Batsmen in the mould of, or, as talented as Michael Clarke or the retired Ricky Ponting, may never be seen in Australia again if the “holes in the production line” are not addressed by the country’s cricket administrators, says former great Ian Chappell.
“We are not addressing the fact that there are holes in the production line,” Chappell said.“If you think about it, Ponting, (Michael) Hussey and Clarke, you would have to say are the last of that sort of generation who learnt how to survive those tough periods,’’ he added.
Chappell questioned Australia’s methods of producing talented batsmen. “For instance, I have seen the next lot of batsmen at the under-19 level World Cup and I have not seen any change in what’s happening. So I’ve got to ask the question, if our methods of producing batsmen don’t seem to be working, and in my opinion they are not, why aren’t we trying to do some other things?” Chappell was quoted as saying by a cricket website.
He said that the “core problem” facing Australian cricket at the moment needed to be fixed first.
“I don’t hear these things being talked about and it’s just a matter of will we change the coach, we will bring in a new high-performance (manager), those things are not going to make one bit of a difference. Fix up the core problem and then we might start to get somewhere.” As far as batting in tough conditions were concerned, Chappell cited two innings played by Clarke and Ponting during Ashes 2009 and 2005 respectively.
“The classic examples are — Clarke at Lord’s in 2009. It was a magnificent innings against brilliant bowling from Jimmy Anderson and Andrew Flintoff. In my opinion, that’s the best innings I have ever seen from Clarke.
And Ponting’s innings at Old Trafford in 2005 to save the Test match — 156 I think he got. Magnificent innings, back to the wall save the Test match type innings,’’ he reasoned.
“That should be standard fare for other Australian Test batsmen. But at the moment you would say, when Michael Clarke retires, that maybe the end of that style of batsman,’’ Chappell said.