Tom Moody told Sky Sports why Australia have struggled to fire during their ODI series with England.
Last Updated: 04/07/12 5:02pm
Tom Moody was at Edgbaston on Wednesday as part of the Sky Sports commentary team for the third one-day international between England and his native Australia.
But with the rain teeming down in Birmingham, the former Baggy Greens all-rounder had ample time to talk about the current state of the Australia 50-over side.
Michael Clarke's charges have fallen 2-0 behind in the five-match series after defeats at Lord's and The Oval, and Moody - who played eight Tests and 76 ODIs for his country between 1987 and 1999 - believes the Antipodeans' hierarchy have made some "strange" selection decisions.
Read on for his take on why seamer Mitchell Johnson should be dropped, young paceman James Pattinson should be picked, why skipper Clarke should move up the batting order, and more...
There is always a lot of hope and hype around Johnson because he was, at one stage, ranked as the best bowler in the world in the ICC rankings and he had the numbers to back up. Since then there has been enormous pressure on him that he has found difficult to live up to. He has struggled to consistently swing the ball into the right-handers and has always pushed the ball across. He has got pace but there are a lot of players out there with pace, and his form slump has gone on for more than a year. He swings the ball once in a blue moon and is probably better suited to sub-continent type challenges where it is nigh on impossible to get conventional swing but you may get some reverse swing as the game unfolds. Australia have got a lot of young bowlers coming through and it is time to blood them and give them experience; they will only grow in stature by playing in English conditions.
James Pattinson and Brett Lee
We haven't seen Pattinson yet in this series and not a lot of the world has but he is a quality find; he's young, he's quick and he swings it. You would have thought he was perfectly suited to these conditions, but Australia have opted to go for Johnson as they are keen to get him back into the mix ahead of this autumn's t20 World Cup. With the two new balls at the start of an innings in ODI cricket, it is a great opportunity for youngsters who can swing the ball like Pattinson, who moves the ball away from the right hander at a good pace, to come in. Brett Lee, too, has been a great player for Australia but he is mid-thirties now and is he the future? Maybe the selectors are thinking that he will be in the t20 World Cup squad and they need him playing in England, but they really need to get their heads around what type of team they want in the next 50-over World Cup
Australia's batting issues
George Bailey and Peter Forrest have both batted at number three in this series but they are not number threes. Clarke is coming in at four but a lot of people have talked about him coming in at three and he probably needs to with the squad he has got here, as he is one quality player that has shown some form and class. One player that could come into the mix is Shaun Marsh; the left-hander had a poor season last summer but has shown that he is capable of mixing it in the company of some good bowling.
England versus Australia
England are a better side at the moment; they are more organised and they have got depth with bat and ball. They look confident, are settled, have some good experience and, even though Kevin Pietersen is out of the mix, they look very strong in that top order. Australia, on the other hand, have come out of not playing cricket for two or three months, look rusty and disorganised and their batting order seems all over the place.