Cricket World Cup 2023: Ian Healy blasts ‘unsettled, unprofessional’ Aussie farce, not good enough, reaction, how can Australia make semi-finals

Cricket great Ian Healy has slammed Australia’s World Cup debacle as “not good enough” after the side was pummelled by 134-runs by South Africa on Thursday night.

The result sees Australia drop to 0-2 and in a 10-team competition where every side plays each other once for four semi-finals spots, it leaves very little wiggle room for the side.

Watch every match of The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Live with no ad breaks in play on Kayo Sports. Join Kayo now and start streaming instantly >

It’s believed Australia will need to win six of their final seven games at the very least to book a place in the final four.

The loss was also the first time in World Cup history Australia has lost four matches in a row at a World Cup, having been knocked out of the 2019 tournament after a pair of losses.

But it’s the way that Australia are losing that is most telling as the side were bundled out for 177 with more than nine overs remaining chasing South Africa’s 7/311.

It leaves Australia second last on the ladder ahead of only Afghanistan.

Healy said Australia seem “unsettled” which he added was disappointing as it was an element of the preparation for the tournament that is in Australia’s control.

Healy compared the current side to the 1992 side that he played in, who “drifted into it” having played World Series Cup tri-series, a tournament Australia won.

Concerningly, that Australian team missed the semi-finals in that tournament, which was played in Australia and New Zealand — the last time Australia had missed the playoffs at a Cricket World Cup.

“We weren’t as focused and fierce as the opposition for the start of the tournament and we fell behind,” Healy said of the 1992 team.

“Now these guys have got that type of preparation and that sort of driftiness into them and they’re unsettled as well. So how has all this happened. It’s not good enough.”

Greg Alexander said the warning signs appeared to be there when the South African series had seen Australia win the first two matches before three 100-run losses to lose the series.

Healy said the Aussies were fiddling with their batting order throughout the series while some players were overcoming injury, saying it was “just so unsettled and unprofessional”.

“You can’t come into a World Cup against South Africa — they looked like they wanted to eat us alive and India are so animated and into it.

“They’re so hungry and animated and we’re really stiff, tired and anxious.”

Healy called Pat Cummins’ drop the biggest of the innings, labelling it “hopeless” and saying: “That tells me this team is nowhere and have got to find something fast.”

As for the shock call to dump Alex Carey for Josh Inglis, Healy said the decision was “unfair”.

“It’s a bit of shame when a keeper gets dropped for his batting,” Healy said.

“What does that indicate? It indicates the top order is not doing their job well enough and there is too much being asked of the wicketkeeper with the bat.

“He is a good batsman and he’s out of form. I thought it was unfair and unnecessary to have Josh Inglis in the squad because that destabilises the keeper.

“We’ve never needed a second wicketkeeper in a World Cup and if you do, it means the first wicketkeeper got injured and then you can put the other bloke in anyway.

Josh Inglis being in the squad is holding a batsman or a bowler out. We don’t need a second keeper in the XV.

“That was not great and not going to help Alex Carey.”

He also questioned why none of the batters had been moved on.

Healy wasn’t the only person slamming the Aussies.

Former nine Test and seven T20I spinner Steven O’Keefe said that it was an “uncharacteristic” performance from Australia.

“They dropped five catches. Australia over the last 12 months are completing in the field at 66.4 per cent in regards to catch attempts. We sit just above Nepal,” O’Keefe said on SEN’s The Run Home.

“You think of great Australian teams in the day, they would turn half-chances into full chances. Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Mark Waugh, these sort of guys turned World Cups just with their fielding efforts.

“A couple of the catches were tough ones and were at the back-end of the innings, but you’re looking for silver linings in this group … success leaves clues but so does mistakes and when you’re looking at fielders and the fielding unit isn’t switched on and dialled in and we’re making that many mistakes.

“Maybe being tired is a reason, but its certainly no excuse two games into a World Cup.”

He added that the fielding issues were a “look into the psyche of these guys.”

Speaking on SEN Tassie Breakfast, former Australian captain Tim Paine said he was shocked that Carey was dropped for the match.

“This World Cup would have been planned for over a year, ‘How we want to play, what our set up of our team looks like’,” Paine said.

“For that to change in one game, I was shocked. It is fascinating.

“I just don’t understand, if they didn’t think he was the man or they thought he was that close to being dropped, then why go with him in the first game?

“We’ve had a year of planning for this. So, the two balls that he faced against India was, ‘Oh, no, he’s done, we can’t pick him again’. Is that it for the World Cup? It’s going to be hard to get him back in.”

Australia next play Monday night against Sri Lanka.

Leave a Comment