England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 2nd day

Lehmann slams self-inflicted damage

Daniel Brettig at Lord's

July 19, 2013

Comments: 64 | Text size: A | A

Australia's coach Darren Lehmann has conceded the batting inadequacies on such gaudy display at Lord's will take time to be rectified, not only within the Test team but at the domestic levels beneath. Lehmann spoke frankly of his side's abject slide from 42 for 0 to 128 all out, saying he had criticised the team heavily within the dressing room. He also revealed Shane Watson's wrong-headed referral of his lbw, the day's obvious pivot point, had been triggered by his partner Chris Rogers.

Across the day television cameras panned often to Lehmann, not least because he has chosen to listen to the commentary on radio. At Trent Bridge he had made his disgust plain when decisions went against his side, but here he offered expressions apparently drawn from the phrase "if you didn't laugh, you'd cry". But he was plain in his distaste for the way Australia had batted, giving up virtually all their pretensions as Ashes challenges in the space of little more than a session. Asked whether he had read the riot act to his players, Lehmann replied: "Yep. Done and dusted. That will stay in the rooms."

"The top order failed again and we need to make sure we're learning from our mistakes and probably haven't done that from the first innings at Notts to the first innings here," Lehmann said. "We showed glimpses but we've got to bat better. It was more one-day batting than Test match batting. We know we have to improve our batting over periods of time and bat a lot more than 55 overs. We believe the plans are right. Our shot selection was poor today. Simple as that. I think eight out of the 10 were self-inflicted to be perfectly honest."

Since his appointment Lehmann has spoken often of letting his players express themselves on the field, but not without certain boundaries. The issues witnessed at Lord's, from another squandered start by Watson to panicked shots by Usman Khawaja and Phillip Hughes, have also been glimpsed plentifully in Australian domestic matches, particularly now that the Sheffield Shield has been splintered by the dominance of the Big Bash League.

"There's freedom but there's also rules within that, and at the moment we're not following them as a batting group," Lehmann said. "Some of the shots today were certainly not what we talk about and using match awareness is the biggest thing for us, and making sure we're playing them at the right time in the right circumstances.

Tough job: Darren Lehmann watches Australia's performance, England v Australia, 2nd Investec Ashes Test, Lord's, 2nd day, July 19, 2013
Look away now: Darren Lehmann watches Australia collapse © Getty Images

"Domestic level we haven't made enough hundreds either. Batting time is hard work and you see the England players have had a lot of hundreds in their top five. It's going to take time for the players to trust and believe they belong at this level. They certainly have all the attributes to play at this level, there's no doubt about that. It's the execution and the match awareness. All state coaches would be saying the same thing about how to play long innings because in state cricket we don't have too many of those either."

As for the fraught use of the DRS, which had the domino effect of clouding Rogers' thinking after wrongly approving Watson's decision to refer his lbw so the left-hander did not review his own dismissal, a freak departure to a Graeme Swann full toss that was sliding past leg stump.

"Bucky Rogers got that wrong with Shane, he told Shane to take it," Lehmann said. "That's just the way it goes sometimes, and then he should have used one on himself but he probably didn't want to after wasting one. As long as they learn from it that's the thing. We've certainly got the bowling side of it right with the referrals. Now the batters have to get that right."

"I think he's close to having a big score, but I don't want to keep saying that either to be perfectly honest," Lehmann said. "We want him to make big scores. He's a very good player and we've had a couple of good starts to be fair, 0 for 84 in the second innings of Notts and 0 for 42 here. We should be making big runs from there, a lot more than 128."

As for how Australia can improve, they need look no further than Ian Bell, twice already a centurion in this series. "He just stays within his limitations doesn't he," Lehmann said. "That's Test matching batting at its best."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 15:42 GMT)

mickey arthur will be smiling.....arthur was not the problem...clarke is...he's a good batsman but not a good leader...australia could still have used m hussey, ponting, katich for this ashes campaign and they would have been much better than 128 all out..

Posted by uhchem on (July 20, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

I believe batting problem starts from not having specialist openers & one down position as well...I don't understand what is the point to have two all-rounders in test cricket like ASHES...I would say poor team selection...!

