Australia lost to South Africa by 134 runs, their heaviest defeat in a World Cup match
Australia have lost their first 2 World Cup games for the first time since 1992
Pat Cummins’s tactics have been questioned after Australia’s poor start
Australia captain Pat Cummins is facing the heat after the former champions were handed their heaviest World Cup defeat by South Africa in Lucknow on Thursday, October 12. Australia have gotten off to their worst start in World Cups since the 1992 edition as the team have lost their first two matches in the ongoing edition.
Australia were bowled out for 199 in their World Cup 2023 opener against India and let go of an opportunity to put pressure on India after picking up early wickets. A solid 165-run stand from Virat Kohli and KL Rahul helped India gun down the target comfortably. Against South Africa, Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to field, allowing South Africa to post a total of 311. Australia were shabby on the field, dropping as many as 5 catching opportunities.
Australia were bundled out for 177 as they did not even last the full quota of 50 overs in Lucknow where run-scoring became more difficult in the evening. Kagiso Rabada shone with 3 wickets, while Marco Jansen, Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj picked 2 wickets each to help the Proteas comfortably outclass Australia.
Australia’s hopes of reaching the semi-final of World Cup 2023 has been dealt a heavy blow. The 5-time champions are reeling at the 9th spot in the 10-team World Cup 2023 points table and face stiff tests against sub-continent sides in the lead-up.
Responding to their poor start in India, former captain Michael Clarke questioned the preparations of the team, questioning whether Pat Cummins gained enough ODI exposure in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Australia’s preparations for the ODI World Cup were clouded by injury concerns and captain Cummins was not part of a 5-match series against South Africa in August-September. After he recovered from an injury he picked up in the Ashes, Cummins returned to lead the team in a 3-match series in India just before the World Cup and also rested from one of them.
“So that’s why the lead-in, the games against South Africa, the games against India, in my opinion, I know he was injured, but he still should have been there doing stuff tactically. “Whether it was talking to someone else, watching the game live, working out what fields you would have and how you use bowlers.
“He rested a game in India. He had to be on the park, he had to play more cricket to be ready to captain this team tactically before going into this World Cup campaign.”
‘NOT AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH’
Cummins’s tactical awareness was under the scanner as the skipper brought spin into the attack early in Chennai when Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc had India reeling at 2 for 3. Cummins has not used himself optimally as a bowler, especially in the first 10-15 overs. Adam Zampa has been struggling for form and the decision to go to India with only one frontline spinner is now coming under the scanner.
Australia will face another tough test as they next face Sri Lanka in Lucknow on Monday, October 16.