Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 4th day

Awful Australia sink to new depths

Smart cricket is not a feature of this Australian team, which provides patches of promise followed by hours of misery

Peter English at the SCG

January 6, 2011

Comments: 149 | Text size: A | A

After making 38 off 40 balls Shane Watson was run out in a mix-up with Phil Hughes , Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 6, 2011
Shane Watson keeps making basic errors, yet he is one of the few consistent players for Australia © AFP

Australia's favourite word of the series has been "disappointing". A month ago, after the Adelaide defeat, it was appropriate for summing up the mood, but with every bad day since it has barely covered the magnitude of the slide. Apart from a handful of highlights in Perth, the Australians have been waiting to hit rock bottom. The pebble hasn't landed yet.

Each morning the home supporters have headed to the various grounds hoping for better and seen much worse. In Brisbane England were 1 for 517 and Australia were 3 for 2 in Adelaide. At the WACA they slipped to 5 for 69 and at the MCG they were all out for 98 on the opening day. Today, when they had promised to fight hard early, they allowed England to score 644, their highest total in Australia.

Watching the bowling over the first half of the day was as soul-sapping for the home supporters as seeing the batting in the afternoon. England requested the extra half an hour in an effort to finish the contest in four days, but they will have to wait until tomorrow to sign off the series. Australia held on to be 7 for 213, heading for a record third innings loss for the series.

One of the many problems with this team is there are patches of promise followed by hours of misery. England were 5 for 226 when Paul Collingwood was dismissed on the third day, but Australia let them recover and then dominate to the point where the efforts of the home bowlers were treated as casually as throw-downs. Graeme Swann, the No.10, was the main aggressor when Mitchell Johnson was thrashed for 35 runs in two overs. Just a fortnight ago Johnson was a world-beater, but he has been battered once again.

Noble draws are not a concept Australia really understands, so Shane Watson came out in a boundary-hungry mood, pulling his first delivery for four and speeding to 38 at almost a run-a-ball. Such is the team's state that Watson is its second-most valuable player behind Michael Hussey. The side will take every start he gets, while praying that one day he can start to add to his two Test centuries. Blaming him is not fair when he is one of the few consistent ones.

Watson is a much-improved cricketer but talk of him being a captaincy contender cannot be taken seriously as long as he continues to make such basic errors. In Melbourne he ran out Phillip Hughes and this time Watson's daydream cost him his wicket. After dawdling over a single, he did not bother to look at Hughes when he came back for a second until he realised they were both at the same end.

Smart cricket is not a feature of this team. Bowlers let the pressure off with legside deliveries or short ones outside off, and the changing fields make it harder for struggling fast bowlers to find their rhythm. Batsmen insist on following balls angling away even though they know it increases the risk of an edge. Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Michael Clarke all nicked ones that were leaving them today.

For a brief period, if you squinted really hard, it was possible to glimpse the future when Clarke and Khawaja were putting on 65. The captain was confident, successfully playing his shots despite his run drought, and Khawaja was graceful and assured. Saving the game would have still required a miracle, but watching them was fun and, most importantly, a distraction from the overall direction of the match and the series.

More disappointment came when the duo's starts were not converted. A century was needed but Clarke delivered 41 and Khawaja 21. Khawaja is new and has been encouraging in his first two innings, while Clarke repeats his flashy mistakes. Clarke stubbed the bat angrily into the ground after nicking James Anderson. England's bowlers have been excellent throughout this series, but Clarke used to be so much better than them. He has a lot to consider before the next Test campaign against Sri Lanka in August, including a switch back to No.5.

Hussey has been Australia's man for a crisis but after holding them together for the first three Tests he has lost power. He was disappointed to cut Tim Bresnan to gully. Brad Haddin, with another miss at No.6, felt the same when caught behind playing an ugly pull to Chris Tremlett. Johnson was very disappointed when he was bowled first ball.

So were the Australian spectators who had already started to leave, searching for more suitable words to describe the performances throughout an Ashes-losing summer. Dreadful, awful and woeful don't convey the depths to which Australia have fallen. Thankfully it's nearly over.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 16:44 GMT)

Michael Clarke - An apt leader for an inept team !!! wadde shame !!

Posted by beakyjonjo on (January 7, 2011, 6:36 GMT)

Not once in the whole series did australia field it's strongest team...that's not to say the result would have been different...but that namely the selectors have been a joke!! Watson is not an opener. Smith is not a number 6 ( why is he in the team? fielding? cracking jokes???) Clarke has been given too many opportunities to find form, Hifenhaus should not have played in sydney..bollinger should have played on his home ground. as for doherty/beer both proved they are not as good as hauritz. Sack the selectors and invest in the future. O'keefe, Copeland, Shaun and Mitchell Marsh, starc, Hazelwood, Mckay, and cameron white are all names that need to be considered and tried if australia is going to move on from this debacle.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (January 7, 2011, 6:31 GMT)

I am so happy that australian dominance is over. Australians has destroyed lots of teams, ended lots of players careers and wipe out whole international teams in last 12 years. Finaly the day has come where australian moon ride is over and they are back to earth and living like humans. Finaly australian invincibility is over and test cricket is back to normal as it used to be in 90s. 12 years of utter dominance is too much to handle. I hope now others team play well and we have 5 to 6 top teams to play each other.

Posted by crh8971 on (January 7, 2011, 6:08 GMT)

Firstly you can absolutely not take anything away from the English over this series. If Australia can rightfully be called awful then we must give credit where due and note that England were outstanding. It is frustrating though to see the way the Australians played. i think this is in a sense the result of two or more years of terrible selection policy and bad coaching. It seems no Australian player has improved his technique over the past two years and some, such as Johnson and Clarke, have gone backwards. The selectors seem obsessed with trying to pluck the next superstar from obscurity rather than rewarding consistent performance. Hughes picked when averaging 16 at first class level, Doherty, Beer, Smith all examples of selections based on hope. David Hussey might be 32 but he has consistently been the best first class player for several years and could play test cricket for at least two years.

Posted by Rusty_1 on (January 7, 2011, 5:41 GMT)

A lot of people jumping up and down about the state of Australian cricket like it's the end of the world or something. What we really lack is a reliable spinner. That has been made plain. Even though Swan did not take a bagfull of wickets, at least he tied down an end and built pressure. Can't see why we can't just admit that we have ordinary spinners and recall Hauritz as the best of a bad bunch. Let Smith, O'keefee, Boyce et al. twirl away at shield level for a few seasons to hone their skills. Heaps of good shield pace options - Swann (a bit old), Cameron & Copeland, Bollinger, George, Starc etc. No need to panic here, one of these will do the job. Siddle & Hilfy are not up to test standard at the moment & need to go back to shield cricket for a while. Heaps of good young shield batting talent also - Khawaja, Marsh, Ferguson, Cosgrove etc... Watson also needs to move to 6. Period. He is an allrounder, not an opener. His opening dreams should be put to bed.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 5:35 GMT)

Thanks, Trompos (23:43 PM), that was a gracious and sporting message.

Posted by Mitcher on (January 7, 2011, 5:29 GMT)

@Nerk Shaun: Marsh and Ferguson, who are no doubt talented, need to put some serious runs on the board in Shield before being considered serious Test prospects. Avergaing 37 and 35 respectively after plenty of innings isn't even close to good enough. This is where it's problematic for the sack Ponting/Clarke brigade. Fine, their performances in recent times have not been close to up to scratch but where are the young players willing to string together 4/5 impressive seasons in Shield and demand they be selected? You've got the likes of Dave Warner hitting the occasional six in T20 and not much else then threatening to leave NSW because they won't pick him in first-class. Surely there's an attitude problem with some of these guys. Either that or they're just not up to it.

Posted by landl47 on (January 7, 2011, 5:25 GMT)

I don't believe in gloating over defeated opponents, but I'll make an exception in the case of jonesy2 and popcorn. Not a word of praise for an England team that played some brilliant cricket. You were beaten by a better team. Get used to it.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 5:24 GMT)

Michael Clarke - An apt leader for an inept team !!!

Posted by ozwriter on (January 7, 2011, 5:21 GMT)

hilfenhaus, bollinger, smith out. these players are truly out of their depth. Hughes must go when katich is back. Bring back lee, clark, o'keefe, d hussey. And why is steve smith in the T20 squad...ok the selectors want to invest in the future, at least choose the best players. Steve Smith is ordinary at present and would not make it into SA/eng/india/SL/pakistan teams just as a comparison

Posted by landl47 on (January 7, 2011, 5:13 GMT)

Some of the comments here blow my mind. Guys, look at the age and status of the players you are suggesting should be the 'new' Australia team. You can't rebuild the side with players already in their mid-thirties, still less with guys who have retired! Marsh and Ferguson have first-class averages in the mid-thirties- if Hughes, with an average of 50, can't hack it, why do you think those players will do better? The only two new players I've seen on this tour that I've rated have been Khawaja, who is promising but has a long way to go, and Steve O'Keefe, who was unbelievably overlooked for Doherty and Beer. Hughes and Smith have ODI and T20 techniques, though Smith looks to have ability that can be coached. Watson's a decent bat and useful 4th seamer, Clarke is quality and will come good, Siddle tries hard and could be a 3rd seamer/#8 bat. Paine looked a good wicketkeeper/bat in England. That's about it. Make Clarke captain and wait for new talent to come along. It may be a long wait.

