Ladies & Gentlemen, in our quest for world domination, this blog has notched up another powerful ally. We present Anand, who will write purely on his passion, Cricket. Anand is one of the most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to Cricket. Do not even bother debating cric-stats with him…so without further ado, we present his first post…
Sydney test against England this January marked the farewell of three stalwarts of Aussie Cricket. Shane Warne, Glenn Mcgrath and Justin Langer bid adieu to test cricket following the 5-0 Ashes series mismatch. The vibes are strong that Gilchrist has already played his last test match.
Ever since dethroning the Calypso kings at their backyard in 1995, Aussies have dominated both forms of the game for the better part of last decade. Warne, Mcgrath, Langer and Gilchrist have been proven match winners and have played a major part in ensuring Aussie Juggernaut stream roll past opponents.
The question lingering in the minds of every cricket aficionado is that can the phantoms of the game continue their dominance post oblivion of their stalwarts?
During the 2003-2004 series played against India down under, Aussies were without the services of Mcgrath and Warne. Clearly India were the superior side in that series and would have clinched the series but for the profligacy shown by Parthiv Patel in dropping so many sitters behind the stumps. During that series Gilchrist was not in his explosive self and averaged a mere 16 with the bat.
During the 2005 Ashes series against England, Aussies were without the services of Mcgrath for couple of tests and they lost a hard fought series 1-2 despite Warne coming up with a stellar performance bagging 40 wickets in the series. The fact that Gilchrist could not contribute much with the bat during that series also made a crucial difference to the outcome.
On the past evidence, Aussies have struggled whenever Gilchrist has not been able to deliver the goods or when Mcgrath and Warne have both been cooling their heels beyond the boundary ropes. Hayden and Langer have been such a formidable opening pair in the mould of Greendige-Haynes that Langer’s absence is bound to create a Vaccuum at the top of the order.
Adding further credence to the fact that Aussies would struggle in the absence of stalwarts is that in the recently concluded CommonWealth Bank tri-series England humbled the Aussies in the finals at their own backyard.
The young guns in the team were not able to step up when the stalwarts Mcgrath and Gilchrist failed in the tri-series finals against England. In the first two matches of Chappel –Hadlee series against Kiwis, the second string Aussie team (minus Gilchrist, Ponting, Symonds, Clarke and Lee) have been taken to cleaners by a resolute Kiwi outfit.
The cricketing world will find the answer in about two months time in the Carribean aisles during the world cup extravaganza. It is quite poignant to note that a cricketing empire might fall apart in the very place where they achieved cricketing acme dozen summers ago under Mark Taylor.