Write an Article Live Scores App

The Ashes 2013: Australia - A case of muddled thinking


Michael Clarke (2ndR) of Australia looks dejected with team mates Steve Smith, Shane Watson and Phil Hughes during the presentation on day five of the 5th Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at the Kia Oval on August 25, 2013 in London, England.  (Getty Images)

Down and out: Michael Clarke (2ndR) looks dejected with teammates Steve Smith, Shane Watson and Phil Hughes during presentation after the 5th Ashes Test at the Oval on August 25, 2013 in London, England. (Getty Images)

“This is the worst side to leave the Australian shores for an Ashes series.”

Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last time, the English media seemed dismissive of the touring Australian side even before the series had begun.

Before Michael Clarke‘s men, few other Australian Ashes teams have also been subjected to this ignominious distinction.

Bob Simpson in 1964, Ian Chappell in 1972 and Allan Border in 1989 have previously led young sides into an Ashes series, which were touted to face heavy defeats but each of those teams punched above their weight to shock their opponents.

While the unfancied Australian team in ’64 played with a lot of grit and courage to force four draws and eke out one win, in ’72 Chappell and his inexperienced side competed with flair and valour against a strong English side in an exciting series, which ended in a 2-2 verdict. Border’s men went one step further and caused a major Ashes upset to register a thumping 4-0 win.

The current squad, though, couldn’t conjure up any such magic and, as had been widely predicted, came second best in the series. They showed major improvement, especially in the last three Tests, and were lauded for their whole-hearted and enterprising cricket, but despite all their efforts they ended with a 0-3 verdict against them. Their inexperience also came to the fore as despite running England close on several occasions, they lost the battle at decisive junctures.

So what does the autopsy report say?

On the scale of talent, the Australian batting unit is definitely below England; a major factor that significantly hampered the campaign was the constant chopping and changing they carried out. On several occasions, their thought process looked muddled and certain selections were made with a hope that things will work out.

In fact, in no two consecutive Tests did Australia employ the same set of batsmen in the same order and ended up using as many as 17 different players in the series. The story was no different in the recent whitewash against India, where 16 different men were tried out in the four match series.

Often successful teams are built around players who play together for a long period of time and forge a sense of trust among themselves. Such inconsistency in selection was bound to breed instability and affect the team adversely.

On the other hand, the victorious English side stuck to the same set of six batsmen for four Tests and, at least officially, Johnny Bairstow was dropped in the fifth Test only to accommodate a third seaming option.

Ed Cowan, who did relatively well as an opener in India, was forced down to the number three slot and was dropped after facing failure in just one Test. Phillip Hughes scored a half century against all odds at number six in the first Test but was pushed up to number four in the line-up for the second Test before being dropped from the playing XI.

Page 1 of 2 Next

India's spinners strangle West Indies before 2nd T20I becomes victim to 'technical issues' The biggest talking points from the 2nd T20I between India and West Indies, which was abandoned.
Captains Carlos Brathwaite and MS Dhoni in disagreement over state of outfield India and West Indies captains have different views on whether further play should have been allowed on Sunday
India vs West Indies 2016, 2nd T20I Stats: Jasprit Bumrah breaks T20I world record Interesting numbers from the second T20I between India and West Indies.
Who Said What: World reacts as India lose T20I series 1-0 to West Indies Reactions from the cricket fraternity as the second T20I is abandoned.
India vs West Indies 2016, 2nd T20I: Player Ratings A look at who did what in the second T20I at Lauderhill, Florida.
India vs West Indies, 1st T20I, Live score and commentary ...
India vs West Indies: 2nd T20I - Twitter Reactions The second T20I between India and West Indies called off due to rain, West Indies win the series 1-0
Who Said What: World reacts as West Indies beat India by 1 run in first T20I Reactions from the cricket fraternity as West Indies take a 1-0 lead in the two-match T20I series.
5 of the worst looking cricket jerseys Some of them in the list are crazy ones, how could players wear them?
5 of the most heartbreaking losses for the Indian Cricket Team There has been no shortage of heartbreaks when it comes to the Indian Cricket team, here are five which hurt us the most.
India vs West Indies 2016, 1st T20I Stats: MS Dhoni breaks captaincy world record in a record-breaking encounter Interesting numbers from the first T20I between India and West Indies in USA.
BCCI waives off annual franchisee fees for Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals The BCCI were not interested in getting tangled in another legal battle with the Lodha panel recommendations remaining a big headache.
Graeme Smith and Dale Steyn mock Steve Smith for pulling out of Sri Lanka tour South African greats team up to take on Australia's captain
5 Talking Points from 1st T20I between India and West Indies in the USA The most talked about issues from the match
List of fastest centuries in T20Is Scoring a hundred in the shortest format isn't easy but KL Rahul joined elite company with his maiden T20I hundred against West Indies.
Pakistani fans mock Virat Kohli on Twitter as India lose No.1 Test ranking Pakistan climbed to the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first time ever.
India vs West Indies T20 combined XI Eleven of the best players from both the sides ahead of the T20 series.
India vs West Indies 2016, 1st T20I: Player Ratings A look at who did what in the opening encounter at Lauderhill.
3 attackers of the Sri Lankan cricket team in the 2009 attack killed in Lahore The attack on the Sri Lankan team took place on March 4, 2009.
Matthew Hayden blasts Australia's cricket system and calls for player power Former opener 'disappointed' with lack of passion from the current lot.
Fetching more content...
Related articles