Australia November 24, 2011

What to make of Australia?

They’re brilliant one day, dismal the next, and always compelling
51

It’s easy to pour cheap lager on yourself and run down a street naked when you win a Test like this. But John Inverarity, Mickey Arthur and the rest of the new selection team don’t have time to moisten themselves and sing fiercely parochial tunes. Arthur may not even know the words to “Under the Southern Cross I Stand”, which once upon a time would have meant he was not qualified for the job.

This new-look management team has to work out who plays for Australia against the Kiwis, but even before that they have to first work out where Australia is at the moment. That isn’t so easy.

This is a team that drew with Pakistan in England, should have drawn with India in India, held level with England for three Tests before falling apart, and then worked really hard to edge past Sri Lanka. In South Africa they gave it everything. Inspired bowling, non-existent batting, impotent bowling and gutsy batting. Somehow, at the end they drew a series with South Africa.

There is every chance that South Africa were confused into this loss. It’s hard for your analysts to give you a dossier on a team like this. You can’t get your head around a team that can’t make 50 one test but can chase 300 the next. This is the most schizophrenic Australian side I’ve ever seen.

Schizophrenia is a terrible disease; personally I’ve never really mastered one personality. However, schizoprenia in a cricket team means wonderfully entertaining moments for viewers. For Australia that includes the Headingley, Mohali, Perth, Galle and Cape Town Tests. Australia is responsible for laugh-a-minute non-stop entertainment in Test cricket of late, although probably not on purpose.

Whether you’re a fan of Australia or hate them with every drop of bile you can summon, they give you something almost every Test they play. Close finishes, brilliant collapses, awesome comebacks, excellent narratives, and in this last Test, the look on Nathan Lyon’s face at the end was worth whatever you pay for the TV subscription.

As a selector or coach you don’t want your team to bring something new every Test. Inverartity and Arthur don’t want entertaining and farcical, they want military precision and predictability, two things it’s hard for a team to produce with Brad Haddin and Peter Siddle on the staff.

This team can be the plucky mob from Perth that was carried by the professionally inconsistent Mitchell Johnson and the occasionally fit Ryan Harris. The hardworking Clarke-inspired team that all pulled together to find a way to defeat Sri Lanka in Galle. And the team that had the strength to force South Africa to the turf, only to watch them bounce back up and beat them to death in Cape Town. That’s not even including whatever the team did to win this last Test. Which involved luck, a teenager, and veterans coming good.

Somewhere in the notes of Inverarity and Arthur you will find an ageing batting line-up that still gets rolled for freakishly low totals, including a trifecta of sub-100s (88, 98 and 47) in their last 13 Tests. A bowling attack that sways between hardworking and hardly working. A 34-year-old wicketkeeper who gets most of his headlines for playing terribly odd shots. A young offspinner who has to fight for survival every Test. An opening batsman who wants to move down the order. A former captain in a potentially career-ending form slump. And a new captain who is learning how to lead on the job.

Yet Australia still win Tests. Despite their obvious fall from grace they seem intent on hanging around, not fading away. Patrick Cummins is enough to get a nihilist singing show tunes. Mitch Marsh, Nic Maddinson and James Pattinson are around the corner. Michael Clarke just played his best Test Innings. Shane Watson is taking wickets. This team works as hard as any Australian team of recent eras. And they are fun to watch - sometimes in a good way.

Right now Inverarity and Arthur are trying to work out what team to pick for the Gabba, but really they’re trying to work out how to treat the team they were given in the first place.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shafin bin hamid on December 17, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    good one bro.you have brought up the differences and ups and lows about the aussies.it reminds us again that the aussies will never back down and still they are full of confidence.simply excellent.

  • samiullah Shaikh on December 10, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    I think one mistake everyone ; including the current Aus e same performance level as Steve players;is making is to expect the same performance level as the great Steve Waugh / Ricky ponting sides. It is not easy to find a bowler like Shane Warne or a wkt keeper batsman like Gilly; who made an otherwise excelent batting / bowling side into an invincible one. Just chill & enjoy the game w/o very high expectaionstill Ausis find their feet again , which I am sure they would in the next couple of years.

  • Gaurav Shrivastava on November 30, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    Too early to write off Australia....

