Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 3rd day December 5, 2010

Australia feeling hurt - Watson

37

Often the Australian cricket team seems removed from the thought patterns of the rest of the country, but over the past week the players have been asking the same question as everyone else. Why aren't they taking wickets?

In England's past two innings they have scored 1068 runs for the loss of only five batsmen, and they still aren't finished after being 4 for 551 when rain arrived at tea. "That's something we've been talking about the last week, really," Shane Watson said. "What are the reasons why we haven't been able to get as many wickets as we would have liked?"

He blames fine England batting and Australian bowling that has been unable to build and then sustain pressure. The same problems were highlighted and discussed after the draw at the Gabba, but there have been no answers provided despite a re-worked attack that includes Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris.

"You can't take anything away from the English, they have batted very well, Alastair Cook especially through these last two Tests," Watson said. "His concentration is something we have to do as batters, and stay out there for long periods of time. The wickets have been fairly flat, but that's no excuse as well. We're skilled enough to make the most of what's out there."

Cook was dismissed early in the day when he was caught behind off Harris, but then it was Kevin Pietersen's turn to burn off a long period of frustration during a masterful 213 not out. Once again, Pietersen and his team-mates were allowed to wait for the full ball on their legs or the short one outside off. Throughout this innings they have scored at almost four an over with only pockets of danger from the hosts.

"It is unfortunate and it's very disappointing we're where we are," Watson said. "But there's a couple of days for us to do everything we possibly can to draw the game." That task first depends on an England declaration, and the response will then start with the opener Simon Katich under a fitness cloud.

Katich hurt his heel and didn't field late in the day, but he is determined to make some impact on this match after being run-out without facing a ball in the first over on Friday. "It's going to be interesting to see our running between wickets after the first innings," Watson said. "If I call it might make things a little bit easier. He'll be sweet. He'll be out there fighting his heart out."

England's position has become so strong - even though the series score-line is still 0-0 - that the Australians are admitting to the pain of being so unthreatening. "It hurts," Watson said. "It hurts in general whether it's in our own conditions or anywhere else around the world. We have so far been outplayed in these three days, that's the reason why it does hurt, because what we've been doing hasn't been good enough."

Despite the state of the match - England have a lead of 306 - Watson still believes. "I never doubt our ability and our talent," he said. "It's more so what we can produce on the day and the last three days haven't been good and they have been better than us, no doubt.

"The only way we can turn that around, in this game anyway, is to bat as long as we possibly can." The rain may encourage Australia again, with showers forecast over the rest of the contest, but in their current state, even that might not be enough.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 7, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    credit to england played some good cricket espeacially with the bat,aussie down but not out,i am expecting to watch some good episodes from the aussie team in their home soil.

  • gany1 on December 6, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Currntly looking upto the squad of aussie..there is no bowler who can dominate the english such as mcgrath or warne...Last week as said by jef thompson....this is worst bowling attack since 30 yrs...Nothing can ponting can do..as he himself is out of form....

  • Sageleaf on December 6, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Well, Shane Watson should not blame anyone. When Sri Lanka toured Australia the Aussies were too complacent and lost the series. Sri Lanka has improved a lot since lately and if given opportunity to play longer test series they will perform much better. But what did Ricky Ponting do, took a break of the last game and played Sheffield shield match. Now 4 test innings are gone, where is Ricky Ponting? I know he is a great batsman but looks like the Aussies are going to lose the ashes badly this time. I think England has a great cricketing side right now. The last two test innings Englishmen took the Aussies bowlers to task by scoring heavily. Mind you they are playing in Australia. Australian team is missing something…may be confidence? They also don't gel well.

  • on December 6, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Its overconfidence thats killing Aussie cric. It seems they lost the plot to prepare next gen players - like it was done in past. Esp - when Waugh was captain - lot of new guys were mixed in the team and given chance to groom well. Recently - we have hardly seen any quality player being moulded properly. And here are the results. Just see - almost all AUS bowlers got chances recently and - they never tried to keep 1 or 2 as main weapons!!!

  • gzawilliam on December 6, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    Is it possible to just call up Stuart Clark for this ashes series? He is the only bowler in Australia who seems to bowl the ball in the same place for a whole over.

    We need a Mcgrath badly. Not a pacey swinging hero bowler like we are picking. A steady line and lengther. Siddle should be doing it but just doesn't.

