England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 4th day July 21, 2013

Desolate Clarke points finger at batsmen

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If there was optimism in Michael Clarke's voice after Trent Bridge, it had turned to utter desolation at Lord's. On the receiving end of Australia's sixth consecutive Test defeat, a sequence last experienced in the grim days of 1984, Clarke was clearly upset by a hiding that has all but ended the team's hopes of regaining the Ashes in England.

Speaking frankly of the team's myriad batting problems and the pressure that has placed on the bowlers, Clarke also conceded the defeats were taking a heavy toll on him, and said his own vision of what the Australian team should be had been shaken by a succession of losses that is now the equal of the run that ended Kim Hughes' captaincy when repeatedly humbled by the West Indies.

"Every team I've been a part of that's lost - it's obviously been extremely tough and you probably take it more personally when you're captain of the team as well," Clarke said. "Our performance with the bat in the first innings was unacceptable. The wicket was very good for batting, we had a great opportunity and we let ourselves down.

"The reason you play any sport is to try and win - that's the way I have been brought up. But half of my problem I guess is that I walked into such a great Australian team that won as a habit and that was something I became accustomed to and used to. I don't want that to change. At the moment we are not performing as well as I would like. We are letting everyone down at the moment with the way we are batting. Our bowlers are fighting hard, we are making them bowl every single day because we are not putting enough runs on the board."

Clarke tackled the matter of Australia's batting and the terminal lack of application and patience that has repeatedly hindered the team's efforts to build match-shaping scores. In seven Test matches since January only two hundreds have been made by Australian batsmen - Matthew Wade against Sri Lanka in Sydney and Clarke himself in Chennai.

"We've got plenty of experience in our top seven, we've seen already in this series that guys can score runs against this attack," Clarke said. "Our shot selection was poor and we just didn't have the discipline that England had. England were willing to bat for long periods and graft through the tough times - and we certainly weren't in that first innings."

"I don't want anybody in our team to not play their natural game and not back their natural instinct. You have to do that 100 per cent. But like it or not, when you're playing against good opposition there are going to be tough times in your innings as a batsman and you've got to find a way to get through that. In my career, the way I've tried to get through those periods is with my defence."

Causes for Australia's lack of consistent run-scoring have been debated for some time and Clarke has commented strongly by his own choice of career path, shelving international Twenty20 duty to better prepare for Test matches and ODIs, while also skipping several domestic T20 tournaments in order to preserve his fragile back.

"I think you learn that defence at the age of 10," Clarke said. "Obviously there are three different formats we now play and there's times through your career in T20 cricket, or one-day cricket where you make a 50 off 25 balls or a hundred off 50 balls, that's a great innings. But I know in Test cricket, some of the best innings I've ever seen in my career are guys making a hundred off 350 balls. So there's a time and a place.

"I love all three forms. My reason to retire from T20 was to focus on ODI and Test cricket. I felt my game had to improve in certain areas to stay in the team. I try to use the time that I'm not playing T20 to improve my game. Everyone is in a different boat and different age and stage of life. I can't make decisions for other people. There is room for all three formats in the game but you must be a very good player to perform at all three formats."

The player who has best met the demands of all three formats of the game is the now retired Michael Hussey. It cannot be a coincidence that over the past 12 months Australia are yet to win an international match overseas without him.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Neela80 on July 22, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    There is absolutely no problem with the captaincy of Clarke.. He is just fine as an australian captain. Just that his batting line-up has to show a bit more patience.... Just try not to give Anderson, Broad or Swann wickets for two consecutive spells...Even if that means scoring at 1.5 RPO. They will give you the runs automatically. and I just cannot accept the shot selection of some of the top order especially to a "way-below" part timer like Root.

    I still think that australia can win 2 test matches if not the next three to level the series. Australia should keep beleiving that if they can get Eng to 30/3 twice they can get them all out under 150 as well. And watson should try... infact practice... not to plant his front foot on off stump, it has to be on middle or even middle and leg. he should try to target to play swann, if he does that then Aus would have has a good start by the time swann arrivers

  • Mandini on July 22, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    A couple of more losses as captain will have a disastrous effect on his image, he is stuck between a rock and a hard place, on the one hand he could resign as captain and be labelled a quitter on the other he can suffer another defeat and be labelled one of the least successful Australian captains of all time. Neither option looks good on a CV. He has to step up and bat at 3, he can no longer do what is best for his image, unfortunately what is best for Michael is not automatically what is best for the team. Of course at the same time he needs more support from the system and a few big changes need to be made to the team. The chairman of selectors has to swallow his pride and bring in one or two of the banished players who are showing good current form.

  • H_Z_O on July 23, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh I'm reminded of something Nasser says every time England's batsmen start a series poorly (which has happened a lot recently). He reckons the team management's message is: "You got us in this mess, you get us out of it".

    Think the Aussies have to do the same with their batsmen. Stick with the side they have, maybe try a couple of options at Hove but it should pretty much be the same side. Watson needs to adjust his technique to counter this lbw issue and the game at Hove is a great time to try something like that. Rogers could probably do with a big score just to settle his nerves so he should play. Khawaja and Hughes likewise, while I'd rest Clarke. He looked good at Lord's and got out to a brain-fade. Not like his hundred at Worcs made any difference; will a hundred at Hove?

    Smith at 5, Wade at 6 (Haddin's been poor with the gloves). Faulkner, Agar, Starc, Bird and Lyon. Chance to look at two spinners and a 5-1-5 split, but mostly to get Bird and Lyon ready for OT.

  • cozens on July 23, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    its tough for Austrailia as they are suffering a loss of confidence. I don;t think you can under estimate this point. All odf the Aus top 5 are good batsmen (Clarek world class), but combine thier current lack of form & confidence with playing overseas against a very good bowling side and things are difficult. Its as Clarke says, they have to find a way to get through the tough times. Grind it out and if they see out 6 maidens, so be it. I still dont see them winning a test , but perhaps they can force a draw by batting for 5 sessions?

  • thebrotherswaugh on July 23, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    @dizzay - Clarke is a very good tactical captain. He's as good as any other captain in Test cricket at the moment. He may not be the greatest leader, but you can't fault his batting efforts over the last 3 years - not unless you want to lose any semblance of credibility. He can only lead in a manner that and style that befits his personality. He would also look something of a 'toothless tiger' if he started trying to be more hard-nosed, uncompromising, and intimidating. He simply hasn't got the cattle to back it up. @Moppa - Very astute comments. Clarke is a wonderful batsman who has carried the OZ batting line-up for the past 2-1/2 years, along with Hussey. There are no easy fixes at the moment. We simply don't have any batting depth. Now that they've picked Khawaja, they MUST stick with him for the final 3 tests. As for the other batsmen, who have we got to replace them. Everybody was lauding the selection of Rogers, solid County background & experience, but he's struggled as well.

  • H_Z_O on July 22, 2013, 23:13 GMT

    @Cyril_Knight I still maintain Hughes' main issue is temperament. He showed that up at Trent Bridge where he played a much more composed and disciplined innings and let Agar play the aggressive shots.

    And he's a great example of my point. They bring him in for a few Tests, drop him, bring him back for a few, drop him. Then they keep changing his batting position.

    That said, I didn't mean there isn't a lack of talent. There is, at least in terms of the depth of options. It's very un-Australian; I remember the days when their second XI batsmen were probably a good match for most sides in the world. There's a paucity of options to choose from now, and that's why they have to identify the players the management think have "it" and stick with them. They'll either sink or swim. But it's not like there's a stack of players vying for places.

    Voges is nigh-on 34 (First Class average of 40). Katich is nigh-on 38, while Ponting and Hussey are both over 38. That's just delaying the inevitable.

  • Cyril_Knight on July 22, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    @H_Z_O This problem of selection is what England faced until 2005. It takes a strong set of selectors and a coach and captain willing to take the on the responsibility of sticking with failing players, in a losing side. CA have shown very recently with the sacking of Arthur that they will not take on this burden.

    But you say there is not a problem with lack of talent. Really? Not one of those Australian players (except a fully fit Clarke for Bairstow) would get in the England XI. So there is a problem with talent. But are these players even the best available?

    Australia are sticking with some players, like Hughes, who frankly is one of the worst batsmen ever to play for Australia, certainly the worst since 1989.

  • H_Z_O on July 22, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    The problem isn't T20 cricket. It isn't a lack of talent. It's not coaches or captains.

    The problem is continuity of selection. A lot of people bring up the fact Agar is the 13th spinner Australia have tried since Warne retired. But what about the opening partnership?

    Watson and Rogers is the 11th different opening pair since Langer's retirement.

    That's not 11 times they've changed openers (they've done it more). That's 11 pairs of batsmen who have been tried as openers since the Langer-Hayden axis ended.

    Cook and Root is England's 6th pair in the same period. Two of those were during a series Strauss was rested from. Strauss and Vaughan retired in that time.

    Ian Bell's form coming into this series was awful. But the England selectors kept on picking him because they backed him, and look how that turned out.

    Australia need to decide their best 11 and stick with it. Take any defeats that come as the cost of doing business. Find a "core" and build around it. But be patient.

