Real culprit in rotten cricket culture
Australian selectors have doomed the current side by installing a culture of selfishness owing to the rampant chopping and changing of the one-day XI, according to former star Michael Hussey.
Since winning the 2015 World Cup on home soil, Australia has used the second-most players in one-day cricket on the planet - behind only Sri Lanka. In that period, a stunning 19 players have debuted for Australia.
In the past 12 months - from just 13 matches - 25 players have been called on, and only Marcus Stoinis has played in every clash.
These are worrying numbers to World Cup winner Hussey, who insists that breeding continuity is essential as creating successful teams - while changing things results in players doubting themselves and resorting to selfish actions to try and shore up their spots in the team.
"Look at it from the player's perspective - he's going to come out there thinking 'well, what to do I do? Do I play for myself here?'" Hussey told News Corp's Cricket Unfiltered Podcast.
"'Because I don't know if I'm going to get a game next time … or do I play for the team?'
"'And what role is required for the team now might mean just teeing off and giving your wicket away'.
"But unfortunately it brings in a bit more of a selfish culture and environment because you're just worried about your place in the team."
Hussey, regarded as one of Australia's finest one-day players, played 185 ODIs through a hugely successful era - debuting the year after Australia won the 2003 World Cup before playing a key role in their triumph at the 2007 tournament before retiring from the format in 2012.
He played with some of the all-time greats of the game in Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds.
They were teams built around great players - but also a great team culture that shunned selfish attitudes.
"(Selfish cultures are) not how the best teams in the world play," Hussey added.
"The best teams in the world play selflessly, they play for the team knowing that even if they have a couple of low scores or things don't go their way because they're trying to do the right thing by the team, that they know the selectors or the coach is going to stick with them.
"And invariably what happens is when you see those selfless acts from your players and they start to infiltrate into other players, the culture of the team grows and things start going your way."
Australia snapped a seven-game losing streak - it's longest in one-day history - during its series defeat to South Africa.
But the fact remains that with just three wins from their past 23 ODIs, the record books show that things have rarely been so dire just seven months out from a World Cup defence.
"That's one of the important ingredients in any successful team - that they know exactly what their role in the team is," Hussey added.
"Even then we've chopped and changed the team around in the batting order and things like that.
"Bowlers have bowled at different stages. If you can just lock down on a role that you feel comfortable with, you know you've got the backing … it gives you the best chance of performing consistently."
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