Melbourne: The Aussie fans seem to have lost all faith in their national cricket team as a nationwide online survey has thrown up verdict that Australia would not win the Ashes this time around.
While a lot of fans still hoped that Australia would regain the Ashes, but 56 percent believe the Poms will defeat them on home soil for the first time since 1986-87.
In a poll conducted by the Sunday Herald Sun online, more than 6000 fans took part, with questions ranging from the make-up of the team for the first Test at the Gabba, starting on November 25, to whether there is too much cricket being played.
The people blamed the selectors for Aussie team sliding to No 5 position in the world Test rankings. The poll also showed that they believe that coach Tim Nielsen is a failure and should be replaced by Shane Warne. Besides, an overwhelming 74 percent said that Michael Clarke should not become the next Test captain.
And while Michael Hussey remained a line-ball selection but Marcus North, who only last week was projected as a future captain, did not get fans’ support.
In fact, people’s verdict said that he did not even deserve to be in the team, with 69 percent of them saying that he should be dropped.
Meanwhile, 85 percent voted against Nathan Hauritz as the spin bowling answer for Australia and instead chose young gun Steve Smith as the preferred option.
In other shocking responses, the fans preferred Cameron White to take over Test captaincy from Ricky Ponting.
Also, they voted England’s under-fire batsman Kevin Pietersen as Australia’s biggest danger, just ahead of spinner Graeme Swann.
The other poll results showed that it was time for the selectors to show some faith in youngsters, with more than 82 percent claiming Australia must promote youth in this summer’s Test series against England.
Most of the fans voted that the chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch must be dumped for former Australian captain Greg Chappell.
Meanwhile, Test cricket was still the preferred form of the game, with 68 percent voting in its favour. Twenty20 came in third behind the 50-over game.
However, the biggest shock of the survey came as the cricket lovers have all but given up hope on Australia winning back the Ashes this summer.
“What a disastrous build-up to the Ashes this is turning out to be,” Terry of Shellharbour posted.
While Greg Johnston, of Sydney, said: “Where’s our mongrel? We were famous for it, now we couldn’t knock a maggot off a chop!”
Even the Test captain-in-waiting Clarke took a belting from the fans again.
“Clarke is clueless as captain,” Gazza of Newcastle wrote.
Australia’s losing streak has reached seven with the SCG defeat by Sri Lanka on yesterday night. But the fans preferred to hold selectors responsible for the debacle, rather than the players, with 90 percent claiming the selectors are not doing a good job. While 68 percent delivered the same scathing verdict on coach Nielsen.
Fans instead want former spin king Warne as the coaching replacement.
Interestingly, the public was divided on whether players’ wives and girlfriends should be allowed on tour, with more than 53 percent were in favour of them joining the team over summer.