CRICKET ODI AUSTRALIA SOUTH AFRICA
CRICKET ODI AUSTRALIA SOUTH AFRICA

Aussies suffer humiliating defeat in series opener

CONTINUED change is the only way forward for an Australian one-day outfit experiencing nothing but losses because captain Aaron Finch knows doing the same thing again and again only leads to one result.

On a day it was so important for Australia to do everything right, the embattled team did so much so wrong in an emphatic six-wicket loss to South Africa in Perth.

The count now stands at 17 defeats from the past 19 games for the reigning World Cup champions who were overwhelmed by a "relentless" Proteas attack which rolled the home team for just 152.

There were six changes to the Aussie line-up from the last team that capitulated in the fifth ODI against England in June as the search for the right outfit to defend the title next year goes on.

Captain Aaron Finch said that search would continue whether it was changing batting line-ups or bowling attacks, tweaks here or there, because anything else could lead to disaster.

"We're looking for something, to try something new, try something different. If you keep doing the same thing over and over, that's the definition of insanity isn't it," Finch said after the loss.

"It will turn. The way we are training and preparing, the wheel will turn, and it will happen quickly. If we keep improving … it will turn."

Australia never recovered from an early South African onslaught that had the home team 3-9.

Aaron Finch (second right) of Australia leads his players off the field. Picture: Getty
Aaron Finch (second right) of Australia leads his players off the field. Picture: Getty

Having been sent in to bat, Finch said the visitors were "all over us" with the ball, a sentiment shared by veteran South African quick, and man of the match, Dale Steyn, who took two wickets in the third over.

Steyn said the match was less about the Aussie batting, and more about the South African bowling.

But after a horror week for Australian cricket, another collapse was the last thing the team needed, and Finch knows that.

Dale Steyn ripped through the Australian top order. Picture: AAP
Dale Steyn ripped through the Australian top order. Picture: AAP

The skipper conceded the consistent run of outs for the batsmen had impacted their confidence too, but said they had to be better.

"You'd say at times guys were probably doubting themselves and when you are 3-8 you probably have to go and play a different style of one-day cricket than you would like, than what you have mapped out in your head about how you think the game will unfold," he said.

"I think when guys are not performing as well as they could have or have done in the past, there is always going to be a little bit of doubt.

Alex Carey did his best to spearhead the Aussie rebuild. Picture; AAP
Alex Carey did his best to spearhead the Aussie rebuild. Picture; AAP

"When South Africa bowled as well as they did, you have to be at your absolute best to get through that."

Finch knows the players were supposed to be the ones who were going to re-build trust with a cricket community disillusioned by poor performances and poor behaviour from the board room to the change room.

But he also said they wouldn't be swayed by one bad game.

"There's no added pressure, the only added pressure would be perceived pressure and letting outside influences and noise get to you. That's not what we are about," he said.

"And it's not all doom and gloom."

Glenn Maxwell was given the all-clear despite taking a solid blow to his thumb, and Shaun Marsh could return for Friday's second game in Adelaide after minor surgery on his buttocks.

 

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