Inability to snuff out opponents is a recurring flaw of Australian team: Roebuck

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Sydney, Jan 17(ANI): Noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck has said that the Ricky Ponting-led Australian team's inability to snuff out the opponents to reinforce their position is a recurring flaw of the team.

Roebuck highlighted that Pakistan put up a fight on the third day, forming notable alliances for the fifth and 10th wickets, and only between times suffering the sort of hotheadedness that has been their undoing.

"Australia's inability to snuff out the last pair boded ill for their attempts to dismiss teams able to concentrate longer and bat deeper than these bemusing opponents. Pakistan lost three wickets to Nathan Hauritz, all of them from skied strokes. It was Test cricket from another era," Roebuck wrote in a syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

"As far as the locals were concerned, the main source of encouragement was to be found in their team's increasing variety and depth. A side lacking a cutting edge is well advised to explore its every nook and cranny. Ricky Ponting's outfit is becoming ever more versatile, with batsmen taking wickets and bowlers scoring runs. Apart from tactical acumen and consistency, flexibility has been the main difference between these sides," he added.

Roebuck further said that the Australians must continue to make the most of the talents at their disposal and not let the opposition run away with session, which could turn the game.

"Australia's new opening pair is a case in point. Apart from providing solid starts, the pair has been taking wickets this summer. Shane Watson has wobbled the old ball around enough to keep batsmen guessing and looks more threatening with the ball than in his days as a senior operator," he said.

"The sight of Simon Katich rolling over an arm pleased all those convinced that wrist spin still has a part to play in this neck of the woods and persuaded that the lower orders are inclined to lash out at anything they cannot untangle," he added. (ANI)

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