The morning after, Australia were hunting for solutions — and the magic potion that once made them invincible.
Cricket writers couldn’t disguise the hurt from the humiliating defeat at the hands of a young Indian side in the tri-series. Some even questioned Ricky Ponting’s continuance as captain.
Robert Craddock, in an article in The Daily Telegraph, suggested that Ponting should take a break from the game to sort out his batting problems. “The last thing Ponting needs is more cricket,” he wrote.
Craddock had another suggestion. “Ponting would do well to tear up his contract with the Indian Premier League and book some time at his favourite Sydney golf club. The contract fee of $400,000 he would have to surrender would be worth it for the peace of mind,” he wrote. Ponting himself has acknowledged his “awful form” — 191 runs from 10 innings.
Ben Dorries wrote in Herald Sun that Andrew Symonds with 174 runs wasn’t doing any good either. “Teammates privately say Symonds was distracted by becoming cricket’s $1.5 million man after the Indian Premier League player auction and his feud with Harbhajan Singh,” he wrote.
An ageing Australia was another problem. Craddock wrote: “Indians had just one player over 30 — Australians in contrast had only three under 30.” Ponting said they should learn from India’s “youth policy”. “The younger players have added energy to their group,” he told Age.