Australian Batting Needs An Overhaul

by admin on December 15, 2011

Since the retirements of their cricketing greats in the period between 2007 and 2009, every step forward that Australian cricket has taken is followed by a couple backwards. This was a year no different and the last three months have left most Australian cricket fans exasperated and with little or no hair left on their heads.

Ricky Ponting gave up on the captaincy of the national side at the end of the World Cup this April. Since then, the newly appointed Michael Clarke led them to a series win in Sri Lanka and a drawn result in South Africa. A home win over New Zealand – who had gone winless in Australia for 26 years – beckoned and was almost a foregone conclusion.

Instead, Australia brought out their poorest couple of batting performances in the same game, at Hobart to surrender the game and had to be content with another drawn series. Against a side with such a poor record in Australia, it was a blasphemous result.

Earlier on that South Africa tour, there were vestiges of batting issues rearing their ugly heads up when they lost at Cape Town. After leading by 188 in the first innings, Australia’s ageing batting line-up capitulated to 47 all out to dole the game away on a platter to the home team.

A narrow, second Test match win offered some balm to the Australian fans licking their wounds after that horrendous display in the first game, but history repeated itself against the Kiwis.

They led 1-0, and having bowled New Zealand out for 150, looked set to roll their opposition over in the second game as well. But then, Australia fell away for 136 on the track that admittedly had enough grass to allow the Wimbledon authorities to set up an exhibition game on the pitch. The second time around, chasing 240 for a win, Australia reached 159/2 before the domino-effect was effected by the wicket of Ponting. Despite Dave Warner’s unbeaten 123, Australia fell seven runs short.

Not surprising then that calls for the selectors to take some tough decisions have become louder in recent times. Ponting hasn’t scored a century in more than two years, Hussey has struggled since the tour of Sri Lanka, Brad Haddin has shown that when under pressure he unleashes some of the most horrendous strokes while injuries have had their say in the non-selection of Watson and Marsh.

What Australia needs is an overhaul and it couldn’t come at a better time than before the start of the India series.

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