Friday, 3 December 2010

Australia on the ropes

Australia 2-3 (or 3-2 if you like), who would have thought it? It was a bit like watching a dream – Ponting, Katich and Clarke behaving in the way so many English sides had done before them. The bowling was too good and the batting not up to it. In previous Ashes contests I would watch Hayden and Langer play and miss. Play and miss. Struggle. Then, as if by magic Australia would be 60-0 and our bowling would be ineffective. Huh? I would think ‘those lucky so-and-sos’, ‘if we had their luck we would win too’. Of course what I didn’t realise at the time was that playing and missing is down to ability and talent. The really good player doesn’t nick off to slip. The quality play finds a way to survive. Ponting, who by any yardstick is a quality player, appears to have the weight of a continent on his shoulders. He just doesn’t look like he is enjoying it anymore. How much fun can presiding over the destruction of a once great cricketing nation be - Brian Lara. Clarke looks like a man who has broken something and doesn’t want anyone to know. Future captain? No chance.

Of course England may well bat poorly tomorrow – but that will not change what is happening to Australia. Cricket is a fantastic leveller.

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