How did Australia win the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup again? How did we destroy New Zealand in the final? One obvious reason is that it was at the MCG rather than in Auckland, where New Zealand has done a good job of humiliating the visitors in Wednesday's first One Day International.
Another reason Australia won the World Cup last year is that our side was clearly stronger then. The bowling in particular had menace. Mitchell Johnson had not yet retired, Mitchell Starc was not injured, Josh Hazlewood was at his economical best and James Faulkner was a weapon with both bat and ball in hand.
The batting was stronger too. Notably a bloke called Michael Clarke was still around, whose One Day average of 44.58 was always seriously under-rated by fans.
It might seem a little harsh damning Australia when they've just beaten India 4-1 in a one day series at home. Indeed Australia has lost just five of 37 One Dayers on home soil in the past three years. But we don't travel so well, having lost 12 games overseas in the same time frame.
Stats aside, it's the manner in which Australia capitulated here that makes you pull your hair out. Our batting still looks frail when David Warner and/or Steve Smith don't make big scores. Plenty of blokes like Glenn Maxwell make big scores when there's no pressure and they come in at 3 for 250. But when it's up to them to build or chase a big total, they fade.
Also, it's not like this was a vintage Kiwi bowling attack apart from the always-dangerous Trent Boult. Ask yourself this: can you fill in the first names of M Henry or A Milne? The first bloke is actually number seven on the official ICC ODI rankings, which Boult heads. But do you know who he is? And no, the latter bloke did not write books about a famous teddy bear.
Against this attack, Australia slumped to an embarrassing 6/41. Actually this was much quicker and more brutal than a mere slump. Aussie batsmen were as absent as Kiwi vowels. It truly was a suckening sight.
James Faulkner (36) and Matthew Wade (37) tried hard in an eight-wicket stand, but both fell chasing an ever-increasing run-rate. A huge Matthew Wade six in the 16th over seemed to sum up Australia's woes. The keeper-batsman managed to pick out the only bloke in an Aussie supporter shirt on the second tier of a stand. The fan dropped the ball. It was that sort of evening.
Earlier, New Zealand rocketed their way to 2/181 off the first 25 overs. At that point, 400 looked more likely than not. But Australia fought back through an aggressive, in-your-face spell from John Hastings. This little act of brilliance from James Faulkner didn't hurt either.
New Zealand limped to 8 for 307, which would have been very disappointing for them. But it was more than enough against an Australian batting order that will be a whole lot better when Usman Khawaja returns.
One or both Marsh brothers should make way. Shaun made five today and Mitchell a duck. Cricket fans across Australia are struggling to see how both men continue to be picked. That's the negative. The positive is that if they're in the team, there's still hope for us park cricketers everywhere.
In the end, Australia was all out for 148 in less than half its allocated 50 overs. New Zealand won by 159 runs. That's the bad news. The good news is that the sports desk is off to the pub early.Suggest a correction