Kirribilli House. The Australian and English cricket teams meeting the Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Welcome: Margie and Tony Abbott say hello to Australia captain Michael Clarke. Photo: Anthony Johnson

After 41 days of hostilities, sledging on and off the pitch and a war of attrition, the Australian and English cricket teams look to have settled their differences - for the time being.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott welcomed the touring party and victorious Australian squad to his temporary residence at Kirribilli and made his best effort at breaking the ice following England's tumultuous summer.

''Under a gorgeous Australian sky, beside the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour, I think we can safely say we've got the English cricket team exactly where we want them,'' Mr Abbott joked.

Cricketers always say they like to leave the unpleasant stuff on the field and share a beer after the game. This was not quite the case on Wednesday. Stuart Broad had a cup of tea, Joe Root a lemon, lime and bitters, and Mitchell Johnson, the most menacing of them all, just a sparkling mineral water.

Children descended on to Mr Abbott's adopted backyard, overlooking the harbour, and played with their joyful fathers. For players and their families, it was a lovely way to forget about leather and willow for a few hours.

The whitewash Australia will be looking to inflict on their colonial birthparents is not dissimilar to the drubbing Mr Abbott gave Kevin Rudd in September.

Oh, how times can change. At a time when Mr Rudd was thrashed into retirement, just like Graeme Swann at the WACA Ground, both England and Mr Abbott were at the height of their power. Well-drilled, thorough and ostensibly unflappable. It seemed unfathomable a few months ago that Mr Abbott could be down in the polls. It seemed absolutely unthinkable that Cook, Root, Pietersen and Bell would not score a hundred Down Under. As they say, cricket can be a funny game, and by the state of our man in charge, politics too.

For Mr Abbott, his first 105 days in power have been as slow as the English cricket team's run rate this summer. With the new year upon us, he too will be aiming for more victories in the new year.

His message to Cook that the English need not worry about the past is reminiscent of his own political mantra for the new year. Mr Abbott and Cook need to be prepared for the future more than anyone. The PM's Medicare dilemmas and abolition of the carbon tax combined with Cook's wearing top order pose some difficult problems for two successful and proven leaders gripped in the midst of their toughest hour.