What a contrast for Australia. 12 months ago at home and they were embarking on an unbeaten run against both Pakistan and West Indies, in tests, ODI’s, the lot. This was followed by a visit to New Zealand where they thrashed the Kiwi’s 2-0 in the test series, won the ODI series 3-2 and tied the T20’s.
Whats happened since then? Ok, so they got to the final of the World T20, a good achievement, but since then it has been a disaster on the road for Ricky Ponting and his men.
First they lost an ODI series 3-2 to England. They then lost a 2 match T20 series 2-0 to Pakistan and only managed to draw the test series 1-1 against the same opposition, getting bowled out for just 88 in the 2nd test.
Then came the tour of India. The 1st test could have gone either way and was a brilliant advert for test match cricket, while the 2nd test was more dominated by India from Day 3 onwards. In fairness to the Aussies they got 400 plus, batting first in both tests – obviously not enough in India these days.
The Aussies were also a touch unlucky in the ODI series. Two washouts can’t be helped and in the one game played they posted a respectable 289/3, again though, not enough to win in India.
Since the thrashing of New Zealand, I think it would be fair to say that Australia have had a pretty torrid time. I certainly can’t remember a time when they have gone that long without a series victory of any sort.
They are also down to No.5 in the test world rankings, thats even lower than England. I think I would be right in saying that it is the first time England have been ranked above Australia since the ranking system began.
Nevertheless Australia are still the bookies favourites to win the Ashes. In the latest betting they are currently 8/11 with William Hill and
England are 12/5 with VC Bet and a drawn series is 11/2 with Blue Square.