  • GrindAR on July 22, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Cool down folks... one match at a time... Look like every one had mandatory 1:1 with team management during the match. So, they had to finish as quickly as possible to be on time for the meeting. Only way to do is donate their wickets. Joe Root is a decent spinner, many folks are good at getting out on his delivery... Probably, the management should have daily pre-match motivational session, in order for the batsmen to feel their presence and value of their wicket. Clarke himself behaving childish... and treat their folks with his ego. You can see that in the 2nd innings of eng. No tooth in blowing setup ( i do not find fault with bowlers), in the way the fielding placements were... so naive... what ever...from test #3, there will be near empty stands... leading to many other important events in the local community, lets hope for a bounce back to show some grit in the next one... still 3 more suprises to go... Joe Root's contribution is solid, but not a surprise, as he is capable of..

  • kosiganti on July 22, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    Mikey, Its just a bad period for Australia. Englishmen suffered the same in the early and mid decade of 2000. Still I believe your team is a great team. Peter Siddle is doing well, Agar is doing well, Pattinson is doing well in the bowling department. The problem is in batting department. Shane watson is not showing the capability of how good a test batsman he is, Phil Hughes got many chances, but he lacks technique, you yourself is a great batsman, haddin is a good batsman, Rogers is showing maturity. Its only a matter of time. Don't give wickets to Swann. Get as much practice as possible with spinners. That is how you people can improve your batting against spin. The collapse is happening against spin. Best of luck.

  • Neela80 on July 22, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    There is absolutely no problem with the captaincy of Clarke.. He is just fine as an australian captain. Just that his batting line-up has to show a bit more patience.... Just try not to give Anderson, Broad or Swann wickets for two consecutive spells...Even if that means scoring at 1.5 RPO. They will give you the runs automatically. and I just cannot accept the shot selection of some of the top order especially to a "way-below" part timer like Root.

    I still think that australia can win 2 test matches if not the next three to level the series. Australia should keep beleiving that if they can get Eng to 30/3 twice they can get them all out under 150 as well. And watson should try... infact practice... not to plant his front foot on off stump, it has to be on middle or even middle and leg. he should try to target to play swann, if he does that then Aus would have has a good start by the time swann arrivers

  • Mandini on July 22, 2013, 0:10 GMT

    A couple of more losses as captain will have a disastrous effect on his image, he is stuck between a rock and a hard place, on the one hand he could resign as captain and be labelled a quitter on the other he can suffer another defeat and be labelled one of the least successful Australian captains of all time. Neither option looks good on a CV. He has to step up and bat at 3, he can no longer do what is best for his image, unfortunately what is best for Michael is not automatically what is best for the team. Of course at the same time he needs more support from the system and a few big changes need to be made to the team. The chairman of selectors has to swallow his pride and bring in one or two of the banished players who are showing good current form.

  • H_Z_O on July 23, 2013, 10:07 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh I'm reminded of something Nasser says every time England's batsmen start a series poorly (which has happened a lot recently). He reckons the team management's message is: "You got us in this mess, you get us out of it".

    Think the Aussies have to do the same with their batsmen. Stick with the side they have, maybe try a couple of options at Hove but it should pretty much be the same side. Watson needs to adjust his technique to counter this lbw issue and the game at Hove is a great time to try something like that. Rogers could probably do with a big score just to settle his nerves so he should play. Khawaja and Hughes likewise, while I'd rest Clarke. He looked good at Lord's and got out to a brain-fade. Not like his hundred at Worcs made any difference; will a hundred at Hove?

    Smith at 5, Wade at 6 (Haddin's been poor with the gloves). Faulkner, Agar, Starc, Bird and Lyon. Chance to look at two spinners and a 5-1-5 split, but mostly to get Bird and Lyon ready for OT.

  • cozens on July 23, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    its tough for Austrailia as they are suffering a loss of confidence. I don;t think you can under estimate this point. All odf the Aus top 5 are good batsmen (Clarek world class), but combine thier current lack of form & confidence with playing overseas against a very good bowling side and things are difficult. Its as Clarke says, they have to find a way to get through the tough times. Grind it out and if they see out 6 maidens, so be it. I still dont see them winning a test , but perhaps they can force a draw by batting for 5 sessions?

  • thebrotherswaugh on July 23, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    @dizzay - Clarke is a very good tactical captain. He's as good as any other captain in Test cricket at the moment. He may not be the greatest leader, but you can't fault his batting efforts over the last 3 years - not unless you want to lose any semblance of credibility. He can only lead in a manner that and style that befits his personality. He would also look something of a 'toothless tiger' if he started trying to be more hard-nosed, uncompromising, and intimidating. He simply hasn't got the cattle to back it up. @Moppa - Very astute comments. Clarke is a wonderful batsman who has carried the OZ batting line-up for the past 2-1/2 years, along with Hussey. There are no easy fixes at the moment. We simply don't have any batting depth. Now that they've picked Khawaja, they MUST stick with him for the final 3 tests. As for the other batsmen, who have we got to replace them. Everybody was lauding the selection of Rogers, solid County background & experience, but he's struggled as well.

  • H_Z_O on July 22, 2013, 23:13 GMT

    @Cyril_Knight I still maintain Hughes' main issue is temperament. He showed that up at Trent Bridge where he played a much more composed and disciplined innings and let Agar play the aggressive shots.

    And he's a great example of my point. They bring him in for a few Tests, drop him, bring him back for a few, drop him. Then they keep changing his batting position.

    That said, I didn't mean there isn't a lack of talent. There is, at least in terms of the depth of options. It's very un-Australian; I remember the days when their second XI batsmen were probably a good match for most sides in the world. There's a paucity of options to choose from now, and that's why they have to identify the players the management think have "it" and stick with them. They'll either sink or swim. But it's not like there's a stack of players vying for places.

    Voges is nigh-on 34 (First Class average of 40). Katich is nigh-on 38, while Ponting and Hussey are both over 38. That's just delaying the inevitable.

  • Cyril_Knight on July 22, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    @H_Z_O This problem of selection is what England faced until 2005. It takes a strong set of selectors and a coach and captain willing to take the on the responsibility of sticking with failing players, in a losing side. CA have shown very recently with the sacking of Arthur that they will not take on this burden.

    But you say there is not a problem with lack of talent. Really? Not one of those Australian players (except a fully fit Clarke for Bairstow) would get in the England XI. So there is a problem with talent. But are these players even the best available?

    Australia are sticking with some players, like Hughes, who frankly is one of the worst batsmen ever to play for Australia, certainly the worst since 1989.

  • H_Z_O on July 22, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    The problem isn't T20 cricket. It isn't a lack of talent. It's not coaches or captains.

    The problem is continuity of selection. A lot of people bring up the fact Agar is the 13th spinner Australia have tried since Warne retired. But what about the opening partnership?

    Watson and Rogers is the 11th different opening pair since Langer's retirement.

    That's not 11 times they've changed openers (they've done it more). That's 11 pairs of batsmen who have been tried as openers since the Langer-Hayden axis ended.

    Cook and Root is England's 6th pair in the same period. Two of those were during a series Strauss was rested from. Strauss and Vaughan retired in that time.

    Ian Bell's form coming into this series was awful. But the England selectors kept on picking him because they backed him, and look how that turned out.

    Australia need to decide their best 11 and stick with it. Take any defeats that come as the cost of doing business. Find a "core" and build around it. But be patient.

  • GrindAR on July 22, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Cool down folks... one match at a time... Look like every one had mandatory 1:1 with team management during the match. So, they had to finish as quickly as possible to be on time for the meeting. Only way to do is donate their wickets. Joe Root is a decent spinner, many folks are good at getting out on his delivery... Probably, the management should have daily pre-match motivational session, in order for the batsmen to feel their presence and value of their wicket. Clarke himself behaving childish... and treat their folks with his ego. You can see that in the 2nd innings of eng. No tooth in blowing setup ( i do not find fault with bowlers), in the way the fielding placements were... so naive... what ever...from test #3, there will be near empty stands... leading to many other important events in the local community, lets hope for a bounce back to show some grit in the next one... still 3 more suprises to go... Joe Root's contribution is solid, but not a surprise, as he is capable of..

  • kosiganti on July 22, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    Mikey, Its just a bad period for Australia. Englishmen suffered the same in the early and mid decade of 2000. Still I believe your team is a great team. Peter Siddle is doing well, Agar is doing well, Pattinson is doing well in the bowling department. The problem is in batting department. Shane watson is not showing the capability of how good a test batsman he is, Phil Hughes got many chances, but he lacks technique, you yourself is a great batsman, haddin is a good batsman, Rogers is showing maturity. Its only a matter of time. Don't give wickets to Swann. Get as much practice as possible with spinners. That is how you people can improve your batting against spin. The collapse is happening against spin. Best of luck.

  • thecricketcritic on July 22, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    Aussies need to realize that now they are no longer a team capable of consistently performing well abroad.Their batting line up looks like an Indian batting line up of the nineties with only one truly world class player capable of scoring runs in all conditions and the rest bits and pieces batsmen who may score at home but rarely away.But what India did well was to give chances to young batsmen like Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Sehwag and develop them into match winners.What the Aussies could to do is to give their new batsmen like Hughes,Smith,Khawaja,Wade,Cowan etc. time to perform and build the team up slowly rather than expecting way too much from a mediocre team that they are now.Even without a decent spinner their bowling line up looks fine, batting will improve once you reduce the burden of over-expectation from their shoulders and being patient with them-they have the required talent but lacks temperament which will come with time and experience.

