Australian and International Cricket

The current Australian side currently has alot of ‘aging’ players with Katich, Ponting, Hussey and even North are reaching that difficult age for batsmen. They start to lose their eye of the ball and their timing. A perfect example of a player being too old is Mark Waugh, he was a brilliant batsman who based alot of his technique on timing. As he grew older he lost this timing and so lost his skill with the bat.

My view on: Shane Warne.  One of The best test bowler of all time, and is legally the highest wicket taker in test match cricket. (I’ll talk about that later) He announced his retirement at the end of the 06/07 Ashes Series against England no durr here in Australia. After this series he went over to captain/coach the Indian Premier League team the Rajisthan Royals. I have always believed that Wanrey had enough time left, and of course the skill, to continue playing international test match cricket until the end of the current Ashes series in England (09).

Another great bowler we lost in that short period was Glenn McGrath, one of the most consistent pace bowlers of the modern era, and now founder of the McGrath Foundation doing great work with nurses and the treatment of breast cancer. Both McGrath and Warne together in the attack at opposite ends was one of the most feared bowling combinations in world cricket and it was very rare that this combination did not result in one, if not more, wickets falling in the space of only a few overs.

The Australian team was faced with a difficult position when the retirement of explosive batsman and great gloveman, Adam Gilchrist. Gilly, who was robbed of the fastest century in test match history (Hoggard you dog, bowling a friggin wide) struck with the bat in an explosive fashion with the ability to take bowling attacks apart in the matter of a few overs.

Losing one of our most successful and steady opening partnerships, Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer, were also a huge loos to what was once a world class side. Any team’s opening batsmen are the rock to a good innings and these two were reliable at the top of the order, on numerous occasions making century partnerships and even a few double century opening stands.

Allan Border took over the captaincy from Kim Hughes, the notorious cry-baby in 1984 during a test series against the West Indies. He ‘adopted a team of relative no-names including David Boon in his second test. After the team’s continual failures against other international test playing nations under Hughes, Border took on such names as Craig McDermott, Simon O;Donnell, Merv Hughes, Rod Marsh and a very young Steve Waugh. He took this team of young unknowns and developed their games to take Australia to the top of world cricket in the late 80’s and 90’s, being seen as the father of Australia’s dominance of world cricket in the past 20 years.

Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor and Ricky Ponting can not be compared to Allan Border as a captain. They all inherited a class test team, who already knew what they had to do to win matches. With this team they successfully injected young talent to give them a taste of international cricket at the highest level (or against England).

As you most probably skipped read before, alot of great players from Australia’s recent test team have retired in a short time span. The team had NOT bred young players though during their reign at the top, keeping with the same team under the assumption…if we change, we may not keep winning.

I forsee the same position Border faced when he first took over the captaincy happening when Michael Clarke relieves Ricky Ponting of his duties. I think that Ponting’s side has lacked the blooding of young players.

It doesnt help when they bring in a young player into the squad for a tour, Phillip Hghes, and drop him after two test matches due to “poor form”. Aside from the fact the Hughes was NOT OUT when Strauss “caught” the ball which clearly bounced before him. And who do they replace him with? Shane Watson. Mr Breaks-a-lot. Australia should have kept Hughes in the side, they have no back-up specialist batsmen.

You may have heard the Brad Haddin broke his index finger on his left hand just before play in the third test. They took Graham Manou over, luckily, as a replacement… but who would keep if Manou were to also be injured? Hussey, who is losing sight of the ball? The perfect replacement as a third keeper would have been Phillip Hughes, who kept for his Under 19’s representative side.

Personally, i’m a huge fan of Phillip Huges and Michael Clarke. The latter of which is the major influence behind my online display name. I have also met their batting coach, Neil D’Costa, whilst completing my level 1 coaching certificate as approved by Cricket Australia.

That’s enough of Australia-centric stuff so i’ll move onto a few other issues which really tick me off.

India.

The BCCI have constantly tried to show their dominance over the ICC, claiming they should have the power over world cricket and all financial benefits as well. The also try their best to ‘intimidate’ the ICC into making decisions in their favour. This is one reason why i hate the IPL.

The IPL was at first a great money-maker for international superstars with contracts worth millions of dollars on offer. The main premice of the inaugral season of the IPL was its abundance of world talent. When the second season came around, the Indians complained, saying there were too many foreign players in the IPL and that it should be an Indian based competition. This contradicts any reasons why the first season was so successful. You can probably see why the second season was not as suce$$ful as the first.

Murali.

The recently retired, contravercial spin bowler, who holds very little in my books. He has been proven to have an illegal bowling action, during studies in Perth. Firstly, you shouldn’t test someone for a dodgy action in a lab. He is obviously not going to chuck while he is being tested. Secondly, after he was proven to be a chucker the ICC CHANGED THE RULE so his action was legal. Now, i don’t care what problems he may have with his arm, if he has a disorder with his arm, maybe HE SHOULD’T BE A BOWLER/CRICKET PLAYER! What pissed me off even more was that even after they proved he was a chucker and changed the rule, they let all his statistics from before he was proven illegal to stand. The least they could have done was wipe ALL his wickets from his career. Harsh but, i believe, fair.

This brings me to the Murali vs Warne debate. Warne will ALWAYS come out on top in this battle. Warne produced alot more quality wickets against quality opponents. He also had to cope with having McGrath bowling in the same innings, giving Warne less opportunities. People say that Murali takes more higher order batsmen…. SO WHAT? all that says is that Sri Lanka’s opening bowlers are shit. Murali took the majority of his wickets against teams such as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Warne only played bangladesh on a few occasions.

Warne will always be better than the chucker, Murali. That fact cannot be denied.

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