Comment: Victims of their own success, the Australian cricket team are a shambles
The removal of Mickey Arthur 16 days before the start of the Ashes is desperate
The joke when Adam Scott won the Masters in April was that he should forget golf for the rest of the summer and slip into the Australian middle order. And bring Jason Day with him. At that point Australia were just a poor cricket team having lost 4-0 in India. This morning they are a shambles.
An escalating sense of disintegration, both on and off the pitch, has led to the desperate decision 16 days before the first Ashes Test of the summer to dump coach Mickey Arthur, who was appointed only in 2011.
It was clear in India that there was a lack of unity and conviction within the squad, and resistance to Arthur’s methods. The kids just won’t be told. Vice-captain Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja were all disciplined for failing to take seriously a discussion on how the team might improve. Arthur asked for their presentations and was met with blank sheets of paper, a breach which was quickly dubbed 'homework-gate'.
The subsequent drubbing in the Champions Trophy and the additional burden of punch-gate, when David Warner chinned Joe Root in a Birmingham nightclub, deepened the crisis. It seemed Arthur had lost all grasp of reality when he announced that Australia had the deepest pool of Test class bowlers in world cricket. Results tell us that never mind Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath but Denis Lillee and Jeff Thompson could get a game ahead of this lot.
The paucity of talent is ultimately the problem. Australia are a victim of their own success in that they have found it impossible to produce players to replace all-time greats like Warne, McGrath, the Waugh twins, Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting. Mike Hussey has been discarded and the skipper is crock. They are where England had been for too long, searching for substance among honest tryers. Given the parlous state of Test cricket across the globe you wonder if the good days might ever come back Down Under.
One thing is certain. It will get worse before it gets better. This scraping of this barrel is a long way from being done.
Manchester United transfer news: Javier Hernandez close to exit as Atletico Madrid admit interested
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Thomas Vermaelen and Daley Blind on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
Scottie dogs in Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 'disrespectful to Muslims', say Malaysian politicians
Divock Origi joins Liverpool before immediately being loaned back to Lille
Seydou Keita refuses Pepe handshake before throwing water bottle prior to Roma vs Real Madrid match
- 1 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 HSBC closes bank accounts belonging to Muslim clients in the UK
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us