Following the series loss to South Africa (on Australia Day, of all days), Australia have now lost their major home One Day International series for three years on the trot. With South Africa managing to win with relative ease despite the absence of Smith, and India plotting world domination, the Aussies now have challengers breathing down their neck in both sets of ICC rankings.
If Australia lose their status as the best ODI team in the world, there may well be some Australians who will be more upset than if (when?) they lose their status as the top Test side. I’ve spoken to some of them, and I got the impression that Aussie pride is more wrapped up in the success of its representatives in the brash, quick, aggressive world of limited-overs cricket than in the longer form.
The Ashes, of course, are an exception – I’ve ever met an Aussie cricket fan who doesn’t fantasise about thrashing the Poms.