Not so much to do with the play or success but to do with what the players look like and their attitude. Growing up, Australian cricketers looked and acted like men against boys. Physically intimidating and possessing of fabled mental toughness, they looked a different breed to the boyish Englishmen.
What happened in Australia? Genuine question, has there been a pussification of the nation?
This generation seems very different in both look and outlook to the previous couple. It doesn’t appear to be just about ability.
Waugh had the, oft described, 'gunslinger eyes', Boon and Border wouldn't back down from a tidal wave, Merv Hughes scared batsmen so much that they ignored the fact he bowled at 75 mph, Langer looked like a man ready to go over the top to bayonet the Hun, Hayden was built like the Hulk, Warne had the career building arrogance that overwhelmed weaker opponents, McGrath shot pigs for fun, and Dean Jones was willing to watch himself waste away to an early death in the pursuit of runs. I could go on.
Now there are fragile fast bowlers that retire or flounce (Tait and Johnson), Clarke looks like a 12 yr old boy or an anorexic lesbian, Watson is scared of ghosts, Bollinger has his own image issues, Hughes looks like a trainee school teacher and the straw that broke the donkeys back was watching Smith come out to bat today.
He looked like Billy Bunter without the glasses. Possibly the least intimidating thing I’ve seen on a cricket field in quite a while.
Certainly the players are not as good as before but they have lost their edge especially when playing against guys like Tremlett who Brumby correctly describes as looking like a big, intimidating unit.
I’m not having a go at Australia as I have long admired their attitude, determination and how that is all packaged together. Now it seems the only reason to share a drink with them would be to see their glamorous other halves.
Are there greater changes at work in Australian life and *s******s* culture to have made such a change in attitude, aggression and, dare I say it, manliness? What happened?
My comments are as an outsider looking in and I am genuinely interested if forces are at play or whether this isn't what it may appear.