It’s fitting that on the day when the Gillard government announced a cabinet reshuffle, a devastating — yet thrilling — loss to New Zealand in the Second Test at Hobart may be the catalyst for the axe to be applied to the Australian cricket team.

Nathan Lyon, the groundskeeper-come-quality — yes, quality — Australian off spinner cast a forlorn figure as he was the last man out as Australia fell just eight runs short of recording yet another memorable Test win in Hobart. He left David Warner — the Twenty20 slogger who, against prevailing wisdom, has recast himself as an opening Test batsmen with mental fortitude that’s in short supply in this current Australian team — stranded on 123 not out. It’s a shame, as New Zealand’s historic win — surely one of their greatest — will overshadow Warner’s knock, despite him being named Man of the Match. New Zealand seamer Doug Bracewell may be aggrieved, considering his match winning 6/40 to bowl Australia out, but I am sure he won’t mind. The Kiwis beat their biggest rival, on their home soil — and most probably ended the careers of a few Aussies to boot.

After Crikey was sent out today I adjourned to the Mitre Tavern, the closest watering hole to Crikey HQ in the Melbourne CBD, to watch the final moments of the Test.

It’s funny what one hears at a pub when watching a sporting contest.

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As the Warner/Lyon partnership battled valiantly in vain to get Australia across the line, a coterie of businessmen, beers in hand, provided, perhaps, the most astute analysis — to the amusement of the patrons gathered around the outdoor TV — on the Australian team I have heard.

“Hughes is fucked. Ponting is fucked. Hussey is fucked. And Haddin can just fuck right off. Then I will be OK.”

It’s hard to see the careers of those players continuing, despite — particularly in Ponting and Hussey’s case — fine service to the baggy green. A loss to New Zealand at home is about as bad as it can get.

It’s time to play the kids. James Patterson’s Man of the Series shows what playing talented youngsters can do if given the chance.

And, as an aside, John Howard would have never announced a cabinet reshuffle during the climax of a cricket Test.

A remarkable Test match that should see the remaking of the Australian Test team.

As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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