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Race for the Crown - Aussies on the 'Do or Die' mark

"Australian cricket team undergoes the tunnel of uncertainties since South Africa overpowered the Aussies threatening the Kangaroos’ regime in the world cricket. The most dominating cricket team and consecutively three times world cup champion now looks for a plea to come out of the pressure and criticism in its own land. The performance of Aussies in India followed by a huge defeat from South Africa on its home grounds signifies the Badshah of world cricket is going to lose the crown."

Swayam Prakash Mahapatra : January 14, 2009

After losing the test series against South Africa cricket team on its home grounds, Australia’s Team Kangaroo is apprehending a quick fall-down from the top of the world cricket ranking list. However, it could manage to stay on as the number one test cricket team by wining the final test against South Africa. But the team that is still ranked number one in test and one day cricket is virtually striving to retain its place in the ICC ranking.

Australian cricket team undergoes the tunnel of uncertainties since South Africa overpowered the Aussies threatening the Kangaroos’ regime in the world cricket. The most dominating cricket team and consecutively three times world cup champion now looks for a plea to come out of the pressure and criticism in its own land. The performance of Aussies in India followed by a huge defeat from South Africa on its home grounds signifies the Badshah of world cricket is going to lose the crown.

Even Australian players who are known for their on-field aggressive game seem have lost their confidence and temper as well. Brett Lee’s speed has not been successful in bringing the team an early breakthrough. Strokes seem to have disappeared from the bat of Matthew Hayden. Mr Cricket Mike Hussey couldn’t even stay on the pitch little longer to rescue the team from a debacle.

There was a period between 1983-84 and 1986-87 when Australia failed to win a single Test series. They lost twice to West Indies, twice to England and twice to New Zealand in the home and outside grounds as well during that period. From 8 Test series played in that phase, Aussies lost six and drew twice – both against India.

Clash over the crown now picks up pace as the so called strongest of world cricket is not in full gear to blow off its counterparts. It is not the champion team that captured the world cup since 1999, but the weakest Australian team of mid 80s?

It has been impossible for Cricket Australia to take the matter of the game casually and it decides to take a rather serious action against them who have not performed well in the last couple of months. Matthew Hayden – the star hitter – has been unsuccessful in the recent years for which he may have to face the fury of selectors. In fact, he has already experienced the fury being pulled out of the team declared as Australia's Twenty20 and ODI squads to play against South Africa. While the apprehension was whether Matthew Hayden would be given a chance to make his come back, the tough stand of Australian Cricket Board and the selection committee and contious bouncers from the media almost forced Mathew Hayden to announce his retirement from international cricket on January 13, 2009.

Indiscipline made a comeback during the test series against South Africa for which Andrew Symonds was dropped from the team to play the final test against South Africa.

Analysing the history of team performance, many of the Australian newspapers mentioned that participation of Australian cricket players in the IPL (Indian Premier League) has been responsible for the downfall of cricket in Australia. Andrew Symonds, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey and Brett Lee, the four successful players from Australia those who played a vital role in team’s success in the past years, performed very poorly in the recent series. However Ponting managed to score some runs in the series against India and South Africa. They (the news paper) also mentioned that those who are not attracted towards money and maintains a far distance from IPL, like Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson, have rather performed well in the recent months.

The recent performance by India and South Africa puts Australian team into more pressure. The young brigade from India and the power gathered by SA team under the captaincy of Graeme Smith make the time tough for the Australian team to retain the champion’s crown. In fact, the Kangaroos are in a ‘Do or Die’ situation to regain its strength and hold the crown.

 

 

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