Karachi [Pakistan], Nov.16 : Former West Indies great Brian Lara has issued a warning to the Australian cricketers, saying they have lost their `fear factor` and are heading towards the Caribbean-style decline.
The batting legend's comments came after the Steve Smith-led side suffered their fifth straight Test defeat, including a humiliating loss of an innings and 80 runs at the hands of South Africa in the second match in Hobart.
Lara, who began his career when the now struggling West Indies were in the ascendancy in the 1980s, pointed out that the current situation of Australia is quite similar to that of the Caribbean side in 1995.
"The fear factor is no longer there and a similar thing happened to the West Indies 25 years ago. When Australia beat us at home in 1995, no one feared us anymore and that's going to be the situation with Australia.
Especially if they are not travelling well," Lara was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune. In 1980s, the once-formidable West Indies side recorded 11 straight Tests win. However, they have now slumped to eighth in the world rankings, ahead of only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Although Lara feared that Australia also risked going into a "downward spiral", he called on embattled skipper Smith and cautioned selectors not to make mass changes for next week's day-night third Test against Faf du Plessis' side in Adelaide.
"The morale of the team was pretty low when we started to lose. Everything must stay as harmonious as possible. You can dig a bigger hole for yourself if you are not unified and you start worrying about other things that may not even be happening.
It could become a downward spiral." Recently, Cricket Australia chairman of selectors Rod Marsh resigned from his post following the humiliating three-match Test series defeat 2-0 against South Africa.