Picture courtesy: theaustralian.com.au
I was enjoying watching a movie but suddenly, an absolutely rubbish and unnecessary ‘item number’ came up and broke the entire link. People, who were sitting in the theatre, started talking among themselves and from there, the movie lost it’s sheen and, ultimately, it did not do very well at the box office. In order to add, just a little bit of ‘spice’ , director ruined the hard work done by his actors, script writer, camera men and rest of the crew. Well, there might have been some kind of pressure from the producers but, whatever the reason was, he made an absolute mess of his movie which had the potential of becoming a huge hit.
A similar kind of mess was created by the Australian team where, from a winning position, they fell down like a house made of cards. There was no particular director of this Australian collapse but, many players contributed to make it a flop show. Australian supporters, who were watching all this, were left disappointed by their team’s abysmal performance on the field and this was clearly visible on their faces.
Like that movie, Australia started off their chase (299 runs) in the best possible manner and the opening pair of Warner and Rogers got involved in a 109-run stand. It all started to change when, Rogers was dismissed by Graeme Swann and rest of the team collapsed like bicycles in a cycle stand – one fell and the complete row was down.
Here, an item song cannot be blamed because, unlike IPL, an Ashes test match doesn’t involve DJs and cheerleaders. Australia collapsed because, there was lack of application and responsibility , in the middle. There was no one in the team, who could stand out and say, “We’re almost there, mates. We mustn’t allow this to drift away”.
Pundits of the game will try to analyse the feet movement and position of the head but, this collapse was a combined result of, some good bowling and some horrendous batting. From 3-168 to 10-224, Australia looked completely out of sorts and, all the fans and supporters of Australian cricket were terribly missing the good old days of Steve Waugh and his ten men.
There was a moment when, “England need 3 wickets” took over “Australia needs 115 runs” and there, I and many others, felt bad for Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers, who played exceptionally well but due to the lack of support from their other teammates, their efforts went in vein and Australia lost the Ashes urn.