Sports Section

Ashes Loss – What does this mean for Australia?
 
The impregnable Australian fortress has been breached! The world champions of test and one day cricket are now smarting under the losses inflicted on them by the Poms, the name which the Australians have coined for the Englishmen. This is the second successive series loss to the English in their soil. However, this is also the third series loss to a prominent cricketing team in the last few months and has some serious repercussions as far as the Aussies are concerned.

The last time Australia lost the Ashes the test career of greats like Damien Martyn went for a spin and newer players like Stuart Clark were unearthed. The question remains that who would be the sacrificial lamb this time around. They have lost Andrew Symmonds to their team ethics and rules. They would be playing against Pakistan and West Indies at their own backyard and even perhaps would avenge this year’s loss at their home turf against the English. One thing, however, is certain – the result would not be a repeat of the 5-0 predicament England suffered last time around in 2006-07 in Australia.

A very worrying aspect of this defeat has been the overall quality of the England team. For most of the series there was no Pietersen, arguably the best England batsman and Flintoff had not been at his fittest best. Class players like Vaughan and Trescothick have retired. The bowling was propped up by Broad and Onions who supported the magnificent Anderson. This attack does not compare favorably with the 2005 quartet of Flintoff, Hoggard, Jones and Harmison who had been a forlorn figure till the last day of the series. Swann though performed better than what Giles did in the 2005 edition.

Then does this mean that Aussies would not win the urn back? They can – with a better team and better planning. I think the ideal attack would be Hilfenhaus, Lee and Clark. They should consider Tait, Siddle and Johnson as well if any of the above is not fit. They do not have a good spinner so the pitches in 2010-11 Ashes in Australia should help the pace bowlers. It is also advisable that batsmen like Hodge and Symmonds who have performed against England should be brought back. Phil Hughes is a good opener and should be persisted with. The openers should be specialists as well.

Australia can win it back. The thing is that they have got to find the right players and stick to them.

Contributed by:

Samudranil Mukherjee

Samudranil Mukherjee