Australia is rightly recognized for being one of the strongest cricketing nations on the planet. It is tough to beat Australia at home but Australia has been incredibly poor away from home for at least a decade.
Tours to the Asian sub-continent against Pakistan and India have always been difficult but Australia’s first series loss in Sri Lanka recently has added to a growing burden.
The Aussies have now lost eight matches in a row and won only one of its last 17 Test Matches in Asia.
England, South Africa and New Zealand have each won more Test Matches in Asia than Australia since 2005. England has also won a series in India and South Africa has defeated Pakistan.
The Australian struggle is not isolated to Asia. It hasn’t won a Test series in England for fifteen years, winning only three of the last twenty Ashes Matches in England.
So when the mainstream media suggest that Australian batsmen have a problem with spin on Asian wickets, remind yourself that they can’t seem to get it right against pace or swing in the home of cricket either.
So is it a problem with playing away?
Well, Australia has enjoyed success in South Africa but the dispute between the nations over scheduling has limited the length of Test Series played there and robbed fans and players of some potentially great contests (both countries share the same summer season and neither will give up its lucrative Boxing Day and New Years’ Tests for one another; shorter series are instead scheduled on the fringes of the southern summer).
Australia plays limited series in New Zealand and with Australia committing to shorter series and fewer Test Matches in the Caribbean recent successes there should be considered in context.
Although home sides invariably win Test Series, other nations have not struggled as much as Australia. South Africa has won two Test series each in England and Australia since 2005 and England won one in Australia in 2010-11. Sri Lanka has won as many Tests in England as Australia since 2005 and both it and New Zealand have drawn series in the Old Dart.
True cricketing might was traditionally adjudged on the level of success earned in different conditions around the world.
So are recent Australian teams hard-wicket home ground bullies?