Is this the beginning of the end of the Aussie raj? A defeat to Bangladesh—-who had been soundly whipped by the English match after match for the last month.
Ho boy ! Now I am talking crap. As Azhar would say:” The boys did not play well.” As Sourav would say:” A bad day at the office”. And the Australians have accrued enough days of sheer brilliance to deserve a few days of mediocrity.
So maybe I am way out of line for even suggesting that this could be the beginning of the end. Maybe it is because I WANT it to be the end of the Australian domination because frankly, their undisputed supremacy over the last 8 years has kind of reduced the game to a battle for runners-up. And cricket has been poorer for it.
But this is not just a loss. Firstly it comes off on two back to back defeats—-one in the 20 overs tamasha which passes off for a cricket match nowadays and another match against Somerset where the much vaunted Australian bowling was unable to defend 340 odd. If this was India I would not be alarmed—–we have the rare capacity to go down to the level of our opponents. But not Australia—-their success is based on ruthless demolition of their opponents day after day, without mercy.
This is why this loss becomes significant——it goes against the very grain of what makes Australia “Australia”. And once Australia loses this capacity (and I hope they have) they become like India—-a bunch of super talented players. Good but eminently beatable.
My mind goes back to Matts Wilander—-world No 1……other name for efficiency…suddenly loses to Ramesh Krishnan in the Australian Open and within a few months he becomes history and is left holding his guitar.
Secondly this is Bangladesh—-a team that is still not Test-class. I am not saying they wont be….but an odd victory here or there should not take away the fact that over 5 days they cannot compete with any Test playing nation (except Zimbabwe).
Against them, on a seaming track, the Australian bowling attack is unable to reduce them to below 250. Gillespie gets hit like an off spinner over long on for a six. McGrath is unable to hold his line in the last overs. This is like Arjuna dropping his Gandiva and unable to protect the Pandava womenfolk from a band of miscreants—-a harbinger of the impending “death” of the Pandavas.
Thirdly, like the Pandavas, the Aussies are getting old. They no longer have the services of Michael Bevan….who used to bail Australia out of these tricky matches when the top order had a bad day. They will soon be up against the No 2 team in the world—-England with a few “Aussie attitude” people on the English side—-Pietersen, Flintoff, Strauss. With a few doubts on their mind, playing an Ashes series against a resurgent England could very well hasten their decline.
At least I fervently hope so. Now it very well maybe that the Aussies will streamroll the English in the series and I will be standing with egg on my face.
But for now, I am hoping that we have seen the beginning of the decline. I love the Aussie team……but their supremacy is just too boring.
Long live Aftab and Bashar.