Ian Healy cricket Australia
Ian Healy © Getty Images (file photo)

Australian cricket has gone downhill since Steven Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft were suspended earlier this year, the first two for two years each and the third for one. In an interview with Fox SportsIan Healy told how crucial the home series against India will be for the hosts: “I think the Indian series will bring out the best in what we’ve got. There’s great motivation, great incentive to do very well in whatever you’re doing. So that will be exciting.

“We’re going to come out from under the radar, we’re going to be very capable and then if we get that little shot of confidence and get on a roll it could lead us right to the end of the World Cup and well into The Ashes.”

Healy mentioned the biggest upcoming challenge for Australia: “We’ve relied on Steve Smith to make the big scores, put in the hard hours, letting the ball go and being safe with the bat. Now we’ve got to get those First-Class cricketers batting like they do for their states and doing it for Australia.

“That top six really has to do its job and then Tim Paine has to bounce back with the bat too. So I think their confidence in the batting, and then of course don’t forget the bowling. Paine scored 62 and 7 during his official captaincy debut, at Johannesburg (he was appointed mid-Test at Cape Town) but failed in the ODIs in England, scratching his way to 36 runs from 5 ODIs.

Unlike most other pundits, Healy does not sound too confident about the bowling either: “We’ve been missing our bowling plans badly. If you’re going to bowl a yorker, make sure it’s very close to being perfect. It’s been way off the mark too often.

“The depth of our bowling, plus its confidence, is not good at the moment. So lots of practice, lots of hard work and just get out and execute.”