Cricket legend Merv Hughes believes critics may have been too harsh on the Australian team following their recent back-to-back losses to India at home.
Hughes offered his thoughts on the tough summer of cricket for the Australian side while visiting the Border on Thursday for the Shaun Brown Cricket Coaching school holiday clinic at Wodonga's Kelly Park.
The fast bowler believes credit should be paid where it's due.
"A lot of people are criticising the Australian side and I can't understand why," he said.
"India put up a hell of a fight, and given they were undermanned, for them to have that fight and win, I think we just have to give a bit of credit to India and stop criticising our boys.
"You can't knock the effort from the Australian bowlers, the effort was there.
"Our boys put in a great effort and they weren't good enough, there's no shame in that."
Hughes became the third Australian cricketer to take 200 test wickets and went on to become a bowling coach for the Melbourne Renegades and Victorian under-19 and senior teams.
Young Border cricket fanatics had the opportunity to test their skills under his guidance during his recent visit.
Hughes, who was born in Euroa and spent some time in Myrtleford, admitted he enjoyed giving back to regional communities.
"The thing you notice about country kids is that because they don't get much like this too often, they're very appreciative of it," Hughes said.
"Albury-Wodonga is a fantastic sporting area, so to have it up here you know it's going to be very well supported.
"What we hope to do is just improve them a little bit and hopefully they go onto bigger and better things.
"Hopefully they walk away with a little bit more knowledge."
Hughes now spends his time offering some coaching and attending sports nights.
However, he spent most of 2020 housebound under Melbourne's strict COVID-19 lockdown.
"It was a tough year," he said.
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"Having said that, looking at the positives, I spent a bit more time at home.
"Because I travel a lot and have been travelling a lot for the last couple of years, I got to spend a bit of time at home with my family.
"I realised why I married my wife, it turns out she's not a bad woman."
While he admitted some Melburnians had struggled with the strict lockdown safety measures, Hughes tried to take it in his stride.
"A lot of people tried to fight it and went a bit stir crazy," he said.
"I just worked on the theory that there were people out there far worse off than me."
Hughes and other coaches at Shaun Brown's Cricket Coaching have been travelling around Victoria to help youngsters hone their cricket skills.
Hughes' next stop is set to be Bendigo.
"We try and get as many kids involved as possible," he said.
"We're here to ensure two things.
"Number one that kids have a good time, and two, that they learn something."
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