Australia in South Africa 2013-14

Harris, Haddin, Rogers to push on

Daniel Brettig

March 6, 2014

Comments: 99 | Text size: A | A

Australia are overjoyed after sealing the series 2-1, South Africa v Australia, 3rd Test, Cape Town, 5th day, March 5, 2014
Australia's win in Cape Town was the crowning moment of a summer in which the Ashes were also regained at home © Getty Images

Australia's coach and selector Darren Lehmann wants to keep the conquering Test team of 2013-14 together for as long as possible, declaring that the senior trio of Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers can all have a place on the 2015 Ashes tour provided they keep performing in the current vein.

The tourists' tense but ultimately successful hunt for victory in South Africa on the final day of the Newlands Test was the crowning moment of a summer in which the Ashes were also regained at home - a dual achievement to rate with anything achieved by Australian teams in a single season. Not since 1994-95 when Mark Taylor's men followed up an Ashes jaunt by the ending of West Indies' 15-year unbeaten reign at the top of world cricket have two more significant series victories been fit into a similar period.

Harris, Haddin and Rogers were all integral to that achievement, adding enormous experience, nous and grit to the team. Their performances on the field were spinal also, from Harris' courageous defiance of considerable knee and hip pain to secure the win at Newlands to Rogers' steadying presence at the top of the order and Haddin's combination of brazen batting and tidy glovework.

All have expressed an interest in going on to 2015, Rogers and Harris hopeful of Ashes berths while Haddin has set himself the goal of being part of a winning World Cup team at home earlier in the year. Lehmann has shown little tendency to shuffle his teams on the basis of age, and indicated that all three can make it to the Ashes provided they continue to churn out runs, wickets and dismissals. "If they're playing well they'll play," he said. "If they're not they wont. It's pretty simple."

Lehmann's explanation for the team's ability to win in South Africa, their first overseas Test series triumph since the 2012 tour of the West Indies, revolved largely around the improvement in Australia's batting. First innings runs from the top order under pressure at Centurion and Newlands gave a fearsome bowling attack plenty of time and scoreboard weight, something Harris, Mitchell Johnson and company took rich advantage of.

"We found the ability to cope with a high-class bowling unit. They're a very good bowling attack, South Africa. That's why they're number-one in the world," Lehmann said. "Our batters can take a lot of credit for what they did in this series. In Australia it was more about the bowlers actually bowling them out and batters probably not doing their role well enough, but here they were outstanding, obviously apart from Port Elizabeth where the first innings we were pretty disappointing.

"I'm pleased for the lads and pleased the way we played. Obviously in Australia we were outstanding and for two Test matches here we were outstanding. It's probably only in Port Elizabeth we were disappointing. The way we played overall was exceptional. The brand of cricket we played, we talk about that all the time, the positive brand, if we keep doing that and backing it up each and every day we'll keep improving. I'm pleased with the way they [players] have bought in to what we're about as a team."

From the day of his coaching appointment in Bristol last year, a mere two weeks before the first of two Ashes series, Lehmann has preached a message that goes beyond the winning of matches. He wants to do so in style, with attacking cricket and entertainment for spectators running far in advance of any desire to avoid defeat. The victories in South Africa achieved just that, and Lehmann said he hoped other teams would now follow suit.

"We're not afraid to lose and trying to play the brand of cricket to win Test matches," Lehmann said bluntly of the difference he saw between Australia and South Africa. "It's easy to say that now in hindsight but the way we always push for victories is always important for us. We're happy to lose, but also happy to play cricket in the right way that entertains the crowd.

"Obviously the crowd came in at the end of the day but it was a pretty disappointing crowd for a couple of days here in Cape Town. We want to get people coming through the gates. If other teams want to play on flat wickets and make it quite dull, if you like, then that's their choice."

Some questions have been raised about the overt aggression demonstrated by several of Australia's players on the final day at Newlands, and the captain Michael Clarke admitted to "overstepping the mark" in his verbal joust with Dale Steyn. Lehmann however stated his contentment at the conduct of the series.

"Very happy. It was always going to be a tough series against the No. 1 team in the world, but it's always been the same for many years," he said. "Michael plays it hard, Dale Steyn plays it hard, Graeme Smith was outstanding for a leader for South Africa and he played it very hard. The way it was played, I'm really happy with that."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Daniel Brettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Redbackfan on (March 10, 2014, 4:07 GMT)

We need to bring youth into the team as long as they deserve it based on shield form and the home series against India is a great time to do that. I would keep one of these three as your veteran type player and Ryan Harris would suit age wise pending fitness. Hughes to replace Rogers is the obvious choice and Whiteman/Hartley/Paine to replace Haddin. As for number 3 Doolan and Marsh are not up to it, North, White, Cooper or Lynn should be in contention. Watson if fully fit should stay at 6 but if not Faulkner should replace him if you want an all rounder or White would suit as a number 6 batsmen.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (March 8, 2014, 12:38 GMT)

Yes the Australian dominance of test cricket is a natural occurring phenomena.

Not only have we produced the best cricket talent over the history of the game, we also have produced the toughest cricketers. Thus Australia is the envy of the world when it comes to things cricket. Such is life.

Posted by   on (March 8, 2014, 12:08 GMT)

Please let these players tour England next year. Whilst I respect Harris & Rogers; Haddin, Warner, Watson & rather surprisingly Clarke have shown themselves to be complete .............They will be taken to the cleaners on nice low, slow seaming, swinging wickets next year. The Aussie middle order won't make 200 runs between them. Australia haven't won in England since 2001 & that isn't going to change any time soon.

Posted by   on (March 8, 2014, 11:24 GMT)

As much as i would like to see it, i dont think it will happen as harris, haddin and rogers will be 36, 38 & 38 respectively. At that age your reflexes slow down and in this curent game which is played at such breakneck speed they wont be able to cope up as pointing & tendulkar, two of the greats, found out in their final years. A team like Australia with it's talent pool should be able to find suitable replacements without much trouble, and besides, you still have mitch!

Posted by line.and.length on (March 8, 2014, 10:12 GMT)

I'm really trying to keep my excitement in check.. But the era of Oz dominance is fast approaching. playing only to win, and trying to draw is just not on... many more series wins coming up, not drawn series... normal service is definitely being restored

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (March 8, 2014, 9:57 GMT)

Rule # 1: The only thing that is relevant is PERFORMANCE

Rule # 2: see Rule #1

Posted by pat_one_back on (March 8, 2014, 8:29 GMT)

Hopefully ageism in selection was put to bed with the apology to Katich and selection of Rogers. Massive Kudos to the selectors for sticking with Harris this test, someone needed a rest & bringing Patto in certainly helped the win. Harris may not have enough time left to find form after a lay off but who would dare tell him that, who knows he's been bowling so long injured any improvement to his knee may just do for another Ashes tilt.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 8, 2014, 7:05 GMT)

@ Greatest_Game. BTW< Here's passing on my best wishes in your upcoming battle. Beat it & get back to getting stuck into us again. Cheers.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 8, 2014, 5:27 GMT)

In response to my comment that SA prepared pitches that did not suit their bowlers, Marcio suggested to me "You are not trying very hard, are you? I agree that the tracks vs India favoured India heavily, but to suggest that these slow, flat surfaces favoured Australia defies all logic."

