.

Such drastic action so close to an Ashes series could be seen as a panic move but the elevation of Darren Lehmann to the coach's role may be one of few recent decisions emanating from Cricket Australia that actually makes sense.

It had probably reached a stage where Cricket Australia decided the team was going to lose with Arthur in charge, so there was no downside in dumping him on the eve of a crucial series. As an American baseball manager once said to a player who was demanding more money: "We're losing with you, we can sure as hell lose without you."

To understand why this dramatic decision has caused such a furore in Australia and brought unbridled joy to all of England, onlookers need to realise the ferocity of this long-standing rivalry. It's probably best encapsulated in a story concerning one of England's finest captains, and undoubtedly their most controversial, Douglas Jardine.

Jardine, with his hardline but well thought out strategy of utilising Bodyline to restrict the run scoring of Don Bradman, left an indelible mark on the Ashes in 1932-33.

In 1954 a young Peter May was named in the England squad to tour Australia later that year. The following day May entered the Surrey dressing room at The Oval, where an elderly gentleman invited him over. "Son," he began, "I believe you've just been chosen to tour Australia."

"Yes sir," May replied proudly, "I'm hoping to do well and represent my country with honour."

"Don't worry about that," the older man exploded, "just beat the ***kers."

The elderly gentleman was none other than Jardine.

The spirit of those words still reverberate in England, and hence the joyful sniggering as Australia lurch from one crisis to another.

While Lehmann will immediately command the players' respect and has already brought some much-needed common sense to the squad with his decision to open with Shane Watson, the coach doesn't make any runs or take any wickets. Michael Clarke and his team are the only ones who can turn around their recent fortunes and, with an improved performance, give Australian fans hope that the Ashes series is not a lost cause.

Many a player has felt positive and strong sitting in a hotel lounge, listening to a rousing speech. The problem comes the next day when, under intense scrutiny, he actually has to find a way to score runs against the swing of a Jimmy Anderson and the guile of a Graeme Swann. Even a confidence-boosting net session isn't the complete answer. It's only when a player actually gets out in the middle and scores runs against Anderson and Swann that he finally feels comfortable in his own mind that success is a possibility.

What has sustained Australian hopes throughout this rough patch has been the confidence inspired by a strong pace attack. This is not unrealistic, because putting together a viable attack - one capable of taking 20 wickets economically - is the toughest task in cricket.

However, no matter the strength of the Australian attack, they can't conjure up victory without considerable help from the batsmen. That's where the big improvement must come from.

Despite the good cricketing sense behind the change to Lehmann, he can't help the players once they are in the middle. About the best words he can offer the team as they leave the dressing room are either a choice of Jardine's refrain, or "Don't do the opposition any favours."

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Banscolt on June 30, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    It is not the position in the order which determines success, it is the environment and the circumstance which go a long way in achieving success. A batsman failing under one coach may actually be a huge success under another. Warner, Hughes, Cowan and Wade have been pedestrian under Arthur and so have the bowlers too. The same set may look world class under Lehmann or another. Similarly, under a Jardine or a Ian Chappell or a Imran Khan or a MSD performance may rise to its highest level but under a Clarke or a Misbah or Angelo Matthews even the best start looking ordinary. Clarke is bedridden most of the time so he is actually not there when the team needs him how then, can he inspire any confidence or motivate his players or carry them with him?? All the great battles have been won by the Generals leading the charge and not by those firing blanks from their hospital beds or walking on crutches. Clarke has to go - PRONTO.

  • on June 30, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    I agree with Ian Chappell, coaching is over hyped in today's international cricket circuit. Cricket can be simple, if kept simple, you need good skills in Batting, Bowing and Fielding (Catching). You just need to look at English cricket team's complex coaching infrastructure to understand what I am talking about. Andy Flower, Graham Gooch, David Saker, Graham Thorpe, Ashley Giles, etc. I mean English cricket Test team is doing well because they have bowlers who can take 20 wickets and batsmen who can score runs consistently in conditions all over the world. However if you look at their ODI and T20 performances, they are at most an average team. At the maximum you might need a specialist fielding coach at this level of professional international cricket. Coach can only talk inspirationally (cannot lead by example) or create plans, at the end of the day if you do not have team to execute those basic plans/skills, you are destined to fail 9/10.

