The more things change the more they stay the same. The recent retirements of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey have left a large gap in Australia's middle order that the current players are not capable of filling. The fact that these retirements fell only a few years after the loss of opening greats Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer, middle order maestro Damien Martyn, spin king Shane Warne, devastating Adam Gilchrist and the deadly Glenn McGrath shows how much the depth of talent in this country has been tested.
The fall in success in test cricket as a result should not have come as a surprise to those with a keen memory, for this has happened before. In 1984 Australia lost D K Lillee (record holder for the most test wickets at the time) Greg Chappell (Australias highest test run scorer at the time) and Rod Marsh and later the same year they would lose the next Captain Kim Hughes. The fact that only a few years earlier Doug Walters ended his test career only helps to draw a closer comparison.
The loss of such a large and consistent part of the team left Australia weak and while more factors would come into play, it would take nearly a decade for Australia to truly recover.