Former Australia captain Steve Waugh said national selectors are “in a quandary” over their team’s form slump and may be best to give incumbent players the chance to redeem themselves in the Ashes series against England.
Waugh was a member of the last Australian team to lose an Ashes series on home soil, 23 years ago, and said it will be difficult for the present line-up to swing the momentum of the current series after England took a 1-0 lead.
He said while it would not be easy for Australia to come back from its demoralising innings and 71-run loss to England in the second Test at Adelaide, stable selection might eventually work in its favour.
“I don’t know what the selectors are going to do, because they have chopped and changed I think probably too much in the last 12 months,” Waugh said.
“You just look at the bowling. They’ve got through so many bowlers...Clint McKay, Peter George, then we’ve got (Ben) Hilfenhaus and (Mitchell) Johnson. Where do you go if you’ve just discarded these guys?” he added.
Waugh said the best policy may be to back current players to recover their best form. “This is a situation similar to back in ’85-’86 when the selectors sat down and thought, ‘this is a group of cricketers we’re going to stick with through thick and thin and let’s back them,’” he said.
Waugh averaged 58 runs per innings in Tests against England, losing only eight of the 48 Ashes matches he played. He said Australia was used to “doing a demolition job” on the English but now had to adjust to a situation in which England held the upper hand.
“It’s going to be difficult. It’s almost like the shoe is on the other foot, we’ve reversed roles,” Waugh said. ”... I know how hard England found it to come back from that situation, so it won’t be easy for Australia to come back.”
Keywords: Ashes series