Australia’s bowling in the Melbourne Test
The Ashes adventure is now over for the Aussies and sadly this time they have to face an Ashes loss in their own backyard. Australia is in tatters now and one can imagine what their selectors would be thinking as World Cup is just around the corner and a
good bowling and batting unit is quite necessary to deliver at the right time for the Aussies. Bowling is one area which can make or break a side, and if a side has good bowling options then their work is almost half done as they have an advantage of dismissing
any side for a low total.
Australian bowling has always earned a great respect from the opposition, and many great names like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath have been attached with them for many years. But in recent times, their bowling is one area which has been lacking the punch
as Australia has found it difficult to find those bowlers which can be considered as genuine match winners. Ashes series is a living proof of this weakness, as apart from few good performances, most of the Australian bowlers have found it difficult to dismiss
England twice in the Test match.
If we have to look at the Australian bowling in the Melbourne Test we will see that their bowling was again the guilty party in the Test match. Though, Australian batting was the real guilty party in Melbourne, but when you consider their performance in
Perth one was hoping for a much improved performance from their bowlers in Melbourne. Sadly, they were not able to repeat the same feat and again found it difficult to dismiss an in form English batting line up. There have been number of incidences in the
series, when England crossed the 500 mark in their innings and batted comfortably of the Australian bowlers.
The Melbourne Test was a reflection of Australia’s vulnerable bowling as the heroes of the Perth Test were given some good treatment by the English batsmen in the Melbourne Test. Mitchell Johnson was the hero for Australia in Perth and took 6 wickets for
Australia in the first innings. But in the Melbourne Test, the Australian bowlers were again back to their worst, as they did not bowl in the right areas in Melbourne and did not create enough trouble for the English batsmen.
Mitchell Johnson again took the road of waywardness, when he bowled an ineffective spell in England’s first innings. Johnson bowled an inaccurate line to the batsmen and failed to bowl at a constant length to the batsmen. Johnson was quite expensive in
his 29 over spell, and when your main strike bowler is going for runs than it becomes difficult for the other bowlers to maintain pressure on the batsmen. Other bowlers also confidence and don’t try to experiment much with their lengths as they know if they
experiment a lot than there is a chance that they might also go for runs.
Johnson went for 134 runs from his 29 overs and managed two wickets in his spell. Ben Hilfenhaus was another bowler who was successful in Perth Test, but in Melbourne, his bowling lacked the punch and he failed to threaten the batsmen in his spell. Though,
he did bowl a tidy spell and kept the English batmen quiet in most parts of his spell, but overall he was not successful in troubling the English batsmen quite often. He over pitched number of times and batsmen were quick enough to drive of these over pitched
Ryan Harris, who was a success story in the Perth Test, did not deliver much in Melbourne and failed to bowl with much swing in the match. He did not get much swing from decent bowling conditions in Melbourne and was also not that tidy during his spells.He
also injured his ankle during his spell and was immediately taken off the attack by Ponting.
Peter Siddle was the odd one out of the bowlers in the Melbourne Test, as he gave initial breakthroughs to the Aussies and took 6 wickets in England’s first innings. Siddle made breakthroughs at important times for Australia and took six wickets in his
spell. But he was the one man army in the bowling department, as he was not well supported by the other bowlers of the side. Overall, the killer factor was missing from the Aussie bowlers in the Melbourne Test and it could have been a different story for Australia
if the bowlers had fired at the right time for them.