By Rob Forsaith
MELBOURNE, Nov 4 AAP – The funds, tools and plans are there to fix Australia’s cricket badly-exposed inadequacies in Asian conditions.
But Cricket Australia high performance chief Pat Howard says time and hard work represent the only remedy to the woes so ruthlessly highlighted by Pakistan in the past fortnight.
Addressing the side’s “weakness against spin”, Howard on Tuesday pointed to spin pitches at CA’s world-class $29 million training facility in Brisbane.
He noted CA would continue to use external spin consultants, such as Sri Lanka great Muttiah Muralitharan, and developmental sub-continent tours that expose Test prospects to foreign conditions at an early age.
Promoting the role of spin bowling in Sheffield Shield matches is also high on CA’s agenda.
“All of those things will bring about improvement, but in no way are they an overnight solution,” Howard said.
“It will take time and hard work.”
Australia were embarrassed in the two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE, struggling to bat on the same pitches that Pakistan made to look like roads.
With the ball, the visitors managed a total of just 21 wickets across Pakistan’s four innings.
“To be a great side, we have to be able to win consistently on the road and it’s clear that we still struggle to cope with dry sub-continental conditions,” Howard said of the series, reminiscent of the shambolic 4-0 series loss in India last year.
“We’re not looking for excuses for what happened … no one is blaming a coin toss or the pitches.
“Batting, bowling and fielding were well below par.”
Former Test captain Allan Border told News Corp Australia the subcontinent struggles warranted a formal review, similar to that conducted by Don Argus into Australia’s team performance in 2011.
CA confirmed that was not on the cards.
Remarkably, Australia will reclaim the No.1 ICC Test ranking if they defeat India 3-0 or 4-0 in the upcoming series at home.
Howard suggested the batting performances of David Warner, Steve Smith and Mitch Marsh were some of the “very few positives” to take from the series.
“Given they’ve all got long careers in front of them, they have showed that they can succeed in those conditions,” he said.