This time Australia was made to fight a bit harder for the win. Stokes in particular did a good job of holding up the proceedings. That said, one would have to say that everyone in the Australian side has contributed well to the 3-0 series score line. One of the best features has been Darren Lehmann's determination to get rid of the ridiculous idea of rotating and resting fast bowlers. Harris, Johnson and Siddle have bowled as a pace bowling unit, and it's worked. Lyon has backed them up extremely well, and the Australian fielding has been right back to traditional Australian standard. The batting has been brittle at times, but one or two have stood up in every innings, and scored a mountain of runs. This is looking like a very good side indeed. I hope they can maintain it for the next two Tests.
I'd include Watson in that bowling mix as well. The attack has been well balanced with sufficient variety. But I think it's impossible to overstate the importance in quality. It's the senior players who've bowled really well, none of our under-19 veterans the coaching staff under Arthur were so fond of. And Clarke's tactics have been spot on too. All of the bowlers have been used "correctly", even Watson.
And I think the biggest thing that has come out of the Homeworkgate affair is the rightful return of Brad Haddin. He was "dropped" for no other reason than he was deemed too old, which ironically enough was the reason he was brought back into the side because they didn't have any other players senior enough to be VC. Apart from the fact his keeping has been incredibly good (especially compared with the litany of costly misses Wade racked up), the runs he's made this series have all been extremely important: injecting the starch we've needed in our middle/lower order at times when the game is in the balance. ATM Johnson is favourite for man of the series, but for mine BJ has been the biggest difference between the two sides.
And yes, selection stability has certainly helped. I still think we're a long way from selecting our best top 6 in the best order, and I also think the attack - as good as it's been - will need an injection of youth to give it a bit more depth. The fourth innings in Perth - with Australia miles ahead in the game the whole time - exposed some lack of the lack of depth necessary to use Johnson effectively (ie no more than 3 overs in a spell
I still think 3-0 is flattering to Australia. At some stage you'd expect Pieterson and/or Cook to pile on (at least one) big score - probably enough to win a game off their own bat. Bell has been playing well, but just hasn't played that match-winning innings yet. Cook has been very unlucky with the quality of delivery which has knocked over his castle twice now. Bowlers who can move the ball both ways are always very hard to play, but both ways at the same time ???