The Investec Ashes 2013 August 13, 2013

Careers are on the line - Lehmann

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Darren Lehmann, the Australia coach, has said that some members of the squad could be playing for their careers during the final Investec Ashes Test at The Oval next week. Lehmann said the loss at Chester-le-Street on Monday was "bloody hard" and that Australia should have won "quite comfortably" given the strong platform set by the openers Chris Rogers and David Warner, who contributed to a start of 147 for 1 in a chase of 299.

But the loss of No.3 Usman Khawaja, lbw to Graeme Swann, then Michael Clarke to a ripper from Stuart Broad, Steven Smith hooking a bouncer down onto his stumps, and Shane Watson and Brad Haddin walking across their stumps to be lbw meant a collapse of 6 for 34, leaving far too much work for the tail. Lehmann said the continued failure of the Australians to stand up at the big moments meant there was much on the line at The Oval.

"Yep. There is nothing wrong with that. I'm happy for you to write whatever you write there," Lehmann said when asked if players could be playing for their careers. "To play for Australia, you have to perform to a level that's acceptable to everyone in our team, and also the Australian public and the media, and at the moment we're not doing that.

"I think they've fought really hard and they've shown glimpses of challenging a really good side obviously, but we haven't done that consistently enough. So we'll back them as we have and we will continue to back them, but at the end of the day performances count.

"From our point of view the blokes have got to learn. If they don't learn we will find blokes that will ... If they're not, and making the same mistakes, then we've got to change, and that's a simple fact of cricket and results."

The manner in which several of the Australians got themselves out during the chase was especially frustrating to Lehmann, who simply wanted his men to play straight. England's bowlers, Stuart Broad in particular, bowled well after tea and dried up the runs, but Lehmann said several of the Australian batsmen had contributed just as much to their downfall.

"Blokes are missing straight ones. That doesn't help," Lehmann said. "I thought Warner got a good ball, to be fair, Clarke got a ripper and probably Rogers got a decent ball. The rest should have played a lot straighter and they know that."

The one silver lining for Australia on the fourth day was the 109-run opening stand between Warner and Rogers, Australia's best opening partnership in a Test chase since 1995. Warner played a mature innings that mixed defence with a desire to score, and Rogers added to his first-innings 110 with a tenacious 49, leaving them locked in as the opening combination for the time being.

"The way they played today, yes," Lehmann said when asked if Warner and Rogers could stay at the top for the next year or so. "Warner was very good today. I was very impressed with him today and Rogers has been probably the find of the tour for us, the way he has gone about it, and his demeanour off the field and what he brings to the playing group as an experienced player. So I have been really impressed with both of them."

So much so that when Lehmann was asked if Watson would be considered at The Oval if he was unable to bowl due to his hip/groin injury, he responded that "no-one's guaranteed, apart from Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers, I would think". The Australians travel to Northampton this week for a two-day tour match ahead of the final Test.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cloudmess on August 14, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    My advice to Lehmann would be: you're in the middle of a double-Ashes series. Judging by the way your team has competed at times in this series, you might well win the re-match down under. Stick with the same side until then - avoid having a mass clear-out if you don't win at the Oval. After that, when you're identifying the new generation of players, take a leaf out of the Border-Simpson book of the mid-1980s. Look for attitude before talent. Steve Waugh kept being picked, despite averaging 30 in his first 4 years in test cricket, because the management could see he was made of the right stuff. I'd also say you Aussies missed a trick in getting rid of Katich and not picking David Hussey 3 or 4 years ago, though it would not make a lot of sense to introduce either to the side now.

  • whoster on August 13, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    The game was lost as soon as Warner edged an unplayable lifter from Bresnan. Up until then, he was never in trouble and looked different class. Rogers has been hugely impressive in the last two matches, but his age means he's only a short-term fix. The two batsmen who gifted England their wickets yesterday were Khawaja and Watson, and both deserve criticism. Smith doesn't have the all-round technique of a specialist batsmen, but at least he's shown he's a trier in this series.

    The two Aussies I feel sorry for are Clarke and Harris. Clarke has been superhuman with the way he's carried the Aussie batting over the past two years, and the team continue to ask too much of him. As for Harris, he's been absolutely heroic for the Aussies, and he's been well supported by Siddle.

    After this result, it'll need a miracle to avoid a thrashing at The Oval. Clarke looked a broken man after the game - and understandably so. He'll cop the flak, but a captain is only as good as his players.

  • Bub10 on August 15, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    I think CA should include G Bailley in the squad.Shane Watson should make way for him.Tim Paine should replace B Haddin.

  • Neela80 on August 15, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Why cant they try out the 5 bowler and 5 batsmen option. Bring in your best 5 Batsmen and Best 5 Bowler with a spinner. 5 or 6 Batsmen would make much of a difference, especially when you know line-up is going to fail anyways. Atleast you can have 5 Quality bowlers ask questions at Eng Batsmen and in that effort reduce the amount of runs or centuries Eng make. Who knows it could be a blessing in disguise.

    In an effort to build a test team for future, you have to start with 5 Batsmen and 5 Bowlers, especiall when you know you have nothing more to loose.

    Althouh when going in with 5 Bowlers (as the better Captain of recent times Mr. MSD says) one of them could be under utilised. Buts that's Clarkes and Lehmans to decide.

    Clarkes field placing are amazing but not as much as his bowling changes. He should consider to bowl smith in tough situations when there is a partnership of more than 100 or so...

  • KhanMitch on August 15, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Smith and Khawaja to get centuries in the oval test, will come back when they get it.

  • on August 15, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Let's face it, Australia is 3-0 down because the batsmen are performing very poorly and don't look like they are up for the challenge at times. Some of them look like dead men walking when at the crease. I'm not sure whether they have the ability to stick it out or whether they are so fearful of failure and losing their spots in the team they don't play freely enough. In the end it comes down to runs and Australia just don't look like it at the moment. The galling part of it all is that England aren't that great, it's just that Australia are downright terrible.

  • funkybluesman on August 15, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    The thing is, that these are Australia's best batsmen. There is no valid argument to push for anyone else at the moment. There are a couple of young players with potential to be really good, but they still need to show a bit more yet. Australia A is filled with players averaging 35 in first class cricket.

    A lot of great batsmen struggled early in their careers. Guys like Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting had been in for a while and not gone as well as anyone would have liked and got dropped before coming back better. But they didn't get dropped after a handful of matches, but 20 or more. Steve Waugh's first hundred was 4 years after his test debut.

    The only real problem with any of these players is that there is too many in that situation at the same time. You can carry one or two young players trying to find their way, but it becomes very hard doing it with 3/4 of the team at the same time.

    They need to persist with these guys and give them a chance to come good.

  • on August 15, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    it seems, the batters have forgot basics of Test cricket. England is the the no.1 Test team and they are having lowest run-rate (just ahead of Zimbabwe), but they are not the England's greatest one. What they are doing is, to keep them updated with format. As Lehman said, apart from Rogers-Warner-Clarke, batsmen played badly. Test batting needs patience & batters of this Fast-format era are forgetting those test cricket fundamentals. Aussies need to re-invent that Test glamour.

  • jmcilhinney on August 15, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha on (August 14, 2013, 9:38 GMT), blah, blah, blah! We all know that there's a margin for error in HawkEye predictions. How do you know that the ball that dismissed Watson wouldn't have actually taken more of the stumps and the one to Bresnan missed altogether? The fact is you don't. Yes, they were close calls and England got the better of them but that doesn't actually make them wrong. If the Australian team were like you and just kept blaming their losses on luck while giving the opposition no credit and taking no responsibility themselves then nothing would ever change. I'm guessing that you're one of those Aussie fans who grew up rarely experiencing an Australian loss and thereby developing an attitude that Australia have some inherent right to victory. You say that Smith was unlucky but how many England batsmen have played on this series? Were they any less unlucky? It's not the 90s any more. Wake up and smell the defeat.

  • BigGeorgeMehemood on August 15, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    I think Australia need to drop Hadduh, Watson and Khwaja. They havent done anything. They should bring in Phil Sykes, Paul Parrose and Mario Bonanzo. I think these guys will perform better.

  • cloudmess on August 14, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    My advice to Lehmann would be: you're in the middle of a double-Ashes series. Judging by the way your team has competed at times in this series, you might well win the re-match down under. Stick with the same side until then - avoid having a mass clear-out if you don't win at the Oval. After that, when you're identifying the new generation of players, take a leaf out of the Border-Simpson book of the mid-1980s. Look for attitude before talent. Steve Waugh kept being picked, despite averaging 30 in his first 4 years in test cricket, because the management could see he was made of the right stuff. I'd also say you Aussies missed a trick in getting rid of Katich and not picking David Hussey 3 or 4 years ago, though it would not make a lot of sense to introduce either to the side now.

  • whoster on August 13, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    The game was lost as soon as Warner edged an unplayable lifter from Bresnan. Up until then, he was never in trouble and looked different class. Rogers has been hugely impressive in the last two matches, but his age means he's only a short-term fix. The two batsmen who gifted England their wickets yesterday were Khawaja and Watson, and both deserve criticism. Smith doesn't have the all-round technique of a specialist batsmen, but at least he's shown he's a trier in this series.

    The two Aussies I feel sorry for are Clarke and Harris. Clarke has been superhuman with the way he's carried the Aussie batting over the past two years, and the team continue to ask too much of him. As for Harris, he's been absolutely heroic for the Aussies, and he's been well supported by Siddle.

    After this result, it'll need a miracle to avoid a thrashing at The Oval. Clarke looked a broken man after the game - and understandably so. He'll cop the flak, but a captain is only as good as his players.

  • Bub10 on August 15, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    I think CA should include G Bailley in the squad.Shane Watson should make way for him.Tim Paine should replace B Haddin.

  • Neela80 on August 15, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Why cant they try out the 5 bowler and 5 batsmen option. Bring in your best 5 Batsmen and Best 5 Bowler with a spinner. 5 or 6 Batsmen would make much of a difference, especially when you know line-up is going to fail anyways. Atleast you can have 5 Quality bowlers ask questions at Eng Batsmen and in that effort reduce the amount of runs or centuries Eng make. Who knows it could be a blessing in disguise.

    In an effort to build a test team for future, you have to start with 5 Batsmen and 5 Bowlers, especiall when you know you have nothing more to loose.

    Althouh when going in with 5 Bowlers (as the better Captain of recent times Mr. MSD says) one of them could be under utilised. Buts that's Clarkes and Lehmans to decide.

    Clarkes field placing are amazing but not as much as his bowling changes. He should consider to bowl smith in tough situations when there is a partnership of more than 100 or so...

  • KhanMitch on August 15, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Smith and Khawaja to get centuries in the oval test, will come back when they get it.

