Roebuck clears Punter, holds selectors responsible for Ashes loss

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Sydney, Aug 25(ANI): Former Australian cricketer and now a newspaper columnist Peter Roebuck has said that England deserved to win the Ashes, as they had the better-balanced side, and blamed the Australian selectors for sending an unbalanced squad lacking back-up in vital areas to a series of such high stature.

"Clear errors of judgment were made in the make-up of the side. Presumably, the selectors were responsible. Cricket Australia needs to clarify the lines of authority over the selection of teams on tour.

If Andrew Hilditch and Jamie Cox, the selector on the spot, are to be held responsible then they need to make the final decision," Roebuck wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Roebuck, though praising Australian captain Ricky Ponting, for his captaincy and some valuable innings that he played in the series, said that being the captain he has to accept his share of the blame, as accountability for the team is critical.

"From the moment he was given his own team to direct, his captaincy began to grow. Certainly, his position is not under threat. Overall, he deserves commendation not censure. Moreover his team represented the country with impressive dignity. Australian cricket returned with its reputation enhanced," Roebuck said.

"But, he cannot be given a completely clean sheet. At times his judgment was found wanting. It's worth remembering that Australia lost 2-1 to the fifth-ranked side in the world. Ponting yearns for another crack at the Poms. On form, he deserves it. Whether the selection panel can remain intact that long is another matter," he added.

He also highlighted the wobbly middle-order batting and failure of Australian lower-order batsmen, who were unable to score handy runs as Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann did for England. He also said that Australia need to consider playing five bowlers.

"England produced the three most incisive spells of bowling in the series - Andrew Flintoff's thunder at Lord's, Jimmy Anderson's waspish swingers in Birmingham and Stuart Broad's irresistible intervention at The Oval. Bowlers win matches. Australia produced three low first-innings totals, and paid the penalty," Roebuck said. (ANI)

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