Posted by 7477 on (January 7, 2011, 4:09 GMT)

well the time has come for Mr.Glen Mcgrath to stop making his silly predictions.he just make meaningless comments when he know from the bottom of his heart that Aussies are not gonna win.he should now concentrate on his new family life.by the time the next Ashes is played in England the Poms will be even stronger & the Aussies even weaker in experience.the Poms dominance would continue for years to come unless Aussies find some dramatic talent to overcome the Poms. but looking at the domestic talent there is hardly any bright new prospects coming in at least for the next 2 years.just take a look at the possible Ashes Teams for the URN in English soil from current players.Eng STRAUSS/COOK/TROTT/PETERSON BELL/PRIOR/MORGAN/BRESNAN/SWANN/ANDERSON/TREMLETT. BROAD-FINN Aus-WATSON/HUGHES/KHAWAJA/CLARKE/FERGUSON/SMITH/PAINE/JOHNSON/ HAURITZ/SIDDLE/BOLLINGER.HILFENHAUS its quite evident where the next series would head to & there is very little doubt who would emerge victorious in nxt URN.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

It's kind of ironic that the SCG trust unveiled a statue of Steve Waugh this week, the toughest cricketer ever, at the same time that the Australian team showed the least fight of any Australian cricket team ever. The selectors also need to start thinking clearly about what they want the team to look like in 3 years time, and then start grooming that team properly. Hussey and Haddin won't be there in 3 years, so we already need to start looking for their replacements. Siddle and Watson look like they've got the right stuff. The rest of the team needs a complete clean out.

Posted by jordan_nofx on (January 7, 2011, 4:01 GMT)

Well done England, despite all the controversy surrounding Aus's selections, you are the better side. I think most of us can handle losing, but not by this margin when our best team is not on the field. Seems like most people on here have a better idea on picking the team than the selectors do. It seems obvious- pick players that have shown over some period of time that they are up to TEST CRICKET (no showing form in another format i.e. Doherty) D Hussey, White, Khawaja, Clark, Bollinger, Hauritz in, no-names like North, Doherty, Smith, Beer out. Ponting has one more series to show his worth, drops down to 5, Clarke told to focus on batting (not captaincy) or he will be dropped a team of Katich/Jaques/Klinger, Watson, Khawaja, M Hussey, Ponting, White, Haddin, Johnson/Bollinger, Hauritz, Siddle, Clark would not lose by this much.. Screw youth we have always had an old team and won, pick them becuase they demand selection (i.e Khawaja) not just for the sake of it

Posted by arvin on (January 7, 2011, 3:07 GMT)

aussie downfall is the creation of ponting greed to become highest run getter and century maker and chappal brothers supported him... ponting should have been kicked out of team long ago...

Posted by safwan_Umair on (January 7, 2011, 3:02 GMT)

Peter i think its just the natural transition we're witnessing. The Aussies couldnt have stayed at the top of the perch forever. Yes, their utter domination of world cricket was peerless, but all good things must come to an end. Cricket is better with multiple competitive teams playing. England surely are the number 1 test side now.

Posted by KitKat on (January 7, 2011, 2:57 GMT)

In the end yoiu have to bowl out the opposition twice. England did it, we did not. If you want the answer just look at the pitch maps on hawk eye of the two sides. The discipline and accuracy of the england bowling group is staring everyone in the face. One hopes the Australian coaches have looked at it. Also checkout the wagon wheel and behive for Alister Cook's 189. He was never tested in the V and short balls to his pulling strength were far too numerous.

Posted by MahiarB on (January 7, 2011, 2:55 GMT)

MAHIAR.R.BOOMLA; Finally d great australian misery has ended. First they were demolished by India in india, than by the english men in thier own backyard. Were is d aussie benchstrenght which they boasted about throughout d last decade. It seems that they had some gold mine which had reserves only for 20yrs. I still feel d results r not d true reflection of this outfit. Minus d selection blunders and discarding some overated players dis side can bounce back. I feel d real problem lies wd their batting. I do understand that the bowling has conceeded more than 500 in most of d innings but that has to do more with their selection policy, i reckon they still have enough stock for an international format atleast in this department. It is the batsmen who needs to put their hands up and set atleast some fighting totals. Having said that come dis world cup aussies could be d side 2 recon with. They r certainly not d favorates going into d WC. but a dangerous outfit in a 50 over format.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (January 7, 2011, 2:21 GMT)

Yep... the Aussies were dreadful and England were AWESOME! The Aussies will be back though and England just didn't let the old enemy get a sniff. Perth was a shocker though and the Aussies proved they can still do it! I'm going to feel sorry for the next test team they encounter.... now who could that be? Those ridiculous rankings might have changed by the year end!

Posted by Vishnu27 on (January 7, 2011, 2:04 GMT)

Congratulations England. Australia have been thoroughly outplayed & out-hustled in every single facet of the game. 3-1 flatters Australia. The aberration of Perth was nothing more than false hope. A new day didn't dawn for Australia & we continued to struggle with the moving ball, struggle to dismiss England twice, struggle to field well, struggle to judge a run well. All these things were due to to massive strangling pressure England continually applied. England had only one passenger through the series (& he has had the dignity to retire before the last test finished). Australia had probably 8-9 passengers a game. It will be a long hard road ahead for Australia. Australia need to learn from England: to bowl & bat in partnerships; put big scores on the board & a price on your wicket; to finally learn the art of reverse swing bowling; to field & wicketkeep to old Australian standards; to play with spirit & show some grit & heart. Enjoy the moment England fans; your teams deserves it

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (January 7, 2011, 1:47 GMT)

Michael Beer must be the nephew or relative of any one of the selectors of Australian Board. I mean he carries THE BOWLING AVERAGE more than 43 runs per wicket in his first class debut series. I am not saying they shouldn't select the player who just started the first class career. They should select if he performed a lot better than 43 runs per wicket in his first class debut series. Same as Hilfy is selected in AUS Natioanl team because of his stupid brother-Punter. Hilfy and Beer is not even qualify for any English county to play and they have been selecting for the Australian National team. WOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!

Posted by filizant on (January 7, 2011, 1:42 GMT)

As an aussie I just want to congratulate the England team for winning the ashes and with a very good coach and captain (more than I can say for aussies). You've outplayed us in every department. You've copped a beating down under at times over the 24 yearsa and it's good to see that you've caught up and taken over. Thankfully and hopefully this will give Cricket Austalia the kick up the backside it needs. If it doesn't, I don't know what will. I'm still wondering why Steve O'Keefe wasn't picked as the specialist spinner to be honest.

Posted by uglyhunK on (January 7, 2011, 1:42 GMT)

ahhh........move over the ashes plzz....can't wait for the english summer

Posted by MinusZero on (January 7, 2011, 1:28 GMT)

Suggestions of Cameron White are a joke, only one player ever could have been picked for his captaincy potential and he isnt Australian. That is Stephen Fleming from NZ. White is a one day player and seemingly like Watson doesn't have the patience for the long game.

Posted by kshitizv on (January 7, 2011, 1:19 GMT)

I sometimes do not really understand what makes us so happy talking about downfalls! Yes Australia did perform badly, but the English team performed spectacularly. The same English team was "bad" a few months ago! Who knows Australia may bounce back and win World cup. When players like Gilly, Hayden, Mc Grath, Warne, Langer, Gillespi, leave almost at the same time, a team needs rebuilding and these players cannot be replaced overnight. You gotta give time to rebuild and once the water is above head, who cares about the level!!

Posted by   on (January 7, 2011, 1:15 GMT)

4 years ago people were crying out "it's not good for cricket for Australia to be this much better than everybody else". 4 Years on how much has that changed? Australia are no longer 'too good', they aren't even ordinary. There can't be any doubt left in Cricket Australia's minds now, things must change. Simple things that grade cricket and state cricket teach are no longer applied at the Australia's top level. Time to go back to Basics?

Posted by CustomKid on (January 7, 2011, 1:04 GMT)

I'm with Davo47 - England were awesome. They just did the basics very well catching & feilding, line and length bowling, and selective stroke selection. Australia on the other hand did the total opposite. Watson's run out yesterday summed up the summer. That sort of thing doesn't happen at primary school!

CA has some serious issues to deal with internally. Sutherland has been in the post for too long, and his decision to resign Neilson defies logic. Until they get a proper administration, selection panel, and coaching staff I don't see much changing. I think it's going to be at least 5 years until they become competitive, not winning, but just being consistently competitive.

Some dark days ahead but you can't get much lower. I only just recall the dark days of 85-86 and my real memories start from 88-89. I look forward to a new dawn in around 5 years time and hopefully a new generation of stars.

