John Inverarity blames Twenty20 as to why Australia can’t find replacements for Hussey and Ponting.
Australia national selector John Inverarity has admitted that the side have struggled to find any batsmen capable of filling the gap left by the retired Mike Hussey and Ricky Ponting.
Inverarity believes the growing importance put on Twenty20 cricket in Australia means that finding players able to go the long haul in Tests is proving to be difficult.
During the national side’s recent tour of India – the first time they had been without both Hussey and Ponting and a series they lost 4-0 – captain Michael Clarke was the only batsman to score a century in any of the five-day matches.
Clarke is also the only man in the top six of the batting order who averages more than 40, a worrying statistic for a side that not so long ago boasted averages of 51.52 and 51.85 from Hussey and Ponting respectively.
“I don’t think anyone has got the exact answer as to why we haven’t got players coming through who bat for long periods,” Inverarity told ESPNcricinfo.
“The cricket scene is now more fragmented that it was, with T20.
“In terms of players developing momentum it [Twenty20] has made it rather difficult.”
The introduction of the Big Bash League in Australia – the country’s 20-over tournament – has seen domestic first-class cricket in the nation be disbanded in December and January, meaning any potential Test players are struggling to get any worthwhile practice.
Likewise, with so many Australian players placing impetus on getting contracts in the IPL, Twenty20 cricket is beginning to dominate the scene Down Under and the five-day side is paying the consequences.