  • on August 15, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    Let's face it, Australia is 3-0 down because the batsmen are performing very poorly and don't look like they are up for the challenge at times. Some of them look like dead men walking when at the crease. I'm not sure whether they have the ability to stick it out or whether they are so fearful of failure and losing their spots in the team they don't play freely enough. In the end it comes down to runs and Australia just don't look like it at the moment. The galling part of it all is that England aren't that great, it's just that Australia are downright terrible.

  • funkybluesman on August 15, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    The thing is, that these are Australia's best batsmen. There is no valid argument to push for anyone else at the moment. There are a couple of young players with potential to be really good, but they still need to show a bit more yet. Australia A is filled with players averaging 35 in first class cricket.

    A lot of great batsmen struggled early in their careers. Guys like Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting had been in for a while and not gone as well as anyone would have liked and got dropped before coming back better. But they didn't get dropped after a handful of matches, but 20 or more. Steve Waugh's first hundred was 4 years after his test debut.

    The only real problem with any of these players is that there is too many in that situation at the same time. You can carry one or two young players trying to find their way, but it becomes very hard doing it with 3/4 of the team at the same time.

    They need to persist with these guys and give them a chance to come good.

  • on August 15, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    it seems, the batters have forgot basics of Test cricket. England is the the no.1 Test team and they are having lowest run-rate (just ahead of Zimbabwe), but they are not the England's greatest one. What they are doing is, to keep them updated with format. As Lehman said, apart from Rogers-Warner-Clarke, batsmen played badly. Test batting needs patience & batters of this Fast-format era are forgetting those test cricket fundamentals. Aussies need to re-invent that Test glamour.

  • jmcilhinney on August 15, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha on (August 14, 2013, 9:38 GMT), blah, blah, blah! We all know that there's a margin for error in HawkEye predictions. How do you know that the ball that dismissed Watson wouldn't have actually taken more of the stumps and the one to Bresnan missed altogether? The fact is you don't. Yes, they were close calls and England got the better of them but that doesn't actually make them wrong. If the Australian team were like you and just kept blaming their losses on luck while giving the opposition no credit and taking no responsibility themselves then nothing would ever change. I'm guessing that you're one of those Aussie fans who grew up rarely experiencing an Australian loss and thereby developing an attitude that Australia have some inherent right to victory. You say that Smith was unlucky but how many England batsmen have played on this series? Were they any less unlucky? It's not the 90s any more. Wake up and smell the defeat.

  • BigGeorgeMehemood on August 15, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    I think Australia need to drop Hadduh, Watson and Khwaja. They havent done anything. They should bring in Phil Sykes, Paul Parrose and Mario Bonanzo. I think these guys will perform better.

  • on August 15, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    As Ian Chappell said last night it's easy to drop someone but who do we replace him with?Yes the batting was awful.Yes they bowled well.But we still have to pick a side to win at The Oval.

  • wellrounded87 on August 14, 2013, 23:32 GMT

    @LeeHallam I'd fundamentally disagree with the idea that " There is no evidence that Australia have suffered to any greater degree to bad decisions than England"

    But i do agree that the decisions aren't the reason we've lost the series. First off Agar's stumping wasn't a bad call. It was one that could go either way and IMO the batsmen should get benefit of the doubt in situations like that. Correct call.

    So far i would say there have been four absolute howler decisions. Broad not out @ Trent Bridge, Khawaja Out at Old Trafford, Rogers out @ Lords and Smith not out at Old Trafford.

    That's 2-1 against Aus. I also disagree fundamentally with the decision to overrule the on field decision and give Haddin out at Trent Bridge. There was a small noise, no hot spot no ball deviation and no conclusive evidence to suggest a nick. The on field decision should have stayed.

    But overall what has cost Australia is poor batting and poor use of DRS. Correct calls would only make it closer

  • wellrounded87 on August 14, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    Everyone needs to ease up on this Idea of picking George Bailey. You can't pick test players based on ODI form. That is why we've been stuck with Watson for so long. His FC record is underwhelming averaging just 38. And he's 30 years old so there's no suggestion of potential for improvement. It's fine to pick young batsmen with unflattering averages if the potential, skill and attitude are there. But at 30 years old and with almost 100 FC matches under his belt the only way he should be picked is if he's piling on the runs ala Hussey, Rogers etc.

    I'd rather see cosgrove or Hodge get picked.

    Personally i'd avoid tinkering with the side too much. I'd like to see Hughes back into the side at the expense of Smith. Smith has offered nothing that Hughes doesn't and Hughes at least has showed he knows how to score 100's

  • Paul_Rampley on August 14, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    Agree with boof that batsman have to perform but boof is also a coach who shows faith in young players and i am predicting Smith and Khawaja will fire for us in the oval test and also the home ashes

  • Chris_P on August 14, 2013, 22:23 GMT

    Come on Boof, do yourself a favour & read what Steve Waugh says about your statement. FYI, Waugh didn't play in a winning test until after 13 tests, didn't get a century until his his 43rd innings! Same circumstances, he came into a team soon after a raft of retirements & defections & waited for a few years while the team built up. There is no such thing as an "instant"" dominating team. Let Hughes have an extended run, let Smith feel his way through his learning process, let Khawaja know he has an extended run without going out thinking this may be his last innings. If we had ready made replacements, fair enough, but we do not & these guys showed enough in our season persevere with. Will we suffer through grief? Sure will, but we will develop hard nosed players, it is much better suffering the hard times first, it toughens you up later.

  • RandyOZ on August 14, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    Boof is spot on; careers are on the line. Watson's should be over. Hopefully a few younguns come through in the next shield season.

  • on August 14, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Australia have lost this series so my team for 5th test would be 1)ED COWAN (C) 2)Phil Hughes 3)Shane Watson(I wouldnt rest him because he hasnt got many runs in this series. 4)Steve Smith 5)Mathew Wade 6)James Faulkner 7)Mitchell Starc 8)Ashton Agar etc r

  • dinom on August 14, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    5th test 11: Rogers, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Faulkner, Starc, Siddle, Lyon, Bird. If Watson cannot bowl, he should take more batting responsibility (i.e. bat at 3) because Khawaja seems incapable to handle no.3 (no.5 perhaps?). Clarke seems reluctant to use Smith as an allrounder so better replace him with an allrounder Faulkner (who can take over Watson bowling load). Harris should be rested and nursed to be ready for the return series (avoid him broken down, like Pattinson), so Starc to replace him.

  • Neeta on August 14, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    The Australian team's batting apart from a few guys looks very inconsistent. Apart from Rogers, Clarke, and Warner, the team's batting performance has been dismal. Haddin and Smith have been very inconsistent. Khawaja and Hughes you would have thought should have matured over the amount of oppurtunities given but they haven't. Same goes for Ed Cowan. Shane Watson remains an ENIGMA. Some people may think its not the right way to go but for at least the return Ashes Series the following Squad should be tried out: Warner, Rogers, Bailey, S.Marsh, M.Clarke, S.Watson, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Harris, Lyon with the reserves being Voges, Faulkner, Cosgrove and Starc. Katich's case was handled badly by all the concerned people in the matter. Bailey should be tried out in test matches because from what we have seen in the ODI's, he is the guy with the ability to fight it out and build up on a start which is what the Aussies need right now.

  • LeeHallam on August 14, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    There is no evidence that Australia have suffered to any greater degree to bad decisions than England. If Agar had been given out stumped as he should have been, the first test would not have been at all close. Yes Australia probably would have won at Old Trafford, but as they still needed seven wickets it is too much to say they would have won. In truth the series has not really been close because England have won the important points, just as they did in 2009. Then many Australians pointed to the individual batting and bowling records as proof that they were actually better, as though piling up useless runs and wickets in dead situations was what counted. England scored the runs, and took the wickets at the time they need to win games.

  • dabhand on August 14, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    It's tough on Aus the period they are going through but their supporters should stop whingeing

    According to one faction Aus are only 3-0 behind because of DRS / umpires / weather and other such ifs and buts, but according to others, England are only winning because this is the poorest team / bad selection / bad management etc

    Face it 3-0 is what it says in the books right now - excuses are only that, they aren't reasons.

    As Shane Warne said disrespecting your opposition is dangerous - cricket has a way of biting back.

    He just happened to say that before going into a tirade about Cook's (alleged) poor captaincy and the shortcomings of the English team as a whole - he also said it just before Bresnan removed Warner - shows he was right about the biting back bit, if nothing else.

  • PhillieFanatic on August 14, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    A very frustrating loss for Australia and ts supporters. I thought we had turned the corner at Old Trafford, with a strong performance and a win in the offing but for weather. At 147-1 it looked like we would break through finally in this last Test, but shabby batting was again the problem. I agree that wholesale changes would be unwise at this time. Having been rested for this test I think Starc will probably come back into the side for either Siddle or Harris (whoever is hurting more), and the side will be otherwise unchanged. Several batsmen look like they are on their last chances, with Khawaja, Watson and Smith (in that order) on the brink of being dropped.

  • on August 14, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    One rotten decision from Aleem Dar robbed Aussies of the first test and rain of the third. Their batting robbed them of the fourth. Aussies are actually improving and I see them coming back strongly in Oz.

  • avinashpawan on August 14, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    well done England. Way to go from here. bravo

  • pthomo on August 14, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    I think Sheffield Shield winning form is as close as you can get to a test match.Yet we only have 3 Tasmanians touring. Cosgrove/Bailey very unlucky. I would love to get Faulkner into the side for oval test. Pretty sure he was man of the match in the sheild final. He has an x-factor (like Warner) and something about him suggests he will be up for the scrap.The only issue would be batting Haddin at 6...a very good number 7 but not quite good enough for the 6 spot. But then maybe we just play to our bowling strength. Rogers,Warner,Khawaja (last chance), Clarke, Smith (last chance), Haddin, Faulkner, Siddle, Harris, Lyon, Bird (deserves another chance). It is critical we cement down a no3. This is our bogey spot. If Usman fails I would go back to Cowan at 3 (unlucky to be dropped) and Cosgrove would be my next bet. If Smith fails I think Bailey, Voges or D Hussey should bat at 5. Maybe we need to bring in some older heads in the batting order....

  • landl47 on August 14, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    I've been looking to see if anyone could come up with replacements that appeared even slightly worth taking a look at. I've seen exactly three: Steve O'Keefe, who actually has a FC record which suggests he might be test class; Nic Maddinson, who is only 21 but at least looks to have the potential and Moises Henriques, on the somewhat shaky basis that at least he could be better than Watson.

    Otherwise, it's bring back Dad's Army, promote career journeymen and hope they suddenly become test class and DylanBrah's young hopefuls. DB has the right idea, but Bosisto has one List-A game as his sole claim to legitimacy (and he made a duck) and Doran is 16. Silk and Patterson have 6 FC games between them and though they have done well in those they are longer-term prospects, not the next Ashes.

    Clarke, if his back holds out, and Siddle are genuine test players. Lyon's done well. Rogers and Harris have been Aus's best, but they're 35 and almost 34 respectively.

