There’s a champion team… or is it?

COMPLETED POST:

You see, there are good cricket teams, there are great cricket teams and then there's Australia. I hate them as much as any Indian worth his salt would! Why? Simply because they are better than the Indian team is. No doubt about that. But I also admire them as much as any cricket lover ought to.

Why am I waxing eloquent about them? Their almost-certain win in the third Test against South Africa has given me newfound reason to gawk and gape at their staggering list of achievements. To start with, there was no real inspiration they would have had to play their hearts out in this Test after having sealed the series in the 2nd Test itself. And for a while, it did seem so, too. South Africa, batting first, managed 300 and looked as good as they have all year.But the first ball of the Australian innings itself changed all that. Justin Langer was struck on the head by a Makhaya Ntini bouncer and practically knocked out. The poor guy could barely stand up. And then came an even more inspired bowling performance from the paceman… he had Australia down to 100-odd for 6. But enter Mr Hussey. He along with Brett Lee took away the initiative and although Australia conceded a slender 33-run lead, it was hardly what SA would have expected.

The South African second Innings got off to a typically disastrous start and soon enough, they were reduced to very little for too many!A rescue act by the old firm of Pollock and Boucher saw them gain some respectability and stutter to 258. Added to the lead of 33, they set Australia 292 to win. Decent as it may have seemed, especially after two early wickets had reduced Australia to 33-2, this target always seemed too little. More so, in fact considering that Langer was not going to bat. But Hussey and Martyn staged an amazing partnership… but wait… they are suddenly 229-5 and still 63 to get. Damn! Is this post going to be wasted? All the plaudits down the proverbial drain? Somebody shoot me!

Note: I will complete this post if Australia wins. (I still think they will).

UPDATED PART:

So Australia went on to win the game and by a slender margin of 2 wickets. The main heroes:Lee and Kasprowicz. Images of their loss to England would have come flying back but this time, they had it in them to win it. So there…

All that effort in writing the above has not been wasted and Australia are truly a champion team. SA fought well, but did not have it in them to close the match. Tsk, tsk.

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  1. Totally agree about the hate and love relationship with the Aussies – how can one not love them?

    But somehow after that freak show of a one-day match, I feel they are slipping. Before they used to whip the opposition, but now they are panting for breath.

    Came here from a comment you left an awfully long time ago on my blog. And was pleasantly surprised to find just the kind of cricket posts I like.

    44 to win with 4 in hand – reckon they’ll pull it off?

  2. Hey Rajesh,
    I think they will win. But the wicket of Brett Lee would be the crucial one. Simply because Kasprowicz is ailing a bit and I doubt whether Langer will bat (contrary to reports). If Lee falls early (and with the new ball almost due, who knows?)? SA would be favourites.
    And thanks for the kind words! 🙂




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