In Depth

Australia all out for 65: sign of what's to come this summer?

Even the bullish Shane Warne fears for Australia ahead of Champions Trophy and then the Ashes

WHAT a day to be an Aussie! First up, a mauling from the normally courteous David Gower and then a thrashing at the hands of India.

The broadside from Gower won't bother Australia too much, even if the former England batsman turned commentator did describe their cricketers as possessing an "animal mentality". More depressing is the state of their national side after a humiliating defeat to India in the final warm-up match before the start of the ICC Champions Trophy.

Luckily for the Aussies the match wasn't official. If it had been, their 65 all out would have marked a record low for Australia in the 50-over game. With India having made 308 in their innings in Cardiff, Australia were skittled out in just 24 overs with only two batsmen reaching double figures.

"It was a disappointing game, I'm not sure how we'll react to it," said George Bailey, captaining Australia in the absence of the injured Michael Clarke. "It was certainly not the way we wanted to play but if you are going to have a game like that, you may as well have it in a practice game."

If the defeat wasn't alarming enough for the Australians – who play their first Champions Trophy match against England on Saturday – the prospect of being without Clarke for the summer is now a major concern. Not only Australia's skipper, but also their one world-class batsman, Clarke has been struggling with back and hamstring problems for weeks.

"Michael will head to London tomorrow for specialist treatment and a decision on his fitness for the next game will be made in due course," said team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris on Tuesday.

Even the bullish Shane Warne has admitted he fears it could be a long, hapless summer for Australia, who play England for the Ashes once the Champions Trophy is out of the way.

"I've been frustrated with the selections for the past 12 to 18 months," the legendary Aussie spinner told the BBC. "It appears they don't know their best team... They've picked players that have not performed well at first-class level, at international level. There are wonderful young players and good players that have not been selected."

Who's whinging now, Warney…?

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