Australian legend Allan Border has hit out at his country’s cricket team saying that finding a solution to the side’s woes on the subcontinent is "the million-dollar question" after they suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the Test series against Sri Lanka here on Wednesday.
Australia’s 163-run loss in the third Test in Colombo, which consigned them to a 3-0 series defeat and the loss of their No.1 Test ranking, meant they’ve now won just one of their past 18 Test matches in Asia, stretching back almost eight years.
Border, who played 22 of his 156 Tests in Asia for just two victories, said it’s simply the continuation of a familiar pattern for Australian cricket.
"Obviously the post mortems will start soon about Australian cricket and our non-performance in the subcontinent," Border was quoted as saying by Ten Sports regarding Australia’s all-time record that now stands at 26 wins from 89 matches in Asia.
“This has been going on for 35 years. We’ve had the odd bright moment under Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting and under Stephen Waugh. We’ve had some good moments, but they’ve been few and far between. There’ll be a post mortem. There’s not too many positives for the Australians.
"Mitchell Starc, obviously, is a standout. Twenty-four wickets for him, he held it together well for the Aussie boys. But it was the batting that really struggled in the face of some quality spin bowling. What we do about that is the million-dollar question."
Border unsurprisingly pointed to Australia’s batting collapses as the main reason for their series defeat in Sri Lanka, just their second ever to the island nation since their first contest in 1983.
The Aussies lost 10-83 on the final day of the third Test having also lost 9-112 in the first innings.
And of the 60 Australian wickets that fell across the three Tests, 54 of them were to the turning ball.
"You can’t do that and it just shows how important first-innings wicket runs are. Australia were 1-267 in the first innings, you’re looking at a big 400s score from that and to give yourself breathing space when you go into the fourth innings,” Border said.
"We just need to be better throughout the innings and not lose wickets in clumps like we’ve been doing. When one brings two, three, four and beyond, you can’t win games in the subcontinent when you’re doing that."