Trevor Hohns, Greg Chappell and Justin Langer won’t have any peace or resolution until Steve Smith and David Warner, are back in business.
That won’t be until March next year. Until then the trio will have to muddle through with what’s on offer.
The attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon is one of the world’s finest, but the batting is so brittle the attack is left lamenting.
It took Travis Head, batting six, to show the bottle necessary to compete with India, the world’s best Test side.
Head’s unbeaten 61 stood alone, as Marcus Harris on debut, Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb all passed 20 but didn’t crack 40.
It was the combination of a slowish Adelaide wicket, a very keen Indian attack driven by skipper Virat Kohli and an Australian batting line-up low in confidence and natural ability.
It was like being at a funeral – the death of Test cricket.
Nobody loves five-day cricket more than I do, but yesterday was so boring I kept looking at my watch, which seemed to be going backwards, increasing the agony.
Yesterday’s stats, in runs and balls faced, tells the sorry story of Australia chasing India’s 250.
Aaron Finch (0-3), Harris (26-57), Khawaja (28-125), Shaun Marsh (2-19), Handscomb (34-93), Head (61*-149), Tim Paine (5-20), Pat Cummins (10-47) and Starc (8*-17). Australia ended the day 7-191 off 88 for a run rate of 2.17 an over.
You have to turn the clock back 16 years to another Australia-India clash in Adelaide for an identical stat, even though the baggy greens boasted a far better batting array in 1992.
Geoff Marsh (8-32), Mark Taylor (11-44), David Boon (19-64), Allan Border (0-4), Dean Jones (41-93), Mark Waugh (15-26), Ian Healy (1-8), Merv Hughes (26-93), Shane Warne (7-35), Craig McDermott (0-10) and Mike Whitney (0*-0) for a total of 145 off 66.4 overs and a run rate of 2.17.
Australia won that Test by 38 runs, but it’s hard to see the current side repeating that result.
But there was a positive in Marcus Harris’s debut, with his straight bat greeting the Indian attack compared to Handscomb’s bat at 45 degrees.
Harris was dead-set unlucky to chop a Ravi Ashwin offie onto the bottom of his pad to pop up for silly point to snare, but he’s definitely worth a future, especially if he can link with Warner – two kindred left-handed spirits like the Matt Hayden-Justin Langer combination that averaged 51.88 through 113 digs together, or the more recent Warner-Chris Rogers partnership that averaged 51.32 through 41.
With solid starts, Khawaja at three and Smith four, everyone in the top order will benefit, with the flow-on down the order.
In the meantime, selectors, do the best you can, because no-one is kicking your door in.