  • Tropicalsurfer on November 29, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    As a West Indian, I sense the approach of what beset West Indies in the late eighties into the 90s. A long, slow decline, lit by deceptive bright spots. I think Australia has the talent and management to at least avoid the depths of despair that West Indies have charted all to well. But legendary cricketers are born, not made, and after over-confidence allowed so many greats to retire in a batch, I think Australia have discovered this truth. Patrick Cummings aside, what really exciting talent has come forward since those heady days? Clarke and others are still, for me, firmly in the headspace of Ponting-land and need to let go of this feisty veteran, who should retire, but can't. A fresh start will lead to unpredictability, but at least you can rebuild for the future. Perhaps that is the best we can hope for right now--rebuilding instead of a slow corruption of all that was good. After all the West Indies went through, I don't wish similar events on Australia.

  • sanjoysatpathy on November 29, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    This present selectors are better than the past because they never considered young players.Players past their prime were selected.Where as India selected very young players who served them for long time.Australian selectors never tried to build a team for future.Actually It was the Adam Gilchrist factor which was the key to Australian success, he used to turn around matches coming at number 7. Present selection policy is eight bats man out of which 2 can bowl 10 to 20 overs a day, two pace bowler out of which one should be a left arm fast,and one left arm spinner.Haddin should be dropped for a new WK who can score runs.Against India having less than 8 bats man means asking for trouble.Never declear an innings closed if you are leading the series.

  • mohamed on November 29, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    australia deserve to be the no 1 team in the world

  • moodog on November 29, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    great article agree with you 100%....oz cricket a bit like the line out of forrest gump

  • Rohan on November 27, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Thanks Jarrod for your article. Good fun and thoughtful reflections at the same time! I'm currently overseas and sat glued to my computer watching the webstream for the recent run chase - stirring stuff. Thanks also to Sarinda, Gary, tossa and Barry for improving the knowledge of us non-medical folk, and reminding us of the impact of these illnesses on many folk.

  • aswin sankaran on November 27, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    i dont think lyon is 'fighting for survival' every game looking at da way clarke has used him i reckon he has no doubt dat lyon belongs to dis level n i can easily say he is da no.1 spinner in oz no.2 is cameron boyce

  • Bearfax on November 27, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    Obviously after such a great team in the 90s & early noughties, I'm actually surprised Oz is doing as well as it is. The great Ponting is on the decline, Haddin has lost his confidence and we have a bunch of older bowlers who try hard but are pedestrian. Mitch Johnson has talent but he's obviously injurred and should take a long time off. Only Clarke and Hussey of the older generation are still performing to test level.

    Only right that Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Ferguson, Wade, Paine, Cummins, Cutting, Pattison, Starc, Copeland and perhaps a look at O'Keefe when he's again fit, need to be blooded. It will take time before Oz is again in the top tier of teams but I believe with those players in a few years they'll be very competitive. You'll notice I've left out 28 year old Marsh who performed very well in a few tests...but I think he's playing above himself given his 39.5 run first class average.

  • shafin bin hamid on December 17, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    good one bro.you have brought up the differences and ups and lows about the aussies.it reminds us again that the aussies will never back down and still they are full of confidence.simply excellent.

  • samiullah Shaikh on December 10, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    I think one mistake everyone ; including the current Aus e same performance level as Steve players;is making is to expect the same performance level as the great Steve Waugh / Ricky ponting sides. It is not easy to find a bowler like Shane Warne or a wkt keeper batsman like Gilly; who made an otherwise excelent batting / bowling side into an invincible one. Just chill & enjoy the game w/o very high expectaionstill Ausis find their feet again , which I am sure they would in the next couple of years.

  • Gaurav Shrivastava on November 30, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    Too early to write off Australia....

  • Tropicalsurfer on November 29, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    As a West Indian, I sense the approach of what beset West Indies in the late eighties into the 90s. A long, slow decline, lit by deceptive bright spots. I think Australia has the talent and management to at least avoid the depths of despair that West Indies have charted all to well. But legendary cricketers are born, not made, and after over-confidence allowed so many greats to retire in a batch, I think Australia have discovered this truth. Patrick Cummings aside, what really exciting talent has come forward since those heady days? Clarke and others are still, for me, firmly in the headspace of Ponting-land and need to let go of this feisty veteran, who should retire, but can't. A fresh start will lead to unpredictability, but at least you can rebuild for the future. Perhaps that is the best we can hope for right now--rebuilding instead of a slow corruption of all that was good. After all the West Indies went through, I don't wish similar events on Australia.

