The Australian cricket team has been on a downward spiral since 2007. Largely down to the decimation of the great team through retirement. Pre 2007 Australia had based there success on having many good players to fill a squad role. For example Michael Hussey or Stuart Law could not break into the team on a regular basis, yet they probably would have been a star in any other team.
It could be said that Australia may have taken their eye off the ball and failed to plan for the retirement of all these players at once. The result of this being that a whole generation of players were not ready to fill the boots of legends.
Although I believe that the batting talent coming through may not be to the right standard a few players have now established themselves. These are Warner, Watson and Clarke. Add this to Ponting in tests and Hussey in all forms they have some pretty good batsmen there.
Then there are other players such as Ed Cowan, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Usman Khawaja, George Bailey and Phillip Hughes who seem to have some talent just need to show it on a consistent basis. Australian cricket is calling out for one of these players to go onto the next level. In my opinion Shaun Marsh and Khawaja have all the talent to do this, but they have never shown the ability to string together to good series.
In the wicket keeping department Australia are very well stocked with Haddin, Wade and Tim Paine. Although none of these keepers are of the standard of Gilchrist (the standard every Aussie keeper will now be considered against), they are of a good standard.
The new bowlers coming through is the brightest point for Australia. The depth in the fast bowling department is very very impressive. I believe South Africa and England to have the best fast bowlers at the moment but once these Australian bowlers develop they could be on a par. Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Pat Cummings have impressed greatly. Wisely the Australian selectors are mixing the three of them around, to ensure they are not likely to be burnt out. The three young players have been mixed around playing with the likes of Brett Lee, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson. The rise of Clint Mckay has also been impressive, he is not as young as the other three new bowlers but still has been great in all forms of the game in 2012. The strength of the bowling is so strong now that Lee has retired yet Johnson or Bollinger hardly play any more.
The big problem for the Australian team is that they do not have a great spinner at the moment. This was a team that had Stuart Mcgill and Brad Hogg in reserve behind Shane Warne for many years. The current custodian of this role is Xavier Doherty, he is one of the worst spinners in world cricket at present. Personally I hope Steve Smith has been working at his bowling as he could develop into an ok spinner, but more of a good all rounder. Michael Clarke does a good job filling in and possibly a good option. For the series against India Nathan Lyon did a decent job, but again I am wondering if there is any younger spinner coming through.
It seems that if Australia sort out the few deficiencies in the batting and get in a good spinner they could rise up back to a similar place they were before 2007. This is not saying that they could be as good as they were in their hay day but they could challenge South Africa and England for the number 1 test spot.