Posted by shot274 on (July 20, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

I sometimes wonder if teams dont enforce the follow on because of some perverse commercial interest. If England enforced the follow on and won within 3 days -a lot of refunds for Sunday and Monday!As it stands at the moment England would declare towards end of third day or be bowled out being approx 500 ahead. And we would see a pointless finale with only one possible winner

Posted by reddawn1975 on (July 20, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

Far to much T20 Cricket it's boring and its just a money grab stick to ODI and Test and ever now and then play a few T20s.You can see the players struggle with any form of decent pitch with movement there getting to used to playing on flat roads made for batting..As for the Australian Batting team apart from Clarke i think there is room for at least mmm 4 changes,How about Shaun Marsh George Bailey Doolan or Joe Burns Nick Maddison Mitchel Marsh Luke Butterworth plays very well in big games and many more good bats coasting around Australia i would say C Ferguson but they left the poor bugger out that long after his knee injury they have ruined him,,

Posted by vaidy on (July 20, 2013, 10:56 GMT)

I think the problem squarely lies in the fact that players are being shunted up and down without any sense or purpose. Mate, this is test cricket, NOT ODI or T20 - okay?

Also, players need to be clearly told what role they are going to be playing - each chap doesnt seem to know which position he will bat in in the next match?!

A (Aussie) winter clean up is highly the need of the hour and bring in proper position players for each position. I cannot imagine a no. 3 playing a shot like that one Ussie played. What was he thinking? He has played all of 6 matches and a half! He did not show his hunger to make his stay talk the talk. How many chances are the Hugheses and Khawajas going to get? I am fed up.

Posted by Afsar22 on (July 20, 2013, 10:36 GMT)

It was very painful to watch Australia's batting collapse, especially when Australia knew how crucial the second day at Lord's was for them to turn around the test match in their favour. The whole team stumbled into pressure. Many can easily argue that Australia is currently missing experienced campaigners like Ponting and Hussey. But the problem behind Australia's batting collapse lies more into the lack of some basic mindsets required for test match only. In order to settle themselves, the batsmen need to get out of any pressure to score. The best way to handle the bowling pressure is to give as many dot balls as you wish. You may think it funny. Look at Ian Bell, how many dot balls he produced at the beginning of his innings to allow himself to settle and the reward was a match-turning century. How many times we have seen Rahul Dravid, one of the best test batsmen we have seen in recent times, to give away maiden overs one after another at the start of his innings.

Posted by 2020sux on (July 20, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

sadly Australia has only been in this contest at all because England are playing so far below their best. the biggest concern for Australia at the moment is Clarke, how long before this destroys his form? 12 month ago he was in the best form of his career, a purple patch that I dare say he will never see again. single handed he almost upset the South Africans. I personally reckon that it is rarely ideal to have your best player as your captain ex Richards, Lara, Tendulkar, better to let them concentrate on what they do best for the team. who do we replace him with? that is the million dollar question

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

"He also revealed Shane Watson's wrong-headed referral of his lbw, the day's obvious pivot point, had been triggered by his partner Chris Rogers."

Nope - you're just hanging him out to dry, Boof, while you continue to support Cricket Australia's love affair with Watson, who should have been cast aside years ago - as he would have been 20 years ago. Tom Moody was a far better player but never had the longevity in the Test team that he deserved.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 20, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

@sachin_vvsfan (July 20, 2013, 7:52 GMT) point taken. But you know - there are a lot of your countrymen circling like vultures above these Ashes forums posting caustic trouble making comments. I do reserve the right to rebut them if required. You though are a thoroughly decent poster and I applaud you. peace.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 8:40 GMT)

Has the performance of the Australian Test got anything to do with Argus Review?.Its gone from bad to worse!!

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

The point is that by sacking their one proven top-order batsman and having a captain who can't score runs above number five, EVERY player tried in positions one to four has been thrown to the lions. Had they kept Katich as they should, he would have been a psychological anchor for the new players and they would not have felt nor been as exposed. Doubtless the selectors thought that as players of the calibre of Lehmann, Law, Hodge and David Hussey were surplus to requirements for a decade, there were just as many stellar top-order batsmen waiting in the wings. How wrong they were and how Australia has suffered for their lack of understanding!

