Aussies have forgotten how to win: Roebuck

January 1st, 2009 - 8:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Jan.1 (ANI): Noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck is of the view that the Australian cricket team has forgotten what it means to win.
While admitting that the team still has some very fine players in Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey, Roebuck believes that the application of absurd tactics since the Nagpur Test and the equally ill-advised response to criticism from retired players, has placed Australian cricket at the cross-roads.
It’’s about time the selectors and captain started playing Australian cricket again, forcing the pace, erring on the side of aggression, choosing heavyweights regardless of age. Bad luck and injuries stalk pessimistic sides. Ponting needs to put his annus horribilis behind him and start 2009 with a glint in his eye, Roebuck writes in his article for the Sydney Morning Herald.
He (Ponting) needs to start playing backyard cricket with backyard cricketers, but without the foolishness. It’’s not needed. Graeme Smith has proved that, he adds. He believes that the decay has been in evidence since the acrimonious SCG Test match a year ago. Ponting, he says, was at his worst in that match, a fiery figure pushed along by senior players, complaining about opponents, upsetting visiting journalists, disdaining a dignified counterpart and grizzling about former captains critical of his declaration.
Anil Kumble said only one team had been playing in the spirit of the game and a nation reeled. Past players, punters and politicians joined the fray, polls were taken, foreign ministers consulted, and all because of a stray word and years of resentment. On both sides a hundred wounds were opened. It was madness, Roebuck opines.
Australia, he says, has not beaten a strong side since.
India prevailed in Perth and held their own in Adelaide. After Sydney, senior Australians players fell back. Andrew Symonds became distracted, Brett Lee lost form, Hayden endured injuries and the team did not recover its rhythm.
Ponting and company easily beat the second division sides like West Indies and New Zealand but the bowling was too weak to trouble powerful batting orders.
Gradually the side began fray at the edges. The veterans were torn between lashing out and sitting tight. Some players did progress, notably Simon Katich, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson, but momentum was lost and the team lacked belief and penetration.
Frustrated by injuries, the selectors became flustered and started neglecting the basics that Australia usually applies better than any rival, Roebuck concludes. (ANI)

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