  • Rags57 on July 22, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    I think Australia should get Cowan at the top of the order. He has a good defensive technique. Have Hughes at number 3 and Clarke himself at number 4. Watson at number 5 and Steve Smith at number 6. Despite Khawaja's half century I don't see him succeed against Swann or for that matter even a part time spinner. I also believe Nathan Lyon should come in place of Agar because you need an experienced spinner against England. If you are picking Agar for his batting skills to play him at number 8 or 9 you have a problem.Granted he played a great innings at Trent Bridge but you want your specialists to do the job for you not part timers. Lehmann and Clarke need to change their strategies if Australia is to restore some balance in this series.

  • indianNegro on July 22, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    Clarke should be the most positive captain Australia might have ever had, but his ultra positivity of a win from any situation anywhere is not working at the moment. Maybe its coz , like he said, he got used to winning so much as a habit with some world beaters in previous teams ... and now he is realising that Australian team is not a world beater as he believed. Things might change ... but these are hard days for Australia cricket at the moment ....

  • on July 22, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    Let's get this straight - while Clarke is a great tactician, he is a poor captain. He fails to inspire and motivate his players as did Brearly, Benaud or Border. He's incapable of leading from the front as did Ian Chappell, Taylor and Ponting. He can't and won't move up the order from his number five position, thus he is asking of his number 1 - 4 batsmen what he's not asking of himself. Furthermore, the price of appointing him captain was the alienation of senior players - there were many who said either of Katich or Hussey would have been a better choice and they were right. As long as Michael Clarke remains captain, Australia will remain in the basement of Test cricket.

  • dizzay on July 22, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Clarke in my opinion as a captain has never shown enough ruthless mongrel in his personality like so many captains that have come before him. Nothing wrong with being a nice media friendly 'pup'' but if i were an Englishmen i would certainly not feel intimidated by him. I guess as a player in the team id feel he was just rolling off squeaky clean one liners and giggles and not enough ultimatums and going for the kill plans. Would have preferred he just stuck to batting years ago and maybe he does too.

  • on July 22, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    Sack Clarke, he is totally no good and negative captain, replace him with Hussey as captain, and he can open or bat at 3 wherever he wants, katich to open or bat at 3, the emotionally unstable(and not in the crazy eyes Steyn way) Pattinson replaced by bird next match, agar will bowl better without Clarke in team and he's cricket prodigy so he will keep learning on the job, bring Watson to 6 or replace him with MacDonald or Faulkner, any three is fine, drop smith, he seems way too neurotic and jittery at the crease, not sure Bout Hughes but could be not feeling comfortable in clarke team too or replace him. or what that other guy said about making Bailey captain. khawaja looks decent, keeper. Selectors need to select on character much more as team spirit trumps double centuries.

  • poorpatriot on July 22, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    missing hussey a lot, he is just one amazing support to have in the middle order to boost the confidence of all including the captain. purely a setback w/o him.

  • alltalkandnoaction on July 22, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    I am not too sure why there was a witch hunt for Cowan, he had one bad game, and he certainly wasnt the only one. Over the last 12 months he has helped carry the Aussie batting line up who generally failed (with the exception of Clarke) over this period. Rogers has walked into the side, done nothing, and yet will probably keep his place. Having dropped Cowan for the second test, the selectors will not have the guts to bring him back in and are likely to keep the top order as it is, with no real spine. Were Warner and Cown not something like the most successful international openning partnership last year? Watson is a good player and should be there, but otherwise the rest of the top 4 are not up to it. Why not accept that while Cowan isnt the freescoring top order batsman the Aussie's want, and realise that you need stability, something he has provided. Without some stability up there, Clarke cannot do anything to prevent this being a 5-0 series white-wash!

  • on July 22, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    I think Australia need to completely rework their lineup, if not for Old Trafford, then certainly for the return series. Khawaja has probably shown enough to deserve a second chance, and I'd probably stick with Rogers for a little while, but Watson and Hughes have to go - they've had too many chances and they carry too much baggage. Either give Cowan another go as an opener (he seems to basically exist to open the batting in English conditions, so I don't see why on earth they moved him down to number 3) or else put out an emergency call for Katich. Bring George Bailey in at 4/5 - I realise he hasn't got the greatest average in history, but he's got a solid head and nothing to lose. He may only be a shadow of Michael Hussey, but that's much better than nothing.

  • on July 22, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    T continue what I said earlier in the comment, skipper must not keep pointing fingers at anyone but take it on himself to did the team out of the pit. That means having good interpersonal skills and not just words. Let each player spill out his personal concerns and draw up a matrix. Then look to the common factors and one by one try to iron out the issues. That dos not mean more net practice but lots on inner psyche relations. Do that and you Aussies will see the difference in the next test.

  • on July 22, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    I believe that Australian current debacle is not about cricket but mental preparedness. A good coach need not be a good player but one who understands the psychographics of each player. For Watson it is not about his weakness on the technical side but the mindset. Has Australia done the team SWOT of their and that of England, and my guess is that they have not done it. Then what about each match SWOT? It is not a case of one size fits all but looking to the mind moments that create the big gulf in the current expectations as against actual performance. Surely putting the team to nets is a good thing but not the panacea for all ills that has beset the team psyche. The way out is not simple but one that can be achieved with lots of empathy. One must remember that mind precedes all things done and if the mind is flawed then even for the most technically skilled players it will be an uphill task. So coach must have good understanding of how mind works if Aussies are to climb out of the pit

  • Moppa on July 22, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Now, some comments on comments. @Dave1970: nice analysis. @bringbackhaydos, Haddin is suspect keeping to pace and Wade is suspect to spin. Paine or Hartley have to be the medium-term option (prob Hartley under Boof's coaching). @jet2001... and exactly who are this "Best XI"? The uncertainty over who can cut it is precisely the problem. @whoster, agree on Watson and Agar. For Ashton, the fairytale is over and he needs to work on his bowling. Lyon to return for 3rd Test (+ Bird for Pattinson). @spot_on, is this the same Shaun Marsh that Western Australia dropped last summer? @Rajeshj, I wish it was that simple - I don't think we have a Pujara or a Dhawan floating around Shield cricket waiting to be picked. @Saracens Bob, I think the issue is that England have four excellent players (Cook, Root, Bell and Trott) who's 'natural game' is ideal for Test cricket. Whereas Watson, Warner, Hughes, Smith etc are prob more suited to limited overs. But they should still play their natural game...

  • on July 22, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Personally I think CA should pick a squad of batsmen (not 'batters') with solid techniques and stick with them in Tests. Players like Callum Ferguson, Joe Burns, Jordan Silk, Chris Rogers, Alex Doolan. Stick them in the top 6 with Clarke and keep them there. I'm sick of CA trying to alter batsmens techniques WHEN they're in the test side instead of rewarding natural ability and the ability to learn to play straight when batsmen and in their teenage years or in Sheffield Shield. Hughes and Smith at this stage just don't have to techniques (or the temperament) to succeed.

  • ozwriter on July 22, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    lehmann's press conference is so refreshing, speaks openly and honestly. was really impressed by khawaja's display of determination, able to guts it out, and play the longest innings (along with clarke). lehmann keeps saying this, the batsmen need to bat for over 100 overs each innings, at least.

  • Moppa on July 22, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    I am a Clarke fan and think much of the criticism of him here is unwarranted. He just doesn't have the cattle, and the lack of support is affecting his batting too - I think he is missing have Hussey the rock below him. Where some criticism is probably warranted, and bear in mind we're going back over two years now, was the axing of Katich. It is plausible that Clarke pushed for this, and it has cost us heavily, both in terms of the lost stability and experience and the fact that it has put Phil Hughes through the ringer to the point where he looks completely shot (remember c Guptil b Martin? Now, having been recalled and picked apart by off-spin his career is hanging by a thread). For those trying to link Hussey's retirement to Clarke, I think this is totally speculative and highly unlikely. The only short-term fix I can see is to recall Katich now. Medium-term we should beg for Hussey to return for the Australian series. I also think Watson has to go, he is a passenger.

  • Dave1970 on July 22, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Since 1st Jan 2009, 42 players have played for Australia. This figure does include Hayden, Ponting, Hussey who have since retired. Of the 39 left, 26 have been either a bowler or all-rounder category. Of the 13 batsman left, 4 were wicket keepers; 1 was sacked Katich, 1 was dropped North and 1 is Clarke.

    That leaves 6 batsman in the mix - Warner, Cowen, Rogers, Khawaja, Hughes, Marsh. None of which fill your boots with confidence and consistency. But who is left to come on, who has experience and consistency. Not many who are young enough to develop a future strong side.

    Since 2003 - Shield Runs (ave / Hundreds) Ferguson (36, 8), Voges (39, 10), Bailey (37, 13). Burns (40, 5), Cosgrove (41, 12), Cowan (37, 10), Hughes (53, 12), Khawaja (47, 8), Smith (44, 5), Watson (44, 8), Rogers (50, 26), Warner (42, 2), Marsh (36, 5).

