England v Australia, 4th Investec Test, Durham, 4th day August 12, 2013

Australia forget how to win

Few of Australia's recent losses will hurt like the one at Chester-le-Street, because they know - they know - they should have won it
137

LLLLLLDL.

That's not the name of an obscure Welsh town, that's Australia's record in Tests since the start of this year's tour of India. Stretch it back to the start of the Australian summer and it's a little healthier, but not much: DDLWWWLLLLLLDL. The victories were all against Sri Lanka, a team that has never won a Test in Australian conditions. Australia were on top in all three draws, against South Africa and England. Some losses have been comprehensive, others close.

Australia seem to have forgotten how to handle the pressure moments, the tight contests. Perhaps it is not so much that they have forgotten but that they've never known, for besides Michael Clarke, none of this current outfit have ever really known extended Test success. The coach, Darren Lehmann, played in 27 Tests and only five weren't wins. Compare that to a man like Steven Smith, who has played in only two victories, both early in his career, from 11 Tests.

Winning is a habit. Get a few successes on the board, especially against quality opponents, and especially in close finishes, and you start to trust that it can be done. Shane Warne often talks about believing it is possible to win from anywhere; Clarke's men appear petrified that they can lose from anywhere. How else to explain their collapse after tea at Chester-le-Street? Few of their recent losses will hurt like this one, because they know - they know - they should have won it.

The target of 299 was a challenge, certainly, but Chris Rogers and David Warner made Australia's highest opening stand in a Test chase in 18 years, reaching 109 for 0. Even after Rogers fell, Australia were still comfortable at tea, at 120 for 1. Then the doubt crept in. The fear. The knowledge that this match was there to lose, a 2-1 scoreline was theirs to give up. And dutifully, they handed England the momentum, their wickets and a series win.

At 5.26pm Usman Khawaja departed, Warner at 5.44, Clarke at 6.10, Smith at 6.22, Shane Watson at 6.29, Brad Haddin at 6.39. Then the bowlers tumbled too, but it wasn't their fault. In the final session Australia lost nine for 104. England's bowling improved - Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan bowled in tandem, keeping things tight, bringing the batsmen on to the front foot instead of offering up the short-of-a-length stuff they had delivered before tea. But they weren't nine-wickets-in-a-session good.

That Australia collapsed again is almost not a story, for it has happened so often in recent years that it is the norm. But to collapse when the openers had laid such a strong foundation is almost more galling. And how many of the batsmen could say they were done by great balls? Clarke missed a super delivery from Broad that angled in and nipped away just enough, but Watson and Haddin essentially just missed straight deliveries.

They were the two senior men in the lower middle-order. They had to show more resolve, respect the good balls and wait for the bad ones. Rogers had given them the template. Smith tried to do that, go after a short ball, but wasn't good enough to middle it and played on instead. Khawaja was typically elegant, but elegant doesn't win Test matches in tight situations. Fight does. Hunger does. Sheer bloody-mindedness does.

It raised the question - again - of whether Australia's batsmen are good enough for Test cricket. It goes without saying that Clarke is, and Rogers has shown in this series that he has the necessary technique and determination. Warner played a mature innings here but too often is careless. Watson is the No.6 and allrounder because there is nobody better. Smith and Khawaja have both shown signs of being Test batsmen but inspire little confidence in tight spots.

For all of them, this was an opportunity. This was a chance to stand up in a challenging situation, to deliver a victory for their struggling team. Rogers and Warner did the hard work early. Nobody matched them. It leaves the selectors in a difficult position, for they cannot keep picking men who fail under pressure. Phillip Hughes and Matthew Wade could be considered for The Oval Test, but where are the other batsmen applying the pressure?

"I think we are picking the best players," Clarke said after the loss. "Everyone says rebuild, rebuild, rebuild, but you need guys in first-class cricket making runs to take someone's slot. We have to continue to show faith in these guys - it takes time playing against good opposition. We just played South Africa in Australia, we are playing England here then England in Australia, then we go to South Africa - we are playing the best oppositions in the world. I think the selectors are doing the best they can to pick the best sides."

Clarke has had plenty of practice answering difficult questions after losses, but in the post-match press conference he looked drained of all his spark. He paid credit to Broad for his fine bowling, claimed responsibility for his own dismissal and not leading by example, and tried his best to back his men. Ultimately, though, his mood could be summed up by one answer: "It's extremely disappointing - I guess I know now what it feels like to lose an Ashes series as a captain."

Losing matches, losing series - it's all becoming far too familiar a feeling. When he retired after the series win over Sri Lanka during the home summer, Michael Hussey handed custodianship of the team victory song to Nathan Lyon. That was seven months ago. Eight Tests ago. Lyon is yet to lead the beer-soaked choir.

Under the Southern Cross I stand, a sprig of wattle in my hand.

The words are easy to remember, how to win a Test match not so much.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tests_the_best on August 13, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Spot-on article especially the part where the Australians simply "knew" they should have won this game after being 109-0 and 147-1. This is ironic because over the past couple of decades the general trend was that Aus were mentally tougher than most other opponents and even in hopeless situations would somehow manage victory or atleast put up a good fight. One can think of the 1993 adelaide test against wi which Aus lost by 1 run but battled hard after needing 40 odd from the last wicket. Same goes for edgbaston 2005 or even the first test of this series where Haddin put up a spirited effort.

    But this collapse has taken things the other way round where they lost a match which was well within their control. There was some talk about Aus having turned a corner after the 3rd test. It seems after this test that they have indeed turned a corner but in the opposite direction. Unless Aus find a few solid batsmen and a tail that wags a bit, it's going to be tough for them in the days ahead.

  • on August 13, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    Cook's comments, as reported in the Australian, should be borne in mind. He said hour by hour this match could have gone either way. Yes, the end result is disappointing from an Australian perspective, but in the longer term view it is hardly a disaster - in fact the last two tests have been rather promising. A lot of improvement is needed, but there are signs that it will come. I agree with Clarke - they are picking the right people at the moment. We, like the batsmen, need to get our heads down and work through this tough period without giving up. The players are not going to develop into test batsmen by sitting in the dressing rooms as 12th to 17th men. Khawaja has suffered greatly from that in my view. Nor will they do so by playing two or three games and getting dropped (Hughes). We need to keep picking them, keep letting them fail, and give them the chance to learn and succeed. Only if someone else makes an overwhelming case for inclusion should changes be made.

  • RohanMarkJay on August 17, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    Yes fully agree with this article. Looks like Australia threw away a great opportunity to win the test match after a great start 109 for no loss. They probably knew that they should have won from there. Because England wasn't troubling the batsman up to that point. It looks like a typical Aussie batting collapse of recent times than anything special from England bowlers.Sure the swing and seam conditions in England can be tough to handle for batsman but it looked like the Aussie batsman had no problem with the conditions.Sure there a were a couple of good balls from England bowlers but with all 10 wickets intact at 109 runs on the board you would back them to win from there. So England scraped through a series win. f anything this series has proven this Australian side isn't as bad as people thought or that England were not as good as some of their supporters and media thought. In fact Australia is the slightly better side. England are definitely beatable.Oz leg will be interesting.

  • aussierox on August 16, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    every one are saying wrong of steve smith. he along with michael clarke , chris rogers and ryan harris have played well. I think they should bring more experience in the side by bringing david hussey. They can even bring simon katich or george bailey. I think the best side for the australia is: 1)Chris Rogers 2)David Warner 3)George Bailey/Ed Cowan/Phil Hughes 4)Michael Clarke 5)Steve Smith/David Hussey 6)Shane watson 7)Brad Haddin 8)Peter Siddle 9)Mitchell Starc/James Pattinson 10)Ryan harris 11)Nathan lyon

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 15, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    As a starting point, Australia need to find a bowler who can bowl at 92pmh+ like England's Stuart Broad.

  • zaboo on August 15, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Now its time for austrailia to completely build a new team . Can't expect batsmen like shane watson, warner, philip hughes and smith to play long and promising innings.They are players of short format.Usman khawaja should also be drooped for now. He is good player but give him a chance aafter 2,3 years and hope.Bring new batsmen as austrailia has a big domestic circuit.

  • S.Jagernath on August 14, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    The current Australian team is actually a decent test side.They are struggling against England,who are dangerous anywhere but are even more lethal in England.Very few teams have has much success in England since the start of this millenium.I feel that sticking with the current team is the best move.If Shane Watson isn't fit enough to bowl,then unfortunately he should sit out & maybe Moises Henriques should be called up.Australia definitely need an allrounder,the load put on Ryan Harris was far too much in the last test.

  • hhillbumper on August 14, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    I like the fans who keep saying Aus could have won3 games.Indeed they could but they didn't.England have won the tight parts of the games and have done it through different bowlers.As for the umpiring it is unfortunate that the Ashes suffer from having such poor umpires because the best ones can't officiate in them.

    Australia need to have a long hard look at themselves and what they have done.Following the White wash in India it was suddenly about the greatest fast bolwing attack there is.Cut through the hyperbole and make some long term choices. England only got better when they cut out the consistent tinkering with selection. They are hardened and experienced cricketers who know how to win.It might not be dazzling but frankly we win so who cares.

  • on August 14, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Aussie is my fav team since 1999 world cup.. they performed really well in all conditions however i don't understand what happened to the team now... I wish all the very very best to my team for coming matches n hope team will recover soon... ALL THE BEST AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OYE OYE OYE...

  • hyclass on August 14, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    I watched an interesting interview with Ian Chappell recently.He summed up batting in the most succinct manner possible by identifying that as a ball is delivered,a batsman's first thought should be to hit it for 4. If that's not possible, 3, 2 or 1. His last resort should be to defend or leave. Steve Waugh's mantra was to try and rest the advantage back from the bowler as swiftly as possible through run scoring. The batsmen in this side are ridiculously over-coached to the point of being afraid to play their own game and losing judgement and self reliance. All the talk is of technique.It's highly disruptive.A batsman needs only an attacking plan, a defensive plan and the courage and stamina to enact it. All else detracts from this. It is no accident that other than those players who were well established in Shield before 20/20, all the rest have fallen far. Players come in with good records and leave with bad. Wake up. Its not Shield. Its interference & severe misdirection at the top.

  • tests_the_best on August 13, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Spot-on article especially the part where the Australians simply "knew" they should have won this game after being 109-0 and 147-1. This is ironic because over the past couple of decades the general trend was that Aus were mentally tougher than most other opponents and even in hopeless situations would somehow manage victory or atleast put up a good fight. One can think of the 1993 adelaide test against wi which Aus lost by 1 run but battled hard after needing 40 odd from the last wicket. Same goes for edgbaston 2005 or even the first test of this series where Haddin put up a spirited effort.

