Thursday, December 25, 2008

Aussies are a spent force now !!!!

With SA defeating Aussies at Perth & in the process successfully completing the second highest run chase ever in the history of test cricket, one observation that is doing the popular rounds is that “Aussies are a spent force now”.

It was the Indians who had brought down the mighty Aussies first in their own backyard down under(narrowly missing on a historic test series win, but blanking them in the one dayers)& later humbling them in front of the home crowd 2-0 when the Aussies travelled to India. The swansong series for Saurav Ganguli & Anil Kumble would remain ever memorable for them, having beaten the current ICC World Champions comprehensively in all quarters.

Aussies as a team has enjoyed a dream run on top for more than a decade. Since Alan Border had resurrected the team & combined it into a world beating outfit, the Aussies have gone from strength to strength. Border had put the team on a winning track after the 1987 World Cup win & then Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh & the current skipper Ricky Ponting have taken the team to newer heights in the cricketing world.
But now the mighty Aussies are showing definite signs of cracking. Over the last three four years world class players like Gilchrist, Warne, McGrath, & a few others have retired & the replacements have not been anywhere near the same standards. Barring Ponting, Hayden, Brett Lee (all three are showing definite signs of waning form), & Clarke there is no one in the Aussie ranks who can be a potential match winner in his own rights. Symonds is dodging between form, disciplinary issues, injuries & fitness & therefore is more of a spent force. In many years, suddenly the bench strength of the mighty Aussies look very weak……in all departments.

Clearly the coveted No 1 slot both in test matches & one dayers is under serious threat from countries like India, South Africa & Sri Lanka. Incidentally, the Aussies could never lay strong contentions on T-20, where India is the current World Champions(no one gave them a whiff of a chance though!!!).
Over the next 12 months this should become more clearer, but one thing looks certain, team Australia is no more invincible…..they have been cracked & are really going Down & Under !!!!!