Well done England - great effort I didn't think you had it in you.

Posted by trumpoz on (January 6, 2011, 23:43 GMT)

I don't know what match Peter English was watching today, but Clare's dismissal was not following a ball that left him and saying so is an insult to a brilliant ball from Anderson (I'm an aussie by the way).

Congratulations to the English team. They way you have batted, bowled and fielded reminds me of the Australian team in full power, impeccible line and length bowling, well-paced and controlled batting and desperate fielding. The English bowling is the main reason why they won the ashes. The Aussies got a lot of starts, but consistant bowling meant that they could never get away from the English, and in the end they could not handle the pressure. The English batsman benefitted from some poor Australian bowling, but it takes concentration and skill to bat for the amount of time that they did. As an Aussie who wants to see the English beaten at almost any cost...... all I can say is BRAVO - you are the better side and there are many bigger goals for you to achieve.

Posted by NRI- on (January 6, 2011, 23:25 GMT)

ONLY 4 AUSTRALIANS DESERVED THEIR PLACE in the fifth test after the fourth test debacle - obviously Hussey, Haddin, Watson and Siddle. The other 7 shoud have included Bollinger (who never failed but for a flat Adelaide pitch - imagine him playing at Perth or Gabba), O'Keefe (best spinner in the land today and batsman with a first class batting avg>40), Hauritz (an allrounder nowadays), David Hussey (avg 55 in first class criket) & Cam White (could be the attacking no 6 batsman with ability to spin if the pitch is taking turn - the back up spinner).

Make M Hussey the captain, Haddin the vice captain, include D hussey, Cam White and O' Keefe plus Starc and Bollinger.

Posted by Rokboy on (January 6, 2011, 23:12 GMT)

m_baker: firstly I am not a Pom or a Aussie so I have ben enjoying the Ashes from a neutral perspective. However, in the 5 years I have been living in the land of the green and gold I have never experienced Aussies "exercising humility and grace in victory" so I think before you ask the Barmy boys to tone it down perhaps you should consider your own back yard first? England have played brilliantly well and their supporters have every right to sing their praises. I am sure if the shoe was on the other foot Clarke and Co would already be up for awards from the PM and streets named afer them..... To everyone else - particularly the Aussie press (which can be particularly harsh if you are anything but a out and out winner) - dont hang this on Punter and the lads, this has been coming for a while now with the lack of succession planning clearly evident since Warnie and the crew shot through. CA needs to stand up - where is their centre of excellence now? Punter you are a champ in my book

Posted by BigDataIsAHoax on (January 6, 2011, 23:11 GMT)

This Aussie team is definitely not the #5 test team. If anything, this team is #7 at best. Even Bangladesh will fancy themselves for a series win over Australia these days.

Posted by powerash5000 on (January 6, 2011, 23:01 GMT)

This is what happens when there's too much politics in sport and the best players are neglected or discarded for personal reasons. The team now is too touchy feely all about their feelings and whose my bestest friend. It worked for a while when there was an abundance of talent prior to 2008 but you can't get away with it now with limited pickings. I'm looking forward to watching some in-form players with talent D.Huss and Hodge in state cricket

Posted by emby on (January 6, 2011, 22:56 GMT)

The defining moment of this England tour has to be the final 15 overs of Day 3 at the Gabba, followed by the whole of Day 4. Past England teams would have capitulated going into their second innings 221 runs behind. I think those sessions defined this England teams attitude to this series. It now appears the boot is on the other foot and England and Australia have switched positions. Rather than a chant from the Barmy Army of "Are you Bangladesh in disguise", maybe it would be more fitting to remember the capitulation of past England teams and chant "Are you England in disguise".

Posted by MinusZero on (January 6, 2011, 22:51 GMT)

I imagine that people will be calling for Hughes to be sacked, i am not one of them. So, he hasn't had a great series, but he needs time to develop, he is after all only 22. I am sure that many young players are scared of making the Australian team and knowing that if they dont perform in 2 or 3 games they will be sacked. How many chances did Watson get to come good, about 20 or more. Even now though, he isnt a test opener. His usual 40 or 50 would be better down the order and a new fresh young opener given an extended chance with Hughes. Look to the future selectors. There is no overnight fix for the test team, youngsters need time to develop. I would not bother bringing Ponting back either. Its time to start fresh. India has had the right idea for years, start them young and give them a chance. And now look at them! Tendulkar started tests at 16. Australia would never do that, most new players are halfway to retirement at their first test.

Posted by Nerk on (January 6, 2011, 22:29 GMT)

Contrary to popular opinion by people who are not in the know, Australia's domestic circuit is extremely strong at the moment, probably still the strongest in the world. But our selectors are rubbish. Out of the five players plucked from the shield this summer, only two are test worthy (Hughes and Usman). The other three (Smith, Doherty and Beer) are not up to test level yet. But out there in domestic cricket are players of immense talent that could kick the arse of any side out there. Players like David Hussey, Cam White, Callum Ferguson, Shaun Marsh and many others. Our bowling is our weakest link at the moment, and it isn't helped by our selectors. Hilfenhous has three bad games and keeps his place while Bolly has one bad game and isn't selected again? Hauritz takes 30 wickets last summer but is dropped for this series. But again there are many talented youngsters out there who will come good with match experience. Australian cricket will come good. It always does.

Posted by PlayingItStraight on (January 6, 2011, 22:29 GMT)

Time for serious rebuilding & planning for the next Ashes campaign. Ponting should relinquish the captaincy & drop down to bat at #6. Clarke is probably not the long term answer as captain but is the best option currently in the team, so should remain captain for now. Watson needs to learn how to rotate the strike with defensive pushes to go with his otherwise very good technique. He can remain as opener, but his very consistent form just needs a big 100 once in a while. Hughes needs to go back to 1st class level and refine his technique - he has talent but there are some serious flaws in his game. There are some good young openers in the Sheffield Shield so it's time to give one or two of them a chance. Khawaja needs an extended run at #3 - he will develop into a great player. As for the quick bowlers - if the incumbents can't consistently hit a good line & length or find regular swing then give another youngster a go. Steve Smith is not a test player - keep him for limited overs.

Posted by David47 on (January 6, 2011, 22:13 GMT)

Firstly, congratulations to the England team - you are a professional, talented and committed side, well led by your captain, and should be ranked #1 within 18 months. That's the hard bit out of the way. The Aus team? - forget the players for a moment. CA, James Sutherland, the selectors, Neilsen and the other coaching staff are collectively guilty of "falling asleep at the wheel". If I, or any other Aus fan here, did that in our jobs over the last 1.5 to 2 years we would have been sacked long ago. Same thing should happen to this lot - NOW. They all seem to lack the emotional intelligence to take that on board, or are simply too greedy/pig-headed to do the right thing by AUS CRICKET. This attitude is then reflected in many of the players - the captain "still has a lot to offer" despite the record since SA 2009, Clarke is happy to be ordained as the next captain without a shred of proof that he is up to it, and the "once in a generation fast bowler"?? - don't get me started.

Posted by Scgboy on (January 6, 2011, 22:03 GMT)

The question here isn't really of England's ascension , but more how or where the Aussies go from here.there are so many questions to be asked and places to be reassigned , it will take some real thought and planing.maybe some sackings as well. most people are here either English supporters having a crow , which all things considered is fair enough. its indeed an a accomplishment to win the ashes on Australian soil with such convincingness.others are just people having a good kick whilst someone is down.lack of class , if u ask me. the main thing is to be patient and understand , a young , new time is going to go through a lot of growing pains. just ask the pommies they only know this too well

perhaps this is shades of 1995 , when the baton was tossed from the Windies to OZ?

now all we need to find is the next alan border and steve waugh...

Posted by 5wombats on (January 6, 2011, 22:03 GMT)

@Champ2000; Answer - they produced a spin friendly pitch for the tour match and a completely different surface for the Test. This caught England napping. Nice trick.

Posted by gjcj on (January 6, 2011, 21:49 GMT)

When Australia thrashed Pakistan in December 2004, Ricky Ponting indicated concern in the media about the fact that the fourth-ranked team (Pakistan) was so clearly unable to compete with the world's number one team (Australia)."But it is a bit of a concern that they're the fourth-ranked side and they've been bowled out very cheaply..." (Source: "Line and Strength", Glenn McGrath, 2008, p188-189) Move forward just a few years and the fifth ranked team (Australia) can't rate it with the third/fourth best team (England). How times have changed!! What it means to me - the game is cyclical, we have lost an amazing amount of talent in the last few years, there has not been a succession plan (or any plan for that matter) to cater for the development of the next generation of players, selectors don't have a clear plan about what they want. Australia will be back to the top, as long as some tough decisions are made. Meanwhile congrats to the POMS - unfortunately they have been brilliant.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 21:23 GMT)

Failure to plan for succession . . . Short FC season . . . Uncommitted players . . . The above comments are reminiscent of the comments West Indian fans were making when their team began to flounder in the late 90s. They are yet to recover. One hopes that Australia would not experience the same fate. And I'm West Indian.

