Australian Test skipper Michael Clarke hit the nail right on the head when he said after the crushing loss in Hyderabad, that he must bat higher.
It is overdue. It is time.
And it’s also time a number of the Australian selection panel and several cricket administrators declared and were sent packing and replaced with people like Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh.
But getting a Taylor/Waugh administration partnership is a whole new blog for another time.
Clarke’s preferred No.5 place in the batting order has to be a thing of the past.
At the very least, the super batsman should move to move to No.4, even No.3.
In my eyes he and Hashim Amla, the South African class act, No.3 are now the two best batsmen in the game.
But Clarke can’t do it all on his own. His career average is 53 from 91 Tests, and since becoming captain has scored nine centuries, averaging almost 70 in 23 Tests.
Clarke has become the modern day Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting to the team, it all falls on his shoulders.
If Clarke doesn’t get a big score who will. David Warner is a developing opener, averaging 42, and his technique is tightening and his best at Test level is still to come.
Shane Watson who should open, averages 36. Ed Cowan is the consummate grafter and fighter but can you see him averaging 40 plus for Australia and playing for a decade at the top of the order?
I am a Phillip Hughes fan, and while he’s been at sea against the drifting and turning ball in India, he must go to England. Hughes will learn a lot from batting on the spin-friendly pitches of India and the experience will again make him a stronger person for the rigours of Test level.
Hughes must be retained.
Australia over the past two or three years has lost so many talented and experienced players.
A quick glance at these names illustrates the point — Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey.
These are class batsmen who occupied crucial positions in the line-up.
Also, keeper Brad Haddin has been discarded for good; it seems that even if Matthew Wade gets dropped others are in the pecking order ahead of Braddin, such as Tim Paine, now he’s back from injury.
Haddin’s glovework and middle-order batsmanship was vital.
And throw in all the new faces into the side and the plethora of injuries to the bowling ranks and the absurd player rotation policy, little wonder the performances of the team have been roller-coaster like.
But I do think Moises Henriques could solve the No.6 and allrounder’s role for sometime.
His twin fifties in the first test at Chennai indicated his strength of character and he should be on the plane to England.
He also bowls good medium-pace stuff that adds variety to the bowling attack and he is also a damn good fieldsman.