After their debacle in India hardly a couple of weeks ago, the Team Australia probably already figured what has been missing in them. The following have been the real issues for Australia.
- Their experienced batsmen like Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting did not fire at the top of the order
- The bowling department lacked versatality with no quality spinners around. Stuart Clark, who is almost in the McGrawth pedigree, was injured
- The mood swings of extremely talented all rounders like Andrew Symonds is costing the team a lot and the team composition and morale suddenly changed
Australia is searching for and in need of a new combination
There is no doubt that Shane Warne or Glen McGrawth cannot be easily replaced. However, what they could do is to get the team composition right and build the team around that principle. At the same time too much of experiments can cost them a lot as well. For example, there is no explanation why Shane Watson and Shaun Marsh need to wait forever to have a fixed slot for themselves. With Matthew Hayden hopelessly out of form and getting no younger, can’t they fix the opening slot first?
The spinner slot seems to be the biggest issue for Australia at the moment. The experimentation is continuing here with even mediocre spinners getting recall – Nathan Hauritz being the latest, who is back to the squad after a break of seven years or so. I really can’t see a quality spinner coming out of the current probables – once Warne and McGill were gone, it was a big void there!
Brett Lee, who has been fighting some personal issues, is still not anywhere near his best. Fortunately, Mitchel Johnson and Stuart Clark are doing a decent job to cover that up. But outside Australia all of them may suffer.
What is going good?
One good thing that has happened to Australia, of late, is the comeback (again) boy Simon Katich‘s form. When you are in and out of the team (think of VVS) it’s very hard to come back motivated but Katich is an altogether new person now who is matured and who really want the baggy green cap. Hope Cricket Australia appreciates his effort at least now. Another good thing is the Captain-next, Michael Clarke‘s form as well as energy levels. I guess, he may get into Ponting’s shoes earlier than we all thought.
Good luck to Australia’s future plans! A few things are getting better with the ongoing home test series against New Zealand. One needs to wait and watch whether the same will be the case against quality test sides.