Sydney, Dec 13: Effects of a transitional phase are showing up as Aussies' performance is termed inconsistent in recent times. The last two series against South Africa and New Zealand suggest that, youngsters are making a mark while the seniors have been enjoying the warmth extended by the selectors as they remain as non-performers.
Inconsistency is written on the face of the Aussies as they have lost 2, and won 2 in the last 4 matches. Having registered their fourth lowest total of 47 against SA, five weeks later have put themselves in another embarrasing situation as they have lost a test at home to give Kiwis a historic win in 26 years.
This clearly shows how inconsistently the team has been performing in the past few months. With the recent loss, Aussies have hit an even lower point, as they have allowed a team ranked eighth to register their first win in Australia in 26 years.
Ever since the world sensed the news of the defeat, the team has been damned by the press, as "lowest of the low" after their disastrous loss to New Zealand and has also branded the team is undergoing crisis ahead of the test series against India later this month.
"It's sad and getting silly," Robert Craddock wrote in the Telegraph. "If new chairman of selectors John Inverarity is not brave enough to end Ricky Ponting's Test career, he should stand down himself."
Sydney's Daily Telegraph's headline read, "Lowest of the Low," over a photo of a crestfallen Australian number 11 Nathan Lyon, while the Sydney Morning Herald remarked on the once dominant team's loss of form.
"Once the kings of world cricket, Australia are no longer capable of putting away eighth-ranked New Zealand," the Herald said.
While press is rampant on the downfall of the then world champions, commentators too rubbished Australia's batsmen as they failed to chase a target of 24, though they were comfortably placed at one point, when they needed just 82 runs with 8 wickets in hand.
The commentators too are on a roll as they criticize the batting line up for its inability to finish off against Kiwis, after being at a comfortable position. Debutant David Warner, the lone batsman who struggled to help the team sail throughbut ended up on the losing side as he saw Ponting, Clarke and Hussey being dismissed cheaply, as he became a silent spectator from the other end.
New Zealand had beaten Australia only once before this test, without Richard Hadlee in the team. While this time around, they did not have the services of their best player Daniel Vettori and went on to win the Test match in 26 years. They played brillantly, though their batting wasn't up to the mark it was definitely better than the hosts.
The team management is facing a crisis, as the senior players instead of shouldering the responsibility they are letting them down as Clarke and Hussey both got out for a nought while Rciky Ponting made just 16 before being dismissed.
Moreover, the so called 'seniors' (Clarke, Hussey and Ponting) were dismissed within a span of 15 balls as the team was sighting a defeat after losing wickets on one end though David Warner made a valiant 123, it wasn't enough to take Aussies through as they fell short by 8 runs.
A few commentators called for Phil Hughes, the opening batsman who made just 24 runs in two innings, to be dropped following his dismal show.
Many other dailies carried news and criticism against Aussies as Peter Lalor of The Australian wrote: "The top order again failed against the swinging delivery, a fact that will be noted by India as it prepares for the four-Test post-Christmas series."
Lalor further added that Australia's recent score of just 47 in Cape Town and the historic loss to New Zealand proved "this inconsistent team had new depths to plumb".
While the Herald concluded by criticizing it further quoting "Australia will head into the marquee series of the Test summer with a misfiring batting line-up vulnerable to costly and spectacular collapses if yesterday's humiliating defeat to New Zealand has not sharpened John Inverarity's axe."
The loss to New Zealand at Hobart is arguably the most embarrassing defeat in Test history as even the fouth lowest total of 47 comes second as they were always termed tough opponents at home. Australian team has a major challenge coming up as they have to motivate themselves and prepare ahead of the test series against India starting on Dec 26, 2011. It remains to be seen if these criticisms will have an effect on team selection for the upcoming series against India that is due next week.