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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ashes 2013-14: Australia's golden dawn may be more of a sunset

There is justifiable pride in the Ashes victory but many of Australia's key players are unlikely to be around in a few years' time
Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle
Ryan Harris (left), Mitchell Johnson (centre) and Peter Siddle (right) celebrate Australia's Ashes victory. Only Siddle is under 30. Photograph: Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images
In the post-match euphoria of regaining the Ashes in Perth, Ian Healy echoed commentators and enthusiasts around the country. This was the start of a new generation, he said, invoking the 1989 side that won back the Ashes after Australian cricket’s lowest ebb.
There has been not just the inevitable talk of redemption, but of regeneration, even a return to the glory days of world dominance, no matter if this seems a little greedy given how recently those were left behind. Even before this series, captain Michael Clarke has spoken unswervingly of the desire to be the best in the world.
"They're pretty driven, this lot,” said the Australia coach, Darren Lehmann, back in Adelaide, “a really good, driven bunch of players and support staff who want the right goal for Australian cricket and that's not just short term, that's long term.”
This would seem pretty standard from a resurgent team – it’s just that in this case, long term isn’t necessarily a prospect for most of the constituents. Much of this triumphant Ashes side will struggle to be playing in two years’ time, much less five.

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