ODI crisis as 20-year low rocks Australia
AUSTRALIA has launched a full-scale review into their worst one-day slump since Mark Taylor was banished from the captaincy in 1998.
With a recent record worse than that of Afghanistan and Bangladesh with one win from their past 12 matches, National Selector Trevor Hohns has announced enough is enough and promised a complete upheaval of Australian 50-over cricket leading into next year's World Cup defence.
Hohns admits that Australia has got its personnel and tactics wrong since they won the last Cup in 2015 and massive changes are imminent following a 3-0 series loss to England that threatens to finish in an embarrassing whitewash if Australia can't salvage something from the final two matches.
The door is open again for Nathan Lyon to fight his way back into the ODI side, while Australia is in the market for a permanent No.3 with the bizarre Cameron White experiment so far failing to pay off.
Chris Lynn, Mitchell Marsh and Usman Khawaja shape as the leading contenders.
Glenn Maxwell may be suddenly back in vogue with Hohns vowing that more "hitting power" is needed, and Australia is desperate to unearth specialist fast bowling depth to supplement Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
The looming large scale changes mirrors similar cutthroat revamps in the late 1990s when Taylor was axed as skipper before a similar fate befell Steve Waugh in 2002, as Australia vowed on both occasions to respond to losing streaks by putting the style of game they wanted to play ahead of reputations.
Hohns indicated that players, coaches and selectors all needed to take responsibility for Australia's reputation as the world's premier ODI team being allowed to fall by the wayside and declared that all facets of the set-up would be closely examined.
"With what's happened recently we are reviewing how we're actually playing the game and the type of player that's required in the one-day format," said Hohns.
"We haven't played well in this series, we don't seem to have been able to put it all together on the one day and there has been something lacking.
"We've got a bit of work to do there.
"With the World Cup in 2019 there is a lot of one-day cricket to be played between now and then. We will be trying very soon to get together the main nucleus of our squad so they can play together for some time.
"We are reviewing the personnel and also the way we're playing the game.
"Very soon we'll have to settle on a line-up that will take us forward."
The two major talking points from the chastening loss to England has been the omissions of Lyon and Maxwell.
Adam Zampa has had some success as Australia's ODI spinner but with the next World Cup in the UK, there is a feeling that finger spinners do better in the UK.
There is a push for Lyon to be reconsidered in coloured clothing given his Test form has gone to another level since he was last given a one-day opportunity.
"There's no reason why he can't (force his way back in)," said Hohns.
"He hasn't been pigeon-holed at all going forward now."
The dumping of Maxwell was an idea conceived in India late last year when the man they called The Big Show was dropped during the one-day series against India and was not impressing with his attitude around camp.
However, selectors have completely botched his exit from the team - with Chris Lynn breaking down the minute he was picked and the recall of the 34-year-old White making little sense when he had been out of favour at international level for so long.
Through his absence, it's become even more apparent how much Australia needs Maxwell.
Hohns didn't refer to Maxwell specifically but admitted that the batting order needed major upheaval and would rebuilt around Steve Smith at No.4.
"I think that's the starting point. That is definitely a starter to what we'll be doing in the future with Steven at four," said Hohns.
"Now we need to make sure we've got other players in key positions to give us a little bit more hitting power in certain areas.
"Bowling-wise we've got to make sure we have specific and specialist one-day bowlers in our squad. We are trying to refine that as much as we can."
POSSIBLE 2019 WORLD CUP SQUAD: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon. Reserves: Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson, Ashton Turner, Nathan Coulter-Nile