Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Aussie dominance in cricket nearing its end

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

There are two things which the cricketing world has not witnessed in almost one and a half decade. Australian cricket team fighting for survival in a Test Series and secondly loosing a test series at home. Australian cricket
is on a decline and their aggressive and dominant brand of cricket is slowly fading away. They do not look the unbeatable team anymore which has won three back to back World Cups.

Australia's decline did not happen in a day but the process started with the exit of bowling spearheads Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. When Adam Gilchrist bid adieu after the Test series with India the Australian batting lost its trump card. When player to player statics were prepared many teams were at par with Australia leaving one position the No 7 in the batting order. No team in the world had anything closer to Gilchrist at that position and often it turned out to be the deciding factor in a match.

The Test match at Perth earlier this year where India defeated Australia was a turning point in world cricket. Nobody would have given India a chance to win versus the Aussies on one of the fastest tracks in the world. The Indian team then followed it up with a convincing ODI tournament win defeating the kangaroos in their own den in two straight finals. Ricky Ponting's man had now started tasting defeats.

When the Ricky Ponting's man toured India the Australian media very unlikely termed them as underdogs. The four test series resulted in 2-0 loss for the Aussies team after which Ricky Ponting acknowledged his team had no idea what was happening during the test series. Without Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist the World Champions looked ordinary and Ponting appeared a clueless leader at times.

The South African put the final nail in the coffin defeating the kangaroos in two straight test matches and becoming the first team to win a test series in Australia in 16 years. They had made a mockery of the Aussie attack in the first test chasing down 414 in the fourth innings for the loss of just four wickets. In the second test the Aussie pride was dented when they managed to get just one SA wicket in their second innings.

Now a question arises with Aussies declining who will be the next superpower in world cricket. Well it should be a tug of war between South Africa and India as both the teams have young and energetic players and are being led by aggressive yet calm captains. As of Australia they will not bow down so easily and keep on competing for the top spot. It seems modern cricket's most competitive days are around the corner.


vinay December 30, 2008 at 8:17 PM  

yeah, absolutely cricket doesn't favor kangaroos anymore...everyone have waited too long for this to happen...now who is the next A1 will be a tough one to say... and its for sure that there will be a constant tug of war between different teams (and not 'only' between SA and India,these two are major competitors though). It ll be fun...let the next world cup decide it...!!:)

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