  • sanjoysatpathy on November 29, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    This present selectors are better than the past because they never considered young players.Players past their prime were selected.Where as India selected very young players who served them for long time.Australian selectors never tried to build a team for future.Actually It was the Adam Gilchrist factor which was the key to Australian success, he used to turn around matches coming at number 7. Present selection policy is eight bats man out of which 2 can bowl 10 to 20 overs a day, two pace bowler out of which one should be a left arm fast,and one left arm spinner.Haddin should be dropped for a new WK who can score runs.Against India having less than 8 bats man means asking for trouble.Never declear an innings closed if you are leading the series.

  • mohamed on November 29, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    australia deserve to be the no 1 team in the world

  • moodog on November 29, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    great article agree with you 100%....oz cricket a bit like the line out of forrest gump

  • Rohan on November 27, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Thanks Jarrod for your article. Good fun and thoughtful reflections at the same time! I'm currently overseas and sat glued to my computer watching the webstream for the recent run chase - stirring stuff. Thanks also to Sarinda, Gary, tossa and Barry for improving the knowledge of us non-medical folk, and reminding us of the impact of these illnesses on many folk.

  • aswin sankaran on November 27, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    i dont think lyon is 'fighting for survival' every game looking at da way clarke has used him i reckon he has no doubt dat lyon belongs to dis level n i can easily say he is da no.1 spinner in oz no.2 is cameron boyce

  • Bearfax on November 27, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    Obviously after such a great team in the 90s & early noughties, I'm actually surprised Oz is doing as well as it is. The great Ponting is on the decline, Haddin has lost his confidence and we have a bunch of older bowlers who try hard but are pedestrian. Mitch Johnson has talent but he's obviously injurred and should take a long time off. Only Clarke and Hussey of the older generation are still performing to test level.

    Only right that Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Ferguson, Wade, Paine, Cummins, Cutting, Pattison, Starc, Copeland and perhaps a look at O'Keefe when he's again fit, need to be blooded. It will take time before Oz is again in the top tier of teams but I believe with those players in a few years they'll be very competitive. You'll notice I've left out 28 year old Marsh who performed very well in a few tests...but I think he's playing above himself given his 39.5 run first class average.

  • Rhys on November 26, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    As an avid cricket fan, and a mental health clinician I would like to echo the words of Gary and refer Mr Kimber to www.sane.org/stigmawatch.

  • Tom on November 26, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    Siddle is the only proven test paceman in the squad for the first test, all three others haven't played a test. Would be the stupidest selection to have him dropped. Such a typical NSW biased idiot to suggest to drop Siddle.

  • BRENDAN CARTER on November 26, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Great article, Australian Cricket is so inconsistant at the moment, 1 day we are World beaters, the next we are crap. But this is the most compelling Australian team to watch in 20 years, Test Cricket is alive while the Aussies keep playing this way. Who cares if we win, all we really want is the entertainment value of this team. They are never gonna die wondering, if they lose playing to win we don`t care, but if they close up shop for a lame draw, we do. This team plays for results, maybe all the other Test nations should do this, no more of these pathetic safe tests.

  • Adam on November 26, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    SJI - i assure you that south africa can beat australia

    does the 09/10 series not mean much to you?

  • lara26 on November 26, 2011, 0:06 GMT

    darren bravo ftw!!!

  • GFM on November 25, 2011, 21:43 GMT

    I concur with the majority of comments concerning Australia's recent performances. I for one used to enjoy seeing Australia heads above the rest and the ridicule they would suffer when actually drawing a test rather than annihilating the opposition. Now that we are no longer a standout nation amongst the other world teams, our players no longer have the legendary status pinned to them and actually have to be accountable for their inconsistencies and failures, as they should be. Makes for more interesting series with the result not being predicable until the last day on most occasions.

  • Mike on November 25, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    Australia has always had a fighting spirit which is why they often come back from dire positions, but that same fighting spirit can also land them in trouble. Also going through this current phase with the old generation on the way out and the promising young talent not quite ready yet has left us with a bits and pieces team. Once the new breed start to come through and get more experience we should start to see some more consistency.

  • Cajetan on November 25, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    It seems Australia is the new Pakistan Unpredictable and on the other hand where Pakistan is playing like thorough professional.But Australia is making test cricket excitable

  • redneck on November 25, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    pretty accurate in this analysis of australias fortunes. its funny most of what you discribe is usually the definition of pakistani teams not australian. then you look at what the pakistani team is doing with their unbeaten series run at the moment and cant help but think this is what australia should be doing. its a roll reversal of complete pollar opposits.

