Saturday, June 25, 2005

Status Quo Restored

79 all out in 14.3 overs! Unable to defend 342 against Somerset!! Beaten by an Ashraful inspired Bangladesh!!! Shattered by Pietersen's heroics... Was Australia an over-hyped team of ageing superstars who had simply trampled over meek opposition? Recent evidence suggested otherwise - a series win in India after 35 years last fall; a 3-0 thumping of a Pakistan in rebuilding mode and the subsequent triupmh in the VB seris; annihilation of the Kiwis both home and away. But the most awesome win surely was the unprecedented three-test series sweep of Sri Lanka in their backyard - this despite being behind in each of the tests after the first innings. So it was just an aberration, and surely they would bounce back sooner than later? I for one think the current Aussies are stronger in the longer form of the game than they are in one-day cricket. But even so, it should have been a matter of when, not if, before they were back to winning ways. And with a little bit of tweaking to the team composition, they are. Sky's (and Channel 7 Down Under by implication) ex-England stars all plumped for Brett Lee to impart some much needed sting to the attack at the expense of the pedestrian looking Michael Kasparowicz. Ponting, Buchanan and co obliged. Andrew Symonds was back from the sin bin. And lo and behold, everything is hunky-dory again...well, at least it's better than before. At least, one will not have to contend with the live pictures of a glum faced Symonds as if apocalypse was upon the world - now! Not until Australia loses again, anyway. But England may have to wait a little longer than their cricket pundits may have imagined. - NK

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