    But this collapse has taken things the other way round where they lost a match which was well within their control. There was some talk about Aus having turned a corner after the 3rd test. It seems after this test that they have indeed turned a corner but in the opposite direction. Unless Aus find a few solid batsmen and a tail that wags a bit, it's going to be tough for them in the days ahead.

  • on August 13, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    Cook's comments, as reported in the Australian, should be borne in mind. He said hour by hour this match could have gone either way. Yes, the end result is disappointing from an Australian perspective, but in the longer term view it is hardly a disaster - in fact the last two tests have been rather promising. A lot of improvement is needed, but there are signs that it will come. I agree with Clarke - they are picking the right people at the moment. We, like the batsmen, need to get our heads down and work through this tough period without giving up. The players are not going to develop into test batsmen by sitting in the dressing rooms as 12th to 17th men. Khawaja has suffered greatly from that in my view. Nor will they do so by playing two or three games and getting dropped (Hughes). We need to keep picking them, keep letting them fail, and give them the chance to learn and succeed. Only if someone else makes an overwhelming case for inclusion should changes be made.

  • RohanMarkJay on August 17, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    Yes fully agree with this article. Looks like Australia threw away a great opportunity to win the test match after a great start 109 for no loss. They probably knew that they should have won from there. Because England wasn't troubling the batsman up to that point. It looks like a typical Aussie batting collapse of recent times than anything special from England bowlers.Sure the swing and seam conditions in England can be tough to handle for batsman but it looked like the Aussie batsman had no problem with the conditions.Sure there a were a couple of good balls from England bowlers but with all 10 wickets intact at 109 runs on the board you would back them to win from there. So England scraped through a series win. f anything this series has proven this Australian side isn't as bad as people thought or that England were not as good as some of their supporters and media thought. In fact Australia is the slightly better side. England are definitely beatable.Oz leg will be interesting.

  • aussierox on August 16, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    every one are saying wrong of steve smith. he along with michael clarke , chris rogers and ryan harris have played well. I think they should bring more experience in the side by bringing david hussey. They can even bring simon katich or george bailey. I think the best side for the australia is: 1)Chris Rogers 2)David Warner 3)George Bailey/Ed Cowan/Phil Hughes 4)Michael Clarke 5)Steve Smith/David Hussey 6)Shane watson 7)Brad Haddin 8)Peter Siddle 9)Mitchell Starc/James Pattinson 10)Ryan harris 11)Nathan lyon

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 15, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    As a starting point, Australia need to find a bowler who can bowl at 92pmh+ like England's Stuart Broad.

  • zaboo on August 15, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Now its time for austrailia to completely build a new team . Can't expect batsmen like shane watson, warner, philip hughes and smith to play long and promising innings.They are players of short format.Usman khawaja should also be drooped for now. He is good player but give him a chance aafter 2,3 years and hope.Bring new batsmen as austrailia has a big domestic circuit.

  • S.Jagernath on August 14, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    The current Australian team is actually a decent test side.They are struggling against England,who are dangerous anywhere but are even more lethal in England.Very few teams have has much success in England since the start of this millenium.I feel that sticking with the current team is the best move.If Shane Watson isn't fit enough to bowl,then unfortunately he should sit out & maybe Moises Henriques should be called up.Australia definitely need an allrounder,the load put on Ryan Harris was far too much in the last test.

  • hhillbumper on August 14, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    I like the fans who keep saying Aus could have won3 games.Indeed they could but they didn't.England have won the tight parts of the games and have done it through different bowlers.As for the umpiring it is unfortunate that the Ashes suffer from having such poor umpires because the best ones can't officiate in them.

    Australia need to have a long hard look at themselves and what they have done.Following the White wash in India it was suddenly about the greatest fast bolwing attack there is.Cut through the hyperbole and make some long term choices. England only got better when they cut out the consistent tinkering with selection. They are hardened and experienced cricketers who know how to win.It might not be dazzling but frankly we win so who cares.

  • on August 14, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Aussie is my fav team since 1999 world cup.. they performed really well in all conditions however i don't understand what happened to the team now... I wish all the very very best to my team for coming matches n hope team will recover soon... ALL THE BEST AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE OYE OYE OYE...

  • hyclass on August 14, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    I watched an interesting interview with Ian Chappell recently.He summed up batting in the most succinct manner possible by identifying that as a ball is delivered,a batsman's first thought should be to hit it for 4. If that's not possible, 3, 2 or 1. His last resort should be to defend or leave. Steve Waugh's mantra was to try and rest the advantage back from the bowler as swiftly as possible through run scoring. The batsmen in this side are ridiculously over-coached to the point of being afraid to play their own game and losing judgement and self reliance. All the talk is of technique.It's highly disruptive.A batsman needs only an attacking plan, a defensive plan and the courage and stamina to enact it. All else detracts from this. It is no accident that other than those players who were well established in Shield before 20/20, all the rest have fallen far. Players come in with good records and leave with bad. Wake up. Its not Shield. Its interference & severe misdirection at the top.

  • on August 14, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    Clarke talks about guys making runs in 1st class cricket; has he ever heard of a bloke called Michael Katich........

  • on August 14, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    @ popcorn

    height of biasness, so wat, u forget the old decession of ausies umpires, umpires do make mistakes, wat rain is also due to umpires funny

    ausies team is nothing as compared to england, go england go, thrash these dumps

  • benny1210 on August 14, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Lets just get used to being no. 5 or 6 and getting beaten by everyone except for Bangla Desh, and Zimbabwe. Unless someone comes along in the Bob Simpson mold, nothing will change. When he took over, Oz was struggling to beat NZ and he worked on batting, bowling and fielding techniques and those who couldn't cope with the discipline (Zoehrer, Matthews) weren't selected. THere is definitely something missing in all areas for Oz especially the batting. England are a good side but not a great side. Ian Bell epitomizes what test batting is all about...he is not a great batsman but he works hard and concentrates for long periods of time. We might as well keep the same team because whoever else comes in will perform just like the player the replaced.

  • hyclass on August 14, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    There continues to be a theory doing the rounds that this team should retain failing players. Make that, extremely well paid, supposed professional, non-performing players. The rationale given is that Border did so. Rubbish.Border was the beneficiary of the amateur system in which at the time of Chappell, Lillee and Marsh retiring simultaneously, the entire engine room of Shield cricket went on the SA Rebel tours, leaving Border with no-one to select. Even after they returned, there was a 2 year ban to be served. It was a time of low remuneration and a number of players such as McCurdy, Haysman and Smith chose to remain in SA. Border chose as he did because there was no other choice.The system of institutes and coaching that led to the great teams that followed, was to ensure that the same circumstance never arose again. That it has should command people to ask why.The answer is CA policies designed to discredit and undermine these institutions & insert 20/20. Argus amounted to nothing

  • atul2884 on August 14, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Whatever happened in this series has happened for good of Australian cricket. The English side we are seeing is a well established side for last 2-3 years. The current Australian side is evolving on the back of some crucial retirements. Its a learning phase for this great team and they need to take these losses as what not to do in pressure situations. I will still back Steven Smith as a good allrounder, and Khawaja as good batsman they are getting experience with every game and as Brydon said they need to develop the winning habit which waugh ponting and company has given them as legacy. Lets not pressure on clarke as he is the only horse running all derby's for them and Aussies bowling is really good. Now with experience of some 10 tests, I hope the real test would be to play well against English during australian summer. I am sure Nathon Lyon will get the chance to sing the victory song for the current team

  • on August 14, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    Quite funny to read that Clarke thinks only South Africa & England are the only 'good' opposition in world cricket. Rather surprising how he could forget the 4-0 drubbing in India, a series which was played much later after the SA series & supposedly a" BAD" oppositon going by his statement. It is more shameful to lose against 'bad' opponents than against 'good opponents'. What Clarke lacks is the graceness of his preceding captains to accept every opponent is worth beating. Even when he toured India earlier this year, it looked like Clarke & his boys were focussed on getting some match practice for the Ashes series!

  • Thegimp on August 14, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    Dear Cricket Australia

    Obviously the Ashes have been lost and many lessons have been learnt. I would suggest one particular lesson is the lack of underlying batting talent going around Australia at the moment. There may be many reasons for this but let me touch on a couple and offer some advice.

    Taking young, soft batsmen away, batsmen who really haven't grafted the hard yards through first class cricket, batsmen who don't have the mental toughness to withstand the rigours of test cricket, giving them $2M a year to play doesn't work. It has been tried before by England throughout the 90s and 00s and didn't work. Ignoring battle hardenned batsmen like Rogers, D Hussey, Hodge, Bailey doesn't work (Rogers has no doubt openned your eyes and instead of patting yourselves on the back I would hope it shows as a glaring mistake).

    Lets cut the pay to bare minimum, lets see who out there wants to play for Australia. Lets put some value in the Baggy Green and not into bank accounts

  • on August 14, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    I recon the 4 runs is already registered in Warner's mind, you can see he's batting with a beautiful smile. I hope Ashes try harder to win next test. You can do it.. Go! Go! Ashes!!

  • on August 14, 2013, 1:05 GMT

    Drop them all. They've all got to go.

  • on August 13, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    after this series no . Usman Khawaja,Brad Haddin.Send smith top of order at no 3.take wade in place of Brad Haddin and shan marsh/Maddison at no 4,Clark no 5,Watson/Maxwell at no 6,at philp huges as opener with Warner.give me a chance i will play at no 3.please.

  • CricketingStargazer on August 13, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    @crazytaurean Part of the problem is manifested in the debate here about who should be dropped. Australia have used 16 players so far and there is every chance that both Wade and Faulkner will play at The Oval. They have used 7 specialist bowlers and 2 all-rounders. 7 bowlers have delivered at least 80 overs in the series. It is the English '80s & '90s revolving door policy. Everything indicates that Darren Lehman really does not know his best XI and even less his best batting order.

    When everyone fears for their place it makes it harder to perform: you worry about your own performance, not the team's.

    Step one is identifying a squad of 13 or 14 players, no more & sticking with them, even when they lose, as England did last year. Work on their issues, not on increasing their insecurities. England have gone 12 games unbeaten with the almost same players who looked totally off the pace last year. No panic changes. The only change in this series has been Bresnan for Finn. It works.

  • BigINDFan on August 13, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    The reason for Aus defeats is not just knowing the winning feeling but they are not batting as a team. The term hunting in packs is used for bowlers but Aus need to find something similar for batting in pairs. Warner and Rogers did that while the others played like they were in T20 game making Broad and Bresnan superstars.

