Where do Australia go from here after Ashes disaster?

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Nobody, not least the Australian team themselves expected to be on the end of such a drubbing in this Ashes series.

Worrying times

Their abject performance with the bat, ball and in the field has led to several ex-players to come out and openly criticize the team and especially its captain, Michael Clarke.

We already know that Clarke is to stand down as captain and retire from test cricket following the fifth test at the Oval, but what of the rest of the touring party? Former captain Ricky Ponting says up to eight of the squad may never play again.

Along with Clarke, we know that Chris Rogers will retire, leaving a gaping hole at the top of the Australian batting order, with no obvious replacements.

Ryan Harris has also departed the international stage and fellow fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who turns 34 later this year, may not have long left also. But in Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood they do have two of the best young seamers in world cricket, both of whom are likely to have key roles in the years to come. Nathan Lyon too will remain an important part of the bowling attack.

It is hard to see how Shane Watson and Brad Haddin could fight their way back into the side, both are the wrong side of 30, as is Adam Voges, who despite his gutsy fifty is unlikely to have too much of international future.

That leaves Steven Smith, nailed on to be the next captain, and David Warner as the only guaranteed starters in the top order and with a clear lack of young batsman, especially those who can cope with the seaming and swinging conditions of English pitches, big decisions will need to be made by the selection panel.

New boys

Glenn Maxwell, usually a name associated with one-day cricket, could be a name mooted.

He recently bagged a first class hundred for Yorkshire and also offers some handy off spin and with up to four batting places likely to be made vacant, Maxwell may fancy his chances of adding to his three test caps.

Looking forward, the Aussie's next test assignment will be against an emerging Bangladesh side this October who will offer different threats to those of England and will be very difficult opponent to face, coming off the back of such a mauling.

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Michael Clarke
Australia cricket

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