March 9, 2014

Resilient Australia close to becoming a powerhouse

They have the aggressive opening bowler and batsman and the imaginative captain to become unbeatable. The No. 3 slot is the only chink in their armour
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Australia have surged on a tidal wave towards the top of the Test rankings and they possess some attributes that will make it difficult for opponents to stop that momentum.

Michael Clarke said before the series that his attack was stronger than a very capable South African line-up, and in the end he was proved right. That's one reason Australia are surging: a superb fast-bowling attack headed by the pace and aggression of Mitchell Johnson.

The captain himself is another plus. Clarke has been far ahead of his opposition this summer - Alastair Cook and Graeme Smith - but he's also a superior Test skipper to all the others, with his only challenger being the aggressively like-minded Brendon McCullum. Unfortunately for McCullum, New Zealand aren't blessed with the talent of Australia.

The other advantage Australia have over the contenders is David Warner. An explosively aggressive opener provides an enormous windfall for his team, with the main prize being that the opposition are wary before he has even faced a ball. Warner is now more consistent, has a thirst for centuries, and has cleared his mind of the clutter that can stunt the growth of an aggressive batsman. As long as Warner is performing, the chinks in Australia's batting armour are less likely to be exposed. The fact that Steven Smith has also matured into a consistent performer means Australia's batting suddenly has fewer weaknesses than when the Ashes series started.

However, No. 3 is still a black hole and this will become more apparent if Warner's form recedes. Australia won't become a real powerhouse until they can unearth a dominant No. 3, and there doesn't appear to be one with the potential in the pipeline.

As the summer progressed, it became patently clear that conservative captaincy wouldn't halt the runaway train that is Australia, with Johnson spearheading a penetrative attack, complemented by Clarke's imaginative captaincy. It's a tough combination to beat; an aggressive captain with the wherewithal to implement an attacking strategy from the opening delivery of each Test. The other major Test nations must be concerned, because Australia's style of play is suited not just to home conditions but also to those in South Africa and, to a lesser extent, England.

Having confirmed this by defeating South Africa in their own conditions, Australia have completed a rare recent feat among Test nations - they have won away from home. Their confidence will be further boosted by the stream of young fast bowlers waiting in the wings; James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins provide hope that the pace bowling edge can be maintained.

The team with the best chance of unsettling Australia are India, at home, where the conditions suit spinners and also help defuse pace bowlers. Not only is Australia's pace-bowling advantage blunted but their batting is also most susceptible when the ball is turning consistently.

As Australia look to build on the momentum gained during the summer, it will be interesting to see how Shane Watson adjusts to being an allrounder, batting in the No. 6 slot. If it works well he'll bring some distinct advantages. Watson gives the frontline quicks a breather by delivering a few overs of tidy medium pace, and if Australia get into a strong position he can batter the opposition into submission with his adventurous strokeplay.

However, if the hole at No. 3 can't be satisfactorily filled he may be deployed there in an attempt to plug the gap. I suspect Clarke will resist this move as long as possible, as he prefers Watson to fulfil the role of the allrounder. Compared to the major headaches Australia had just a few months ago, these are just minor irritations.

Once again Australian cricket has displayed tremendous resilience. It's a strength based on aggressive play, good fast bowling and imaginative captaincy. It has been a productive formula over time, and fortunately for Australia the other major Test nations not only find it difficult to counter but also to emulate.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY trumpoz on | March 9, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    Yes Australia have nearly all the ingredients to become a powerhouse. What they are missing is a quality number 3 - and there seems no-one to really fill that role at this point. Doolan may surprise in the future. Rogers will retire at some stage and Hughes will come in. The concern is that in Australia the top runs-scorers for the year are either on tour or generally have been discounted by the national selectors. There is also no-one bashing down the door to get in to the side..... there have been only 3 batsmen make 3+ hundreds for the shield season: Hughes, North and Voges. The two latter ones will not be picked. Batsmen at shield level are not putting their hands up like they used to. We will see what happens in the next year or so.

    By the way the BCCI needs to start thinking about how to produce fast bowlers and play fast bowlind if they have any hope of even competing outside of Asia.

  • POSTED BY on | March 12, 2014, 22:04 GMT

    Steve O'Keefe's exclusion is a mystery, especially with so many others tried out. But he's got 38 wickets at 20 this summer to once again be the best bowler in the competition so he'll surely go to Pakistan and then hopefully play against India.

    Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin all will be done sometime in 2015 you'd think, the World Cup or The Ashes being good send off spots.

    Clarke, Johnson & Watson will have a few years left in them with Clarke probably playing another four or five years.

    Phil Hughes is obviously going to come in and hopefully bat with Dave Warner for the best part of the next decade. Steve Smith has got the captaincy all but sewn up I would have thought. Matt Wade would probably still be the replacement wicketkeeper.

    Tom Cooper & Ryan Carters have been outstanding this year with the bat. Jackson Bird and Pat Cummins have got spots waiting for them with the ball.

  • POSTED BY ThreePIllarTales on | March 12, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    Warner, Hughes, Khawaja or Doolan, Finch, Clarke, Smith, Wade, MJ or Starc, Pattinson, Cummins, O'Keefe or Agar in ten years. Faulkner/Hazelwood and Bird in the wings...not bad. That's a powerhouse team ! Aside from 3, all explosive batsmen to Wade able to make centuries with some bowlers who can really bat as well. Yes MJ found his Mojo because he had time to work with Lillee who has changed his bowling mindset. One year to work on his bowling ! You can only win if you have the right cattle regardless of captaincy or coaching! That's all he is saying. Australia had the cattle just not the right people calling the selection shots. I'm sure some Pak. India, England and WI fans etc would say similar of their national setup.

  • POSTED BY ThreePIllarTales on | March 12, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    Good to see the naysayers here. Chappell however is right. His comments are based on pivot players. The rest are not an issue if you look....Finch, Maxwell, Faulkner, Hughes, Khawaja, and the bevy of 150 kph capable bowlers as well as young O'Keefe. Remove old farts, they will still field a very good line up around pivot players. He does not account pre Arthurs, nobody liked the Germanic approach to coaching as evident during homework affair bar the boffins. Billy left as bowling coach after a few months and only returned when Boof took over. Mike Young left and returned etc. Chappell and Clarke had to keep quiet because it is enforced solidarity upon Clarke and silence upon Chappell otherwise zero access to the inner sanctum of the team. Boof is no issue as he's true blue. Notice Boof's comments wanting old greats to visit the team.

  • POSTED BY paulkate72 on | March 12, 2014, 1:15 GMT

    Ian Chappell is repeating what I've been saying all summer: Australia has the best captains and it is by far the best drilled of all cricket teams - indeed Australia is the only truly professional cricket side in the world! With quality players now this is the side to beat.

    One question: why does Hughes have the following he has? Can he do no wrong? He shines at Shield level but can't cut the mustard at international level. Isn't there anyone else for this role? What about Usman Khwarja - he hasn't had much of a go at international level unlike like Phil Hughes?

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 12, 2014, 0:15 GMT

    Note a big black hole in Chappelli's "powerhouse" argument: No mention of coach Darren Lehmann! How disingenuous of Ian to not even recognise Darren who played a major role in the OZ turnaround! Look at the dismal situation before Darren arrived. Arthur & Clarke suffered the "Homework" saga in India & a 0-4 whitewash. In an earlier series, they were exposed ("secret dossier") & outfoxed by (who else?) Kirsten & Smith. Arthur was axed just before the England tour. The affable Lehmann was inserted to remedy the toxic team culture. It worked. Though OZ lost 0-3, they rebounded later at home with a 5-0 Ashes thrashing. The momentum carried over to SA: OZ won 2-1. Coaching matters, Chappelli's Myths notwithstanding. It's presumptuous to say OZ can become "unbeatable" on account of Clarke, Johnson, Warner & Watson, given their troubled history. Cricket's vagaries - injury, burnout, form loss, longevity, indiscipline - can quickly turn a "powerhouse" into a "powermouse"! Another Myth, Ian!!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 12, 2014, 0:05 GMT

    Myth 4: Chappelli's half-baked "use-by-dates" theory for "ageing masters". How absurd! OZ Test team is mostly over 30; notably Haddin (36), Rogers (36), Harris (34) & Clarke (33). Does Ian want to push them out? Just ask Tendulkar on how he outsmarted Chappelli's stupid "Mirror, Mirror on the wall" dictum to retire in 2007 at age 34! Myth 5: Clarke's "aggressive" captaincy is behind OZ success. So how come, before the SA tour, this "imaginative" Clarke never got to win in 10 away Tests? He's overrated. In contrast, SA has not lost an away series in the past 8 years. That's why Gary Kirsten calls SA's "Smith the greatest Test captain ever"! Myth 6: "Coaching kills the batting star". The coach should be held in check. But modern cricket is too demanding for a captain to handle alone. Uber-coach Kirsten took both SA & India to the top in Tests. Gary's positive "personal mastery" culture & team spirit outdid predecessors Mickey Arthur & Greg Chappell. Both were control freaks & failed!!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 11, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    Ian - Close to becoming a powerhouse? Whoops! How so? Granted resilient OZ is on a roll. But not for the reasons (myths) Chappelli wants us to believe. Look at the fallacies he's been spewing from his bully pulpit. Myth 1: "Australia's pointless tour to India could lead to selection blunders". Actually this timely lead-in ODI tour (Oct-Nov) helped CA selectors to set up match-ready players & bench strength: Johnson, Haddin, Watson, Bailey, Maxwell, Faulkner & Co. Mitchell gathered terrific form as his MI team-mate Tendulkar attested "Johnson could prove an Ashes menace"! Myth 2: "The Watson and Johnson question marks". Mitchell answered Ian aptly with his phenomenal pace bowling in a 5-0 Ashes whitewash & grabbed Man-of-the-Series award to boot! Myth 3: "Drop a format, or restrict T20". Ian's IPL phobia in particular is ludicrous. Many OZ stars play in IPL: Clarke, Warner, Watson, Smith, Haddin, Harris, Johnson & Co. In fact, Brett Lee credits Mitchell's resurgence to his IPL stint!!

  • POSTED BY amitgarg78 on | March 11, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    After 2 back to back series wins, it would seem they are on an upswing and yes they do have some "power" players, but I wouldn't call the current Aus team a real deal yet. This success owes a lot to Harris (of the dodgy knee and brilliant spell fame) and Johnson (of the bodyline reinvented fame) and who knows how long they will be able to keep it up. Clarke is the only one I would rate as an all wickets player, Warner's recent success notwithstanding. In SA, he got countless lives and if Steyn hadn't been injured in the third game, I doubt if the series would've been won. SA managed to nearly save the game by batting as long as they did. Do you see Australia being able to do so? I don't. Still no closer to solving the batting puzzle, the Aussies and so, no closer to being the top dogs.

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | March 11, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    australian team in 2018/19.1.hughes.2.warner.3.smith(cap).4.madision.5.clarke.6.fulkner.7.navil.8.cummins/stac.9.lyon.10.patinson/jhonson.11.bird thats a very gud team i think they should pick player like burn and doran .i think in 4 years time this is the australian team i expects to play test cricket .plz publish

  • POSTED BY trumpoz on | March 9, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    Yes Australia have nearly all the ingredients to become a powerhouse. What they are missing is a quality number 3 - and there seems no-one to really fill that role at this point. Doolan may surprise in the future. Rogers will retire at some stage and Hughes will come in. The concern is that in Australia the top runs-scorers for the year are either on tour or generally have been discounted by the national selectors. There is also no-one bashing down the door to get in to the side..... there have been only 3 batsmen make 3+ hundreds for the shield season: Hughes, North and Voges. The two latter ones will not be picked. Batsmen at shield level are not putting their hands up like they used to. We will see what happens in the next year or so.

    By the way the BCCI needs to start thinking about how to produce fast bowlers and play fast bowlind if they have any hope of even competing outside of Asia.

  • POSTED BY on | March 12, 2014, 22:04 GMT

    Steve O'Keefe's exclusion is a mystery, especially with so many others tried out. But he's got 38 wickets at 20 this summer to once again be the best bowler in the competition so he'll surely go to Pakistan and then hopefully play against India.

    Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin all will be done sometime in 2015 you'd think, the World Cup or The Ashes being good send off spots.

    Clarke, Johnson & Watson will have a few years left in them with Clarke probably playing another four or five years.

    Phil Hughes is obviously going to come in and hopefully bat with Dave Warner for the best part of the next decade. Steve Smith has got the captaincy all but sewn up I would have thought. Matt Wade would probably still be the replacement wicketkeeper.

    Tom Cooper & Ryan Carters have been outstanding this year with the bat. Jackson Bird and Pat Cummins have got spots waiting for them with the ball.

  • POSTED BY ThreePIllarTales on | March 12, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    Warner, Hughes, Khawaja or Doolan, Finch, Clarke, Smith, Wade, MJ or Starc, Pattinson, Cummins, O'Keefe or Agar in ten years. Faulkner/Hazelwood and Bird in the wings...not bad. That's a powerhouse team ! Aside from 3, all explosive batsmen to Wade able to make centuries with some bowlers who can really bat as well. Yes MJ found his Mojo because he had time to work with Lillee who has changed his bowling mindset. One year to work on his bowling ! You can only win if you have the right cattle regardless of captaincy or coaching! That's all he is saying. Australia had the cattle just not the right people calling the selection shots. I'm sure some Pak. India, England and WI fans etc would say similar of their national setup.

  • POSTED BY ThreePIllarTales on | March 12, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    Good to see the naysayers here. Chappell however is right. His comments are based on pivot players. The rest are not an issue if you look....Finch, Maxwell, Faulkner, Hughes, Khawaja, and the bevy of 150 kph capable bowlers as well as young O'Keefe. Remove old farts, they will still field a very good line up around pivot players. He does not account pre Arthurs, nobody liked the Germanic approach to coaching as evident during homework affair bar the boffins. Billy left as bowling coach after a few months and only returned when Boof took over. Mike Young left and returned etc. Chappell and Clarke had to keep quiet because it is enforced solidarity upon Clarke and silence upon Chappell otherwise zero access to the inner sanctum of the team. Boof is no issue as he's true blue. Notice Boof's comments wanting old greats to visit the team.

