Oz coach Arthur says lack of Sheffield Shield runs is team’s ‘achilles heel’

Updated: Jun 24, 2012, 12:32 PM IST

Sydney: Australian coach Mickey Arthur has said the Australian cricket team`s weakness is a dearth of runs in the Sheffield Shield tournament.

“Batting is an area that we need to work on - I don`t think we`re in the same position with our batters as our bowlers,” Arthur said

“I`ve been impressed with the new batters we`ve brought in; Peter Forrest, Davy Warner has had a good year and Eddie Cowan has done a job for us, they`ve shown they can sustain a career internationally, but I`d like to see our depth bolstered to 10 or 11 instead of 6 or 7,” he added.

Arthur cited former captain Ricky Ponting`s professionalism and desire as the yardstick for emerging players.

After being dropped from the Australian one-day team, Ponting returned to Shield cricket and made two centuries in three games for Tasmania.

“If you want to take Ricky`s batting position, you`ve got to be doing better than he is. I want to see runs under pressure - first-innings runs, runs when games are there to be won, runs in tough conditions. That`s what I need to see from our Sheffield Shield batsmen this year,” Arthur pointed out.