Australian cricket, a product of rampant self-indulgence: Roebuck

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SYDNEY - As Australia limps off to lick its wounds after its innings and 71 run defeat to England in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck says the selectors will be busy sharpening their knives to prevent their own heads from being put on the block.

In his syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald, Roebuck says that while England’s performance has given him much joy and pleasure, the performance by Australia has elicited consternation.

“England success has been years in the making and months in the planning. The community has embraced African rigour and antipodean aggression and added the patriotic fervour that has long been its hallmark. On and off the field, England’s has been superior. Administrators, selectors, coaches, back-room staff and captains have formed a unit with a single goal, the search for excellence,” says Roebuck.

The Australians, on the other hand, he adds, have not been able to withstand the Pom onslaught.

“The hosts will not get stronger by begrudging its opponent. Australia cannot rise again until it accepts that its position as the fifth,(now fourth best team), and still falling. Australia began making weak decisions and survived till the great players departed. Then came the day of reckoning. And it came upon the community like a clap of thunder heralding the long-predicted storm,” he says.

He says that the officials cannot escape their portion of blame.

“To allow two regulars to play Twenty20 cricket a few days before the Indian series began was to invite trouble. To stage a silly and yet dangerous match on a Gabba green-top before the Ashes was to risk injury. To give the coach a new three-year contract before the summer began to seem complacent. To appoint Greg Chappell not merely as talent manager but also as selector was to confuse two roles and fly in the face of recent performance,” Roebuck said.

He believes that cricket in Australia, both at the domestic and national level, is guilty of self-indulgence, poor strategy and thinking.

“Positive not reactive decisions are required. On the other hand, it’d be folly to ignore the evidence. The selectors need to get in front of the curve,” he concludes. (ANI)

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