The daggers are out and people are drawing all the blood they want out of the recent fall of the Aussies to India and then to South Africa at home. Let’s face a few facts first up.
1. Australia have dominated world cricket for a long, long time. Until the Indian’s began to rattle them a couple of years ago, no one ever got so close to giving them a run for their money
2. Their dominance of the game was for all the right reasons. In Hayden, they had someone who could open up an innings at a scorching pace, in punter, the best world’s no 3 ever to have played the game, and with Gilly, someone who could do a Hayden with the tail. If these guys with the others held the batting together, in McGrath and Warne, they have two of the best bowlers in the world. With a side of this composition, you have a near 50% of your side being “stars”.
3. I happen to work with an Australian and someone who loves his cricket like most Aussies. He tells me that this is not chance one bit. Cricket in Australia is played so hard that you’ve got to be the best to even play for your state side and Sheffield shield. It’s the crème de la crème from these leagues that get picked to play for the country. This depth has been showcased time and again when they kept pulling one rabbit after the other outta their hats to fit in with these stars.
4. They played the game hard, hated to lose and were aggressive all out. When you have attitude like this, it shows and that explains why they were Numero Uno for such a long time.
Being Indian, I agree with Sunil Gavaskar and a ton of other countrymen who say that they were bad losers and bruised a side too many when they had their hay days. Their fall is hence being hailed & celebrated – no surprise this.
The vice like grip that the Aussies had to the game and the #1 stop in all forms of the game (except T20) and more importantly, the duration made the world look for options. Anyone going to Australia was bound to get hammered.
It’s a pity that until India and South Africa arrived, none of the cricketing nations would plot to match them stroke for stroke or word for word. The baselines were so high that most people gave up. It was a foregone conclusion that going to Australia meant finishing up on the losing side.
It was Ganguly who first thought that this needed to be scaled, Dhoni followed and looking at what we could do, Gream Smith jumped on to the bus.
It’s a new world order – if not, will be so in a month or so. But what got us to this? The supposing insurmountable baselines that the Oz had laid out and ruled the cricketing world with.
We’ve almost got a new baseline in today – If these baselines have to move to a higher level, someone like us needs to come along and do what we did better or easier still, we need to keep performing at a different level every day to create a new one.
I trust our young boys will live it up in the years to come – but what got the best out of us? The Aussies…
I still believe that the cricketing world needs the Aussies.. a good enough Australian team is just the right recipe for healthy cricket rivalry in the years to come. Who rules is something that I believe is determined by the saying – may the best team win / lead!