Monday, December 6, 2010

Ashes 2.4: Is Draw Still UnAustralian

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Will Australia learn how to play for a draw?

They have literally thrown away test matches. One of them, in the summer of 2001 in England, when Gilchrist declared @ 4 down for 170 odd and set England a target of 315 with an excess of 90 overs to play. They lost. The other match is India's come from behind win a few months earlier when Australia just did not know how to clamp down and play for time. The one time I remember they were forced to play for a draw and they did was Waugh's farewell test.

It was almost as if Australia would prefer to lose than to see Test cricket die a slow death with each avoidable draw. They seemed to have taken it upon themselves to engineer results and their commitment was total.

Unfortunately, for Australia, these days they simply have to play their natural game. The results will come.

Australia's problems seem plenty and hard to ignore. It was perplexing to see Katich hobble for every run. I can understand a Brian Lara or a Ponting or Hayden or Sachin or VVS being forced to play a Test with an injury. But Simon Katich? Isn't there an opener in Aussie land that can bat better than an injured Simon Katich? The signals Australia is showing through their selection policy indicate a complete lack in faith shown to players in State teams.

But really the thing to look forward to tomorrow is whether Australia can learn how to enjoy being a mediocre team and play for a draw. For India it had been a strategy for decades. England recently have made it exciting.


Vidooshak said...

Couldn't agree with you more! Phil Hughes should have been trusted with opening.

The Cricket Couch said...

Golgoppa -- Even the sydney 04 was largely due to to keeper in his nappies muffing it up, royally. I think the Aus team of the past could dare to go after any score or set any moderate total to defend, because a)even if a couple of wickets fell, they had the depth in the lineup to keep going for the target which put great pressure on opposition captains and 2) warne+mcgrath could produce magic.

The times have changed, obviously and the calibre is lacking in the current squad. Still some of them are quite good, the overall mojo seems to have run out. Shaky middle order and bowlers that make one-boundary-ball-a-over Agarkar look quite good.

Playing for a draw is an art in itself and something this current squad hasn't learned as a unit.

Golandaaz said...

TCC, It will be a lesson in humility for the Australians tomorrow (well in a few hours actually)

Unknown said...

I hope so, but the damn rain is probably going to play spoilsport.

Golandaaz said...

even so rishab, it will be a humbling experience for Australia.

More than the rain, I fear that England should not freeze

Unknown said...

we've got what we wanted! swann and co. made the ongoing rain irrelevant.

Golandaaz said...

great show! loved it