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Crisis averted: The resurgence of Australian cricket

Rhys Thompson Roar Rookie

By Rhys Thompson, Rhys Thompson is a Roar Rookie

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    Just when we thought the Australian Cricket team, the Goliath of all Australian sporting rep teams had met its own David, waiting for the killer blow, the beast has suddenly re-awakened.

    Watching these first two tests in South Africa, it is amazing that this is largely the same team which was well beaten in Australia, the same team that was meant to go to South Africa to meekly surrendered their hard-fought no.1 ranking.

    But as those who have stayed up to the wee hours have witnessed, the behemoth finally appears to have awakened from its slumber, injected with some fresh energy and some rejuvenated seasoned campaigners. All this from a team who are supposedly missing at least 3 regular test players.

    I don’t know what drug Ricky got the boys on, but I want some of it, who’d have thought a team who gave up a first series at home for 16 years could turn it all around less that 2 months later.

    In Mitchell Johnson we finally we have a new name who can instill fear as the likes of Warne and McGrath did. I watched with near delight as he sent Smith to hospital, then got them to hold the ambulance as he ripped Kallis open with another searing delivery.

    Those who said it was all over…..hah, we are back, maybe not bigger and stronger, but were still the best in the world in the meantime.

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    The Crowd Says (1)

    • March 11th 2009 @ 10:31am
      Jameswm said | March 11th 2009 @ 10:31am | ! Report

      Rhys – well beaten in Australia? We won the 3rd comfortably and were well placed to win the first two. What hurt us was a lack of bowling venom when the pitches flattened out, but that was about it.

      After one test I’d almost written him off, but I think the biggest cog in the wheel of resurgence is Peter Siddle. I know he’s referred to as a Merv Hughes type, but he’s better than Merv. Siddle is a tough, no nonsense guy with a huge hears, and he just runs in ball after ball, over after over, hitting the right spot and holding the seam up, at about 145kmh. I think the rest of them are really feeding off his energy.

      Johnson has outclassed the supposedly premier quick in the world, but Siddle is the perfect foil, and the reason they aren’t missing Stuey Clark as much as I expected. Hilfy has shown he is up to test cricket and whilst he hasn’t set the world on fire, he’s been excellent backup with his 140+kmh accurate outswingers. I do think he needs to master the ball that cuts back for the LBW – I would say Terry Alderman style, though the job Terry Alderman did on England over there was a great con job, as his outswinger had deserted him and the Elglish batsmen got triggered missing straight ones, expecting the outswing to come.

      Brett Lee will really battle to get his place back. Stuey Clark might tip out Hilfy. I don’t see Tait displacing any of them in the near future. And you have Noffke as a bowling all rounder, plus Watson who has again shown ticker by getting a big score in a comeback game.

      The only issue is what you do with the bowling after those three. McDonald is a batting all rounder who can’t score a run, and is there to tie up an end. If Watson comes back into the fold, he and North will battle for the no.6 slot. It makes sense to go for North if you’re playing 4 specialist quicks, so you have a decent spinning option without the dodgy back. But it would be nice to develop a genuine test class spinner. Krejza does seem the obvious one to me, but he can’t remain as loose as he has been and expect to bowl in tests. McDonald is only a stopgap and you can’t keep winning with only 3 specialist bowlers.

      And interestingly we have won without significant contributions from seasoned campaigners like MClarke and Hussey. The rookies’ performances have shown us again the qualitty of Shield cricket.

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