Former Australian Test skipper Allan Border is very much disappointed by another heavy defeat for Australia in the subcontinent. He says finding a solution to Australia’s woes on the subcontinent is the “the million-dollar question” as they prepare to analyse another heavy series defeat in spinning conditions.
Australia 163-run defeat in the third Test in Colombo costs their No.1 Test ranking, means they’ve now won just one of their past 18 Test matches in Asia, stretching back almost eight years.
“Obviously, the post-mortems will start soon about Australian cricket and our non-performance in the subcontinent,” Border told. “This has been going on for 35 years. We’ve had the odd bright moment under Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting and under Stephen Waugh. We’ve had some good moments, but they’ve been few and far between. There’ll be a postmortem. There’re not too many positives for the Australians,” he added.
Border unsurprisingly pointed to Australia’s batting collapses as the main reason for their series defeat in Sri Lanka, just their second ever to the island nation since their first contest in 1983.
“You can’t do that and it just shows how important first-innings wicket runs are. Australia were 1-267 in the first innings, you’re looking at a big 400s score from that and to give yourself breathing space when you go into the fourth innings. We just need to be better throughout the innings and not lose wickets in clumps like we’ve been doing,” told Border.
Border sung the praises of a young and inexperienced Sri Lankan side, who came into the series on the back of a winless tour of England. And he said the guile and skill of 38-year-old spinner Rangana Herath, who the tourists identified pre-series as the major weapon in the home side’s arsenal, was one of the major differences between the two sides.
“The Australians spoke about Herath endlessly and not getting beaten on the inside edge. But it’s amazing when a couple of balls start going past the outside edge when he turns it, it’s hard to keep playing the line. He just sets batsmen up beautifully with those subtle variations. On helpful pitches, you have to say, but you’ve still got to get the ball in the right areas,” he said.