England will be looking to finish Australia off at the Oval in the fifth Investec test match starting today. With the tourists 3-1 down in an unsalvageable series, retiring skipper Michael Clarke will look to avoid a record 4-1 series defeat.
So what exactly has gone wrong for Australia? Everyone can go on about the pitches and how well England have performed, which they have and I am taking nothing away from Alastair Cook and his teammates, but there are several key factors that have been overlooked that add up to Australian failure.
The Australian team selection throughout the series has been mystifying.
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The decision to not re-instate Brad Haddin in the pivotal Edgbaston test is one that raised many questions. The decision then to keep the inexperienced Peter Nevill in the side for Trent Bridge puzzled pundits and fans alike, with Shane Warne in particular absolutely shocked by the decision.
Haddin, so often the scourge of English cricket, has had family issues off the field, but has remained with the touring party the entire time and will feel that his test career must be all but over.
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The second player who can feel hard done by is Peter Siddle.
Siddle, who spent time playing in England in order to prepare for this summer's Ashes, has been picked for the final test, but it is too little too late on pitches seemingly perfect for his ability to both swing and seam the ball.
England have a Siddle of their own in James Anderson, and he has seen great success throughout the series prior to his injury which show the potential benefits Australia may have missed out on.
The decision to drop Mitchell Marsh at Trent Bridge was further evidence of the Australian selectors getting it wrong. Marsh scored useful runs and took useful wickets at Lord's, and despite two failures at Edgbaston, Australia lost themselves a decent bowler at Trent Bridge who could have used the swing and seam dangerously.
While nothing must be taken away from England in this series, Australia have not helped themselves one iota with poor team selection.
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