  • POSTED BY paulkate72 on | March 12, 2014, 1:15 GMT

    Ian Chappell is repeating what I've been saying all summer: Australia has the best captains and it is by far the best drilled of all cricket teams - indeed Australia is the only truly professional cricket side in the world! With quality players now this is the side to beat.

    One question: why does Hughes have the following he has? Can he do no wrong? He shines at Shield level but can't cut the mustard at international level. Isn't there anyone else for this role? What about Usman Khwarja - he hasn't had much of a go at international level unlike like Phil Hughes?

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 12, 2014, 0:15 GMT

    Note a big black hole in Chappelli's "powerhouse" argument: No mention of coach Darren Lehmann! How disingenuous of Ian to not even recognise Darren who played a major role in the OZ turnaround! Look at the dismal situation before Darren arrived. Arthur & Clarke suffered the "Homework" saga in India & a 0-4 whitewash. In an earlier series, they were exposed ("secret dossier") & outfoxed by (who else?) Kirsten & Smith. Arthur was axed just before the England tour. The affable Lehmann was inserted to remedy the toxic team culture. It worked. Though OZ lost 0-3, they rebounded later at home with a 5-0 Ashes thrashing. The momentum carried over to SA: OZ won 2-1. Coaching matters, Chappelli's Myths notwithstanding. It's presumptuous to say OZ can become "unbeatable" on account of Clarke, Johnson, Warner & Watson, given their troubled history. Cricket's vagaries - injury, burnout, form loss, longevity, indiscipline - can quickly turn a "powerhouse" into a "powermouse"! Another Myth, Ian!!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 12, 2014, 0:05 GMT

    Myth 4: Chappelli's half-baked "use-by-dates" theory for "ageing masters". How absurd! OZ Test team is mostly over 30; notably Haddin (36), Rogers (36), Harris (34) & Clarke (33). Does Ian want to push them out? Just ask Tendulkar on how he outsmarted Chappelli's stupid "Mirror, Mirror on the wall" dictum to retire in 2007 at age 34! Myth 5: Clarke's "aggressive" captaincy is behind OZ success. So how come, before the SA tour, this "imaginative" Clarke never got to win in 10 away Tests? He's overrated. In contrast, SA has not lost an away series in the past 8 years. That's why Gary Kirsten calls SA's "Smith the greatest Test captain ever"! Myth 6: "Coaching kills the batting star". The coach should be held in check. But modern cricket is too demanding for a captain to handle alone. Uber-coach Kirsten took both SA & India to the top in Tests. Gary's positive "personal mastery" culture & team spirit outdid predecessors Mickey Arthur & Greg Chappell. Both were control freaks & failed!!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | March 11, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    Ian - Close to becoming a powerhouse? Whoops! How so? Granted resilient OZ is on a roll. But not for the reasons (myths) Chappelli wants us to believe. Look at the fallacies he's been spewing from his bully pulpit. Myth 1: "Australia's pointless tour to India could lead to selection blunders". Actually this timely lead-in ODI tour (Oct-Nov) helped CA selectors to set up match-ready players & bench strength: Johnson, Haddin, Watson, Bailey, Maxwell, Faulkner & Co. Mitchell gathered terrific form as his MI team-mate Tendulkar attested "Johnson could prove an Ashes menace"! Myth 2: "The Watson and Johnson question marks". Mitchell answered Ian aptly with his phenomenal pace bowling in a 5-0 Ashes whitewash & grabbed Man-of-the-Series award to boot! Myth 3: "Drop a format, or restrict T20". Ian's IPL phobia in particular is ludicrous. Many OZ stars play in IPL: Clarke, Warner, Watson, Smith, Haddin, Harris, Johnson & Co. In fact, Brett Lee credits Mitchell's resurgence to his IPL stint!!

  • POSTED BY amitgarg78 on | March 11, 2014, 12:33 GMT

    After 2 back to back series wins, it would seem they are on an upswing and yes they do have some "power" players, but I wouldn't call the current Aus team a real deal yet. This success owes a lot to Harris (of the dodgy knee and brilliant spell fame) and Johnson (of the bodyline reinvented fame) and who knows how long they will be able to keep it up. Clarke is the only one I would rate as an all wickets player, Warner's recent success notwithstanding. In SA, he got countless lives and if Steyn hadn't been injured in the third game, I doubt if the series would've been won. SA managed to nearly save the game by batting as long as they did. Do you see Australia being able to do so? I don't. Still no closer to solving the batting puzzle, the Aussies and so, no closer to being the top dogs.

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | March 11, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    australian team in 2018/19.1.hughes.2.warner.3.smith(cap).4.madision.5.clarke.6.fulkner.7.navil.8.cummins/stac.9.lyon.10.patinson/jhonson.11.bird thats a very gud team i think they should pick player like burn and doran .i think in 4 years time this is the australian team i expects to play test cricket .plz publish

  • POSTED BY SLSup on | March 11, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    Response to Chris_P: hello lotus (returning the compliment).

    Since you've missed the point by your own admission, let me reiterate it. This time I'll say it in English! If SL with ONE strike bowler could beat SA IN SA with a side that was better and more successful than the one AUS beat recently, how does that translate into AUS being CLOSE to a powerhouse? 3-0 drubbing there of whom? Haha. Since the subject under consideration is AUS becoming a "powerhouse", let's stay on subject and not go too far back or wider. Let me remind you SA has lost only three series' since 2006: to AUS recently & in 2009 and to SL in 2006. To say AUS is CLOSE to becoming a powerhouse NOW is a joke.

    As an aside, what's even MORE amazing is how Chappell makes outlandish claims regarding the FUTURE and some here categorically state he is right! And we know this how? Haha.

    Yes, it was a 2-1 margin over SL. My error. Aaargh!

  • POSTED BY spinkingKK on | March 11, 2014, 2:42 GMT

    Australia did, indeed, play very well. But, I don't see the mention of Steyn's injury in the final test. One has to agree that that has changed the result enormously. It was like Johnson getting injured when Australia bowling. This is not to belittle the achievement of the Aussies. It would have been still difficult for many other teams to face Morkel, Philander and Abbott. A 5-test series between the two teams would have been more apt.

  • POSTED BY on | March 11, 2014, 2:30 GMT

    Ian Chappell is simply a sound analyst. I commend you sir!

  • POSTED BY shetto on | March 11, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    If you can imagine a youg Ricky Ponting coming into this current Australian side and about to embark on a career that would average above 56 for the majority of his carrear and scoring 41 centuries. Then couple that with likes of Warner, Clarke, an improving Smith and strong batting right down to Harris at number 10. Along with the current crop of Australian bowlers which are as good as we've scene. Then you would say Australia was on the verge of yet another period where it would dominate world cricket. The number 3 would have to be a batmen with exceptional flare, a great defence, play spin well and have an aggressive mind set. I find it quite strange that there are no batmen that fits this description in Australia's batting stocks, considering in the past there has always been someone to fit the bill - I think the opportunity will arise and someone will present themselves soon - Australia is well overdue.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | March 11, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    Oh come on, the bulk of Australia's best players since July last year are 32 or older, iwth three of those - Clarke, Watson and Harris, under a constant injury cloud. That's not the base to become powerhouse - well, certainly not for any longer than 12 months or so.

    India's oldest player is only 32, the rest are comfortably under 30. Even South Africa, with Smith retired, have their stars in the 28 to 30 range, which should grant them at least another two years at the top.

    India should move into top spot, RSA should be a strong second and Australia will drift back as our older guys slow down and retire, with no high quality replacements.

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | March 10, 2014, 23:41 GMT

    Warner, Hughes, Smith, Pattinson and Cummins are the future of Australian test cricket for the next decade. If they are managed properly and are able to stick together as a unit for 7-8 years THEN Australia may become a powerhouse.

    Half of the current team are over 33 and only have 1-2 years left at most.

  • POSTED BY bren19 on | March 10, 2014, 22:29 GMT

    Personally, I am not yet concerned about no 3. Doolan has had 3 games. Ponting thinks he has the stuff to make it - he would know. Give him a chance. Let him make the spot his. You cant tell anything after 3 matches. If you really want to be concerned about a weak link - look at the spinner. an average in the mid 30's is not good enough for a spinner at test level. Concerningly, Lyon failed to make even the slightest impact on day 5 in the last match. You will win a lot more matches with a quality spinner that bowls well on 4th innings pitches.

  • POSTED BY thinkgood on | March 10, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    Dream on old boy dream on. One Ashes win and one away win in SA, you are predicting the world to be at your feet. Pity.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2014, 20:20 GMT

    The problem with Doolan's selection is that he should be expected to do much like his Tasmanian teammate, Ed Cowan. That is, make 32 off 78 and "look like a proper batsman" in doing it. But rarely going on. That's what Doolan's done all but one of his seasons in the Sheffield Shield. Hey I'm Tasmanian, I wish both of them were in there, but it just is what it is.

    I still think Warner could be the guy to bat at 3. I know he's made his career being the guy to take on the new ball but he's being compared to Viv Richards lately and the comparison feels right to me.

    I agree that people are underestimating the importance of the types of tracks we play on, it's a bit boring seeing sides dominate on their own types of pitch, then struggle elsewhere. South Africa beat Australia last time they were in Australia, Australia always beats South Africa at home, but these places aren't that different. Pakistan will be interesting.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2014, 20:00 GMT

    I admit that the aussies are doing well at the moment but I think they are getting carried away with themselves. In 2-3 years the aussies will be at another crisis point after the retirements of haddin, Rogers, Harris, Johnson, Clarke and maybe even Watson.

  • POSTED BY crktttt on | March 10, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    'Injuries' - There have been several comments about the 'age' of the Australian players. But that is not really a problem in itself. Injuries are the real problem. Harris, Watson, Cummins, Pattinson are prime examples. I just hope the Australian selectors persist with players like Rogers. Just for the next 2 years.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | March 10, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    I have simple formula for powehouse team. Find bowlers who can take wickets of tail easily. One of the reason late 1990s 2000s aussie team where good because warne ability to get easy tail wickets. it does not mean he was bad with other quality wickets. Until aussie find that bowler who is also young. Also ability to hunt as group like hyena. Aussie need to find young bowler who has deceptive with length. One of reason mitchell johnson was effective was his length and line on Target which made batsman has to play at everyball and have to guess the length. Kinda torturous because if they miss they gona get hit. Even at slow medium pace mcgrath was so effective was that he able to change length at last second and made batsman play uncomfortable shots. Fast is not everything. Its deceptive length and speed is scary combination. To have deceptive length you must need Tall fast bowler. Flat trajectory fast bowler is really useless unless they sling like malinga or mj.

  • POSTED BY crktttt on | March 10, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    @Ben Williams - hmm.. I don't share your optimism. To me, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, both are at an equal level right now. To lose a bowler of that ability is a big thing. I hate the 'rebuilding' process. I want to see great bowling/batting now.. As a fan of fast-bowling, I am praying that Ryan Harris returns, and continues to team up with Mitchell Johnson.

  • POSTED BY balajik2505 on | March 10, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    Over the last few months, Australia have been playing good cricket. Haddin and Johnson have revived their careers. Harris has played the most number of consecutive matches in his career. Warner and Smith are starting to mature into good batsmen. The bowling reserves look good. Australia need to look for an opener, a keeper, and at the possibility of Clarke's back acting up. They also need to sort out the Watson conundrum. Having picked Doolan, they should give him time. Well done Australia.

  • POSTED BY PPD123 on | March 10, 2014, 15:57 GMT

    Good analysis... I also think that with the form players like Warner, Johnson, Smith, Haddin etc are enjoying, there is the element of "confidence" which comes along when you are feeling good and winning. Very surprising how everything seems to fall into place and there is positivity within the team.

    Then suddenly you have a couple of these players out injured, some lose form, team starts to lose and then everything gets on a slippery slope and the same people start to blame each other.

    Aus are riding that wave of success right now. It is the same team which lost so embarrassingly in Ind and Eng last year and everything was so negative about them - Mind you Clarke was still the captain then - he just couldnt do anything.

    One swallow does not make a summer. For them, to be a really great team will take time, infact years. The Halcyon days of Aus cricket would not come back so quickly. I would say they are on their road to recovery. A strong Aus is always good for world cricket...

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | March 10, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    Definetly Aus deserve appreciation for their win over Eng and SA. But we the generation knew the Aus 2000-2007 era and this team is no where near

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 10, 2014, 14:01 GMT

    As well as Australia played, SA will remain no 1 for the next 2-3 years because their best players (Amla, AB, Steyn, Vern etc) are just about 30 years old and players like Elgar, Abbot, Parnel, DeCock are about to enter the test arena.

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | March 10, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    i think aus need pick either madision or burns for no3 spot they got the teqnic to play at no3 spot and they both attacking player and back them not giveing the fear of scoring runs in every match they will bacome a batter players doolan i donot think as a bowler u fear to bowl to him he is a gud defensive player and i think they need to pick navil as a 2nd WK IN TOUR OF UAE I THINK WHEN HADDIN RITIRE HE SHOULD TAKE OVER AS A WK FOR AUSTRALIA .plz bublish

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    Aus and SA bring out the best in one another. SA weren't even half as intense in the series against team BCCI and they still won! Even without Johnson, Harris and Pattinson are a handful in most conditions and will decimate the visiting team BCCI side later this year. I was privileged to watch Dravid/Sachin/RPSingh/Pathan help India win at Perth in 2008. I doubt I'll see another team BCCI test win in Australia for many many more years. It is indeed the final frontier for team BCCI.

