Chappell says Australians complacent, lack respect
Former Australian captain says Ricky Ponting's team was complacent and lacked respect for its opposition after a shocking loss to Zimbabwe.Updated: Sep 13, 2007, 16:22 IST
Former Australian captain Ian Chappell said Ricky Ponting's side was complacent and lacked respect for its opposition on Thursday after a shock loss to minnows Zimbabwe in the Twenty20 World Cup.
Australia's World Cup and Test champions limped to 138 for nine in the opening match of their campaign in South Africa, only for Zimbabwe to overhaul the total with one ball to spare in a thrilling match.
Chappell, a gritty Australian captain in the 1970s who never lost a Test series as skipper, said the Ponting's side could not use a long lay-off from the game as an excuse.
"I think it's more likely the Australians were complacent than rusty," Chappell told the CricInfo website. Chappell said the Australians had played plenty of practice matches in the lead-up to the tournament opener and Ponting would be disappointed his players did not treat their unfancied opponents with more respect.
"I think there could have been a feeling of 'all we've got to do is turn up and we'll beat Zimbabwe'," he said. "I think that's what Ricky Ponting was alluding to when he said after the game that his players need to respect the (Twenty20) game a little." Chappell said Ponting probably delivered a "tongue lashing" to his team after the loss.
He also warned Australia's next opponents, England, to expect a backlash. "England will need to watch out when Australia play them because they'll be wounded. On a minor scale, it will be a little bit like when Australia lost the Ashes to them in 2005," he said.
Australia bounced back from that loss to thrash England 5-0 in the next Ashes Test series. Australia's loss came too late to make the newspapers Down Under but their online editions blasted Ponting's men.
"Zimbabwe beats awful Australia," lamented Sydney's Daily Telegraph, while the Australian newspaper's website described the national team's performance as "embarrassing."
"Ostracised Zimbabwe stun Ponting's men," said the Sydney Morning Herald, pointing out that Australia were in real danger of crashing out of the tournament.