Australian cricket is at its lowest point in years, with Steve Smith’s team falling in a heap again on Tuesday to meekly surrender their series against South Africa.
In another humiliating outing, the Australians were finished off before lunch on the fourth day – which was effectively the third, given Sunday’s wash-out – to lose by an innings and 80 runs.
Voges and Ferguson’s embarrassing dismissals
Australia’s capitulation was exemplified in the dismissal of its numbers 5 and 6, with both batsman left looking as bemused as onlookers.
It is Australia’s fifth successive Test defeat and only their fourth loss in a Test series on home soil in the past 24 years and leaves them not only in grave danger of suffering a whitewash against the Proteas, but the prospective endings of some international careers.
The result also means Australia have been beaten in their past three Test series here by South Africa.
Captain Steve Smith said his side had to “find a way to be successful”.
“We’ve got to find a way to be a bit more resilient, spend some time out in the middle,” he said.
“We’ve got to find a way to be successful because what we’re doing at the moment isn’t working.”
There had been hopes that the Australians might fight back in their second innings on Tuesday, resuming at 2-121 and 120 in arrears of the tourists. However, after being bowled out for 85 in their first innings, and losing 10-85 in Perth during the first Test, another collapse brought them undone.
In all, from Usman Khawaja’s exit for 64 early on in the day, they lost 8-32 to be all out for 161 .
South African seamers Kyle Abbott (6-77) and Kagiso Rabada (4-34) were again superb, giving little away, but the fashion in which the hosts were rolled again leaves huge questions about the immediate future of this team.
Adam Voges and Callum Ferguson were both out cheaply, as they were in the first innings, and looked confused by some spell-binding bowling.
Voges, despite a Test average of 61.87, is likely to have played his final Test match, and Ferguson, a debutant in Hobart, will be fortunate to get another chance.
There are others under pressure, too, notably spinner Nathan Lyon, wicketkeeper Peter Nevill, debutant seamer Joe Mennie and opener Joe Burns, at one of the lowest points for Australian cricket in years.