Australia’s good cricketing stocks appear to have diminished and the nation is facing cricketing depression. This has rarely happened in the history of their cricket. England have been quick to thrive on these near-rare situations.
At Lord’s yesterday, the Australian batsmen failed yet again to combat and conquer the English bowling attack which had their tails up after the batsmen plundered a mountain of runs for Australia to face up to 583-run target — impossible even in this game of glorious uncertainties.
The pre-Ashes controversies have not helped Michael Clarke’s side and all talk of being able to put behind the sacking of former coach Mickey Arthur and the sending off of opening batsman David Warner, is far easier said than done. To add to their woes, the men from Down Under are battling against a very formidable English team.
Experts in Australia believe this is a unique phase because, unlike dull periods of the past, there are now bold question marks over the process of producing quality players.
Australia was the first country to believe in having a thorough coaching unit for their teams. At the heart of Australian cricket’s problem could well be the over-dependence of theory in their production unit. Dennis Lillee, Australia’s finest fast bowler of the 1970s often talks about how modern-day fast bowlers spend more time in the gym rather than in the nets or running on the beach. Greg Chappell, the bowling equivalent of Lillee in the 1970s never tires from dwelling on the need for batsmen to be creative and take off from what they did during backyard games during their youth.
It’s sad to see a cricketing edifice collapse like this. The time to indulge in some genuine, old-fashioned introspection is now.