‘That’s been our Achilles heel for a number of years’: Adam Gilchrist explains what’s hurting Australia cricket

With the first of the three ODIs starting Friday, Gilchrist highlighted Australia’s flaws and what the management and the team need to do to rectify them.
Adam Gilchrist feels Australia’s middle order needs to bat better.(Getty Images)
Adam Gilchrist feels Australia’s middle order needs to bat better.(Getty Images)
Updated on Sep 11, 2020 03:35 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com

Following Australia’s 1-2 defeat to England in the T20Is, former wicketkeeper batsman Adam Gilchrist has pointed out certain issues the national team is grappling with, saying lack of runs and consistency is a concern and that the team needs to address it soon. Australia have been on a bit of a downward spiral post last year’s World Cup, winning only two out of seven ODIs since losing to England in the second semifinal in Edgbaston.

With the first of the three ODIs starting Friday, Gilchrist highlighted the flaws and what Australia need to do to rectify them.

“(The middle overs) has been a little bit of a handbrake for the Australians in the one-day format for a number of years, particularly against the spinning ball. Not only does the run rate come down but they tend to lose wickets in clumps – we saw that with the collapse in the first T20. I think that’s the area where other teams have tended to be accelerating and playing that more aggressive brand of cricket,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia.

“That’s been our Achilles heel for a number of years (and) will be challenging again, with the make-up of the England bowling line-up and how everyone in world cricket is probably aware of that handbrake for Australia there. It’s all on the Aussies to work out what the psychology will be, what the match plan will be and what the make-up of the batting order will be.”

Another area Gilchrist is concerned about is the wicketkeeper’s slot in Australia’s limited-overs set-up. Matthew Wade kept wickets in the T20Is, but Aaron Finch on Thursday confirmed the news of Alex Carey replacing him in the ODIs. The 29-year-old has had a decent start to his ODI career, scoring 884 runs from 36 matches at an average of 34, including 375 runs from nine innings at the 2019 World Cup but Gilchrist reckons Carey needs to adapt a little more to cement his place in the Playing XI.

“That wicketkeeping role, Alex Carey showing so much promise in an array of facets of the game – leadership, his wicketkeeping is excellent, he’s opened in Big Bash with great success, and he’s shown some really solid form in that middle-order finishing role,” Gilchrist said.

“But he still hasn’t consistently banged out 80 off 40, total game-changing innings, a la a guy like (England’s Jos) Buttler does regularly, or (Jonny) Bairstow if he happens to have the gloves.

“That wicketkeeping allrounder position has not quite been totally fulfilled, probably since Brad Haddin. So there’ll be some decisions to be made there by selectors about who they think can do it, or by Alex Carey about just how innovate and creative and aggressive he needs to be to have that impact. And is it at the top of the order, or down at seven, six, or floating?”

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