As Far As You Can Get

When I last posted, at lunchtime on Friday, it looked, as I wrote, as though all the problems in Perth were South Africa's. Three days on and it's Australia who have a bit more to think about.

I'm unconvinced that there's anything terminal about Australia's relative decline, but, with Lee struggling and Siddle and Krejza about as far from what's required as you can get, they're certainly 'coming back to the pack' at a rate of knots. The batting looks stronger, but Hayden will need runs soon if he's going to make it to England, and, if he doesn't, a further foundation stone of the great era will have gone.

At the moment next summer's Ashes rubber is looking a more enticing prospect by the day. With Australia weakening and England plodding along as they do (but with the prospect of two confidence-boosting series against the West Indies to come), it could be the most closely-fought series between the two sides since 1972.

As for South Africa, well, in the end, they did it at a canter. The signs are that de Villiers is now fulfilling his immense promise and it was great to see him partnered by the debutant JP Duminy, who played a cool and confident role in the chase.

Incidentally, I once saw Duminy acting as twelfth man for Devon at Bovey Tracey.

Which is about as far from the WACA as you can get.

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