Australia have handed over the Ashes to England, having lost the last two Tests in under three days, at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge respectively. The key reason behind their failure is not very difficult to comprehend, extremely poor batting, which has led to Micheal Clarke losing the Ashes just a few months after lifting the World Cup. The disastrous result, and his own personal form have resulted in Clarke announcing his decision to retire from international cricket at the end of the fifth and final Ashes Test. We take a closer look at Australia’s batting struggles during the series.
Michael Clarke: Starting with the skipper himself, Clarke has managed only 117 runs in a total of eight visits to the crease. He is averaging a tailender-ish 16.7. Even that has been enhanced a bit by the fact that he has an unbeaten innings to his name. Clarke’s highest in the series has been a paltry 38. He has faced only 212 balls in the series so far, and has only hit 15 fours over the course of eight knocks.
Adam Voges: Just like Clarke, Voges has also had a massive struggle in the series. He has found the going to be much tougher than his debut series against West Indies. In four matches and seven innings, Voges has managed only 125 runs at an average of 20.83. Of them as well, 51 not out came in the last match at Trent Bridge, in the second innings, on the third and final day of the Test, when everything was all but lost. It remains to be seen whether Voges has done enough to retain his place in the team.
Steven Smith: He has 365 runs to his name at a decent average of 45.6, and is currently the third highest run-getter in the series. But, the fact is that apart from the Lord’s Test, he has been a failure. He made 33 in both the knocks at Cardiff, and 215 and 58 at Lords. However, his last four knocks have been 7, 8, 6 and 5. Clearly, he has struggled of late, and Australia have consequently failed to make an impression.
Mitchell Marsh: He played in two Tests, and while he was reasonably good with the ball, he struggled with the bat. In four knocks, Marsh managed merely 45 runs, not enough even when one considers that he was batting down the order. 27 of those runs came in one match, and his average has been pretty poor at 15. Marsh was dropped for the fourth Test in favour of brother Shaun.
Shaun Marsh: He played at Trent Bridge, but had returns of only 2 runs, one of his knocks was a duck. Marsh was clearly all at sea against the English attack.
Other failures: Shane Watson played one Test and managed only 49 runs while Brad Haddin also played one match to score 29 runs.
-- By A Cricket Analyst