    Get Watson and Smith out of the team. Give Agar more chances and let him play in tandem with Lyon as the second spinner. Try out other young batsmen who are good at ODIs because at this point the hunt for batsmen need to start.

    Send Watson, Smith, Khwaja and Phil Hughes on A tours to improve their batting skills in the longer format. Then they can come back "putting the pressure".

    At this point which is worse - Aus batting or Ind bowling in Tests. I would say Aus batting since they helped break Ind nightmare in Tests only in the recent past!

    Katich must be saying "good job planning for the future mate"!

  • crazytaurean on August 13, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    England are clearly the better side. I would urge all to accept that reality first. Yes, things could have been better for the Aussies, but its a case of role reversals. England is playing like Australia used to in the 1990s. Alas their chances have been diminished with the lack of inform players coming into the tournament. Watson, Khwaja look out of sorts. Warner was mostly out of form before the series except the 193 he hit. Steve Smith has performed beyond his abilities but is he fit to be a no 5 or 6 for an Ashes side? I have been least impressed with other 5 or 6 or 7s for Australia in the recent past...the Henriques, Marcus Norths et al. I believe there is a dearth of exciting young talent in the junior rungs of Australia cricket. Seems like Australia will continue to be like this till some more years. It would be interesting to see how they play at home against England. Ed Cowan must get a chance now. High time. I wonder what happened to Ashton Agar. He played so well....

  • ben.p. on August 13, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    I imagine - or, at least, I hope - that Australia's selectors are puce with embarrassment for dropping Simon Katich. As Michael Clarke says, they have to rebuild. You don't do that by omitting players of proven class and consistency, no matter how old they are, especially when a side is in the state of flux this one is. Above all, Katich has had experience of winning, which, as the article indicates, so many of this team lack. Knowing how arrogant, unreasonable and pigheaded national selectors can be, they are never going to admit their mistake, nor should they be given the opportunity any longer to do so. I trust the real casualty of this disastrous tour for Australia will be their selection panel, but, before they go, I would like to thank them for making it so much easier for England, of which they are now establishing quite a tradition. ( I'm amazed they've finally worked out they should play Chris Rogers. Anyone with any idea of what's going on would have put him in years ago. )

  • popcorn on August 13, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Analyse carefuly: Australia were done in by the Umpires in two of the four Tests - not by their inability to win.1. At Trent Bridge, it was Aleem Dar who was the only one in the world who could not see Stuart Broad was out caught.Broad was 37 then, he went on to make 65. Australia lost by 14 runs. Do your arithmetic.2. At Old Trafford, it was rain that denied Australia victory. England was finished. 3. At Durham, the Umpire gave Tim Bresnan not out lbw. Reviews showed clipping leg - Umpire's Call stayed. He went on to increase England's lead.Whereas both Watson and Haddin were given out lbw. Reviews showed clipping leg. Umpire's call stayed. There was no logic to give Bresnan not out. If indeed it was, the same logic should have applied to Watson and Haddin. In ALL CASES,if it is just clipping leg,benefit of doubt should go to the batsman.So don't go heaping the coals over the Aussies.

  • Un_Citoyen_Indien on August 13, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @ The Big Buddha: Wow, you really are proficient in making excuses for the Australian Team. It seems to me that you're suggesting that Australia are at par with England as a Test side? The fact is that England are a whole class above Australia when it comes to Test matches.

    If it makes you feel better, you can keep consoling yourself with the notion that Australia would've somehow emerged victorious at the end of the third Test had rain not interfered. But the fact of the matter is: rain severely impacted the concentration of the English batsmen as well (not to mention the effect it had on the wicket and the conditions for swing/ seam bowling). I'd wager that England might just have won that Test had there been no rainfall on the final day.

    And it's quite amusing to hear you complain about Bresnan's LBW that was over-ruled by the Third Umpire. Some Aussie fans I tell you........

  • kir.vas on August 13, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    I wonder how a cricket team is travelling to England with two batsman (clarke and rogers) and four bowlers?. They lost the ashes only because of batsmen and poor selection. Smith , Khawaja, Edcowan, Phil Hughes, Haddin ( watson and warner not in usual form) Tell me one guy who is able to win a match for AustraliA?

  • kir.vas on August 13, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    I wonder how a cricket team is travelling to England with two batsman (clarke and rogers) and four bowlers?. They lost the ashes only because of batsmen and poor selection. Smith , Khawaja, Edcowan, Phil Hughes, Haddin ( watson and warner not in usual form) Tell me one guy who is able to win a match for AustraliA?

  • landl47 on August 13, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    There are lots of excuses (TheBigBoodha has three posts full of them on this thread alone), but when you analyze the numbers Australia hasn't been that close to England. In the first test, 3 all-time records (best score by a #11, best 10th wicket partnership, best total 10th wicket scores over 2 innings) got Aus close in a game in which they were dominated. At OT Aus only took 5 wickets on day 3 and England only needed to bat in exactly the same way as they had done in the previous 4 innings to draw the game even without rain. In the 4th test Aus had their best start chasing for many years, but their final score was about what you'd expect.

    The key stats are these: Eng has scored over 300 in 5 out of 7 innings. Aus has scored over 300 once in 8 innings. England has 3 bowlers with 9 wickets or more in a match; Aus has 1. Eng has 5 centuries in the series, Aus has 2.

    Eng has won in all conditions- swing at TB, spin at Lord's, seam at Durham. Aus...... you know the rest.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 13, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    @Richa Goel- I beg to disagree with you Richa but you got to respect Clark's views and if he does not believe Ind as a 'good' team he has his own reasons to believe his views. Apart from being 1 of the top 2-3 bats in the world and by far the best in the Ashes from both sides he knows his cricket and has always been frank and blunt with his views on cricket and has not saved even the most damning critique when needed even when his own team are the 1s needing it -and he has had to ,rightly do that lot recently much more than any test captain would lioke to- but has not shieed away by manfully facing up to his teams travails and not putting up any excuses. Maybe Ind's 8-0 O/seas - with the '8' being defeats - may have to do with his low assessing of Ind ,but you would not fault some 1 like Clark's views the least of any int. skipper. Fact is a very out of form Clarke with as poor a team as his would have made 1 big ton in Ind almost saving Aus himself in that test .

  • CricketingStargazer on August 13, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    @Atif Bukhari They will drop to 5th after this series and, if they lose at The Oval, will just be a fraction of a point ahead of the West Indies. If England win the return series by 2 Tests or more, Australia will drop down to 6th, 3 points behind the West Indies.

    The ratings take into account up to 4 years of results and Australia are currently being propped-up in the table by some good results from a couple of years ago.

  • CricketingStargazer on August 13, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    One statistic that I found amazing was Australia's record in chases in the last 7 years. Yesterday was the 14th time that they had been set 200 or more to win since April 2006. In those 14 chases, they have lost 10 (yes, TEN). Just once have they chased down a target and that was a narrow win against South Africa chasing, I believe, 310. Three times they have held out for a draw.

    When you are short on confidence it is hard to break that sort of trot. It is why I was never panicking yesterday... history said that Australia would find a way to lose.

  • jabberwocky123 on August 13, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    I think this article is both too harsh on Australia and fails to give enough credit to the England bowlers. Claiming that the best and most devastating bowling spell of the summer was nothing more than " keeping things tight [and] bringing the batsmen on to the front foot" is strange to say the least.

    The game was over at eight down so the match winning/losing collapse happened from the fall of the third wicket to the eighth. When a team collapses it's an automatic response to blame the batsmen but if you look at the fall of these six wickets all the credit has to go to the bowlers.

    Warner, Clarke and Harris got unplayable deliveries that would've got any batsman out at any time.

    Steve Smith was ridiculously unlucky to a quick bouncer.

    Watson was out lbw (again) due to a huge technical flaw rather than the match situation.

    Haddin, not yet set, missed a reverse swinging ball and was unlucky with the lbw.

    Sometimes, you just have to say well bowled.

  • sachin_vvsfan on August 13, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    DDLWWWLLLLLLDL has no relevance actually. LLLLLLDL has more relevance Its the absence of Hussey that is hurting them more.

  • hyclass on August 13, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Name the young batsmen who have flourished under the current arrangements. Hard isn't it? When first chosen, the 1st Class ave of Khawaja, Smith & Hughes were 53, 54 and 62 respectively. They had all come off good seasons. Now they all ave around 40. Hughes run before joining the Ashes squad in '09 was 1637 runs on 3 continents in 10 games with 8 x 100's including 2 vs the then 1100 Test wicket SA attack at home. To watch Hughes on Youtube (Hughes 115 v SA & Hughes 160 v SA), you wouldn't recognise him as the same player-different grip, stance, approach, confidence, amazing results. Ian Chappell told each player when they joined his side,' I don't want you to change anything. Doing what you did got you here.' How refreshing. Hughes' mentor DeCosta described Hughes 'being forced to prepare in a way unsuited to his game', on joining the Ashes squad. He played a different game from then on & has never recovered. I'm a fan but dont see him ever being the same. Hauritz has a similar story.

  • hyclass on August 13, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    It must be evident at this point that 20/20 affects batsmen far more than bowlers when changing to the longer formats. ODI never had this effect because in 50 overs, it was still possible for a batsman to play a traditional innings, something that isnt possible in 20/20. The Australian batsmen who have endured have been those who had a grounding in Shield cricket before the arrival of 20/20. The demise of standards in 1st Class cricket in Aus, exactly coincides with the arrival of 20/20 and the complete reversal of bias by CA towards it in policy, selection and remuneration. My sympathy remains with those batsmen caught in the middle of an infamous episode which continues to this day. It was once incumbent upon the opposition to put doubt in the batsman's mind, but that has been very thoroughly accomplished well in advance by CA.It is not and never has been cyclical as some would have you believe when comparing the Border era.There are no legitimate comparisons. Tests must rule-period!

  • on August 13, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    One wonders how come they are still ranked 4th in ICC Rankings!!!

  • on August 13, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Each and Every team has to go through this lean patch. But yes this lean patch of Australia is of very long period. It started in 2007 and still continuing. One thing we should all admit that England is playing some excellent test cricket in last 12 months or so. England's triumph in the Indian soil is the proof of their excellency in test cricket. I think Australia's problem is that they do not have any solid temperament player like Alastair Cook,Chateshwar Pujara or any Sangakkara except their skipper Clarke.David Warner is not for test cricket that is for sure. Their batting needs to be improved to win a test in England soil.

