In the Sydney Morning Herald, Greg Baum analyses Australia's 221-run loss to Pakistan in the first Test in Dubai and says that while the defeat is tough, it's not a catastrophe for a side that is being remade and reinforced.
Let us wince, but not catastrophise. The miracle of last summer was that all that winning without end was achieved by a patchwork team - the ancient, the rejected, the brittle, the untried, but most of all, the Mitch Johnson - that found inspiration within and brought England and South Africa to heel. But it was also obvious that it could not last, that the team would have to be renewed and reinforced and remade, and that the process would involve some pain, and it is now obvious that the Gulf was always going to be a difficult venue for the new beginning. In Dubai, the two debutants floundered at times, which ought not to have surprised; they were up a level. They underscored the reality that this is a different team in a different place at a different time. This could never have been the Ashes and South Africa continued. It was the first day of the rest of Australia's cricket life.