Australian media unpack 'unprecedented' cricket failure

Australian commentators have proclaimed a “crisis” in the nation’s cricket team after it slumped to another emphatic loss.

South Africa thrashed Australia by an innings and 80 runs in Hobart on Tuesday to seal the three-Test series.

Captain Steve Smith said he was “embarrassed to be sitting here” at a news briefing after the game, but local observers were even more withering.

“Australian cricket is in crisis like never before,” said one review.

“The captain has no answers. The coach has no answers. The men in suits are boarding planes,” Peter Lalor wrote in The Australian.

“Heads have to roll, but no matter how many sacrifices are made, it will not satisfy the blood lust of the public, of whose game they are the guardians.”

Former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh resigned as Australia’s chairman of selectors on Wednesday, saying it was “time for some fresh thinking, just as it is for our Test team to welcome some new faces.”

Writing for the ABC, Geoff Lemon said batting collapses had become “endemic” and “the defining factor” of a team which was all out for 85 in the first innings.

“But the point for Australia is the absence of players who can withstand this,” he wrote.

“As batting orders have collapsed, so has morale, and there’s no repairing a crushed meringue.”

‘Conservation’ status

“What would Sir David Attenborough think?” asked The Age‘s Phil Lutton, rating seven current players “endangered” or “critically endangered” of losing their place in the side.

Anthony Sharwood said Australia was “getting towelled up” by a South African team missing its two best players, captain AB de Villiers and fast bowler Dale Steyn.

“There’s just not the quality replacements out there. The question is why? Too many players growing up on the Froot Loops diet of T20 rather than the muesli of long form cricket?” he wrote in the Huffington Post.

Nor were the Australian players spared by the general public.

“The Australia cricket team are an embarrassment to Australia you showed no heart or fight,” tweeted Joshua Lewis.

Devi Pokhrel wrote: “Make Australia Cricket Team Great Again! Gosh what’s happening?”

BBC Sport – Cricket

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