So what went wrong?
So the Ashes series is done and dusted, after almost one and half months of jostling between two great sides, its England who have finally come on top in the battle for the Ashes.
Now to come to the point, its postmortem time, so where did it all go wrong for Australia in this series?
AFAIC the things started to wrong even before the series started, the Australian squad that was selected was not balanced and didn't have some players that should have been there.
- Overdependence on Ponting
- Discarding Hughes just after two games
- Johnson and Siddle' up and down series
- Hussey's dire form
- Awful on-tour selection
These are few obvious reasons imo that really hampered us in this series, I think over-dependence on Ponting to fire in order for us to make a substantial score was more obvious then ever in this series.
Dropping a bloke like Hughes too was a wrong move, we persisted with a bloke like Johnson because we knew he is a match winner, I think Hughes too falls in the same bracket, though he is relatively untested and new to international cricket, but he is a player who has that x-factor and most importantly unlike Watto he is a proper opener.
Watto did the best he could have, but it was clear from the very beginning he doesn't have the technique to be an opener, and if the selectors didn't have enough confidence in Hughes' ability, then won't it have made sense to have a proper back-up opener.
Lee's injury proved to be a severe blow, but the good thing to come out of it was that it gave the unfancied Ben Hilfenhaus a chance, and he did quite well, but unfortunately for us blokes like Siddle and Johnson who were expected to lead the attack took as many as three tests to warm upto the task, which obviously hurt us quite badly.
Hussey' form was awful right through this series, and that made a huge difference, he was one bloke who I thought would be the key player of our batting line-up in this series, but him not turning up for the first 4 tests did put the rest of our middle under added pressure.
Though diabolical selections are quite easily the common denominator of most of the above mentioned problems, obviously there isn't much one can do about players being out of form, but the way things were handled in this series and prior to this even in other series have been dire to say the very least, so for me this current selection panel has to go, and then and only then we might have a chance of building a stable team.
23 years ago, Stuart Broad was born.
Hussey hadn't been dire IMO. Below his very high standard but I don't think calling him dire is fair. Bopara and Cook were dire.
He came good only after Aussies had handed over virtually the Ashes back.
Originally Posted by PhoenixFire
2. Ponting's captaincy. (Leaving out spinner on a turner & other match decisions like not playing Clark at Lord's etc)
3. Stuart Broad
5. Not sticking with Hughes. The guy made tonloads of runs, and just 2 failures he was coffined. That's just crazy cricket and sent out positive vibes to the English camp.
Can't agree Hughes being dropped was a problem. He clearly had a problem with the Flintoff, Watson was a good replacement & he has the technique to be an opener, hell its much more sound than Katich TBF.
He was not confidence inducing in his first two outings. But he certainly deserved one more chance considering what he did in SA and Eng just before the Ashes. Hussey had 20 times longer run than Huges did.
Originally Posted by aussie
He certainly was dire by his own high standards, I think since he is such a good player he was able scratch out those face saving 50's, but in general he was a walking wicket right through this series, and not only that, the Aussie top 4 crumbled quite consistently in this series, leaving too much to do for Clarke, North and Haddin.
Originally Posted by PhoenixFire
I was expecting Hussey to be the spine of our batting line-up, and if he would have performed as expected, then it would have helped us put up better scores on the board more consistently.
This is fairly a good assessment of how Hussey went. He did not at all come good when Australia needed him but chipped in with a 100 when it was virtually gone.
Originally Posted by pup11
So what went wrong?
Not taking that final wicket in the first test is what.
So jammy and just felt in all honesty that the writing was on the wall at that point for me.
AUS tactic in dropping Hughes quite sensibly was to pick Watson since he presumably could bowl, so as give AUS 5-bowlers in the 3rd test.
Originally Posted by Pigeon
Watson did 50% of the job since he negated Flintoff. But the next half was incomplete since the two overs he bowled was awful.
The England tailenders looked pretty calm and untroubled tbh.
Originally Posted by Daryl Harper
I really hope that the post-mortem involves an analysis of the selectors rather than the players themselves. If you ask me, it was the bowling that cost Australia the series rather than the batters (With the exception of a shocking performance in the first innings at Lords). I cannot think of anyone in that batting order who should be replaced, Hussey is probably the most culpable, but honestly getting rid of Hussey is more likely to cost them in the long run because I think hes one of the best batsmen around and he just had a bad series. Similarly, it makes no sense to get rid of anyone out of Hilfenhaus, Hauritz, Siddle and Johnson. Stick with the same bunch of players and they will probably regain the Ashes next time around.
So what cost Australia? Well, firstly the idea that they could land in England and play a bowling attack that hadn't bowled a ball in England in any form of the game. Yes they played the same attack that succeeded in South Africa but South African pitches and conditions are not too dissimilar from the ones they get back at home and playing in England is a whole new kettle of fish for anyone who has never played there before. Siddle and Johnson were bowling visibly better as the series progressed, but honestly, Johnson, despite his performance in the 2nd innings at Leeds, should have been dropped well before that match. Not picking Hauritz for the Oval (and I can't believe that I am saying this) was another move that seriously backfired.
Nothing went wrong. Aussies were just outclassed by a better team I'm afraid. Stop looking for excuses.
Disagree with that. Think the Australian bowlers have generally stuck to their task and bowled with greater discipline that England's on the whole. The only time we ever really threatened to get away from them was the first day at Lords and even then to dismiss us for 425 after we were 196/0 & 302/3 was a pretty decent recovery.
Originally Posted by tooextracool
Johnson was obviously a disappointment on the whole, as was Clark in 3 of the 4 innings he was given, but Hilfenhaus (especially), Siddle & Hauritz all emerge in credit for me. The only criticism I can level is that they didn't really produce the match-turning efforts that our chaps managed at various times. Johnson must take most of the responsibility here; he was presumed to be the spearhead coming in, but failed to live up to his billing for whatever reason(s).
No, for me the batting folding at crucial times was their biggest problem. The first innings efforts at Lords, Edgbaston & The Oval were what cost the Australians the series, ultimately.
I agree with tooextracool about the batting being OK generally.
Peter Siddle took 3 or more wicksts on just 3 occasions out of 9.
Mitchell Johnson also took 3 or more on just 3 out of 9 innings.
Stuart Clark took 3 or more 1 out of 4.
Ben Hilfenhaus took 3 or more on 5 out of 9 innings.
Hauritz took 3 or more on 3 out of 5 innings.
Hilfy and Hauritz are the only bowlers for mine to come out with any credit at all.
Batting wise Clarke and North were excellent. Ponting, Watson and Haddin were good, Katich was OK and Hussey and Hughes were poor.