There has not been a blacker day for Australia in Ashes annals. Captain Michael Clarke’s career is teetering after a thrashing, desperate drive at Stewie Broad was shanked straight to slip.
Shaun Marsh’s vulnerability against the moving ball was again highlighted while Adam Voges may well have played his last Test.
Geoff Boycott on the BBC said he couldn’t remember any Australian top-order looking so frail and vulnerable. ‘They were as poor as I have ever seen a top order and I’ve seen all the series in England for the last 50 years,’ he said.
Only two players emerged from the opening day’s play at Trent Bridge with their heads high: pace pair Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. The rest under performed big time and in a game Clarke had billed as a Grand Final.
Years ago when an under-strength NZ toured downunder there was a famous sign pleading: ‘All we want is a five day Test’.
If Australia can force play into a fourth day it will be doing well. The 100s of supporters who had flown in for the final two deciding contests must be bitterly disappointed – and rightly so.
Should Clarke resign as captain? Yes.
The sheer volume of Australia’s massive defeat in Cardiff demands immediate change with the Lord’s Test starting Thursday.
Dubbed Dad’s army pre-match, the Australians played like a bunch of old timers lulled into a false sense of security after recent walkouts in the Caribbean.
It was if the Aussies didn’t turn up,so insipid were they after an initial flurry of early wickets in the first hour of the match.
Captain Michael Clarke and fellow senior citizens Brad Haddin and Shane Watson had matches to forget… And Watson may have played his last Test should he a make way this week for the younger Mitchell Marsh.
He fell lbw twice in the match and scores of 30 and 19 and just 13 wickedness overs is damning evidence of his shaky hold on the allrounder’s position.
Clarke, too, may be passed his best. He was unconvincing in his first innings 38 and even less so in the second innings when he again fell to his nemesis Stewart Broad.
On the final afternoon Haddin was out to an old fashioned hoick, completing a miserable match which saw him make just 22 and 17 and concede 24 byes. While he did take five catches, the one he missed, Joe Root, shortly aft midday on Day 1 will live long in the memory.
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