    Shows the well is dry for young consistent batsman. They have been picked for Aus but are playing poorly. Patience is what is required until the well refills

  • TheScot on July 22, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    I agree with certain critics here that some of the old guards still playing first class cricket are better than the current lot. I also agree that these players were prematurely dropped or forced out of the Australian squad. I, however, completely disagree with the cries to bring them back. Because even if they come back and save couple of Ashes they will eventually retire in an year or so and again the responsibility fall upon the younger lot. To prepare the youngsters hard CA should let them face defeat if they can't win. Let the players feel the pressure, disappointment, insult, and humiliation. This, hopefully, will make them work harder to come back strong and chase the wins. If the old guard comes back then Australians will lose valuable preparation time for the better future.

  • on July 22, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    Michael Clarke may have lost faith in his batsmen but maybe cricket Australia is quickly losing faith in him. I have a great feeling that Michael Clarke may not be the most popular man in Australian cricket. The sudden retirement of Michael Hussey at such a crucial time just before Ashes series suggests that the relationship between him and Clarke may not have been the strongest and he preferred not to be in a team unbuffered by the presence of Ricky Ponting. If their relationship was at least cordial beyond the facade of that portrayed for the cameras, one can imagine Hussey allowing himself to be persuaded to play on for another 12 months in order to work with these inexperienced young batsmen. This suggests that Hussey may not have been comfortable within the Australian setup. Michael Clarke may not be faring well with his fellow players within a team losing so badly. Should this continue Kim Hughes may no longer be the only Australian captain to retire in tears.

  • bringbackhaydos on July 22, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Great wicket-keeping Haddin for allowing Joe Root to score an extra 172 runs. Bring in Wade as keeper and a batsmen who has scored a recent test century. I would keep Haddin in as a batsmen though. But his wicket-keeping is and has always been sub-standard.

  • WhoCaresAboutIPL on July 22, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    I have to say I feel sorry for Phil Hughes (I am not an Aussie). He had a stellar start to his Test career, and came to England in 2009 to play for Middlesex where he averaged close to 100, and we began to see him as a real "new Bradman". However somewhere during this time the weaknesses of his unusual technique was spotted, and exposed during the first two Tests, whereupon he was (probably unfairly) dropped. He seems now, as others have pointed out, to be completely torn between "stick" or "twist", and certainly against accurate spinners he seems to have no scoring shots. I fear we have already seen the best of him - a meteor which flared and then died.

  • milepost on July 22, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    I agree with Green and Gold. England get the tempo of their batting right. Look at the way Bell and Trott saw off some great bowling at Trent Bridge, some high quality bowling. That sets it up for your teammates. You need guys prepared to bore the crowd when batting us tough. England just have to bowl in the corridor of certainty, we will certainly waft at it. England have not even had great form from their batting with Cook, KP and Root looking like easy wickets but oh what if they fire up (like Root did after we decided not to attend to a slip catch when he was on 8 let alone drop it). We could be looking at bigger defeats. Pick the best team and adapt to the situation. All this natural game talk is utter nonsense when you are 5 for not many. Watson needs to go. I don't blame Clarke for batting 5, he should expect some support from the others. It might be nice 'payback' for English fans but it is very ordinary cricket so far.

  • jet2001 on July 22, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    Australia need to pick there best 11 and stick with them, you may lose a few tests but this policy of changes after every match is not helpful to anyone. Picking a 19 year old unproven spinner was one thing but then keeping him in because of his batting is not a good selection policy he needs to go, Pattinson for all the hype is not good enough against this England batting line up, an Ave 43.85 strike rate 78.1 in this series is not going to win many tests, overrated must go. As for the batting you need to find some patience, your not good enough to dominate England's attack, try batting for 2 days and see what the score is after 2 days, don't try you to score at 5 or 4 runs an over, or even 3 an over, 2 days at 2 an over is 360 and that is a competative total. Gain some confidence for the home series because I think this one is beyond you now.

  • on July 22, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    In all Probability, Australia is going to lose this Ashes Test Series, unless they really play tough cricket for 15 days for next 3 matches, but I doubt that will be possible. England is far more strong than Australia this time around, in fact, the 2nd best England Test Side I have seen after Michael Vaughan's 2005 Ashes Test Side. Now the Equation is Simple for Australia,if only the so called selectors should know, they should select some better and quality batsmen for the Ashes Test Series in Australia later this year. Its simple turn of time, and Now India and England are just returning the favours, and doing to Australia, just what they did to other teams in the Recent Past, beating them convincingly and handing them whitewash.

  • on July 22, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    The rub of the green has deserted the Aussies and they have had more of the rough end of the umpiring,losing tosses,etc.BUT the issue is that this Aussie team does not created as many opportunities as the English do.Nevertheless they could have been at 1-1 in the series which suggests their fighting qualities.

    Id rather see the Aussies go down 5-0 but fighting with brave cricket rather than the indeterminate,edgy and iffy display at Lords.Mitchell Johnson and Warner should be summoned and told to give the Poms hell.Then stick in the offie Lyons to exploit the rough from the left arm quick.An attack of Johnson,Harris,Siddle,Lyons,Watson and Smith is as good as the Aussies have.Similarly the batting with Watson,Warner,Clarke and Khawaja can be dangerous if they click.Id bat Haddin up the order as well.

    S.A beat England last year-they are not invincible.

  • Paul_JT on July 22, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Uncomfortable truth is the Australia XI at Lord's is the best available. There are few options pressing on the A Tour. George Bailey should be flown in from Tasmania to replace Cowan in the squad. Otherwise: rest Siddle, Pattinson and Harris for Faulkner, Bird and Starc at Sussex, stick with the top 7 and Agar. Insanely hope for better at Old Trafford.

  • 2020sux on July 22, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Some of the criticism of Clarke is a bit rough, constant comparisons to Steve Waugh in particular. With the team Waugh inherited (note he did not build this side) I'm sure Clarke would have the same level of success, hell give me Warne, Gilchrist, and McGrath and I could have captained that side to greatness while sitting at the members bar bragging about it. I mean what confronting decisions Steve would have faced " gee we haven't taken a wicket in three overs do I give the ball to Warne or McGrath" or "gee it's tough out there we might only put on 350 for the day". those days are gone but take heart I'm sure the next Warne can't be more than 50 years away.

  • Theredbaron on July 22, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    Its time for the Australian public to have a good look at the inventory they have at there disposal with regards to batsman. I think they have a bowling attack that can take 20 wickets in a test, however the batsmen they have selected are the best that they have, and thats not good enough. Arthur was the fall guy, but how about the guys running the youth academy, who are coaching young talent to play aggressive 20/20 cricket Test cricket is all about patience, getting the shine off the ball and then taking advantage of a tiring bowling attack.

  • latecut_04 on July 22, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Aus is not as bad as a team as the results suggest.I am not an Aussie and this is not an eternally optimistic comment.The results are just 'expected results' (those in IT will relate to this phrase better:)when you have a one dimensional team--ie good only in 1 aspect-bowling/batting and hopeless in the other skill.There is a simple solution for Aus--Bring in Katich for any of those 6 openers(hes better than all of them)AND bring back Hussey--BUT of course there are also IMPOSSIBLE actions.solution is not executable..what on earth drove these players out of Aussie team..once its found out Aus cricket will find a way up(if at all ).else I am afraid there will be terminal decline.If CA can eat humble pie by bringing in Boof a fortnight before the Ashes series why cant they recall KAtich?hussey..???Any answers????????

  • Yarms on July 22, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    I wonder if any one has stats on Phil hughes as to the India series and the current Ashes series as to how may runs he has scored of spin in how may balls? and how often he has been out to Asshwin or Swann??

  • on July 22, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    After seeing the first test match, I thought Aus will bounce back and will give hard fight to Eng. But now I have no hope on this Aus team and they are going to face a clean whitewash, probably the second in a row (like India had in 2012). Sorry Aussies, there is no escape route.

  • on July 22, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    The Aussie top-order would be the key, as to how they'd do in the Ashes. The bowling has held it's own and the tail, especially the last pair have gone above and beyond. But Day two's horror-show at Lords just exposed all of their weaknesses. Technique, patience, shot-selection and temperament all ceased to exist in their first-innings and the biggest problem they have is Shane Watson. It's just so frustrating that a man with so much ability can constantly fail time and again by doing pretty-much the same thing. Get's a promising start by hitting some authoritive boundaries, then get's trapped lbw off a good length ball pitching around middle/leg. I thought Phil Hughes turned a corner in the first innings at Trent Bridge, but now he's gone back to looking like a batsman lacking in confidence. I feel sorry for the bowlers most of all, as they don't get any rest and are expected to bat like test match openers. If the top order don't improve, they could be in serious danger of losing 5-0.