Posted by yezdi70 on (January 6, 2011, 21:05 GMT)

I hope at least now the australian fans...mainly Ian Chappel will agree to the ICC rankings...after all the rubbish they were talking after the series loss to India.

Posted by johntycodes on (January 6, 2011, 21:04 GMT)

It's funny that for over a year now as autralia piled up the losses against pakistan and india it didn't matter to the team because they kept bringing out the old line we don't really care about this series because we are focused on the ashes. It was just all ashes this and ashes that as we kept losing. So finally the ashes came and you have to ask were they really focused on the ashes so much that it just took over them so they produced this performance. By the way another innings defeat on the way should mean another year contract extension for tim nielson I think.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 20:52 GMT)

Aussies have to start anew lot of these guys have to go. Smith is not an international player of any caliber right now. Shane Watson should come down to number 6 that way Aussies have all rounder and less strain on Watson to open batting. Katich can come back as an opener but what about trying Marsh or White who I think is a better captain than Clarke..bring some of the experienced guys like Hodges who was cast aside when the team had lot of talented people. The aussies selections have resembled Indian selectors in 80s and 90s in the last two years.....

Posted by mrgupta on (January 6, 2011, 20:43 GMT)

I remember just at the start of Dec2010, there was lot of India/Eng haters mail, Aussies are still the best and will win it easily 3-1, most predicted 3-1 some predicted 4-1 and few said 5-0 for Aussies. No one even thought it will be Eng 3-1. Same happened with India-SA series. Most predicted 2-0 Win for SA, some even said 3-0. Most (99%) predicted Steyn and Morkel will thrash Indian batting lineup on Bouncy and Pacy SA wickets. Now almost everyone in SA is relieved that Kallis was able to bat in pain and SA managed to escape the defeat (yes they cudnt take 20 Indian wickets).

Posted by SnowSnake on (January 6, 2011, 20:17 GMT)

Please correct me if I am wrong. I think in last 10 years the world has not produced a single test batsman that is worthwhile. All nations all over the world are still dependent on likes of Ponting, Kallis, Tendulkar, Hussey, VVS, Piterson, Dravid, Sangakara, Yosuf, Younis, Jaywardhane etc. I think the problem is that of finding good test batsmen. There are a few prospects like Amla etc., but nothing that is as strong as the batsmen from 1990's. Australia is on the receiving end right now, but I don't think other teams have a sustainable advantage either. In about 2-3 years, there may not be any good test batsmen left.

Posted by gerardpereira20 on (January 6, 2011, 20:09 GMT)

All this talk about England being the number one team in the world is wishful thinking. They have just beaten an Australia that can't bat and worse still can't bowl. I think England drew a series against SA winning a test that Steyn did not play in and lost a test seiries home and away against India.This is the same team that just beat Australia (Trott being the only addition).As for Australia no amount of tinkering with the team is going to stop them joining the West Indies at the bottom of the heap, in fact right now the West Indies seem to the stronger team.

Posted by Champ2000 on (January 6, 2011, 19:14 GMT)

How the hell did England lose in Perth?...And what happened to AUS d=omestic circuit.. I hope AUS don;t go WI path.. it would be shame.

Posted by swervin on (January 6, 2011, 18:58 GMT)

aust was always going to lose this series but made it worse with bad selections, the worst not persisting with hauritz and not stiffening up the batting - it was suicidal in sydney to go with such a weak batting line-up and playing smith as an all rounder when you don't think he can bowl, not that it prob mattered much, picking beer too was just a stab in the dark...having said that there are not a lot of options in the batting department and aust is just going to have to persist with guys like hughes and khawaja and maybe smith - prob going to have to stick with clarke and johnson too despite their flaws - shame about harris, and i think siddle tries hard - but maybe this copeland guy will be the man - maybe tim paine who has a bit more heart than haddin might be better too - i think the bowlers take a lot of blame when the batting is as deficient or worse...

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 18:57 GMT)

The only super Australian team that would have defeated this super English team is this: --> Langer, Hayden, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, Gilchrist, Warne, Johnson, Brett lee, Mc Grath

Posted by Douggy on (January 6, 2011, 18:44 GMT)

Much credit to England for the way they are playing i cant wait to see them in a series against either South Africa or India. Ask for Australia dont think changing the team will do any good since the younger players needs to be given an opportunity to adapt to this level of the game. They may have to go on a couple years playing well below their standards before rising again.

Posted by WolfJet on (January 6, 2011, 18:24 GMT)

I agree with Pedro Brotherton. Give David Hussey a chance!

Posted by 5wombats on (January 6, 2011, 18:23 GMT)

@popcorn; I know some of us Poms have been mixing it with you all summer (you earned it....) but, and please don't take this the wrong way - your post here truly expresses the PASSION you feel for your team and this magical event THE ASHES. Australia is down right now (we Poms know how it feels, trust me), but you WILL be back - no-one should doubt it; Always believe and Goodonyer - Australianism is safe.

Posted by Dr.K.H.Iyer on (January 6, 2011, 17:45 GMT)

@jackiethepen : When he says the Aussies let Poms recover, it doesn't mean that Oz had mercy on Poms! It means they didn't play the quality of cricket we're are used to seeing from OZ! England is a good side; no one denies it! but don't get carried away! This Oz Team is no good!

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 17:32 GMT)

clarke u r the best player of spin. u have the best footwork. just get your realself :)

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 17:30 GMT)

Having said, Eng too shudn't 'over react' on this otherwise fantastic triumph. England still is an unproven team in subcontinent. Its easy talking about taking India down in the ICC rankings but you've got to perform in sub continent the way India has been performing outside subcontinent to do that. I still rate them 3rd behind Ind,RSA as is suggested by rankings too

Posted by MartinC on (January 6, 2011, 17:28 GMT)

Hey Jimmy - the last 4 Ashes series were 2005 - England won 2-1, 2006-7 Aus won 5-0, 2009 - England won 2-1 and then 2010-11 current series looking like 3-1 England.

That by my maths (not always my strong suit) is England winning 3 of the last 4 series no?

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 17:21 GMT)

This is a shameful defeat for Australia and Ponting in my opinion gets the blame for the downfall. His arrogance has corroded the pillars of Australian cricketer. I never thought a system as tough as CA wud get so soft on his consistently poor leadership which seems more over-rated than Barack Obama's. They're only paying for mishandling the retirements and going too long with Punter.

Posted by mmoosa on (January 6, 2011, 16:58 GMT)

The Aussie-S.A series and England-India series will reveal whether the Aussies were hopeless and England were magnificent.Seems to be a great English team capable of dominating with lots of depth all round.England,India,S.A and Australia are the top 4 in order.Interestingly England and India both have an attacking spinner whilst S.A and the Aussies dont.

Posted by Podarite on (January 6, 2011, 16:57 GMT)

England actually deserve to be 5-0...The First Test in Brisbane was a complete Moral & Psychological Blow for the Aussies & at Perth,for the only time in the series,they allowed the Aussies to claw back in the Match!

Posted by sweetspot on (January 6, 2011, 16:52 GMT)

SA vs India vs England - that's where all the action is. Without the truly great players Australia were showing what they have always been - an average team performing gutsily. Now they have dropped even that, and are performing on par with the average quality they have left in the squad. Clarkey as captain, come on! What did you expect?

Posted by sudhs_107 on (January 6, 2011, 16:49 GMT)

@vee_7 - Indian domestic is not so pathetic. It just have too many teams. So, players are scattered.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 16:36 GMT)

Australia are guilty of failing to plan and as a result planned to fail.They seemed to think that they could loose all those World class players and be able to call up a siutable replacement just like that. Their domestic game does not have enough 1st Class matches.Many of their greats learned their trade in the English County Championship which says a lot for our system.

Posted by Herbet on (January 6, 2011, 16:27 GMT)

I love it how all the Aussies are so excited about this Usman Khawaja lad. Don't get me wrong, he could end up being a legend, but he has played one game and scored 60 runs. Plenty of players have set off like a house on fire and come to nothing. Look at the recent example of JP Duminy. He looked like a future mega start in his debut series v Australia ad Ian Chappel couldn't stop going on about how great he is. Then he was found out by England and Swann, couldn't buy a run, lost his confidence and got dropped. So just because Usman has looked tidy so far, don't pin all your hopes on him just yet.

Posted by Divinetouch on (January 6, 2011, 16:11 GMT)

Forget how awful Australia is let England be congratulated for the fine cricket they played.

Posted by samudralakiku on (January 6, 2011, 15:55 GMT)

Ha Ha Ha.. I love it. Australianism = Sledging and nothing else. I love it when they are this low. Go England Go..

Posted by Raaakz on (January 6, 2011, 15:28 GMT)

There should be a total change in the team composition if Australia need to be world beaters again... my team for their next assignment would be, 1. Jaques 2. Katich 3. Kwaja 4. Hussey 5. Ferguson 6. Watson 7. Haddin (c) 8. Hauritz 9. Johnson 10. Siddle 11. Harris (if he is injured replace him with Bollinger)...