    Clark you seem to be the only one capable. Come back!

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Sorry to disagree with you Gopal but New Zealand has the worst bowling attack in tests by a country mile!!!

  • anver777 on December 6, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Top order batsmen's prolific form continues for ENG in the Ashes and dominating the series so far......but Aus will come back hard !!!!!!!!

  • pie314 on December 6, 2010, 3:16 GMT

    i think the problem with current captains in the world is because they are batsmen. Captains are only important when in the team is in the field. Ponting and strauss both think like batsmen and hence cannot set proper attacking fields for bowlers. ponting is only captain because of warne's off-field transgressions, he is a great player but not a great thinker. We have seen great bowling captains in the form of kumble and imran khan as well as a pseudo-captain in warne (who should have been one), as they have a bowling mindset - get the batsmen out, and the intelligence to devise plans to get them out. They also understood what their bowlers want in the field by being bowlers themselves and can set fields accordingly. I think maybe teams would have more success if they employ bowlers as captains instead of employing batsmen.

  • pie314 on December 6, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    the concept of selecting a young bowling attack is flawed. there needs to be a leader who is experienced who knows how to deal with bleak periods, which generally comes with age. aus best attack at the moment would be s. clark as the leader of the attack and mr reliable, bollinger for x-factor and mongrel, harris/hilfy for some swing which is vital to any attack, siddle to do the donkey work and okeefe should be blooded and persisted with as a spinner. Given aus main issue is not taking 20 wickets, 5 bowlers may be needed. As for the batting lineup, north needs to go asap, doesnt matter if he scores a double century in the 2nd innings. Clarke is a classy player and will come good, but maybe a layoff is required to get him fit.

  • on December 6, 2010, 0:45 GMT

    Australia has no answer in their own grounds they are no where against England team. The teamwork for Australia is very very poor..........................one time great team is crumbling. Ponting again one more failure as captain.needs lots of improvement

  • on December 7, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    credit to england played some good cricket espeacially with the bat,aussie down but not out,i am expecting to watch some good episodes from the aussie team in their home soil.

  • gany1 on December 6, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Currntly looking upto the squad of aussie..there is no bowler who can dominate the english such as mcgrath or warne...Last week as said by jef thompson....this is worst bowling attack since 30 yrs...Nothing can ponting can do..as he himself is out of form....

  • Sageleaf on December 6, 2010, 5:44 GMT

    Well, Shane Watson should not blame anyone. When Sri Lanka toured Australia the Aussies were too complacent and lost the series. Sri Lanka has improved a lot since lately and if given opportunity to play longer test series they will perform much better. But what did Ricky Ponting do, took a break of the last game and played Sheffield shield match. Now 4 test innings are gone, where is Ricky Ponting? I know he is a great batsman but looks like the Aussies are going to lose the ashes badly this time. I think England has a great cricketing side right now. The last two test innings Englishmen took the Aussies bowlers to task by scoring heavily. Mind you they are playing in Australia. Australian team is missing something…may be confidence? They also don't gel well.

  • on December 6, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Its overconfidence thats killing Aussie cric. It seems they lost the plot to prepare next gen players - like it was done in past. Esp - when Waugh was captain - lot of new guys were mixed in the team and given chance to groom well. Recently - we have hardly seen any quality player being moulded properly. And here are the results. Just see - almost all AUS bowlers got chances recently and - they never tried to keep 1 or 2 as main weapons!!!

  • gzawilliam on December 6, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    Is it possible to just call up Stuart Clark for this ashes series? He is the only bowler in Australia who seems to bowl the ball in the same place for a whole over.

    We need a Mcgrath badly. Not a pacey swinging hero bowler like we are picking. A steady line and lengther. Siddle should be doing it but just doesn't.

    Clark you seem to be the only one capable. Come back!

  • on December 6, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    Sorry to disagree with you Gopal but New Zealand has the worst bowling attack in tests by a country mile!!!

  • anver777 on December 6, 2010, 4:49 GMT

    Top order batsmen's prolific form continues for ENG in the Ashes and dominating the series so far......but Aus will come back hard !!!!!!!!