  • whoster on July 22, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    I have to say I feel sorry for Michael Clarke. Over the past 18 months, his exceptional batting efforts have kept Australia afloat. Hussey's retirement was a hammer blow, and now that Clarke himself is having a lean patch with the bat, the cupboard is bare. The rest of the batsmen have mediocre averages in the 30's, and they're simply unable to compete against the top sides. The most culpable batsman of the lot is Watson, who is now a very experienced Test player. Time and time again, he gets out after scoring attacking 30's and 40's - purely because his batting tempo is one-dimensional, and doesn't have the application to stop himself playing one shot too many. The pace bowling looks pretty healthy, but the likes of Siddle and Harris - fine bowlers who always give it everything, is being wasted. Haddin has been dreadful behind the stumps, and the selectors, in their typical wisdom, discard their best spinner in the hope that a 19-year-old could be the new Warne. Utterly shambolic.

  • Green_and_Gold on July 22, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    This is just getting ridiculous now. This is not the first time we have heard this. Look at what Eng is doing now and look at what India did when we played them in the last series - they batted long. They showed patience ESP early in their innings and those batsman that did that went on to make the big scores. The I watch the Aus top order fall to wafting drives outside off. Its time for players to stop playing their natural game and start focusing on how to bat like a test quality cricketer. Aus will continue to lose until their batting unit is good enough to bat through 6 sessions.

  • on July 22, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    It is all nice to talk about your batsmen failing you. Clarke himself was responsible as selector (though he quit this later) for the selection. It does bear repeating here that he filled the team with his chums. At least that's what most of Aussie media said. It is one thing to show your sharpness with field placing and bowling changes (mostly per chance, I would say), but an entirely different challenge to inspire and motivate, which Clarke has miserably failed in. Steve Waugh could do this by personal example.

  • on July 22, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    When does Australia play NZ in tests? We did better against England recently:)

  • nzcricket174 on July 22, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    I hope they persist with Khawaja. His technique is very correct and is probably has the best technique of all the Aussie batsmen. He looks very organised, but looks a little down on confidence. I hope the 50 did him some good.

  • Afsar22 on July 22, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    It will be a very very painful tour for Australia. But at the end, Australia will come out as a balanced and strong team after this Ashes defeat. Good for the team's future.

  • AidanFX on July 22, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    I have seen a number of innings with Hughes getting ducks or 1 or so runs on about 15/20 balls or so, which included this match. He is a better batsmen than that and his natural game is not to play like that. I suspect he is confused about the "need to graft a long patient innings" and the need to play "attacking cricket" - think he is hearing too many voices. The team is so much weaker without Hussey. But I guess one way or another he had to retire eventually. At the moment the batting looks grim. So often the tailenders literally make more run. I suspect patience is needed. You can change the battling line up drastically - but there aren't any clearly better batsmen out there. Not to mention making changes can hurt continuity. It takes a while for a team to gel (which is why I think we have seen quite a few run outs from Australians lately), so maybe the best thing to do is the back these players and let them get killed for a short while, they might come very good.

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    A true introspection by Clarke. At least, he looks mature enough in his selection of words. Definitely reflected qualities of a leader. His team did let him down a BIG time.

  • spot_on on July 22, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Bring in Shaun Marsh to open the batting and demote Watson to no 6. Issues solved. If i am so dumb enough to think of this kinda proposition why does ACB not thinking about it. By demoting Watto to no 6, you add up firepower in your lower middle order. And your opening is somewhat secured by having marsh opening. Rogers can hang around in this series and learn a bit of opening techniques. Khawaja at 3, Smith at 4 (trust me, the guy's got some talent to play in that position, very versatile like Kohli) Clarke at 5, Watto at 6, Haddin at 7, Patto at 8, Siddle at 9, Agar/Faulkner at 10 and Bird/Harris at 11. With this lineup, Oz can atleast put up a fight.

    Hughes is in disarray. He should probably rethink of his strategy. send him back to the circuit. Enough of chances. We need DRS in the circuit level, that's when they'll learn how to use it.

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    The quick fix: Katich (c), Cowan, Clarke (vc), Khawaja, Smith, Hughes, Haddin, Pattinson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon.

    The long-term fix: Double the number of games and economic rewards of the Sheffield Shield with three games every week throughout the summer (game a Tue-Fri, game 2 Wed-Sat, game 3 Thu - Sun), halve the same of McDonalds & Big Bash, the latter to be played on Mondays only.

  • on July 22, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    You have to admire Clarke, not just his general approach but also his performance. He can definitely do better with the bat, but right now the rest of the batting is putting too much pressure on him. His captaincy has been great though, probably even better than Cook's. His bowling changes and in particular his field placings have been extremely good. I've heard more than one English player acknowledging his field placings so far. But at the end of the day there's only so much he can do. Siddle, Harris, Clarke and Watson pulled their weight in this test but that's too few. You need at least 6-7 players performing to have a chance.

  • scarab666 on July 22, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    Admittedly some players don't deserve their place in this Aussie team but the simple fact is that the team as a whole have an serious attitude problem........change that and they would win tests, but i can't see that happening short term. Mickey Arthur was well aware of this problem but was unable to change it. Watson is NOT a test player....just look at his stats....he has to go for a start. Australia hasn't hit rock bottom yet as mentioned by Clarke in 2011, they are still sliding down - ATTITUDE.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    Clarke spoke from his heart. Problem for him is that he is not having a good team. They should include warner From next game onwards they should take Lyon in place of Agar,, let him enjoy some domestic cricket before he comes to play big boys

  • Sanj747 on July 22, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    The cracks in the batting and the team in general is wider than the grand canyon. Watson, Hughes and Haddin should be removed permanently from playing test cricket. Bring in Nic Maddinson, Doolan and Paine/Hartley instead. Provide the team an opportunity to try and build and not continue to fall like flies. No point in Mr Sutherland gloating about the team being in a good space of mind and all getting along. The most important getting along is on the crickcet field not the hotel foyer. The big signing of the TV rights won't help as the primary product that Channel 9 has bought is worthless.

  • on July 22, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    @ jackthelad have you been watching the same matches as every one else?

  • Rajeshj on July 22, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    If Clarke can learn from his mistakes, than its fine.. but, one really doubts so.. compare this with Dhoni, who lost 8 tests in a row in England and Australia just an year ago.. at that time, he was over-burdened by non-performing senior players.. he made his case felt to the Selectors and they allowed him to build a new team by axing the seniors.. now the Indian team is quickly back on track.. Dhoni had a vision and similarly if Clarke has a vision, he should be allowed to continue.. but his people management and developing a sense of camaraderie among his players is very doubtful..

  • on July 22, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    Can we just say if Australia loses the next one, thats 7 in a row. The last Australian cricket team that did this was in the 1880s. Play for pride and heart. Bat out 4 days. Even if you make 200 in 4 days at least you will struggle to lose the test. 3 draws from here is a better result than 5-0.

  • on July 22, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    Australia needs a makeover only in terms of batting. Bowling is pretty good though, 2 matches have passed and English batsmen were unsuccessful in crossing even 400 ! Wished they had invested more time on Shaun Marsh instead of Phil Hughes.

  • on July 22, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    I feel a bit sorry for him really. because now Australia are suffering the same problems as New Zealand, which I thought I would never ever see. A decent enough bowling attack but a batting lineup that is rarely able to gain any traction

  • on July 22, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    It all players gives important to T20 but they should understand Test cricket is real cricket.Clarke And Bowlers are at there best Clarke Captaincy is showing it but big prob is Batting. Lots of left hand batsmen gives a Big Advantage to Swann And Anderson. Proper combination right and left will give a good chance to team.Problem they dont have a core players who can play a real Test Cricket. Hughes,Watson are big prob i guess team line up for third test should be like this Cowan,Rogers,Watson,Khawaja,Clarke,Smith,Haddin,Siddle,Starc,Harris,Lyon.

  • BlightyTragic on July 22, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    I think the telling fact about Australian Cricket at the moment is the fact that they have largely ignored the State 4 day competition. Out of the entire side, only Harris played in the Shield final. Surely the State comp is the grooming ground of the next players, why are they not being looked at? A decent team to me would have included a bit more Shield final flavour. For example: Hartley or Paine in for Haddin. Faulkner in for Watson. And the big one - George Bailey as Captain, release Clarke the burden of captaincy so he can do what Australia needs him to do, and BAT. Even Ben cutting and Joe Burns have the pedigree to make it at that level.

  • on July 22, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Whilst I'm a one-eyed huge England Fan, I take no pleasure in watching this situation unfold. As a kid I was quite disturbed by the treatment of Kim Hughes, and just hope that sense prevails and if the series is lost 3-2 or 5-0 that Australia focus on the positives and makes only calm clear changes for the right reasons. Case in point is Phil Hughes who is visibly under such pressure that he is unable to show the world his talent - Cowan, Clarke, Rodgers etc are all in the same boat. If I were Australia I'd pretty much keep the same team (save bringing back Wade) and ask them to play the next 3 tests together, in this way despite the score a level of comfort and certainly will prevail and Messers Hughes Smith and Watson et al can just knuckle down without any pressure and express themselves and their talent. Please don't go backwards Australia and look to North, Hussey, Ponting (god no), it's time to move on, and just grit teeth and bare the pain for the next few tests.

  • thebrotherswaugh on July 22, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    Who else could he point the finger at? The batting is utterly pathetic! The 2nd innings performance was nearly as bad. OZ are in total disarray and there are no easy fixes or fixes that can be applied before the third test. This series is done & dusted, and expect more of the same in OZ. We will be languishing at the bottom of the ICC test rankings by the end of the series - surely nine losses in a row would ensure that? Can't blame Clarke alone.

