'Clueless' Oz needs to prepare battle plan for Ashes following Indian debacle
Sydney, Mar 4 : Australia should start planning for the all-important Ashes series as soon as their so far catastrophic India tour ends, according to senior cricket writer Greg Baum.
"If we shut our eyes, put our fingers in our ears, and hum loudly to ourselves, the India series eventually will go away. Immediately, there is no other viable tactic. In Indian conditions, Ponting-less, Hussey-less Australia is hopelessly outclassed. Any claim to the contrary can only be, well (say it softly), spin," Baum wrote in his column for the Age.
"While our eyes are closed, and unspeakable indignities pile up, we must think of England. And England, and England. Beyond India, and after a little busking in the IPL, Australia face 10 Tests in a row against an England team with its act comparatively together," he added.
But the Indian losses must be cut immediately, and the planning begins now. Here's a positive spin: of the Hyderabad XI, only Michael Clarke and James Pattinson are guaranteed to play in the first Test at Trent Bridge, so the selectors have plenty of scope," he wrote.
Baum further added: "First, Australia must purge themselves of their all-rounder obsession. Too often, they seem to think they are picking two players in one, only to find they have neither."
"Predictably, India is proving a wasteland for Australia's seamers. Against England, Pattinson - touch wood - will be the cornerstone, to be joined by whichever two of Peter Siddle, Mitch Starc, Mitch Johnson and perhaps even the half-mythical Pat Cummins are swinging the ball. Indian form will be irrelevant. At least for England, time-frame will not be a problem for selectors," he concluded.