Absence of Ponting, Hussey hurting Australia: Dean Jones

Former Australia batsman and cricket expert Dean Jones tells NDTV that the current side's performance in India has let the 'Baggy Green' down.

Updated: March 05, 2013 20:33 IST
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New Delhi: Australia's fifth-straight Test loss on Indian soil has infuriated Dean Jones. Speaking to NDTV in an exclusive show alongside Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar, Jones lashed out at his national side. According to him, the Kangaroos are clearly missing greats like Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, who retired from international cricket in recent months.

"The absence of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey is very evident in the middle order. Michael Clarke looked listless on where to bat himself. He may have decided to now go up the order to number four. Hussey is a great player and sadly we don't have great Test batsmen like him anymore to help Clarke in the batting department," the 51-year-old Jones said.

Sans Clarke, who looks the only player who can cope with the Indian spinners, the Aussies are looking woefully out-of-form. The top and middle order have hardly troubled the Indians with openers Ed Cowan, David Warner averaging in mid-20s, Shane Watson 19 and Phil Hughes just 6 from the four innings in the two Tests. Moises Henriques, who comes lower down in the order has impressed with an aggregate 154 runs, second behind Clarke's 268 runs in the series.

"They have got some average Test players in their ranks who need more time to prepare. Someone like Sunil Gavaskar, who has experience of more than 100 Tests, can get acclimatized to foreign conditions in much lesser time than these players. But when you have players of inexperience of playing on pitches that turn like this, they should be given more time to cope with the conditions and learn. We are not backing away from anything as Indians have been way too good on the field here. We smashed India at home Down Under and now we're getting it back," Jones added.

Last year the English side came a month earlier than the start of the first Test, played as many as three warm-up games and ended up with a historic 2-1 series win. Jones stressed the importance of coming early on a tour to getting used to the conditions.

"They have not prepared properly for this iconic and big tour. The Australians played a one-day series against West Indies leading straight into here and the players haven't adjusted to these conditions. Nor have they got a mental or tactical plan on how to tackle great spinners like Ashwin and co, so they deserve what they get," he said.

When asked on the show to describe Australia's performance in the Hyderabad Test in one word, he said "insipid".

On an emotional tone, Jones said, "We Australians famously proud ourselves on the Baggy Green cap. It's got a Kangaroo and an Emu. These are two native animals of Australia, you cannot find them anywhere else in the world. And the great thing about those two animals is that they can't walk backwards. Well, today sadly they did. And they (the players) will have to regroup themselves. It's got to be between the ears," he said with heavy heart.

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