  • SmashingBaby on July 22, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    I don't think Clarke's CV matters that much. There are other Australian captains who presided over difficult periods, and they are still commentating or coaching or serving as selectors (or running Ashes tours for Aussies travelling in the UK! All those jobs sound appealing to me). And it is not his fault the team has been failing. When he was batting better last year and earlier this year, the rest of the batting would collapse around him. And Australia has been doing well in the field thanks to his decisions re: field positions and bowling changes. The problem the current Aussie team has is their TOP ORDER BATTING. I think they are making the England bowling look alot better than it actually is. Perhaps MC could help if he batted at 4 instead of 5, but apart from that the other batsmen need to learn to build an innings. As for the long term, TWENTY20 HAS TO BE MARGINALISED IN FAVOUR OF THE SHEFFIELD SHIELD OR ELSE CRICKET AUSTRALIA CAN FORGET ABOUT THE NO.1 TEST RANKING EVER AGAIN!!!

  • cricket_ahan on July 22, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    @Mandini and Neela80. Totally agree, I don't understand how people can criticise Clarke's captaincy. Good field placings, innovative thinking (like the bowling change to bring on Watson in the first innings in Lords), and attacking declarations are all signs of good, aggressive captaincy. And it's not just me who thinks so - Ian Chappell (albeit maybe somewhat biased), has consistently backed up Clarke's skill in this area. But I will concede that he is batting too low in the order. The best batman in a team needs to come in higher than no. 5 - he needs to shoulder more responsbility and take the attack to the opposition to better support and ease pressure on the younger, still developing players. Khwaja showed he can play, and so can Phil Hughes, but the burden on their shoulders seems so great, it is hindering them playing in a relaxed and natural way.

  • Chinmayan on July 22, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    My prescription for Aussies to get out of current mess 1. Clark to resign from captaincy and play as No.5 Batsman. He is a good bat at that position but a bad leader. 2. Bring Bailey as Captaiin. Drop Hughes from the team.Even though Bailey has poor first class records he usually performs well at higher levels and has the ability to build a team. 3. Drop Watson. Bring back Katich as opener. Watson will never score big in test matches. 4. Bring in Bird instead of Pattinson. There is no need of Pattinson when the team has Harris & Siddle Over to you the selectors and CEO of CA. You can choose not to do this but please remember your positions are at stake at the end of this series.

  • Jagger on July 22, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    Leaving the ball may damage your ego but it wins Test matches!!!

  • mudders on July 22, 2013, 4:18 GMT

    Australia should consider playing Matthew Wade as a specialist bat. At least he will show some fight.

  • MinusZero on July 22, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    How much more can Watson be carried. He bats like in an ODI, quick runs and short innings. Bowls like an ODI, no wickets but good economy. 1+1 does equal 2. Watson should not be playing tests.

  • runout49 on July 22, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    The Australian batting has more flaws than the Empire State Building. Watson brings the bat in from the angle of second slip so he plays across the line. Apart from Clarke none of them seem to have any footwork which is probably a result of the stand and swing of One Day and T20. The Australian pace bowlers have done their job. The England batsmen have great techniques but the quicks have in the main contained them and taken wickets.

  • Haiphong on July 22, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    To start with, congratulations to England. Yes, you may rightfully anticipate a 5-0 series win, weather permitting. For Australia, reality stares you in the face and, sadly, I just cannot see the team achieving much in the near future. Yes, there will be bright spots along the way - individual performances, such as Agar in Trent Bridge and Khawaja, who should now get a sustained run that he has deserved for some time now. I truly think Clarke HAS to step down as Captain - he HAS to take at least partial responsibility for the current state of affairs as captain/selector (Katich, Hussey, Watson, ill-discipline, etc., etc). This might perhaps even help with his batting. His 'bunnies' also need to be sidelined (1 and 1 by Hughes at Lords and Warner scoring 6 and 11 against Zimb Select!). Unfortunately, however, this would simply be the start as the bridge between us and teams like England is too wide to overcome over the next couple of years. CA must be desolate, as are we fans.

  • Cameronburt96 on July 22, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    Australia's batting with the exception of Clarke is terrible, none average in the 40s, unlike all the English except bairstow. I think in the short term, some of the older players must be called in, to allow smith, Hughes etc. to go away and work on their games, as well as showing them how to play test cricket. Despite low scores, Watson and rogers can be persisted with as one is still a useful all rounder, and the other has shown the determination, just needs some luck. My team for the next test would be:

    Watson, rogers, katich, Bailey, Clarke, voges, haddin, Harris, siddle, bird (pattinson bowled poorly at lords) and Lyon (agar not good enough yet)

  • jango_moh on July 22, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    i think it is not a stretch to say that just a few moments can make the difference between a century and a low score... given that aus had eng reeling with 3 wickets down, that one more wicket would hve made all the diff....

  • on July 22, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Neela80, you are spot-on. Most people are ignoring the fact that England suffered a collapse at the top of their order in both their innings but the difference was that their batters showed discipline and stood up after the collapse and Australia's batsmen collapsed again(& again).Khawaja showed promise and has already performed better than most of the other batsmen so he deserves another go. I don't know how many more chances Hughes has - he must be on his last chance now but who have they got to replace him? Don't forget also that Australia totally dominated the Ashes from 1989 to 2003 with some crushing victories and are rebuilding.

  • looloogun on July 22, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    DRS hot spot looks trendy but not effective , snicko works better michel clarke speaks trendy but not a good leader.

    andrew mcdonald ,bailey ,finch ,costgrove ,should play insted of those toporder lethanders doing useless job in the name of good solid technique

  • landl47 on July 22, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    Fair or not, Clarke's beginning to get the reputation of being a soft captain. He bats down the order even though he's far and away the best bat on the side, players are failing to show character and application, too often he goes for the easy option rather than sucking it up (letting young Agar and Smith be hit round the field instead of insisting his senior bowlers do the work, for example), he prefers doing something unexpected to grinding away at the basics.....

    If he had a great side maybe his approach would work. If he batted all the time the way he batted in 2012 the cracks wouldn't be so obvious. But this isn't a great side and his batting has gone from being phenomenal to merely excellent. If he loses a couple more tests in this series the damage might be too great for him to repair.

  • citizenkc on July 22, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    "We've got plenty of experience in our top seven, we've seen already in this series that guys can score runs against this attack." Surely he jests. Plenty of experience? Where, pray? Watson with an average barely reaching 30 is heading the batting, and then Hughes, Khawaja, Smith, etc. Where is the experience? And the runs? Not a single batsman, aside from Clarke, averages over the mid-30s. Clarke, you are right. The batsmen are not doing their job, but if you look at the stats, they haven't been doing their job for a long time. This is a mediocre team. That is the grim reality. None of these top 7 other than Clarke can win a test match.

  • Okakaboka on July 22, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    Get rid of the poisonous Watson and bring in Andrew McDonald as Captain (better bat and bowler AND a 'team' player). Haddin MUST go. The 2 tests prove he is NOT as good as Wade with the bat or gloves to the quicks. He is slightly better to the spinners...... BUT...Where do most of our wickets come from? Wade would have taken 2-3 catches more in the first 2 tests. As much as Hartley would be the best keeper and should be selected...how can we given the appalling nature of our batting. Actually, he would probably score as many runs as the top order anyway. Time to select on potential.....not proven failures like Haddin, Hughes, Smith, et.al. The batting will now affect our bowlers negatively... Not good! Warner is no answer either...not a test batsman.

  • CricketChat on July 22, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    The top order consisting of 1. Watson (been in decline in tests for over 2 yrs now), Rogers (playing for place after comeback), Philips (back in team due to recent retirements), Khawaja (a non-regular) and Smith (neither batsman nor bowler at test level) can't be expected to score heavt against a rampant Eng bowling attack. Clarke himself has been on the sidelines due to chronic back issues and now subjected to extra pressure due to non-performing batsmen. Given the significance of the series, it may not be a bad idea to recall older players instill in form. I do remember Eng recalling David Steele and Brian Close to blunt the WI fast bowling attack back in mid-70s. May not be a bad idea to recall Warner and Ponting for the remaining matches.

  • on July 22, 2013, 1:31 GMT

    Lift your head Clarke and stand tall! You have to inspire the rest of the team to fight hard for the rest of the series.

  • HOMEBREW on July 22, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    Clarke's comment: "I don't want anybody in our team to not play their natural game". What is that? Play like it's a 20/20 or ODI? Surely thier "Natural Game" can't get any worse! Time for the whole team to change the way they bat. This should start with the batting coach & the head coach. As an Aussie fan who cares if it takes you 2 days to score 450 runs and the game ends up as a draw. At least it shows your improving and have shown application and patience.

    With 3 different forms of game out there now I see no reason why there should not be 3 seperate sides. Either you want to play 20/20 & get the big $$$, or you want to play ODI's and try to progress to the test team from that. With the public & administrators hungry for more cricket & more $$$ it's no wonder some of the players in the top 6 test playing nations are a bit average at the longer form of the game, they all want the big $$$. It's all that seems to matter to the Aussie players. Greed ruins everything in the end.