  • umairbond on August 13, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    In the final session Australia lost nine for 104, its mean its something wrong or what can i say i cannot imagine.after being 109-0 and 147-1, they are in a winning situation. simon katich should be in the side ,i was thinking from first test. lehmann has to bring mental toughness in them that they are the best ,like imran khan lead from the front in 92 world cup with players average but mentally tougher with sharing thoughts with him ,this is the formula i can give to lehmann and CA.

  • thejesusofcool on August 13, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    Yes and though we've played the better cricket, we've also won the 3 Tests in which we won the toss & batted first. And survived, aided by the rain, when we didn't win the toss or bat first.

    Australia managed to lose at least twice in India when winning the toss & batting first, so they have improved somewhat. But why are they still carrying 3 passengers in that top 6-Khawaja is never a Test number 3,Watson remains a walking LBW & Smith might make it at 6 or 7,but never a number 5?

  • hyclass on August 13, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    The idea that Aus 1st Class cricket lacks talent is part of a well constructed marketing ploy, devised by CA around '06-08 in order to insert 20/20 cricket as the primary format.Other myths invented to support their unconscionable actions included blaming the curators, non-selection of players who were performing, such as O'Keefe, Hodge, David Hussey and Rogers in their correct formats & positions.They were replaced with a long list of lesser players such as Quiney, Marsh,Doherty etc. 2nd XI age limits were introduced. The use of the Institutes of Excellence & State training were changed or interfered with. The popularity of traditional cricket was deliberately understated. The technique myth was introduced.Extra weight was given to players who also played 20/20.The BBL was rammed through a year ahead of schedule before debate,against the States wishes & then undermined the Shield season. The youth over performance myth shredded what was left.CA planned this in pursuit of 20/20 money.

  • wrenx on August 13, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Anyone else sick of seeing Watson's lost puppy expression every time he walks back to his mark to bowl? The look of desperation and victimisation when he gets out, and the utter surrender when he's at the other end watching his partner lose his wicket? There's nothing of the Australian spirit about Watson, his test career should end right now. He's just not up to it. Stick to twenty-twenty. Pick more bowlers for the 5th test, that's Australia's strength right now anyway, and the tail+Rogers are getting the runs. Harris, Starc, Siddle, Bird, Lyon, Agar, Haddin, Smith, Clarke, Warner, Rogers

  • on August 13, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Australia played better through the series than the 3-0 scoreline would suggest. The pace bowlers were repeatedly able to put England on the back foot while the Oz batsmen just couldn't grind out the wins. I will maintain that Australia generally got the short end of the DRS in the series (this game with another couple of marginal LBWs given out but just clipping the stumps in Hawkeye) but the poor decisions didn't have too much weight on the final score. The decisive factors were definitely England having the in-form bat and the in-form spinner which meant that no matter how well Australia batted or bowled, England could always recover. Good stuff, and see you in four months for the rematch.

  • LoungeChairCritic on August 13, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    @Dustybin. Don't get to excited mate. Yes we have come back to the pack, but don't put us in the same category as Liverpool. We are to proud a cricket nation not to return to the top someday in the near future. Probably about 7 years ago, South Africa lost 3 nil to us in South Africa. From memory Stuart Clark ran through them and Mr Cricket dominated. In the space 5 to 7 years South Africa turned it around. Unlike the Windies, we have the financial resources (Thank you India) to pour back into player development. A strong England, a strong India and a strong Australia is good for the game. Although England were very lucky to win in 2005, most Australian's appreciated that your victory was good for your country. Although we share different tastes in regards to winter sports, cricket unites Australians. In WA, VIC, SA & TAS AFL is dominant. In NSW & QLD its union and league. For me the "Lions" are a AFL team that used to be called Fitzroy.

  • on August 13, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Good article for England supporters...Although I am an Indian... I support England for this series....Good win ! Go ENG

  • Tom_Bowler on August 13, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    It must be a very tough time to be an Aussie fan, after years of dominance your team are in a transitional period and no one can say with any certainty when they will come out the other side. To look on the bright side though your cricket team may not be the best in the world any longer but as long as some of your number, and I know it is not all of you, continue to claim that only rain, bad light, DRS, meteor showers, alien abduction and Joe Root's fake beard have prevented you being 4-0 up your World Champion Cry Babies tag is in safe hands.

  • on August 13, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    Yes. you can't image how poor they are. Now they need to play against Zimbabwe or Kenya and Bangladesh to build their confident . the golden era is finish from Australia cricket.

  • Romanticstud on August 13, 2013, 9:26 GMT

    It is not the worst collapse I have seen ... I witnessed the Cape Town test, where South Africa and Australia collapsed ... First Shane Watson to 5 in 19 Balls and then Philander echoed the sentiment ... All the top batsmen in the world were clueless ... South Africa were 49/1 ... Kallis 0 ... Prince 0 ... 96 All out ... What followed was worse ... No one in the Australia top 8 made double figures ... 21/9 ... Ponting 0 ... Clarke 2 ... Hussey 0 ... Haddin 0 ... 47 All out ... What was the weirdest thing was South Africa bearly passed the follow on target ... So Australia were effectively 188/0 ... South Africa won easily in the end by 8 wickets ...

  • TheBigBoodha on August 13, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    BElur Keshavaram, no AUS were not outplayed in all departments. Batting and bowling was even on both teams. The difference was late order runs by Englands bowlers.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 13, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Another close game, another narrow loss. People think this will go on forever, but seem to forget only rain saved Eng from a huge loss a week ago. As I said, plain bad luck as played a huge part in the final results. There's little difference between batting and bowling lineups. Poms who protest re. batting just need to look at England's batting cards the last two games. Basically nothing of substance from anyone but Bell. What would have happened if Bresnan had correctly been given out LBW on 12? If Clarke had reviewed KP last test? If England had not fed through with that half-hearted review against Haddin with only 24 runs to win the 1st test? People forget these things, but that's how close things have been. Finally, why was the game allowed to continue in bad light, when the second last day of the previous test was called off 30 overs from the end in better light? Beyond me.

  • yorkshire-86 on August 13, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    They have the problem of keeping bringing back the same failed players every time the players that replace them fail. Hughes fails time and time again, gets dropped, his replacement fails, bring back Hughes. Smith fails, his replacement fails, bring back Smith. So likely for the next test, the players that failed now, Smith, Kahwaja, Watson - will be replaced by the players that failed the last time - Cowan, Hughes, Marsh, and when they fail, back to Smith + Kahwaja + Watson. Warner puts too little value on his wicket, he will be dropped before the end of the series, and when the next opener fails, Warner will be back. All this while the second best batsmen in the country (and the only availible player bar Clarke with a 40+ batting average, the usual benchmark for an international batsmen) by a long mile, Simon Katich, butchers county attacks for fun.

  • McMurdo on August 13, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    Australia almost always had a dogged fighter in their team. It was Steve Waugh in the 90s and Hussey in the 00's.. That character would lift the spirits of the entire team, a character that Aussies are proud of. Someone in their team should put that cap on, if Australia are to make a comeback from their current slump.

  • on August 13, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Part of the beauty of comments sections like these are the variety of views expressed within them - some are caught up in the hysteria of the moment, others are more reflected, still others try to stimulate debate. I could agree with all of the views above & yet still disagree with them after reading them again. Probably the most poignant of the views I have heard is that this is not something that Aus are going to be able to fix overnight - to develop a side like the ones during the 90's & 1st half of the 00's as most Aus fans are used to takes years (& even then maybe luck isn't on our side).

    IMO, the players we have at the moment are all about the same level (Clarke, and maybe a few others excepted) - if you replaced one with another the result isn't sure to change, Khawaja with Hughes? Hadding with Wade? Watson with ??? (Faulkner? Starc? Maxwell?), Warner with Cowan/Katich/Finch? It's ok to replace a player out of form, but what happens if the alternatives aren't doing any better?

  • gbqdgj on August 13, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    I really don't get this haranguing of Michael Clarke and his leadership...that's not whether problem lies. I think that CA did the right thing by getting rid of Mickey Arthur and appointing Lehmann...that was the first issue and clearly some of the players responded well to that. The second issue is a lack of latent talent in the Australian FC cricket. That's not an easy fix but actually if they allowed perhaps 3 overseas players per Shield side that might help raise standards. The third issue is a lack of application by senior players when batting (Clarke himself excluded) and that has nothing what so ever to do with poor leadership. I think that frankly they may just have to put up with a couple more years in the wilderness and genuinely build for the future and pick batsmen with genuine talent (and I'd include Khawalja there) who are under say 25. Stick with the bowling unit who I think are impressive and look to develop from there.

  • Thegimp on August 13, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    Is it strange that the only blokes in this side that are worth their spot had to fight through form and disappointment to earn it. Rogers, Siddle, Harris, Bird, Lyon, Hadden and to certain extent Warner (although I'm still not convinced that he is a test batsman, then again I wasn't convinced Steve Waugh was either up to a point). The rest have been handed oportunity after oportunity right through the ranks, from grade cricket to shield to Test. Smith, Khawaja, Hughes, Watson (Alan Broder's little golden boy for the last 15 years) even Warner has played more test matches than First Class. This lot should be looking over their collective shoulders for the return series with Maxwell, Marsh and Nic Maddington making runs for Australia A. With Maxwell in for Watson, Marsh in for Khawaja and either Smith/Maddington in the line up and it already looks stronger. My line up for Aust Ashes: Rogers, Silk, Marsh, Clarke, Warner, Maxwell, Hadden, Siddle, Harris, Bird, Lyon. Maddington 12th

  • on August 13, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    Aussies are out played in all department Players like Watson, Smith must take responsibility & play better GREAT come back by Broad (in the inuuragal T20 WC he was hit for 6 6s by Yuvi.) with determination,dedication with a devastrating spell both in 1st Inns. & 2nd Inns. Today he is one of the GREAT Allrounders Eng has produced.No doubt he is going to be the Man of the Series. Best of luck Aussie @ Oval.

  • chillers_khalifa on August 13, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I cann't imagine that broad also can take wicket through his bowling. I think broad didn't bowl well only aussie batted very badly. clarke and co. spoil the effort of haris. Chnage in batting order ask to smith to come on no 3 and khwaja to no 5 it will create the balance in team.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 13, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    It's amazing how fickle cricket and it's supporters are. At trent bridge people were saying the gap between the two sides isn't that big, lords - England is much better, Manchester - England are bad Australia unlucky, now this Australian side is the worst ever?

    First things first, Australia will NEVER be like the West Indies. It's not just a matter of talent in the West Indies, it's politics, funding and supports, lots of things going against them, they probably still have lots of class players.