    There's not much else.

  • wix99 on August 14, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    Australia needs to pick the same six batsmen and bat them in the same order for two Tests running. The amount of chopping and changing that has gone on is ridiculous. It is the selectors and the coach who should answer for the problem, not the batsmen!!!

  • Gibbo64 on August 14, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    No matter that England are 3-0 up it has been tough going but they have deserved the wins. It is still the best series going and the Aussies are always hard to beat. If Trott and/or Cook had fired then the results could have been far uglier. Some of the decisions have gone England's way but they have also copped some shockers. It will be interesting to see what happens in Australia and England have a great chance to make history but they will need more runs from Cook, Trott and Root to succeed.

  • 5wombats on August 14, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha (August 14, 2013, 9:38 GMT) for pete's sake - let go of this Umpires and fortunate calls thing. Remember that oft coined Australian expression; "Winners don't whinge"? You use the word fixation - us wombats say - let go of your fixations. Australia are well beaten here. You remind me of (the currently absent) @Marcio, a formidable Aussie banterer that I am very fond of....

  • on August 14, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    Everyone's very harsh on Khawaja - he looks good at the crease and plays around the wicket. His technique is much better than Hughes, and unlike Phil he tends to make a start. I agree number 3 isn't the best spot for him, but I think he's worth a place in the team. As far as I can see his biggest problem is bad luck and occassional crises of confidence.

  • on August 14, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Clarke and the Australian team starting to remind me of Tendulkar and the Indian team of the 90s.

  • on August 14, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    The look on his face when the collapse was happening said it all really.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 14, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    I wouldn't put any blame on Smith or Watson. Smith was damn unlucky to edge a bouncer onto the stumps. With Watson it seems every umpire wants to give him LBW as soon as he misses it. That should never have been given out, and the tiny connection that DRS indicated of ball on stump only vindicated it. Contrast that with Bresban being given not out not playing a shot but SRS showing more of the ball hitting. Those two decisions were huge. England have just had soooo many of these fortunate calls at pivotal times this series, it is almost supernatural. Really frustrating to see this time and again, when Aus really deserved to have won at least one, probably two games. Certainly 2-2 is a far fairer I fixation of the way the series has played than 3-0.

  • on August 14, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Australia still face exactly the same issues they faced at the end of the India tour. The players of the future are totally inconsistent and fail to stand up when it counts. Smith, Khawaja and Hughes all stood up during the practice matches but then had damp squibs of a series, the most disappointing probably being Khawaja who has talent but also has a history of falling down when it matters. Remember that Warner has had a torrid run with the bat too excepting the last match. Australia need to restructure from the bottom to rectify this. Begin with making half the pitches flat and select players based on time at the crease and defensive technique as well as runmaking. Although not the best strategy 100% of the time England have showed the value of playing out a session for no wickets down. If the players can grind out an innings then the runs will come, ala Rogers.

  • on August 14, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    australia missed soild middle order players like martyn,hussey,lehman,waugh & gilly

  • brusselslion on August 14, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    @Matthew Green on (August 13, 2013, 19:47 GMT): I agree with you re the schedulling of Tests; unfortunately, I don't think that anything is likely to change. However, to infer that the series result would have been different if the gap between Tests had been longer is a bit disingenuous. This England side is not in the same class as the Aussie ones of the late 90s/early 00s, but the one thing that they both have in common is the ability to win the important sessions. This has been the difference between the teams in this series.

    electric_loco_WAP4 on (August 13, 2013, 13:49 GMT): " A better team would have beaten England". Just how " better" would they need to be? One thing's for sure, better than this current Aussie team.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 14, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    @gbqdgj, you shouldnt read too much in to the numbers as there is a lot of historical baggage to explain the discrepancy, in some cases this is down to the 90's where a lot of players were used for one or two games, but also goes further back to when the MCC would often select players based on current form in the Pre war years.

    Also consider England have played 939 tests, compared to Australias 758.

  • DylanBrah on August 14, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    Jordan Silk, Nic Maddinson, Kurtis Patterson, William Bosisto are all players for the future.. Jake Doran too, although he is a bit young. I hope they can all have a regular position in their shield team this year and something is done to improve the pitches.

  • gbqdgj on August 14, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    This is going to stick in my throat somewhat but Australia are, in overall terms the greatest test cricketing nation since tests began. Interestingly, if you have a look at the numbers on the caps/shirts which denotes the number of previous players for the nation, Joe Root is in the mid 600's, Rogers in the low 400s and yet as we know both teams have been playing test cricket for exactly the same length of time. If you then look at the number of players Australia have picked in tests since Ponting retired I think it's something over 30 (someone help me out with the right figure) whereas England in the same period it's something like 17/18. Australia have been so successful over the years because of consistency of selection sticking with youngsters who have struggled at the start. If you have a policy where youngsters don't know if they are there for the long term it puts pressure on and generally they fail. England have shown faith with young players recently and are benefiting from it

  • ZCFOutkast on August 14, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    @Wallaroo "Replace Michael Clarke as captain, Steve Smith is by far a better leader." Could it be that the Mayans were out by 7 days from today?

    If you're excited about captains being replaced, AB de Villiers & Brendan Taylor should be attracting your interest!

    Hypothetically or otherwise, why would Clarke lead the barmy army in a song???

  • on August 14, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Imagine if Katich was at 3, hodge at 5, you really think they wouldve collapsed? Where is best XI?

  • Samdanh on August 14, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    Sad to see Aus losing after weather impacting their opportunity last Test and impact of poor umpiring hurting them in first Test. Aus are getting near and not getting across the line too often. Having said all these, it is batting which is to blame. Except for Clarke and Rogers others have been too inconsistent. Khawaja Watson and Warner do not look confident at the crease at all, though Warner has played better in 2 out of 4 innings so far. Aus needs to sustain Hughes for a longer time and look to bring in batsmen who have good defence technique to play in Tests. Probably Bailey, Ferguson, Tim Paine (in place of Haddin), Joe Burns, PJ Forrest, AC Voges etc. There is talent but I find selections for Test appalling. I still cannot believe Steve O'Keefe missing from team. Look at what India has been able to achieve by fusing in someone akin to him - Ravindra Jadeja. I am also confounded by Aus trend with spinners: Smith was not used at (negligible) in the 3rd and 4th Tests. Talent wasted

  • Narayan.Shastri on August 14, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Allrounder Moises Henriques was in the team when Australia toured India early this year. Though we won 4-0, I do not think Henriques played badly. In the IPL he batted quite well for RCB, chalking up 40plus scores by often playing delicate cuts to the off-side. 'Watto' would have a competitor now!

  • Chetan007 on August 14, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    Australia need to stick to the some of the players like Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, David Warner and Chris Roger. We had seen many players ( like Jadeja, Yuvraj, Haddin, Ricky, Sachin, Shewag, Steve Waugh and many more) have performed better when given support from captain, coaches and selectors. Australia need to stick to the players they think of being the future of Australian cricket. Also bring back Tim Paine. He is now fit and ready to play for his country. He is one of the best Australian wicket-keeper batsmen for test matches now.

  • Narayan.Shastri on August 14, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    There seems to be an element of 'sameness' in the Australian top order, with the top three batsmen being left-handed. At the fall of the first wicket, a right-hander needs to walk in at number 3 and play a sheet anchor role. Ricky Ponting used to do that for many years. The left-handed contenders for this slot such as Shaun Marsh, Ed Cowan, Usman Khawaja have not really been able to stick at the crease for a long time. Michael Clarke himself seems to be the only option for now, but is batting at first down his cup of tea?

  • on August 14, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    I somehow don't think it will be too long until we are seeing the likes of Silk and Maddinson in the starting xi. Khawaja looks a long way off test material. I'd give Hughes another few tests at no.3, but he too needs a lot of work on his game against spin bowling. If he fails then try someone else. I don't think we can keep playing both Watson and Smith in the top 6. I like them both as cricketers, but not as specialist batsmen, it has to be one or the other, there is though a terrible dearth of middle order batsmen in the ranks and i'll admit I don't know who the best replacement would be. I was hoping Burns would be piling on the runs but he is really not up to much at all right now, Doolan too seems to need more work to become a consistent performer. I like Maxwell and Henriques as cricketers too, but again, there is only room for one in the top six. I also think we need to persist wit Starc at number 8 to give us some depth, his bowling will be more than good in time!

  • austentayshus on August 14, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    his is not a bad side: the bowling was excellent, and there were some good batting performances. But at times there does seem to be an absence of grit and application.. England is surely beatable .... Where is the determination that we saw from the likes of Waughs, Pontings, Langers Haydos? Where is the commitment to back up your colleague and make sure his efforts aren't wasted? if these questions aren't answered and solved quickly Dark days are ahead ... It hurts as Aus fan

  • latecut_04 on August 14, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    The current Aus predicament epitomises the saying:"Nothing Fails Like Failure"..Although Aus deserved to win atleast 2 matches the scoreline reads 0-3 and ofcourse supporters will be unforgiving.Hopefully the positives(definitely there are)wont go unnoticed.and @funkybluesman you say "they can't drop Bird after one match, need to give him more to prove himself. Why? Starc never got that opportunity! " Both Bird and Starc DESERVE and NEED more opportunities and hopefully sanity prevails in selections.just because Starc didnt get a second chance same mistake should not be applied in Bird's case...and that should be the line of thought for selections not a whole scale sweep(like bringing in yet another unknown tweaker).and this is from India...

  • Wallaroo on August 14, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    Replace Michael Clarke as captain, Steve Smith is by far a better leader. Clarke is an inspirational player but couldn't lead the barmy army in a sing song. I'm sick of seeing Australia lose because we play the blame game and don't take responsibility. IMHO CA got rid of the wrong cause albeit I'm glad that an Aussie is in charge.

    Honestly the demeanour on the field under Clarke's leadership does not seem right.

    Time for Australia to return to winning ways ASAP.

  • on August 14, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    Too many young players playing for their spots. Maybe it's time to move away from youth for the time being and do the unthinkable and actually bring back Katich and Hodge for as long as they can stick around.

    They are both around 38, but we need them and they are always in good form.

    Rogers Cowan Katich Hodge Clarke Hughes Haddin

    Maybe it's time we took one step backwards in order to take two steps forward?

  • on August 14, 2013, 4:46 GMT

    It's strange that they gave Agar a go after an extremely promising start to his first class career, but wouldn't even talk about Steve O'Keefe, he's been putting up good numbers every year.

    Warner will always come up with semi regular knocks that make him look like a surefire champion, but I thought we'd already decided to look for a more consistent traditional opening batsman to partner Rogers? Now they go back to Warner?

    Watson can bat at 6 now? I was definitely sure we'd moved on from that years ago, now he's a number 6 all over again?

    Looking at the first class stats over the last 12 months, first thing you'll wonder is why Khawaja replaced Hughes at #3 in the batting order.

