Disappointed with his batsmen's poor showing in the 2-match Test series against Pakistan, head coach Justin Langer has said that there seems to be an alarming need for the players coming through to work hard over their basic technique against the moving ball, be it is swing, seam or spin.
There were three genuinely worrying batting collapses in this short 2-match series from Australia, where they went from 142 for no loss to be all out for 202 in Dubai and then followed it with an embarrassing first innings of 145 at Abu Dhabi and lost eight wickets for 93 to be bundled out for just 164 in the second.
The mighty escape on Day 5 in the preceding Test now seems even more praiseworthy, purely for how rare it has been.
This is where Langer reiterated after the loss, "What I'm really intrigued about is you're not allowed to use the word technique anymore," and said, "I was brought up in Australian cricket where we did a lot of bowling machine work and we did a lot of talk on technique and technique to me is about footwork patterns and playing forward when it's full and back when it's back so they're just really basics of the game particularly in footwork patterns."
He further expressed, "You talk about the great Australian players, they moved their feet like boxers, every one of them. They had footwork patterns and then from there, you have the skill of run-scoring ability. And it's a really important thing," and stressed, "The technique is really important and I think now there's a lot of talk because of white-ball cricket that you just have wide stances and you just stand and deliver, well that's OK, but even in T20 cricket or one-day cricket and most certainly first-class cricket and Test cricket when the ball starts moving around," before emphasizing, "if you don't' move your feet, then you're going to come unstuck. And that's something we all have to in Australian cricket."
Other than Usman Khawaja, none of the visiting batsmen scored a hundred in the series - an area which the previous regime under Darren Lehmann kept stressing about. Langer reiterated the importance of it by saying, "It's pretty much that simple. We just have to either keep finding players who can make 100s, or keep improving, working hard on our basic games. Call it technique, call it basic games, and our concentration. If you do get those things right, you usually make 100s,"
"If I'm a young batsman in Australia it's a pretty exciting time if you work really hard on your basic game and you learn how to make runs then there will be huge opportunities in the Australian cricket team," he added.
Australia, now, will start preparing for the all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy versus India in the home summer and while Langer is quite disappointed with the overall performance in UAE, he sees some positives to take forward as well.
"I thought Finchy [Aaron Finch] played pretty well, he did really well, and he'll learn a lot from this series," Langer felt, "Obviously Ussie [Khawaja] played really well, and he'll have his knee operated on hopefully sooner rather than later, so hopefully, he'll be right for the first Test match(at Adelaide from December 6)," adding, "Travis Head, I thought [he] played well. He had a brilliant innings in the first Test. What I liked about Travis Head is his development. He's working hard on his game," and concluded.
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)