Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 2nd day December 5, 2010

Australia have no attack leader - Chappell


Ian Chappell believes Australia's selectors may be forced to skip a generation in a bid to identify a new attack leader, after the three seamers chosen for the second Test at Adelaide - Doug Bollinger, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle - suffered one of Australia's most demoralising days in the field in recent Ashes history.

On a blisteringly hot day, with temperatures exceeding 37 degrees, England's batsmen cruised to 2 for 317, a lead of 72, with Alastair Cook racking up his second consecutive hundred in a tally of 371 runs since his last dismissal on the opening day of the series. Though Australia had their chances early on, most notably when Jonathan Trott survived a run-out chance and a catch in the gully in quick succession, England cashed in with alacrity as soon as the new ball threat had been negated.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Chappell nominated the 19-year-old Josh Hazlewood, who is currently sidelined with a stress fracture, as the type of player in whom they will have to invest, much as was the case during their last period of rebuilding in the 1980s, when Craig McDermott was also blooded as a teenager. "The fast bowlers I see are handy back-up guys, but not attack leaders, not even into the future," he said. "Australia has got to be looking outside this group and into the next group.

"One of the problems for Australia, if you're a batting side, you say to yourself they've got efficient fast bowlers, but they don't have an attack leader," he added. "Mitchell Johnson was for a little while, and that's why he was such a big loss to the team, even if he was an inconsistent bowling leader.

"Before him there was Brett Lee, before him obviously Glenn McGrath, and before him Craig McDermott and Merv Hughes. These are the fellows you look to on a day like [yesterday], if they get a wicket it helps the rest of the attack. Instead England looked to the scoreboard and thought, let's get on top of them, let's grind them down, because they haven't got that guy who can come back and break open the innings."

Despite his criticism, Chappell said he admired the efforts that the current attack had put in, but felt they were badly let down by their fielders and afterwards lacked the skills to get back on level terms. "Australia had to get early wickets and keep England in bounds," he said. "They got as big a gift as Australia gave on the first day, when Andrew Strauss made a monumental blunder. But they needed to go on from there.

"One of the reasons why Bollinger and Harris were brought in was not just their bowling ability, but they are the type of guys who give you all you've got," he said. "When it's such a hot day, and Saturday was the worst type of hot day, with that hot northerly wind, it's terrible. You've got to know in the back of your mind on such a day, you can't afford to miss opportunities."

One man who didn't offer a single opportunity throughout his day's work, however, was Cook, who finished the day on 136 not out, having compiled an innings that Chappell believed epitomised England's single-minded attitude to their Ashes campaign.

"I'm staggered at his endurance ability," he said. "Forget the batting, just look at the endurance he showed to back up such a long stint at the crease at Brisbane and repeat the dose here at Adelaide. England have talked a lot in the lead-up about how they were determined to make this a special series, but it's one thing to talk about it, you've actually got to do, and England are doing it."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    CHAPPEL fails to understand that players are artists (not office workers) for whom quality of art 1st, appreciation 2nd and money least motivating force. Professionalism is near antonym of artistry….. Remember office workers are mere average people but to compete at world stage u need gifted artists who r performing at their brilliant best like SEHWAG HAYDEN, PONTING, TENDULKAR, LARA …not mere avg people……

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    CHAPPELL on the other hand was handed jewels and he has muddled them - He did this to TENDULKAR and now with AUSIES…..Chappell always brings in the book of batting & bowling. SEHWAG & GALYE, LARA have burnt the book and proved it a piece of rubbish obsolete one. In Bowling Waqar and Wasim did the same to bowling book (Dravid follows book & has hardly won INDIA any matches). Now this office worker Chapell should himself feel it and resign before he is called in for a sealed room meeting. But since salary is motivation for office workers, I don't see him resigning on his own accord - he will be fired.

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2010, 20:44 GMT

    I think atleast 5 changes are to be made in this Australian team to be any competitive for the remaining of the Ashes series. Watson(Captain), Huges, Ponting(Only as a player), Mike Hussey, David Hussey, White, Haddin, Smith, Hauritz, Harris and Siddle.

    Send North somewhere to the North and tell him to work on his footwork. Send Clarke for some patience and leadership development classes. Send Johnson for regaining his FOCUS. Doherty is too inexperienced at this level and not someone to bank upon for the future.

    Next to retire: Ponting is losing the plot. He cant think of a winning team by him not performing high class. Clarke is no LEADER. Australia is wasting time on him to RIPE.

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Aussies need some major changes in their line up for 3rd Test as they have too many out of form players like Ponting, Clarke and North. here is my team for 3rd Test: 1) S Katich 2) Ph Hughes 3) R Ponting 4) Mike Hussey 5) Cameron White 6) Shane Watson 7) Brad Haddin 8) St Smith 9) M Johnson 10) P Siddle 11) S Clark Keeping in mind that English bowlers always struggle against left hand opening pair and their batting always collapse against Leg spin bowling. Also this team can bat till no. 9 !!!

  • david on December 5, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    does not seem all that time ago when chappel said aussies should only play england in oz for 3 tests per ashes series. he forgot that the supports england bring. and that australians wanted a better contested ashes series as did their supporters. well u have got it and u dont seem to like it. reminds me off a british comedy ( they dont like it up them mr mannering. dpk

  • aaditya on December 5, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    i wud agree with chappel!when u look at the line-up and ask the question-"who will lead the pack with others being backups?"there's no one!!sometimes u only hav 1 leader and the rest r poor back-ups but here aus hav only support bowlers!!they need a 'big brother' who will fire the first shot!!if u take a look at other teams,eng for example,has anderson as the leader,with broad & finn supporting him.also swann,who is as aggressive as anderson..eng shud do well bcoz they hav a settled line up with evry bowler knowing his job.with india zaheer is the leader and hopefully ishant & sreeshant back him up well in SA.and if bhajji finds form ,this group is more than handy!!SA as well..its no surprise that why these teams are doing so well!!pak had some gr8 bowlers but now their future is in doubt..WI bowlers r in and out..same case with NZ and to an extent SL when malinga isnt i think that if u hav 1-2 top bowlers with rest supporting,the team is alwayz going to be tough to beat!

  • Inam on December 5, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    Australia had a good run now it is time for other champion, it is good to see Aussies struggle though, Westindies were on top of their game for a long period of time and it was few key people combined that kept the team going, in last few years the core of aussies team is retired, now they have to pluck every open position, they had key players who always perform at key moment, the combined tally of wickets of Warne, Mcgrath, Lee and some very aggressive batting of Slater, Waugh Hayden was key to test match success, some of those players are very good catchers in slip too which is problem with this team too. Warne, Waughs and Mark Taylor were excellent slip catchers. There are many holes in this team it will take a while to get back on top, Westindies could not find the same level of talent till now (they have some other problems also). Let wait and see what happens now.

  • Ned on December 5, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    true but at least we aren't in full fall like the windies.something that bothers me till this very day..This is not the early eighties , now those were tough times , just ask Alan Border.

  • P on December 5, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    Shane Bond, Bret Lee and S. Aktar were the last breed of fast bowlers in test cricket. All of today's fast bowlers are enhanced fast medium pacers, who rarely bowl over 90mph mark in tests. I doubt anyone would want to bowl fast in tests because there is money to be made else where. People who can bowl 6 consecutive deliveries over 145 kmph reserve their talent to lucrative T20 cricket. If these bowlers play tests then they bowl at a lesser speed to avoid injuries. Over a career, a bowler wants to maximize his earning and bowling slow in tests to minimize injuries is a rational move by a bowler.

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    Flower has made a big difference to this English side also having some good south african talent does not hurt....

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