    This is the most absurd thing, you see, he didn't replace Hughes at 3, he replaced Cowan and since they didn't want to drop Khawaja after one match, and Smith keeps getting centuries, Hughes got the chop!

    Australia are still paying for a lack of conviction on the part of the selectors.

  • bobagorof on August 14, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Malx: So what if Rogers is 36? He's one of the top Australian batsmen of the series. If he has another 2 years left in him, then that's another 2 years of having an experienced performer at the top of the order, someone who knows their game and can be a calming influence on his batting partner. Australia has suffered recently with a lack of experience in the batting order since Katich, Ponting and Hussey retired. Rogers is not the issue. What is more of an issue is trying to fit Warner, Smith, Khawaja, Hughes and Watson into 4 batting slots, when none of them look consistently at home. They need a good run to establish themselves but don't do themselves any favours by getting out cheaply 3 times out of 4. Unfortunately their possible replacements have all had poor Shield seasons last year.

  • on August 14, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    Team management needs to think again what they did ..the coaches were changed ,players punished ,and mindlessly selection was done for the shock and awe forgetting its test cricket ..Nathan Lyon should have walked in to the team ...he took bag full of wickets of Indian batsmen who are one of the best players of spin ...playing t the gallery with Agar sounded good with his batting ...but the initatvie was lost in the series in the first 2 games ...except for micheal clark no batsman was sure of playing the full series ....well not a recipe for a test battle .....

  • on August 14, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    there is no one else. Watson is mediocre. there is no potential there. he has reached it. hughes has technical problems. he will play the odd good innings on a flat track. but that is it. warner will play the odd innings coz he is quick scorer but you have to accept a number of par scores he will get. question is. is this the best players we have. answer is probably yes.

  • on August 14, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    It is really tragic that Australia collapsed. When I went to bed ( India) with the score reading one down for 130 with a very good opening stand I bet Australia to win decently at least by 5 or 6 wickets. I always thought Australians are fighters. It is a pity that Clarke is not getting enough batting support by his players. They should have taken a much bigger lead in first innings. With due credit to England players probably England is in top place because of weak opposition.

  • caught_knott_bowled_old on August 14, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    Best thing that can happen to the Aus team now is to lose the 5th. Clear the decks. Bring in some other blokes who have the will to fight. I'm particularly disappointed with Watson's non-performance.

  • xtrafalgarx on August 14, 2013, 3:22 GMT

    These are simply the best players Australia has, there is no point in dropping players if there is no one better to take their spot in the first place!! Pick and stick, some years of pain ahead but hopefully we will come around.

  • 5wombats on August 14, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    Yeah Darren - and Adelaide 2006 was "bloody hard to take" as well.... Anyone remember that hideous hideous Test match??? Collingwood 206, Pietersen 158, England 6/551dec, Hoggard 7/109. And England still lost! A game that England should have won - certainly should have drawn and DEFINITELY should NOT have lost. Yeah - bloody hard to take. So there's an element of payback here at Chester-le-Street. I'm really looking forward to the return series in Australia.....

  • mysay on August 14, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    The axe looming is the best news for Aussies thus far. So c'mon lads Smith, Khawaja, Clarke, Haddin and most of all Lehman, yeah mate your coaching is just as bad as your batsmen.

  • on August 14, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    Lehmann has now fallen into the same trap that the selectors and, more understandably, the supporters have fallen into, and that is putting excess pressure on all ready maxxed out players... Australian batsman are no longer walking out proud and confident, they now look as if they are heading to the guillotine unsure if they will live to fight another day... Look at Hughes, Watson, khawaja, Smith, even Clarke... They have lost the flare and confidence they used to possess... Rogers is the only one who still has fight left in him, he's heard worse about himself, and Warner the only one with a touch of arrogance once possessed by all who walked out to bat for Australia... Hughes, Smith, Khawaja and Watson all are significantly stronger FC batsman than they are test batsman (all average over 45 in first class cricket with tests excluded), Id suggest fear of failure is what holds them to it...

  • funkybluesman on August 14, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    The treatment of Starc has been really poor too! He really hasn't done much wrong, with 8 wickets at 27 on the two least pace friendly pitches of the series, and they keep dropping him for every second match.

    If they are trying to break his spirit they are going about it the right way.

    Bird has hardly been a destroyer in the tour matches. In fact, adding in tour matches puts Starc even further ahead. Birds tour stats are 8 wkts at 36. Starc has 16 wickets at 20, and actually a better economy rate than Bird.

    Bird bowled with a scrambled seam and apart from Cook padding up barely moved a ball off straight, while Starc can have those Broad-like spells where he rips through a team, while the rest of the time still making a solid contribution.

    I've heard people say they can't drop Bird after one match, need to give him more to prove himself. Why? Starc never got that opportunity!

  • BilgramiH on August 14, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    Australians have picked the same disease as the Pakistani players of making a possible situation extremely difficult and impossible. Why was Phil dropped and replaced by Khawaja?

  • funkybluesman on August 14, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    People come up with all these other batsmen that should play instead, and most of them are averaging 30 in shield cricket. Marsh, Fergussen... please. Marsh is now 30 and has a first class average of 35 in 79 matches. Hardly test match material. Ferguson is nearly 29, played a similar number of matches to average 36. George Bailey is 30 and averages 38 in 96 matches.

    You have two options, pick young players on potential, or older players on proven track record. No wonder they go for the young guys with potential when the older, more established players have such poor records.

    Others include Doolan - age 27, avg 37.85, Hartley - age 31, avg 31.

    Better off going for the young guys. At 21, Nic Maddinson has a FC avg of 40, and at almost 24 Joe Burns averages almost 40. Not amazing, but you can see those guys getting better. The 30 year olds should already be at their peak, and a peak avg in the mid-30s hardly suggests test player to me.

  • HairyKiore on August 14, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    First throw away the Captain ..his reluctance to support his spinners cost Australia big time..

  • Sunil_Batra on August 14, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    In 6 months we will do much better but only if we show faith in our younger batsman, the likes of smith, khawaja and Warner will do well for us in the home ashes but only if show them faith as was pointed out by Steve Waugh

  • on August 14, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    I think performances are such in the last 6 months that something drastic may done to revive Australia for the coming summer. Clearly some of the guys just arnt ready, and perhaps a return to state cricket for a couple of years might do them a world of good. Remember langer and hayden had the same problem. They both struggles in their early careers before maturing into outstanding players. Khawaja, Hughes and Smith will likely do something similar. In the meantime I think Bailey has done enough to come into contention surely. While Maxwell probably deserves a decent run after the success he has been enjoying on the A team tour of South Africa. His bowling as well offers probably a stronger alternative than Smith as well which surely counts in his favor.

    My XI Warner Rogers 3 - ? Khawaja (give him a good run) Clarke - c Bailey - vc Maxwell Wade + (god knows we need the batting) Johnson or Starc Pattinson or Cummins or Bird Siddle Lyon or Fawad Ahmed

  • Jeremy303 on August 14, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    Regardless of how he may recover from his injury, I think Watson will be rested. I'd agree with what others have posted: Clarke now values the option of a fourth seamer and so it seems likely he would rather encourage the selection of Faulkner. I don't think Faulkner's bowling is as tight or as penetrative as Watsons, but I feel they'd want to have a look at him in what is essentially a dead-rubber. Khawaja's place in the side is very much in jeopardy. He has been coached by Lehmann before, so I suspect he'd be told that he has the oval test as a last chance before being dropped. He needs a century or at half centuries in each innings. I've said it before, but the 28 year old who should have had a decent amount of test experience by now is Mark Cosgrove. I hope that Lehmann will allow the selectors to give him a chance to shine in the home series. Lyon did a decent job here, but I still think Steve O'Keefe was done a huge disservice by not being picked for the tour of India and here.

  • runout49 on August 14, 2013, 1:35 GMT

    At this stage of his career Khawaja isn't a number three, That position should be occupied by the captain as it has many times in Australia's past. (Bradman, Chappells, Ponting etc).

  • maddadtheslogger on August 14, 2013, 1:35 GMT

    Lets be realistic. Rogers has shown what you need to do - try not to get out first, score second - a la Tendulkar! Warner followed this in the second dig and has shown maturity since getting his telling off, so he gets a tick too. Clark has looked vulnerable at times during this series and just needs to remember to cherish his wicket (summon your inner Sachin). Hughes is only good as a Sehwag-like opener so play him like that or leave him. I just don't see 'test level' batsmen in Khawaja or Smith's - to be honest, Agar looked better. Watson is a spent force - Starc should be our all-rounder. Averages 31.5 with bat and 3.5 wickets a test. Watto scores 3 runs more and takes two less wickets. That said Agar, Faulkner and Maxwell could all put a hand up there, too. Bowling looks OK (Siddle, Lyon & Bird gets ticks). Harris brilliant but wrap in cotton wool. Pattison and Cummins cant stay fit!! Pick our best keeper - his batting second. No.3 is our whole.. maybe Sean Marsh.

  • jmcilhinney on August 14, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    @Yuji9 on (August 13, 2013, 19:52 GMT), um, Khawaja did go to India and he would have almost certainly got a game in place of Phil Hughes if he had done his homework.

  • on August 14, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Watched Michael Clarke make his debut century in the 2004 Bangalore Test. A truly beautiful moment, cherished by his dad and mom, who watched from the VIP Box. It has been almost a decade, on. But he ain't the same anymore, considering his fitness (back). True, he has given it his all, but hasn't been a great captain, probably because of external influences. He is an automatic selection, purely as a batsman. First up, CA SHOULD get rid of Pat Howard. Then, bring back Ponting and Hussey, for the return Ashes series Down Under. They still have the balls what the other lack!!!

  • on August 14, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    My fear all along was not with our bowlers, but of course with our weak and brittle batting constantly letting our bowlers down. This latest debacle where our middle order have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory is the most painful loss imaginable, as Aussie supporters must now know that this side can lose from anywhere, as Daniel Brettig wrote. It certainly had nothing to do with England snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Also, as for some people saying that Clarke's captaincy is terrible, well, they absolutely wrong. It would not matter if this side side with its fragile batting had the greatest captain of all time, as the captain cannot bat for the whole team.

  • Nerk on August 14, 2013, 0:47 GMT

    Now that Australia is playing like England in the 90s, our selection policy has followed suit. (Not that our selection policy over the last couple of years has been consistent, I just thought Lehmann would be better.) All the batsmen have contributed one or two scores this series but none, not even Clarke, has been consistently making runs. I think we shouldn't overreact now. Lets finish the series with the best performance we can, and see how players perform in the Shield. I would like to see how Usman, Hughes, Cowan and Watson compare to 2nd string players like Maxwell, Marsh, Forrest, Ferguson etc (don't yell at me for missing obvious ones, I cant think of them at the moment) are doing before making a drastic decision.

