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Australia in Asia – Did Anyone Expect Anything Different?

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Last Updated on 7 years by Charbel Coorey

Steve Smith gives yet another honest assessment of Australia’s performances.

Another Asian assignment for this Australian team, and another disappointing result.

When the Ashes come around, Australia’s problems overseas would be put to the side. With Australia favourites, the media and Australian public might start to believe once again that this team is going places.

However, the last two months have again confirmed this Australia side is incapable of dominating world cricket.

Below are some key points from Australia in Asia in 2017.

Continuous collapses product of being brought up on the flattest Australian pitches in memory.

Remember when the SCG was known for being a spinners’ paradise on the final two days of a Test Match? Or when Perth was easily considered the fastest and bounciest pitch in the world? 
Australia lost 8-86 to lose to Bangladesh in August

Everywhere you’d go in Australia, you’d face different conditions, which would give our batsmen a taste of what it takes to be a complete batsman. Techniques and patience would be tested. After all, scoring all over the world in different conditions is vital when discussing the best batsmen in the world, so why have Australia disregarded this? 

Is pleasing our sponsors so important that a Test Match must go five days, at the expense of being the best cricket team in the world? At the expense of producing great batsmen? At the expense of witnessing far less of these collapses? Test Cricket in the last few years in Australia has been awful to watch, and our results overseas have been product of that.
Travis Head was bowled for 42 at a SR of 71

Just remember, these collapses aren’t just limited to India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the UAE. Hobart, Trent Bridge and Johannesburg are just three of the many instances in the last six years of Australia being subject to embarrassing collapses. On pitches that seam or spin, playing Australia means you are always in the game. Regularly, one brings two, and two brings three, and so on. What a far cry from the great Australian teams.

Get back to teaching our kids and players coming through the tanks to playing the ball late. It’s absolutely fine to give a youngster the freedom to play his way, but if it’s at the expense of technique, Australia will continuously falter.

Pushing with hard hands is a big issue. It doesn’t matter if you do it in Australia because the pitches are so flat you get away with it. It’s about time our pitches properly challenge batsmen again, and is taken seriously by players and coaches all over the country.

Yes, cricket has changed significantly with T20 but the importance of solid technique hasn’t. You need to have it to win all over the world. If the pitches return to how they used to be in Australia, we’ll really know who’s really ready for the International step up, and these players won’t be in for a shock.

Poor record in Asia continues

Australia’s Test Tour of India earlier this year gave us all great hope. The team showed great fight in difficult conditions, but fell short and have gone backwards since, tripping up in Bangladesh and getting hammered 4-1 here.
For all the praise Australia received after the India Tests, our record across Tests and ODIs in Asia this year stands at 3 wins, 1 draw and 7 losses. Hardly makes for great reading.

Middle order a concern

Glenn Maxwell exposes his stumps in Dhaka

Glenn Maxwell seemed to have turned a corner with a mature Test hundred in India this year. However, he’s struggled ever since. Can the selectors trust him to contribute to an Ashes triumph? Time will tell – he should get the nod for the no. 6 slot at the Gabba.

As an Englishman, would I like to see Glenn Maxwell walking in at 4/150 or worse? The answer is yes. It’s up to Glenn as to whether or not that changes.

Travis Head had a tough time of things this series at times, but should be better for the experience. So should Stoinis and Handscomb. Matt Wade would be under most pressure to retain his place. Replacing Neville with Wade has not worked, and it might be time that Neville gets back to the Test side, ideally at no.6, pushing Maxwell to 7.

Steve Smith needs a bit of a mental break

Australia’s champion batsman has hit a bit of a block. Attempting a sweep shot against the low arm off-spin of Kedar Yadhav is maybe a sign that everything that’s happened in the last six months is maybe getting to Smith a little. Also, knowing a collapse is coming if you get out is not easy. Mind not quite on each delivery?

His last 10 international innings have yielded 347 runs at 34.70. Australia need to manage Smith well before the Ashes.

Australia bowlers a positive

Amid all the doom and gloom, one thing is for certain, Australia’s bowling is in good shape. England’s batsmen need to be ready for a world class Australian attack. Patrick Cummins has been superb in unforgiving conditions in Bangladesh and India. Nathan Lyon finally mastered Asian conditions and he’ll play a big role on the bouncier Australian tracks, where he enjoys bowling. Starc and Hazlewood will be back. Nathan Coulter-Nile bowled very well this series, showing good pace and swing.

If Australia can get the batting side of things right, there are some great times ahead. However, a lot needs to be done and there is a very long way to go, and it starts with what we do at home that will shape our away fortunes.

What’s to come:

Australia have 3 T20I’s before their Asian assignment is over. Even a series win can’t help mask the obvious frailties in this team.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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