Menu
Sport

Where the Aussies need to improve ahead of Hobart Test

Joe Mennie looks on during the Australian team training session at the Western Australia Cricket Ground (WACA) in Perth, Tuesday, Nov.1, 2016. Australia play South Africa in the first of three Tests on Thursday. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING
Joe Mennie looks on during the Australian team training session at the Western Australia Cricket Ground (WACA) in Perth, Tuesday, Nov.1, 2016. Australia play South Africa in the first of three Tests on Thursday. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING DAVE HUNT

MOOSE ELKERTON: Mennie ways to take 'em - Coffs' son provides a spark

COFFS Harbour son Joe Mennie is set to make his Test cricket debut for the Baggy Greens at Hobart a match too late.

Against a Proteas batting line-up which is without the greatest stroke maker in world cricket at the moment, AB De Villiers, our bowling attack looked lacklustre.

The ever devastating Mitch Starc is not near 100 per cent and Josh Hazlewood, while hitting a line and length, was without any real grunt.

But it was the work of Peter Siddle, whose lack of first class cricket in recent years showed through, that disappointed the most.

Siddle was without the fire and brimstone he brought to his last stint in the Test playing arena and really struggled to cause headaches for the Proteas.

Mennie has been chomping at the bit for a chance at the Australian quicks rotation.

He is consistently among the top wicket takers in Shield cricket every season and with a handy bowling average 26.88 it was only going to be a matter of time before his debut.

The turning point at the WACA will always be the moment JP Duminy walked out from the sheds.

The Aussies had their opponents by the short and curlys - with the best batsman in the opposition departing for one.

There and then we needed to press on and take the third but we it just didn't happen.

With a tenacious bulldog like Mennie on the scene it might have been a different story. Only time in Hobart will tell.

TIM HOWARD: Collapso cricket - wickets in clusters hurting Aussies

WHAT'S happening to Australian cricket?

Either we're too soft, or simply not good enough.

From the mid-1990s, world cricket watched bemused as the West Indian calypso cricket, which dominated the game for nearly 20 years, became collapso cricket.

The figures from Australia's recent tests reveal a similar trend.

In four of its past six Test innings it's lost 10/106, 9/112 (after being 1/267), 10/83 (after being 0/77) and last week 10/86 from 0/158. As well our bowlers have dominated only for the batters to throw it away.

What was intriguing about the West Indian decline was the players lost none of their swagger. No-name players with less talent looked as cool as Viv Richards or Curtley Ambrose, even with a duck or 0/100 beside their names.

One left hander whose name escapes me, became known, outside West Indian circles, as Binary because of a run of scores between 0 and 1. Nevertheless he continued to stroll out to bat and try to blast the ball to all points from ball one.

While Australian players don't have the West Indian swagger, there seems to be a belief in the aura of the Baggy Green or at least a hangover from the period of Australian dominance which just about everyone believes ended in 2008.

As far as other countries are concerned it's payback time and their teams are queuing up for their share.

Topics:  batting behind the desk cricket joe mennie south africa test cricket