Apart from waking up with a terrible headache, which eventually developed into a full blown migraine, the size of Jupiter, it was a great Sunday. Mainly because of the first Ashes test between Australia and England. I am a huge cricket fan, and Test cricket will always be number one for me. One day matches are good, and 20-20 is not my cup of tea. Test cricket is the one to beat, that separates real men from boys.
Whenever there is a good game going on, I always make it a point to follow it, and it really doesn’t matter who’s playing. Given the history of the Ashes series, and some of the best cricket I have seen over the years, I naturally pay more attention to the Ashes. And thankfully, what a first test it was. Though my money was on the Aussies (whom I still reckon will retain the Ashes), the resolve of the English tailend to deny the Aussies a victory was laudable.
Collingwood performed brilliantly, but his efforts would have gone down the drain if it hadn’t been for the resilience shown by Anderson and Panesar for the last 69 balls of the game. I was almost on the edge of my seat during that period. Kudos to England for saving this game. But they have a lot of introspection to do, given the fact how poorly they performed in the game overall. They must be heaving a huge sigh of relief right now, but I am sure the Aussies will try to come down on them heavily in the next game.
But the game also laid bare the shortcomings in the Aussie team. Their batting is still strong, but there are some serious holes in their bowling. Comparing Hauritz to Warne is a crime, at least for now, and Mcgrath was also sorely missed. Somehow, I think Brett Lee might have turned the game in Aussie’s favor as well. Many a time, under such situations, when the last pair was on the crease, classy bowlers like Mcgrath, and Lee used to bowl yorker length deliveries, that mostly bowled the batsman out. Warne too had a lot of balls up his sleeve, to quickly remove the tailenders. But the current Aussie bowlers were unable to do that. Though Ricky tried different combinations, it did not work out. Hope this department is looked into in detail before the next game. The Aussies must be certainly frustrated with themselves for not having won this game.
So, there you go, whoever said that Test cricket is not exciting. This Ashes test proves that Test cricket still has it, and to let test cricket die will be a grave injustice to the game of cricket as a whole.