India won a Test series on Australian soil for the first time, but it seemed a question of time only, as in, when is the next time India tour down under, as the Australian Text XI will be found curled into a fetal position until they have to take the oval again.
Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, if any of those three had been available, probably would not have affected the outcome significantly.
Those few Australians who do worry about anything are left wondering who will play the Ashes in England when the 2019 calendar turns to August.
The Aussie bowlers, considered an elite group did not perform to expectations and those expectations may have been unrealistically high given the batting situation.
Some feel that the replacements for the banned players were too inexperienced at the Test level. The inexperience part is certainly accurate. Aaron Finch, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head had a combined six matches at Test cricket. Marcus Harris appeared for the first time in Adelaide. He acquitted himself to an extent that he could deserve future selection, but he was the only one who seemed able to arise for the occasion.
He was dismissed for single figures just once and contributed 258 runs at 36.85 for the series. His high score was 79 in Sydney, and observers thought he was on pace for a 100, but he was sent off following the lunch break of day three.
Warner’s suspension expires, along with Smith’s, in three months. They will be welcomed back and if their suspensions had been left to the ICC, they might have been available for the India series. It was Cricket Australia that wanted to send the strong message.
The Australian quicks had a bad series, simple as that. They collapsed badly in Sydney, bowling 89 overs between Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, taking only three wickets.
The three resorted to bowling short, but they could not get the ball to swing for reasons no one can identify.
The quicks for India, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah loomed large in the series and deserve much of the credit for the series win.