22 October 2008

Why so excited?

For days now, the news media been inundated with articles announcing the death of Australian supremacy. So then will some Aussie chicks burn a few bails?

Much as I would love to see that, this burning would be more than a touch premature. For some reasons, all the articles seem to acknowledge that the Aussies are still numero uno, and yet they come out with headlines that are either heart-rending in their soppy sentimentality or completely misdirected and fucked up with their superciliousness.

Ok, so there was a margin of victory that hasn't been witnessed in a really long time. So? And there was the general lack-of-threat, a directionless in the field that was distinctly un-Australian.

India have had much worse losses - some of them in the recent past. Did that vault them from a middling team to minnowhood?

India have appeared far more lackadaisical in the field, never hitting the stumps, for matches and matches on end.

True the Aussies 'have lost a few great players, importantly two match winning bowlers, and now their batting cannot stand the strain of putting larger scores up on the board. And yet, if their team plays anywhere near potential it is really difficult for any team to beat them. There is the best batsman in the world, the best (at least a couple of months ago) fast bowler in the world, and the statistical anomaly known as Michael Hussey. In combination, and with inputs from Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson, this team can easily make themselves near impossible to beat. It requires coordinated excellence from all quarters of a team to do so. Mohali had attacking batting, good quick bowling, some swing wizardry, spin magic, solid fielding and assured captaincy from India. In the last 20 years, only Australia has consistently ticked all these boxes.

Plus, everyone ignores the cricket superstructure in Australia. Spinning reserves might seem a bit of a problem, but why doesn't anyone acknowledge Peter Siddle's impressive performance on debut? In some way, his performance was as much a source of relief and optimism to Australia as Mishra's was to India. Siddle ran in over after over, and got the ball to lift off an uncomfortable length. Shaun Marsh is on his way here. David Hussey is an impressive guy. And Andrew Symonds is still in the picture.

So basically, let us not get carried away. Aussies are still number one, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.


Gaurav said...

Everyone seems to be forgetting that India were 160 odd for 4 at one point in their first innings, and were one more wicket away from a familiar collapse. Rudi Koertzen gave them a lucky break by letting Ganguly play on despite a stumping. Ganguly's century became the catalyst for India's victory. Australia were well in this match until the last ball of the second day when Clarke got out to Mishra. In Bangalore they had India's batting order in the pavilion on the final day and only Laxman scratched around to save the match against what is being called a substandard Ozzie attack. This series has seen excellent cricket so far, and Mohali would have been a much closer result or even a different story had Stuart Clark and Kumble been healthy.

Damith S. said...

Yea all this halaballu over the death of Aussie cricket. Well they are still number one. They've only lost 1 test. And if they manage just one win they retain the trophy and go home as number one.

Aus are def not as strong as they used to be but no one is going to be routinely beating them for a while yet.

I think the best gauge will , the result of this series and the one vs SA and the Ashes to see where the Aussies are.

John said...

Oh crap. Harsha Bhogle has pretty much said the same thing I did in the Indian Express. This blog sucks.

Welcome, Gaurav. You're right. India was daylight away from losing its way at Mohali. The batting has not really cracked but for the absurd second innings at Mohali. In Bangalore, we had to thank Zak and Bhajji for bailing us out. But I don't agree with you on the "excellent series" bit. Not enough fight came from the Aussies in the second dig at Mohali. Kept waiting for one that never came through.

Anonymous said...

Zigzackly John... zigzackly... getting carried away indeed.

Shall I assassinate Harsha for you? Let me know... 1 phone call. Quick, decide.

Soulberry said...

Agreed...but if the hiding is repeated at Kotla? They'll still be one but we have the bragging rights over them...OK?

Deepavali Gretings to you John.

Golandaaz said...

I don't understand what your gripe is? This test is an indicator of tough times ahead for Australia.

No one is predicting doom for Australia yet.

For me, this test is was a good enough indicator that the future of Australian cricket is uncertain at best. Only time will tell if this was a one off loss

John said...

Scorpy.. Hold on a bit there will you, the preparation of supari has to be carefully done.

Soulberry.. what can I tell you. I had a fantastic one.. I SPENT A DAY LYING ON MY BACK AT SIVAJI PARK.

Golandaaz.. everyone has been predicting doom.. Maybe we're watching different media, but there is a definite sense of jumping on the corpse that's happening.

Golandaaz said...

You are the only one, it seems, that is not seeing the indicators. I haven't seen any predictions yet but overall sentiments predicting tough times ahead for Australia are not unfounded. On the basis of what we have seen this year, I don't find the assessment premature. Yes, even if Australia win the next 10 games in a row, I would say the people who raised doubts over this Australian team were still right to do so. Its not about getting the predcition right, it is about acknowledging that this is a below par Australian team.

Here is one more indicator, not in a decade has an australian team been winless against a single opponent over 5 test matches.

May be you are following a different series