There is only one important question to ask in the afterglow of Australia’s T20 World Cup triumph: was it good for you too?
There are two polar perspectives to consider when seeing Aaron Finch et al parade the trophy around, with many in between.
One would cherish and hail the achievements of a team largely written off pre-tournament that found form at the right time to seal a global triumph.
The other sees these celebrations, and instead harks back to failed Ashes campaigns, two consecutive home Test series losses to India, and a basic structural flaw that has left Australian cricket horribly exposed to return to the perch it once proudly dominated.
Granted, a level of cricketing snobbery is inevitable when perceiving the achievements in the T20 format as lesser than those that occur in the whites or in the traditional 50-over World Cup.
On this note, it would be churlish to offer anything other than congratulations to a team that has vied for this title for more than a decade since this tournament first received its bow in 2007.
Yet this article was not thought of in the hours that followed, but in the years that preceded it.
Doing so in the aftermath of victory was ever the only plausible option, as provoking this discussion in the wake of defeat would smack of sour grapes.
Yet while hailing the success, it’s impossible to not consider the costs.
While T20 is not solely responsible for the ills in Australian cricket, the preponderance given to this format has allowed the scenario where idioms such as ‘line and length’ and ‘playing in the V’ have become edifices of a decadent past.
It isn’t that no cricketer can’t achieve this feat, but its priority is secondary when the focus is instead given to ramp shots and an array of slower balls, each one more elaborate than the last.
It is for this reason that this writer cannot be excited by this triumph any more than it would inspire a non-plussed shrug had Australia lost.
Admirable as what Mitchell Marsh achieved, it doesn’t belong in the same mantlepiece of finery as Shane Warne’s mastery of 1999, Ricky Ponting’s rampage of 2003, and Adam Gilchrist’s squash ball of 2007.
This is all subjective of course, but the prospect of a lost Ashes in the summer will render this triumph as beneath meaningless.
For this reason, this result warrants recognition, not celebration.
Nothing about this World Cup victory serves as indication that the next time India visit these shores that Australian cricket will be ready.
And even less suggests that the hitting capabilities of the likes of Marsh can warrant inswinging length balls beating our batsmen through the gate.
This is where Australia’s cricketing consciousness and memory reside, regardless of the feats in the T20 World Cup.