The Ashes 2013: Alan Border slams Australia's 'embarrassing' batsmen after Test debacle

Pattinson ruled out of rest of Ashes with back injury as legendary former Australia captain goes on the attack

Allan Border believes that Australia’s batsmen are an embarrassment to their country and that the selectors need to take decisive action to avoid an Ashes whitewash. The former captain offered a blunt assessment of his fellow countrymen’s failings in the wake of the heavy defeat to England in the second Test at Lord’s, picking out the opening batsman Shane Watson for specific criticism.

Australia have 10 days to sort themselves out before the third Test begins on Thursday week at Old Trafford, where defeat would condemn them to a series loss. There was, however, further bad news for the tourists when it was announced last night that fast bowler James Pattinson will play no further part in the Ashes series.

Cricket Australia confirmed that Pattinson was diagnosed with a stress fracture of his lower back following Sunday’s conclusion to the second Test defeat and will return home to Australia after the third Test.

The veteran batsman Mike Hussey has also ruled out a return to the squad, saying he was “glad” not to be involved with the Test side, while the exiled squad member David Warner was forced to distance himself from tweets posted by his brother attacking Watson. Cricket Australia’s dispute with the sacked coach Mickey Arthur also refuses to go away, with the South African now claiming that he is the victim of a “deliberate campaign” to undermine him.

Border, who led Australia for nearly a decade from 1984, wrote in an email newsletter to Cricket Australia subscribers that the national selectors needed to decide what their best team was – and fast. “Our major concern right now is the performance of the top six. I could honestly say the nine, 10 and jack [No 11 batsman] looked more competent than our one, two and three. If that was me in the top three I’d be embarrassed. We need to settle on our best XI and stay with it. I’m a believer in the pick-and-stick method, so we need to find our best XI suited to the conditions and stick with it.”

On the under-fire opener Watson, who has now been dismissed lbw a record 24 times, Border wrote: “We all know what a wonderful player Shane Watson is. He looks like a million bucks when he’s firing. What is worrying though is that he keeps getting out in the same fashion. Now who is to blame here? Is it Watson for not adapting? What about the coaches? In an era where we’ve got a thousand coaches and psychoanalysts and dieticians and sport scientists it defies belief a player can be making the same mistakes.”

Watson’s latest leg-before dismissal was on Sunday when James Anderson trapped him for 20, and Steven Warner, brother of David, tweeted: “F***ing selfish Watson sooner your out of the side you great pretender the better.”

Warner on Monday moved to distance himself from his sibling’s comments, saying he did not endorse the comments and fully supported Watson.

The chances of Warner replacing Watson are narrowing and the batsman will return from Australia A duty in time for the third Test. There have been calls for Simon Katich and Hussey to return, but Hussey – the so-called “Mr Cricket” – has ruled himself out, saying on Monday he was “sort of glad I’m not  really in that pressure situation.”

No replacement for Pattinson has been called up ahead of this week’s warm-up game against Sussex, though Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile and the in-form Chadd Sayers could, if required, be brought in from the Australia A squad currently playing in South Africa. Before that option is considered, the selectors could opt to  recall Mitchell Starc after he was left out at Lord’s, while James Faulkner and Jackson Bird are also available.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
Sport
football
Life and Style
Agretti is often compared to its relative, samphire, though is closer in taste to spinach
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Osbourne will play a flight attendant in Sharknado 2
people
News
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
people
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
i100
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?