Shake-ups see Aussie teams on the rebound

THE English must surely be rueing their agreement to participate in back-to-back Ashes Series.

While we are only a little halfway through the second Test and their boys might well still fight their way back to the dominant position, right now they must be shell-shocked.

It's hard to fathom what's going on but the answer might simply be that so many cricket series - Test, one-day and Twenty20 - are played these days that results will simply even out over time.

That being said, the Ashes have always been a cut above the rest in terms of significance - and the bitter relationships between the two teams this time around would indicate that is still the case.

But what is more certain is that Australia never likes to be down for too long in any sport in which it has been dominant.

Searching for solutions to success may have become scientific and statistical but nothing beats a rejuvenated Aussie outfit that is determined to get back on top.

One thing in common between the very recent resurgences in achievement by our cricket, rugby union and soccer teams is that each has followed a return to Australian coaches at the helm.

What causes the obsession with looking to overseas mentors to lead our troops in so many sports is unclear but it is certainly widespread, yet often unfruitful.

Perhaps it is that we can't make a decision on which of our own should be given a top job but most probably it is more a belief that the grass is greener elsewhere.

But in their cases, neither Robbie Deans, Mickey Arthur or Holger Osieck delivered the level of satisfaction that those who appointed them would have desired.

Ange Postecoglu has a massive task ahead of him but he is a man of great presence and passion and if he manages to get the players behind him he may well deliver results which will satisfy a demanding Australian public.

Ewen McKenzie has taken on the Wallabies after a run of poor performances, on and off the field, but so far his touch has been effective in getting the team to win at least the games it should.

He doesn't have the public persona of Postecoglu but he may well have the same, or a better, ability to bind the players in the direction of success.

But of the three, Darren Lehmann has not only had the longest period at the helm, now stretching to six months, his charges have made the greatest impression.

While their results in England were not great, they seemed at least to be a happier bunch, even then, and obviously very much that way now.

The difference has had much to do with the almost miraculous return to form of Mitchell Johnson who, although he bordered on special at times in the past, is most definitely in that category now.

He has made me watch cricket again and I suspect I am not alone.

His off-field back-story will no doubt be as fascinating as his form recovery.

But let's wait for that in due course - right now what he is producing on the field is more than enough to keep us, and his coach, very happy.

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