Posted by nayonika on (July 20, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Watching the Australian batting was plain disgusting. As an Indian who is an ardent Aussie supporter in the Ashes series I thought they played more like Bangladesh or Kenya when these teams play some of the higher placed countries. Individually some of these Aussies are very good players of pace,swing and spin bowling but in the three innings so far they have not even shown glimpses of their prowess and performance. All these players starting from the skipper should become more responsible and turn up sterling displays of batting,bowling,fielding and decision reviewing to win the series. And please stop mouthing the same platitudes at the end of the day. Come on Aussies.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (July 20, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

@Partyman In bowling department there is not much difference between both sides. In batting there at least 3-4 batsmen who do not deserve a test berth. I wouldn't even select Steve Smith (can't believe how some Aus fans/selectors justify his position saying he got a 90 in India and better than other batsmen).

@Mitty2 " What about us vs SA" But that Aus team was much better than the one in India. Hussey was an important loss. Aus is definitely weaker in batting than Eng #justsaying

@5wombats You need to get over your obsession with India. I agree you are a better test playing nation and you don't have to stereotype any that ridicules Eng team to be Indian fan. Enjoy the game with your wombats Sir #peace

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

I dont think either Watson nor Clarke are very popular with the players. I think the camp is split down the middle. some hate Clarke and so side with Watson but dont like him that much anyway. Others hate Watson and so side with Clarke who may be a brilliant tactitian but is flawed in many other ways. There might be one or 2 neutrals like Rogers and Haddin who support the captain and not the man. I also think that Warner was sent away because of tension between he and Watson after Watson fingered him. Last 2c worth from me - its time australia stopped picking players on raw talent and started picking them on personailty - gritty fighters who would die for the team. Not sure that exists much in this squad at the moment. Id like to see the likes of Silk, Doolan and Ferguson given a go to see what their temperaments are like.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 7:05 GMT)

Completely agree with @smudgeon... This time the no. 10 failed and Australian batting's real pathetic picture comes to the fore. What would have been the margin of defeat if the last Aussie pairs have not scored the runs they did??

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 6:28 GMT)

"Many of us are not interested in the shorter forms?" It's 2013, is there still this notion that one-day cricket is not 'real' cricket?

Posted by smudgeon on (July 20, 2013, 5:56 GMT)

My ideal team for the remainder of the series is just all bowlers. A team including Starc, Agar, Pattinson, Siddle, Cutting, Butterworth, Faulkner, O'Keefe, Steve Smith (hey, I know he's a batsman now, but let's not split hairs), Ryan Harris, and Token Keeper With Reliable Hands (plenty of 'em around) as backstop. Maybe Pup might be able to fight his way into the XI when Harris inevitably breaks down. Seriously though, it wouldn't be fancy, but a team like this could probably flail, block, sneak, and nurdle their way to a more competitive total than the current lot.

Posted by mudders on (July 20, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Henrik Loven: I agree that Katich was shabbily treated and at his best formed a good opening combination with Watson. But he is 38 now and clearly not the answer.

Posted by landl47 on (July 20, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

I'm getting a bit tired of people saying that Katich was dropped because of Michael Clarke. Katich was dropped in 2010 when Ponting was captain.

Why on earth anyone would think that Clarke, or any other captain, would drop a player if they thought he was the best player available is beyond me. This is the third test Clarke has captained against England, the first being when he replaced Ponting for the last test in 2011. He's lost the first two and is well on the way to losing this one. He'd be happy to have anyone he thought would break that losing string, trust me.

Posted by landl47 on (July 20, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

@Partyman: even if you were right (which you aren't- England scored 523 against India in the 3rd test in 2012) it would prove nothing. 500 isn't some kind of yardstick for a good batting side. It depends on the wicket, the weather and the opposition as well as the batting side.

And what on earth does 'England need to discover the art of playing as a group' mean? England were 28-3 in this game and made 361. Isn't that playing as a group- so that if some players fail, others step up?

I don't know what point you're trying to make, but you sure haven't said anything sensible in this comment.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

What is truly frightening from Australia's point of view is hat there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. One shudders to think what will happen if Michael Clarke's back cts up and he has to sit out a test match. This lot just dont seem out of form...they seem incapable!

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 20, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

@Chris Rowland: "England are better than Australia if they're winning"... Thanks for that Sherlock, same goes for the converse.. "England played better than Australia against the same bowlers in India which makes them better players" HA, that's a ridiculous statement. What about us vs SA - in whom you say are the best team in the world - where we got totals of 550 and 600, England didn't even get close to that and in the whole series got demolished, so does that make us better players? Pfft.

@Henrick Loven, of course what makes a successful captain is if he bats lower at 5. What about Cook's form? No mention of that? His tactics and batting have been incredibly sub-par, feel like mentioning that?

