Saturday, August 06, 2005

First things first

Yes, WI defeated SL, so that means more trouble for India in the Indian Oil cup. But first, about the birth of a champion. Andrew Flintoff is his name. I've always known that if Eng has to defeat Aus this summer (and they haven't actually done it as I write this, but are close enough) then he would have to come to party. In so many of the crucial matches that this Eng team has won in the past, he has chipped in with crucial burst with the bat, or with the ball, or both. Strategically he's like Gilchrist with the bat and also with the ball, independently. Ofcourse he's not as good a batsman as Gilchrist. Not yet atleast. But the rate at which he is maturing, I can easily imagine him getting there. This series is going to be very important in his career growth.

I must say that I've never seen Botham in his prime, but I would be surprised if it felt any different that watching this modern champion. Lets hope he continues to develope this way. And as for Eng, for all the chances lost in this match (and earlier at Lords) all that would matter is the result. And if they win this one for their fans, then no-one would remember what ugly acts Vaughan did with the bat, or how Strauss was playing Warne like a schoolboy.

They would remember Bell though. And Thorpe. And what this series could have been if they had planned it well. Its almost like the Indian victories. Sheer talent and effort of the 15-16 members of the squad. No help from outside.

And then there is Giles. However much we may dislike him as a bowler, he has his place in the team. He needs runs to play with, and he got those in this match. And we know the result. He's especially effective against aggressive batsmen like this bunch of Aussies (who are also not technically the greatest against spin).

And finally about the Aussie batsmen...well I always felt that they haven't been tested in tight chases enough (not their problem, they win most of the matches without the need for tight chase), but still knowing how this Aussie team works, they have their problems there. I get a feeling that almost the entire team is trying to do 'a Gilchrist' each time they are walking out to bat. They all want to have that 'zone of glory' where they are hitting their way to success. That's not how test cricket works. And that's not how successful batsmen in test cricket reach their status. Gilchrist is able to do that 'because' there are others in the team to keep their head when he deliberately goes about loosing his.

I wonder if Aussies would realize that. They still should be the favorites to win the series, despite loosing this match (if they do) if only because Eng has more problems than they have.


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