Gilchrist fears England spinners will expose Australia’s Achilles heel

News
Gilchrist

Former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist believes that the current team’s weakness against spin is behind their downward spiral in ODI cricket.

Gilchrist feels that Australia have a tendency to get bogged down in the middle of their ODI innings when the opposition turns to spin.

England spin could expose Australia

While Aaron Finch and David Warner have provided consistent runs up front Australia, have lost wickets in clumps and have all too often come unstuck against quality spinners.

“(The middle overs) has been a little bit of a handbrake for the Australians in the one-day format for a number of years, particularly against the spinning ball. 

“Not only does the run rate come down but they tend to lose wickets in clumps – we saw that with the collapse in the first T20. I think that’s the area where other teams have tended to be accelerating and playing that more aggressive brand of cricket,” Gilchrist said.

“That’s been our Achilles heel for a number of years (and) will be challenging again, with the make-up of the England bowling line-up and how everyone in world cricket is probably aware of that handbrake for Australia there.”

Australia are likely to continue to experiment with their middle-order with Gilchrist hopeful they can settle on a game plan. 

“It’s all on the Aussies to work out what the psychology will be, what the match plan will be and what the make-up of the batting order will be.”

Carey to fill wicketkeeping void

Gilchrist has backed Alex Carey to cement himself as the first-choice for Australia behind the stumps. The former keeper and white-ball opener said that the sooner Australia can find Carey’s ideal batting position the better it would be for him and the team.

“That wicketkeeping role, Alex Carey showing so much promise in an array of facets of the game – leadership, his wicketkeeping is excellent, he’s opened in Big Bash with great success, and he’s shown some really solid form in that middle-order finishing role,” Gilchrist said.

“But he still hasn’t consistently banged out 80 off 40, total game-changing innings, a la a guy like (England’s Jos) Buttler does regularly, or (Jonny) Bairstow if he happens to have the gloves.

“That wicketkeeping allrounder position has not quite been totally fulfilled, probably since Brad Haddin. So there’ll be some decisions to be made there by selectors about who they think can do it, or by Alex Carey about just how innovative, creative and aggressive he needs to be to have that impact. And is it at the top of the order, or down at seven, six, or floating?”

Ahead of the first ODI against England at Old Trafford, Australia had won just two of their seven ODIs since the 2019 World Cup.

Latest