    Secondly, England are simply a better, proven, mature test side!! This side has hardly changed in 5 years and Australia were always up against it. Australian supporters need to support their players because there is no magic fix or selection. These are the best players we have.

  • Malx on August 13, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    No fight , no guts. ! I don't think any of these players would risk their lives for Clarke. Where does Australia go from here? No where !! The brainless selectors who are too old & couldn't pick their noses should be replaced by AB & Steve Waugh. Rogers will be 36 soon , so no future there. There are too many openers in this side. Haddin is way past it and doesn't care. The way he & Watson got out was a disgrace. Smith & Khawaja look like deer caught in headlights. Let's bring in Wade, Faulkner, Cowan & Hughes. or otherwise it's 4-0 !!

  • skilebow on August 13, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    As a pom I agree this is the main difference between the two sides. Watching yesterday when Smith was dismissed the look on his and Watson's faces said it all. I said to my friend at that point "we've got them" and you could see the Aussies were already thinking about losing even though they only need 120 odd with 5 wickets left, still very possible. The fact is a side that wins regularly will only think of winning in that situation, a side that loses regularly will worry about losing. Still I'm looking forward to a close series back in Oz.

  • on August 13, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    I am convinced Michael Clarke might be our best bat but definitely not the best captain of the cricket team. I believe CA should stick with Usman and Bird in playing 11 but get rid of Watson. CA look around! What about Gurinder Sandhu? What about Brad Hodge? What about that Canberra player...I think his name was Jono Dean, who smacked the Windies last time they were in Australia. I think its about taking a chance by giving chances to people who would win you matches. Australian cricket needs 11 prospective match winners than players with half descent past.

  • balajik1968 on August 13, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    dan9 Hussey had to go some day, but it would have helped Australia if he had extended his career by 1 year. Having said that, Hussey's retirement has had a positive effect. It has exposed the Aussie batting. Hussey and Clarke have been covering for an inconsistent Aussie batting order for quite some time. Now these guys have nowhere to hide. They need to shape up or ship out. I know this defeat will be truly demoralising, but Australia need to pick up the pieces and move on. What will be sobering for Australia is that their standout performers in this match are two no longer young men; Rogers and Harris. Finally well done England.

  • on August 13, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    It really hurts being a aussie cricket fan, I really can't understand the hype made around these mediocre players, like Shane Watson, Usman Khwaja, Mr. Warner. Theses three are really the worst players who are overhyped in the history of cricket. Where is George Belly, he is such fighter. We need characters like him.. not like these above guys… they are just liability not assets. Please guys turn the table… Ashes is over.. but theses dark clouds of defeat hunts aussie…

  • CricketMaan on August 13, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    It baffles me that Aus could not find a No.3 in thier Sheild cricket! There are plethora of openers in this 16 but there seems to be any genuine No.3. Even their A teams don't inspire confidence. if its Usman then he needs to be persisted with for the 5th test with a clear message that he is under pump. If they go back to Cowan then stick with him! Lot of noise for the likes of Doolan, Nic but they need to score BIG in A games. Nic seems to be doing, but from what i read he is still work in progress in longer version. Marsh is fit for A teams. Unless they plug the NO.3 slot its not easy for anyone batting at 5,6

  • on August 13, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    Australia forgot* to win !!

  • DustyBin on August 13, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    Welcome, Australian fans to the feelings that England fans endured from 1989 to 2007. A sense of whatever we do, they're going to win. A feeling that, for some part of that match, we were on top, & yet still they somehow beat us. & what's worse for Australians : England lost over & over to a team stuffed with great players. Australia is losing to a team that's merely "ordinary." & in India lost badly to a poor team (how could India be described otherwise after their home defeat to "ordinary" England?). For Australia read Liverpool FC-sometimes, the great era of dominance never comes back.

  • Tom_Bowler on August 13, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    I thought that for a very clearly shell shocked man Clarke was impressively dignified after the match and how he or anyone else can claim he was responsible for his dismissal is beyond me, no one plays those.

    Durham was a big stride towards retaining the Ashes down under, wounds like that take time to heal, and if England ever get out of second gear it should be comfortable although if the batting continues to stutter what should be comfortable wins will be turned into squeaks like Trent Bridge and here. Our bowlers have dug us out time and time again in the last couple of years, Australia are unfortunate that Harris and Siddle can't quite compensate for the flakiness of their top order.

  • Dangertroy on August 13, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Rogers should bat at three. He has the game for it, we've now seen him attack and play the steady role. I'd bring Cowan back in with Warner, they were a good team and had a good average for the opening pair. If Watson isn't going to bowl he shouldn't play, either drop khawaja to six, or drop him completely and bring in Faulkner. Bird didn't bowl badly, England did take him for runs in the second innings though. Probably bring in Starc for some more low order batting too.

  • on August 13, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    @Ramesh Balasubramanian: "Where is the Ian Chappell article that lays the blame for England's victory to poor captaincy by Cook and Clarke's great leadership?" - Well quite, that is the question, isn't it? That article was hilarious, full of hyperbole and guff about Michael Clarke's imaginary "great" leadership, like, say, leaving Ian Bell's most productive scoring area completely open...?

    @Ahsan Javed: "So come on Australia fight back and show England that u are still better team and u can beat them." - Australia have not been better than England since around 2008.

  • ravikb on August 13, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Even though I'm Indian, this loss has hurt me more than Indian loss. Never supported Australia like I did yesterday. I was following each and every ball in ESPNCricinfo while at work and in TV after reaching home. When I reached home the score was 141/1. I thought Australia are going to win this match, stay in the series and next match is going to be an epic. But all of a sudden, they kept losing wickets like pack of cards. In a blink of an eye it was all over. I was extremely disappointed. With such a good start, the found a way to lose. It was Australia's match to lose. Past Australian teams were snatching win from the jaws of defeat and the current team are doing exact opposite. With some character and determination, this series could have stood at 2-1 in favor of Australia but it's 0-3 now and it could well end at 0-4.

  • on August 13, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    I agree wholeheartedly with Coverdrive88, can't blame coaches to the extent that CA did to Mickey Arthur. Players have to man up and take it on the chin. Watson is too selfish and self-centered. CA has effectively destroyed Aus cricket by chasing money at the expense of their Shield competition. Even their lower structures in youth programs are not building the famous iron men in both batting and bowling (limiting batting for so many runs???). Heart can't override soft ODI bodies for the poor Aus bowlers who are always breaking down (Cummins, Watson, etc, etc, etc!!!!). England and South Africa seem to have good structures in place for the longer formats. These two nations will rule test cricket for a long time. CA, rather than fire Lehmann, correct your structures urgently, revival will NOT just happen - I estimate at least 5 years before improvement if implimented now.

  • on August 13, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    A big problem Australia have is that two batsmen jostling for the same spot - Usman Khawaja and Phil Hughes - cannot play Graeme Swann at all. They are both so tentative and technically lacking against spin that it's pretty much emblematic of Australia's batting problems in general.

  • GenuineNumber11 on August 13, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    Come on George Bailey. Time to put a strong Sheffield Shield season together and knock that door down. The team needed that sort of player in the middle order today.

  • hyclass on August 13, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    What does Khawaja bring to the side? He offers little in the field & is an inherently slow scorer.Despite his public pronouncement a fortnight ago, that he,' likes to take on the spinners', he looks increasingly like Swann's bunny. Ian Chappell pointed out that the number 3 has to be capable of both styles of play- moving the game on when the circumstances dictate & defensive play when necessary.Khawaja's S/R in Tests is 40. It could hardly be lower & offers little value to the team.His Test average is 25, the same as his tour average and well behind Starc who is a bowler. He's been out of form for 30 months, with his 1st Class average falling to 40 from a high of 53. He can look good when conditions suit his style, but those times are increasingly rare. His selection on this tour was a gamble that hasn't paid off. He has 3x 50's in his last 20 innings at all levels. He's well paid for playing cricket.At some point,he needs to be held to account for his conspicuous lack of performance.

  • on August 13, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    I have stunned to see the australian batting collapse last night. It hurts me alot. i am supporting Australia through this whole ashes series and i will till the end. The main problem is now for the Australia is their batting like Pakistan. Pakistan also having the problem in their batting in tests and the Australia is facing the same problem. The middle order should display some responsibility. England played well but in my opinion, aussies played the more better cricket in this series. If they will get their batting form back then in the upcoming ashes series in Australia will be awesome.

    So come on Australia fight back and show England that u are still better team and u can beat them.

    Go Aussies......:)

  • Rohit... on August 13, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Come on!!! Australia is not that bad... Look at their bowling... They are currently the 3rd best bowling attack in the world behind only SA and Pakistan ... They just need to play responsible cricket & that's it ... Their bowlers are capable of winning the match for them but they need more responsibility from the others.

  • gynmar on August 13, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Is there any restriction in Ashes series in selecting and playing an all-female team. Aussie girls are going pretty well, and over there already. Alan Border still looks fit too.

  • ravi_hari on August 13, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Aussies never had a proper team building process in place. After Border showed them how to win they never required to do that as every player selected valued the baggy green more than his life and performed at his best. With more than half the side contributing always, they never saw the gaps created by retiring stalwarts. Until Ponting retired they never planned for No.3. Until Hussey retired they never thougth who can take No. 6. Until Warne retired they never groomed a spinner and even after Clarke got injured they never planned his successor. Today Aussie team is in total disarray. Imagine if Clarke goes and Harris, Siddle call it quits, who will help the Aussies. In the present scenario apart from patchy Warner there is no one who can take the team forward. There is no one back home either. The situation is scary as I dont think Aussies will improve in the next 10 years. They might take much longer time that Windies took to come back to normalcy. No.1 they will never ever reach!

  • kishorekr on August 13, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    Australia are missing Hussey immensely in the middle order. He would have played the vital - nay, absolutely crucial - sheet anchor role that ensured partnerships were built. This was the huge missing element in the 5-wicket meltdown for 13 runs between 168 & 181. After they had the wonderful start, Australia should have dropped anchor and focused on building substantive partnerships thru grafting for runs, which is the quintessential essence of test cricket. After all, time was not an element for consideration at all. Bowling was not as menacing as was made out. Just consider that after the mayhem in the middle order, bowlers - Harris,Siddle,Lyon,Bird - together made 43 runs when the cause appeared utterly hopeless!!

  • dan9 on August 13, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    Sorry, but whose fault is it that Aus have such a fragile middle order ? Their own, through lack of foresight and inclusivity. Hussey would've made all the difference in this series and matched Bell run for run, for it's he that's really been the difference between the sides. Hussey was allegedly tired of being away from home, but has been doing this for years - the environment that Arthur and Clarke oversaw drove him away and the repercussions are now clear to see in the subsequent results.

