With the impending retention of The Ashes in such devastating fashion in Melbourne we must address the issue of whether it will be good for Australian cricket. Will the selectors finally cede to a real rebuilding phase and make the changes that need to be made?
Will Ponting step down in the interests of his batting form? And if so will the selectors just give it to Clarke who is in worse form?
Will they swing the axe and make wholesale changes for Sydney or will they try to square the series?
The Australian public seem to be the more realistic of all. You only have to talk to the masses for a few minutes to realise they are more accepting of the harsh truth that we simply just don't have the cattle at the moment at any level to challenge the big boys.
The time for small changes in order to win a test here and there or pinch a series are over. We must plan for the medium to long term future and blood the players that can get us to where we need to be.
I am talking about the two main things on the horizon. The return bout against England away and the Test World Cup. Forget what is in between, especially the one day WC which should not involve our test squad at all.
Too many test batsmen are getting too many easy runs on one day decks and are fashioning their game at that level. When the time comes to actually tough out a session or longer the mindset is just not there.
Watson has done well this year but gets out too often when his team still needs him playing one day or T20 shots. Hughes does not have the technique or patience to handle the moving ball. Ponting is past his best and should probably be playing in his last series, as captain at the very least.
Clarke is not right and is guilty of loose shots either too early or to the wrong balls and has failed to deliver when his country has needed him too many times this series. I don't care what anyone says a T0 captain should not be the test captain. They are not even the same sport.
Hussey has been great this series and is no doubt having a purple patch, but for how long? Big scores give way to bad memories even when sustained under performing is involved. Surely everyone remembers he was one innings away from being dropped, probably forever.
Smith is not an allrounder at test level anyway and if the selectors wanted one that could bat they should have chosen White. If even to groom him for the top job if he makes runs.
Haddin I think is not the best gloveman in the country and has kept well this series but I can't help think he stays in the side for his batting more than anything. They are obviously hiding that fact by batting him below Smith but we all know he should be higher.
The bowlers are a whole different thing with pitches and such to take into account. I won't go there just yet.
So the real question is not if this is good for Australian cricket but "Will the selectors take that opportunity?"