You appear to be trying very hard to ignore the content of my post, and pick a fight were there is none. Under no circumstances can it be inferred that I suggested that the tracks favoured Australia. That is a figment of your imagination. Grind that axe somewhere else.

My point is - read this carefully - that the tracks worked against SA. SA's bowlers thrive on tracks that seam and swing - the moving ball is their strength. None of the tracks offered that. Centurion had bounce, which Johnson loved, but without swing & seam movement it waswas not of much use to SA's bowlers.

I ONLY mentioned SA's bowlers. Your claim that I suggested the low, flat tracks favored Aus has no basis in fact. Get real.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 8, 2014, 5:12 GMT)

@stonk on (March 7, 2014, 3:19 GMT), I'd agree with you that Australia are playing better than any other team at the moment but the rankings do and always have taken into account results over a much longer period of time than just a couple of series. It takes sustained success to get to the top. If Australia keep up their current standard then they will get there and then it will take more than a couple of bad series by them or a couple of good series by someone else to knock them off. Obviously there are all sorts of ways that you could design the algorithm to calculate rankings but there's no such thing as a perfect one. No matter what you do, there will always be people that disagree with it.

Posted by cricketsubh on (March 8, 2014, 3:43 GMT)

i think aus need to luk at their future player this aus team is a team of old players only warner,smith,doolan ,lyon under 30 years of age if play old players they quite cricket in same time then as a team u are in big problem so clarke and leman should think about replacement for haddin,harris,rogers.2nd problen aus got watson every one knows watson is a not a test player aus play watson becoz he can bowl some over i think aus team donot need watsons bowling they got best attack in the world so why they need watsons bowling i canot understand that smith,warner ,clarke can bowl some overs and gives their fast bowlers rest they need to strong their bating line up i donot think they gor sattel bating line up no3 and no6 spot their is huge ? mark so i think they need to pick batsmen like burns,maddison,slik,lyne,cooper ,fulkner .plz publish cricinfo.

Posted by Marcio on (March 7, 2014, 23:27 GMT)

Greatest_Game: "Why, over the last few series, SA has prepared pitches that don't suit their bowling is beyond human understanding."

You are not trying very hard, are you? I agree that the tracks vs India favoured India heavily, but to suggest that these slow, flat surfaces favoured Australia defies all logic. there's a reason why almost every country lays down dry, flat wickets when Australia tours these days, and just quietly it's not to give the Aussies a helping hand!

And try looking at some footage of the first test here. You might then get a little insight into why the conditions thereafter featured unfeasibly high evaporation rates from the playing surface. Strangely, the same thing happened in rainy England. Wow, it's a miracle!

Posted by Tony_from_Oz on (March 7, 2014, 23:15 GMT)

It's been a long wait for Aussie cricket fans after the retirement of many stars of the Waugh-Healy-Warne era to build a world beating side. Its ironic that our scenic route took us down the path of youth and possibly many blind alleys before turning to older players to provide experience and balance. I think it's more than the playing team. There is a great support cast with McDermott as the bowling coach, Mike Young has helped our fielding get back on track and Boof of course is the glue and inspirational leader. Our batting is still a weakness, but hell...we're back baby and it feels good.

Posted by DragonCricketer on (March 7, 2014, 19:16 GMT)

Bring back Katich. Old guys seem to be doing better. Perhaps they need some 45yo's in the team. In the summer of 1928 Australia selected 2 test debutants who were both aged 46. Burt Ironmonger and Don Blackie, Maybe Lehmann could come back.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 7, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster. See, this is why your posts show how little you know about the game. Mitch Marsh has played in the IPL last few years, (as a rookie player) & he has decided to go to county cricket to improve his technique. Why would young players be a target for IPL, they have talent, won't cost much & would be amongst the fielders in the team, but they are starting to see the benefits of experience playing the real stuff.

Posted by Biggus on (March 7, 2014, 16:41 GMT)

@endofageofaquarius:- I can only speak for myself but as an Australian I would find it extremely boring if we only played India, England and South Africa, and I'm not in favour of the big 3 thing, quite the opposite, I'm furious with Cricket Australia for being involved in it. However, the other boards have a role to play as well. They ought run a tight ship and strive to free themselves from corruption and political interference but unfortunately political interference in particular appears to be a fact of life with many boards. Cricket is ceasing being a sport and fast becoming a stick we can beat each other with, threatening to bankrupt other boards when the protagonist doesn't get their way. Our beautiful game is on the way down the toilet.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (March 7, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

Lehmann's encouragement to the three veterans is absolutely welcome. For too long there's been this perception in sport and elsewhere that youth is an altar before which we should all genuflect. One of the reasons that Australia has bested SA in their own back yards is the maturity of these three players - none of whom has an outsize ego, btw. They are cricketers that will always turn in professional performances and if they are good enough, then they are young enough. Yes, Warner and Steve Smith are young and Mitch is probably at his peak (aged 32), but the old hands provide the ballast and solidity that all very good sides need. I am sure that the fact that there is a nice balance of rising stars and players who are on their mature plateaux has not escaped Lehmann; it's just as any coach would want. And Michael Clarke is a fine leader who inspires confidence. All boxes ticked. I see no reason why Aus should not be moving towards being the best Test side we have seen for some time.

Posted by endofageofaquarius on (March 7, 2014, 15:34 GMT)

Reading comments of supporters of India, SA, England and Australia it is quite clear that the future of test cricket will most likely be restricted to these 3 or 4 countries. They seem to be interested only in playing each other and value each others talents and skills above other teams that they consider to be below theirs.

When that happens and they end up with say ultimately 3 or 4 teams continually playing each other I don't know how that will not become insanely boring.

I think by marginalizing those other countries the 4 are marginalizing some unique talents that payers of those countries have brought to cricket. Infact, the 70, 80s and 90s were positively trail blazed by the likes WI, PAK and SL.

So, what will be the worth of being the No1 team in the world when only 3 or 4 of you even play the game?

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 7, 2014, 15:21 GMT)

@ OneEyedAussie I agree with you when you say " we are going to get plenty more of these slower surfaces when we tour and our batsmen need to learn how to grind out scores on them."

That is a reason for SA's success away since 2006. They have adapted to slow pitches, turners, etc and managed to sweat it out and grind out scores on them., not always winning, but never losing! It is a very real part of the game. The ability to adjust to foreign conditions is directly proportional to success in those conditions.

In tennis, winning the grand slam is really big because the player has to win on grass, clay and hard courts. A champion can adjust their play to suit the surface, without sacrificing their skills. It is a fine line, and thus very few walk it!

Why, over the last few series, SA has prepared pitches that don't suit their bowling is beyond human understanding, but all kudos to Aus for succeeding on those dead tracks. (In my opinion SA's curators shot the Proteas in the foot.)

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 7, 2014, 14:57 GMT)

@ stink wrote "On their recent showing, Australia are the No.1 team in the world. The compilers of rankings must be ga-ga to think otherwise."

Rankings are determined by a computer, using an algorithm whose parameters are questionable. If a test is rained out after ball 1, Team A - ahead in the rankings - loses points to Team B it held a "better" team to a draw! A draw is a penalty for the team ahead in the rankings, & a draw is a draw, whatever happens.