  • Herbet on August 13, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    Its understandable to be disappointed but I think some Aussies are getting a bit carried away with the 'drop him, and him, and him' talk. Steve Smith aside, I think they have the basis of a decent side. Smith, to my eyes, is not a test number 5 (or any other number). Warner and Rogers look a workable pairing, Khawaja has enough potential to be given a run (maybe not at 3), Clarke is a class act, Watson a decent allrounder, Haddin a decent WK and the bowlers have let nobody down. I think with Pattinson back in place of Bird and an experienced player who knows their game at 5 in place of Smith they'll run us close down under. Plus you also have, if you want to mix things up, Wade to replace Haddin and Faulkner for Watson. Its not that bad. I know its almost a crime to say it on Cricinfo, but England are pretty good.

  • ravi_hari on August 13, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    Aussies had lost it on Day 2 itself when they lost 3 quick wickets after stopping england at 238. I thought Clarke was irresponsible this innings. If he had stayed along with Rogers like Smith did for him in 3rd test, Aussies could have easily posted a score in excess of 350 and taken a winning lead. Watson tried his best though but no other batsmen responded. In fact Aussies lost it at the toss itself. Replacing Starc with Bird was a blunder. Starc not only picked important wickets in the 2 games he played also scored invaluable runs. Imagine if Starc was there and he along with the tail had added another 70/80 runs on day 3? A lead of 100/120 would have been so helpful. Even in bowling no one was there to support Harris. Surprisingly Siddle just fizzled out. Bird was very poor and Watson's injury has further weakened the attack. Surprisingly Clarke did not use Smith much which was a mistake. He even had Warner. All in all this Aussie side does not know how to win. Will they ever win?

  • on August 13, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    To be fair with aussies' , they haven't played aLl that bad and its not right to compare them with westindies of last two decades. Australia's recent losses have been away from home and against formidable teams viz., india and England. people have forgotten how we (Indians) lost eight in eight matches in England and Australia in 2011-12. and we were never even in sight of victory . And its all forgotten after we won against Australia 4-0. But what is disheartening from an Australian point of view is the fact that they are choking in home run.... losing it in the final session of play. they have always been famous for converting a hopeless situation into nail biting finishes. the current team lacks experience and is not as tough as the one in last decade and a half.

  • on August 13, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    Clarke has been awful captain for Australia. First in India 4-0 and now looking forward for a white wash in England.

  • on August 13, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    I went to bed at 10.30 IST with Clark at the wicket and Australia needing around 120 runs with 7 wickets in hand. I assumed that the day would be over in the next 15 minutes or so and I would be able to watch a much needed Australian victory next day. My wife and I were having a conversation on England's bowlers and I thought that Bresan and Broad(despite the 1st innings fiver) should be replaced by Finn and Tremlett Today morning I get a call from my wife and she tells me Australia have lost and broad has taken 6 wickets. Guess my memory of Stuart Broad is still the over where he got tonked for 6 sixes. He has certainly come a long way. Hard to believe that this is the successor of the Australian teams of the 90s and 2000s. They had forgotten how to loose and as the author correctly said these aussies have forgotten how to win.Never though I would be praying for an Australian win either!!!

  • Rafelgibt on August 13, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    It was bound to happen...West Indies went through this hasnt been recovered yet, more they are deteriorating.Aussie is also going through same phase.You simply cant help it out because you dont have that caliber to be competitive.So, AUS needs to assess themselves and try to go for the recovery as soon as possible.Otherwise they will face the same fate as West Indies.

  • on August 13, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    Can someone arrange a stop-over in Dhaka on the way back home just to get a win or 2? Although that may be doubtful with this squad...

  • Rowayton on August 13, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    Clarkey said, quite rightly, "You need guys in first-class cricket making runs". So, with all due manners to our Indian friends, why for goodness sake are we playing seven ODIs in India in October/November, just before the return Ashes series? There are 14 Shield games scheduled before the First Test, and the 15 or so players who go to India will miss at least 8 of them (assume this would include Warner, Smith, Shaun Marsh, Maxwell, Henriques etc). This is a fiasco.

  • CoverDrive88 on August 13, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    I still think the fundamental problem is that CA have gotten greedy, have agreed to play countless internationals for the big bucks & have let the Sheffield Shield waste away. We had the best domestic competition in the world but they've steadily weakened it by never having the international players available to give the others experience, giving the Big Bash priority, etc. Until they recognise the importance of the Shield & get on top of the problem, our only choice is to let the batsmen gain the necessary experience by playing at Test level. They need to stick with Khawaja, Smith, Hughes, give them extended runs, not 1 or 2 games then out to carry drinks & play no cricket for months because we agree to tours with no 1st class games between Tests. Look at Khawaja - limited Shield last season, some BBL, one 1-day international, no chances in India, & now he has to front up against Swann on doctored wickets & perform. Ridiculous. We couldn't make it any harder for them if we tried

  • on August 13, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    The worst performance of Aussies..... I've never seen. Lot of chances they missed and gifted Ashes to English.

  • millsy24 on August 13, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    They will be very disappointed. People seem to forget that England's players, bar a couple, have played together for a few years now and been winning most of the time, including Ashes series. We have maybe 4-5 that have even played in an Ashes and only the captain has ever been in a winning Ashes team. Clarke is right when he says no-one else is doing enough to knock these players out of the team.

  • on August 13, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Really worst days for australian cricket

  • iang123 on August 13, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    Thanks Brydon - this article is spot on. The Aussies could so easily have come out on top this series, but for some poor fortune mixed with what appears to be a total lack of nerve in tight situations. Without detracting from England's performance, the fact remains that they have come away with three wins following sub-par 1st innings scores, and no team should be allowed to do that three times in a series. Once maybe, but certainly not three times.

    I for one believe that we have the right players in the team (more or less - I would like to see Hughes get a more decent run in the side - I have my doubts over Smith and would make that swap, also Starc needs the chance to play successive matches - Bird looks a few years away from being a decent test player) - we just need to get their heads right.

    The longer term issue is who is going to follow Clarke as the next in the Waugh-Ponting-Clarke succession of captains/ great batsmen?

  • Insult_2_Injury on August 13, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    "Australia seem to have forgotten how to handle pressure moments'. Huh? This Australian batting line up (except for Clarke & lesser extent Haddin) have no experience at winning in pressure moments. in fact they have no real experience in Test at all. Rogers, Warner, Khawaja, Hughes, Smith & Watson have a combined Test experience of 117 Tests. That barely outnumbers Clarke on his own (96 Tests). So to expect this side to chase a 300 run 4th innings total as a matter of course is ridiculous. Sure we should be suspect at 7 of 10 wickets falling bowled or LBW, as this says something of problematic technique against accurate bowling from Broad in his own conducive pitch conditons. It's unrealistic to expect this line up with an average of 19 Test Match experience to out perform Steve Waugh at the same time of his career, without the benefit of being surrounded by Boon, Marsh, Border, etc. There is no remaining batting depth to take winning for granted, give them time to develop.

  • hotcric01 on August 13, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    A great article.Actually this is a big disappointment for Australia.Had they won this it would have been a beginning of a new era of Australian cricket.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on August 13, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    replace michael clarke, drop khwaja, watson.

  • on August 13, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    michael clarke and dwayne bravo have to be the worst two captains of this modern era ... Clarke played most of his cricket in a strong australian team ,yes the quality was unparalleled but the team also had grit and determination ,something most of these new generation batsmen lack, the bowling is fine and should be for some time. West Indies cricket has been torn to shreds ,niether the bowlers or batsmen seem capable of playing consistently ,there is no structure to harness the talent into a much more feasible package of skill and variation and this is best epitomised by tino best , chris gayle , watson and warner ,four physical monsters who can't get the basics right ,so all the talent is nullified to nothingness T 20 cricket has contaminated the art of batsmanshp,so much so ,that young emerging batsmen play with agression but no solid technique to rely on ,and they become cannon fodder in 50 overs ( WI) and test cricket ,( AUS) ,the stats don't lie .

  • scarab666 on August 13, 2013, 3:38 GMT

    Why is this no surprise that we have lost a test there for the taking after our bowlers did such great work. SIMPLE........we have forgotten how to bat in test matches. We had almost 2 days to secure the runs necessary for victory but No..... we try and win it in one day.....this is a 5 day game, use the time wisely. In Australia's eagerness to perform at T20 level they have foregone the ability to adapt for the other 2 formats of the game

  • Aspraso on August 13, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    To get back into the winning habit -- the Aussies should immediately invite Pakistan or Sri Lanka or Bangladesh or Zimbabwe to come and play 3 Tests before England arrive for the return Ashes !!

  • Moppa on August 13, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Cont. The benefit of 'stopping the bleeding' can be seen by Rogers' contribution in this game. If we'd managed to pull off a win largely on his back, the effect on our confidence would have been huge. Imagine if Huss had come in at 6 and sealed the deal? The whole series, and return series, takes on a new complexion. As it is, we're left looking at a barren decade. To me, the key criterion for young batsmen to make the side is the mental application to make 150+ at Shield level. A couple of big scores should push a Silk, a Burns, a Doolan or a Maddinson, or even a Cosgrove, ahead of Khawaja, Hughes, Cowan or Smith. How's this for a Brisbane top 6: Silk/Katich/Cosgrove, Warner, Rogers, Clarke, Smith, M.Hussey? Implicitly, I am saying that Watson's career as a Test batsman is over. However, not for Khawaja, Hughes et al, just that they, being talented but mentally fragile, can only return to a stable, hopefully successful, team down the track.

  • Sreerang on August 13, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    Reminds me of the Indian teams of the 90s. Snatching defeat from jaws of victory. And how many times have Australian teams done that to all the other teams. Well, the shoe is well and truly on the other foot. What we would have given to do this to the Aussies when the Waughs and Warnes and the Mcgraths and Gilchrists played. But now its almost sad to see the Aussies go down like this...

  • Moppa on August 13, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    I agree with the basic premise of the article: 1) whilst the team is not as bad as its results suggests, it hasn't got the mental toughness and self-belief to turn things around in the near future; 2) you can't blame the selectors, the cupboard is pretty bare. Looking forward, there are probably two schools of thought: 1) 'pick and stick', give the younger players a sustained shot with minimal selectoral pressure; 2) stop the bleeding to re-create a winning culture. Under pick and stick, guys like Khawaja, Smith and even Hughes would be given the certainty of an extended run. But this only works, a la Australia in the late 1980s, when the players have the inherent quality and mental toughness (think Boon, Marsh, S.Waugh, Taylor, Hughes, Healy). I don't think these guys make the cut. My 'stem the bleeding' plan would involve SOS to Katich and/or Hussey for the return leg. Only young players with the stomach for a fight (bad pun) like Warner would get the benefit of extended tenure.

