It's crunch time for the Australian cricket team, but more importantly, for Cricket Australia.
with a draw the best result for the (Australian) series and to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, there is no better be time to address the many issues that plague the side.
First and foremost is the need to cease the stop-gap replacement attitude that has been an integral part of the team selection for the last 15 years. It is understandable and acceptable that this has been the method of player replacement; the Australian side has, for this time, been so successful and stable that many younger (and not so young) players have scrambled for selection when a position has come up... and a few very good players have fallen abruptly by the wayside when not having lived up to expectation.
The stop-gap attitude must stop now because of the obvious inability to fill the positions so dominated by some of the games greatest players: strike spin bowler, wicket keeper batsman, and to a lesser extent line-and-length strike bowler.
Stuart Clark holds his own as the line-and-length bowler, although i can't help but feel he is under used and must increase his wicket taking if given more overs.
As for the other two positions, surely some form of rotation policy would spark a little more enthusiasm for securing the positions. Sure, too much rotation creates an environment of uncertainty, but if contracted players knew they had two matches to impress before going to the back of the queue, maybe a little more thought would go into every ball.
Haddin has walked into the position anointed and has not impressed with gloves or bat.
The spin bowling has seen McGain's injury robbing him of a chance, White under performing due to lack of turn and variation, and Krejza left waiting... and waiting... and wondering.
It seems bizarre that at the height of Shane Warne's powers, every young bloke wanted to bowl leggies, and yet where are they now? Why hasn't CA followed up on the interest that flowed in Warnes wake? Shane Warne doing travelling clinics around the country would be good, but why hasn't he had whatever-it-takes thrown at him to reside back in Australia permanently to give ongoing training and mentor-ship? It is not too late, because he is still a prominent figure and the kids wouldn't feel like they were being taught by some old washed-up has been.
Another clear failing of this current side is the fielding. It is no over statement to say that fielding is completely sub par. Australia, once known as the sharpest fielding side, now looks... the same as everyone else. I wonder what CA plan on doing about this problem.
It appears that, once again, only defeat and embarrassment may affect change, lets hope for the better!