  • sudhir98 on July 22, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    @front-foot-lunge you are not talking about Watson or Warner are you? I hope not. I was thinking bailey or Haddin temporarily until someone can step up. Clarke should give up captaincy and concentrate on keeping his back healthy.

  • David_Bofinger on July 22, 2013, 1:04 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge, I agree. We got rid of Katich for batting too well, Clarke's also one of the few batsmen playing OK so he has to go as well.

  • HOMEBREW on July 22, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    Just poor batting AGAIN. What on earth is batting coach Di Venuto paid for? A free holiday? The Watson LBW saga is starting to wear a bit thin. I would of though by now the batting coach would of been out in the nets with Watson to try to fix this problem, but alas, no. Why do CA employ someone who was never a good batsmen to start with, only good at Sheild cricket, never played a test & only 9 ODI's. The Aussie squad is mostly bowlers, if you look at the whole squad. So it's no wonder that this is happening. And the fact we keep changing the side as per Pat Howard's instruction. Why employ someone who has NEVER played cricket as a job, let him go and destroy rugby union instead. I turned off after we lost the first 3 wickets as it was another case of deja vu. Rather watch them try to grind out 2 days of only scoring 450, but they have the mindset of 20/20 & the big $$$ that attracts. Just poor. Good on you England, enjoy it while you can

  • Sunil_Batra on July 22, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    Our batsman should stand up. They should take note of how Khawaja batted today, playing once again for his position after only 1 innings, he showed grit and toughened it out against Swan and Anderson. He looked classy at 3 and is a good template for the other batsman to follow in how to play in tough conditions. I think we can still come back but our batsman must stand up to provide support to our bowlers.

  • on July 22, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    shaun marsh, alex doolan, tim paine, david warner, chadd sayers and fawad ahmed should be included in next ashes series. nic maddinson, Jordan silk, joe burns, pat cummins, adam zampa and gurinder sandhu and ashton agar will be ready after one season in domestic cricket. ben McDermott and jake doran should be given opportunity to play in domestic cricket fir their state side. ben McDermott is a 18 yr old keeper batsmen who bats at no 4 for the u 19 cricket team. he is the son of craig McDermott.

  • disco_bob on July 22, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    Resting Siddle at the moment when we SA were vulnerable lost us a chance of winning that series and while it may not have been enough to spur this current lacklustre side on to better things, it would certainly have helped because the problems with the current side seems to be one of confidence.

  • SaracensBob on July 21, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    Clarke wants his team to "play their natural game and back their instinct". DISASTER!!! England's recent successes have been built around the top order ignoring their natural instincts, grinding out runs and wearing the opposition down. Cook, Trott and Bell have thrived on this approach. Even KP has taken it on board - see the tour of India. And now young Joe Root has come to the party. Tick along at 2 an over for 40 or 50 overs and then when the bowlers and fielders are utterly demoralised, and you are well set, take them for 8, 10, 12, 20 an over! It's called Test Cricket Clarkey, time Australia got reacquainted with it.

  • 214ty on July 21, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    Clarke needs to bat at No. 4 in order to keep the left right combination. Australia needs to send over a veterans team ASAP if they want any hope of wining the Ashes.

  • kensohatter on July 21, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    Whenever I log on and read an article I always seem to find a ridicilious comment by front foot lunge who clearly knows zero about cricket at all. Australia need a lot of things... A solid opening pair of batsmen, a versatile no.3 able to counter attack or solidify their position, a dashing no. 6 able to dominate the new ball, a young yet talented keeper with agility and prowess with the bat, a world class spinning option to go with a pair of opening bowlers one with devasting swing the other with height and pace. The fact remains Australia dont have this.... so dont you think Australia should hang on to the only bloke averaging above 50 at least untill all the above arrives?

  • Chris_P on July 21, 2013, 23:40 GMT

    For all your good points,Michael, you were the one who was behind the removal of Katich. Was this for the good of the team or the good of M. Clarke? The nightmare that is happening has got a part of your hand in it, at least I agree with you that the continued retention of Watson will do little, if anything to thoughts of a comeback. And the depressing thing is that there is little in the near future that will will address this.

  • Claydo78 on July 21, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    @frontfootlunge. How is all this mess clarke fault? Since clarke has been captain his avg is 62. He has scored 50 or more 18 times in 26 matches. If thats not leading from the front, what is? The problem with this country is, we have to have someone to blame. 15 months ago it was punter and the huss, a month ago it was mickey aurthur and now its clarke! Clarke is the only person doing his job, its the other batsmen who arent! Its time for massive change lead by clarke, brad hodge should be batting at 3 (way better option then rogers) and the other 6 batsmen should be made up of under 25 year olds! I dare no one at CA is brave enough fot that! I ask everyone reading this, if not clarke as captain, who then? Not 1 batsmen/wicketkeeper has earned his spot yet let alone done enough to rewarded with the captaincey!

  • on July 21, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    Clarke has to go? Are you mad? Not that long ago he was making so many runs they were coming out of his ears. Australia needs more batsmen of his quality - players who can fill the shoes of Ponting and Hussey. But the simple fact is that this could take quite some time to eventuate. Australia are rebuilding. They've experienced their time on top of world cricket's peak but now it's their turn to do hard time.

  • Deuce03 on July 21, 2013, 23:26 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: Thanks for that, I needed a chuckle.

  • elvis57 on July 21, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    I think Clarke's on-field captaincy has been excellent, the bowlers not too bad, the batting woeful.

  • on July 21, 2013, 23:18 GMT

    I was very impressed with the way usman khawaja batted in the second innings. he definitely has the best technique of all the Australian batsmen. I hope Australia give him decent run in the team. hughes and cowan will never be consistent. they need to be replaced by alex doolan and shaun marsh. shaun marsh was very unlucky to be dropped. his poor form against india was due to lack of match practice and also the injury problems. I also expect david warner to return soon when he scores some runs for Australia a side.

  • 5wombats on July 21, 2013, 23:12 GMT

    As we said on cricinfo at the completion of the Sydney Test 2011 - Clarke was dealt a very poor hand by his "illustrious" predecessor the delightful Ricky. Back then there was a lot of talk from Clarke/CA who were in shock. Check this link; http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2010-11/content/story/495801.html Looking at it after this result - nothing much seems to have changed, if anything Aus are now in an even worse state. But we don't feel sorry for Clarke or Australian cricket. The heart and soul of Australian cricket are on the line during every Ashes series but in this one the Aus system has been found to be desperately wonting even before the end of the 3rd Day of the 2nd Test. There is a vast gulf between England and Australia - there was at the end of the 2010/11 series, but the gulf is even wider now. For Australia this series is gone and they know it. We are already looking forward to the winter series, but I'd bet quids that Michael Clarke isn't.

  • on July 21, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    All of what Michael Clarke is true to the T, however, he's going thru a purple patch as a batsman himself. If everyone does well for themselves and looks to support a team member Australia can come out o this bad patch. However, the way their attitude is, its going to be bloody tough. England are going to paste them on the wall, before they return home. They only need one more win to secure the series.

  • on July 21, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    australia please include alex doolan in the ashes squad. we also need shaun marsh, david warner and tim paine ready for ashes series in australia. chadd sayers and fawad ahmed are the bowlers australia are missing. australia should dump shane Watson, ed cowan, phil hughes, matthew wade, Mitchell starc, steve smith and ashton agar. the players I will keep from the current squad is chris rogers, brad haddin, usman khawaja, Michael Clarke, peter siddle, ryan harris, Jackson bird and james pattinson. my ashes lineup in australia will be: 1.rogers 2.s.marsh 3.khawaja 4.doolan 5.clarke 6.warner 7.haddin 8.siddle 9.harris 10.sayers 11.fawad ahmed 12.tim paine 13.bird 14.lyon 15.faulkner (all rounder).

  • wix99 on July 21, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge, Clarke is the only batsman who has the ability to consistently score runs in all conditions. Australia must build the team around him.

  • jackthelad on July 21, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    Clarke's commnts seem to be aimed at his fellow-batsmen; fair enough, but Australia's real problem is that they haven't got a bowling attack that can take out a settled side. One recalls Mitchel 'the new McGrath' Johnson, and Shaun 'need a lie down after two overs' Tait This lot are no better. Australia's current bowling line-up is poor to medium, and, honestly, it doesn't matter how few or how many the batsmen make, this shed of second-rate bowlers can't defend it.

  • Ozfanforever on July 21, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    Front Foot Lunge - really, that's your answer, get rid of the only guy in the team who has > 40 average? We need Clarke right where he is. What we need - desperately - is for openers who can make big partnerships, set it up for hte rest of them. I've lost count of the number of times Clarke has been in before the shine is off the new ball. A bit of confidence goes a long way, I thought we'd got that from Trent Bridge. Come on boys, heads up and get a bit of mongrel in you, and all those fair-weather fans bagging them out, shame on you!

