Ashton Agar after scoring 98 runs at Lords. Click for more photos

Australia's damaged XI

Ashton Agar after scoring 98 runs at Lords. Photo: Getty Images

  • Ashton Agar after scoring 98 runs at Lords.
  • Ed Cowan looks dejected after being dismissed by Joe Root at Trent Bridge.
  • Phil Hughes cuts as Sri Lanka's Prasanna Jayawardene looks on. Hobart 2012.
  • Usman Khawaja after being given out at Old Trafford.
  • Jackson Bird during his three-wicket haul against Sri Lanka at the SCG.
  • Mitchell Starc  celebrates the wicket of South Africa's AB de Villiers at the WACA.
  • James Pattinson appeals for the wicket of Graeme Smith of South Africa at Adelaide.
  • Matthew Wade celebrates a century against Sri Lanka at the SCG.
  • James Faulkner shows his displeasure after bowling to England's Kevin Pietersen at the Oval.
  • Fawad Ahmed bowls to Queensland's Nathan Hauritz at the MCG.
  • Doug Bollinger, right, and  Michael Clarke share a laugh during a Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and NSW at the MCG.

As we all know there is one team of cricketers in Australia right now carrying severe internal and external scars the result of competing with Michael Clarke's Ashes-winning wrecking crew: a royally messed-up rabble found to be in want of the right stuff, physically, mentally, or both, and whose dazed and disoriented members now wander about the domestic competitions like untethered goats.

Yes, we're talking about Australia's Damaged XI, a team whose members have in the space of a year or so gone from the plush security of Australia's Ashes inner sanctum to the whinnying and howling wards of Cricket Australia's Sanatorium for the Suddenly Useless (patron saint: Brad Hodge, dropped after scoring a Test double hundred), all of them direct or collateral casualties of the Ashes battle in one way or another.

Here we take a quick look at who they are, these "other" Ashes casualties, and where, if anywhere, they will go next.

Ashton Agar

"Ashton Who-gar?" we all puzzled, but not for long. "I like the look of this young man” said BBC Test Match Special's Jonathan Agnew as he watched the Aussie bolter for the first Test at Trent Bridge cross the rope, stop, look around, put his hands on his hips and nod to himself, as if to say "I feel perfectly at home". And so he was. The 19 year–old tweaker's astonishing debut - 98 at no.11 - was not only unprecedented but also a glory to behold. He played one more Ashes Test (the debacle at Lords) before – whoosh – the trapdoor opened, triggered by the weight of failure: two wickets at a bowling average of 124. Whither Mr A. Agar today? Well, he's running a charming milk bar in Subiaco. Just kidding, but he is in Perth playing for Western Australia and returning queasy stats, to wit a bowling average (40.04) nearly 10 runs greater than that of his batting (30.26).

Prognosis: Damaged but not broken. Our punt is he'll be back - in four years - as an all-rounder.

Phil Hughes

Say hello (or goodbye!) to the come-here-go-away man of Australian cricket. Poor Phil Hughes has been dropped thrice since 2009 (when he was found out against Freddie Flintoff's cramping short ball) and, when he has been picked, the selectors have treated him as their personal yo-yo, flinging him up and down the order such that one of the most talented batsmen we have seen in recent times has now occupied every position in the Australian top six without settling in any of them. The greatly talented batsman says he feels no snub at being replaced by David Warner in the upcoming ODIs.

Prognosis: Asked to score a shed-load of runs in the Sheffield Shield, Hughes has obliged, but Alex Doolan's inclusion in the squad for the Sydney Test ahead of him, additional to his being overlooked for the ODIs, seems telling. That said, Hughes burst onto the scene against South Africa in South Africa a few years ago, and a berth on the next tour could yet be his, and he remains a highly paid contracted Australian player.

Ed Cowan

Ed Cowan got off to a steady start in Test cricket in 2011. Three 50s and a hundred in his first eight Tests, including a half century on debut against India, had him shaping up as long term prospect even if his average was an honest 38. In the following 10 Tests, however, it slid to 31, and he was dumped after the first Test in Nottingham in the northern Ashes last year when batting at three.

