Cricket champs facing slump in form

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:53 IST

Australia managed to draw the third Ashes Test on Monday, but there are plenty of signs that the slump has begun for the world champions.

London:

Australia managed to draw the third Ashes Test on Monday, but there are plenty of signs that the slump has begun for the world champions. Their batting, fielding and bowling looked ragged as compared to England. In fact, skipper Rickey Ponting's century was the first by an Australian batsman in six innings so far. Ponting and Michael Clarke are the only two batsmen to average more than 35 in this series. Shockingly, Shane Warne comes in at number three in the averages. Damien Martyn has one half century, Mathew Hayden's 36 at Old Trafford was his highest score of the series, while Adam Gilchrist has scored the least runs among the batsmen. He has scored just 120 from six innings. Batting isn't the only concern for Australia. Their fielding, as evident from Adam Gilchrist's showing behind the stumps, proves that age is indeed catching up. Warne, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee have taken 49 wickets between them, but Jason Gillespie has managed only three wickets from three Tests. Ponting's captaincy has also been under a cloud. There have been reports of a tiff with Warne after the decision to bat first at Edgbaston. The captain was also criticized for taking 34 overs to bring on Warne in the first innings at Old Trafford.

Topics : Cricket England Australia
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