Almost Over

After what seems like years (probably because it is) of sometimes tedious stability and domination, one of the most interesting things about Australia's current situation is seeing their new players and wondering how they'll do in the long run.

It's hard to comment on at least one of the debutants in the current game, Doug Bollinger, as I've seen little of him and he's only taken one wicket so far, while the kneejerk impresson of the other, Andrew McDonald, is that he looks a decent operator but is highly unlikely to pull up any trees at the highest level.

I do feel, though, as if I ought to apologize to Peter Siddle, who I wrote off after he and the now-departed Jason Krejza were taken apart in the second innings in Perth, even though he impressed me during the Indian tour. The same qualities I noticed then - chiefly the ability to just keep on coming, whatever sort of hammering he's getting - together with plenty of raw pace, were in evidence during his first innings five in the current match, and I get the impression that he might just develop into a useful international bowler, especially if he can enhance his ability to move the ball. At the moment I'm not sure how well he'll do on slower pitches, but, as he now seems very likely to come to England later in the year, we'll find out soon enough.

Right, that should ensure that Bollinger and McDonald conquer the world while Siddle disappears into obscurity, but I will make one final, much more obvious, prediction.

Matthew Hayden's Test career is almost over.

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