  • on July 21, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    I think Clarke doesn't deserve any criticism. It's just that he is playing in an era when Australia are weak; kind of like Kim Hughes in the 80s. A good player and captain let down by his team mates. Absolutely diabolical performance by the Aussies. Can't think of any other word to fit in as an adjective. A 'shocker' is probably saying it nice. I mean, 6 defeats in a row and they haven't yet beaten England in an Ashes contest so far. I wonder if Mickey Arthur is giggling like a little boy at all of this. It was never cause of him to begin with. Australia simply don't have players to do what it takes to succeed in test cricket. Time to review Shield cricket and get to the bottom of the pile. Honestly, cannot see the Aussies beating England in any of the remaining 3 games.

  • dmat on July 21, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    The first thing the ACB should do is remove James Sutherland - they must accept that he has failed. Then understand that there will be at least another 5 years of pain - we just don't have the quality of players at the moment. Rebuilding Australian cricket should start with a major injection of money into junior players and coaches (aimed at preparing them for 5 day cricket). T20 needs to be considered as a different sport to test cricket - juniors can be diverted into one pathway or another then coaching can be tailored to the specific discipline. As I've said before, Watson, Haddin, Starc, Warner are all fine T20 or 50 over cricketers but none of them have an acceptable test record - why are we persevering with them? Clarke, Kawaja, Hughes etc should not be allowed to play T20.

  • SLAMMER on July 21, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge, are you are referring to the opener recently displaced for his off-field behaviour, and sent to SA to play for the Australia A team? For all the downward slde of his leadership and batting, Aussies are better off with Pup at the helm, rather than the opener! At the moment the Aussies are getting beaten at the gentleman's game, with the opener they will still get beaten, but it may not be called a gentleman's game maybe boxing or wrestling would be a more apt name!

  • big_al_81 on July 21, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Get rid of Clarke? The best batsman in the team by miles, their one truly world-class player, one of the most inventive captains in world cricket! His problem is the rest of his team aren't test class until you get to the bowlers. With the exception of Clarke, what Beckenbauer once said of a poor German football team is true of the batsmen: 'you could put them all in a bag, punch the bag and whoever you hit would deserve it!' Eccentric but vivid! Beckenbauer was a winner and so is Clarke so his frustration is hardly a surprise. Nor is it unwarranted.

  • bobpeecee on July 21, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    bring back Hussey and Katich for the home series.

    Katich, Rogers, Khawaja, Hussey, Clarke, Smith, Haddin would be my batting line-up.

    Warner is probably thanking his lucky stars that he threw that punch and sent off to Africa. He can't be blamed for the losses.

  • Pyketts on July 21, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    Desolate or desperate?

    The lack of quality in the batting line up is of great concern but if I was an Aus fan I wouldn't be too happy with the bowling either.

    An unproven spinner, a work horse, a show pony and one who could be world class if he stays fit. I'm not sure this is a particular area of strength.

    Like back in the 1980's Aus need to start again and build a side with a strong captain (not sure if one is available) and a fresh group of players (although I read that the talent pool is running dry).

    Even as an Englishman I hope they become more competative as otherwise this 10 game series is going to be pretty dull. Of course, I hope we win 10v0 but it just feels that after the excitement of the 1st test, we're going to spend the rest of the series beating up on the weedy kid, no real challenge.

  • Greatest_Game on July 21, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    Clarke must accept that the buck stops with him. Katich was booted because of him A great leader repairs a breach, not widens it. Hussey abruptly fled ship, but plays IPL. He loves playing - just not with Clarke. Aus could assemble a team of seasoned veterans immediately … if they were willing to play for Aus, with Clarke.

    In 1976, before touring the West Indies, English skipper Tony Greig said he intended to "make them grovel." This statement, from a white South African at the height of apartheid, caused fury in WI, & their bowlers battered him while fans jeered him. In the final match, a 3-0 whitewash inevitable, Greig, before stands of jeering fans, got on his hands & knees, & groveled. Their jeers became cheers. He had made his apology in the only fitting way - by humbling himself. He was forgiven immediately.

    Clarke is the heart of Aus' demise. To repair the destruction, he must grovel, or all of Aus cricket will be forced to grovel, for years to come.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 21, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    I think Clarke just has to go. His batting at 5, his leadership all are heading downward fast. He looks a negative influence on the team. Australia need a captain who open's the batting, and leads the vanguard.

  • on July 21, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    clarke loss of faith in the players around him has been fairly evident since we arrived in England ... who can blame him for being confused !

    Balls faced stat in both innings tells it all :(

  • on July 21, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    clarke loss of faith in the players around him has been fairly evident since we arrived in England ... who can blame him for being confused !

    Balls faced stat in both innings tells it all :(

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 21, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    I think Clarke just has to go. His batting at 5, his leadership all are heading downward fast. He looks a negative influence on the team. Australia need a captain who open's the batting, and leads the vanguard.

  • Greatest_Game on July 21, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    Clarke must accept that the buck stops with him. Katich was booted because of him A great leader repairs a breach, not widens it. Hussey abruptly fled ship, but plays IPL. He loves playing - just not with Clarke. Aus could assemble a team of seasoned veterans immediately … if they were willing to play for Aus, with Clarke.

    In 1976, before touring the West Indies, English skipper Tony Greig said he intended to "make them grovel." This statement, from a white South African at the height of apartheid, caused fury in WI, & their bowlers battered him while fans jeered him. In the final match, a 3-0 whitewash inevitable, Greig, before stands of jeering fans, got on his hands & knees, & groveled. Their jeers became cheers. He had made his apology in the only fitting way - by humbling himself. He was forgiven immediately.

    Clarke is the heart of Aus' demise. To repair the destruction, he must grovel, or all of Aus cricket will be forced to grovel, for years to come.

  • Pyketts on July 21, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    Desolate or desperate?

    The lack of quality in the batting line up is of great concern but if I was an Aus fan I wouldn't be too happy with the bowling either.

    An unproven spinner, a work horse, a show pony and one who could be world class if he stays fit. I'm not sure this is a particular area of strength.

    Like back in the 1980's Aus need to start again and build a side with a strong captain (not sure if one is available) and a fresh group of players (although I read that the talent pool is running dry).

    Even as an Englishman I hope they become more competative as otherwise this 10 game series is going to be pretty dull. Of course, I hope we win 10v0 but it just feels that after the excitement of the 1st test, we're going to spend the rest of the series beating up on the weedy kid, no real challenge.

  • bobpeecee on July 21, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    bring back Hussey and Katich for the home series.

    Katich, Rogers, Khawaja, Hussey, Clarke, Smith, Haddin would be my batting line-up.

    Warner is probably thanking his lucky stars that he threw that punch and sent off to Africa. He can't be blamed for the losses.

  • big_al_81 on July 21, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Get rid of Clarke? The best batsman in the team by miles, their one truly world-class player, one of the most inventive captains in world cricket! His problem is the rest of his team aren't test class until you get to the bowlers. With the exception of Clarke, what Beckenbauer once said of a poor German football team is true of the batsmen: 'you could put them all in a bag, punch the bag and whoever you hit would deserve it!' Eccentric but vivid! Beckenbauer was a winner and so is Clarke so his frustration is hardly a surprise. Nor is it unwarranted.

  • SLAMMER on July 21, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge, are you are referring to the opener recently displaced for his off-field behaviour, and sent to SA to play for the Australia A team? For all the downward slde of his leadership and batting, Aussies are better off with Pup at the helm, rather than the opener! At the moment the Aussies are getting beaten at the gentleman's game, with the opener they will still get beaten, but it may not be called a gentleman's game maybe boxing or wrestling would be a more apt name!

  • dmat on July 21, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    The first thing the ACB should do is remove James Sutherland - they must accept that he has failed. Then understand that there will be at least another 5 years of pain - we just don't have the quality of players at the moment. Rebuilding Australian cricket should start with a major injection of money into junior players and coaches (aimed at preparing them for 5 day cricket). T20 needs to be considered as a different sport to test cricket - juniors can be diverted into one pathway or another then coaching can be tailored to the specific discipline. As I've said before, Watson, Haddin, Starc, Warner are all fine T20 or 50 over cricketers but none of them have an acceptable test record - why are we persevering with them? Clarke, Kawaja, Hughes etc should not be allowed to play T20.

  • on July 21, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    I think Clarke doesn't deserve any criticism. It's just that he is playing in an era when Australia are weak; kind of like Kim Hughes in the 80s. A good player and captain let down by his team mates. Absolutely diabolical performance by the Aussies. Can't think of any other word to fit in as an adjective. A 'shocker' is probably saying it nice. I mean, 6 defeats in a row and they haven't yet beaten England in an Ashes contest so far. I wonder if Mickey Arthur is giggling like a little boy at all of this. It was never cause of him to begin with. Australia simply don't have players to do what it takes to succeed in test cricket. Time to review Shield cricket and get to the bottom of the pile. Honestly, cannot see the Aussies beating England in any of the remaining 3 games.

  • Ozfanforever on July 21, 2013, 22:46 GMT

    Front Foot Lunge - really, that's your answer, get rid of the only guy in the team who has > 40 average? We need Clarke right where he is. What we need - desperately - is for openers who can make big partnerships, set it up for hte rest of them. I've lost count of the number of times Clarke has been in before the shine is off the new ball. A bit of confidence goes a long way, I thought we'd got that from Trent Bridge. Come on boys, heads up and get a bit of mongrel in you, and all those fair-weather fans bagging them out, shame on you!