Away games are weighted the same as home games. Beating India in India gets the same points as beating India at home. The same applies to India.

Thus, teams playing lots of home series can more easily amass points.

A team's points are based on results over several years, so the No. 1 team has the best record over a period of time.

SA has not lost an away series since 2006 - better than their home record. They are the OVERALL most successful team for 4 years, thus the ICC No. 1 ranking.

The ICC web site has an explanation & FAQs

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 7, 2014, 14:19 GMT)

Posted by dunger.bob replied to @ Biggus : re CptMeanster, writing "Yeah, well the guy has absolutely no credibility has he. I actually read the first few posts of his that I saw but it soon became obvious to me that he has no interest in a normal, open-minded and mature discussion about the game. It's always the same old schtick in one form or another. India's great, Australia's crap.. Like I said, no street cred. He's rubbish."

Bob, I cannot agree more. You analysis is spot on. As you write, its always the same thing, India is great, Australia's crap, and SA is crap too! Believe me when I say I've seen it endlessly. I cannot recollect him saying anything positive about any non-Indian team, except the pro forma vague statement.

P.S. Snow was not too bad, but everything outside is still frozen! Gawd I hate it!

Posted by Jagger on (March 7, 2014, 13:45 GMT)

Whofriggincares - yes I am sacking Siddle, Watson and Lyon at test level. Along with all the others listed on March 6, 2014, 12:48 GMT. Do you think I said it for nothing?!! How else then, do you explain we were below India in the rankings and it took defeating the number 1 ranked side at home to overcome it? India are not that good. How many times do we allow a batsman to fail or a bowler to go wicketless before they are due for replacement? Ruthlessness at the selection table is as always the catalyst to success. Agree?

M Clarke has categorically stated he wants to be number 1 test team. He will do what needs to be done and much of that will only occur to us after the fact. His job is to win Test matches for Australia and grow the supporter base. He and Boof are doing a sterling job and I think you will see I am not too far off the mark in due course. It is near impossible for an offie to succeed in this climate unless he chucks it.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2014, 13:32 GMT)

Aussies have enough seam bowlers to choose from, a reliable spinner who is a better than most give him credit for, and may get better still as he feels more confident of his test place. There's 5 places filled. Add Clarke, Warner, Watson (if fit) as shoo-ins with the bat, so Aussies need to decide whether Haddin is still the man in 2015 (I'd say probably yes - his keeping seems a very high standard even though some younger players hit the ball harder) and 2/3 other batsmen.

England on the other hand have Cooke, Anderson and Broad as the only 3 shoo-ins and effectively 8 places up for grabs. Bell and Root? Probable. Finn and Trott hopefully As for an opening partner for Cooke, a number 4 bat, a keeper and a decent spinner? I've no idea.

England have too many "ifs" and no certain established talent to fit right in.

A spinner, a keeper and an opening partner for Cooke should be top priority. Let's face it, those are 3 positions that MUST be filled with the best available and soon.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 7, 2014, 12:47 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx - Ricky Ponting didn't play for Australia until he was 20, making his test debut aged 21. He hadn't met Gilchrist aged 17, so you are way off the mark there. Ponting was quite good, aged 17, though. Age 15 Ponting was touted by the local Launceston newspaper as being the next Australian test captain. He wasn't quite the next one, but he did eventually make it, so they can be proud of that. Michael Clarke was similarly heralded as a future captain - but not until he was 19. Both had that label before they ever played for Australia. Maybe you missed the press, but they've been saying that about Luke Doran since he was 15 too, and his stats are MUCH better than either Ponting or Clarke's for that age.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (March 7, 2014, 12:43 GMT)

Aus should'nt bother much of Ashes-might as well focus on more immediate and imp. concerns-to win the WC being 1.Nothing to do with Ashes per se.More with Eng.With normal service resuming,sub par Eng no matcgh for superior Aus even u19 Aus will win Ashes!

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 7, 2014, 12:28 GMT)

@Ozcricketwriter: He is no where near what Ricky Ponting was at his age. Ponting was a machine at 17, Gilchrist said in his book he felt a little jealous as a 20 something that this young kid was the best in the team. Rod Marsh used to let everyone sit and watch him hook the ball with no helmet at 150kph+. He is good, but he is no Ponting.

Posted by swauzzie on (March 7, 2014, 11:52 GMT)

@anton1234 Regarding Wade, you failed to mention that he's not even in the top 3 as far as glovemen goes in the country. The only thing he really had going for him a few years ago when he became Australias keeper was that he was young & showed some promise. Now that he's been tried & tested I think it's plain to see he's just not got what it takes! There are too many other viable options out there now to go with Wade again. We need a gloveman first (just ask Lyon - because if you ask Faf, he's say to pick Wade) if the Keeper can bat a bit too that's a bonus!

Posted by anton1234 on (March 7, 2014, 11:40 GMT)

Harris should definitely be a part. Terrible shame he and Johnson aren't 3 or 4 years younger each. Haddin had a slightly poor series with the bat (a big let down after England) but I suspect he is still the best man for the job as he is able to counterattack and score very quickly (as he showed in England). I suspect Rogers will probably make way, though he does provide stability up front. If Haddin does get dropped then it has to be Tim Paine who comes in. Australia need a good wicketkeeper (which he is) but even more importantly, someone who can score rapidly and help the team from precarious situation like 220 for six to 400 and beyond. I know Matthew Wade has a good FC average, but I've seen enough of him at international level to suggest he isn't going to take bowling attacks apart.

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 7, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

@ Biggus : re CptMeanster. Yeah, well the guy has absolutely no credibility has he. I actually read the first few posts of his that I saw but it soon became obvious to me that he has no interest in a normal, open-minded and mature discussion about the game. It's always the same old schtick in one form or another. India's great, Australia's crap.. Like I said, no street cred. He's rubbish.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2014, 9:34 GMT)

Where does all this end, tense situations, abrasive moments, hard looks and of course joy for some and sadness for the others. All our life we believe that we are winning and winning and yet all what happens is that we are losing day by day. that does not mean you should be quite happy, but do not try to rub it on others. Lehman was one of the old school guys who believed in being tough and abrasive, and so far he is winning. But the irony is that the day will come when all winnings will vanish and you begin the downhill process. Then you will no one by your side and all you get is "good for the way they were". So better think and while enjoying remember the flip side of the coin of enjoy is sorrow.

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 7, 2014, 9:08 GMT)

There was a time when 30 was old for a cricketer. These days, I think 35 is the new 30. Why. Well, lots of reasons. For instance, back in the 70's and 80's if you got a knee injury (A/c say), then you were gone. These days, it's almost a doddle to fix things like that. The same applies to many shoulder, ankle and elbow injuries. Players can actually get back on the park, quite quickly, with injuries that not so very long ago were mostly career ending. .. Another thing is money. Again, just 30 or so years ago cricketers were paid a pittance and many of them retired from the game when they started to raise a family. They had to go out and get a real job to feed the wife and kids, pay the mortgage etc. .. I think it's fair to say that's changed. Players are playing longer simply because they can.

