Dear Malcolm Turnbull, Kylie Minogue, Hugh Jackman, Ian Thorpe, Skippy, Mel Gibson, Elle, The Hemsworths, Greg Norman, Bart Cummings, Lillee, Thommo, that awful fella that does the interviews on Fox when it’s raining in the cricket, Rod Laver, Banjo Paterson, Nick Kyrgios, Cathy Freeman, Arthur Beetson, Wally Lewis and finally Don Bradman…


Oh dear.

By whatever standard you hold them to, this is not going to plan.

Australians have long turned a somewhat blind eye to events overseas when it comes to their cricket team, provided they take care of business at home every summer. If we get to see our heroes tearing apart some poor lambs at the G over Christmas, we can gloss over the fact that they have lost their last 9 consecutive tests in Asia and the fact that they are clueless against spin.

Unfortunately we can’t gloss over the fact that they just might not be very good anymore.

Here are some statistics. In the words of Rafa Benitez: “These are facts.”

  • Lost five tests in a row for the first time since the mid 1980s (at which point Kim Hughes quit and started crying)
  • Lost the first two tests of a summer for the first time since 1988
  • Lost 10 for 86, 10 for 83, and 8 for 32 in the last ten days. (Add in 9 for 52 and 6 for 22 in Sri Lanka.)
  • 5 of their 22 batting innings in Hobart made it to double figures.
  • The Hobart test lasted 193.5 overs (less than 7 sessions).  Australia lost 20 wickets in 93 overs.

And a little anecdote of my own: Lost by 177 runs and AN INNINGS and 80 runs to a side that lost their spearhead on Day 2 of the series (this is akin to Australia losing Mitchell Starc).

The next two tests of the summer are going to be played under lights, against two bowling lineups that are among the best three in the world when the ball swings. We could well be adding to those stats after Adelaide next week…

A whole host of excuses have been trotted out over the course of these matches, the latest being that Faf Du Plessis, the South African captain, ‘applied sugary saliva to the ball to make it swing.’ Good god. Most players chew gum or eat sweets when on the park, be it by habit, or to keep blood sugar levels up. The ICC have said there is no case to answer.

Accept your side were second best in every department. As Neil Manthorp put it, “South Africa out-batted, out-bowled, out-fielded and out-caught Australia.”

So where to now? Well that’s the problem, there is hardly a myriad of options.  Players are hardly banging down the door in Sheffield Shield cricket to force their way into the Test team.  Voges averages under 15 in his last ten tests, yet was one of the leading runscorers in Sheffield Shield cricket last year.

Below is the squad some believe will be close to the one selected on Sunday for next week’s test. Good luck Lolstralia, you’re going to need it:

Steven Smith (capt), David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Kurtis Patterson, Callum Ferguson, Matthew Wade, Steve O’Keefe, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers

Oh and if any of you are wondering if I take any pleasure out of seeing Australia on their knees, playing utterly awful cricket…

The answer is a resounding YES!


When not reveling in Australia’s woes, Matt runs a very successful service focusing on cricket (but also covering other sports).  Check it out here.

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