  • on June 30, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    I tend to agree with Ian Chappell, a coach can only do this much, either inspire others with his words (because he cannot perform and lead) or create plans, however if basic skills are not covered: batting, fielding (catching) and bowling then no plans of yours is going to succeed, neither your words are going to create any result. Cricket can be a simple game if kept simple, you should just look at the English team to see how complex coaching infrastructure you can create, Andy Flower, David Saker, Graham Thorpe, Graham Gooch, etc... I lost count of their so called specialised coaching staff :-) They are doing good in Test cricket because they have good bowlers who can take 20 wickets and batsmen who score consistently all over the world. Not because of their specialised coaching staff, I mean for fielding I can understand you might need a specialised coach, but at this level of international cricket, coaching is very over hyped.

  • on July 2, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    I wonder what ChappellI thinks of having Lehman batting at 5 and bowling his gentle left-arm finger spinners (occasionally)? Would Australia do worse by using someone else there?

    And how about the other Australian Captain (Bailey) batting at 6?

  • Rocketman1 on July 2, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    At this level you probably don't need a coach. You are an elite athlete at international level. A manager is probably a better term for coach's and what Australia is suffering from is not really a coaching issue. It's a lack of leadership. A leader of men to inspire and take charge and be accountable for his actions and take responsibility for his team. A man that his peers can look up to for guidance and support. Australia have decent enough players to win games. They just need a captain to take charge and make them play as a team and perform as individuals.

  • Sunil_Batra on July 2, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    I have faith that our young guns(i.e Khawaja, Warner, Maddinson) who were not shining under Arthur will do well under boof and provide the world class batsman we have been looking for.

  • hhillbumper on July 1, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    wont need any change of batting.That bowling attack will defeat England before they even lead the changing room. Already people are talking about the strength of this line up. No one can live with them. They only need ten runs a game and England will crumple for less each time. You Aussies paid attention to your recent history?

  • on July 1, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Yaa! its true that Ausies only consuntrate there batting department after all they are look like prety good in others departments

  • Paul_Rampley on July 1, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    I just think its fantastic boof has taken over as coach, a great left handed batsman who used to get centuries in shiel cricket with his eyes close and would have played more had there not been a golden era going on. Now his experience will be invaluable for the likes of Warner, Khawaja, Wade and other young lefties who can benefit so much from his experience. Expect these young left handers to really shine under him.

  • on July 1, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Aus facing their wrost time in their cricket history. In this Aus team there is lack of test batsman.They have to think about their batting line up against swinging star Anderson.

  • Banscolt on June 30, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    It is not the position in the order which determines success, it is the environment and the circumstance which go a long way in achieving success. A batsman failing under one coach may actually be a huge success under another. Warner, Hughes, Cowan and Wade have been pedestrian under Arthur and so have the bowlers too. The same set may look world class under Lehmann or another. Similarly, under a Jardine or a Ian Chappell or a Imran Khan or a MSD performance may rise to its highest level but under a Clarke or a Misbah or Angelo Matthews even the best start looking ordinary. Clarke is bedridden most of the time so he is actually not there when the team needs him how then, can he inspire any confidence or motivate his players or carry them with him?? All the great battles have been won by the Generals leading the charge and not by those firing blanks from their hospital beds or walking on crutches. Clarke has to go - PRONTO.

  • on June 30, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    I agree with Ian Chappell, coaching is over hyped in today's international cricket circuit. Cricket can be simple, if kept simple, you need good skills in Batting, Bowing and Fielding (Catching). You just need to look at English cricket team's complex coaching infrastructure to understand what I am talking about. Andy Flower, Graham Gooch, David Saker, Graham Thorpe, Ashley Giles, etc. I mean English cricket Test team is doing well because they have bowlers who can take 20 wickets and batsmen who can score runs consistently in conditions all over the world. However if you look at their ODI and T20 performances, they are at most an average team. At the maximum you might need a specialist fielding coach at this level of professional international cricket. Coach can only talk inspirationally (cannot lead by example) or create plans, at the end of the day if you do not have team to execute those basic plans/skills, you are destined to fail 9/10.