Posted by PutMarshyOn on (March 7, 2014, 9:07 GMT)

I can't see Harris making it to Eng next year, although I hope I'm wrong.He's been like the Terminator! Relentless, inventive, and hostile. Oh well, these last 12 tests would be a great final chorus for him, if that's what it proves to be. Yeah, can't see why Rogers & Haddin couldn't do the job. Plenty of keepers and batters have performed exceptionally well in their late 30's.

Posted by Biggus on (March 7, 2014, 8:50 GMT)

I see @Cpt.Meanster is up to his usual rubbish. This time it's 'we'll never dominate cricket again because our players are all too old'. Ever again? Given that he also predicted, "I hope the Aussie fans eat a lot of humble pie and admit they are an ordinary team" in relation to the SA series, I feel confident that we'll continue to do just fine. Keep those dire predictions coming Captain, nothing could be more uplifting to our spirits than being scorned by your good self. In a strange sort of way it's quite flattering to be told that our team will never do again what your team never has. Think about it champ.

Posted by Vishnu27 on (March 7, 2014, 8:40 GMT)

Cpt.Meanster: so you read all of Chris' comment then other than about the last dozen words. But then you go on dismissively mentioning the last sentence you pretended not to read (???). Plenty of young Australians play in & have played in the IPL (a large number of them far from being "major players"!). I do not see the relevance of much of what you ever post on here & these comments highlight this fact very clearly.

Posted by disco_bob on (March 7, 2014, 8:18 GMT)

Last time in Australia South Africa needed to win to gain the no. 1 ranking. After getting away with a rain affected draw at the Gabba, it is fitting they SA reached their goal at the WACA after a dogged draw in Adelaide. I say 'fitting' because it was the very same situation at Cape Town where their quick commitment to a draw saw them lose for their home series. Had they gone for the win against India, even if they'd have lost they would not be in the position they are now where they will forever wonder whether they could have won. I think Lehmann may be referring to that match when he speaks of not wanting to go for draws. Really a team that surrenders to a meek draw, when a win is so close as it was against India, does not really deserve the mantle of a true no. 1. India, England and now SA have merely been keeping the seat warm. Give it another 18 months and we will have a team to dominate for 8 years, with Warner and Hughes at the top and Smith as Captain when Clarke retires.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (March 7, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

@ Cpt.Meanster

I'm confident that Australia could field an under 30 team to play India this coming summer and still win.

It might look like:

Warner, Hughes, Doolan, Smith, Khawaja, Faulkner, Carters, Pattinson, Cummings, Bird, Lyon.

But why would we bother? If the older guys are playing better they deserved to be picked.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (March 7, 2014, 7:53 GMT)

@ landl47

Except for Clarke, many of the older players which you're referring to will be under pressure to make the side for 2015 ashes.

Watto is facing pressure from Faulkner or a specialist batsmen such as Marsh. MJ and Ryno will have to keep out Pattinson, bird and Cummings (as soon as their pace slows they'll be out, like we've seen with Siddle). Haddin will have to keep out the likes of Carters and Whiteman. Rogers is facing pressure from Phil Hughes.

However the difference is that many of the fringe players now have 10-20 test matches of experience making the transition much smoother than say Carberry for Strauss, Bairstow for Prior, Balance for Trott etc where your players came in green.

Posted by swauzzie on (March 7, 2014, 7:41 GMT)

@Ozcricketwriter Totally dissagree there! If you have to stonewall, then you're not good enough to win & you should be man enough to admit it. Winning is everything - losing & drawing are the same. There should be some kind of way of putting a stop to this stonewalling nonsence. It's bad for the game & needs to find a solution so that test cricket lives on! Majority of supporters are fickle & can't & won't put up with being bored for hours on end. They'll be driven to (OMG) watch 20/20 cricket instead! Keep the purest form of the game alive. Get rid of negativeity & stonewalling & test cricket will still be here in years to come!!!

Posted by   on (March 7, 2014, 7:24 GMT)

Wheel out the zimmer-frames....

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 7, 2014, 7:04 GMT)

@Chris_P: I stopped reading your comment at the IPL part. Why would an IPL team be interested in an Aussie rookie player ? DUH ! That's why they go to county cricket. Speaking of the IPL, all your major players will be playing the 2014 edition for the entire 2 months except Clarke and Harris.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 7, 2014, 7:02 GMT)

People talk about Harris, Rogers & Haddin & their ages but forget a few facts. Rogers is in his first year of of test cricket (excluding that one off) so he is like a young pup, fresh & keen. Haddin took nearly 2 years away from the game caring for his 2yo cancer stricken daughter & since he has come back, he is a changed man. He has seen real pressure, he knows the pressure he had is released & is showing outstanding form with both bat & gloves, & Harris was a very late starter to test cricket. In other words, these guys are not burnt out as other similarly aged players who have been din git for 10 years or so. It's why Hussey went so well into his 37th year, They are not tired old men like others who went too long.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2014, 6:58 GMT)

@Landl47, I see the selection of those older guys as being a positive, we are picking our best cricketers. Listening to what Lehmann says I believe that this will continue to be the case, and therein lies the strength of it. Just imagine if England went all crazy and picked Onions instead of blokes like Rankin, who clearly didn't have enough belief, or Tremlett who clearly had a poor county season. England could take a leaf out of that book.

There is some fine young players coming through, clearly the likes of Warner and Smith have arrived, Patto is almost the finished article too and I believe Mitch Starc's next go around will be very impressive as well, but until they are outperforming the incumbents, then why make changes? In any case it's the bowling that wins matches and Johnson, Siddle and Lyon will be around for long enough to bring through the next generation.

Posted by gujratwalla on (March 7, 2014, 6:55 GMT)

Australian cricket used be the best breeding ground for future talent but the big bash is hurting that system.Cricket has evolved so much that it is uncertain whether Australia will produce the players to replace the likes of Harris,Haddin and Rogers.There has been a tendency for new players who are in their late twenties to get into the national side so perhaps Australia well might keep on this trend seeing that players of a tender age have the Big Bash mentality though their talent is there.

Posted by Chris_P on (March 7, 2014, 6:42 GMT)

As for the future, there is ample quality pace bowlers about, surprisingly good & quick. We have quality keepers, & we are starting to see the emergence of some batsmen given the change of direction the states have gone with the preparation of pitches helping both bowlers & batsmen. The batting averages for this season shows a vast improvement as many of the batsmen are actually building innings. Last season I was worried with the batting depth, no so from the matches I have seen this season, there is more than enough promise coming through & the pleasing part is that they are doing with it with solid techniques. When I see young batsmen not go to the IPL & go to country cricket to work on their technique more, that is a huge plus for the future.

Posted by BazMace on (March 7, 2014, 6:14 GMT)

I like the look of Sam Whiteman as the possible long term replacement for Haddin. Still needs another year of shield cricket but at 21 he could be the long term answer.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 7, 2014, 5:52 GMT)

Yep, Harris, Haddin and Rogers can play on until the end of the world. Also, bring back Warne, Macgill, Hussey and Hayden. Who cares ? I didn't know the Aussie test team was an undercover retirement house. This is why Australian cricket will never dominate world cricket again. Their lack of quality young players will hurt them.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 7, 2014, 5:48 GMT)

@Protears - Some valid points. Australia won the 1st test easily, should have drawn the 2nd but instead lost it, and ended up just barely winning the 3rd that was otherwise headed for a draw. The fact that South Africa were so badly beaten in this contest yet finished up just 2-1 instead of 2-0, and very nearly escaped with a totally unfair 1-1 highlights just how much more fight South Africa have in them. The ability to stonewall is something that only South Africa possess in world cricket. If Australia are to be world champions, they will have to learn how to stonewall when required. And, conversely, they will have to learn how to get through those amazing defences. Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson can do it, but Nathan Lyon has no clue. There is still a long way to go before Australia can be regarded as the best team in the world - at the moment they are still carrying 3 or 4 players. South Africa are still a very strong team and will come back from this.