@Partyman, their averages individually should make them a dominate team... But collectively they never collectively fire apart from stages in India (was still led by individuals in Cook and KP) and the 2010/11 Ashes series. They are overrated, but that doesn;t change how badly we batted.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (July 20, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

At the moment its a case of which batting unit will collapse first, and England have been shored up by Bell who was largely written off at the start of the series as being the man most likely not to survive the series.

In regards to Australia, at times they look like rabbits caught in the headlights, Chris Rodgers is certainly getting on at 36, and it does remind me of the type of thing english selectors did in the 90's, bring in a player based on 'experience' rather than on merit.

I would think Warner could come back for the 3rd test in 2 weeks BUT i dont think hes having a great time with the A-team (11 & 6 ??).

After this series Lehmann will at least have a chance to pick a team he wants, rather than the team MA wanted, and to work with the team especially the batting to try and build a backbone for them to fit others round.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

Australia batting is already burnt to ashes in India. CA did nothing to fix it except to fire the coach. After 5-0 whipping probably things will settle down. Absolutely no temperament, all the players are simply throwing their wickets like 20/20. If this is going to be the style Aussies will never cross 300 in this series. The puzzle is whom to drop and whom to pick when all them are horrible.

Posted by hkiran1 on (July 20, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

@Chris Rowland Can't agree that England played better against the same Indian side which bashed Aussies. Not only the team composition was different, Ashwin showed how an offie should bowl against Aus which he apparently forgot against the Poms. It would have been lovely to watch English batsmen made to dance by the duo of in form Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja like they did against Aus. Also don't forget Bhuvaneshwar kumar.

Posted by Blokker on (July 20, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

Australia's recent record is poor to fair, with a 3-0 win against Sri Lanka, a close loss against SA, then the India debacle - coinciding with Mike Hussey's retirement. It's Hussey who has been hardest to replace, as it happens. England are a fairly good side with their frailties already abundantly clear in their results against NZ - but they are still better than Aussie, and that's the problem. We're not even as good as the average sides at the moment.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 3:49 GMT)

Agreed...with the likes of Katich and M Hussey out, there is a huge hole in the Aus batting line up. Khwaja threw his wicket away again and Hughes after a splendid first innings in the first test has indulged in indiscretion. The batsmen need to put a price on their wicket which no one seems to do at the moment. Once upon a time, this lineup boasted of players like Langer, Hayden, Ponting, Martyn,M Waugh and Katich. It pains to see the Australian youngsters crumble without a fight...what happened to George Bailey and Callum Ferguson? I refuse to believe that there is a dearth of talent in Australia...just that we need the right people in the team.

Posted by sportofpain on (July 20, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

@Henrik Loven - Good point re Katich. He is a fighter although still a limited player. He could be added to the list of Hodge, Punter and Hussey - there would be steel alright in the Aussie line up then. Watson - wasn't he the replacement for Symonds? Guess who had a fallout with Symonds - you guessed it - Pup and Symonds paid the price. Too much roadkill to accomodate Pup who is not in the same league as Punter or Waugh - go back to the drawing board CA and get some real men to play for your team.

Don't feel sorry for Australia though - they never won with grace - it was always with loud mouths and brashness - what was it that Steven said - 'mental disintegration' - the wine must not be tasting very good now Steven.

Posted by thebrotherswaugh on (July 20, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

As if Watson needed the advice of a team mate to take the referral. He's shown in the past that he uses the DRS whenever he's LBW, even when absolutely plumb! Yet Lehmann is basically shifting the blame onto Rogers and once again protecting the walking ego that is Shane Watson. Sorry, Watson must have had a good idea it was plumb, and the non-striker is not always in a good position to give advice - it's not as if he's backing up down the umpire's line of vision, is it, so any judgements are made from an angled perspective. Watson bears the sole responsibility. Just watch, he'll continue in the same manner as the series goes on.

Posted by ODI_BestFormOfCricket on (July 20, 2013, 2:50 GMT)

I don't why my comments about hot spot did not listed, hope this one will. In hughes case (if edged), realiability of hot spot comes under scanner as i said earlier it SOMETIMES does not detect very thin edges. IF NOT HE EDGED, then there is a problem in DRS process. Had umpire ruled huges not out and if eng reviewed, since the hotspot detects nothing, the decision would have simply NOT OUT. But what happenend on the field was complete opposite bcz of onfield umpire's decision.

