Post 22, 2009: It’s not the captain, it’s the system

Damn! Australia lost the Ashes. 😦

There’s been a lot of noise about whether captain Ricky Ponting should take the blame, or if the general inexperience of the team is to blame.

I suspect the problems lie elsewhere.

Australian cricket was fortunate to have an extraordinary generation of players arrive in the 1990s. Importantly, most of the players of this generation demanded inclusion in the national team in their early to mid 20s. Sure, some fell out of the team for a time, but most were worth blooding very early in their cricketing lives.

But a glance at last year’s Sheffield Shield averages shows a different picture: players from their late 20s or even early 30s topping the charts for runs scored and wickets taken. So the young ‘uns don’t even stack up stats that makes it worth blooding them!

I suspect this is the reason our current team is mediocre: there’s not much competition to get into the team!

Whether this is a temporary aberration I don’t know. But I feel like if there were more young players  with fifteen years cricket in front of them doing well in domestic cricket, our future prospects would be better. After all, a 28 year old picked for the national side and dumped after a few underwhelming performances has no way back. A 22 year old has time on their side.

It might also help to have a coach with experience of Test cricket.

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