MELBOURNE: Cricket Australia's team performance director says there will be no panic over the side's worst one-day series defeat just 12 months out from the Ashes series, but that “anyone looking for places to hide won't find one.”
Pat Howard said in media reports on Friday that the Australia one-day team's comprehensive 4-0 series loss to England could not be sugar-coated “it's not panic stations but we're obviously very disappointed ... there are no excuses.”
Next week, selectors will pick the one-day squad for a series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Australia is facing more injury concerns after the England series, where vice-captain Shane Watson, fast bowler Pat Cummins and veteran paceman Brett Lee all broke down with muscle injuries. Lee took himself out of consideration for future appearances for Australia, announcing his retirement from international cricket on Friday. Howard, who was in England for the start of the tour, admitted it was difficult attempting to build a No. 1 test side and maintain a strong one-day international team.
“There is a possibility, and there is a fine balance, that to try and deal with test improvement there's been a balance between ODI success and trying to develop players,” Howard said.
“Obviously that tour wasn't acceptable and we've got to improve a lot in the next 12 months.
“There has been a methodology that the best players are the best players, and we'd get them in and expose them at different levels. We don't make any excuses for our performances in England. We're not going to throw out that it was a development tour. Four-nil wasn't good enough.”
Watson's calf injury is concerning as an all-rounder, and his experience in the top order.
“Mickey (Arthur) and myself and Shane have had conversations about when we can peak, when we can look after him, when does he get a break to try and rebuild himself. We've tried to map out the next 12 months with him,” Howard said.
There were no plans for Watson to give up bowling, Howard said – “when you look at his bowling, it has been such a positive for him.”
Cummins has a side strain and his workload, including as a new recruit for the Perth Scorchers in the Twenty20 Big Bash League, will be closely monitored, Howard said.
Australia dominated the Ashes series for almost two decades until England, which will host the next series, won the last two.