Prognosis: With the Australian top four looking settled for the next two series at least things don't look so rosy – especially when one factors in his age (31). It didn't stop Chris Rogers, though, but a new Cricket Australia contract for Cowan might be unlikely later this year. If so he always has his writing to fall back on, his book about a season in Sheffield Shield cricket In the Firing Line drawing much praise.

Usman Khawaja

Bright, elegant, stylish (and a pilot to boot) there's much to like about Usman Khawaja, except his average, that is, which sits at a meagre 25 after nine Tests, with a high score of 65. In 2013 he played the second, third and fourth Tests having replaced Cowan at first drop, returning an underwhelming 14, 54, 1, 24, 0, and 21. The only silver lining was that his sacking for the fifth Test at the Oval precipitated the end of all the faffing about trying to find the perfect spot for Shane Watson, who took the vacant first drop with a big ton and has since made it his own (sort of).

Prognosis: A first class average of fewer than 40 will have to pick up if he is to re-enter the frame soon, though he continues to be talked about as part of the Australian cricket's future.

Matthew Wade

Wade, a good keeper and talented batsman of 12 Tests' standing, made way for a rejuvenated and inspired Brad Haddin in the fourth Test in India in 2013. Since then he has watched on like the rest of us as Haddin nearly won the first Ashes Test in Nottingham and snared 26 series dismissals, before returning to Australia to become, alongside Mitchell Johnson (first choice on this list a year ago), the player most influential in Australia's 4-0 annihilation of the Poms.

Prognosis: He is only 26, and will return, having more to offer than simply keeping and batting, to wit his unmuzzle-able spirit. That said there is an abundance of top keepers in domestic cricket, so nothing's certain.

James Faulkner

Faulkner has played one Test (at the Oval last year) and looked good, scoring 40 odd runs and taking a bristling 4-51. Since then he has been around the 'group' but yet to earn a recall and his 12th man duties, though prestigious, have deprived him of competitive cricket matches in which to shine with bat, ball, or both.

Prognosis: He's young and he will bide his time. His give-no-quarter self-confidence seemed a bit mouthy in England for one which so much to prove, but his wicket-taking ability, and his youth look very appealing in the long term to pundits such as Shane Warne.

Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird

Australian cricket has a history of doing well without its first choice bowlers. For the 1973 West Indies tour Dennis Lillee broke down and the unlikely pairing of Max Walker and Jeff Hammond shouldered the bowling burden and helped Ian Chappell's team to an improbable victory. Injuries to Craig McDermott had him pull out of the 1989 Ashes tour and the history-making 1995 tour of the West Indies – the likes of Terry Alderman, Warne and Merv Hughes more than filling in. One would think Starc, Pattinson, and Bird are only damaged physically but none of them shone as hoped in England and seeing Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris do the work so well against the tourists this summer could affect the confidence of some.

Prognosis: They are all on the mend (Pattinson will return for the ODIs against England) and a lip-smacking battery of pace bowlers is in prospect, one which will be all the more explosive should super-quick youngster Patrick Cummins ever return from injury for any real time.

Fawad Ahmed

Before the advent of Ashton Agar, the bolter for the first Ashes Test was thought to be leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, who had come from Pakistan to Australia in 2010 as an asylum seeker. His first claim for asylum was rejected, so Cricket Australia lobbied for ministerial intervention, and in July 2013, he was granted Australian citizenship, clearing him to play a T20 game against England in August. After which he was sent home.

Prognosis: Has the phone rung since?

Doug Bollinger

Doug 'the Rug' Bollinger's prospects of playing Test cricket for the first time since the innings Ashes defeat in Adelaide 2010 picked up when he was recalled to hang around the dressing room in Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test in case one of the few remaining Australian pace bowlers actually able to stand up suddenly stopped doing that. He wasn't required.

Prognosis: Pretty much the eighth choice Australian pace bowler, his chances, at 32 … well let's say that given the circumstances Spidercam has a better chance of playing for Australia than Ruggie does right now.