Posted by AndyVine on (January 6, 2011, 15:26 GMT)

awful is one word we never thought would be associated with australian cricket team. every bloody person in the world who could talk just about cricket was appreciative of aus domestic circuit. even the aus kept on saying that their domestic circuit is this & that. well, may be but they are not showing it. indian domestic circuit is pathetic as it can be said, i don't know, but atleast india is not in the situation where aus are right now.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

Well, it's worth remebering Australia (if you include Hauritz) are 5 players off a full team! Try taking away 5 English players!

Posted by jackiethepen on (January 6, 2011, 15:10 GMT)

Australia let them recover? Try to imagine that England are good enough to recover themselves from losing three quick wickets. Bell came in after Trott, KP and Collingwood went without scoring much between them. He started attacking the bowlers straight away at the same time as batting correctly. Bell and Cook have always complemented each other and bat well together. Their partnership took the game away from Australia. That built such a strong platform that the rest could follow. It was Cook and Bell that resisted Australia on the first day at the Gabba when Strauss went for a duck and England collapsed with Siddle's hattrick. Two batsmen who will around for a long time for England.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 15:08 GMT)

Hey, Martin sorry to dampen you but that is not the case at all, England have won 2 out of the last 4, one was drawn, thanx for your enthusiasm tho!

Posted by cricketsage on (January 6, 2011, 14:58 GMT)

This was bound to happen to Australia, given their success over last 10-15 years. Team performances are cyclical. Let's hope that Australia don't do a West Indies and completely lose it.

Posted by MrBobDobalina on (January 6, 2011, 14:40 GMT)

The only bowler discussed by the author is Johnson, what about the others who didn't even look like taking a wicket. What about the fact that Ben Hilfenhaus bowls the same delivery every single ball. What about having some bowlers with whippy actions instead of bowlers who just bang it int he pitch with their shoulder.

Please, give us something new instead of the same old claptrap.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 14:20 GMT)

Awful!! Now thats a word that suits them perfectly. :-)

Posted by bjg62 on (January 6, 2011, 14:09 GMT)

As an Aussie who saw the writing on the wall before this series started (you don't become No 5 in the world for no reason), I too wish this was a ten test series, so that the selectors can get this team sorted out and get some players with ability, consistency and most importantly, heart.

Posted by PutMarshyOn on (January 6, 2011, 14:07 GMT)

I'd rather have test cricket to watch than not, regardless of who wins. There's been much to admire about England, us Aust supporters should be gracious about that rather than moaning about how bad Aust have been.

Posted by CraigGC on (January 6, 2011, 13:55 GMT)

Mr English,

I think if you closely watch the replay, the blame for the run out lies very much Mr Hughes. Watson did look at Hughes as they turned and saw him coming back and yes then looked at the ball. Hughes then decided to return to his crease. I believe the proper thing to do was for Hughes to clearly say No!!! The calling is amatuerish to say the lieast but I think the performance of Phil Hughes has been quite poor to say the least and he should spend a great deal more time back in Shield cricket to rectify his technical flaws rather than in the cauldron of test cricket.

Probably Watson is good enough to take home the AB medal again... I doubt there is anyone who has outperformed him... Craig

Posted by popcorn on (January 6, 2011, 13:42 GMT)

I am terribly disappointed with Australia's performance in the current Ashes series.but I am a true believer in the grit of Australian cricketers,their never-say-die spirit,and while ALL cricketing fans, particularly Indians,and excepting South Africans, may gloat over Australia's loss,I am confident that Australia will bounce back in Test cricket. Michael Clarke must go back to his No. 5 position where he scored the most runs,Khawaja would be at No.3, Ponting at No.4, Huss at No.6, Haddin at No.7. Steve Smith and Phil Hughes have got to be dropped. We do not get a feeling they will last on the batting field, and Smith's bowling is nothing to write home about.This talk of replacing Hussey,Katich,Ponting with young blood is ridiculous. Yes, Usman Khawaja is here to stay, but I do not see ANY other batsman performiong AS CONSISTENTLY in Shield Cricket.Callum Ferguson is the next cab off the rank. Cricketers like AB, Graham Gooch played beyond 37,and Sachin Tendulkar still playing at 37.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 13:41 GMT)

auhtor seem to be overly impressed by the most incosistent player n xtremely incompitent captain(he himself proved it in all formats) and blaming watson n trying to draw attention away from clarke batting form who should have been sacked by now.

Posted by madscientist001 on (January 6, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

Siddle is a one day bowler, he would have a good spell one day every three test matches, he is next due in the second test against Sri Lanka . Can someone please convince Nannes to play test cricket, he is better than the lot they are using right now. I think Tait should return to test cricket after the world cup, he would not have to worry about missing a world cup then, the same goes for Lee. Clarke cannot justify his pick on the team far less to captain it. What have the selectors got against Hauritz, was he dropped because Ponting did not like for the fields he asked for when he was bowling because ponting gave him crap fields. I still think Hodge is being deliberately sidelined (Ponting again?), Hussey (D) and White could still be a good #6. Warner or Marsh could have a go at opening, if Warner last 8 overs the score might 60 if Watson does not run him out. Watson should be fined by the team anytime he is involved in a run out, double if he runs out his partner.

Posted by cubanwookie on (January 6, 2011, 13:32 GMT)

The current Aussie team is ordinary, the current English team is pretty good and about to get better now that Collingwood has retired. If our(Aussie) team wants to get back to close to the top we need to get with the program. The beginnings of a quality team are Watson at 6, Haddin 7 and Smith 8. To fill in the gaps around that I would have Hussey, M opening with S.Marsh. Khawaja has shown enough to get more chances at 3. C. Ferguson at 4, Clarke gets 2 more games at 5 and if he can't get a ton then put C. Lynn in and give him an extended run. 9, is Johnson, as inconsistent as he is, he is still a matchwinner and since we don't have another real game until August he has plenty of time to get right, as does Harris at 10. Number 11 is up for grabs between now and then. I would say it is between Bollinger and a spinner. I haven't seen enough of Beer to rate him, but I have seen more than enough of Hilfenhaus and Siddle to not rate them a part of a great cricket team. Go Aussies

Posted by kdcricket on (January 6, 2011, 13:21 GMT)

Well, awful and just not good enough...

Posted by Sanj747 on (January 6, 2011, 13:17 GMT)

Peter nice note. The Engligh have outplayed us in every department - fielding, bowling, batting and running between the wickets. In Cricket Australia we need to remove the CEO, the Chairman of Selectors and his colleague Jamie Cox, all the coaching staff and as for the players start with Ponting, Clarke, Hughes, Hilfnehaus and Johnson. In the business world a performance like what we have seen from the Australian cricket team would be dealt with severely. All those involved become accountable. Cricket these days is after all a business with big money for all involved.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (January 6, 2011, 13:09 GMT)

Extraordinary. There's needs to be an immediate inquiry, a Royal Commission. But not into the parlous state of Australian cricket, but rather, how the hell did England lose in Perth??!!

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 13:04 GMT)

Hands up who else thinks Mitchell Johnson is a better BATSMAN than Phil Hughes? Maybe they should swap places in the batting order. Johnson could hardly do any worse and despite his duck today at least he didn't run any partners out. If you can only bat like a tailender you may as well play there.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 13:00 GMT)

Thanks for that great read, Peter. Following Australia's fall on TV is something but reading about it under a rare headline is just special. For years have I prayed for a time when the only team making Cricket interesting would not be Pakistan. And here we are. This World Cup is going to be amazing.

Although, due to years of watching Australia jump back into the game, I'm still expecting sudden fight back.

Posted by Anneeq on (January 6, 2011, 12:58 GMT)

Daaammm i wasnt expecting a score of over 600 by England. This is how the Aussies used to dominate the English. fantastic stuff really is!! I think this is the end of the road for a few now. Ponting, Hussey, Clarke and Katich really need to do some sould searching can they really offer anything new at the age of 36? Aus need a new direction, Khwaja looks like hes part of that so does Doug. What has happened to Stuart Clarke btw? he seems to have totally dissapeared. Also i think Andrew Symonds recall should be considered now, i think hes been punished enough. Nathan Hauritz should have taken a major part in this series i totally agree, although hes not the most majestic to watch the guy gets wickets, and thats what u need to win test matches, wicket takers.

Posted by kardon on (January 6, 2011, 12:51 GMT)

Marsh could open with say hughes if you want to persist with him. Uzzy at 3, David Hussey at 4 (his time has probably past but there was a time where his first class average was well over 60 and he was averaging over 80 per season) that is when you should pick players during their purple patch. Because it doesnt last for ever. The decision needs to be made either clarke or pointing and they take out number 5 spot. Watson to 6. keeper at 7 be it haddin or payne. 8 o'keefe first class batting average of 50 and bowling of 25. Those numbers will come down but its either him or hauritz. No other spinners compare with these too in australia at the moment. pace attack i would keep johnson but not rely on him. either that or bring up pattinson, starc and hazelwood. Those players are young and can be around in 15 years if their bodies are up to it. Shame that they have all have injuries this year that has seen them miss alot of action.

