Monday, September 12, 2005

End of an era of dominance

July 21st, 2005 [no i am not talking about my bday] a battle started for one of the biggest prizes in the history of cricket. And today September 12th, 2005 it ended. And surely it has more than lived upto all the pre-series hype.

It was a series between THE champions Australia and THE challengers England. Before the series it was being predicted that this time it is going to be close one and England might just get the result which England have not gor for 16 years and 29 days, which neither of the current players have experience on either sides. Well but surprisingly for the whole series the roles of the champions and the challengers were reversed (except for the first match @ Lords), in all the matches it was Australia who were doing all the running, while it were England who were taking the lead thoughout. It was simply left to Warne-man show for Australia after the first match at Lords. It was a pathetic result for the Australians and i believe there would be some whole sale changes in the Aussie team.

All and all it was THE Greatest Series ever with all of the last 4 matches going right down to the wire. One of the very few series who were this hardly fought. A Mcgrath special at Lords to give Aussies an easy win, a nail biting 2 runs win for England at Edgbaston, followed by a thrilling 4 over stay at the wicket by Mcgrath and Lee against the hostility of Flintoff and Harmison at Old Trafford to draw the game, followed by magical spell from Warne and hostile spell from Lee at Headingley to almost sneak out victory defending a small target of 129 runs and today another thrilling bowling display from Warne was negated by the brash attitude of KP to sneak England a draw which helped them achieve their greatest ever result in a past decade or so, or maybe even the greatest EVER ! While for the Australians it might just be their worst ever !

This result would be a real heartbreak for Shane Warne, because this was supposed to be his farewell series in England and this man gave it all, maybe did what even he or his staunch supporters might not have expected. He scored over 200-odd runs with a batsmen like average of 30 plus and picked a whopping 40 wkts in the 5 match series. But all to no avail ! He even bettered his '93 debut series which he started by bowling the 'Ball of the Century' and took 34 wkts and hence started an era of Aussie dominance over this biggest and oldest prize in the history of game. But today the era has ended and it proved to be a tragic farewell for one of THE GREATEST EVER PLAYER in the history of game.

I guess Warne must be thinking about this song from Linkin' Park today:

Time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
It's so unreal
Didn't look out below
Watch the time go right out the window
Trying to hold on, but didn't even know
I wasted it all
just to watch you [Ashes] go

I kept everything inside
And even though I tried
It all fell apart
What it meant to me will eventually be a
memory of a time when
I tried so hard and got so far
But in the end, it doesn't even matter
I had to fall to lose it all
But in the end it doesn't even matter

I guess few of the main reasons responsible for the Aussie defeat are:

  • Ponting and aussie management's stubborness of not playing the new players like Hussey, Hodge, Haddin, Tait et al and persisting with the players who were failing repeatedly like Gillespie, Kasprowicz, Hayden, Katich, even Martyn and Gilchrist.
  • Inability of few of the Aussie batsmen to accept the fact that English bowling attack is quite good and they have to grind their runs especially when most of them were awfully out of form.
  • Dropping crucial catches and getting wickets of no-balls.
  • Almost always wasting their first innings and then doing catch-up in the whole match.

I think its enough for today..would surely write a few more posts on this enthralling series.

To finish it i would bow down to the level of cricket that was played in this series and especially to two players who gave all they had in them to win the Ashes for their country. Ironically among those two players one of them, Shane Warne, was playing his last Ashes series in England and the other one, Andrew Flintoff, was playing his first Ashes series. These two players almost single-handedly carried their team throughout the series with occasional support from others. But in the end the broad and young shoulders of Andrew Flintoff carried his team farther then old but pretty strong shoulders of Shane Warne.


Phoenix said...

Well, i guess I have already told u most of what i feel on this topic and it's on my blog
so won repeat

but ya, i'll say that again

england rock
Pieterson rocks
Warney rocks
ashes rocks.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust...
One day i'll be there, i know i must!

Kon ?? said...

wud have preferred if these rock sequences were in bottom-to-up order :)

>one day u'll be there ?
where ? to watch the ashes ?! :))

Phoenix said...

And my order was least imp --> most imp!

Kon ?? said...

aaaargh gud so for once our thinking matched :D, atleast in the order part.....
ya me too wud luv to see ashes live..infact wud luv to see warney play live....tht's one of my all time desires :)
lets see...

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