  • pie314 on December 6, 2010, 3:16 GMT

    i think the problem with current captains in the world is because they are batsmen. Captains are only important when in the team is in the field. Ponting and strauss both think like batsmen and hence cannot set proper attacking fields for bowlers. ponting is only captain because of warne's off-field transgressions, he is a great player but not a great thinker. We have seen great bowling captains in the form of kumble and imran khan as well as a pseudo-captain in warne (who should have been one), as they have a bowling mindset - get the batsmen out, and the intelligence to devise plans to get them out. They also understood what their bowlers want in the field by being bowlers themselves and can set fields accordingly. I think maybe teams would have more success if they employ bowlers as captains instead of employing batsmen.

  • pie314 on December 6, 2010, 3:08 GMT

    the concept of selecting a young bowling attack is flawed. there needs to be a leader who is experienced who knows how to deal with bleak periods, which generally comes with age. aus best attack at the moment would be s. clark as the leader of the attack and mr reliable, bollinger for x-factor and mongrel, harris/hilfy for some swing which is vital to any attack, siddle to do the donkey work and okeefe should be blooded and persisted with as a spinner. Given aus main issue is not taking 20 wickets, 5 bowlers may be needed. As for the batting lineup, north needs to go asap, doesnt matter if he scores a double century in the 2nd innings. Clarke is a classy player and will come good, but maybe a layoff is required to get him fit.

  • on December 6, 2010, 0:45 GMT

    Australia has no answer in their own grounds they are no where against England team. The teamwork for Australia is very very poor..........................one time great team is crumbling. Ponting again one more failure as captain.needs lots of improvement

  • saintilayan on December 5, 2010, 21:53 GMT

    d days f aussies being invincibles 1nce will neva b heard in d tyme 2 come...bcoz d way dey r playing right nw,i m pretty much confident evn an aussie supporter wud feel ashamed f bein cald an aussie...watson iz quite right wen he says it hurts...earlier things had been so smooth 4 dem dat d oder team used 2 surrender meekly b4 dem...no longer nw..give zimbabwe d test status...i wont overerstimate zimbabweians but dey wud manage a respectable DRAW...!!!!

  • 5wombats on December 5, 2010, 21:07 GMT

    @landl47 - good accurate commentary from you, especially regarding the performance of Aus bowlers in England against Pak recently. Yes indeed - this is the reason why no-one could have any confidence in the Australian bowling attack; even with friendly English atmospheric conditions and pitches Aus could not consistently put terrible weak Pak batting away. So comments and bluff from other Aus contributors here in the Conversations about the qualities of the Aus bowlers were known by us English observers to be nonsense - and not backed by the facts. Watsons comments lift the lid and show that Aus team probably knew their bowling was weak, but that their hope was in England finding Aus conditions difficult and in Johnson finding his range. Neither hope has come true. So now Australia are in for a pasting and have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

  • on December 5, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    bliss, bliss it's total bliss. Worth staying up every night. I can only thank Mr Watson, Mr Haddin and all those other lovely boys for giving me so much pleasure. ENGLAND!

  • on December 5, 2010, 19:57 GMT

    Easily the worst bowling line up in the world, I hope no one disputes that!! :-)

  • on December 5, 2010, 19:34 GMT

    One can understand, how Watson may be feeling after being outplayed. This are the feelings of each and every player of Australian team. This could be the worst of Ashes that they contested so far. On the other English team is playing to its full potential with high morale. Cook, Strauss, Trot, Peiterson are really on boom now.

  • on December 5, 2010, 19:03 GMT

    Playing for the rain will be most disastrous. If aussies want to draw then they must play as if they want to win. Play normal cricket but to full potential of each batsman. Katich can hold one end up - like Cook - and let the others especially Watson and Ponting to go look out for runs. Hussey and Haddin are due for a failure by the law of averages but the question is do the aussie batsmen believe they can hold back Anderson who may have a cloud cover to let him swing the ball and then Swann take over in dry and sunny weather on day 5 if it goes on that long.

  • landl47 on December 5, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    Watson has to say what he did, but the truth is that the last time I saw an Australian side this undermanned was in 1978/9, when all their first choice players were in World Series Cricket. England, only 6 players short, won the series 5-1. This time all the top players are available, so the situation is far worse. You could see it coming in England earlier this year, when Johnson and Bollinger couldn't take wickets against the weakest batting line-up Pakistan has ever had (England bowled them out 3 times for under 100). Doherty was put in as an experiment, with no first-class credentials to justify his selection, and hasn't shown anything to indicate he is test class. Siddle's an honest trier, but even with his 6-wicket haul at the Gabba, he's averaging over 40 and he's the best of the Aussie bowlers by a long way. Hussey has bailed out the Aussie batting, with Haddin's help, but Hussey could have gone early in both games. Besides, Hussey's 35. Watson's right, it hurts.