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | March 10, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    This article is in danger of descending into jingoistic tail-fanning that proper objective analysis. Once Johnson's extraordinary run of form ends, I still think this is a pretty ordinary Aussie side. At the moment, Johnson is creating an unrealistic aura and making the other players look better than they are. Any captain with someone like Johnson to call on will look 'attacking' - Clarke brings on Johnson and Johnson takes a wicket, wow, what a masterstroke from Clarke. If only Smith and Cook could be so attacking! And Warner is no more than a flat-track bully, reeling off easy, unpressurised hundreds when his side already has a 200-run 1st innings lead. The real test for this Aussie side will be next time Johnson loses form or is injured.

  • POSTED BY Javicab on | March 10, 2014, 11:49 GMT

    Australia needs an agressive batsmen with good technique at number 3. State selectors step up and give guys like Chris Lynn and Nic Maddisnon a go at number 3 without the fear of being dropped. The talent is there just needs refining at Shield level.

  • POSTED BY Jagger on | March 10, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    svenkat02 - No. No. No. You don't get to change history to suit yourself, buddy. For the umpteenth time: Australia-is-the-final-frontier-for-India. Not the other way around. India have never won a series in Australia. Ever. Australia have beaten India in India so it is no longer out of reach. No matter how you try to spin it.

  • POSTED BY JJJake on | March 10, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    @haqster499 Australia has won 13 test series in Asia. No Asia country has ever won a test series in Australia. The litmus test has been done many times. Australia has won 4 test series played in India . India has won 0 played in Australia. Australia has won 4 test series played in Pakistan. Pakistan has won 0 in Australia. Australia has won 3 test series played in SL. SL has won 0 in Australia Australia has won the 1 and only play in Bangladesh. Have a look at the results section on this website.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2014, 10:59 GMT

    As usual Ian Chappell is spot on. I guess the bowling helps. They have the bowlers to take 20 wickets. Compare that to India / SL, people struggle to reach 135ks. We'd never beat Australia in Australia unless we produce really quick descent bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | March 10, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    @Will Hargreaves... I think you forgot one Aussie - Mitchell Johnson. I assume you don't think Wagner is on par with him? NZ would give Australia a decent run in NZ, but would get smashed in Australia. And for those Kiwi fans who would raise the 2011-12 drawn series, Australia are playing much better now than in that series.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | March 10, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    @SLSup. I think you'll find the series result was 2-1 to South Africa, sunshine. And I understand it is the only test they have ever won over there, so not quite sure what your point is? You haven't forgotten last season's 3-0 drubbing down here, have you?

  • POSTED BY karthikpops on | March 10, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    Australia definitely looks much closer to the brilliant force they were back in the late 90s. They have a very good bowling attack, probably the closest to the South African attach, which, I personally feel right up there at the top. Given the form Clarke, Haddin, Warner, and Rogers have been in, they definitely look on track to lapping up a lot more trophies. The no. 3 spot is something they need to look into, and a Michael Bevan/Mike Hussey equivalent is yet to arrive IMO.

  • POSTED BY haqster499 on | March 10, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Truth is Aussie batting is still weak. Against spin and on the sub-continent there are still lots of unanswered questions as the test tour to India indicated a year or so ago. The litmus test for all great Aussie teams is -- can they win in Asia? Pakistan in UAE will be a handful..

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Australians talk their team up and down depending on the last result. After PE the were down and outs and now they are a world powerhouse. Actually, I agree, Aus will be No:1 in a year's time. SA going through a time of adjustment now and our bowling attack is ageing...not sure what is in the wings. However, the form of Johnson is the single most important factor in their performance. He's 32, so how long can he still bowl at that pace?? The young guys coming through are impressive but very injury prone at such a young age. I think they'll be the team to beat now but I don't think they'll be as unbeatable in 2 years or so as this article suggests.

  • POSTED BY JJJake on | March 10, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    India and Pakistan won't have to wait too long to see how they go against this an Australian side. Both teams tour Australia later in the year and will play a four test series. India didn't go too well against NZ. Maybe they might have more luck against the Australian pace attack on faster/ bouncier pitches. Pakistan might go a little bit better than India.

  • POSTED BY rajatmehra on | March 10, 2014, 7:53 GMT

    Poorly written article. Seems a touch incomplete. Before I could start pondering over what Ian is trying to say it was all over. Also, hint of aussie arrogance when he says that Kiwis aren't blessed with the talent of Australia. I seriously hope you guys get a hiding the next time you face upto NZ.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    I have my doubts. Mitch is not very young and might not be bowling this fast in 2-3 years. We don't know how long Ryan Harris' knee will hold up. Of course, with fast bowling, they seem to have decent bench strength. But we will have to see how they shape up in international cricket. Pat Cummins and Pattinson already seem injury prone. Starc seems inconsistent.

    The batting depends on Warner (who's had just a couple of good series now) and Clarke. They don't have a long-term second opener, nor a No. 3. They don't even have a long-term No. 6 - Steve Smith will have to move up the order at some point. And how much longer will Haddin play?

  • POSTED BY No.444 on | March 10, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    As a recent Aussie basher, I've been proved wrong. This is a good team and the bowling unit proved better than the Saffer's. We wait with baited breath to see if this team will do well in conditions that don't suit them. Ian started summing it up well "...and, to a lesser extent, England...", but we will have to see on slow, flat surfaces in particular. PE highlighted this. Succeed here and they will deservedly replace the Saffers at No1. Oh, as an Aussie basher, I hate to see them succeed. Damn!

  • POSTED BY SLSup on | March 10, 2014, 5:26 GMT

    Let's see... SL played SA IN SA just a couple of years ago with Smith, Amla, Kallis, Steyn, Boucher, AB, and Morkel to beat them by 208 runs with only ONE strike bowler of note (Herath). The series margin was 1/1. The 2/1 margin of victory by AUS in SA recently wasn't a cake-walk with the only game Steyn showed life was a defeat inside 4 days for AUS. So... relax. Who wrote this article anyways, Ian Chappell? : )

  • POSTED BY shetto on | March 10, 2014, 4:07 GMT

    Chapelli is right, the number 3 batsmen spot is the missing link for Australia. The good news for australia is that whilst 12 months ago it had many missing links - it now only has one. The pieces that will make Australia a power house again are coming together and almost assembled. Should any Australian player get injured or under perform, in every other position there are bowlers and batmen and wicket keepers that could easily step into that position and Australia would still peform well. The only position where Australia is lacking is in the number 3 batmen position. Another Dean Jones, Ricky Ponting or Greg Chapell is not far away but Australia will have to be patient while that sort of player develops and comes through the ranks.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    Mr chappel you should reserve your comments before their UAE tour as they have yet to tackle best spinner in the game on low and slow UAE wickets . I am really disappointed you mentioned Eng SA and Ind but didnt even comment one line about mercurial Pak though your team next assignment is with us .

  • POSTED BY SRAM20 on | March 10, 2014, 2:30 GMT

    So its all back to square one - India is again going to be the final frontier for Australia! Australia have never won more than a single series in a row vs India. They won in 2004, but after that, they again lost 2-0 in 2008 and were crushed 4-0 the last time.... And that win in 2004 was after 30+ years of struggle. The best of Aussie teams struggled in India. This team is nowhere there. Its aided by a bowler who is going through a red hot phase, Johnson. The rest are feeding off it. Once Johnson's form falls, Australia will be back where they were before Johnson hit his purple patch. And Clarke, Johnson, Harris are all nearing the phase where they have to think of retirement.

  • POSTED BY Jagger on | March 10, 2014, 2:30 GMT

    Baiy on (March 9, 2014, 14:05 GMT) What difference does it make? You are being mischievous. That is what we call 'pointing the crooked finger'. The direction you take is akin to making jokes about the caste system, Amritsar and Union Carbide all rolled into one. Khawaja is the worst fieldsman in state cricket and his batting average has plummeted since he left Sydney. He has been given many chances to play for Australia, not taken them, and has a pea for a heart. Ahmed is about 40 years old, but eligible if he takes bags of wickets. We hope he does. Henriques struggles to make the team either as a batsman or a bowler, but his all-round capabilities keep him in the mix. Injuries have held him back. My advice: at no stage, any whatsoever, does the race, colour or religion of a player come into selection in Australia. If you prefer to go on 'o-resident-of-the-glasshouse, we can throw stones at quotas, Yousef Youhana and the Pathan boys any time you like.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    I think the title of the article is a bit misleading. Although Ian does say that the righ ingredients are in place to be a good side, the title suggests something of a dominance. This is a team that is for the present , most of the players are quick fixes and a lot of the prominent members are heading towards retirement. SA ,while they did not dominate like the great WI/Aus teams, they were quite hard to beat both home and away especially for a good 5-6 years. Aus have had one good season and I suspect it wont last longer than a year and they would have to start rebuilding just like India, Eng and SA

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | March 10, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    @Beertjie, I agree, ego-management/team spirit has a lot to do with the approach to selecting batsmen. However, I agree with @Jono Makim that the selectors have moved subtly in that direction, with the quite conscious selection of right-handers to counter Swann. In general, the selectors' task has been made easier by the emergence of Smith, who is good against spin - if only we had 20:20 hindsight and could have played him for the whole Indian series! Also, a bonus of not selecting Hughes ahead of Doolan and Marsh in SA is that he doesn't need to be dropped for Pak to pursue a horses-for-courses approach (but I think he'll make truckloads of runs at home v India). For me, the no-brainer is dropping Doolan for Bailey. I very much doubt the selectors would pre-emptively drop Rogers or Watson. A possible compromise is the simple return of the top six from the home Ashes - Rogers, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Bailey.

  • POSTED BY on | March 10, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    @ttttttttttttttttt, you obviously missed the part about the bowling we have in waiting, with some experience added to their belt, Pattinson, Starc & Cummins could all quite easily take the strike bowlers spot, yes it'll be hard for anyone to live up to Harris & his skill, but they wouldn't be far off at all

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | March 10, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Disagree greatly, think that Harris and Johnson will retire after 2015 world cup as will Michael Clarke too and Watson (remember that people in Australia/England retire earlier than those in the subcontinent). Its not only that, but Australia seems to be riding on the coattails of Warner and Johnson who will not remain in this red hot form for long (Harris, Smith, and Clarke are good, but the X Factor seems to be coming from Warner and Johnson).

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | March 10, 2014, 1:08 GMT

    @ Un_Citoyen_Indien: "Best of luck Aussies". And all the best of luck to your guys when they tour down here later in the year.

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | March 10, 2014, 0:48 GMT

    Chappeli, To be honest I think Australia still have a way to go to becoming a powerhouse. It's no secret, Rogers, Watson, Haddin, Harris will all be lucky to play another year or two at best. Even Clarke's back could give way at any time.

    Where are the young players in the Shield coming through to take their places? Apart from Hughes the pickings are slim.

    The great teams had these quality of players all playing as a unit together for 7-8 years, not 1-2.

    But with Boof in charge the hopes are better than previous off-field leaders.

  • POSTED BY Busie1979 on | March 10, 2014, 0:41 GMT

    While I agree with Ian Chappell that Australia may become number one, they are not there yet. Australia urgently needs to find a keeper, spinner, all-rounder and 2-3 batsmen in the next 18 months. Australia have run into England and South Africa at a time when both teams are in urgent need for renewal with key players being unavailable (Trott), retiring (Kallis, Swann) or over the hill (Smith, Swann, Prior). The only young batsman outside the team who demands selection is Hughes who has been suspect at test level so far. Rogers, Haddin, Clarke and Watson will retire soon (the latter two due to failing bodies). Lyon has been ok but is not yet a world class spinner. There are no world class batsmen, batting all-rounders or keepers waiting in the wings. Plenty of world class fast bowlers and bowling all-rounders though to replace Harris when he retires. There are a few intriguing spinning options - Stephen O'keefe in particular (although he is clearly out of favour).

  • POSTED BY vik56in on | March 10, 2014, 0:30 GMT

    Agreed ! But there is slight problem ! Ryan Harris,Michael Clarke, Mitchell Johnson,Brad Haddin and Shane Watson are closer to the end of their journeys than they are to the beginning !

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | March 10, 2014, 0:30 GMT

    OK this article has more jingoism than truth. Here are reasons. Mitchell Johnson 31 and have freakish season. If you removed mitchell johnson they have no way of beating SA. That said Australia always fight to win anygame. So only england and SA and even NZ put as much effort to win as Australia. Only way i consider australia a powerhouse is if they have real fast bowling all rounder who is young. They do not have one franchise young player. Warner is ok as opener. If he play well it helps team just like sehwag clicks. Watson is not all rounder. Watson and michael clarke and mitchell johnson are 31 years old. All are about to breakdown physically. They are peaking for worldcup but not a powerhouse in a sense they are whitewashing team in overseas. Until they whitewash england in engalnd i do not accept Aussies are powerhouse. Atpresent every team play well in their home condition. All teams are average at best and playing well at home

  • POSTED BY LoungeChairCritic on | March 9, 2014, 23:35 GMT

    I agree with Ian Chappell's comments to a certain extent. Chapelli sometimes overstates the importance of a number 3. It's the position he used to bat. I think the game has changed from when Chapelli played. I would take a good opener over a good number 3 any day. An opener sets the tone for the team. For years he has wanted to Clarke to bat at 3. As long as he gets runs I don't care where he bats. Border and S Waugh batted a 5 for many a year and no one asked them to bat higher. As a strong follower of our domestic game, I think our batting and spin bowling stocks lack depth. The fast bowling depth we have at the moment is amazing. I would argue that we probably have just as much fast bowling talent today as we did 15 years ago. Hopefully Johnson and Harris will be good mentors to the next generation. Starc, Cummins and Pattinson will be absolute beauties once their bodies mature.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 22:58 GMT

    Agreed. And I think Australia have had the same bowlers in their back up as they have had in the last 2-3 years but the difference is that Johnson has got to his peak. However, you forgot to mention that Australia will face a tough test against Pakistan in UAE against the Pakistan spinners. Pakistan is a test nation too playing and excelling at a neutral venue.