Posted by AussiePhoenix on (March 7, 2014, 5:21 GMT)

@ Protears Nice try, but there was a distinct difference in conditions and what the ball was doing (reverse) between PE and Newlands. The fact remains SA had given up early on the morning of Day 4, allowing Oz to score at will, 9 men on the boundary! Where was the change of gears? Why not attack and get wickets to stop the runs? Then from ball one of their second innings they were chosing to survive for the draw. Boring, unimaginitive and uncompetitive. How can you celebrate 'not trying' as a worthy strategy?

Posted by stevehobart1 on (March 7, 2014, 5:18 GMT)

Without doubt, the Proteas have been the #1 class team during the last few years and their record is very impressive. The envy of all other nations. We could argue forever about the merits of Australia's attacking mentality of risking a loss for a win vs the Protea's defensive preference to avoid a loss at all costs. While the Proteas have an amazing record of grinding out fifth day draws, the truly great teams of recent past (Windies 80's, Australia 90's & 00's) never seemed to get themselves into positions where they were chasing 500 runs in the 4th innings.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2014, 4:48 GMT)

At this rate the Aussie team will become some sort of a veterans team. Apart from Haddin, Harris and Rogers, there are others like Watson, Clarke and Johnson who will be around 35 by the next Ashes.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (March 7, 2014, 4:08 GMT)

The future is bright for the Aussies as they continue to climb back up the ranking to where they belong at the top. Normal service has almost resumed but we are not at the top just yet.

A few suggestions for the continued improvement going forward:

Doolan should be permitted another chance. Marsh should not. Silk, Lynn and Carters are next in line.

Watto must stay at 6 and bowl - as soon as he looks vulnerable - out he goes and in comes Faulkner or M Marsh

Lyon needs to spin the ball more or he should make way for a Muirhead or Zampa. On that score hopefully Agar is spinning the ball more now to.

Posted by cricketsubh on (March 7, 2014, 3:24 GMT)

i do not think harris.haddin can play 2015 ashes had din already said 2015 world cup his last tournament and he will retire in home series vs india when india tours as far as harris case as a fast bowler when u 35 ,36 u can not think about future i think one injury he will quite cricket but for rogers he can play 2015 ashes if he score runs vs pak in UAE and against india in home summer .my ashes team i think australia should pick jack doran and madison in this summer give them the test and fill of international cricket.plz cricinfo publish

Posted by stonk on (March 7, 2014, 3:19 GMT)

On their recent showing, Australia are the No.1 team in the world. The compilers of rankings must be ga-ga to think otherwise.

Posted by line.and.length on (March 7, 2014, 2:47 GMT)

there will be no proper cricket being played until Aus v Pak much later in the year..... how is this possible?.... and no, Eng v Ind is not proper circket even if they are attempting to play tests

Posted by whofriggincares on (March 7, 2014, 2:46 GMT)

@Jagger, glad you're not picking the side! So you are sacking Siddle , Watson and Lyon are you? At least you had Hughes on the sacked list we keep hearing how he is a run machine blah,blah,blah maybe at first class level but not in the test arena 49 innings at 32 suggests he is not up to it and never will be, 49 innings is not a small sample it speaks volumes. I think they should pick him again so when he fails everyone will just shut up about him and accept he is not good enough. As for Watto he definetly has a part to play batting at 6 and bowling 8-10 overs a day. Lyon's record at this stage of his career stacks up with any spinner in the history of the game , his inability to take day 5 wickets is a worry but he is so young for a spinner and he will get better with age and experience. As for Siddle he is down on pace at the moment but he will be back Pup loves having him in his attack . Think I will go with Pups opinion and not your negative rant.

Posted by Sachit1979 on (March 7, 2014, 2:38 GMT)

Completely agreed with Lehmann. There should not be any sword of necks of these players because of their age. All of them have been performing really great and they should definitely be in the plans for next Ashes.

Posted by thectexperience on (March 7, 2014, 2:27 GMT)

Agree with Lehmann: win or lose, that's it. Not because it's sensible tactics, mind you - purely for entertainment value. It'd be fantastic if it became an unwritten rule of test cricket, though I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by Robster1 on (March 7, 2014, 2:19 GMT)

Starting a test match on a Saturday was never going to help the usually very well attended Newlands test. First two days were sold out and the third at 80%, even if all those who'd purchased tickets for it didn't seem to show up.

Posted by landl47 on (March 7, 2014, 1:42 GMT)

You can never count the Aussies out, they play with too much spirit to be down for long. I look at every Ashes series as a fresh beginning and those who don't are going to come unglued at some point.

Let's be realistic, though. The reason Australia beat England and SA was simple- Mitch Johnson rediscovered the form which had eluded him for the last 4 years. 22 wickets @17 in 3 tests against SA; 37 wickets @ 14 in 5 tests against England. Far better than anyone else on either side and achieved by devastating pace which no-one really countered. Has there been a more successful Summer ever by anyone in cricket history?

As long as Mitch keeps doing that, Australia will be on top. When he stops- remember the Australian results in India and England before he came back into the side. Drawn 2, lost 7.

Aus has some good young bowlers and Warner and Smith are shaping into top test batsmen. But with 6 players 32 and over, including Johnson, the future is now. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Posted by Jagger on (March 7, 2014, 1:06 GMT)

Frazer, I was his leader at school so yes a little biased! Love the way he bats and refuse to get over the fact his Test average is higher than anyone elses going around. A tragedy he wasn't picked when Martyn retired. Beautiful to watch and we never saw the best of him. When he was picked he was horribly out of form, but still made a test double hundred. No doubt some of the players in the Test team were scared of losing their spot to him and they got rid of him to protect their own neck. It would be a nice thing to see him play for Australia for the next 6-12 months, just until we could pick a young man in form next summer. He deserves the recognition Jaimie Siddons never got.

Posted by Jagger on (March 7, 2014, 0:51 GMT)

@ Frazer Hockley - He's 39. Rogers is 36. He has a current contract with Cricket Australia. He is available, not at all likely, but as I said, would do a better than what we have seen up until now. No one else is succeeding and he would be a perfect target for the young blokes to chase. There is a long list of players with test centuries to their name in their 40's. Nothing wrong with that at all. I remember Bobby Simpson made a century for Australia well into his 40's and Colin Cowdrey I think it was played into his 40's - there is a long list of them. Yep, you're right, I know nothing about cricket. Sorry for wasting your precious time with my foolishness.

Posted by Not_Another_Keybored_Expert on (March 7, 2014, 0:49 GMT)

@Dylanbrah Lyon is not good enough,he is a very defensive bowler who gets no turn, which is fine when your on top but a spinners main job is to bowl an opposition side out on the fourth or fifth day and he has failed to do this at every "turn", its time for O'Keefe or Muirhead or give Agar another go.