  • SJI on November 25, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    No fair-minded person wants any great team to fall so low as the Windies-that was heart-breaking to watch. No-one can be no.1 for ever but Aus still hold up the 1-day spot for c.10years-that says alot. In reality only 1 bad series in almost 2 decades - last year's Ashes. There should always be 4-5 tests in Aus-Eng-India-Sth Afr.games. A proper series will sort out whether this side is any good, but I think we know now they have spirit. I doubt anyone looks at Aust. tests matches as a given, also there's that old curse on Sth Africa not being up to beating Australia?

  • Humpy on November 25, 2011, 1:41 GMT

    Spot on. I have given up trying to predict the outcome of any day's play with this team, let alone a match or series result.

    The quality of play may lurch towards "poor" more often than we'd like, but at least it's unpredictable and entertaining viewing. The pride and pure aesthetic enjoyment at watching Clarke's ton was equalled by the horror at watching the 46 all out, which was matched by the nervous tension of watching the 4th innings chase in Joberg.

    It's like Australia are running Test cricket's version of the confectionary pick n' mix stand.

  • Barry on November 25, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    I'm amazed that this needs to be said, but jokes about schizophrenia (which is not the same as multiple-personality disorder) are not acceptable in modern society.

    That aside, I agree with everything you've said. Is it just me, or do Australia's recent performances remind anyone else of Pakistan over the last twenty years?

  • Vas Venkatramani on November 25, 2011, 0:35 GMT

    Thanks you Jarrod on focusing on the joys of this Australian team, when most of the stories feel the necessity of comparing these guys to their famed predecessors - an exercise designed to lead to disappointment.

    One of the other things enjoyable about this Australian team is how much more humble they are. These are guys who know what losing feels like, and so I get the impression that makes them appreciate success more. They know they aren't the benchmark, which makes them respect their opponents that do lead the way. And under the leadership of Michael Clarke, we look like we have ideas and are being proactive in pursuing victory.

    May Australian cricket always be exciting...

  • Sarinda de Silva on November 24, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    Hey Jarod,

    I know what you meant to say when you used the term but I'd just like to let you know that your use of the word schizophrenia was used incorrectly. It's a common mistake among many non-medical people but schizophrenia which has a worldwide prevalence of 1% has nothing to do with developing alternative personalities but rather is a very treatable psychiatric illness with delusions, hallucinations, thought disorder and social withdrawal as its primary features. It's not the same as dissociative identity disorder/multiple personality disorder which is a completely different disease and is extremely rare. Some psychiatrists even doubt its existence. Just thought I'd make the correction here as I have many patients and relatives coming to me with the exact same mistake when i use the term schizophrenia. Thank you.

    Kind Regards,

    Dr.Sarinda de Silva Psychiatry Registrar Sydney, Australia

  • Michael on November 24, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Mitch Marsh? Really? As an all-rounder he's been bowling pretty well, but his batting so far hasn't been up to First Class standard, let alone Tests. I'd like to see him averaging at least 20 with the bat before there's any talk of him being anywhere near the Test side. But don't let performances stand in the way of your leap onto the bandwagon...

  • Anonymous on November 24, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    It would be great if they could play the same 11 for ten tests in a row, I think your headline would read a whole lot different. Consistency is the key and aus has none. Ever since Glen Magrath stepped on that bloody cricket ball !!!

  • Queen Rajesh on November 24, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    It is easy to believe the players of yester-day's year. Bruce Reed,and left-winging friend TV man brendan julian. What about them? and also stefan smith? what time was he a forgotten contribute? was it warney? hahaha it's there to believe.

  • Lucretia on November 24, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    'Terribly odd shots' is one of the kindest descriptions I've heard of Brad Haddin's batting recently.

    Excellent article.

  • Declan on November 24, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    So much has been written about the Australian team's recent tribulations with very little genuine insight or entertainment - yet you have captured both here.

    Great job - if your posts continue to be of this quality you can definitely count me as a regular reader.

