Four years is a long time

The first Ashes tour match has concluded in a draw. Nothing further developed since my last piece at the half way point – the Australian bowling line up is still under question. The one update is that Siddle booked his place for Cardiff.

I thought it would be interesting to look at the way both teams have changed in the past four years. In 2005, we all knew that few of the Australians would be playing in the 2009 series. This has proven to be the case – natural attrition has taken place.

However, that glorious, all conquering England team of 2005 would have been expected to go on and indeed improve right through until 2009. Rather, the wheels fell off immediately. For England, the attrition has been far more due to injury and loss of form. It is surprising to see that there just a few 2005 Englishmen as Australians.

Below, I have compared the 2005 1st Test teams with the respective teams that last played for county (I haven’t bothered speculating about the 1st Test teams for 2009). Ages at the time of the match appear along side the players names – I have simplified and stuck to whole years – a player who was say, 34 years and 260 days has been listed as 34 years old. The team average age appears at the end of each list.

Australia 2005 Australia March 2009
JL Langer 34 PJ Hughes 20
ML Hayden 33 SM Katich 33
RT Ponting 30 RT Ponting 34
DR Martyn 33 MEK Hussey 34
MJ Clarke 24 MJ Clarke 28
SM Katich 29 BJ Haddin 31
AC Gilchrist 33 AB McDonald 28
SK Warne 35 MG Johnson 27
B Lee 28 PM Siddle 24
JN Gillespie 30 BE McGain 37
GD McGrath 35 BW Hilfenhaus 26

31.27 29.27

England 2005 England May 2009
ME Trescothick 29 AJ Strauss 32
AJ Strauss 28 AN Cook 24
MP Vaughan 30 RS Bopara 24
IR Bell 23 JM Anderson 26
KP Pietersen 25 KP Pietersen 29
A Flintoff 28 PD Collingwood 33
GO Jones 28 MJ Prior 27
AF Giles 32 SCJ Broad 23
MJ Hoggard 28 TT Bresnan 24
SJ Harmison 26 GP Swann 30
SP Jones 26 G Onions 26

27.55 27.09

I for one, am truly surprised that there are just five players left from 2005 and that none are bowlers. Flintoff and perhaps Lee will come back but that is still a lot of new faces. Well, not so many new faces – rather, different faces. However, I admit that I know very little about Bopara, Broad, Bresnanm, Swann and Onions (and McDonald haha).

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