  • on June 30, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    I tend to agree with Ian Chappell, a coach can only do this much, either inspire others with his words (because he cannot perform and lead) or create plans, however if basic skills are not covered: batting, fielding (catching) and bowling then no plans of yours is going to succeed, neither your words are going to create any result. Cricket can be a simple game if kept simple, you should just look at the English team to see how complex coaching infrastructure you can create, Andy Flower, David Saker, Graham Thorpe, Graham Gooch, etc... I lost count of their so called specialised coaching staff :-) They are doing good in Test cricket because they have good bowlers who can take 20 wickets and batsmen who score consistently all over the world. Not because of their specialised coaching staff, I mean for fielding I can understand you might need a specialised coach, but at this level of international cricket, coaching is very over hyped.

  • on July 2, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    I wonder what ChappellI thinks of having Lehman batting at 5 and bowling his gentle left-arm finger spinners (occasionally)? Would Australia do worse by using someone else there?

    And how about the other Australian Captain (Bailey) batting at 6?

  • Rocketman1 on July 2, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    At this level you probably don't need a coach. You are an elite athlete at international level. A manager is probably a better term for coach's and what Australia is suffering from is not really a coaching issue. It's a lack of leadership. A leader of men to inspire and take charge and be accountable for his actions and take responsibility for his team. A man that his peers can look up to for guidance and support. Australia have decent enough players to win games. They just need a captain to take charge and make them play as a team and perform as individuals.

  • Sunil_Batra on July 2, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    I have faith that our young guns(i.e Khawaja, Warner, Maddinson) who were not shining under Arthur will do well under boof and provide the world class batsman we have been looking for.

  • hhillbumper on July 1, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    wont need any change of batting.That bowling attack will defeat England before they even lead the changing room. Already people are talking about the strength of this line up. No one can live with them. They only need ten runs a game and England will crumple for less each time. You Aussies paid attention to your recent history?

  • on July 1, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Yaa! its true that Ausies only consuntrate there batting department after all they are look like prety good in others departments

  • Paul_Rampley on July 1, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    I just think its fantastic boof has taken over as coach, a great left handed batsman who used to get centuries in shiel cricket with his eyes close and would have played more had there not been a golden era going on. Now his experience will be invaluable for the likes of Warner, Khawaja, Wade and other young lefties who can benefit so much from his experience. Expect these young left handers to really shine under him.

  • on July 1, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Aus facing their wrost time in their cricket history. In this Aus team there is lack of test batsman.They have to think about their batting line up against swinging star Anderson.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 1, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    @tickcrick agree 100% mate and i think he will come in especially after he top scored in the last innings of the warm up.

  • Edwards_Anderson on July 1, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    I think our batting will be sorte under boof who can actually coach the players unlike Arthur. I'd like to see Lyon play the Worcs match…we are coming out well for him at the moment so it's important to keep that momentum going. Unlike some of the paceman he won't benefit from a rest.But there isn't really place for him because we need to have one last good look at our pace options. Pattinson is the only guaranteed starter at the moment.

    Against Worcs: 1. Rogers 2. Watson 3. Khawaja 4. Clarke 5. Hughes 6. Smith 7. Haddin 8. Starc 9. Siddle 10. Harris 11. Bird

    Watson will continue to do well at opening, its where he belongs, Khawaja is the best number 3 in the squad and Clarke moves up to 4 which should have been done a year ago.

  • SoverBerry2 on July 1, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    Chappel is right. You can't teach these grown-ups how to play! You just need "respect and has already brought some much-needed common sense".

  • dunger.bob on July 1, 2013, 2:47 GMT

    Ian Chappell is a well known anti-coaching person. He believes the only coach a Test team should need is the one that takes them from place to place. Ian can relax on this one though because Shane Warne says that "Boof isn't really a coach anyway".

    I think many Australians feel comfortable with Boof because he was the consummate F/C cricketer and he's got a hard luck story to rank with the best of them. 10,000 glorious shield runs before he got a look in. Despite what @Rajiv Mehta says, Lehman was an excellent cricketer and would have played 100+ Tests for Aus if only he had been playing in any other era than the one he did. By the time the Waughs etc had retired he was coming towards the end of his own career. ... most of liked his style as well. Looked like an absolute cowboy but the mountain of runs behind him proved it was no fluke. It would be stupid to think that Boof can wave a magic wand or something. It's nothing but hard work from here on in, but Boof knows all about hard wo

  • on July 1, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    Darren Lehmann's record as a cricketer or coach is nothing to make a mother proud, an international cricketer does not need coaching, no one can coach a Tendulkar how to bat. The only way Australia can beat England is if they get back their arrogant aggression back, which only comes with on field performance and records.

