Malcolm Conn writes
THE most successful era in Australian cricket can end in stunning
fashion, with one of the oldest teams assembled reclaiming the Ashes
and creating history with a third successive World Cup.
The answer appears to be yes. Australia could not have responded to the
gut-wrenching Ashes loss in a more emphatic way, thrashing a World XI
in last October's Super Test on the way to claiming 11 victories and a
draw in 12 Tests during seven hectic months of cricket.
By the time the coin is tossed to begin the first Test at Brisbane's
Gabba on November 23, seven of the likely Australian side will be 35 or
older. It simply cannot last much longer at the top without significant
If the same formula for the side is continued from the 3-0 thrashing of
South Africa last month, then no player will be under 30. The average
age will be pushing towards 33 and a half, taking the team into rare
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The older players are likely to play sping and medium pace bowling
With slowing reflexes, fast bowlers will take upperhand against batsmen
aged 33+ and
above. That is what the history and the scoring patterns of current
Tendulkar,Hayden,Langer and Laxman etc play spin and medium pace bowler
ok - they nudge around and score runs. Against quicker men, these
players have struggled of late.
Even Lara struggled against Bond.
Aussie victories have come against sides with 1 good pace bowler -
Ntini for SA and for WI. Ntini and Nel were injured in several Tests.
England with superior, pace dominated attack will do much better
against an aged Aussie side.
If they want to reclaim Ashes bring on Jaques, Clarke, for Langer and