And so we move on to the next phase of the Australian cricket team’s journey. Cricket, like life goes on. Each series is analysed to death and then forgotten as the next series invades our consciousness, papers and TV screens. And what a series it promises to be, like every Ashes.
Bryce McGain had probably the most to play for in either team and has probably played his last test. As happy as he was to receive his baggy green in the grand scheme of things it will turn out to be unfortunate.
Hussey must now spend the next few months agonising over a career on the wane. He may just be saved for the Ashes if only through his vast experience on Pommie decks but his reprieve will be short lived if he fails early. We all know how many batsmen we have waiting in the wings.
McDonald for me is on borrowed time as well. Hardly a revelation in SA, his bowling is not penetrating enough. I would love to see the Australian selectors bite the bullet and declare Mitch Johnson our all rounder and choose another batsmen or bowler as the situation demanded. He is clearly good enough as demonstrated by his master class to all the “batsmen” in the Australian team on Sunday night. His technique is superb and he strikes the ball so cleanly. Small English grounds will not contain him. Timid English bowlers will be punished.
Hughes is a gun but needs to rein it in when he has to. It will not take bowlers long to identify his problem areas and bowl to them. He will be retained for the Ashes but needs to be patient on swinging decks in Notubland.
I can’t see another cracking series like 2005 or a flogging like 2006. I am predicting 3-1 to the Aussies with a draw thrown in there after the first or second test due to bad weather/light.