Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, is certain age was not a defining factor in Australia's CB Series loss to India. The average of the squad was 32 years, but Hilditch said it was almost the same unit that secured the World Cup less than 12 months earlier.
"It's far too much of a generalisation to say the side was too old," Hilditch told the Australian. "The facts are we had some key players not scoring runs at critical times and that can happen."
Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds were both out of form, with neither finishing in the top 10 batsmen of the series. The team's 2-0 finals defeat means South Africa only need to cleansweep the contest with Bangladesh to move to the No. 1 ranking.
"Once you lose a game you can sit back and analyse all sorts of reasons and nobody can prove anything right or wrong," Hilditch said. "But I certainly don't think in any way, shape or form that age was a factor. In fact, I'd be positive that's not the case.
"The side is basically the same, with obviously a couple of critical changes, to the one which won the World Cup and repeated that standard of performance in India in extremely difficult circumstances, where they played really well. And we were comprehensive in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy."
Australia's form was less predictable after the contentious Sydney Test even though they topped the table in the preliminary rounds of the CB Series. However, they lost the final three matches of the campaign and the trophy went to India.
"Like after the 2005 Ashes, we're going to do a detailed analysis of where we can improve," Hilditch said. "We'll do that again this year. But often you can over-react because the result can come down to playing well on a couple of days in one-day cricket. The general view of the season is remarkably positive."