  • POSTED BY insightfulcricketer on | March 9, 2014, 22:50 GMT

    Oh well .. its just Johnson - He goes down to bowling long hops again and Aussies are back to square one. Save your breath Chappelli :)

  • POSTED BY ShutTheGate on | March 9, 2014, 22:40 GMT

    Can we please drop the ageing side with limited time speculation?

    Many of the older players have only recently got into the side or back into the side - Rogers, Harris, Johnson and Haddin. Meaning they took the spots of players under 30. So if we do have the mentioned 4 retire in 2015 or 2016 we'll have 4 players with 20 plus matches of test experience to take their spot. Having 20 plus matches and a proven record is a totally different scenario to coming in green.

    Although Doolan might not be of Ricky Ponting's calibre, I hope they stick with him until after the series against India at home. By then he'd have played 10 matches and as we've seen with Warner and Smith it can take a few games to make the step up.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | March 9, 2014, 22:38 GMT

    Gotta agree with both @rar-m and @ttttttttttttttttt

    @Rar-m, you also missed Haddin. So five of Australia's 11, who have been major contributors are over 32. Take those 5 out of the last 6 months and we'd be struggling to beat Bangladesh.

    When we pursued youth, and went down the gurgler. Now we've stocked up on maturity, we're buying wins and time, but it's a false dawn, just delaying the inevitable if we haven't got decent youth to replace them.

    Ot's a recuccrence of the problem we had sticking with guys like Hayden, Gilchrist, Hussey (in his first incarnation) and Ponting passed their use by dates.

    It makes us look good for a couple of more years, but then atrocious once they do go.

    Haddin, Harris and Rogers could, and probably should be retired now by the selectors.

    We will suffer a little, but we've seen again and again, if you hang on to old guys, the young ons get disillusioned and lose their drive for Tests and a *longer* period of struggle and losses follows.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 9, 2014, 22:06 GMT

    Is there a more biased contributor on this site than Ian Chappel? Australia's bowling performed very well, yes, but it's a bit premature to be saying there better than South Africa's. it's amazing how quickly people forget the best bowler of his generation was injured on the first day of the deciding test. I suppose it's not that important, this Aussie team is too old to dominate for any length of time.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    "Unfortunately for McCullum, New Zealand aren't blessed with the talent of Australia." I'd like to see NZ take on the aussies as I believe it would be a very close contest. Southee and boult are as good as Siddle and Harris. We have a better number 3 in Williamson, Clarke edges out Taylor in the 4 but we have a better 5 in mccullum. plus our all rounders in Anderson and neesham are better than an inconsistent Watson. Aussies do have the much superior openers though.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    @Jagger, I certainly wouldn't disagree with trying Clarke at 3. He is our best allround batsman and with guys like Warner and Smith contributing so strongly I don't think the pressure is there now that we saw on him 6 months ago. In other words the odd miss from him would be acceptable with the view that he could along with Rogers and Warner form a very strong top 3 if successful.

    @Barnesy4444, If only it were that simple with Hughes, it would be great! I would love for the Phil Hughes story to have a happy ending, but until he gets back into the side and can put together 15-20 tests with solid performances than there is always going to be doubt. I think the biggest problems are that he strings together very similar dismissals constantly and everyone says he's been found out. Either that or he has a run of dismissals where he gets himself out and you wonder if he's got his head on, he really is a puzzle at times. I think he is ready, but for Hughes, seeing is believing.

  • POSTED BY line.and.length on | March 9, 2014, 19:24 GMT

    On the topic of Watson, all there needs to be said is James Faulkner

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    would love to see Australia without johnson... he has been the strike force and fear factor in the aussie team... other bowlers have reaped the benefit out his tight spells...Nothing to take away from Harris/siddle/lyon...but they may not be as effective without johnson...

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | March 9, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Great call by Ian, who is as always correct about the Aussie team.

  • POSTED BY sarangsrk on | March 9, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    @IndianSRTfan.. Very rightly put. Its unfair for anyone to say that India is 1.2 billion and hence, should produce world champs. Its not only a question of resources etc, its also about the culture where the parents want kids to focus on education first unlike Australia where the entire culture is of sports and parents do encourage kids to take up sports. As on the quality of Indian side right now, remember its through transition phase and like everybody gave Aussie team some time after the greats retired in 2007, India should also be given time to get more experience of test cricket. The other factor to consider is other teams do get experience of playing in India through IPL but Indians don't get that opportunity. So they are under-prepared on most of the tours.

  • POSTED BY IndianSRTfan on | March 9, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    Agree with Chappel here. Australia are close to becoming powerhouse once again. Note that he didn't say champions and used the words 'close to'. They had a fantastic SA series and the Ashes before that and if they play with same confidence, they'll be pretty hard to beat.

    Next big test for them will be the series in UAE. It will be very interesting to see how they cope with Ajmal/Rehman on pitches that offer turn and very little for fast bowlers unless they know the art of reverse swing. Absence of Ryan Harris will be significant.

    Steve Smith, for me, is Australia's biggest gain in terms of promising batsman for the future. He can play spin, he can play pace. Good to see him being consistent.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 17:59 GMT

    They are certainly an exciting team to watch with their incisive bowling attack and superb fielding to support them in the field. Warner, Clarke, Watson are a treat to watch when in full flow. But to attain the level of superiority like their predecessors, they need to solidify their batting a lot more.

  • POSTED BY IndianSRTfan on | March 9, 2014, 17:32 GMT

    @victortrumpet: "In a couple of year Aus will produce spinners".....From thin air perhaps? Even by a miracle, say you produce another Warne or Muralitharan (you won't), even these two giants never really posed us much trouble. So Ian Chappel, who knows much better, is right, Aussies will struggle against India in India. Crushing India in India never happened by teams led by Steve Waugh and Ponting which were better teams than the current Aussie team by several thousand country miles. So the optimism is good but it ain't happening.

    The 1.2 billion debate is juvenile. Care to know how many of those actually have enough resources to even think about becoming sportsmen/athletes? About 0.001%. Remaining people have bigger issues to worry about like earning livelihood, getting fed etc, to care much about producing 'World Class Athletes' Now compare the numbers if you can and see if your flawed logic holds. And your credibility went out the window when you termed all Indians as of one race.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    With so many aging players looks like Aussies are going into a rabbit hole again after 2 years.It is 2007 all over again

  • POSTED BY rar-m on | March 9, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    Have to disagree. This team probably has only a year or two in them purely because of age:

    Clarke - 32/nearly 33 Johnson - 32 Rogers - 36 Harris - 34 (and we all know about his knee)

    Take these players out and it looks a very different team. They can probably dominate for a year or two but to be a powerhouse I think you have to have success for a slightly longer time. We'll know if they can become a powerhouse once the younger guys who are going to fill these roles in the future come in.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    Well I agree with Bergsteiger. Austarlians will not be in commanding position against the Asian giants as india and Sri Lanka in the coming T20 World cup event. So far the success achieved by Clarke over the course of two series is comparable with Misbah led pakistan successfull clean sweep in test against England in UAE in 2012 and winning in ODI series in India and in SA. The challenges in Asia and perhaps England(swing of Anderson) for the Australians is paramount and I suggest they would not come out No.1 or even No.2. they strictly owe thier series success to the calm and enterprising attitude of Darren Lehman along with the treasured experienced brought forward by him.

  • POSTED BY crktttt on | March 9, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    Ryan Harris is the key for Australia.... Whether Australia will be as dangerous in the next 2 years, will depend on one man, and that is Not Mitchell Johnson. It is Ryan Harris. If Harris is fit, and plays alongside Johnson, together, they will make the bowling attack extremely dangerous. Without Ryan Harris, i think Australia will lose the edge it has enjoyed in these last 2 series (Eng & SA).

  • POSTED BY jimmyg02 on | March 9, 2014, 15:56 GMT

    To early for powerhouse talk but definitely heading in the right direction.. Clarkey deserves a lot of credit, i love his style of captaincy always on the attack and leading from the front..

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 15:43 GMT

    I think the credit of Johnson should go to Clarke as well. I found it really detrimental when Ponting would harp about a bowler bowling well because he was "putting the ball in right areas". Champion bowlers construct their own wickets. Waiting for wickets is such an Indian thing to do (no disrespect). This is why teams like Pakistan WIndies and Australians have match winning bowling.

  • POSTED BY Un_Citoyen_Indien on | March 9, 2014, 15:21 GMT

    Australians lack the finesse to succeed in Asia. Asian batsmen are endowed with the skills, flair and artistry to succeed in their environment and they make Australians seem like antiquated neanderthals when they tour there!

    Mitchell Johnson will find himself neutered (as he has always been) in Asia, Michael Clarke will once again reprise his role as Jadeja's bunny while Ashwin, Herath and Ajmal will weave webs of doom around Hughes, Clarke and Watson!

    Best of luck Aussies........

  • POSTED BY The_other_side on | March 9, 2014, 15:02 GMT

    They need to win more consistently first. True they played well against England and South Africa! But England were beaten by Johnson factor and South Africa was not at their best with players showing patchy form.

    But Australia havechallenges ahead like World Cup and Ashes in England!

    This article should be published after 1 year from now provided Australia win World cup and Ashes.

    Anyway, let us see which way the dice rolls!!

  • POSTED BY steve48 on | March 9, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    Big fan of the way Aussies have turned themselves around, but batting lacks real class apart from Clarke, whose back prevents consistency nowadays. Warner will have patches of feast and famine. Also unless Harris recovers, one of their promising quicks will need to step up, all the talk about Mitch fails to see that rhino is the world class glue holding things together ( look at his stats). Also, respect to Lyon, but they need someone who can bowl teams out on turning pitches. Lots to do then before powerhouse status is achieved, but attitude and tactics best in the world right now

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    Looking forward to see their action in Land of Tigers at t20 wold cup.

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | March 9, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    Get Phil Hughes in at 3 and leave him there.

    He should have been kept at 3 for the England Ashes, why was he dropped? He was averaging 60 in the lead up games!

    Why was Doolan and Marsh selected ahead of him?

    Rogers doesn't have much time left, Warner and Hughes can hold our top order together for the next 10 years. Get him in there.

  • POSTED BY Baiy on | March 9, 2014, 14:05 GMT

    Is is taboo to mention these names that seem to have disappeared of the radar: 1) Usman Kwawaja - 100 in ODI final/ 180 no chasing >450 runs 2) Fawad Ahmed - 3) Moses Henriques Can Chapel or any other Australian commentator offer us some feedback of the strength and weaknesses of these players? The rationale for Henriques playing 2 tests in India?

  • POSTED BY TheBigBoodha on | March 9, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    Australia have a good system set up here for the next three or so years while Clarke is in charge. They are playing great cricket. While other teams resort to obvious pitch doctoring to neuter them, Australia just plays aggressive cricket.

    So, come to Australia. We will welcome you and give you fair playing conditions. We will even move the first test away from the Gabba if you are a sub-continent team, just to help to out. But don't expect to be treated nicely on the field. After all, you keep serving us up dust bowls in your own countries. We'll just whip you with bat and ball.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    Until recently everybody was bashing T20 for all the malaise affecting Aussie cricket. Just two series later, nobody is now complaining, I ask you all the educated fans and Commentators and professionals , what changed. If big bash and IPL and all assorted T20 leagues destroyed Aussie cricket [that has more than one hundred years of glorious history in the five day game] over the past three years, so how did Aussie cricket get corrected? In my humble opinion, [i have never played one game of cricket], it was all because of one gent by the name of Mitchel Johnson. His performance aided by Harris and the sudden rise of Warner was the reason for this success. A power bowler raised his game to the highest level and gave ammunition to Clarke to play aggressively. T20 leagues did not contribute to the losses of Aussie team, it was England winning those few crucial moments at home and Australia's incompetence against spin in India. Australia should be going down on their knees to Johnson.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    @neanderthal Hungary 17 medals, Australia 35 medals. It was a pretty poor games for us because the government cut our spending on sport heavily. Hungary might be a tiny country, but Australia's only 2/3 larger. I only posted to point out your ignorance. Thanks.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | March 9, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    I must its hard to imagine where Aus are today if you go back to the Ashes in Eng. It was all doom and gloom so the extent when Eng arrived in Aus no one was really sure what the Aus batting and bowling line ups would stack up. Fast forward 4 months and Aus are looking at competing for the top spot in cricket but beating SA at home - easily the hardest act in cricket today. Its hard to think how Aus have been able to reach these heights from the dumps they were in just a few months ago. Its not like some new talent has arrived performed beyond belief, instead existing guys have simply stood up to the mark. Waner and Johnson are the obvious but Smith and Harris have also been notable contributors. #3 is a concern as would be Rogers and Haddin by being on the wron g side of 30. Would be most intersting to see how this team develops in the next couple of years.

  • POSTED BY shrastogi on | March 9, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    The desperation phase in aussie test cricket ,which at one point saw even likes of Ashton Agar being preferred ahead of Lyon and many batting experiments, seems to have got over. I would pick them to do well in outside subcontinent conditions. With the retirement of Kallis, Smith & Pietersen now almost all the teams in the world are in rebuilding phase and the team whose youngsters show determination and adaptability would come out at top. I dont see dominance of one team in test cricket for next few years like the way we saw of WI teams of Lloyd/ Richards era or Australians of Waugh/Ponting era. This win over SA is rare for modern teams in out of home conditions and effectively challenges SA at top. The challenge for aussies is blooding youngsters and not just those players who havent got their chances in time. The aussie juggernaut may roll then.

