Never looked the part …

June 10, 2009

… That is the Oz story of the world cup. This is one format of the game where the Oz always look vulnerable and it was not really surprising to see them go out of the cup. After the hammering at Gayle’s hand, one expected them to come back stronger and more determined against Sri Lanka, but except for the brief period when Ponting was at the crease, they never looked like winning the game.

Perhaps, Oz are not really cut out for this format. The champions in the longest version of the game struggle in the shortest version largely due to the way they play. Very few players in the current line up are bang-bang players – David Hussey and Warner are the only ones who really qualify – the rest are great batsmen but still not used to the mad-bang cricket. Mind you, bang – bang does not mean slogging but controlled hitting by players who constantly are on the look out of 4s and 6s. That is why an Afridi does not do well but a Gayle does!

People might say if they are great, then they should be able to play all forms of the game. I partly agree to that but greats take a bit of time to settle down and flower and flow and unfortunately there isn’t much time in this format to do that, especially when you got to score a phenomenal amount of runs.

If we go through the last 2 years of T20, the likes of Tendulkar, Ponting, Dravid, Smith have not been mighty at this format even though they are all time Test cricket greats. For them aggression is scoring at run a ball and only after a point do they step it up. Whereas people like Gayle, Glichrist, Jayasuriya, Hayden and now the younger lot have excelled because this is how they play – bash the leather off the ball every now and then while still maintaining occasional sanity!

Secondly, what Oz are best at is grinding the opposition through relentless pressure, making comebacks in tough situations, the long haul where they outlast anyone. Five days of test match cricket allows them to put their foot on the throat of the opposition and press but T20 does not really allow for comebacks. If you are trailing once, you are always playing catch up and more often than not, you fall short.

Maybe Oz need to get the bang-bang players from the sheffield cricket into this format and balance it with a Ponting and a Clarke. But for sure, they need less of the Test team and more of something else. Otherwise, they will always be playing catch-up in this format.

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One Response to “Never looked the part …”

  1. mohitparikh Says:

    i think ureading too much…its just bad timing for Oz. A phase when the team is rebuilding clahing with the oncoming of T20. If we look closely, they ain’t doing best inany format at present.
    give them time.


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