Is being over the hill about age or miles on the clock?


Ian Thorburn, a first time poster on TFT, sent us this interesting piece on England’s Ashes debacle earlier in the week. As you’ll see, he raises some important issues. Is success cyclical? Has this particular England team reached its shelf-life? I have to say, my first instinct was to disagree. The average age of England’s team at Perth was 29. Australia’s was 31. Yet the older team won.

But is it that simple? As Ian points out, England’s players might be younger but on average they’ve amassed far more caps – thanks, to a large extent, by the ECB’s policy of flogging horses to make as much money as possible. My question to you is therefore this: is age the true indicator of whether a player has passed his best, or is it a matter of miles on the clock? Here’s what Ian had to say …

As the wheels fall off the England wagon that has chugged along for some time now I find myself asking the same question. Has this England team come to the end of the line? Its hard to argue that it has not. For some time now the foundations have been creaking and this winter the building has come crashing down in spectacular fashion. Poor efforts overseas against Pakistan, New Zealand and now Australia coupled with an extremely flattering home series victory against the old enemy last summer have helped to paper over cracks wider than those at the WACA .

Teams have cycles but England have failed to recognize this in recent years and are relying on players that are simply not performing anymore. You only have to look at the facts. Cook and Pietersen have played 100 tests each with Bell, Prior and Anderson all approaching this. They have all had careers to which they should be rightly proud but are at a point, maybe with the exception of Cook, where they star is falling rather than rising and the latest series against Australia has highlighted this in spectacular fashion. Poor shot selection, poor decision making and spectacular batting collapses by England adds only more fuel to this argument

Australia have been spectacular this winter, there is no denying that. Innovatively led by the brilliant Michael Clarke, Cricket Australia have spent time dissecting what went wrong in England last summer and the reintroduction of the new-look Mitchell Johnson ( remember he was brought home early from the ODI series in India) has been a calculated masterstroke.

The England management have a very difficult balancing act in the coming matches / months. Do they make changes immediately? Will they make changes immediately? Is it the end of the line for some of these stella England careers? Will Andy Flower resign or get pushed?

Answers on a postcard please to …………..

Ian Thorburn


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