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Cricketers need to take responsibility: AB

AAP logoAAP 15/11/2016 Rob Forsaith

Former skippers Allan Border and Ricky Ponting agree players must take responsibility for Australia's current cricket crisis.

Steve Smith's side are reeling from a fifth straight Test defeat, having suffered an innings-and-80-run loss to South Africa in Hobart.

The Proteas already boast an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series. On current form the tourists could easily become the first side to whitewash Australia in a home Test series since federation.

There have been no shortage of calls for change, demands for answers and expressions of outrage after shambolic batting collapses in Perth and Hobart.

But amidst talk of Cricket Australia's system being broken and the Sheffield Shield being devalued in recent years, Border had a far more simple explanation.

"It's hard to believe that only a few months ago, I stood watching the Australian cricket team be presented with a $1 million dollar cheque as the No.1 team in the world," Border wrote in a News Corp Australia column.

"What has changed to deliver this incredible fall from grace?

"Off the pitch, not much at all. Nothing has changed in regards to team managers, staffing and high-performance.

"That's why the players have to take responsibility."

Border added players needed to "have a hard look at themselves"

"You can play the blame game right across the board, but Cricket Australia don't go out and bowl and bat for the team," he wrote.

"When you're defending our own patch and play like that, you deserve everything that comes with it.

"Having been there myself, you just have to cop the bash-up on the chin and work out a way to turn it around."

Ponting also felt players - not selectors - should cop the brunt of scrutiny.

"That's a very, very poor batting performance again," Ponting said on BT Sport.

"Are they lacking confidence because of some of the selections and things that have happened? - maybe.

"But when you're out there in the heat of the battle, that's all gone. You've got to find a way to play the game."

Herschelle Gibbs and Allan Donald were among the former South African players tweeting their congratulations and excitement as their compatriots completed a third-straight series win in Australia.

"Speechless! Think I'm gana have a beer at 3am," spearhead Dale Steyn posted on Twitter, having flown home for shoulder surgery after suffering an injury in the first Test.

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