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | March 9, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    i donot think australia close to becomeing cricket power house becoz they are ageing side they got 2 players age 37 one 35 thay need to replace they need to sattel their no6 spot,no3 spot so in next few years they need to find replacements again so they need to give chanes youngster like hughes,burns,madision,slik navil,pain if they stick to this side i donot think this can can play for another5 years toghter they need to pick players who can play 10 years for aus not for 3,4 years i think aus odi side is very strong they will win 2015 WCF EASYLY .PLZ PUBLISH.

  • POSTED BY neanderthal on | March 9, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    @victortrumpet, you just do not have any idea about India but go on commenting nevertheless. Can you explain why a tiny country like Hungary is ahead of Australia in that same Olympic medals list? I can go on telling you why the relevant population in a developing country like India with proper sporting infrastructure access is same as something like NZ, but it will be pointless to even try to make someone like you understand. Please come to India again with your great cricket team of the great sporting country Australia and try to do anything better than 4-0 loss even against this severely weakened Indian team.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 13:31 GMT

    Isn't like half tyhe team over 30? They will be some rebuilding again in a few years.

  • POSTED BY andrew-schulz on | March 9, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    Actually India haven't won a series in Sri Lanka since 1993.

  • POSTED BY Clavers on | March 9, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    I believe Australia has the Number 3 they are looking for; it is Phil Hughes. Highly talented, ambitious, aggressive, and with a great appetite for hard work, learning and improvement. At the time he was dropped in the Ashes tour he was averaging over 60 in the first-class games on tour, most of those runs coming at Number 3. Since then he has made century after century in the Sheffield Shield.

    Get him in there and leave him there, even if he makes some mistakes. He will learn from them and become one of the best Number 3's in the history of the game.

  • POSTED BY unbeleaveable on | March 9, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Australia are backing up their belief in themselves by performing and as a kiwi I have to bite my tongue and admire this. They would beat the NZ at the moment and if picked the players for different conditions would do well in Asia. You have to say on form they are the strongest side at the moment, they proved it by beating SA in SA. I would be interested to see NZ play them in a year or two time, as Aussie have a lot of old players and NZ have a lot of young players and we have a good captain with a dodgy back to.

  • POSTED BY victortrumpet on | March 9, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Don't be absurd. How can I be racist if I, a Caucasian, criticise the Indian race, which is also Caucasian? We are the same race, despite your elevated hypersensitivity. Claiming what I said is racist is just a way for Indian fans to deflect the undeniable historical truth that India is not a sporting nation. After all, not only did New Zealand a country with less than 1% of your population, beat you in cricket last month, they also won more medals at the last Olympic games. Can I prove my point any more succinctly?

  • POSTED BY neanderthal on | March 9, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    Pathetic comments by some people commenting on race and community under the disguise of cricket fans. Its unbelievable that some others are actually defending it.I do not want to comment of Australian race and history here. More so , because some of these people are imposters and not Aussies at all. The mere cricketing sense says subcontinent teams need to prove themselves in Aus/ENG/SA. Similarly, these teams need to prove themselves in subcontinent. What Ian Chappel says makes perfect sense. If this weak Indian team can beat AUS 4-0 at home, then surely they are not powerhouse yet. Please see the context before commenting.

  • POSTED BY SarmadNasirButt on | March 9, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    Australia were nowhere after their team balance was destroyed when the retiring three left, and Ricky Ponting. They lost to South Africa at home, even lost to Sri Lanka, the one-day series. Since then, I believe, they focused on the long-term plans. They built a team, experimented with players, and now, they have an extremely well-built, skilful and a talented power-house, in all departments of the game. They kept their cool, and never panicked, which has brought us today, regarding them as the favorites for the T20 World Cup and the upcoming World Cup 2015, which they'll be playing at home!

  • POSTED BY blogossip on | March 9, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    they wont become as potent as they were Mr Chappel coz they lack a spinner. Lyon isnt a threat for sub continental teams- thats why i think Warne was one main reason for Australia's dominance

  • POSTED BY yoadie on | March 9, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    I note Mr. Chappell's parting shot: "It's a strength based on aggressive play, good fast bowling and imaginative captaincy. It has been a productive formula over time, and fortunately for Australia the other major Test nations not only find it difficult to counter but also to emulate." Ian like all lovers of good Test cricket, wants to see other nations lift themselves up, to give Australia a good fight. Very noble of him. To date, since the West Indies installed a new president, I have not heard one word from him, on drawing up a road-map to getting the West Indies back their fighting-weight in Test cricket. I am hearing a lot though, about living off India's eye-top. Typical of leadership in the Caribbean these days. Always distracted. Careful that India do not blink!

  • POSTED BY Jagger on | March 9, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    We have openers, number 5's and 6's coming out of our ears. It is number 3's and 4's which we lack. And a leggie.

    If the captain wants to be number 1, a powerhouse, a juggernaut, then he must bat and succeed at 3. The young blokes cannot be expected to come into the test team and plunder Steyn and Broad at 3 or 4. Their technique has already been picked apart before they face their first ball. 6 is where Ponting, Tendulkar and Kallis began their Test careers. Not 3. Clearly Clarke and Smith are good players of spin, and it makes sense they play in their current positions. But the future of Australian cricket is being put at risk because of it. It's now time Clarke batted at 3 and Smith at 4 in senior Test match cricket roles and the best two young, in-form and untried batsmen are given their chance at 5 & 6. For Australia's sake. After this next ODI World Cup a lot of young men are going to get their chance to prove themselves at this level. Particularly if we lose.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    @ Vishnu27: cool down dude.@victortrumpet has posted two comments and I was responding to his initial comment in which he has commented on Indian race.I live in a democratic country and really appreciate constructive criticism and really don't mind comments on Indian cricket but we cannot allow people to use cricket as cover to comment on India or Indian race.So please first check the context before trying to be an arbitrator.

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | March 9, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Australia are back on track, Yes. But a powerhouse, certainly not. Their batting is too brittle for that.

  • POSTED BY Tumbarumbar on | March 9, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    Wow there are certainly a lot of people who are apparently under the impression that Dale Steyn's relative lack of return had the major impact on the test results. In fact Vernon Philander who has been South Africa's major wicket taker since his debut had his normal wicket taking strike rate and normal runs per wicket average tripled during this series as the Australians sought to knock him out of the attack. I actually felty sorry for Big Vern, for the last three or four years home pitches have been tailor made to suit his seam and late swing but after Mitch caused mayhem in the first test gravel beds were prepared for the final two tests. As Siddle found out a man bowling at 130 kph isn't going to be much of a threat on those wickets.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    Oh, forgot to mention the 25-21 lead Aus has in ODIs in India, and a World Cup trophy on Indian soil - more examples of that historical under-performance I suppose.

  • POSTED BY orangtan on | March 9, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    @vishnu27 you are spouting fire and brimstone again; I don't think any poster of any nationality can possibly doubt that Australia will steamroller India this winter, most Tests will end inside 3 days, but that doesn't mean much, given India's pathetic resources. Why get so defensive and abusive if some posters query whether Australia is back to being undisputed Numero Uno, they are well on the way there but that does not mean the matter can't be intelligently debated, it is arrogant to dismiss it as drivel , an extremely dangerous and blinkered attitude, pride goes before a fall.

  • POSTED BY GrtIndia_Ann on | March 9, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    Its true that Australia is playing good cricket good cricket at the moment...but then ...they its way too prematured to comment upon their strengths......they are performing well in conditions familiar to them and that too recently....I mean if only you put forward all those questions about their credibilty in subcontinent wickets, would you still call them a power house...I dont think so....like you ask those questions Indian fans whenever India was rampaging in familiar conditions....let them perform well on green tops...then we will accept their superiority....let Aussie perform well on sub continent conditions.... @ Vishnu: dont be so stereo typed....Just a few months back Aussie were being thrashed by every one and every one was raising eye brows over India's ability to perform overseas...now they have won few series in familiar conditions...and you demand to call them super power....lol...grow up....

  • POSTED BY moshec on | March 9, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    The only thing about Warner which everyone seems to ignore, is that he was dropped on countless occasions against SA and had even some of those chances been taken he wouldn't have nearly scored as many runs. He also gave regulation edges in the 3rd test which would have been taken had more than 1 slip been in place. Graeme Smith is totally to blame here but just saying that his runs were more than fortunate and do not believe he is nearly as good a batsman as Chappel is making him out to be.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    @DRSflawed etc. Australia actually have a pretty good historical record in India. At the beginning of the 2008 series the ledger read Aus 12 wins, India 11 wins, (now 19-12 to India), including 4 series victories. In contrast India`s record in Aus reads 5-26, and no series wins. People were pretty happy with that when the rankings had India at the top of the pile...

    re.Ponting, despite a tough time in tests in India, consistently performed as test and ODI player/captain throughout the world.

    Perhaps if India played on home pitches that promoted all aspects of the game, they might promote the skills in their, wonderfully talented, teams that could produce similarly consistent results away.

  • POSTED BY millsy24 on | March 9, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    NomanQadir, to be fair Steyn wasn't that impressive outside of that brilliant spell. You say that good bowling can down Australia. Well, there was good bowling in the first test as well, as in one Mitchell Johnson, and we saw what that did to SA, they didn't have the first idea what to do. Philander has been a passenger when the conditions don't suit. Give credit where it is due. A lot talk about Australia being a one man team (as in Johnson). Well, the SA bowling attack is nothing without Steyn.

  • POSTED BY Dangertroy on | March 9, 2014, 11:20 GMT

    As long as the rest of the team is firing, Doolan has a bit of a chance to find his feet at test level. He has the right temperament for a number three, and if he had a less than spectacular first test series then it can be partly blamed on the fact it was against the worlds best team in their back yard.

    It would seem that team management believe that Marsh is the next most likely for that spot, if Doolan doesn't come good later this year. I think that Marsh is far too inconsistent and injury prone to make it his own. Thee are a few decent top order batsmen coming through - Maddinson, Carter, Lynn, Burns... Although I think all need atleast another season of shield before consideration. Plenty of stopgaps too - drop rogers to 3 and bring in hughes, or use Marcus North as a makeshift number three...

    I think the bigger problem is going to be replacing Haddin in the next few years... Couldn't of seen myself saying that 12 months ago...

  • POSTED BY Jagger on | March 9, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Chappelli. Your push for Watson to bat in the top three has failed. Not only can he not bat in the top three, he can't bat in the top 5. He's Flintoff class with the bat only. I'm dirty on you for that. Genuinely dirty. About ten years ago you told us all rounders take time to develop, well, sorry mate, you backed the wrong horse. This one is a dud.

    Why do we keep picking a team chosen for English conditions to play in India? Copeland, White, and others have performed admirably there and on return were never seen again. We must accept they doctor their pitches to suit their vertically challenged batsmen. We must accept that spinners dominate. We must accept that certain players don't cope over there. It is useless picking Hughes, Watson, Rogers, Johnson, etc whose games rely on pace and bounce. Pick the O'Keefes and the Copelands, the Whites and the Muirheads and we will beat them at their own game. Draw every series and let them worry about their own crowds

  • POSTED BY StarveTheLizard on | March 9, 2014, 11:13 GMT

    Criccraze, you needn;'t be too worried about the Australian pace attack. We have lots of pace in waiting. The only reason Oz hasn't been ripping sides apart before this season has been the leadership. The same bowlers were there. They were not used very well. The results were apparent. MJ was turned from a Barmy Army song inspiration into the most feared bowler in the world. We have the bowlers. All we need is a number three. If any team leadership can unearth one, though, this one will do it.

  • POSTED BY Humdingers on | March 9, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    The problems they will face are: - Harris will be retiring soon. - Every country will dry up their pitches to neuter MJ (that's where Harris really shined). - Rogers will retire soon. So they will need an opener + a no.3. - To be a really unbeatable side , they need a world class spinner. But all props to Lyon for coming this far. Lot of respect for that guy.

    But compared to where the rest of the world is, this team is certainly in front and moving ahead faster then anyone else. SA won't be the same without Kallis and Smith (and a more and more injured Styen). IND, SL, Pak are just hopeless. WI are mismanaged. And ENG are either going to turn the corner without Flower or sink deeper. Time will tell.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 10:55 GMT

    I agree wholeheartedly!!! As a kiwi, I can assure you that the above article's assertion is correct. I don't know the exact nautical distance in miles or kilometres.... but whatever the distance is to New Zealand... that is how close Australia are to becoming a powerhouse. The world knows all about Big Brother 1984... get ready for little brother 2014.

  • POSTED BY DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on | March 9, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    australians historically never performed well against india in india. Their's great ever test captain never performed as a captain and as a player, he averages just 26 in india, so oz needs to go long way to attain powerhouse status.

  • POSTED BY Vishnu27 on | March 9, 2014, 10:46 GMT

    Prashant Kumar: what do you think motivated such a comment? He very likely got tired of listening to the extensive drivel put about on this site about the supposed might & strength of Indian cricket. victortrumpet gave a subjective but fair assessment of the true state of things. Like it or lump it, Indian cricket doesn't bring much to the table other the cricketing largest audience in the game.

  • POSTED BY Pinot on | March 9, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    Ian is right in all his views, however he has not mentioned the impact of a spinner like Lyon has made to the team. In a previous interview he has said that Lyon may be deficient in taking wickets in the last innings, however his role is to maintain an holding role till the next spinner arrives. In a few years our young spinners like James Muirhead will have enough experience to be introduced to the Test team. Better to have a functioning spinner like Lyon than an unpredictable spinner like Agar to hold the fort for the next few years.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 9, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    well said Ian... this Pace attack of Aussies makes the minds of opponents not to think about winning for the first 4 days... Survival would be goldest... and if the rare opportunity is provided, then they can give a try :)

  • POSTED BY NomanQadir on | March 9, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    I agree australia have looked good this series and the past one at home. Let's be fair even the crappy teams in Australia were always good at home. As for them beating south africa well, they accomplished that. Do I think they would have won with a healthy steyn, not a chance. We saw in the second test what good bowling can do to them. I believe they are a strong team at the moment but.... they have allot of holes which to be fair need answered. Chappell will have you believe that this is a great side, it is not, it is a very good side which does not have the ingredients of greatness. Chappell would have you believe that they would have walked all over south africa 3-0 and yet they squeezed past with 5 overs remaining. Great side nope good side yes. Pup is a good captain, remember when he was playing, ponting was captain and he was one of the good prospects among great players. Today he is the great player among some ordinary prospects that do well now and than.

