‘Embarrassing’ collapses expose Aussies’ Asia woes
AUSTRALIA's pitiful collapse on Tuesday, losing 10-60 after a promising opening stand, was simply the latest chapter in an all-too-familiar book on a feeble middle order.
Struggles with spin, especially in Asia, have led to Australia developing a reputation for having a brittle batting lineup that can't handle the pressure.
There's no doubt the Australian team is missing the class and leadership of banned duo Steve Smith and David Warner - but even their two best batsmen haven't been able to prevent shocking collapses in the past two years.
Here's the five worst.
AUSTRALIA'S CRUMBLING FORTUNES IN ASIA
* DUBAI 2018 (First Test v Pakistan) Tim Paine's men looked to be well-placed in their first innings with Test debutant Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja both scoring half-centuries. But Finch's dismissal soon after lunch set off a disastrous collapse. The tourists lost 10 wickets for just 60 runs to leave Pakistan in the box seat at stumps on day three. Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne both made debut ducks.
* DHAKA 2017 (First Test v Bangladesh) Australia's batsmen again proved to be fragile on a tough turning track, losing 8-86 either side of lunch on day four to hand Bangladesh a famous 20-run victory. David Warner dug in for an inspired century but Khawaja, Peter Handscomb and Matthew Wade all fell cheaply. Cricket Australia's high-performance chief Pat Howard labelled the loss "embarrassing".
* BANGALORE 2017 (Second Test v India) Australia crumbled in a collapse of 6-11 on a pitch playing plenty of tricks. The visitors failed to capitalise on Nathan Lyon's record-breaking haul of 8-50 and Steve Smith was embroiled in a fiery dispute with counterpart Virat Kohli over his lbw dismissal as India levelled the series.
* DHARAMSALA 2017 (Fourth Test v India) A scintillating and spiteful series was capped off by India retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy after Australia lost 7-50 on the way to a second- innings total of 150. Indian spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin each claimed three wickets.
* GALLE 2016 (Second Test v Sri Lanka) A horror show for Australia with the match over early on day three. The visitors only faced 501 balls for the loss of 20 wickets and were all out for 106 in the second innings as Sri Lanka's spinners ran riot. The result paved the way for a 3-0 series whitewash.
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