mid-day editorial: Australian cricket on a burning deck

Published: Nov 21, 2016, 10:05 IST | mid-day correspondent |

The ghost of 1984-85 has revisited Australian cricket, when Clive Lloyd’s Windies demolished Australia

The ghost of 1984-85 has revisited Australian cricket, when Clive Lloyd’s Windies demolished Australia.

The selectors, led by recalled chairman Trevor Hohns, made six changes to the team that was at the receiving end of a South African surge in the last Test at Hobart.

Their brief was to revamp the side, which they have done, but it also raises a question as to whether Cricket Australia believe that Hohns’ predecessor Rod Marsh had erred big time. It’s a great shame that Marsh, one of the finest cricketers to don the big gloves for Australia ended his association with Oz cricket with a bump.

The same Marsh helped English cricket turn the corner in 2005, the year he was part of their selection committee that picked a famous Ashes-regaining team. Australia also recalled Greg Chappell to the panel, a move that has not exactly been welcomed Down Under.

Australian cricket is on a burning deck and the few extinguishers are in the hands of the players and administrators. Australia needs to play a tough, but understanding hand in this crisis. They must encourage their selectors to back talent and not get carried away with a youth policy, because the seniors are as important to any cricketing redemption. Importantly, the men in charge must decide whether Steven Smith is the right man to lead the team. If they are convinced that he can command respect and get the job done, they must give him enough time to set things right along with coach Darren Lehmann. If there is the slightest of doubts, then David Warner must get the job.

A good performance in Thursday’s final Test against the rampaging South Africans at the Adelaide Oval where the pink ball will be used again, could be the first steps to the opening of a new era.

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