  • POSTED BY Vishnu27 on | March 9, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    nareshgb1: please explain exactly why MJ "will not have the same support nor the hunger"? An absurd statement. This team is not India & it's focus isn't subject to the same flux & wane. Neither are team positions set in stone for the next five years. Australian players are motivated by wearing the baggy green onfield.

  • POSTED BY Zeshan547 on | March 9, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    Guys I think the simplest and most interesting solution for substitutions in Cricket is that all squads for all international matches should consist of 16 players each. From those 16 only 11 can field but any one of 16 can bat or bowl. Max 10 overs a bowler. Total wickets to be dismissed is 10, but any batsman can be changed with another batsman due to injury or tactically. But once a batsman has batted can not bat again even if he was retired out. I think in such scenario teams can use best batters or bowlers according to match situation and requirements. And in those reserve 5 other than than starting eleven, ideally one should be a keeper 2 bowlers and 2 batsman. what you think about this suggestion?

  • POSTED BY criccraze on | March 9, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    While I have been an Aussie fan for more than a decade now I think Ian Chappell has gone a little over board. First the much talked about pace attack is still majorly dependent upon the charismatic Mitchy and the Superman Ryno. The young quicks are unproven with a long history of injuries. Spin bowling is a big problem in both the batting and bowling area. There is no great talent of note in the shield and with the career of Hadds, Ryno and Rogers on its last legs rebuilding has to start sooner than it looks now. For the next decade or so Aus will remain close in the contention for the top spot but a runaway fav for the same-no they are not

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | March 9, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    @Andrew Franks: Did you watch any of the tests or were you just going by comments? Warner's hundreds in both innings in the third test were flawless, chanceless innings. He was playing on a different pitch to Clarke who was getting peppers at one end while he was scoring at a run a ball and took the game away from SA in the first session of the morning! Anyone who can't see Warner's potential is as blind as a bat in my view.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 9, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    ian's analysis is good as usual, but as usual he went out of his way to ignore the contribution of lehman, as ian hates the role of a coach in cricket. without lehman sanity may not have prevailed and warner, johnson, harris, lyon, rogers, smith may not have been part of the team.

  • POSTED BY nareshgb1 on | March 9, 2014, 10:12 GMT

    They have the aggresive opening bowler - yeah but he was hungry and not jaded. Next year will be different. He also had Harris and Siddle - one of whom faded out by the end of this season, the other will be having surgery. next yeat, only one might perform well enough. Yes there are others, but Micth will not have the same support nor the hunger.

    They have aggressive opening batsman - yes, mostly when oppositions have been battered by the bowler. We will know soon when that does not happen so often. The two hundreds in the last test came with Steyn injured btw.

    Clarke is not getting younger, neither are Haddin and Rogers. About the only thing that DOES possibly make Aussies look better is that the other teams have also lost lot of players of late. But hwo knows, in a year or so, Ausstralia would be in the same situation. It IS a big plus though that Mickey is not around to assign homework.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    Not the best headline to have. Well there is a long way to go whatever said and done! you do well in home and similar conditions but u need to get out of that box and play.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 9, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    Admittedly I do not have the credentials that Ian Chappell does. I find it fascinating that people are raving about David Warner as if he is the greatest find. If S.A.had done their job properly, and held onto the catches that were manufactured, both by their bowlers efforts, and by Warner's reckless aggression, the comments about Warner would not be the same. His success is more about how South Africa have fallen in their usual high standards than an improvement on Warner's game. I do think that Warner is a huge positive, and has come some way. The longer he says in, the more he hurts the opposition. But done realism is required when commenting about him.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | March 9, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    @NustroGustro; What are you trying to say? NZ is ranked at no.8 for a reason. They haven't ever been a better team that Australia and it doesn't look like they will for a long while yet, FYI i'm actually an NZ'er living in Australia just being plain honest.

  • POSTED BY Jaffa79 on | March 9, 2014, 9:56 GMT

    Ian Chappell is usually on the money but I think he is venturing into hyperbole here. There is no doubt that Aus have had a fantastic 6 months but let us not forget that they had a horrible 6 months before that. They are certainly formidable as I write but this could change dramatically. Harris seems on his last legs, Clarke's back may last another Ashes but it might not, Haddin and Rogers are in their late 30s so there are many variables. I do think Australia will be strong as long as these guys stick together but it is far too early to pronounce them as a great team.

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | March 9, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    So right Ian, India can never challenge outside Asia as we don't have a fast bowling culture, we are happy winners in our own backyard with dust bowls. India has not produced a fast bowler of quality for a long time.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | March 9, 2014, 9:45 GMT

    Any team that is carrying members is not yet at its peak. As it stands, Australia are still mostly carrying their spinner (Nathan Lyon), at least 1 or 2 of their batsmen (Alex Doolan at least, but probably also Shane Watson) and at times a fast bowler as well, and even the wicket keeping position is far from sewn down. They are better than they were, but the simple fact is that they need to have 11 quality players who pick themselves before they can say that they are at their peak. They are closer than they were but they have a bit to go. One exciting thing, though, is that we have recently had 3 spin bowlers in the domestic line up averaging under 30 - Steve O'Keefe who has done it for a while without international recognition, but now also Fawad Ahmed and Muirhead. We could soon have the spinning gap filled with someone decent too. And with Jack Doran coming through we could soon have a good number 3.

  • POSTED BY lararichards on | March 9, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    Australia are looking good at the moment. But there is one problem that wasn't even mentioned. The age of the players. A lot of these players - Clarke, Johnson, Haddin, Harris, Roger are all well into their 30's. Half the team won't be around in 2 years so any talk of a rosy future will depend on their replacements. Bowling looks reasonable. Not so sure about the batting though.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    @Orangtan, why not? We are called convicts all the time by the poms.

    @Ameya Sinde, well said my friend. Really enjoying your balanced and well thought out views.

    @Beertjie, I don't think it is beyond the selectors at all to go horses for courses. All the top order lefties that failed against Swann in England were fired off over the horizon with a very big rocket.

    For mine the missing part of the puzzle is a top flight leggie. Lyon is doing a very solid joj and i'd persist with him until we have a better option, but I really think that it's a leggie we need, even more than a no.3 bat.

    On the batting side I think we are going to see a good flow of test class players emerging over the next year or three and I'm hoping that the likes of Lynn, who has shown he is mentally prepared for international cricket, are amongst the men at the top of the queue. Enough of cycling through the likes of Khawaja, Marsh and co., please. Time for some fresh talent with the right attitude.

  • POSTED BY Sanj747 on | March 9, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    @victortrumpet keeping it coming mate. You are absolutely right. India last won a test outside their shores in 2011 against the WIs. The BCCI if they have any interest in developing their team need to fund fast bowlers and a quality spinner.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    @victortrumpet: oh mate, have you gone for your blood test recently?Your blood must be filled with ''poison'".Although you are pretending to be an Aussie, I really doubt it because Australians usually don't make such pathetic statements.You are definitely an imposter but whoever you are we 1.2 billion Indians wish you to get well soon! Living with so much poison and hatred can be fatal for your well being:)

  • POSTED BY Dave1970 on | March 9, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Number three might be an issue at the moment but Doolan certainly was not the worst given a run in that position. Only very rare batsman make an explosive impact when given their first run. IMO Doolan did enough to warrant further opportunities and with that hopefully more confidence to get his game in gear earlier. Aussie will not be a long term powerhouse for a number of reasons - one in particular is age. Haddin and Rogers 36+, Watson 32+, Clarke 32+, Johnson 32+ and Harris 34+. In less than two years 4 of the six will probably be retired and the rebuild will be in vogue. Hopefully then those that had been given a go and failed (Hughes for one example) will step up. But it is inevitable that the powerhouse will be short lived.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | March 9, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    @ Attacking Only play on bouncy tracks? That so? You better tell Sri Lanka for we beat them over there last time. Last I saw, they were in the sub continent with flat tracks & turning pitches. You do know Sri Lanka, don't you? The place where India haven't won a series since 1995? This side doesn't resemble the side that went to India. BTW, how's the away record going, sunshine?

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | March 9, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    @Starvybz Given Chappell was a successful test cricketer who never lost series as a captain, while you have only ever played cricket in your dreams, I can only guess whose opinion carries more weight. Jealousy is such an ugly emotion.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | March 9, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    @victortrumpet , fantastic words these. Can't agree more. Especially the last few. Hit it on the head.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | March 9, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    @popcorn : Just because you are not good at something doesn't mean you choose your yardsticks. If people started thinking like you - every team would be a world champion !!

  • POSTED BY preeyam on | March 9, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    Australia may have one in SA now,can never beat India in India and just like the Aussies win on some fast tracks to be called a powerhouse they should win on spin tracks also..if Jhonson is out because of injury or form they would not win on speed tracks.....with just one overseas win recently dont just jump to conclusions!

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | March 9, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    @ victortrumpet: Gee whizz mate, that was awesome.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | March 9, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    My sentiments entirely, @ankilien on (March 9, 2014, 4:04 GMT). I think it's a little more serious than the hole at No. 3 being plugged. Clarke himself is a serious health risk. Certainly it looks better than it did just a few months ago, but to speak of these as just minor irritations is to move from sangfroid to hubris. Certainly Smith and Warner have morphed into budding stars, but Rogers' old-fashioned steadiness is another mask about to reveal nakedness. What about the lack of penetrative spinning options? It's OK to qualify it all by couching it in relativistic terms, but the tone of "the Aussies are back" is over the top. Given these limitations (lack of sufficient quality batsmen/backups I like your suggestion @Moppa on (March 9, 2014, 6:17 GMT) about horses for courses. It's the need to placate ego-weakness (also called preserving team-spirit) that may stop Invers, Boof from giving guys like dropping Doolan and Hughes for the UAE tour. Countering Ajmal anyone?

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    Seriously how does Ian Chappell get published, I havent read so much drivel in my life. A captain wins against a team with their best bowler down and 500 hundred ahead and calls it imaginative. Proteas have been winning away from home for years and yet he tries to make out that Australias away victory is something so special. I hope he doesnt get paid for this drivel, if he does I laugh at the people who paid him.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    Promising, and fearless all-rounder, James Faulkner has to be brought into the team to bat at #6. boom, job done! simples!

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | March 9, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    @ sajid7137: Only the diehard fans with blinkers on will even hint that we're unbeatable. .. Of course we're not unbeatable. We get reminded constantly that we got massacred by India and England in the very recent past, and that's undeniably true. On the other hand we're also told that it was this very same Aussie team that was rolled so badly over there. That's undeniably not true. Glenn Maxwell was in our test side last time we went to India. There's a clue right there.

  • POSTED BY NostroGustro on | March 9, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx, you dismiss NZ as an option because they got pummelled by SA. Fair enough. But then you argue that Oz is a different team to the one that got pummelled in India and England. Double standards? The current NZ team is also different to the SA tour party. If you knew your cricket you mightn't have been so dismissive.

    Regarding the article, after the second test Mr Chappell was documenting the many areas of concern. Now, they could be a powerhouse? They are a leading nation no doubt, but they have too many weaknesses to be a dominating no. 1. Mr Chappell also dismisses NZ like his fellow countrymen. Fair call, how would they know as they never play them? You are only as good as your last game...

  • POSTED BY Protears on | March 9, 2014, 8:08 GMT

    [Quote If AB De Villiers continue to score at average rate we can say Warner is the world's best batsman. I have maintained AB as the best but now I have my doubts. The world's best batsman would not let himself be tamed]

    The difference is AB like the South African team performed in conditions home and foreign. Sure Warner is on form now, what happens when he is on conditions not similar to ones he enjoys or form deserts him again? Sehwag scored a few 100's in South Africa, Australia and England but he also found out that agression is easy when you have the form but when you struggle its a lot harder. AB's rate of batting is not a concern when he is the only keeper/batsmen to ever play at 5, scored 12 consecutive games of 50 or more and has more hundreds since taking the gloves than any keeper in the game. His role was to survive and as Australia found out in PE, its harder than it seems.

    As before think the Pakistani tour is going to be a hard one.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | March 9, 2014, 7:56 GMT

    I'd like to say something about Ian Chappell. I've noticed that he tends to polarise opinion. People tend to either love or hate him. Me, I love him. He's a straight talker with a very pragmatic outlook. If it stinks, he'll trust his nose and say so. The same thing if it's sweet. .. I think he's one of our truly legendary captains and I'd say his direct style is a big part of the reason. Go Ian, keep on keeping it real.

  • POSTED BY victortrumpet on | March 9, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    If this was a Heavyweight Title fight then Aus knocked SA out and took the title. When was the last time that happened? Don't say Eng in Ind, because Ind were never champions. In fact SA took the Heavyweight Title off Eng in Eng two years before. The Title which Eng won in Aus in 09. Now lets be honest for Indian posters who are ponderous minded (99%). India were never more than lightweight contenders, and recently couldn't beat the Bantamweight Champions NZ in NZ. So the current real world rankings are this: Heavyweight Champions - Australia, Light Heavyweight Champions - SA, Cruiserweight Champions - Eng, Middleweight Champions - Pak, Welterweight Champions - SL, Bantamweight Champions - NZ, Lightweight Champions - Ind, Flyweight Champions - Windies. So if Ind want the Heavyweight Title they have to beat Aus in Aus, (no pundit will back them at 100 to 1). How about the Cruiserweight title in England? No. Middleweight title in Pak? No. Welterweight Title in SL? No. Any? No no no...

