Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Australia That Works Hard

I guess I was too early in calling "how times change". It took a couple of days for an Aussie debutant to get a ton; and for the Aussie debutant opener to become the top scorer among the 3 openers that made their debuts during the week.

I have not been this delighted at an Australian victory since they beat the West Indies in 1992 to ensure Pakistan a semi-final spot at the world cup.

On the 1st day of this test, I tried explaining my support for Australia, whom I have not supported during their 15 year reign of invincibility, by arguing the case of the underdog and talking of my dislike for South Africa.

After their victory, I have more reasons.

There is no arrogant 6 foot plus bully at the top of the order trying to intimidate and decimate a bowling attack. Instead there is a 5 and half feet determined, innocent looking kid trying to make a mark in international cricket.

There is no pigeon legged pacer irritating the crap out of me by sticking to one line and length and dismissing batsman after batsman. Instead there is a sturdy looking swing bowler who moves it both ways and bowls with a smile that was rarely visible on the pigeon.

There is no drunkard brawler who was more of a slogger than a test batsman and annoyed me by scoring runs so easily. Instead there is a correct batsman who works hard for his runs.

There is no wannabe rockstar who bowled beamers and smiled for the cameras and started the lawn mower after every wicket. Instead there is a young pacer who hops like a one legged kangaroo and looks better while batting than the former.

There is no spinner who turns it a mile, or one that had a larger than life image, or one that bowled with his tongue out that made me feel like pulling it out and chopping it off. Instead there is a medium pacer, who does not even have a permanent test spot.

There is no pigeon wannabe who bowls the same nagging length and looks more like an office clerk than a test cricketer. Instead there is real hard working test bowler who shows a lot of passion in his effort on the field.

There is no wicketkeeper who used to change the course of tests in the matter of a session and pretty much changed the role of the keeper in todays times. Instead there is someone trying to make his own presence felt, both in front and behind (no pun intended) the stumps.

Matthew Hayden, Glenn Mcgrath, Andrew Symonds, Brett Lee, Shane Warne, Stuart McGill, Stuart Clark, and Adam Gilchrist won many tests for Australia during their decade and a half of dominance.

They intimidated the opposition, completely dominated the matches, and made winning so easy that it made it impossible for me to support them.

Great cricketers they were no doubt, but for them it didn't seem like hard work.

For them it was more like winning was their job.

They rarely failed, which is why I wanted them to.

Phil Hughes, Ben Hilfenhaus, Marcus North, Mitchell Johnson, Andrew McDonald, Peter Siddle, and Brad Haddin are no where near the stature of the players they have replaced.

Not yet anyway.

Nor do they seem to be as naturally gifted as their predecessors.

Which is why supporting them is all the more easier.

While the former group seemed to win it all without breaking a sweat, the latter one worked hard for their win at the Wanderers.

Hughes, Hilfenhaus, and North were playing their 1st test. McDonald his 2nd. Siddle his 5th. Johnson and Haddin their 20th or thereabouts.

For the first time in probably 2 decades have I seen an Australian side this inexperienced, for whom winning was not as easy as it has been for Australia over the years.

More than that, these players are still trying to make a permanent place for themselves in the line up.

It felt good to see the Australians work so hard for their runs and wickets.

It felt good to see the Australians pushed and intimidated.

And it felt good to see them come out of that on top.

It always feels good to see new cricketers, trying to establish themselves at the international level, ending on the winning side against a top team.

Despite the ugly face of Ponting still lingering around the team, I like the look of the new Australia.

Somehow, I hope they remain the new Australia and not turn into the old invincible Australia.

Elsewhere, NC has said something similar.

Make your pitch on this post...

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3 Pitched:

  1. Ankit Poddar said...

    absolutely Q, they made winning so easy, there were no competition left, and supporting them was like the most simplest thing to do!

    though they played real good in this one! and they deserve all praise...

  2. mr panic said...


    what's going on in pakistan?

    i assume you're getting better news than i am

  3. Q said...

    Apologies for not answering ur question promptly Mr. Panic.. it was chaos in Pakistan.. I was there for the last 2 weeks and just got back..going to write about it now..

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