  • on August 13, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    Mr Clarke - Where is the mention of India when you enlisted good oppositions that you played recently?

  • 98-10_157-0 on August 13, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Lyon's predecessor as team song custodian, Hussey, played 79 consecutive matches - his entire career - without being dropped, perhaps they could do the same with Lyon, who has already been left out 3 times in a 24 match career. Admittedly once was in Perth (for a 4th seamer), but to be dropped for Doherty/Maxwell and then Agar, when he is clearly a superior bowler by some margin is frankly ridiculous!

  • crick_sucks on August 13, 2013, 2:58 GMT

    this by far has to be the worst Australian team EVER. How could they lose!!!

  • drnaveed on August 13, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    AUS team somehow is unable to produce quality batsmen, as if their batsmen producing factory is gone out of order.in the past , their quality players used to be replaced by players who were even more talented than the ones they replaced,so much so that their cricket fans used to forget retirement of great players like chappell brothers,border ,waugh brothers ,hussey are few examples, but unfortunately ,after ponting, clarke and hussy , they seems to bring those batsmen whose performance are far below than the standards that had been set by the AUS teams in the past.sorry to say ,cowans , hughes , and khawaja , may be excellent players in fast class cricket ,but they don't deserve to be in a test playing side for a team like AUS.

  • on August 13, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    I was watching this match and the Australian batsmen were very positive and were playing nice cricketing shots. It was 155-2. The run rate was 4.4 run per over and I was thinking that this match would be over by today and the Aussies would win. I closed the TV and a couple of hours later I read a slide on TV that the Australians LOST by 74 runs. I was flabbergasted. I used to support every other team some years back when Australia had the services of super mortals in their side but now this team is like any other team in the world and they can lose as well from any position. I hope the Australian supporters support their team as they still have classy players and with a bit of support they should come out on top in a couple of years.

  • Chetan007 on August 13, 2013, 2:44 GMT

    Watson needed to be dropped or to play only as a bowler. Australian bowler can play better than him in Test matches. Either Wade or Hughes should be selected instead. Rest team should be the same given that selectors has changed team so frequently that most of the player were now afraid of loosing their place which makes it tougher for them while batting or bowling.

  • on August 13, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    You're not hard enough on Clarke. The captain has to, at times, deliver the knockout punch and set the example to his team, just as Border and Waugh did in previous times. Clarke has not done this *once*. I have seem him fail countless times in all formats of the gam just when backbone was needed from the captain. Clarke is great - in a team full of champions. But not as a leader in his own right.

  • on August 13, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    Clarke needs his Bowler to Bowl wide of off stump, ball after ball and pack the off side with fielders, give him 10 overs dry up his runs scoring, see if he has the urge to slash one, Just looks Like Clarke has no Idea how to bowl to Bell.

  • SRK666 on August 13, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    Clarke is right; the selectors have done a pretty good job; England are just a much more mature side than Australia.

    Australia's batting lineup consists of 3 senior players in Clarke, Watson, Haddin; 1 very successful first class player who should be a solid Test batsman for (at most) two or three in Rogers; 3 younger batsmen in Warner, Smith, and Khawaja, each talented and flawed in their own ways, who have the potential to be good Test batsmen but are still learning and adjusting. That is a pretty good balance for a rebuilding batting lineup.

    We should expect that the younger batsmen will be inconsistent or not make big scores instantly. Australia's batting woes have mostly been due to the relatively lackluster performance from the senior batsmen---Clarke has been good without meeting his own high standards, Haddin has been mediocre, and Watson continues to be poor. At the moment the younger players have no latitude to learn their game because the senior players aren't performing.

  • on August 13, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    Where is the Ian Chappell article that lays the blame for England's victory to poor captaincy by Cook and Clarke's great leadership?

  • on August 13, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    firstly congrats Eng good determination evwn in a dead rubber. As for Aus yes we've forgotten how to win or us it something else? It it defeatist mentality that lurks the mind? Is it lack of belief? Or is it simply get it ovwr with so we can have an extra day on the golf course? I am really concerned about Clarkes captaincy he appears too soft and indecisive he should be rallying his troops with fire and brimstone to click them into battle but it appears no more than a polite do your best. I also believe he's carrying an injury that is not helping his cause. As for the next test some will say keep this side others will proclaim change. I believe we have to make some changes. Watson should be rested to recover for the return series and replaced by Faulkner. Play Starc or Agar or Fawad (at least give him a go and see) and drop Lyon. The Haddin/Wade debate is interesting both haven't set the world on fire with gloves or bat. Why not Paine? Stick with Khawaja he's a talent in the making.

  • on August 13, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    India does not count as one of 'best opposition's? While that may be true, it seems preposterous to omit mentioning it after losing 0-4.

  • on August 13, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    It was a close Test Match and Australia is not the top ranked side but top 4. Against weaker bowling attacks like India's Australia will bat really well. You have to persist with these guys and give them an extended run. If the opposition outplays them then there is nothing Selectors can do. Cricket is the most popular sport in Australia in any case and England has a pool of 30+ players to choose from who could be competitive and we probably have 15+ ?

  • on August 13, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    I don't think it's that they've forgotten how to win. They've forgotten how to BAT! The ball is the thing you're trying to hit when you are batting.

    Of course, a bowler will be dropped for the next test and the batting line up will remain the same.

  • on August 13, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    @coverdale England show their truer colours, its not who you in the past, its who you in the present, If you give a Aus citizenship to a current Ban player and make him play the International matches , the team would lose. If you lose means in any game, you making more error than other player, even the slightest one too cause the loss, Aus have to admit their errors--lack of batting from top order, and work on for that ,change the pitch in the home conditions that suit for batsmen, Aus still producing bowlers bowlers bowlers, guys you cant win matches with bowlers only, there need to be balance.

  • on August 13, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    Whatever you say, there is no batsmen in the current AUS team to score more than 50 continually other than clarke,rogers. Cricket Australia made a terrible mistake of producing handfull of best fast bowlers, but no good batsmen in the current domestic season, they all averages in mid 30s . There need to be balance, it will broke otherwise, that is happening for Aus now .

  • Chris_Howard on August 13, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    The biggest disappointment for Aussies is that we'll only have Rogers' services for a couple of years.

    Although, if no one is banging down the door, we might be still sending Rogers out there when he's in a walking frame.

  • page8383 on August 13, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    I am ropeable. There are too many players in Australian cricket who have been adorned with 'potential' or 'greatness' from the ages of 13-15. These golden boys are gifted opportunities at every level until they are given a baggy green. Then when the blowtorch is applied against the big guns on the international stage they go missing, as they're not used to the pressure, they're not used to fighting when the chips are down due to the free ride they've got. The guy I really feel for is Ryan Harris. He bowled his absolute guts out and collected 7 hard fought scalps over 4 sessions. Then Australia's middle order goes out and surrenders 6 wickets in an hour to Stuart Broad. Credit to Broad, he bowled well, but it was an extremely easy 6-for in my opinion. Why Clarke would come out and say that we 'only lost by 74 runs is a real indictment on his captaincy'. Pathetic. I am filthy. Where is our Alan Border! Enough's enough!!!

  • DaveMorton on August 13, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    Australians now know how we Poms felt for so many years. It's not that the opposition are SO much better - yes, they're better, but only 10% better - but errors accumulate, 50-50 decisions go against, your most reliable player has an off day when the chance of victory is there.

    I have twice watched England lose games in Adelaide that were impossible to lose. We England supporters stuck with our team through thick and thin, and it was mostly very thin. I'm not sure the Aussies have the same mentality, but the carousel will turn again, sooner than you think.

    Meanwhile: we're enjoying this, believe me. 3-0, 3 bloody nil.

  • LoungeChairCritic on August 13, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    Yes losing the last 7 of 8 test matches is a bitter pill to swallow. I would say that the players confidence would be low after having a sniff of victory. Lords aside we have been more than competitive. Although England is a better team on their soil, I think we have exposed that they have a number of weaknesses. They are a good side but not a great side. We have had a number of positives this match. Rogers and Harris were outstanding, whilst Lyon and Warner were encouraging. Moving forward we need to pick hard resilient guys who come from winning cultures in Shield Level. Speaking as a proud West Aussie, I believe that Tasmania and Victoria have the best team cultures at present. Clarke needs some support from some experienced players with character. We will be playing England and not Bangladesh. My test lineup for the Gabba would be Warner, Rogers, Clarke, Bailey, D Hussey, Smith, Haddin, Pattinson, Harris, Siddle, Lyon.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 13, 2013, 0:36 GMT

    And one more thing. There is no point questioning whether the batsmen are good enough for test cricket. How many English batmen prospered on this track? Bell and nobody. This was the 4th innings. 220 is a par score, maybe even above. Tail end slogging by the English bowlers hid the fact that this was a very low scoring game in difficult conditions. Other than Khawaja, I'd keep all the batsmen for the next game. All have shown enough, although they obviously need to improve.

  • jordan_nofx on August 13, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    I think this match shows the increasing importance of a tail that can bat in the days of t20 cricket. After Beld/Prior went, Australia were in a very good position and it was those last 40 runs that broke the camels back (combined with the extra 40 Australia did not get in their 1st innings). I have noticed that it does seems easier these days to run through the first 7 batsman, but if you have an 8,9 and hopefully 10 that can score 25 each, teams can cash in against an older ball with tired bowlers/fielders. Although it was not what cost Australia the game entirely, I dont think we can afford to carry Lyon and Bird when Starc offers so much with the bat. England are a better team, so losing to them is not shameful. Australia's goals are therefore to show some fight/character and develop a few players who can cement their spot (a win being a bonus result from both of these). Right now, we are not really seeing either and its so disappointing

  • landl47 on August 13, 2013, 0:32 GMT

    Rogers and Warner certainly weren't afraid to win, but when Rogers got one that turned from Swann and Warner nicked a good one from Bresnan, it was really all down to Clarke and hopefully someone to stay with him. Clarke then got a real beauty from Broad (who has now dismissed him 5 times in this series, get out the rabbit ears) and after that the Aussies looked as though they didn't think they could win.