Posted by Woody111 on (January 6, 2011, 12:47 GMT)

@ Gzawilliam - I like your team but does Cosgrove open for Tas? Like Copeland but would probably go Starc or George ahead of Bolly. I can't get behind Johnson at the moment. Not sure what you do to get this guy more consistent but I'd take Siddle instead. Haddin could stay but Paine's solid too. You'd have to say Hauritz is better than beer and doherty but I'd love it if he told the selectors where to go! Shaun Marsh should find his way in there and Ferguson should be on tours too. If the blokes you pick can't do the job then you have to give fresh young fellas a chance. Bad luck Hilf but you didn't get it done. See you Ponting. Some great runs but the party's over.

Posted by wonky on (January 6, 2011, 12:43 GMT)

Hats off to England ... toss in a few South Africans and see what can happen. Only joking but it realy seems that England have taken a good step up. As for Australia .. isn't it just great to see them suffer. I say that with all due respect because we had to watch them in their prime for so very, very long. The days of Warne, Mcgrath, Ponting, Haden and Gilchrist at their prime was just absolutely frustrating to watch as they caused much misery for all other nations. In some weird way I have to say I do miss a strong Aussie side ... but the depths to which they have plummeted is astounding. Makes one realise that their last dominant side was just one of those occasions where 5 to 6 players who come along once a generation all end up in the same side. Enjoy their average cricket while it lasts ... they will be back. Lets hope not too soon as it is actually quite enjoyable watching them plummet the depths!!

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 12:40 GMT)

Firstly to England fans - yes Poms have totally outplayed and outsmarted Aussies, so zero arguements there. Aussies have been amatuerish in their approach to the game; no one puttiing any value on their wicket, bowling is innaccurate and clearly no planning has been done before test series re. field placings. What's worse is the blind persistence of our selectors - take a look at England dropping Finn who had taken a heap of wickets, but was considered too expensive!!Is there any chance our selectors would do that?! Also could someone tell Ponting that he doesn't have the final say on when his career ends - "yeah i reckon I'll finish up after next ashes series" - oh really?

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

I've seen Bollinger bowl again and again. He was total rubbish at Worcestershire a few years ago - barely worth his place in a second division county side (look at his stats - truly terrible) and nothing I've seen since makes me think he's improved. Clark does not strike me as "captain" material at all. Hussey should take over for 18 months while Oz sorts out a better long term option than Clark. Beer looks alright - but not much more. He's young and spinners improve though. Khawaja looks like a prospect, Watcson could stay if he stops being a liability to his partners. Smith doesn't look test class, neither does Hilfenhaus who looks lie a 1990's "honest" English style trundler who nips it about a bit. Hughes looks way to jumpy to be a test batsman. Good eye, suspect tehnique. Haddin is "ok" no more, and Johnson plays for the one match a series where he makes a difference. Where are Marsh,Cosgrove and these other guys? Let's face it they couldn't possibly be much worse.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 12:28 GMT)

Khawaja makes 30 & 20 on his home wicket in batting friendly conditions, and he is the straw the Aussies are clutching at. Sorry fellas, but he failed as miserably as Beer, Smith, Doherty and all the other brave new generation you have tried this series. As for Hughes, back to the cab rank for him!!

Where does one start trying to sum Mitchell Johnson up? He clearly has the heart, bravery and bottle of a skink.

I started watching cricket in 89, watching Steve Waugh tear my side apart; it's been great seeing the same done Down Under this winter. Congrats England, it's been great to follow.

Posted by muski on (January 6, 2011, 12:28 GMT)

Aussie " Test" Cricket has hit its Nadir. I cant see it going up in the near foreseeable future. With Ponting at the end of his illustrious care, with the exception of Mike Hussey and pretty consistent performer in Shane Watson, there is not a soul who can take them though in the next couple of years. Johnson is blowing hot and cold. Not spinner worth the name in the horizon.As a cricket lover Iam saddened. Now ACB should starting planning tours of Windies and Bangladesh in the near future to try and improve Pup's record as captain. The way things are going , even Bangladesh could create a scare or two for this Aussie team.

Posted by DazTaylor on (January 6, 2011, 12:26 GMT)

'Australia have been bad' True, but hardly any praise for a brilliant performace throughout the series by England.

Show some grace please.

Posted by Arok on (January 6, 2011, 12:11 GMT)

This is just a beginning of the fall, the australia is the new west indies now. What ever goes around comes around.

Posted by harry93 on (January 6, 2011, 12:04 GMT)

@MartinC I'm counting and Australia have 9 out of the last 12. :-)

Congratulations to the English, they have played very good cricket. While I don't believe everything is as bad as this article suggests, we are in need of some new players.

Posted by ryanosh on (January 6, 2011, 12:03 GMT)

Every one should applaud the failure the Australian Teams dismal performance.I have always felt Australia were a great team when Warnie,McGrath and Gilchrist were in their element.But they are gone now and what is left is a team of unskilled labourers.A team that prefers to try and win a game by unscrupolous methods.Not one player in this team plays the game it is meant to be played.like a gentleman.Make runs,take wickets,win the game.And sometimes we have to admit when we are out of talent.Its not hard..we just have to admit it.Australia are ranked no.4 in tests,and rightly so.They are no.1 in one dayers,but lack talent to retain that spot.If the Australian Team can read this comment, I'd be happy as they have not showed any signs of a top team in a long time.And I hope they learn to play the game lie gentlemen.Not media brands and one hit wonders.CONGRATULATIONS ENGLAND ON RETAINING THE ASHES AND THE SERIES WIN ON AUSTRALIAN SOIL. WELL DONE BOYS.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 11:55 GMT)

can't wait for Sri Lanka to spank aussie bum in August!

Posted by Point4 on (January 6, 2011, 11:51 GMT)

@aussasinator---cannot agree with your comment regarding SA bowling,i am watching the 3rd test between SA and ind right now and other than the new ball attack of Steyn and Morkel there is nothing much(although its quite a lot,mind you),their spinner is the worst in the world unarguably and the new support bowler Tsostsobe looks good but not terrorising(reminds of current Aus bowlers,good as back up not as a spear head)with Kallis bowling as les as possible now,the attack is over reliant on the new ball pair.just may not work outside SA where they wont get this bounce esp in Asia

Posted by elle119 on (January 6, 2011, 11:49 GMT)

This clearly shows that Ponting's captaincy, although not brilliant, is not the deciding factor in this series. When you have 9 out of 11 players completely mismatched by their opposition, it doesn't matter whether you are the world's best captain, the team is going to lose (the 2 that match their opposite numbers are probably haddin and hussey).To that extent, if the captaincy is not the pertinent issue, then all you have to consider in Clarke is his batting.. which frankly is not up to scratch. It doesn't matter that he HAD been awesome for Australia for a long period - what matters is how well you are performing currently and if thats not up to standard, then out you go. Loyalty should be shown but not to the extent that it becomes detrimental to the team. Then there's the issue of the bowling, you'd think that if you picked the countries "best" 4 bowlers, they'd understand what line and length means but time and again, over-pitched or too short, never more than 2 balls in same spot

Posted by Pingissimus on (January 6, 2011, 11:42 GMT)

Nice stat for you. From 1988 until this series Australia had only lost 3 matches by an innings. Odds on that it will be 3 in this series. So yes, Chris_Howard, Australia need a mass clear-out. I'd keep Watson up the order though as a solid start is so essential. In many ways the difference between England and Australia can be seen in the solid and unflashy consistency of Cook as against the 90% tripe/10% "how did I do that?"genius served up by Johnson at the beginning of the innings.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 11:31 GMT)

Katich and Ponting need to stay. They are both fine players and Katich let's not forget was horribly injured in the first Test after scoring a brave fifty. I'm not a person for a full-scale cull, but a few elements do need to be rested. I think it's fair to say that Australia lost the Ashes before the series with the dreadful treatment of Nathan Hauritz, the replacement spinners simply didn't cut the mustard and Hauritz had done a good, if adequate, job. Ponting clearly lacked the tactical nous needed to handle him, but as a batsman he is still peerless. Australia needs to look to more younger quicks and give them a chance. The batting will get back to form, Ponting included.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (January 6, 2011, 11:27 GMT)

How about we just go through the Australian team and say who is getting the axe? Hughes - AXED; Smith - AXED (for now); Hilfenhaus - AXED; Johnson - AXED; Beer - AXED (sorry bud but you never should have played). Just axe anyone who isn't in form or doesn't deserve to be there. Keep Watson, Khawaja, Clarke (batting is terrible only for captaincy), Hussey, Haddin, Siddle. Bring back Hauritz and whoever else I really don't care. As far as I'm concerned this current team would lose/draw to New Zealand.

