Brutally exposed Australia staring down the barrel in Oval Test: Roebuck

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Sydney, Aug.23 (ANI): Noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck believes Australia's weaknesses have been brutally exposed in the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval and the urn seems destined to change hands for the third time in three series.

While accepting that two dreadful umpiring decisions had gone against Australia in the game, he said: "Plain and simple the visitors were blown apart by the late movement unleashed by a lanky speedster (Stuart Broad) prepared to attack the sticks. Stuart Broad was superb. He took the ball straight from the umpire's pocket after the rain break and immediately swung it. In 2005 there was all sorts of talk about reverse swing and Murray Mints and so forth but no such reservations could be held about this contribution."

In his syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald, Roebuck says Broad has been England's best cricketer, scoring all sorts of irritating runs and hurrying the batsmen with the ball. He says Broad has constantly appeared on the verge of doing something.

Roebuck says that the pitch is a stinker, but that's no reason why the Australians should have collapsed to 160 all out in their first innings, and handing England a handsome first innings lead of over 170 runs.

"Shaky techniques undid the visitor's batting. A capable Test team might have expected to score 240 in these conditions. Instead the Australians fell apart. Most of the batsmen assisted in their own downfalls," he says, citing the example of Shane Watson and Ponting who both shuffled across the crease to be LBW and bowled respectively.

"Truly it has been a strange series. Australia have been the better side and could expect to get six players into a composite side. But England have produced the match winning performances," he concludes. (ANI)

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