End is nigh for ageing Aussies

Australia’s disastrous Ashes series will almost certainly end the Test careers of more than half the current squad.

With Michael Clarke to retire at the conclusion of the fifth Test at The Oval later this month, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Chris Rogers and Shaun Marsh are likely to exit as well.

It follows the decision of Ryan Harris to call time on his career due to a knee injury and begin the regeneration of the side under the probable captaincy of Steve Smith for the tour of Bangladesh in October.

The selection of 10 players over the age of 30 for the current series has backfired spectacularly, with England prevailing on home soil for the fourth time in a row.

Former Test skipper Ricky Ponting believes an injection of fresh blood is inevitable.

“I had a bit of a think about the squad to plan ahead and think about the future and … I thought there could be eight guys who might not ever play Test cricket again in this touring squad,” he told ESPN Cricinfo.

“Rogers is retiring, Harris has already retired. You’d think it’d be hard for Haddin to get back in now at his age.

“You could probably say the same things about Watson – is Watson going to get back in at his age?

“I’d like to think so because I still think he’s got some good cricket ahead of him.”

Two members of the over-30s club Siddle and Fawad Ahmed have been spectators for the entire series with the Pakistan-born leg-spinner now unlikely to ever get the chance to don the Baggy Green.

Despite their disappointing showing in the UK, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have shown flashes of their rich potential with the ball and young quick Pat Cummins is also very talented.

Despite being 34 Mitchell Johnson is unlikely to be jettisoned but Ponting believes Siddle is resigned to the fact he has bowled his last ball for Australia.

“If Siddle was ever going to play he was going to play this game (at Trent Bridge),” he said.

“And he as much as said that to me the other morning actually.”

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