This is not to say that the batting lineup that will be trotted out for the third test will be watchable. While there is probably some semblance of the top six that will go to the Ashes in Cowan, Warner, Hughes and Clarke - the long awaited test match return of one Steve Smith should fill everyone with dread. Glen Maxwell also appears to be a Smith level douche.
Say what you will about this rabble though, at least they did their fucking homework. To me, what speaks more about this "homework" assignment is that most of the squad did do it. Ed Cowan spent five minutes doing his homework. David Warner spent half a day opening Power Point. Or got Cowan to do his. And then stole his lunch money.
To me, that a couple of senior players didn't manage theirs demonstrates that these senior players may be a big factor in the malaise that seems to have struck this team in the last six months. That two guys who have spent the last month ghost writing Michael Clarke's tour diary couldn't do this is even more damning.
If the message from Arthur was along the lines of:
- We've been comprehensively smashed in the last two tests.
- Morale is broken.
- You might not like the idea of putting together 5 powerpoint slides that explain:
- what has gone wrong;
- what you need to do better; and
- how we can pull together to win the Ashes.
- But it's important.
- And if you can't do this, then you are a big part of the problem and can fuck right off.
Rather than blaming the system, as ex-players are wont to do, one could simply make the case that Australian cricket's poor results in the last six months have more to do with a general lack of elite talent and a tough schedule - South Africa at home, India away - that this team isn't up for.