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Aussie run-out worries

By AAP .
4 January 2013 03:23PM EST

A WORRYING trend of embarrassing run-outs has damaged the Ashes preparations of an inexperienced Australian top three desperate for time in the middle.

On Friday in Sydney, Ed Cowan made it three run-outs from as many Tests this series against Sri Lanka.

David Warner and Phil Hughes already had their turns at being frustratingly caught short in Hobart and Melbourne respectively - Warner when he was flying on 57 at Bellerive.

But they have no one to blame but themselves - the blunders have involved two of the three on every occasion.

In all Tests where at least one of them featured, Warner, Hughes and Cowan have been involved in half of the run-outs suffered by Australia's top six.

Their poor communication is a major problem for a team, desperate for the openers and first-drop to set solid platforms, especially with Ricky Ponting no longer there and fellow stalwart Mike Hussey about to depart.

Too often against South Africa earlier this summer, skipper Michael Clarke and Hussey were relied on to salvage innings after the initial fall of quick wickets.

Compounding flaky batting with basic run-outs is alarming for Clarke as his troops race the clock to find stability before facing England in July.

Against England's outstanding bowling attack, Australia's top three will want to be comfortable batting with each other otherwise further run-outs are likely.

Opener Cowan admitted during the week that he was mentally rattled by his involvement in the run-out of Hughes for 10 in Melbourne. Cowan was out in the very next over.

On Friday in the third Test at the SCG, the impact of the Cowan run-out was negated by the brilliant batting of Warner (85) and Hughes (87) and the soft Sri Lankan attack.

But in difficult Indian conditions in February, or in the thick of an Ashes series, such hesitations will be far more costly.

The latest run-out ensured Cowan missed yet another golden opportunity to score runs on a batter-friendly pitch.
 

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