Melbourne: Australia’s batting coach Justin Langer has criticized his batsmen for their poor performance at the MCG.
Loose strokes by Phillip Hughes and Brad Haddin, and impatient prods by Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey and Steve Smith have almost finished Australia’s hopes of regaining the Ashes with the top seven batsmen making a combined total of 77 runs.
“The ball was nipping around this morning, but there is no excuse for an Australian team to be bowled out for 98,” Langer told the BBC during his commentary stint.
Vice-captain Clarke, who top-scored with just 20, agreed with his batting coach, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
“Our shot selection wasn’t great, no doubt. I think all of our wickets were caught behind the wicket, so there was enough in the wicket there. ‘But we certainly have no excuses, we played some poor shots, we obviously didn’t show enough discipline,” he said.
“The positive is we get another bat, so we get another opportunity. After lunch, after the rain, it was still overcast and the ball was swinging a little bit but we have no excuses, we played some bad shots, whether that be before lunch or after lunch,” Clarke said.
Asked about the feeling in the Australian dressing room last night, Clarke replied: “Have a guess … we’re all disappointed, no doubt. I think the batters, especially, we knew it was going to be tough, but we knew we could have done better.
“Individually we’re all disappointed, and the bowlers as well, they didn’t get a wicket. We’ve got to turn that around, we’ve got to look forward to tomorrow. We know it’s going to be tough, but we know we’re good enough.”
The Australian batsmen failed to control their natural aggression on a pitch where patience was required.