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Dean Wilson: Aussie flat-track bullies need to toughen up

05 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Dean Wilson: Aussie flat-track bullies need to toughen up

The Australians need to get a bit angrier and more aggressive if they are are going to put up a genuine fight for these Ashes

There is something unerringly aggressive and macho about cricket in Australia.

Perhaps as a result of its tough and harsh environment especially ‘up country’, it is a place that tends to breed quite tough and harsh cricketers.

There is a long line of grizzly blokes from Down Under who have devoured all comers to their land, and would quite often do the same away from home.

But Australia is going through a bit of a change.

That tough, gruff image has been steadily softened and moisturised and coiffured by the impact of the LA lifestyle.

The influence of America on Australia is more and more apparent on each subsequent visit.

And maybe, just maybe it has started to creep into their cricket.

9/4 – England to win the fourth Ashes Test

It sounds a ridiculous thing to say, especially when Brad Haddin ripped into New Zealand at the World Cup final with such gusto that many thought he had crossed a line. He hadn’t.

And in his defence thereafter he pointed out quite rightly: “We won the World Cup, didn’t we?”

Haddin has only played in one match of this Ashes series and, after dropping Joe Root early on in Cardiff, he stayed pretty quiet.

Other players that like to get into a battle include, Shane Watson, who’s played just the one.

David Warner, who is clearly itching to get stuck in but is being held back by the threat of sanctions from above and is too busy trying to cultivate his wholesome, brand-aware image as a father and family man.

3/1 – David Warner to be Australia’s top 1st innings batsman

Michael Clarke got into James Anderson last time around, but is so focused on his own terrible form that he is in no position to start wagging fingers.

There are very few angry attack dogs in this Australian team and it has shown in the two hammerings they have taken.

And yet when they were on top at Lord’s, according to Ben Stokes they were not shy in letting the England players know about it.

They have become a flat-track bully team.

They know how to play the game, they can be confident and they can be effective, but only when conditions are in their favour.

The batsman who can only bully bowlers on the flattest of tracks is a limited asset.

If the ball is swinging around or moving off the seam or spinning a bit too much and things become difficult then their powers disappear, and that seems to be the case with this Aussie side.

The quality of England’s cricket has been such that they haven’t really allowed Australia to get on the offensive too much, but that would not have stopped a team with Matthew Hayden in it, or Shane Warne, or Glenn McGrath or Steve Waugh.

They were angry Australian teams going into battle and they thrived on playing the game that way.

11/4 – Mitchell Johnson to be Australia’s top 1st innings bowler

The truth is, apart from one or two Mitchell Johnson spells in this series, Australia have been pretty passive and that is good news for England.

Even a bowler like the sidelined Peter Siddle, who doesn’t have express pace, would constantly be at the batsman and in his face. You can’t say the same thing for Josh Hazlewood or Mitchell Starc who have played so far.

If England can keep Australia quiet at Trent Bridge literally, they will be playing the game on their terms.

But if Australia are going to put up a genuine fight for these Ashes then they need to get a bit angrier and more aggressive.

Anything less and they really won’t have played this series like Australia at all.

The fourth Ashes Test

READ: Simon Hughes: England can look forward to more grass and cheap wickets at Trent Bridge