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But, the question is - just how much worse will Australia get? And for how long? Personally, I don't think they'll decline enough to be knocked out of say, the top 3, for a very long time unless the other teams improve. While the cyclical nature of cricket may see a team like New Zealand range from 8th to 3rd - I think Australia may just find themselves ranging between ridiculously dominant and 3rd. For the very structure that Australian cricket is built on is what is makes Australian cricket so great - not a freak bunch of superbly talented players. People like Warne, McGrath, Ponting and Gilchrist do indeed fit into the latter group, however they have simply been the difference between Australia dominating and Australia just being a good team. Players like this come along quite randomly and you can't rely on them - all countries will have great, naturally talented players in them at one stage or another - but it's the development and success of players like Damien Martyn, Jason Gillespie, Darren Lehmann, Justin Langer, Michael Kasprowicz etc etc that really sets Australia apart from other countries at the moment. For you see - these players aren't "flukes" - they weren't lucky guesses, or plucked out of obscurity based on rare talent. They were just good players at first class level as a result and a product of Australia's exceptional development system at junior levels and strong, competitive first class structure. There are few flaws in the system - if you're a good player, you simply progress through all the grades right down from your local club to playing for your country. Bias is minimal, and any players with talent are generally spotted early and developed from a fairly young age. And even if not, they still manage to pop up in first class cricket and develop there. Now, just from doing a fair bit of reading, the only country that comes anywhere close to reaching Australia's professionalism in junior cricket and first class domestic structure is New Zealand - which would explain their continually good performances at international level despite having a very small player pool.
Whether you like it or not, Australia are going to keep producing the Damien Martyns and Jason Gillespies of the world by the hatful - in fact, there have been quite a few come and go recently that simply haven't got a look in who would have done just a good a job - the Hussey case backing this up perfectly. Guys like Martin Love, Brad Hodge, Andy Bichel and Simon Katich got limited opportunities but showed essentially the same. Unless other countries can find an answer to players of this calibre by improving their own lower levels structure, Australia will continue to have a very good side even at its lowest points. Losing Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist etc is always going to send a side into decline, however I feel the decline will be fairly minimal in the grand scheme of things.
Last edited by Prince EWS; 29-04-2007 at 06:38 AM.
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I'd like to see the competion get better a lot of teams have the potential to beat Australia.
Everyone wants to change the world, noone wants to change himself.
Australia has an advantage because its one of the few countries where Football is not king. Several sports all have a fairly even footing.
For example, in England, all the best athletes want to play football because the pay is so much better.
But in Australia, a top class cricketer will make as much or more money than an AFL player, Rugby League/Union player or A-League footballer.
India is another example of a country where cricket is king but its fair to say that India seems to always underperform anyway.
In NZ, everyone wants to play Rugby, its the national sport.
In the west indies football is as popular as cricket. You can be like Dwight Yorke & co and earn millions, WI cricketers earn peanuts in comparison.
But cricket is also ingrained into Australia's psyche. There's a saying that the 2nd most important person in Aust after the Prime Minister is the Australian Cricket Captain. And its very true. Australia's captains are like Monarchs. They don't chop & change them. They say in charge for years and years at a time. It creates and maintains stability upon which the sport prospers. Every kid at some point wants to play cricket for Australia.
But quite simply, the talent spotting & development of Oz cricketers is 2nd to none. The best coaches, the best facilities, very high standard club and 1st class cricket comps, and on top of that, they don't get the talent pool excessively raided by footy codes like other countries.
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GOOD OLD COLLINGWOOD - PREMIERS IN 2010Originally Posted by Irfan
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At the moment cricket seems to be the only sport that truly unifies Australians however the Socceroos have really shaken things up recently, and they seem to have replaced the Wallabies as the nation's most popular national footy team.
But Aussies love cricket, and I reckon most Aussies can love the cricket AND their favourite footy team, rather than have to choose between them.
Never reckon Bichel would have been much of an international bowler, either. And I wait to see about Johnson, Tait et al.
But indeed - just look back in Test history and see when Australia weren't 1st or 2nd? About the only time when you could say such a thing 100% conclusively was the 1984-1988\89 period, when the side was considerably weakened by rebel-tours. The only other times might have been the mid-1950s and early 1970s, but even then it's wholly debatable.
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