Peter Roebuck writes in the Sydney Morning Herald that Australia's bowlers have a problem. On their most penetrating days they are intense and threatening, but when things don't go their way they fail to read the signs.

Top-class operators recognise the need to put overs and spells together. Malcolm Marshall had few off days. Doubtless rhythm did periodically desert him. On those occasions, he'd drop his pace, reduce his variations and focus on line and length. Little ground was lost in the hard times. Always he did his work and kept it tight.


Frustrated, the flingers drop short and suffer as edges fly over the cordon. Body bowling only works when it is pinpoint. Captains cannot set boards for drunken darts players. With bat and ball Australians need to improve not their best but their worst.

Mike Coward in the Australian considers the contrasting emotions of Ricky Ponting and Mohammad Yousuf, two skippers in their mid-30s, while in the Age, Greg Baum ponders the extent of Australia's decline.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here