They’ve been labelled Australia’s worst batting line-up of the modern era — an attack which appeared justified on Friday amid another troubling collapse.
But England great Michael Vaughan has come to the defence of Australia’s inexperienced side, saying the weight of expectation is simply too great for the new generation of cricketers.
Australia’s top order did not deliver in Adelaide. Picture: GettySource:Getty Images
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Following on from Australia’s meek showing with the bat in the first innings of the series-opening Test in Adelaide, where they collapsed to be 4-87 in an all-too-familiar scenario, Vaughan picked apart the reasons for the current malaise.
And, for the most part, they’re all at Adelaide Oval at the moment — most of them in the commentary box.
“I blame you guys — I honestly do,” Vaughan said in a Fox Cricket discussion alongside Test greats Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Mark Waugh.
“The benchmark for Australian cricket is so high because of you lot. In English cricket when we went through difficult times… our benchmark has never been that high.
Too good? Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist set the bar high for future generations. Picture: AFPSource:News Corp Australia
“We’ve never had great, great teams. You were a part of a great team and I look at this Australian team and it’s the least experienced team, in terms of batting, since the 80s.
“And they’re looking up at the (commentary) box and they’ve got Gilchrist, they’ve got Warne, they’ve got Waugh, (Ricky) Ponting, (Jason) Gillespie, (Glenn) McGrath — you guys set the benchmark too high for them.”
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The list of legends rattled off by Vaughan highlighted a decade of dominance for Australia from the mid-1990s onwards.
Warne and Waugh laughed at Vaughan’s suggestion.
“Oh, come on…” Warne said with a grin, before Waugh went on the front foot, referencing Australia’s domination of Vaughan’s England: “Are we meant to apologise? You blokes should’ve been better when we were playing against you.”
England captain Michael Vaughan (C) raises The Ashes urn.Source:News Limited
It was a point Vaughan quickly conceded.
“Well that’s the fact — we weren’t!” said the former batsmen, who led England to a historic 2005 Ashes victory, ending a 16-year drought.
“I just look at this Australian side and (coach Justin Langer) used the word patience and I do think the Australian fans out there, and you guys, you’ve got to be very patient for them.
“Because it’s going to be a rollercoaster for a while because I don’t see a quick fix with the batting line-up overnight, it’s going to take a long time.”
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Originally published as ‘I blame you’: Aussie slump culprits exposed