Opinion: Australia, you should be embarrassed

OPINION: What a difference a year makes.

This time last year, Australia had just swept the Blackcaps in a test series and were on top of the world.

Now they’re the laughing stock of the cricketing world. Well, at least they should be.

The Indian players and coaching deserve all the credit in the world for the way they fought against all odds to clinch an unlikely series victory with their gutsy win in the fourth and final test on Tuesday.

But boy, Australia were all-time bad, facing the most injury-depleted touring team in the history of the sport.  

Let's cast our minds back to India’s second innings in the first test, when they were rolled for an embarrassing 36, losing their last nine wickets in just 83 balls thanks to Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

To make matters worse, India then lost their captain and best player Virat Kohli, who went home for the birth of his first child. 

But that was as bad as it got for the visitors.

Matthew Wade and Joe Burns were brought in to try and end Australia's top order woes in the absence of David Warner. Both failed miserably, Wade averaging 27 and Burns 21 - failing to protect the fragile middle order from the new ball.

Warner came back into the team, and offered absolutely nothing, averaging 16 in his two tests. 

India celebrate victory on Tuesday.
India celebrate victory on Tuesday. Photo credit: Getty

Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne were both their typically classy selves without being amazing, but Cameron Green and Travis Head were simply bystanders.

Green bowled a grand total of just 44 overs across the four tests without taking a single wicket.

Then there's Tim Paine, the man who should never captain Australia again. 

He was hailed as the saviour of Australian cricket when he took over from Smith after 'sandpaper-gate', but he was exposed in this series as a mediocre wicket-keeper and a captain who has a plan at the start of the day that's unable to adjust and adapt.

Paine could’ve ended the test midway through the afternoon on the final day of the fourth test with a stumping of Rishabh Pant. But - as with most of the big moments through the series - he was unable to be effective. 

And who can forget 'can’t wait to get you to the Gabba, Ash!' -  Paine's foul-mouthed tirade towards Ravichandran Ashwin in the third test coming back to bite him big time, as India handed Australia their first loss at the Brisbane fortress since 1988.  

The bowling unit was a faint bright spot for the hosts. Pat Cummins was named man of the series in a losing side, and Josh Hazlewood was remarkable. 

The pair of quicks were the only reason why this test series was remotely close, Cummins taking 21 wickets at an average of 20, and Hazlewood 17 at an average of 19.

But the other half of the four-pronged bowling attack - Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc - were woeful, taking nine wickets at an average of 55 and outbowled by three different opposition spinners.

Starc was simply a passenger who looked like he was the one on debut, rather than the five newcomers for India.

This Australian team was Cummins and Hazlewood away from being Zimbabwe, with all due respect to Zimbabwe. 

Only two players - Ajinka Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara - played all four tests for India, who used a staggering total of 20 players , the most ever by a touring test team.

To put the fourth-test win into perspective, India's makeshift 11 boasted a grand total of 13 wickets before the test, compared to Australia's 1033.

India won in Melbourne, won in Brisbane and went very close to a win in Sydney, all without Virat Kohli, playing 20 players due to injury and without their top-choice seam attack throughout the whole series.

To put it simply, Australia were dominated and should be embarrassed - a perfect spell of bowling from Hazlewood and Cummins in Adelaide was the only reason this series was close on paper. 

This is the best series win in the history of Indian cricket and perhaps in the sport, and its most certainly the worst in Australian history, a stain on its proud cricketing heritage.

Luke Robinson is a Newshub sports reporter