Other teams must emulate Australia

Jan 06, 2014, 12:38 IST | MiDDAY Correspondent

Australia has done it again in the Ashes. Yesterday’s 5-0 triumph over traditional rivals England is not the first such whitewash by the men from Down Under, but this is the second time in seven years that Australia has claimed the Ashes by beating England with such a margin (2006-07) after losing the previous one (in 2005).

The reason for Australia’s latest triumph is probably doing things the good old-fashioned way even while embracing modern methods needed to beat the best.

Sure, coaches do not score runs and take wickets, but having former Test batsman Darren Lehmann as coach after Cricket Australia sacked South African Mickey Arthur, has helped Michael Clarke’s team considerably.

Lehmann endured an Ashes loss in England earlier in the year, but he went about picking up the pieces without asking members of the team to write down their goals on pieces of paper. Nor did he indulge in mumbo-jumbo. The South Australian’s coaching methods were practical and the players, no matter how different they were in personality, responded in commendable fashion.

The 0-4 shellacking suffered at the hands of India in early 2013 shouldn’t be forgotten.

At the heart of Australia’s superiority over England was their pace power. Left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson walked away with the Man of the Series honour, but what a great role Ryan Harris (on one knee, according to the pundits) and Peter Siddle played as well.

All three pacemen troubled Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen, England’s most experienced batsmen, who ended with disappointing series averages of 27.38 and 32.00 respectively. Bowling coach Craig McDermott can take some credit for Australia’s dominance in this department.

A side that is winning somehow doesn’t have too many injuries. The Australians were fortunate on this count too.

By no means is this the finest Australian side to win an Ashes series. But in terms of coming out of the rubble to walk the sporting streets with golden boots on, Clarke’s team must be considered peerless in modern times.

Quite simply, no praise is high enough for such a cricket team. ‘Admire and emulate’ can serve as a good credo for other outfits.


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