Posted by _Australian_ on (January 6, 2011, 11:21 GMT)

@Martin C. As an Australian I see it as 3 out of the last 12!

Posted by Punter_28 on (January 6, 2011, 11:12 GMT)

Ozzie cricket is heading towards nadir much worse than their mid '80's levels. It was always on the cards when the greats like Shane, Glen, Adam, Mathew & Justin decided to call it a day in a span of one year...added to that Ponting's sudden down slide compounded their miseries. Their cupboards which once used to over flow with talent now looks barren..but they will have few sympathizers for all the cockiness they showed when they were ruling the roost. Unlike the Windies of the '80's, they were never modest and took the gamesmanship to lower levels in the guise of professionalism, aggression etc., but, yet for the sake of good Cricket, one wishes they come back ...

Posted by Jack_98 on (January 6, 2011, 11:03 GMT)

Some players in Australian cricket team are not down to earth. They don't know it is a gentlemen's game. When things not going in their way, they like to cheat. Some of the incidents occurred in this test match proved it. They always think losing is not an option. That's why they cannot win.

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (January 6, 2011, 11:02 GMT)

This has been a bad campaign for Australia. I think the acid test is what happens as a result of this. If we don't make major changes then we can expect the same results. Let's see what happens over the coming year.

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 6, 2011, 10:55 GMT)

this is just unbelievable, its unexplainable what has happened. the kids playing milo cricket at lunch would have given a greater account of themselves. and im not actually joking. england support-you are still a very average, boring team and will get beaten in your next series, like i said, the milo kids would have represented the country better. disgraceful, utterly disgraceful.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 10:53 GMT)

This series can only be described as a drubbing.

Posted by nzfan31 on (January 6, 2011, 10:52 GMT)

I have a more positive view of Australia's performance. I believe that Michael Clarke did his best and that Anderson got him out with an absolute jaffa. I also think that Hughes and Khawaja tried hard against good bowling. Also hilfenhaus got wickets for the first time in the series and Johnson got another 4 wickets. Overall Australia are doing the best they can against an incredibly strong english lineup. It is time to rebuild under Clarke as Captain, Haddin as Vice Captain and Ponting as a senior batsman.

Posted by Pingissimus on (January 6, 2011, 10:48 GMT)

gzawilliam - Johnson just keeps his spot due to x factor. Now that is muddled thinking. Gifted England flying starts in 4 tests and went for 78 runs a wicket in those matches. He is nowhere near a test match bowler. Play him and Australia will continue to lose series 2-0 and 3-1. You prepared to lose 5 test matches to win one?

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 6, 2011, 10:43 GMT)

i cant work this out. on paper its david vs goliath but david has completely dominated. this is bizarre stuff.

Posted by Prats6 on (January 6, 2011, 10:42 GMT)

@martinc : Why count the last 4, why not last 10 to see how Poms have been mauled ?

Yes Aussies were bad this time, superbly bad. And its time the selectors and administration took a good long hard look at the team and what it should do to regain lost glory. As for all English supporters, wait till you play India .. the joy would be short lived.

Posted by thebarmyarmy on (January 6, 2011, 10:35 GMT)

Australia's favourite word of the series has been "FAIL"

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 10:29 GMT)

Cricket, lovely cricket. Don't you just love seeing the Aussies get a bloody good pasting? Harsh I know, but when have Australia been sympathetic when England have been the losing side? 644, it just gets better and better for us "Whingeing Poms" Maybe the epitaph on the urn should now be changed, in FAVOUR of England. One word, 'SWEET'

Posted by Ross_Co on (January 6, 2011, 10:28 GMT)

Got the numbers partially right there MartinC - 3 out of the last 12 is the more correct.

Posted by ihaq1 on (January 6, 2011, 10:27 GMT)

Australians are like pakistan they hang onto players who have delivered in the past...australia have a long time since the next tests and teh world cup should probably decide the fates of ponting and clark...one sees new suggestions all the time now cosgrove, cowan, pattinson and copeland...australia should probably go in for standard openers and shift watson to the allrounder spot...its probably even time for clarke to go alongwith johnston and haddin...they should have given okeefe a tryout too...bollinger and siddle just make a case...maybe its time for teh aussie selectors to go and a new team of selectors with fresh minds to do teh selecting...pontings basic mistake has been not to groom real opening batsmen...men who can be depended upon to score centuries regularly......if the openers and the upper middle order are undependable than it is a rare team that succeeds...

Posted by Ozthewombat on (January 6, 2011, 10:12 GMT)

This is reminiscent of the early eighties when the Oz team hit rock bottom only this time there is no one like Border to fight and scrap and drag the Oz team back into a winning and cohesive cricket team. I have never seen such lack luster, spineless and by the looks of disinterested team. It makes me ashamed to be Australian. Just look at the effort of Kallis the South Africans should make him a national hero for what he has just done. I have enjoyed wiatching the tests between India and SA more than England V Aus. I just don't blame the players but I do think the Selectors need to be held accountable...

Posted by ausdude on (January 6, 2011, 10:08 GMT)

Where has the common sense gone? Is it just me, or has everybody lost their common sense - especially the Australian selectors? Id love to hear other people's opinions on this, because it seems like I am the only one who thinks this? What is Shane Watson doing opening the batting? He is at best a number 6, I would even say number 7 batsmen. People keep blaming Ponting and Clarke for not scoring any runs, which is justified I guess. But think of the pressure placed on them by not having good opening batsmen opening the innings. Watson may be the second highest run scorer, but he hasn't scored any centuries in 10 bats. I can't remember the last series when an Australian opening batsmen didn't score at least 1 century. How can the team have any confidence if the openers aren't performing. The opening batsmen surely need to be the best batsmen in the country. The other issue I have with the selectors is their uncanny ability to pick a ONE DAY SIDE for a TEST Match....continued...

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 10:04 GMT)

Australians showed their arrogance, treated the opposition badly when they were good. That's why the whole world is enjoying their decline. They will be getting the same treatment from the other teams now. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 10:03 GMT)

Its easy to always just blame the selectors but in this case I actually think its justified. For whatever reason they have completely ignored 1st class records. Here are a few of their stupid decisions:

1) Picking Beer over the likes of Hauritz and Steven O'Keefe. Their respective 1st class matches and averages are Beer 7 matches at 43.3, O'Keefe 11 matches at 23.5, Hauritz 67 matches at 41.6. Hauritz has an average of 35 for Australia. O'Keefe averages 46 with the bat in first class cricket. So if you want a young up and coming player surely Steven O'Keefe is the way to go. If you want experience go with Hauritz.

2) Not picking David Hussey. Look at his first class record. 154 matches averaging 55 with a strike rate of 70, over 11,000 runs. What the hell does this guy have to do to get a game?

3) Picking Steven Smith with a first class batting average of 41.25 and a bowling average of 46! Sure he has potential but big deal so do lots of players. You have to prove yourself first.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 10:02 GMT)

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

clarke is a champion and there is no butts he is the man to lead aussies but i believe there must be something else to his form,clarkes head is not in the right place at moment but when hes comes good hes better than any bowlers around and will cash in[ yes any bowler herbet ]so look out poms in 1 dayers clarke to dominate.

Posted by m_baker on (January 6, 2011, 9:55 GMT)

I see some of the England supporters starting to get carried away with the same triumphalism that destroyed them after 2005. England has been lucky to encounter the most awful Australian side in two generations. They will rarely have it so good. Once England has hammered India and South Africa on their own patch, then it's time to sound "God Save the King." Until then, put a sock in it and exercise some humility and grace in victory.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

Mission Impossible 2 was made in Sydney but this is one assignment even Tom Cruise would refuse....Australia have already self-destructed!

Posted by handyandy on (January 6, 2011, 9:53 GMT)

Time to rebuild. Ponting, Hussey, Kattich and Haddin have all been fine servants of Australian cricket but none can be considered long term prospects. It is time for them to go and start bringing in the next generation and hope we can unearth some stars that will take Australia back to the top again.

We need proper openers ... Watson needs to drop down the order. He belongs at 5 or 6. Clarke gets to keep his cataincy by default ... I am not sure he is even worth a spot.

Johnson must learn consistancy ... he is running out of chances.

I would stick with Hughes and Smith for the time being but they must tighten their technique. In fact I would ban both of them from playing 20/20 and just have them concentrate on the longer form of the game.

Paine, Copeland, Ferguson, O'Keefe and co need to be tested againt Sri Lanka and South Africa later this year.

Posted by Rakim on (January 6, 2011, 9:40 GMT)

It happened to sides like West Indies or Pakistan....

Posted by AndrewFromOz on (January 6, 2011, 9:39 GMT)

Wrong captain. If you want to know how to win a cricket match, you ask someone like Cameron White. If you want advice on hair products you ask Michael Clarke.