  • Nik84 on August 14, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    I don't understand the worry about bringing in same experienced players.everyone says T-20 is for young, 50 over is for young and test matches can be played by seniors or experienced players then why the fuzz about age.which format these guys will play then??. CA brought it on themselves, i remember they were so arrogant coz they got good replacements and ask senior guys to retire or force like waugh bros, moody, bevan, slater etc because they got good replacements. so they did it again with punter and huss, but this time they haven't got the replacements and now due to their standards they wont bring experienced players like Hodge, David hussey or Katich.stop pushing low standard players and expect them to learn all of sudden. there are 5 tests with england again and 3 on tour of SA. Aus won against SA 1-1 and against ind 4-0 at home coz hussey , punter contributed well with Clarke. the score might be another 6 loss and 2 draw if they can else future doesnt look bright. CA didnt save

  • on August 14, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    @a328232 "here is no replacement talent available in the first place. So the ones in line and the ones not in line are all in the same line."

    I am so unbelievably sick of this argument. Sure, if the selectors don't give anyone a run it can look that way. The parlous position of Australia is due entirely to malaise from poor selection over the past five-six years. The reason T20 has hit Australia worse than other countries is because nobody has been game to drop batsmen who bring in advertising dollars - with nobody being dropped, nobody in the Shield had a chance and they refocused their careers. Australia A doesn't even keep a consistent line-up. Cameron White hit the same bowlers that were destroying us in the tests for an attacking century when captain of the side. I don't think he's playing in the A side since. It's ridiculous. Good to hear Lehmann's talking about drops. Actually get a look at the other talent before deriding it. What a novel idea.

  • SeanB on August 14, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    For the final test, Australia should pack the side with batsmen by bringing James Faulkner (for Watson), Starc (for Harris) and Agar in place of Khawaja. That will bring in three bowlers who bat well and let Watson and Harris sort any injury issues. Khawaja just seems out of place.

  • Barnesy4444 on August 14, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Warner, Rogers, Hughes 3, Clarke 4, Smith 5, Watson/Khawaja 6 and Haddin 7 for the 5th test. We have to find a way of getting Bell out. He is the real difference, we don't have a 500+ run batsman.

  • on August 13, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    I think the Aussie selectors, past and present have to take some of the heat for this team. They are clearly not good enough to beat England, so what is needed is a consistent, proactive approach, not the desperate reactive selections we've seen in recent years. My 30c worth on the selections for this tour: 1. Ashton Agar is not in the top 5 spinners in the country. He should never have been selected. Panic? 2. Rogers's age is not a factor, but Katich is too old? Insanity! 3. Phil Hughes has too many technical and temperamental flaws to play test cricket. Good bowlers figure him out. 4. Shane Watson is not an opener. Never was, never will be. 5. Steve Smith is a good guy and has ability, but he is not a test batsman and doesn't bowl (well) enough to be included as a bowler. 5. Ed Cowan is at best a grinder, a battler, a shine removing stopper, an accumulator of ugly runs. He was never going to be a test no. 3 6. Two all-rounders in Watson and Smith? Really?

  • on August 13, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    Time to bring in Faulkner for Watson. Get a real bowler in.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 13, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    Next time we see Boof padded up it might be 4 real?!

  • on August 13, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    @ Rohit Ramesh: How far have Indian team come since the 2012 fiasco Down Under? And, I hope we talking about only test cricket here, and not ODI or T20 cricket. As far as I recollect, India have not played any series overseas since Australian test tour in 2012 January. Only high-profile test series they played in 2012 was against England at home, which they lost 1-2. Of course, they won the series 4-0 against the same Australian side that has become the subject of our discussion now. Making any impressions based on that 4-0 result against Australia is as delusional as Australia's 3-0 thumping of Sri Lanka. The judgment on Indian team's transition can only be made after the South Africa tour this year, and England tour next year. Until then, we should hold our horses. And, were you referring to Dhoni's genius idea of getting RP Singh straight from his holiday in Miami in August 2011 (no match practise) overlooking domestic bowlers who had performed well in Ranji cricket and India A?

  • KhanMitch on August 13, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    I think we have been close in all 3 of the 4 games and its important to show faith in our younger batsman. I think Khawaja will come through for us, he has had 3 tests on his return compared to Cowan who had 19 in a row and i think Khawaja will fire for us in the home ashes. Also like what i see from Smith and Warner and its important to show faith in these guys if we are to win the ashes back.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on August 13, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    @Yuji9 - your comment is spot on and should be the "featured comment" here :)

    khawja in my opinion is a middle order batsman. and he needs consistent go in there. when he debut he looked very confident of himself. then there was micky arthur who for some reason dumped him in favour of shaun marsh who got more go than anyone yet failed to nail down the spot. since then khawja is not sure of himself.

    can someone really clarify why siddle is not given the new ball? the guy bowls his heart out and has shown what he can do. yet a new comer bird who rarly bowls over 82mph got the new ball. very impressed with harris. i think CA should invest in titanium knees for him so he can bowl for few more years !

  • threeheadedmonkey on August 13, 2013, 22:39 GMT

    why not give guys like Bailey, Voges or Doolan a run? Stop trying to select the young guys who play fancy shots and excitingly quick innings and take a look at the older guys with experience and the temperament to dig in and only score off the shots they know aren't risks. Kind of like we used to do when looking for test players. CA has this idea now that anyone they want in the test squad should also play limited overs which is just wrong. Hughes and Khawaja get dropped for not having the technique for test cricket, they go back to the shield and don't change anything but get re selected again. Let them fix their flaws and actually have selectors watch them play and don't just base their selection on statisitcs.

  • MinusZero on August 13, 2013, 22:33 GMT

    Time for Watson to retire from tests. His results dont warrant selection anyway

  • Bockee on August 13, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    A bit of extra pressure from Boof is a good thing. Anything they feel now in a dead rubber at the dog end of a long tour will be nothing compared to the pressure come the Gabba test.

    There should be 4 rounds of shield cricket before then, prepare some proper test pitches, play over 5 days and pick whoever stands up and performs.

  • Leaman on August 13, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    I believe that CA missed a trick some time ago by not selecting a player of the future and nuturing them in the side at say 6 like they did for some of the greats of yesteryear David Boon, Greg Chappell, Ricky Ponting instead of trying to make a no3 out of a new player. The players mentioned all could tailer their game to suit the game situation, take it on or guts it out. Other than Clarke the only player we appear to have that could do this as a no 3 iis I believe Rogers. So Warner, Cowan, Rogers, Clarke to bat top 4 (poss Watson at 5) then find a young hopeful with a temperment and technic to boot (not Smith) to play at 6 Whether that is a Khawja or Hughes or a player like Silk and nuture them give them an extended go, player must have plenty of G&D as well as sound technic So from one Leaman to another Lehmann think about it.

  • PFEL on August 13, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    Why is there still so much support for Khawaja in the public? He's proven time and again that he is not up to standard, it's not at all that he has been "treated unfairly".

  • AusieBangaleeShameem on August 13, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    Careers on line? How?? What's the replacement sir???

  • on August 13, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    If I was Lehmann I would play the following team: Warner, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Agar (as a batting allrounder), Haddin, Siddle, Harris, Bird, Lyon. And England should play Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Taylor, Prior, Bresnan, Swann, Onions(If fit)/Finn, Tremlett. I would rest Anderson and Broad as they have bowled a lot of overs this series and with another series down under we can't afford either of them to be injured and Bairstow hasn't done anything to show he's a test player. I feel that Tremlett could be essiential in the winter and it will be good to give him some overs in an England shirt before hand. We should take Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Taylor, Prior, Bairstow, Compton, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Swann, Finn, Tremlett, Onions and Briggs/Borthwick/Kerrigan(England should rest Swann for the ODIs and T20s and rotate those 3 in his place)

  • on August 13, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Success in an Ashes test is arguably more important to the average Aussie than a Federal Election. As I watched the test with Austalia at 0/100 moving to a position of strength. England looked demoralised with broad and Paterson Wicketless. However, I still had doubt as the TV coverage scanned up to the dressing room, Khawaja was still padded up.Surely, with Clarke as a world premier batsmenn, especially against spin, he should have come in on a fall of a wicket instead of a novice, a left-hander with no confidence against Swan who was bowling. Khwaja's body language as he slowly trudged to the wicket was so negative. Surely this was the time for Captain Clarke to bat and take the game away from England. He only needed to make 50, with the others batting around him. Unbelievably, this did not occur and Khwaja was bowled by a stright full length ball which a club cricket would have moved his feet to defend or hit to the boundary. Boof and Clarke are positive leaders, but not this time

  • on August 13, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Well said Boof. Khawaja's dismissal was lazy, Haddin is too old, as is Rogers. Give a few others a try. Maxwell, Doolan, Ferguson, Paine, Faulkner, Henriques, Marsh, Christian, Finch, etc… There are plenty to choose from.

  • portman on August 13, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    I would have thought careers would have been on the line some time ago, it looks as though Lehmann sees each batsman as having a clean slate from the time he became coach. Yet this form of batting collapse, which is occuring regularly, goes back to when Australia played NZ at Hobart a couple of summers ago or maybe further. Clarke said he believes the best players are currently in the team and it should stay as such. Personally I would think to a large extent he is correct with the exception of Watson, surely it is time to pick someone young to replace him and then stick with them. Continued failure is damaging without a doubt, but how much worse can things get? Its now 7 losses from the last 8 tests...

  • a328232 on August 13, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    This test proves that Australia not only does not have talent they also do not have the mental toughness. Their mental disintegration policy has worked on themselves it seems. They should now focus on mental integration instead.

  • Cyril_Knight on August 13, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    The decision to discard Katich still haunts Australia. It was not a cricketing decision, everyone knows that. But as big a problem was choosing to ignore Chris Rogers for so many years. He has proven in this series that he should have been the man to open. Having the solid base of Katich, Rogers and Clarke as 3 of the top 4 would have allowed for the phased introduction of the younger players. Perhaps Hughes, Khawaja and Smith could have fulfilled the potential we keep hearing about if they had not been forced into being the key batsmen.

    Australia could have had a batting line-up of Rogers, Warner, Katich, Clarke, One of many, Watson, Haddin/Wade/Paine. The selectors are the ones whose careers should be on the line!

  • KiwiPom on August 13, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    I think Australia fell between two stools. On the one hand they had plenty of time to get the runs - especially after the good start. On the other hand, if they could only score quickly enough, they could limit England to just a single ball on what we heard described as a "new ball wicket." I don't know if there was a game plan either way but they should have chosen one and stuck to it. In the end they did neither. England? Not so much a team of talented players as a talented TEAM. That's the key to the whole series to date. Well led on and off the field and the players care what they are playing for.

