Sydney: Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott says Australia’s selectors must take much of the blame for its team’s disappointing Ashes campaign.
Boycott told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio today the confused selection policies which saw Australia change its bowling and batting lineups throughout the five-Test series helped England’s cause.
England has all but sealed its first series win in Australia since 1987 as it storms toward victory in the fifth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The 70-year-old Boycott, who batted prolifically for England in 108 Tests from 1964 to 1982, said Australia’s selectors “made a right mess of everything they’ve done.”
Boycott singled out the treatment of spin bowler Nathan Hauritz and paceman Doug Bollinger as examples of poor selection policy.
“Throwing Hauritz away at the last minute ... if you weren’t going to pick him, throw him away beforehand and pick the guy who’s going to play in this series as your spinner,” he said.
“Bollinger’s been your main leading wicket-taker for 12 months, OK he got an injury, but he wants to play a second warm-up match to be ready for Brisbane, you stop him because you want him to be rested and then you don’t pick him.
“It was just confusing and from then on it just got worse, didn’t it?”
Boycott also said more focus should have been put on Australia’s faltering batting lineup than the bowlers, and that Australia’s failure to consistently post high totals meant there was very little for the bowlers to work with.
“I’ve always believed batsmen put you in a position to win then bowlers win the match, they take 20 wickets,” he said. “Your problem is you don’t make enough runs.
“This series you have not made enough runs so therefore whatever bowling attack you have, you’re not in a position to win games, simple as that.”