Former captain Steve Waugh says a lack of stability within the side is contributing significantly to the current Australian cricket team’s woes.
Down 1-0 after the first two Tests in the Ashes series against England, the once all-conquering Australian Test team has not tasted victory for five matches.
Waugh, who lost just nine of his 57 Tests as Australian captain, believes the national selectors have made too many changes to the team over the last 18 months and not shown enough faith in young players.
He recalled the start of his own career, when he battled in a young side struggling for wins, but capitalised on the faith shown by the selectors to blossom into a champion player in a champion team.
“What the selectors have got to do, which they did back then, is have belief in the younger players they pick and say ‘you are there, we believe in you, we think you are the future of Australian cricket and you are going to have a bit of leeway’,” he said.
“It’s not always going to be successful early days, I guess I was a perfect example -- I didn’t score a hundred until my 26th Test and I never won a Test until my 13th Test playing for Australia.”
“You have to see the bigger picture and you can’t just chop and change if someone fails in one Test and doesn’t look the goods, you have got to give them an opportunity.”
Australia are again set to make a number of changes to their side for the third Test, at Perth’s WACA ground, which they must win to have a chance of regaining the Ashes.
Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson are in line for recalls after being dropped for the second Test and first Test hat-trick hero Peter Siddle is battling to retain his spot.
Steve Smith has replaced Marcus North at number six and Phil Hughes -- dropped after two Tests in the last Ashes in England in 2009 -- returns to open the batting in the absence of the injured Simon Katich.
Uncapped spinner Michael Beer has replaced Tasmanian Xavier Doherty, who played the first two Tests, in the squad.
“I just know there has been a lot of chopping and changing over the last 18 months. We’ve been going through a lot of players,” Waugh said.
“I think you pick a player and you don’t change that side unless you can improve the side by getting another player in. You don’t just chop and change for the sake of it.”
“It is a great honour to play for your country and a huge thing and I feel disappointed for someone like Xavier Doherty, who plays two Tests and now he is gone.”
“You pick someone, believe in them, and give them the opportunity.”
Waugh also criticised the Australian selectors for considering playing a four-pronged pace attack in the third Test rather than giving Beer his international debut.