  • Vaibhav on November 24, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    good article

  • kumar sambalam on November 24, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    Well said. This team is certainly not that boring one that won almost everything (though Australians desire those 'good old days' of invincibility). They have acquired, should I say, an Indian style of cricket. Anything is possible - defeat to begin with (from the threshold of victory), a drawn match if mood goes wrong (as Indians could not find cheer in the English climate), and an extraordinary victory if the mood stays wrong (criticism, criticism...). I am loving this Australian team. The struggle, the uncertainty and the an acquired sense of perception among the greats (Ponting), the would be greats (Clarke?) and the novice (Patrick Cummins) and the rest.

  • Rutvick Mehta on November 24, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Although nearly 90 percent of Indians hate the Aussies, I personally am a big fan of the team since very long. They play aggressive, hard and passionate. And that's why it is dangerous to write a team like Australia off. And a player like Ponting! They will have their erratic moments, like all teams do in their re-building phases. But only a fool will write them off!

  • aidanfx on November 24, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    Got to say - in terms of where Aus is at the moment - this article is about spot on. Well done - well thought through analysis.

  • Paul Frame on November 24, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    A team that still wins tests?

    Their current form is similar to the mid-80s side, and that side at least had youth going for it. Enjoyed the article, these are nothing if not interesting times for Australia and their fans.

  • sarmad on November 24, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    no matter what i will love and support australia

  • dpk on November 24, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    is this the same aussie team that held their own in the 2nd and 3rd test in the last ashes series. then just happened to lose to that same team, by an innings in both those test. or is that another 2nd and 3rd test from another ashes series. dpk

  • kingbroccoli on November 24, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    The worst cricket 'writer' going around. Predictably terrible analogies and misinformed opinions. Brad Haddin does not lead to unpredictability within the Australian team. Brad Haddin is predictably awful. Peter Siddle is our least unpredictable bowler. If he was less predictable then he might take a wicket every now and again. Now that you write for a site with a decent readership you should think before you line up your targets.

  • krishnan on November 24, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    well such sort of entertainment might be a new thing for a oz fan, but for people from sub-continent teams like Pakistan(to an large extent), India (to a smaller extent) have been providing such UP's and down's for the past so many years...

  • Abdullah Farooq on November 24, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    I have been following the Aussies since 1995. Surprisingly, despite being nowhere near the mighty Aussie teams of the 1995-2007 era, this team is very exciting as it is full of surprises. The dominant Aussie team of the past was almost boring as they slaughtered everyone in their sight... Back then you could not imagine 88, 98 and 47...

    However, I would still take the boring all conquering team any day....There will never be a team again with legends like Haydos, Gilly, Warnie, Pigeon and the Punter who scored for fun..

  • arnab on November 24, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    brilliant article, enough said haha

  • Frank Faulkner on November 24, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    If this new look management team are serious about building a team for the future, then only Clarke, Watson, Khawaja and of course Cummings should be considered - the rest should be put out to grass, provided of course suitable replacements can be found - and that maybe is where the real problem lies

  • tossa on November 24, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Pretty sure you got schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder mixed up there bud.

  • sutiro on November 24, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    What we were used to in the past was a team full of match winners. What we have now is a team with only 1 match winner and we want to drop him!! ( i.e. Mitch )Clarke never was and probably never will be a match winner. His purile exuberance will wear thin after while. As a selector will he choose to drop himself when his form requires it or will he go on past his use by date as in the past? The selectors have the job of picking a team that will take us back to the top of Test cricket where we belong. There job is to pick as many match winners as possible. They are out there but the culture of recognition isn't.

  • denniscoon on November 24, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    nice one uncle jrod

  • Farrukh on November 24, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Basically, Australia is the new Pakistan :D

    I like exciting cricket though, what with Pakistan turning all consistent but boring :| Ok, let me not be thankless. I guess I'd take this Pakistan for the moment.

  • Gary on November 24, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    In the future, if you're going to use words that you don't understand, try not to use them thrice in two paragraphs.

    Schizophrenia: a mental disorder commonly characterised by hallucinations, paranoid delusions, and disorganised thought.

    Dissociative identity disorder: a condition where multiple identities are exhibited by a single patient.

    I realise that all this has nothing to do with cricket, but then again, neither does schizophrenia...

  • Dave on November 24, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    It is exciting to watch test matches with the twists and turns of a good novel - not predictable. Yes we have inconsistent players, yes we have new finding their feet, yes we have old flames trying to rekindle, yes we need the bruce reid medical fleet to keep players on the field. And yes, we have a captain who is either liked or disliked with a passion. And yes, we win some and lose some. And yet people complain. I prefer this then predictable boring cricket. I enjoyed seeing SA out playing us but walking away with a drawn series. I enjoyed seeing Australia out play Sri Lanka. And now for the kiwis and the indians. Bring it on.....bring it on!