Snicko is not part of the drs (sometimes air compression when ball crosses bat mistaken as edges), also hotspot detects nothing.., can anybody tell me why and how hughes ruled out by third umpire? There are lot of issues needs to be addressed in technology and implementing drs. So dont blame always BCCI. I will show atleast 5 failed hotspot cases that happend in england vs srilanka series.

Posted by farkin on (July 20, 2013, 2:37 GMT)

now he"boof" is seeing what mickey arthur had to put up with, working with dross batsmen

Posted by Thegimp on (July 20, 2013, 2:37 GMT)

I have been a follower for 35 years and never in my time have i witnessed a group of players acting and playing like hollywood superstars. It is only the bowling outfit that keeps me interested, the team grounded and from floating away on the breeze from a condition known as BHS "Bloated Head Syndrome". Watson, Hughes and Warner, send them home, send out David Hussey, Katich, George Bailey and Jordan Silk at least they would hold what it is to wear that Baggy Green Cap!!!

Posted by Jagger on (July 20, 2013, 2:06 GMT)

BTW - if Rogers is blamed for Watsons selfish referral, then it goes without saying Khawaja must be blamed for Rogers' inept non-referral.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 2:04 GMT)

Maybe the problem was not the coach?

Posted by Jagger on (July 20, 2013, 2:02 GMT)

I have watched the replay - I do not for one minute believe Rogers is to blame for Watson's DRS debacle. Watson demanded a comment from him. The more I see of Watson, the more I dislike him. Now that he has lost pace/ penetration with him bowling it's time to get rid of him.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 1:59 GMT)

Seems to me that before you go to the test, you should have done your homework! But Aussies thought different from Mickey Arthur and what you have now is an arrogant team not knowing what to do when they are being examined....

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 1:54 GMT)

why ask the non striker's opinion on lbw appeals if you didn't hit the ball? he's hardly in a position to have any idea

Posted by jr1972 on (July 20, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

@Partyman: "England are not any better than Australia at the moment." Have you been watching the series? @Henrik Loven, don't feel sorry for the Aussies, as you said it, they lorded, and lorded it very loudly for those 15 years. Decline is always inevitable after such supremacy. History shows that they will be back and with a bang. I just can't see it with this group of players.

Posted by runout49 on (July 20, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

If Rogers told Watson to refer the LBW decision then he can forget becoming an umpire in his life after cricket !

Posted by Greatest_Game on (July 20, 2013, 1:17 GMT)

@ Partyman. I see that you are of the opinion that " Playing as individuals as (England) are doing now, they will be exposed brutally the moment they start playing better teams." England will have no real problems for a while then, as they only play South Africa again in December 2015. They'll have plenty of time to practice, and recruit new batsmen.

I believe KP and Trott are launching a sports agency as they believe that they are ideally placed to to meet the supply and demand needs of teams seeking talented & well-schooled batsmen. Smart move, but then they have the experience that matters.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (July 20, 2013, 1:16 GMT)

I bet Mickey Arthur is glad he's gone. The Australian press would have been all over him if he was still there saying it was all his fault.

Well, new coach, new attitude, same result. Sure these things take time, but I think Lehmann now knows why Arthur had to treat these guys like schoolboys.

England has it's own batting problems. If they bat like that in Australia, they'll be lucky to win a Test here.

Maybe we should invent a new game without top orders. Six-a-side. Five bowlers and a keeper. Between these tow teams, then we'd seem some great games.

Posted by Amith_S on (July 20, 2013, 1:15 GMT)

Siddle is pure class, he'd make any attack except for the South African. England is the most difficult place to keep,and Haddin needs to do better. Watson and Hughes need to be careful what they chose to review. Khawaja needs to be shown half the faith that was shown in Cowan and be given the series as this was his first innings only. Lehmann and Clarke himself talk about him batting where the team needs him. Well we don't need some latter day general on a white horse urging his men forward while he camps on a safe hill top pointing the way with his cutlass. We need a man who will lead them into battle with ferocious and determined disregard for anything other than building match winning partnerships from the top of the order not the tail.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2013, 0:55 GMT)

I agre with Henrick. Katich was wrimngly sacked of his conract by Clarke Ranjan Eodrigo

Posted by poms_have_short_memories on (July 19, 2013, 23:31 GMT)

Seems like 1985 all over. In the years after that Australia had to persevere with what they had, one world class batsman (AB), and several young talented, if not seasoned young batsmen,(S.Waugh, Dean Jones and Boony). The main problem as I see it, is that the Australian batsmen have lost the ability to leave the ball and concentrate for long periods of time, England did bowl well, but not brilliantly. Let's hope this rebuilding period doesn't last too long. ps Let's bowl them out for under 100 Sidds and make a game of it.

Posted by shot274 on (July 19, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

Sorry partyman- im neither English or Aus but England are far superior to Australia. Which Australian apart from Clarke would get a place in the English team. And looking at it the other way around Cook, Trott, Petersen, Bell, Anderson,Broad and Swan would all walk into the Aussie side. England are a top team and only behind South Africa and it would not surprise me if this series is a whitewash. The Aussie batting line up at present is a joke! About 5 years ago the likes of Rogers, khwaja, Hughes and Smith would not make it to an Australian B side!

Posted by 5wombats on (July 19, 2013, 23:24 GMT)

@Partyman - what a lot of nonsense; "England need to discover the art of playing as a group". Then you talk about England playing the better teams - using the plural form "teams" - so @Partyman - who are these "teams" who will "brutally expose" England? The only one I can think of would be South Africa. You can't be talking about India since England have just whitewashed them here and beaten them in India. You talk about "playing as individuals". I think you are a bit mixed up here - I think you are talking about India - historically they play as individuals, individuals who need to discover the art of playing as a group. You haven't once mentioned the content of this article - instead you have rattled on about England, for some reason.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 23:16 GMT)

361 all out is not incompetent

Posted by Chris_P on (July 19, 2013, 23:12 GMT)

@ Partyman. I agree with Chris Rowland, what is your point? Who cares how you bat when you win? 361, while not a great score will be competitive most times, but when you bowl out the opposition for less, what does it matter? If nothing else, at least it means the Poms aren't playing on roads all the time. @Henrik Lovén, no need to feel sorry, believe me, we are are just totally frustrated. There are only 3 things wrong with the Aussie team at the moment, over rated, over paid & over there.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 23:11 GMT)

I wonder if there's going to be many better teams in world cricket in the next 4-5 years. Take Test cricket, only SA are better and the current might of India will go through a tough test later this year when they tour SA. Take ODIs and not any other team is even half as good as India. T20 is not pure cricket at all. The overall quality of present new comers(barring Indian ones) is just mind numbing. Especially the incompetence of Aus batting is just disheartening. World cricket is not going in the right direction at all.

Posted by CapitalMarkets on (July 19, 2013, 22:50 GMT)

Noticed that Root was rushed today. He doesn't look as good as Agar as a batsman. Good batsmen seem to have more time than the rest and Root appeared to have less, as did Khawaja. It was a comedy of errors today and it started before Australia had bowled a ball yesterday when they substituted Cowans for Khawaja. Haddin (of all people) cost Australia two wickets today by ignoring Agar's call and then recklessly hitting across the line (at least with the spin I suppose). At the moment, Harris is the only Australian who has acquitted himself with any credit. Fortunately for them, Cook's going through an out of form period and Pietersen needs to be kicked out of the team to rediscover both his desire and his footwork. the swagger needs to be accompanied with some decent statistics and England's top order had better start remembering that, on those limited occasions when Harris plays, he takes his wickets at 21 each (roughly as good as Malcolm Marshall) and start treating him with respect.

Posted by Robofk on (July 19, 2013, 22:26 GMT)

Aussies where are the 100's Ponting, Hayden, Gilchrist, Martin, Langer and your coach were scoring. Find an answer for this then this team will start wining matches. Please kick Watson out he is not a Test batsman. Agar's 98 gave a wrong message kick him also out and bring Bird in. Please don't consider Smith as a specialist batsman use him as an all rounder let him bowl 10 overs every day. Don't select both Hughes and Khawaja in same team they are same kind of players. If you play with 5 Ponitngs' in a team opposite team need only one bowler Harbagan Singh.

Posted by Shan156 on (July 19, 2013, 22:24 GMT)

@Partyman, England scored 523 in Kolkata in December 2012. But, I agree that our batting unit has not fired collectively for a while. However, what makes you say that England are not any better than Australia? We are ranked higher than them, we beat them in the first test, and for another relevant comparison since we both played India in b2b series, we beat India 2-1 in India while they lost 0-4.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

The Oz selectors are incompetent too and should be sacked.

