I was thinking after witnessing the embarassing performance of England against New Zealand, that the standard of test cricket I'm watching around the world is probably the lowest I've ever seen. I started watching test cricket in the 90s when there were star players galore and almost every team could boast of truly great players.
Now, runs and wickets seem to come a bit cheaper. The true match winners are either gone or on the way out. Looking at it team by team:
England - On paper, a formidable team, but they happen to flatter and decieve. They go from whitewashing India to being whitewashed by Pakistan to be trumped at home by SA to breaking down India's fortress to now at the verge of losing to NZ. Clearly not as good as they are made out to be.
Australia - A 4-0 loss to any team would have been unthinkable in the past. The loss of Ponting and Hussey has left a huge wide cavern in their batting. Their bowlers are inexperienced and fragile, they havent been this bad in a long time.
India - Dont get fooled by their recent win, they are still basically the same side that got outspun on their own soil by England. Sehwag, Dravid and Laxman gone, Tendulkar soon as well, pace bowling is nothing to write about and spin needs to still show itself outside home.
Pakistan - Still a team in transition, batting very weak, bowling is dangerous but pacers still need to prove themselves.
Sri Lanka, NZ and WI are pretty mediocre. SA is pretty much the only side with more than 1 true world class player and that plays consistent, brilliant cricket.
So am I wrong? Or was there another era in which cricket standard were even lower?