  • Yuji9 on August 13, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    Many of us said Khawaja should have gone to India and this series proves it. Dropping him now for Hughes would be the worst mistake, his form is partly a result of terrible selection policy over the last year and CA should have used the India tour to play the same top six for four tests otherwise what's the point of the Argus review if you get to the Ashes with no idea of the batting order and players having to come in fresh like Khawaja who hadn't batted for months. No, Australia must persist with Usman though he's not a number three yet and should have played at 5 seeing as there are so many openers in the party surely we could get a top 3 of Warner, Rogers, Watson or Watson, Rogers, Warner with Khawaja to find his way at 5 but for some reason the captain wants to upset that common sense - it's amazing to think of all the people who earned big dollars for the Argus review yet still we don't know where Watson, Hughes and Warner should bat in the top six

  • Malx on August 13, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    The so called freeloaders ( selectors ) couldn't pick their noses. They will pick the same side and we will have have the same result, 4-0 !! Haddin is just here for the laughs, he doesn't care less if he is picked or not. Watson is a complete mess. Clarke doesn't have the whole support of the team. It's not the bowlers but the gutless batsmen we have. What do you do with Khawaja & Smith?? And Rogers is nearly 36. Cowan/Hughes needs to open with Warner, then Rogers. But, we are just not good enough.

  • on August 13, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    Siddle still is under-rated. He consistently takes wickets. Although the modern workload is just dumb scheduling. If we really cared about the players and wanted to truly TEST their skill and capacities, we'd stipulate that for The Ashes, there should be a minimum 6-7 days between tests. Allowing all players to recover or get a domestic game under their belts. The current format is like a fast-food process. That's why we're getting so many more lop-sided series. The team that's on the ropes has no time to recharge and bounce back. England are not that good and Australia not that bad. The test that Australia were beaten in, by the weather, had a tour match lead-up, for example. If you go back through the archives, there are a litany of examples of the tour matches providing form for players. It's also part of the issue with the domestic scene in Australia. State players don't get to mini-test themselves against current and potential test players. Stupid scheduling.

  • crazytaurean on August 13, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    I wonder what happened to Shaun Marsh, Rob Quiney, Moises Henriques, Mitchel Johnson, Phil Jacques, Peter Forrest? Are they not in form? Chris Rogers has impressed me the most. He has made the most of the opportunities he has got. He is the only guy valid for an automatic selection for the next Test series apart from Clarke in the batting contingent, especially when England travel down under. Australia needs some raw faces in the next few seasons to surprise the opposition. Lehmann has an eye for talent. Lets see.

  • on August 13, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    Bird 'definitely gone'. Are you kidding? The kid's played a small handful of tests. We all know some of the best players have taken time to develop and feel part of the team, so give him some time. 'Bring back Mitchell Johnson' ain't happening. He's been part of the malaise. Lots to offer, delivers once a series, if that. And he's the other side of the age ledger. Smith also should be persevered with. I think all Australian fans should look at Ian Bell and recall how he was taunted by us when he began his career. They kept on showing faith and he now 'owns' series- surely THE player of this Ashes. Rogers works because he has that Hussey desire, dedication and guts. Warner also, as displayed by his character in working hard in coming back after silly indiscretions. The bowling is decent and will get better with experience. Siddle's big V heart often being an inspiration. These guys can help build the core over the next few years. Wade needs to improve his feet- this layoff is good.

  • a328232 on August 13, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    There is no replacement talent available in the first place. So the ones in line and the ones not in line are all in the same line.

  • on August 13, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    Australia have had six clear match winning positions in the three tests that lasted and have thrown them all away. You have to blame the skipper for that. Clarke can simply not sustain the advantage and drive it home. After 50 for 3, Pietersen and Bell played without threat, there didnt seem to be any pressure. Siddle, Bird, Starc and Pattinson can't deal blows quick enough.There is a thinking deficit in the Australian camp thats for sure.Losing from a winning position is the toughest to take. They cant chase again mentally. The only option left at the Oval is bat first, bat big and give the bowlers enough to take a advantage of an underperforming English batting that has got away time and again. In the long term Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Smith, Bird are definitely gone. Khawaja needs one series more, Haddin too. Wade has to come in as a bat, bring back Ferguson, Mitchell Johnson and Shaun Marsh or after the Aus Ashes Lehmann and Clarke will be gone too.

  • saravanan.s on August 13, 2013, 17:21 GMT

    I wrote before the Ashes starts, I wrote my comment like If the bowler stand Tall, that will give confidence to Batsman. My comment was 50% True, If you ask me personally I vote Aus bowling as better one than Eng though they are playing in Home Advantage. Aussie lost this Ashes simple because of their batsman 1st Test - They lost due to Batsman 2nd Test - The Entire Team Failed to Perform 3rd Test - No one to Blame 4th Test - They lost due to Batsman

    2 out of 4 Test they lost due to batsman, imagine it would have been different scenario of 2-1 easliy for Aussie. They missed the Golden opportunity to win the Ashes back.

    But as one another friend stated, I see Warner, Steve and future of Australia, simply throw away Haddin, Roger, Ushman, watson and Bring 4 responsible and technically more capable player like Shan Marsh, Furguson etc.... Ask them to perform in next 5 Ashes in Australia then I see we are going to see an Aus team rocking the World Again.

  • Winsome on August 13, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    No careers are on the line as there are no real replacements for any of the players. Cupboard bare and Lehmann probably knows it. They'll stick with Watson off the back of his one 50 in about every 10 innings, they always do.

  • Thefakebook on August 13, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    I agree 100% with retaining the same team building team spirit but this batting line up gotta change Watto got to go. Cowan,Rogers,Haddin have no real future and youngsters like Nic Maddinson,Tim Paine,Joe Burns etc get them all in hell get Mark Cossgrove as well its worth it!

  • umairaslum on August 13, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Clarke is not a leader. He's a class act with the bat, but he has proved time and again, that he would loose grip from winning situation. This is the biggest concern. Find a skipper who does not like defeats. May be Garden or any other bloke. But Clarke will make Australia remember worst ever. Khawaja, Watson, Bird and Smith aren't good enough for test cricket.

  • Gordo85 on August 13, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    I guess Brad Haddin is only getting a game now because he is the Vice Captain. His Keeping hasn't been too bad but he seems to still stuff up here and there. Wade surely must get a go in this final Test, I mean what does Australia have to lose? This is where making a wicketkeeper a vice captain is silly and basically just a joke. I mean Australia and England are having the same problem at the moment with there wicketkeepers but yet no one is willing to make a change and drop the players who are basically not making enough runs.

  • on August 13, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    I grew up with the golden era of Australian cricket, flooded with super talents like Lillie, Marsh, Chappel Bros., Doug Walters, Simpson. That's how I became an ardent Aussie fan despite being an Indian! Saw the transition period of the Australian cricket under Allan Border, followed by their supreme dominance of World Cricket for many years! They are now back to the transition period after exit of quality players like Warne, Mcgrath, Lee, Waugh brothers, Hayden, Gilly, Ponting in quick time. I am still hopeful about this team to turn into a winning team. Just watch for a few months from now and you'll see a dramatic turn around in the return Ashes!

  • gbqdgj on August 13, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    @din7 - actually I think you'll find that England won because errm...they scored more runs and have taken more wickets at the right time. Luck has played a part and as for the talk of OT sure Australia were in the driving seat as England were 30-3 and as we've seen the only other times in the series England have been 30 odd for 3 they have lost the...oh wait...nope my mistake on both other occasions it appears they won. Stop blaming luck on this. Across the series Australia have played well in parts and in a lot of sessions much better than in England but England have played better when it mattered and luck has had nothing to do with it.

  • Playfair on August 13, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    Although the batting definitely needs strengthening I think Australia will come good after this series. Khwaja lacks intensity and seems as though he feels he doesn't belong there. That number three slot has to be sorted

  • on August 13, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    It is about time these Aussies stop whining and crying - what should be and what should not be. Just accept the fact that the other team is is a better unit than yours! The Aussies have been a dominant factor in world cricket something ago. For how long do Aussis want be at the pinnacle of world cricket. The other countries are catching up- they are investing in as much in the game to improve their standard. The world is a stage and everybody is playing their part as a cricket nation, the Aussies part today, is back stage until that part changes. Then again, it was the amount of hype that was put into this series - because of the so called tradition - why the Aussis are feeling so let down.

  • anupkeni on August 13, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    An amazing fact about this Ashes series is that Australia have taken a first innings lead in 3 of the 4 test matches but are still 3-0 down after 4 test matches. England has converted first innings deficit to victory 2 out of 3 times. Australia simply haven't been able to convert first innings lead into victory even once in this series so far!

  • comptroller99 on August 13, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    If it wan't for the tendency of Australians in the past to gloat, including former teamates of the current coach, one could feel very sorry for Australia. But put simply they, as a team and many individuals within it, are not fit for purpose. Generally their bowlers have been better batsmen than their batsmen and well their batsmen........

    They seem not to have turned up, Rodgers is good but hardly a long term prospect playing his second test at the age of 35, then down to Haddin they are just not good enough and certainly not consistent, including Clark himself. Harris is of the highest calibre, Lyon not bad, but the others?

    Personally I do not support all the hyperbole surrounding the current England team, they are good but not that good, but then again given the state of the Australia side they don't have to be. One thing though in their current state they should be pleased Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are not playing tests against them. How embarrassing to lose against one of them?

  • Criketanand on August 13, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    Poor Khawaja is going to be blamed and accused of getting chances again and again. but if you look at it how many test has he had in a row. was this his third test in a row and that too with a decent score in the test in lords with a second inning 50. where as if you look at it people like Hughes who have definite technical weakness have played quite a few matches continuously failing but still with selectors faith or Steve smith knowing he is not a test class batsman but still being persiste, better off being a bowler who can bat a bit. if he gets a decent run he might or might not turn out to be a decent player but at least deserves a decent run like all the rest of the players get before dropping him off. even rohit sharma got more chances than khawaja.. if they continue dropping players with technique and getting in players with technical faults then they will in the long run get the results they deserve

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

    Darren please look at bowlers' performance as well. Apart from Ryan Harris no one bowled consistenly well. Moreover the difference between winning and losing was the runs scored by 9 & 10 in England Team. 1st Innings England were 198/8 and 9th and 10th wicket added 42.. 2nd Inninigs England were 275/8 , runs added by last two batters 55.. total runs scored in both innings by England 9 & 10 are 97, Margin of Defeat 74...one can see that inability of Australian Bowlers to clean up the tail and some very precious runs scored by English Tail..

  • on August 13, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    It is sad to see Australia lose. They started well. But the middle is missing someone who can hold things. Hussey cannot be replaced, we all know, But Watson is no Hussey, Steve Smith is pretty inconsistent. And what a blunder to not take Mitchell Starc when your top order is not great. Starc adds more depth. Bring in Faulkner for Watson, he will add more depth in batting and take wickets. If you do the same things, you will get the same results.

