21 April 2007

The quality of the one-day circus

Yesterday saw yet another hammering. Ricky Ponting is yet to lose as captain in World Cups (a whoppping 20 matches). The last time the Aussies lost to anyone in a World Cup was in 1999, against Pakistan. The last two World Cup finals have been horribly anti-climactic and mismatched.

Are the Aussies actually unbeatable? Or is there a lack of depth in the one-day game? They are of course, in a different league. But is it because they are good or because the others are bad? Is it a question worth asking?

Unlike the Test format, the ODI is supposed to be the version of the game where the minnow has a better chance of winning against the established team. With greater emphasis on keeping the bowling tight, rotating the strike, inviting the mistakes and hitting out at the death, it does not 'test' a cricketer's skill and determination like the five-day game does. So why is it that the Aussies have been able to establish such ruthless supremacy? I mean, al it takes is for three people in the opposite corner to come to the party, and for the rest to rally around them. Is it not surprising that none of India, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies and England have had a good day against Australia? A set of weekend cricketers were able to provide insight. How is it that amateurs from Ireland were able to compete at this level? The gap between Ireland and New Zealand is only as wide as the gulf between New Zealand (and the rest) and Australia.

I will leave the question unanswered and wait for further evidence.

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