A few old men.
Posted by Sports Snob on November 9, 2006
In my previous post I had briefly mentioned the fact that there was reason to hope that Australia’s dominance is going to come to an end because of an aging team. I simply had no idea how old this team actually is!
Matthew Hayden –35, Justin Langer- 36
Stuart McGill- 35, Damien Martyn-35
Shane Warne-37, Adam Gilchrist-35
Glenn McGrath-36 Even Brett Lee is now 30!
What is going to be interesting to see is how the Australians cope when all these men retire within a year or two of each other. The entire team will have to be changed. And I don’t see the talent rushing through.
I am sick of seeing the Aussies dominating world cricket. And what truly makes me happy is the fact that McGrath and Warne wont last much longer. They are brilliant cricketers but they are also the main reason why Australia have been so dominant over the last 5 years. Say what you want about the rest of the team, but these two men ensured that every time the Australians stepped on the field they had a genuine chance of getting 20 wickets against any batting line up on any pitch. And with a combined total of 1200+ test wickets they did just that.
It will be sad to see Gilchrist go though. Its always fun to watch him bat (except when he is hammering the Indian bowling) and he has been a great ambassador (one of the few) for Australian cricket. And the great thing with Gilchrist has been that Australia have had a genuine top class batsman at no. 7 for quite some time (he averages over 50 for crying out loud, to put that in perspective- Ganguly averaged in the low 40s throughout his career). His loss is going to hit the team hard. And the Australians (surprisingly) haven’t done enough to find a replacement.
It’s interesting how different Australia’s policies are from the rest of the world. Someone like Mike Hussey (who is 31 himself) has taken ages to
establish get into the squad and can now easily hold his own for the next 5-6 years. I don’t think any of the sub-continent teams will pick a new batsman at that age! The fact is that the bar for retirement age has now been raised by at least 3 years to 36-37. Enough of blooding youngsters, maybe the lesson is that the Indian board need to start valuing experience and understand that 28-30 is not too old to blood a cricketer.