Australia coach Mickey Arthur has refused to judge his team's poor performance against India in the ongoing series as a sign of what may take place in the Ashes, later this year. He said the tournament against England will be playedÂ in conditions completely different from the sub-continent.
In a report published in ESPNCricinfo, Arthur has been quoted as saying that the team suffered casualties before the tour toÂ India but that he expects the team to be stable before the Ashes in July.
"It's probably not that fair a barometer. I was pretty scared when I looked at the schedule because we'd been building a top-six and a team. We were nearly the finished article, then we lose 300 Test caps. In my thinking Ponting and Hussey were coming to the Ashes. We had them pencilled in to come to the Ashes so we had some stability in the top six. We thought we had experience, some good young players and it was the perfect blend. We then lose both those players. Then I thought we've got to go to India, and on every tour to India I've been on there's been casualties. We don't want those casualties going into the Ashes."
Questions have been raised about the relevance of recently retired Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey in the side, especially after the back-to-back defeats against MS Dhoni and his side. While Ponting's departure was partly expected due to his poor showing in West Indies, Hussey's decision was more of a surprise.
"That's his decision. It was disappointing to lose him though ahead of what is such a big year. A year I guess that will define Michael and my leadership. It was disappointing because it was almost back to square one again in terms of experience," the coach said.
Australia and England will play 5 Tests, 2 T20s and 5 ODIs between July and September this year. Another five Tests will be played -this time with Australia as hosts - between November 21 and January 7 of the next year.