A few of the big five national cricket teams have suffered from a lack of quality players, which has left the Australian team with a glut of inexperienced players.
The list below is the latest in a series of articles which will explore the problem of quality in cricket and the challenges facing the players in the game.
Australia’s woesWith the Ashes looming, it is easy to see why Australia’s cricket team has struggled.
Australia has won just two Tests, including a series defeat in Australia’s opening series in India in 2017.
The Test series against England has been the highlight of the summer for Australia, with Australia winning by four wickets.
The Australian team has been struggling to find consistency, which is not easy when the side is trying to chase its dream of playing in the World Cup in 2019.
“I think in the last few years, we have been able to make some significant improvements, but the problem we have is that we don’t have the right balance in the side,” captain Michael Clarke said in an interview on ABC TV’s Q&A programme.
“The problem is, we’ve got a lot of young players, we haven’t got a good quality of the players that we’ve brought in, and there’s a lack on the batting side.”
Clarke’s comments came just weeks after Australia lost two of their five Test matches, with captain Michael Klinger and paceman Alex Rance both struggling with injuries.
Australia has struggled to find an identity on the fieldIn recent years, the Australian cricket team is seen as having a consistent identity, with a consistent style of play.
Australia have won two World Cups and three Ashes series, and have a winning record in the Test arena.
Australia captain Michael Curnow is also considered a strong leader, and has taken on more responsibility for the team’s performances.
“Australia have had some of the greatest captains in the world in David Warner, Steve Smith, and Brendon McCullum, and you can see the same with Andrew Strauss, Brad Haddin, Brendon [Hancock] and Matt Renshaw,” Clarke said.
“You’ve got to have a strong captain and you’ve got good leadership, and that’s not always there.”
Clarkel also admitted that while he is happy with the team he has been playing with, there are still problems with the side.
“There are some areas where I think we need to do a better job,” he said.
Australia is not winning at the right timeThe most obvious problem for Australia is that they have been unable to find the right form at the moment.
Australia’s form has not been good enough to get them out of the group stage in England and the ODI series against the West Indies, but they have managed to do that against some quality opposition.
Australia have beaten Australia, India and England in their two Test series, but lost to Pakistan in the latter series.
Australia also lost to England in the one-day series in Mumbai.
Australia needs to be better at taking a series leadAustralia’s form was poor in the first Test against England, with both captains conceding the series opener, and losing to England.
“We need to be a little bit more clinical, a little more disciplined in our batting, and we need some balance to our batting line-ups in terms of what we’re doing to win,” Clarke told the ABC.
“And then we’ve also got to get some players to play better cricket and do a bit better.”
At the moment, our batting isn’t really good enough, so we’ve just got to do better at all the things that we need and that can be the fielding side, the ball management side, or the batting.
“It’s just getting better, and hopefully we can keep that going for the rest of the season.”
Australia have also struggled with fielding and ball management.
Clarke said the lack of pace and accuracy in the Australian side had been an issue, and had been exacerbated by a lack in quality players in Australia.
“So the big challenge for us is getting a better balance in our side, and the players on that side need to get a little stronger in the batting and on the ball, and they need to play a little better,” Clarke added.
“That’s the biggest challenge for our team right now, to try and get better in the field, get a bit more consistent in our line-up and get a lot more consistency on the cricket field.”
Australia has had a few promising signings in recent yearsThe inclusion of Australian captain Michael Kohli, who was a Test cricketer before moving into the middle order, has helped the side in recent times, as Kohli has been one of the best players in Tests and T20Is for the past two years.
Kohli is currently ranked 12th in the ICC rankings, and is ranked 17th in ODIs.
“Michael Kohli was a great player for us, but he’s now got a new contract, and he’s playing in his first World Cup,” Clarke