- 06 Jan 2014 14:44
It was a complete shellacking. However the Australian Batting line up is still brtittle and questionable. Regularly 5-100 in this series. A series worry, Haddin just saved them (with some help) every single first innings, in every test the Australian first innings was in trouble, Haddin made at least 50 every single first innings (av about 70). Watson, Bailey were pretty questionable as batsman.
The English bowlers are nowhere no good with the kookaburra ball. Anderson is a great bowler when gets the reverse swing going but never been that good in Australian conditions and kookaburra ball. The English 4 man attack (pre stokes) is vulnerable if some are not at the top of their game, the Australians targeted swann went after him and effectively hit him out of the attack. With swann unable to provide the relief the pace bowlers had to be back in the attack more often with less rest. Anderson becoming used more as a stock bowler than a strike bowler. Only Broad had a good series. Stokes greatly help in spreading the work load when he came in, but Swann was gone by then and the replacement spinners wetre not even close in being up to it.
The Australian team has a number of problems.
(1) The Brittleness of the top 6 batsman, you cannot keep escaping from 5-100 every test. There is lack of batting depth or young batsman scoring enough runs to demand selection.
(2) Watson remains a key player despite his batting problems. He has a very mechanical footwork, places the foot swings through the line, once the ball starts moving he can be very quickly exposed. His conversion rate for good starts into real scores is also amazingly poor. And this is the Australian Number 3! His bowling is also a key peice of the puzzle, he bowls very very tight, and picks up wickets. His availability means that Harris and Johnson are used in very short and sharp spells, maximizing them as strike bowlers. Siddle performs great work as the workhorse of the attack. But watson's ability to come on and control bowl tight a few overs, makes the attack work well. If faced with good opposition who dont collapse the Australians will need Watson to bowl more overs, to protect and rest Harris and Johnson. Unfortunately Watson's hamstrings are made of glass. He rarely stays fit and bowling fit particularly for long periods. Unreliable very occasionally dominating batsmen who often doesn't convert, reliable bowler but unreliable body Watson remains a frustrating mix.
(3) The Age of the Squad. There is a few old stages, Rogers, Harris, Johnson, Clarke (not that old but Back issues) Watson (body , hamstring issues)
, Haddin. There's a bit of bowling depth around. Starc, Pattision, Cummings, Bird. (but not the quality of the current attack) I like Tim Paine for the keeping, but the Batting Alex Doolan is 28 and not there yet, (though players often came in late for good careers these days?!) Maddison a promising top order prospect young enough but not there yet. Hughes, still cracks out the runs locally but too many flaws.
The South Africans could be much much harder, and cerainly being 5 for not many is eventually going to cost.