As the Ashes heats up it is interesting to note the differences between the two teams. In the recent edition of our podcast ‘One Hand One Bounce’ the boys noted that other than Mike Hussey, none of the Australian players would make it into the English side on current form. What this, of course, says is that England are a very strong team at the moment, whilst on the other hand the Aussies are in serious trouble.
One way that this becomes apparent is by glancing at the ‘substitutes’ ready to enter the Australian side. Much has been written and said about Australia’s use of nine different spin bowlers since Shane Warne’s retirement, and the same could certainly be said of the fast bowling stocks. Another part of this issue, which has also been discussed in length, is the relative lack of change in the batting line-up, even though Australia have been so un-successful of late. With Simon Katich exiting the series through injury it is interesting to look at possible replacements and see whether they could make a difference to the series.
What really got me thinking about this issue was a
It is extraordinary to look upon the current series then, and to see how different the situation is. In place of Katich, and the soon-to-be dead duck Marcus North, the selectors are focusing on players that have promise, but certainly are not peak domestic players slamming down the door. Whilst the likes of Brad Hodge, David Hussey and Phil Jacques continue to pile on the runs on the local scene, the selectors focus their gaze on the out-of-form and technically flawed Phil Hughes, the still very raw Usman Khawaja, and a man who averages in the mid 30’s for his state, Calum Ferguson. Unlike the Australian team of not too long past, these players, if selected, will come in not as natural champions, but as players looking to prove their worth.
What is certain is that the natural feeling of confidence that engulfed the Australian team during Hayden and Langer’s tenure is long gone. Both men spoke candidly about how they conquered some of the most trying conditions through mental aptitude. It may well be time for the selectors to look to the young talent to take Australia forward. However, they must also realise that by doing this they need to give these players time to develop their own feeling of confidence, and until then it is unlikely that Australia will be anything more than an average team living in the shadow of the mighty teams of yesteryear.
More World Cricket Watch Stories
Liked this post? You should subscribe to our email updates - why subscribe.