no, my title isn't sarcasm... it is hope.
i have been saying since first predictions on the Ashes results that we will be done by this confident and supremely organised England team, and while they only have one win on the board... well, you all saw what happened!
So why am i so optimistic? Well, actually at the moment i'm a little flat; maybe it is the result, or the demands i put on my liver over the last 3 days (can't be lack of sleep- sorry about being a full tummied couch kipper Lefty!), but i AM GLAD we have been comprehensively MUNTED!
Everyone can point a finger- and we all will (and should), but the reality is we can take little from the last 2 results and the last one really must force to the fore what the hell is going to change before we get change?
in simple terms it is glaringly obvious: we can't get wickets and the same "repeat offenders" keep offering too little with the bat.
for several seasons now we've asked for(and been told that we are getting) rebuilding of the side, so my positive spin on our shellacking is due to the fact that SOMETHING now must happen.
of course, with Katich's injury we will get an extra change that wasn't desired, but at least there can be no excuses as inepts squirm under the very magnified microscope.
So what would be worse: continuing shuffling around a few positions, or wholesale change as half the bums get kicked and my preferred option of blooding youth with the assurance, "we don't expect you to win, we expect you to learn, get experience and try to win. you won't be pilloried for trying, just show some grit. do you want that?"
Self belief is everything in sport, and some may say that my approach above could damage that in a young'un, maybe, maybe not, it is a bit of a blank card when told the only expectations is to develop from the experience.
And any of the "old guard" that lived through this Adelaide loss and pain will not be there to use it as fuel in the future much like Englands senior players have after Warne's mugging last time.
Roebuck made the point on the radio that he doesn't believe in the "cyclical nature" of sport, and i would partly agree with him on that; but i didn't agree on his explanation why. he said that you didn't win because it was "your turn", you won because you were organised, commit ed, believe and practice, and that part is right.
But i think he missed the point when people use the cyclical term; sides coalesce (which could be used against my performance contracts argument to a degree), as they gel their self belief grows and winning becomes easier, more so as everybody knows every other member better, and this DOES happen in cycles.
A few great players form the nucleus of a side and others find greatness in themselves while around them... but as we know, it can't last.
Obvious comparisons to the great West Indies side that held dominance for so long have been made, and now we compare the demise of the two. But i'm not so pessimistic as to believe we will be in the wilderness indefinitely as the WI side has been. The fact we are a country and they a confederated region makes ALL the difference. Despite state rivalry and state governing bodies jockeying for power/representation/whatever, we will still "Come together..." maybe not "Right now," as Australians.
Now i started this blog to rip into slack, narrow-minded, political and just plain stupid governing bodies and bureaucrats within the game, and i'm not pumping out this rosy message and letting them off the hook. CA must cop a rigorous bollocking over where our team sits (on its arse while CA sits on its hands) in world cricket at the moment, so i encourage everyone to email them and have a say.
But while it is dark days at the moment... you know the rest!
down the wickt