Melbourne: "Lowest of the low" – screamed the headlines in Australian newspapers as they lambasted the country`s cricketers, saying Michael Clarke`s men go into the marquee series against India as a "misfiring lot".
Australia lost by seven runs to eighth-ranked New Zealand, their first home loss to the trans-Tasmanian rivals in 26 years.
It was a result of a stunning batting collapse and the media Down Under said it was "arguably their most embarrassing defeat in Test history."
"Lowest of the Low," read the headline in `Daily Telegraph`.
"Once the kings of world cricket, Australia are no longer capable of putting away eighth-ranked New Zealand," said `The Sydney Morning Herald`.
"It`s sad and getting silly," Robert Craddock wrote in the Telegraph.
"If new chairman of selectors John Inverarity is not brave enough to end Ricky Ponting`s Test career, he should stand down himself."
The newspapers` ire was also directed at opener Phil Hughes, who made just 24 runs in two innings.
"His sacking is so obvious it will barely be discussed by the (selection) panel when they meet early next week and he will not be recalled under any circumstances against India," said `The daily Telegraph`.
"The top order again failed against the swinging delivery, a fact that will be noted by India as it prepares for the four-Test post-Christmas series. This inconsistent team had new depths to plumb," `The Australian` said.
"Australia will head into the marquee series of the Test summer with a misfiring batting line-up vulnerable to costly and spectacular collapses if yesterday`s humiliating defeat to New Zealand has not sharpened John Inverarity`s axe," added the Herald.