As far as Keepers go what about developing Hughes as a keeper, he done pretty well in a couple of ODI's with the gloves and if you could slot a batsman as good as him into that role it would be a huge bonus.

Posted by camcove on (March 7, 2014, 0:08 GMT)

Dylanbrah - I'm glad you mentioned Ryan Carters in your side. For me, he is also a contender as a specialist opener. He has great potential, as does Silk. We've heard a lot from some of the good judges who know him about Doran, and he captained the side against the Poms in Alice Springs. I would also mention Head, Maddinson and Lynn as batsmen, Behrendorff, Coulter-Nile, McDermott, Sayers and Hazlewood as quicks, and SOK, Muirhead, Boyce and Zampa as spinners. Don't forget the wickies running around in Shield sides - they're all very good (with one ironic exception, ironic because he was Haddin's replacement when he was out of the side). The Haddin replacement when he finishes could be another Victorian who moved to NSW (as did Carters) - Peter Nevill. Again, as with M Marsh, immense ability and potential, and if even a few of these guys realise their potential, the depth will be huge.

Posted by Jonathan_E on (March 6, 2014, 23:53 GMT)

All I can say is, England need a coach who works like Darren Lehmann does. If Mickey Arthur were still in charge of Australia, England would have won the series in England 5-0 (and the wins wouldn't have been anywhere near as close as the 1st and 4th test were), and possibly won the series in Australia too (though not necessarily 5-0).

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (March 6, 2014, 23:52 GMT)

Love Harris, Haddin and Rogers but in the best interest of Australian cricket the rebuilding of the Test side should start with the home Test series against India in November.

Posted by wellrounded87 on (March 6, 2014, 23:36 GMT)

@ swauzzie

I for one hate negative cricket. Playing for a draw is against the very foundation that sport is build upon. Competition. Where is the competition in trying to waste 8 hours with the goal of a non result. I found more pleasure in us losing in PE while chasing an unlikely victory than i did when we batted to a draw in Sri Lanka a few years ago to seal the series (last time i can remember us playing for a draw)

I think a simple change of the rules will change the face of test cricket in a good way. And the change is this. If the 4th innings lasts a minimum of 100 overs a result will be given. If the batting side falls short of their target after 100+ overs they lose the test. Add to this an increased penatly for time wasting and maybe some field restrictions for the 4th innings and we should eliminate blockfests completely. Watching SA block for a day and a half was similar to watching 2 rugby teams kicking the ball back and forth. It's boring and bad for the sport all round

Posted by wellrounded87 on (March 6, 2014, 23:27 GMT)

@WheresTheEmpire Doolan needs to go back to First class and improve just like Smith did. I think guys like Chris Lyn, Jordan Silk and Joe Burns have shown more promise then Doolan but don't get a look in because they're not Ricky Ponting's protege or from NSW/VIC

As for this article. I will be shocked if all three of those guys are still playing come the next ashes. I'll be suprised if 2 of them are still playing. Rogers and Haddin are nearing 40 and Ryano's body is a ticking time bomb. Haddin didn't do anything with the bat this series and his Ashes heroics will only carry him so far at his age. Rogers is class and should have been in the side years ago along with Brad Hodge. But again time is not on his side and once he falls from form his spot will be under threat. Ryano would probably be competing with Steyn for top bowler in the world without his horror injury run. A real shame i think the world has missed out on what would have been a legendary career

Posted by dunger.bob on (March 6, 2014, 23:21 GMT)

I agree with the idea that attack is the best option most of the time but I don't agree it's the way to go every single time, regardless of the match situation. I was entranced by the final days play despite runs being almost accidental. It was tense, it was enthralling and it was magnificent. .. There are times when defence is the only option and we Aussies would do well to have it in our bag of tricks. .. I bet Doolan would be happy to bat all day for 40 or 50 runs and there may be times we need it. .. Going down in a blaze of glory is all well and good but it can come across as careless, reckless and the easy way out if every single player just swings away without any regard for keeping the bowling out.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (March 6, 2014, 23:06 GMT)

Aus now has 3 batsmen averaging over 40 in Clarke, Warner and Smith.

I think that Doolan showed enough promise to be given a decent run. I think he should be selected for the Pakistan matches and the matches against India at home.

What I like about Doolan is that he can occupy the crease and toil away to help avoid a top order collapse. We have Warner and Clarke batting around him so he balances the side. His next step IMO is to convert some of his starts. If he can do that I think he will become a reliable number 3.

Australian fans need to realise that a Ricky Ponting is a once in a generation number 3. Until the next one comes (and Hughes isn't him) I think it's good to have someone there who values his wicket and has the right temperament to offer stability.

Posted by Beertjie on (March 6, 2014, 22:54 GMT)

There are no obvious replacements for Haddin and Rogers although many possible candidates for the latter. His experience in England may override the potential (horrible word!) of others. As for Haddin, I think you pretty well nailed that issue in your post, @xtrafalgarx on (March 6, 2014, 14:30 GMT). Real pity about Paine.

Posted by jonesy2 on (March 6, 2014, 22:46 GMT)

DylanBrah-- I love it. add in maddinson who I think is a freak and jim muirhead. as for these guys playing on, if rogers Is scoring runs then yes, if ryano is able to walk then obviously yes but for me haddin should retire now and allow tim paine to establish himself as the world class international keeper batsman he is

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (March 6, 2014, 22:09 GMT)

Good to know that these players can continue on. There is no need to worry about replacing Haddin, who wasn't even any good until about 12 months ago. Matthew Wade is the better keeper, who just had a rough few months but is already back to his best, and will be a far superior replacement. No problems there. As for Harris, we have a wealth of fast bowlers so no problems there. And as for Rogers, there is Jake Doran coming through, who looks to be a prodigous talent - though, of course, he is yet to play first class cricket so it remains to be seen if his talent comes to fruition - if it does, then he looks like a very exciting batsman coming through - currently all of 17 years of age, and is better than either Ricky Ponting or Michael Clarke were at that age.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 22:05 GMT)

I'm off the Chris Rogers bandwagon, yes he's a better option than Ed Cowan, he probably always was a better option, and he's done better, but he's doing the Mark Waugh thing, getting runs when he needs them rather than when the team needs them. We picked the wrong 35 year old, Marcus North should be opening clearly with the form he's in.

Either way Phil Hughes is still the stud. No young guns are taking his spot as the top batsman in the country so far, Ryan Carters and Jordan Silk are starting to make some noise though, but Phil Hughes will get his chance that's an obvious succession plan. Too bad Cosgrove's fallen away this year.

Doolan's gonna Doolan. If we wanted classy "proper" looking 30's we'd have stuck with Usman Khawaja. I suspect he'll lose out and Watto will again find himself at 3. Who else is there? Tom Cooper maybe? Chris Lynn? It'd be good to see the selectors simply pick whoever's getting the most runs at that position and give them a go for once.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 6, 2014, 22:01 GMT)

Aus fans: on match report I posted below congrats. cricinfo did not publish?

What an ending. Congratulations to Australia on a well deserved win, & to Ryan Harris for his final burst of intelligent, exceptionally well directed bowling. Before the series I picked him as the Aussie bowler I most feared: he showed why.