    Clarke has captained Aus 5 times against England, starting with the innings defeat at the SCG in 2011, and his record is W. 0, D. 1, L. 4. It's hard to put a brave face on those numbers and the strain of doing so is beginning to show.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 13, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    It also has to be said that they have just had an awful lot of bad luck. So many close losses/draws where they could have won if not for a dodgy DRS review, poor decision, rain, losing the toss etc. They could have been leading this series 3-1 with just a minor shift here and there. The margins have been very small in this series (except for 2nd test), and that is the thing to keep in mind. The 3-0 series scoreline is not in any way a true reflection of the way the series has played - two very close games, and one dominated by Eng, one by AUS. In this test England won the toss, and on day two the Gods gave them unbelievably good bowling conditions - almost impossible batting conditions for two sessions. If not for that, Australia would have led by 100+ and put the game beyond England's reach. And why was this game allowed to go on in murky light when they pulled up the previous game 30 overs short on the second last day with AUS pushing for a win ? Again, inexplicable, & just bad luck.

  • on August 13, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    australian team has to rethink their selection procedure.i tnk callum fergusan should be picked.drop usman and philip

  • stickboy on August 13, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    Mentally weak! I think for too long Australia's image has been that they are the hardest team mentally, but I think that is an image they have simply tried to portray of themselves. I think even in the Steve Waugh era, once Australia were on the ropes, they sort of gave up, e.g. India series 2001 in India (apart from a couple of occasions, where both luck and some grit got them over the line). Mostly I think that they relied on simply amazing talent and overwhelming other sides, before they ever were on the ropes, but now there is less talent, with the same relatively weak attitude. I think only Harris and Rogers have true grit in this team, Warner showed his too.

    Disappointing, but with this effort, England deserved to win and talent wise they too are above Australia.

  • OneEyedAussie on August 13, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    As has been said numerous times Australian Cricket has failed to develop senior batsmen to fill the gaps left by the retiring greats (i.e. Ponting and Hussey). Where are the batsmen aged 28-35 with 25+ tests under their belt? Well, there's Clarke and Watson (and the less said about the latter the better). Instead we have a line-up of Warner, Smith, Hughes and Khawaja - young and inexperienced. This kind of collapse is really what we can/should expect from these players.

    I am left clutching what ifs and buts? Should North have been persisted with a little longer? Should Jaques have received more support? Should D.Hussey have been in the team earlier? Should Cosgrove's "weight problem" have been overlooked? Should Clarke have been allowed to ditch Katich?

  • baskar_guha on August 12, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    While this loss obviously stings for Aussie supporters, the team is turning a corner and I expect a much more even contest when England go to Australia. English batting while still good is increasingly vulnerable to accurate seam bowling and their bowling is less and less about Andersen and Swann which will make it inconsistent in its success. Australia really do need to find determined middle order batsmen who grind out 50+ scores and tire the opposition bowlers in the process. Then they will again be a force to be reckoned with.

  • Chris.Maverick.McFly on August 12, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    What goes around, comes around - Karma.Aussies had the habit of inflicting losses to the opponents from any situation of the game and its time for them to teach opponents that they can loose from any situation of the game ....lolz I am really surprised at their recent losses and the team they picked for the best format of the game....god what happened to these aussies ???? Can't they find a couple of quality players to turn the game ???? God save their past pride.

    - A true Aussie fan, though an Indian.

  • Chris_P on August 12, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    Pretty good summary, Brydon, the only point I would dispute is that Watson, IMHO, is nowhere near the best for the #6 spot. he has not been delivering with consistency in either tests or first class fields for over 3 years & yet we happily select him in a clearly struggling team. Henriques form last season had him so far ahead of Watson while also outperforming him in India. If we have to have a pace bowling all rounder @ #6 then he has the credentials to be it, not Watson. That aside, no other player (SOK aside) could feel aggrieved they haven't been in the touring squad, so the stage is set for any player, who has the hunger & desire for test cricket to make their mark early in the shield season.

  • on August 12, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    The problem is Clarke's leadership. He is a great batsman and an important part of the team but not a good captain. He seems to have a tendency to favour players that don't threaten him as a leader. We need a stronger captain above smallness and pettiness. He effectively negated any impact Siddle could have on this test by not giving him the new ball. Why?? Giving it to the new inclusion Bird undermines Siddles seniority in the team. And Bird didn't take a wicket in the 2nd innings. England could have been all out quicker if it was Harris and Siddle opening. There are also ongoing frailties in selections- Smith for me still lacks the technique of a consistent first class test player, the same with Kuwaja. But I guess these are favourites of Clarkes because they are young and can't challenge his leadership. I would bring in Voges and Forrest for these two. Unfortunately under Clarke I can't see Oz winning many if any tests against the top nations.

  • on August 12, 2013, 23:26 GMT

    Well played to some players on both teams in an enthralling entertainment packed match. Both Harris and Broad bowled better than any time I have ever seen them. The next mental hurdle for Bell is to push on to make those daddy hundreds, I feel he might just do that in Oz. Hope Warner has grown up and Rogers looks fine. One wonders looking at Clarke over the last 3 post test interviews if this might be it for him? Sad to see a great player surrounded by mediocrity, but that's life! Time for a spot of back ache Michael?? Next test Eng may well make the change most people want to see and bring James T in for Bairstow or maybe drop Root back down the order and dare I say bring back Compton. I also think James A might take a rest and Onions or Tremolo get a game all which on current form strengthens Eng because bear in mind Eng are only performing at 60% max and yet they lead 3-0. Bring on the Oval ....

  • Julian_Franklin on August 12, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    David John Hussey ...

    It was OK (though unfortunate for him) to leave him out when Australia had a hatful of talent, but he must be embarrassed that the likes of Smith / Khawaja are given extended spells but he's never had a chance ...

  • AravinG on August 12, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    Painful to the guys lose..Middle order should be dismantled straight away when they return back to Australia..

  • on August 12, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    Drop Khwaja, drop Watson and drop Smith.

  • on August 12, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    Drop Khwaja, drop Watson and drop Smith.

  • AravinG on August 12, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    Painful to the guys lose..Middle order should be dismantled straight away when they return back to Australia..

  • Julian_Franklin on August 12, 2013, 23:20 GMT

    David John Hussey ...

    It was OK (though unfortunate for him) to leave him out when Australia had a hatful of talent, but he must be embarrassed that the likes of Smith / Khawaja are given extended spells but he's never had a chance ...

  • on August 12, 2013, 23:26 GMT

    Well played to some players on both teams in an enthralling entertainment packed match. Both Harris and Broad bowled better than any time I have ever seen them. The next mental hurdle for Bell is to push on to make those daddy hundreds, I feel he might just do that in Oz. Hope Warner has grown up and Rogers looks fine. One wonders looking at Clarke over the last 3 post test interviews if this might be it for him? Sad to see a great player surrounded by mediocrity, but that's life! Time for a spot of back ache Michael?? Next test Eng may well make the change most people want to see and bring James T in for Bairstow or maybe drop Root back down the order and dare I say bring back Compton. I also think James A might take a rest and Onions or Tremolo get a game all which on current form strengthens Eng because bear in mind Eng are only performing at 60% max and yet they lead 3-0. Bring on the Oval ....

  • on August 12, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    The problem is Clarke's leadership. He is a great batsman and an important part of the team but not a good captain. He seems to have a tendency to favour players that don't threaten him as a leader. We need a stronger captain above smallness and pettiness. He effectively negated any impact Siddle could have on this test by not giving him the new ball. Why?? Giving it to the new inclusion Bird undermines Siddles seniority in the team. And Bird didn't take a wicket in the 2nd innings. England could have been all out quicker if it was Harris and Siddle opening. There are also ongoing frailties in selections- Smith for me still lacks the technique of a consistent first class test player, the same with Kuwaja. But I guess these are favourites of Clarkes because they are young and can't challenge his leadership. I would bring in Voges and Forrest for these two. Unfortunately under Clarke I can't see Oz winning many if any tests against the top nations.

  • Chris_P on August 12, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    Pretty good summary, Brydon, the only point I would dispute is that Watson, IMHO, is nowhere near the best for the #6 spot. he has not been delivering with consistency in either tests or first class fields for over 3 years & yet we happily select him in a clearly struggling team. Henriques form last season had him so far ahead of Watson while also outperforming him in India. If we have to have a pace bowling all rounder @ #6 then he has the credentials to be it, not Watson. That aside, no other player (SOK aside) could feel aggrieved they haven't been in the touring squad, so the stage is set for any player, who has the hunger & desire for test cricket to make their mark early in the shield season.

  • Chris.Maverick.McFly on August 12, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    What goes around, comes around - Karma.Aussies had the habit of inflicting losses to the opponents from any situation of the game and its time for them to teach opponents that they can loose from any situation of the game ....lolz I am really surprised at their recent losses and the team they picked for the best format of the game....god what happened to these aussies ???? Can't they find a couple of quality players to turn the game ???? God save their past pride.

    - A true Aussie fan, though an Indian.

  • baskar_guha on August 12, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    While this loss obviously stings for Aussie supporters, the team is turning a corner and I expect a much more even contest when England go to Australia. English batting while still good is increasingly vulnerable to accurate seam bowling and their bowling is less and less about Andersen and Swann which will make it inconsistent in its success. Australia really do need to find determined middle order batsmen who grind out 50+ scores and tire the opposition bowlers in the process. Then they will again be a force to be reckoned with.

  • OneEyedAussie on August 13, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    As has been said numerous times Australian Cricket has failed to develop senior batsmen to fill the gaps left by the retiring greats (i.e. Ponting and Hussey). Where are the batsmen aged 28-35 with 25+ tests under their belt? Well, there's Clarke and Watson (and the less said about the latter the better). Instead we have a line-up of Warner, Smith, Hughes and Khawaja - young and inexperienced. This kind of collapse is really what we can/should expect from these players.

    I am left clutching what ifs and buts? Should North have been persisted with a little longer? Should Jaques have received more support? Should D.Hussey have been in the team earlier? Should Cosgrove's "weight problem" have been overlooked? Should Clarke have been allowed to ditch Katich?

  • stickboy on August 13, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    Mentally weak! I think for too long Australia's image has been that they are the hardest team mentally, but I think that is an image they have simply tried to portray of themselves. I think even in the Steve Waugh era, once Australia were on the ropes, they sort of gave up, e.g. India series 2001 in India (apart from a couple of occasions, where both luck and some grit got them over the line). Mostly I think that they relied on simply amazing talent and overwhelming other sides, before they ever were on the ropes, but now there is less talent, with the same relatively weak attitude. I think only Harris and Rogers have true grit in this team, Warner showed his too.

    Disappointing, but with this effort, England deserved to win and talent wise they too are above Australia.