As our cricketers embark on another Ashes series down under it is worth reflecting on the unique nature of this team sport where individual success and failure is so exposed.
Can there be another team sport where an individual is targeted over such a prolonged period and where failure can be so cruelly exploited?
For the batsman who has his technique analysed by coaches and computers to spot the flaw to bowlers who have their bowling figures analysed to the nth degree this really can be a brutal sport.
Clarke and Cook (www.hindustantimes.com).
When you walk out to bat and walk back again without helping your team, when the Captain has to take you off from bowling because the opposition have taken a liking to your efforts to the loneliness in the field when you have dropped a dolly, those that have played have all been there and in the professional game it must be 10 times worse.
So as we sit back and watch how this new series unfolds we should reflect that not only is skill a defining element required but a mental toughness like no other is as well.