Australian cricket has hit rock bottom in recent times. First the 4-0 drubbing in India, and now losing the Ashes to England in England.
The current Australian team lacks the killer instinct which the previous teams of Australia had. It seems they are lost and have become very unfamiliar to the winning mantra.
They are certainly going the Windies’ way. After the retirements of the greats, the transition phase has taken a toll on Australian cricket. Once hailed for their never-say-die attitude, the Australian team now seems helpless, lacking match-winners in its ranks.
Reasons are many – team politics, unstable selection committee and an undisciplined dressing room. A lot of furore had been created on Michael Clarke being the selector, and rightly so, how can a skipper be a part of the selection committee? Yes, he can have a say over selection affairs, but as a skipper he can request for his desired bunch of players, nothing more than that.
Australia have tried out many openers in the recent past but in vain. The shuffle happened not necessarily because of the players lacking talent, but because the skipper didn’t show enough confidence in them.
David Warner has been moving up and down the batting order, and the same goes with Watson’s position in the line-up. Phil Hughes has shown his mettle in Australian domestic cricket, but has been off colour for his national side, only because of the constant shuffle of his batting position.
The batsmen have somewhat gone into the shell. They are playing with the pressure of being dropped in the very next game. Steve Waugh has recently said that the top 6 should be persisted with and rightly so. The batsmen have to be given immense confidence if Australia are focusing on long term plans.
And then there have been other issues too. The David Warner saga or the feud between Watson and Clarke. Ex-coach Mickey Arthur revealed some details which threw light on the current dressing room situation.
It all sums up to be a very unstable cricketing structure where a coach is sacked just a fortnight before the high profile Ashes series. Michael Clarke is their best batsman around, but he has had his own monopoly over various things.
Simon Katich had some cricket left in him, but he was shown the door. Australian cricket is facing the wrath of the decisions that Clarke has taken over the recent past. He is not the right man to lead Australia and doesn’t deserve to carry forward the legacy of Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting.
It’s not the end of road for Australia. A stable team with players being assured of a place for a reasonable duration, can really rise from the ashes. This kind of assurance will extract the best out of Australian players.
India had the same problem of transition in the recent past, but they have overcome this in the best possible way. Credit must be given to MS Dhoni for showing confidence in his young side. An off colour Jadeja, who at one time seemed to be the worst player playing international cricket, has become the number 1 bowler in ODIs. The key in this rebuilding process is confidence, assurance and making a player realize that he has the mettle to perform.
Proper selection policies, a skipper who can lead by example and the hunger for success will take the Australian cricket back on track and make them regain that killer instinct which they proudly possessed in the last decade.