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | March 9, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    @henchart-No SA didnt beat Pak in UAE.'Avoided defeat' like in Ind.Won in Aus but only 1-0.Cr. to them though.What about SL?? @VictorTrumpet- absolutely brilliant mate !

  • POSTED BY vallavarayar on | March 9, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    Not nice to gloat Ian Chappell. But gotta admit. Australia makes for good test match viewing. They are by far the best in the business right now.

  • POSTED BY Protears on | March 9, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    I would give it until the end of 2015 to make an honest assessment of where Australia are positioned in the greater order of things. Right now they are undisputed the form team in world cricket, form doesn't last forever and one factor as shown in the South African team, no cricket has a fundamental bearing on that.

    Pakistan provides a good test for Australia on lifeless pitches, aimlessly dropping it short will yield scoreboard runs. The test will be Ajmal, how Australia mitigate him will be the test, he will get turn, but Ajmal is not a conventional off break bowler, he is somewhat a more crafty spinner, if he dominates Pakistan will win.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | March 9, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Man, is my face red. I go and say something like I did in my previous post BEFORE I read the comment from @din7. .. Apologies mate. Next time I might look before I leap. Maybe.

  • POSTED BY orangtan on | March 9, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    How is victortrumpet ( a travesty to use that great cricketer's name to base a pseudonym on) allowed to get away with posting such blatantly racist comments. It is true that India will get thrashed roundly by Australia in all conditions but why bring race into it. Should we say that Australia's superiority is due to its players being descended from men who were on the wrong side of the law and therefore tough and resilient.

  • POSTED BY __PK on | March 9, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    Hilarious comments, here. Two months ago it was 'Australia can't beat England' then 'Australia can't win on slow tracks' then 'Australia can't win away from home'. Now it's 'Australia can't win in Asia.' Well, does anyone really expect Pakistan to beat Australia in May? No. I guess then it will be 'Australia can't be me in my backyard." We're coming.

  • POSTED BY 07sanjeewakaru on | March 9, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    Watchout the New Zealanders Chappelli...now they've talent...10 decent fast bowlers'r waiting at the test door..And with very good young batsman like Williamson and Watling.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | March 9, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    @ Prasad Perera: Maybe one day teams will be allowed to play in Pakistan. Here's hoping! .. I agree with your broad argument that this team needs to prove itself in the sub-continent, that's a given, but I am yet to see a poster from any of the Asian countries say that their teams need to prove themselves in Aust/SA though. .. Apparently things only work in one direction over there.

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | March 9, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Challelli is absolutely right with CURRENT Australia squad. If all of them are able to play in the 11, that team is very very difficult to beat. The only trouble is unlike earlier dominant Australian team the bench strength is not there. Personally I would want to watch Johnson going around the world decimating batsmen with pace but he can only go on for so much. As soon as Johnson breakes down - Harris already down - the bowling attack looks totally different. That will leave the "now workhorse" Siddle as the leader of the pack!!! No disrespect to Siddle but he is no Johnson. Warner and Smith are two positives. Where do they go after Haddin hangs up the boots? For short term, lets say 6months to one year Australia is the team to beat - If Johnson hold up for that duration.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | March 9, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    I am reminded of the great era when Australia won 16 Tests in a row - both home and away, not once,but twce.And I see that we are well on the road to that achievement. I wouldn't worry too much about india. Tigers at home, lambs abroad.I don't think they deserve even the Number 3 Test Ranking.India are specialists in creating dust bowls like Mumbai 2004,and tracks that offer prodigious turn.So to win on such freakish pitches is not a yardstick.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    Australia have won series in SRL twice 3-0 in 2004 when murali took 28 wkts. 1-0 in 2011 when harris lyon & watson bowled them to victory at galle, before being denied by rain at Kandy.Last Time Pakistan beat AUstralia in Asia was the infamous test at Karachi,they beat them too at leeds though in 2010,In between a win at Sydney in dead rubber in 95, Pakistan lost 14 test matches and drawn two at Peshawar and Karachi while losing first at Pindi in that series.So Australia only has one black hole India on the resume and its unfair to pillory Australia for that, especially they are the only team that whitewashed SRL in SRL and are the only team barring Pak in 2006 to beat SRL at home twice in the past decade.

  • POSTED BY VarunAGVU on | March 9, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    Provided a certain Mr. Warner or some one alike keeps producing such magical series performances. He was the only difference. If it implies the beginning of Australian domination, it most definitely means the establishment of Warner as one the games greatest openers. If not, the article would be replaced soon. '

  • POSTED BY victortrumpet on | March 9, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    It takes no great genius to know that Australia will crush India in Australia. My prediction is they'll also crush India in India, just like England did last time around. India doesn't have a leg to stand on, they look like emotional schoolboys among men. They are currently the third team in Asia, with all true cricket afficiandos respecting Pakistan and Sri Lanka more. With 1.2 billion India should be able to field ten teams as good as Australia, but can they field one? Honestly? I think India's golden era came and went with Tendulkar, Kumble, Dravid and Singh. Even then they weren't the best. So now with a small bag of trophies and a big bag of hype, it's time to say goodbye. In 2 years time Australia will have two new spinners that will match and outclass India in watered down dust bowls. Look at history, India is simply not a sporting/fighting race. They are a race of politicians and what fine politicians they are. But on the sporting field they're children.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    Again, people still seem to be giving Australia scant respect for their performances in Asia. They`ve beaten SL in 4 out of 5 series there (lost only one test match), beaten Pakistan in last 2 series in Asia (Pak, SL and UAE) and won both test matches they`ve played against Bangladesh away. Yes, Sajid, Asia may well be 40% of world cricket, but it`s certainly not just India.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | March 9, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Spiteful Indians not taking notice that Chappell said Australia are CLOSE to being a powehouse again. The ressurection is not yet complete but the end could be in sight. Indians are refusing to acknowledge that the last two tests in SA were on slow, low, subcontinental type pitches and it was reverse swing, spin and top order batting that played the most dominant roles in those tests.

    The Indian 4-0 whitewash is a world away, that team had Henriques, Wade, Cowan, Maxwell and Doherty. Harris didn't take part, and Johnson only in one test and he wasn't in this form. Warner has improved, Smith has improved and Haddin, Rogers, Ryano have now been included, it's a totally different team. Not to mention Mickey Arthur as Coach too.

    England 3-0 had Cowan again, Khawaja, Hughes, Agar and Watson was still in the top order. Rogers and Haddin were finding their way again in test cricket after lengthy spells out and Johnson wasn't there, Lehmann had just come in. Totally different team.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 6:38 GMT

    @sajid 7137, Australia`s record in the sub-continent doesn`t read too badly. They`ve won their last away series vs Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Sure they were badly beaten by India last time, but they`ve won a few series there, and PAK in the UAE will be a stiff challenge. However I think I`m right in saying that no sub-continental team has ever won down-under. EVER.

  • POSTED BY sifter132 on | March 9, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    Ian Chappell...always banging on about the #3. Once again we have the Watson myth... Watto bowled just as many overs, and with just as good an average while he was opening under Ponting. Doesn't matter at all where he bats (as far as his bowling performance is concerned). He's never going to be finishing off the tail anyway, so it's not like he's bowling a long spell and rushing off to open. Watson should be batting at #3 because he'd just started to perform there with a couple of 100s. Selectors had been waiting for him to get the big scores and as soon as he does, they move him...very silly in my view, especially since it took him so long to adjust after moving from opener.

  • POSTED BY henchart on | March 9, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    Can Australia beat India in India or SLK in SLK and PAK in UAE ?I mean in test series.If yes,they deserve to be No.1 .SA beat AUS in AUS and Eng in Eng and PAK in UAE besides not losing to IND in IND on their way to becoming No.1 in tests.But as they say,staying at top is more difficult than reaching there.SA could realize this soon in July with no Kallis and Biff to lend experience in SLK. Who is going to win the T20 WC in Bangladesh? My money is on NZL.

  • POSTED BY crazyguru on | March 9, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    australia will win everything outside asia on current form. but they are still far away from being world beaters. compare the haddin of the ashes and the series against south africa. i think some others might have similiar results in asia. clarke and smith can play spin, maybe warner. what about others? and if you look at johnson he has always been a one season bowler. that's what happened in 09 ashes. they are good, but can improve a lot.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | March 9, 2014, 6:17 GMT

    I should add to my earlier post - my purpose is not to bash Rogers or even Doolan or Watson, just to argue that the Australian selectors should be prepared to adopt a horses-for-courses selection policy for batsmen like they do with bowlers. One of the main reasons for Australia's failure in India was selecting five batsmen with very low aptitude against spin: Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Wade and, at that time, Warner. Four of them were left-handers. Ashwin must have felt he was in a dream! If Australia is to do better in unfriendly conditions, it must be prepared to jettison players who have played well at home or in seaming conditions, and pick players with a track record of playing spin. Irrespective of results in the UAE, I'd have Rogers straight back for the Gabba and, if in form, off to England for Ashes 2015. My XI for the Pakistan series: Burns/North/S.Marsh, Warner, Clarke, Smith, Bailey, Haddin, Henriques, O'Keefe, Johnson, Harris (if fit)/Pattinson/Siddle, Lyon.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | March 9, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    India does not have enough spin talent, ashwin and jadeja are decent but they aren't hafeez, ajmal or rehman. Their batsman will be severely tested in UAE, if they can convincingly beat Pakistan in UaE then they have my vote as the cricket powerhouse. India is great in home conditions but I see more draws than wins tbh, with Pakistan there is sure to be a result

  • POSTED BY sajid7137 on | March 9, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Remember guys, in world cricket there are 4 asian countries so it is 40% of world cricket. So you need to win in Asia to even close to be considered unbeatable. I think Aussies are fast track bullies and they can not play on slow and low pitches. With India being at helm of affairs now, you need to play well in Asia to be even in any such considerations.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | March 9, 2014, 5:54 GMT

    If people posting on this article actually read the article they would see that Chappell says "Australia WON'T BECOME a real powerhouse until they unearth a dominant no. 3". In other words, they are not yet a real powerhouse, but could be! The sub-editor takes a bit of license by saying "Australia CLOSE to being a powerhouse". If unearthing a dominant no.3 was easy, I would agree. I happen to agree with many of the detailed comments, e.g. that Australia is suspect against spin and when pitches dull the pace attack. But as usual the discussion gets distracted by over-reactions to what people assume the article has said, rather than what it actually has said. I think the Pakistan in UAE tour will be a massive challenge for the Aussie team. I would pick some spin specialists for the batting. Arguably Rogers, Doolan and Watson could be dropped for better players of spin - how about: Burns, Warner, Clarke, Smith, Bailey, Haddin, Henriques?

  • POSTED BY EdwinD on | March 9, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Not sure I agree with this article - Australia have a lot of players coming to the end of their careers - Johnson, Watson, Clarke, Harris are all in their early 30's. Would be interesting to review after two years...

  • POSTED BY Get_Over_Yourselves on | March 9, 2014, 5:43 GMT

    As muzika_tchaikovskogo rightly pointed out, Aus needs to win consistently overseas, particularly on slower wickets, before they are anointed as a powerhouse.

    Having said that, @Attacking and @Prasad Perera: check out the statistics before you post your generalisations. As in: how has Aus performed away against other Asian countries, not only India? Turns out the records are pretty imposing, especially since 2000. Perhaps check your facts first? And @Attacking, perhaps the Aus team should not be the one referred to as a one trick pony. Aus have at least beaten Ind in Ind. How often have Ind won a test series on the bouncier pitches of Aus or SA? NEVER.

  • POSTED BY din7 on | March 9, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    seems my indian collegues are quite envy of this article....aus did lose here 4-0 and eng 3-0 but also they were at their building stage and to the top of it mickey arthur as coach and who can forget homework saga...thankfully aus took remedial measures and appointed lehman as coach..all those sayin bouncy tracks....last 2 tests were played on subcontinental like conditions slow, flat tracks they werent bouncy ones..i dont think that our own side is strong enough to beat this aus side 4-0 at home...no chance..we shld forget whitewashin them at home as we arent good enough...we need to talk more abt our own side who cant even win a single game agisnt no8 ranked side leave alone series...good to see even with limited players aus side winnin it...courtesy their never die attitude which doesnt exist in any other side in the world..either win or lose it...dont draw it...after their loses in ind and eng..evry1 was shoutin aussies would go WI way...but their attitude wont allow it!

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | March 9, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    When 2 legends of game-past captains-give an opinion on resp. teams,all us ord. folks-fans-can shut up, listen!That's the best we're supp. to do.Our opinions do matter but not as much as theirs.Rightly so.So Chappel called Aus 'powerhouse'.Gavaskar too..

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | March 9, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 , absolutely - the contribution of Aus to the game is way too immense for anyone to discount us. It's not just about money. It's about what you contribute in return to the game and I would say Aus is years ahead in terms of giving back to the game !!

    @Attacking, if saying that Aus is a poor one gets you some sleep, well, happy for you. Please go ahead. If you are from india, then you must be in living in a glass house.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | March 9, 2014, 5:23 GMT

    @Prasad Perera:- Don't think anyone's going to be touring Pakistan for a test series any time soon. If you meant the UAE, well we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

  • POSTED BY srikanths on | March 9, 2014, 5:21 GMT

    He has said that they are close to being a powerhouse but not quite there. He clearly mentions a No 3 could come in the way, apart from that they also should have replacements for Harris immediately ( he is an excellent bowler but a bad knee and age could come in the way ) and Johnson a year down the line , he is 32 which is considered to be closer to the end of career, of course one should concede that he is very fit, strong and excellent stamina and has become lethal of late with pace and control. Pattinson can be good but just does not inspire confidence in terms of ability to go on for long with that huge and heavy upper body

  • POSTED BY gibbons on | March 9, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    I must say I'm getting sick to death of reading commenters on just about every article trying to discount the achievements of any side they don't get for. Australia's don't count because they lost to India. South Africa lost to Australia. England lost to Australia. India lost to every man and his dog away from the subcontinent. OK, fine - there are no good sides in cricket, and we should just start the rankings at 5.

