Australian Media Furious Over 'Most Humiliating' Ashes Loss

Melbourne, Dec 8 (IANS) A raging Australian media has ripped apart Ricky Ponting's team for their loss to England in the Adelaide Test, saying that baggy green's "cricket has not been in such a parlous state for two decades".

Cricket experts, including former players, wondered how the team that was the top Test team in the world until recently could slide so rapidly. Describing the innings and 71-run battering in the second Test that gave England a 1-0 lead as "Australia's most humiliating Ashes loss", they called for major changes in the team.

"Desperate times require desperate measures," the Herald Sun observed Wednesday.

"Beaten. Broken. Bereft of options. Australian cricket has not been in such a parlous state for two decades. The team that lost to England will never play together again. It will be ripped apart like a Christmas turkey at a boarding house the next time the selectors meet," Robert Craddock wrote in the report.

Malcolm Conn echoed the sentiments in The Australian.

"Not since Australia's darkest days in the mid '80s has the Test team played so badly. Has the national side which was so recently ranked number one in the world really fallen this far?"

Peter Roebeck, in the Sydney Morning Herald, pointed to the gulf between the two sides.

"England soared. Australia floundered. Australian cricket has become a product of rampant self-indulgence. The gap between the sides has become a chasm ... Australian cricket has become self-indulgent. Bold decisions are needed - and wise ones."

Shane Warne wrote in his blog in the Herald Sun: "I think if Australia loses another Ashes series to England then I think you'll see a youth policy employed by the selectors. And they will try to re-build rather than persist with ageing players."

Former Australian opener Mark Taylor asked Mitchell Johnson to show his "fighting" qualities and bring something special to the attack.

"Johnson would certainly come back into calculations. He's only missed one Test match but he is a bit of an X-Factor for the Australians. He's the sort of guy who gives them a bit of aggro, and that's exactly what they need. They need some penetration from their bowling attack," Taylor told the Daily Telegraph.

Another former opener, Michael Slater, said Phillip Hughes should replace injured Simon Kattich in Perth.

"Hughes comes in to open, Marcus North out, (Brad) Haddin batting six and (Nathan) Hauritz is in there as well."

He also backed the return of swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus, but was against retaining left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty

Justin Langer, on the other hand, saw many of Australia's problems as self-inflicted. "When you drop catches, miss run-out opportunities, do not capitalise on good starts with the bat and then take only five wickets in an innings, you cannot expect to be the team drinking champagne afterwards," Langer said in his BBC column.

Damien Martyn patted England's back. "Well done England!! Credit where credit is due every since arriving in the country they have looked the goods well deserved enjoy the moment."


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