  • on August 13, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Pathetic-that was the overall impression one got of the performance of the Australian middle order. Do these players have any idea about playing Test cricket? Watson looks absolutely lost on a Test field. Steve Smith is not yet ready for this version of the game. Apart from the bowlers and, to an extent, Clarke and Rogers, the rest definitely do not justify their Test creams. Pajama cricket is killing Australia as a major force in world cricket and the sooner CA take cognizance of this very obvious fact, the better for them.

  • DustyBin on August 13, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    other than stats. how can we the public judge whether our future test cupboards are bare or brimming with promise? For instance in England viewers see lots of 1 day cricket on television but that's no guarantee anyone seen doing well there, is a test match player (e.g. there aren't many calls for Graham Napier to be in the test team even though he often looks fantastic during televised T20 l). Aussie fans (& not in a clutching @ straws let's-take-some-positives way) who are your next generation of test players?I couldn't answer that question with any confidence for England. & fans of other teams-how confident are you that you are producing good test players, or are we about to enter an era of poor test teams the world over?

  • Roshan_P on August 13, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    I think Steve Smith should definitely be dropped. I don't understand why there used to be so much hype over him. He's gritty, yes, but he's a poor bowler even for a part-timer, his batting is ordinary and his fielding is poor. I think they should play Faulkner or Maxwell (in the next Ashes) or even a specialist batsman, using Watson as their all-rounder. Maybe bring in Johnson (although the pace bowling is good enough without him) and Hughes in for Khawaja. Watson looks better in the lower order though he needs to work on his batting technique. He looks like one of the best players in the world when he is playing well.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 13, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    Well, the Eng were made to win , not by been good but because Aus were among the worst sides. Even then rain saved them from Aus . Imagine the Aus team of '07 playing in this Ashes to this Eng side the scroreline read 4-0 to Aus -even the rained game won by Aus few hours before rain- with most being wins by inngs. -and poss. W/Wash at oval by Eng . Even the current SA team would have won series easily by good margin. All I'm saying is 1 series win vs Aus does not mean Eng are so good . A better team and the result will be diff. . Even Pak, SL or NZ and Eng would've been a big struggle to win/draw this series after 4 test .

  • on August 13, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Lehmann, though right, is talking only about the batsmen. The bowling dept also need to be looked into. The Australia -A team seems to have a few, with potential. Can they not be flown to England, the day the the three nation -A team tournament in South Africa is over?

  • on August 13, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    The way their batsmen were getting out was unbelievable. Khwaja seems like Rohit Sharma who keeps getting chances even after his consistent failures. The lone ranger Clarke reminds me of Sachin of 90s when the whole team would rather pray for him than perform themselves. Watson keeps getting out LBW, phew!! Drooping shoulders from Nathan Lyon and other tailenders was never a sight before when Warnie and other tailenders like McGrath, Gillespie, Brett Lee used to play. they would always attack and never get bogged down. There was a time when I used to wait for the Aussies to lose because they used to win everything and it was boring. And now I have been backing them up through out the series and feeling bad for the guys. I would love to see a turn around at the Oval. Go Aussie Go!!!

  • Shane_O_Mac on August 13, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    Aus batting needs to work really hard on fighting for the wickets and not just giving it away. Watson has been very disappointing, along with Usman. Rogers and Smith looks good at times, but just needs to stay focused a bit more. Clarke as a top class batsman needed some more runs for them to actually challenge Eng. Bowlers looks good, except for the 3rd seamer, Siddle and Harris needs a good backup bowler. I think Watson should be given a rest Eng already work him out, don't see him making any runs in the last match, the selectors should have not have keep him for the 4th test.

  • on August 13, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    @Gopalakrishn: they did take 20 wickets this match! I think most people would agree (Harris and Lyon certainly would) that Australia's batting is their real weakness.

  • dmat on August 13, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Sugath. Spot on. I say, let's sort out the admin first - drop Sutherland (if he was a player, he would have gone long ago). Then build a test cricket culture from the grass roots. We need to start coaching our talented juniors to play test cricket - not the hit and giggle stuff.

  • murli786 on August 13, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    I have huge recollections of the decimation that Australia wreaked upon other teams in the 90's and until 2008. At its heights, John Buchanan was contemplating on players being ambidextrous. It would ensure that they will have bowlers to bowl on any type of wickets comfortable with both hands. Such was the mastery of the Aussies that they had no dearth of world class players or ideas. I never imagined i would see Australia capitulate in my life time. I reckon the slide began from Sydney 2008. With the Argus report dumped and no exciting finds on the horizon, i wonder if this team will go through the same rut the Windies went through.

  • Ankarvi on August 13, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    Roggers,Warner,Watson,Clarke,Bailey,Smith/Henriques,Haddin/Wade,Siddle,Harris,Lyon,Starc/Pattinson should be the squad for next outing. Faulkner/Bird/Silk/Coulternile could be the back up players in squad.

  • din7 on August 13, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    again well played aussies! i dont understand whats the fuss about had england been in aus position yesterday the same would have happened eng would have scored 20 more i guess around 250 thats it! England have won this ashes because of better players and more importantly LUCK. they won toss thrice batted first and won 3, aus won 1 toss and won that match as well (just for rain)..also eng got bulks of decisions in their favour whole of this series..so it was just left to luck...except lords test aus fought well in all tests despite losin toss..losin by 15, 60 runs isnt much difference..i didnt expect aussies will play this well! Return series is around the corner...so dont lose faith..just remember what happened in NZ..so there isn much hope for this eng side in australia....aus will certainly win return series..just wait and watch..aussie fans dont lose heart!

  • on August 13, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    I think this is the right time for tough love, serial offenders need no naming, just a good kick in the backside, or several. Guys should not be making the same basic errors repeatedly for 8-10 tests on the run. I'm looking at you, Watto and Ussie.

  • umairbond on August 13, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    Warner and Rogers, Australia's best opening partnership in a Test chase since 1995.They should be remain opener for long term policy .Michael hussey retirement is the main issue in their batting. Steven Smith, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin they got out because of themselves ,they should play normally according to pitch and days remaining.they will win easily.

  • on August 13, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    Lower order was also not good enough to chase the 299, if there was Starc or Agar or even pattinson it would be possible even the middle order collaspe. Squad: Warner/ rodgers/watson/hughes/ clarke/smith/haddin/starc/siddle/Agar/harris

  • Chris_Howard on August 13, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    So, what happened to Boof, the guy who would make it all fun, have a few beers?

    Seems to have been replaced by Darren, the boss.

    Lehmann's great value was meant to be that he'd make the players more relaxed and therefore able to perform better.

    Confirming that they're playing for their careers isn't exactly going to make the players relax.

    I did think it was delusional thinking and that as soon as there were a few losses we'd see Boof become Darren, and really no different anymore to his predecessor.

  • landl47 on August 13, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    Great for Boof to say, but who does he have in mind to take the place of those who aren't playing that well? PLEASE don't start throwing names around like Shaun Marsh, Doolan, Ferguson- these are very ordinary Shield players, nowhere near the standard even of those currently in the test side. Maddinson is a prospect, maybe Burns... Maxwell's a short-format player, Henriques doesn't look quite good enough with either bat or ball.

    Rogers has been great, but he's 35. Harris has been great, but he's almost 34. The fact that these two and Clarke (32 and with a bad back) have been the stand-outs doesn't augur well for Australia's future.

  • CricketChat on August 13, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Watson, Steve Smith and Haddin should be done by the end of this series. Even if they score face saving 40-50s, it is not enough. Khawaja is still a batsman in the making, far from a certainty for tests. Even if it means more losses for the near term, Aus selectors must bring in new prospects. The results again proved beyond doubt that at this level, coaches only have a minor role to play.

  • HughL on August 13, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Assuming the bowlers stay fit there's little wrong with the pace attack- and a fair few of them are handy with a bat too. Lyon has done enough to suggest he's a competent spinner- just not Warne or McGill. England did well enough with Ashley Giles for a time. Wade seems worth a shot to replace Haddin, so life's not all bad.

    But the batting......yet even here, Clarke is class, Warner has promise and Rogers is gritty. Watson is wortha place but as an all-rounder- not up top. So two more decent batsmen and Oz will be competitive again- or should that be more competitive as they have threatened England at times.Its just where to find those two because Khawaja, Smith and Hughes don't look to be it

  • on August 13, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    Aussies are definetely missing Mike Hussey in the middle. There is no one in this current lot who can stand up to a crisis movement eventhough individually they are brilliant players. Tough days ahead!

  • on August 13, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    My playing XI is as follows -

    Roggers, Katich, Cowan, Clark, Warner, Watson, Henriques, Haddin, Siddle, Harris, Lyon

  • CricketMaan on August 13, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Aussies with such a wonderful record and histroy have stunned one and all with thier lack of back up! If at all there was a system that produced great batsmen, bowlers it was Aussies in the last 1.5 decade! But that honour now rests totally with England. Boy what a back up they've got. SA could/would struggle if Dale, Smith, Kallis walk away from Tests, they too seems like struggling for good back up. I see around other teams and India with 1.2 billion and millions playing cricket seems to have back up batsmen on paper though! Thier back up in bowling is as appaling as thier seniors! In Lanka wonder what will happen with Mahela, Sanga and Dilshan hang thier boots! Pak seems to have lost art of batting in Tests though thier bowling pipeline is good for next 100 years! Nothing much to write about Kiwis, Windies

  • aracer on August 13, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Now there's a man who knows how to take the pressure off his players...

  • on August 13, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Usman and Watson to go. Hughes and Faulkner to play.

  • coldcoffee123 on August 13, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Australia must realize that this is the best they have got. And to be honest they played pretty well. The score line could have been 3-1 in their favor. Aus need to stop throwing in the "careers on line" spanner everytime they lose a Test. This team of 20 players in my opinion is the right team. Although I am a bit shocked that Cummins and Johnson are not part of the squad. Except Khawaja, every other player deserves to play through all 10 Tests. I would replace Khawaja with someone like another Rogers if Aus can find one. It has all that it takes to be a winning team, at least on paper. I will be keenly watching the score line after all 10 Ashes Tests are over. My prediction is 4-4 with two draws.

  • bjg62 on August 13, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Good news. I don't have a problem with non-performing batsmen being dropped. That's the way it should be. Don't forget there is a very long list of Australians who've been dropped for poor form, fought there way back through volume of runs, and returned as exceptional players... I'll start with Hayden, Langer, Martyn, both Waughs and the list goes on. These guys all improved their techniques to the extent they became masters of the game. With dedication, I can't see why this can't continue, given time...be patient...

  • Sathyasing on August 13, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Looking at the body language of aussies, found the gutsiness is missing and warner is exception.something is fundamentally wrong.i dont understand why the no.3 position is given to a new guy who is yet to prove.guess selection has screwed up this series.

