sorry to be so slack, but this attitude just blew me away! i don't know why, its not like we haven't seen this sort of arrogance before.
Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch on Monday refused to blame his panel for Australia's shattering loss of the Ashes to England.
Australia's 197-run loss in the fifth Test at The Oval on Sunday, which delivered England a 2-1 series victory, led all the news bulletins in sports-obsessed Australia on Monday as the ramifications sank in.
Ricky Ponting's captaincy and the selectors' decision-making came under fire for the series loss but they appeared likely to hold on to their positions with Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland fully supportive of their performances.
Hilditch admitted his panel erred by not choosing specialist spinner Nathan Hauritz for the final Test, but he refused to blame the selection of an unbalanced side on a spin-friendly pitch for Australia's humiliating defeat.
Ponting became only the second Australian skipper in more than a century to have twice lost an Ashes series in England, and Hilditch said he was gutted and in a state of disbelief over the final Test defeat inside four days.
"We would've changed the side (from the fourth Headingley Test) if we'd read the wicket right, and we would've played Nathan Hauritz," Hilditch told a news conference in Adelaide on Monday.
"But it would be an over-simplification to say that meant we lost the Test match, that'd be incorrect. We lost the Test match because we got 160 in the first innings.
"Jamie Cox was the selector on duty, but everybody misread the wicket, from our entire playing group, captain and coach included, and that just happens.
"To see the hard work that all those players put in, a very important series for everybody, to see it fall apart at The Oval was hard for everybody."
Hilditch, who has been a frequent target of critics during his controversial tenure as chairman, said he was shocked by the Ashes outcome.
"I'm feeling gutted and in some disbelief over the last couple of days," he said.
"The traditional signs of who's going to win a Test series are all there and it should have been Australia.
"We had six of the top seven batsmen, 10 centuries, eight of them Australian, the three leading bowlers in the series were all Australian.
"Everything indicates that we dominated the Test series."
But he said that "we lost the Test series through five hours of cricket. We lost the Test series in the last hour in Cardiff (first Test) when we should have won. I thought at the time it was going to hurt us, which it did.
Other key phases were "two hours of batting at Lord's in the second Test and maybe even an hour's batting at The Oval in the first innings, when we really needed to get 400-500 runs and get into a good position.
"The Test series really came down to us losing key moments and England winning key moments. It didn't come down to individuals, it came down to England winning the critical moments and (us) losing them."
Hilditch said Australian cricket was in a rebuilding phase following the keenly felt retirements of Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Glenn McGrath.
"The reality check is we're a young side, a rebuilding side, we've lost a lot of great players but had no time to reflect on that, we've got to reflect on the future," he said.
"We're going to have ups and downs in performance over the next couple of years while we continue a rebuilding process.
"The process is far from over. We've still got players we're going to lose in the next couple of years."