Posted by RodStark on (July 19, 2013, 22:15 GMT)

It's distressing that the general standard of test match batting seems to have slipped so low. A couple of years ago I would have said that England had an outstanding top five, but since Strauss retired it all seems to have slipped a lot. It's all very well for Partyman to say that they will be exposed brutally the moment they start playing better teams, but who are those better teams? South Africa of course, but I don't think we play them for a while. India? Who knows? We play them next year, but they were awful last time they played in England, and we just beat thm in India. I love seeing England win, but it looks like they can continue to win with mediocrity as the other teams are so below standard.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 22:08 GMT)

The players said that it was going to be fun playing under Lehmann, doesnt look like much fun to me.It looks like Micky Arthur was made a scapegoat for poorly performing players.Its hard to find anything that Australia is doing right, they would have been humiliated in the first test as well if not for Agars heroics with the bat.Kwajah the wonder boy doesnt look too good agsinst soin, I didnt see much footwork but I did see a lot of frowns before he batted and while he was batting. Does Australia have any real, old fasioned openers in the whole country, Rogers was going to be the solution there but nothing from him so far.And why doesnt Clarke bat at three? Congrats to England although Australia continues to get the wrong end of the stick with the umpiring decidions not helped by Watsons continued selfishness. It doesnt look like Clarke is going to leave much of a legacy but he always looked like a lightweight and never appealed to more traditional cricketers like Katich or Hussey.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 21:55 GMT)

I woke up this morning in Oz and wondered up England didn't enforce the follow on. Then I realised that Cook (a batman) is worried that he not going to get much of a bat over the next three tests. Really he can realistical only be guaranteed three more innings. Someone like Prior must be worried that he won't get an opportunity to bat again in this series. The Australians on the other hand are guaranteed to have another six attempts at batting before the series ends. Which means the Ausssies can relax and concentrate on their golf as they will get plenty of opportunity to bat. As for the poor English batsmen, I guess they will have to spend more time in the nets as its the only practice of the craft they are good at that, that they will get.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 21:42 GMT)

"Bucky Rogers got that wrong with Shane, he told Shane to take it," Lehmann said. "

That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. How can the non-striker be certain where it pitched when he is standing at such a terrible angle. He can only be guessing. To put a player in such a position where he has to decide the fate of his team mate is completely unfair. Rogers is in only his third test, Watson has an ego the size of Texas. If Rogers gets it wrong he knows he will be blamed. He will always come up with the same response - "use the DRS". It ended up costing him his own wicket.

It is time batsmen stopped asking the non-striker for their opinion. They are not a position to determine with any confidence what happened. In the end they will always say what the batsmen want to hear. And then the batsman has an excuse when he has wasted an appeal. "Rogers told me it wasn't out". The only person to blame is Watson. That was plum and he knew it. A more selfish cricketer I haven't seen.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

Honestly, I believe with all the limited over cricket brought on by Twenty20, these players have forgotten how to bat in a test match. They still have it in their heads that they need to score runs quickly and get as many as possible. Slow down boys. Really, I'm confident you can get it back.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

Partyman: I don't really understand your point. England's batting has been worse since 2011 but so have their results. England are better than Australia if they are winning. England played better than Australia against the same bowlers in India which makes them better players. England were exposed by a better team last year against South Africa, who are the best team in the world. Whatever our opinions, the final result will decide who is right!

Posted by   on (July 19, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

I feel sorry for the Australian fans. After 15 years of lording it, it's come crashing down. Not only has a dearth of true batting talent been exposed, but the selectors, in an effort to secure their then-new captain's reign, ill-advisedly and disastrously for Australia decided they could afford to contentiously dismiss and alienate Simon Katich. With a captain who cannot lead from the front, only bat successfully at number five (and who is out of form to boot), Australia have been hurting ever since. This test has mercilessly exposed Australia's frailty as well as mistakes as the only in-form Australian batsman this summer is Katich.

Posted by Partyman on (July 19, 2013, 20:33 GMT)

Australian batting is incompetent alright. But what about England? England have not scored 500 in an innings since August 2011, I believe. They have been consistently helped by some genius moments but as a group they have failed since then. The likes of Root and Bairstow are overrated. Lucky they are playing Australia at the moment. Attention is away from England for obvious reasons, but England are not any better than Australia at the moment. England need to discover the art of playing as a group. Playing as individuals as they are doing now, they will be exposed brutally the moment they start playing better teams.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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