  • Modillo on August 13, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Even if Australia had the 5 best bowlers of the world they can't win a testmatch. Just to many poor batters like Khawaja, Smith and also out of form Watson and Haddin. Also very unlucky with a lot of (inconsistent) umpire decisions.

  • pragmatist on August 13, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Australia is currently a poor side, no doubt about that. England is a very good side that played below its potential. So the series was closer than it should have been. But Australia's problems start with Shane Watson. The time has come to abandon him in Tests and build a new Test side. Warner has serious talent and should be the one maverick that the Australians accommodate. I don't think Hughes or Khawaja are ever going to be good enough. Lyon, Rogers and Haddin are fine but really placeholders until some talented young players come along. Test cricket needs a strong Australia and noone who loves the game should take any pleasure in the Aussies struggling so badly.

  • thelapal on August 13, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Imagine what would be situation if the Rogers first innings decision was reversed and given out by the DRS review for the LBW instead of caught behind ..he made that decision count and went on to make big hundred. Rogers played exceptionally well even in the second innings with the kind of confidence he gained with the century making his bat do all the talking is very conventional to cricket australia.Australia should not make any further changes just play with the same squad and let the next test decide their careers.The team is completely forgetting the concept of winning a test match due to the frequent changes in the squad.

  • DylanBrah on August 13, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Every man and his dog on this website wanted Usman picked based on one innings during the Sheffield Shield (in Tasmania) - and I said one good innings in 12 months isn't enough to be Australia's no.3 batsmen. It's not rocket science - but I was right. I also said Starc shouldn't have been dropped for Bird. I was right there too. Somehow Hughes was dropped, but Watson wasn't. Lyon was dropped for Agar. A lot of questionable selections this series. We also must not shy away from the fact that Michael Clarke has been poor in 3/4 matches this series. He needs to lead from the front on a struggling team.

  • Test_Cricket_Lover_India on August 13, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    Australia should find out players who have strong character. The batting capitulation (and it was not 1st time and won't be last time) reveals that problem is with mental aspect and efforts to apply your skills in the given situation to win the moment.

    Most of Australian batsmen look like completing the formality to visit the field and come back to comfort of pavilion.

    Australia has to go back to days when the system promoted players based on merit and not on potential. I don't understand why Australian cricket is bearing Shane Watson in test match team. There is no logic. He is an ordinary batsman who can bowl a bit. Thats it.

  • on August 13, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    If players are to be blamed what about management. Take Phil Hughes's career. Started of great with 3 hundreds in SA. Then he was dropped a couple of games later bcoz he couldn't play bouncers (one of his dismisals was actually a tough decision). They told him to go back and completely ruined his technique. Everytime he has come back he has looked worse than before purely bcoz he was over coached and lost his natural game that made him so succesful in the first place. To add to this in the last 5 innings he was moved horribly all around the place and expected to perform. They are now commiting the same mistakes with Khawaja; dropping every few games or moving him all over the place. These guys deserve a fair go bcoz unlike what everyone wants to think, they are the BEST IN AUS, and have proven it domestically. Here is where I like Dhoni's style of captaincy. He picks the best performing domestic players, puts them in a position and backs them. Look how far they have come from 2011.

  • on August 13, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    Its really sad to see the Australians play the way they are playing now. Watson is in some mental block and he should come out of it by taking a break and go back to the basics. He has still long way to go in this side. Even Clarke is not performing to his level. Really impressed with Rogers and Warner in the second innings and number 3 has been a huge problem since Ponting retired. They should try Henriques, he is a decent player atleast better than Khawaja and North. Bowling they should bring Cummins and Pattinson should be groomed as a front line bowler.

  • on August 13, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    Such a sorry state of Australian Cricket.... Warner after all his bad shows made just one fifty+ score - however fantastic it was - and the coach goes on to say it guarantees him one year of opportunities...!!! not just next match or series..It's ONE YEAR!!!!...so sad.!!!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 13, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    It's all very well pointing fingers at individual players, but in my opinion the management and selectors are just as much to blame. Players have been tossed around the batting order more than borrowed equipment - look at Hughes for example, and why Clarke just doesn't close his ears to detractors clamouring on about him 'hiding too much' and stay down at 5 where he is prolific is baffling. Bringing in the likes of Rogers to stabilise the line-up and add vital experience at the top of the order was a no-brainer. A-squads/games are the place to blood and develop young test cricketers, not intense Ashes series against a fired-up full-strength England team! Bowlers have done well, but are there really no other experienced and patient batsmen left in Australia? "Blokes are missing straight ones. That doesn't help!" Lehmann says; well neither do statements like that. Pretty certain he got bowled several times during his career, in less intense/stressful situations as well.

  • HawK89 on August 13, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    Australia will never be a top test team with the way their board and selectors are going. They are doing what West Indies did. You can sit back and wait for a wonder player to show up. They need to host more 4day games at domestic level and pick the players who work hard in that format.

  • countjimmoriarty on August 13, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    @Sugath - ludicrous to call Lehmann's position into question. The mistake Cricket Australia made was appointing Mickey Arthur ahead of him in the first place. Boof needs time to sort out the mess he inherited. I think that Aus would have run us much closer if Boof had been there since the last Ashes down there in 2011.

  • CULTnishant on August 13, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Lehmann can do good but first of all we have to bring some experience in middle order with the likes of bailey,Shaun Marsh. I still pick Hughes ahead of Khawaja and smith is capable after getting some experience he will perform well , Lehmann must have boost him as a genuine leg spin all rounder,Watson must be axed so that he can overcome with his injuries and do good in ODI n t20's Warner is improved Sehwag for me coz he got good footwork, Conclusion:Right Combination and Pick n stick strategy ll be good for aussies future Halaaaaaaaaaa Aussies \m/

  • Mervo on August 13, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    How many years is Steve Smith to be persevered with? He has no technique in this form of the game. Let him go please and Hughes is the same. They can make a living in T20 not the premier from of the game. They just never, or can't learn. Can we have some older and some younger players? Adam Voges, Brad Hodge, Nic Maddinson and Joe Lyons. Guys who have a batting technique and who have had first class coaching that respects technique.

  • shady69 on August 13, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Tough times for aussies & their fans..i think this can happen with any team firstly india lost 8/8 tests now aus 7/8..this are testing times for clarke & co. They just have to keep their basics right.

  • on August 13, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    easier said than done. the nxt few teams aussies r playing are all pretty good teams. It is bowling they need to hv a look at- after all u need to take 20 wickets to win!

  • Sugath on August 13, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Should it be the careers of the players or that of the coach? Clearly even the Aussie administration are at fault. Mid ship, while the tour was in progress, the coach changed and there was lots of acrimony that surfaced, which did effect player morale. That shows bad planning by the Cricket Australia. On top of that there was Warner incident and the press was not managed properly. It is not just only the players who are to be blamed for this debacle. Poor match planning, lack of clear match SWOT, no strategic ploys and no encouragement to those who did well has al resulted in this situation. It is all about goals top down and plans bottom up neither of which seem to have happened. The coach is also saying too much, and i think that is no way to settle the players minds.

  • on August 13, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    So far, the story of the Ashes has been one of a very good side playing some distance below their capacity but bailed out at key moments by telling individual performances and a much poorer side making a reasonable fist of things and occasionally rising above their station. The fact that England are 3-0 ahead is not down to luck - they are the much superior side even though overall they are struggling for form. Lehmann's problem is that this group of Aissues are just not as good, as experienced, or as determined to win as the opposition. Those are very difficult things to change.

  • Striker_Rakesh on August 13, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    Well that is the difference between Gary Kirsten and others...

  • on August 13, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    australia should play next series with this squad:

    rogers warner hughes/ burns clarke smith haddin henriques starc pattison/siddle harris lyon

    backup : agar faulkner silk wade madisson finch bird coulternile

  • on August 13, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    australia should play next series with this squad:

    rogers warner hughes/ burns clarke smith haddin henriques starc pattison/siddle harris lyon

    backup : agar faulkner silk wade madisson finch bird coulternile

  • Striker_Rakesh on August 13, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    Well that is the difference between Gary Kirsten and others...

  • on August 13, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    So far, the story of the Ashes has been one of a very good side playing some distance below their capacity but bailed out at key moments by telling individual performances and a much poorer side making a reasonable fist of things and occasionally rising above their station. The fact that England are 3-0 ahead is not down to luck - they are the much superior side even though overall they are struggling for form. Lehmann's problem is that this group of Aissues are just not as good, as experienced, or as determined to win as the opposition. Those are very difficult things to change.

  • Sugath on August 13, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Should it be the careers of the players or that of the coach? Clearly even the Aussie administration are at fault. Mid ship, while the tour was in progress, the coach changed and there was lots of acrimony that surfaced, which did effect player morale. That shows bad planning by the Cricket Australia. On top of that there was Warner incident and the press was not managed properly. It is not just only the players who are to be blamed for this debacle. Poor match planning, lack of clear match SWOT, no strategic ploys and no encouragement to those who did well has al resulted in this situation. It is all about goals top down and plans bottom up neither of which seem to have happened. The coach is also saying too much, and i think that is no way to settle the players minds.

  • on August 13, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    easier said than done. the nxt few teams aussies r playing are all pretty good teams. It is bowling they need to hv a look at- after all u need to take 20 wickets to win!

  • shady69 on August 13, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    Tough times for aussies & their fans..i think this can happen with any team firstly india lost 8/8 tests now aus 7/8..this are testing times for clarke & co. They just have to keep their basics right.

  • Mervo on August 13, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    How many years is Steve Smith to be persevered with? He has no technique in this form of the game. Let him go please and Hughes is the same. They can make a living in T20 not the premier from of the game. They just never, or can't learn. Can we have some older and some younger players? Adam Voges, Brad Hodge, Nic Maddinson and Joe Lyons. Guys who have a batting technique and who have had first class coaching that respects technique.

  • CULTnishant on August 13, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Lehmann can do good but first of all we have to bring some experience in middle order with the likes of bailey,Shaun Marsh. I still pick Hughes ahead of Khawaja and smith is capable after getting some experience he will perform well , Lehmann must have boost him as a genuine leg spin all rounder,Watson must be axed so that he can overcome with his injuries and do good in ODI n t20's Warner is improved Sehwag for me coz he got good footwork, Conclusion:Right Combination and Pick n stick strategy ll be good for aussies future Halaaaaaaaaaa Aussies \m/

  • countjimmoriarty on August 13, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    @Sugath - ludicrous to call Lehmann's position into question. The mistake Cricket Australia made was appointing Mickey Arthur ahead of him in the first place. Boof needs time to sort out the mess he inherited. I think that Aus would have run us much closer if Boof had been there since the last Ashes down there in 2011.

  • HawK89 on August 13, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    Australia will never be a top test team with the way their board and selectors are going. They are doing what West Indies did. You can sit back and wait for a wonder player to show up. They need to host more 4day games at domestic level and pick the players who work hard in that format.