Posted by TheLoneStranger on (January 6, 2011, 9:31 GMT)

Well, it's all over bar the shouting. No-balls have probably cost us test matches in the past, but Beer's boner cost us an absolute minimum of 143 runs; my guess would be closer to 280-300. Who knows what would have happened had Cook been out for 46, as he should have been? Hughes, Clarke and Beer should never have been picked. Hauritz should have been selected for Brisbane and so should Bollinger (was he fit then?). Regardless, they BOTH should have been picked for Sydney, as should Khawaja (and he was) and Cosgrove. Haddin should have captained the team in the Sydney test (he performed poorly with the bat, but perhaps captaincy responsibilities would have changed that?), with Cosgrove and David Hussey both playing. I despair of ever seeing Mitchell Johnson bat and bowl at his full potential CONSISTENTLY. If ever there was a cricketing enigma, he is it. Sad to see Mike Hussey fall away in the last two tests, but it's to be hoped the selectors don't do "a Hauritz" on him as well!!!

Posted by legb4 on (January 6, 2011, 9:26 GMT)

All due respects to England as they are a far superior team to us at the moment but please spare me the dribble of some of the comments on here. Raju_Iyer if there was a review system in place mate it would have been 1-1 in India so if we're that bad it doesnt say much for the Indian team. We'll be back it might take 5 or so years but we'll be back and we wont be burning effigys of our players in the process.

Posted by Something_Witty on (January 6, 2011, 9:24 GMT)

Brainless. Just about describes the style of cricket our boys have played this summer. Our batsmen (Watson aside), have been thoughtless and irresponsible and the bowlers have bowled so poorly it is difficult to believe. I have not seen us play this badly in a long long time. The most frustrating thing is that all the guys in the team are truly talented, skilful players, there is just something going wrong behind the scenes. The coaching and work ethic of the players must surely be questioned.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 9:17 GMT)

Who was it who said, at the start of the seires...."5 - Zip'???

Posted by bboynexus on (January 6, 2011, 9:12 GMT)

In response to Chris Howard, I think he's got his judgment of Hussey completely off. Law of averages here, friend. Hussey played five consecutive amazing innings. Against good bowling. This is his msot successful series of his career - coupled with a career best score. He's had two sub-par tests, one on a ground where his entire career average falls just below 30. I'm afraid you haven't got much of a case.

"He's slipped back again", he says.

I truly had a laugh.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 9:11 GMT)

I completely agree with the article. my opinion: Ponting has to be retained as captain as Clarke is not there yet. Defensive fields, bowling changes, etc. I would drop Hughes, Beer, Steven Smith and start picking blokes from other states eg: Callum Ferguson, Michael Hill, etc. Also youngsters need to be given more time. Bring back Hauritz and Doherty. FIRE Nielsen. And before the WC give everyone a long holiday to clear their heads,

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 9:07 GMT)

In the last 4 Ashes, Aus lead head to head 8 - 6, which will be 8 - 7 after tomorrow. Interesting stat that...

Posted by bjcm12 on (January 6, 2011, 8:51 GMT)

Aussie cricket is very poor. I do not think changing Ponting is what is needed. The players mentality and morale seems to be really down. Micheal Clarke will be worst than Kim Hughes as the captain. Time is there for Aussies after this test match. Bring back Ricky Ponting since youn guns needs some guidance from an older player and Ricky is capable of doing so. Build a team - keep to a set of guys have confidance in them then their morale will improve. The coach should be changed immedietely - and bring a very good motivator as the coach who can develop talent. Also I am Chappell should not be talking like he is talking now. Mr. Elder Chappell please give constructive criticism not rubbish. You were not the best captain ever produce by Australia and Ricky Ponting has a very good record much much better than you.

Posted by MartinC on (January 6, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

Well as an Englishman I have to say it's a shame it's not a ten test series - it's hopefully the start of a sustained pay back for the last twenty years or so. For anyone counting that's 3 out of the last 4 Ashes series won by England.

Posted by Aussasinator on (January 6, 2011, 8:11 GMT)

This England attack is probably the best, alongside South Africa and a trifle better in bowler friendly conditions. And the Australian batting is perhaps the weakest going around, below New Zealand's levels.

Posted by Raju_Iyer on (January 6, 2011, 8:10 GMT)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! After being spanked by India 2-0, to lose the Ashes in this manner is pathetic.What was that about "Australianism", again?

Posted by Itchy on (January 6, 2011, 8:09 GMT)

No further comments needed Peter - you've said it all. I was planning to go to day 5 in the vain hope of seeing a miracle. Now I will sit at home and hope for rain to give Aus the most undeserved draw in cricket history!

Outbowled, outbatted, outgunned & outplayed. Credit to the England team and backroom - they were better prepared and hungrier for victory.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

Terrible. Time for the sharp knives to come out and start cutting but dont just blame the players. The selectors must be held to account. They dropped hauritz and were too stubborn to bring him back throughout the series. They wont pick players in form in shield cricket. For 2 years Trent Copeland has been up there as the leading wicket taker and bowls a magnificent line an length and moves the ball off the seam and through the air yet he cant get picked. It seems johnson cops all the flack, unfortunately australia only win when he plays well and when he is having an average day or terrible day australia have no chance, he needs a better bowling lineup around him and the batsman need to put a decent score for our bowlers to bowl to. Siddle strikes at over 61 which isnt good enough at test level, hilfy almost 70, johnson strikes at 53 which is up there with lee, better then warne and mcdermott. Unless changes are made from the top, we need to get used to getting flogged by all.

Posted by landl47 on (January 6, 2011, 8:07 GMT)

A lot of talk about how bad Australia are in this article. Perhaps a few words about how good England are might have not only made the Australians feel better, but also recognized that England's hard work has paid off. Yes, this isn't a good Australian side, but apart from a couple of days in Perth, they were never allowed to be good. When Australia dominated cricket it wasn't just because all the other sides were bad. The same applies to this series- except that it's England doing the dominating.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (January 6, 2011, 8:04 GMT)

It's time for Hussey, Ponting, Haddin and Katich to follow the good example of Collingwood and know that now is the time to hang up the boots. Playing on is simply selfish. (Hussey mighta have had a good first three Tests, but the last two he's slipped back again, so should quit while he's ahead.) It doesn't matter if we say we haven't got the players to come in, coz we'll never know if they don't get a go. Australia should do everything possible to get some Tests in Bangladesh in April, and go with an all new and youthful line up of Marsh, Cowan, Khawaja, Ferguson, Clarke, Watson, Paine, Hauritz, Siddle, Pattinson, Copeland. We've gotta start rebuilding instead of waiting for the old guys to retire.

Posted by Dhoni_fan_from_a_dada_era on (January 6, 2011, 8:03 GMT)

Peter nails it. disappointing is such a malapropism going side by side with Aussie Cricket. And australia will search for the correct words till the next series. After teh debacle of 2007 worldcup, india sent a all young team to T20 world cup and it delivered something special. Should Aussies too consider something as dramatic as that?

Posted by Shadrachr on (January 6, 2011, 7:59 GMT)

Awful Australia sink to new depths.

Yes. It is End Of Australia's dominance.

But i request everyone to stop blaming Ponting for this b4 everyone start. Dont forget the way he has played in the first decade in both test and ODI. He is the highest scorer in both the format. he missed by 2 runs to become the first person to score 100 in T20. He is poor in form in the past 2 years. Hope he will bounce back in 2011.

Come on Ponting. Raise 2011 WC as well. If you do that no one can ever equalize your record. Hat-trick WC as captain.

I still have a faith that Aus will bounce back under Ponting leadershp and his batting.

I request all the Aus fans to encourage the team now. This is the moment where we can encourage them that they bounce back and help them to do the same instead of just blaming the team.

Posted by m_baker on (January 6, 2011, 7:58 GMT)

Peter, great article and as usual on the money except for one major slip-up: "England's bowlers have been excellent throughout this series, but Clarke used to be so much better than them." Huh? When has Clarke been "so much better than" anybody? He doesn't stop collapses and counter-attack when his team needs it -- instead, he precipitates or accelerates collapses. He's a good man on flat decks. This guy has NEVER proved himself as Ponting has. Until he goes, Australia will never recover.

Posted by gzawilliam on (January 6, 2011, 7:56 GMT)

I really think there needs to be a cleanout of everything. Players , Captains , Support staff , Selectors and the coach.

Maybe not all at once but this is whats needed.

My team for the sri lanka series.

Mark Cosgrove - Only opener in australia whos batting well and is under 30. Shane Watson - sooner or later he'll kick on. Usman Khawaja - Needs to stay. Look the part. And will improve. Mike Hussey - On his way out but in great form. M.Clarke - Needs to go down the order. Andrew Mcdonald- Only line and length bowler in the country. Much better bat than smith and north. T.Paine - Needs to be shoved in front of haddin for aus to evolve. Haddin has be great but we need pain's youth. N.Hauritz- We've tried them all now and he's still the best of the lot. And his lower order batting was sadly missed since being dropped. M.Johnson - Only just keeps his spot due to x factor. Trent Copeland - GIve him a go D.Bollinger - much better player than what he showed.

Posted by Herbet on (January 6, 2011, 7:53 GMT)

Clarke has never been better than England's bowlers

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