Australia should probably stop doctoring their own pitches

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Giant house of cards (CC licensed by Tjflex2 via Flickr)
Giant house of cards (CC licensed by Tjflex2 via Flickr)

Playing Australia is like playing Jenga with a house of cards when each of the cards is drunk.

Before they played Sri Lanka, David Warner spoke of batting “well into the next day” but the team repeatedly folded as if prepared by Miura.

Against South Africa at the Waca, they built a little first, almost as if they wanted to deliver a more spectacular collapse. As falling Lego bricks bounced off the carpet, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that this maybe wasn’t just a spin thing.

That has now been confirmed. In the second Test in Hobart, they folded like junk mail in the first innings before buckling like a belt in the second, losing their last eight wickets for 32 runs.

As you’re no doubt aware, Australia only ever collapse because the pitch has been ‘doctored’. Somehow the playing surface is always tampered with in such a way that the opposition can bat completely normally while the poor, honest, play-by-the-rules Aussies go down like round-bottomed skittles placed on an icy slope.

Quite why Australia have started preparing their home pitches in this way is beyond us.


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  1. The answer to your question is as obvious as it is unpalatable.

    Australia has been infiltrated. Probably by whinging poms.

    Australia used to be great.

    Now it isn’t great.

    Australia can be great again.

    Change of government, mass deportations and one heck of a big wall are the only logical solutions.

    But for the time being, is there any point in any full test status nation playing more than a two match series against these hapless Aussies? Two match series seem to me to be an ideal compromise, the alternative being the removal of test status until that pitiful so-called cricketing nation sorts itself out.

    1. They don’t need a wall. They already have a moat.

      Pretty soon, with climate change progressing unchecked, we’ll all have moats.

    2. > Australia can be great again.

      Let US make Australia great again!

      But, for that, perhaps US has to start playing “proper” cricket.

  2. How long is it since James Sutherland tried to carve up test cricket so that only Australia, India and England would ever get a proper series? The arrogance of these people astounds me.

    As far as the cricket goes, perhaps some of the Australians have finally begun to understand. Steve Smith openly said that there is a clash between the philosophy of Australian cricket and the situation on the field, by which he meant that positive, aggressive play (aka The Australian Way) is actively damaging against decent bowling.

    At Trent Bridge in 2015 (I was there by the way) the Aussies drove at the moving ball as if they were programmed robots. They did this because they are programmed robots, the programme essentially being that positive play will get you out of any situation. They have to stop thinking this way and start actually thinking.

    1. Tweeted earlier that Australia’s aggressive approach is certainly driving games forwards, but they really need to learn how to steer.

  3. Steve Smith said the players had no pride in the wicket.

    Shane Warne was so shocked he was moved to commit both a missing sentence space and a comma splice on twitter.

    Faf du Plessis said “That’s the mission for us now [win the third test and complete the series whitewash]. We want to do that very badly,”

    For lessons on how to do cricketing things very badly, he need look no further than the aussies for inspiration…

      1. When Australia collapse, it’s always pretty easy. No real need for the deep trawl this week.

  4. You’d think after all the Australian collapses in the last 16 months or so, I’d have gotten tired of them by now, but I haven’t. It seems I have an endless appetite for the sight of Aussies forlornly trudging back to the pavilion. Eagerly anticipating more of the same in Brisbane.

      1. Ask yourself this, Sam: could Australia do any worse if they played the next test match in Brisbane, instead of in Adelaide where the Saffers were playing?

  5. Have Australia hit rock bottom yet?
    Oz are inevitably going to be whitewashed in this series meaning that in the space of 6 Tests Australia have gone from number 1 in the Test rankings to number 5. I think it’s just the beginning of their decline though, 5th in the rankings flatters them. The drop down the table will continue long into 2017.

    Half of Australia’s team is not Test standard so I have been looking though the Sheffield Shield stats to see who the likely replacements will be. The only blokes who haven’t been tried are ones who are struggling to average 35 on the roads they prepare in their domestic comp.

    CA will have to repeat what they have been doing for the past few years and poach players from County Cricket. This is not a long term solution though, guys like Chris Rogers and Adam Voges were only ever going to be short-term fixes. They were not intended to be the future of Australian cricket. The problem is that there aren’t enough Australians playing County Cricket to sustain a Test team, merely paper over the cracks.

    Their policy has allowed rot to set into their own first class tournament. This is something that should have been addressed years ago. Australia’s best batsman was a spinner in Sheffield Shield, it was only playing in England that he was taught how to bat. The talent well has dried up and unless some stunning emerging talent is found from somewhere there is only one direction Australia’s ranking will go.

    1. That hyperlink doesn’t work, so we’ll all have to guess.

      Was it Doctorin’ The Tardis by The Timelords (aka the KLF)?

      1. We’re sure you’ll accept that we were typing that as you were saying that.

        [Pats self on back]

  6. Strange selections…Mennie over Bird ?
    Comedy dismissals from Voges and Ferguson (twice)
    Being flogged by a team missing its two best players
    Sulky little boy skipper in the press conference.
    5 straight test defeats..chance of getting whitewashed at home.

    Australia might be reincarnating as the 90’s england team….we just need a really sustained effort from them to keep this going for a decade or so

  7. am I imagining this or were South Africa not looking in pretty bad shape just a little while back (post India, England defeats)?

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