  • addiemanav on December 5, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    the way cook is going, i am sure he is going to win "masterchef australia"!!almost 450 runs in 3inngs..with 7 to go..is bradmans record of highest series aggregate in danger..i think the record is 974runs..if cook gets a 1000,that wud be smthing!!he was in bad form before the series i believe!!

  • on December 5, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    I still believe that Austrailia can play last two days with the help of thier determination (and Rain!)

  • suresh_sksj on December 5, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    looks like Ausies are again going to escape a loss, everytime they are in a losing position the rain gods help them out....remember Chennai few yrs ago...they were on the brink of sure defeat...and sudden showers(unusual for that part of year in Chennai) for half day turned Ausies perfect defeat to a draw....and now...Adelaid weather forcast for the next 2 days are not that great....T.Showers / Showers.....by weather channel

  • Deepkar on December 5, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    Cöngrats aus for climbing in test ranking from 5th to 4th now.

  • Deepkar on December 5, 2010, 13:48 GMT

    Just watch 1st match of ashes 2005 on dvd. Aus all out for 190 & then they bowled eng out for 155 once they were 21/5 all 5 taken by mcgrath then pitersen scored fifty on deaute mcgrath took 4 more wickets in next inn aus won the match after getting out for 190 on 1st day. Can we call back mcgrath, warny come on people ask for that bcoz its paining to see aus team now or better to watch old matches on dvd.

  • Deepkar on December 5, 2010, 12:59 GMT

    New zealand played 3 matches in india 2 draws 1 they were thretning to win & another never looked like loosing. Aus on other hand lost 2:0. then pakistan draw series 1:1 against them in nutral serise & won match against eng side in eng & gave headache in every match they lost where aus lost ashesh in eng & now strugling against them at home. I think pak & NZ r better than aus.

  • on December 5, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Oh! So sad.. Aussies are hurt! Great job Poms. Looking forward to seeing an Aussie innings defeat at home!

  • Deepkar on December 5, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    Aus batsmen scored 833 runs for loss of 21 wickets at ave 39.66 & 3.07 per over. With 2 hundreds.(3 complate inn.) Eng batsmen scored 1328 runs for loss of 15 wickets at ave 88.54 & 3.56 per over. With 5 hundreds 2 of them not out doubles. (2 complate & 1 incomplate inn) Aus top 3 r in truble as they scored 243 @ 40.5 with 3 fifty & 0 hundred between them. Eng top 3 scored 803 @ 133.83 with 2 fifty & 4 hundreds with cook (450) & troat (242) alone out scoring aus top 3. Aus totaly out played till now.

  • on December 5, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    All the best. Love you Australia

  • Deepkar on December 5, 2010, 12:04 GMT

    Ponting is not good captain, look at dhoni he always do the trick when need to break partnership be it bowling change or field placement or negative fielding & bowling & it works more often than not. I dont think its pure luck but if it is luck then be it bcoz its working wonder for india. Now ponting have better bowling attack than india but he fails to use them. 3 yrs back it was easy when nothing was happning (which happened rarely then) call mcgrath/warn it was time when lee was at his fastest but 3rd or 4th best bowler. But now when nothing is happning (which commanly happens now) he dont have mcgrath/warne & his brain freezes bowling changes, field placment nothing works in short ponting is not working (or may be not lucky) for aus anymore.

  • on December 5, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Well.. All that aussies can do to save this match is to take a leaf out of the SA team(Lords match) during their tour of England in 2008. SA played for last 2 days and got a huge mental build up to win the Basil D'Oliveira Trophy.. But i don't think Aussies winnning this Ashes.. gr8 going England..

  • Mervo on December 5, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    Yes the first four batsmen did well for England and one was even born in England....

  • T.S.B on December 5, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    Watson is still dreaming..australia's talents already retired with mcgrath, warne, gilchrist and the rest.

