Yesterday, Australia lost a very poorly played match against Pakistan which was in top form.
This must be a lesson to Ricky Ponting, the dashing Captain of the Australian World Cup Cricket Team. Here is a Captain more confident than any that he is or was leading the world’s best cricket team. He also occasionally disparaged other teams in the media. No issue there, as long as he can deliver.
But he did not. It was his first loss as World Cup Team Captain. Must have been humiliating to hit the lowest score ever at the Colombo stadium in a World Cup Match !
The Australian Team crumbled under the vicious attack of the Pakistani bowlers like a pack of match sticks. It was simply pathetic. Please see the scorecard for yourself. I had the unpleasantness of watching the last 10 overs (and also the first 12 overs) of the match. Pakistan did a splendid job of bowling out the hapless Australians. They also demonstrated their fielding prowess. It must have been a hugely insulting loss to the Australians when what was the best team ever could not handle the attack with a strategy. Captaincy was sorely lacking and the resulting score appeared to be an easy chase for the Pakistanis.
But the funny thing that happened after that was it was not such an easy chase. Pakistan played some stupid cricket and lost wickets and what could have been an easy win dragged into a nail-biting finish. Of course Pakistan won, but not with the panache that it could have displayed.
In the end, Australia learnt that it is time to change the Captain and it is time to check the batting order and may be replace some of the middle order batsmen. For Pakistan, it was a sweet win at the end of the day, but they probably realised that it is not going to be easy in the upcoming matches if they are not able to hold their batsmen from committing self-suicide.
It was an excellent cricket play last evening, and today it appears to be even more thrilling with India facing West Indies. Let us see what the Indians come up with.
20th March 2011