Defiant response to furious Warne outburst
AUSTRALIAN vice-captain Alex Carey has defended the team's under-fire batsmen in the face of damning criticism over their dismal capitulation in Saturday night's rain-shortened T20 against South Africa.
In a match reduced to 10 overs a side, Glenn Maxwell was the only Aussie to pass 15, scoring 38 as the hosts fell 21 runs short of the Proteas' 6-108.
It continued an ugly trend for a top six that had already struggled in a 2-1 ODI series loss to South Africa, where Justin Langer's troops could only muster totals of 152, 231 and 280.
Cricket legend Shane Warne launched a savage attack on the batting line-up and batting coach Graeme Hick, slamming Australia for poor shot selection and terrible decision making over and over again in all forms of the game.
But Carey backed his teammates, saying the nature of T20 means risks aren't always going to come off but it's important to stick to your guns.
He also said his colleagues have succeeded at the domestic T20 level so need to trust what works for them and take that into the international scene.
"It's really hard when you're not winning. The questions do get asked and for us, the boys that have been picked in this side have been successful at T20 cricket obviously," Carey said.
"They're obviously doing something right at that time (in domestic cricket) but I guess right now if we're not winning games, you're probably questioning our players and our dismissal modes … but in T20 cricket you've got to assess pretty quickly what bowler you want to take down and have a look at the fields and it all happens pretty quickly.
"The guys in our side have had success doing what they do best."
Even though Maxwell top scored on Saturday night, Warne was critical of the all-rounder for moving around the crease instead of staying still and giving himself a solid base to launch from.
But Carey used Maxwell as an example of someone who should be encouraged to play his natural game even if it doesn't always pay dividends.
"Maxi can score all around the ground and sometimes he gets out backing away but that's his game," Carey said.
"Internally we trust all our players to understand the conditions, understand the game and understand their game and go out and not question that when they're under pressure."
Former Melbourne Renegades coach Simon Helmot said the innovation often seen in limited-overs matches these days shouldn't always be criticised by traditionalists because even though some shots may seem funky, players practise them regularly.
"Basically, the same as in Test match cricket, players will have their strengths. These guys play and practise these shots all the time," Helmot said.
"I'll never forget my second year at the Renegades, I looked over to the side and I saw Ben Rohrer and Peter Nevill throwing (balls) at each other basically between the head and the waist. All they practised for half-an-hour or an hour was their ramp shots, because they knew they were going to batting in the back three or four overs so they had to practise playing that yorker ball that's been missed.
"This sort of stuff, we're practising it and we're doing it.
"For us more conservative (people), or used to Test match cricket, we find that a bit hard to grapple with at times but this is the way it is."
Warne was ruthless in his appraisal of the batting unit's showing on Saturday night, but he also questioned the side's recent approach at the crease in all formats.
"Why suddenly in Australian cricket are the batsmen making these wrong decisions consistently in games in tough situations? They just make the wrong choice with shot selection, just not summing up the game," Warne said in commentary for Fox Sports.
Warne questioned whether batting coach, former England star Graeme Hick, was the right man for the job because all these mistakes are happening on his watch.
"What are you telling these guys?" Warne said. "It's happening too often. Is there a specific thing they're trying to do? Because it's wrong.
"They're continuing to make these mistakes. Maybe it's time for a change there to get a new batting coach because the batters aren't performing.
"Start talking to them about how they're thinking leading up to their dismissal. It seems to be the same mistakes game after game after game, that's the most frustrating thing.
"Their batting is in disarray in all forms of the game."
Meanwhile, Warne on Monday announced his XI for the opening Test of the summer against India starting on December 6.
He wants Aaron Finch to open alongside Usman Khawaja, Tim Paine to move up a spot in the batting order and has given a Baggy Green to all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.