20-30 runs short? I never feel a batting side has made as many runs as possible when they have 4-6 wickets in hand when their innings closes.
Australia were 2/140ish at 30 overs. Old rule was to double the score at 30, and that was before the batting PP, so it makes sense that 260 is 20 runs short of the 280 the start might have given them. The 20 runs would have come if only of Clarke/M.Hussey/White could have stayed in for a while. But each wasted 5-10 balls getting in.
That said...I kinda agree with you. While Ponting seemed to be swinging hard at Ashwin, Dave Hussey was playing a bit within himself in those last couple of overs, yes I saw the big 6, but he also nudged a handful of deliveries where he should have tried harder for boundaries. If it had been a super over for example, I think he'd be going a lot harder. And they really should be running for everything in the last over - yet on the last ball they settled for 2 very early.
Can't help feeling one self-imposed handicap/weakness is the aussies obsession with trying to find ANY other spinner than Hauritz. Krejza took 0/45 off nine, poor fare indeed. Never rated Smith, would he get in the side purely on his batting? I somehow doubt it, and his spin was never going to be enough of a threat.
ODIs : 7 wkts @ 47.29
WC 2011 : 5 wkts @ 55.60
ODIs : 293 runs @ 26.64 & 18 wkts @ 31.11
WC 2011 : 53 runs @ 26.50 & 1 wkt @ 121.00
Well we were going back to Hauritz...and then the potential replacements, Doherty and O'Keefe were injured too. It had to be Krejza. It really was a weakness for Aus. Krejza just doesn't have 'it' for me. He turns it, flights it, has the raw skills, but there's something missing and he can't bowl consistently enough. I'm a Hauritz fan and while I can see the case for Doherty I think Hauritz should still be #1. And it would be nice for Shane Warne to give Clarke some pointers on field sets and tactics for spinners as I don't think Ponting uses spinners particularly well. That could be one change that might help.
Now onto Smith. Smith wouldn't make the team for his batting, but he doesn't need to. Having 2 all-rounders in the top 6 (Watson and Haddin) means that Australia could play ANYBODY at #7 and it doesn't really matter. Yes the #7 needs to bat a bit, but they'll only be the 6th bowler. So why not give the kid Smith a go? He can bat a bit and he's very good in the field as a bonus. That's the reasoning, the unfortunate fact is that Ricky Ponting seems to rate Dave Hussey's bowling higher than Smith's and Hussey's certainly a more accomplished batsman. So one wonders why Smith was in the XI for so long then finally gets dropped for the big match. Seems weird.
I've got no problem playing Smith going forward though, that #7 spot is a great pressureless way to grow as an international player and he's got plenty of potential.
Cameron White didn't even bowl, perhaps a reason I'm unaware of, but if that was the aussie strength of spin in the World Cup then they can't complain about their relatively early exit (not as if they were likely not to get to the QF) When your quality of spin makes Yardy look reasonable then it is in deep trouble.
The last I saw Cameron White bowl he was trying to bowl medium pace for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Champions League of 2010 and it was awful. I think he's: a) completely lost his action and confidence as a bowler, and b) decided to concentrate on his batting. The last time he bowled a ball internationally was against Scotland in an ODI in 2009.