  • sridhar on November 24, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    You are absolutely right. How do you explain the team that was bowled out for 47 on day 2 of a test match just a week ago, making 310 on the 5th day of a test match just now. It is amazing and yet neither Inverarity nor the others can wish away the ills with this one mind boggling win. I think the lessons are clear. Australia needs Ricky Poning at least for this summer . It needs his fielding and his impact on opposing teams . His reputation will work against the kiwis and Indians who will live in the past when it comes to the great man. Who knows what will happen to his game if he scores three centuries this summer. Haddin should not be allowed anywhere near the test team. Cummins should only play tests, Harris only limited overs cricket and youngsters like Ferguson should be seriously looked at. They will soon need replacements for Ponting and Hussey too. Lyon deserves to continue and Mitchell Johnson should not be given too many more chances. I believe Australia will be better soon.

  • santosh on November 24, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    Come back once again Ricky Pointig Captain. Then The team Will be good & they occupies their numbar 1places in all formats

  • badsac on November 24, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Whoa! What a fargin awesome read! Though as you so succinctly point out, this team is great fodder! Keep at em. ;)

  • Srinivasa Reddy on November 24, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    testing

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Srinivasa Reddy on November 24, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    testing

  • badsac on November 24, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Whoa! What a fargin awesome read! Though as you so succinctly point out, this team is great fodder! Keep at em. ;)

  • santosh on November 24, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    Come back once again Ricky Pointig Captain. Then The team Will be good & they occupies their numbar 1places in all formats

  • sridhar on November 24, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    You are absolutely right. How do you explain the team that was bowled out for 47 on day 2 of a test match just a week ago, making 310 on the 5th day of a test match just now. It is amazing and yet neither Inverarity nor the others can wish away the ills with this one mind boggling win. I think the lessons are clear. Australia needs Ricky Poning at least for this summer . It needs his fielding and his impact on opposing teams . His reputation will work against the kiwis and Indians who will live in the past when it comes to the great man. Who knows what will happen to his game if he scores three centuries this summer. Haddin should not be allowed anywhere near the test team. Cummins should only play tests, Harris only limited overs cricket and youngsters like Ferguson should be seriously looked at. They will soon need replacements for Ponting and Hussey too. Lyon deserves to continue and Mitchell Johnson should not be given too many more chances. I believe Australia will be better soon.

  • Dave on November 24, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    It is exciting to watch test matches with the twists and turns of a good novel - not predictable. Yes we have inconsistent players, yes we have new finding their feet, yes we have old flames trying to rekindle, yes we need the bruce reid medical fleet to keep players on the field. And yes, we have a captain who is either liked or disliked with a passion. And yes, we win some and lose some. And yet people complain. I prefer this then predictable boring cricket. I enjoyed seeing SA out playing us but walking away with a drawn series. I enjoyed seeing Australia out play Sri Lanka. And now for the kiwis and the indians. Bring it on.....bring it on!

  • Gary on November 24, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    In the future, if you're going to use words that you don't understand, try not to use them thrice in two paragraphs.

    Schizophrenia: a mental disorder commonly characterised by hallucinations, paranoid delusions, and disorganised thought.

    Dissociative identity disorder: a condition where multiple identities are exhibited by a single patient.

    I realise that all this has nothing to do with cricket, but then again, neither does schizophrenia...

  • Farrukh on November 24, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Basically, Australia is the new Pakistan :D

    I like exciting cricket though, what with Pakistan turning all consistent but boring :| Ok, let me not be thankless. I guess I'd take this Pakistan for the moment.

  • denniscoon on November 24, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    nice one uncle jrod

  • sutiro on November 24, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    What we were used to in the past was a team full of match winners. What we have now is a team with only 1 match winner and we want to drop him!! ( i.e. Mitch )Clarke never was and probably never will be a match winner. His purile exuberance will wear thin after while. As a selector will he choose to drop himself when his form requires it or will he go on past his use by date as in the past? The selectors have the job of picking a team that will take us back to the top of Test cricket where we belong. There job is to pick as many match winners as possible. They are out there but the culture of recognition isn't.

  • tossa on November 24, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Pretty sure you got schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder mixed up there bud.