This win puts the stamp on a shift in test cricket that many have observed. Aus hauled themselves back up to the top, & with Smith & Kallis' retirements, the #1 SA team is certainly not what is was, & will need a thorough rebuild. A fitting end to Smith's career - a tough series against a great team.

Aus & SA have taken a series in each other's back yards & are clearly the leading test teams. Winning away from home is the sign of a great team, & Aus have shown that they are no home track bullies.

SA & Aus always produce gripping encounters. Truly, only 5 match series could do justice to the enthralling cricket they create for grateful test fans. Long may they do so

Posted by jayden92 on (March 6, 2014, 21:12 GMT)

All of these names being thrown about that could be the next batting crop could be a bit premature maybe? Sure they may be great FC players, but can they convert it to international form? I'm sure some of them will. On another point, everyone acts like replacing Johnson and harris will be easy, Pattinson, Starc, bird and cummins are great prospects, but 1. it seems like one of 2 of them are constantly injured. And 2. It's all very well to say that they're good, but other than cummins they don't really posses the real pace to scare batsmen that johnson does, therefore i don't see them being any better than current international bowlers like Tim Southee and Trent Boult. Not that thats a bad thing of course. Cause they're better than decent...

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 21:08 GMT)

One more time the long-faithful Pete Siddle is copping a bit of stick over one poor series on the back of a very heavy workload. When Harris was injured and Johnson was still out of the team he was our top-ranked bowler and has pretty much always been in the top 10 ranked bowlers for the past year. He was the best bowler in India av 34, played in all five tests in England with the reasonable returns of 17 @ 32 for a losing cause, averaged 24 vs the Poms at home, then had one bad series against the world's #1 at their home. Tell you what, if it's the choice between Sids, Bresnan, Morkel, Wagner or anyone else I know who will get the nod every time. The bloke needs a vacation first and will be back with a vengeance.

Posted by correctcall on (March 6, 2014, 20:47 GMT)

Immense credit must go to Boof for his philosophy and leadership in galvanising the team to execute it. By far the best coach in the game. Keep Boofing the opposition. Imagine what you could achieve Mr Srinivasan with a decent coach ( and keep your hands off Dizzie!)

Posted by WheresTheEmpire on (March 6, 2014, 18:52 GMT)

I'm having deja vu. Some of the comments about Doolan mirror what was said about Smith and Warner less than 12 months ago. Doolan has got something and just needs a bit of experience. Impressive how Aus rebounded from PE, but they are not the finished article yet and they know it.

As for Lehmann's little stir about playing positive cricket, a draw is the only option when you are 3 down with almost 500 still to get in the fourth innings. As Clarke said Aus can learn from SA and the way they went about it.

Posted by DylanBrah on (March 6, 2014, 17:31 GMT)

Boys, no need to worry about when these legends retire... just imagine when these blokes hit their peak... Hughes, Silk, M.Marsh, Faulkner, Smith, Carters, Starc, Pattinson, Cummins, Jake Doran... yes, Jake Doran... future Mr. Cricket... kid only just turned 17 a few months ago and has been Aus u/19's best batsmen for a year or two now. Pretty decent w/k too. Boys, imagine in 4/5 years: 1. Philip 'Langer' Hughes 2. David 'Hayden' Warner 3. Jordan 'Silky Smoove' Silk 4. Jake 'Mr.Cricket' Doran 5. Steve 'Tugga' Smith (C) 6. Mitchell 'Bison' Marsh 7. Ryan 'The King' Carters (w/k) 8. Mitchell 'Johnson' Starc 9. James 'Patto' Pattinson 10. Patrick 'Cummo' Cummins 11. Nathan 'Gazza' Lyon

Posted by milepost on (March 6, 2014, 17:17 GMT)

Am with him, why discriminate on age, form should be the definitive factor. Besides, 2015 is next year, Haddin will not have a walking frame by then and the English won't want to play very experienced guys in form. Sachin could have taken a hint and retired 5 years earlier, when he was still worth selecting.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 17:11 GMT)

ryan carters is scoring heavily as an opener for nsw. tom cooper is the leading run scorer in shield this season. sam whiteman is a an excellent young keeper maybe even better keeper than haddin, he has been scoring heavily at no 7 averaging 55. steve okeefe has been the most successful spin bowler in the last two seasons and this season is the leading wicket taker. Australia need this guys and also few more next season to be worthy of place in Australian test side.

Posted by swauzzie on (March 6, 2014, 16:10 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx The problem with them "changing gears" is that they are too often stuck in 1st & can't get out of it! Fans don't come out to see their brand of boreing cricket. Generally the majority of fans these Days abhore it! Now I'm not saying that they are to play "hit & giggle" (20/20) cricket in the 5 day format. NO SIR! But I really don't think they understand that if you drive the fans away because of negative play match after match, then they don't show up either the day you choose to "change gears" & play some watchable cricket. As was stated in a afore mentioned post, the Boxing day test down under attracts up to 100,000 fans EVERY YEAR. Why is this? Because aussie fans know that they have a team that don't play for a draw. Wherever there's a will there's a way - to WIN! Sure they might lose a few that they could've drawn instead. But by golly, they get a lot more RESPECT because of it! A draw is realistically the same as a loss anyway!

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 6, 2014, 14:35 GMT)

@Protears: I agree. One good thing i liked about SA was their ability to change gears, though they didn't do it often enough for my liking. In Perth 2012 they showed they can turn on the heat when in front, but in Adelaide they showed they can guts it out. That's a string that AUS need to add to their bow if they are to be successful for a long period of time, even Clarke said "We can learn from the way SA played." At some point you need to swallow your pride and play hard in order not to lose.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (March 6, 2014, 14:30 GMT)

@Iqbal Nindito: I have thought about it hard. I reckon Paine and Wade are on the verge of being scrapped, they have had average shields. Wade scored a century this season but his glovework hasn't improved one iota. Tim Paine's glovework is as tidy as always, but his lack of runs is a real worry in a side that needs runs.

I think the next keeper could be from the younger age group, how about Ryan Carters?? He is averaging 60 odd this season with i think 3 centuries, though he doesn't keep for NSW because of Neville, who is also a good candidate. Or Sam Whiteman who is very promising but still a bit young at 21, hopefully by the time hadds is finished these two will be ready.

Posted by wapuser on (March 6, 2014, 14:28 GMT)

Darren lehmann is spot on. Thats why australia gets 100,000 people to watch them play. EVERY SINGLE YEAR MCG IS SOLD OUT. even last few years when aus have been down the crowds are still good because aus play a positive entertaining brand of cricket. man I hope harris and jono are gonna be fit for next ashes series in england

Posted by Protears on (March 6, 2014, 14:07 GMT)

@Swauzzie Was it defeatist cricket played in PE, there was no luxury to rely on Day 5 with weather forcasted yet once Warner fell it was a precession of wickets. Ryan Harris probably figured out that while Pattingson and Johnson were beaming tale enders and bouncing them go fuller and at the stumps, Dale Steyn wasted no balls running through Australia in PE by playing the stumps and not the batsmen. If Australian batsmen from Doolan to Lyon faced cumulatively the amount of deliveries De Villiers faced they may have won 2-0.

