Who do you reckon is the best & who would you rank them?, from what i have seen since the 97 ashes i would say Hayden, Slater, Langer, Taylor, Elliot. Here is how i did it:
HAYDEN: For me he has got to be the best, his dominance over attacks even if most of it has been done in a time when pitches around the world have been flat & bowling attacks poor cannot be totally looked down on. Add to that the way he has come back & changed his game (mainly againts his weakness againts the swinging ball in bowler friendly conditions) since the ashes has been equally superb IMO, so for this i made him my number 1.
SLATER: Superb player on his day, just thrilling to watch especially on his trademark pull where he used to squat down and hit in front of square.Made runs againts some top attacks in tough conditions. Disappoitingly he made all those 90s he could have & should have had 20 test hundreds. Him and Hayden together would be my dream aussie opening pair of this generation. Second for me.
LANGER: Played the quicks easy early on it seems but spinners coming around the wickets mainly off-spinners used to knock him over. But since the Oval test of 2001 he has really changed him game especially againts the spin (his monumental 178 vs SRI in colombo 2004 proves this) & has become a well respected top class opener. Not the most orthodox obviously but he still scores his runs & at a good rate. Third for me
TAYLOR: Looking at his early days as an opener pre 95 when he became captain he seemed to be one of Australia top batsmen since he made runs againts the best in testing conditions. But i dunno if captaincy affected his batting or what but he seemed to have fell away after that and wasn't as consistent (I remember commentators talking about the trott he was in a lot during the 97 ashes). But in the 18 months or so i saw him he was like Langer of today only with a a better technique and less shots. His 334 though was one of the best innings i've ever seen though. My number 4
ELLIOT: Obviously he would be last. I thought he was fairly good up to the 99 series vs WI when he looked so dumb outside off-stump againts Walsh & Ambrose. But Elliot definately is in the category of unlucky aussies like Lehmann, Law, MacGill, Bevan, Miller who would have played 50 test matches for most other countries.