  • on June 30, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    Australia clearly isn't helped by toxic resources Watson and David Warner. Who does Watto think he is dictating his batting position to the captain and using the media to do so? He has 2 centuries to his name and an av of 35 after 41 tests. He needs to be reminded he's wearing the same item of clothing S Waugh wore and show some respect. David Warner is just an indictment of Australian cricket. There's no way under AB's, Tubs or Tugga's captaincy any of that nonsense would have been put up with. David Warner would have been in the nets then to bed after a recovery shake instead of out on the sauce if AB was in charge trying to prove he shouldn't be on the first plane home. I say bring in AB as team manager.

  • Alexk400 on June 30, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    They really need young blood in aussie batting. They need to give kawaja chance. Or unknown young 19 yera old batsman. Nothing beats the youth

  • moaningmike on June 30, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    Wise words, Ian, and as an Englishman I am becoming increasingly uneasy about this series. Over the years, I have lost count of the number of times that over-conficence has been England's undoing. This has all the makings of a cracking series, and even if England do retain the Ashes, I wouldn't bet against the Aussies regaining the urn in the return series.

  • shillingsworth on June 30, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    At a time when the football type obsession with coaches and managers threatens to overtake cricket, this article is a welcome reminder that it is an individual sport in which each player is accountable for their performance.

    @AussieSam - If Swann and Anderson are overrated as you claim, why do you refer to them as 'great bowlers'?

    @PutMarshyOn - Good point. Mr Chappell will be 70 in September!

  • chitti_cricket on June 30, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    Ian the best Australian sides always had fearsome openers at the top and hard nosed #1 and 2 batsmen coupled with best bowling attacks of two world class fast bowlers and a top class spinner Warne, Richie B, Tim May etel. Now all I see in this Australian side is the fear inspiring top order batsmen and top class spinner. I'm very surprised in the land of Warne you folks have failed to generate another 1/2 Warne at lest, why? First put that question sir, the answer will solve many problems of Australia. We always enjoy a best Australian side beaten by any cricket team like WI, England, India and SA, but not the mediocre Australian team. At the time Steve/Punter were leading the OZ we all felt Australia has great bench strength like Johnson, Clarke himself etc. But that is unfortunately not the case sir. I wish at least now CA gives attention to this and gives Warne kind of people an opening to develop a very good spinner. No shortage of fast men and batsmen there.

  • wouldlovetoplayagain on June 30, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Ian - I get the feeling you would have loved to have captained against Jardine. As an Australian I have always felt that Jardine's "Bodyline" tactics may have been awful (and fairly dangerous in the pre-helmet era) but on another level they were brilliant - they achieved their aim of containing Bradman and winning back the Ashes. Other than his debut season where he did not play a major role, this was the only losing Test series Bradman played in. When I played and captained I used to sometimes think what would I do if confronted with an essentially "unbeatable" batsman - especially if you had to play them over and over again.

  • Narkovian on June 30, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Steady on Mr Chappell. D.R Jardine was only 53 . Hardly the age to conjur up the image you project of a litttle old man sitting in the corner ! Mind you , I guess to PBH May he probably seemed old.

  • Ben_Dubai on June 30, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Ian chappel is right, it all depends upon the batsmen what guts he shows in the middle of the ground.... its disappointing to see Australian palyers not standing firm on their ground and playing cricket for which they are known.... whereas i feel they are a lost pack on the field..... you can go about doing changes to the top 11 but the poor selectors should also be convinced about atleast some players who can come good on any day.... be it India series or champions trophy , i didnt find any new face who can smash the ball or who can bowl in any condition..... not even a single player could be seen as a specialist hitter at present... Shane watson has his own woes, so does warner... who else is left in teh team??? the cowans, Hughes are jsut one timers and cant bat the same way throughout teh series..... wonder what new strategy Australians have this english summer, as for i think... they still dont have their playing 11 ....

  • on June 30, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    A very well written article by an astute thinker of the game and giving a balanced view of the situation that the Australians find themselves in. Coming from a shrewd ex- Captain, and one for whom even Richie Benaud has nothing but admiration, this makes perfect sense at this point of time. It brings to mind a small bit of advice that the Don was supposed to have given his 1948 batch of Invincibles, "Get your opponents on the ground, and having done that, never let them up again" or words to that effect.

