Australia will need a miracle to win the Ashes, says Damien Martyn

Image courtesy of: The Metro

Martyn conceded it was tough to watch Australia lose the first Test by a very slim margin

Former Australia batsman Damien Martyn believes the national team, who are currently trailing England 2-0, will need a full-fledged miracle to win the last three Ashes Tests and bring the coveted urn back home. 

Australia lost by 14 runs at Trent Bridge and by 347 runs at Lord’s and in both games, the outstanding issue for the baggy greens was the failure of their top order batsmen. 

“There are no miracles out there to pick ourselves up,” Martyn said. “I’d just play the team and then at the end of this Ashes judge them on their performances.

“When I go out to bat, only I can make runs. Everyone can tell me everything and coach me. But mentally in a pressure situation you’ve just got to do it yourself; you’ve just got to gain the experience.”

All-rounder Shane Watson has become the ‘poster boy’ for Australia’s failures with the bat as he has only managed to score two Test centuries in 43 matches, despite being one of the most prolific ODI and Twenty20 players in the sport. 

“He’s talented, he’s very good,” Martyn added. “He gets out lbw for 50s, 40s, 30s. It’s hard to explain. Probably only he could explain it.

“It’s a bit like the Graham Gooch thing. Terry [Alderman] kept picking him off in 1989 — and he was one of the greats. 

“Watto at the moment is under pressure. Batting long periods is a process of learning under pressure and not getting lazy. He’s made heaps of runs; he’s made big hundreds. It’s now trying to do that in Test cricket. That’s the mental side he’s got to get over.”

Martyn also admitted that it was “tough” to watch Australia lose by such a slim margin during the first Test in Nottingham, especially after the team pulled off a remarkable comeback after looking to be down and out at one point. 

“It was deflating,” he said. “I don’t know it’s the worst I’ve ever seen, but for every former player it’s disappointing.

“Maybe the occasion got too much at Lord’s. It can always be tough to play it first time. I want to see some guys show some fight and mental toughness.”

While many pundits and former players believe that this is one of the best England sides to represent the country in the Ashes, Martyn noted that he still needs a bit more convincing, especially after having played in some of the greatest Australian sides ever. 

“We left a legacy, and that’s England’s thing (now),” he said. “They need to win World Cups; they need to win Champions Trophies — not just Test series.

“We tried to win Test matches in three days; we tried to break every record you could possibly break, Test match record, one-day records, Champions Trophy. We just didn’t want to be the number one Test side — we wanted to conquer all in all formats at the game.”

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