And there it is: a series loss at home- first since WI in 92-93, the first series loss at home ever to SA.
I post this before the result, but with Australia's ineffective bowling, capitulation at the batting crease and overall lesser performance, it is easy (and obvious) to make this call.
Why have we fell so hard? Well, surely the attitude that we are so the number one side in the world has grown stale; we kept saying it, and believing it so much so, that we didn't bother dealing with aspects that were going to disprove it.
First and foremost, dead-wood! It has been interesting to read forums and postings on other sites about M.Hayden. Obviously many people think it was time for him to go after Perth (many before that too!) but so many idiots -and that is the best i can call them- have said that he deserves to stay til whenever or whatever date due to his past record- absolute BULLSHIT! Only a complete halfwit thinks that you can play on indefinitely or until some arbitrary day because X-amount of months ago you did something good! As a representative of OUR country you MUST be at the top of your game...PERIOD! Sure there must be some allowance for concentration lapses, minor form slumps and bad decisions but until CA implement something- be it a 3 strikes you're out, mutual agreement between player and CA on a minimum performance level or who knows whatever, something has to be done. I can't help but think that the absolute bleeding hearts that have called for Hayden to stay on will be the first to bitch about Australia losing the series- LOSERS!
Of note was that the TV commentators said that part of the reason that Hayden has been kept on is that his fielding (at 1st slip) has been good enough according to Hilditch... what the hell is that got to do with being an opener
Then there is Hussey; it is blatantly clear he is completely out of form, so why has HE been kept too?
Same goes for Lee, and given he is carrying an injured foot, now is the time to give him time off. There must be a similar consideration with Symonds, although with Watsons back buggered again who looks likely?
And now for Ponting: it is fantastic that he has found some form with the bat at the G, 200 is a fine aggregate; it is just a pity he has no real attacking nous when it comes to setting fields. Graeme Smith has scored freely with beautiful late cuts all series... no time more easily than on the final day. Why hasn't Ponting tried something new, different, novel and placed a helmeted player more forward than 2nd slip or backwards of silly mid off? ANYTHING! And what about moving the slips forward to eliminate the many nicks not carrying through.
I have no problem keeping Ponting as a number 3 batsman- who in the world would drop such a run maker after a 101 and 99? But his tactical deficiencies have been shown up AGAIN!
Now with a dead rubber imminent for the SCG, will the team of Hilditch, Hughes and crew be ruthless and get some experience under the belts of the younger players? Those players that were always on the fringe during the past glory days must be kicking themselves, as must those that are blitzing in Sheffield Shield- i.e Klinger, Hilf etc!
If they don't, then they (the selectors) must wear the shame of this defeat, and for the further imminent defeats in SA and England... may god have mercy on their souls!