  • PutMarshyOn on June 30, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    "Elderly gentleman"? Jardine was born October 1900, and hence 53 at the time of the story. Significantly younger than the headliners at Glastonbury last night.

  • AussieSam on June 30, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Anderson/Swann are no McGrath/Warne. They are both great bowlers, and they will definitely trouble the Aussie batsmen, but I think a lot of people are overrating them slightly. Anderson is not even on the ESPN list for Best Career Bowling Average.

    Let's not forget that this is the same England team which was utterly humiliated by South Africa at home recently, with them scoring 2/637 dec in one innings.

    Also, England's home series win against NZ wasn't exactly emphatic for the most part, and they were lucky not to lose the series in NZ. The way that the England batsmen played in the Champion's Trophy final is more evidence that maybe they were lucky not to see the best of India's spinners during their last tour.

  • couchpundit on June 30, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Well why is ian chappell still holding back on Australia's dearth of captain? He has been pointing quietly at this captain...although he readily admits Clarke is the best batsman in Australian Team.

    @Craig Salotti - Banscolt point is Best Batsmen(clarke in this case) need not be best captain, everyone knows how good sachin was a batsman when he was made captain, but captain he was not even mediocore... far less. Whereas Batsmen like Allan border,Steve waugh and Sourav ganguly where best of captains cricket has seen,Simply because how they inspired men around them.

    and Clarke is not Leader of Men. What was he doing in london, was he in a medical tour(with his family around?)..when australia was being shredded on field? Empty words like i wont miss being in dressing room for the world...etc are just empty words when you dont keep tabs as captain of you rTeam.

  • Herbet on June 30, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    I can see why Australians are buoyed by having Lehman as coach. He's a positive fella, and I can see him having what is a pretty good pace attack pumped right up. But I'd say about the best thing he could do is pick himself. Australia's batting is woeful, it was pretty awful in the last Ashes series, and since then Ponting and Hussey have gone. Australia's bowlers could out bowl England's, or at least equal them, but as Pakistan showed a couple of years ago that doesn't count for much if the batsmen keep letting them down. I still expect England to win but I think we'll have to work hard for it, and the return series in Australia could be interesting.

  • tntn on June 30, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    The only words of wisdom that Australia needs at this moment is 'stay put' in the middle. Come way may your way, stay put. Play the real tough attritional way. Its ok to look ugly than lose your wicket. Bide your time as much and runs will come.

  • on June 30, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    When the opponent is down, its best to for the opposition to keep their foot on their throat. Aussies didn't have a clue on how to tackle spin in India. Hence it looks a bit far fetched that they will be able to overcome the skills of Anderson, Swann and co. Poms in their home conditions should streamroll this aussie side. I'd be very surprised if we see a different result!

  • BradmanBestEver on June 30, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Agree with you Ian - very good article. I think Siddle will be the weak link in the pace attack though - he bowls too short for England

  • balajik1968 on June 30, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Chappell is too impatient. This is the team that the Aussies have selected, so Lehmann has to play the hand he gets. I am more than reasonably certain that England will win, but I would like to see who among the Aussies comes out of this tour and the home series with his reputation enhanced. Australia should then build around these guys. I remember in the 1980's when the Aussies under Simpson set about the painstaking task of identifying players with skill and attitude. It took some time for that team to get together. Let us wait and watch. A competitive Australia is important to world cricket.

  • on June 30, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    My ideal Test squad for Australia would be: 1. Ed Cowan (Opening Bat); 2. Chris Rodgers (Opening Bat); 3. Philip Hughes (Bat); 4. Usman Khwaja (Bat); 5. Michael Clarke (Captain: Bat); 6. Shane Watson (All-rounder); 7. Brad Haddin (Vice-Captain: Wicket-keeper, Bat); 8. Peter Siddle (Bowler); 9. James Pattinson (Bowler); 10. Mitchell Starc (Bowler); 11. Nathan Lyon (Bowler)

    Reserves: Mathew Wade (Wicket-keeper, Bat); Steven Smith (Bowler); Ashton Agar (Bowler); Jackson Bird (Bowler); James Faulkner (Bowler); Ryan Harris (Bowler); David Warner (Bat)*

    *Unlikely to feature in all games or the series itself.

