Sydney, Nov.8 : The cricketing world no longer lives in fear of the baggy green.
If a report in the Sydney Morning Herald is to be believed, players wearing the Baggy Green still command respect from opposing teams and coaches, but the fear factor has diminished. South African cricket team coach Mickey Arthur was quoted as saying that: "We are under no illusions as to what a good team they (Australians) are. There are one or two cracks in their make-up, and the spin bowling issue will remain with them for the going forward. But they are still a very good team."
"There are cracks in their make-up, certainly. Every side goes through a rebuilding phase, and Australia is going through that right now in certain positions. Senior players will be under a bit more pressure to perform with a lot of inexperienced guys in the team," he added.
Sri Lankan cricket team coach Trevor Bayliss said: "Australia will always be tough to play, but India are the ones that are making the improvements and taking the fight to Australia."
"They've still got a very potent attack but not with the consistency and ability to take wickets on a consistent basis. They might just find it a bit tougher to win as consistently," he added.
England cricket team coach Peter Moores said: "They are going through a period transition which is only to be expected after losing two all-time greats like Warne and McGrath. Their biggest challenge is to find slow bowlers with the kind of experience and know-how that Warne had."
But he added that he still sees Australia as the No.1 cricket team in the world and other countries would have to try and close the gap. It won't be easy, he said.
Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said Australia needs a world-class spinner to win in India and Pakistan.
"I don't know much about the depth and the talent coming through the first-class system, but you would have to say that this present Australian side has declined a little," he said.
West Indian coach John Dyson said: "I think everyone has begun to realize that this current Australian side is human and can be beaten. And that's good for cricket. I remember playing against the West Indies in the mid-1980s, and once the rest of the world realised they were beatable, it ushered in a good period for the game. I think the same is happening here."
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said Australia will take a long time to find bowlers to fill the roles of Warne and Glenn McGrath.
"They were once-in-a-lifetime bowlers, and have obviously left a bit of a hole," he said.
Story first published: Saturday, November 8, 2008, 16:00 [IST]
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