The one thing about Australia’s batting everyone can agree on
AUSTRALIA has plunged deep into a batting crisis and there's no obvious way out.
Only three batsmen averaged more than 30 in Australia's last Test assignment against Pakistan in the UAE, which was followed by a 3-0 Twenty20 whitewash against the quasi-hosts. Australia averaged 114 in the three white-ball games.
The team's fans hoped the woes would stay overseas, but on Sunday, they found their home. South Africa bundled the Aussies out for 152 in Perth. Top-scorer for the hosts was bowling all-rounder Nathan Coulter-Nile (34) - as he was for the T20 series against Pakistan, too.
The likes of Shane Warne, Michael Hussey and Adam Gilchrist have all weighed in on the dire batting situation, offering different views on what selectors should do from here. Do they keep the faith, or look elsewhere?
But whether it's discussing the incumbents or the players on the outer, there is something the cricket legends all agree on: Australia has far more talent than what is being put on show.
"They're better than what they've shown," Warne said of Australia's batting performance in the first ODI.
"Just let the boys relax a little bit, they've been under so much pressure and tension from all the outside influences.
"They're not playing with any freedom. They're under so much pressure they've got the handbrake on, they don't want to make a mistake.
"I'd like to seem go out there with freedom. Just talk about what's happened, then put it behind them."
"(Don't) chop and change."
"We need batsmen who occupy the crease, not slog the ball.
"These more experienced players you mention can't be ruled out of the equation whilst the current batting line-up fail to nail down their positions.
"It is a big picture outlook however, and I hope some of the young players can shine through to set up a bright long term future."
"We've chopped and changed the team a lot in the last couple of years," Hussey told foxsports.com.au on Sunday.
"They've found it hard to settle on a batting order and allow players to gain some confidence in playing in that position.
"Giving players a chance to learn a role and have a role in the team that they feel comfortable playing in is important and it's important they know they've got the backing of the coaches and the selectors and the captain that they're going to be stuck with for a while.
"Not too much should change in the selectors' thinking ... I'd like guys to have the opportunity to really bed down their position in the team and keep looking longer term.
"Players play better if they know they've got their position, they know they can grow into that role a little bit more, and know they've got a bit of backing as well.
"If they continue to do the right things, continue to train hard, looking to improve their games, keep the positive feelings around the group it will come, the results always come. If you're putting in the hard yards then things will turn eventually."
"We're just going to have to accept that this summer it's going to be hard for the Australians," Clark said on Fox Sports' Bill and Boz.
"Without (Steve) Smith, (David) Warner and (Cameron Bancroft) … there's no one in Shield cricket coming through.
"They're all young blokes finding their way, they may be good in the future but at the moment they're just not up to it.
"They have to (blood young players). That's the only option they've got, there's nothing else to lose.
"There's not five or six guys peeling off 1000, 1500 runs that are a bit older - there are just a lot of young guys running around in Shield cricket.
"You know what the sad part is? The guys playing … they're the guys. There's no one else … these are the guys."