  • Moppa on June 30, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    I should add: Clarke didn't miss a Test between May 2008 and March 2013. He missed a Test in the West Indies in May 2008 because he stayed home to be with his partner, whose father was sick with cancer. He may have done this because he had previously taken time off cricket to support his own father through his battle with cancer. Either way, he returned to the West Indies and promptly made a century in the second Test. Including that Test, he then played 59 Tests consecutively up until the Delhi Test this year, making 5231 runs at 55, with 17 centuries, 18 fifties and six ducks. But apparently he should be dropped from the captaincy because he is too unreliable and doesn't lead from the front. I shake my head.

  • Mary_786 on June 30, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    The one thing i like most about boof is that he is instilling confidence in our younger bats. Hughes and Khawaja both look more confident, Khawaja top scored yesterday and Hughes in the first innings got a not out. Khawaja seems like the a great number 3 option to us going forward and Hughes at 5. Watson is also responding well and this is something Arthur was just not getting, our batting was never worse then under him. Lehman with all his playing experience and being a leftie is invaluable for all the left handers in our side.

  • on June 30, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    I am sure England's overconfidence is going to backfire. I have seen few world cup football pre match euphoria and England used to think, it's only a matter of time, before they come home with the cup. We all know the results. This talking of beating Australia 10-0 etc can' t stand the test when it comes to face fury fast boiling and I believe Australia has the fire power and I don't think England batting is all that strong.

  • xylo on June 30, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    England's only favor to Australia is the inclusion of Stuart Broad. On a completely tangential topic, compare this article with the article headlined "Hughes retraces Lehmann's steps" in cricinfo. Irony much?

  • on June 30, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    @Banscolt I don't know what you've been watching lately. In the last six test series that Australia has played, and Michael Clarke has played in each of them, he has averaged 80.14. Without these contributions (and a few by Michael Hussey), Australia probably would not have had any of their wins as no-one else seemed capable of scoring a run.

  • on June 30, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    @ Sir_Ivor you are right...I feel this Talented Australian lot can upset England...

  • on June 30, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    I don't think the batting is going to be half as bad as everyone expects it to be, so long as Rogers and Haddin play. Both will add composure and experience to the faltering line up seen in recent matches, if Clarke is fully fit then we will go okay.

  • Sir_Ivor on June 30, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    I am surprised to see that Ian is not very optimistic of Australia's chances in the Ashes. They have a very good fast bowling attack in Pattinson,Staarc,Siddle/Bird and Harris apart from having a pretty good spinner in Lyon. The English batsmen will have, in my considered view, serious problems in dealing with this highly potent line-up. While I am fully aware that Jimmy Anderson and Swann are quite outstanding, I am not sure they can excel in unfriendly bowling conditions. The extra hieght of Finn,Broad and possibly Tremlett could make a difference I know. But then Staarc,Pattinson and Bird are not midgets.Australia's batting hit it's collective nadir in India,it is true. But in England I feel it will do well. Watson,Clarke,Cowan and Warner should do well. Faulkner could be the surprise package if selected. In India I feel Michael Clarke lost his fair luck I think. He lost players through indiscipline and injuries. It was a bad phase which may be over now. Much like Dhoni in 2011/12.

  • VVSR92 on June 30, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    phil husghes,ed cowan have had enough chances ito score runs its time to give players like ferguson,doolan,bailey a go in the test set-up

  • on June 30, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    sir,how can a player like ed cowen who at the max score 35 runs in almost 15 overs be in a team

  • on June 30, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    Australia's weakness is their bowling.. They have a pool of lads who can bowl 140+ and hit the deck hard.. But England have proper swinging option.. As we saw in India in they tend to bowl as fast as possible.. They are properly utilizing the new ball.. Overall the bowling attack is okay in theory but in practice we need different kind of bowlers.. Australia desperately in need of man like anderson.. At present England have got their tracks turning.. Australia top order failed to spin india.. Surprisingly lower order like johnson played well against spin.. Promoting him up will be a good option against old turning ball..

    Moreover they should try to get equal number of right and left hand batsmen in their XI. Else Swann would the dangerman.

  • nickvegas on June 30, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    As usual Chappelli is the only sane voice out there. Australia will lose the series in England, but they need to learn, much the same as the team that lost the Ashes in 1986-87 did before they won in '89. Unlikely anything will change for the return series in Australia, but anything is possible

  • on June 30, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    @tickcric, or even better, leave Khawaja out altogether. He's still not convincing...

