Do all those Australians who have recently been calling for Ricky Ponting to be replaced as captain still want to see Michael Clarke take over as skipper for the Ashes after todays disaster?
Ok, so maybe thats a bit harsh on Clarke but he did let things slip in the 1 wicket defeat to Sri Lanka, where he wasn’t very astute with his bowling chages in my opinion. The pitch obvioulsy took spin given Xavier Doherty’s figures (4/46), so why did Steven Smith only bowl 3 overs (for 8 runs)?
My main point though, is that this just proves that going into the Ashes, Australia still need the experience and calmness of Ricky Ponting to run the show. Clarke clearly isn’t ready yet, although that is not to say his time won’t come, as I’m sure it will.
It’s also not Clarke’s fault that Australia don’t seem to be able to land the killer blow any more when they are in sight of victory. Today’s latest failure to close the deal follows shortly after the one in India, this is a problem for Australia that can be traced back to Cardiff in 2009, where they failed to remove those great batsmen Boycott and Gooch, sorry I mean Panesar and Anderson.
The Aussie’s confidence must currently be plunging faster than the Stock Markets did in 2008 after this latest humiliating defeat. To have a team at 8/107 (chasing 240) and still lose must have felt like a real kick in the teeth. Not only that, but Lasith Malinga averages only 9.04 with the bat in ODI’s – and he has just helped set a new World Record.
Losing is a habit, just as winning is. The Aussies have just 2 ODI’s left to try and turn their fortunes around ahead of the Ashes. Even if they win both, their confidence still can’t surely fully recover.
That’s why it is imperative England make a good start in the 1st test, I have been a bit sceptical about our chances up til now, but I am now starting to believe that if we can start well and give the Aussies a good kick while they are currently down, then we have a more than decent chance.
The latest Ashes betting has seen Australia drifting again. Just under 2 weeks ago they were 8/11, now after this latest defeat they are a best price of 4/5 with Bet365 to win the Ashes outright. England are now as short as 2/1 and a drawn series is now into 5/1.