England’s tour of India is now three Tests old and a familiar pattern has taken shape.
With the invention of T20 cricket, the game of cricket became interesting to many more people.
Rather than a five-day Test of skill, wits and expertise, cricket turned into a four hour smash-a-thon, with glory and riches going to whoever can hit the most sixes.
Is it just me, or is this form of the game turning our Test team into a bunch of easy-out individuals who think it’s more important to score runs fast than to construct an innings for the team?
Australia hasn’t been doing well in cricket for many years. Granted, we still perform in T20s and one day games, but that’s because that has become our strong suit.
If you have a look at Australia’s T20 teams of the recent past, they hold the likes of Clarke, Ponting, Haddin, Lee, Hilfenhaus, Watson, White, Katich, Hussey, Gilchrist and McGrath.
These are all players who at some stage in their career have played in Test matches, many who play or have played for Australia in the Ashes.
It is becoming apparent that Australia’s cricket culture is more of a backyard cricket bash than a game of strategy and cunning play.
Only 10 years ago, Australia was ranked number one in both Test and 50 over cricket, and it’s not just that we have lost the skill level of the likes of some of the names mentioned above.
As a cricketing nation we seem to be more focused on winning a contest where it’s not about how well you bowl, but whether you can put it in the strike zone of the batter. Because if you can’t, you get penalised.
It seems we’re transforming our cricket to be much like our current foods – cheap, easy and over and done with quickly. It doesn’t necessarily matter what it is so long as it looks good and goes down well with a beer.
I believe that the country’s cricket system is being overrun by people who are only worried about winning the easy matches; not the matches that have anything to do with any long-standing skill, but which batsmen and bowlers happen to be ‘in form’ that week.