Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Trust Aussies to bounce back

By John Cheeran
Another defeat for Aussies.
Reigning world champions have lost their fifth one-day international in a row. The last three defeats against New Zealand should not worry the team management excessively as frontline players were missing from these games. No doubt, the Australian bowlers were hammered around the park by Kiwis in the last two games; Glenn McGrath was not there in the final game.
The good thing is that Australian batting has its heroes. Matthew Hayden’s 181 and Shane Watson’s knock upfront should be consolations in a defeat after posting 346 in 50 overs. Two days ago, Australia had posted 336 for 4 only to let Kiwis overtake them.
The important point is that this is not the World Cup.
The theory of teams and individuals peaking too early may not be exactly apt here. Australian crisis has come at a convenient time for them since similar defeats could have pretty well happened during the Super Eight Stage of the World Cup.
It is not a surprise that a tired team has lost a few close matches. Though the lengthening losing streak (five-in-a-row) is a concern, Australia should be able to regroup and recharge themselves for a World Cup that practically only starts in Super Eight stage. Though the World Cup starts on March 13 with some ridiculous mis-matches, there is plenty of time for analysis and looking at plan Bs.
If anyone team capable of lifting itself from the current rut, then it is Australia. In the 1999 World Cup, Australia had lost two of their first three matches only to bounce back and murder Pakistan in the final.
Now, Aussies have had a real testing time as the World Cup approaches and they should be all the more stronger and better for going through these turmoil unlike an Indian team that has managed to cover up its traditional, tragic flaws against the West Indies and Sri Lankans.

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