    Somehow I think they these commenters still wouldn't be happy. Can we not just acknowledge when sides are playing well? All Chappell has said is that they're close to a great side, not of all time, but right now. Are the grapes really so sour that we can't just say the last 6 months have been good to Australia?

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | March 9, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    I'll keep my powder dry on this one. We're looking pretty good atm but there's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. Anything could happen, players who seem promising may prove not up to it, and players seemingly lacking may prove that they are. Who would have thought ten years ago that Ryan Harris would become such a valuable asset? We're looking a whole lot better than we were a year ago and that's enough for me, the most striking aspect of that revival being the rediscovery of that elusive thing we might call team spirit. The last time we had sunk so low we had the turmoil in the aftermath of Packer cricket, not to mention the Windies and a very strong England side to account at least in part for the situation. This time one might perhaps point to the retirement of key players, similar to that of Lillee, Marsh and Greg Chappell a generation earlier, as being contributory factors, but it was the lack of grit and fight that worried me. If we can keep that going anything is possible.

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    well it would be really found out if Aussies are a real powerhouse or not when they tour Pakistan for a test series. These talented batsmen become just club cricketers against the turning ball in slow pitches.They play most of their cricket in fast bouncy pitches and no argument they do good in similar conditions. Articles like this just up a wrong reputation!

  • POSTED BY muzika_tchaikovskogo on | March 9, 2014, 4:40 GMT

    For once I think Ian Chappel is jumping the gun. Australia's recent dominance has been in familiar conditions, where they have been a formidable force since several years now. It remains to be seen how they fare in unfamiliar conditions before they can advance any claims to being a powerhouse

  • POSTED BY on | March 9, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    Starvybz - so the guy that just scored the most runs EVER in a 3 match series in SA, 2nd most EVER by an Australian in a 3 match series (behind Hayden) AND took Dale Steyn for over 100 runs at better than a run a ball.... is an 'ordinary batsman'?

    And James Pattinson is also 'ordinary' too apparently? Pretty extraordinary if you ask me, given the amount of genuine test-ready fast bowlers he has been picked ahead of.

    My favorite part is about Harris though. Mate, if he continues to average in the low 20's with the ball on one knee, imagine what he's capable of when fully fit? Johnson is scary and deadly. Harris is the complete bowler though. He is an absolute machine.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | March 9, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    cont.. Stats wise by far most succesful team in hist. in all forms-best w/l ratio.Also Aus have given game most sought after coaches,excellence centres,sport science/med. research centres,physios, training/rehab techs. sought world over.A p/house?Def.!!

  • POSTED BY MaruthuDelft on | March 9, 2014, 4:17 GMT

    If AB De Villiers continue to score at average rate we can say Warner is the world's best batsman. I have maintained AB as the best but now I have my doubts. The world's best batsman would not let himself be tamed. The Australian batting in SA puts into context Indias Kohli and Pujara. Besides Clarke, Rogers, Warner, Marsh, Smith all scored centuries in SA. Therefore Indian fans can't claim Kohli and Pujara Have done something exceptional. Of course compared to Indians they are good but even average players coming from SA and Aus can match them. Also Kohli is yet to prove in ODI'd in SA and Australia against them.

  • POSTED BY Attacking on | March 9, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    Australia lost 4-0 in India, 3-0 in England and now these guys are a powerhouse? lol

    Australia is only good in bouncy wickets like Australia and South Africa. These 2 countries have very similar pitches and they can do well on those conditions.

    But Australia are useless in conditions that spin and swing. They can only perform on bouncy pitches.

    Just another one trick pony.

    Australian cricket team is overhyped and overrated.

  • POSTED BY ankilien on | March 9, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Australia has traditionally been good on fast and bouncy pitches as in SA and Australia, their test starts when they tour India, Sri Lanka & Pakistan/UAE. They were recently blanked in India with the same team. Lets not jump ahead.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | March 9, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Well its something new for me-that Aus arf only 'close'.Lets analyse-A nation that has given its greatest batsman,argu. greatest spinner and of course 1 of its most dominant teams in hist. only matched poss. by great WI side.1 WC 4 times-no 1 comes close.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 9, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    I'm not sure whether the Aussies can remain powerhouses in the long term. In terms of the fast bowling stocks, the future looks very rosy with Cummings, Pattinson, Faulkner, Bird etc coming through the ranks once Johnson and Harris drop off in form or decide to call it a day. It is the batting that worries me despite the fact that they had a good series against South Africa. I can't see Haddin or Rogers staying around for too long given their age and especially if their form drops off. Watson as a test batsmen still doesn't convince me but maybe his new role at no. 6 might give him licence to play like he does in onedayers. And probably the biggest issue for me is the no.3 spot that Ian has rightly pointed out, which has been an ongoing concern for years. Marsh is more talented than Doolan but I just feel mentally he isn't up to scratch when things aren't going for him. As for Doolan, he needs to be rotating the strike more when he is being tied down, otherwise the bowlers can dominate

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | March 9, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    Well its something new for me-that Aus arf only 'close'.Lets analyse-A nation that has given its greatest batsman,argu. greatest spinner and of course 1 of its most dominant teams in hist. only matched poss. by great WI side.1 WC 4 times-no 1 comes close.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | March 9, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    Powerhouse or not, i'd take the team that beat England 5-0 and the best side in the world in their own backyard 2-1. No other team can do that in the world at the moment, full stop. Ilovetests, NZ got pummeled in SA so i won't even mention them, India don't have the bowlers, England are lacking confidence but if they get it back then they are up there, but no one else comes close to the form that AUS are now bar SA who have just been soundly beaten.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Francis on | March 9, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Not paying much attention are you Starvybz. Chappell mentioned 3 other quick. And there is another 6, or so playing Shield who can step in. Certainly Johnson makes a big difference but Australia has plenty of depth there.

    As for powerhouse, we just beat the best team in the world 2 - 1.

    The form Mitchell is in is 'reality'. You are being unrealistic to suggest a different scenario that doesn't exist.

    We do have weaknesses of course. The sooner these players with great techniques but inability to play tests such as Marsh & Doolan are jettisoned the better. I'd rather have a guy with a doubtful technique who scores runs all the time such as Hughes.

    Several players are 36 and can't last forever.

    And Lyon is doing a fine job but we need a real spinner to come along soon. I saw Muirhead play the Poms and he looked good but is very young. Agar hasn't improved and O'Keefe doesn't impress the selectors.

    But as long as we have so many quicks we will be competitive and win most games.

  • POSTED BY JoshFromJamRock on | March 9, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    Great Article. As a few might point out, a little more credit should be given to Lehmann who has preached aggression and allowed everyone to play their own game. If we look in the past, all great teams have won by being aggressive with both bat and ball. Not only does it most times provide results but it also provides entertainment for the crowd. Scoring at under 3 RPO isn't gonna win you many matches unless you have perfect weather, a helpful pitch, a significantly weaker opposition, and a world class a bowling attack. England and South Africa don't have the strike rate (aggression) to force results. India don't have the bowlers or the pitches needed. Sri Lanka doesn't have the weather. Pakistan the batsmen. Bangladesh doesn't have the bowlers. Zimbabwe does't have the players. And West Indies doesn't have anything. Only New Zealand, with BMac, Taylor, Williamson and the bowlers have a real chance to surge forward. They just don't play enough and the weather is unpredictable at times.

  • POSTED BY ilovetests on | March 9, 2014, 3:35 GMT

    Chappel, you wrote: "Unfortunately for McCullum, New Zealand aren't blessed with the talent of Australia."

    NZ have far worse openers than Australia, but a much better middle order, a better keeper, marginally worse new ball bowlers (who are more consistent and less-injury prone mind you), worse spinners and much better allrounders. Adam Milne can't even get in the team and he is perhaps the fastest bowler in the world at the moment. If Jesse Ryder can sort himself out and Tom Latham estlablish himself as an opening batsman (and a big if - if one of the promsing leggies kicks on), I think the younger NZ team (most players are 25 and under) might surprise the evil green and gold empire.

  • POSTED BY Starvybz on | March 9, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    so one bowler is in form and suddenly they are a powerhouse lets all be realistic take mitchell out of his current form and u have a bowler who is very ordinary,supported by another who works on one knee and a spinner who really doesnt turn the ball and some very ordinary batsmen barring michael clarke and steve smith.There u have it thats some powerhouse.

  • POSTED BY Starvybz on | March 9, 2014, 3:09 GMT

    so one bowler is in form and suddenly they are a powerhouse lets all be realistic take mitchell out of his current form and u have a bowler who is very ordinary,supported by another who works on one knee and a spinner who really doesnt turn the ball and some very ordinary batsmen barring michael clarke and steve smith.There u have it thats some powerhouse.

  • POSTED BY ilovetests on | March 9, 2014, 3:35 GMT

    Chappel, you wrote: "Unfortunately for McCullum, New Zealand aren't blessed with the talent of Australia."

    NZ have far worse openers than Australia, but a much better middle order, a better keeper, marginally worse new ball bowlers (who are more consistent and less-injury prone mind you), worse spinners and much better allrounders. Adam Milne can't even get in the team and he is perhaps the fastest bowler in the world at the moment. If Jesse Ryder can sort himself out and Tom Latham estlablish himself as an opening batsman (and a big if - if one of the promsing leggies kicks on), I think the younger NZ team (most players are 25 and under) might surprise the evil green and gold empire.

  • POSTED BY JoshFromJamRock on | March 9, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    Great Article. As a few might point out, a little more credit should be given to Lehmann who has preached aggression and allowed everyone to play their own game. If we look in the past, all great teams have won by being aggressive with both bat and ball. Not only does it most times provide results but it also provides entertainment for the crowd. Scoring at under 3 RPO isn't gonna win you many matches unless you have perfect weather, a helpful pitch, a significantly weaker opposition, and a world class a bowling attack. England and South Africa don't have the strike rate (aggression) to force results. India don't have the bowlers or the pitches needed. Sri Lanka doesn't have the weather. Pakistan the batsmen. Bangladesh doesn't have the bowlers. Zimbabwe does't have the players. And West Indies doesn't have anything. Only New Zealand, with BMac, Taylor, Williamson and the bowlers have a real chance to surge forward. They just don't play enough and the weather is unpredictable at times.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Francis on | March 9, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Not paying much attention are you Starvybz. Chappell mentioned 3 other quick. And there is another 6, or so playing Shield who can step in. Certainly Johnson makes a big difference but Australia has plenty of depth there.

    As for powerhouse, we just beat the best team in the world 2 - 1.

    The form Mitchell is in is 'reality'. You are being unrealistic to suggest a different scenario that doesn't exist.

    We do have weaknesses of course. The sooner these players with great techniques but inability to play tests such as Marsh & Doolan are jettisoned the better. I'd rather have a guy with a doubtful technique who scores runs all the time such as Hughes.

    Several players are 36 and can't last forever.

    And Lyon is doing a fine job but we need a real spinner to come along soon. I saw Muirhead play the Poms and he looked good but is very young. Agar hasn't improved and O'Keefe doesn't impress the selectors.

    But as long as we have so many quicks we will be competitive and win most games.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | March 9, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    Powerhouse or not, i'd take the team that beat England 5-0 and the best side in the world in their own backyard 2-1. No other team can do that in the world at the moment, full stop. Ilovetests, NZ got pummeled in SA so i won't even mention them, India don't have the bowlers, England are lacking confidence but if they get it back then they are up there, but no one else comes close to the form that AUS are now bar SA who have just been soundly beaten.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | March 9, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    Well its something new for me-that Aus arf only 'close'.Lets analyse-A nation that has given its greatest batsman,argu. greatest spinner and of course 1 of its most dominant teams in hist. only matched poss. by great WI side.1 WC 4 times-no 1 comes close.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | March 9, 2014, 4:03 GMT

    I'm not sure whether the Aussies can remain powerhouses in the long term. In terms of the fast bowling stocks, the future looks very rosy with Cummings, Pattinson, Faulkner, Bird etc coming through the ranks once Johnson and Harris drop off in form or decide to call it a day. It is the batting that worries me despite the fact that they had a good series against South Africa. I can't see Haddin or Rogers staying around for too long given their age and especially if their form drops off. Watson as a test batsmen still doesn't convince me but maybe his new role at no. 6 might give him licence to play like he does in onedayers. And probably the biggest issue for me is the no.3 spot that Ian has rightly pointed out, which has been an ongoing concern for years. Marsh is more talented than Doolan but I just feel mentally he isn't up to scratch when things aren't going for him. As for Doolan, he needs to be rotating the strike more when he is being tied down, otherwise the bowlers can dominate

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | March 9, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Well its something new for me-that Aus arf only 'close'.Lets analyse-A nation that has given its greatest batsman,argu. greatest spinner and of course 1 of its most dominant teams in hist. only matched poss. by great WI side.1 WC 4 times-no 1 comes close.

  • POSTED BY ankilien on | March 9, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Australia has traditionally been good on fast and bouncy pitches as in SA and Australia, their test starts when they tour India, Sri Lanka & Pakistan/UAE. They were recently blanked in India with the same team. Lets not jump ahead.

  • POSTED BY Attacking on | March 9, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    Australia lost 4-0 in India, 3-0 in England and now these guys are a powerhouse? lol

    Australia is only good in bouncy wickets like Australia and South Africa. These 2 countries have very similar pitches and they can do well on those conditions.

    But Australia are useless in conditions that spin and swing. They can only perform on bouncy pitches.

    Just another one trick pony.

    Australian cricket team is overhyped and overrated.