  • on December 5, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    AUSTRALIANS NOW NEED MANY MORE MCGRATH WARNEY BOLWLER TYPE...GOING THROUGH THE TEST SERIES ,EVEN BLIND WONT MIND PUTTING HIS MONEY ON ENGLAND.ITS WELL KNOWN DECLINE OF OZ STARTED AFTER EXIT OF HAYDEN,GILLY,AND THE TWO GREATEST BOWLERS OF ALL TIME,BUT IF THEY KEEP PERFORMING THE WAY THEY ARE,THEY WONT WIN THE ASHES BUT TURN TO ASHES.

  • AKS286 on December 5, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    aussie has to take some strong decision against selection; changing team again & again is not a solution. s.broad did't impress now a days but he is still a permanent player. aussie flopstar are katich,clarke & the luckiest aussie player mr.marcus north. P.hughes & p.Jaques are 2 top aussie player & future prospect. these 2 can take place for katich & clarke.A.voges is the best option for north. stuart clark is the next anthony stuart of australia. why s.clark is not a permanent player of aus. he is a very usuful bowler in all 3-formats of game.

  • mensan on December 5, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    so AUS counting on rain to save them???

  • chappelis_last_blast on December 5, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    Watson should be the aussies next captain. Clarke is struggling to hold his spot. Watson has age, talent and has an attacking style to his cricket and hopfully he can be a captain in the mould of Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor and probably if given the chance Shane Warne. A couple of good bolwers would be handy too! Ryan Harris will be good but he is on the wrong side of 30.

  • on December 5, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Probably the 1st time since 2003-04 series that 2 Double centuries have been scored by visiting bastmen in same series in Australia. Sachin and Dravid did it that time round, now Cook and Pietersen. But by the looks of it, we may have 3rd one to follow in this Ashes.

  • mamboman on December 5, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Australian circket has been in freefall ever since that dressing room fight between Clarke and Katich.

  • on December 5, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    match will be draw, why this north in final eleven

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  • on December 5, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    match will be draw, why this north in final eleven

  • mamboman on December 5, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Australian circket has been in freefall ever since that dressing room fight between Clarke and Katich.

  • on December 5, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Probably the 1st time since 2003-04 series that 2 Double centuries have been scored by visiting bastmen in same series in Australia. Sachin and Dravid did it that time round, now Cook and Pietersen. But by the looks of it, we may have 3rd one to follow in this Ashes.

  • chappelis_last_blast on December 5, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    Watson should be the aussies next captain. Clarke is struggling to hold his spot. Watson has age, talent and has an attacking style to his cricket and hopfully he can be a captain in the mould of Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor and probably if given the chance Shane Warne. A couple of good bolwers would be handy too! Ryan Harris will be good but he is on the wrong side of 30.

  • mensan on December 5, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    so AUS counting on rain to save them???

  • AKS286 on December 5, 2010, 9:40 GMT

    aussie has to take some strong decision against selection; changing team again & again is not a solution. s.broad did't impress now a days but he is still a permanent player. aussie flopstar are katich,clarke & the luckiest aussie player mr.marcus north. P.hughes & p.Jaques are 2 top aussie player & future prospect. these 2 can take place for katich & clarke.A.voges is the best option for north. stuart clark is the next anthony stuart of australia. why s.clark is not a permanent player of aus. he is a very usuful bowler in all 3-formats of game.

  • on December 5, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    AUSTRALIANS NOW NEED MANY MORE MCGRATH WARNEY BOLWLER TYPE...GOING THROUGH THE TEST SERIES ,EVEN BLIND WONT MIND PUTTING HIS MONEY ON ENGLAND.ITS WELL KNOWN DECLINE OF OZ STARTED AFTER EXIT OF HAYDEN,GILLY,AND THE TWO GREATEST BOWLERS OF ALL TIME,BUT IF THEY KEEP PERFORMING THE WAY THEY ARE,THEY WONT WIN THE ASHES BUT TURN TO ASHES.

  • T.S.B on December 5, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    Watson is still dreaming..australia's talents already retired with mcgrath, warne, gilchrist and the rest.

  • Mervo on December 5, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    Yes the first four batsmen did well for England and one was even born in England....

  • on December 5, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Well.. All that aussies can do to save this match is to take a leaf out of the SA team(Lords match) during their tour of England in 2008. SA played for last 2 days and got a huge mental build up to win the Basil D'Oliveira Trophy.. But i don't think Aussies winnning this Ashes.. gr8 going England..