Melbourne: Last Boxing Day, the biggest day on Australia's cricket calendar, Andrew Strauss sent the Australians in on a pitch with a little bit of juice in it. They didn't last 50 overs. Chris Tremlett and James Anderson skittled the Australians for 98. They never recovered, England secured the Ashes with that victory, and the Argus review was commissioned in the weeks that followed.
Fast forward 12 months and the Australians have been bowled out for 47 in an innings against South Africa. They have lost a Test to New Zealand in challenging conditions at Bellerive Oval. Their batsmen continue to fail. Only David Warner and Shaun Marsh, the two newest members of the top order, have averaged more than 40 in the past year.
And now they are back at the MCG. It is still the biggest day on Australia's cricket calendar. They are still struggling against the moving ball, the reason behind their batting camp over the past few days. Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma are skilled movers of the ball in the air and off the pitch. But the captain Michael Clarke still believes his batsmen should play their natural game, even if they are sent in under cloudy skies.