Monday, August 08, 2005

ASHES UPDATE-04-THE JUGGERNAUT IS SLOWING DOWN


The second test at Edgbaston might have proved to be a heartbreaker for the Aussies and an occasion to rejoice for the English. But in my opinion this match has the potential to turn the current cricket thinking on its head.

In the first place, the Aussies are not as unbeatable as they are thought to be. Very often, teams accept defeat and then the Aussies are very adept at mind games. Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer have not done much on this tour so far to back up their big talk. McGrath and Warne seem to be the only exceptions.

The 'present' team under the leadership of Ponting has only inherited the winning record that goes back to the heady days of Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh. Ponting appeared clueless when the bowlers were heaved over the top by most of the English batsmen. Ponting is not in the same league as his predecessors.

Even the teams under Taylor and Waugh faced defeat at the hands of determined opponents, especially bowlers. Allan Donald at his peak was more than a handful. The spinners from India made a mockery of the reputations.It was more often the expertise of McGrath and Warne that made the difference. What is needed to defeat the Aussies is some exceptional individual brilliance like the one shown by Flintoff and Harmison. VVS Laxman and Harbhajan Singh also made the Aussies bite the dust with their showing.

The Aussies are brittle in the batting department with Gilchrist not able to strike form. Ponting is always suspect against class bowling. Hayden is someone who has to count himself extremely lucky if he is given any more opportunities in the series. It is one thing to knock a triple hundred against the hapless Zimbabweans and quite a challenge to face the grenades of Harmison and company. Even an ordinary bowler like Ashely Giles was made to look menacing. Damien Martyn was once made to sit out of the team as a punishment for a rash shot. In both the innings, he just threw his wicket away. There is no solidity in the middle order in the form of the Waugh twins. It is a pity that an accomplished batsman like Mike Hussey is not even in the touring side.

In the bowling department, the absence of McGrath was something that hurt the Aussies the most. The English batsmen were feeling totally liberated and just made merry.It is time to think about the future of Gillespie and Kasprowicz. The bowlers are just showing the signs of aging. The time for new faces has come.

In the end, the Aussies might just reatin the Ashes but the signs are here for a change.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home