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Old 7th January 2011, 22:03   #101
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First mistake they made is that they should have tried to convince the players to retire more gradually and not 4 in one series as happened. Apparently they forgot what happened when Marsh, Lillee and Chappell all retired in the same Test: they only won 3 of their next 32 Tests, and in 5 1/2 years the only series they won was one against New Zealand and a one-off Test against Sri Lanka.
I take your point but in fact, the Aussie problems haven't really come from when Warne, McGrath, Langer, Martyn and Gilchrist retired but more recently. Didn't they do quite well for a while even once that quintet went? I'm not saying that it helped and clearly the side was a lot weaker after that but the biggest selection howlers have been more recent. It's also not at all clear that any of those players wanted to carry on.
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Old 7th January 2011, 22:10   #102
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if you compare with the West indian era - the West Indies continued their dominance for a while longer even though the player pool was waning - However as soon as they started losing, the slide was swift - its something about self-belief - i really think the Aussies could go same way, although their more professional set-up wont allow it to go totally out of control, so they will come back eventually
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Old 7th January 2011, 23:28   #103
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I take your point but in fact, the Aussie problems haven't really come from when Warne, McGrath, Langer, Martyn and Gilchrist retired but more recently. Didn't they do quite well for a while even once that quintet went? I'm not saying that it helped and clearly the side was a lot weaker after that but the biggest selection howlers have been more recent. It's also not at all clear that any of those players wanted to carry on.
They still had quite a few good players left, more than the 1980s team I think. And they had a few easy series after the 2006/07 Ashes. Sri Lanka at home, West Indies and New Zealand were 3 of their first 5 series. After that their results were very solidly mid-table, with their series win in SA the only exception.
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Old 8th January 2011, 11:30   #104
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They still had quite a few good players left, more than the 1980s team I think. And they had a few easy series after the 2006/07 Ashes. Sri Lanka at home, West Indies and New Zealand were 3 of their first 5 series. After that their results were very solidly mid-table, with their series win in SA the only exception.
Oh they were definitely weaker, point is that their extreme weakness now probably wouldn't have been helped by keeping one or two of those players on for another series or two. They had the chance to blood players earlier in easier series but ended up picking failures, certainly in the spin department. Hard to see what Hauritz did badly enough wrong to slip below players who look nothing like test spinners.
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Old 8th January 2011, 19:15   #105
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I take your point but in fact, the Aussie problems haven't really come from when Warne, McGrath, Langer, Martyn and Gilchrist retired but more recently. Didn't they do quite well for a while even once that quintet went? I'm not saying that it helped and clearly the side was a lot weaker after that but the biggest selection howlers have been more recent. It's also not at all clear that any of those players wanted to carry on.
True. The real turning point was when they discarded Andrew Symonds
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Old 8th January 2011, 21:07   #106
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Oh they were definitely weaker, point is that their extreme weakness now probably wouldn't have been helped by keeping one or two of those players on for another series or two. They had the chance to blood players earlier in easier series but ended up picking failures, certainly in the spin department. Hard to see what Hauritz did badly enough wrong to slip below players who look nothing like test spinners.
They really did f*** up with their handling of Hauritz. He is no Shane Warne, or even Graham Swann, but he provided some variety and knew which end of the bat to hold.

Hughes has to be regarded as a long-term project, since he has technical flaws that will take some time to iron out. If Clarke and Ponting were pulling their weight, they could afford to carry him in the side while he learnt to overcome his failings, maybe even the way that England have stood by Alastair Cook with such remarkable dividends.
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Old 8th January 2011, 23:01   #107
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They really did f*** up with their handling of Hauritz. He is no Shane Warne, or even Graham Swann, but he provided some variety and knew which end of the bat to hold.
Entirely agree with that. They might have wanted to leave him out for the full suite of pace bowlers here and there but there was no way that leaving out should have been for players manifestly inferior to him in every respect, apart from their apparent hold over Pietersen though being left armers. The selection of Doherty was worse than of Beer, because he's a worse player but picking Beer having seen how Doherty went makes it a close run thing. Both selections made that of Pattinson for England look well considered and rational.

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Hughes has to be regarded as a long-term project, since he has technical flaws that will take some time to iron out. If Clarke and Ponting were pulling their weight, they could afford to carry him in the side while he learnt to overcome his failings, maybe even the way that England have stood by Alastair Cook with such remarkable dividends.
A test side is no place for passengers, no matter the form of the other players. Hughes was nowhere near in the form to be selected and his technical failings need to be ironed out, if he's capable of it, away from an international game he's at present nowhere near good enough for. I don't buy the Cook comparison for a moment, because his technical flaws are nowhere near as gaping and his overall record is far better. Hughes having scored runs against the South African short and wide attack shouldn't have fooled anyone. Quite apart from any other consideration, it really isn't the right decision to recall a player with at best partial international success (or pick a debutant, for that matter) unless in really good form. It's hard enough making the step up at the best of times. Established players are a different story but Hughes wasn't established.

Do remember with amusement the Aussie article from before the last Ashes talking about how Australia would win because it had two superstars, in Hughes and Johnson and England couldn't either match or contain them. How did that go again?
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Old 9th January 2011, 09:39   #108
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After the retirement of McGrath and Warne they won a series against a listless Srilankan side. The decline could be seen in the next series when the Indian side won in Perth. A subcontinental team winning in Perth? It was followed by India thrashing Australia at home and a defeat against South Africa in Australia. The only saving grace for Australia was a series victory in South Africa but South Africa looked complacent in that series and perhaps the main reason for their loss was they fed to Hughes's strength by bowling short and wide. Since that victory Aus. have only defeated Pak, WI and NZ.
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Old 9th January 2011, 09:58   #109
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The problem Australia had after Katich got injured was the fact that in terms of openers they literally had no-one with experience of that position who was doing anything half decent in shield cricket. Jacques was in even worse form and any alternative had far less pedigree and no better form than Hughes, therefore he was almost there by default. Going into the third test he still had that average above 50. Now it will be down below 40 I believe. It shouldn't however be climbing north of there anytime soon. The Aussies will be very relieved to pick Katich again come August.
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Old 11th January 2011, 20:10   #110
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The problem Australia had after Katich got injured was the fact that in terms of openers they literally had no-one with experience of that position who was doing anything half decent in shield cricket. Jacques was in even worse form and any alternative had far less pedigree and no better form than Hughes, therefore he was almost there by default. Going into the third test he still had that average above 50. Now it will be down below 40 I believe. It shouldn't however be climbing north of there anytime soon. The Aussies will be very relieved to pick Katich again come August.
Tubby Cosgrove should now be considered a serious candidate to open the innings alongside Watson, he's still in his mid twenties, is playing the best cricket of his life and is hard to shift.
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Old 12th January 2011, 00:11   #111
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Tubby Cosgrove should now be considered a serious candidate to open the innings alongside Watson, he's still in his mid twenties, is playing the best cricket of his life and is hard to shift.
<need a "whistle innocently" smiley>
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Old 12th January 2011, 09:35   #112
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<need a "whistle innocently" smiley>
Before seeing your response that was something highly similar to my immediate thought!
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