Australia on the slide
David Lloyd, writing in the Independent, says Australia's 0-2 defeat at the hands of India lends strength to the theory that Ricky Ponting's team is one on the decline than one in transition. What does this mean for the Ashes? Lloyd says England should go in to the tour expecting to win.
Not since the late 1980s, when West Indies could still field an attack made up of four fabulous fast bowlers, have Australia been beaten in three consecutive Tests. And, having led the Test rankings for so long that no one bothered looking at them for several years, Ponting's team are down to fifth place – one spot below England. No wonder we can hear the knives being sharpened, and there are likely to be some wounding comments over the next few days.
However, Nasser Hussain says that despite having lost their aura, Australia will not be easy to beat in home conditions. Having played a tough series against India will give them an edge in preparation, he writes in the Daily Mail.
When you come home from the subcontinent and play in familiar surroundings again, you feel like a million dollars, because the cricket out there is so tough.
Australia's bowlers have gone through a lot having bowled against an excellent Indian batting line-up on flat pitches, whereas England have prepared by knocking over Bangladesh and a weak Pakistan side in friendly conditions. The Aussies will feel life is about to get easier; England may have a different view.
There are few things in sport more fascinating than the decline of a dynasty, writes Simon Briggs in the Daily Telegraph. Now, as results fall away around him, Ponting finds himself cast in an unenviable role of the last emperor of Australian cricket, he says.
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo