Home > Features >

Ashes 2013: Four critical areas that Australia need to address to bounce back in the series

Ashes 2013: Four critical areas that Australia need to address to bounce back in the series

The current lot of Australians are clearly tentative and lack the confidence due to the mounting defeats. The defeatist mindset needs to undergo a massive change © Getty Images

Australia are in deep trouble heading into the third Ashes Test on Thursday. Prakash Govindasreenivasan feels there are four areas which need to be addressed if Australia, 0-2 down in the five-Test series, have to make comeback.
 

Australia lost four straight Tests in India and are trailing 0-2 in the ongoing Ashes series. That makes it six losses in a row. One can’t remember when an Australian team last suffered such humiliation. The Aussies needs to undergo a mindset change to bounce back in the series. Quite clearly, this Australian side is shockingly different from any Australian team of the past. 
 
The four critical areas that the Aussies need to address:

The Australian spirit
 
It was not just the talent and the skill level of the McGraths, the Haydens, the Pontings and the Warnes that defined Australia in the previous decade. It was the indomitable Australian spirit that went along with being an Aussie player that ensured their sustained dominance in world cricket. The present team under Michael Clarke looks anything but Australian; shoulders drop and frustration shows when things don’t go their way. The tiger-ish spirit that epitomised Australian teams of the past is unmistakably missing. The hunger to win is not seen. The current bunch seems to just go through the motions.

The team needs a jolt from coach Darren Lehmann. Having played alongside some of the greats, he knows exactly what the Australian spirit is about and needs to instil it in this team.

Australia’s art of intimidation
 
For a long time now, Australia have been known to play the game the hard way. There is a hint of arrogance in the air when they take the field. It is something that often disconcerts the opposition even before the contest begins. But one can’t see that famous Australian intimidation gone?

On their last tour of India, the Australian side was struggling to win a session, let alone a game. The only passage of play where they managed to unsettle India was in the fourth Test. No prizes for guessing that this was the only time one could see them charged up and mentally sharp to disintegrate the batsmen.

The current lot of Australians are clearly tentative and lack the confidence due to the mounting defeats. The defeatist mindset needs to undergo a massive change.

Bring back David Warner
 
If one believes in the age-old cliché that a wounded tiger is far more dangerous than a healthy one, then David Warner needs to be drafted into the playing XI with immediate effect. Here’s one man who can bat with a positive intent at the top of the order. His innings of 193 runs against South Africa A in Pretoria shows that he is in good nick. It is time Clarke unleashed Warner on the England bowling attack with the agenda to unsettle them early on. If he can pull that off, the story at Old Trafford could be refreshingly different from what has happened so far.

Shane Watson needs to go
 
Australia desperately needs a positive change to arrest their current downward slide. Clarke and the selectors should be brave enough to bench Watson and give James Faulkner the opportunity to make his Test debut. Watson’s form has been wobbly and there seems to be a technical glitch in his foot work. He has been an easy picking for the Englishmen in the last couple of innings. He even wasted a couple of decision reviews on straightforward dismissals. In Faulkner, Australia get a player who can play some attacking cricket down the order — a la Adam Gilchrist. If Warner also returns, the visitors will not need the services of Watson at the top of the order and Faulkner can fill in with the ball. It would be a huge gamble, but Australia have the reputation and the appetite for it.

Old Trafford could trigger a change of fortunes if Australia addresses the critical areas mentioned above.
 
(Prakash Govindasreenivasan is a reporter with CricketCountry. His Twitter handle is @PrakashG_89)

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe vs Australia, 4th ODI: Highlights

Elton Chigumbura-Prosper Utseya partnership takes Zimbabwe to historic win over Australia

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Australia missed Steven Smith during Zimbabwe clash: Michael Clarke

India tour of England 2014: Ajinka Rahane comes out in support of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli

Darren Lehmann embarrassed after Australia’s humiliating loss against Zimbabwe

India vs England 2014, 4th ODI at Edgbaston Preview: MS Dhoni’s men aim to seal series victory

Jason Roy brushes aside injury scare; says he is fit to play for England against India

Should Michael Clarke cut down on playing time ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe’s moment of glory

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

667 Posts | 6 Fans

10 Most Unbeatable Records in Cricket

When Deepika Padukone, Shriya Saran, Nargis Fakhri went nude…

Shraddha Kapoor rocks earcuffs best, say fans!

TEOCO sees opportunity from telecom space in India

B-Town congratulates Abishek Bachchan post kabaddi team’s win

What happens inside your brain while watching movies

Soon, Google Glass app to reveal age

Motorola Moto X+1 alleged live photos leaked ahead of September 4 launch

Barclays Premier League 2014-15: Liverpool have reignited last season’s spark claims Brendan Rodgers

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here