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Hard road ahead for Australia

The world champions need an overhaul to reclaim their standing in international cricket

Hard road ahead for Australia

Australia’s tour of England this summer brought more miseries for them. Their bowling was exposed as England posted the highest ODI total of 481. Their fielding was sloppy and so was their batting in the middle overs, especially against spin. The only game in which they showed some fight was the 5th ODI when England chased a small total of 205 by just one wicket thanks to Jos Buttler’s century.

In all other games, they were battered and bruised as they faced a whitewash for the first time against England in one-dayers. This humiliation was pretty much on the cards as the Aussies were without Steve Smith and David Warner. Their whole system was shaken after the ball-tampering scandal during Newland Test against South Africa. Their three frontline pace bowlers, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins, got injuries. As a result, they were clueless and toothless against the ruthless England batsmen in Buttler, Bairstow, Hales and Morgan.

Despite winning the toss six times, they could not change their fortunes as their skipper Tim Paine was clueless with his captaincy as well as with the bat. He managed just 36 runs in five innings despite coming at different positions.

They suffered their heaviest defeat in the 3rd one-day as England players scored hundreds. With the World Cup only a year away, an overhaul is a must for Australia.  Their coach Justin Langer stated that things won’t get tougher than this and that he expects the players to develop their character.

They have to learn to live without their star players. The main problem has been their ability to play spin. They go for big shots only. When there are dot balls, they get baffled and get out. It is important to mention here that their fortunes have plummeted after winning the World Cup in 2015.

This year they have lost nine one-dayers and recorded just a single victory.

Now a tri-series in Zimbabwe awaits them in which they have to face a much-balanced Pakistan T20 side.

They have a hard journey ahead of them. They will face Pakistan in the UAE where they will be tested by the leg spin variations of Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan.

India will also show no mercy when they come across in their home summer.

They have a big task of redeeming their squad in all three formats, especially Tests. There has been a campaign for Tim Paine to leave captaincy in one-dayers, but he should be given some more opportunities.

For the first time ever since 1984, they have slumped to the 6th spot in one-day rankings. But their coach Justin Langer believes that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that the recent defeats will make them tough. The tour of Australia A to India will have a huge impact on the selection of their Test squad for the series against Pakistan.

 

intikhab3@gmail.com

Syed Intikhab Ali

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