Warne was stunned with the numbers which showed only Cummins, with 30 wickets at 23, was averaging below 30 against the top-six batsmen. @ Twitter
Warne was stunned with the numbers which showed only Cummins, with 30 wickets at 23, was averaging below 30 against the top-six batsmen. @ Twitter

Australia’s inexperienced batting line-up has been largely blamed for the side catapulting to a 137-run defeat in the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday. However, spin great Shane Warne has slammed the bowlers and thinks they equally played a part in Australia’s downfall.

Warne, who earlier had questioned Mitchell Starc’s credentials as a genuine pacer, had a crack at the pace contingent except for Pat Cummins, who scored 80 runs and picked up nine wickets in the MCG Test. “I think Pat Cummins stands for all the things we love about a captain,” Warne told Fox’s Cricket 360 show on Sunday.

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Warne justified his argument with relevant statistics after India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.

Warne was stunned with the numbers which showed only Cummins, with 30 wickets at 23, was averaging below 30 against the top-six batsmen. He came down heavily on Josh Hazlewood and Starc, who are averaging 40 and 47 respectively, while Nathan Lyon‘s 29 wickets have come at 43 runs per wicket.

Warne believes Cricket Australia must conduct a review on how they gear up their pacers for a series. Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood played only one first-class game before this series.

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“I just don’t think they’re bowling well enough. If you look at the rhythm, why is that happening?” Warne said.

“You have to look back at the preparation. Are the bowlers preparing the right way? Are they bowling enough in competitive cricket?”

Warne admitted that there was too much pressure put on the batsmen, who clearly are missing the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner. He threw up another stat – Australia, who won only three of 10 Test matches this year, conceded more than 300 in the first innings on six occasions.

“If you lose a toss and the opposition decide to bat and you have to knock them over our new-ball bowlers in Hazlewood and Starc are averaging 47 and 40 with the new ball is not good enough,” Warne said. “That’s not very good at all.

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“There’s a lot of pressure and scoreboard pressure on the batsmen to come out and make a decent score to try and get in there and not give up a big lead.”

Meanwhile, India’s pacers have claimed 15 wickets at 22 runs at a strike rate of a wicket every 53 balls compared to Australia’s six at 46 and a strike rate of 102.

“The bowling we all keep talking about as one of the best attacks we’ve ever had,” Warne said.

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“To the top six batsmen how have our bowlers done? Because the opposition keep on making big first innings scores. It’s all right to blame the batsmen and yes they need to get a lot better and yes this attack has had to rebound better. The numbers are quite interesting”