Tag Archives: ashes

Is Ashes defeat the end of Ponting era?

England has retained the Ashes defeating Australia in Melbourne.

After 24 long years Andrew Strauss will return back from down under holding the priceless urn.

As Strauss makes history for England, his Australian counterpart Ricky Pointing is all set to become history for being only the second Australian captain to lose the urn thrice.

For a cricketer extraordinaire aiming for the fourth consecutive world cup victory in 2011, this humiliation is beyond repair.

In a matter of minutes world wide web will be full of punter bashing stories, signalling at the end of his career, but this would be a little too harsh on captain courageous.

Walking in at the fall of Shane Watson on Day one, OZ supporters rooted their captain who walked in to bat nursing a broken finger.

Expectation were sky-high and a blistering knock taking the steam out of the English attack if not the 40th test ton was anticipated by many fans in the packed MCG.

What did Punter in was the double-digit collapse on Boxing Day, when the OZ fell like a pack of cards on the bouncing MCG track.

It could have been tagged as one of the bad collapse had the opponents not been England and the series not Ashes.

The rivalry brings the best out of both the teams, but this time around the statistics were not favouring the Aussies. They can still draw the series, but urn will belong to the Englishmen.

Taking no credit from England, who played their hearts out, it’s been an entertaining series, with no clear favourites till the Boxing Day collapse.

Will it be the end of the road for a captain who holds the distinction of winning the most test matches for Australia and losing the Ashes thrice ?

Isn’t sport a great leveler.

Whatever Cricket Australia decides to do with Ponting, he’ll always be remembered as the captain who wore his heart on his sleeve and led from the front.

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Australia rises from the Ashes, India faces stiff Porteas challenge

Cricket is in.

With Australia rising from the Ashes to make a strong comeback at Perth in the game’s biggest rivalry to Jacques Kallis slamming his maiden test double ton to challenge India’s no.1 spot in Test Cricket and the likes of Rahul Dravid and Irfan Pathan failing to make it to the probable’s for Indian squad for 2011 World Cup, there is a lot for a cricket crazy fan to be glued on to the internet.

Internet for watching any of these events live is a distant dream for me right now, but nevertheless the World Wide Web keeps fans like me posted in a football crazy nation like England.

Unpredictable game

Barely 48 hours back had the Britsh media ‘almost’ declared that their team was going to reclaim the urn.  As the OZ put up yet another lacklustre performance the bait was enough for the British scribes to paint the town red.

However, the age-old cliché the game is far from over till the last delivery held good. True to its nature the game turned on its head with out of form Mitchell Jhonson coming to the party, invaluable 62 runs and six Englishmen to his name, the Queensland pacer brought the five-day format back to life.

It’s the sheer unpredictability that stumps players and fans alike; you never know what can happen in a test match. I remember listening to a spirited NDTV journalist stating “England is all set to win the Perth test.”

Stick to basics and never jump the gun, sports is such a great leveler.

No.1 challenged

While OZ has brought life back to Ashes, in South Africa the Porteas yet again showed why they are one of the most challenging sides in world cricket. Riding on a high of victories Indian team got a wakeup call.

Kallis, with his maiden double ton once again showed his class, though I wonder why he remains the unsung hero at world stage.

Even after this performance if he is not counted amongst the league of extraordinary batsmen like Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, there is something wrong with the pundits of the game.

All eyes now on the formidable Indian batting line up to prove their mettle, batting on two days will be a test of their Test skills and testimony that they are worth the no.1 slot.

Wall sidelined

After all that seeing the likes of Munaf patel ahead of Irfan Pathan in the World Cup hopefuls makes one wonder the acumen of Selectors. As for the wall despite being an ardent fan I think it’s time he hangs his boots as far as the ODI’s are concerned, tough I’ll miss the  ever reliable sheet anchor at no.3.

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C’mon mate its Ashes English style

Forget the world cup, Aussie skipper out on first ball.

The picture caption on front page of London Evening Standard on Friday evening caught my eye and brought a smile.

Being a cricket fan I have been missing the only chance to get some cricket on air owing to timing s and pay channels, but the reportage ensures you make up for the action on greens.

Ever since the English team took off for Oz shores it’s been an experience to go through some of the most entertaining reportage if I may call so.

When it comes to reporting the oldest rivalry in the Gentlemen’s games, emotions take the better of reporters.  Brits and Oz alike, the usage of adjectives is as fluid as punters pull and scribes don’t leave a chance to deliver a lethal blow giving James Anderson a run for his money.

The above mentioned headline is just one example which shows what Ashes means to Englishmen and Aussies. Exactly 24 hours after the splashed World Cup Dream Dies, came this cracker. Punter is a prized scalp, but this one makes it all the more special.

Flip through the pages and comes another gem, AH, YES, SO ‘THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE AN AUSSIE. Columnist Dan Jones describing the three for two score makes the comments and the newspaper plays it up as a headline plastered over a dejected looking Ponting.

It’s not only a tabloid phenomenon, quality press to loves to be a part of this bashing. The day Aussie pacer Petere Siddle took a hat trick in the first test, Telegraph carried headline ‘Woodchopper Siddle becomes a national hero’ and ran an entire profile of the pacer taking digs at him being a professional woodchopper.

I wonder if that mention to that extent was required, but well as the Brits say ‘British Humor’.

With home team having a good run, more gems are expected to make for the loss of watching the game.

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Will Punter rise from Ashes?

Will Ricky Ponting become the first Australian captain to lose three Ashes series?

The question looms large over Oz captains illustrious career with over 12,000 test runs and two world cup victories.

Punter, as Ponting is famously known has a knack for taking the challenges head on. Will he pull his way against an inform England with a not so fierce Aussie team? In a war of comments flowing freely ahead of the first match on November 25, the English commentators have started writing obituaries for the Aussie great.

The question being popped is that does the feisty punter still has the burning desire at 36 to stamp his authority on a not so strong side? With diminishing reflexes can he still pull his men through five grilling matches?

Against a roaring to go English team, the Oz are struggling to finaliseon their final squad. Will Xavier Doherty replace Nathan Huritz is a big question for the OZ?

The form of its batsmen is doubtful and so is the accuracy and wicket taking abilityof its bowlers.

Whatever may be the odds stacked against Punter, despite being India’s arch rival and one of the most hated touring captains in the sub-continent I admire the man’s guts.

He might lack Steve Waugh’s charisma and man management skills, but still is one of the most dangerous batsmen in the five day format.

He’s still the most feared batsmen for the English  attack and if he gets going he has this ability to get his team mates chipping in. He can be the anchor around which the OZ can amass a conquering total.

A self confessed Punter fan I would like to see him take the attack head on and put up a match. He should draw inspiration from his predecessor Waugh’s last  test innings, where the captain courageous rescued a defeat against India.

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