There will be a day when Australia will be in a trench fight and lose it, but hey at least you lose it throwing the bat at it, sure that feels good. Must have felt good when Broad bowled a spell from hell and equally better when Steyn did the same you went down swinging. Gung ho works when youre playing from the front, harder to play from behind....27 balls is all that was left from "king of the world" to "damn we did it again".

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 13:53 GMT)

I think our biggest worry is who is gonna replace Haddin. Anything can happen in a year and i think we have Hughes to come for Rogers, and patto, sids, starc, cummins or bird for Harris. Plenty of option there.

We need a real wickie. Wickie first, bat 2nd. Where is tim paine nowadays?

Posted by swauzzie on (March 6, 2014, 13:36 GMT)

Excellent comments by Lehman. I wonder if the Saffers saw there that he was having a go at them. He was! The way the Saffers play, they are happy with a draw. To Oz a draw is a Dirty Word & I'm glad about that. Honestly if it had been Australia out there blocking & blocking I would have been embarrased to be an Aussie fan. There's no honor in a draw at all. If you can't win a match, at least go down fighting - don't go for a draw. I love the win meantality that is in this Oz team & REALLY hope it catches on with some of the sub continent countries - mayby even the Saffers :)

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 13:25 GMT)

@ jagger, its obvious you dont know much about cricket, you name guys like watson or hughes to never play again, yet then name hodge to play again? rofl the guy is what, 50? haha why dont we get ricky ponting to bat at 3, that would be a good idea! lol The team should be rogers warner x clarke smith watson johnson harris pattinson lyon.

Ideally we could get rid of lyon for a more aggressive option, or better yet get nathan lyon to learn some variation and perhaps even the doosra. Watson is a definite if hes bowling and batting at 6, he averages close to 40 which is not horrible for a number 6, he bowls good mediums to take the toll off other bowlers, and he fields in slips which some people dont even take notice of when they should, you NEED slips, and not everyone can do it. Watson provides the goods on all 3 fronts, as any all rounder should, the problem is people like you see him purely as a bat, which he isnt.

Posted by Protears on (March 6, 2014, 13:13 GMT)

7-8 years is a tall order to ask for sustained dominance, sure its a honeymoon patch or twilight peaks but to dominate that amount of time outright requires a team of world class performers. I would give it until the end of 2015 before making any claims to Australian dominance, that is for team and individuals.

Posted by VillageGreen on (March 6, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

The right approach. Any winning team can have a couple of oldies in different roles. Have the right selectors who trust their instincts and have faith in those they pick. There's probably one batting and one bowling spot up for grabs and that's a great position to be in. Picking Doolan & Marsh was good. Sticking with Harris was great. I'd have picked Hughes but at least he knows that when he does get another chance it will be a decent one.

A fit Falkner would have posed a challenge...I'd have picked both Falkner & Watson. There will be more flat wickets to nulify Johnson so 2 all rounders in good form will help share the load and provide the variety, and both are very good bats.

Posted by Dirtysneakers on (March 6, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

@ken Edwards, I agree he has impressed me lately, definitely another name for the future. I've heard a burns isn't bad either, haven't seen much of him though. I wouldn't mind bird replacing siddle for a few tests, see what he really has to offer. Pattinson isn't quite ready IMO, good talent but needs to improve consistency. I'm also excited about McDermott and behrendorf they're two young fast bowlers who have gone unnoticed

Posted by izzidole on (March 6, 2014, 13:03 GMT)

I reckon Harris, Haddin And Rogers would still be good enough to play in the 2015 ashes in England next year. Harris's future will depend on his fitness after the knee surgery. He is a great fighter and I am sure he will come through even better. Haddin's wicket keeping is excellent while his batting in South Africa was below test standard and looked completely out of sorts in both innings in the second test while Rogers is no stop gap opener but one of the best after Warner in the Australian cricket team. I reckon Doolan is not the ideal number three batsman since he doesn't seem to have a wide array of strokes and wouldn't be good enough to bat in partnership with Warner and is very slow which could put a lot of pressure on Warner and bring his downfall. This was quite evident in the run chase in the last test against South Africa. Lyon once again failed to impress on the fifth day as in Adelaide and it would be a good idea to give O'Keefe, Muirhead or Fawad Ahmed an opportunity.

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 12:56 GMT)

Dirty Sneakers, looking beyond the names you've mentioned, I'd also throw Chris Lynn's name into the ring for a long-term No. 3

Posted by Jagger on (March 6, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

Rogers, Warner, ? , ? , Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Patto/ Bird, ?.

Don't want to see these again: Siddle, Watson, Khawaja, Cowan, Quiney, Hastings, Hughes, Wade, Doherty, Lyon, Marsh, Doolan. They're sacked.

We need a number 3, a number 4 and a leggie. Hodge, Lynn and Muirhead could do no worse than those we already have.

Posted by Dirtysneakers on (March 6, 2014, 12:46 GMT)

@prashant kumar Rogers will be replaced by Phil Hughes, no doubts there. He is a run machine who has no matured and is ready for international cricket. I'm more concerned about the number three spot. Doolan is so far off international standard. Shaun marsh isn't capable. Hopefully either silk or Maddison come good, lots of potential between the two. Maddinson looks to have loads of talent he hasn't really converted that into many runs. As for Haddin, I'm hoping wade improved of the next season or two so that he'll be ready when Haddin retires. If not Paine has improved a lot lately and he could keep

Posted by   on (March 6, 2014, 12:25 GMT)

Australia has finally found two class batsmen(Warner and Steve Smith) for the future(at least next 7-8 years).Clarke and Watson would/should be available for at least 3-4 more years.Alex Doolan looks to be a decent batsmen too.There are no worries at all for their fast bowling arsenal(Pattinson,Cummins,Bird,Starc) and they have a decent young spinner(Lyon).The real challenge for Australia will be to find proper replacements for Chris Rogers and Brad Haddin. I am not really sure weather Phil Jacques and Mathew Wade are capable enough to replace these two amazing cricketers in their respective roles. If Australia could find these two replacements anyhow, then Australia will again rule the world of cricket for next 7-8 years.

Posted by valvolux on (March 6, 2014, 12:01 GMT)

And batting is still where we will struggle. Though now we can truly rate Warner as world class to go with Clarke, we are still two short. Smith is coming of age so we may have 3, but its a far cry from south africa ....but we do have bowlers coming out of our ears, perhaps not suitable for the sub continent, and they are harder to find than batsmen.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (March 6, 2014, 11:34 GMT)

Very sensible comments from Lehmann. The only thing I can fault Australia for in this series was the first innings batting in PE where they failed to curb their aggression to suit the surface. Lehmann says so be it to these kind of pitches, we'll keep playing this way - don't really agree with him on that because we are going to get plenty more of these slower surfaces when we tour and our batsmen need to learn how to grind out scores on them.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
Tour Results
South Africa v Australia at Centurion - Mar 14, 2014
Australia won by 6 wickets (with 30 balls remaining)
South Africa v Australia at Durban - Mar 12, 2014
Australia won by 5 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth - Mar 9, 2014
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
South Africa v Australia at Cape Town - Mar 1-5, 2014
Australia won by 245 runs
South Africa v Australia at Port Elizabeth - Feb 20-23, 2014
South Africa won by 231 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days