Not even the tiny island of Tasmania could shield the Aussies from an increasingly frustrated media and local support base. The Baggy Greens were half-forgiven for their 3-0 whitewash in Sri Lanka earlier this year because of the unfamiliar pitch conditions, and were pardoned for the 5-0 ODI drubbing in South Africa prior to this Test series because the pace attack was not at full strength.
But now that Steve Smith’s side have become the first Australian team to lose the opening Test of the home summer since 1988, the knives have come out in full.
Former Proteas captain and Australian Test batsman Kepler Wessels was very forthright in his criticism of the country he represented in 24 Tests. Wessels was particularly severe on Rod Marsh and his selection panel saying "if they had any sense”, while he also singled out captain Steve Smith, who "is under the pump".
"His captaincy in this Test match was unimpressive. He isn't in the best form with the bat either, which compounds the problem for him personally and for the team as a whole," Wessels wrote in his column.
Traditional and social media did not hold back either in the condemnation of the Australian performance at the WACA.
The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday trumpeted "Un-Australian: Sorry decline of Smith's team is shocking", while The Australian broadsheet said: "Hot breath of discontent on captain Smith's neck."
"Darren Lehmann and Steve Smith are now under unprecedented pressure as the heads of Australian cricket following the humilation at the WACA," said
Sydney's Daily Telegraph cricket writer Ben Horne.
"Australia have now slumped to four straight Test defeats and history suggests that when the Test side has entered this kind of losing red zone in the past, the men in charge cop the full extent of the fallout."
Cricinfo’s Australian correspondent Daniel Brettig did not hold back either, saying "Australia's cricketers are presently in the grip of the kind of slide that has historically ended careers."
Bretting commented further "that the system can only take so much strain before it breaks" and that "the Australian team is not a club side defined by how well everyone gets along with each other."
Original source: Aussies pumelled in the media