  • Governor on June 30, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    This is another excellent article by Ian Chappell. Darren Lehmann's role is to give the players a sounding board to devise tactics and to assist them to improve their strengths and weaknesses. However, it really comes down to the players' decision making acquisition skills and skill execution.

  • bobbsy on June 30, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Get the team rite-- get in Shaun Marsh

  • jordan_nofx on June 30, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    While it is true that boof cannot help the individuals, a lot can be done regarding team selection. I like that the tour game pretty much used the 1st test team with some intestining moves. Watson has to open, but Rogers needs to partner him. No point in selecting an old player in the squad who then gets two near double centuries and not put him in there. Cowan was next best behind Clarke in India so he has to be there. Khawaja is next in line in a failing team, so he has to get a shot. Hughes are Warner are both obviously talented, but possible more suited a 5 or 6. Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Clarke, Hughes, Khawaja, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon is 1st test team. Youth with experience, aggression with solid defensive players, bat to 10

  • tickcric on June 30, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    The next good move should be to bring Khwaja in.

  • tickcric on June 30, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    The next good move should be to bring Khwaja in.

  • jordan_nofx on June 30, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    While it is true that boof cannot help the individuals, a lot can be done regarding team selection. I like that the tour game pretty much used the 1st test team with some intestining moves. Watson has to open, but Rogers needs to partner him. No point in selecting an old player in the squad who then gets two near double centuries and not put him in there. Cowan was next best behind Clarke in India so he has to be there. Khawaja is next in line in a failing team, so he has to get a shot. Hughes are Warner are both obviously talented, but possible more suited a 5 or 6. Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Clarke, Hughes, Khawaja, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon is 1st test team. Youth with experience, aggression with solid defensive players, bat to 10

  • bobbsy on June 30, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Get the team rite-- get in Shaun Marsh

  • Governor on June 30, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    This is another excellent article by Ian Chappell. Darren Lehmann's role is to give the players a sounding board to devise tactics and to assist them to improve their strengths and weaknesses. However, it really comes down to the players' decision making acquisition skills and skill execution.

  • on June 30, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    @tickcric, or even better, leave Khawaja out altogether. He's still not convincing...

  • nickvegas on June 30, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    As usual Chappelli is the only sane voice out there. Australia will lose the series in England, but they need to learn, much the same as the team that lost the Ashes in 1986-87 did before they won in '89. Unlikely anything will change for the return series in Australia, but anything is possible

  • on June 30, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    Australia's weakness is their bowling.. They have a pool of lads who can bowl 140+ and hit the deck hard.. But England have proper swinging option.. As we saw in India in they tend to bowl as fast as possible.. They are properly utilizing the new ball.. Overall the bowling attack is okay in theory but in practice we need different kind of bowlers.. Australia desperately in need of man like anderson.. At present England have got their tracks turning.. Australia top order failed to spin india.. Surprisingly lower order like johnson played well against spin.. Promoting him up will be a good option against old turning ball..

    Moreover they should try to get equal number of right and left hand batsmen in their XI. Else Swann would the dangerman.

  • on June 30, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    sir,how can a player like ed cowen who at the max score 35 runs in almost 15 overs be in a team

  • VVSR92 on June 30, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    phil husghes,ed cowan have had enough chances ito score runs its time to give players like ferguson,doolan,bailey a go in the test set-up

  • Sir_Ivor on June 30, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    I am surprised to see that Ian is not very optimistic of Australia's chances in the Ashes. They have a very good fast bowling attack in Pattinson,Staarc,Siddle/Bird and Harris apart from having a pretty good spinner in Lyon. The English batsmen will have, in my considered view, serious problems in dealing with this highly potent line-up. While I am fully aware that Jimmy Anderson and Swann are quite outstanding, I am not sure they can excel in unfriendly bowling conditions. The extra hieght of Finn,Broad and possibly Tremlett could make a difference I know. But then Staarc,Pattinson and Bird are not midgets.Australia's batting hit it's collective nadir in India,it is true. But in England I feel it will do well. Watson,Clarke,Cowan and Warner should do well. Faulkner could be the surprise package if selected. In India I feel Michael Clarke lost his fair luck I think. He lost players through indiscipline and injuries. It was a bad phase which may be over now. Much like Dhoni in 2011/12.