Sunday, December 24, 2006

Changing of the Guard

First it was Damien Martyn - then it was Shane Warne, and now it's Glenn McGrath's turn to announce his retirement.

It can surely only be a matter of time before Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden join the exodus, followed closely by Adam Gilchrist- so by the time of the next Ashes series in 2009, we'll be looking at a vastly different Australian team to that we've grown familiar with over the last couple of years, although any side that can boast a middle order of Ponting - Hussey - Clarke is hardly going to be a pushover.

As Michael Clarke himself admitted recently, without Warne and McGrath, Australia are going to be spending a heck of a lot longer in the field, and will be involved in a lot more drawn games than they have over the past ten years or so.

Stuart Clarke looks a pretty good replacement for McGrath, and there is a queue a mile long of batsmen ready to fill the gaps at in the batting line up.

How the Aussies manage to cope with Warne will be the big question over the next few years. There have been a series of predictable comments in the Australian press about how the success will continue without interuption, but I think they underestimate the sheer psychological advantage they gained, simply by Warne taking off his sweater and turning his arm over. I'm sure there are loads of ex-test batsmen who still wake up at 2am sweating, with visions of Warne running through their head.


Michael said...

It will be tough to replace the Great Man (men). Australia is really going to struggle closing out games in the future. That said, we did play without him in 03 so I'm sure they'll have a plan. Hope you are enjoying your trip and I can't wait for tomorrow - or 700!

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