Not that I've been milking it (too much), but Australia's awful performances have been occupying my mind of late. I've been thinking about how eras change.
Ricky Ponting took over from Steve Waugh as Australian captain in 2004 (Waugh having presided over the most successful era of any team in Test match history). Waugh's final squad looked like this:
Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Damien Martyn, Steve Waugh, Darren Lehman, Simon Katich, Michael Clarke, Adam Gilchrist (wk).
Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee, Mike Kasprowitz, Shane Warne, Stuart MacGill.
Simon Katich, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Mike Hussey, Marcus North, Brad Haddin (wk), Uzman Khawaja.
Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, Xavier Doherty, Steven Smith, Doug Bollinger, Ryan Harris, Michael Beer.
Now, it's one thing to lose some all-time greats (Gilchrist, Warne, McGrath etc.), but the question has to be asked – would any of the present team get into Steve Waugh's XI? Hussey for Lehman maybe, and that's it.
And that's why Australia are rubbish now – in every area of the game, they are lesser men than their forebears. In comparison, of England's 2004 team, only Vaughan and Flintoff would be sure of a place in the present team (Thorpe and Hoggard would be on the verge). And the weird thing is that, as a cricket fan, I haven't really enjoyed this series much – it's been fun to be English, but too one-sided. Come on Australia, pull yourselves together!